While you are a deck that is roughly 34 percent to hit an action spell every single draw step, almost 50 percent of our live draws are blue which is fairly bad against the [[Pyroblast]]/[[Red Elemental Blast]] strategy. This realistically brings our odds below a 20 percent success rate. There’s also the possibility that our opponent has some sort of [[Sphere of Resistance]] effect or even [[Karn, the Great Creator]] making this hand too slow and incredibly risky.
Sneak & Show
Hand No. 1: (on the play)
[[Veil of Summer|]] [[Veil of Summer|]] [[Ponder|]] [[Ponder|]] [[Wishclaw Talisman|]] [[Polluted Delta|]] [[Burning Wish|]]
This is a classic “Lands + Spells” trap hand. While we can technically cast a few things, this hand doesn’t achieve anything The EPIC Storm is looking to accomplish. It’s very slow, needing both lands and acceleration while also needing the opponent to not do anything meaningful.
One very important thing to consider in this matchup is that the card [[Show and Tell]] is symmetrical which means that we can put an artifact, enchantment, land, or creature onto the battlefield… including [[Defense Grid]]. I would hold it and wait for the opponent to make the first move while we advance our game plan with [[Ponder]].
Hand No. 3: (on the play)
[[Dark Ritual|]] [[Wishclaw Talisman|]] [[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]] [[Lotus Petal|]] [[Rite of Flame|]] [[Rite of Flame|]] [[Mox Opal|]]
Fun Fact: Sneak & Show doesn’t play [[Force of Negation]] which means that we’re back to the old, “they’re only 40 percent to have it” mantra. The math is in our favor, push your chips, and go all-in.
A second turn [[Galvanic Relay]] could be too slow in this matchup. That said, our hand doesn’t play around [[Daze]] that well, which encourages us to slow down. I have concerns about it not being effective enough without casting the [[Ponder]] for Storm count, the bright side here is that an artifact for Metalcraft goes a long way.
Hand No. 5: (on the play)
[[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]] [[Chrome Mox|]] [[Ponder|]] [[Rite of Flame|]] [[Echo of Eons|]] [[Wishclaw Talisman|]] [[Ad Nauseam|]]
This hand is essentially a glorified, free mulligan with the downside that you lose to a [[Force of Will]]. Why risk it? You can London Mulligan for free — don’t be reckless is the real message with this hand.
Hand No. 6: (on the draw)
[[Rite of Flame|]] [[Rite of Flame|]] [[Dark Ritual|]] [[Burning Wish|]] [[Badlands|]] [[Lotus Petal|]] [[Wishclaw Talisman|]]
You don’t always need protection! Sometimes the best thing is to brute force your opponent. By playing all of your mana into [[Wishclaw Talisman]] that is likely to be countered, you’re then able to cast [[Burning Wish]] into [[Galvanic Relay]] as a pseudo one-sided [[Wheel of Fortune]].
Hand No. 7: (on the play)
[[Ad Nauseam|]] [[Veil of Summer|]] [[Veil of Summer|]] [[Chrome Mox|]] [[Chrome Mox|]] [[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]] [[Wishclaw Talisman|]]
This hand looks worse than it actually is. The key is to focus on what you can do instead of what you can’t. While we can’t cast [[Ad Nauseam]] it does Imprint to [[Chrome Mox]] to allow us to cast [[Wishclaw Talisman]]. This opens up the ability to cast [[Veil of Summer]] into [[Echo of Eons]] on the second turn.
Hand No. 8: (on the draw)
[[Wishclaw Talisman|]] [[Wishclaw Talisman|]] [[Badlands|]] [[Chrome Mox|]] [[Rite of Flame|]] [[Dark Ritual|]] [[Tendrils of Agony|]]
While having [[Tendrils of Agony]] in hand is nice against the deck looking to pay seven life with [[Griselbrand]], we’re so far away from that being a reality. We’re also going to need a lot of help turning these [[Wishclaw Talisman]]s into something productive backed by protection. If you think about how this game will play out, we have a first turn [[Wishclaw Talisman]], and then another on the second turn. We need our opponent now to not combo out but also not have any sort of interaction unless we drew exactly a green source plus [[Veil of Summer]] or additional acceleration for the secondary [[Wishclaw Talisman]]. There are too many what ifs going on here.
Hand No. 9: (on the play)
[[Rite of Flame|]] [[Dark Ritual|]] [[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]] [[Tendrils of Agony|]] [[Lotus Petal|]] [[Underground Sea|]] [[Bloodstained Mire|]]
Honestly, I would keep this hand on the draw looking to rope-a-dope my opponent with the [[Tendrils of Agony]] when we’re plus a card. Being on the play, we have to wait around for a few turns and don’t have anything to incentivize the [[Griselbrand]] activation to dig for [[Force of Will]]. I could see keeping it if you just want to high-roll on your draws, but I think our average London Mulligan hand is just more powerful.
Hand No. 10: (on the draw)
[[Verdant Catacombs|]] [[Chrome Mox|]] [[Rite of Flame|]] [[Scalding Tarn|]] [[Veil of Summer|]] [[Veil of Summer|]] [[Dark Ritual|]]
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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