The Gideon Tribal deck first started making waves earlier this year at a few Modern GPs. W/B Control decks have had plenty of strong weapons throughout the years in Standard, so it’s no real surprise to see it start to take off in Modern. Modern Super League competitor Todd Stevens of the Brew Crew has made some innovations to the deck and is finding success on Magic Online. With some of the best discard, removal, and planeswalkers, Gideon Tribal is one of the most interactive decks in the format with just enough hand disruption to have game in most matchups.
The goal of a successful interactive deck is to first make sure that your opponent can’t do whatever degenerate thing they’re trying to do. That means discard, and lots of it. Three copies of Thoughtseize and three copies of Inquisition of Kozilek stop unfair decks from getting out of hand. Against fair matchups, you can protect your planeswalkers or disrupt their curve. A couple copies of Collective Brutality provides discard, mediocre removal when needed, and some life gain.
You can’t have a Gideon tribal deck without Gideons, and this deck plays tons of them. In total, you have nine copies of various Gideons in your deck. Gideon, Ally of Zendikar is the only one you’re playing the full four copies of and for good reason. Ally of Zendikar creates an army all by himself by putting Knight tokens into play. It survives sweepers and most removal spells, and presents a quick clock. Decks like Tron are horrible matchups for a deck like this, but some early discard spells into Ally of Zendikar gives you a chance. It doesn’t take many swings to end the game with Gideon, and with enough other Gideons or tokens on the battlefield, the emblems can also be valuable.
Gideon of the Trials provides a 3-mana threat and answer in one card. This is another quick clock as a 4/4, but it also forces the opponent to overextend onto the board if they want to pressure your life total. This can shut down their best threat and force opponents to walk into sweepers or create an emblem that can single-handedly beat some combo decks. Forcing the opponent to remove not only Gideon of the Trials but every other Gideon you have in order to beat the emblem can lock out some decks and force others to divert their resources.
Gideon Jura is your end game. This is yet another planeswalker that forces them to overextend onto the board and can serve as a removal spell as soon as you cast it. Being a 5-drop means that you’re playing fewer copies than the other Gideons, but a 6/6 indestructible creature is yet another massive clock. All told, the Gideons do a great job of ending a game quickly or prolonging the game depending on what the matchup and your hand dictate.
All of the Gideons force the opponents to commit more resources to the board than they might want to. Trials shuts down a damage source, Ally of Zendikar is creating Knight tokens, and Jura can force everything to attack it and its high loyalty. This works extremely well with sweepers, and you have both Damnation and Wrath of God to clean up the board while keeping Gideons around to mop up what’s left.
Sorin, Lord of Innistrad helps provide more recruits for your token army with some lifelinking threats. If you already have enough tokens, Sorin can pump them, but you’re mostly making chump blockers to force the opponent to extend while buffering your own life total.
When it comes to spot removal, it’s hard to do any better than Fatal Push and Path to Exile. You’re playing four of each to make sure you’re never getting tempo’d out before your Gideons and wraths are online.
One of the best cards in Modern is Lingering Souls and its power was on full display at GP Hartford where several CFB pros were splashing it in their Hollow One decks. This creates four evasive threats or up to four blockers for the opponent. Threatening planeswalkers or the opponent’s life total, Lingering Souls can both end the game quickly or protect you from the various threats popular in Affinity, Infect, and many other quick decks. Using Ally of Zendikar or Sorin, you can even pump your army of Souls to win the game real quick.
Gideon Tribal, or simply W/B Control, might be the interactive deck the format needs. White Jund has all the tools to disrupt the unfair decks and overpower those who fight fair.