Matchup Mulligan: Doomsday

Final Eldrazi Ramp Hand Answer

Hand No. 10: (on the play)

[[Echo of Eons|]] [[Abrupt Decay|]] [[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]] [[Chrome Mox|]] [[Volcanic Island|]] [[Rite of Flame|]] [[Abrupt Decay|]]


One of the themes of the Eldrazi Ramp article was risk versus reward. This hand is exactly that and how TES shouldn’t “play afraid” or try to play around everything. If the opponent has a [[Leyline of the Void]] we’re going to be sad, but do we expect our opponent to mulligan to a card that is only situationally good against The EPIC Storm? Probably not.

I’d start off on [[Volcanic Island]], cast [[Rite of Flame]] (), cast [[Chrome Mox]] (Imprint: [[Abrupt Decay]]) play [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], discard our hand to add . Flashback [[Echo of Eons]] floating with an untapped [[Bayou]]/[[Chrome Mox]] in play!


For this article, we’re going to be using the list from my Legacy Challenge Top 8.


Hand No. 1: (on the play)

[[Veil of Summer|]] [[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]] [[Ponder|]] [[Polluted Delta|]] [[Verdant Catacombs|]] [[Burning Wish|]] [[Lotus Petal|]]


This is a perfectly well-rounded hand. Let’s start off by discussing the importance of [[Veil of Summer]]. [[Doomsday]] plays both [[Force of Will]] and [[Thoughtseize]] which means its value is two-fold. Fortunately for us, we’re on the play, meaning [[Veil of Summer]] is better against discard strategies where it can be a little bit weaker but still very good) on the draw. After this, we have good acceleration with [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] and [[Lotus Petal]] paired with lands as well as business spells in [[Burning Wish]] and [[Ponder]]. [[Ponder]] is perfect here because based on how the game ends up playing out in the first few turns can help you with wherever your draw steps went.

When looking at a hand such as this, you could think “we’re really close to a protected [[Empty the Warrens]]!. That’s not what this matchup is about. Instead, there are two better options, a protected [[Echo of Eons]] with [[Veil of Summer]] which is the faster of the two options or [[Infernal Tutor]] into [[Ad Nauseam]] which has a higher percentage of winning the game. My plan would be based on my first few draw-steps. If we draw more mana, I’m looking at [[Ad Nauseam]]. If not, we’re “spinning the wheel” with [[Echo of Eons]].

Hand No. 2: (on the draw)

[[Defense Grid|]] [[Wishclaw Talisman|]] [[Wishclaw Talisman|]] [[Echo of Eons|]] [[Tropical Island|]] [[Badlands|]] [[Bloodstained Mire|]]


What a clunker! Unlike [[Veil of Summer]], [[Defense Grid]] only fights back against counterspells such as [[Flusterstorm]] or [[Force of Will]] which is still great in theory but not as good in practice. This is because of the mana cost of [[Defense Grid]], which can sometimes be a little slow against other combo decks. While [[Doomsday]] isn’t as fast as The EPIC Storm (TES), it can certainly win on turn two with a good draw and turn three fairly regularly. This means we’re casting [[Defense Grid]] on turn two and crossing our fingers to not die. Even if our opponent doesn’t kill us, there’s a very real chance they have open to pay for [[Force of Will]] due to their land-drops.

This doesn’t take into consideration about how slow our hand is! While we can use [[Wishclaw Talisman]] to search for [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] to discard [[Echo of Eons]] and then flash it back, we would have no mana floating (assuming we didn’t draw acceleration on turn three). This sort of hand just screams wishful thinking to me.

Hand No. 3: (on the play — Mulliganed Once)

[[Lotus Petal|]] [[Mox Opal|]] [[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]] [[Chrome Mox|]] [[Rite of Flame|]] [[Veil of Summer|]] [[Polluted Delta|]]


Something to learn as you get better with Magic is that not every hand is near perfect like Hand No. 1, and that’s okay. It’s about managing expectations, we’ve already mulliganed once, and now we’re looking at a hand that has two-thirds (acceleration and protection) of what we need. I understand that our hand technically doesn’t do anything, but to a realist, it’s not very probable that our five card hand has all the components we need to win the game. It’s better to accept that we need to be slightly lucky and draw the remaining piece we need off the top of our library.

It’s worth noting that [[Veil of Summer]] will often draw a card as well if you really need it to. Don’t be afraid to Cycle it if the situation is appropriate!

Hand No. 4: (on the draw)

[[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]] [[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]] [[Dark Ritual|]] [[Lotus Petal|]] [[Wishclaw Talisman|]] [[Badlands|]] [[Mox Opal|]]


Just like Hand No. 3, this hand is lacking one key component — protection. The real downside here is being on the draw against the [[Thoughtseize]]/[[Force of Will]] deck. We have a few new added tricks up our sleeve to help combat this. We have a new Companion in [[Lurrus of the Dream-Den]]! Why is this relevant? [[Wishclaw Talisman]] is a permanent that costs or less! If [[Wishclaw Talisman]] is discarded or countered, we can use [[Lurrus of the Dream-Den]] to recast it! Because [[Lurrus of the Dream-Den]] isn’t in our hand, we can use [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] to cast it before recasting the [[Wishclaw Talisman]].

