Happy New Year, Legacy Storm players! We are back with the first [[Infernal Tutor]]ing article of the year! Since our last article, the new version of The EPIC Storm has been continuing to crush it on both Magic Online and in paper. While the list has stayed mostly the same, there have been some experimenting in the sideboard. Some players are playing [[Abrupt Decay]], some players are still on all bounce spells and another portion of players are experimenting with four copies of [[Empty the Warrens]] or four copies of [[Infernal Tutor]] in the sideboard, which really helps out against [[Delver of Secrets]] decks.

Ethan Formichella

Special Guest

A FEW WORDS ON ETHAN FORMICHELLA (MONKEYSCANTCRY):

Ethan started playing Magic with the release of Apocalypse, and fell in love with Storm strategies starting with the [[Heartbeat of Spring]] + [[Mind’s Desire]] deck in the old Extended format. He started playing Legacy casually with TES around 2010, and in the past few years has been playing a lot of MTGO Legacy Storm, primarily ANT.

Deck List

Main Deck
  • 4 [[Burning Wish]]
  • 4 [[Wishclaw Talisman]]
  • 4 [[Brainstorm]]
  • 4 [[Ponder]]
  • 4 [[Veil of Summer]]
  • 2 [[Defense Grid]]
  • 1 [[Chain of Vapor]]
  • 1 [[Ad Nauseam]]
  • 1 [[Echo of Eons]]
  • 3 [[Rite of Flame]]
  • 4 [[Dark Ritual]]
  • 4 [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]
  • 4 [[Lotus Petal]]
  • 4 [[Mox Opal]]
  • 3 [[Chrome Mox]]
  • 4 [[Polluted Delta]]
  • 4 [[Bloodstained Mire]]
  • 1 [[Underground Sea]]
  • 1 [[Volcanic Island]]
  • 1 [[Badlands]]
  • 1 [[Bayou]]
  • 1 [[Swamp]]
Sideboard
  • 3 [[Hope of Ghirapur]]
  • 2 [[Crash]]
  • 1 [[Abrupt Decay]]
  • 1 [[Echoing Truth]]
  • 1 [[Chain of Vapor]]
  • 1 [[Rite of Flame]]
  • 1 [[Infernal Tutor]]
  • 1 [[Grapeshot]]
  • 1 [[Empty the Warrens]]
  • 1 [[Tendrils of Agony]]
  • 1 [[Echo of Eons]]
  • 1 [[Pulverize]]

SITUATION No. 1 – Burn

Burn’s ultimate goal is to play very efficient creatures like [[Monastery Swiftspear]] or [[Goblin Guide]] while slinging spells at our face. Burn also has a very efficient turn two anti-Storm creature in their main deck that we need to play around in [[Eidolon of the Great Revel]]. The key here is keeping an explosive hand that can go off very quickly. If all of that wasn’t stressful enough, you also need to be very careful not to go too low on your [[Ad Nauseam]]. Each untapped [[Mountain]] represents a potential three damage, and two [[Mountain]]s can be sacrificed to [[Fireblast]] to deal four damage. That is a potential 10 damage on turn two if they have two untapped lands.

HOW I SIDEBOARDED:

-4 [[Veil of Summer]], -2 [[Defense Grid]]
+3 [[Empty the Warrens]], +1 [[Echoing Truth]], +1 [[Chain of Vapor]], +1 [[Rite of Flame]]

We are in game three on the draw. Our opponent cast [[Lava Spike]] on their turn one and then passed to us, On our turn one, we drew a [[Brainstorm]] for the turn and decided to cast that over our [[Ponder]]. Our [[Brainstorm]] definitely was packed with action spells: [[Wishclaw Talisman]], [[Empty the Warrens]], and [[Ad Nauseam]]. There is a pretty high chance that the opponent has a hate piece that they can play on turn two. With that in mind, how would you resolve this [[Brainstorm]], and then play out the rest of your turn?

Situation 1

Special Guest

Ethan Formichella

Ethan Formichella

I would put [[Empty the Warrens]] on top with [[Ad Nauseam]] underneath it. Then I would cast [[Lotus Petal]] and [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] and pass the turn.

