How to Desire

After 20 years, [[Mind’s Desire]] has been unbanned in Legacy! After being legal in the format for only a few months, this powerful Storm spell has been released into Legacy. Previously, we thought that even if unbanned, [[Mind’s Desire]] might not even be good enough to play and was just an embarrassment on the banned list. With some of the newest printings, it is possible that [[Mind’s Desire]] is the best engine in The EPIC Storm.

What do you Desire?

[[Mind’s Desire|]]

[[Mind’s Desire]] is a relatively simple card in execution. It shuffles your library and then lets you cast the top card for free off the top. Magic does not let you pay multiple alternate costs and [[Mind’s Desire]] gives all of the cards cast off of it an alternate cost of no mana. Other alternate costs such as the Overload cost of [[Mizzix’s Mastery]] can not be paid if the card is flipped off [[Mind’s Desire]]. Additional costs, such as Kicker or Bargain from the new Wilds of Eldraine set may still be paid. If the spell has any mandatory additional costs, such as sacrificing a creature or artifact like [[Deadly Dispute]], you must pay those. One of the other oddities of [[Mind’s Desire]] only applies in paper play. Shuffling your library for every copy of [[Mind’s Desire]] is cumbersome. If your library is sufficiently randomized before resolving a [[Mind’s Desire]] copy, you can shortcut the shuffling. Most opponents should let you flip cards off the top as if [[Mind’s Desire]] was [[Galvanic Relay]] unless a spell is cast in the middle of resolving the copies. I do like to cast any copies of [[Brainstorm]] flipped off [[Mind’s Desire]] before all the copies resolve to get a better idea of what I need and to get the free shuffle.

Winning the game with [[Mind’s Desire]] starts at deck building. It requires two things: the ability to make and a density of action to flip into. With cards costing no mana from [[Mind’s Desire]], the card asks you to fill your deck with expensive and powerful cards to flip into. Once you have done that, winning is simply as easy as generating enough storm and casting [[Mind’s Desire]]. [[Mind’s Desire]] does not even require that much protection. Beyond [[Flusterstorm]] and [[Stifle]] it is pretty hard to interact with standard countermagic. Having this inbuilt protection like [[Galvanic Relay]] makes [[Mind’s Desire]] an attractive engine to play.

The problem

[[Wishclaw Talisman|]]
[[Mizzix’s Mastery|]]

[[Mind’s Desire]] is one of the harder costs to create quickly in a Legacy Storm deck. With multiple different ritual colors, sometimes a [[Mind’s Desire]] asks for a total of four initial mana sources. If all of these initial mana sources are from lands, that is a slow combo, especially by Legacy standards. [[Lotus Petal]] is the most obvious way of speeding this up, but it alone is not enough. [[Manamorphose]] is a card that I have seen talked about a lot and unfortunately, it is just not good enough. It is also an obvious card for an opponent to counter. Providing a choke point takes away from the strength of [[Mind’s Desire]] and makes it worse than other Storm engines. Not being mana positive is a big drawback in a deck that wants to play for six to nine mana lines. Despite being a “Free Card”, it does not pass the bar for Legacy power level.

There are a couple of ways to cheat [[Mind’s Desire]] onto the stack. The easiest one without major deckbuilding changes is with [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]. As with most other engines, casting a tutor effect and then holding priority and activating [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]. While this is an obvious way of casting [[Mind’s Desire]], it does not play to the strengths of the card. An opponent can counter the tutor, which is a fairly obvious chokepoint. This can be slightly solved at the cost of Storm count by playing [[Wishclaw Talisman]] and playing all of the mana after the [[Wishclaw Talisman]] to sneak past countermagic.

One of the easiest ways to cast [[Mind’s Desire]] is unfortunately also one of the most disruptable. [[Mizzix’s Mastery]] opens up [[Mind’s Desire]] to not only countermagic, but also graveyard hate. It also presents the problem of how to get a [[Mind’s Desire]] to the graveyard. Playing cards like [[Faithless Looting]] or [[Entomb]] are off-plan and hyper-specific. A focused [[Mizzix’s Mastery]] deck could exist, but if one is choosing to play with [[Entomb]], then [[Peer into the Abyss]] is still the best target.

The best solution to the problem is something that The EPIC Storm was already doing: [[Mox Opal]]. Enabling Metalcraft likely already gave the double blue needed to cast [[Mind’s Desire]]. We can make this easier by adding in another TES classic: [[Chrome Mox]]. This would replace the [[Mishra’s Bauble]] plan, but we have already established that [[Mind’s Desire]] wants more impactful spells in the deck.

More Density

[[Galvanic Relay|]]
[[Echo of Eons|]]
[[Ad Nauseam|]]

To take advantage of [[Mind’s Desire]], more action spells, ([[Wishclaw Talisman]], [[Burning Wish]], [[Galvanic Relay]], [[Echo of Eons]]) are required. This does come at a cost: [[Ad Nauseam]]. Playing so many expensive cards causes the deck to have an average mana value too high for [[Ad Nauseam]]. This is the crux of testing: whether playing [[Mind’s Desire]] is better than playing [[Ad Nauseam]].

