"The ultimate military purpose of war is the destruction of the enemy's ability to fight and will to fight"

History/Origin of the deck: Throughout the years I played a fair share of prison decks, and it always felt great to see the hopelessness on my opponent's face, I felt great satisfaction on totally locking my opponent's out and winning eventually on turn 45 or something among those lines. So, naturally, when I first saw the Lantern deck I felt in love for it and played tons of games with it. I liked playing it, but the more I played it and understood it, the more I thought that it's greatest flaw was actually the Lantern/Millstone engine. I started seeing them as low powered cards that required everything to go right to be good, or as "win-more" cards, so one day I thought what if I created a "Lantern" deck but without lantern? That's when I put my brewer's hat and started creating this deck.
It was a long journey, many cards were tested, many games played, many changes to the decklist, until I arrived to the list you're about to see, which I believe it's as refined as the deck can be (Or at least very close to optimal) so I suggest that you make very few, if any, changes to the list if you intend to play it, if you really want to put your own mark in the deck be carefull, as every card in it has a purpose and goal, and 1 single card change can change the deck drastically.

The Decklist:


Artifacts (30):

4 Ensnaring Bridge
4 Chalice of the Void
4 Mox Opal
4 Mishra's Bauble
2 Mind Stone
2 Everflowing Chalice
2 Crucible of Worlds
2 Sorcerous Spyglass
1 Welding Jar
1 Ghirapur Orrery
1 Expedition Map
1 Ratchet Bomb
1 Witchbane Orb
1 Trading Post

Creatures (11):

4 Hangarback Walker
3 Walking Ballista
2 Spellskite
1 Phyrexian Metamorph
1 Arcbound Ravager

Lands (19):

4 Darksteel Citadel
3 Inventors' Fair
2 Ghost Quarter
2 Tectonic Edge
2 Snow-Covered Island
1 Buried Ruin
1 Phyrexia's Core
1 Academy Ruins
1 Inkmoth Nexus
1 Sea Gate Wreckage
1 Field of Ruin


3 Thorn of Amethyst
3 Dismember
2 Grafdigger's Cage
2 Sun Droplet
1 Ratchet Bomb
1 Batterskull
1 Sorcerous Spyglass
1 Torpor Orb
1 Padeem, Consul of Innovation

The Gameplan: As with every deck your game plan will change every matchup, but for the most part, your first goal is to get a Ensnaring Bridge in play and empty your hand, from there your next goal should be to protect said bridge to make sure it stays in play and you can't be attacked, this can be done via extra Ensnaring Bridges, Welding Jar and Spellskite, or you can also achieve this with Chalice of the Void set to the converted mana cost of the opponent's possible outs. Afterwards, you must go for a way to generate great value, either Crucible of Worlds + Ghost Quarter / Tectonic Edge / Inventors' Fair, or Ghirapur Orrery + pretty much anything. Lastly, you should start thinking about winning (winning?! the hell is that?! I know guys, it sucks but we have to put our opponent out of his misery eventually). There's a multitude of venues for winning within the deck, When it comes to actually reducing your opponet's life total to 0 or getting them to 10 poison (Yup even went there so you can beat infinite life if needed be) you can grow your Walking Ballistas either the hard way, or with the help of Arcbound Ravager or go for huge Hangarback Walkers which can then be sacrificed with Arcbound Ravager, Phyrexia's Core or Trading Post, the 1/1 Thopters will let you sneak under your own Ensnaring Bridge and conquer the opposition on the skies, the final way to beat them is Inkmoth Nexus + Arcbound Ravager. But in all seriousness most of the games you win is by concession, as usually your opponents will see the writing on the wall long before you de facto beat them.

Should you play this deck?: First of all this deck isn't for everyone, you must enjoy putting your opponents to great misery, see the pain on their face when they start to realize that they just can't beat you. If you love long games and dragged out battles then you will love playing it. The deck is also very fun to play (For you, not so much for the opposition), every game is an epic battle, full of ups and downs, a true roll coaster of emotions, you're losing pretty badly on board and then BOOM you top deck Ensnaring Bridge and it feels like you can't possibly lose. Another feature is the plentifullness of options that you will have pretty much every turn, so the more you play it and master it, the better your odds of winning are(This is true for pretty much every deck on MTG's history, but this one takes it to an extreme). So if you enjoy long games, many on board tricks and options, annoying your opponents, repeatable tutoring, land destruction, drawing multiple cards per turn and inevitability this is the deck for you.

Deck's Strenghts: Trust me on this one, this is a competitive deck, and I've no doubt that it can battle with Modern's top decks and often teach them a lesson (Proxy it and play a few games and you will see what i'm speaking of), the deck also has a plan for pretty much every possible matchup, almost never feels like you've an impossible to beat matchup. The Lock is also a very customizable deck given the ammount of tutoring you've if your metagame is prone to a certain strategy you can easily change a card or two and see a drastic improvement on the matchup. Mastering it rewards you greatly exactly like a Lantern deck would. You also have good to great matchups against fair decks and some unfair ones too. The deck also has plenty of free wins as some decks just can't beat Ensnaring Bridge or Chalice of the Void set for 1. The Lock can also be a very explosive deck, it's a Mox Opal /Mind Stone / Everflowing Chalice deck, therefore often times you will have acess to 3-4 mana on turn 2, letting you play ahead of the schedule and let you go under possible hate cards. Besides that The Lock is also very resilent to hate, not only do you've maindeck Welding Jar / Spellskites but unlike lantern (which is also somewhat resilent to hate) you're also a Chalice of the Void deck which nulifies by itself several forms of hate, I've beaten every possible hate card with this deck, Engineered Explosives, Stony Silences, Ancient Grudges, Relic Progenitus, Blood Moon, Creeping Corrosion you name it, you can beat them. I'm not saying those cards aren't good against the deck, but it has ways to beat every single one of them. Lastly, this is a deck that mulligans well, as being hellbent actually is one of your goals and a card like Chalice of the Void set for 1 can make up for the card disavantage of mulliganing by blanking multiple opponent's cards, or for example by landing a Ensnaring Bridge which will usually give you time to make up for the card disavantage.

