Deck Tech: Token Titans with Cedric Phillips
It’s no secret that Lingering Souls has become one of Magic’s most successful cards in the last few months, quickly rising from its mostly obscure roots as a Dark Ascension uncommon to its current place in the constructed spotlight. We’ve watched as Jon Finkel and Jelger Wiegersma took their Esper Spirits decks to the Top 8 of Pro Tour Honolulu in February, Tom Martell taking down the Legacy title in Grand Prix in Indianapolis by incorporating Lingering Souls into the classic U/W Stoneblade deck, and a host of other Esper decks claiming a large piece of the Standard metagame over recent weeks.
Cedric Phillips’ deck plays the full complement of Lingering Souls, but is surprisingly not Esper. Instead, his deck—built by master deck designer Conley Woods—jams the powerful spirit-maker into a G/ W/B Ramp shell. Similar to Conley’s winning deck from Grand Prix Orlando, the deck contains a high concentration of titans with three copies each of Primeval Titan and Grave Titan. Instead of messing around with Inkmoth Nexus and Kessig Wolf Run, the plan is to get there with tokens powered by Gavony Township and Vault of the Archangel.
Cedric Phillips is enjoying the magic of a Conley Woods creation.
Considering Lingering Souls is already a centerpiece of the deck, it seems natural for more token makers to be included, and the deck doesn’t disappoint. Sorin, Lord of Innistrad and Garruk Relentless provide even more power against both aggro and control, giving the deck a Township Tokens-like angle to attack from, or buying time to get to its game-ending titans and Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite, which is another card that has really taken off over recent months. Day of Judgment, Go for the Throat and Oblivion Ring provide even more support for the deck to get its act together, and gives the deck a Rock-like feel.
In fact, Cedric said that the deck “Is pretty good against everything. It’s basically The Rock, but you get to play Lingering Souls, which is just insane.” It also helps that the deck has a nice little draw of Rampant Growth or Sphere of the Suns into Solemn Simulacrum into a titan. That alone is good enough to beat many decks, and the deck’s ability to support that plan with a large, lifelinking token army that can take down the control decks means we might have a new deck to beat on our hands. It even gets a lot of help against U/W Delver decks after sideboard, bringing in Curse of Death’s Hold, Ratchet Bomb, Batterskull and Liliana of the Veil, allowing it to run the Delver deck out of counterspells by dropping bomb after bomb.
Check out the interesting list below and let us know what you think.