If my opponent casts an [[Eidolon of the Great Revel]] or [[Pyrostatic Pillar]], my plan is to untap, play [[Badlands]], cast [[Rite of Flame]] off of it (going to 14) and then cast [[Ponder]] off of the [[Volcanic Island]] (going to 12) sacrificing [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] for black in response, finding and casting [[Ad Nauseam]] with [[Lotus Petal]] left in play. My goal is to find [[Chain of Vapor]] while staying at three life or more as well as finding a win. I’m not happy with this and if the opponent has [[Fireblast]] — I would be certainly dead, but I don’t think [[Empty the Warrens]] is going to accomplish anything in this spot, and I don’t think I can afford to pass the turn either.

If the opponent doesn’t cast a permanent on their turn, my play is probably the same but if my opponent passes without playing a land I’m going to be suspicious enough of [[Mindbreak Trap]] that I won’t cast [[Rite of Flame]]. This means I won’t have the [[Lotus Petal]] available but my [[Ad Nauseam]] will be safe.

#TEAMTES

Josh Hughes

Josh Hughes

Since our opponent kept seven cards, it is probably safe to assume that they most likely have either an [[Eidolon of the Great Revel]] effect or a [[Null Rod]]. We need to decide what approach we want to take here as there are many options available. I think I would opt to resolve [[Brainstorm]] by putting back [[Ad Nauseam]] on the bottom and then [[Swamp]]. I would play out the [[Lotus Petal]] and [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]. Next turn, I would draw the [[Swamp]] and cast [[Ponder]], sacrificing [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] for [[Ad Nauseam]]. If they play out the [[Eidolon of the Great Revel]], I would be casting [[Ad Nauseam]] from 14 life, which is super risky but is my favorite option.


Bryant Cook

Bryant Cook

I’d probably put [[Empty the Warrens]] and then either of the lands on top before passing the turn. This way if your opponent attacks you with [[Goblin Guide]] it allows you to “draw” an extra card. I would aim to follow this up with casting all of your spells into [[Ponder]] and [[Empty the Warrens]] on the following turn for 10 [[Goblin Token]]s. This is very risky against Burn, especially if they have an [[Eidolon of the Great Revel]] on turn two. That said, I don’t think we have a better option.


AJ Kerrigan

AJ Kerrigan

This [[Ad Nauseam]] seems pretty bad to me as it’s hard to imagine our opponent kept a hand lacking both [[Eidolon of the Great Revel]] and [[Fireblast]]. I think our plan has to be [[Empty the Warrens]]. If our opponent doesn’t cast [[Eidolon of the Great Revel]] next turn, we are just going to draw [[Empty the Warrens]] (putting [[Ad Nauseam]] under it) and we can make a large number of [[Goblin Token]]s or [[Ad Nauseam]] through [[Ponder]] depending on the context of what happens. If they do play [[Eidolon of the Great Revel]], we are likely going to just take six to make eight [[Goblin Token]]s since they’ll only have three cards in hand. We also have the option to play [[Wishclaw Talisman]], pass the turn, and then use it to find [[Chain of Vapor]] and win with [[Ad Nauseam]] or make more tokens on the following turn.


Landon Sworts

Landon Sworts

I would put [[Empty the Warrens]] back first, followed by [[Ad Nauseam]] and then pass. On the following turn, if the opponent has some type of [[Pyrostatic Pillar]] effect, we can play our land for the turn, cast [[Lotus Petal]], [[Rite of Flame]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Ponder]], sacrifice [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] in response and cast [[Empty the Warrens]] for 10 [[Goblin Token]]. This puts our life total at a potential eight. If they have a [[Pyrostatic Pillar]] effect, however, they will also take damage from spells they cast which still gives us a chance to race them.


Alex Poling

Alex Poling

I would put [[Ad Nauseam]] on the bottom and [[Empty the Warrens]] on top and then just pass the turn back. My goal here is to try and [[Empty the Warrens]] on my second turn with five storm. I don’t think there’s a high probability that the opponent has a hate piece on the second turn because they already mulliganed down to six and would probably keep any playable hand at that point. If the opponent did have a hate piece, I could see casting [[Empty the Warrens]] for five storm and taking eight damage off of [[Eidolon of the Great Revel]] or [[Pyrostatic Pillar]] and having 10 [[Goblin Token]]s and being at eight life. It’s a gamble, but I would take it.


