A few words on Dmitriy Butakov:
(Twitter: @butakov_mtg | MTGO:butakov)
Dmitriy Butakov is a pro Magic player and two-time MOCS champion based out of Siberia. A long-time MTGO grinder, Dmitriy has four Legacy Challenge T8s this year, all on 8-Cast.
While the deck runs [[Force of Will]], our best answer is the good old [[Chalice of the Void]], ideally on the play.
None of our usual main deck options are great in the matchup. [[Soul-Guide Lantern]] is great in the ANT matchup vs. [[Cabal Ritual]] and [[Past in Flames]]. Against TES, [[Haywire Mite]] is better than nothing, and [[Pithing Needle]] is useful against [[Wishclaw Talisman]].
My position is that turn-one [[Chalice of the Void]] is the way you want to start every game. I actually think this is an issue for current builds of 8-Cast, as the number of the decks suffering from [[Chalice of the Void]] has decreased lately, so this “MVP” play is not always so “MVP” anymore.
Well, if the blue player has no [[Delver of Secrets]] by turn 2-3, it’s probably time to prepare your counterspells.
There are certain scenarios with [[Sai, Master Thopterist]] when 8-Cast can deploy its whole starting hand on turn one, and top it with [[Chalice of the Void]] for zero, but that works only on the play, meaning no decision making for Storm. Apart from that situation, I’d rather stick to [[Chalice of the Void]] for one. I don’t think the Storm player should play around [[Chalice of the Void]] on zero unless it’s being obviously telegraphed.
8-Cast preys on non-combo decks, so we don’t board in anything major for The EPIC Storm. We have access to some graveyard hate and a bit more countermagic. In game one, our plan is to deploy and protect a [[Chalice of the Void]].
Generally, there are two types of hands I’d like to keep against a matchup like this one, which I find to be unfavored: either a hand that relies on [[Chalice of the Void]] or a hand that can snowball quickly. 8-Cast is racing against time vs. combo, and a mediocre hand with a single copy of [[Force of Will]] just won’t cut it.
I’m no expert on The EPIC Storm, so I’d rather not speculate on exactly which hands you should keep. What I will say is that you always need to consider how your hand will play around [[Chalice of the Void]], if at all.
[[Force of Will]] main deck is a necessary evil, but I don’t like countermagic in 8-Cast as it’s too resource consuming against non-combo decks. Additionally, combo decks will still have the upper hand no matter how many [[Force of Will]] effects you play. [[Flusterstorm]] is ok, but I was more focused on winning matchups the deck actually is supposed to win rather than trying to shore up fast combo matchups I view as unfavored.
I’ve never played Blue Painter myself, but it seems more disconnected than either Red Painter or 8-Cast. You lose [[Chalice of the Void]], one of 8-Cast’s best cards, you’re less explosive to combo off than Red Painter (no [[Simian Spirit Guide]] or [[City of Traitors]]), and you lose many of the best midrange tools of both decks (like [[Sai, Master Thopterist]] and [[Phyrexian Dragon Engine]]).
I think The EPIC Storm’s entire primary game plan is impactful against 8-Cast as you’re presenting a very fast clock that we have to answer. As I’ve mentioned, [[Chalice of the Void]] (supported by countermagic) is our most effective weapon in this matchup.
The early game – particularly the first three turns – feel like they’re in The EPIC Storm’s favor. The most common mistake I’ve seen from Storm pilots is recklessly rushing into a [[Force of Will]]. On my end, keeping slow hands with no [[Chalice of the Void]] is the worst mistake I’ve repeatedly made.
I want to give a big thank you to Dmitriy Butakov for coming on Through the Looking Glass, and for his insight on the 8-Cast matchup.
Until next time – let’s count to ten.