Who would have thought that the past few months would have been a place of massive Combo deck building and brewing in Legacy? Starting with the unbanning of [[Mind’s Desire]] and continuing with [[Pair o’ Dice Lost]] finally making its way to MTGO, we also get a brand new card that has split the format wide open. [[Beseech the Mirror]] from Wilds of Eldraine needs no introduction at this point. It has single-handedly shut down any competition from the other two cards in combo decks. [[Pair o’ Dice Lost]] and [[Mind’s Desire]] have been sidelined. It’s been strange to see cards that would otherwise have been exciting to play and test with be summarily disregarded. [[Beseech the Mirror]] is just THAT GOOD. The strength of the card lies in the dual nature of its uses. It can be a tutor, getting everything from [[Helm of Obedience]] to [[Tendrils of Agony]]. It also is able to operate as an engine akin to [[Yawgmoth’s Will]] when paired with [[Gaea’s Will]]. This flexibility has attracted several strategies into playing the card.
There may be some bias coming from an article written on a website named after the deck, but The EPIC Storm might be the Combo deck best suited to adopt [[Beseech the Mirror]] into its folds. In fact, last month’s article discussed the secret super power of The EPIC Storm. Adaptability is the name of the game here, and adopting [[Beseech the Mirror]] as proved a very successful endeavor for our site team. There has been a shift in the online metagame towards the Dimir “Scam” decks that pair [[Grief]]/[[Troll of Khazad-dûm]] with [[Reanimate]], backing this early disruption and clock with a Tempo shell of [[Daze]] and [[Wasteland]]. [[Beseech the Mirror]] has found a home thanks to the ultra compact nature of the lines you can take with the card.
Hello, my name is Gavin Tomchick. I am a mathematician and fellow Japanese foil lover from Northern Virginia. I’ve always had a love for eternal formats and combos — especially those including [[Ad Nauseam]] (Rip Monke). Since then, I stumbled on TES v8.5 and have been hooked ever since. In my non-Magic free time, I am either smoking a brisket, watching football, playing poker, or drinking craft beers.
the epic Storm
- 4 [[Ponder]]
- 4 [[Brainstorm]]
- 4 [[Veil of Summer]]
- 3 [[Galvanic Relay]]
- 4 [[Burning Wish]]
- 4 [[Beseech the Mirror]]
- 1 [[Tendrils of Agony]]
- 1 [[Gaea’s Will]]
- 4 [[Rite of Flame]]
- 4 [[Dark Ritual]]
- 4 [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]
- 4 [[Lotus Petal]]
- 4 [[Chrome Mox]]
- 3 [[Mox Opal]]
- 4 [[Misty Rainforest]]
- 3 [[Bloodstained Mire]]
- 2 [[Underground Sea]]
- 1 [[Volcanic Island]]
- 1 [[Bayou]]
- 1 [[Taiga]]
- 4 [[Carpet of Flowers]]
- 2 [[Abrupt Decay]]
- 1 [[Echoing Truth]]
- 1 [[Consign // Oblivion]]
- 1 [[Thoughtseize]]
- 1 [[Grapeshot]]
- 1 [[Galvanic Relay]]
- 1 [[Empty the Warrens]]
- 1 [[Tendrils of Agony]]
- 1 [[Echo of Eons]]
- 1 [[Peer into the Abyss]]
SITUATION No. 1 — Death & Taxes
[[Orcish Bowmasters]] has many a deck taking a shine to its strengths in the Legacy format. Cantrips are everywhere and being able to punish the Blue players is exactly where Death & Taxes players want to be in life. Transitioning into a two-color deck comes with its own costs, but there are benefits beyond the little orc. [[Thoughtseize]] is key among these new benefits. Being able to attempt a more disruptive game plan against Combo is a big contender for what makes this color the best to adopt. Black was once relegated to the lower tiers of Legacy, and now it is back on top! Outside of the normal [[Thalia, Guardian of Thraben]] plus [[Wasteland]] game, the aforementioned [[Thoughtseize]] and [[Orcish Bowmasters]] are potentially concerning points of disruption. Also, one-off tutor targets like [[Plague Engineer]] and [[Opposition Agent]] can pose problems with [[Recruiter of the Guard]] and [[AEther Vial]].
