While this hand doesn’t beat their [[Chalice of the Void]] draws, it certainly can combat the eight “Force effects” ([[Force of Will]]/[[Force of Negation]]) hands. To minimize the number of hands that we lose to, it’s best to take our draw step, play [[Underground Sea]], and cast [[Lotus Petal]]. Pass the turn after this, but then we have some plans in the opponent’s upkeep.
Sacrifice [[Lotus Petal]] to cast [[Orim’s Chant]]. After that, [[Dark Ritual]], [[Dark Ritual]], and [[Ad Nauseam]]! The reason to cast these spells during the opponent’s upkeep is we’re able to avoid [[Force of Negation]] while not giving them another draw step to find [[Force of Will]].
Hand No. 1: (on the draw)
[[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]] [[Burning Wish|]] [[Wishclaw Talisman|]] [[Dark Ritual|]] [[Brainstorm|]] [[Echo of Eons|]] [[Rite of Flame|]]
We’re facing the Legacy deck that main deck copies of [[Pyroblast]] and [[Red Elemental Blast]] effects (usually anywhere between 5-8 copies). Why would we keep a hand that just loses to those? At best, this hand is a free mulligan since we’re not getting any additional equity out of it. By leveraging the London Mulligan we can do that without the risk of losing to a [[Pyroblast]].
Painter doesn’t play [[Force of Will]] effects! That means we’re able to cast our spells into [[Ad Nauseam]] undisrupted!
[[Badlands]], [[Lotus Petal]], [[Mox Opal]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Rite of Flame]], [[Wishclaw Talisman]], activate it, and [[Ad Nauseam]]!
Hand No. 3: (on the draw)
[[Veil of Summer|]] [[Defense Grid|]] [[Galvanic Relay|]] [[Verdant Catacombs|]] [[Tropical Island|]] [[Dark Ritual|]] [[Rite of Flame|]]
This hand demonstrates how a snap-keep in one matchup may be a strict mulligan in another. While our opponent is a [[Pyroblast]] strategy, this is far too much protection and fairly slow. Not to mention, [[Tropical Island]] doesn’t cast [[Dark Ritual]] or [[Rite of Flame]].
Hand No. 4: (on the play)
[[Rite of Flame|]] [[Volcanic Island|]] [[Ad Nauseam|]] [[Echo of Eons|]] [[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]] [[Ponder|]] [[Chrome Mox|]]
While Painter doesn’t play [[Force of Will]], it does have [[Simian Spirit Guide]] into [[Pyroblast]] or [[Red Elemental Blast]] for our [[Echo of Eons]]. There’s some risk involved here, but I believe you accept starting the game with three mana available and a Storm count of four as being worth the risk involved. Even if you are forced to pass the turn, you’re still up two permanent mana sources.
Hands that aren’t weak to [[Pyroblast]] or [[Red Elemental Blast]] are highly desirable and with these initial seven cards, we can put [[Peer into the Abyss]] onto the stack. In most game ones, it’s about not losing to the red counterspells and winning before [[Karn, the Great Creator]] would hit the battlefield.
[[Chain of Vapor|]] [[Chain of Vapor|]] [[Abrupt Decay|]] [[Abrupt Decay|]]
The game plan here is to play [[Mox Opal]], [[Lotus Petal]], and then [[Chrome Mox]]. With the Imprint trigger on the stack, cast [[Brainstorm]] and evaluate how you would like to play the rest of the game/turn. After that, we have [[Verdant Catacombs]] to shuffle away any less desirable cards such as the additional copy of [[Mox Opal]]. If you need to buy time, we have [[Abrupt Decay]] to answer [[Painter’s Servant]].
While this hand may look like a mulligan, you have to consider the odds of success. With 13 Lands, four [[Lotus Petal]], four [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], and two [[Chrome Mox]] we’re 43 percent to hit on the first draw step, 68 percent by turn two, and 82 percent by the third turn. These are very reasonable odds to win the game while not losing to [[Pyroblast]].
Hand No. 8: (on the play)
[[Veil of Summer|]] [[Veil of Summer|]] [[Wishclaw Talisman|]] [[Burning Wish|]] [[Tendrils of Agony|]] [[Underground Sea|]] [[Bloodstained Mire|]]
While [[Veil of Summer]] can delay the [[Painter’s Servant]]/[[Grindstone]] combo for a turn, this hand is too slow and doesn’t really have anything going for it. This is the type of hand that is begging to lose to a [[Karn, the Great Creator]].
Typically, we say we’re 34 percent per draw step to hit an action spell. Those odds include [[Brainstorm]], [[Ponder]], and [[Echo of Eons]] which are dangerous against the [[Pyroblast]] strategy. Removing them drastically reduces our odds of success, we’re better off leveraging the London Mulligan as Hand No. 1 suggested.
Hand No. 10: (on the play)
[[Ponder|]] [[Ponder|]] [[Brainstorm|]] [[Polluted Delta|]] [[Volcanic Island|]] [[Rite of Flame|]] [[Chain of Vapor|]]
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.
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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