Jupiter Games NELCQ (10/15/2011) — Top 16

An early start to the day has me on the road by 7:30AM for the trip down to Jupiter Games in Binghamton, NY. When I get to Jupiter Games, I decide do some trading with the store and then begin to scout the competition and realize there are a lot of inexperienced The EPIC Storm (TES) players in this event. I see a people who’ve never played TES before piloting the deck for the first time (to those people, don’t give up yet — it takes awhile to get comfortable and learn how to beat blue decks). I run into Jim Higginbottom and we discuss sideboarding strategies, Jim convinces me to cut my second [[Deathmark]] for [[Ill-Gotten Gains]]. Pairings go up and we’re ready to begin!

the epic Storm

Main Deck

  • 4 [[Burning Wish]]
  • 4 [[Infernal Tutor]]
  • 4 [[Brainstorm]]
  • 4 [[Ponder]]
  • 2 [[Ad Nauseam]]
  • 1 [[Tendrils of Agony]]
  • 4 [[Duress]]
  • 3 [[Orim’s Chant]]
  • 1 [[Silence]]
  • 4 [[Rite of Flame]]
  • 4 [[Dark Ritual]]
  • 4 [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]
  • 4 [[Lotus Petal]]
  • 4 [[Chrome Mox]]
  • 4 [[Gemstone Mine]]
  • 2 [[City of Brass]]
  • 2 [[Underground Sea]]
  • 1 [[Volcanic Island]]
  • 2 [[Scalding Tarn]]
  • 1 [[Polluted Delta]]
  • 1 [[Bloodstained Mire]]


  • 3 [[Pyroblast]]
  • 2 [[Echoing Truth]]
  • 1 [[Wipe Away]]
  • 1 [[Deathmark]]
  • 1 [[Thoughtseize]]
  • 1 [[Shattering Spree]]
  • 1 [[Grapeshot]]
  • 1 [[Empty the Warrens]]
  • 1 [[Tendrils of Agony]]
  • 1 [[Ill-Gotten Gains]]
  • 1 [[Past in Flames]]
  • 1 [[Diminishing Returns]]

Jupiter Games NELCQ

Round One – Michael Cutrone with RUG Delver

[[Delver of Secrets|]]
[[Past in Flames|]]
[[Ill-Gotten Gains|]]

Game One:

I win the die roll, mulligan, search for an [[Underground Sea]], and then cast [[Duress]]. I look at: [[Delver of Secrets]], [[Volcanic Island]], [[Daze]], [[Brainstorm]], [[Fire // Ice]], [[Dismember]], and [[Ponder]]. Due to only having only one land and cantrips in hand, I decided to discard [[Daze]]. Mike opens with [[Tropical Island]] into [[Delver of Secrets]]. I [[Ponder]] into a second land and pass. Mike plays [[Brainstorm]] during the upkeep and flips [[Delver of Secrets]], then plays a [[Wasteland]] and destroys the [[Underground Sea]]. [[Delver of Secrets]] deals me every point of damage that game while I’m trying to get to three mana to win around the known [[Spell Snare]] in Mike’s hand.

Sideboarding: -1 [[Infernal Tutor]], -1 [[Ponder]], -1 [[Chrome Mox]], +3 [[Pyroblast]]

Game Two:

I once again open with [[Underground Sea]] into [[Duress]]: [[Lightning Bolt]], [[Lightning Bolt]], [[Tropical Island]], [[Nimble Mongoose]], [[Surgical Extraction]], [[Stifle]], and [[Spell Pierce]]. [[Spell Pierce]] to the graveyard. Mike opens with [[Tropical Island]] into [[Nimble Mongoose]]. I draw a [[City of Brass]], play it, and then pass. Mike slowly beats me down over the next few turns, plays a [[Delver of Secrets]], and then reveals another [[Spell Pierce]] to the [[Delver of Secrets]] to transform it. I [[Pyroblast]] targeting [[Delver of Secrets]] which gets hit by [[Surgical Extraction]] afterwards. I [[Duress]] again and see: [[Lightning Bolt]], [[Lightning Bolt]], [[Stifle]], [[Stifle]], [[Spell Pierce]], and [[Spell Snare]]. Mike is still stuck on the lonely [[Tropical Island]]. I take [[Spell Snare]] because the action spells in my hand is all two converted-mana cost. Another attack with [[Nimble Mongoose]] puts me to 14. I draw [[Brainstorm]] and then cast it into [[Dark Ritual]], [[Infernal Tutor]], and [[Rite of Flame]]. I put [[Burning Wish]] and a [[Chrome Mox]] back on top. My hand now consists of: [[Rite of Flame]], [[Rite of Flame]], [[Rite of Flame]], [[Chrome Mox]], [[Infernal Tutor]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], and [[Dark Ritual]]. I cast [[Rite of Flame]], [[Rite of Flame]], [[Rite of Flame]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Infernal Tutor]], and [[Ad Nauseam]] floating a good amount of mana. It wasn’t a very strong [[Ad Nauseam]], I didn’t see any protection before I was forced to stop revealing. I play out all of my mana and keep track of Storm past ten because I may need to [[Grapeshot]] if my mana doesn’t work out. I [[Burning Wish]] getting [[Past in Flames]] and cast it. I play all of the copies of [[Dark Ritual]] and [[Rite of Flame]] in my graveyard, along with the two [[Duress]] from the beginning of the game, they each take a [[Stifle]], leaving a just a [[Spell Pierce]]. I [[Burning Wish]] again for [[Grapeshot]] — which ends up being around thirty damage!

