Video Daily Digest: The Square Root

Mashup decks have a long tradition in Magic. Ross Merriam highlights a successful Competitive Modern League deck combining Through the Breach and Amulet Combo with a side of Root Maze!

Those of you who’ve followed this column for a while may have noticed some trends in the kinds of decks I like to feature.

One, I enjoy seeing linear decks add new angles of attack that can either increase their speed or increase their resilience. Today’s list is mostly an Amulet of Vigor / Primeval Titan ramp deck with most of the typical cards you see in those lists. But lurking in there is another combo: Through the Breach and Emrakul, the Aeons Torn.

We’ve seen Through the Breach paired with Primeval Titan, before so the addition makes some sense here. Breaching your first Titan won’t kill them like it does with Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle, but it will set you up to tutor for another Titan, which should be enough. The important part is being able to get a big creature onto the battlefield for five mana as opposed to six.

The difference may seem small, but it comes up a lot based on how the ramp spells interact with your Karoos. A turn 1 Sakura-Tribe Scout followed by Amulet of Vigor, a bounceland, and an Azusa, Lost but Seeking leaves you with five mana. Having a combo piece at that mana cost gives you potential turn 2 hands that were previously turn 3.

In order to keep facilitating the Emrakul, the Aeons Torns, we see a pair of Spinerock Knolls in place of Sunhome, Fortress of Legion. Conveniently, an attacking Primeval Titan can find Slayers’ Stronghold to push you past the seven-point barrier to turn on the land and potentially cast an Emrakul, or maybe just another Primeval Titan.

The added speed helps to further mitigate the loss of Summer Bloom while giving the deck an option to go over the top if Primeval Titan isn’t enough and an answer to the ever-problematic Blood Moon. That’s a mashup I can get behind.

And second, I enjoy decks that incorporate narrowly powerful cards that opponents won’t be prepared for. Enter Root Maze, destroyer of fetchlands that, in combination of Amulet of Vigor, has no downside. If you have multiple Amulets, then it can actually accelerate you with normal lands. An early Root Maze can easily buy two or more turns for you to set up and get to six mana, allowing you to keep a wider range of hands without fear of needing an explosive draw to compete.

Two check marks made this deck a clear choice to feature.