Modern Deck Tech: Whirless Lantern

Saihaan Khan • January 23, 2018

Lantern. Most would call it a deck of degenerates, a deck made for and by the scum of the scum of the earth. But I like watching my opponent’s happiness drain out of their eyes, leaving only a husk. So, if you have friends and would like to keep them, I recommend you do not play this deck.

With that out of the way, let’s look at a list.

2 Abrupt Decay
2 Academy Ruins
4 Ancient Stirrings
4 Blooming Marsh
4 Codex Shredder
2 Collective Brutality
4 Ensnaring Bridge
1 Forest
1 Ghost Quarter
3 Ghoulcaller's Bell
4 Glimmervoid
1 Infernal Tutor
4 Inquisition of Kozilek
2 Inventors' Fair
4 Lantern of Insight
2 Llanowar Wastes
2 Mishra's Bauble
4 Mox Opal
3 Pithing Needle
1 Pyxis of Pandemonium
1 Spellskite
1 Spire of Industry
2 Surgical Extraction
2 Thoughtseize

2 Abrupt Decay
1 Golgari Charm
2 Grafdigger's Cage
4 Leyline of Sanctity
1 Surgical Extraction
2 Thoughtseize
3 Welding Jar


Let’s start with the namesake card – Lantern of Insight.

It reveals the top card of both libraries. So you can bust out your mill package:


To control your opponent’s draws and sculpt yours. You need land but there is a Pithing Needle on top? Mill it. Your opponent needs a Through the Breach and it is on top of their deck? Mill it! If you've milled them many times and they still show a card you can't let them have, sac the lantern to shuffle it away. This gives you a “soft lock”. You have some control but your opponent still has a chance. That leads us on to our next key piece of the puzzle:


Our deck mainly consists of 1 and 2 drops, so we usually have an empty hand by turn 3. Ignoring Noble Hierarchs and Signal Pests, we effectively prevent combat damage. Our “soft lock” combined with our lantern and part of our mill package achieves our “hard lock”.

We stop our opponent playing magic, and we start goldfishing.


We use Thoughtseize and Inquisition of Kozilek to disrupt our opponent's hand, giving us information for Pithing Needle. Discard is key with combo decks like storm lurking around, and Collective Brutality also lets us pick off a creature while emptying our hand for Ensnaring Bridge.


Abrupt Decay is useful in the mainboard to take out both planeswalkers (Liliana of the Veil and Gideon of the Trials, mainly) and also to dispatch problematic creatures (Baral, Signal Pest, Noble Hierarch). Spellskite helps against infect and burn, and thanks to Mox Opal, Glimmervoid and Spire of Industry we will usually have blue open, eliminating the need to pay life.
Academy Ruins allows us to return destroyed or milled artifacts from our graveyard to the top of the library. In the late game this also means that if we have an artifact to sacrifice (i.e. a bauble or a codex shredder) we can't mill ourselves out as we can keep drawing the same card. Surgical Extraction gets rid of Emrakul, and also helps against combo decks like storm where you can extraction Past in Flames, Gifts Ungiven or even Grapeshot.
Ancient Stirrings allows us to dig for our pieces because most of them are colorless. Mishra's Bauble gets us a bit of info without a lantern. It also works quite well with a one land hand and a turn 1 Codex Shredder to control a single draw. Infernal Tutor finds almost any card, as hellbent is rarely off, or replicates a key card like Ensnaring Bridge.


Abrupt Decay is brought in against planeswalker heavy decks, or aura/artifact heavy decks.
Golgari Charm is mainly used to dispatch mana dorks and lots of small creates, mainly affinity. I will also side it in if I believe my opponent will sideboard in Stony Silence, or a Leyline of Sanctity.
Grafdigger's Cage stops a lot of things – Control decks can’t use Snapcaster Mage, Chord of Calling and Collected Company become useless, that isn’t even considering storm and dredge!
Leyline of Sanctity protects against burn, 8 rack and storm and also prevents your hand from being torn apart.
Another Surgical Extraction protects against combo decks and through the breach.
Thoughtseize protects against combo decks, it allows you to remove more key pieces than your mainboard discard package can.

I sideboard Welding Jar in for almost every matchup. You pretty much have to anticipate artifact desctruction.



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