Modern 101 - Valakut Titan Breach

Modern, MTG Game Play -

Modern 101 - Valakut Titan Breach

Valakut Titan Breach is a combo deck that wants to get its namesake card Primeval Titan onto the battlefield as fast as possible to search up Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle and plenty mountains to shoot down the opponent with lands. Through the Breach supercharges the Titan with haste to allow you to grab four lands in addition to threatening the opponent with a 6/6 attacking trampler. This often closes out the game on the spot or will bring it out of reach.

  

The Main Strategy

Valakut requires you have five mountains on board to enable all future mountains dropped to shoot three damage. This means you need to get a lot of lands out to start your engine. The premium turn one Suspend spell Search for Tomorrow grabs you an untapped basic land two turns later while Sakura-Tribe Elder buys you some time, chump blocking before it grabs you a land. Farseek is probably the worst ramp spell in the deck, but with the ability to get dual lands, it helps smooth your mana.

  

Once you hit four mana, often easily on the third turn, you can cast Chandra, Torch of Defiance. She is a true all-star in this deck. Taking down big creatures, digging deeper for a Titan or adding mana to cast one, and even chipping in damage on your opponent, she does it all. You likely realize that all this deck wants to do is cast Titan. As a playset, it isn’t reliable enough, so the deck plays a playset of Summoner’s Pact. It will often search up a Titan, but can also grab Sakura-Tribe Elder or other utility creatures in a pinch. Don’t forget to pay the upkeep cost though - losing games because of forgetting is nothing to toy around with. Sometimes the Titan may not be good enough, so a backup big beater can take his place. Woodfall Primus covers weak spots and takes care of any non-creature permanent, and can even do it a second time when it dies and Persists back, which conveniently happens after you bring it Through the Breach.

  

Rounding out the main deck is Anger of the Gods to sweep up small creatures after the early turns you spent assembling mana. It can be really backbreaking for aggressive creature decks and will buy lots of time for you to turn on your Valakut engine. Lastly, Simian Spirit Guide is another way to catch up with fast decks of the format. Casting Anger ahead of curve will catch your opponent off-guard and they also won’t be prepared for a swinging Titan on turn three. In the later game, the Guide loses its value, but still serves surprisingly well as a creature on the board.

  

For the manabase, all you need is Valakut, fetchlands, plenty mountains in whichever form and a pair of forests as safety net against Blood Moon.

Tactics

This deck is first and foremost a combo deck. You want to get Primeval Titan out as quickly as possible, either with Through the Breach or just by ramping a lot and then hardcasting it. With many redundant pieces that represent the Titan and the plethora of ramp effects, the strategy is very consistent and will barely ever fold to itself.

Against other fast decks, you just want to be as fast as possible. Remember that Primeval Titan gets two lands into play at the same time, so if you have Valakut and four mountains in play and grab two more mountains, Valakut will trigger twice as the new mountains just need to see five more on your side.

Facing grindy midrange decks, you want to hold onto your fetchlands and Sakura-Tribe Elders. Sacrifice them either when you need the mana or when you have enough copies of Valakut on the board to shoot enough damage. When your opponent has lots of removal and discard, Breach gets worse and should be boarded out - a hardcast Titan will push you ahead far enough that the inherent card disadvantage of Through the Breach is not needed in long, drawn out games.

Control is a really interesting matchup. You want to focus on playing ramp spells and lands. Having an early Valakut on the board is great in this type of matchup. If your opponent is just sitting back on counterspells and is not presenting a threat, don’t feel forced to play your big beaters into counters. The nature of the deck favors you in the long game as your lands will start dealing serious damage quite fast. Keep in mind that the oracle text on Through the Breach reads: "Sacrifice the creature at the beginning of the next end step”. To play around counterspells you can cast the instant on the opponent’s end step. If your opponents let it resolve, you will likely get yourself a hasty Titan into play that you have to sacrifice at the end of your own turn, so it gets one attack in. However if they are scared and decide to counter the Breach, you forced them to cast a counter and tap mana. Now you can go into your turn and untap with enough mana to simply hardcast the Titan from your hand, likely with no threat of a counterspell.

Sideboarding

Red and green have great options regarding artifact destruction, with the Modern sideboard mainstay Ancient Grudge being an obvious inclusion. Sadly, the color combination doesn’t have many tools to fight spell-based combo, so Chalice of the Void is sometimes the only way to stop decks like Storm. Luckily, Chalice on one doesn’t hinder us at all while it stops many other decks from playing their cheap, efficient spells. With the metagame being huge on graveyard decks, Relic of Progenitus is one of the best ways to fight those threats. Being able to cycle it away in the later game is a huge boon, especially because by then, our other cards will take over the game.

  

If you love combo decks but don’t like losing to hate cards, Valakut Titan Breach is the deck for you. It’s as powerful on turn three as it is on turn twenty, always having great draws and copious ways to defend itself. Being both easy to learn and relatively cheaper than other decks in the Modern metagame, it’s a great choice for beginners, while also remaining interesting for Spikey players with its high velocity and raw power.

Written by Malte Smits



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