Current Legacy is at a healthy and exciting place at the moment. While not perfect, Kamigawa Neon Dynasty injected a much-needed boost of new design for the format to play with. Real choices in deck selection is happening on the Control front. [[Hidetsugu Consumes All]] might be the underdog boost that Grixis Control needed to be competitively viable again. Artifact strategies like 8-Cast have [[Kappa Cannoneer]] acting like a FIRE-designed [[True-Name Nemesis]]. [[Boseiju, Who Endures]] slots into many different decks like Lands, Maverick, and Elves. The format is tinkering and playing with tools and toys they did not have access to before. It is great to witness.
No new decks have risen to the top of the format with Neon Dynasty. It has just served to bolster existing strategies or revitalize underplayed ones. Because of that, the top of the metagame has looked similar from weeks and months past with UR Delver still being the best of course. In a world where everyone is trying new things and optimizing lists, the low-to-the-ground efficiency of [[Delver of Secrets]] + [[Wasteland]] cannot be forgotten.
The EPIC Storm has stayed with v12.8 for the past month and is performing wonderfully. Our combo efficiency remains as potent as ever, but the ability to combat Blue decks over the long game has really shined. We are tuned to beat the winner’s meta and it’s showing. Recent high-profile results in Challenges have cemented this particular version of The EPIC Storm as the new hotness. Let’s take it through some scenarios and see what we are capable of!
(Twitter: @RealPokemoki | YouTube: Pokemoki)
Jeff White, sometimes better known by his MTGO username Pokemoki, has been playing Legacy since 2017 after falling in love with the variance reduction of Brainstorm and Ponder. He has seen some success on the SCG Tour and enjoys tuning Blue midrange decks/attacking the metagame with underexplored cards. He posts the occasional YouTube video where you can follow along in his creative process.
the epic Storm
- 4 [[Burning Wish]]
- 4 [[Wishclaw Talisman]]
- 4 [[Brainstorm]]
- 4 [[Ponder]]
- 1 [[Galvanic Relay]]
- 1 [[Tendrils of Agony]]
- 1 [[Ad Nauseam]]
- 1 [[Echo of Eons]]
- 4 [[Veil of Summer]]
- 1 [[Defense Grid]]
- 4 [[Rite of Flame]]
- 4 [[Dark Ritual]]
- 4 [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]
- 4 [[Lotus Petal]]
- 3 [[Mox Opal]]
- 3 [[Chrome Mox]]
- 3 [[Verdant Catacombs]]
- 2 [[Polluted Delta]]
- 2 [[Bloodstained Mire]]
- 1 [[Underground Sea]]
- 1 [[Volcanic Island]]
- 1 [[Tropical Island]]
- 1 [[Badlands]]
- 1 [[Taiga]]
- 1 [[Swamp]]
- 4 [[Carpet of Flowers]]
- 2 [[Chain of Vapor]]
- 2 [[Abrupt Decay]]
- 3 [[Galvanic Relay]]
- 1 [[Empty the Warrens]]
- 1 [[Tendrils of Agony]]
- 1 [[Echo of Eons]]
- 1 [[Peer into the Abyss]]
SITUATION No. 1 — Jeskai Painter
[[Painter’s Servant]] + [[Grindstone]] has been a classically underplayed archetype in Legacy since the marquee card’s printing in Shadowmoor. With the inclusion of [[Urza’s Saga]], the strategy got a powerful boost in power level and consistency. [[Goblin Welder]] and [[Goblin Engineer]] allow incredible recursive power with the ability to “weld” artifacts from the graveyard and battlefield with little care for opposing spot removal spells. Finally, [[Karn, the Great Creator]] cranks the power level up even more while also providing maindeck hate for artifacts – just like in The EPIC Storm. This deck operates through synergistic elements building towards a combo finish. Painter is certainly a unique deck in Legacy as it requires a similarly unique approach to combat it from the combo side of the table.
The matchup of Painter versus The EPIC Storm has a lot of depth to it, provided that [[Karn, the Great Creator]] doesn’t blank our entire game plan. [[Pyroblast]]-type effects are very effective on their own, picking off critical cantrips or an [[Echo of Eons]] poised to win the game. Coupled with a [[Painter’s Servant]], the disruption can be anything from a counterspell to land destruction, depending on the needs of the pilot. [[Veil of Summer]] provides a convenient foil to this, however, if the chosen color on [[Painter’s Servant]] is Blue or Black. Often, we can get maximum value from [[Veil of Summer]], despite our opponent never casting an appropriately colored spell. One difficulty in post-board games is Painter’s ability to play [[Trinisphere]], and even tutor it with [[Goblin Engineer]]. The goal is for us to combo quickly before their deck has time to set up.