Game Three:

Mike opens with the classic [[Volcanic Island]] into [[Delver of Secrets]]. I open up with [[Scalding Tarn]], [[Underground Sea]], and [[Ponder]]. My hand is rather clunky and needs some mana. Mike plays another [[Brainstorm]] during the upkeep and takes awhile, I look at the clock, and there’s still 8 minutes in the round. I don’t think too much of it. I understand a difficult [[Brainstorm]] — after all I’m a combo player. That said, there wasn’t much time in the round. Because of this, I’m trying to speed play a bit. Mike reveals a [[Daze]] to [[Delver of Secrets]] and attacks. Afterwards, Mike plays a [[Tropical Island]]. I [[Infernal Tutor]] which is countered by [[Spell Snare]]. Another attack and a second [[Delver of Secrets]] on my opponent’s turn. I play a [[Brainstorm]] which finds [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] and [[Dark Ritual]]. I then [[Ponder]], shuffle, draw and now my hand is: [[Dark Ritual]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Duress]], [[Burning Wish]], [[Chrome Mox]], [[Infernal Tutor]], and [[Orim’s Chant]]. My lands in play are [[Volcanic Island]], [[Underground Sea]], and [[Gemstone Mine]]. Mike doesn’t flip the [[Delver of Secrets]] and attacks. I draw a [[Rite of Flame]] and cast [[Duress]] to see: [[Stifle]], [[Stifle]], [[Daze]], [[Daze]], [[Spell Pierce]], and [[Spell Snare]]. I discard [[Spell Snare]] and cast [[Orim’s Chant]], which gets countered by [[Spell Pierce]]. Another attack brings me down to 7. I draw a [[Ponder]], shuffle, and draw a land. Play it and pass. No flip on on [[Delver of Secrets]], but it still puts me to 3 life. Time in round. This is first time I’ve ever gone to time in round with TES. Regardless, I needed to win this turn. I draw another cantrip and I have to go for it. I play a few pieces of acceleration, both of which are hit by [[Daze]] ( floating). If I had one more mana I could move to my attack phase, empty the pool, and then and win — but I don’t. I’m forced to [[Burning Wish]]. My options in my head are [[Ill-Gotten Gains]] or [[Diminishing Returns]] because [[Past in Flames]] couldn’t generate enough mana to win the game. For some reason, I forgot that [[Ill-Gotten Gains]] is symmetrical and that getting the [[Orim’s Chant]] back is irrelevant, the correct play was to cast [[Diminishing Returns]]. That isn’t what I did though, and I lose — that’s what I get for never casting the card.

1-2 | 0-1

Round Two – Brian Thomas with Turboland

[[Force of Will|]]
[[Ad Nauseam|]]

Game One:

I open with [[Gemstone Mine]] into [[Duress]], which looks at: [[Force of Will]], [[Counterspell]], [[Spell Snare]], [[Exploration]], [[Exploration]], [[Horn of Greed]], and a [[Tropical Island]]. I discard [[Spell Snare]]. Brian draws, plays [[Tropical Island]] into [[Exploration]], and [[Maze of Ith]]. I play a cantrip and a land. Brian plays an [[Island]]. I then bait out the [[Counterspell]] with [[Burning Wish]]. We play, “draw, go” to the point where I know Brian’s entire hand minus one card. I figure what are the chances that it’s a blue card? I go all in. It’s a blue card.

