Much Modern

All About Amulet of Vigor in Modern

Amulet of Vigor

Amulet Titan is among the filthiest decks there is!

It has a lot of bad cards, a high failure rate, is mostly just air… But when it works, it WORKS.

This deck can start with an Amulet of Vigor to get incredible value from the “Karoo” cycle from the original Ravnica Block. Just imagine the fun of playing a Primeval Titan (ahead of curve, of course) and searching up a Slayers’ Stronghold and Boros Garrison.

The Garrison will enter the battlefield untapped, so you can immediately make RW to activate the Stronghold. Now your Primeval Titan can attack, searching up two more lands, for greater and greater nonsense.

Karoos usually slow players down. They bounce a land when entering the battlefield, after all; but in a deck with Amulet of Vigor, they can actually net mana before bouncing themselves; or make a mess with Tolaria West. Ever think about searching up Tolaria West and a Simic Growth Chamber with your Primeval Titan, tapping them both for mana, bouncing the Tolaria West… And then searching up a Pact of Negation to protect your incoming 6/6?

Nonsense!

The Most Miserable Card in Modern Is…

Possessed Portal!

Normally a Whir Prison deck will deck you with Ipnu Rivulet, recycled with its Crucible of Worlds… Or maybe get you over and over, two at a time, with Pyrite Spellbomb and Academy Ruins.

But mostly? It beats you by submission. By cruel and unrelenting horrible-ness.

Possessed Portal is even more cruel and more horrible than usual:

Step One: From Now On, Nobody Draws Cards

You feels me? 🙁

And it’s not like anyone pays eight for this thing. Not with Whir of Invention in their decks.

My Gosh is Modern Hostile to Burn Right Now

Mike’s beloved Red Deck is really, really badly positioned just this second. Not only is Dredge back in flavor — what with its innumerable free Lightning Helixes that cost neither a card nor mana — but other matchups can be equally challenging.

And by “equally” we mean…

Oh my God is that Mono-White Martyr of Sands?

More Modern:

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Izzet Phoenix in Modern… And Legacy?

Arclight Phoenix
Izzet Phoenix won a[nother] Modern Grand Prix, in Los Angeles


Izzet Phoenix in Modern

We saw Arclight Phoenix jump back into Top 8 action just last week… Standard’s Mythic Championship Cleveland was the stage. The player in question, none other than the legendary Luis Scott-Vargas.

But it’s not clear that Arclight Phoenix even belongs in the best Standard U/R deck! The same is not true of Izzet Phoenix in Modern. If anything, this is considered the strongest current deck in Modern… And it’s not hard to see why.

Izzet Phoenix has some stoopid stupid draws.

Here’s one:

  • Mountain, Fathless Looting; discard two copies of Arclight Phoenix.
  • Gut Shot you. Gut Shot you again!
  • That’s eight! Your go.
  • Is that the most common first turn? Obviously not. But it’s certainly an available one. Izzet Phoenix has a ton of perfectly fine regular draws that are super aggressive while remaining card advantageous.

    Cantrips, Cantrips, Everywhere

    Mike and Patrick discuss the various cheap card drawing spells in Modern.

    Most important might be Faithless Looting. Mike doesn’t think this one is long for the format. It’s certainly been a problem child in a variety of decks before!

    Patrick thinks that Manamorphose might be the most broken of the cheap card drawers; but Mike draws a distinction at the one-versus-two-casting cost line.

    This dovetails into Patrick wondering how Grixis players pick which cantips they play in Modern, and how many!

    Why isn’t Arclight Phoenix a Bigger Deal in Legacy?

    A different Izzet deck won last weekend’s Legacy Open — a Delver of Secrets deck!

    Izzet is a great strategy in Legacy, due to the strength of cards like Brainstorm, Ponder, Preordain… and now Light Up the Stage! Light Up the Stage is very Treasure Cruise-ish, and easily catalyzed by Pteramander or Delver of Secrets on turn one.

    But look at those cantrips: They’re great, but they don’t put creatures into the graveyard! There are no Faithless Lootings or Thought Scours in the Legacy builds. Therefore getting the Phoenix into the graveyard (where it can work its proper mischief) is a little more challenging than in Modern.

    But!

    There are some emerging Grixis deck lists that are looking to solve the Arclight Phoenix problem. And because it’s Legacy… The solution is pretty a good one.

    Learn how they’re doing it in this week’s podcast:

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    Top Decks from Mythic Championship Cleveland

    Cleveland Rocked: Mono-Blue Took Down Mythic Championship

    It’s hard to argue that Mono-Blue Tempo wasn’t the top deck of the inaugural Mythic Championship. Autumn Burchett defeated all other mages with their nineteen land-one-Heral version… But there remains a lot of wiggle room in the archetype, even with the dust settled. Consider:

    • How many lands is right? 19 Islands? 20? … And should any of them match with any others?
    • How many copies of Entrancing Melody? Main deck or sideboard?
    • Ditto on Exclusion Mage. Or Jace, Cunning Castaway?

    One thing’s for sure: Mike thinks Experimental Frenzy and friends is the right way to go in Standard moving forward… But his beloved Goblin Chainwhirler and friends did not back up its reputation against Mono-Blue in this Top 8 specifically. Patrick disagrees greatly, despite our duo’s mutual appreciation of the all-new Cindervines.

    Arclight Phoenix Returned to the Top Tables at Mythic Championship Cleveland

    “Greek Mythological Figure” Luis Scott-Vargas also returned to Top 8 play (since, you know, his last appearance at the last Pro Tour) as the Arclight Phoenix pilot.

    Why might you play Arclight Phoenix instead of Drakes?

    Why might you play the card basic Mountain at all?

    Are there any Ravnica Allegiance cards to play in this deck?

    These questions and more are answered!

    The Best of the Rest

    Mythic Championship Cleveland gave us some spicy options outside of the Top 8… And some all-new decks that you may not have seen before.

    • Into Control? Sure there was Esper in the Top 8, but that’s not the only Thought Erasure deck in the format. Check out Seth Manfield’s Dimir Surveil build… With zero main-deck copies of Sinister Sabotage!
    • Straight Beatdown more your game? There were multiple takes on Mardu with Judith, the Scourge Diva. Whether you’re into Mavren Fen and the Vampire squad or hastily dominating the Red Zone with Heroic Reinforcements, Standard has some corners still worth exploring.
    • Or our favorite… Hall of Famer Raph Levy was into Merfolk Trickster… Just not as into Merfolk Trickster as all those Planeswalkers in the Top 8. Raph only played two in his Simic Merfolk deck. Bask in the aura (and recoil from the fishy odor) of thirty marauding Merfolk! Theme is broken here only for four copies of Kraul Harpooner in the sideboard. Truly a spicy brew that both our hosts would gladly sleeve up.

    All this and more:

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