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Gemstone Giant

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For a couple weeks, we thought that the banning of Summer Bloom was the nail in the coffin of decks seeking to combine Amulet of Vigor with Simic Growth Chamber and company. While losing Summer Bloom means the deck no longer has access to turn two Primeval Titans or Hive Minds, the deck is certainly far from dead, and may even be a good choice for the current Modern format:


This deck is designed to take advantage of the interaction between Amulet of Vigor and Simic Growth Chamber. This allows you to use Simic Growth Chamber to generate two mana on the turn you play it. This on its own is not super powerful, but in conjunction with extra land drops, you can net four or more mana by replaying the same Simic Growth Chamber. This lets you cast early Primeval Titans to start doing unfair tricks with Boros Garrison, Slayers' Stronghold, and Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion to get your opponent dead.

The big change here is that you need to play the full four copies of Azusa, Lost but Seeking as a substitute for Summer Bloom. You also need to play some number of Sakura-Tribe Scout to help make up for Azusa costing three rather than two. This density of ramp effects lets you still consistently try to cast Primeval Titan on turn three or four. It’s also worth noting that, even in the absence of Amulet of Vigor, these extra land drop effects combine with Karoos to provide the backup plan of a more normal ramp progression.

The most exciting part of this deck is the tricks that it brings to the table. Tolaria West combines with Simic Growth Chamber and other bounce lands to let you cast your spells early on while still functioning as a Primeval Titan via Summoner's Pact, Engineered Explosives, or even finding utility lands like Bojuka Bog and Radiant Fountain. Particularly powerful is the ability for Primeval Titan to get a Tolaria West and bounce land so you can set up a second Primeval Titan on subsequent turns to keep the pressure up on your opponent.

Another big part of the power of this deck is its sideboard. I’ve already mentioned that the deck has multiple copies of both Tolaria West and Summoner's Pact to find powerful combo pieces and help ensure your deck can consistently do the degenerate things it’s designed to. This has the additional upside of giving you more consistent access to haymakers out of the sideboard like Ghost Quarter, Hornet Queen, Melira, Sylvok Outcast, and more. With so much of Modern coming down to having the right sideboard cards for particular matchups, having the combination of a powerful and resilient primary plan backed up by the ability to consistently hate out opponents seems pretty great to me.


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