Dig Through Time. I’m a believer. After playing some standard and Modern this week I’ve come to the stark conclusion that this card is one of the all time best cards printed in the three years I’ve been back to the game. The card that previously held that spot was Sphinx’s Revelation. That’s a tall order to top if you’re a guy folks call the DurdleMagus.

I have two decks for you, standard and modern.

In standard I’m rocking this little play on UR Control. It’s essentially the same deck but I’m rocking Savage Knuckle Blades for a bit of utility. Ol Knife Yeti does a pretty sweet morphing impression. He blocks Seige Rhino, dodges removal and in a pinch he’s a pretty slick beater.

The rest of the deck is based off a couple of really sweet synergies: Pearl Lake Ancient plus Master the Way and Steam Augury plus Dig Through Time. Nothing beats flashing in a Pearl Lake Ancient to a tapped out opponent swinging in for 6 and then bouncing all your lands for a blow out level Master the Way for 10+ damage. That’s often enough to end the game if it’s late enough. On the real you are a burn deck that plays a few control cards. Most times you’re gonna save that burn for Seeker of the Way, Rabblemaster or Mantis Riderbut there will be times when all you wanna do is melt faces and get Savage.

The Sideboard is tuned to beat Jeskai Tokens and various other swarm decks. You have a pretty solid match up vs UB control thanks to Stubborn Denial. And the best part of the board is that you can just bring in more Knuckleblades and control your opponents trump spells with your ferocious. Burn Away is for those pesky Whip decks if you can use it to kill a Soul of Innistrad when it activates you are living the dream.

Here’s the list.

Lands (26)
Rugged Highlands
Temple of Abandon
Swiftwater Cliffs
Wooded Foothills
Temple of Epiphany
Radiant Fountain
Thornwood Falls

Creatures (4)
Savage Knuckleblade
Pearl Lake Ancient

Spells (30)
Lightning Strike
Master the Way
Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker
Dig Through Time
Anger of the Gods
Fated Conflagration
Steam Augury
Perilous Vault
Magma Jet
Sideboard (15)
Burn Away
Circle of Flame
Stubborn Denial
Disdainful Stroke
Chandra, Pyromaster
Haunted Plate Mail
Savage Knuckleblade

That’s Standard. It’s a deck I really feel great about playing. I get to play control and its a little bit combo too! That’s my wheelhouse.

So Modern. I played in the Twenty Sided Store Modern Qualifier on Saturday. I was less interested in winning than I was in getting solid data for our constructed group. Richard Tan had posted a UWR Control list that featured Dig Through Time. I decided to tweak it a bit and put it out into the wild.

Creatures (7)
Snapcaster Mage
Restoration Angel
Vendilion Clique

Spells (27)
Supreme Verdict
Mana Leak
Spell Snare
Cryptic Command
Lightning Bolt
Lightning Helix
Path to Exile
Dig Through Time
Relic of Progenitus
Ajani Vengeant
Spell Pierce
Lands (26)
Celestial Colonnade
Scalding Tarn
Flooded Strand
Steam Vents
Hallowed Fountain
Sacred Foundry
Arid Mesa
Sulfur Falls
Tectonic Edge
Ghost Quarter
Desolate Lighthouse

Sideboard (15)
Kiki Jiki, Mirror breaker
Wrath of God
Anger of the Gods
Crucible of Worlds
Celestial Purge
Vedalken Shackles
Aven Mindcensor
Keranos, God of Storms
Engineered Explosives

Notable tangents from the normal are the Maindeck Relic. It’s super good vs Treasure Cruise decks and does good work vs Storm and several other graveyard oriented decks. I shaved a lightning bolt for an extra land, Desolate Lighthouse.

The big news though was my board. After board I can launch into a Kiki Jiki/Restoration Angel combo. A lot of folks are rocking the Geist of St Traft plan vs the control mirror. That’s a great plan, as far as surprise plans go. You drop Geist and swing a couple of times removal burn becomes face melt burn and your off to the races. It’s a wonderful plan, I’m not comfortable with that plan. Especially if you opponent is on the same plan. It’s just gonna be who can stick the first Geist and protect it better. That plan falls apart once there are creatures to block on the other side of the board.

If I maintain that I am I the control deck then why not stay on that plan. Only remove two cards and have an over the top mission to complete. One of the great things about being a control deck is that folks don’t mind tapping out against you. A little feint magic battle then they get to resolve their Tarmogoyf or birthing pod and suddenly your letting it resolve. Then end of turn you drop resto and following it up with Kiki and queue the Benny Hill music.

Now that’s not always the plan. And it’s a plan you can ignore and leverage for plenty of the game. You’re still a UWR Control deck. Colonnade is there to soak up removal and some days you’re on Snapcaster beats. It’s a very flexible deck with plenty of ways to close out the game. This is why Dig Through Time is so naughty in this deck. You can find the tool you need for the job you need to do. And you get a back up tool for some other job. It’s better than Sphinx’s Revelation because you can hold up mana and cast it and still counter/remove what your opponent is doing. You have the means to gain life without Rev and you are just fine in matches were your life total is in question. Snapcaster/Helix goes a very long way to keep you from dying to burn on turn 4.

The rest of the board is pretty cut and dry. Celestial Purge for Lilianna/ Splinter Twin. Keranos for BGx/ Control. Veldaken Shackles for Weenie/Delver. Counterflux for spell heavy combo and control decks. Anger/ Wrath Wear/Tear for Affinity and Tron where applicable.

This is the kind of deck that Dig Through Time shines in though. Your sideboard becomes much better when you have cards that can get you to it. DDT can find the other half (or both halves) of your Kiki/Resto combo. It’s a card that can out attrition traditional attrition decks. I like to play cards that can get me out of otherwise unwinnable situations. DDT is akin to Gifts Ungiven in that respect. And we all know how much I like to cast Gifts.

What’s your answer to the current modern and Standard Metagame?

Zac Clark, Durdle Magus

Don't Miss Out!

Sign up for the Hipsters Newsletter for weekly updates.