[[Echo of Eons|]] [[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]] [[Burning Wish|]] [[Chain of Vapor|]] [[Abrupt Decay|]] [[Mox Opal|]] [[Wishclaw Talisman|]]
I’ve found that it’s fairly unlikely that your Death & Taxes opponent will have [[Leyline of the Void]]. This means you get to essentially start the game with at least two free Storm or three if you’re bold. You even get to change the context of your opponent’s hand which is pretty crucial in this specific matchup. I’d honestly throw caution to the wind and play straight into the [[Mindbreak Trap]] as I value the [[Mox Opal]] as well as the Storm count slightly higher since they add to the ability to win the game this turn. Sometimes the best thing to do is just pretend that they don’t have it (and then cry when they do).
This hand is incredible! While we don’t need to be concerned with [[Force of Will]] in this matchup, we do need to consider [[Chancellor of the Annex]]. Luckily for us, this hand casts it’s best Storm engine through a [[Chancellor of the Annex]] trigger!
Start on the basic [[Swamp]], cast [[Lotus Petal]], and then [[Chancellor of the Annex]] trigger happens. At this point, cast [[Dark Ritual]] and pay for the tax effect. [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Burning Wish]], and [[Peer into the Abyss]]! This scenario is here to show you that you can get tricky with the [[Chancellor of the Annex]] trigger, especially with Storm spells. Also, the last time we did a “Matchup Mulligan” was so long ago that our best [[Burning Wish]] target was [[Telemin Performance]]!
This would be a snap keep against most control decks in the format. That said, the Black-Red Reanimator matchup is vastly different. We’re all about trying to be very fast and well… this hand isn’t that. It’s better to be aggressive with your approach here while taking advantage of the London Mulligan.
Not every game needs to be fireworks with explosive turn-one kills, but you better have good reason and a game plan. [[Thoughtseize]] represents a bridge to buy time against the even faster Reanimator strategy with even a [[Lotus Petal]] to toss away to a possible [[Chancellor of the Annex]] trigger! We don’t have a turn-two win unless our draw step is favorable to us, which means this [[Thoughtseize]] needs to do some damage.
While we don’t have an example hand that demonstrates a [[Veil of Summer]] protected hand with a second turn win, I feel like it’s very similar and I would likely keep that hand.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen Storm pilots mulligan hands like this on the draw for something more conservative in the face of discard. What? Why? This is a speed based matchup. There’s so many things that need to go right for you to win. The first is you don’t lose the game and the second is your opponent doesn’t have a discard spell. The reward is that is that you win the game if these things go well.
Now, if you send these cards back for a cantrip-heavy hand that can maybe win through a discard spell, you’re saying that you also want them to have a hand that does nothing for more than turns. Is this really reasonable? I don’t believe it is. Sometimes the best solution is to just hope that your first shot isn’t blocked.
Hand No. 5: (on the play)
[[Bloodstained Mire|]] [[Veil of Summer|]] [[Veil of Summer|]] [[Ponder|]] [[Chrome Mox|]] [[Dark Ritual|]] [[Underground Sea|]]
This hand is a hand that a lot of players I imagine would keep. [[Veil of Summer]] is so strong against the deck with [[Unmask]], [[Thoughtseize]], and [[Cabal Therapy]]! There’s also applications against [[Chancellor of the Annex]] which is very enticing. The issue is, however, this hand is glacial. If you’re leaving open [[Veil of Summer]], you’re not advancing the game plan by casting [[Ponder]]. What if your opponent just has a fast hand? Which is extremely common compared to their over-reactive hands (especially on the draw). Please do not keep slow hands!
Hand No. 6: (on the draw — mulliganed once)
[[Rite of Flame|]] [[Rite of Flame|]] [[Lotus Petal|]] [[Badlands|]] [[Chrome Mox|]] [[Veil of Summer|]] [[Taiga|]]
Nope. This hand lacks a game plan. Even if you draw the action spell, you can’t do anything! What good is [[Veil of Summer]] on the draw? The real lesson here is don’t be afraid to mulligan! I’d much rather keep an average five-card hand than a below average six-card hand.
What’s the game plan here? Buying time. A pair of [[Thoughtseize]] should be enough to leave a dent large enough for your 34 percent odds of drawing an action spell to happen. Not every opening hand needs a business spell, but there should be some strategy involved.
Honestly, if my opponent mulligans their seven cards, I’d probably keep this hand. If they keep their opening hand, however, it’s just going to be too slow on the draw. What this comes from is how much work do you think this [[Thoughtseize]] is going to do on the draw? Our opponent is also more likely to bottom a [[Chancellor of the Annex]] based on how much further they mulligan. Our hand struggles with the [[Chancellor of the Annex]] trigger and overall mana in general.
What? No. Praying to pass the turn cycle to hit an initial mana source that’s black when on the play is just so bold. While you can beat a [[Chancellor of the Annex]] trigger, this is too much of a risk between discard spells and just dying. Please, take advantage of the London Mulligan.
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 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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