Week 1 of Budget Modern Magic kicked off with a pet deck of mine, Amulet Titan. Although much harder to make budget in paper, I’ve gone “infinite” with a budget version on MTGO on more than 1 occasion. Scroll below the video for more information. Here’s the list I used for the videos.
Check out the video below
How I designed the deck
First of all, lets talk briefly about how we got the deck into the budget range in the first place, since it was a pretty simple process. Most Amulet lists these days run Baby Karn, but that wasn’t always the case. Baby Karn also comes with a few minor downsides compared to a card like Explore (less SB space, less ramp in general). That’s an easy swap that will have some upside and some downside.
Second was the manabase – cavern of souls and gemstone mine in particular are pretty pricy on MTGO. Cavern of Souls is a Turn 1 green source for scout, and then obviously a bit of a bomb vs blue. But, against anything not blue, you’re not going to miss this card. Gemstone Mine is 1 of the better lands in the deck (which is why it’s a 4-of), but it is replaceable, because again, there’s some downside to Gemstone (runs out of counters, might force you to play a bounceland that you’d otherwise like to keep in hand etc).
Finally Engineered Explosives has to go. It’s a great card in Amulet because you can find it quite easily with Stirrings, T-west and Primeval Titan (picking up T-west). However, Slaughter Pact is almost as easy to find, and it actually answers some threats much more efficiently (think Eldrazi Tron – where destroying Thought Knot Seer for 0 is great, but for 6 it’s less impressive). Pact is definitely a downgrade, but again, it has some upside.
Warning – this section contains info on the matches. If you don’t want to know the results, don’t read on!
Match 1 vs Neoform – our opponent conceeds Game 1 with a griselbrand in play on turn 1. I’m not sure why! Game 2 they go T2 Pact for Riders and then Neoform’s it – I pierce and they cannot pay for the pact. We played a T1 Pierce in G2 and that was all!
Match 2 vs Hogaak (preban obviously) – we naturally draw Bojuka bog on T2 which slows them, but they make a T3 Hogaak. We make a T4 Titan (with amulet) and swing. We grab some zombies from Field of the Dead and win from there. G2 we get destroyed by a Turn 2 Hogaak + Vengevine. G3 we use Kabira Crossroads to pad our lifetotal then use Field of the Dead to gum up the board in a big way! 2-0 so far!
Match 3 vs Humans – G1 opp plays a meddling mage on titan and we get beat down pretty fast. Game 2 our abrade deals with mage and we make a titan on T4 with 2 amulets. Game 3 hornet queen comes out on T4, and they can’t get past it!. We soon draw a titan and make zombies again with Field of the Dead. 3-0
Match 4 vs Hogaak – T3 double-strike titan that gets chumped by a Hogaak. Win! G2 they bring in too much interaction and nothing really happens for 8 turns (i attack with azusa, they attack with a 2/2 feeder). Our opponent sandbags Force of Vigor instead of just firing it off, and they get punished for it when we use T-west to grab titan and kill them. 4-0.
Match 5 vs Hogaak – Unfortunately we play the same deck 3 times, but that’s Hogaak summer for you (clearly the best deck)! G1 we play T1 amulet, T2 Amulet plus a lot of shenanigans to make double-blue for T-west and grab a titan. G2 we have double-amulet + bog but nothing else. Sounds great, but they have force of vigor. We use a relic we draw and bog to keep things under control, and eventually draw a titan which lets us make yet more zombie tokens! Comfortable win. 5-0
And that’s it! We drew particularly well in the matches, but managed to go 5-0! Check out the wrap up for some more budget discussion. More videos and articles will be added soon!