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Bottled Thopters [Modern Artifact Prison]

Modern Artifact Combo Control Mono-Blue Pillow Fort


Oh man, I love Stax. Unfortunately Modern doesn't have tasty adds like Sphere of Resistance, Tangle Wire, and Smokestack. But we can. Real down the decks of modern and we find a number of artifacts that can foil a multitude of plans.

The primary plan is to get the combo of Ensnaring Bridge and Bottled Cloister. This effectively strips away combat from your opponent. Simple enough.

This core strategy is surrounded by a toolbox to protect both you, and the board. We have a lot of digging and tutoring starting with Serum Visions. Basic auto include helping us to find the pieces we need early. After that we have Glint-Nest Crane to dig deep looking for key artifacts or combo pieces. It's also not to be undervalued as a blocker for the early game. We also have a couple Fabricates. We aren't always going to have triple blue or enough artifacts to Improvise with Whir of Invention and Fabricate has our back. Finally, Whir of Invention is the glue of the deck serving as extra copies of whatever we need at the time. Sometimes you'll play artifacts just to ramp the mana on the Improvise. The deck can get the lock on turn 4 but with this, the deck becomes really consistent at getting everything by turn 5. While that seems slow, we are backing it up with Spellskite and Glint-Nest Crane as blockers and all of our other hate. We're a control deck. You don't have to kill your opponent by turn 4. You just have to stabilize things enough that they can spend 10 staring at Bottled Cloister, shaking their heads.

As this is a toolbox deck, I'll attempt to briefly go over the purposes of our hate.

Damping Matrix does work against Affinity and helps stop Chord from comboing off. It's serviceable at stopping Tron's Expedition Map and Oblivion Stone. Does a number on Lantern decks as well.

Defense Grid works wonderfully against control decks. Grixis and U/W in particular have been on the rise and many are experimenting with Esper and Sultai builds. Grid gives you whole turns against counter decks. We can struggle if our stuff doesn't resolve and Grid has our back.

Pithing Needle is highly underrated. Stops planeswalkers, fetch lands, man lands, stupid creatures, stupid things, Engineered Explosives, Oblivion Stone, Ratchet Bomb. Great insurance against Burn though the lock. Lots of stuff in Affinity.

Spellskite is an all star as a blocker to extend us into the mid game as well as being absle to absorb Burn. Being in a blue deck is also really nice as we aren't forced to pay the life. This is invaluable against Burn and also just at protecting our combo pieces. Kolaghan's Command is a real magic card.

Sun Droplet slows the bleeding of some decks like Burn or Zoo. Even against control, it can just force our opponent to put more pressure up.

Vedalken Shackles are amazing against Zoo, Affinity, Merfolk, etc. This just gives us win cons against creature decks.

Witchbane Orb barely edged out Orbs of Warding just by being more efficient. It shut off discard and burn extending us into the late game. Against decks like Storm and Ad Nauseam, this could just be game over.

One card I haven't talked about is Ghirapur Orrery. This is the engine that sends our mid game cascading into the finish. Once we get our lock with Bridge, Orrery will draw us into so many cards every turn. It's only a singleton for two reasons. 1) We don't want it until we get our lock. 2) When building the deck, this card made playing around the possibility of decking a necessity. And with that we come to the tail end of the deck with the win con.

Platinum Angel is unique in what it does. I went through a number of possible win cons. Elixir of Immortality didn't save us from decking because we have all of our permanents on the board and will eventually redeck ourselves before our opponent and it required a shift for Reshape to get around Damping Matrix. This also would leave us prone to Stony Silence and playing artifacts that don't care about Stony Silence is really nice. Then I tried Mindslaver. This highlighted a simple oversight. When we redraw our Mindslaver every turn from Academy Ruins, we also get the Orrery and Cloister triggers and so we're really only decking ourselves by trying to deck the opponent. Then I tried Laboratory Maniac. While I liked how it worked, with Spellskite backup, I feared there would be times where I draw into Lab Man too low in the deck to get him out before decking. I wanted an artifact so it could be tutored for. If it wasn't going to win the game immediately, it needed to save us from decking so we could deck our opponent. And if it gets the upside of being an evasive beater, we'll take that. Enter Platinum Angel. Because she says that we can't lose the game and our opponent can't win the game, we won't lose to decking. It gets around most removal and Spellskite can absorb anything else. It can be recurred for with Academy Ruins should we lose it. It seems perfect for this strategy. I have wanted to see Platinum Angel succeed in modern and this might finally be the place for her to spread her wings.


Updates Add

Decided to slot in the Thopter sword combo to give the deck more teeth. Artifacts strangely don't lock opponent's up as hard as enchantments can so we just have to add fear on top of misery.



100% Competitive

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Top Ranked
  • Achieved #45 position overall 2 years ago
Date added 2 years
Last updated 6 months

This deck is Modern legal.

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 2.17
Tokens 1/1 Construct, 1/1 Thopter
Folders Modern, Uncategorized
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