Matchup Mulligan: Cephalid Breakfast

Final The EPIC Storm Hand Answer

Hand No. 10: (on the play)

[[Ad Nauseam|]] [[Mishra’s Bauble|]] [[Mishra’s Bauble|]] [[Mox Opal|]] [[Dark Ritual|]] [[Silence|]] [[Burning Wish|]]


What does this hand actually do? That’s typically an initial step in determining whether a hand is a mulligan or not. We have Metalcraft for the [[Mox Opal]], which means we do have a starting mana source. The real issue is that it’s temporary if the plan is to use the pair of [[Mishra’s Bauble]] — in theory, on their end step you could use one on yourself to see if the top card of your library is an artifact or not. You would still need a random draw step to hit. Even so, while we have a [[Silence]] to stop their combo, we’re cold to an opposing [[Thoughtseize]]. This hand is a house of cards just waiting to fall, we can do better than that.

Cephalid Breakfast


Hand No. 1: (on the play)

[[Dark Ritual|]] [[Dark Ritual|]] [[Burning Wish|]] [[Chrome Mox|]] [[Galvanic Relay|]] [[Mox Opal|]] [[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]]


Did you know that Cephalid Breakfast doesn’t play [[Force of Negation]] in the main deck? This means that we’re back to the classic, “they’re only 40 percent to have it [[Force of Will]]” (see data page for more information). We take those odds!

Begin by casting [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Chrome Mox]] (Imprint: [[Galvanic Relay]]), and then [[Mox Opal]]. This sequencing does two things, you can see if they’re willing to counter a [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] out of fear (a common Dredge opening or inexperience in the match-up) and hide the Metalcraft until the end.

Tap the [[Mox Opal]] to cast the pair of [[Dark Ritual]], use [[Chrome Mox]] for the requirement for [[Burning Wish]], sacrifice [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], and then put [[Peer into the Abyss]] onto the stack!

Hand No. 2: (on the draw)

[[Silence|]] [[Orim’s Chant|]] [[Mishra’s Bauble|]] [[Brainstorm|]] [[Bloodstained Mire|]] [[Lotus Petal|]] [[Underground Sea|]]


There are a few lessons that you need to know to make this keep make sense — you can’t beat everything and you don’t always need to keep a fast hand. The latter here is something that a lot of newer Storm pilots struggle with. It’s just fine to play to the speed of the hand if the context makes sense. Here we have a slow interactive hand against a blue combo deck, it makes sense.

[[Silence]] as well as [[Orim’s Chant]] can be used defensively against a deck like Cephalid Breakfast (or even OOPS! All Spells) that is looking to mill itself in order win with [[Thassa’s Oracle]].

With hands such as this one, there’s no real definitive plan other than not dying. I would recommend playing out the [[Lotus Petal]] to avoid a possible [[Daze]].

Hand No. 3: (on the play)

[[Burning Wish|]] [[Galvanic Relay|]] [[Wishclaw Talisman|]] [[Plateau|]] [[Scalding Tarn|]] [[Rite of Flame|]] [[Mox Opal|]]


Play to the matchup! I just said that in Hand No. 2, what does this hand actually do? It plays a very slow game that is looking to out-grind the opponent. While Cephalid Breakfast is a blue deck, it’s also a deck that can win on the second turn with turn three being very common. I wouldn’t just disrespect them for an upside of a very small [[Galvanic Relay]].

Hand No. 4: (on the draw)

[[Echo of Eons|]] [[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]] [[Rite of Flame|]] [[Rite of Flame|]] [[Galvanic Relay|]] [[Orim’s Chant|]] [[Mox Opal|]]


This one looks weird, right? Something to know about the Cephalid Breakfast matchup is that you’re incredibly unfavored and sometimes in order to win you’re going to have to get a little bit lucky. With this hand, we need to draw any land or non-[[Mox Opal]]/non-[[Wishclaw Talisman]] artifact. This puts us at 26 hits when drawing to 52 cards — we’re roughly 50 percent to hit per draw step.

Assuming that you do hit, I would likely cast [[Galvanic Relay]] if the hit is the first draw step, and if it’s the second, I would [[Orim’s Chant]] into [[Echo of Eons]]. As I mentioned, they are a combo deck as well, and we need to respect their speed.

Hand No. 5: (on the play)

[[Marsh Flats|]] [[Orim’s Chant|]] [[Badlands|]] [[Rite of Flame|]] [[Dark Ritual|]] [[Lotus Petal|]] [[Lotus Petal|]]


This hand is very close, but the old adage of, “we’re 33 percent to hit every draw step” isn’t as good in a combo mirror as we have less possible draw steps. On top that, we’re on the play! I could maybe see keeping this on the draw, but the cost of a London Mulligan is so low. I would’ve likely of kept this hand in an era of the Paris Mulligan.



Recommended sideboarding:


[[Thoughtseize|]] [[Thoughtseize|]] [[Thoughtseize|]]


[[Galvanic Relay|]] [[Galvanic Relay|]] [[Galvanic Relay|]]

Hand No. 6: (on the draw)

[[Thoughtseize|]] [[Orim’s Chant|]] [[Bloodstained Mire|]] [[Scrubland|]] [[Lotus Petal|]] [[Rite of Flame|]] [[Dark Ritual|]]


I gave away the answer in the previous hand! We’re on the draw and this time even have two pieces to interact — there’s [[Thoughtseize]] for disruption and [[Orim’s Chant]] for protection. While the 33 percent to hit every draw step isn’t ideal, between these two cards, I believe we can buy enough time to make it work.

Hand No. 7: (on the play)

[[Dark Ritual|]] [[Dark Ritual|]] [[Burning Wish|]] [[Chrome Mox|]] [[Rite of Flame|]] [[Mox Opal|]] [[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]]


This is the same as Hand No. 1! But why is the answer different? While Cephalid Breakfast doesn’t play [[Force of Negation]] in the main deck, there’s typically a pair in the sideboard. This means that the 40 percent is now closer to 60 percent for them to have a free counterspell. At a casino, you wouldn’t play a game with those odds — why would you do that here?

Hand No. 8: (on the draw)

[[Thoughtseize|]] [[Dark Ritual|]] [[Underground Sea|]] [[Dark Ritual|]] [[Lotus Petal|]] [[Thoughtseize|]] [[Echo of Eons|]]


This hand is really just a friendly reminder that you can use [[Thoughtseize]] to target yourself.

Play [[Underground Sea]], cast [[Lotus Petal]], [[Dark Ritual]], and then [[Thoughtseize]] targeting the opponent. Assuming the coast is clear, cast the other [[Dark Ritual]], and then play [[Thoughtseize]] to discard your own [[Echo of Eons]]. At this point, use the Flashback cost.

Hand No. 9: (on the play)

[[Brainstorm|]] [[Brainstorm|]] [[Mishra’s Bauble|]] [[Mishra’s Bauble|]] [[Volcanic Island|]] [[Bloodstained Mire|]] [[Rite of Flame|]]


These sort of hands are your bread and butter as they allow you to create your own game plan with a lot of flexibility depending on the matchup. We keep these all day!

(Don’t forget that you can use [[Mishra’s Bauble]] in conjunction with a [[Bloodstained Mire]] to create a pseudo-scry!)

Hand No. 10: (on the draw)

[[Lotus Petal|]] [[Lotus Petal|]] [[Dark Ritual|]] [[Mishra’s Bauble|]] [[Mishra’s Bauble|]] [[Badlands|]] [[Mox Opal|]]

Stay tuned for the next article!

I’ll provide my answer in the next article.