Our scenario starts in Game No. 1. We used the main-deck [[Galvanic Relay]] our previous turn to set up a combo for our turn four. Our opponent is threatening lethal with the ability to “weld” back the [[Ancient Den]] to the battlefield and activate the [[Grindstone]] on board. Our [[Galvanic Relay]] was fruitful, showing a deceptively simple [[Ad Nauseam]] or [[Peer into the Abyss]] on the face of it. With three cards in hand, a [[Goblin Welder]] available, and at least one mana available, we must sequence carefully to be victorious though. What disruption can we play around to sneak victory out of the jaws of defeat?
SITUATION No. 2 — 8-Mulch Lands
When Legacy Lands turns into a pseudo-combo deck, we arrive at 8-Mulch Lands. Contrasting the traditional Lands builds that use [[Life from the Loam]] to fuel the plan, this deck is more all-in. Using the card [[Manabond]] as a primary way to turbo out lands onto the battlefield, [[Mulch]] and [[Winding Way]] are as close to draw four cards as possible. [[Field of the Dead]] is the primary way that this deck seeks to win the game. Gone are the mainstays of [[Mox Diamond]] and [[Crop Rotation]], being replaced by more lands and [[Manabond]].
Luckily for Storm players, both versions of Lands are favorable for our combo deck. The plan of [[Zombie Token]] beat-down falls short of being quick enough. Out of the sideboard, 8-Mulch Lands does pack a decent amount of hate though. Cards like [[Mindbreak Trap]], [[Surgical Extraction]], [[Deafening Silence]], and [[Seeds of Innocence]] can be brought in against us. [[Urza’s Saga]] tutor bullets like [[Pithing Needle]] and [[Grafdigger’s Cage]] are also cards to be aware of. Our goal is to mitigate the mana denial strategy of [[Wasteland]] while combo-ing out before a lethal board can be built opposite us.
-4 [[Veil of Summer]]; +2 [[Chain of Vapor]], +2 [[Abrupt Decay]]
In this scenario, we face down a moderately-sized [[Zombie Token]] army: a two-turn clock. The opponent was forced to make a decision between holding the [[Mindbreak Trap]] they had or presenting an actual threat. Luckily for us, they chose the latter. We are currently resolving a [[Brainstorm]] and have a few options available to us. What is our plan for this turn and the next, what cards do we put back, and how will our strategies change from opponent input?
SITUATION No. 3 — UR Delver
There are only so many unique words that can be said about UR Delver before sounding repetitive. The fact of the matter is that it remains the best Legacy deck in the current meta. Going back up to the full playset of [[Delver of Secrets]] has actually increased the speed of the deck compared to when it was more focused on connecting with a certain monkey. New tech for the strategy has been the incorporation of [[Mystic Sanctuary]] for a late-game grind.
The EPIC Storm v12.8 is tailor-made to be an efficient “Delver Killer” with the re-inclusion of [[Carpet of Flowers]] alongside the card advantage engine of [[Galvanic Relay]]. Playsets of both cards across the 75 have been ruthless against Delver strategies. If they have to spend stack interaction to deal with a [[Carpet of Flowers]], it comes at a real cost of having less interaction when it actually matters on the combo turn. Overloading Delver is the name of the game, and The EPIC Storm has become quite efficient at it.
-1 [[Ad Nauseam]], -4 [[Ponder]], -1 [[Mox Opal]]; +2 [[Galvanic Relay]], +4 [[Carpet of Flowers]]
Our last scenario has a significant clock facing us down. [[Delver of Secrets]] flipped the previous turn, revealing [[Meltdown]] in our opponent’s hand. There is one unknown card as well. Our [[Tropical Island]] was removed with [[Wasteland]] after we tried to land a [[Wishclaw Talisman]]. Two copies of [[Daze]] are accounted for, so it’s unlikely the unknown is copy number three. With the [[Meltdown]] acting as the fourth card type for [[Dragon’s Rage Channeler]], we have only one more turn after this. What plays give us the highest likelihood of success with our opponent’s known interaction?
Want to see your play?
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Disclaimer: Regarding the details of the scenarios, we do not want what the outcome of the situation is. For example, if the question is, “Do I go for it here?” do not tell the team if your opponent had [[Force of Will]] or not. This information honestly doesn’t matter for our purposes and it doesn’t change the answer if it’s correct or not to cast the business spell. Thank you for your understanding.
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