Deck's Weaknesses: No deck is perfect, and this one is no exception, in my opinion it's major weakness is how hard it is to play perfectly, I've played hundreds of games with it and so far I can't recall a game where I can safelly say I didn't made a mistake, you've so many options that it becomes almost impossible to not make a mistake even a small one. This deck is also extremelly punishing, a very little mistake can easily cost you a game/match. Besides that, another weak point of the Lock is the clock, if your opponent is a "stubborn never concede" guy, it may take a while for you to finish the game up, so you got to play quickly, if you want to make sure you can come back from a defeat game 1. Another of it's flaws is the ammount of format knowledge needed to play it, you got to know the format, what your opponent can do, his possible outs, his possible sideboard hate cards, that's a lot of info to absorb if you're just getting started with the format. Lastly, you will not be making many friends playing this deck hehe :)

Single Card/Numbers Analysis:



4 Ensnaring Bridge: Well, this card is pretty self explanatory and your most important card, running less than 4 is a plain mistake, as this is essentially an Ensnaring Bridge Deck, it's the card you most want to see in your oppening hand on the majority of your matchups, land a bridge and you just landed a bridge to victory.

4 Chalice of the Void: One of the most powerfull cards in the format, it gives you free wins in many matchups, lets you nullify hate before it even happens, and annoys your opponent which is always a pleasure. Notice that the deck only runs 1 1 drop, so a Challice for 1 barelly affects you, another cool feature of the deck it's ability to "turn off" it's own Challices if needed be, with Arcbound Ravager, Phyrexia's Core or Trading Post, this is often very important as on an early stage of the game you may trully need to have a Challice of the Void set for 2, but later on you may need a Arcbound Ravager in play, for example. Running less than 4 seems silly.

4 Mox Opal: Some people say that this is the most powerfull card of the entire modern format and should be banned, I'm not choosing sides on that debate, but all your best draws involve an active turn 1 Mox Opal, and it feels like cheating every time you accomplished that. It's also one your few source of blue mana which lets save life on Spellskite and activate Academy Ruins and play Padeem. 4 is the correct number, nothing to see here.

4 Mishra's Bauble: Oh boy, 20 bucks uncommons, this card is also very good in this deck, it lets you turn on Mox Opal quickly, it makes it easier for you to achieve hellbent while making you play a "56 card deck" and all of this while giving you a some info about your opponent's next draw, I can't tell how many games I've won just because of that small edge. I would not go lower than 4 on this one.

2 Mind Stone / 2 Everflowing Chalice: I group up these 2 cards together, since they're essentially the same card quite often, but each one has it pros and cons. Mind Stone lets you draw a card, which can be fundamental for digging deeper to find your lock pieces while Everflowing Chalice can give more than just 1 single mana. It may not seem like it, but this is a very mana hungry deck (In a good sense, you don't need that much mana to win, but you can make use of every single drop of mana you've every turn, more mana=better options). Another important feature of Everflowing Chalice it's the ability to cast it for 0, don't understimate this, a turn 1 Everflowing Challice for 0 may turn your Mox Opal on and give you access to the likes of turn 1 Chalice of the Void, this feature can also be important for achieving the crucial hellbent on the early stages of the game. I believe that a 2-2 split is correct, but you could change the split if, for example, your meta is prone to discard strategies, then Mind Stone will gain extra value and vice versa.

2 Crucible of Worlds: Another fundamental card, it lets you fight the big mana decks and totally lock people out of the game with Ghost Quarter/Tectonic Edge / Field of Ruin recursion, it also give you acess to "Infinite" tutoring with Inventors' Fair (a key interaction in the deck), and lastly it has an insane sinergy with Ghirapur Orrery. I believe 2 is the correct number because Crucible of Worlds+ land destruction lands can be enough to win games, if you want to add something else to the deck then going down to 1 could be ok, but overall I think 2 is fine, never more than that as multiples of it are irrelevant and it can be a somewhat clunky card when you draw multiples and need to turn on hellbent.

2 Sorcerous Spyglass: Sorcerous Spyglass plays around Chalice of the Void set for 1 and lets you see your opponent's hand, that extra bit of info is both unique on an artifact and crucial in a prison deck that wants to blank every card of the opponent's side. Over all these kind of "Needle" effects are quite hit or miss, against some decks they're your best cards against other they do 0, but still the deck needs 2 cards that provide this effect, because against the decks against which the effect is good having just 1 is not enough (For example you want to blank both Arcbound Ravager and Cranial Plating vs. Affinity and you want to blank both Karn Liberated and Oblivion Stone vs. Tron).

1 Welding Jar: It protects your stuff while being a 0 mana artifact to turn on Mox Opal, is more powerfull than what it seems and one of first cards you should look for after getting an Ensnaring Bridge in play. It serves a similar role to Spellskite but I prefer a 2-1 split in favor Spellskite because it can block.

