TES Mailbox #9

Hi everyone!

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

I have all of TES built except for the dual lands. What do you recommend as placeholders until I get the real thing? Five-color lands or Shock Lands?

I don’t recommend anything. Neither provide the necessary tools for the deck to be successful, you need to have shuffle effects for Brainstorm and the life-totals for Ad Nauseam. I recommend playing something else until you’ve saved up enough to acquire the necessary cards. I understand this isn’t the answer you wanted, but you would have better results in any event played this way.


I’m a Blue-Red Storm player in modern looking to get into legacy. From reading articles and watching coverage I like everything about the TES deck more than ANT. That being said I proxied up the most recent list to try goldfishing, and it feels completely overwhelming. Would I be better served using ANT as a stepping stone, since it seems closer to Modern Storm, or do you think I should just bite the bullet and dive right into TES?

TES and ANT actually play fairly differently and you wouldn’t be doing yourself too many favors. The thought patterns and lines aren’t as similar as one would think. I would recommend diving in and just learning through experience. It takes awhile to become full-optimal, but it’s well worth the reward.


It was really cool of you to do a 500th member giveaway for the Facebook group. With TES’s 10 year anniversary coming up, are you going to do another giveaway?

Not likely, they’re too close to one another. I think it would be cool if we could arrange some sort of gift-swap, but that’s the only idea I’ve had.


Many storm players only think of red and black for kill conditions, but there is High Tide which mostly uses Brain Freeze for a win condition. Just curious about your opinion on why tide is not part of the normal “storm” group?

Most likely because it doesn’t play at all like the other decks, when people tell their opponents they “lost to storm” – it’s a bit ambiguous what they’re talking about (if High Tide variants were categorized the same way as Dark Ritual based combo). If they played more similarly, I could see it being related more often. But as of right now, most High Tide lists only cross-over anywhere between 8-14 cards.


I saw the Go/No Go video you did with MTG Training Grounds and realized I’d been missing a significant portion of playing the deck. This brings me to the question: I understand the probability of if they have Force of Will in their opening hand (if they’re playing a standard blue deck) is about 35%. What about if they mulligan to 6? Or 5? Or, in game 2 and 3, once they know what they’re up against, how much does that the probability of T1 disruption go up?

After a mulligan to six, I believe their odds go down to 28%. Not sure on 5 cards. I think the amount of disruption on the draw in post-board games for us is significantly higher. Which tends to make our post-board games a little slower, the amount of Thoughtseize, Flusterstorm, Stifle, etc. tends to make storm take their time. On the play, I would still go for it.


I heard that you did a card signing with Anthony Jones, will there be another? I would like my Past in Flames signed. Is there information on the website for this?

At the moment, there is no information on the website about the card signing I did with Anthony Jones. I posted it to the TES Facebook group and the signed card group. The signing is actually wrapping up right now, I’ve sent over half of the cards back. I’m not sure if there will be another signing, I’ll talk to him about another. Possibly later on in the year.


I listened to you on the Humans of Magic podcast, it seems like you’ve been playing for decades. Do you think the amount of time someone has played the game is relevant to their playskill? I started in Theros block.

While I think longevity is certainly helpful, it isn’t everything. It will help when knowing how to recognize niche decks and what those decks play or how to play around an usual card. That said, there are some very high-level pros that have only been playing for 2-3 years that are much better than myself. It’s a tough call.


Do you play Pokemon Go? If so, who was your starter?

This was funny enough for me to allow it in. Yes, Charmander. #Mystic


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