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Modern Monday: U/R Breach Moon

Modern is a weird format. On one hand, there were two Modern Grand Prix this weekend that had diverse decks at the top. On the other, sometimes the weirdest decks and strategies do really well. I’m not sure if today’s deck falls into that category, but it does remind me an awful lot of a Modern deck from a different time.

The deck I’m looking at today is your typical blue-red fare, with cards like Snapcaster Mages, Lightning Bolts, Blood Moons, and Cryptic Commands. All the cards you’d expect from those colors in a combination that characteristically loves playing the tempo/control role in Modern. This list looks no different, piloted by Magic Online user __BMJ__ to a 5-0 finish in a League.

U/R Breach Moon

This seems to do a little bit of everything. It has tempo. It has control. It has a combo. It has Blood Moon to steal the occasional win. There are definitely some things here I’m not tremendously fond of, but as always, I’d like to play the deck before making any assumptions.

I hinted at how similar this list looks to Splinter Twin. Splinter Twin, the actual card, was dead without a Deceiver Exarch or a Pestermite. And those guys weren’t that useful without their better half. Through the Breach and Emrakul, the Aeons Torn seem pretty similar, as they’re useless without the other, but game-winning together. And you always have things like your 2 Desolate Lighthouse and your 2 Izzet Charms to cycle them away when they’re irrelevant.

Let’s see if I get any Splinter Twin feelings from the deck when I’m actually piloting it.

Man, it’s like I’m forever destined to finish with this record, but honestly, it’s a winning record, and it’s hard to expect more from Modern. The format is very linear—there are certain decks you’re going to have a real hard time beating, depending on what you’re playing. Decks like Tron and Affinity, they usually have great game 1s, but tend to suffer after sideboarding. Unfortunately, I don’t have a ton of hate for Tron in my sideboard, but I could definitely see adding a couple copies of Crumble to Dust or the remaining 2 Blood Moons.

Speaking of which, every time I see Cryptic Command in the same list as Blood Moon I cringe. I never know whether I should be prioritizing my Islands and searching out all three, or if I won’t have to worry about it this game and I can safely get a second Steam Vents. It doesn’t come up a lot, and you can typically navigate around it, but it can be stressful. Another land issue is that I feel like I want a Breeding Pool in the list rather than a Stomping Ground. I want more lands that produce blue mana since I have Cryptic Command, but I also want to have my red mana separate from my green mana when I’m casting Ancient Grudge—if my only red source is the Stomping Ground, this isn’t possible. This is a small issue, but it seems beneficial.

This is also almost a format where I’d feel safe playing a Threads of Disloyalty in the main deck, maybe over the Roast. It’s great at killing Death’s Shadow when few other blue or red cards can. It can also steal a pretty sizable Tarmogoyf.

I liked this deck, but I can never tell if this is better than a dedicated Blood Moon build with Keranos, God of Storms or Vendilion Clique in the main deck. I liked the Through the Breach combo a lot, and it won a fair share of games. It’s also a pretty cool thing to be doing, and really, isn’t that what Modern is all about? Be sure to let me know what you guys think of the deck in the comments!

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