1 Ghirapur Orrery: My new favorite card, this card is VERY VERY powerfull and so far it was pretty much left unexplored, the effect looks symmetrical but it trully isn't, because the Lock is designed to quickly achieve hellbent and stay hellbent and make use of all the extra land drops while your opponent's deck 99% of the time just isn't designed that way, this card is super awkward for your opponent especially because you're a Chalice of the Void deck. Often times your opponent will have a hand full of dead 1-2 drops when you deploy Ghirapur Orrery, and it will take them forever to turn on hellbent. It's like having your own personal Howling Mine but times 3 with an Exploration attached, it makes the deck run on steroids, it's just quite simply busted. It looks like it is a nombo with Ensnaring Bridge but it actually isn't, because from your 41 spells (Maindeck) 23 of them can be cast for 0. The only problem with it it's when you draw 3-4 lands on a turn cycle, but that's a rare ocurrence and also you have ways to destroy your own Ghirapur Orrery if you feel like it's risky to have it in play, or simply not play it at all. So far I've not yet been punished by it, and can only speak wonders of it. 1 is enough as it is at it's best when you're already winning.

1 Expedition Map: By playing just 1 Expedition Map you make your deck way more consistent it's also an 1 mana artifact which is great with Mox Opal, the main reasons for it's inclusions is the fact that it lets run 4 "pseudo" Inventors' Fair (one of the deck's most important cards) without the awkwardness of having 4 equal legendary lands on your deck, it also means that once you achieve Crucible of Worlds + Inventors' Fair you can then go find any utility land you need. I believe 1 is the optimal number because of Chalice of the Void for 1.

1 Ratchet Bomb: You need a way to remove anoying permanents from the field and this seems, to me, the best available option. I could easily see the count going up to 2, as in some matchup this is a very necessary card, even then you have ways to get it back from graveyard so you can get multiple uses out of it.

1 Witchbane Orb: This card is a necessity in the deck, by itself it lets you beat stuff like Valakut which otherwise you've no hopes of beating. It's a very narrow and powerfull card and 1 is the right number imo.

1 Trading Post: Trading Post has great sinergy with the decks plan and it's most important feature is the life gain part which lets get out of some tricky spots, and it's also a way to sacrifice your artifacts once you don't need them and as it costs 4 it plays well around your own challices, once again I would not advice more than 1.


4 Hangarback Walker: An army in a can, one of deck's best cards, as it serves multiple roles, on the early game it's a nice road block and a big annoyance for most fair deck, giving you the time you need to find your lock pieces, while being one of your main ways to win on the late game when mixed with Arcbound Ravager / Phyrexia's Core / Trading Post. Another secret strenght of it is that it lets you play around some forms of hate namelly mass artifact destruction like Creeping Corrosion, if you have a Hangarback Walker with like 12-13 counters (yep this is the sort stuff that happens with this deck more often than you would think) your opponent often can't play his mass artifact removal because of the thopter army it will left behind. 4 is the correct number, the card is great in every stage of the game, lets you play against some of the possible hate, and leaves those cool looking thopter tokens behind.

3 Walking Ballista: A great utility card, it seems innocous but by now everyone knows how good this little guy is, it buys you much time (sadly not as much as Hangarback Walker most of the time) while being a solid play in every stage of the game, it's also your main way to take advantage of the high ammounts of mana that this deck can produce. This card also solves one of previous Ensnaring Bridge decks problems: 0 Power creatures, as most 0 power creatures seeing modern play easily die to it (Birds of Paradise, Noble Hierarch, Signal Pest, Ornithopter, to name a few) I still have doubts about the correct number of Ballistas in the deck, I'm running 3 but 4 can also be ok, I'm going with 3 due to lack of space.

2 Spellskite: It protects your guys so it becomes safer to go for Arcbound Ravager / Hangarback Walker / Walking Ballista tricks and it protects your artifacts from many possible hate cards, while being a good blocker on it's own. As said before I favor Spellskite over Welding Jar for blocking reasons.

1 Arcbound Ravager: This card serves several purposes, it lets you destroy your own artifacts when they're doing you more harm than good, speeds up your killing speed by a lot and has great sinergy with your other creatures/deck in general. I opted for 1 as more than that seems over kill to me, since card is a it's best when you've already reached the end game.

1 Phyrexian Metamorph: By running 1 of these you pretty much get acess to an extra copy of all your cards, it can provide the needed third needle effect main deck without the awkwardness of actually running 3 needle cards, it gives you all sort of options while being a solid card over all. I would not recommend more than 1 of these, as multiples can be awkward and having 1 gives the extra flexibility that you need.


4 Darksteel Citadel: Essential for turning Mox Opal early and being an artifact sinergizes well with Arcbound Ravager. I've been playing 4 since the beggining of the deck creation and I'm happy with then, but if you want an extra utility land you can easily cut 1 of them.

3 Inventor's Fair: The best land in the deck and bunkers busted with Crucible of Worlds, the life gain it provides is also crucial in several matches. This is an Inventor's Fair deck, you usually want to use one to find Crucible of Worlds and then start searching for your bullets every turn. If it wasn't legendary I would not hesitate a nano second running 4 but as is 3 seems optimal to avoid the awkwardness of drawing multiples.

2 Ghost Quarter: A great land in modern, it lets you run your opponent out of lands and deal with opponent's utility lands. I went for 2 because of the lack of space, but I can easily see the number go up to 3 if big mana become more popular.

2 Tectonic Edge: More land destruction, just because Wasteland isn't Modern legal it doesn't mean we can't have fun wrecking people's lands, hopes and dreams. I run 2 of these because pretty much every deck in modern runs at least 2 basics, so mana screwing your opponent with Tectonic Edge will usually come up earlier than with Ghost Quarter, going down to 1 and upping the ghost quarter count to 3 can also be correct depending on expected metagame.

