Eternal Weekend. This is often the pinnacle of participation for eternal format Magic players. The events certainly have a allure to them, drawing in players from across the globe to compete more vehemently than even competitors in the Magic Pro League. I have participated in a handful of these events in the past few years, all on MTGO. As I was unable to make the quick turn-around to plan on attending the in-person North American Eternal Weekend event this year, I followed many others in signing up for the online event held for the European time zone. In the future it would be great to see three in-person events in addition to an online event. Let’s hope next year will see it happen!
Check out our YouTube video introducing The EPIC Storm v13.6 with the new tech introduced to fight Initiative. [[Slaughter Pact]] and [[Thoughtseize]] provide the best answers we have for the current meta structure. The upcoming Infernal Tutoring article will also have a breakdown of the decklist. Or you can read about it in the Storm Discord. Let’s get talking about the event!
the epic Storm
- 4 [[Brainstorm]]
- 4 [[Veil of Summer]]
- 4 [[Mishra’s Bauble]]
- 4 [[Wishclaw Talisman]]
- 4 [[Burning Wish]]
- 3 [[Galvanic Relay]]
- 1 [[Ad Nauseam]]
- 1 [[Echo of Eons]]
- 4 [[Rite of Flame]]
- 4 [[Dark Ritual]]
- 4 [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]
- 4 [[Lotus Petal]]
- 4 [[Mox Opal]]
- 3 [[Chrome Mox]]
- 4 [[Bloodstained Mire]]
- 1 [[Scalding Tarn]]
- 1 [[Misty Rainforest]]
- 1 [[Verdant Catacombs]]
- 1 [[Underground Sea]]
- 1 [[Volcanic Island]]
- 1 [[Bayou]]
- 1 [[Badlands]]
- 1 [[Taiga]]
- 2 [[Slaughter Pact]]
- 2 [[Abrupt Decay]]
- 2 [[Crash]]
- 1 [[Galvanic Relay]]
- 3 [[Thoughtseize]]
- 1 [[Empty the Warrens]]
- 1 [[Tendrils of Agony]]
- 1 [[Pulverize]]
- 1 [[Echo of Eons]]
- 1 [[Peer into the Abyss]]
My cat is upset that I am up so much earlier than his schedule had planned for me. Clearly, this is an untenable situation, and he lets me know it’s still bedtime by promptly falling asleep on my lap in protest of my consciousness. Tea is the fuel, I plan to run on throughout this even. I get started with cup No. 1 – a nice apricot black tea. We’ll see how many I go through by the end of this… TEN ROUND EVENT?! Seriously, 424 players is an incredible showing! I am excited to see how things play out. Hopefully, the changes made to The EPIC Storm will pay off, and I can put up a decent showing. Last year, I was able to go 8-2, and it would be nice to keep that up. I’ll be writing a report of each match right after it happens as Storm should allow for enough time between rounds to make that work. Good luck following the stream of consciousness.
Eternal Weekend: The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale Event
Round One – xJCloud with Initiative (3am)
Oof, what a rough start to the event! X-2 is looking less likely if Initiative is what I keep playing. Getting paired against one of the best players on the deck we’re trying to tech against was not my ideal first round. Because MTGO results exist, xJCloud knows what I’m playing and slams a [[Chalice of the Void]] with no counters on turn one. I kept a six with a turn one [[Peer into the Abyss]], but completely reliant on artifact mana. I’m shut down hard.
My opening hand in game two has the plan to [[Echo of Eons]] on turn two with a fetch land open and with a [[Slaughter Pact]] as protection. I play a fetch and pass. My opponent opens with an [[Ancient Tomb]] + [[Lotus Petal]] and passes – clearly indicating an Instant-speed [[Aven Mindcensor]]. On my turn, I am able to play an [[Underground Sea]], [[Dark Ritual]], and [[Wishclaw Talisman]]. When I go to activate the [[Wishclaw Talisman]] there is an [[Aven Mindcensor]], just like expected. Before the tutor’s ability resolves, I kill the pesky bird with the [[Slaughter Pact]]. Finding a [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] to pair with the [[Echo of Eons]] in hand I spin the wheel. My new seven is nothing but artifact mana and two lands (no cantrip, tutor, or disruption at all). They get deployed because I’m on the hook for the [[Slaughter Pact]] trigger next turn. My opponent plays a [[Plains]] and uses it to tutor with the [[Wishclaw Talisman]], finding a [[Null Rod]] and preventing me from paying for the trigger on my upkeep. GGs and good luck in the following rounds!
