Phlage, Titan of Fire's Fury | Modern Horizons 3 | Art by Lucas Graciano
25, Jun, 24

Legends Old And New Unite In Spicy Meta-Breaking MTG Deck!

Article at a Glance

It’s hard to believe that it’s been less than two weeks since Modern Horizons 3 hit shelves. The set has already had a big impact on every format in Magic, and perhaps an even bigger impact on the secondary market. The latest example of this is a brand-new Jeskai Control deck, which has been taking recent MTG Modern events by storm. The deck is a fascinating mix of old and new. Modern superstars from years back work alongside fresh MH3 cards to dazzling effect. It likely needs some refining yet, but it’s still well worth a look.

In Control

Before we get into it, credit where credit is due. This deck comes to us from McWinSauce, who piloted it to a first-place finish in a recent Modern Challenge event on MTGO. A similar list from Kritik also took second place at the event, but we’ll be focusing on the top dog here today.

Jeskai Control is a fairly traditional Control deck by most metrics. It plays a plethora of removal, counterspells, and board wipes, then relies on a single powerful threat to close out the game. In this case, Phlage, Titan of Fire’s Fury. This is one of the big innovations in the deck, and we’ll really get into it later on. For now though, just know that it’s the primary win condition in the deck. Well, that and drawing your whole deck with The One Ring.

Beyond Phlage, the deck is laser-focused on dealing with the threats your opponent presents. Two of the Evoke Elementals, Subtlety and Solitude, contribute greatly to this. The deck also runs Modern classics like Prismatic Ending, Dress Down, and Teferi, Time Raveler. Even the once-mighty Snapcaster Mage makes a welcome comeback here, giving you a ton of options when paired with the deck’s diverse spell suite. Each of these helps you answer a different problem from your opponent. Or pre-empt one, in Teferi’s case.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Control deck without counterspells, and this deck packs a stacked suite. It runs the original Counterspell alongside Spell Snare, Force of Negation, and Mystical Dispute out of the sideboard. There are also some spicy new counters among the many new MH3 cards in the deck. Speaking of which…

New Kids On The Block

McWinSauce’s Modern Jeskai Control deck is an experimental MTG brew to be sure. It plays a whopping 19 new cards in the main deck, and four more in the sideboard. That’s a 31% new card ratio, for all you percentage fans out there. As I mentioned above, Phlage is the most important of these new cards by far.

Phlage comes down for three as a slower Lightning Helix but then Escapes later for four as a full-on 6/6 Titan. With 12 total Fetch and Surveil lands in the deck, alongside cheap cantrips like Tune the Narrative, it’s not hard to pay that Escape cost. Obviously, a few swings with Phlage can end the game in short order, but you can also aim your Helices at opposing creatures instead to stabilize the board. It’s a very flexible card.

I mentioned Tune the Narrative there, and that’s a crucial part of the deck’s other major package: Energy. McWinSauce plays both Galvanic Discharge and Wrath of the Skies in the main, providing solid removal against aggressive decks. These cards work perfectly well alone, but they can also lean on each other’s Energy generation when needed. As well as that of Tune the Narrative.

This Energy package is complemented by a couple of interesting MH3 one-offs. These are Invert Polarity and Sink into Stupor. The former is a wacky counterspell that can just win you the game half of the time, and the latter is the best of the new MDFC lands from MH3. Both make a lot of sense in the deck and give you more options for shutting down problematic threats.

Cunning Counters


But what if you find yourself up against Jeskai Control in your Modern MTG matches soon, and need to know which problematic threats to play? Don’t worry; I’ve got you covered. Like any deck, Jeskai Control has its weaknesses, including, interestingly enough, the graveyard. This isn’t usually a concern for Control decks, but with Phlage and Snapcaster providing some of the deck’s best plays, dealing with the ‘yard can leave the deck feeling toothless.

There are many options for doing so, but your best bet is probably Soul-Guide Lantern. This is a Modern sideboard staple for a reason, and can snipe a Phlage on entry before dealing with the next one as soon as it comes down. Alternatively, Unlicensed Hearse is a great, repeatable option that doubles as a threat itself.

The other major problem the deck presents is The One Ring. Everyone knows how powerful this card is by now, and how much raw advantage it can provide over time. Getting rid of it is tricky thanks to its Indestructible, but Edict effects like Pick Your Poison work well. You can also hit the rare hardcasted Subtlety with this card, so it’s a great sideboard pick.

Finally, the best advice for dealing with this, or any other Control deck, is simply to go fast. Play aggressively, apply pressure, and finish your opponent off before they can stabilize. Jeskai Control has a solid game against low-to-the-ground decks thanks to Phlage, but it’s still your best shot in most cases. If you have any spare sideboard slots, dedicating them to hyper-aggressive threats like Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer would really help your chances in this matchup.

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