2 Snow-Covered Island: The mandatory 2 basics of every modern deck, 1 basic feels short 3 seems too much, I like just 2 basics but you can go with 1 to 3, depending on the preference. But most importantly NEVER NEVER NEVER run non snow basics, Santa will not like your attitude!

1 Sea Gate Wreckage: Or as I like to call it the fair Library of Alexandria, great card in the deck as it fits your gameplan perfectly and getting colorless mana to activate it is trivial in this deck. I run 1 because of the lack of space but it's also one of your best lands, I'm ok with just 1 but I can see 2 being excellent as well.

1 Burried Ruin: Pretty much Regrowth on a land in this deck, it has great sinergy with the deck, and it can actually be a source of card advantage when you've Crucible of Worlds going on.

1 Field of Ruin: A great addition from Ixalan to the deck as this card lets you find your blue source giving you an easier time playing Padeem out of the side.


3 Thorn of Amethyst: Against Storm decks and decks that relly heavily on spells in general like control decks and decks with plenty of cantrips. 3 Seems like a good number as this card can also mess your gameplan.

3 Dismember: Also another necessity as you don't have many ways to deal with creatures, but just because you're playing against a creature heavy deck it doesn't mean you should side in Dismember, as Ensnaring Bridge can straight blank all of the opponent's creatures in some matches, so running removal becomes pointless. Run these when you want to deal with specific creatures like Thought-knot Seer or Vizier of Remedies, for example. 3 Seems like a good number to me, but once again depends on your meta.

2 Grafdigger's Cage: Against graveyard decks/company decks. I like playing 2 as those kind of deck aren't that much popular currently, but this is meta dependent of course.

2 Sun Droplet: For aggressive decks like zoo-burn. This deck has some problems with decks with burn so having 2 of these helps there, and more is kinda over kill.

1 Ratchet Bomb: The extra Ratchet Bomb to deal with pretty much anything, I feel like it's a necessity to have 1 more in the side, as it's good-decent in many matchups.

1 Batterskull: Against Burn and zoo deck, while also being very annoying for Midrange decks to beat. I feel like 1 is enough as you've way to find it and it's a 5 mana card that can mess up your hellbent up.

1 Torpor Orb: This card has all kind of usages against different kinds of creature decks from Reclamation Sage to Thought-knot Seer to Eternal Witness modern is rich in creatures with powerfull enters play effects so having 1 of these is mandatory. 1 seems enough to me, once again giving the tutor centric nature of the deck.

1 Padeem, Consul of Innovation: An anti hate card that can catch your opponent's off guard while protecting your lock pieces, it's major flaw is being blue but I feel like the deck runs enough blue sources to accomodate 1 of these.

Matchup Analysis-Sideboard Plan:

In this section I'll be discussing some of the possible matchups, giving you some insights on them, mainly about what you should try to do for each of them, what you should side out and bring in. As well as providing the Sorcerous Spyglass targets for each one and provide the best numbers to go for with your Chalice of the Void for each matchup, these will ordered by order of relevance from most important to least.
These are all just generalized tips and the right Sideboard Plan/Sorcerous Spyglass names/Chalice of the Void counters will greatly depend on opponent's exact list, game state, and how much time you've left on the clock:

Death's Shadow:

Game 1: Even matchup and very swingy, sometimes they can go turn 1 Thoughtseize and take your Ensnaring Bridge to just wreck you or you can land a turn 1 Chalice of the Void to wreck them. Your goal here is to get a bridge in play and protect it as hard as possible, Challice for 1 is also a doozy here, another powerfull option is Crucible of Worlds + Ghost Quarter as they run very few "actual" lands, so cutting them out of red completely isn't that hard and that just stops any Kolaghan's Command Shennanigans.

Post Board: Your game plan is the same, and things stay kinda even like game 1, they get Ceremonious Rejection but you get Thorn of Amethyst which is also an impactfull card.

Spyglass names: Liliana of the Veil, Tasigur, the Golden Fang, Liliana, the Last Hope and Fetchlands.

Chalice set for: 1, 3, 2

OUT (7 Cards):4x Mishra's Bauble, 2x Walking Ballista, 1x Snow-Covered Island, 1x Sorcerous Spyglass (I like keeping Sorcerous Spyglass in, so that you've a clean way to deal with Liliana of the Veil)
IN (7 Cards): 3x Thorn of Amethyst, 3x Dismember, 1x Ratchet Bomb, 1x Torpor Orb

Eldrazi Tron:

Game 1: A though matchup, mainly due to Ulamog, everything else you can deal with but Ulamog can be harsh, your goal should be to get a Bridge and play and then go for Crucible of Worlds + Land Destruction lands to keep them off Ulamog mana. Also notice that this matchup may also depend a lot on your opponent having a clue on what you're playing, due to their Challice of the Void, if they go for the typical Challice of the Void for 1 then you're safe, but a Chalice of the Void for 0 on their side can be pretty hard to deal with sometimes.

Post Board: Your game plan stays the same, but things get a bit worse as your opponent is likely to board in Ratchet Bomb and Relic of Progenitus if he sees Crucible of Worlds game 1, Relic of Progenitus isn't that powerfull of a card against this deck but it can be a bit annoying. I advice you to needle Ratchet Bomb as soon as possible as that card can be devastating.

Spyglass names: Ratchet Bomb (Post Board), Karn Liberated, Walking Ballista, Endbringer, Relic of Progenitus (Post Board), Expedition Map, Ghost Quarter, Sea Gate Wreckage.

