Prized Amalgam is centerpiece to some of the best decks in Modern AND Standard both
Prized Amalgam in Modern
We begin with Patrick trying to talk Mike off the Inspiring Vantage cliff for Modern.
Yes, Inspiring Vantage goes straight into Mike’s Burn deck… But Patrick’s argument is that Burn sucks. Part of the reason is that one of the most successful Prized Amalgam decks can “dredge” its way into Gnaw to the Bone, effectively countering many, many burn spells.
And what if a Dredge player sideboards in Collective Brutality?
Can you imagine a second turn of killing poor Mike’s Goblin Guide AND taking his Skullcrack AND getting him for a four-life swing… While discarding Prized Amalgam and Stinkweed Imp (which is what he wants to do anyway)?
Mike will have gotten what he deserved in our estimation, you know, for playing Burn; especially since the Inspiring Vantage version doesn’t even play Atarka’s Command (further reducing the deck’s resistance to Gnaw to the Bone).
Prized Amalgam versus Void Shatter
We move to the Zombie in Standard.
Over two Standard Grand Prix, Top 8s were dominated by U/W Flash and Boros / Mardu Vehicles decks… The lone exception was one Zombie Madness deck… Featuring four copies of Prized Amalgam.
Here’s the thing — Prized Amalgam costs 1UB. One BLUE Black. The deck doesn’t even have blue mana! It can’t cast Prized Amalgam, only kill you with it.
Cathartic Reunion, Insolent Neonate, Cryptbreaker, new superstar Smuggler’s Copter, and even Lightning Axe put Prized Amalgam into the graveyard for you; from there Haunted Dead and Scrapheap Scrounger are waiting to put it directly into play. B/R is a beatdown deck that starts off on turn one, gets in there flying-Watchwolf-Looter-style, puts plenty of pressure on you… But has a tremendous graveyard-driven value engine too. You can’t deal with it like a straightforward beatdown deck or it will bury you; you can’t sleep on Voldaren Pariah.
This deck is inevitable.
This deck is deceptively card advantageous.
What’s the point of playing Void Shatter if you can never actually Counterspell the Zombie in question?
More Modern, more Standard, and (we hope) an answer or two in “How NOT to Deal with a Prized Amalgam”: