About two weeks ago, I was testing against Geoff Smelski (konsultant) and Geoff was just destroying me with Landstill. The issue wasn’t being over-loaded against too many counterspells or being outdrawn, it was that [[Ad Nauseam]] kept on failing. I knew I needed to make a change (see below).

Day of the event arrives, I’m too excited to sleep — I end up going to the store early. I spoke to John Quackenbush online the night before and Jon promised me a Japanese foil [[Wipe Away]] for trade. I get to the event, play some Skittles, a game or two of EDH, and then start conversing with people as the room fills. Jon Quackenbush arrives and tells me that he accidently left it at home! I was pretty bummed.

There was something else to lift my spirits, Zach Tartell bought some perfect-fit sleeves online for me! I had never used them before and was excited to put them on my beautiful deck. As I’m sleeving, Dave Caplan tries to ruin my day by telling me that my deck won’t fit in my deck box if I do it today. That doesn’t stop me, I smush the deck in the box — it was certainly difficult to get it in and out the rest of the day. I definitely need a new box.

the epic Storm

Main Deck
  • 4 [[Burning Wish]]
  • 4 [[Infernal Tutor]]
  • 3 [[Mystical Tutor]]
  • 4 [[Brainstorm]]
  • 3 [[Ponder]]
  • 2 [[Ad Nauseam]]
  • 1 [[Tendrils of Agony]]
  • 1 [[Ill-Gotten Gains]]
  • 4 [[Orim’s Chant]]
  • 2 [[Duress]]
  • 1 [[Chain of Vapor]]
  • 4 [[Rite of Flame]]
  • 4 [[Dark Ritual]]
  • 4 [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]
  • 4 [[Lotus Petal]]
  • 3 [[Chrome Mox]]
  • 2 [[Cabal Ritual]]
  • 4 [[City of Brass]]
  • 4 [[Gemstone Mine]]
  • 1 [[Undiscovered Paradise]]
  • 1 [[Forbidden Orchard]]
  • 3 [[Shattering Spree]]
  • 3 [[Pyroblast]]
  • 2 [[Vexing Shusher]]
  • 1 [[Wipe Away]]
  • 1 [[Duress]]
  • 1 [[Grapeshot]]
  • 1 [[Empty the Warrens]]
  • 1 [[Tendrils of Agony]]
  • 1 [[Ill-Gotten Gains]]
  • 1 [[Diminishing Returns]]

What changed?

I went home that night and brainstormed up ideas for how to maximize my deck’s function. I knew that [[Simian Spirit Guide]] needed to go, three life off of [[Ad Nauseam]] was just too much. But I also knew that [[Diminishing Returns]] wasn’t likely necessary anymore. [[Mystical Tutor]] provided a way of more consistently finding [[Ad Nauseam]] which I liked a lot, I decided I wanted to play it this past weekend. [[Mystical Tutor]] being low on mana cost was huge bonus and made finding something like [[Cabal Ritual]] as pseudo extra [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]s in long games.

Another [[Mystical Tutor]] target I wanted to play was [[Chain of Vapor]]. By moving [[Chain of Vapor]] to the main deck from the sideboard, it opened a slot for [[Wipe Away]] which I wanted for [[Counterbalance]]. [[Chain of Vapor]] is great for creating mana using multiple copies of [[Chrome Mox]] and Storm count by using it on your own cards, sacrificing lands, and then continuing the process. I learned this while playing Vintage Storm.

I still had a slot or two to play with, I ended up trying an 11th land but never seemed to want it — dade me slower and more clunky. I ended up adding in a third copy of [[Mystical Tutor]] and a second [[Ad Nauseam]].

