Video Series with Ryland: Amulet Titan

Hey, everyone! I’m back with another video series, this time with Amulet Bloom. Amulet has been an absolute blast to play for me this past week and I haven’t wanted to put it down, so here we are. I’ve been playing a lot of UW Control previous to this, and while I will still likely take UW to any competitive event I may find myself attending, the power and consistency of Amulet has greatly impressed me.

Amulet is fast, powerful, and resilient. For the uninitiated, Amulet is a combo deck trying to cast Primeval Titan as quickly as possible. Often, Titan appears on turn three, and while unlikely, there is the potential for a turn-two Titan. The deck largely accomplishes this by abusing the power of its namesake card, Amulet of Vigor, in combination with the bounce lands from Ravnica, such as Simic Growth Chamber.

More than anything else, this deck is fun. The sheer number of lines available to you on every turn is astounding, and you will find yourself constantly tutoring your deck for multiple cards. This deck plays quite differently from every other deck in the format; its angle of attack is unique, and its means to that end even more so. I cannot recommend picking this deck up enough if you are interested in it; it will be well worth your time.

On top of that, the deck has performed better than I had hoped. It was much more resilient to discard than I would have thought, and its sideboard plan of removing the Amulets to become a fair ramp deck is really powerful. If memory serves, I believe I am approximately 39-20 with the deck this past week—nothing to write home about, but certainly respectable. Frankly, I am certain that win-loss ratio would be much better had I played better over the week. I’ve learned a ton from playing the deck, and have ten tons more to learn. Overall, I’ve been impressed with the list and will likely continue to play it when presented with the opportunity, largely because of how much of a blast it is.

Enough about how much I enjoy the deck, let’s hop into those games! As I said last time, I’m interested to hear what kind of content you’d like to see moving forward, so I can continue to evolve and improve my videos. Please let me know your thoughts, and any improvements you would like to see concerning formatting, presentation, or whatever else strikes your fancy. If you’d like to see similar content, check out my Twitch channel for some more live Modern!

Amulet Titan, by Ryland Taliaferro

Creatures (12)
Azusa, Lost but Seeking
Primeval Titan
Sakura-Tribe Scout
Walking Ballista

Artifacts (8)
Amulet of Vigor
Engineered Explosives
Relic of Progenitus

Instants (5)
Pact of Negation
Summoner’s Pact

Sorceries (8)
Ancient Stirrings
Explore

Lands (27)
Boros Garrison
Cavern of Souls
Forest
Gemstone Mine
Ghost Quarter
Grove of the Burnwillows
Gruul Turf
Khalni Garden
Radiant Fountain
Selesnya Sanctuary
Simic Growth Chamber
Slayers’ Stronghold
Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion
Tolaria West
Vesuva
Sideboard (15)
Bojuka Bog
Chameleon Colossus
Dismember
Engineered Explosives
Firespout
Hornet Queen
Kozilek’s Return
Nature’s Claim
Reclamation Sage
Swan Song
Thragtusk
Tireless Tracker
Buy deck on Cardhoarder (MTGO)Buy deck on TCGPlayer (Paper)

Ryland began playing Magic when Innistrad was released while he was a Sophmore at Virginia Tech. After quickly becoming enthralled with the game it became an integral part of both his work life and personal life. Upon graduating college he became LGS Manager for a couple years and now streams full time at twitch.tv/holyshamgar.

15 thoughts on “Video Series with Ryland: Amulet Titan

    1. I came here to say pretty much this. I was very much unconvinced by the Relic being in the main, and would probably look to sideboard it in. The 4th Azusa sounds good to me as a replacement in the spot, or perhaps a mainboard Thragtusk for Burn? That match was rough to watch.

      1. Yeah Relic seems a bit like a “can’t figure out what to put in this slot” kinda card.

        Thragtusk shouldn’t be necessary main; despite the video match, Burn is a pretty good matchup. They can’t really interact with Titan and you can stall the game well or kill fast.

        As long as we’re playing 4 Explores the 3rd Azusa is probably unnecessary. However, now that I think about it Explore is probably better than Serum Visions. You don’t get Grove against Shadow, the mana discount doesn’t matter that much, since Explore can pay for itself and this deck doesn’t do as much on the earliest turns, and the scry sometimes doesn’t matter since you shuffle your library so frequently.

