Summer Bloom was banned from Modern in 2016, and Amulet Titan fell off the metagame map as a result. Summer Bloom enabled Amulet Titan to consistently win on turn two or three which was deemed too powerful by Wizards of the Coast. Over the last year, Amulet Titan has begun to rise again, and now has become one of the most resilient and powerful decks in the format. It is now one of the best Ancient Stirrings decks on offer, and an example used to justify the diversity of Ancient Stirrings decks in the metagame.

In the last few months, Amulet Titan has broken off into different versions with new approaches to the fast-paced Modern metagame. Dominic Harvey won the recent SCG Worcester Modern Open piloting his preferred version, one that features and incorporates the Through the Breach package from other Modern Primeval Titan decks. Dom has had plenty of recent success on the SCG circuit, not only finishing in the finals of SCG Columbus but also the Top 16 of the last SCG Invitational. I caught up with Dom to talk about Breach Titan, his recent success, and his aspirations for the future in Magic.

(We corresponded prior to Krark-Clan Ironworks getting banned yesterday.)

The Interview

How long have you been playing Magic?

I’ve played Magic since Betrayers of Kamigawa, and still have a lot of nostalgia for that era! I took a break from competitive play in uni but continued to love the game as a creative outlet (my favourite format has always has been Cube). In recent years I’ve travelled to tournaments more and, since moving to Toronto in September, I’ve immersed myself in the Canadian Magic scene.

Beyond success at the Axion events in the UK [where he lived prior to moving to Toronto] and Face to Face events in Canada, my most high-profile finishes are all in recent weeks: a T16 finish at the SCG Invitational followed by a finals at the Team Open and an individual Open Win this past weekend.

What’s your history with Amulet Titan decks?

I was drawn to Amulet Bloom when it was discovered in early 2013 but, like many people, I didn’t take it seriously until it Top 8’ed Pro Tour Fate Reforged. When I picked up the deck that summer I was immediately impressed and resolved to master it, eventually earning a Pro Tour invite. After Summer Bloom was banned, I tried to revive Amulet in some form but couldn’t get it right. Thankfully in the past year or two Amulet, Titan has established itself as a worse but worthy successor. Here in Toronto there’s a large group of Amulet experts constantly innovating with the deck, which is really exciting to watch.

Primeval Titan and the Ravnica bouncelands are some of my favourite cards, so any deck that could break them was bound to catch my eye. Amulet doesn’t look anything like a normal Magic deck and it always has a ton of options, so I haven’t grown bored of it even after 3.5 years.

How did your version of Amulet Titan come together?

The basic Amulet shell is still very powerful but needs a burst of speed to keep up with the faster decks in the format. Through the Breach is an attempt to offer that speed as well as new angles of attack. With the aid of Teetering Peaks you can hit the opponent for twenty in one attack, and Through the Breach into Primeval Titan is a viable option through a Blood Moon.

Dom Harvey's Amulet Titan—SCG Worcester Modern Open Champion

Creatures (13)
Primeval Titan
Wayward Swordtooth
Azusa, Lost but Seeking
Emrakul, the Aeons Torn

Spells (19)
Amulet of Vigor
Ancient Stirrings
Through the Breach
Summoner’s Pact
Coalition Relic
Pact of Negation
Engineered Explosives
Lands (28)
Gemstone Mine
Crumbling Vestige
Simic Growth Chamber
Gruul Turf
Boros Garrison
Cavern of Souls
Tolaria West
Khalni Garden
Bojuka Bog
Teetering Peaks
Slayers’ Stronghold
Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion
Radiant Fountain
Ghost Quarter

Sideboard (15)
Relic of Progenitus
Rending Volley
Spell Pierce
Walking Ballista
Ruric Thar, the Unbowed
Hornet Queen
Courser of Kruphix
Worldspine Wurm

Did you collaborate with anyone on this deck?

My friend Fritz Strnat picked up my list about 18 months ago and worked on it to some success, but this was mostly a solo effort.

Your build takes a lot of the components from Grishoalbrand strategies. How did you get there?

I played Grishoalbrand extensively in the summer of 2015, and it was always competing with Amulet Titan for my time and affection. One of my favourite experiments was a mashup of Amulet Bloom and Grishoalbrand and that actually worked shockingly well, designed to let me have one last hurrah with both before either Summer Bloom, Goryo’s Vengeance, or both were banned.

Amulet Titan typically runs plenty of toolbox cards, and your list no exception. I notice you have a single Coalition Relic in the maindeck. What is it doing?