Play the Game | Winter Wonderland Event

Round One – Nick Patnode with Goblins

Game One:

I open up my hand of: [[Ponder]], [[Burning Wish]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Infernal Tutor]], [[Gemstone Mine]], and [[Mystical Tutor]]. Nick wins the die roll and opens up with [[Mountain]] into [[Goblin Lackey]]. I draw for my turn and it’s a [[Lotus Petal]]. I play [[Gemstone Mine]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Infernal Tutor]] (Reveal: [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]), [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Lotus Petal]], [[Burning Wish]], [[Ill-Gotten Gains]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Infernal Tutor]] into [[Tendrils of Agony]].

Sideboarding: -2 [[Orim’s Chant]], +2 [[Shattering Spree]].
Game Two:

Nick once again has [[Mountain]] and then [[Goblin Lackey]]. My hand is: [[Ponder]], [[Ponder]], [[Infernal Tutor]], [[Burning Wish]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Ad Nauseam]], and [[City of Brass]]. [[City of Brass]], tap it to cast [[Ponder]], shuffle, and draw the second [[Ad Nauseam]]. Nick connects with [[Goblin Lackey]] and puts [[Siege-Gang Commander]] into play, plays [[Skirk Prospector]], I’m forced to try to [[Ad Nauseam]] but the combo of [[Skirk Prospector]] and [[Siege-Gang Commander]] kills me.

Game Three:

[[City of Brass]], [[Gemstone Mine]], [[Infernal Tutor]], [[Infernal Tutor]], [[Shattering Spree]], [[Lotus Petal]], and [[Chrome Mox]]. Keep, [[City of Brass]], pass. Nick opens up on [[AEther Vial]] this time. I have a pretty good draw step in [[Dark Ritual]]. Play [[Gemstone Mine]] and cast [[Infernal Tutor]] (Reveal: [[Dark Ritual]]). [[Pyrostatic Pillar]] couldn’t have hit the table any harder, literally. I draw a [[Brainstorm]] and then cast it immediately into [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Lotus Petal]], abd [[Chain of Vapor]]. How lucky! I cast [[Chain of Vapor]] on the [[Pyrostatic Pillar]], and then [[Lotus Petal]], [[Lotus Petal]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Infernal Tutor]], into [[Ill-Gotten Gains]].

2-1 | 1-0

I scout around in-between rounds and see “Gagooch” is playing Ad Nauseam Tendrils (ANT) — shame. But I do see that they have a Japanese [[Mystical Tutor]]! I needed a few, Gagooch was nice enough to sell it to me.

Round Two – David Cleveland with Aggro Loam

Game One:

I keep a decent hand, but it doesn’t matter because David tears it apart. The first few turns of the game consist of me playing three lands, a [[Chrome Mox]] (Imprint: [[Mystical Tutor]]), and a few [[Brainstorm]]/[[Ponder]]. Meanwhile, David has a pair of [[Wasteland]] and two [[Thoughtseize]]. However, David is stuck on a single [[Badlands]]. I first thought that I was facing Goblins. Eventually, a green source is found in Taiga for David, which meant [[Burning Wish]] into [[Life from the Loam]]. I get to do the new trick of casting [[Mystical Tutor]] for [[Ad Nauseam]], break [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] during my upkeep, and then float the mana into the draw step and cast [[Ad Nauseam]]. The first five flips are: [[Ad Nauseam]], [[Chrome Mox]], [[Brainstorm]], [[Tendrils of Agony]], and [[Ill-Gotten Gains]]. I decide to risk it and keep going to get to enough cards to be able to cast an upkeep [[Orim’s Chant]]. This allows me to then win on my turn.

Sideboarding: -2 [[Orim’s Chant]], +2 [[Shattering Spree]].
Game Two:

I keep a hand with the possibility of a turn two win: [[Mystical Tutor]], [[Brainstorm]], [[Lotus Petal]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Duress]], and [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]. David plays a [[Thoughtseize]] and discards [[Lotus Petal]]. “Doesn’t matter, I have a land on top of the deck.” I say sarcastically and somewhat praying… I draw for turn and it’s [[Gemstone Mine]]! I play out the pair of [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]. David has a second turn [[Tarmogoyf]], on the end step, I cast I [[Mystical Tutor]] for [[Ad Nauseam]]. I then use the same trick of floating mana through the draw-step to cast [[Ad Nauseam]] and win.

