12 months, 12 decks (III): Titania Fungusaur

Titania Fungusaur

Hello again old school folks! It’s been a long time since I last wrote here. Throughout the world a turbulent time is being experienced due to the global Covid-19 pandemic. Many of us have been confined in our homes and living with tension the events. The terrible information that we see every day in the news, the difficulty in getting some cards, and personal matters that are irrelevant, have not allowed me to focus on writing, but here we are again, and we are going to continue with the challenge we set ourselves at the beginning of the year.
Things have changed since then – and unexpectedly. During the confinement I have played a lot of Old school and Premodern and formats as new as Legacy96 (all online, of course), even a tournament where I tried the idea of this deck.
I hope that you are all well, and I hope that you enjoy today’s article and for a few minutes you escape from the reality that we have to live these days, this is my small contribution.

Introduction

The idea of combining Titania´s Song with Fungusaur may seem absurd. At first glance they look like cards that have nothing in common. I wanted to play Fungusaur, but I also wanted to do it differently than usual, that is, in a BG deck with Pestilence or Cuombajj Witches, an idea that I love, by the way. I started to investigate and I came across Rod of Ruin, I liked the combo, although it was a bit expensive to play, but cost 4 could be profitable for Titania´s Song, since it would become a 4/4 that previously would have removed some life points. I wondered if the two cards could coexist in the same strategy, and I got down to work.

TITANIA FUNGUSAUR 1.0
Titania Fungusaur 1.0

In this version I played Rod of Ruin and Fungusaur in the main, but it was very weak against removal and the artifact was very slow. The sensations were good ending with a 2-2. At least this result indicated that the deck could work, so I kept working and got to the next version:

