UR Twin vs. Modern: Amulet

Welcome to the final installment of my series on UR Twin. At this point, almost every Amulet player is sleeving up the same main deck and the sideboards don’t change that much—which is perfect for sideboard guides against it!

For the purpose of covering as many variations of your main deck and sideboard as possible, I am using an aggregate deck list, which has more than 75 cards, but contains pretty much everything that is commonly played in the archetype.

UR Twin Aggregate List

Barring some unfortunate events, Twin is one of Amulet’s worst matchups. You have Remands that are incredible, Dispel to fight their small amount of interaction, and a combo that they can hardly answer.

Step number 1 is to avoid becoming over-confident. Even if the matchup favors you, keep playing tight, because against a skilled Amulet player you’ll be surprised by everything this deck can do. It’s extremely powerful—even bad matchups can become a joke with the right draws.

The deck finally won a big event last weekend, which can either mean that it will finally be banned or that you’ll see it more than ever, in which case, you’ll be prepared with the following tips.

Deceiver Exarch and Pestermite aren’t just combo pieces, their abilities can be used to their full potential in this matchup. Tapping down a bounceland is a great feeling, and the same is true against Primeval Titan. Usually if they expect you to tap down the Titan, it will get Tolaria West plus Simic Growth Chamber on the first trigger. That way they can transmute for either Slaughter Pact or Pact of Negation to stop you from combo’ing.

This may sound a little obvious, but it’s easy to get lost in what they are doing. They only have 6 black sources, which means now and then you won’t have to play around Slaughter Pact as they won’t have a way to pay for it. Of course, they have access to library manipulation and often will find the needed mana source, but even I have caught myself just assuming they have all 5 colors.

Both Slayer’s Stronghold and Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion can be stopped with your Spellskite—this is not to be underestimated!

Your counterspells are usually fairly easy to use. Dispels hit the Pacts, Remands take care of the 6-mana win conditions, and Spell Snare has a single, critical target: Summer Bloom.

Sideboard Options



Ancient Grudge is your only way to deal with Amulet of Vigor since none of your counterspells can stop it efficiently. It also happens to kill any Engineered Explosives that they might bring in.

There are a few reasons that your own Engineered Explosives would be serviceable, mainly that it kills Amulet of Vigor, but that’s not appealing enough considering that I wouldn’t even bring in my third Ancient Grudge if I had one. The second reason is that it destroys Seal of Primordium, which is actually better than it sounds—their Seals dispatch two of your best cards, Splinter Twin and Blood Moon. Not an auto-include, but a consideration depending on what you have to board out.

I’ve actually never registered Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir, and I’m not sure it belongs in this sideboard. It does play at instant speed, which is what you’re looking for, and stops both their Pact of Negation and Swan Song, but that’s just a total of 5 cards. Like Explosives, I’d consider it.

I’m not the biggest fan of Spellskite since it doesn’t do anything on its own and it’s situational, however it goes up in value even more after sideboard as a way of dealing with one of their Seal of Primordiums.

A few Lightning Bolts make sense if you know they are still going to have Azusa in their deck. At worst it goes to the face, or paired with Snapcaster Mage can kill Primeval Titan.

Boarding out one Splinter Twin is almost always right, as every deck in Modern has its own plan to stop your combo. Here they are going to have 3-4 Seal of Primordium, 2-3 Swan Songs, 2 Slaughter Pacts, and 2-3 Pact of Negations. You want to draw your Twin as it’s easy to protect yourself with Dispels and Vendilion Clique, but you’ll rarely combo on turn 4 in sideboarded games, which is why you aren’t in a rush to draw it.

Getting rid of 1 Snapcaster Mage is usually my last cut depending on what my sideboard looks like. You’re typically boarding out Lightning Bolts in favor of cards that don’t work well with Snapcaster. Additionally, you don’t want to flashback Serum Visions as it’s too risky to tap out on your turn, and in a counter war playing multiple Snapcasters is unrealistic—even one uses a lot of your mana. They will often have one big turn in the game, so the Snapcaster is only useful on that one big turn. You might argue “but it’s an Ambush Viper in a matchup where you want instant-speed threats”—and I agree, which is why I would consider only boarding one copy out.

That is all for the UR Twin matchup series. I would’ve loved to write about Eldrazi, however it is still fairly new and my testing against it is too slim to share. Expect it sometime in 2016!

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next week.

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