I created this hand with the intent of showing a hand I likely would’ve kept under the “Vancouver Mulligan”, but would send back under the “London Mulligan.” There’s a few key decisions here, do you Brainstorm or Ponder? With Ponder, you’re looking for exactly Lotus Petal and have an additional look off of the shuffle. If you do this and miss, you’re likely in a tough spot for the rest of the game. If you cast Brainstorm, you have one less look, but now finding Lion’s Eye Diamond or Lotus Petal can win you the game (you can put Empty the Warrens on top of your library and then Dark Ritual, Lion’s Eye Diamond, and Infernal Tutor). Another point here is that you could in theory hit multiple good cards off of Brainstorm that would put you in a winning position. For these reasons, I’d likely cast Brainstorm. That said, I think both of these are risky lines and would prefer just to look at seven new cards instead.
4C “Snow” Control
In our last article about 4C Control, Deathrite Shaman and Gitaxian Probe were still legal!? It’s certainly been some time. We’re here for a refresher and an update on an older archetype, with the new 4C “Snow” Control.
While his list only plays two copies of Plague Engineer, a third copy is very common and something you should consider when playing against the deck. Take note of how the only disruption that we as Storm players care about is four copies of Force of Will and a pair of Thoughtseize in the main deck. Post-board, the number of interactive spells goes up quite a bit, meaning that the importance of Defense Grid also increases.
Hand 1: (on the play)
You can’t be afraid of keeping hands like this due to the London Mulligan, they’re still only a 40 percent to have Force of Will in their opening hand (if you want to see further mulligan percentages, please click here). I would still jam this hand on turn one 100 percent of the time. With a hand like this, it’s not getting any better as the game progresses. One thing I’ve noticed with some less experienced players is they don’t like playing out Chrome Mox to turn on Mox Opal, whereas I do it all the time. Don’t be concerned with lost value or attrition if it allows you to become faster.
With the London Mulligan, mulliganing in general is much less punishing than it was previously. There’s no reason to keep an unplayable hand like this one even if it has some of your best cards in it. If the hand doesn’t do anything meaningful, there’s a good chance that your next hand does. A realistic expectation from this hand (assuming that everything goes well) is an unprotected second turn Ad Nauseam. While this 4C “Snow” Control only plays four copies of Force of Will and two Thoughtseize, they’re likely to have something within two turns. This is also assuming that things go well, which is sort of a tall ask on a single Ponder.
Hand 5: (on the play)
DO NOT KEEP HANDS THAT DON’T DO ANYTHING, ESPECIALLY UNDER THE LONDON MULLIGAN. C’mon, we’re better than that.
Hand 6: (on the draw)
This might sound crazy, but I’d mulligan this hand. What does it do well? The hand does make Goblin Tokens using Empty the Warrens on turn three, but remember the three copies of Plague Engineer surely lurking in the opponent’s deck? You could try to get Echo of Eons and hard-cast it eventually I suppose. That line is incredibly slow, and asks that our opponent’s hand does absolutely nothing in a post-board game. In general, I think the value of Burning Wish in this match-up is a little low as your main piece of business.
While this hand doesn’t have lands, it does have a lot of potential. You’re able to sculpt your hand and do not have to be concerned with Wasteland. I’d likely start out by casting Mox Opal(it’s best to make it seem innocent and less important rather than your third artifact that happens to be a permanent mana source), Lotus Petal, Lotus Petal, and then Brainstorm. Ideally here, I’d be looking to put back Chrome Mox and play a Bloodstained Mire or Polluted Delta. If that doesn’t work, we have a pair of Ponder to smooth things out on the following turn.
Hand 9: (on the play — mulliganed twice)
This hand can theoretically win. I’d put Chrome Mox and Volcanic Island on the bottom, and start the game by sitting on your fetch lands as to not expose the Underground Sea to Wasteland. It’s an uphill battle, but it’s certainly possible to win this game.
Hand 10: (on the draw)
Share your answer in the comments below!
I’ll provide my answer in the next article, but for now, make sure to post 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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