Hello there! It’s Sushi here, sorry for the lack of articles from myself recently – I’ve been of poor health, and also have been making a film! Exciting times!
Now, “Why aren’t you playing Jeskai Ascendancy?” is what you may be asking, since Jeskai Ascendancy is the premier Emry deck in Modern, right?
The answer is that I feel like Mono Blue is a lot slower and more flexible; Mono Blue Emry can grind out longer games due to her flexibility, carddraw with Paradoxical Outcome and the ability to flex cards into the deck a lot easier. However, this deck is not the same as JA; it’s like the comparisons between Green Tron and Blue Tron – that’s the best way I can describe it.
Modern Opal Loch-Lurking by Sushiske
4 Walking Ballista
4 Emry, lurker of the loch
4 Mirran Spy
4 Retraction Helix
3 Force of Negation
3 Paradoxical Outcome
4 Mishra’s Bauble
4 Mox Opal
3 Mox Amber
4 Altar of the Brood
4 Arcum’s Astrolabe
2 Paradox Engine
4 Polluted Delta
2 Scalding Tarn
7 Snow-Covered Island
2 Pithing Needle
2 Relic of Progenitus
3 Amulet of Safekeeping
2 Damping Sphere
1 Defense Grid
2 Ensnaring Bridge
1 Force of Negation
- So, the main combo of the deck is Emry, Lurker of the Loch + Mirran Spy/Paradox Engine + Mox Amber/Mox Opal/Mishra’s Bauble + Walking Ballista (for Opal only) or Altar of the Brood. With this, however, even though you run a lot more cards – you have a lot more flexibility than Jeskai Ascendancy as Walking Ballista can kill creeps and [/c]Retraction Helix[/c] can bounce them! That way, against creature heavy decks your combo doesn’t fall apart. Walking Ballista can also be cast from your graveyard with Emry, meaning that it doesn’t need to be on the battlefield.
- Retraction Helix also adds more redundancy to the deck, as you can use the Mirran Spy to bounce a Mox Opal or Mox Amber and then recast it, untapping the Mirran Spy. Paradoxical Outcome lets you bounce things for carddraw, and is a Vintage staple, let alone Modern staple! It’s very strong if you know how to use it correctly. Altar of the Brood especially beats Leyline of Sanctity decks as it doesn’t target, so you can easily get round those types of decks.
- Force of Negation protects. That’s it. That’s the-
- As for the sideboard, I found that Amulet of Safekeeping is amazing against Thoughtseize decks, as it adds to our artifact count and also makes it just hard enough for us to be able to go off quickly against them, without being clunky like Leyline of Sanctity. I wish there was a viable artifact that gave you hexproof, but for now Amulet will do. This would be Chalice of the Void however that turns off a lot of our deck on 1 (the relevant number).
- As Graveyard Hate I’m running Relic of Progenitus as we need our own graveyard to prosper, and it’s an artifact. It’s also repeatable use and has a panic button.
- Ensnaring Bridge is just general hate against large creature decks, as we rarely have more than four cards in our hand unless we’re going off.
- Pithing Needle is for Planeswalkers, Scavenging Ooze and
that one glorious time when your opponent forgets to crack their Fetch…Æther Vial!
- Damping Sphere is for Storm and Tron. Counts as an artifact and just shuts down both decks.
- Dismember is for problematic creatures i.e. Collector Ouphe and Thalia, Guardian of Thraben.
- Defense Grid and the extra Force of Negation is for hosing down control, as Defense Grid just stops Counterspells and Force of Negation negates most removal if you’re not counter-battling.
I played two matches (well I played five, but three AFK’ed in the first round).
Match 1: Jund
I won the game, getting Emry down turn 1 and then hitting Walking Ballista with the mill ability, then being able to Paradoxical Outcome to get a Mirran Spy on turn three as they tapped out with Liliana of the Veil, making me discard my drawn Arcum’s Astrolabe.
Game 3 was great. I played Amulet of Safekeeping turn 1 and hit my Mirran Spy on the second turn draw, so all I needed was Emry, Lurker of the Loch. I used Walking Ballista to kill the Dark Confidant on board and, well, yeeted.
Match 2: Living End
This match was two games as we DCed around Game three.
Boarded in Relic of Progenitus and boarded out [/c]Arcum’s Astrolabe[/c].
I came, I saw, I conquered. Filled up my graveyard with Mirran Spy, and controlled their grave with Relic of Progenitus to eventually just win when they cast their Living End, as they had no idea what my combo was at this point.
So, this deck was fun to create and play. It was definitely not as efficient as Jeskai Ascendancy, however, and may not be as good, but it made some good showings against both decks I tested against. I wish I could play more games but people kept on disconnecting from me, which sucked.
Let me know what you think, though! Join our discord to discuss this deck with us, or comment below and tweet us @wubrguk! But for now, have a nice rest of the day, and *googles catchphrase* I really need a better outro…