Last month, a thread popped up on r/Spikes titled, “Bloom Titan 1 of Creature Flex Slot – what’s best?“. The author of the post suggested that the deck has a core of 59 cards and the very last slot, the flex slot, could be a variety of different creatures. The author posed the idea of Dragonlord Dromoka, Sylvan Primordial, Simian Spirit Guide, and Consecrated Sphinx as potential inclusions. Though there weren’t a ton of replies, users suggested stuff like Wurmcoil Engine, Frost Titan, Thragtusk, Engineered Explosives, and even Gaea’s Revenge. While I think a few of these suggestions are a bit misguided, the thread itself made think about the core of the deck and the ways in which a one of, generally a tutorable one, can help or hinder a match-up.

If we’re going to consider the concept of a flex slot, we need to establish the core of the deck. I think it looks something like this:

This is a core of 57 cards. These are the sacred cows of the deck. What we’re looking to do it to fill in the final three slots. Let’s take a look at some of the top placing Bloom Titan decks of the past few months to discuss the last three slots of the deck.

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This is  Benjamin Miller’s top eight deck from GP Oklahoma. Miller added:

Full disclosure, many lists play the full playset of Ancient Stirrings. However, due to the success of several decks that play a Stirrings/Sleight of Hand split, I will continue to list the fourth copy of Ancient Stirrings as a flex card.

The real story here is the singleton copy of Dragonlord Dromoka. Bloom Titan is a deck based around generating six mana via Amulet/Summer Bloom/Bounceland so having another spell that costs six fits into the game plan. Furthermore, Dragolord Dromoka can be tutored via Summoner’s Pact, effectively giving Miller access to five Dragonlords. But what does Dragonlord do for the deck exactly?

  • Provide a giant lifelinking threat that can’t be bolted to death. This is relevant if cast early against Burn/Affinity.
  • Offers a threat that gets around counterspells if you don’t have any easy means to tutor up a Cavern of Souls.
  • Forces opponents to deal with threats on their own turn. This gives you a better idea of what to search for with Primeval Titan. If you’re not worried about Path to Exile, you are free to search up Slayer’s Stronghold and smash in.

Having said that, I don’t think this deck really needs DD. While it invalidates countermagic in Grixis Control and Twin, it will often just eat a Terminate without having created any value the way Primeval Titan would. Furthermore, Twin can still pretty easily just combo kill you. In match-ups where DD seems excellent, Burn/Affinity, Primeval Titan already does the trick pretty well by itself. Against Burn for example, most of the time I would rather play Titan, search up Radiant Fountain and a bounce land to replay the fountain, than try to attack with DD and hope they don’t have an Atarka’s Command.

Let’s look at another list:

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Martell’s list has:

The one I want to talk about here is Simian Spirit Guide (I’ll cover Sleight in a bit). Spirit Guide is a pretty obvious inclusion because it allows you to combo on turn one. Spirit Guide+Amulet of Vigor+Summer Bloom+Bounceland+Primeval Titan should pretty much be game over. Even if you don’t pull off the turn one win, SSG allows you to subtly play around Spell Pierce/Mana Leak and pay for pacts when you are a little short and can’t make the necessary land drops.

While I understand the purpose of SSG, I really hate the card in this deck. Bloom has a lot of redundancy and while SSG adds a little explosiveness into the mix, I’d rather have a card that is tutorable (via Summoner’s Pact/Tolaria West or findable with Ancient Stirrings) or another utility land. In the non-amulet hands, Spirit Guide really doesn’t do enough and is really embarrassing if you ever have to hard cast it.

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LordCommanderSnow has been piloting this deck for a long time on MTGO and was recently rewarded with a PTQ win. Their list has:


  • 3 Sleight of Hand

I’m not going to lie, I’m very partial to Sleight of Hand. While the card is much worse than Serum Visions, having more cheap selection spells allows you to find the crucial Summer Bloom, Amulet, or Titan. Bloom is an inherently powerful deck and rather than try to jam turn one wins, LordCommanderSnow is just trying to make sure they have the pieces to win over the course of the game. Sleight of Hand is never insane, but there are a lot of situations where it prevents you from bricking off and losing when you can’t find a win condition or a way to cast that win condition.

Let’s keep moving along  shall we?

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Kanister’s list plays:

Kanister opted to play a second Cavern of Souls which I think is a good meta choice in a world of Grixis Control/Twin/UWx Control. While you can search up Cavern via Tolaria West, often that is just a little too slow against an opponent who also happens to have a Tasigur out. With two Caverns, you are much more likely to naturally draw one or see it off of Ancient Stirrings.

While the second Cavern is commendable, the spiciest thing in Kanister’s list is the singleton Engineered Explosives. This card can be found with Tolaria West/Stirrings and is fantastic against creature based aggro decks like Zoo, Affinity, Boggles, and Merfolk as well as being an out in the abysmal Lantern Control match-up. While it rarely comes up, Bloom can generate all five colors of mana to take out any number of threats that cost up to five mana. Sometimes you just need to kill a Monstrous Carabid. Oh yeah, it also decimates tokens from Lingering Souls, Monastery Mentor, and Young Pyromancer if you happen to run into those as well.

Ok here’s the last one:

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This list from Gabriel Grommeck top eighted a WMCQ with:


While I have tried this card as some singleton sideboard tech, Grommeck jammed it into the main deck. This card is a lot like Dragonlord Dromoka in that it is disruptive to a lot of decks but can very easily be Pathed or Terminated. Sure, they do take six damage for their troubles, but most of the time, Bloom Titan doesn’t have any difficulty finishing off the game with damage or Hive Mind. Having said that, resolving an early Ruric Thar against Burn, Storm, Tron, or Infect is a big game and should prompt a quick concession.

While there are a variety of options available for the last three slots of Bloom Titan, and certainly some spicy ones at that, I have a strong preference for cards that help you cast Titan rather than a more situational threat. Dragonlord and Ruric Thar are certainly powerful cards that fit the “six mana” matters theme and can be tutored via Summoner’s Pact. Yet, for my money, I would rather have a card selection spell that helps me find the true star of the deck, Primeval Titan. Furthermore, while Simian Spirit Guide can speed the deck up for some explosive draws, for the most part I don’t think there is a big difference between a turn one Primeval Titan vs. a turn two Primeval Titan. In terms of Engineered Explosives, the jury is still out, it’s certainly a card I want in the 75 but I don’t know if it’s worth it in the starting 60. If I were to play a tournament tomorrow, I would play LordCommanderSnow’s exact 75, as I think the additional card filtering in the form of Sleight of Hand is better than all other available options and his sideboard covers all the bases.


In terms of Magic, Shawn Massak is a Modern enthusiast, with a penchant for tier two decks, counterspells, and pre Eighth Edition frames. In terms of life, Shawn lives in Brighton, MA where he works as an employment coordinator for people with disabilities, plays guitar in an indie-pop band, and spends his free time reading comics, complaining about pro-wrestling, and wishing his apartment allowed dogs as pets.

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