Round Two – AFX with Cradle Control (4am)
A bounce back and beating [[Collector Ouphe]].dec in the same match? Sign me up! My opponent was on the [[Fiend Artisan]] midrange deck that evolved from the [[Elvish Reclaimer]] builds of Elves (I think someone called it Elf?). In game one, I was able to narrowly avoid dying to a failed [[Ad Nauseam]] and salvaged it by casting a [[Galvanic Relay]] for 14 cards. I had three copies of [[Mishra’s Bauble]] in play and saw that my opponent was drawing into a [[Collector Ouphe]] right off the top. Thankfully, my [[Galvanic Relay]] was very good. I just needed to hit one more ritual from my four draws (three from [[Mishra’s Bauble]] and one for turn) in order to secure a victory — even at two life. I did. The mana from [[Dark Ritual]] and [[Rite of Flame]] made enough to be able to [[Burning Wish]] for [[Tendrils of Agony]] while the abundance of zero-mana artifacts provided the necessary Storm. We moved to game two.
The sideboard game saw a moderately sketchy keep, but I didn’t want to mulligan in the face of a likely discard spell. My opponent had the [[Thoughtseize]] and took my [[Burning Wish]] (my hand was missing a Red mana in order to put [[Echo of Eons]] on the stack). They followed it up with a [[Collector Ouphe]], the perfect start against me. A [[Brainstorm]] found [[Abrupt Decay]] that wasn’t seen with their discard and I was able to assemble the lands necessary to remove their hate bear before casting [[Echo of Eons]] to win the game. I did forget that [[Opposition Agent]] was a card in the [[Fiend Artisan]] package — not cracking a fetchland in response to their activation for three. Thankfully, I still had the mana to make everything work. My misplay didn’t cost me this time! We are on cup No. 2 of this apricot tea, but I might switch to another one soon. I can’t re-steep these leaves too many times before I’m just drinking hot water. Tea is the caffeine vehicle GOAT, Ted Lasso eat your heart out.
Round Three – RonColpoCinese with The EPIC Gamble (5am)
Heartbreaker! Not that I was going to be live for a high finish, but this seals the deal I think. Pretty disappointing considering how the match ended up playing out. In game one, I was able to [[Echo of Eons]] on turn one into a quick victory without even giving my opponent a turn.
[[Mishra’s Bauble]] showed me a [[Simian Spirit Guide]] which prompted me to incorrectly place them on Sneak & Show (not that sideboard decisions would have changed all that much). In game two, they showcased the power of their deck when [[Harnfel, Horn of Bounty]] is in play, dispatching me a turn after I attempted an [[Echo of Eons]] into the sideboard copy of [[Galvanic Relay]] that left me with very little to work with.
Game three was the real kicker. I opened on another turn-one [[Echo of Eons]] (with one mana available and my opponent gaining control of a [[Wishclaw Talisman]]). My new seven was a single mana away from casting the [[Ad Nauseam]] in my hand. I unfortunately had to pass the turn, hoping to fade a single turn so that I could attempt a win again. My extra turn never came and the fresh seven cards I received at the end of my opponent’s turn did not contain a [[Veil of Summer]] to stop the [[Tendrils of Agony]] they decided to kill me with. Bummer. On the flip side, it has been storming on and off throughout the early hours of the morning. I can’t help but remember coverage of the classic GP Prague finals with ANT versus Miracles. A deep thunderstorm ushered in a brilliant Storm victory that day. Perhaps the thunder today is a good omen of things to come? We shall see.
Round Four – Bozo_0388 with UR Delver (6am)
It’s probably too early to tell if this is a turning point, but I am at least in higher spirits after the close defeat from the previous round. The “boogeyman” of the format will probably be out in force this weekend. As for this match, it felt moderately comfortable. Game one was quite a long one. Chained copies of [[Galvanic Relay]] brought me to victory on turn seven following a mulligan to six. My opponent pushed a quick clock, but was unable to convert their early advantage due to an unflipped [[Delver of Secrets]]. My keep relied on hitting land drops, something I failed to do until well into the midgame. Once I did, protected combo turns chained into each other and overwhelmed my opponent.
