A new The EPIC Storm build just dropped, and it’s hot! The team has been working on a few ideas to address the growing contingent of unfair Blue decks in the format. Legacy has seen UR Delver drop in popularity in favor of three or four other decks. RB Reanimator, Cephalid Breakfast, 8-Cast, and Jeskai Control have all been on an absolute tear recently. Of particular concern to The EPIC Storm are the Cephalid Breakfast and 8-Cast portions in the top meta shares. Pairing [[Force of Will]] with either a quick and efficient combo (Cephalid Breakfast) or powerful hate and a quick clock (8-Cast) are both good ways to play against Storm.
The EPIC Storm v14.2 seeks to use [[Boseiju, Who Endures]] and [[Abrupt Decay]] alongside [[Thoughtseize]] to protect and disrupt in equal measures. With cards like [[Collector Ouphe]] seeing an increase in play, the [[Abrupt Decay]] is a great removal spell for that. [[Boseiju, Who Endures]] can be boarded in against Control decks where having additional lands is actually a bonus. The amount of times [[Boseiju, Who Endures]] is played as a land instead of as removal is surprisingly high.
Another thing that stands in stark contrast to other lists is the removal of [[Chrome Mox]] from the deck! With the step up in number of artifacts in The EPIC Storm, the number of cards that we don’t mind Imprinting under [[Chrome Mox]] is slowly dwindling. Additionally, [[Chrome Mox]] was often played simply to turn on Metalcraft or increase the Storm count for [[Galvanic Relay]]. To that end, [[Urza’s Bauble]] has taken the reins as a key enabler for [[Galvanic Relay]] and [[Mox Opal]]. It functions better alongside [[Galvanic Relay]] by acting as two cards over the turn cycle (one for the increased Storm count and one for the activation to draw a card directly). The card has been a welcome addition to The EPIC Storm and v14.2 has seen great success in Leagues in recent weeks. In fact, there seems to be a bit of a trophy race between members of The EPIC Storm staff during this season.
While the meta is largely neutral towards Storm strategies with both positive and negative matchups to be found in the top decks, The EPIC Storm can still be built to succeed. Practice and reflection are they best ways to improve your Combo game. What better way to do that than dive into some puzzles with the team and our awesome guest? Let’s take a look at what this month has to offer.
(YouTube: MikeDevo1 | Twitch: mike_devo)
Mike DeVo started playing Magic: the Gathering at the end of 2017, when his friend TheWordisBranch suggested he start with Modern (And Mike chose Mono Green Tron because cheating on mana and slamming haymakers looked fun). He has dedicated a majority of his time to his YouTube channel which contains gameplay and guides to many Tron, Rhino, and Prison variants. You can also find him occasionally streaming on Twitch trying to break the 3-2 curse, or crushing at his local game shop.
the epic Storm
- 4 [[Veil of Summer]]
- 4 [[Brainstorm]]
- 4 [[Mishra’s Bauble]]
- 3 [[Urza’s Bauble]]
- 4 [[Wishclaw Talisman]]
- 4 [[Burning Wish]]
- 3 [[Galvanic Relay]]
- 1 [[Ad Nauseam]]
- 1 [[Echo of Eons]]
- 4 [[Rite of Flame]]
- 4 [[Dark Ritual]]
- 4 [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]
- 4 [[Lotus Petal]]
- 4 [[Mox Opal]]
- 4 [[Bloodstained Mire]]
- 1 [[Scalding Tarn]]
- 1 [[Misty Rainforest]]
- 1 [[Verdant Catacombs]]
- 1 [[Underground Sea]]
- 1 [[Volcanic Island]]
- 1 [[Taiga]]
- 1 [[Badlands]]
- 1 [[Bayou]]
- 3 [[Thoughtseize]]
- 2 [[Abrupt Decay]]
- 2 [[Boseiju, Who Endures]]
- 1 [[Galvanic Relay]]
- 1 [[Empty the Warrens]]
- 1 [[Tendrils of Agony]]
- 1 [[Massacre]]
- 1 [[Aeve, Progenitor Ooze]]
- 1 [[Pulverize]]
- 1 [[Echo of Eons]]
- 1 [[Peer into the Abyss]]
SITUATION No. 1 — 8-Cast
Currently positioned as one of the best decks in Legacy, 8-Cast has been on an absolute tear through the format. The card advantage offered by [[Thoughtcast]] and [[Thought Monitor]] allow an easy rebuild following the deployment of all kinds of synergistic artifacts. [[Sai, Master Thopterist]] and [[Emry, Lurker of the Loch]] pay out the artifact strategy to a large degree. The real glue that holds everything together, however, is [[Urza’s Saga]]. Uncounterable threats, searchable interaction, and a way to side-step [[Null Rod]]-type effects. Is this the perfect card for 8-Cast?
