The EPIC Ruby Storm

What is The EPIC Ruby Storm?

[[Ruby Medallion|]]
[[Birgi, God of Storytelling|]]
[[Echo of Eons|]]

The EPIC Ruby Storm is a variant of Ruby Storm that has borrowed some of the most powerful components from The EPIC Storm and plugged them into Ruby Storm: [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Echo of Eons]], [[Peer into the Abyss]], [[Defense Grid]], [[Chrome Mox]], and even sometimes [[Mox Opal]]. The EPIC Ruby Storm is more permanent-based than traditional Ruby Storm and attempts to match the explosiveness of typical Ruby Storm builds. It does this through being more consistent while having access to free wins cards like [[Peer into the Abyss]] and [[Harnfel, Horn of Bounty]] and high percentage [[Echo of Eons]] lines.


Main Deck

  • 4 [[Burning Wish]]
  • 4 [[Jeska’s Will]]
  • 4 [[Ignite the Future]]
  • 1 [[Echo of Eons]]
  • 4 [[Birgi, God of Storytelling]]
  • 4 [[Ruby Medallion]]
  • 3 [[Defense Grid]]
  • 4 [[Rite of Flame]]
  • 4 [[Manamorphose]]
  • 4 [[Seething Song]]
  • 4 [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]
  • 4 [[Lotus Petal]]
  • 3 [[Chrome Mox]]
  • 6 [[Mountain]]
  • 4 [[Ancient Tomb]]
  • 2 [[City of Traitors]]
  • 1 [[Fiery Islet]]


  • 1 [[Shattering Spree]]
  • 1 [[Extract]]
  • 1 [[Empty the Warrens]]
  • 1 [[Peer into the Abyss]]
  • 1 [[Echo of Eons]]
  • 2 [[Grapeshot]]
  • 1 [[Faithless Looting]]
  • 1 [[Pyroclasm]]
  • 1 [[Reforge the Soul]]
  • 1 [[Shatterskull Smashing]]
  • 1 [[Chandra, Awakened Inferno]]
  • 1 [[Chain Lightning]]
  • 1 [[Defense Grid]]
  • 1 [[Past in Flames]]

Why play The EPIC Ruby Storm?

[[Peer into the Abyss|]]
[[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]]

For most of its history, Ruby Storm has been more of a meme deck than anything else with the main attraction being the enjoyment to pilot. With the printing of [[Jeska’s Will]] and [[Birgi, God of Storytelling]], I think Ruby Storm has finally broken out of meme status and can now compete with the other premiere storm decks. In the past, Ruby Storm has been touted as a budget Storm option. The EPIC Ruby Storm is still much cheaper than The EPIC Storm or Ad Nauseam Tendrils and costs very little if you already own four copies of [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]].

Where is Bonus Round?

[[Bonus Round|]]

[[Bonus Round]] has been one of the signature cards of Ruby Storm. It looks good in traditional Ruby Storm because it wins hard when it does win. The problem is that it doesn’t win all that often and tends to be more of a “win more” card. We are playing an engine card that is only effective for one turn and it costs double red. [[Bonus Round]] requires a costly critical mass of non-permanent-based spells to be effective, especially if there isn’t already another engine card in play. A common line with [[Bonus Round]] start with a ritual or two, then cast [[Bonus Round]], then cast our action spell and VOILA, it’s doubled! There are problems here. The first problem is getting double red and then a third red for the post [[Bonus Round]] action spell, such as another ritual or a [[Burning Wish]]. The second and biggest problem is that the opponent’s permission spell gets doubled too. As long as they let the [[Bonus Round]] trigger resolve first, they can counter the copy of our spell with their copy. This forces us to have even more mana and a second action spell post [[Bonus Round]]: a difficult task when having to deal with soft permission like [[Daze]] and [[Spell Pierce]]. [[Bonus Round]] stresses our mana as though it were a 4-5 mana engine card that costs double red and is in the graveyard after failing, not in play. If a [[Bonus Round]] line fails, I don’t find [[Past in Flames]] to be a compelling reason to be okay with an engine card being in the graveyard. If only there were a five-converted-mana cost red engine card that just costs a single red that would help turn on metal craft, stays in play to continue creating value, could turn a draw seven into a draw 14, and have another permanent engine card on its flip side.

Strength / Weakness

[[Ignite the Future|]]
[[Jeska’s Will|]]
[[Harnfel, Horn of Bounty|]]

The EPIC Ruby Storm’s strengths lie primarily in its power to win the game out of nowhere. We are capable of brute forcing through counter magic in a single turn or just grinding fair blue decks’ counter magic dry over the course of a few turns before exploding. [[Defense Grid]] is also a source of free wins or as an effective [[Hymn to Tourach]]. Opponents feel forced to make plays on the assumption that they are likely dead if they pass the turn without disruption. I found the deck’s major weakness not to be its fail rate or potential blowout losses to disruption, but rather having little left over in resources when the dust settles. Whether we are contending with counter magic, discard, or taxing effects, the safest way to utilize resources in a Storm deck is through deploying permanents rather than hoarding spells in our hand. The creators of The EPIC Storm figured this to be possible after the printing of [[Wishclaw Talisman]] and the diminished efficacy of an “all in” [[Empty the Warrens]] style in a post [[Force of Negation]] and [[Plague Engineer]] world.

The Deck

[[Ancient Tomb|]]
[[City of Traitors|]]

Traditional Ruby Storm lists depend quite heavily on [[Bonus Round]] coupled with a high density of red “impulse draw” sorceries. Since the printing of [[Birgi, God of Storytelling]], I don’t believe we have to subscribe to such an unreliable and fragile engine. It is very easy to create fundamental problems with Ruby Storm deck building theory now that there is such a large selection of cards to choose from. We no longer have to settle. We can make a deck with a high density of busted cards (rather than bad cards that work well together). Most Ruby Storm lists are roughly two-thirds mana and one-third action (with some overlap that bleeds those numbers thanks to our mana or action cards), but the deck only has four pieces of action that are potentially deterministic: [[Burning Wish]]. If a card isn’t mana or action that leads to [[Burning Wish]], it isn’t in the deck. The rest of the action pieces are redraws, red exile effects, and maybe a couple of draw sevens — all of which are non-deterministic action pieces that lead to attempting to resolve [[Burning Wish]]. Once we begin to introduce engine cards in addition to our non-deterministic action pieces, we increase the consistency and frequency in which we can present lethal lines as opposed to crossing our fingers and putting it all on a single red exile effect.

Recommended Engines

[[Reforge the Soul|]]
[[Burning Wish|]]
[[Echo of Eons|]]

[[Ruby Medallion]] — I don’t think I have to go into detail as to why this card is one of the best mana engines for the deck. Just don’t forget it doesn’t reduce the opponent’s red spells and it doesn’t only reduce instant and sorceries, it’s any red spell.