Chalice set for: Chalice is awful on the matchup you need to set it for 4 or 5 for it do something.

OUT (8 Cards): 4x Chalice of the Void, 4x Mishra's Bauble
IN (8 Cards): 3x Dismember, 1x Batterskull, 1x Padeem, Consul of Innovation, 1x Sorcerous Spyglass, 1x Torpor Orb, 1x Batterskull


Game 1: An even matchup, both of the decks can go BIG in the long game and it's going to depend a lot of their specific list, if they run World Breaker your chances go down significantly, and if they run more than 1 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger things can get rough as well, your main goal should be assembling Crucible of Worlds + Land destruction and do your best to keep them off Tron, rather than going for Ensnaring Bridge. You still need Ensnaring Bridge but is not as important as being able to wreck their manabase, also try to find Ghirapur Orrery to wreck their mana faster. This matchup is beatable and can even be good if you're playing against a less experienced player, it leans really heavily on your ability to keep them off tron.

Post Board: Your game plan stays the same but things get better for our side as we get more needle effects and their deck is kinda weak to that. The hate from their side usually consists of Nature's Claim a card that isn't that great against you due to Chalice of the Void. Sorcerous Spyglass is one of your most important cards in the matchup, so try to find it as quickly as possible and protect it.

Spyglass names: Karn Liberated, Oblivion Stone, Ratchet Bomb(Some lists may run it sideboard), Expedition Map, Relic of Progenitus, World Breaker, Ugin the Spirit Dragon.

Chalice set for: 1, 3, 7 (You gotta believe!)

OUT (1 Cards): 1x Ratchet Bomb
IN (1 Cards): 1x Sorcerous Spyglass


Game 1: A good matchup, it depends greatly on your ability to play Chalice of the Void for 1 early and then find Trading Post/Witchbane Orb, if you can accomplish this quickly you're in a very good position to win. Ensnaring Bridge isn't that amazing here as most their creatures will usually do their job before that gets online, but on the other hand your [cards]Inventors' Fair[cards]s do wonders in this matchup and so does Spellskite. Their most annoying card is Eidolon of the Great Revel so try to save your Walking Ballistas and Ratchet Bomb to deal with that guy.

Post Board: Your game plan changes a bit here, your most important card still is Chalice of the Void, but now you've acess to Sun Droplet and Batterskull, these are extremely hard for them for beat, they are more impactfull than Ensnaring Bridge and you should play accordingly. The matchup improves post board as their typical hate will be Destructive Revelry and Ancient Grudge, cards that your deck is well equipped to fight against, while your sideboard cards are really devastating for them.

Spyglass names: Shrine of Burning Rage (Against some lists), Grim Lavamancer (Once again not every burn list runs this) and Fetchlands

Chalice set for: 1, 2

OUT (7 Cards): 2x Mishra's Bauble, 2x Sorcerous Spyglass, 2x Ensnaring Bridge, 1x Crucible of Worlds
IN (7 Cards): 3x Thorn of Amethyst, 2x Sun Droplet, 1x Batterskull, 1x Ratchet Bomb


Game 1: A swingy matchup pre-sideboard, as their game plan doesn't care about Ensnaring Bridge for the most part and you've few ways to deal with their mana cost reducing guys. You can still win if you manage to get a quick Chalice of the Void for 1 and then proceed with Witchbane Orb which makes them unable to win, your main plan of Ensnaring Bridge does little but Witchbane Orb is a card they most likely have zero outs against game 1.

Post Board: The matchup improves a lot post board as you now have more tools to fight their strategy. After board you get acess to Thorn of Amethyst, Grafdigger's Cage, and Dismember all of them extremely disruptive cards in the matchups, plus Chalice of the Void, that's a lot of hate for them to fight through, still be carefull because they will most likely have Shattering Spree but thankfully Spellskite can redirect all the copies to itself, so finding one leaves you in great shape.

Spyglass names: Scalding Tarn (Yep that's all, side it out boys!)

Chalice set for: 1, 2, 4

OUT (8 Cards): 2x Hangarback Walker, 2x Ensnaring Bridge, 2x Sorcerous Spyglass, 1x Trading Post, 1x Snow-Covered Island
IN (8 Cards): 3x Thorn of Amethyst, 3x Dismember, 2x Grafdigger's Cage


Game 1: A rough matchup, on one hand they can just straight up ignore your Ensnaring Bridges and Chalice of the Void isn't that great either, but on the other hand Witchbane Orb can make them unable to win game 1, as is unlikely they will be running main deck ways to deal with it, so your main priority is to find Witchbane Orb.

Post Board: Your game plan is the same, find Witchbane Orb and protect it, but now they will have acess to artifact removal so things get worse for you, but Padeem can be key here as most likely they will have problems dealing with it especially when it's backed up by a Spellskite.

Spyglass names: Sakura-Tribe Elder, Khalni Heart Expedition (against some versions), Wooded Foothills

Chalice set for: 2, 3, 4

OUT (2 Cards): 2x Sorcerous Spyglass
IN (2 Cards): 1x Torpor Orb, 1x Padeem, Consul of Innovation


Game 1:Great matchup, as most Merfolk lists have 0 outs to an resolved Ensnaring Bridge game 1, their deck doesn't present that fast of a clock either, sometimes they runs 2-3 in Mana Leak/Spell Pierce, which you can play around but most run 0 counterspells main deck . Try to get Ensnaring Bridge in play and then just laugh your way to the bank to collect your earnings.