        Another thing I’ve been considering is playing a Hornet Queen main. It helps a lot against Shadow and Affinity, so it seems like a pretty low cost to run one to have a much better game 1 against the top 2 decks in the metagame.

        1. @ SOU & Roland,
          Although the deck isn’t played by many (and very few results posted), it’s fairly stock for lists to run Relic of Progenitus main now. There’s a few benefits, which I’ll try to list:
          1. It’s great vs Death’s Shadow. Playing it on turn 1 and keeping the GY low really slows their tasigur / angler draws, and along with Groves, can buy you a tonne of time. Without the DS deck being a thing, I doubt we’d be playing Relic.
          2. It allows you to shift the Bojuka Bog to the board if you want to.
          3. You can find it from Stirrings, making that card more consistent.

          In my opinion, Explore isn’t competing with Serum Visions anymore, Explore is just the better option. So, Relic is then competing with a bunch of other flex slot options. The best in my testing have been Walking Ballista (tutorable off T-west, dodges stubborn denial and can finish off Deaths Shadow opponents), Spell Pierce (not so great vs the best decks at present, but a solid inclusion) and Courser of Kruphix (it helps you get to your 6th land, should you be short, and is generally just a decent card against a bunch of different decks). My own list actually runs Ballista, Courser and Relic, with just 2 explore + 3 Azusa. But I can see Courser being cut for another ramp card at any point. Ballista is almost certainly worth a slot, and would certainly argue its case over Hornet Queen – though they fill similar roles.

          1. Makes sense. I personally don’t like Relic but I guess there’s an argument for it.

            Ever tried Root Maze in the flex spot? Absolutely wrecks Shadow and doesn’t really hurt us much even without an Amulet.

    2. Hey SOU,

      Relic has some pretty great benefits, which I think Drew outlined really well below. However, with Death’s Shadow on the decline, especially on MTGO, it’s possible it can be cut for other cards.

      That said, I think I would continue to play Relic. There are enough places where the card is good/great and at the worst it is a bad cantrip. It is largely a freeroll (similar to playing the Groves) so the biggest downside in my opinion lies within using up decklist slots, which I don’t really mind. There aren’t any cards I really miss in the current list.

      Just my two cents on the card.

      Thanks for watching!

  1. Thoughts on this particular list?

    4 Amulet of Vigor
    1 Walking Ballista
    1 Engineered Explosives
    3 Azusa, Lost but Seeking
    4 Sakura-Tribe Scout
    1 Simian Spirit Guide
    1 Hornet Queen
    4 Primeval Titan
    4 Summoner’s Pact
    1 Pact of Negation
    4 Ancient Stirrings
    4 Explore
    1 Boros Garrison
    2 Grove of the Burnwillows
    1 Bojuka Bog
    1 Cavern of Souls
    2 Forest
    4 Gemstone Mine
    3 Gruul Turf
    1 Khalni Garden
    1 Radiant Fountain
    1 Selesnya Sanctuary
    4 Simic Growth Chamber
    1 Slayers’ Stronghold
    1 Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion
    2 Ghost Quarter
    3 Tolaria West
    1 Vesuva

    Sideboard
    1 Ruric Thar, the Unbowed
    1 Chameleon Colossus
    2 Swan Song
    1 Bojuka Bog
    1 Reclamation Sage
    2 Dismember
    1 Thragtusk
    1 Kozilek’s Return
    1 Grafdigger’s Cage
    2 Nature’s Claim
    2 Tireless Tracker

    1. I don’t love the SSG, but kind of dig being more threat dense main with the Hornet Queen. 2 GQ is a lot main but I’m not necessarily opposed; I likely would prefer 3rd Grove.

  2. @ Ryland – In Match 1, I would recommend Nature’s Claim coming in above Explore, Rec Sage or Firespout/K-return. It can tag Eidolon’s, but it also reads “gain 6” when someone tries to Revelry your Amulet. Didn’t come up this time, but I almost always register Claim over Seal of Primordium for that sole reason (Seal is better vs Chalice though). Round 1 looked unfortunate for sure though!

    Small point in Match 2 game 1 – you make the line of Karoo, pick up T-west, transmute for cavern. I would have probably picked up the Simic (with the spreading seas) first, and then played that. It doesnt accomplish much, but gives you an extra 1 mana the following turn (you figure it out the following turn anyway and again wasn’t impactful / relevant). I dont envy playing UW Control AND talking at the same time. The match-up almost always goes to time on MODO, and I feel like I’m racing the clock from turn 1 Game 1. Doing that whilst discussing your options is tonnes harder, and it looked a match you’d have won in normal circumstances.