Natural Engine — A certain density of action and redraws can be an engine in and of itself. In virtually any Ruby Storm deck, it becomes a question of density. There are times that a mana engine followed by stringing together some red exile effects can naturally provide enough Storm to find and cast a lethal [[Burning Wish]]. I think it is a mistake to lean too heavily on these redraw effects as a primary engine. At the same time, we do need a certain density of action in order for the deck to function.

[[Past in Flames]] — Supports our natural engine and recycles it, but it requires some work and is susceptible to graveyard hate. I think it is a solid choice to play 2-3 copies if we are running a primarily spell-based (i.e. instant/sorceries) engine, but is better left to the sideboard when running a permanent-based engine. Though we run a lot of permanent artifacts that can’t be flashed back, our deck still frequently fills its graveyard with plenty of goodies. It is also a good [[Burning Wish]] target to trigger [[Harnfel, Horn of Bounty]] when either our [[Echo of Eons]] isn’t available or we have two copies of [[Burning Wish]] and both [[Echo of Eons]] and [[Past in Flames]] are available. I often ask myself — do I want both my opponent and I to draw seven or would I rather draw six myself and have a [[Past in Flames]] in my graveyard. Sometimes [[Past in Flames]] is better than [[Echo of Eons]] because we are drawing eight or more off of our [[Past in Flames]]. [[Hullbreacher]] effects also make [[Past in Flames]] a solid line.

[[Reforge the Soul]] — Can be great off the top or in an opener with a lot of mana. I think it plays to the style that I am ultimately trying to avoid — too high a density of non-deterministic lines. It is, however, a staple in our sideboard as a [[Burning Wish]] target. It becomes better than [[Echo of Eons]] in game one if the mana doesn’t matter because we get to see our opponent’s hand. If it gets countered, we have our better draw seven still in the board. It is also sometimes relevant that cards wind up in our graveyard rather than shuffled back into our library. We have [[Past in Flames]] in the sideboard, and we also have the ability to Flashback [[Ignite the Future]]. We can even discard an [[Echo of Eons]] to [[Reforge the Soul]]! Sometimes, it’s just a draw seven that we have access to after having already used our sideboard [[Echo of Eons]]. Occasionally, we don’t have access to blue mana, have no way of discarding our [[Echo of Eons]], or we have multiple [[Ruby Medallion]] in play so it costs the same as [[Echo of Eons]] or even less. Sometimes we are just dodging [[Pyroblast]] or giving ourselves better odds for action by not shuffling less desirable cards back into our deck before drawing our seven.

[[Birgi, God of Storytelling]] / [[Harnfel, Horn of Bounty]] — The latest toy that Ruby Storm has been given. This is exactly what the deck needed. Not only is it an engine card, but it can be either a mana engine OR an action engine. There are several things that I quickly found to be busted about this card:

  1. Every card drawn in a post [[Harnfel, Horn of Bounty]] world is two cards. If we draw seven, we get to flip 14, that’s 21 looks! Every time we flip a [[Manamorphose]] or a [[Brainstorm]], we go up a card. [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] puts [[Echo of Eons]] in the graveyard for free, but [[Harnfel, Horn of Bounty]] nets us an extra two cards while discarding [[Echo of Eons]]. For very few mana, [[Burning Wish]] can get an [[Echo of Eons]], discard it, and effectively draw 16 cards (plus seven looks for the must-have card). If we are playing blue and we [[Brainstorm]], we get to put two good cards on top, like a reverse [[Brainstorm]].

  2. [[Birgi, God of Storytelling]] is an objectively more powerful effect than [[Ruby Medallion]]. [[Birgi, God of Storytelling]] is more busted than most people realize right now. This is the result of weeks of playing heavily with this card and even hundreds of matches in, I am still figuring out what is making it so good. To put it simply, the more I play this card, the more I realize how good it is. I suggest reading this section, testing [[Birgi, God of Storytelling]], rereading, and repeating. Let me know if I missed anything because it is entirely possible. Compared to [[Ruby Medallion]], it costs three rather than two, dies to creature removal, and is Legendary, but where it actually outshines [[Ruby Medallion]] is in four major areas (aside from mana carrying over combat and…boasting twice!?).

    • We get a red for any spell we cast. That includes blue cards and artifacts.

    • It mimics a cost reducer where cost reducers normally fail to reduce cost (e.g. one mana value, double color, and zero-converted-mana cost cards). This means that a higher converted-mana-cost red card that has been reduced to one mana already by [[Ruby Medallion]] can now be mana neutral when coupled with [[Birgi, God of Storytelling]] and a zero mana card actually nets mana. We get to add a red even under a [[Trinisphere]]! (post-resolution of course and after spending full retail but it’s like a rebate) You thought [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] was busted? Wait until it makes four mana! [[Lotus Petal]], [[Mox Opal]] and [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] are now split rainbow rituals in with a [[Birgi, God of Storytelling]].

    • While actual cost reducers are only capable of reducing generic mana costs, [[Birgi, God of Storytelling]] adds a red rather than reducing a generic. This is quite relevant when we are stressed for colored mana ([[Ancient Tomb]] taxes our life total, but also taxes our capacity to make colored mana). Adding a red rather than reducing a generic means our mana is virtually infinite, proportional to the total number of spells we can cast. Even a dead [[Chrome Mox]] turns into a [[Rite of Flame]]. We can start making the black and blue mana with [[Manamorphose]] that we need because we will always have red from [[Birgi, God of Storytelling]]. Don’t forget just how effective [[Harnfel, Horn of Bounty]] is at digging through our deck without casting spells. This is particularly important if we are digging for an [[Engineered Explosives]] to blow up [[Deafening Silence]]. When on low resources, [[Harnfel, Horn of Bounty]] isn’t the greatest top deck, but once it’s in play, we get three looks a turn instead of just one. [[Birgi, God of Storytelling]] also can’t be touched by [[Duress]] and [[Harnfel, Horn of Bounty]] can’t be targeted by [[Abrupt Decay]].

[[Echo of Eons]] — This is the card that initially had me sold on running [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] in the deck. I have only grown further sold on that particular style, and this card, as it has continued to perform and live up to its expectations. Its synergy with [[Harnfel, Horn of Bounty]] cannot be overstated. The EPIC Storm plays one in the main and one in the sideboard to line up with both [[Burning Wish]] and [[Wishclaw Talisman]]. I play it in both my main deck and sideboard despite not having a precise main-deck way to access it. I find that the card is rarely a poor draw. Even drawing multiples is not bad. If we have a [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] and more mana, we can threaten back to back [[Echo of Eons]] in order to overcome multiple counters. It can be a bit awkward when we are low on mana and we flip it to a red exile effect, but if we have virtually infinite mana, it becomes a great find. Any number between 1-3 in the main deck is fine, but I am currently only running one main deck and one sideboard. Though a rare occurrence, shuffling our graveyard into our library can be beneficial at times. We can prevent the danger of getting our [[Burning Wish]] targeted by [[Surgical Extraction]] in future turns or reshuffle a crucial card that cannot otherwise be accessed through [[Past in Flames]], such as [[Defense Grid]] or [[Engineered Explosives]]. It is important to understand every potential stretch that this deck is capable of because we are often in the position of drawing our entire deck, and it can come down to playing around more complicated interactions like [[Stifle]], [[Surgical Extraction]], [[Mindbreak Trap]], etc.

