Josh Rayden has enjoyed mild success on the SCG Open series, with Top 8 and 9th place Legacy finishes. He has played Magic since Ice Age and worked for Pastimes, Inc., the Premier Tournament Organizer out of Chicago for three years. A dedicated Eternal fan, Josh recently finished 10th at the 2011 Vintage Championships.
This week he brings us a slew of videos and a Twelvepost brew for this weekend’s Modern Pro Tour in Philadelphia. Convinced of the deck’s nimble brute strength, he believes it’s the deck to beat.
Word on the street is there’s a Pro Tour this weekend in Philadelphia. Some people have been a bit uppity about the Hail Mary emergency banning format change. I can understand their frustration.
I own a set of them. I guess I can play these…
…on Thursdays at my local store’s Legacy tournaments.
At least until they turn them into Modern tournaments instead.
Modern is a new and exciting format, though!
It has brand new, never-before-seen decks like Deceiver Twin, Zoo, Burn, Elves, Pyromancer’s Ascension and Mono-Green Eldrazi!
While I was dubious about what this new format meant for my next year of doing battle on a magical plane, I decided to exercise due diligence and test the format online. After reading Sam Stoddard’s Take It To The (Cloud)post article, I knew what I wanted to try.
After begging, borrowing and stealing cards from my friends, all I had to do was drop $96 on Vesuvas…
…and I was ready to rock.
The first thing I tried was Sam’s Mono Green list:
I played in a Daily Event straight away. After a few short games I discovered a few things that weren’t quite pulling their weight in the online metagame.
During the event, I began watching replays of other players that were winning and noticed Star City Games’ own Todd Anderson at 2-0. His replays were the bomb.
He was playing a Cloudpost list, but his was rather different from mine. He had two very spicy meatballs I was lacking:
Now that’s a killer combo.
When I watched him play a second Cloudpost with two Amulets in play, I was hooked. I quickly snatched up a set of Amulets, as they were $.25 each, finished my tournament at 3-1, and went to sleep.
All night long I dreamt of ridiculous Amulet of Vigor combos.
The next day at work was a struggle. I wanted to get home to try out these new cards. Over my lunch hour I looked at the Modern DE results from the previous couple of days and found some other lists with Scapeshifts or Amulets, or even Tooth and Nails.
Tooth and Nail is one of my favorite decks of all time. Now I had to find room for even more cards. I messed around in the deck editor for a bit and wound up with the following list:
I played this seventy-five, or something very similar to it, all weekend.
The Plows, O Stones, Bojuka Bog, and Life from the Loams should probably become Beast Withins and whatever else strikes your particular fancy.
Some of those probably don’t fit in the Amulet of Vigor version of the deck. Speed seems to be the key and you don’t want to dilute the deck too much. Here are ten important things I discovered while playing:
- Amulet of Vigor is sweet. It speeds up the deck by at least a turn and often just lets you completely combo off. It’s amazing in the mirror, allowing you to do some degenerate things.
- On a scale from “1” to “Awesome” Scapeshift is “Super Great” with an Amulet and ranges from “Meh” to “Completely Worthless” without one. With two Amulets it actually breaks the scale and you pass out from ecstasy.
- Eternal Witness can probably go. I tutored for her once out of convenience and having her in your hand is normally cute at best. She’d likely be better as another Ancient Stirrings.
- Sakura-Tribe Elder and Rampant Growth get the nod over the walls due to their interactions with Amulets and Scapeshifts and because the walls kept having to block and die.
- Casting Tooth and Nail for Emrakul, the Flying Spaghetti Monster and Urabrask produces an emotion akin to seeing your newborn baby for the first time, or so I assume that’s what seeing your newborn child feels like.
- The deck packs a ton of threats. In the six to nine mana spot, you have eleven spells that can break the game wide open. On top of that you have Eye of Ugin and two Eldrazi. Discard isn’t sufficient to take this deck down.
- The deck is surprisingly resilient to land destruction and doesn’t really care about Blood Moon much. If your opponent is spending an entire turn to try to slow you down by a turn, it’s a wash. Your land destruction and Blood Moons need to be backed up by a significant clock to make a difference.
- Never keep a hand without a green source. Ever.
- Chalice of the Void and Trinisphere turn Elves and Pyromancer’s Ascension from bad to totally manageable.
- The deck is fun, wins a lot and tends to make your opponents very unhappy.
The things that Amulet of Vigor allows you to do are certainly the most impressive.
Turn four double Primeval Titan? Sure, no problem.
How about casting Scapeshift on turn four off of four Forests and then casting Primeval Titan and Tooth and Nail with entwine on that very same turn? Not only is it possible, you can do with with 6 mana left over!
Here’s a little puzzle for you:
How do you cast a turn three Tooth and Nail with my exact seventy-five when you’re not playing the mirror?
Twelvepost: Not Even Once
The deck has been an absolute blast and people seem to be having a rough time figuring out how to beat it. Take a look at this post, for example.
For the first seventeen Daily Events, Twelve Post has consistently had the greatest number of 3-1 or better finishes at 66.
The next highest is Affinity with 36, and Zoo in third with 35.
Without knowing exactly how many people participated in each event and what percentage of the field was actually playing Twelve Post, we do know that it seems to be the boogeyman online.
If you’re heading to the Pro Tour this weekend, this is public enemy #1.
The deck is obvious, but it’s powerful and should not be underestimated. I’m sure there is a potential version out there that is better than mine, tuned properly for the expected PT metagame, so test different builds.
It’s very customizable and has the tools to beat agro, combo and control. If you’re just looking for a good time in a new format, try this deck.
You may feel dirty at first, but I promise it passes.
One more video for the road:
Thanks for reading!
JRDameonHv on Twitter and MTGO
Answer to the puzzles:
Turn 1: Forest, Amulet of Vigor.
Turn 2: Forest, Amulet of Vigor.
Turn 3: Cloudpost, Scapeshift for a Forest and 2 Cloudposts, cast Tooth and Nail with entwine with 1 floating.
On the draw, turn 1 Forest, Amulet of Vigor.
Turn 2: Cloudpost, Explore, Vesuva copying Cloudpost, Amulet of Vigor x2.
Turn 3: Forest, Primeval Titan getting forest and Vesuva copying Cloudpost. Scapeshift with 8 floating, sacrificing all lands except one Cloudpost to get the remaining Vesuvas and Cloudposts. Tap your five fresh Cloudposts for 6 mana, 3 times each (90 mana + the 8 floating from before you cast Scapeshift). Cast Emrakul, the Aeons Torn with 83 mana floating. Stand up and do a lap around the table*.
*Victory lap optional**.
**NO IT’S NOT.