Who Are You?
Hello, everyone! My name is William Pulliam. At the beginning of 2018 I made it my goal to play in the majority of SCG Tour events and finish the year with two byes. With four Top 8s and one win this year, I may actually reach that goal.
Last weekend I took home my first trophy playing a deck most people did not expect to win the event, Amulet Titan.
What Is Amulet Titan?
Amulet is a Ramp / Toolbox deck at its core. This deck’s primary gameplan is to use the original Ravnica bouncelands alongside Amulet of Vigor and ways to play additional lands such as Azusa, Lost but Seeking; Sakura-Tribe Scout; and Explore to generate mana and cast Primeval Titan, which unlocks a complicated toolbox of various utility lands to interact with your opponent. It may not look like it, but Amulet Titan actually has the tools to get itself out of a lot of tough scenarios.
Why Play Amulet Titan?
Amulet Titan has not been popular since the banning of Summer Bloom, yet has popped its head up from time to time while being called a Tier 2 deck. But this last weekend the deck put up an impressive showing with an Amulet Titan mirror in the finals.
Amulet Titan is overwhelmingly complex, which makes it very intimidating to pick up and learn. But if you do put in the hours to learn the deck, it can be one of the best decks in Modern. Amulet is one of the few decks with a good matchup against Humans, Tron, and Dredge, which makes it a great choice in the current Modern metagame. The deck also has the ability to kill on Turn 3 and sometimes even as early as Turn 2. This is rare, but the occasional busted draw can bail you out if you do play one of your few bad matchups (which I will list in the sideboard guide below).
I decided pretty late into the week to play Amulet Titan after a long hiatus, so I went with a somewhat stock list built by an Amulet Titan expert, Edgar Maghalaes.
I think this is the best version of Amulet Titan at the moment. The maindeck felt perfect and the sideboard had everything I wanted outside of maybe a second copy of Tireless Tracker.
Zacama, Primal Calamity: I choose not play Zacama because I do not think it is needed. It is very expensive and realistically only good after you cast a Primeval Titan, and at that point you should be winning anyway.
Emrakul, the Promised End: This is the best threat to beat Azorius-based control decks, as it gives you inevitably and is a threat you can find off Ancient Stirrings.
Adventurous Impulse: Amulet Titan played Serum Visions in the past, but it was difficult to consistently get blue mana on early turns, and Adventurous Impulse adds consistency without damaging your manabase.
Maindeck Reclamation Sage: This card is an underrated bullet and deserves to be in the maindeck. There are a ton of nonsense artifacts and enchantments you can hit with it even in Game 1s.
The Lands: My manabase is pretty stock and the only thing I have different from most people is that I am not playing Selesnya Sanctuary. This lack can be annoying at times, but being able to cast Firespout and Abrade on time is more important in my mind.
It is often correct to cast Engineered Explosives early to avoid cards like Kitesail Freebooter and Meddling Mage.
You can use Slayers’ Stronghold or Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion to kill your opponent’s Phantasmal Imag-es.
If you see your opponent play a basic Island, that means they are very likely to have Damping Sphere instead of Gaddock Teeg and you should leave in the Reclamation Sage over an Adventurous Impulse. Sometimes Ghost Quarter checking them on basics Game 1 is free also.
This matchup is pretty straightforward. You have a reasonable amount of graveyard hate and a fast clock.
This was previously a good matchup for Amulet Titan, but with the inclusion of Assassin’s Trophy the matchup is much closer. If you want this matchup to be favorable, register more copies of Tireless Tracker.
Khalni Garden is one of the best things you can search for with Primeval Titan to prevent your Titan from dying to Liliana of the Veil’s -2 ability.
The games I lose to Tron usually involve a Turn 3 Karn Liberated on the play. Spell Pierce helps protect you from that. Usually an early Primeval Titan with haste that finds a Ghost Quarter or a Pact of Negation is enough to lock things up.
I leave in Engineered Explosives here out of respect for Ensnaring Bridge.