4-1 | 2-0

Round Three – Joseph Bernier with 5c Survival

Game One:

Joseph begins the match with a [[Cabal Therapy]] naming [[Force of Will]]. I have a few [[Brainstorm]] in hand that were fearing for their lives. Over the course of the next few turns, Joseph gets me low on life-total which causes a failed [[Ad Nauseam]]. This is an issue with another [[Cabal Therapy]] from hand and then two copies being Flashedback. I’m forced to go all in on a [[Ponder]] sacrificing three [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], shuffle, and draw another [[Ponder]]. [[Ponder]], shuffle, lose.

Sideboarding: -2 [[Orim’s Chant]], +2 [[Shattering Spree]].
Game Two:

I open with: [[Duress]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Gemstone Mine]], [[Brainstorm]], [[Infernal Tutor]], and [[Burning Wish]]. I lead with a [[Duress]], discarding [[Survival of the Fittest]] and see a [[Meddling Mage]]! I draw a [[Chrome Mox]] on turn two, cast it (Imprint: [[Brainstorm]]), [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Burning Wish]], [[Ill-Gotten Gains]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Infernal Tutor]], [[Ill-Gotten Gains]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Infernal Tutor]], and [[Tendrils of Agony]].

Sideboarding: -2 [[Shattering Spree]], -1 [[Orim’s Chant]], +3 [[Pyroblast]].
Game Three:

My opening hand consists of: [[Brainstorm]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Infernal Tutor]], [[Burning Wish]], [[Ponder]], and [[Gemstone Mine]]. Joseph plays [[Cabal Therapy]] naming [[Infernal Tutor]]. I play [[Gemstone Mine]], [[Ponder]] (keep it), [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], and pass. Joseph plays a [[Birds of Paradise]], decides to not Flashback [[Cabal Therapy]] and passes. I’m pretty excited at this point, I quickly start to combo off, but just as I sacrifice my pair of [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] Joseph stops me to cast an [[Orim’s Chant]] while revealing another copy in hand. We’re done here.

5-3 | 2-1

Round Four – Chris Saunders (RSAUNDER) with 4c Threshold

Game One:

I keep a hand of: [[Gemstone Mine]], [[City of Brass]], [[Infernal Tutor]], [[Infernal Tutor]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Brainstorm]], and [[Ponder]]. Chris decides to mulligan a close seven-card hand, but then is punished with going all the way down to four cards. I play [[City of Brass]] into [[Ponder]] which finds [[Mystical Tutor]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], and [[Orim’s Chant]]. Chris also has a [[Ponder]]. I then draw [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], play [[Gemstone Mine]], and cast [[Infernal Tutor]] (Reveal: [[Orim’s Chant]]). Chris misses the second land drop. I draw another [[Gemstone Mine]], play it, [[Orim’s Chant]]? It resolves. [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Infernal Tutor]], [[Ill-Gotten Gains]], and Chris scoops.

Sideboarding: -2 [[Cabal Ritual]], -2 [[Ponder]], -2 [[Infernal Tutor]], +3 [[Pyroblast]], +2 [[Vexing Shusher]], +1 [[Wipe Away]].
Game Two:

[[Ponder]], [[Gemstone Mine]], [[Undiscovered Paradise]], [[Vexing Shusher]], [[Orim’s Chant]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], and [[Rite of Flame]] in hand. Chris leads with [[Tropical Island]] into [[Nimble Mongoose]]. I play [[Ponder]], shuffle, and draw [[Burning Wish]]. Chris’s plan is clearly to apply pressure, following up with [[Tarmogoyf]]. I play a [[Vexing Shusher]] and then [[Hydroblast]] on [[Vexing Shusher]] to destroy it catches me off guard. On my next turn, I draw another copy of [[Rite of Flame]] and attempt to win but am stopped by three copies of [[Daze]].