There is a small trap here. If our opponent is wise, they could allow you to use the [[Wishclaw Talisman]] for [[Ad Nauseam]] and then use their copy of [[Force of Will]]. In theory, you could avoid this by hard-casting [[Echo of Eons]], but I’m not sure how much I like this.

Hand No. 5: (on the play)

[[Burning Wish|]] [[Rite of Flame|]] [[Rite of Flame|]] [[Lotus Petal|]] [[Burning Wish|]] [[Taiga|]] [[Underground Sea|]]


This is the sort of hand that makes [[Goblin Token]]s well, but as we discussed in Hand No. 1, that’s not really a winning strategy. You might be wondering, “Why isn’t [[Echo of Eons]] in the picture?” It is! But this hand is too slow and non-disruptive for that to be realistic. In order for us to be able to cast [[Echo of Eons]], we’ll been to cast [[Burning Wish]] on the second turn and then cast [[Echo of Eons]] on turn three. In the meantime, we need to not be disrupted by either [[Force of Will]] or [[Thoughtseize]] AND not lose the game to the [[Doomsday]] combo. I hope you can understand why I find this approach is a tiny bit optimistic.


Recommended sideboarding:


[[Hope of Ghirapur|]] [[Hope of Ghirapur|]] [[Hope of Ghirapur|]]


[[Defense Grid|]] [[Defense Grid|]] [[Swamp|]]

Hand No. 6: (on the draw)

[[Hope of Ghirapur|]] [[Lotus Petal|]] [[Dark Ritual|]] [[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]] [[Veil of Summer|]] [[Mox Opal|]] [[Verdant Catacombs|]]


This hand is pretty obviously good, but you may not see why. It involves our new Companion [[Lurrus of the Dream-Den]] previously mentioned. The sequence here is to play [[Verdant Catacombs]], [[Lotus Petal]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Mox Opal]], use [[Verdant Catacombs]] for [[Underground Sea]] and cast [[Hope of Ghirapur]]. At this point, you have [[Veil of Summer]] up to protect [[Hope of Ghirapur]], but you don’t need to because of [[Lurrus of the Dream-Den]]. Allow a [[Force of Will]] to resolve. Cast [[Dark Ritual]] off of [[Mox Opal]] and then play [[Lurrus of the Dream-Den]], I would use [[Veil of Summer]] to fight back if need be. If you need to, recast [[Hope of Ghirapur]].

At this point, you have the combo of [[Lurrus of the Dream-Den]] and [[Hope of Ghirapur]]. Attack each turn, sacrifice [[Hope of Ghirapur]], rinse, and repeat. Meanwhile, your opponent will not be able to cast non-creature spells. If your opponent never interacted at all, you get to hold open [[Veil of Summer]] for a possible [[Abrupt Decay]] which makes it even harder for them to get out of the lock.

Hand No. 7: (on the play)

[[Veil of Summer|]] [[Hope of Ghirapur|]] [[Hope of Ghirapur|]] [[Ponder|]] [[Brainstorm|]] [[Burning Wish|]] [[Volcanic Island|]]


This is an example of too much of a good thing. These are all generally good cards, but this hand is too much protection and cantrips. While you can use [[Hope of Ghirapur]] to pseudo-[[Time Walk]] your opponent, I don’t think it’s enough even while cantripping to fix this hand. This is one of those hands you keep and then play it out to be disappointed when you sort of just flounder around before losing. [[Volcanic Island]] is a little awkward here as it doesn’t cast [[Veil of Summer]], which is more valuable than the [[Burning Wish]]. A big hole in this hand is if the [[Ponder]] on turn two misses on a land, you’re likely done for.

Hand No. 8: (on the draw)

[[Rite of Flame|]] [[Dark Ritual|]] [[Dark Ritual|]] [[Lotus Petal|]] [[Echo of Eons|]] [[Polluted Delta|]] [[Underground Sea|]]


This hand is almost identical to Hand No. 5. While the cards are different, it’s crucial to look at hands before keeping them to consider how they’ll play out. If one wasn’t keepable, this one also isn’t. Post-board [[Doomsday]] often sideboards into [[Flusterstorm]] (at least in my experience) which makes the possible Flashback even more unrealistic.

Hand No. 9: (on the play — Mulliganed Once)

[[Ad Nauseam|]] [[Veil of Summer|]] [[Hope of Ghirapur|]] [[Badlands|]] [[Tropical Island|]] [[Chrome Mox|]] [[Bloodstained Mire|]]


This is just one of those, “cross your fingers and pray” hands. I would bottom the [[Chrome Mox]] before playing the [[Tropical Island]] and passing. I’m opting to old open the [[Veil of Summer]] to protect [[Ad Nauseam]]. On the second turn, it’s easy to cast [[Hope of Ghirapur]] and then protect [[Ad Nauseam]] again. We’re really just hoping for two-plus mana over the last turn in either a [[Dark Ritual]] or [[Rite of Flame]] plus [[Lotus Petal]]. Something interesting about this hand is due to [[Tropical Island]], a pair of [[Rite of Flame]] will not do the trick.

Hand No. 10: (on the draw)

[[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]] [[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]] [[Hope of Ghirapur|]] [[Echo of Eons|]] [[Wishclaw Talisman|]] [[Dark Ritual|]] [[Veil of Summer|]]

Stay tuned for the next article!

I’ll provide my answer in the next article. For now, make sure to post your thoughts!