[[Ignite the Future]] — Initially, I had found this to be the next best action piece alongside [[Jeska’s Will]] and [[Act on Impulse]]. It took a fair amount of testing, but eventually [[Ignite the Future]] proved to be even better than [[Act on Impulse]] in most instances, not only for its continued effect into the next turn, but also its built-in engine from having Flashback. The EPIC Ruby Storm often makes more mana than it knows what to do with, so the Flashback adds to the integrity of the deck and the cast for free clause even works when being flashbacked through [[Past in Flames]]. When we are up against [[Narset, Parter of Veils]], [[Leovold, Emissary of Trest]], or [[Hullbreacher]], we can board one out so that we still have access to a six-card “wheel” effect when we have virtually infinite mana. [[Ignite the Future]] can also be a solid value target for [[Burning Wish]], but I have found the card to be so good that it is stock to run all four in the main.

[[Peer into the Abyss]] — I don’t know why no one runs this card in any Ruby Storm sideboard. Even in my earlier iterations of the deck and even with a heavily spell-based build, I couldn’t not put it in my sideboard. It is almost literally plan A. [[Peer into the Abyss]] allows us to play around [[Stifle]] and multiple [[Mindbreak Trap]] or literally anything once we resolve it because then we can start deploying multiple copies of [[Defense Grid]], and we don’t even have to worry about what they could have. Against [[Mindbreak Trap]], I often deploy multiple [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] and then pass in order to play a [[Burning Wish]] into [[Peer into the Abyss]] through a [[Mindbreak Trap]].

[[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] — [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], a mana engine? YES. [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] makes so much mana on its own. I think it is entirely fair to look at it as though it were an engine or at least worth multiple cards. Some consider [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] to be too much of an ‘all in’ card. I find this to be, most of the time, incorrect. [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] is often what makes our opener have access to two lethal or high percentages to win lines. We don’t always sacrifice our [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] right away. Sometimes it gets us metalcraft and then hangs around to push our top decks into lethal lines. Sometimes we feel dead and then we exile two [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] from a red exile effect and win on the spot. Sometimes we turn one [[Peer into the Abyss]] with [[Echo of Eons]] backup thanks to [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]. I could fill an entire page with examples of the card being busted in half, but I think most reasonable people are sold on this card as it pertains to The EPIC Ruby Storm or any Storm based combo deck. If our Storm deck doesn’t like [[Black Lotus]], it’s probably time to reconstruct our Storm deck right? This is a hyperbole of course but seriously, the card is busted in half.

Bad Engines

[[Experimental Frenzy|]]
[[Helm of Awakening|]]
[[Bonus Round|]]

[[Helm of Awakening]] — A “bad card”. [[Helm of Awakening]] can enable our opponent and often lose us the game on the spot if we pass. Having to spend mana while giving our opponent a free cost reducer is just bad. Since the cons are so obvious, I think it may be appropriate to lay out all of the pros of playing [[Helm of Awakening]].

  1. We have a higher chance of having a cost reducer in our opener.

  2. We have a higher chance of drawing into a cost reducer if we open a reasonable seven without one.

  3. We can run additional Sol Lands (two to three [[City of Traitors]]) which also increases our chances of having a powerful turn one play. Running four [[Ruby Medallion]], three [[Helm of Awakening]], and two [[Defense Grid]] means we have nine artifact spells castable off of one tap of a Sol Land.

  4. Now that we have a higher density of artifacts and a higher density of Sol lands to cast those artifacts, [[Mox Opal]] could be viable.

  5. Turn one double cost reducer! [[Ancient Tomb]], [[Helm of Awakening]], [[Lotus Petal]], [[Mox Opal]], tap [[Mox Opal]] for a one converted mana cost [[Ruby Medallion]]. Only takes five cards and zero of them are in the graveyard.

  6. Our [[Ruby Medallion]] can have its cost reduced even to zero and with a [[Birgi, God of Storytelling]] in play, it actually generates mana.

  7. Cost reduction for all spells means that [[Echo of Eons]] gets reduced as well as [[Peer into the Abyss]].

  8. The EPIC Ruby Storm feels fast and consistent when running this card alongside additional Sol lands.

  9. After considerable testing, I found that the pros did not out way the cons and [[Helm of Awakening]] is just too risky in such a powerful format.

[[Experimental Frenzy]] — These games get WILD when we are casting spells from four different zones — the top of our deck (which our opponent can’t even see by the way), our exile pile, our hand, and of course casting [[Echo of Eons]] out of the graveyard and casting [[Past in Flames]] on occasion. [[Experimental Frenzy]] was the answer that I had been searching for to finish my theory and put it into practice: permanent-based engines are better than all in spell-based engines. Unfortunately, after considerable testing, I have deemed this card to be just a bit too risky and occasionally awkward. Not being able to play cards from our hand isn’t all that relevant when we have a [[Harnfel, Horn of Bounty]] in play until something terrible happens like [[Brazen Borrower]] targeting [[Harnfel, Horn of Bounty]]. It’s sad because when this card works, it really works. It’s just too much variance added to a deck that has become increasingly more stable.

[[Bonus Round]] — As discussed in the beginning of this article, [[Bonus Round]] takes far too much work and leaves us with little to no gas in the tank when we fail. [[Bonus Round]] makes an otherwise resilient deck very fragile. Double red in addition to the third red we need post-[[Bonus Round]] makes this card too difficult to pull off, especially considering the efficient and bountiful disruption that exists in Legacy.


[[Chrome Mox|]]
[[Lotus Petal|]]
[[Rite of Flame|]]

[[Chrome Mox]] — Increases our odds of a turn one cost reducer, [[Defense Grid]], [[Jeska’s Will]], or [[Seething Song]] by giving us a red source to pair with our land drop. Repeatable and [[Wasteland]] proof red sources are at a premium for this deck. A dead [[Chrome Mox]] will still add a red when we have a [[Birgi, God of Storytelling]] in play and if we are running [[Mox Opal]], [[Chrome Mox]] is essential to achieving Metalcraft. I run three because that is the number I run when I want one in my opener but would prefer not to draw another.

