The EPIC Storm (TES) has a long history of playing as many colors as it needs to access all of the effects that are relevant for a given metagame. In more recent times, TES has been a three-color deck and then a four-color deck with the adoption of [[Veil of Summer]]. Modern Horizons II has introduced a wide variety of cards into Legacy, including one of the best removal spells ever printed: [[Prismatic Ending]]. It, along with other pressures from the metagame, have made it correct to play all five colors again.

Incentives to Play White

[[Prismatic Ending|]]
[[Defense Grid|]]
[[Orim’s Chant|]]

The inspiration to play white came as a test idea with [[Portable Hole]]. Being a removal spell that enables Metalcraft seemed powerful. In testing however, it became clear that almost every time, [[Prismatic Ending]] would have been the better card. Enabling turned out to not that important and an opponent removing [[Portable Hole]] to get their lock piece back was a brutal blow out. [[Prismatic Ending]] also has a synergistic card type for TES: Sorcery. One might compare casting [[Burning Wish]] to find [[Prismatic Ending]] to finding [[Void Snare]], but [[Prismatic Ending]] is so much more powerful than a bounce spell. [[Void Snare]] has to be played on the combo turn as the opponent would otherwise get a chance to replay their lock piece. [[Prismatic Ending]] permanently removes the lock piece which is so much stronger. While it is slightly more difficult to remove a card like [[Trinisphere]] or [[Hullbreacher]], it always trades on mana. [[Prismatic Ending]] has many similar tricks to [[Engineered Explosives]]. Against [[Thalia, Guardian of Thraben]] or other taxing effects, declaring X=0 and then paying with another non white color of mana will be two mana to remove the [[Thalia, Guardian of Thraben]]. One can also manipulate the mana value of [[Prismatic Ending]] by paying extra mana to get around a [[Chalice of the Void]] or [[Sanctum Prelate]].

The other driving force to play white is the fall in value of [[Defense Grid]]. While this used to be one of the best cards in the deck against fair blue decks, [[Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer]] and opposing copies of [[Prismatic Ending]] make this no longer the case. A turn one [[Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer]] allows an opponent to hold up three mana on their turn two, sometimes even before the [[Defense Grid]] is in play. Many copies of [[Prismatic Ending]] floating around mean that Bant and Jeskai players have many removal spells for [[Defense Grid]] that are still good post board. [[Mindbreak Trap]] is another card on the rise out of the [[Yorion, Sky Nomad]] Death & Taxes builds. Resolving a [[Defense Grid]] and winning the game while removing their lock pieces is hard. If TES is already incentivized to play white, playing [[Silence]] or [[Orim’s Chant]] seems reasonable. Both cards are essentially the same, but given that there are no copies of [[Misdirection]] or [[Leyline of Sanctity]] being commonly played, [[Orim’s Chant]] is the better card due to it’s Kicker ability.

Deck building

[[City of Brass|]]
[[Mox Opal|]]

Having access to all of the white [[Silence]] effects raises the question of if playing all five colors is worth it or if cutting green for the exceptional white cards is correct. [[Orim’s Chant]] is not better than [[Veil of Summer]]. [[Veil of Summer]] allows for reactive play when an opponent counters something. Drawing a card with it is borderline broken. Protecting an [[Orim’s Chant]] with [[Veil of Summer]] sounds wonderful until one realizes that protecting [[Veil of Summer]] with [[Veil of Summer]] is just better as it draws two cards. The other remaining green card in the deck, [[Abrupt Decay]] is a pivot piece of the sideboard plan against blue decks. Because it can not be countered, it guarantees the removal of whatever lock piece they played. The card also lets the fight be over an engine rather than the removal of the lock piece. This is especially relevant if the lock piece is something like [[Ethersworn Canonist]] as one cannot protect a [[Prismatic Ending]] with [[Veil of Summer]] or [[Orim’s Chant]] if it is in play. This makes green still an important part of the deck.

Supporting five colors in TES in 2021 is very different than supporting five colors in 2011. TES in 2011 was a fast deck that wanted to win faster to get under all of the hate and mana counters that existed in that format. The five-color lands facilitated that strategy because they guaranteed all of the colors immediately. In 2021, The EPIC Storm plays a much longer game. This means that taking a bunch of damage from tapping a [[City of Brass]] over and over again or sacrificing a [[Gemstone Mine]] is much more detrimental than it was in 2011. Taking five damage from a [[City of Brass]] is brutal in the [[Ad Nauseam]] focused deck.

One important card that The EPIC Storm utilizes in its modern iterations is [[Mox Opal]]. This card, along with all of the other mana rocks, help tie the mana base together to produce all of the correct colors. It almost acts as a much more modern [[City of Brass]] effect. Relying on artifact mana is nothing new, especially since the addition of [[Wishclaw Talisman]]. Because dual lands can only create a maximum of four colors on turn two, artifact mana can make a third color to supply both ritual colors and a protection colors or both protection colors and one of the ritual colors.

Fetch lands and dual lands create the most powerful mana bases in the game and adapting the four-color mana base to support all five colors. The first thing done in designing the mana base was figuring out how many sources of each color were needed.

4 Color
5 Color

Overall, the colored sources did not change that much. By sacrificing a red source and the basic [[Swamp]], two white sources were added. Sacrificing the third [[Mountain]] makes [[Pulverize]] rather unreliable, which given the current metagame, is fine. [[Chalice of the Void]] is at an all time low due to [[Force of Negation]] and [[Prismatic Ending]]. Given these constraints, the best set of dual lands are [[Underground Sea]], [[Tropical Island]], [[Tundra]], [[Taiga]], [[Badlands]], and [[Scrubland]] with [[Verdant Catacombs]], [[Scalding Tarn]] and [[Polluted Delta]] as the fetch lands. Despite the change in the mana base, most of the land pairs that were good in the previous version, such as [[Taiga]] and [[Underground Sea]] are still good here. Fetching white mana does not need to happen until one knows that they have a white spell to cast. Especially in game ones, it is the least useful color of mana in the deck.

the epic Storm

Main Deck
  • 4 [[Burning Wish]]
  • 4 [[Wishclaw Talisman]]
  • 4 [[Brainstorm]]
  • 4 [[Ponder]]
  • 1 [[Tendrils of Agony]]
  • 1 [[Ad Nauseam]]
  • 1 [[Echo of Eons]]
  • 4 [[Veil of Summer]]
  • 2 [[Orim’s Chant]]
  • 4 [[Rite of Flame]]
  • 4 [[Dark Ritual]]
  • 4 [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]
  • 4 [[Lotus Petal]]
  • 3 [[Mox Opal]]
  • 3 [[Chrome Mox]]
  • 3 [[Verdant Catacombs]]
  • 2 [[Scalding Tarn]]
  • 2 [[Polluted Delta]]
  • 1 [[Underground Sea]]
  • 1 [[Tropical Island]]
  • 1 [[Tundra]]
  • 1 [[Scrubland]]
  • 1 [[Badlands]]
  • 1 [[Taiga]]
  • 3 [[Prismatic Ending]]
  • 2 [[Abrupt Decay]]
  • 1 [[Grapeshot]]
  • 4 [[Galvanic Relay]]
  • 1 [[Empty the Warrens]]
  • 1 [[Tendrils of Agony]]
  • 1 [[Massacre]]
  • 1 [[Echo of Eons]]
  • 1 [[Peer into the Abyss]]

This list has been incredibly powerful and consistent. The white cards have been impactful across matchups. [[Orim’s Chant]] provides some interaction against other combo decks and [[Prismatic Ending]] is just the most flexible removal spell ever printed. I hope you enjoy playing v12.5!