[[Burning Wish|]] [[Chain of Vapor|]] [[Mox Opal|]] [[Lotus Petal|]] [[Lotus Petal|]] [[Volcanic Island|]] [[Veil of Summer|]]
What does this hand actually do? While you do have mana and a [[Chain of Vapor]] to answer a [[Trinisphere]], the [[Burning Wish]] doesn’t have any desirable targets. You’re a single mana short of [[Galvanic Relay]], two short of [[Empty the Warrens]], and you have no way to get [[Echo of Eons]] to the graveyard. Meanwhile, we have a [[Veil of Summer]] rotting away in our hand as en essential mulligan. Just mulligan! We can easily exchange this hand that needs to have a lot of things to go right for a brand new hand with a similar amount of live cards for free.
Don’t be overly seduced by [[Chain of Vapor]] against the [[Trinisphere]] deck when they’re more likely to have [[Chalice of the Void]].
A turn one win on the play, how could this be bad? Simply put, the math isn’t in your favor. The stock Jeskai Control lists play roughly six main deck “Force effects” between [[Force of Will]] and [[Force of Negation]]. Your opponent is roughly 55 percent to have one of these in their first seven, and if they’ve mulliganed, those odds increase to 78 percent. You wouldn’t play casino games with those odds, why do it here? The matchup is so favored if you’re willing to play a longer game with [[Galvanic Relay]].
We were fortunate enough to open with the singleton main deck copy of [[Galvanic Relay]] alongside a lot of acceleration. [[Galvanic Relay]] is one of the best cards in the matchup due to their slow clock, but this is an opening hand that really leverages your potential.
I would lead on [[Lotus Petal]], [[Lotus Petal]], [[Mox Opal]], and then [[Rite of Flame]]. By playing [[Rite of Flame]] first, you’re telling the opponent that you still have a land drop so that a [[Force of Will]] on [[Rite of Flame]] won’t be very effective. Assuming that it resolves, then play [[Ponder]] looking for your land drop. I would then cast #REDNECRO for at least six!
[[Ad Nauseam]] is an instant! This means that [[Force of Negation]] can be played around, which would give you a 60 percent chance of success on the first turn. The plan is to use [[Bloodstained Mire]] for [[Badlands]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Dark Ritual]], and [[Ad Nauseam]] in their upkeep. If this fails, there’s still [[Burning Wish]] for [[Echo of Eons]] as a back-up plan.
Speed is not a major factor in this matchup, you don’t need to keep fast hands. Playing to the speed of the matchup is necessary to being successful. That said, in some variants, you do have to be concerned about cards such as [[Hullbreacher]] and [[Narset, Parter of Veils]].
Fortunately, we can cast our [[Brainstorm]] and [[Ponder]] before those cards can hit the battlefield. The ability to sculpt a game plan here is extremely desirable, the big take away here is don’t feel the pressure of feeling fast when you don’t need to.
While this hand may be clunky, we’re reinforcing the idea that you can take your time against Jeskai Control. The game will take some time, these hands are absolutely fine. I would expect that [[Ponder]] would find some acceleration, but even if it doesn’t there will be plenty of draw steps.
There are three ways to access the best card in the matchup — [[Galvanic Relay]]. I’ve began to really value [[Burning Wish]] as a setup piece against blue-based strategies since it can retrieve [[Galvanic Relay]] or draw out a [[Force of Will]] or [[Force of Negation]] essentially acting as a red [[Hymn to Tourach]]. Unlike [[Wishclaw Talisman]], it cannot be hit by [[Prismatic Ending]] either.
[[Carpet of Flowers|]] [[Carpet of Flowers|]] [[Carpet of Flowers|]] [[Galvanic Relay|]] [[Galvanic Relay|]] [[Abrupt Decay|]] [[Abrupt Decay|]]
These hands are always a little dicey, I’ve kept some that just don’t pan out in the past where you never draw a pay-off spell. We just added additional copies of [[Galvanic Relay]] into our main deck, however, and if we can find one of those, we’re off to the races. In an effort to improve the effectiveness of [[Galvanic Relay]], I would sit with as many of these non-land permanents in hand as long as possible. That said, [[Carpet of Flowers]] is also most effective when the opponent doesn’t see it coming or doesn’t know we have it in hand. You want them to play more copies of [[Island]], so holding [[Carpet of Flowers]] is recommended. This incidentally plays around [[Prismatic Ending]] without meaning to do so. Additionally, we have a clean answer to [[Ethersworn Canonist]] or other various hate pieces with [[Abrupt Decay]].
To circle back to the speed aspect, we’re 34 percent to draw an action spell every single turn. In matchups with more draw steps, you’re going to have increased probability to finding your crucial cards.
Hand No. 7: (on the play)
[[Galvanic Relay|]] [[Rite of Flame|]] [[Rite of Flame|]] [[Chrome Mox|]] [[Burning Wish|]] [[Wishclaw Talisman|]] [[Galvanic Relay|]]
But it has [[Galvanic Relay]]! How could this be bad? [[Galvanic Relay]] is best when it’s difficult for our opponent to interact with, here we’ve made it incredibly easy for them to stop us with one of their many “Force effects” (many lists even side up to a seventh copy). On top of being easily disrupted, we’re not setting ourselves up for success by creating permanent based mana sources. We have a single [[Chrome Mox]] and not even a land drop.
While this hand may seem busted, after enough trial and error, you’ll find that these hands rarely go the way that we’d like them to.
Hand No. 8: (on the draw)
[[Defense Grid|]] [[Echo of Eons|]] [[Veil of Summer|]] [[Carpet of Flowers|]] [[Carpet of Flowers|]] [[Polluted Delta|]] [[Tendrils of Agony|]]
While not incredibly obvious, but this hand isn’t actually that clunky. The play pattern here is to move away from the traditional norm and just move to our cleanup step to discard the [[Echo of Eons]]. We aren’t worried about the tempo loss against the control deck and this removes the need to draw [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]. From there, we can set up a turn where we play multiple copies of [[Carpet of Flowers]], [[Defense Grid]], and [[Veil of Summer]] into a protected [[Echo of Eons]]. We’ve allowed our opponent to play additional lands ahead of the fundamental turn which actually rewards us in this odd scenario.
Think big picture. [[Wishclaw Talisman]] is a flexible piece. While we do need one of these as a payoff, the other can be our protection spell. Due to being on the play, our opponent cannot [[Prismatic Ending]] our [[Wishclaw Talisman]]. They can, however, remove the [[Mox Opal]] or a copy of [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] to slow us down. There’s also the reasonable chance that the first [[Wishclaw Talisman]] is countered by one of their seven possible “Force effects” clearing the way for the second copy.
This hand may seem like a very clear keep, but players often tunnel vision on [[Galvanic Relay]] in post-board games. While [[Galvanic Relay]] is very powerful card, sometimes you just need to play the hands that you’re dealt. Especially, if they’re very reasonable hands with a lot of potential.
Hand No. 10: (on the draw)
[[Veil of Summer|]] [[Veil of Summer|]] [[Veil of Summer|]] [[Verdant Catacombs|]] [[Galvanic Relay|]] [[Burning Wish|]] [[Rite of Flame|]]
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I’ll provide my answer in the next article. For now, make sure to leave a comment with 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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