[[Lotus Petal]] — The EPIC Ruby Storm needs a certain density of free mana starters and [[Lotus Petal]] fits the bill. It pairs perfectly with [[Ancient Tomb]] and [[City of Traitors]] to get to the three mana we need for busted openers. It is also a rainbow [[Dark Ritual]] post [[Birgi, God of Storytelling]], helps produce blue for [[Echo of Eons]], and allows us to put our mana in to play to dodge taxes and discard.

[[Seething Song]] — Although [[Dark Ritual]] may seem strictly better, this is not entirely true as [[Ruby Medallion]] often pushes this two mana ritual into netting three or four mana (or even five with a [[Birgi, God of Storytelling]] in play). Don’t forget that it’s an instant. If we suspect removal for our cost reducer, we may want to start our sequence with sorcery speed mana so that we can [[Seething Song]] or [[Manamorphose]] in response.

[[Jeska’s Will]] — One of the truly busted cards in the deck. Seven red mana on turn one is easy to come by when we have a [[Jeska’s Will]] in our opener. It is capable of netting up to seven mana with sufficient cost reducers in play. A flexible bonus that has an [[Act on Impulse]] on the backside.

[[Manamorphose]] — Capable of being a ritual that draws a card and fixes our colors. One of our least deliberate cards however and as a result, I often shave one or two post board.

[[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] — Is this sometimes [[Black Lotus]] with the upside of putting [[Echo of Eons]] in our graveyard? Yes! It is capable of netting four mana for zero with a [[Birgi, God of Storytelling]] in play and generates too much mana to pass up.

[[Rite of Flame]] — My favorite trick with this card is casting a seemingly non-threatening [[Burning Wish]] with short mana floating, getting [[Empty the Warrens]], and then slipping multiple [[Rite of Flame]] and [[Lotus Petal]] through countermagic to resolve a ton of goblins.

[[Ancient Tomb]] — Any Storm deck would love to take advantage of a land that makes two mana, but it’s a tall order to make use of double colorless. We can consider ourselves lucky to be able to make use of [[Ancient Tomb]], as we are currently the only Storm deck that is capable of it. We are able to get away with a generally higher density of action spells since we have so much mana consolidated in permanent lands. Having the potential to add four colorless on turn two just off of two land drops is an insane advantage. We have to watch out for [[Wasteland]] and keep an eye on our life total but the cost is worth the payoff most of the time.

[[City of Traitors]] — [[Ancient Tomb]] five through six. It can often be preferable to [[Ancient Tomb]], particularly when our life total is being pressured. When it gets hit by [[Wasteland]] anyway and we didn’t lose two life, it feels pretty good. We try to make it our last or second to last land drop but is sometimes used to power out a turn one cost reducer and is consequently sacrificed the next turn almost like a colorless [[Sandstone Needle]] that didn’t come into play tapped. I initially went to [[City of Traitors]] in these two slots in place of two [[Mountain]]s when testing [[Helm of Awakening]], but realized the turn one power level increase alone outweighs the negative of having fewer red sources.

[[Fiery Islet]] — The primary reason to not make a land drop until we have to, especially when we start triggering [[Harnfel, Horn of Bounty]]. This can easily decide a game with The EPIC Ruby Storm. Being nonbasic and losing life are small prices to pay to have a redraw on a land. Don’t forget it adds blue.

[[Mountain]] — I run six, which is lower than any other mono-red lists I have seen, even with [[Sandstone Needle]] in them. But hear me out: after testing five to seven Magic The Gathering Online leagues a week for almost six months (that’s roughly 800 matches), this is by far the most successful mana base I have had. Here are some conclusions as a result of such heavy grinding:

  1. In terms of openers, we do play fourteen permanent red sources if we include [[Chrome Mox]], [[Lotus Petal]], and [[Fiery Islet]]. That gives us an average of 1.63 initial red sources in our opening hand. That is fine with us, especially considering our better openers start with [[Ancient Tomb]] paired with a non-land red source anyways. Our mulligan decisions continue to be our best way to manage access to initial red sources.

  2. Six basics is actually a really high number when we think of cards like [[Assassin’s Trophy]], [[Ghost Quarter]], or admittedly less relevant: [[Veteran Explorer]] and [[Path to Exile]].

  3. Often we are looking for a red source through our red exile effects, and especially when triggering [[Harnfel, Horn of Bounty]], we don’t have a particularly hard time finding one.

  4. As the game progresses, [[Mountain]] isn’t necessarily a more desirable land anyways. We tend to get most of our mana from cost reducers and spells and after a few turns, we will almost certainly have access to our initial red sources and will really just be looking to max out on total mana to support cards like [[Ignite the Future]]. Our current density is enough to comfortably make a [[Mountain]] land drop here and there off of red exile effects so that we don’t damage ourselves too much. Additionally, [[Mountain]] isn’t necessarily the most desirable land against opposing copies of[[Wasteland]]. It may seem counterintuitive, but hear me out. Most [[Wasteland]] decks are [[Delver of Secrets]] decks, which means we are pressed for time, so it is imperative that we jump ahead on mana. This is not only to race their aggressive threats, but also to get ahead of their soft countermagic. This strategy, although preferable to slowly playing a [[Mountain]] per turn, compounds itself by playing into [[Wasteland]]. This requires us to replace that land with another land, preferably an [[Ancient Tomb]] or [[City of Traitors]].

  5. Pretty quickly we stop making land drops, holding cards in hand for [[Harnfel, Horn of Bounty]] much like blue decks do in case they draw [[Brainstorm]].

  6. With six [[Mountain]]s, we are still more likely to draw it than any other card in our deck.

Every single one of these pieces of mana is either a permanent, makes more than one mana on average, or is capable of being action in addition to or instead of being mana. These are important characteristics when selecting mana for a Storm deck that only has four tutors and no actual cantrips. The EPIC Ruby Storm is a little more sloppy in its approach than The EPIC Storm or Ad Nauseum Tendrils. Those decks have very precise cards and some cantrips as the glue whereas The EPIC Ruby Storm has glue all over the place, and if there isn’t enough, the wheels start to fall off and we flounder. We have 13-14 lands and 23 or so nonland mana pieces. That’s 36 pieces of mana not including [[Ruby Medallion]], [[Birgi, God of Storytelling]], or [[Manamorphose]], which would bring us up to 48. This is not a precise calculation as [[Manamorphose]] and [[Jeska’s Will]] don’t always make mana, but we are still talking a lot of mana.

I think the future of The EPIC Ruby Storm has [[Mox Opal]] in it, but it has proven to be a little too awkward. A deck like The EPIC Storm has cantrips to make the card operate a smoother, but The EPIC Ruby Storm tends to stumble more often in its openers when running Mox Opal.

Other Rituals

[[Simian Spirit Guide|]]
[[Desperate Ritual|]]
[[Pyretic Ritual|]]

The EPIC Ruby Storm doesn’t want to play any non-permanent-plus-one mana cards if it can help it. [[Bonus Round]] variants are forced to play a fair number of these because they tend to not play [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] or [[Chrome Mox]] and any Ruby Storm variant needs a certain density of mana to function. No Ruby Storm deck can run too many plus one rituals without running into the above-mentioned issues of throwing its deck into the graveyard or being vulnerable to discard and tax effects.


