This is one of those hands where you need to just accept if your opponent has one of their two copies of [[Mindbreak Trap]]. Put [[Echo of Eons]] on the stack and hope for the best, sometimes you can’t afford to beat everything.
While [[Aluren]]-based combo decks are slower than Storm combo, you can’t just disrespect them. They are a turn 4-5 combo deck on average that also plays [[Fore of Will]]. This hand is incredibly slow, and doesn’t really beat any sort of interaction from the opponent’s side. If you think how this game will play out, you’ll cast three two-mana spells for consecutive turns while praying that they don’t win the game in the meantime.
We’re going old-school! By that, I mean pre-Modern Horizons. [[Aluren]] doesn’t typically play main deck copies of [[Force of Negation]] (sideboard copies are fairly standard) which means that we’re back to the classic, “they’re only 40 percent to have [[Force of Will]].” It’s time to make the opponent have it!
Initially, this hand seems fine, but when you really break it down, it gets shaky around the edges. Not only do you need to play [[Chrome Mox]] (Imprint: [[Ponder]]) to cast [[Ponder]]. That Ponder needs to find another mana source at the bare minimum for [[Burning Wish]], but also needs a protection spell and a second mana source to cast the disruption spell. All of this is just to resolve an [[Echo of Eons]] which could fizzle. I see the allure of a pair of [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], but you shouldn’t be blinded by it.
This hand is great! While double protection spell may seem like a bit much, this hand just needs to draw mana in order to win the game which is the easiest ask in this deck. The secret benefit here is that [[Orim’s Chant]] can be used proactively if need be to disrupt the opponent from trying to win the game. Alternatively, if they have one of their three main deck copies of [[Abrupt Decay]], you can use the [[Veil of Summer]] to protect the [[Wishclaw Talisman]] and then have the [[Orim’s Chant]] as protection. It’s interesting how versatile this simple hand actually is!
The worse case scenario here is we don’t draw a mana off the top of the deck for our draw step. If that is the case, you have a protected first turn [[Echo of Eons]] which means you’re essentially starting the game with 3 free Storm. But if you do, it’s now four Storm plus floating. This seems like a no-brainer!
[[Abrupt Decay|]] [[Abrupt Decay|]]
[[Chrome Mox|]] [[Mox Opal|]]
Hand No. 6: (on the play)
[[Lotus Petal|]] [[Mox Opal|]] [[Chrome Mox|]] [[Orim’s Chant|]] [[Ponder|]] [[Rite of Flame|]] [[Veil of Summer|]]
What does this hand really do well? Cast [[Ponder]]? Lose to the copies of [[Force of Vigor]] that our opponent just brought in? The main message here is that in post-board games don’t fall in love with heavy artifact decks against the deck with [[Force of Vigor]] and [[Collector Ouphe]].
This hand is really close. I value having the answer to [[Collector Ouphe]] and then plenty of action, but it’s really lacking mana as well as protection. The game does slow down post-board when the opponent brings in copies of [[Force of Negation]] from the sideboard, which is why I am leaning towards keeping but this hand could be very risky against a [[Force of Vigor]]. What I’d be looking to draw is at least one land plus [[Dark Ritual]] as well as [[Veil of Summer]].
Hand No. 8: (on the play)
[[Ponder|]] [[Brainstorm|]] [[Dark Ritual|]] [[Veil of Summer|]] [[Veil of Summer|]] [[Polluted Delta|]] [[Polluted Delta|]]
You do not need to open a tutor every game! Hands like this are perfectly acceptable against the turn 4-5 combo deck with 6-to-7 “Force effects”(Sorry, this doesn’t count [[Force of Negation]]). I would actually keep this hand a large portion of the time across the Legacy field.
It’s key to look at “tutor effects” as what they could be. While [[Burning Wish]] can’t get a protection spell, [[Wishclaw Talisman]] can. What I see here is a very likely turn-three [[Echo of Eons]] with [[Veil of Summer]] back-up or even [[Peer into the Abyss]] given a few pieces of acceleration for our draw steps. Keep your options open and don’t commit too early!
Hand No. 10: (on the play)
[[Dark Ritual|]] [[Dark Ritual|]] [[Ad Nauseam|]] [[Underground Sea|]] [[Burning Wish|]] [[Tendrils of Agony|]] [[Rite of Flame|]]
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I’ll provide my answer in the next article. 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 v12.4!
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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