Well, this is a little awkward with the [[Underworld Breach]] banning. That said, the matchup was miserably difficult and it required a lot of risk in order to squeak out wins. Because of this, I would keep this hand knowing that I lost to [[Orim’s Chant]] or [[Force of Will]]. A small bright-side is that the [[Echo of Eons]] is out of the deck already so the odds of fizzling are very low.
While this hand isn’t blazing fast, it does contain [[Burning Wish]] into [[Pulverize]] while having access to both [[Mountains]]. This should beat most permanent-based hate outside of [[Karn, the Great Creator]]. A subtle thing that I enjoy about this hand is that it’s resilient to [[Chalice of the Void]] on zero, which is very common out of the deck that plays comes into play tapped lands such as [[Cloudpost]].
This hand is really interesting to me. It’s obviously very good so we’re going to keep. I would actually search up [[Bayou]] and cast [[Thoughtseize]] because this allows you to get ahead and possibly discard their most dangerous disruption piece. The beauty of having [[Veil of Summer]] here means that you are able to beat [[Chalice of the Void]] on zero. I would hold back [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] and [[Lotus Petal]] for storm count for a possible [[Empty the Warrens]]. If I missed my land drop on the second turn, I’d strongly consider an [[Echo of Eons]] line.
This is a hand that looks really good and I would have a hard time faulting anyone for keeping it. That said, I think it’s a trap. This hand doesn’t actually play Magic that well. You have no way of meaningfully interacting with the opponent. You would need to draw into another red source for [[Pulverize]], and you’re two mana away from [[Ad Nauseam]]. In general, I think this hand is slightly too clunky. Swap the [[Veil of Summer]] or the second copy of [[Burning Wish]] with most other cards and I believe I’d probably keep it.
Not every hand has a business spell in it sadly, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a keepable hand! We have the ability to play all of our artifacts before [[Chalice of the Void]] comes down (I would Imprint the [[Rite of Flame]]) and a [[Thoughtseize]] off of [[Mox Opal]] to discard their most relevant card. After that, we’re at 34 percent each turn to likely win the game which is a very good position to be in.
Hand No. 5: (on the draw)
[[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]] [[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]] [[Wishclaw Talisman|]] [[Mox Opal|]] [[Echo of Eons|]] [[Chrome Mox|]] [[Rite of Flame|]]
All day every day. I mentioned in hand one that one of our opponent’s most common play lines includes a tapped [[Cloudpost]] into a [[Chalice of the Void]] on zero, but you can’t live your life in fear. Look at our hand No. 10 from Jeskai Breach. Sometimes you need to take risks. How often are you going to beat a [[Chalice of the Void]] anyway? Might as well keep a hand that punishes them for not having it.
[[Abrupt Decay|]] [[Abrupt Decay|]] [[Chain of Vapor|]] [[Chain of Vapor|]] [[Thoughtseize|]]
[[Veil of Summer|]] [[Veil of Summer|]] [[Veil of Summer|]] [[Veil of Summer|]] [[Ponder|]]
This hand is actually dangerously close to hand No. 4, but there are two main differences. The first being that if you’re fortunate enough to draw an action spell, you don’t have all the mana to win the game on the spot. The second being that [[Abrupt Decay]] isn’t as good as [[Thoughtseize]] on the play, [[Abrupt Decay]] doesn’t answer [[Karn, the Great Creator]] nor does it provide context clues on how to navigate the game.
Hand No. 7: (on the draw — Mulliganed Once)
[[Chain of Vapor|]] [[Thoughtseize|]] [[Thoughtseize|]] [[Bloodstained Mire|]] [[Bloodstained Mire|]] [[Rite of Flame|]] [[Rite of Flame|]]
I don’t really like my odds on five cards in this matchup. I’d probably bottom a [[Thoughtseize]] and pray. Keeping a hand of all interaction is a sure-fire way of getting ground into oblivion, while keeping the pair of [[Rite of Flame]] provides more of a potential for winning the game in my opinion.
It’s a hand of land(s) and spells, but does it actually do anything? Not really. Even if you drew a second land while being undisrupted from the opponent, you’re so far from winning that it doesn’t really matter.
If there’s anything you take away from this article, it should be please don’t play afraid. Play for the highest percentage. This hand is just another example of taking a calculated risk. If your opponent plays a hate piece, we have draw-steps to help resolve that. You shouldn’t be throwing away great hands because they don’t answer a specific card.
Hand No. 10: (on the play)
[[Echo of Eons|]] [[Abrupt Decay|]] [[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]] [[Chrome Mox|]] [[Volcanic Island|]] [[Rite of Flame|]] [[Abrupt Decay|]]
Share your answer in the comments below!
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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