Daniel Lee

Daniel Lee

Since we’ve already played our land for the turn, we can easily just put back the two lands. I prefer just passing here as I’m most inclined to keep the [[Lotus Petal]] and Lion’s Eye Diamond for storm count into an Empty the Warrens, potentially as early as next turn. We could also cast [[Ad Nauseam]] next turn, so I like best the plan that keeps our options open so that we can react best to our opponent’s second turn.


Alex McKinley

Alex McKinley

This is going to be a set up for turn two. I believe that the opponent would have an [[Eidolon of the Great Revel]] or they would not keep a hand that just casts turn one [[Lava Spike]]. Unfortunately, there is no likely way to go off this turn. With that in mind, the best card in this hand is [[Wishclaw Talisman]] as it can find an answer to whatever the opponent plays next turn. In the unlikely event the opponent does not play a lock piece next turn, I would put back [[Empty the Warrens]] on top followed by [[Ad Nauseam]]. This allows for an activate [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] in response to [[Ponder]] to cast [[Ad Nauseam]]. If there is a lock piece, I would play out [[Wishclaw Talisman]] with the intent of using it to find an answer to whatever the opponent plays.

SITUATION No. 2 – U/R Delver

U/R Delver is the [[Delver of Secrets]] deck that has the fastest clock along with a very consistent two-color mana base. Playing against U/R Delver can be challenging for The EPIC Storm because they can kill us very quickly, and they are also known for playing lot of disruption and counter magic. While U/R Delver often struggles to beat an early [[Empty the Warrens]], many lists are now playing answers in the sideboard.

HOW I SIDEBOARDED:

-4 [[Wishclaw Talisman]], -1 [[Ad Nauseam]]
+3 [[Empty the Warrens]], +1 [[Rite of Flame]], +1 [[Chain of Vapor]]

We are currently in game two on the play. Our opponent played a turn one [[Ponder]] and then played a turn two [[Delver of Secrets]]. We know that our opponent bricked on finding an instant or sorcery card last turn. Hopefully that means that they have six lands in hand, right?! While there isn’t a ton of pressure on us to act, U/R Delver decks are capable of putting a ton of pressure on us very quickly. How would you play out this turn?

Situation 2

Special Guest

Ethan Formichella

Ethan Formichella

I think I’m going to just pass the turn here. Our opponent has six cards in hand and with two lands untapped they probably have enough mana to cast however many interaction spells they have in hand. I’m also not really concerned about my life total right now, and nothing they could untap and play would be immediately devastating with the exception of [[Null Rod]] (which I think they would have tapped out for if they had) or possibly [[Narset, Parter of Veils]], which is sometimes a one-of sideboard card. My hope is that the opponent makes a two-mana play like [[Young Pyromancer]] or [[Dreadhorde Arcanist]] on their turn at which point I can hope to end of turn [[Brainstorm]] and trade it with one of their interactive spells or find some interaction of my own. Then, we untap and hope to casts [[Echo of Eons]] once from the hand and then once flashed back and hope that one of them resolves.

#TEAMTES

Josh Hughes

Josh Hughes

We are currently under very little pressure, which can change almost instantly in this match up. With that being said though, I don’t think I would imprint [[Brainstorm]] to hard cast [[Echo of Eons]] this turn. I like casting [[Brainstorm]] to find protection and then potentially casting [[Echo of Eons]] using [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] from there depending on what I find.


Bryant Cook

Bryant Cook

While this seems easy, it’s actually not. You could Imprint [[Brainstorm]] onto [[Chrome Mox]] to enable Metalcraft for [[Mox Opal]]. This allows you to hard-cast [[Echo of Eons]]. The downside is if it gets hit by [[Daze]] you’re pressured into sacrificing [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] before something like [[Pyroblast]] counters it. I’d probably take a more conservative route and just cast [[Brainstorm]], try to leverage our [[Veil of Summer]] and [[Defense Grid]]s into protecting our new land. Also, these copies of [[Chrome Mox]] aren’t looking so hot. Casting [[Brainstorm]] also has the added benefit of drawing out any potential [[Pyroblast]]s!


