Modern is a battle between people trying to do unfair things, and people trying to interact with them, race them, or do their own unfair things. The Blue Moon decks look to slow down your opponent and control the game to win “eventually,” but adding a combo finish can make that formality happen… suddenly!

Blood Moon is one of the most frustrating cards in Modern. There are countless decks without a single basic land, and resolving a Blood Moon can lock an opponent out of ever playing anything else. Even decks that are prepared with a couple of basics need to fetch their land early or draw it naturally. And when all of those stars align, it will still make it much harder to curve out and deploy multiple spells in a turn.

This time gives blue’s control elements a chance to shine. Modern lacks some of the most powerful blue cards without Counterspell and with Preordain and Ponder banned, so you’re just looking for the tempo to survive to the late game. That means Remand is more than perfect for this strategy. This is an interactive card on turn 2, and you get to draw a replacement card. If your followup happens to be a Blood Moon, that spell may never be cast again. In the later stages, this is a great tempo play for bigger spells, and it can target your own spells (especially after your opponent attempts to counter them), by sending them back to your hand for some card advantage.

When Blood Moon locks your opponent out, it doesn’t matter how quickly you win if you can control the battlefield. This version of the deck doesn’t care. In fact, you don’t even need all 4 Blood Moons since you’re looking to end the game in a single swing. You rely on Through the Breach to get the job done. Through the Breach can put an Emrakul into play, give it haste and trigger annihilator to wipe the opponent’s board and most of their life total. Through the Breach is an instant, so you can cast it during a blue opponent’s end step to tap them low before firing off another copy on your turn to finish them.

Sometimes the damage from Emrakul isn’t enough to be lethal. Also, you will occasionally fall behind against an opponent getting on the battlefield before you’re ready to combo off or lock them out with the Moon. Burn spells are perfect for both of these jobs as they’re efficient removal or can just end the game. This is an excellent Lightning Bolt deck to make strong use of the tempo, and Electrolyze can give you some additional card advantage even when it’s not knocking out two smaller creatures.

You’ve got lots of cheap spells in here, so it’s no surprise to see Snapcaster Mage here to get back your card draw, Remands, or removal, and if they happen to Thoughtseize away your Through the Breach, you can even go that route later in the game.

This is Modern, so you’re going to need some card selection. Opt allows you to keep your mana open during your opponent’s turn, which is fantastic in a deck that happens to feature 23 instants and Snapcaster Mages. Serum Visions doesn’t get the full playset, but 3 copies will make sure that you’re set up to interact early to Moon or Breach them when needed. Izzet Charm adds some additional utility as card selection, removal, or countermagic for whatever the situation may call for. Pull from Tomorrow gives you flood protection for when games go long and you need to expend your resources to stabilize.

Cryptic Command is such a versatile and powerful spell that it puts this deck over the top. A hard counter is consistently useful, and Cryptic is essentially always going to produce card advantage. Bouncing permanents is more useful in a deck with Blood Moon since they may be unable to recast them, and returning your own Snapcaster Mage gives you more options to Cryptic again. Tapping down the opponent’s team can be a Time Walk that draws a card, and when you’re looking to set up a hasty Emrakul, that could be all you need!

Blue Moon is a solid strategy more than capable of winning a Modern tournament, and adding the Emrakul flare from Through the Breach could put it over the top!

Blue Moon