Tapping back into Modern Storm — Lotus Breach

As many of us acutely know for a while now, Storm-based decks have been on the decline for years in Modern with the main exception being the brief rise early this year of Gruul Storm utilizing the power of [[Underworld Breach]], [[Goblin Anarchomancer]] and [[Dragon’s Rage Channeler]]. While it has already been around in the format for a while, I have recently gravitated to Lotus Breach as my Modern deck of choice to still put many copies of [[Grapeshot]] or [[Empty the Warrens]] on the stack. While it has been somewhat fringe in the format since the deck’s creation, it currently feels very similar in the format to when [[Pyromancer Ascension]]-based versions of Modern Storm were on the decline and the [[Gifts Ungiven]]-based version finally began to pick up steam.

While this deck is still looking to win with the Storm mechanic, it lies more on the all in combo part of the spectrum of [[Underworld Breach]] decks such as [[Grinding Station]] Breach deck and Value Breach decks which do not have a combo kill. The reason I bring this up is that many skills from these decks will help a lot when learning this [[Underworld Breach]] deck as well, very similar to the relationship of Storm to [[Arclight Phoenix]] decks before the banning of [[Faithless Looting]]. Below, I will detail first the main plan of the deck to win, how it compares to past strategies from [[Gifts Ungiven]] Storm and Gruul Storm, and its main sideboarding game plans as well.


Main Deck

  • 4 [[Consider]]
  • 4 [[Otherworldly Gaze]]
  • 4 [[Mishra’s Bauble]]
  • 2 [[Tome Scour]]
  • 4 [[Twiddle]]
  • 4 [[Dream’s Grip]]
  • 4 [[Wishclaw Talisman]]
  • 4 [[Underworld Breach]]
  • 4 [[Spell Pierce]]
  • 2 [[Pact of Negation]]
  • 1 [[Grapeshot]]
  • 1 [[Void Snare]]
  • 1 [[Echoing Truth]]
  • 1 [[Grim Tutor]]
  • 4 [[Lotus Field]]
  • 3 [[Scalding Tarn]]
  • 2 [[Polluted Delta]]
  • 2 [[Misty Rainforest]]
  • 2 [[Flooded Strand]]
  • 1 [[Tolaria West]]
  • 1 [[Otawara, Soaring City]]
  • 2 [[Watery Grave]]
  • 2 [[Island]]
  • 1 [[Steam Vents]]


  • 1 [[Pithing Needle]]
  • 2 [[Engineered Explosives]]
  • 2 [[Pact of Negation]]
  • 3 [[Suspend]]
  • 1 [[Aeve, Progenitor Ooze]]
  • 1 [[Empty the Warrens]]
  • 4 [[Leyline of Sanctity]]
  • 1 [[Filter Out]]


[[Underworld Breach|]]
[[Lotus Field|]]

First, one thing that is quite different from this deck than previous Storm-based shells is all opening hands must have a plan to get a [[Lotus Field]] in play on turn 3-4 due to our deck not being able to combo off without it. A good heuristic for this is either having the [[Lotus Field]] or [[Wishclaw Talisman]] in our opening hand or having the capability to churn through another seven-plus cards over the first two turns of the game, usually with an [[Otherworldly Gaze]] plus some other card draw spells. This of course leads us to mulligan much more aggressively, but since our main mana engine is a land and we are a much more graveyard focused deck around [[Underworld Breach]], this is not a problem. These elements are resilient to discard.

In game one, we are pretty much pigeonholed into needing to utilize our graveyard with [[Underworld Breach]] to win using either [[Grapeshot]]. If that is somehow exiled, using [[Tome Scour]] to deck the opponent is also a win condition as we are not a good critical mass deck that has enough fast draw spells such as [[Mishra’s Bauble]] and [[Otherworldly Gaze]] to churn through itself very well in a single turn.

The main basic setup of our combo that we want to assemble is to have a [[Lotus Field]] in play, at least one [[Twiddle]] and/or [[Dream’s Grip]], [[Tome Scour]] and an [[Underworld Breach]]. Then, we can combo off by just escaping [[Tome Scour]] targeting ourselves twice for each time we escape [[Twiddle]] to untap our [[Lotus Field]] until we get [[Grapeshot]] into our graveyard to then win the game. During the first few turns of the game, similar to previous Storm decks, we will be using all our draw, filtering and tutors to assemble this four card combo. One thing that is a bit different than usual is our main tutor engine is [[Wishclaw Talisman]]. We have to plan on using it the turn we intend to combo off as well. Also, while we do have technically access to whatever colors we need with [[Lotus Field]], it is a good idea to prioritize getting [[Steam Vents]] and also [[Watery Grave]] when we draw any of our black cards, into play. There is usually a choke point on mana very early in the combo turn where we will be strained on blue and can’t use [[Lotus Field]] for red or black at that point.


[[Underworld Breach|]]
[[Blood Moon|]]
[[Chalice of the Void|]]

One big strength of Storm decks in Modern has always been the ability to either completely ignore the opponent or functionally reduce their deck down to a few cards that actually interact with us. Lotus Breach is luckily exceedingly good at this with an all-in on the graveyard approach and utilization of a land as our mana engine. We are only truly scared of cheap non-permanent based graveyard hate such as [[Endurance]], [[Blood Moon]] and to an extent [[Chalice of the Void]] set at one since it stops our digging and untap effects. For everything but [[Endurance]], we have a good counter spell to either stop them before we go off or even on our combo turn since it only costs one mana in [[Spell Pierce]]. While [[Endurance]] is only a single-time effect of answering the graveyard, it has usually not been a problem in the past for Storm decks as they are very capable of pivoting to going off independent of or rebuilding the graveyard.


[[Aeve, Progenitor Ooze|]]
[[Leyline of Sanctity|]]
[[Empty the Warrens|]]

Now that we have identified the few cards we have to care about, we can then look at some general sideboard heuristics. In post-board games, we do not really have much of a pivot from the graveyard plan to transition to if we want to just sidestep hate there all together. We do have an [[Aeve, Progenitor Ooze]] and an [[Empty the Warrens]] in the sideboard, which have traditionally been good ways to dodge graveyard hate. The issue is fetching them with [[Wishclaw Talisman]] isn’t great because it gives the opponent a way to tutor an answer. Thus, we will usually only board in 3-6 cards and commonly will be taking out from the same general box of cards. In this case, our usual cards that can be taken out are [[Spell Pierce]], [[Pact of Negation]], and possibly a copy of [[Otherworldly Gaze]] or [[Wishclaw Talisman]]. The packages we will commonly bring in will be either the [[Engineered Explosives]], [[Suspend]] and/or [[Filter Out]] to handle permanents and creatures or [[Leyline of Sanctity]] and [[Empty the Warrens]] plus [[Aeve, Progenitor Ooze]] to handle [[Endurance]] and very heavy discard.