I recently had a rare moment of dumb luck…(two months ago.)
I wanted to play The Mazes End deck in a modern tournament, and so I went to research ways to turn the GuildGate cards (read bad common cards) into something playable. (Why try this strategy? I have four copies of “Mazes End.” One is foil. One is Japanese. I guess just for vanity. I also wanted to play the new card, “Chromanticore”)
The reason why the guild gates are so bad is because though they are dual lands, they enter the battlefield tapped. And that’s it. In Modern, at least locally, here’s what can happen…
- Turn one. You won the dice roll! You play a GuildGate. It is a tapped dual land that lets you do NOTHING until your next turn.
- Turn one for your opponent. He does something you figured impossible. He gets out Griselbrand! You lose.
- And you never produced one mana.
I am exaggerating a little bit. The guy I played who was able to do this did it on turn two. But my GuildGate was useless just the same.
The most common card coming up as a solution was “Amulet of Vigor.”
Anyways. I went shopping, and found four copies of “Amulet of Vigor” online. (It wasn’t in any local stores.) Each copy only cost about $2.50. To me, not a bad price for a card that can allow the dumb GuildGates to untap when they enter the battlefield, and therefore not be so dang useless.
Well…I didn’t know the amount of POWER I was getting into…
There is this story floating around out there. In the first ever sanctioned Modern championship tournament, the “Amulet of Vigor” was used with “Cloudpost” so effectively that “Cloudpost” was banned from the format!
With the banning of “Cloudpost,” the amulet fell by the wayside, taking up space in binders everywhere.
But someone recently figured it out. And now the Amulet is selling for around $20! (So I could sell mine off now and make a big profit. Not gonna happen!)
Here’s what you can do with an amulet, and a couple of other “bad cards.”
- Turn One. You have this in your hand. A “forest”, “Summer Bloom”, “Simic Growth Chamber,” “Primeval Titan,” “Boros Garrison,” “Summoner’s Pact,” and “Amulet of Vigor” You play your forest, and the Amulet.
- Your Opponent does something that you hope isn’t Thoughtsieze or some kind of “Griselbrand Now”
- Turn two. You draw “Hive Mind.” Play “Simic Growth Chamber.” Here is the trick. It actually enters the battlefield tapped, but then the Amulet of Vigor ability goes on the stack, which causes it to untap. Normally you would have to bounce a land. But you can go ahead and tap the land for its two mana first. Having used it up, you can bounce it back to your hand! (Now you have a floating green and a floating blue.) Use the two floating mana to play “Summer Bloom”. This card lets you play up to three lands from your hand….Guess what three lands you are going to play? “Simic Growth Chamber”! Get its floating mana, and bounce it three times! This gets you three blue and three green floating mana, which you are now going to use to play “Primeval Titan!” I suggest getting utility lands for the Titan when he enters the battlefield. Or maybe “Slayers Stronghold” and “Boros Garrison,” which you can use to give him haste and an extra +2/+0″! Swing with your Titan, on turn two for 8 my friend, and go get two more lands. I suggest “Simic Growth Chamber” and “Galgori Rot Farm.” Return the original “forest” and “Slayers Stonghold” to your hand. ON TURN TWO YOU ARE SERIOUSLY AHEAD!
- Your opponent looks sad as he responds on Turn two. He can’t do anything much. Maybe he can remove your titan. But it’s too late. A new plan is forming….
- Turn 3. You draw …. It doesn’t matter, really. You play down “Hive Mind” by playing, tapping, and bouncing one of your green bounce lands and tapping the other two you had out. Then play “Summoners Pact.” The first card is an enchantment that says “players cast copies of instants and sorceries at the same time. They may choose new targets.” When you played “Summoner’s Pact,” it was a free card for you. You get to search your library for a green creature card. It will probably be another “Primeval Titan,” and put it in your hand. Your opponent gets to do the same. He’d better hope he is playing green….The downside to “Summoner’s Pact” is you have to pay two green and two colorless at the beginning of your upkeep, or else you lose the game. Not a problem for you. But on turn three can your opponent do that at the beginning of his upkeep. (before he gets a land drop.) NOPE. YOU WIN!
Let me just say that I didn’t invent this. I read about it. And then some championship type people started doing it. Mathias Hunt posted a video about the deck he played at the last championship tournament. Also, Gerry Thompson out there has a version of this deck. It is JUST SICK. And It is the next big thing I expect.
You heard it here from the SpartanNerd first. I haven’t seen anyone actually play this deck in a tournament. One guy saw me playing the deck before I had the complete combo, and commented that he was building one too at home. (I played a hybrid Amulet and Mono Black Devotion Deck at the last modern tournament. It lost pretty bad.)
But at home I have built a version that doesn’t have as many great lands as I wish it had. I mean, I don’t have “Gemstone Mine” or any “fetch lands.” I don’t have “City of Brass”. I do have “Tolaria West,” which can let me get “Summoner’s Pact” or some other pact card. (“Slaughter Pact”) And I have four copies of each bounce land. So I built this deck on a budget.
I already mentioned I got my amulets for $2.50. The bounce lands cost around $20 for the whole set, mint condition. Summer Bloom was like $1.50 apiece. The pacts cost about $5. Basically, the Primeval Titans are the most expensive thing. I might have a total of $120 invested in it so far. That’s a pretty good deal for a deck that I expect to win at the next Modern Tournament I can make it to!
(As for the Mazes End. I played the Amulets with it. In multiples, the Amulet triggers over and over, so you can produce either color of the land that you want. several times on the turn the gate comes out. Otherwise, it still doesn’t work that good as a strategy.)