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Standard Temur Titan Deck Guide: Control Is Far From Dead

Looking for a strong Standard deck to play after ban of The Meathook Massacre? For his first article on MTG Arena Zone, Noriyuki Mori is here to talk about one of his best creations, Temur Titan. Find out why he believes the deck is not only great, but why it's a good time to be playing it!

Temur Titan is a deck that I devised upon the release of Streets of New Capenna and ended up being one of the Tier 1 decks.

This is a translation of the original Japanese version of the article, which you can check out below!

Many of the powerful cards that define the environment in Dominaria United Standard are three drops, such as Wedding Announcement, Fable of the Mirror-Breaker, and Graveyard Trespasser. On the other hand, two drops are comparably weaker, and in fact, the strongest usage of two mana would be countering the opponent’s three drops.

Temur color allows you to play counters, one of the strongest cards Fable of the Mirror-Breaker, and its best copy target, Titan of Industry.

That being said, is there any good reason to keep playing Temur Titan in the current Standard with Goldspan Dragon and Galazeth Prismari gone?

Temur Titan wasn’t unilaterally negatively affected by rotation. Let’s take a look at how well positioned it is in Dominaria United Standard with the latest list.

Temur Titan
by Noriyuki Mori
Buy on TCGplayer $216.12
Standard
Midrange
best of 3
4 mythic
32 rare
8 uncommon
16 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (10)
2
Jewel Thief
$0.50
Instants (16)
1
Voltage Surge
$0.25
2
Negate
$0.50
1
Abrade
$0.25
1
Essence Scatter
$0.25
3
Make Disappear
$2.07
1
Rending Flame
$0.25
Sorceries (1)
1
Silver Scrutiny
$0.35
Artifacts (2)
Enchantments (4)
Lands (27)
1
Forest
$0.25
2
Island
$0.50
3
Mountain
$0.75
2
Yavimaya Coast
$1.18
4
Shivan Reef
$5.16
4
Rockfall Vale
$5.96
60 Cards
$283.26
Sideboard
1
Fading Hope
$1.79
3
Voltage Surge
$0.75
1
Negate
$0.25
1
Abrade
$0.25
1
Rending Flame
$0.25
1
Silver Scrutiny
$0.35
15 Cards
$48.97

Features in the Dominaria United Standard List

1. The Standard of Creature Stats is 3/3

In the current Standard, we more frequently encounter decks attacking on the ground as there aren’t many strong fliers. Furthermore, as three mana still seems to be the most important slot for creatures, I think 3 drop creatures should have 3/3 stats at least; this is to satisfy the following requirements.

Additionally, with the appearance of Liliana of the Veil, enter the battlefield triggers have become more important. These abilities also form a useful synergy with Fable of the Mirror-Breaker.

Along with Briarbridge Tracker, Jewel Thief meets above requirements.

Briarbridge Tracker has a card advantage from investigate and high clock, allowing you a flexible game plan. You can trade it with Graveyard Trespasser and grind through to the late game, or you can go for an aggressive damage race against an opponent developing resources with Reckoner Bankbuster.

Don’t underestimate Jewel Thief! It’s not merely a card for limited. In the current environment where three or later drops are important, it often becomes a which-one-plays-their-clock-first game. Getting one turn ahead of the opponent with its treasure is a strong move, but on top of that, the combination of vigilance and trample is resilient against The Wandering Emperor.

2. Mana Bases with Pain Lands

Replacing MDFCs in Standard, the new color fixers are lands that deal one damage to you when producing colored mana, so-called pain lands. Using pain lands is inevitable for consistency in the beginning of the game. but in the current Standard, life is an important resource. Bracing for the long game, you want to take as little damage as possible from pain lands.

Temur is basically a good stuff deck with a large proportion of mono-color cards, so there are few color requirements on each card. Therefore, the disadvantage of using pain lands is smaller than other 3-color decks such as Esper and Grixis. If you’ve ever taken two or three damage just to play cards like Corpse Appraiser and Raffine, Scheming Seer, you’ll know how big this benefit is.

3. Games for Three Drops

As mentioned earlier, the current Standard consists of a card pool with weak two drops and strong at three or later drops. The player who successfully cast three drops first is likely to get a decisive advantage. As a result, as is usual with Blue decks, players often end up in a situation where each player cannot make the first move on one’s end, even after the third land is played, just to keep up Make Disappear.