[[Defense Grid|]]
[[Chandra, Awakened Inferno|]]

[[Defense Grid]] — Pairs well with Sol lands and helps us compete against blue decks and [[Mindbreak Trap]]. This is the only card in the deck that isn’t either mana, action, or both. It is sometimes just a [[Hymn to Tourach]] that allows a [[Ruby Medallion]] or subsequent threat to resolve. Unless I am running some number of [[Pyroblast]], I am running four [[Defense Grid]] in my 75 with at least two in my main deck.

[[Pyroblast]] — Not a bad piece of protection, particularly because of its overlap as a removal piece for some problematic permanents such as [[Leovold, Emissary of Trest]], [[Narset, Parter of Veils]], [[Hullbreacher]], [[Delver of Secrets]], [[Ethereal Forager]], [[Sprite Dragon]], [[Meddling Mage]], and [[Lavinia, Azorius Renegade]]. It can be awkward with [[Echo of Eons]] and [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], but sometimes our [[Pyroblast]] is in exile, ready to cast even post-[[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] activation.


[[Fiery Islet|]]
[[Burning Wish|]]

[[Harnfel, Horn of Bounty]] — As previously stated, this card is busted. It is one of the reasons this deck is now viable as a competitive choice in Legacy. Resolving a draw seven with this card in play makes it difficult to lose.

[[Echo of Eons]] — Just the kind of card needed to make [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] more broken than it already was for The EPIC Ruby Storm. It pairs quite well with [[Harnfel, Horn of Bounty]]. I love tricking opponents into targeting us with [[Duress]] or [[Thoughtseize]] when this is the only option for them to take. [[Echo of Eons]] is part of what makes this deck “EPIC”.

[[Burning Wish]] — Best card in the deck! All roads lead to [[Burning Wish]]. It gives us access to our toolbox, including our win condition. You haven’t lived until you’ve cast a mana neutral [[Burning Wish]].

[[Manamorphose]] — At worst a redraw. It is usually the first card to be imprinted because we make mulligan decisions based on what we have and not on what we may draw. Once we have a cost reducer in play, this card becomes insane as it is a ritual with a redraw and filter. At best, [[Manamorphose]] is a rainbow [[Dark Ritual]] (when both [[Ruby Medallion]] and [[Birgi, God of Storytelling]] are in play) that draws a card or two with [[Harnfel, Horn of Bounty]] in play. [[Manamorphose]] helps us get blue quite often for [[Echo of Eons]] and sometimes the triple black for [[Peer into the Abyss]].

[[Jeska’s Will]] — Strictly better than [[Act on Impulse]], [[Jeska’s Will]] is one of the recent printings that transformed this deck out of meme status. It is responsible for some of our most busted starts which includes making seven red mana on turn one. It gives us access to a high-frequency turn-one [[Peer into the Abyss]]. Because of its modality, we can be quite deliberate with our decision-making. Be careful, the mana side does have to target the opponent.

[[Ignite the Future]] — Welcome to value town. [[Ignite the Future]] is one of our engines while also being a very solid card to just keep the wheels turning. I consider it to be a pseudo-permanent since the cards exile into the next turn. Although one of its worst lines, I will often blow two pieces of mana to cast it, especially when we have a land drop, because it is very unlikely that we can’t utilize three cards over the course of two turns. It is in our graveyard for Flashback, and when our current position is stale, it’s okay to turn the page. Far more often than not, however, we go up on cards casting this one. Even if we exile a bunch of mana, it’s okay because we are enabling the Flashback. It dodges [[Inquisition of Kozilek]] but can’t be cast through a [[Gaddock Teeg]]. A juicy target for [[Surgical Extraction]] but at least they aren’t targeting [[Burning Wish]].

Stop Playing These

[[Fiery Confluence|]]

[[Anarchy]] is a bad card. I did test this card for about 30 matches or so. If someone snuck an [[Anarchy]] into my sideboard and I had to play it today, I would actually be bringing it into my main deck post-board. A four mana sorcery from a wish board is so impossible to cast versus a deck like Death & Taxes, we are better off just focusing on other difficulties the deck may have. For a period of time, I was playing [[Fiery Confluence]] as a consolidation slot for [[Shattering Spree]] and [[Pyroclasm]] and would board it in against Death & Taxes. [[Shattering Spree]] does just fine, and we are probably better off playing an [[Abrade]] or two to bring in for any additional artifact removal if we really need it. We are playing a second [[Grapeshot]] as the sweeper slot rather than trying to consolidate and use these clunky cards to do the trick. [[Cave-In]] can be very good, but needs an additional red card in hand to cast which can be too high a price to pay especially when we are discarding our hand to [[Harnfel, Horn of Bounty]]. Dealing ourselves two damage can also be quite relevant when we are running four [[Ancient Tomb]]. It is worth noting not one of these cards are capable of being cast in the face of a [[Gaddock Teeg]].

Deafening Silence

[[Deafening Silence|]]

We have decided to not play [[Anarchy]], but what about [[Deafening Silence]]?! Death & Taxes and Maverick are the most common decks to abuse this card. Keep in mind that when playing versus Death & Taxes, they will heavily mulligan until they get either [[Deafening Silence]] or [[Mindbreak Trap]]. The odds of them not having at least one of the two are pretty slim in my experience. So realistically, we have two different options versus [[Deafening Silence]]:

  1. We can run [[Ratchet Bomb]] or [[Engineered Explosives]]. I am of the opinion that [[Engineered Explosives]] blows [[Ratchet Bomb]] away by a wide margin. [[Engineered Explosives]] kills [[Deafening Silence]] the turn it comes into play, can still blow up [[Chalice of the Void]] on zero with [[Ancient Tomb]], turns into a ritual when [[Birgi, God of Storytelling]] is in play, can be played on zero to help get metalcraft, and can also kill all sorts of other random stuff. The EPIC Ruby Storm often draws its entire deck and can make up to five colors easily — there are some rare corner case scenarios where this can be relevant, but the previous reasons are reason enough to choose [[Engineered Explosives]] over [[Ratchet Bomb]]. A common play pattern versus [[Deafening Silence]] is not having [[Engineered Explosives]] in hand, managing to get a [[Harnfel, Horn of Bounty]] into play and then ditching our hand to find [[Engineered Explosives]] and action. [[Harnfel, Horn of Bounty]] allows us to dig through our deck and draw cards without casting spells. This line is not possible with [[Ratchet Bomb]]. Our major concession is that we cannot activate [[Engineered Explosives]] with [[Null Rod]] or [[Collector Ouphe]] in play, but we still play the card because it is our best answer. If we play in a match that both [[Deafening Silence]] and [[Collector Ouphe]] are in play, we are likely not winning that game, but we have other removal pieces to blow up the [[Collector Ouphe]] first to unlock our [[Engineered Explosives]].