Captura 2020-06-07 a las 15.20.08

Disscussion

  • As we said before, Fungusaur is weak against removal (a simple spark kills it) so I thought of another plan. Avoid Fate was an option, but I had to put the playset in to be effective, and at some point I would have to use them to defend my artifacts, so Fungusaur would continue taking all the removal. I saw that in some versions of Titania sideboards creatures played, and I thought that was the key to the plan. As a base, he would play a prison style deck, without creatures, and in the second game he would play a deck with more victory conditions and that was designed so that he wasn’t so prone to succumb to our biggest enemies: Energy Flux or Shatterstorm. I designed a sideboard with a selection of creatures that would works well against certain decks. The opponent, if he doesn’t see creatures in the first game, it’s normal that he will remove some removal, we know that Lightning Bolt is almost never going to be removed but Chain Lightning and some Swords to include hate against artifacts.
  • Playing the deck is how I discovered that there was another card with which Fungusaur works better than with Rod of Ruin, this was Desert, which is faster and more effective, and also it helped me defend myself in the first turns of fast creatures like Savannah Lions (The lions are dying of thirst in the desert XD), it also provides mana, so you have to play the playset. Having 2 in the battlefield plus a Fungusaur and free way (something easy to get in this deck) we will put on it 2 counters each turn, becoming it a good finisher. I rarely used the Rod of Ruin to inflate the Fungusaur, so I ended up removing it. You could also play Triskelion because Fungusaur growth up with each of his shots.
  • Fellwar Stone is the first card I think of when I build a deck based on Titania´s Song, I never play less than 4, especially playing unpowered. It provides acceleration and mana of «almost any color», many times thanks to the opponent’s City of Brass, and is a potential 2/2 for when we have to attack. We also have the classic Toolbox for prison style decks: Icy Manipulator, Howling Mine, Winter Orb and Relic Barrier. In my opinion I think that you have to include 3 Icy Manipulators for the versatility of the card, it has control ability, «removal», and it’s a 4/4 with Titania´s Song on the table; mines can range from 3 to 4 but would not include less than 3 because it’s the main part of our draw engine; 2 orbs is enough, because they can easily be dead card in hand, and sometimes benefits the opponent more than us – remember this version is unpowered – and Relic Barrier, a card of which I am a declared fan, for two mana can tap Mishra’s Factory, Tetravus, Triskelion, Su-Chi, Mana Vault, etc. Although people play 2 to 4 copies, that depends on how you build your deck, the handicap of this card is that against some decks it loses effectiveness because at most it will tap a Sol Ring, but it’s very important in our strategy to tap our own mines and orbs, and it’s a nightmare for artifact decks.
  • As a prison deck without blue it’s necessary to play with white since we need to protect ourselves at the beginning of the game to be able to develop our game, Swords to Plowshares, Disenchant and Balance are essential, especially Swords that combine very well with Mirror Universe.
    · When I started to investigate possible cards I realized that there was one that I had never seen play, at least in a tournament, that card was Nova Pentacle and it has been one of the great discoveries because it works quite well, its disadvantage is that it was not can activate if no creatures are in play, making it worse against UR or Burn decks, but in a deck without creatures like this, or in which, sometimes, your only creature will be Fungusaur, it’s worth spending a slot in it. It’s not a substitute for Icy Manipulator, but can be combined with it, since the advantage of the Pentacle is that it eliminates the creature while Icy Manipulator does not. With Titania´s Song in play it’s a 4/4 not insignificant. If we combine it with Desert we can kill creatures that are asymmetric in strength and resistance, such as Ernham Djinn, Kird Ape, etc., since we are going to redirect the damage and normally the opponent will choose to do that damage to the same creature that is attacking and to the At the end of the combat phase we will do that last point of damage with the desert, enough to annihilate it. It’s a card that once its power is understood the opponent always wants to get rid of it. I think that 2 copies can be played if you have a lot of capacity to generate mana since its activation cost is high, but I think that one copy is the optimal amount.
  • FCCEDFAF-8E6E-4E5D-B319-7E132A54C499
    Are you sure you want to redirect the damage?
  • One of the cards that improved the deck compared to the first version was Mana Vault, because it accelerates to play before Icy Manipulator or Mirror Universe, or with Mind Twist. When I played without this card the opponent’s Strip Mines frustrated me and didn’t let me play anything, but thanks to the Vault I can play a Fellwar and a Relic in the same turn, or Relic and Mine at the same time, something necessary in this deck.
  • We already know the power of Mirror Universe, we aren’t going to discover America, it was another considerable improvement because the deck in the first version always lost against decks with many sparks like Atog or UR, because you could not do anything against bolts and Chain Lightning but this card changed things a lot, because in addition to being able to look for it with the Demonic Tutor at the appropriate time, it combines very well with Sylvan and Mana Vault and once it’s resolved – protecting it with Avoid Fate if necessary – you only have to cast Titania´ s Song and attack with any of the artifacts you have on the battlefield, with which we could say that the Mirror Universe is one of our victory conditions.
