Matchup Mulligan: Sultai Beanstalk

Final Boros Initiative Hand Answer

Hand No. 10: (on the play)

[[Dark Ritual|]] [[Mox Opal|]] [[Beseech the Mirror|]] [[Underground Sea|]] [[Misty Rainforest|]] [[Misty Rainforest|]] [[Bloodstained Mire|]]


This hand is a trap! It looks good, but it’s actually mediocre. To understand why, think about how the game plays out. On your first turn, you do nothing. On your second turn, you can cast [[Dark Ritual]] and [[Beseech the Mirror]], sacrificing [[Mox Opal]] for the Bargain cost. Realistic tutor options are [[Gaea’s Will]] or [[Song of Creation]].

There won’t be any mana post [[Gaea’s Will]] to recast [[Dark Ritual]]. Even if there was, you’d still be short one mana to recast the [[Beseech the Mirror]]. The other option is [[Song of Creation]], but that is only effective if your first draw of the game is a one- or zero-mana value spell. Even then, you’d still need to have to chain fortunate [[Song of Creation]] draws to win. That is asking a lot.

Meanwhile, we need the opposing deck, loaded with acceleration, [[Chalice of the Void]], [[Magus of the Moon]], and [[Archon of Emeria]], to do absolutely nothing meaningful on the first turn. Alternatively, instead of keeping this trap of an opening hand, we could leverage the London Mulligan.

The EPIC Storm vs. Sultai Beanstalk

the epic Storm

Main Deck

  • 4 [[Ponder]]
  • 4 [[Brainstorm]]
  • 4 [[Burning Wish]]
  • 4 [[Beseech the Mirror]]
  • 3 [[Galvanic Relay]]
  • 1 [[Tendrils of Agony]]
  • 1 [[Song of Creation]]
  • 1 [[Gaea’s Will]]
  • 4 [[Veil of Summer]]
  • 2 [[Thoughtseize]]
  • 4 [[Dark Ritual]]
  • 4 [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]
  • 4 [[Lotus Petal]]
  • 4 [[Chrome Mox]]
  • 2 [[Mox Opal]]
  • 2 [[Cabal Ritual]]
  • 4 [[Misty Rainforest]]
  • 3 [[Bloodstained Mire]]
  • 2 [[Underground Sea]]
  • 1 [[Volcanic Island]]
  • 1 [[Bayou]]
  • 1 [[Taiga]]


  • 2 [[Echoing Truth]]
  • 2 [[Carpet of Flowers]]
  • 2 [[Boseiju, Who Endures]]
  • 2 [[Thoughtseize]]
  • 1 [[Consign // Oblivion]]
  • 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 play)

[[Dark Ritual|]] [[Cabal Ritual|]] [[Chrome Mox|]] [[Beseech the Mirror|]] [[Beseech the Mirror|]] [[Misty Rainforest|]] [[Song of Creation|]]


Risk vs. Reward! The only free countermagic the Sultai Beanstalk deck has main deck are four copies of [[Force of Will]] (copies of [[Force of Negation]] are often in the sideboard). This means we’re back to the old, “they’re only 40% to have it!”

You could try to drag the game out, but that doesn’t favor you here. This hand has no card selection or hand sculpting ([[Brainstorm]] and [[Ponder]]), and there are no copies of [[Thoughtseize]] or [[Veil of Summer]] to protect you. Waiting allows the opponent’s copies of [[Daze]] and/or [[Stifle]] to become active. Just put [[Gaea’s Will]] on the stack!

Hand No. 2: (on the draw)

[[Galvanic Relay|]] [[Bloodstained Mire|]] [[Ponder|]] [[Chrome Mox|]] [[Mox Opal|]] [[Brainstorm|]] [[Underground Sea|]]


The fear against Sultai Beanstalk on the draw is, “What if they have [[Stifle]]?” Many Sultai Beanstalk lists began with two copies before working up to three. However, we don’t have to play into their tricks.

We can play [[Underground Sea]] into [[Ponder]] to set up a turn two [[Galvanic Relay]]. Alternatively, you could attempt to deceive the opponent. On the second turn, play [[Bloodstained Mire]] and cast [[Brainstorm]] in your first main phase. This will highly incentivize your opponent to cast [[Orcish Bowmasters]] if they have it, tapping them out while simultaneously increasing the Storm count.

If they don’t cast [[Orcish Bowmasters]], activate the [[Bloodstained Mire]] to draw out the [[Stifle]]. Based on our draws, there is a possible [[Galvanic Relay]] afterward. Part of playing Storm is picking your spots and creating openings.

Hand No. 3: (on the play)

[[Chrome Mox|]] [[Lotus Petal|]] [[Mox Opal|]] [[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]] [[Veil of Summer|]] [[Gaea’s Will|]] [[Bayou|]]


We can do better. As mentioned about the previous hands, our opponent is playing a [[Stifle]] deck. By suspending [[Gaea’s Will]], we telegraph the game plan. The opponent has sufficient time to find [[Stifle]] and counter the critical Suspend trigger.

