Modern Amulet of Vigor Deck Tech [Video]
Welcome to my first instalment on my Amulet of Vigor deck in Modern. This will hopefully be a semi-regular article, sharing my Magic Online videos and content.
Before we start, some credentials for you (e.g. me showing off). I wrote an article 3 years ago (almost to the day) about my first good result with Amulet. For the historians among us, you’ll know that that was before the deck was considered an actual viable deck. The original article was posted here on our very own Manaleak site.
The deck has come a long way since then. It was not considered a deck, then considered too powerful, and then got a ban. However, I loved the deck, and decided not to give up (I had a lot of spare time). I knew the deck could cope without Summer Bloom, but just had to figure out how. I mashed games on Magic Online, with the sole aim of getting a 5-0, to get the deck back in the lime-light. HURRAY (not my article, but some nice credit and a good read).
At this point, many (better) players picked up the deck, tuned it some more and we have the lists we occasionally see today. The deck is certainly playable, and I’m hoping to show you all just how playable it is.
This deck tech is full of the finer details, and is really aimed at people who either already play the deck, or have a good understanding of it and are considering building it for the first time. For those of you who were lucky enough to avoid it during the Summer Bloom days, or those just new to the deck or format, here’s a short introduction to what the deck is trying to do.
Primeval Titan – this is the reason to the build the deck. In essence, this deck says something along the lines of “play Primeval Titan, win the game”. There’s a few problems with that though. First, how will you resolve it on time? And second, how are you exactly winning the game when this resolves?
Ramp – it’s key to cast Primeval Titan before you die (-2 points for stating the obvious). We’ve seen decks like Valakut use land searching to accomplish this, but we’re not going to do that. We’re using these cards to try and power out the giant:
Amulet of Vigor and Ravnica Bounce Lands (Karoo for short), such as Simic Growth Chamber. If an Amulet is in play, and a Karoo is played, the Amulet will untap that land. Before you have to return a land, you have a chance to respond, and can add 2 mana (in this example, blue-green). Because of this interaction, we want ways to play extra lands each turn.
Sakura-tribe Scout and Azusa, Lost but Seeking – these allow us to replay the Karoo, to make multiple mana in a turn. An Amulet + Azusa + Karoo makes 6 mana all by itself, which conveniently casts our Primeval Titan. Note that landing an Azusa and playing some bouncelands will ramp you pretty quickly even without an Amulet in play.
The explosiveness of Amulet gives the deck its name, and with a perfect 6, you can win as early as turn 2. You are likely looking for turns 3 and 4 to land your first titan though.
So, we’ve cast our Primeval Titan. How will we actually win? The lands we can search up give us a toolbox of options. Here’s the main ones:
Radiant Fountain – this, along with some Karoos, can make it impossible for aggressive decks (think burn) to actually kill us. Once we are safe from loosing, its only a matter of time before the 6/6 trample kills our opponent.
Tolaria West – Tolaria West allows you to transmute for any 0 costing card. Luckily for us, Summoner’s Pact is exactly what this deck wants. It’s extra copies of Primeval Titan, and when you’re not racing a deck, sometimes all you want is extra titans. Most decks cannot beat 4 consecutive Titans. In addition to Summoner’s Pact, we can also search up Pact of Negation (usually against combo decks) or Engineered Explosives (to answer problem permanents or to help defensively against decks like Merfolk). With an Amulet in play, when you land your titan, you can grab Tolaria West with Simic Growth Chamber, make 3 mana, bounce the Tolaria West, and transmute straight away!
Cavern of Souls – although not always required once you resolve a Primeval Titan, it’s often worth getting early as a way to beat blue control decks.
Slayers’ Stronghold – Slayers’ Stronghold + another Karoo Boros Garrison allows you to attack with your titan the turn it comes into play (assuming you have an amulet). This really puts the opponent under pressure, and allows you to get 2 additional lands. As an extra bonus, we get to deal 8 damage and even block the next turn! Bonkers!
Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion – The longest card name you’ll have to write on your deck registration form, but well worth the effort. In some scenarios, you can cast a primeval titan, give it haste, and double strike to swing for 16 all out of no-where. Against the various fetch/shock decks in the format, this is often enough to kill an opponent.
Bojuka Bog – against decks like Living End and Dredge, this very simple card can win you the game almost single-handedly. When you have Karoos to pick it up again, you can chain this card repeatedly so the opponent can never recover.
Ghost Quarter – similar to Bog, in that it can shut down an entire deck (mainly tron). Unfortunately, its impossible to re-use in this deck. However, it’s also pretty effective vs Manlands such as Raging Ravine.
So, there’s plenty of ways to ramp, and plenty of ways to make use of the Primeval Titan. It’s a surprisingly flexible deck, with many ways to gain an advantage once Primeval Titan resolves. The rest of the deck is designed to add consistency (cards like Ancient Stirrings and Serum Visions) or to keep you alive in the early game (such as Spell Pierce and Courser of Kruphix).
Here’s my Deck Tech, which discusses some of the flex slots, sideboard options and some other useful points. I hope it’s useful to you Amulet fans. If so, come back and see me again soon, as I play the Magic Online Modern Challenge event. I’ll discuss my plays and thought-process, and hopefully show what the deck can do.
That’s all from me today. If you have any questions on specific cards or anything at all amulet related, drop me a comment below. My main focus with this article/video series is to share the information I’ve gained from playing thousands of games with the deck. When we get into the games, you may spot plays I haven’t, or may question why I made a play. I’m more than happy to respond to any and every comment (unless you’re telling me how I can make $1000 a day working from home), mainly because it means someone actually watched the videos :)
Recording videos is extremely new to me, so if you have any feedback on the content itself, please let me know (try to keep constructive if at all possible, I already know how horrid my own voice sounds).
Happy gaming folks!