The EPIC Storm does not fair well against the deck with a quick clock, [[Chalice of the Void]], and at least eight [[Force of Will]] effects post-board. The inclusion of [[Boseiju, Who Endures]] alongside [[Abrupt Decay]] has certainly helped the matchup, but Storm is generally in a poor position against 8-Cast. Key cards that can be brought to bear include [[Pulverize]], the aforementioned removal spells, and [[Veil of Summer]]. Another card that has been helpful has been [[Galvanic Relay]]. If a game does not involve [[Chalice of the Void]], the advantage that [[Galvanic Relay]] offers can overwhelm opposing interaction, but this is a contextual card. To win a match, one needs both the skill to play well and the luck to dodge truly backbreaking sequences from an opponent.
-4 [[Brainstorm]]; +2 [[Abrupt Decay]], +2 [[Boseiju, Who Endures]]
With a bevy of cards available thanks to last turn’s [[Galvanic Relay]] (all displayed near our hand), we have a few decisions to make in response to Upkeep triggers. This is a post-board game, and it’s our second turn (on the draw). The [[Urza’s Bauble]] trigger and the middle [[Mishra’s Bauble]] trigger are for our opponent. Our own [[Mishra’s Bauble]] trigger will resolve last and it revealed a [[Force of Will]] on top of our opponent’s deck. The board opposing us contains a [[Chalice of the Void]] with no counters and an [[Emry, Lurker of the Loch]] to rebuy it if we ever destroy it with the [[Abrupt Decay]] in our Exile pile. Knowing our opponent will draw a [[Force of Will]] in addition to the other seven cards in their hand, what should we do before our opponent gets to add another piece of interaction to their hand?
SITUATION No. 2 — 5C Yorion Zenith Natural Order
What happens when you cross your trade binder with the Legacy format? It may look something like this deck! Based in Blue and Green, the rainbow of splashes includes White for removal like [[Prismatic Ending]], Red for sideboard cards like [[Pyroblast]], and Black for [[Grist, the Hunger Tide]] and [[Plague Engineer]]. This deck has one goal in mind above all else. Never lose the grind. In mid and late-game scenarios, there may not be a better strategy to employ. But getting the wheels under the bus is the real trick. Mana can be finicky and cantrips can only help so much against the “Drew the Wrong Half” problem these decks can often face. Despite all of its shortcomings, the glue that holds everything together is [[Green Sun’s Zenith]] and [[Natural Order]].
Finding the tutor target that fits precisely into the space you need is a great way to shore up any potential weaknesses in a game. Artifacts got you down? There’s a [[Collector Ouphe]] for that. Do you need to grind? [[Undermountain Adventurer]] can generate eye-watering advantages. Need to get your mana straight? [[Dryad Arbor]] is right there waiting for you (this list is playing things like [[Omnath, Locus of Creation]] even!). Ready to win the game? [[Atraxa, Grand Unifier]] will shut the game down. There are answers to everything here, you just need to find them and deploy them correctly.
