Matchup Mulligan: Orzhov Death & Taxes

Final Temur Rhinos Hand Answer

Hand No. 10: (on the draw)

[[Mox Opal|]] [[Rite of Flame|]] [[Dark Ritual|]] [[Thoughtseize|]] [[Empty the Warrens|]] [[Beseech the Mirror|]] [[Chrome Mox|]]


It’s very risky, but as I said in the last article, you need to take big swings in bad matchups. Against the deck with [[Force of Will]], [[Force of Negation]], and [[Force of Vigor]] you’re going to need to get lucky in order to win. In this case, that means drawing a land that produces black mana or an artifact. Depending on what the draw is, that should be enough for a [[Thoughtseize]] into [[Empty the Warrens]]. If we miss, we likely get a draw step or two to dig ourselves out of it.

The EPIC Storm vs. Orzhov Death & Taxes

the epic Storm

Main Deck

  • 4 [[Mishra’s Bauble]]
  • 4 [[Brainstorm]]
  • 4 [[Veil of Summer]]
  • 4 [[Burning Wish]]
  • 4 [[Beseech the Mirror]]
  • 3 [[Galvanic Relay]]
  • 1 [[Tendrils of Agony]]
  • 1 [[Song of Creation]]
  • 1 [[Gaea’s Will]]
  • 4 [[Rite of Flame]]
  • 4 [[Dark Ritual]]
  • 4 [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]
  • 4 [[Lotus Petal]]
  • 3 [[Chrome Mox]]
  • 3 [[Mox Opal]]
  • 4 [[Bloodstained Mire]]
  • 1 [[Scalding Tarn]]
  • 1 [[Misty Rainforest]]
  • 1 [[Verdant Catacombs]]
  • 1 [[Underground Sea]]
  • 1 [[Volcanic Island]]
  • 1 [[Badlands]]
  • 1 [[Bayou]]
  • 1 [[Taiga]]


  • 4 [[Carpet of Flowers]]
  • 2 [[Abrupt Decay]]
  • 1 [[Echoing Truth]]
  • 1 [[Consign // Oblivion]]
  • 1 [[Thoughtseize]]
  • 1 [[Grapeshot]]
  • 1 [[Galvanic Relay]]
  • 1 [[Empty the Warrens]]
  • 1 [[Tendrils of Agony]]
  • 1 [[Echo of Eons]]
  • 1 [[Peer into the Abyss]]


Hand No. 1: (on the draw)

[[Burning Wish|]] [[Galvanic Relay|]] [[Badlands|]] [[Mishra’s Bauble|]] [[Mishra’s Bauble|]] [[Bloodstained Mire|]] [[Beseech the Mirror|]]


The lesson with this hand is not every hand is applicable for every matchup. While this hand does get to, “play a game of Magic: the Gathering”, it doesn’t play a meaningful game. Lands and spells are not good enough against every deck. Specifically against Orzhov Death & Taxes (D&T), we need something fast. These seven cards are looking to play a longer game where you accrue value off of a pair of [[Mishra’s Bauble]] as well as [[Galvanic Relay]].

In older builds of The EPIC Storm, we might of had something in the sideboard such as [[Massacre]] for these archetypes. That is no longer the case and this [[Burning Wish]] can find either [[Grapeshot]] or [[Consign // Oblivion]]. That’s a six mana value line versus the card that D&T is best known for — [[Thalia, Guardian of Thraben]]. To wrap up this initial hand, we want faster hands to stop the prison snowball effect from locking us down.

Hand No. 2: (on the play)

[[Burning Wish|]] [[Veil of Summer|]] [[Verdant Catacombs|]] [[Taiga|]] [[Rite of Flame|]] [[Dark Ritual|]] [[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]]


You might be wondering why Death & Taxes has adapted to play black. The primary reason is for [[Orcish Bowmasters]] but it’s also for [[Thoughtseize]]. With our current hand, we have [[Veil of Summer]] to fend off [[Thoughtseize]]. In pre-board games, Orzhov D&T doesn’t have any other one mana value spells we really care all that much about. This means that we can play the [[Verdant Catacombs]] on the first turn and then pass to protect ourselves from [[Wasteland]] or [[Rishadan Port]]. Some players may see the [[Taiga]] and the [[Veil of Summer]] and then make a hasty decision to play out their green land, but we still have a [[Bayou]] to search for.

If we’re lucky enough to have the opponent to cast a [[Thoughtseize]], we’ll be able to draw a card off of the [[Veil of Summer]]. Between that and our draw step, we’re looking for one more mana to be able to cast [[Peer into the Abyss]] out of our sideboard. That’s a nine mana value line and we’re currently at eight, if we fail to find that mana, I would cast a Flashback [[Echo of Eons]] (thanks to [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]).

Hand No. 3: (on the draw)

[[Brainstorm|]] [[Lotus Petal|]] [[Mox Opal|]] [[Dark Ritual|]] [[Misty Rainforest|]] [[Mishra’s Bauble|]] [[Rite of Flame|]]


We get to do one of my favorite plays! Start by casting all of our zero mana artifacts: [[Lotus Petal]], [[Mishra’s Bauble]], [[Mox Opal]], and then we play [[Brainstorm]]. After that, we can shuffle on the first turn using this [[Misty Rainforest]]. The rest of this game is determined by how good the [[Brainstorm]] was but we also have a few additional draws between the [[Mishra’s Bauble]] and our draw step. Games are often not determined by the first seven cards — don’t forget that!

