Sultai Titan’s Nest Strixhaven Standard Deck Guide

Hello everyone! My name is JS2 and I’ll be writing for MTG Arena Zone from now on!

Even with Strixhaven coming out, the meta has stayed relatively the same. Decks like Temur Adventure, Sultai Ramp, Mono Red, Dimir Rogues are still the strongest so far. I occasionally see some Mono White and Cycling decks as well, but they’re a smaller portion of the meta. Personally, I was practicing with the Temur deck when I happened to discover the Titan’s Nest deck. I quickly found out the potential this deck had and have been practicing it to participate in the Strixhaven Championship Qualifier. Here is the decklist that I’ve been using.

Sultai Titan’s Nest Control by JS2 – $5K Strixhaven Championship Qualifier (14th)

 

Companion
1
Kaheera, the Orphanguard
Planeswalkers (1)
1
Professor Onyx
Spells (27)
1
Sea Gate Restoration
2
Curate
2
Eliminate
3
Heartless Act
1
Negate
4
Strategic Planning
1
Mystical Dispute
4
Thirst for Meaning
2
Extinction Event
2
Rain of Revelation
1
Shadows' Verdict
4
Alrund's Epiphany
Enchantments (9)
1
Dead Weight
4
Titans' Nest
4
Shark Typhoon
Lands (23)
4
Barkchannel Pathway
4
Clearwater Pathway
1
Darkbore Pathway
4
Fabled Passage
1
Forest
3
Island
2
Swamp
4
Zagoth Triome
Cards (60)
Sideboard (15)
1
Dead Weight
2
Duress
2
Negate
2
Elspeth's Nightmare
1
Kaheera, the Orphanguard
3
Mystical Dispute
2
Elder Gargaroth
2
Shadows' Verdict

Game Plan

This deck is a combo deck which is built around the card Titan’s Nest. This card uses the graveyard as a mana source. Based on this, it works as the main engine for your combo which lets you cast your cards at a much lower cost.

The combo might seem a bit hard, but it’s quite simple. Most of the time, when you have Titan’s Nest on the field, you cast Shark Typhoon then Alrund’s Epiphany to make a 7/7 shark token and two 1/1 fliers. Using your extra turn, you dig through your deck to find another Alrund’s Epiphany. Usually, this type of process requires a LOT of mana, but Titan’s Nest solves that problem for you.

The main issue though, is that if you don’t have cards in your graveyard, Titan’s Nest is very weak. So to take care of that, we use cards like Curate, Strategic Planning, and Thirst for Meaning to simultaneously draw cards and fill the graveyard.

If you are facing an aggro deck, use your draw spells to find removal like Eliminate, Heartless Act, or Extinction Event to get rid of the threats and then pop off with your combo.

Several Techniques and Warnings

Before getting into the details, for those who are not familiar with the deck, I will teach you some of the techniques I learned.

  1. Against Dimir Rogues, you can exile your graveyard with this card. Keep in mind that you should not exile too many cards and you want to keep 4 or 5 to use later. 
  2. When you’re facing Koma, Cosmos Serpent, keep in mind that Koma can sacrifice a Serpent token to prevent your Titan’s Nest from activating or to tap your land to slow you down.
  3. Sometimes when you use Thirst of Meaning, you may want to intentionally discard two cards to put an extra card into your graveyard. This is important if you don’t have enough resources when you activate the Titan’s Nest to cast the Shark Typhoon + Alrund’s Epiphany combo.
  4. Professor Onyx is another great card that can both fill your graveyard and deal tons of damage to the opponent.
    Ex) Eliminate -> Negate -> Negate = 6 damage
  5. Since you cannot undo your action once you exile a card from your graveyard with Titan’s Nest, try not to rush when you’re playing! Stay calm and play slowly, step by step.

Future of the Sultai Nest Archetype

Sultai Nest by JS2 

Planeswalkers (1)
1
Professor Onyx
Spells (26)
2
Curate
2
Eliminate
2
Heartless Act
1
Negate
4
Strategic Planning
2
Cultivate
1
Soul Shatter
4
Thirst for Meaning
2
Extinction Event
2
Rain of Revelation
4
Alrund's Epiphany
Enchantments (9)
1
Dead Weight
4
Titans' Nest
4
Shark Typhoon
Lands (24)
4
Barkchannel Pathway
4
Clearwater Pathway
1
Darkbore Pathway
4
Fabled Passage
1
Forest
4
Island
2
Swamp
4
Zagoth Triome
Cards (60)
Sideboard (15)
1
Dead Weight
2
Duress
2
Negate
2
Broken Wings
2
Elspeth's Nightmare
3
Mystical Dispute
2
Elder Gargaroth
1
Shadows' Verdict

After the Championship Qualifier was over, there were several improvements that I wanted to make. In the previous version, there were too many cantrips and Teferi, Master of Time was not as good as I thought. Plus, the deck died really quickly to aggro decks.

