This week in Magic: Re-discovering GR Tron

karn liberated

Welcome to another edition of “This week in Magic.” This week we’re going to cover a deck that is not burn. However, depending on who you are, is probably on the same level as far as the totem pole is considered. This week we’re taking a look at one of my favorite decks, GR Tron. Now we may have talked about it in the past, but this time we’re going to go over some of the changes the deck has made since we last touched upon it.


I guess on one of the first things you’re asking yourself is why GR Tron? Why not Mono-U Tron? While part of me does enjoy the strong control aspect of Mono-U Tron, you are less likely to draw your combo pieces than you are when you play GR Tron. This is one of the great strengths of GR Tron. I mean, if you’re going to play a deck called Tron, you might as well play the Tron pieces.


I’m sure you’ve had enough of my blabbering. Here is a good look at what I’ve got.


GR Tron

Main board
4 Karn Liberated
4 Wurmcoil Engine
1 Emrakul, The Aeons Torn

4 Ancient Stirrings
4 Pyroclasm
4 Sylvan Scrying
4 Chromatic Star
4 Chromatic Sphere
4 Expedition Map
4 Oblivion Stone
3 Relic of Progenitus

4 Grove of the Burnwillows
4 Urza’s Tower
4 Urza’s Power Plant
4 Urza’s Mine
2 Forest
1 Eye of Ugin
1 Ghost Quarter


Side board
2 Spellskite
3 Rending Volley
4 Nature’s Claim
3 Boil
2 Vandalblast
1 Sundering Titan


Main board selections

Your main board is very self-explanatory. Our main objective here is to build up Tron as fast as we can. This is accomplished by digging through our deck as much as possible or being as direct as possible. Sylvan Scrying is our best direct approach at gathering Tron. Expedition Map is another great example of a direct approach to thing. The spell is a little bit slower, and if played improperly, can be destroyed or returned to your hand without ever being used.


Overall, the best spell in the deck has to be Ancient Stirrings. On turn two, it’s the best spell we can play. Imagine this scenario: Turn one, we play a tron land and cast one of our numerous one casting cost artifact cantrips that cans also generate a single color. In a deck where colored mana is so sparse, this added ability is very welcomed. This leads us to our second turn. On turn two, we draw our card for the turn, then we can activate and sacrifice the artifact to draw another card and generate us one Green mana. This mana is then used to cast Ancient Stirrings where we can look at another five cards deeper.


Straight to the point

There is no greater feeling than casting a turn three Karn Liberated. I’ve played plenty of matches where my opponent has scooped at the sight of Karn. Not only that, but Wurmcoil Engine can be just as devastating to many of your opponents, especially the ones who decided to play burn that day.


Then, of course, there is always the chance where you can windmill slam an Emrakul around turn five or six with the help of an Eye of Ugin. For you beginners out there who may feel a little intimidated by this deck, don’t be. On paper it may look difficult to play, but in reality, it isn’t. Just like everything else in Magic, it takes a little bit of practice, but once you get rolling, it shouldn’t be difficult to pilot.


Weakest links of the deck

The deck is nicknamed “Tron” for reason. That’s because to play the deck you need to be able to play all three Urzatron pieces. Again, having play the deck plenty of times, I can tell you that, despite all of the cantrips and tutors, assembling Tron can still be difficult.

Also, let’s not forget the people who have a side board plan against you. As a Tron player, your worst nightmares will be Fulminator Mage and Blood Moon. Going from producing seven mana on turn 3 to producing only 3 mana hurts a lot – on the inside and outside.


Wrap up

Well, that’s it for this week. As you can see, I’ve played other decks besides Mono-R Burn, and am not as one sided as I seem to be. My advice is to try it out and give it a shot. Slam those those Tron pieces onto the battlefield and get ready to see some sad faces.


About the author

Simeon is now the Community Manager for Battleground Games & Hobbies. If you have any questions or inquiries, then you can reach him at He is also an avid gamer who loves to play board games and video games. He graduated college with a degree in Political Science, and now serves the public by writing about games. You can check that out here. Don’t forget to “like” him on Facebook as well. It’ll update you on all of his newest content. Best of all, you can follow Simeon on Twitter (@SimeonCortezano) for some real time hilarity. Thanks for reading!



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