Hand No. 4: (on the play)

[[Lotus Petal|]] [[Chrome Mox|]] [[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]] [[Underground Sea|]] [[Beseech the Mirror|]] [[Galvanic Relay|]] [[Dark Ritual|]]


An important thing to know is that in pre-board games, the Black and White D&T deck doesn’t have any free interaction. That’s perfect for our extremely explosive turn one win hand!

We’ll begin by playing [[Underground Sea]] and then casting: [[Lotus Petal]], [[Chrome Mox]] (Imprint: [[Galvanic Relay]]), [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Dark Ritual]], and then [[Beseech the Mirror]]. At this point, we search out and cast [[Gaea’s Will]], replay our graveyard, and then [[Beseech the Mirror]] into [[Tendrils of Agony]].

Hand No. 5: (on the draw)

[[Gaea’s Will|]] [[Mishra’s Bauble|]] [[Beseech the Mirror|]] [[Bloodstained Mire|]] [[Bloodstained Mire|]] [[Chrome Mox|]] [[Tendrils of Agony|]]


Having the [[Gaea’s Will]] in our hand is not ideal, that said, we do still have [[Song of Creation]] as a card to search for using [[Beseech the Mirror]]. The issue here is outside of drawing exactly [[Dark Ritual]] for our draw step, this hand isn’t going to do anything before [[Thalia, Guardian of Thraben]] or [[Orcish Bowmasters]] enter the battlefield. A nice thing about The EPIC Storm is that [[Veil of Summer]] can negate the [[Orcish Bowmasters]] triggers while [[Song of Creation]] does it’s thing. My concern here is that we don’t have mana number four for [[Beseech the Mirror]] and we likely need to use the [[Mishra’s Bauble]] to dig deeper. It’s just a very awkward hand and I’d rather leverage the London Mulligan than be forced into exactly [[Song of Creation]] because of my keep.


Recommended sideboarding:


[[Abrupt Decay|]] [[Abrupt Decay|]]
[[Echoing Truth|]] [[Consign // Oblivion|]]


[[Veil of Summer|]] [[Veil of Summer|]]
[[Galvanic Relay|]] [[Galvanic Relay|]]

Hand No. 6: (on the play)

[[Dark Ritual|]] [[Lotus Petal|]] [[Mishra’s Bauble|]] [[Beseech the Mirror|]] [[Misty Rainforest|]] [[Taiga|]] [[Veil of Summer|]]


In post-board games, our opponent gains instant-speed interaction in the form of: [[Surgical Extraction]], [[Faerie Macabre]], and often [[Mindbreak Trap]] on top of other sideboard cards like [[Deafening Silence]]. A lot of these decks have the same number of copies between [[Mindbreak Trap]] and [[Deafening Silence]], playing around one over the other is just a hunch. Because of that, I would choose to play around the one that our opponent can’t cast due to the composition of our hand.

Activate [[Misty Rainforest]] to find [[Underground Sea]] and let’s cast [[Dark Ritual]], [[Lotus Petal]], and then [[Beseech the Mirror]]. We’ll Bargain away the [[Mishra’s Bauble]] and then find [[Song of Creation]]. With [[Song of Creation]], we’re allowed to play an additional land. We’ll put [[Taiga]] on the table and then cast [[Veil of Summer]] hoping to draw into a few zero mana spells.

Hand No. 7: (on the draw)

[[Abrupt Decay|]] [[Beseech the Mirror|]] [[Scalding Tarn|]] [[Veil of Summer|]] [[Echoing Truth|]] [[Galvanic Relay|]] [[Bloodstained Mire|]]


Too much of a good thing! Ways to interact with our opponent are good, we want to be able to answer [[Deafening Silence]], [[Thalia, Guardian of Thraben]], and other disruptive permanents, but this hand is far too reactive. We’re pretty far from ever being able to cast this [[Beseech the Mirror]] — we would have to draw [[Dark Ritual]], and then a permanent for Bargain. If the permanent we need to answer is [[Thalia, Guardian of Thraben]], we would also need a third mana source.

Hand No. 8: (on the play)

[[Chrome Mox|]] [[Chrome Mox|]] [[Mox Opal|]] [[Burning Wish|]] [[Burning Wish|]] [[Taiga|]] [[Mishra’s Bauble|]]


I don’t like these types of hands, they assume you either get lucky off of the [[Mishra’s Bauble]] or hopes that our opponent messes up. What I mean is if you decide to keep this hand, the plan is likely to cast all of our spells into [[Burning Wish]] for [[Echo of Eons]]. You would need your opponent to [[Thoughtseize]] you, in order to help sell this lie, you could hold the [[Taiga]] in your hand. Alternatively, you could draw exactly a [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] off of [[Mishra’s Bauble]] or the draw step. There’s way too many, “what ifs” here when I could just mulligan.

Hand No. 9: (on the draw)

[[Burning Wish|]] [[Rite of Flame|]] [[Consign // Oblivion|]] [[Volcanic Island|]] [[Bayou|]] [[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]] [[Mox Opal|]]


This is an ideal hand in a post-board game. We’re able to answer a permanent, and the ability to cast an [[Echo of Eons]]. What else are you looking for?!

Hand No. 10: (on the play)

[[Beseech the Mirror|]] [[Chrome Mox|]] [[Mox Opal|]] [[Mishra’s Bauble|]] [[Underground Sea|]] [[Gaea’s Will|]] [[Volcanic Island|]]

Stay tuned for the next article!

I’ll provide my answer in the next article.