You want more ramp effects, but you can get stuck with lots of Azusa, Sakura-Tribe Scouts and Wayward Swordtooths without enough lands to use with them. Coalition Relic jumps by two mana by itself, gets around Blood Moon, helps to fix your colours, and lets Ancient Stirrings find ramp more often.

Did you have any cuts from the deck when testing?

I had an Endless Sands in an earlier list to ‘Blink’ creatures cheated in by Through the Breach and protect threats from removal. I don’t think it’s necessary, but it would have been sweet to get that one on camera!

Has there been a card which surprised you or did more work than you originally predicted?

The sideboard Courser of Kruphix was a late addition that I wasn’t sure about it, but it was a workhorse in several tight spots during the tournament. I’d played with Wayward Swordtooth and Through the Breach separately but this was my first time trying them both in the same deck; they complemented each other more than I thought!

Is there anything you’d like to change with the deck?

The main deck is where it needs to be, I think, but the sideboard is flexible. I’d switch Rending Volleys for Dismembers and Firespouts for an Abrade and a Chameleon Colossus to fight the resurgent Death’s Shadow decks.

Are there any other variants or spice you want to try out in Amulet Titan?

Definitely! Amulet is unlike anything else in Modern and there’s a lot of design space left to explore.

Do you have any advice for players who are looking to pick up Amulet Titan?

Stick with it! The barrier to entry is high, and you may make some embarrassing mistakes at first, but that’s just part of the learning process. There are good resources out there, and most of the Amulet experts are happy to help if someone shows a genuine desire to learn.

One of the biggest mistakes is being too scared to mulligan. Modern can be a very fast format, and losing several cards to a mulligan is much better than losing the game with several cards in hand because your draw wasn’t fast enough to compete.

It’s also very easy to find yourself in trouble because you played the wrong land a few turns ago. Do your best to think several turns ahead and work out what colours you’ll need, if you’ll have a spare land drop, and so on.

What do you expect from the Banned and Restricted Announcement?

Something from Ironworks Combo needs to go (likely Krark-Clan Ironworks itself). When decks are banned, it’s usually for one of several reasons: they are too powerful, they mess up tournament logistics, they lead to boring or repetitive play patterns, or they aren’t good for coverage. Ironworks Combo has all those problems at once!

A dark horse might be Manamorphose. Ironworks Combo is U/R Phoenix’s worst matchup and, if you ban Ironworks Combo, U/R Phoenix might replace it as the apex predator of the format. If they decide to knock it down a peg or two while leaving it as a viable strategy, Manamorphose is the most natural card to hit: by itself, the card doesn’t ‘do’ anything and just creates more book-keeping, and sometimes it enables busted starts on turn two or three.

What are your aspirations and goals for 2019 in Magic?

With these back-to-back finishes, I’m at the top of the SCG leaderboard as of mid-January and have a good head-start in the race for the Players’ Championship. Joe Lossett, who has extensive Pro Tour experience, likes to say that the Players’ Championship is his favourite tournament to play and it has always been fun to watch, so it would be wonderful to be part of it when it returns this year. I’m not fully convinced I have the talent or stamina to stay on top of the race, but right now I have the time and resources to try as I won’t get a better chance than this.

On the official circuit, I’d like to finally book a strong Magic Fest finish and get that monkey off my back. I’d love to qualify for the rebranded Pro Tour, though that’s a vague aspiration at the moment as we don’t know much about how that will work. More broadly, I’d like to continue integrating into the vibrant Magic scene in Toronto and making new friends and connections across the world.

The Takeaway

You can follow Dom over on Twitter @dominharvia for Magic-focused content, or over at @domhrv for everything else! Don’t hesitate to get in contact with Dom over at Facebook for some advice on Amulet Titan, where he regularly shares content on the Amulet Titan Facebook Group.

Amulet Titan is reaching the point where it’s expanding into different versions, all with various answers to deal with the Modern metagame. With Ultimate Masters released late last year, now is an excellent time to pick up your copies of Through the Breach and Emrakul, the Aeon’s Torn if you want to add this to your expanding Amulet Titan toolbox.

Dom’s success with Breach Titan is proof that a brew you built can be successful. You have to be committed to seeing it through, and most importantly have fun doing it. Taking a room by surprise can be very rewarding and pay off all that hard work. Sometimes there are rogue builds that can prey on metagame decks, and this what Breach Titan intends to do going forward. I expect this version of Amulet Titan to be prevalent going forward, which has also encouraged me to pick up the deck to try out for myself.

Emma resides in Suffolk, England and started playing Magic back in 2014 when Khans of Tarkir first hit the shelves. She dabbled in Standard for a while then shifted into Modern, in particular playing Eldrazi Tron and Commander where she has found her home. Follow her on Twitter @emmmzyne to join in on the conversation!

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