    I’ve knit-picked a little with the different lines, but specifically against affinity, you picked a few lines I wouldn’t have necessarily spotted. I’ve played the deck forever, and it is just so tricky to spot all the lines all the time, and i think you did an excellent job.

    Really happy you posted this content. I noticed you posted a 5-0 earlier in the week, and I was just buzzing to see this deck in action. There’s not much content of the lesser-known decks, and even less on the complex ones. I’d love to see more of the underdogs! Your content is good, your explinations are great.

    1. Hey David!

      Thanks a bunch for the kind words! I don’t hate the Nature’s Claim against burn but I’ve never been a huge advocate; perhaps I should be making a greater effort to find space. Your line for Match 2 seems reasonable for sure, I likely should’ve done that.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the content and thanks for watching!

  3. Hey. Glad to see you playing the deck. I think you made a number of mistakes, but that is quite understandable given that you were simultaneously trying to explain your logic and the deck and play quickly enough. To be honest, the deck sucks to play online compared to paper, since you can use a lot of shortcuts there.

    Some thoughts:

    One thing about the deck that I have found is that the fourth Azusa helps a lot. Yes, she sucks in multiples, but she is one of the easiest ways to hit a turn 4 Titan or sometimes even an earlier titan, which is important against linear decks like burn where speed is everything. If you don’t want to play 4 Azusas, one other option is a Coalition Relic instead of the fourth one. It sounds strange, but it is a 3 mana card that brings you to 6 mana on the next turn, which is substantially stronger than Explore.

    Some number of explores are necessary in the versions playing Grove of the Burnwillows because you are lacking the required blue sources to always cast an early Serum Visions, but the card is definitely one of the weakest in the deck. I am currently on 2 explore 3 relic of progenitus 3 azusa, and I am strongly considering replacing one more explore with a Coalition Relic for MKM Prague in order to have more turn 3 Titans. Explore is only really a strong card in starts with multiple amulets, but let’s be honest, those starts are almost always crazy anyway.

    I don’t know what the MTGO meta is like, but I really like bog main. There are so many decks that bog gets value against. Especially against decks like Living End and Dredge, but also against Death’s Shadow. Stopping an early Tasigur or Angler or forcing them to choose between playing it and holding up removal/counters is very strong and sometimes buys you a turn on its own. I play the GQ in the board right now. It is definitely legit to play it the way you are, especially since GQ can cast an amulet on turn one and bog can’t. Depends on the meta.

    I hope you make more videos with the deck. It is good to see more content on it. It has definitely been experiencing an increase in results recently, and I think the main reason why there aren’t more than there already are is because it is very difficult to play optimally, and mistakes definitely cost you games. That said, anyone playing it reasonably well can expect decent results and a lot of people misplay against it because they aren’t as experienced with the interactions.

    1. Hey Zrifts!

      Thanks for your thoughts! I agree that explore can be kind of weak, I think I would likely find myself on 3. Not sure I can bring myself down to 2, though that is obviously reasonable. I don’t think the 4th Azusa is wrong, just not necessary; playing it in any list that has space is probably a good idea, and perhaps cutting that Explore will give us the required space.

      Definitely don’t think Bog main is unreasonable, it’s just all about finding room. I haven’t often found myself requiring Bog main, largely because of the 3 Relics. If I were to move to a Relic-less version, I think I would need to bring it back.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the content and thanks for watching!

  4. Hi Ryland! Was just watching the videos, and there is one very important thing you forgot against Affinity. Ballista is your main man over in that matchup! You can transmute for it, and it kills Champions and most of their dudes. After resolving Titan you had a couple of chances to go ahead and do this, which would have finished the game on the spot. Ballista is a new inclusion to the deck, I’m still getting used to thinking of it when figuring out the best line.
    Great playing as well! So sad that our mortal enemy the clock stole the match against UW from you… Hope you get to do more Amuleting soon!

    1. Hey Francisco!

      Definitely something I will have to keep in the forefront of my mind a lot more in the match-up, thanks for bringing it up!

      Glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for letting me borrow the deck! 😀

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