In game two, that same overwhelming occurred but sans-[[Galvanic Relay]]. I was able to build up a natural Storm turn that offered “protection” through countermagic by slamming multiple copies of [[Burning Wish]] onto the stack. The last copy resolved after my opponent’s resources were spent, allowing me to put [[Tendrils of Agony]] on the stack. Cup No. 3 of tea quickly was made between rounds, a lovely Black Currant loose leaf. Anyone that has been on a Discord call with me around meal time knows that my cat gets very talkative when hungry. It’s only a matter of time now before the quiet stillness of the dark and stormy morning is broken wide open. I will cherish what little of it I have left.
Round Five – wara with Naya Depths (7am)
A quick and easy dispatch thankfully, this will allow me to make some breakfast between rounds. My opponent was on Naya Depths, traditionally a good matchup if we can avoid [[Collector Ouphe]] and [[Deafening Silence]]. In game one, I kept a less exciting hand on the play that planned to cast [[Galvanic Relay]] for four on turn two. It wasn’t ideal given the matchup, but it would suffice — especially if they audibled into another deck. However, I drew a [[Brainstorm]] on my second turn and decided to cast it instead. Ding! It drew into a lovely little turn two [[Ad Nauseam]] that quickly put an end to my opponent.
Unfortunately for my opponent, they took some deep mulligans and landed on a four-card hand in game two. Likely digging for either [[Collector Ouphe]] or [[Deafening Silence]], they didn’t actually find one. I kept a seven that was able to answer one with [[Abrupt Decay]], but it ended up being pointed towards their turn two [[Knight of the Reliquary]] instead. I was able to set up a turn four [[Peer into the Abyss]] through two copies of [[Wasteland]] and move on to the next round. During this time, my cat was fed (too little and too late if you ask him) and cup No. 4 was consumed. I’m looking forward to a nice egg sandwich before the next round starts. Let’s see how quickly I can do sunny-side up! Thankfully, the match took less than ten minutes, so I should have time.
Round Six – ik1cksquirrels with RB Reanimator (8am)
Very disappointed in myself on this one. I punted away a completely winnable game three, but let’s start at the beginning. My opponent and I had faced each other recently and I know they are playing a [[Children of Korlis]] build of RB Reanimator. I aggressively mulligan to a hand that wins quickly and find a suitable five-card hand on the draw that needs a red source to cast [[Echo of Eons]] ([[Burning Wish]], [[Underground Sea]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Chrome Mox]], [[Veil of Summer]]). My opponent opens on [[Thoughtseize]], stripping my [[Burning Wish]]. Thankfully, I drew very well. [[Wishclaw Talisman]] into land number two allows me to [[Ad Nauseam]] on turn two for the win.
Game two has me cautiously hopeful, keeping an opening hand that lacks land but can turn one [[Ad Nauseam]]. My opponent opens with discard into a turn one [[Griselbrand]] and more discard. I am moving to game three.
This game is where heartbreak happens. Again, I find myself on the receiving end of a mulligan to five cards. There is hope for this one, however. [[Thoughtseize]], [[Mishra’s Bauble]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], fetchland, and [[Wishclaw Talisman]] mean I can disrupt my opponent and hopefully draw well enough to cast [[Echo of Eons]] soon. To start my turn, I play the [[Mishra’s Bauble]] and look at the top card of my opponent’s library — this will help inform my take with [[Thoughtseize]]. I see an [[Animate Dead]]. My biggest decision point here lay in what land to fetch for. I chose [[Underground Sea]] due to the potential of finding [[Brainstorm]] to dig for more cards. After finding it over a [[Badlands]], [[Thoughtseize]] revealed a turn one hand from my opponent. Land, [[Lotus Petal]], [[Entomb]], [[Exhume]], [[Griselbrand]], and [[Unmask]] (the plan being to [[Unmask]] themselves). Knowing of the reanimation spell coming off the top, I couldn’t simply take the [[Exhume]] and call it good. I needed to take [[Unmask]] to prevent the discard. This would buy me exactly one turn (and two draws) to find action. I deploy my [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] and pass the turn. My opponent plays out their land and [[Lotus Petal]] before shipping it back to me. My [[Mishra’s Bauble]] draw you ask? A [[Burning Wish]]. My draw for turn? [[Rite of Flame]]. MAXIMUM PUNISHMENT for fetching the [[Underground Sea]] instead of the [[Badlands]] — a decision I waffled on for several moments during my first turn. The ability to [[Echo of Eons]] and try again was right there, and it never had an opportunity to coalesce. The blow hurt and I watched as my opponent assembled an unassailable board presence their following turn — sealing my fate with the winning attempt held in my hands.