Post board: Your goal should be get an Ensnaring Bridge in play, and back it up with Chalice of the Void for 2 or Witchbane Orb to play around [cards]Hurkyl's Recall. You're still favored although they probably get to side in both Ceremonious Rejection and Hurkyl's Recall, both strong cards against you.

Spyglass names: Aether Vial, Relic of Progenitus (Usually Post board), Mutavault

Chalice set for: 2, 3, 1

OUT (4 cards): 2x Hangarback Walker, 1x Welding Jar, 1xSnow-Covered Island
IN (4 cards): 3x Dismember, 1x Ratchet Bomb

Note: Sun Droplet can also be ok in this matchup to stem the bleeding and give you some extra time.


Game 1: Not all elves deck are created equal there are 3 distinct versions at this point: Classic Mono Green Elves, Devoted Druid Combo Elves and Shaman of the Pack Elves. Each one being requires different tools.
Against Classic Mono Green you're very favored, just find an Ensnaring Bridge and protect it in case of Reclamation Sage (they usually run just one) and it feels like you just can't lose.
Against Devoted Druid Combo Elves things are bit harder, I feel that their deck is a bit more explosive than classic mono green versions and some may run a Walking Ballista in their 75 to play around stuff like Ensnaring Bridge, still your plan is the same find Ensnaring Bridge and empty your hand, your hand must stay empty at all times once you find said bridge as they can pump all their 1 power guys with Ezuri and go under your bridge, getting a Sorcerous Spyglass or Witchbane Orb in play can safe you from possible Walking Ballistas or Ezuris.
Shaman of the Pack versions are the hardest ones to beat as shaman of the pack can deal upwards of 20 damage given enough time, so your plan should be to find Ensnaring Bridge and then Witchbane Orb to make sure they've no ways of beating you.

Post Board: Over all things get worse for you post board against all versions, as your opponent is likely to have some sort of artifact removal on the sideboard, especially mass artifact removal like Creeping Corrosion. Your gameplan is still the same but beware of specific hate cards like Kataki, War's Wage, Fracturing Gust or Creeping Corrosion, having a Welding Jar in play can be the difference between win and lose here. Just a tip avoid wasting your Dismembers on random turn 1 mana dorks, as the game will go long so hurting their early mana development is rarelly worth it, your Dismembers are usually better served hitting more impactfull targets.

Spyglass names: Walking Ballista (Devoted Druid Versions), Ezuri, Renegade Leader, Scavenging Ooze (In some versions), Horizon Canopy, Pendelhaven

Chalice set for: 1, 2, 3 (Against devoted druid combo try to set it for 2 first)

Classic Mono Green:

OUT (6 cards): 2x Sorcerous Spyglass, 2x Mishra's Bauble, 1x Trading Post, 1x Witchbane Orb
IN (6 cards): 3x Dismember, 2x Grafdigger's Cage, 1x Ratchet Bomb

Devoted Druid Combo Elves:

OUT (7 cards): 2x Mishra's Bauble, 1x Phyrexian Metamorph, 1x Crucible of Worlds, 1x Ghirapur Orrery, 1x Sorcerous Spyglass, 1x Snow-Covered Island
IN (7 cards): 3x Dismember, 2x Grafdigger's Cage, 1x Ratchet Bomb

Shaman of the Pack versions:

OUT (7 cards): 2x Sorcerous Spyglass, 2x Mishra's Bauble, 1x Phyrexian Metamorph, 1x Everflowing Chalice, 1x Snow-Covered Island
IN (7 cards): 3x Dismember, 2x Grafdigger's Cage, 1x Ratchet Bomb, 1x Torpor Orb


Game 1: I feel like you're unfavored here, affinity has very explosive openings which are pretty much unbeatable for any deck in the format, and they have ways to play around Ensnaring Bridge with Ornithopter and Signal Pest. Your Chalice of the Void isn't at it's best either here, as chalice for 0 (usually a powerfull play against affinity) can be tough for yourself as well. The key here is to get a Ensnaring Bridge in play and then start finding Sorcerous Spyglasses to deal with Arcbound Ravager and Cranial Plating. Another powerfull game plan on your part is Walking Ballista as their deck is kinda soft to it. It's a hard matchup but beatable.

Post Board: Things don't exactly get easier as they're likely to run Ancient Grudge on their sideboard so play accordingly and don't fall into the trap of thinking that just having an Ensnaring Bridge is enough.

Spyglass names: Arcbound Ravager, Cranial Plating, Blinkmoth Nexus, Inkmoth Nexus, Steel Overseer, Springleaf Drum

Chalice set for: Chalice isn't that great here but 0 and 2 are your best bets

OUT (6 cards): 4x Chalice of the Void, 1x Witchbane Orb, 1x Crucible of Worlds
IN (6 cards): 3x Dismember, 1x Padeem, Consul of Innovation, 1x Ratchet Bomb, 1x Sorcerous Spyglass

UW Control:

Game 1: A very good matchup as you're both long game decks but The Lock simply out durdles them quite easily, your Ensnaring Bridges may not look very effective but as long as Ensnaring Bridge is in play they can't beat you as they've no reach. Besides that this deck also has a land destruction component which is very hard for them to deal with.

Post Board: Things get harder as your opponent will likely have acess to stuff like Stony Silence, Rest in Peace and Detention Sphere, all of which are extremely annoying to deal with. But you've an major advantage: the clock! Unless your opponent quickly concedes game 1 it's very unlikely that there will be enough time to end a game 2, and you're favored so much game 1 that your win game 1 most often is enough to give you a match win.

