One of the most crucial components to the Lands matchup is being able to answer [[Sphere of Resistance]] when on the draw, and this hand does that nicely. It even has a [[Lotus Petal]] to guarantee being able to cast the [[Abrupt Decay]]. While the overall speed of this hand is somewhat of a concern, it’s just something that you need to accept if you’re going to have a chance at winning.
In pre-board games, 8-Cast plays a full play set of [[Force of Will]], but no other pitch-counters. This means we’re back to the old, “they’re only 40% to have it” montra. If that’s the case, we always take our shot when we have it — trust the math.
8-Cast is a deck that plays [[Chalice of the Void]]. That said, they’re also a deck that can’t afford to cast it for zero. This is because most of their deck is zero mana artifacts, which means we can expect it to be cast for a value of one most of the time. Even if they have [[Chalice of the Void]], we’re back to playing the 40 percent game. If our opponent kept a hand that doesn’t have [[Chalice of the Void]], we can assume that they have a copy of [[Force of Will]], which we can beat as long as we draw an initial mana source for the [[Veil of Summer]].
This is a reluctant keep. We can cast the [[Ponder]] before [[Chalice of the Void]] hits the battlefield and then have [[Burning Wish]] for [[Prismatic Ending]] as an option. While 8-Cast isn’t the fastest deck around, this hand is fairly slow. I would expect the average combo turn of this hand to be turn 4.5.
Hand No. 4: (on the draw)
[[Veil of Summer|]] [[Orim’s Chant|]] [[Rite of Flame|]] [[Dark Ritual|]] [[Lotus Petal|]] [[Polluted Delta|]] [[Tropical Island|]]
I just don’t know what this hand does well. While we can beat a [[Force of Will]] we have to get to that point by drawing an action spell (34%) and not losing to [[Chalice of the Void]]. It’s worth noting that if we take too long to find the action spell, the final chapter on [[Urza’s Saga]] can find [[Pithing Needle]] to shut down [[Wishclaw Talisman]]. We should look to leverage the power of the London Mulligan.
This hand is almost the exact opposite of Hand No. 4. We have a pair of [[Wishclaw Talisman]] as tutors, but no acceleration or protection. The real downside here is we’re telegraphing with the first-turn [[Wishclaw Talisman]] into their [[Urza’s Saga]] for [[Pithing Needle]]. While the second copy of [[Wishclaw Talisman]] can be either mana or acceleration, we need multiple pieces of mana to really do anything meaningful here.
While beating [[Chalice of the Void]] is nice, it isn’t everything. This hand needs more mana, protection, and tutors. It’s a lot to ask for, especially when we most likely only ever need to answer a single [[Chalice of the Void]].
Isn’t this the same hand as Hand No. 1? Yes. What changed is our opponent sided in four copies of [[Force of Negation]]. If you follow the data, they’re roughly 80 percent to have a free counterspell, which is part of what makes this such a difficult matchup. While it’s tough to pass these hands up, we need something more interactive. Without a way to sculpt, we’re just praying to draw one of our six protection spells before they can draw a second “Force effect” against the deck named after its eight efficient draw spells.
This hand isn’t really that different than Hand No. 4, which was a mulligan. The difference is here we can beat a [[Chalice of the Void]] or a [[Force of Will]]/[[Force of Negation]] if we draw into our 34 percent action spell instead of just the free counterspells — the versatility here shouldn’t be underestimated. Another element that’s desirable is the mana as it works very favorably with [[Galvanic Relay]] which is likely our best draw.
[[Galvanic Relay]] is our best card in post-board games against the deck that has eight “Force effects” as we can punish their card disadvantage. The key here is to make sure [[Lotus Petal]] and [[Chrome Mox]] aren’t countered. I’d start the turn on [[Scalding Tarn]], [[Lotus Petal]], and then [[Chrome Mox]] to make sure we’re not burning all of our [[Galvanic Relay]] fuel.
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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