Reckoner Bankbuster is solid in such a scenario. If your opponent tries to play around counters and doesn’t take an action, you can convert the mana kept for counterspells into a draw so you can win the upcoming resource grinding game with the card advantage earned.

When the opponent’s Reckoner Bankbuster lands first, you have to make a move first. That’s where Joint Exploration comes into play.

This card allows you to cast a three drop one turn earlier while holding a two-mana counter. What if your opponent plays Reckoner Bankbuster on the second turn and doesn’t take any action on the third turn? Boost your land with Joint Exploration and subvert the on-play and on-draw dynamic; then you are the one who can move forward.

Now I hope you can see that the package of Fable of the Mirror-Breaker and Titan of Industry, as well as the cards that fill the rest of the slots are well adapted to the current environment.

Sideboard Guide

On The Play vs On The Draw

Before jumping into the details of matchup-specific sideboard plans, I’d like to mention the difference of sideboarding on the play and on the draw. The ideal move of on the play and on the draw is clearly different. First of all, if you’re on the draw, you should hold a counter for the second turn to prevent the opponent from casting three drops first. Since you draw first and start the game with a card advantage, you want to make the game grindy by repeating trades and restraining the tempo of your on-play opponent.

On the other hand, on the play’s ideal action on the second turn is Reckoner Bankbuster. Reckoner Bankbuster allows you to turn mana into a card advantage, even while you are keeping up counters, preventing your on the draw opponent from starting an attrition battle. If both players continue draw-go, the player with Reckoner Bankbuster will gain a huge advantage.

The on the draw player can cast Reckoner Bankbuster later than the opponent does. For this reason, Silver Scrutiny, which gives you an immediate advantage on the turn you play it, is sometimes a better option than Reckoner Bankbuster since Reckoner Bankbuster is intended to be an early drop and give you advantage gradually.

As for removal, preferable options depend if you are on the play or on the draw and before or after sideboarding.

A light removal Fires of Victory is adopted for the mainboard game. This choice emphasizes tempo, with the game plan to push through with the devastating win-con Titan of Industry. However, after sideboarding, the opponent’s interaction becomes more effective, and there are fewer chances to force your game plan. Consequently, it’s important to make sure you deal with their threats, including high-toughness creatures like Sheoldred, the Apocalypse. The importance of exchanging cards gets higher if you are on-draw.

Matchups

Here are sideboard examples for each matchup, assuming we’re on the play (going first).

Versus Esper

Many of our creatures have vigilance which makes it that The Wandering Emperor can’t eat our creatures. Also, our better quality of creatures mitigate the threats of Raffine, Scheming Seer and Kaito Shizuki, whose value is dependent on other creatures on the board. Our game plan will be countering Wedding Announcement, which buffs creature’s stats, or destroying it with Titan of Industry.

Versus Jund

Jund also plays Titan of Industry and strong cards in the long game such as The Cruelty of Gix and Unleash the Inferno. You might be tempted to save counters, but with Treasure  tokes from Fable of the Mirror-Breaker and ramping of Soul of Windgrace, if you hold Make Disappear too long, it is likely to end up dead in your hand.

Versus Grixis

Our deck is in an advantageous position against Grixis because it’s hard for the opponent to deal with beefy creatures. The most likely way to lose is failing to counter or kill Sheoldred, the Apocalypse. Board in Rending Flame and pick up wins firmly.

Versus Red/X Aggro

Once you reach Titan of Industry, you usually win. You can drastically cut sources for card advantages and board in removals.

Versus Mono-Black and Rakdos Midrange

You are better off by dealing with Graveyard Trespasser and Liliana of the Veil in combat and saving spells for Sheoldred, the Apocalypse and Invoke Despair.

Tips and Tricks

  • This deck has the real charm of a midrange deck that can flexibly switch between offense and defense. Don’t miss the timing to go on the offensive. You don’t necessarily have to wait for Titan of Industry. Attack, attack, attack!
  • Even though Fable of the Mirror-Breaker is flipped, it’s too early to celebrate the win. You need to play still cautiously to avoid losing from the opponent’s removal spell aiming at the target of copying ability. At the end of your turn, when the opponent taps out lands to activate Reckoner Bankbuster, it’s the time to take advantage safely.

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Noriyuki Mori
Noriyuki Mori
Articles: 2

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