Hey! We’re back with the second Matchup Mulligan! Let’s dive in.
This series will go over 10 opening hands, 5 pre-board and 5 post-board with the same numbers for being on the play or drawing first. The hands are not random, they’ve been sculpted by me for the purpose of these exercises.
Hand 1: (on the play)
Even on the play, this is an ideal hand. It’s capable of a first turn Ad Nauseam with a land drop still left. Not much else to say about this hand, it’s ABC Magic.
Hand 2: (on the draw)
This hand is a trap. While 10+ Goblins on the first turn seems like a dream, they won’t kill until turn 3 (with your opponent having three turns as well) by then your opponent would’ve killed you. The real issue is that this hand doesn’t interact with the opponent after you’ve cast Empty the Warrens. Hands like this are sometimes okay if paired with a Cabal Therapy, but even then, it’s risky.
Hand 3: (on the play)
Not a fantastic hand, but you get two looks for a first turn kill with either your scry for a Dark Ritual or Lion’s Eye Diamond. Alternatively, if you can scry a black source to the top of the library, Duress is now an option. This hand has a lot of play which is something I enjoy.
Hand 4: (on the draw)
This hand is great. It’s resilient to discard and if you draw Dark Ritual, you’re options are really open. That said, I put this hand in here to discuss how Burning Wish into Telemin Performance is a 100% win in game ones in the storm mirror. Where even if you draw the Dark Ritual for Ad Nauseam, it’s not correct.
Hand 5: (on the play)
This hand seems good when you look at it. You have multiple copies of discard spells and redundant “tutor effects” to make their discard less effective. The issue is that this hand doesn’t actually do anything. This hand ends up losing to the opponent just playing out lands and artifact mana until they top deck and kill you.
I tend to keep hands like this, a lot of people will think this is a mulligan. That said, TES is very threat dense – you will find something. If they play a discard spell, they have to choose between your Duress or Lion’s Eye Diamond. Which isn’t a bad spot to be in.
Hand 7: (on the play)
Very similar to the hand above, but not quite the same. This hand will have trouble becoming hellbent due to the number of lands, but it also lacks interaction and is weak to Cabal Therapy. An easy decision in my opinion.
Hand 8: (on the draw)
This hand has three looks to be a turn one kill if left undisrupted (scry, draw step, and Gitaxian Probe). Hands like these tend to be tough, but I think they’re worthwhile even without hand disruption. You have enough hits where I believe the risk is worthwhile.
This is a tough one. I would probably try to scry a card I can imprint on Chrome Mox and then pray they didn’t sideboard a creature into their deck for Telemin Performance. If they did, this hand is just a bad version of hand #2.
Later this week we’ll have a report from Jim Baxter on his top 8 finish at Eternal Extravaganza 7. After that there will be an article explaining deck changes followed by another great piece of writing from Jasper Gardener Burch. What a time to be a storm enthusiast!
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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