If you draw Radiant Fountain early they usually cannot win.
This matchup is a little bit more difficult than Humans. They have impactful creatures at both two and three mana, which makes Engineered Explosives worse. Sometimes they can present a very fast clock with a Selfless Spirit up, which you have trouble beating. They also have a ton of great sideboard options such as Disdainful Stroke and Damping Sphere.
You can use Sakura-Tribe Scout plus a bounceland to counter a Field of Ruin’s ability.
Never expose your Cavern of Souls to a Field of Ruin unless you do not have a choice.
Sometimes it is correct to hold Amulet of Vigor in your hand so that they think it is safe to tap out.
Post-sideboard you have two plans:
1) Cast a threat early and protect it with Spell Pierce and kill them quickly.
2) Play a long game using Cavern of Souls to make all of your threats uncounterable and run them out of re-sources.
This matchup is very similar to Jeskai Control, except their removal spells are worse and your graveyard hate is better since they rely more on Snapcaster Mage.
This matchup is not good. They are faster than you and have counterspells. Luckily post-sideboard you get more interaction. Graveyard hate and Ruric Thar is usually just lights out.
Primeval Titan is the only thing that matters. Being the first one to cast a Primeval Titan with an Amulet of Vigor is the fastest route to victory.
I have always had issues dealing with the Arcbound Ravager / Inkmoth Nexus combo with Amulet Titan. Hard-ened Scales is more resilient than classic Affinity and plays long games much better.
Tips and Tricks
It is usually correct to bounce Vesuva if you have the option.
If you have two Sakura-Tribe Scouts and one bounceland, it is often correct to hold priority and activate both so they cannot kill your Scout with the bounceland trigger on the stack.
You can cast Engineered Explosives using colorless mana to get around Chalice of the Void.
If your opponent has a Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, you can announce that you are casting Engineered Explo-sives for one. After you pay for the Thalia tax and pay two different colors of mana, Engineered Explosives will have two charge counters.
Amulet of Vigor untaps all permanents, not just lands. This comes up with Eldrazi Displacer and Thalia, Heretic Cathar.
If you cast Primeval Titan you cannot get Vesuva plus a land (e.g. Ghost Quarter) and make Vesuva a copy of the other land you are getting.
You can play a Vesuva with no lands on the battlefield; it just does not tap for mana.
Remember you can leave up Ghost Quarter if you expect to get Blood Mooned. Just Ghost Quarter your own land to get a basic Forest.
Multiple Amulets stack. Two Amulets plus a Primeval Titan add up to twenty damage. Three Amulets make each Titan find another Titan and you can attack for approximately 200.
When sequencing with Azusa, always play your lands that do not put a trigger on the stack when your opponent is representing removal. That way you get both additional land drops.
Sakura-Tribe Scout can let you exile your opponent’s graveyard at instant speed with Bojuka Bog.
Try to always have a bounceland in your hand in case you draw Amulet or Azusa.
It is not always correct to give your Primeval Titan haste. Against Jund or Azorius Control it is often better to search for Tolaria West and Simic Growth Chamber to get more Titans.
Remember Tolaria West finds lands! I have searched for a Gruul Turf to cast a Ruric Thar, a Cavern of Souls against control decks, a Radiant Fountain against Burn, and so on.
Do not tap your Relic of Progenitus while tapped out if you have a Titan or a Summoner’s Pact in your graveyard because of Surgical Extraction.
You can use Vesuva to copy Celestial Colonnade or an Azcanta, the Sunken Ruin.
Remember that you can use Khalni Garden tokens in combination with Slayers’ Stronghold and Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion to attack through an Ensnaring Bridge.
Against an unknown opponent, don’t keep hands that do not accelerate you. Your deck has plenty of ways to find Primeval Titan, and you are much better off keeping hands that accelerate you with no payoff than hands that are slow.
Amulet Titan is a great choice to attack the current Modern metagame. Amulet will continue to be a great choice until people give it the respect it deserves, and the most effective way to attack Amulet Titan is on the deck registration sheet.