Spyglass names: Gideon of the Trials, Celestial Colonnade, Elspeth, Sun's Champion, Gideon Jura, Flooded Strand

Chalice set for: 1, 2, 3

OUT (5 cards): 3x Mishra's Bauble, 1x Witchbane Orb, 1x Welding Jar, 1x Phyrexian Metamorph
IN (5 cards): 3x Thorn of Amethyst, 1x Batterskull, 1x Sorcerous Spyglass, 1xTorpor Orb

Note: If you suspect or see Disenchant keep Welding Jar in and side out an extra Mishra's Bauble.

Jeskai Control:

Game 1: This matchup is much harder than UW control as they have reach, but Chalice of the Void is more effective against them than it is against UW Control. Ensnaring Bridge while usefull isn't that back breaking here, and your most important tools are Trading Post, Witchbane Orb and Crucible of Worlds + Land destruction.

Post Board: Things get worse as once again your opponent will have acess to Stony Silence and Rest in Peace and to add insult to injury they most likely will also have acess to Engineered Explosives, a super annoying card to play against. Your sideboard options aren't neither as plentiful or impatcfull as theirs but still you've a chance, just trust in the hearth of the cards :D

Spyglass names: Celestial Colonnade Engineered Explosives (Post Board)

Chalice set for: 1, 2, 3

OUT (5 cards): 2x Mishra's Bauble, 1x Welding Jar, 1x Ensnaring Bridge, 1xPhyrexian Metamorph
IN (5 cards): 3x Thorn of Amethyst, 1x Batterskull, 1x Torpor Orb

Note: If you suspect or see Disenchant keep Welding Jar in and side out an extra Mishra's Bauble

Living End:

Game 1: A very good matchup due to both Ensnaring Bridge and Challice of the Void for 0, these are both devastating for them, if you manage to land one of these their hopes and dreams will be crushed. Their only way out of a resolved Ensnaring Bridge is Beast Within and usually they run only 2-3 of these so you're very well positioned in this matchup.

Post Board: Things get a bit better for them due to Ingot Chewer but even with that card you're still greatly favored, as this deck can handle 1 or 2 artifact removal spell quite well, you gain acess to Thorn of Amethyst which is a a great delay tactic making their Living End costs 5, if you can complement this with some land destruction they will have some major headaches.

Spyglass names: Fulminator mage, any of their cycling creatures

Chalice set for: 0, 3

OUT (4 cards): 2x Mishra's Bauble, 1x Witchbane Orb , 1x Everflowing Chalice
IN (4 cards): 3x Thorn of Amethyst, 1x Sorcerous Spyglass

Jund Midrange:

Game 1: A bad matchup due to Maelstrom Pulse, Abrupt Decay and Kolaghan's Command + Discard effects, but it's still beatable, your best card in this matchup is Hangarback Walker, this little guy is a big annoyance for them and it's your best way to win and it buys you tons of time, your best plan for victory is Hangarback Walker recursion, if you manage to get to that stage of the game you can win but is not easy to get there, another important card is Trading Post as it dodges Abrupt Decay and is a good way to recur you Hangarback Walkers.

Post Board: Things get worse for you as your opponent is likely to have Creeping Corrosion and Ancient Grudge after board, your game plan stays pretty much the same, but now you have access to some removal and Batterskull, an annoying card for them to deal with, but still I feel very unfavored here.

Spyglass names: Liliana of the Veil, Chandra, Torch of Defiance, Scavenging Ooze, Grim Lavamancer (in some versions)

Chalice set for: 1, 2, 3

OUT (6 cards): 4x Mishra's Bauble, 1x Everflowing Chalice, 1x Snow-Covered Island
IN (6 cards): 3x Dismember, 1x Ratchet Bomb, 1x Batterskull, 1x Padeem, Consul of Innovation

Junk Midrange:

Game 1: Not as hard as Jund Midrange since they don't run Kolaghan's Command still is not easy to beat them, you got to be carefull as they have some reach in form of Siege Rhino so staying above 3 life is key here, once again Hangarback Walker is very strong in the matchup but due to Path Exile is not as strong as it is against Jund, so try to get Chalice of the Void for 1 before you start deploying Hangarback Walkers.

Post Board: Things get a worse due to Stony Silence, so landing Chalice of the Void for 2 can be the key to victory, also beware of Creeping Corrosion, a card that some lists run on side, so play accordingly.

Spyglass names: Liliana of the Veil, Scavenging Ooze, Liliana, the Last Hope

OUT (6 cards): 4x Mishra's Bauble, 1x Everflowing Chalice, 1x Snow-Covered Island
IN (6 cards): 3x Dismember, 1x Ratchet Bomb, 1x Batterskull, 1x Padeem, Consul of Innovation

Ad Nauseam Combo:

Game 1: A good matchup if you know what it's important to achieve, your most important card is Sorcerous Spyglass (Witchbane Orb serves the same role), with it you can name Lightning Storm and force them to go for the Laboratory Maniac kill, in order to prevent this you must get a Walking Ballista for 2 in play, if you manage to get these 2 things victory will very likely be yours as most lists don't run a way to win once both these cards are in play, but just in case when possible try to get a Spellskite in play to save you from any potencial Echoing Thruth or something among those lines. Chalice of the Void is also quite good for you here either on 1 or 0 to stop potencial Lotus Blooms. Notice that a Ratchet Bomb on 3 can also deal with Laboratory Maniac and Phyrexian Unlife so that another decent option.

