Elves Final Hand Answer
Hand 10: (on the draw)
I read a few responses saying they thought this hand was a mulligan due to multiple copies of Chrome Mox, no blue source, and no real business spell. Well, I disagree. The blue source can be issues by drawing any land either fron your draw step, off of your first Gitaxian Probe, or by casting Ponder off of Chrome Mox (Imprinting: Gitaxian Probe). Due to the multiple copies of Chrome Mox, you don't actually need an effect like Lion's Eye Diamond as long as you can find Infernal Tutor and a few more mana. I would likely keep this hand every time and just hope they don't happen to name the right cards with Cabal Therapy.
By no means is this a "no-brainer", but I tend to keep hands that have potential more often than not. I'm not a big believer in "if it doesn't have a true business spell you ship it" philosophy which I've seen online the last few days. I think your approach should vary based on the match-up to help maximize your odds of winning, instead of living by defined rules.
Hand 1: (on the draw)
Discard in general is very week on the draw as cards like Blood Moon, Chalice of the Void, and/or Trinisphere have already landed before you can cast them. On top of that, this hand is slow and doesn't actually do anything. Against these types of decks you want to be fast. I think the benefit to a hand like this is the ability to have both basic lands, which feels a bit like a trap on the draw.
Hand 2: (on the play)
The same hand as "Hand 1" except we're on the play, while not completely ideal, being on the play with multiple discard spells opens up the cantrips as reasonable business spells. As stated in hand 1, having access to the pair of basics is also a big deal. I think a hand like this is a slightly below average keep.
Hand 3: (on the draw)
A fast hand for sure! I would imagine that most people would keep this. However, when talking to newer storm pilots I've heard, "Well, what if they play Chalice of the Void on zero?" When it comes to playing storm, you're constantly calculating the odds against you. Is zero the most common number played? Not by a long-shot. With a hand like this, you're going to have to assume that they'll play it for the expected number - which is one. This hand also have benefit of being "Blood Moon proof."
Hand 4: (on the play)
In all seriousness, this hand is an ideal hand. It wins before cards like Chalice of the Void or Trinisphere can hit the table. But more importantly than that, it doesn't have to use Goblin tokens to win. This is important because of Fiery Confluence. Oh yeah, AND you still have a land drop.
Hand 5: (on the draw)
While explosive, you hand just loses to a Chalice of the Void. On top of that, unlike the example against decks, you don't necessarily have the luxury of waiting around to draw a Burning Wish or Infernal Tutor. If the Gitaxian Probe above was a Ponder, I think you may be able to argue that this hand is a keep, but I think this hand is pretty questionable.
Website recommendation for sideboarding
Hand 6: (on the play)
A risky hand for sure, but I think this hand actually has a lot going on for it. You gave the obvious Gitaxian Probe into Cabal Therapy, but if you draw a Lotus Petal you can also make Goblins and then flashback Cabal Therapy. A tall ask, but it's certainly possible. More realistically, you would hope to draw a land and then Goblins on the following turn. Regardless, I think an underlying benefit is the ability to see if they have Fiery Confluence and then having the option of removing it from their hand.
As I said above, I'm someone who buys into potential and this hand has a lot of it.
Hand 7: (on the draw)
Well, we certainly have interaction and the mana to cast it! The issue is even if you can answer their first three permanent based problems, your hand still won't be ready to kill them on turn three or likely even turn four. Which makes me wonder, "What are we even doing then?"
I think sometimes people keep hands like this our of fear of losing. When they don't consider how the actual games play out, I often think a few turns down the road and then take a moment to think about how each draw step has changed my plan. I think this is something most people could work on.
Hand 8: (on the play)
This hand is certainly a gamble, my game plan would be to go pretty much all in on the Brainstorm. Which means imprinting the Chain of Vapor onto the Chrome Mox. From there your ideal draws are pretty much all mana spells. Although, if you fail to hit mana, discard spells can also buy you time. Having the basic Swamp and a blue Chrome Mox can go a long way for playing a longer game if need be.
Hand 9: (on the draw)
I would consider this to be a very average keep. You have mana, business, and an answer to permanent based hate. You can't ask for much more on the draw.
Hand 10: (on the play)
Share your answer in the comments below!
I'll provide my answer in the next article, but for now, make sure to post your thoughts!