  2. Ignore the threat of [[Deafening Silence]] altogether. I will use Death & Taxes as a spotlight example for [[Deafening Silence]]. After roughly 40 matches or so versus Death & Taxes (while running [[Engineered Explosives]] in my sideboard), I finally started to figure out what I should be doing post board. We have three types of cards that we can potentially bring in for this matchup. Spot removal ([[Lightning Bolt]], [[Chain Lightning]], [[Abrade]], [[Shatterskull Smashing]], [[Grapeshot]], etc.), protection from [[Mindbreak Trap]] ([[Defense Grid]]), and [[Deafening Silence]] removal ([[Engineered Explosives]]). Up until recently, I couldn’t figure out exactly what combination of these three I should be bringing or leaving in post-board and in what capacity. If we bring in all of this stuff, we are hoping that our post board cards are lining up with theirs, and even if they do we have diluted our deck so much that we are most likely unable to close the game without allowing the opponent to deploy threats that now require us to draw into more post-board answers, and the right ones too. When we aren’t losing on the spot because we guessed [[Deafening Silence]] and they had [[Mindbreak Trap]] or vice versa (or both), we are usually creating a long grindy game against a deck that has a far higher density of problematic cards than we have answers for. I prefer to Ignore [[Deafening Silence]] and try to beat [[Mindbreak Trap]] by removing [[Engineered Explosives]] out of the sideboard, leaning on [[Defense Grid]], and being more deliberate with my plans.

  • Plan A: Mull to a turn one that also deploys [[Defense Grid]].

  • Plan B: Mull to a turn one without protection and hope they have [[Deafening Silence]] instead of [[Mindbreak Trap]] (they aren’t mulling a turn one [[Deafening Silence]] even if they don’t have [[Mindbreak Trap]]).

  • Plan C: Keep a turn two that wins through [[Mindbreak Trap]] (more feasible on the play).

  • Plan D: Deploy permanent mana sources to be able to cast [[Chandra, Awakened Inferno]].

  • Plan E: Deploy [[Birgi, God of Storytelling]] and utilize [[Ignite the Future]] / [[Harnfel, Horn of Bounty]] to cast spot removal. We are now a really inefficient Mono Red Sligh deck. Keep digging for [[Chandra, Awakened Inferno]]. Avoid draw sevens, we want to get lucky in a top deck war. We don’t win with a three power and toughness vanilla creature in the face of a [[Deafening Silence]] after giving them seven cards. We do whatever we can to deploy any threat or deal any amount of damage. Cast [[Empty the Warrens]] for two goblins, cast [[Chain Lightning]], throw the kitchen sink!


[[Past in Flames|]]
[[Empty the Warrens|]]
[[Faithless Looting|]]

I will be publishing a more in depth sideboard guide at a later date. At this time, there are still too many moving pieces within the sideboard, and I am not comfortable publishing a sideboard guide for matchups. I will discuss our options and some important considerations when constructing a sideboard for The EPIC Ruby Storm.

Immovable / Stock Selections

[[Echo of Eons]] — With [[Echo of Eons]] in our sideboard, we effectively have five copies of [[Echo of Eons]] in our main deck thanks to [[Burning Wish]]. This is one of our most frequent [[Burning Wish]] choices. We are often casting multiple draw sevens so it makes sense to have this [[Echo of Eons]] in our sideboard despite having one in our main deck and a [[Reforge the Soul]] in our sideboard as well.

[[Peer into the Abyss]] — I WIN! With a deck configuration of four [[Lotus Petal]], four [[Rite of Flame]], and three [[Chrome Mox]], it is near impossible to not win after resolving this grotesque piece of cardboard that Wizards of the Coast decided to print. Thanks to [[Jeska’s Will]] and [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], we can resolve this card on turn one even on a mulligan to five: [[Ancient Tomb]] into [[Lotus Petal]], [[Jeska’s Will]], [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Burning Wish]] and finally [[Peer into the Abyss]].

[[Reforge the Soul]] — A necessary inclusion to our sideboard to increase our access and density of draw sevens. My favorite mode with this card is [[Gitaxian Probe]] mode. When we have gone virtually infinite and if we do it fast enough, we can exile one of our [[Burning Wish]] and then [[Reforge the Soul]] in order to see their hand. I don’t think this play works nearly as much in person as it does on Magic: The Gathering Online, but it really helps game one and it is easy to pull off with some practice. Just keep in mind that we are drawing a new seven that could very well be dead so we have to make sure we make one of our [[Burning Wish]] accessible with a red exile effect prior to casting [[Reforge the Soul]]. Make sure you have seven cards left in your graveyard so that you don’t deck yourself!

[[Empty the Warrens]] — Primarily here to steal games, most often game one. There are very few main-deck answers currently in the format to answer a bunch of early goblins. Sometimes, we are able to present a lethal line and have a backup [[Empty the Warrens]]. The less often players are casting this card, the better it is. The possibility that this card could be cast effectively dilutes our opponent’s deck with cards that they have to bring in to respect [[Empty the Warrens]]. It is also an out to [[Leyline of Sanctity]].

[[Grapeshot]] — For the longest time, I was running a [[Tendrils of Agony]] alongside a [[Grapeshot]]. I thought about cutting the [[Tendrils of Agony]], but couldn’t bring myself to do it. I forgot about the thought up until I was discussing with Bryant a seemingly unrelated issue I was having with the deck: [[Surgical Extraction]] targeting [[Burning Wish]]. A deck like The EPIC Storm has a main deck and sideboard [[Tendrils of Agony]] so they don’t have to worry about [[Surgical Extraction]] in the same regard. It was awkward for The EPIC Ruby Storm because we had to bring in a win condition into the main, and it left us with this asymmetrical game plan. [[Empty the Warrens]] is not good enough in my opinion to bring in, and we don’t have access to it with [[Burning Wish]]. [[Tendrils of Agony]] is harder to pull off as a win condition anyways, and is just a generally bad card to bring into the main deck. If we brought in our [[Grapeshot]], we no longer had access to it in our board, especially when we needed it as a potential removal piece. Bryant suggested we play two [[Grapeshot]] and cut the [[Tendrils of Agony]] and immediately about 10 resolutions clicked in my brain and all was okay with the world again. Thank you Bryant! For the record, as of this writing, I have played at least 150 matches and have yet to lose a game because I didn’t have [[Tendrils of Agony]] in my board. Besides dealing with [[Surgical Extraction]], [[Grapeshot]] is conveniently a great piece of removal for a lot of the matchups that we have to bring it in for [[Surgical Extraction]] anyways. It allows us to bring in a higher concentration of removal versus hate bears while still having access to it in our sideboard. Thanks to [[Birgi, God of Storytelling]], double [[Grapeshot]] lines are super easy to pull off even without a ton of mana upfront.