Post Board: Things get better for you as now you've more Sorcerous Spyglasses and Thorn of Amethysts to delay them while their sideboard isn't particulary rich on anti artifact hate. Don't fall into the trap of bringing in Dismember, it may look tempting and obvious to do so to deal with Laboratory Maniac, but if the game gets to that stage it means your opponent drew his entire library and will have Pact of Negation at the ready to deal with your Dismembers so once again Walking Ballista for 2 and Ratchet Bomb on 3 are key.

Spyglass names: Lightning Storm, Gideon of the Trials (Post Board)

Chalice set for: 1, 0, 3

OUT (5 cards): 4x Ensnaring Bridge, 1x Welding Jar
IN (5 cards): 3x Thorn of Amethyst, 1x Sorcerous Spyglass, 1x Ratchet Bomb

Note: If you suspect something like 1 off Dragonlord Dromoka out of the board as an extra win con from your opponent's side keeping 1 Ensnaring Bridge in can be crucial.


Game 1: This one is a very very good matchup, if you get an Ensnaring Bridge in play your opponent's only out is a giant Conflagrate I'm speaking of a Conflagrate for 20 or something like that which is something that they can't realistically achieve, this is one of the easier matchups game 1. After getting a Ensnaring Bridge in play go for Witchbane Orb as they will most likely have zero outs at that point given that most dredge lists don't run a way to deal with artifacts main deck.

Post Board: Things get harder post board as the opposition is likely to have the likes of Ancient Grudge, Abrupt Decay and Nature's Claim on their side to deal with your deck, so it's very important that you get multiple Ensnaring Bridges and ways to protect it in play. Although things get worse for you you have a great trump post board: Padeem, Consul of Innovation, a card that they don't expect and can protect your entire board. And you also get Grafdigger's Cage which can be rough for them to deal with.

Spyglass names: Only Fetchlands

Chalice set for: 1, 2

OUT (4 cards): 2x Sorcerous Spyglass, 1x Crucible of Worlds, 1x Ghirapur Orrery
IN (4 cards): 2x Grafdigger's Cage, 1x Padeem, Consul of Innovation, 1x Ratchet Bomb

Eldrazi and Taxes:

Game 1: A tricky matchup and greatly depend on play or draw I believe you're unfavored here over all, even if you land a quick Ensnaring Bridge the opposition has ways around this with Flickerwisp and there's also another line of play that they can go for although not every Eldrazi and Taxes knows this line, your opponent can stack Eldrazi Displacer activation + Thought-Knot Seer in such way that he makes you draw extra cards without making you exile any so that he can attack through Ensnaring Bridge so beware of this interaction, I discovered this the hard way. Besides that they have Thalia, Guardian of Thraben which is quite disruptive against this deck. Your best plan to win is Ensnaring Bridge backed up with Sorcerous Spyglass naming Aether Vial and Chalice of the Void set for 3, if you manage to get all this you can win, but getting to such game state isn't a easy task.

Post Board: Things don't get much better post board as your opponent is likely to have Stony Silence on their side board. Your gameplan is pretty much the same post board but now you got some extra tools to fight them, one of your most important cards is now Torpor Orb which can stop much of their trickery, but their Eldrazi Displacer / Flickerwisp tricks are still hard to beat. I also like bringing in Sun Droplet although they're not a burn deck their creatures don't hit for that much and Sun Droplet can actually buy you some needed extra time.

Spyglass names: Eldrazi Displacer, Aether Vial, Ghost Quarter, Shambling Vent

Chalice set for: 3, 1, 2 (Post Board is more important to have chalice for 2 than 1 due to Stony Silence)

OUT (10 cards): 4x Mishra's Bauble, 1x Mox Opal, 1x Welding Jar, 1x Ghirapur Orrery, 1x Everflowing Chalice, 1x Mind Stone, 1x Crucible of Worlds
IN (10 cards): 3x Dismember, 2x Sun Droplet, 1x Sorcerous Spyglass, 1x Ratchet Bomb, 1x Batterskull, 1x Padeem, Consul of Innovation, 1x Torpor Orb

Lantern Control:

Game 1: Lastly your twin brother, this is an epic matchup a battle for the ages, only one can out durdle them all! In all seriousness this is a very good matchup for many reasons, first and foremost you're a Chalice of the Void deck, that card alone can win you the game quite easily by blanking their entire deck pretty much. Besides that you also have Academy Ruins which stops their chances of milling you and you also have ways to bring back your stuff from the graveyard so very often it doesn't matter if they mill your good card on top of your library because you can just get it back anyway. Besides all these advantage you also have another edge, you don't really care about their Ensnaring Bridges, you can always win with Walking Ballista at your leisure. Another powerfull card on your side is Witchbane Orb which stops their Codex Shredders. Lastly you run Ratchet Bomb main deck which is simply back breaking for them.

Post Board: You're still very favored and they don't really have many good cards to bring in against this deck, you get slight improvements nothing big, but your advantage is such that is going to be very hard to lose this matchup.

Spyglass names: Pyxis of Pandemonium, Ghoulcaller's Bell, Ghost Quarter, Codex Shredder, Inventors' Fair

Chalice set for: 1, 3, 0

OUT (2 cards): 2x Hangarback Walker
IN (2 cards): 1x Sorcerous Spyglass, 1x Ratchet Bomb

Summary of Matchup Analysis: This provides you a decent plan for most common matchups, if faced against something different remember that Mishra's Bauble is your easiest cut. I also like cutting a basic on the draw in some matchups, so keep that option in mind. Over all I feel the deck is tuned to give you a fighting chance against the entire modern field, although some matchups are hard to beat. You should also learn to concede-shuffle-play quickly, not an easy task but one well worth it if you're into this style of decks.