  • Our main objective is to play one artifact after another while we are changing lives for cards (with Sylvan Library) or stealing extra cards with the mines and controlling the table with Relic Barrier, Icy Manipulator, Winter Orb, Swords, Disenchant … until let’s accumulate a sufficient quantity of artifacts to play a deadly Titania´s Song with which we’ll finish with a single blow to the adversary. The most important thing is to avoid being countered because Disenchant allows you to attack that turn (remember that once it comes into play, if Titania´s Song leaves the game, the effect continues until the end of the turn) and normally you play this card to win although sometimes you are forced to play it before time because perhaps you are forced of lives and you have to kill in 2 turns instead of one.
  • For this unpowered version I chose the splash to black to be able to play the 2 best cards of that color: Demonic Tutor and Mind Twist. With the Tutor we’ll look for our bombs, such as Mirror or Balance, Titania´s Song or Chaos Orb, or a saving Disenchant to remove Moat, or his inseparable and most faithful friend: Mind Twist. This card is devastating and although we play without the P9 by generating so much mana and, especially, thanks to Mana Vault, the Twist we play will be quite effective.
  • The mana base is solid and although there are 3 colors with the 2 city of Brass, Scrubland and Swamp you can manage to play the splash to black, since many times you will get that color thanks to Fellwar Stone. In the photo a swamp appears but in that slot it’s best to put a Bayou, a card that I currently don’t have. Deserts are great to take on the first few turns versus quick decks of small creatures. The deck doesn’t suffer much against Blood Moon because it has many basic lands but there can still be games where it’s an annoying card.
  • Our greatest enemy is Energy Flux and a single turn in which we have to deal with this enchantment can be devastating, that’s why the deck is designed to face this card, first with the sideboard with all the creatures we run and with the that we do not have to pay with the Flux on the battlefield. As we see in the deck photo, we have Wirling Dervish against Monoblack, Preacher will be a nightmare for many decks, especially for those whose removal is only Swords and have been removed for the second game. Fungusaur will become a not inconsiderable finisher thanks to the combo with Desert and in 4 turns they can end the game. Serra Angel will be for those decks with Moat. The other cards are to reinforce our strategy against aggro or control.
    City in a Bottle can be annoying but we can deal with it, although it can destroy our mana base by taking away the deserts and the City of Brass.
    UR or any deck with many sparks are very dangerous and Mirror Universe will be our main weapon to beat them, we have Circle of Protection: Red, a true classic.
  • Monoblack has the Gloom and the knights with protection against white that will annul our swords and then Icy Manipulator will be our “removal” to fight them, we’ll also need massive removal like Balance or Wrath of God. Underworld Dreams is also very dangerous, being able to enter the first turn thanks to Dark Ritual and for that we have Tranquility on the sideboard, which will be in many cases as the fifth Disenchant that skips the Gloom.
  • Time Walk, which would be our best card if we played with blue, is a fearsome enemy because if the opponent manages to nullify our permanent tapping artifacts, and Howling Mine is in play and untapped, he or she can get many cards if plays several turns in a row, it’s a difficult move to foresee and can throw overboard all the work we have done, so be careful.
  • Obviously, all decks that play white will also put us in trouble because Disenchant will most likely play and Dust to Dust will be the sideboard that we have the most to fear. Against Disenchant we have Avoid Fate, but against Dust to Dust we only have the creatures that we put from the sideboard or try to break the double target with our Strip Mines and Chaos Orb.
  • Could include a copy of Guardian Beast to protect our artifacts against Nevinyrral’s Disk or combine with Chaos Orb. Maze of Ith is a great candidate and I played it in some versions but I had to choose between developing the mana base (Maze spends a land drop) or having more protection against creatures.
  • Some cards are necessary although they don’t appear in the deck, ignoring p9, but Library of Alexandria is necessary, The Abyss could be very well in main although it would not work with our current sideboard. If you have Mishra´s Workshop it’s also a great card for this deck full of artifacts.
  • It’s necessary to change your way of thinking with the use of the Strip Mines, since they are normally used as removal, but in this case they have to be used as one more land. If they are included it’s more to combat Library of Alexandria, although they can always be used at specific times such as breaking the double blue in case you intuit that there is a Counterspell or for the double white and stop a Moat or Dust to Dust from going cast. But they will normally be used as one more land that gives mana.
  • Another key card on the sideboard is Avoid Fate, I like to play 2 in main deck but if we sideboard our creatures, it’s best to put 2 more, and since the opponent will have removed part of his removal, the 4 Avoid Fate will be much more effective .
IMG_7279
Fungusaur in action

Conclusion

We’ve here one of those decks built around a single card, which at first glance seems to have a unique condition of victory but that has some surprises, especially when we sideboard unstoppable Fungusaur that will devour everything in their path in just a few turns to the opponent’s amazement. As always, I would love to hear your opinions and you can tell me something through the blog comments or on my Instagram account: @retroplayermtg 
And you know, take good care of yourself in these difficult times. Until next time!

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