Game Three:

[[Gemstone Mine]], [[Brainstorm]], [[Ad Nauseam]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[City of Brass]], and [[Vexing Shusher]]. KEEP! [[Gemstone Mine]]. Chris plays a [[Ponder]]. I then play [[City of Brass]] and [[Vexing Shusher]]. Once again, it meets a [[Hydroblast]]. I draw an [[Undiscovered Paradise]] and play it. Then I cast [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]. [[Counterbalance]] is cast, which I was hoping to avoid. I decide to cast [[Brainstorm]] in response and draw into two cpies of [[Pyroblast]] and a fourth land. I put the land and then [[Ad Nauseam]] on top. Cast [[Pyroblast]] on [[Counterbalance]]. In my upkeep, I cast [[Orim’s Chant]], Chris plays [[Daze]], I pay, and then cast [[Dark Ritual]]. Sacrifice [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], float mana through the draw step, and cast [[Ad Nauseam]]. I start to reveal cards when Chris extends his hand.

7-4 | 3-1

Round Five – Unknown with Burn

Game One:

I keep a hand of: [[Infernal Tutor]], [[Ponder]], [[City of Brass]], [[Gemstone Mine]], [[Lotus Petal]], [[Lotus Petal]], and [[Cabal Ritual]]. The match starts off with a [[Chain Lightning]] after using a [[Bloodstained Mire]]. I draw a [[Lotus Petal]] for turn, play [[Gemstone Mine]], and cast [[Ponder]], shuffle, and draw [[Infernal Tutor]]. Pass. [[Wooded Foothills]], [[Chain Lightning]] and [[Lightning Bolt]]. I’m pretty lucky as I draw [[Dark Ritual]], [[Infernal Tutor]] (Reveal: [[Lotus Petal]]), I then play all four copies of [[Lotus Petal]], [[Cabal Ritual]], [[Infernal Tutor]], and [[Tendrils of Agony]] for exactly 18.

Sideboarding: -2 [[Orim’s Chant]], +2 [[Shattering Spree]].
Game Two:

My opponent plays some burn cards, I play an [[Orim’s Chant]] on the second turn. They cast a pair of [[Lightning Bolt]] and a [[Fireblast]] in response. I then play [[Lotus Petal]], [[Rite of Flame]], [[Rite of Flame]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Chrome Mox]], and [[Burning Wish]] into [[Tendrils of Agony]].

9-4 | 4-1

Round Six – Unknown with Dreadstill

I sit down and say, “great Dreadstill.” WhiteGhost is next to me and says, “Oh, Storm’s match-up isn’t that bad.” You shouldn’t do that!

Game One:

I mulligan. [[Orim’s Chant]], [[Mystical Tutor]], [[City of Brass]], [[Gemstone Mine]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], and [[City of Brass]]. We play, “land, go” for awhile after a turn two [[Standstill]] and I end up with a full hand of [[Orim’s Chant]], [[Orim’s Chant]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Ad Nauseam]], [[Infernal Tutor]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], and I draw [[Dark Ritual]] for turn. I play both copies of [[Orim’s Chant]] and both are countered, [[Dark Ritual]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Ad Nauseam]]? [[Force of Will]]. [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] and [[Inferal Tutor]]? Resolves. [[Tendrils of Agony]].

Sideboarding: -2 [[Cabal Ritual]], -3 [[Ponder]], -1 [[Infernal Tutor]], +3 [[Pyroblast]], +2 [[Vexing Shusher]], +1 [[Wipe Away]].
Game Two:

I keep a hand of: [[Brainstorm]], [[Brainstorm]], [[Mystical Tutor]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Infernal Tutor]], and [[Orim’s Chant]]. He plays [[Island]], go. I play [[Gemstone Mine]] and [[Brainstorm]]. Which is met with [[Daze]]. Then [[Wasteland]] on my [[Gemstone Mine]]. I fail to draw a mana-source over the next ten draw steps.