If this deck earns a spot in the meta, there will be a lot of cards that can give this archetype problems. Cards like Soul-Guide Lantern or Deafening Silence could see more play. To beat those, I put the Broken Wings in the sideboard. This card has potential as it is able to destroy both enchantments or artifacts, but it can also remove something like Reidane, God of the Worthy as well.

Cultivate is now included to help speed up the combo. I cut the fourth Mystical Dispute which many think is risky, but I think there’s better uses for that spot. Kaheera, the Orphanguard is a good companion, but revealing the Kaheera on ladder gives away crucial information and it’s not as strong as something like Lurrus of the Dream-Den. I don’t think it’s worth the risk of leaking information, so it was excluded from the deck.

Cards To Consider Putting in the Sideboard

Blacklance Paragon Art by Victor Adame Minguez
Blacklance Paragon Art by Victor Adame Minguez

Wilt

Probably the card I’ve been looking at the most. It kills both artifacts and enchantments which makes it great in the mirror and other various matchups. Plus, it has Cycling so it’s never dead even if you draw it later. However, the matchups you bring this in, you’re unlikely to cycle it anyway.

Test of Talent

This is a new card from Strixhaven that can deal with Emergent Ultimatum nicely. It’s very good at stopping Ultimatum, but I found Negate was more flexible overall. If Sultai becomes way more popular (or the mirror), you can consider this again.

Teferi, Master of Time

The most disappointing card for the deck. You drop this on turn 4 and make your opponent consider killing this or not. However, after testing it a lot during the tournament, it wasn’t as good as expected since the opponent can just ignore it most of the time.

Blacklance Paragon

If the meta has a lot of control decks and there aren’t open lists, this card can be powerful. However, the Sultai matchup was already good so this wasn’t included. If the mirror gets more popular, this could be considered again.

Epic Downfall

This card can kill Koma, Cosmos Serpent, Polukranos Unchained. Anax, Hardened in the Forge, and most importantly, Reidane, God of the Worthy. That being said, I’m still unsure if I want this or Shadows’ Verdict.

Matchup and Sideboard Guide

Thirst for Meaning Art by Brian Valeza
Thirst for Meaning Art by Brian Valeza

Sultai: Very Good

INOUT
+2 Duress-1 Dead Weight
+2 Negate-2 Eliminate
+3 Mystical Dispute-1 Extinction Event
-2 Heartless Act
-1 Strategic Planning

I chose this deck specifically for this matchup. In my opinion, the Titan’s Nest deck is the best deck against Sultai in this meta. You should be careful of Binding of the Old Gods when you try to play your Nest at turn 4 and be aware of the Test of Talents when you cast Alrund’s Epiphany. Lastly, keep in mind that Koma is capable of locking down your Nest by itself.

In the boarded games, Sultai tends to get rid of most of its removal, so changing your game plan into Shark token beatdown is a good strategy. If you want to change your sideboard to help this matchup more, try putting it in Blacklance Paragon.

Temur Adventure & Obosh: 50:50

INOUT
+2 Mystical Dispute-1 Dead Weight
+1 Shadows Verdict-1 Negate
+2 Elder Gargaroth-1 Alrund’s Epiphany
-2 Rain of Revelation

This is one of the more popular decks in the meta. The main reason we have a hard time facing this deck is that they have Mystical Dispute and Saw it Coming in their main deck. You have to keep the opponent’s board clear while simultaneously finding a way to play the combo while also playing around the counters the opponent might have. However, this psychological counter warfare applies to the opponent as well. Opponents have to pressure us tool, so use these small edges wisely and prepare for a long game.

Brazen Borrower is a very important card to keep in mind since it can bounce your Titan’s Nest at any point. In the boarded games, if you manage to get your Elder Gargaroth down you can win pretty easily. With that, getting your Titan’s Nest countered on turn 4 isn’t so bad if you can guarantee a Gargaroth on 5.