[[Past in Flames]] — Oftentimes strictly better than casting [[Burning Wish]] for a draw seven. Don’t forget that having [[Past in Flames]] in our graveyard is a consideration when weighing whether to wish for [[Past in Flames]] or a draw seven. If our red exile effects find more action post [[Past in Flames]], we can potentially recast those spells as well, making [[Past in Flames]] a serious contender even if we are looking at only flashing back a few cards such as one red exile three and a [[Manamorphose]]. Depending on how detrimental it could be to give the opponent seven cards, we may opt for [[Past in Flames]]. This card can go from thin to virtually infinite very quickly.

[[Shattering Spree]] — Does everything we need it to do. The only downside is its red requirements, but we are usually only killing one or two artifacts anyways. It can cast through a [[Chalice of the Void]] on one, kill multiple targets underneath a [[Trinisphere]], only costs one if we are only targeting one thing, and can create copies to play around countermagic. [[By Force]] is pretty good, but it costs two to kill one target unless we have a cost reducer in play, which is a bigger concession than [[Shattering Spree]] needing multiple red if we want to kill multiple targets. It’s worth noting [[By Force]] cannot be cast while [[Gaddock Teeg]] is in play.

[[Defense Grid]] — As discussed under the protection section, [[Defense Grid]] is the best choice of protection for The EPIC Ruby Storm. Being able to cast it on turn one is a powerful play when we are threatening lethal on the same or following turn. It’s nice to initiate easy mode every now and then, and not have to worry about a thing because the opponent isn’t allowed to cast anything. Secretly, it is decent against [[Force of Vigor]] when we can afford to leave some number of [[Defense Grid]] in the deck post-board versus [[Force of Vigor]] decks.

[[Engineered Explosives]] — If we have decided to play removal for [[Deafening Silence]], this is our best option in mono-red.

Remaining Options

[[Chain Lightning]] — Could very well be [[Lightning Bolt]] as it is primarily for bringing into the main deck in post-board matchups to kill hate bears. I find the upside of being able to cast [[Burning Wish]] for it game one to outweigh the downside of not having instant speed. Being able to be found with [[Burning Wish]] is particularly helpful to kill planeswalkers when we can’t utilize [[Grapeshot]] because we are short on mana or Storm. In most matchups that we want to be able to kill planeswalkers, we don’t want to bring a [[Lightning Bolt]] in anyways so it’s nice to have it in the board. It is important to have a removal piece that we can bring into the main deck to answer [[Sanctum Prelate]] on two (we also bring in [[Shatterskull Smashing]] so we have two answers).

[[Chandra, Awakened Inferno]] — An obvious slam dunk versus Miracles and very strong against virtually any control deck. Also solid against Izzet [[Delver of Secrets]] decks and good enough against some other [[Delver of Secrets]] decks, especially on the play. It even plays well versus decks that don’t play [[Force of Will]] and aren’t combo such as Maverick, Chalice Decks, Burn, Twelve Post, other Reclaimer Piles, and Lands. It is nice to have good action to bring in when [[Defense Grid]] is a dead card outside of maybe a [[Force of Vigor]]. It is also good removal for hate bears and planeswalkers. [Chandra, Awakened Inferno]] helps diversify our removal for things like [[Meddling Mage]] and [[Sanctum Prelate]], is our only hard sweeper if we aren’t playing [[Pyroclasm]], and is our best out to [[Deafening Silence]] when we aren’t running [[Engineered Explosives]]. It’s worth mentioning that [[Ruby Medallion]] reduces its mana cost.

[[Shatterskull Smashing]] — A very flexible option that allows us to turn an excess [[Burning Wish]] into a land, which comes up more often than one might think. It is very important that we get to 3-4 mana reliably so a two-drop that allows us to get a third repeatable source of mana can be important. It comes into the main deck often to overlap with other removal for hate bears and planeswalkers. Conveniently, it also imprints to [[Chrome Mox]] when we need it to. [[Shatterskull Smashing]] is one of four cards in the deck that removes [[Sanctum Prelate]] on two and helps diversify our removal for [[Meddling Mage]]. Don’t forget that [[Ruby Medallion]] does reduce its cost.

[[Faithless Looting]] — Mostly for when we have a [[Burning Wish]] and an [[Echo of Eons]] in our hand with no way to put [[Echo of Eons]] in our graveyard. With [[Birgi, God of Storytelling]] in play, [[Faithless Looting]] is free and can get us out of impossible situations: if we have a [[Ruby Medallion]] and [[Birgi, God of Storytelling]] in play, but only have access to one red mana and have dead cards in our hand, [[Faithless Looting]] can draw us into the two cards that we need to win. In other words, there are scenarios in which it is a free draw effect — the Flashback is a bonus.

[[Lightning Bolt]] — Any bolt past the first [[Chain Lightning]] should be trusty old [[Lightning Bolt]].

[[Pyroclasm]] — The most efficient and reasonable choice for what it does. [[Grapeshot]] number two tries to fill this slot for consolidation, but if we expect a heavy Death & Taxes or Maverick presence, this card does what [[Grapeshot]] often cannot in the face of multiple hate bear effects. One of its biggest downsides is not casting through [[Sanctum Prelate]] on two. It can also work some magic versus certain [[Delver of Secrets]] board states.

[[Extract]] — Our best option if we are trying to increase our odds of beating [[Doomsday]] or Oops! All Spells, which are probably our two worst matchups.

Honorable Mentions:

  • [[Blood Moon]]
  • [[Pulverize]]
  • [[Act on Impulse]]
  • [[Abrade]]
  • [[Crash]]
  • [[Gamble]]

Heuristics & Pointers

[[Ruby Medallion|]]
[[Birgi, God of Storytelling|]]
[[Echo of Eons|]]
  • Mulligan six-card and seven-card hands without a red source, even on the draw. Aside from maybe [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] [[Echo of Eons]] hands, there is not a reason to keep a hand without a red source. With five-card hands, we can start to reason if it’s better than an average four.

  • Mulligan any hand that can’t at least play an engine permanent or value [[Ignite the Future]] by turn two. There are exceptions, but generally speaking, we shouldn’t be keeping hands that make 3-5 mana and rely on red exile effects, particularly if we don’t have the staying power of [[Ignite the Future]]. Our deck is bad without an engine card in play or excess mana. Turn-one [[Defense Grid]] is an example of an exception, but game one it can be risky if we don’t know what the opponent is playing. We want to play a turn-one [[Ruby Medallion]] or [[Birgi, God of Storytelling]] even if it means using a [[Lotus Petal]] or [[Rite of Flame]] to do it.

