I am planning on playing GP Worcester/Boston this weekend with a deck I have not finished building. In fact, I played my first game with Amulet of Vigor earlier today in between working and a late night trading session trying to acquire the rest of the cards. As of right now, I’m still 7 cards short. I’m convinced that there was a concerted effort to collect and destroy all copies of Summer Bloom much like the Shaq-Fu Liberation Project and this is why I can’t find any.

Hold up Shawn. Shouldn’t you just play a deck you’re familiar with that you have all the cards for? I mean, a week is not enough prep time for a GP right? Also, the internet exists, why didn’t you just buy the cards you need. Amulet is a cheap deck to build isn’t it?

Well, theoretical reader/internal dialogue, I wrote a little about this last week. I had been playing WUR Kiki-Control to reasonable results but felt that the deck was still too “fair”. While WUR control decks have  some better and worse match-ups, the feeling of being 50/50 against the field is discouraging to me. Had I been playing the deck religiously, learning each match-up in and out, I would certainly keep playing a pile of Mana Leaks, Path to Exiles, and Lightning Bolts. As is, I just haven’t been as active as I’d like to be in playing Modern, and would much rather play a relatively non-interactive deck that can win on turn two. There’s that old adage about there being no such thing as wrong threats, only wrong answers, and jamming Primeval Titans just feels right to me now.

However, I fully acknowledge that a week is not really enough time for me to prepare, especially when I have other stuff going on. Realistically, this week I’ll play on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday; in total about 10 hours of playtesting. I know I’ll make play mistakes at the GP. While I’d prefer not to make mistakes, I’ve found high level events to be good learning experiences. I want to day two, but mostly I want to play through nine rounds and feel better about piloting the deck by the end. When TCG Modern States happen next weekend, I want to walk in there feeling like I’ve harnessed the power of the amulet and can wield it like the kids did in the 80’s movie, Monster Squad.

And lastly, theoretical reader, I totally should have bought the remaining cards online a long time ago. I just didn’t have my shit together.

Anyway, here is the Amulet list I played some games with earlier:


Creatures (7)
Azusa, Lost but Seeking
Primeval Titan

Spells (26)
Amulet of Vigor
Ancient Stirrings
Hive Mind
Pact of Negation
Serum Visions
Slaughter Pact
Summer Bloom
Summoner’s Pact
Lands (27)
Boros Garrison
Cavern of Souls
Gemstone Mine
Golgari Rot Farm
Gruul Turf
Kabira Crossroads
Khalni Garden
Selesnya Sanctuary
Simic Growth Chamber
Slayers’ Stronghold
Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion
Temple of Mystery
Tendo Ice Bridge
Tolaria West

Sideboard (15)
Bojuka Bog
Chalice of the Void
Creeping Corrosion
Engineered Explosives
Ghost Quarter
Pithing Needle
Seal of Primordium

The exact 75 is taken from MTGO user LordCommanderSnow who has 4-0’ed a dozen dailies with the deck in the last six months. The list is notably different from Matthias Hunt’s deck from Pro Tour Born of the Gods in that LordCommanderSnow excised the Simian Spirit Guides in favor of Ancient Stirrings. The switch is in favor of consistency over speed; Ancient Stirrings can find the crucial Amulet of Vigor, a karoo land to get the Summer Bloom chain started, or a Tolaria West to start tutoring whereas Simian Spirit Guide just allows you to go off a little faster. While I like the idea of attacking with a turn one Primeval Titan, which Guide allows you to do, the speed just doesn’t make up for the drop in consistency.

For those unfamiliar with the deck, the basic idea is to play an Amulet of Vigor, and then play Summer Bloom with karoo land like Simic Growth Chamber. The Chamber comes into play untapped because of the Amulet, you add two mana, and then return the land to your hand and repeat the process two more times to generate six mana. When you get six mana, you play Primeval Titan, searching up Boros Garrison and Slayer’s Stronghold. Then you use the Stronghold to give the Titan haste, attack and get another bounce land with Tolaria West. You can return Tolaria West to your hand and use it next turn to tutor up a pact the following turn.

If you have two Amulet of Vigors, this whole process gets extra insane because you can tap each bounce land for four mana because of Amulet’s stacking triggers. With two Amulets you can insert Vesuva and Sunhomme, Fortress of the Legion into the previously mentioned situation to also give your Primeval Titan double strike.

The lines of play can be adjusted depending on what you’re up against. If you’re low on life Titan can grab Kabira Crossroads (or Radiant Fountain), if you’re facing a Liliana of the Veil you can grab Khalni Garden to have another creature to sacrifice, if you expect more counter spells Titan or Tolaria West can find Cavern of Souls.

Or, you can just get to six mana, play Hive Mind and then cast a pact on your turn. That is usually good enough to kill most opponents especially early on in the game.

During my somewhat disorganized playtesting session, I played against all the decks laying around at my brother’s apartment; Burn, Merfolk, Pod, Boggles, and Affinity. I managed to have a positive win record, but unfortunately didn’t get to play a full match against all of these decks because no one really wanted to play multiple pre or post-boarded games against this deck. My brother declared that Amulet was the dumbest deck in Modern, “even worse than storm”, and then played Civilization for most of the night leaving Nik and I to try to get in as many games as possible with as many different decks as possible. I guess you can’t win them all.

Wish me luck at the GP. Or even just luck finding Summer Blooms at the event site. That would be a start.

At age 15, while standing in a record store with his high school bandmates, Shawn Massak made the uncool decision to spend the last of his money on a 7th edition starter deck (the one with foil Thorn Elemental). Since that fateful day 11 years ago, Shawn has decorated rooms of his apartment with MTG posters, cosplayed as Jace, the Mindsculptor, and competes with LSV for the record of most islands played (lifetime). When he’s not playing Magic, Shawn works as a job coach for people with disabilities and plays guitar in an indie-pop band.

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