Dimir Rouges: 50:50

INOUT
+2 Duress-1 Dead Weight
+2 Elspeth’s Nightmare-1 Alrund’s Epiphany
+3 Mystical Dispute-1 Soul Shatter
-1 Rain of Revelation
-1 Professor Onyx
-2 Extinction Event

Playing against Rogues uses the same fundamentals as facing Temur. Keep thinking about possible counters and get rid of the creatures the opponent plays. If you manage to resolve your Nest, you’ll be able to get rid of your graveyard and stop your opponent’s game plan.

Elspeth’s Nightmare will give opponents a nightmare. It can kill their Ruin Crab and discard the opponent’s Into the Story.

Mono Red: SLIGHTLY UNFAVORED

INOUT
+1 Dead Weight-1 Rain of Revelation
+1 Shadows Verdict-1 Negate
+2 Elder Gargaroth-1 Alrund’s Epiphany
-1 Professor Onyx

Nest decks are weak against most of the aggro decks. You just can’t get rid of every threat that your opponent plays and use cantrips to find your combo at the same time. You will need to make some compromises to your combo plan to survive.

Against Mono Red, a turn 4 Embercleave is okay since you can deal with it with a removal spell. However, even if you kill all their creatures, they’ll still have Faceless Haven to attack as well. In contrast to facing Sultai or Temur, playing a fast Nest right at turn 4 can be good.

Mono White: EXTREMELY UNFAVORED

INOUT
+1 Dead Weight-1 Negate
+2 Broken Wings-2 Rain of Revelation
+2 Elder Gargaroth-1 Alrund’s Epiphany
+1 Shadows’ Verdict-1 Professor Onyx
+2 Elspeth’s Nightmare-1 Soul Shatter
-2 Shark Typhoon

This matchup is the WORST matchup possible. Even if you have the best play every turn, I’d say your chances to win against Mono White is still around 30%. They have Reidane, God of the Worthy, Elite Spellbinder, Faceless Haven, and Seasoned Hallowblade which are all amazing against this deck. You should approach this matchup as we did against Mono Red, but it’s way harder to play against because of all those hate cards.

In the boarded games, don’t be too relieved even if you resolved Gargaroth. Mono White has access to Giant Killer which can easily take down the Gargaroth. Furthermore, you HAVE to kill Reidane at all costs as it’ll single handedly kill you.

Cycling: 50:50

INOUT
+1 Dead Weight-1 Negate
+2 Mystical Dispute-1 Rain of Revelation
+2 Elder Gargaroth-2 Alrund’s Epiphany
+1 Shadows’ Verdict-1 Professor Onyx
+2 Elspeth’s Nightmare-1 Soul Shatter
-2 Titan’s Nest

Playing against the Cycling deck is similar to facing Temur but with a little twist, both decks are combo decks that require board control to achieve their combo. In this match up, the Cycling deck does not have a way to disrupt Titan’s Nest in the main deck.

For the boarded games, the Cycling deck will bring tons of counters and some graveyard hate cards. You should counter-board by reducing the number of Nests, and boarding in Gargaroth and beat down with Shark token.

Gruul: 50:50

INOUT
+1 Dead Weight-1 Rain of Revelation
+1 Shadows Verdict-1 Negate
+2 Elder Gargaroth-1 Alrund’s Epiphany
-1 Professor Onyx

When facing Gruul decks, just play against it like you would play against a normal aggro deck. Keep in mind though, if you can’t kill their creatures fast enough, they’ll eventually kill you with Goldspan Dragon.

In the boarded games, just keep treating this as the usual aggro deck by constantly removing their creatures.

End Step

In my opinion, this archetype would be better positioned if there were more control decks, however, this deck will struggle if there’s a lot of aggro decks. For now, I think this deck is in a good enough position to work.

Have a nice day!

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6 Responses

  1. Axels15 says:

    Is there any way to have titans nest exile multiple cards at once, or to simplify the process? I was up against the timer trying to get this work

  2. Anticorrosivo says:

    What’s your opinion on a historic version of this?

  3. Filipe says:

    Have been playing this deck during this weekend, it’s absolute fun!

  4. Damian Cohen says:

    Nice write-up. A little mistake though, you mentioned Elspeth Nightmare against Rogues but it isn’t listed as a card to side in