Sideboarding: -1 [[Infernal Tutor]], -1 [[Ponder]], -1 [[Chrome Mox]], +3 [[Pyroblast]]

Game Two:

Brian mulligans and I open with my trademark [[Duress]]: [[Morphling]], [[Time Warp]], two colorless lands, [[Island]], and a [[Horn of Greed]]. On my next turn, I cast [[Dark Ritual]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Infernal Tutor]], and [[Ad Nauseam]].

Game Three:

Once again, Brian shuffles down to six cards. I keep a four land hand with three protection spells. We play “land, go” until the third turn when [[Horn of Greed]] is cast. I don’t miss a land drop until turn 7 when I go off with three protection spells backing me up into an [[Ad Nauseam]].

3-3 | 1-1

Round Three – Thomas Shewchuk with UW Stoneblade

[[Lotus Petal|]]
[[Stoneforge Mystic|]]
[[Ad Nauseam|]]

Game One:

Tom is on the play and plays a [[Tundra]]. I play [[City of Brass]] into [[Ponder]]. Tom plays a land into [[Stoneforge Mystic]] getting [[Sword of Feast and Famine]]. I play [[Duress]] and look at a hand full of no interaction besides a [[Force of Will]]. I discard it and then cast [[Rite of Flame]], [[Lotus Petal]], [[Dark Ritual]], and [[Ad Nauseam]].

Sideboarding: -1 [[Infernal Tutor]], -1 [[Ponder]], -1 [[Chrome Mox]], +3 [[Pyroblast]]

Game Two:

Tom has learned a lesson from game one and doesn’t tap out. We get to turn four and I decide it’s time to attempt the win. I cast [[Orim’s Chant]], which is met by [[Spell Pierce]]. I cast [[Brainstorm]] into two copies of [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] and a [[Dark Ritual]]. I put the pair of [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] back on top and then cast [[Rite of Flame]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Ad Nauseam]]? Tom says, “You’ve got to be joking? Two games in a row you draw the one of [[Ad Nauseam]]?!” In anger, two [[Spell Snare]] hit the table followed by a concession.

5-3 | 2-1

Round Four – Aaron Webster with Affinity

[[Empty the Warrens|]]
[[Ethersworn Canonist|]]
[[Stoneforge Mystic|]]

Aaron and I are friends, we played all the time in local events. I knew going into the match, how much Aaron loves artifact decks.

Game One:

Aaron is on the play and plays an [[Ancient Den]] into [[AEther Vial]]. I open with [[Bloodstained Mire]], [[Underground Sea]], and [[Duress]]. [[Thoughtcast]], [[Mox Opal]], [[Stoneforge Mystic]], [[Squadron Hawk]], and [[Cranial Plating]]. I know there are main-deck [[Ethersworn Canonist]], because of this I discard [[Thoughtcast]]. [[Mox Opal]] into [[Stoneforge Mystic]]. I play a land into [[Rite of Flame]], [[Dark Ritual]], and [[Ad Nauseam]].

Sideboarding: –3 [[Orim’s Chant]], -1 [[Silence]], +2 [[Echoing Truth]], +1 [[Wipe Away]], +1 [[Deathmark]]

Game Two:

Aaron and I trash talk a bit in between games. The game starts with [[Ancient Den]] and pass? I open with [[Rite of Flame]], [[Rite of Flame]], [[Chrome Mox]] (Imprint: [[Brainstorm]]), [[Chrome Mox]] (No Imprint), [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Burning Wish]], and [[Empty the Warrens]]. Aaron plays a second turn [[Ethersworn Canonist]] and loses shortly afterward.

7-3 | 3-1

Round Five – James Rynkiewicz with [[High Tide]]

[[High Tide|]]
[[Ad Nauseam|]]

Game One:

I open with [[Dark Ritual]], [[Lotus Petal]], [[Chrome Mox]] (Imprint: [[Burning Wish]]), [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], and [[Ad Nauseam]]. James slouches and says, ”YUP!”