AJ Kerrigan

AJ Kerrigan

Initially, I was inclined to just try going for [[Echo of Eons]] this turn and then trying again if it’s countered. I don’t actually think we need to jump the gun and potentially just lose to [[Force of Negation]] or two counterspells. I’m fine just casting [[Brainstorm]] to look for disruption and using the fetchland to sculpt our hand, and reevaluate the kind of pressure we’re under next turn. Presumably given the context of their last turn, giving them an additional turn shouldn’t change the landscape of things significantly since they are likely going to shuffle away their top card.


Landon Sworts

Landon Sworts

I would honestly just [[Brainstorm]] here for some protection. In my opinion, we have a few turns before we need to act. We could try to shove [[Echo of Eons]] down their throat, but I’m alright with being patient. I think it’s likely the opponents hand has some type of counter spell that was present in their opener. It’s also possible they kept a hand with out a threat and that [[Ponder]] was able to help them establish a board presence. They may be sitting back with a full grip of reactive spells completely content with [[Delver of Secrets]] transforming at any point over the next few turns if they are able to keep us at bay with permission. I would rather not dump all of our resources into open mana. We could easily [[Brainstorm]], evaluate our draw, shuffle away our excess copies of [[Chrome Mox]] and make our move during a more opportune window.


Alex Poling

Alex Poling

I would start the turn off by casting [[Brainstorm]] here. It can’t get countered by a soft permission spell and if gets countered by [[Force of Will]] then I would attempt to [[Echo of Eons]] after, but I doubt it will get countered. If [[Brainstorm]] resolved then I would put back both copies of [[Chrome Mox]] and probably keep whatever three cards I drew. More than likely I would not be going for [[Echo of Eons]] this turn. I would wait for at least one more turn as there is no rush, and I don’t think we need to go all-in on this turn.


Daniel Lee

Daniel Lee

I’m not trying anything this turn without a [[Defense Grid]] or [[Veil of Summer]], so I’m firing off the main phase [[Brainstorm]]. If I find a [[Defense Grid]] or [[Veil of Summer]], I’m playing whichever I find, playing out whatever copies of [[Chrome Mox]] I have left, then casting [[Echo of Eons]] to try for a big [[Empty the Warrens]] or even a possible lethal [[Tendrils of Agony]]. If my [[Brainstorm]] doesn’t find anything useful, then that’s what the [[Polluted Delta]] is there for!


Alex McKinley

Alex McKinley

I am starting this turn by casting [[Brainstorm]]. Given that [[Echo of Eons]] is already in our hand with plenty of mana, I just want to find a protection spell and get rid of the useless copies of [[Chrome Mox]]. There is also less pressure to go off as life total does not matter as much.

SITUATION No. 3 – U/B Thopter Ninjas

U/B Thopter Ninjas is a strange tempo deck, that feels similar to traditional [[Delver of Secrets]] decks, just with more spice. U/B Thopter Ninjas plays cards like [[Retrofitter Foundry]] and [[Ornithopter]] to quickly create 4/4 creatures. This deck also plays a general array of countermagic, discard, and mana denial ([[Wasteland]]). There are also some Ninjas like [[Yuriko, the Tiger’s Shadow]] in the deck which can also play into the tempo game-plan.

We are currently in game one. Our opponent tapped out to cast two copies of [[Retrofitter Foundry]] and was able to make a 4/4, chipping away at our life total. On our turn, we were able to lead with two copies of [[Dark Ritual]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], and [[Burning Wish]]. The [[Burning Wish]] instantly resolved, so we didn’t have to use our [[Veil of Summer]] yet. How would you play out this turn to either win, or put yourself in a winning situation?

