TES Mailbox #6

Hi everyone!

We’re back with the mailbox, here are some more Q&A’s:


What do you think the best art for Dark Ritual is?

I personally use the Mercadian Masques since they’re the only ones that come in Japanese and foil – they’ve really grown on me over the years. Before I began to use Japanese foils, I used Japanese Tempest which I was a fan of because of the high contrast and the angles.


Where did you get your mana and storm counters from?

From RK Post’s website.


What are your thoughts on Doomsday?

I think that it’s not a very good card in The EPIC Storm, there’s not a playable draw spell that would make playing Doomsday as a Burning Wish target a viable choice. There’s also the fact that the life loss is an issue in an Ad Nauseam based deck. Both Peter Raab and myself have tested the card a few times and haven’t found success.

As for Doomsday as a deck? Honestly, I don’t see anything it does better than ANT or TES to make it worthwhile. It has the myth that it’s incredibly hard to play, but I don’t believe it’s more difficult than any other storm variant. Doomsday pilots I’ve met or talked to tend to hide behind the “difficulty” fallacy as a reason the numbers or results just aren’t there.


I found the best way for me to improve as a TES player is to watch streams or videos. TES videos are awesome, but there aren’t that many around compared to ANT. However, whenever I try to watch an ANT player on camera, I don’t feel like I’m learning anything or barely have any interest in the match. What skills/lines/interests do ANT and TES share and that can be seen on video?

There’s a number of things, cantrip sequencing, how opponents attack storm in general and even Past in Flames lines. I would recommend being more open-minded toward ANT coverage as it’s not terribly different.


If you were to play in an event tomorrow, which list would you play? The hybrid list or the more traditional one?

I played in an event over the weekend and played a more traditional list. I played the hybrid list online for a few weeks, I found the thing I missed the most was the speed and free wins from being faster, this caused me to switch back and I’m happy with this change. That said, I still think the hybrid list is fine and can’t fault anyone for playing it. What I think it comes down to is a player’s personal stance on Chrome Mox versus Cabal Ritual.


Are you concerned about Warping Wail?

Yes and no. It’s interesting, my initial thought is that it’s going to help a lot of decks with their combo match-ups and possibly made Xantid Swarm worse. The card reminds me a lot of Mind Break Trap in that it’s fairly narrow in it’s applications, although, Warping Wail is slightly more flexible. However, if decks like MUD or Death & Taxes aren’t tapping out to play permanent based hate I’d prefer that. As I’m able to Gitaxian Probe or Cabal Therapy before killing them. The required mana to cast Wail would mean that my lands aren’t being attacked by Wasteland or Rishadian Port.

The card is capable of protecting Death & Taxes from Massacre which kind of scares me, but we would only want to cast Massacre with a Thalia in play. Meaning that they have three open mana (one colorless) and aren’t attacking lands or progressing their clock.

Where I think it would be interesting is in a deck like Sneak & Show or Omnishow due to the “Sol Lands” as a way to have a flexible card to kill Xantid Swarm or counter a Burning Wish. Where previously, Xantid Swarm would go unchecked.


In a world where Sensei’s Divining Top is banned, would you still play Abrupt Decay? (Assuming Counterbalance is unplayable?)

Hm, probably not? I’d likely try to get by on Chain of Vapor and Echoing Truth to deal with permanent based hate. I understand that Chalice of the Void might see more play if this was a real world possibility, but I would try to cut green all together. If you were really concerned with Chalice of the Void, you could try Rebuild, Rushing River or even Wipe Away.


You mentioned a list in the Facebook group with three main deck Empty the Warrens and Past in Flames with no Ad Nauseam. Have you ever tried this?

No, but I think it would be very interesting. It would help keep the explosiveness that the deck wants to strive for in certain match-ups, while providing a strong late game. The only downside I can see initially is that this strategy can put you in a bottle neck of being forced to make Goblin tokens when it’s not ideal or making their sideboard cards better against you. That said, Cabal Therapy would actually just be insane and you could always side in Ad Nauseam in matches where Empty the Warrens is bad. Without Ad Nauseam in the main deck, you could play a more versatile discard spell in Thoughtseize over Duress as well.


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