Game Three:

[[City of Brass]], [[Orim’s Chant]], [[Orim’s Chant]], [[Gemstone Mine]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], and [[Brainstorm]]. [[Gemstone Mine]] and pass. [[Island]], Pass. Draw [[Burning Wish]] and [[City of Brass]]. [[Island]] and [[Standstill]]. On the end step, I play [[Brainstorm]] into [[Lotus Petal]], [[Rite of Flame]], and some card. Untap, draw, and I cast a pair of [[Orim’s Chant]], the first is countered by [[Force of Will]], but the second one resolves. [[Lotus Petal]], [[Rite of Flame]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], and [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]. I end up casting [[Burning Wish]] into [[Diminishing Returns]], but the seven cards were pretty awful. [[Orim’s Chant]], [[Orim’s Chant]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Rite of Flame]], [[Chrome Mox]], and an [[Undiscovered Paradise]] — I have to pass. Draw [[Brainstorm]] and then cast it into [[Brainstorm]] into [[Infernal Tutor]] and two copies of [[Orim’s Chant]]. This was enough for me to win on the same turn!

11-5 | 5-1

Round Seven – Jon Quackenbush with Survival Elves

Game One:

We get deck checked. It turns out that Jon has 5 [[Taiga]] and 4 [[Savannah]]. I am awarded the first game.

Sideboarding: -2 [[Cabal Ritual]], -1 [[Infernal Tutor]], +2 [[Shattering Spree]], +1 [[Duress]].
Game Two:

Jon mulligans to four on the play. I go nuts.

13-5 | 6-1

Top Eight – Colin Chilbert (Di) with Survival Elves

Game One:

Colin wins the die roll, keeps, and then I keep my hand of: [[Mystical Tutor]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Ill-Gotten Gains]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Chrome Mox]], and [[Burning Wish]]. I have a lot of outs to kill Colin, realistically, it’s about thirty. Sadly, I don’t see any of them before I die on turn 5.

Sideboarding: -2 [[Cabal Ritual]], -1 [[Infernal Tutor]], +2 [[Shattering Spree]], +1 [[Duress]].
Game Two:

I tell him don’t bother mulliganing. [[Duress]], [[City of Brass]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Lotus Petal]], [[Lotus Petal]], and [[Infernal Tutor]].

Game Three:

The game goes long, I’m using [[Ponder]] and [[Brainstorm]] looking for protections and [[Chain of Vapor]]. Colin hasn’t done much that’s meaningful until, I start realizing my life total is looking a little low. I finally draw a [[Duress]] and see two [[Orim’s Chant]], discard one. Next turn, I draw and play [[Orim’s Chant]]. Colin plays another back at me. On the next turn, I cast [[Ad Nauseam]] from seven life, drawing eight cards and winning the game with a [[Burning Wish]] for [[Tendrils of Agony]].

15-6 | 7-1

Top Four – Lam Phan with RUG Threshold

Game One:

Lam plays two early [[Wasteland]] and a [[Stifle]] on my [[Chrome Mox]]. I eventually get [[Ad Nauseam]] to resolve. But I’m at 12, it looks like I have the game won, but I need 1 more mana source. I flip [[Ill-Gotten Gains]] while at four life.

Sideboarding: -2 [[Cabal Ritual]], -1 [[Infernal Tutor]], -2 [[Ponder]], +3 [[Pyroblast]], +2 [[Vexing Shusher]].
Game Two:

My opening hand is: [[Chrome Mox]], [[Chrome Mox]], [[Infernal Tutor]], [[Dark Ritual]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Mystical Tutor]], and [[Cabal Ritual]]. I play it all out. Cast [[Infernal Tutor]] floating and an untapped [[Chrome Mox]]. Lam allows it all to resolve. Then casts [[Force of Will]] on [[Ad Nauseam]].

15-8 | 7-2

Not a bad day, I end up walking away with a German black border [[Tundra]] for my troubles.

Until next time, keep storming!