Round Seven – sumimasen with Unknown Deck (9am)
My opponent never showed up, eventually timing out after 15 minutes of inactivity. I guess that’s a win? It allowed me to watch the first round of the NA Eternal Weekend event streamed by Anurag Das — Reid Duke combo-ing out with Elves and Jarvis Yu destroying with UR Delver in stop-motion. It’s weird that this match actually ended up taking longer than most of my previous rounds though. Cup No. 5 is looking very tempting right now, the early start to this morning is beginning to be felt.
Round Eight – ganesh_69 with Painter (10am)
My opponent is a well-known Painter player, and I know that I need to plan for that matchup specifically. I mulligan an unkeepable seven into a serviceable six card hand that remains flexible with a [[Wishclaw Talisman]], a [[Galvanic Relay]], and some zero-mana artifacts. My opponent mulligans to five cards. We play a short early game and they get a [[Painter’s Servant]] on the battlefield, using it to [[Pyroblast]] my [[Wishclaw Talisman]] that I resolved the turn earlier. On my following turn, I get to cast the [[Galvanic Relay]] with an [[Echo of Eons]] in my hand — the goal is to find protection and a [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]. I don’t find protection, but I do find an avenue to [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]. Their next turn is spent tapping out of Red mana (Simian Spirit Guide notwithstanding) to deploy a [[Fable of the Mirror-Breaker]]. When I get to my turn, I know that I have to combo now. An opposing [[Urza’s Saga]] is threatening lethal very soon. The cards I have in exile allow me to cast [[Echo of Eons]] and my new seven allow me to cast an [[Ad Nauseam]]! From there, I reveal enough initial mana and tutors to win.
The second game is fairly straightforward. My opponent resolves a turn one [[Fable of the Mirror-Breaker]] (Oh it was a tense moment when they floated three mana on turn one, that’s for sure! Thankfully no [[Trinisphere]])!. I follow up with an [[Echo of Eons]] with three mana floating. My fresh seven allowed me to win very quickly and the match was over! I never did get cup No. 5 before the match, but my teapot is putting overtime in to make up for lost time. The world is awake now, and I’m already listening to car horns and my neighbor across the street that likes to yell at passing cars from their balcony — home sweet home. Maybe my tea needs to be a hot toddy. It’s five o’clock somewhere right?
Round Nine – Aegisaziz with RB Reanimator (11am)
Redemption arc against RB Reanimator? That would be too neat and tidy. Instead, it’s get-your-ass-handed-to-you-with-successive-turn-one-wins time. In fact, my opponent opened up on three turn-one reanimation turns! In game one on the play, I kept a hand that had the potential to either [[Galvanic Relay]] or cast [[Echo of Eons]] on turn two depending on what my opponent did. I never got to see my second turn. My opponent reanimated a turn one [[Griselbrand]] and discarded my hand to nothing.
In game two, I did use the sideboard copies of [[Thoughtseize]] to great effect, clearing the hand so that I could cast [[Ad Nauseam]] on turn two for the win. The discard was able to take their turn one win to buy me just enough time to assemble my own.
In game three, that did not repeat. They opened on yet another turn one [[Griselbrand]] using [[Exhume]], drew 14 cards, and spent the rest of the turn discarding each of my non-land cards. I didn’t have a chance. Being in the middle of the pack of competitors, I am not playing against the winner’s meta that The EPIC Storm was designed to prey on. With only a single Blue deck in nine rounds, the matchup lottery has not been favorable for me. One more round to go though might as well play it out for the fun of it. Turns out that putting [[Tendrils of Agony]] on the stack is still a fun time. When you get to do it.
Round Ten – Azpergillus666 with Sneak & Show (12am)
My opponent has some finishes from 2020 on Sneak & Show, but I don’t put too much stock in the finishes that are so far removed from today’s event. Maybe I should have paid it more mind. I have a decent opener with two copies [[Burning Wish]]. My opponent leads on [[Volcanic Island]] and [[Ponder]]. My goal is to find a [[Galvanic Relay]] to go with the cantrips and mana that are in my hand. On my turn two, I tap out to cast the [[Burning Wish]]. My opponent counters with a [[Force of Will]], pitching a [[Preordain]]. This confirms my opponent’s deck choice has not changed in the last two years (within reasonable certainty). They continue to cantrip and I naturally draw a [[Galvanic Relay]]. With the [[Burning Wish]] in hand, this allows me to find a [[Thoughtseize]] to clear the way for [[Galvanic Relay]] while also disrupting their game plan. Their hand is [[Omniscience]], [[Emrakul, the Aeons Torn]], [[Intuition]], and a [[City of Traitors]]. With enough mana already in plan, [[Intuition]] will find three copies of [[Show and Tell]], effectively killing me. I take it and cast my [[Galvanic Relay]]. They topdeck a [[Ponder]] that immediately finds a [[Show and Tell]], letting them take another turn. I can actually survive an [[Emrakul, the Aeons Torn]] hit. Their extra turn finds them yet another [[Emrakul, the Aeons Torn]] and I have to look on as I never get to untap with the very lethal [[Galvanic Relay]] exile pile (even with the removal of all of my permanents).