Sideboarding: -1 [[Infernal Tutor]], -1 [[Ponder]], -1 [[Chrome Mox]], +3 [[Pyroblast]]

Game Two:

I keep a hand of: [[Orim’s Chant]], [[Duress]], [[Pyroblast]], [[Gemstone Mine]], [[City of Brass]], [[Volcanic Island]], and a [[Lotus Petal]]. It ends up not being super relevant, James end-step casts [[Turnabout]] on my lands which was all I drew that game. I’m left with a [[Chrome Mox]] and a [[Lotus Petal]]. I have [[Orim’s Chant]] and [[Pyroblast]] to interact still, but they end up not being relevant against James’s very good draw.

Game Three:

I keep an awful hand of: [[Duress]], [[Duress]], [[Tendrils of Agony]], [[Chrome Mox]], [[Lotus Petal]], [[Gemstone Mine]], and [[Bloodstained Mire]]. I [[Duress]] on the first turn and look at: [[Force of Will]], [[Misdirection]], [[Time Spiral]], [[Island]], [[High Tide]], [[Meditate]], and [[Turnabout]]. I take [[Force of Will]]. James draws a [[Preordain]] and casts it. I [[Duress]] again and discard the recently drawn [[Brainstorm]]. I draw [[Brainstorm]] and cast it. [[Brainstorm]] finds [[Ponder]], [[Dark Ritual]], and [[Rite of Flame]]. I put [[Tendrils of Agony]] and [[Chrome Mox]] on top. [[Ponder]], shuffle, and draw [[Ad Nauseam]] off the top. James casts another [[Preordain]] leaving both on top, plays an [[Island]], and passes. I cast [[Dark Ritual]], [[Rite of Flame]], and [[Ad Nauseam]]. It resolves!

9-4 | 4-1

Round Six – Dan Signorini with BUG Delver

[[Delver of Secrets|]]
[[Force of Will|]]

Dan and I make some small talk and winner of this round should be able to draw the next round and be able to make the top eight.

Game One:

My opening hand is: [[Burning Wish]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Gemstone Mine]], [[Ponder]], [[Chrome Mox]], and a [[Volcanic Island]]. Dan casts [[Thoughtseize]] targeting me — discards my [[Burning Wish]] and passes the turn. I draw a [[Rite of Flame]], play [[Scalding Tarn]], [[Underground Sea]], [[Ponder]], shuffle, and draw [[Brainstorm]]. I then play my two copies of [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] and pass. Dan continually beats me down and disrupts while I’m looking for a “tutor effect”. If I had drawn one, I had enough mana to play two protection spells and win. But sadly, that is not how the story went.

Sideboarding: None

Game Two:

I open with [[Gemstone Mine]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Lotus Petal]], [[Chrome Mox]] (Imprint: [[Infernal Tutor]]), [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], and [[Ad Nauseam]]. Dan has [[Force of Will]] and then [[Wasteland]]. Dan follows this up with [[Delver of Secrets]] into [[Hymn to Tourach]].

9-6 | 4-2

Round Seven – Brian Coghlan with Dredge

[[Ill-Gotten Gains|]]
[[Diminishing Returns|]]
[[Ad Nauseam|]]

Game One:

He plays a turn one [[Putrid Imp]] and I play [[Underground Sea]] into [[Duress]]. I see a bunch of creatures and a [[Breakthrough]]. Brian is on the slow Dredge plan for awhile, I feel comfortable winning with [[Diminishing Returns]] and decide to go for it. I end up with two [[Duress]], a pair of [[Lotus Petal]]s, and lands. I double [[Duress]] and have to pass the turn. We’re still on the slow Dredge plan. I draw [[Burning Wish]], cast it, and get [[Ill-Gotten Gains]]. An attack and puts me to 2. On my turn, I cast [[Ill-Gotten Gains]] into [[Diminishing Returns]] floating nothing and draw into: [[Gemstone Mine]], [[Tendrils of Agony]], [[Lotus Petal]], [[Lotus Petal]], [[Rite of Flame]], [[Chrome Mox]], and [[Brainstorm]]. It gets there!

Sideboarding: -3 [[Orim’s Chant]], -1 [[Silence]], +2 [[Echoing Truth]], +2 [[Pyroblast]]

Game Two:

Brian plays turn one [[Careful Study]] pitching Dredge creatures. I play a turn one [[Ponder]], leaving [[Infernal Tutor]] on top, and then play a [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] from my hand. Brian does something irrelevant. I draw, play out my mana, and [[Infernal Tutor]] into [[Ad Nauseam]].

11-6 | 5-2

Closing & General Thoughts

The event was fantastic! Everything ran smoothly and there weren’t any long rounds. I hope you enjoyed the report.

Until next time, keep storming!