-2 [[Veil of Summer]], -2 [[Galvanic Relay]]; +2 [[Abrupt Decay]], +1 [[Echoing Truth]], +1 [[Consign // Oblivion]]
We are well within game two of the match against the now-standard Orzhov variant of the deck. Our opponent has assembled a moderate clock that also burdens our cantrips – two copies of [[Orcish Bowmasters]] are beating down for four life per turn. They also have a [[Leyline of the Void]] that is currently shutting off access to our graveyard. We drew a Ponder to start our fourth turn and cast it, looking at a [[Bloodstained Mire]], a [[Burning Wish]], and a [[Tendrils of Agony]]. We are guaranteed to take an additional two damage from drawing a card, growing the [[Orc Army Token]] and leaving us at 12 with six damage on the board. Can we assemble a game plan that serves as an out to this sticky situation?
SITUATION No. 2 — Temur Delver
[[Questing Druid]] is the name of the game here. A new card from Wilds of Eldraine, [[Delver of Secrets]] players have a relatively solid source of card advantage tacked to a creature with decent stats. Pairing the two together lends itself to a Tempo strategy. The downside here is that it doesn’t pitch to [[Force of Will]] and doesn’t flip [[Delver of Secrets]]. But those are problems for the pilots of the deck to fix.
As for The EPIC Storm, we have the potential to steamroll these strategies with the power of [[Galvanic Relay]] if we can get our mana underneath us for at least a turn or two. Single-point interactive spells like [[Force of Will]], [[Daze]], and [[Spell Pierce]] are commonly beaten. Cards like [[Flusterstorm]] and [[Null Rod]] are less so. With the adoption of [[Beseech the Mirror]], the ability to play around [[Null Rod]] has drastically increased! Plus [[Carpet of Flowers]] can be a strong mana producer in the post-board games. With tight play, the matchup can be quite good, but it has the potential to be very complex.
Another turn four scenario, this time in game one. For context here, our opponent took a while to deploy their threats. Can this mean they are holding several pieces of interaction for us? Perhaps. They used [[Questing Druid]] to access additional cards on their previous turn, a [[Volcanic Island]] and a [[Fire // Ice]]. They still have access to the later until their next end step, potentially a consideration for later. Previous cantrips like [[Ponder]] have seen them draw without shuffling, they found cards that were good immediately. Our draw for the turn was a [[Burning Wish]], providing us with three action spells at our disposal. Can we assemble this hand into a win through several protection pieces?
SITUATION No. 3 — Lands
Lands is making a comeback! From a deck that struggled against the Initiative menace of the format to one that can mop up against Tempo decks, Lands is an ugly duckling that is coming full circle back to a top meta choice. Pilots of the deck are currently focused on a variant with maindeck copies of [[Sphere of Resistance]]. Paired with [[Ancient Tomb]] or [[Mox Diamond]] and the heavy disruption of [[Wasteland]] and [[Rishadan Port]], mana is consistently being attacked by Lands. The deck is uniquely suited to operate underneath this by breaking parity with cards like [[Exploration]] and [[Life from the Loam]]. [[Urza’s Saga]] and [[Dark Depths]] provide real win conditions that require different answers from opponents.
The EPIC Storm has typically faired well against lands-based strategies like Lands and Naya Depths. But with the added disruptive ability of [[Sphere of Resistance]] on the first turn of a game, the matchup has changed over the past few months. Of course, with our new [[Burning Wish]] target of [[Consign // Oblivion]] in our back pocket (in lieu of [[Pulverize]]) we have outs to a hateful start. Mana is crucial in this matchup and making sure that we protect ours until we can combo is quite important. Holding fetches until absolutely necessary can protect them from [[Wasteland]]. Keep in mind that [[Crop Rotation]] decks also have access to [[Bojuka Bog]] if we attempt an all-in [[Gaea’s Will]] line. Watch for any available mana!
Situations that are mid-cantrip seem to be very popular! It should come as no surprise though, these are crucial decision points that can make or break a game. Especially for combo decks, though this rule applies to all Legacy strategies that utilize the power of the “Cantrip Cartel”. Our [[Brainstorm]] might be able to provide an out to this sideboard game. We have seen our lands destroyed with a pair of [[Wasteland]] and our graveyard is at risk thanks to the opposing [[Soul-Guide Lantern]]. The previous turn saw [[Galvanic Relay]] played, with six cards in the bank: [[Lotus Petal]], [[Abrupt Decay]], [[Echoing Truth]], [[Taiga]], and a pair of [[Beseech the Mirror]]. How should we approach this turn? Can we change our fortunes for the better?
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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