Four easy to understand examples of how The EPIC Storm works and functions. I consider the four categories the four main paths to victory with the deck. You’ll notice that at the bottom of tournament reports on the website that they’re often tallied by the number of wins per method.
The EPIC Storm (TES) is the best Ad Nauseam deck in Legacy, this is because TES is optimized to abuse the card. By this I mean that we’ve intentionally lowered the overall converted mana cost of the deck while turning these cards into accelerants, by now you’ve realized I’m talking about: Chrome Mox, Mox Opal, Lotus Petal, and Lion’s Eye Diamond. That’s not the entire story though, maybe you haven’t realized but TES only plays a single card that can be revealed to Ad Nauseam that costs more than two mana! This is fairly different from Ad Nauseam Tendrils (ANT), which is actually a Past in Flames deck, that plays between three and four cards that cost four mana and then even Dark Petition! It’s fairly easy to see why TES’s optimization of Ad Nauseam make it a very powerful card.
Note: I prefer to float mana in most situations because The EPIC Storm has fewer black cards to Imprint onto Chrome Mox post-Ad Nauseam, where we have plenty of additional other cards in other colors. This change happened when we started playing Wishclaw Talisman over Infernal Tutorand is relevant because Wishclaw Talisman cannot be imprinted onto Chrome Mox due to the fact that it is an artifact.
Note: I personally like to continue to flip until it’s no-longer safe to flip. This will help you a small percentage of the time if your opponent has something that you didn’t expect, you’ll have additional or spare resources to play around whatever that card may be.
Something to keep in mind is that Echo of Eons is symmetrical, which means your opponent will also draw a fresh seven card hand off of Echo of Eons. This is an issue against blue decks. To offset this, cards such as Hope of Ghirapur, Defense Grid, and even Veil of Summer I would recommend over additional discard spells opening up another engine versus counterspell archetypes.
Above in the Ad Nauseam section, we covered how the artifact mana really fuels our primary engine. It’s no coincidence that our secondary options (Empty the Warrens) would also work well with these cards. By playing fifteen to sixteen free spells, it really rewards you for playing copies of Empty the Warrens in your seventy-five as it’ll catch plenty of opponents off guard — especially, when they aren’t sure what the best spell is to counter. Speed has always been an over-arching theme across all of the storm-engines and plans in TES’s history, Empty the Warrens is crucial to this. Most Ad Nauseam lines cost seven mana (some even cost as much as nine with Burning Wish), where at most with Empty the Warrens it’s costing to be six mana, but in plenty of match-ups where you side in additional copies it’s only four mana!
Sideboarding into more copies against decks trying to attack your mana is an extremely efficient way of winning the game, but it’s also great against decks trying to diminish your resources with discard spells. What Empty the Warrens does against these decks and across the field in general, is it allows you to combo off without needing the full storm-count ten for Tendrils of Agony. Six or seven into a horde of Goblin Tokens wins a decent amount of match-ups while very rarely being a dead draw (the same cannot be said for Tendrils of Agony).
This hand is deceptively good!
We’ve already mulliganed but that’s fine as our hand is still going to “combo-off” on turn one. I’d start off by using Bloodstained Mire to search up Badlands.
Note: It’s important to not pass priority, if you wait to see if your spell resolves, you will not have the opportunity to sacrifice Lion’s Eye Diamond for mana before Burning Wish resolves.
Have you ever drawn Tendrils of Agony in your opening hand? It’s fairly miserable — you can compare it to drawing multiple copies of Chrome Mox. For this reason, Tendrils of Agony has been moved to the sideboard as its usefulness in the main deck was decreasing. What caused this change is that I found that most of the time that I was using Tendrils of Agony, I had more than enough available mana to Burning Wish before casting it. This isn’t anything new (the change happened in 2012), so those of you who are experienced with The EPIC Storm, this shouldn’t see this as a shock.
One of the most common ways of getting to a “Natural Storm” kill is by using cantrips on your combo turn to raise the storm count before casting Burning Wish into a lethal Tendrils of Agony.
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