You might think [[Veil of Summer]] is the answer, but it’s not. [[Veil of Summer]] makes it so our spells can’t be countered. A [[Stifle]] on a Suspend trigger is entirely different.

Even if we resolve the [[Gaea’s Will]] off Suspend, what are we meaningfully recasting from the graveyard? We can’t do anything!

Hand No. 4: (on the draw)

[[Dark Ritual|]] [[Burning Wish|]] [[Burning Wish|]] [[Taiga|]] [[Misty Rainforest|]] [[Underground Sea|]] [[Chrome Mox|]]


Slow and steady wins the race; three lands against a deck with three copies of [[Stifle]] and four [[Wasteland]]. Access to [[Burning Wish]] for [[Thoughtseize]] can help clear a [[Stifle]].

The second copy of [[Burning Wish]] likely represents [[Galvanic Relay]], but we have some draw steps to better inform our plans. I would be happy to see this hand against Sultai Beanstalk!

Hand No. 5: (on the play)

[[Thoughtseize|]] [[Veil of Summer|]] [[Dark Ritual|]] [[Cabal Ritual|]] [[Lotus Petal|]] [[Bayou|]] [[Misty Rainforest|]]


I often hear players say, “You can’t keep hands without action.” There are situations where that’s true, but in a slower matchup like versus Sultai Beanstalk, it’s not.

We have everything we need to pop off once we find action. Each turn, we’re 37% to hit with modern-day The EPIC Storm lists. Patience is a virtue. Play to the speed of the matchup and get rewarded.


Recommended sideboarding:


[[Carpet of Flowers|]] [[Carpet of Flowers|]] [[Thoughtseize|]]


[[Cabal Ritual|]] [[Cabal Ritual|]] [[Mox Opal|]]

Hand No. 6: (on the draw)

[[Carpet of Flowers|]] [[Carpet of Flowers|]] [[Dark Ritual|]] [[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]] [[Taiga|]] [[Volcanic Island|]] [[Bloodstained Mire|]]


This hand was included for two primary reasons:

  1. Many individuals still believe, “It has a sideboard card; keep!” without evaluating what the hand does. In this case, we only make mana.
  2. Storm players generally over-value [[Carpet of Flowers]] against Sultai Beanstalk.
    • Sultai Beanstalk plays [[Witherbloom Command]], [[Force of Vigor]], and [[Leovold, Emissary of Trest]]. The interaction with the latter may not seem obvious, but [[Carpet of Flowers]] targets the opponent, which triggers [[Leovold, Emissary of Trest]]. If you choose not to resolve [[Carpet of Flowers]] in the first main phase, it will trigger again in the post-combat main phase, drawing the opponent another card.

We can do better. Don’t be afraid to mulligan!

Hand No. 7: (on the play)

[[Dark Ritual|]] [[Thoughtseize|]] [[Veil of Summer|]] [[Beseech the Mirror|]] [[Volcanic Island|]] [[Chrome Mox|]] [[Burning Wish|]]


We can’t cast our spells. Don’t be blinded by [[Thoughtseize]] and [[Veil of Summer]]. Sure, we have a [[Chrome Mox]], but you can’t afford to Imprint anything that isn’t the [[Burning Wish]].

If you exile the [[Beseech the Mirror]], what’s your game plan? You’ll need a lot to go right against the deck with [[Daze]], [[Wasteland]], [[Stifle]], [[Force of Will]], [[Force of Negation]], [[Force of Vigor]], [[Witherbloom Command]], [[Hydroblast]], [[Surgical Extraction]], [[Orcish Bowmasters]], [[Leovold, Emissary of Trest]], and [[Collector Ouphe]].

Hand No. 8: (on the draw)

[[Galvanic Relay|]] [[Chrome Mox|]] [[Chrome Mox|]] [[Lotus Petal|]] [[Misty Rainforest|]] [[Bloodstained Mire|]] [[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]]


As mentioned with Hand No. 2, be patient. You don’t have to play into [[Stifle]]. Wait for your spot, and you can beat [[Daze]], [[Stifle]], [[Force of Will]], [[Force of Negation]], [[Force of Vigor]], and [[Hydroblast]].

Hand No. 9: (on the play)

[[Chrome Mox|]] [[Chrome Mox|]] [[Galvanic Relay|]] [[Burning Wish|]] [[Song of Creation|]] [[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]] [[Thoughtseize|]]


This hand does exactly one thing: cast [[Echo of Eons]]. However, with [[Force of Negation]] in our opponent’s deck, resolving [[Echo of Eons]] increases their odds of finding free interaction from 40% to 54%. If we factor in [[Force of Vigor]] as additional free, meaningful interaction that our hand can’t beat, it’s 65%.

You can’t afford to keep hands like this. You wouldn’t play games at a casino with those odds. Don’t do it here!

Hand No. 10: (on the draw)

[[Gaea’s Will|]] [[Dark Ritual|]] [[Dark Ritual|]] [[Beseech the Mirror|]] [[Thoughtseize|]] [[Bloodstained Mire|]] [[Misty Rainforest|]]

Stay tuned for the next article!

I’ll provide my answer in the next Matchup Mulligan.