The prevalence of U/W-based decks in Modern has been steadily increasing as a great answer to the format. Control decks are tier 1 again, and playing a tempo-based deck that can function at instant speed is a great way to handle a diverse Modern.

Snapcaster Mage is proving that he’s the best card in Modern. A 2-power creature for 2 mana is already an efficient threat, but Snapcaster’s card advantage is just absurd for the cost, and at instant speed no less. In a deck full of instants, efficient burn, and card draw, Snapcaster is what makes these decks tick.

The other creatures here also combine tempo, interaction, and, in the case of these 3-drops, evasion as well. Spell Queller really puts the opponent on the clock and may continue to shape how Modern gets played if the popularity of Queller continues to rise. Standard decks really had to adjust how they played 3- and 4-mana spells when there could be a Spell Queller in your future. A Time Walk that starts hitting you for 2 in the air is absurd when you take away their entire 3rd or 4th turn. Vendilion Clique provides additional interaction on a quick clock. If they don’t cast a spell to walk into Queller, the Clique can get them, and the floor on Clique is getting to cycle one of your otherwise useless spells in hand.

With all of these cheap flash creatures, a few burn spells will often be enough to end the game. Lightning Bolt and Lightning Helix give you a cheap way to take out opposing creatures or to take the opponent down to 0 life. The combination of these 3-point burn spells and Snapcaster Mage can finish your opponent quickly. Electrolyze provides a bit more burn in addition to card advantage.

Path to Exile is one of the best removal spells ever printed. Stopping the opponent’s best creature for a single mana provides fantastic tempo, and 1-mana removal spells combo with Snapcaster Mage extremely well.

Modern now has an array of card selection spells with the introduction of Opt. You can play the full playset, and you can still play several copies of Serum Visions. Opt gives you yet another great target for Snapcaster Mage, and when you leave up 3 mana on an opponent’s turn, you can threaten a variety of spells to flashback with Snapcaster Mage, in addition to your countermagic, Quellers, and Clique.

You’re not playing much countermagic. Remand is made significantly worse since you can’t close out the game all that quickly with no combo finish and with Path to Exiles giving your opponent so much mana. This also makes Mana Leak much weaker. You still have Cryptic Commands due to its incredible power, flexibility, and the combos with Snapcaster Mage. Logic Knot can use excess spells you’re not going to flashback and your fetchlands to give you a strong hard counter for the late game and a cheap counter in the early game.

To go with all of these Snapcaster Mages and to turbo-fuel your Logic Knots, you have the card I’m most excited about in Search for Azcanta. It filters your draws, fill your graveyard, and give you a late-game engine that really can’t be beat. Azcanta gives you additional mana and yet more things to do on your opponent’s end step with extra mana. Finding extra card drawing and burn is a great way to close out any game in Modern.

Ixalan has taken one of Modern’s most promising decks and added some serious power in Opt and Search for Azcanta. These cheap new additions give the deck a ton more play and allow you to find your most effective spells as the game goes on!

Jeskai Tempo