I don't play competitively, but I do try to "check-in" every now and then to see what decks competitive players are using. I've noticed that Grand Architect has never really seen a whole lot of play in Modern. It's been bugging me for a while as to why this card has never found a home in Modern (or even Standard when it was legal AFAIK). On the surface, it certainly looks good enough for Modern, if not altogether on par with Bob. The more I think about it, the more I've come to the conclusion that any deck built around Grand Architect would probably be a lot like a bad Tron deck. The capability of producing gobs of mana very early would be there, but at the price of being both extremely vulnerable to removal and the likelihood that your fatties would need to be artifacts.
So here are a couple questions for the deck builders out there. 1) Is this a fair assessment, Grand Architect = bad Tron? 2) Assuming someday there could be a home for him, what's the missing piece? What sort of card would you be looking for that would make you take another look at specifically Grand Architect?
He doesn't come online till turn 3 at the earliest. Granted, if you make your drops or the like that's a turn 3 wormcoil or Batterskull, but those aren't *that* terrifying, and since creatures are a lot morw
*more (arg, moby posting) easy to remove than lands you're in dire straits. Tron is more durable AND has more redundancy in it's enablers. He dies to lightning bolt (a card that will be in decks that care about a lifelinker on the ground), and you're looking at a lot of potential for either not seeing your architects, not seeing your fatties or not seeing you cheap dudes who power architect (although you CAN run a lot of cheap guys who double as force spikes). It may sound sad, but turn 3 wormcoil into a turn 4 blightsteel likely your best case scenario and that's only going to take you so far.
Grand Architect saw some play in UW Puresteel decks.
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Grand Architect also say play in Standard aside Heartless Summoning for a while too. I believe Brad Nelson created some sweet brews with the card. It never broke through in any big tournament, but it was an occasional player.
@Cyklown: You can't play Architect and Tron together. Architect makes you want to play a very blue deck, while Tron forces you to run 12 colorless lands. They simply don't go together. Tron has a tough enough time just getting a single red or green (or white/blue in the bad version) for their current spells that making UU is going to be next to impossible. Not only that, but the deck would be a lot worse against Blood Moon because you don't get to cast any of your spells from under it until you get enough lands into play.
The artifact restriction is also pretty harsh. The best threats out of Tron are typically not artifacts. Karn, Liberated on turn 3 or an Eldrazi soon after is next to impossible to deal with. So you'd be replacing some extremely powerful threats for lesser threats with more restrictions.
Once you start talking about what you can use to replace Tron's giant threats with, you lose a lot of efficiency. Typically, the big artifact threats are more expense than Tron's threat suite, so you have to ramp up faster.
On top of all that, you need cards that are both blue (or make tons of blue mana) and artifacts. The deck would need a snowball effect. If you stuck one big threat, the opponent has to deal with it immediately or you use it to drop something bigger. Big mana decks like Tron and Wolf Run work because the threat isn't just that there's some giagantic threat on the table, it's that they can continually drop massive threats every turn.
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A) Sweepers rather than removal, B) We're talking about a 'combo' that requires you to vomit your hand and potentially sac lands which doesn't win for 4 turns and is completely dead if that plan fails. At least the AiR aims to race WoG.