In game two, I open with turn one discard, revealing a hand full of cantrips and a single land for the opponent. They take their turn and don’t cast a single one. Alarm bells start blaring and I immediately expect a [[Flusterstorm]] or [[Spell Pierce]]. On my next turn, drawing a [[Wishclaw Talisman]], I decide to gamble on [[Flusterstorm]] being the draw and play my artifact tutor. It resolves. They land a [[Malevolent Hermit]] and I have to spend the next couple turns in an attrition war, slowly whittling down their known interaction and casting [[Burning Wish]] to find [[Echo of Eons]]. A suitable pairing with the [[Wishclaw Talisman]] still in play. I untap and draw into a [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]! This allows me to use the tutor for [[Veil of Summer]]. I have a protected [[Echo of Eons]] that brings about a lethal [[Tendrils of Agony]].
[[Thoughtseize]] also featured in my game three opening hand, along with a tutor and some rituals. The game slowly progresses after I strip a [[Force of Will]] from their hand. They end up deploying [[Sneak Attack]] and leaving up a [[Lotus Petal]], but not deploying a creature. I am forced to cast an [[Echo of Eons]] on my turn, providing a lethal line if the [[Thoughtseize]] I drew can protect me. Their hand is revealed to have [[Force of Will]] and a Blue card but also TWO copies of [[Griselbrand]]. I have to take the free countermagic and hope. Putting [[Burning Wish]] on the stack prompts my opponent to put a [[Griselbrand]] into play with that [[Lotus Petal]]. They activate to draw seven… then another seven. The second seven is what they needed apparently, [[Force of Will]] seals my fate and my final record. Immediately afterward, I watched Tony Scapone on The EPIC Gamble lose to Sneak & Show on stream. It just wasn’t in the cards for Storm that round, was it?
Totals & Stats
- Games & Record: 13-10 | 5-5
- The Die Roll: 7-3
- Mulligans: 16
- Turn One Combos: 4
- Ad Nauseam Wins: 3
- Echo of Eons Wins: 4
- Empty the Warrens Wins: 0
- Peer into The Abyss Wins: 1
- Natural Tendrils of Agony Wins: 1
- Galvanic Relay Wins 3
Closing & General Thoughts
Well, that’s it then. Exactly 50 percent win rate for the day. It’s a real bummer of a finish if I’m completely honest. I felt like I could have done much better. I noticed a handful of misplays throughout the event that could have put me in better positions against tough opponents. In other cases, I felt like there was very little agency in a given game. Not something that Storm usually experiences, surprisingly. The deck felt pretty solid, with sideboard copies of [[Thoughtseize]] coming in quite frequently. No blue matchups meant that I was contending with a slew of combo decks — not a position that The EPIC Storm desires. In another world, on another day, things may have swung more in my favor. Storm is not in the best position with Prison and Combo decks doing well, time will tell how the deck fairs. I’m still happy to have competed! One more Eternal Weekend under my belt – hopefully, another one will be in-person so I can meet all of these people I’ve interacted with online. Right now, I can only think about lunch. There’s a Lebanese place a few miles away that has delicious kibbeh nayeh on Saturdays. Maybe I’ll treat myself to something tasty.
As for the event itself, four 8-2 made it into the top eight, with a full 14 missing out on breakers. What a tough event! I think it would be very frustrating to miss out on the finish (and the stunning [[Ponder]]) on breakers. Maybe 5-5 isn’t so bad? There were two other TES pilots that ended up doing better than me at 6-4, so I’m glad we could give the deck a good showing! I’m planning on sending it back for the Vintage EW event tomorrow morning. Can we survive another early start? Can my cat stomach it? I guess we’ll find out. Also, why the heck are you still reading this? It’s way too long to be helpful in any sense whatsoever, get outta here!