Terrified of Sun Titan

If you haven’t seen the upcoming Magic 2011 Prerelease card Sun Titan, you’re about to; here it is:

Needles.

The sound high heels make on linoleum.

Bugs… Especially grasshoppers. Spiders… Do spiders count as “bugs” (certainly not insects)? Tons of our readers are frightened of those.

Small spaces.

“The ocean”

Garden gnomes. Heights. Overhead construction.

“Eldrazi Monument.” [me too]

“The price of Jace, the Mind Sculptor.”

There are certainly a lot of things that our readers and Twitter followers will admit to being scared of. But you know what scares YT? New card Sun Titan.

What is so frightening about Sun Titan? Is it going to be Standard’s next Faeries-like boogeyman?

Probably not. But it is scary to me.

You see, my goal in life — or at least in Magic — is to not play The Rock.

Let me explain: While I was one of the first players to popularize The Rock, handed down by Sol Malka, The Rock eventually revealed itself to be a not-desirable strategy most of the time. The Rock, being defined by progressive card advantage… You know, every Yavimaya Elder, every clever trick with Cabal Therapy, wheedling down to low margin victories, typically on the backs of anemic, even flaccid, threat cards…

I decided some years ago to try to avoid that despite some early success around 2001.

Even when you are not B/G you might be The Rock. I once played a B/U/R control deck and Zvi told me I was playing The Rock. Where was my Stage Three? Nope… My deck was all two-for-ones… Incidental ways to win while grabbing small amounts of tempo: The Rock.

That is what scares me about Sun Titan. I don’t want to get excited by a card and accidentally fall into old patterns.

It doesn’t help when one of my best friends (BDM in this case) is Tweeting…

“T/F you will Sun Titan back Borderland Ranger.”

True?

I hope not.

It didn’t help that at the time I was confused about what a Sun Titan was. Twitter was all-a-Tweeting about Sun Titan, but I hadn’t seen the card yet; I thought they were talking about Sundering Titan. I guess Borderland Ranger and Sundering Titan can go into a deck together, I thought. Lo and behold, different card altogether.

Note that Sun Titan doesn’t get back a three, per se. You can’t, say, get back a Survival Cache for more and more action and possible card draw. It has to be a permanent. And in my case — in the very “The Rock” flavor I fear — it is going to be something along the lines of a Pilgrim’s Eye.

You know, progressive card advantage.

But maybe, like our fears of spiders and small places, this fear is unwarranted.

You see, there is nothing wrong with progressive card advantage; it is really a question of being able to finish off the opponent before he recovers, and Sun Titan is, after all, a gigantic fatty boom boom.

Fear averted?

Maybe.

Let’s assume Sun Titan is non-awful. What are some of the things we can do with it?

The absolute bomb-diggity-est possibly returning permanent has got to be Jace Beleren. Jace runs himself out after drawing three cards (or trading with Jace, the Mind Sculptor… I see nothing wrong with a re-buy here to nix future Jace Planeswalkers or just shotgun more cards.

And what about shotgunning more cards?

Here are some options that seem pretty cool:

Armillary Sphere
Courier’s Capsule

You can buy back one of these artifacts every turn, draw two cards, keep going and going while attacking and defending; remember, this fatty boom boom is vigilant as a Serra Angel.

An off the wall [of Omens] option is to get back Arid Mesa or Marsh Flats every attack. This is a case where putting the permanent directly into play is highly advantageous… One of those White strategies so good they seem almost Green. You can actually accelerate your mana this way.

Why might you want to do this rather than something more powerful?

Because you can jump from six to eight to ten to Emeria, the Sky Ruin online in just a few attacks. Which would, of course, allow you to resurrect even more expensive things.

The only problem is that you’ll probably kill the opponent before fulfilling this little strategy… barring lots of Solider tokens blocking or some such.

I guess we got over that fear 🙂

FOR NOW!

Snap Judgment Rating: Staple

LOVE
MIKE

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11 comments ↓

#1 bog frog on 06.24.10 at 12:40 am

The card is very nice!
Some other nice cards to keep returning: Tectonic Edge, Wall of Omens, Knight of the Reliquary, Dauntless Escort, Sea Gate Oracle, Executioner’s Capsule, Aether Adept (the M11 Man-o’-Wizard).
I even had a vision of a GW Eldraziish deck: play Artisan of Kozilek, which gets back Sun Titan, which gets back Knight of the Reliquary (or “just” a Wall of Omens). 🙂 You can even reuse your Sejiri Steppe by Tectonic Edging it and getting it back (every turn, if neccessary!).

#2 Alfrebaut on 06.24.10 at 12:55 am

Interesting take on “fear” about Magic, which isn’t necessarily “the fear.” Subculture sure has a funny way of being a pit trap of its own specific lingo. Well, anyway… I’m not sure how much I would fear Sun Titan. I don’t think I’m in danger of playing it, and other than the frankly realistic fear that it would bring back perennially fearsome friends like Finks, Forge-Tender or more recently Firewalker, I’m not sure it would be the best card for me to live in fear of in itself.

It is certainly a powerful card, and has a wide array of choices for it to live. For now, though, my concern is regarding how the rest of the set will possibly match up to such a powerful card now put prominently on display. Sure, it’s a mythic, which is a problem in its own right, but how do you match that mythic-ness in another color? I mean… there are only so many ways to deal X damage or destroy lands or artifacts.

#3 MTGBattlefield on 06.24.10 at 3:41 am

Terrified of Sun Titan…

Your story has been summoned to the battlefield – Trackback from MTGBattlefield…

#4 browndr on 06.24.10 at 8:58 am

I think the real question will come with the cards in Scars….we don’t know what cmc <=3 will be in that set, or how broken Sun Titan can make them…

#5 dyee418 on 06.24.10 at 9:11 am

I think this card is going to be sick and if there are multiples..well that’s just too nasty. When I first saw the preview I thought “return jace to constantly out-jace someone? Sounds awesome” I think it’s a fine finisher for those who don’t have baneslayers/don’t want to pay for it (like me) and probably a little better in control/midrange than aggro because of the high cost.

#6 Spoiled! | jessehogie :: The Geeky Stuff on 06.25.10 at 7:02 am

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