  • Don’t make that land drop unless you need the mana. We have a [[Fiery Islet]] in our deck for a reason. One [[Harnfel, Horn of Bounty]] trigger or even a single [[Manamorphose]] draw has the potential to put us from low mana to virtually infinite. Be careful of soft counters like [[Daze]] and [[Spell Pierce]]. Sometimes we are holding out for a Sol land too, not just [[Fiery Islet]]. We can’t be terminally stubborn, but we do have to think about it more than the average deck might.

  • Don’t automatically make red with [[Manamorphose]]. We must always be thinking about if we need to make blue or not with [[Manamorphose]]. We can shortcut our thinking by always making some blue when we have virtually infinite red for our intents and purposes (same goes for black). For example, if we have multiple red exile effects and sufficient mana to cast them, we might as well make blue because we can always use the blue for the colorless portion of our second spell if our [[Manamorphose]] doesn’t draw [[Echo of Eons]]. Once we have [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] or [[Lotus Petal]] in play, we can think less about it. If we have a [[Birgi, God of Storytelling]] and a lot of mana, we can make our colors without any repercussions. On the flip side, we can just as easily make a blue when we necessarily shouldn’t and wind up unable to cast a red spell that we otherwise could have been able to. Lastly, there are spots where it isn’t 100 percent clear what is correct. Sometimes, it takes some quick math and probabilities to make an educated decision.

  • We must commit ourselves to a disciplined and logical order of operations as we unfold our hand with [[Harnfel, Horn of Bounty]] and should reassess with every flip. Discard truly redundant pieces first. It can be easy to want to play out [[Ruby Medallion]] or [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] right away, but if we exile additional copies of those cards, the cards in our hand become redundant. Next, we discard “likely to be redundant pieces, starting with lands, as we are more likely to reveal lands than anything else and can only utilize one of them. The rest is rationalizing the next most likely to be redundant until we are left with must-cast spells or having discarded our entire hand. Don’t be afraid to leave the hand alone and start casting from exile to inform our next selections, if any. I often sit on a [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] until I know for sure I don’t need it.

  • If we have [[Ruby Medallion]] and [[Birgi, God of Storytelling]] in play and our red exile spells are literally free, always cast them from hand rather than discarding them to [[Harnfel, Horn of Bounty]]. We may decide it is even worth spending up to full retail just for the extra card, depending on what our bottleneck ratio looks like.

  • Cast [[Manamorphose]] first instead of discarding to [[Harnfel, Horn of Bounty]].

  • If it’s free to do so, play around it. When virtually infinite (even in game one), just play the [[Defense Grid]] first!

  • Play [[Defense Grid]], then cost reducer, then mana, then action.

  • Casting a draw seven with [[Harnfel, Horn of Bounty]] in play wins the game. If we are even close to worried about [[Surgical Extraction]] and have a [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] in play, DO NOT activate [[Harnfel, Horn of Bounty]] to discard [[Echo of Eons]]. We don’t need any more value. This passes priority with [[Echo of Eons]] in our graveyard, allowing our opponent a chance to remove it with their graveyard hate. Discarding our hand with [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] does not pass priority and allows us to cast our [[Echo of Eons]] even if our opponent has graveyard interaction.

  • We don’t wait against blue decks in game one unless we have a good reason to. [[Show and Tell]] and some other combo decks don’t allow us such a luxury. One thing most people don’t realize about successfully resolving a spell through a potential [[Daze]] is that we now know they are much less likely to have it. We are not guaranteed to be in a better position next turn anyways. What if our next draw step is another copy of the card we chose to take an entire turn off for, and to maybe resolve? Be careful though, some of the best players will hold a [[Daze]] or use a [[Force of Will]] instead, despite having a [[Daze]] so that they can prevent from going back a land drop (taking an already tempo play and going even more tempo).

  • Take your time. The more we practice, the more we can take our time deciding which lines are best. I generally map out my lines in terms of three factors: how many cards am I drawing and/or exiling from this line, how much mana do I make, and what cost reducers and/or permanent engines am I left with to pair with those cards/mana or if this line fails? Compare these three factors with the same calculation for any other available line and make the most educated decision possible. We may also factor what each line looks like if certain junctures were stopped by permission spells.

  • Fun fact: we can still win through a [[Glacial Chasm]] lock by decking the opponent as long as they have 45 cards or less. There are some nuances that make it difficult to navigate, but the simplified how to is: cast [[Peer into the Abyss]] targeting them from 45 to 22, cast [[Reforge the Soul]] to 15, cast [[Past in Flames]], cast [[Peer into the Abyss]] targeting them from 15 to seven, cast [[Reforge the Soul]], and pass the turn. We just have to make sure we can find our third [[Burning Wish]] post [[Reforge the Soul]] ([[Harnfel, Horn of Bounty]] makes this easy). We can also loop both our [[Echo of Eons]] and target them with [[Peer into the Abyss]] to death. [[Leyline of Sanctity]] requires [[Empty the Warrens]] or [[Engineered Explosives]].

The EPIC End

I have put a lot of work into this deck over the last six months and plan to continue doing so for the foreseeable future. I started jamming Ruby Storm and eventually The EPIC Storm on my way to building The EPIC Ruby Storm. Since getting back into Magic: The Gathering after a seven-year hiatus, I had my sights on either The EPIC Storm or Ad Nauseam Tendrils, but spent a few years playing fair blue and just consuming a lot of Storm content while I slowly built my collection in paper. Ruby Storm was a cheap way to play Storm after buying my playset of [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] and use them before buying the mana base that The EPIC Storm requires. I am a very competitive player, however, and like to push the limits of discovery for optimization. I realized that outside of making budget versions work as best as possible, Ruby Storm had virtually no pilots working on it for the purpose of optimizing and grinding.

I can confidently say that The EPIC Ruby Storm is a competitive Storm deck that can compete alongside both The EPIC Storm and Ad Nauseam Tendrils. I believe I have developed a list that is as optimal as possible, with small corners of prefer-ability available (like a stock list ought to be). I am capable of making mistakes or applying inadequate theory, etc. I will continue to grind leagues and challenges, stream when I can (Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday 10:00 a.m. EST), and communicate with everyone and anyone who has an interest in the deck. I am always open to discussion about deck theory and card selection. I urge you as the reader to play this deck and keep track of games lost to punts. Once we optimize our skills with the deck and stop punting, the deck wins a lot. I punted a lot for the first month or two of playing it, even as much as I grind. It took a lot to work out the kinks, but I couldn’t be happier with the results, and I hope this encourages anyone who reads this to go have some fun with it. This will not be the last article I write for this deck, and I get the feeling Wizards of the Coast isn’t done printing cards for us either. We can officially have fun and win now that The EPIC Ruby Storm is here. Sell your duals and fetches, gather your favorite [[Mountain]]s, pick up your playset of [[Jeska’s Will]], and come play The EPIC Ruby Storm.