Storm can succeed against the fair portion of this deck with relative ease. [[Green Sun’s Zenith]] for [[Collector Ouphe]] can be annoying, but our copies of [[Abrupt Decay]] specifically attack this. The concern here is losing to a quick [[Natural Order]] once the decision to settle into a grind has been made — a common risk against these Control decks with a Combo finish. [[Galvanic Relay]] is a great way to convert small early strengths into rolling advantages, but only if there is enough time to actually build up to that.
-2 [[Urza’s Bauble]], -1 [[Echo of Eons]]; +2 [[Abrupt Decay]], +1 [[Aeve, Progenitor Ooze]]
[[Veil of Summer]] has already resolved. That’s it then, wrap it up and send ’em home! This is obviously an easy win, right? Unfortunately not. We have the Storm count and the protection, but we need the mana. This post-board game has already seen a lot of action. We have used [[Burning Wish]] for a sideboard [[Echo of Eons]] — casting both halves of it in this turn cycle. Our opponent has put their Companion [[Yorion, Sky Nomad]] into their hand last turn, but that has since been shuffled into their deck along with the remaining contents of their hand. From here, we have a few avenues available. The main question involves picking our line for the following turn. With no line to a lethal [[Tendrils of Agony]], what should we do with the rest of our turn? How does that translate into a potential win on our following turn?
SITUATION No. 3 — UR Delver
Oh how the mighty have fallen. Lauded as an S-Tier menace just months ago, UR Delver is now merely one of the many decks in Legacy with competitive viability. It’s hard to disrupt the power of Blue in such an efficient Tempo shell — even if the glue that held it together in the late game is missing. Players have sought to fill the hole left by [[Expressive Iteration]] with other two mana cards like [[Chart a Course]] and [[Reckless Impulse]]. When you’re comparing legal Legacy cards to one on the ban list, the power difference can be felt. One novel idea has been to use [[Invasion of Tarkir]] in complex with [[Sprite Dragon]] and [[Murktide Regent]] to function more like the UR Delver decks of old — attacking fast and hard, the goal is to slip under opposing strategies and win using whatever resources necessary.
Because of the downgrades received by the bans, UR Delver has picked up tools that aren’t necessarily direct replacements for card advantage. [[Stifle]] always sees play in times like this before players are reminded how poorly the card actually performs. [[Spell Pierce]] and [[Minor Misstep]] are cards that actually succeed in these slots, and perhaps are underplayed. Throughout all of this, The EPIC Storm can fight and succeed against UR Delver. The core power of [[Galvanic Relay]] still exists, bolstered by the fact that [[Expressive Iteration]] is not around to rebuild after we have fought through the initial waves of interaction. If a build has a more aggressive focus, there can be difficulties in securing a win before our life total dwindles to nothing. Of course, UR Delver is still a [[Force of Will]], [[Daze]], and [[Wasteland]] deck, s even in its nerfed state, this is a menace Storm decks need to approach carefully.
-1 [[Ad Nauseam]], -1 [[Urza’s Bauble]], -1 [[Mox Opal]]; +2 [[Boseiju, Who Endures]], +1 [[Aeve, Progenitor Ooze]]
In this scenario and the turns leading up to it, our fleet of baubles have really been able to pull their weight. Last turn, [[Urza’s Bauble]] let us know of a [[Brainstorm]] as the last card in our opponent’s hand as they cast a [[Ponder]]. [[Mishra’s Bauble]] then revealed a [[Force of Will]] on top of their deck with the [[Ponder]] still on the stack. Since the [[Ponder]] did not shuffle, we may be safe in assuming our opponent’s hand is currently these two cards. Our turn started out with a [[Wishclaw Talisman]] — trying to make it look as unassuming as possible given it is the only action in our hand. It resolved! From here, things get a bit more complicated. [[Grafdigger’s Cage]] is on the battlefield and our opponent has two copies of [[Dragon’s Rage Channeler]] with Delirium. Things are starting to look grim. Can we combo off here? What do we need to do for our victory to be ensured?
Want to see your play?
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