Situation 3

Special Guest

Ethan Formichella

Ethan Formichella

In my mind, I think this is a choice between [[Echo of Eons]] with five mana leftover or [[Ad Nauseam]] from 12 life with a single mana leftover. I think I like [[Echo of Eons]] more here. I’d grab [[Echo of Eons]], cast [[Veil of Summer]], and then sacrifice [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] and cast [[Echo of Eons]] leaving in my pool along with the [[Lotus Petal]] available. For what it’s worth, if you grab [[Infernal Tutor]] with the intention of getting [[Ad Nauseam]] but your opponent casts [[Force of Will]] on the [[Veil of Summer]], you can [[Infernal Tutor]] for [[Burning Wish]] for [[Tendrils of Agony]] for lethal. That line is weak to [[Daze]], however, which I’d be worried about them having if they [[Force of Will]] your [[Veil of Summer]] in that situation.

#TEAMTES

Josh Hughes

Josh Hughes

While this one is close for me, I think I would take the [[Ad Nauseam]] line by grabbing [[Infernal Tutor]].


Bryant Cook

Bryant Cook

I would get [[Infernal Tutor]]. Cast [[Veil of Summer]], then [[Infernal Tutor]] for [[Ad Nauseam]]. A dozen life and a land drop seems very reasonable to me.


AJ Kerrigan

AJ Kerrigan

I think that our two reasonable choices are [[Empty the Warrens]] and [[Echo of Eons]]. In either case, we would lead on [[Veil of Summer]]. [[Empty the Warrens]] makes 12 [[Goblin Token]]s, which seems very difficult for most main decks to beat. [[Echo of Eons]] allows us to draw a fresh seven protected from countermagic and with effectively five mana available. I’d imagine that [[Echo of Eons]] wins around 80 percent of the time here, but I really feel as though [[Empty the Warrens]] wins much closer to 100 percent. Additionally, we can make 16 [[Goblin Token]]s by instead grabbing [[Infernal Tutor]] and using that to find another [[Burning Wish]] for [[Empty the Warrens]].


Landon Sworts

Landon Sworts

A dozen life might be too much of a gamble for an [[Ad Nauseam]] with [[Echo of Eons]] still in our library. I would grab our sideboard copy of [[Echo of Eons]], cast [[Veil of Summer]], sacrifice [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], and flashback [[Echo of Eons]]. I think we have enough available mana that winning from here is very reasonable.


Alex Poling

Alex Poling

I would grab [[Echo of Eons]] and then immediately cast [[Veil of Summer]] once [[Burning Wish]] has resolved. They only have three cards in hand so I am only worried about one copy of [[Force of Will]] and [[Daze]]. They either [[Force of Will]] the [[Veil of Summer]] or their chance is gone, but either way [[Echo of Eons]] is resolving. Nine total mana and five leftover after we draw seven cards should be a high likelihood of winning.


Daniel Lee

Daniel Lee

We have enough mana to pick [[Infernal Tutor]], cast [[Veil of Summer]], cast [[Infernal Tutor]] and sacrifice [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] for black mana, then cast [[Ad Nauseam]] with a [[Lotus Petal]] available. Flipping an [[Echo of Eons]] would hurt, but we don’t have a deterministic kill available to us right now. If you don’t like the [[Ad Nauseam]] line, you can alternatively go [[Veil of Summer]], [[Infernal Tutor]] for [[Burning Wish]] and cast [[Empty the Warrens]] for 16 [[Goblin Token]]s. Either way is a risk, it’s just a matter of which risk you would rather take!


Alex McKinley

Alex McKinley

Our opponent has three cards and no open mana. This means at most they could have a [[Force of Will]] effect and [[Daze]]. I would get [[Infernal Tutor]], then cast [[Veil of Summer]] with the intention of paying for [[Daze]] if they cast it. I would then [[Infernal Tutor]] for [[Ad Nauseam]], leaving one or two mana floating. [[Ad Nauseam]] from 12 is a little risky, but I think it is a better option than either [[Echo of Eons]] or [[Empty the Warrens]], especially when the opponent has two copies of [[Retrofitter Foundry]] in play.

As you can hopefully see by now, [[Echo of Eons]] is giving The EPIC Storm the ability to grind out games in ways that the deck could never do before. I would encourage everyone to give it a try! Until next time, keep storming on!