Playing three copies of [[Echo of Eons]] does have its advantages. It makes The EPIC Storm mulligan extremely well by upping the odds of naturally drawing [[Echo of Eons]] and [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]. Speeding up against other combo decks shores up one of the weaknesses that we have previously faced. [[Echo of Eons]] also presents another opportunity to filter [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] mana into [[Mind’s Desire]]. Given the opportunity, I have started to float more blue mana when casting [[Echo of Eons]] than previously.

The EPIC Storm was already playing the maximum number of copies of [[Galvanic Relay]], but [[Galvanic Relay]] and [[Mind’s Desire]] play very well together. Despite us calling [[Galvanic Relay]] red “[[Necropotence]]”, the design is clearly inspired by [[Mind’s Desire]]. A [[Mind’s Desire]] cast off of [[Galvanic Relay]] lets us once again use [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] to make . A [[Galvanic Relay]] off of a [[Mind’s Desire]] is so likely to win the game on the next turn. Maximizing the copies of each card lets them find each other more often leading to an action-dense deck.

All of this leaves us with The EPIC Storm v14.8 (we still just increment the number for every deck version)


Main Deck

  • 4 [[Brainstorm]]
  • 4 [[Veil of Summer]]
  • 4 [[Wishclaw Talisman]]
  • 4 [[Burning Wish]]
  • 3 [[Galvanic Relay]]
  • 3 [[Mind’s Desire]]
  • 3 [[Echo of Eons]]
  • 4 [[Rite of Flame]]
  • 4 [[Dark Ritual]]
  • 4 [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]
  • 4 [[Lotus Petal]]
  • 4 [[Mox Opal]]
  • 4 [[Chrome Mox]]
  • 4 [[Bloodstained Mire]]
  • 1 [[Scalding Tarn]]
  • 1 [[Verdant Catacombs]]
  • 1 [[Underground Sea]]
  • 1 [[Volcanic Island]]
  • 1 [[Badlands]]
  • 1 [[Bayou]]
  • 1 [[Taiga]]


  • 3 [[Thoughtseize]]
  • 2 [[Abrupt Decay]]
  • 2 [[Chain of Vapor]]
  • 1 [[Grapeshot]]
  • 1 [[Galvanic Relay]]
  • 1 [[Empty the Warrens]]
  • 1 [[Tendrils of Agony]]
  • 1 [[Mind’s Desire]]
  • 1 [[Echo of Eons]]
  • 1 [[Pulverize]]
  • 1 [[Peer into the Abyss]]

How to Desire

[[Burning Wish|]]
[[Mind’s Desire|]]
[[Wishclaw Talisman|]]

Winning the game with [[Mind’s Desire]] is as simple as casting it for enough. Generally, a Storm count of five gives about an 85 percent chance of hitting a tutor or an engine spell with v14.8 (a Storm of four is only 77 percent). This assumes that most of the action spells are still in the deck, but even missing one or two does not change the odds that much. I generally want the odds of hitting an action spell to be over 80 percent before I cast [[Mind’s Desire]] or I would consider a different plan. It is more important to focus on hitting more action off a [[Mind’s Desire]] because there is much more mana in the deck and all of the spells from [[Mind’s Desire]] are free anyway. In order to [[Burning Wish]] for [[Tendrils of Agony]], one only needs the four mana for [[Tendrils of Agony]]. Some of that mana can even be [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]. This is different from how [[Ad Nauseam]] reveals work as [[Ad Nauseam]] likely needed multiple initial mana sources in addition to enough mana to cast [[Tendrils of Agony]]. The bar for winning the game off of [[Mind’s Desire]] is simply lower so the Storm count does not even have to be that high.

Cards in Deck Action in Deck Storm Count P(hit)
53 16 2 51.67%
53 16 3 66.83%
53 16 4 77.45%
53 16 5 84.81%
52 15 5 83.23%
51 14 5 81.44%
50 14 5 82.21%
49 14 5 82.98%
48 14 5 83.75%
52 15 6 88.58%
47 10 5 71.58%
47 10 6 78.35%
47 10 7 83.63%
40 10 5 78.34%
35 10 5 83.63%

Understanding some of the patterns in this chart help understand how the odds of succeeding change as cards move in and out of the deck. For example, the best thing to improve the odds of winning is just adding an extra Storm. This causes the biggest jump. There have to be about seven cards fewer in the deck to make it more action dense to equal adding just one Storm.

Moving Forward

The removal of [[Ad Nauseam]] and the addition of [[Mind’s Desire]] change many of the deck building heuristics (I had to use it just once) that we have used for years. Options like [[Snuff Out]], [[Fury]], and [[Grief]] are not just written off because they are too expensive anymore. I am excited to see what we can find to continue to improve the deck. If you want to see what Bryant and I are testing, head on over to the member’s section of the Discord! You can join that by being a member on YouTube channel or by joining our Patreon. If you want to find more of my content, follow me on Twitter. I never really believed we would get to play with [[Mind’s Desire]] and now that it is here, I am excited to continue to build with it!