[[Veil of Summer|]] [[Lotus Petal|]] [[Lotus Petal|]] [[Mox Opal|]] [[Echo of Eons|]] [[Wishclaw Talisman|]] [[Burning Wish|]]
This hand is very tempting as you have a [[Veil of Summer]] against the [[Force of Will]] + [[Chalice of the Void]] deck. That said, with all of our mana being zero mana value artifacts, we can’t cast anything in the face of [[Chalice of the Void]] on zero. Even if this doesn’t happen, what does our hand even do? It’s strange because all of the cards in our hand are strong, but together they don’t achieve much of anything. I would begrudgingly mulligan this, it’s better to be disciplined than sorry.
Patience, patience, patience. I can’t stress it enough, The EPIC Storm (TES) is no longer the “Black Belcher” deck. With the addition of [[Veil of Summer]], [[Wishclaw Talisman]], and [[Galvanic Relay]] TES has the inevitability in the matchup. A big level-up for new players to the archetype is to play to the speed of the match-up, in this specific case the message is to take it slow. The scariest thing these four-color Minsc Control decks can do is to play a turn-four [[Minsc & Boo, Timeless Heroes]] on turn four, which means that you don’t have to care about it until turn five. Meanwhile, you have three ways to access [[Galvanic Relay]] to put them straight into the dirt.
The stock builds of four-color Minsc Control do not play any main deck copies of [[Force of Negation]]. This means we’re back to the old 40 percent rule of, “do they have [[Force of Will]]?”. The interesting thing to ponder here is if they have [[Yorion, Sky Nomad]] or not. If so, those odds are even lower making the decision to jam even better.
I would lead by casting [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] to see if I could draw out the [[Force of Will]] early. It’s unlikely that you’ll see a [[Force of Vigor]] in a game one situation. Let’s continue to try to get the opponent to bite down on bait, play [[Mox Opal]] followed by [[Lotus Petal]]. It’s always really enticing for players to try to shut TES off of Metalcraft. Tap the [[Mox Opal]] to cast [[Rite of Flame]], this is another juicy target for a component opponent because it could mean a [[Galvanic Relay]] is coming. Assuming everything resolves, play another [[Mox Opal]], [[Chrome Mox]] (no imprint), [[Burning Wish]], hold priority and sacrifice [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]. Not that the color of mana is likely to matter as we have from [[Mox Opal]] to cast [[Empty the Warrens]], but it may less the opponent on a lie. At this point, just make a bunch of [[Goblin Token]]s against the deck without a sweeper.
Hand No. 3: (on the draw)
[[Chrome Mox|]] [[Mox Opal|]] [[Mox Opal|]] [[Brainstorm|]] [[Echo of Eons|]] [[Wishclaw Talisman|]] [[Rite of Flame|]]
“But what if we draw an artifact or land?!”No. Even if you were to draw something like a [[Chrome Mox]] or [[Mishra’s Bauble]], this hand doesn’t play the type of Magic we’re looking to play. When on the draw, the opponent has had an opportunity to play [[Ponder]] or [[Brainstorm]] to look deeper for that [[Force of Will]]. Not to mention, even if we do hit, it’s not even a win! It’s a chance to continue our combo. While giving the opponent a [[Wishclaw Talisman]] if we’re forced to pass the turn.
More realistically, you keep this hand that doesn’t actually play the game and then sit there while your opponent crushes you for poor decisions.
“It’s a free mulligan plus a card!” This is not a good rationale. This hand runs the risk if flat out losing to [[Force of Will]] without the benefit of potentially winning, it’s a chance at winning. The upside of being up a random card instead of leveraging a London Mulligan for a sculpted six isn’t there.
This is an ideal keep. You’re able to establish your mana for post-[[Galvanic Relay]], which is the bottleneck for the best card in your deck for the matchup. It’s okay to take your time and set up, I would hold the [[Wishclaw Talisman]] until you can play everything all in one turn. Don’t play it out early to have it removed to [[Prismatic Ending]]. We’re looking to maximize the potential of [[Galvanic Relay]] to carry us the rest of the way.
[[Carpet of Flowers|]] [[Carpet of Flowers|]] [[Carpet of Flowers|]] [[Abrupt Decay|]] [[Abrupt Decay|]] [[Galvanic Relay|]]
[[Rite of Flame|]] [[Rite of Flame|]] [[Rite of Flame|]] [[Rite of Flame|]] [[Chrome Mox|]] [[Mox Opal|]]
This is the same has as Hand No. 5 in a general sense. While we don’t have the fast mana, we do have the luxury of land drops and threat density. Take your time, stick to the plan, I must sound like a broken record at this point, but it’s okay to play to the speed of the matchup.
Hand No. 7: (on the draw)
[[Ad Nauseam|]] [[Carpet of Flowers|]] [[Carpet of Flowers|]] [[Veil of Summer|]] [[Chrome Mox|]] [[Mox Opal|]] [[Wishclaw Talisman|]]
I’ve spent the last few hands discussing the importance of stable mana. Here, we have a hand that looks very lucrative, but when you break it down, it becomes more and more fishy. There’s no Metalcraft for [[Mox Opal]], we’re unable to cast [[Wishclaw Talisman]], and if we chose to play [[Carpet of Flowers]] by playing [[Chrome Mox]] (Imprint:[[Carpet of Flowers]]), you’re unable to protect it from counterspells or [[Prismatic Ending]]. TES has the inevitability in longer games if you keep hands that play towards it due to [[Galvanic Relay]], so let’s allow ourselves that opportunity.
While [[Volcanic Island]] doesn’t cast [[Abrupt Decay]], we do have [[Brainstorm]] to find a third land that would enable them. When keeping this hand, we’re trusting that between our draw steps and the pair of [[Brainstorm]] that we’ll find payoff spells which is a reasonable assumption. A recommendation would be to choose your spots — try to combine them with fetchlands, when they don’t have red mana available for [[Pyroblast]] effects, and to be patient. You don’t need to fire them off aggressively.
Hand No. 9: (on the draw)
[[Carpet of Flowers|]] [[Abrupt Decay|]] [[Veil of Summer|]] [[Verdant Catacombs|]] [[Bloodstained Mire|]] [[Dark Ritual|]] [[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]]
What a hand! This is a snap-keep. The issue here is that we don’t have any payoff spells, so often I’ll see people mulligan hands such as this one because, “it doesn’t do anything”. Every single average or above average hand in this game is lacking one thing or another, acceleration, protection, or whatever. As players, we fixate on proactive pieces, but this hand has everything else we need! We’re north of 34 percent post-board to draw an action spell per draw-step in a slow matchup. We keep these!
I’ll provide my answer in the next article. For now, make sure to leave a comment with your thoughts!
Bryant Cook has one Grand Prix Top 8 as well as nine Star City Games Top 8s (two wins). You can find Bryant's daily sweet Storm videos for every format on our YouTube Channel, including some recent videos featuring The EPIC Storm v13.2!
Bryant is also a host of The Eternal Glory Podcast, as well as a Web Designer, New York Mets fan, and all-around nerd.
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