Where You Want to Be

Other than a terrific reference to Taking Back Sunday's second album, where you want to be as a Legacy storm pilot right now is playing The EPIC Storm. I know, I know... "Look, Bryant is preaching about his deck again." Well, that's true - but for good reason. If you look over the last three events you'll find that a large portion of prison based strategies or other fast decks.

 

Eternal Extravaganza 5
  1. Miracles
  2. Grixis Delver
  3. Infect
  4. Miracles
  5. Death & Taxes
  6. Miracles
  7. Punishing Maverick
  8. Reanimator

» See Decklists

SCG Classic - Milwaukee
  1. Aluren
  2. Stoneblade
  3. Death & Taxes
  4. Miracles
  5. Aluren
  6. Eldrazi
  7. Grixis Delver
  8. Reanimator (RB)

» See Decklists

Eternal Weekend
  1. Eva Green Depths
  2. Miracles
  3. Death & Taxes
  4. Death & Taxes
  5. Grixis Delver
  6. Death & Taxes
  7. Eldrazi
  8. Reanimator (RB)

» See Decklists

 

Miracles - 5 (18% of online Metagame according to mtggoldfish.com)
Death  & Taxes - 5 (5% of online Metagame according to mtggoldfish.com)
Reanimator - 3 (2.5% of online Metagame according to mtggoldfish.com)
Eldrazi - 2 (10.5% of online Metagame according to mtggoldfish.com)


Thalia Guardian Of Thraben
ChaliceoftheVoid
Counterbalance

 

In a hostile metagame like this (as a storm pilot), you need fast hands to be able to go underneath Chalice of the Void, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and to lesser extents Counterbalance or Griselbrand. TES gives you the best opportunity to do that compared to Ad Nauseam Tendrils (ANT). If you want to combo off before these hate pieces come down, it makes the most sense to play the deck that is more prepared for this. ANT's fundamental turn 2.5 is just too slow when the entire format is playing hay-makers that cost two or close the game out before you.

Deck List

Small Changes

Xantid Swarm
Past In Flames
Massacre

 

It's important to adjust to the metagame, after looking at the results of the last three large events it doesn't make much sense to me to be playing a card like Xantid Swarm. It's narrow in its use (only deck performing well that it's useful against is Miracles) and not extremely effective. Meanwhile you could be playing cards that are more useful against the wider metagame and more impactful.

It's no secret that Massacre is a huge blow-out against Death & Taxes, it makes sense to add in a second copy. In the past this could've been Dread of Night or Chain of Vapor, but Dread of Night doesn't kill Sanctum Prelate or Phyrexian Revoker and Chain of Vapor is low impact most of the time. The only real downside of Massacre is that it hurts when revealed off of Ad Nauseam. I get that, but if you reveal Massacre - there's a good chance you're not dying on your next turn.

Then there's Past in Flames, which will help you in discard heavy match-ups or against Miracles redundant countermagic. The second copy allows for a lot more resiliency in slower games, making the deck more well-rounded.

Sideboard Plans

Death & Taxes
Reanimator (RB)

 

When you look at the sideboarding instructions for Death & Taxes you'll see that you want to be as lean as possible on the play, providing yourself the best opportunity for a second turn kill. Ponder helps achieve this more than Abrupt Decay, unless you're on the draw. There isn't a second turn combo a majority of the time due to the number of hate creatures played. You're better off being threat and answer dense to be able to defeat a hate bear or two. You'll notice I don't side in Grapeshot on the draw in the guide, you can, but it's tough to find slots that you would prefer to be Grapeshot. Speed is very key in this match-up and Chrome Mox is not a reasonable option.

The recommended boarding for Miracles is fairly standard, slow the game down - which means taking out Chrome Mox to become more stable. Which is weird because you want to be as fast as possible in game one, but that's only because you can't answer Counterbalance. Terminus is a real concern so it is safe to side out Empty the Warrens and the second Past in Flames provides resiliency. What isn't shown is that it's acceptable to bring in the Tendrils of Agony, I would do this over the third copy of Ponder or the fourth Lotus Petal.

Against Eldrazi you face a similar problem that you do against Death & Taxes, the fundamental turn is simply too fast for Ponder. Bring in everything you can for Chalice of the Void and Thorn of Amethyst. Cabal Therapy still has some value for hitting Warping Wail or even discarding their threats after an Empty the Warrens, I wish there was room to keep the fourth. However, it's not great because you can just guess wrong - you named Chalice of the Void? I have Thought-Knot Seer.

There isn't much to be said for Reanimator, against the Red & Black variant they often go for Sire of Insanity which makes having access to a Past in Flames critically important. If they're piloting the Blue & Black variant, maybe bring in the Tendrils of Agony?

See you in Baltimore

I plan on taking the deck and this new strategy to Baltimore this weekend for the Star City Games open. I'll report back to everyone, hopefully to help some friends playing in Grand Prix: Chiba coming up soon. Either way, if you're a dedicated storm pilot right now - you should unsleeve your Cabal Rituals and find your Rite of Flames & Chrome Mox. Right now, faster is better.

Until next time, keep storming!


Bryant Cook

Bryant Cook has 1 Grand Prix Top 8 as well as 9 Star City Games Top 8s (2 wins). You can often find him traveling the northeast in search for the next big event, he recently won SCG: Worcester. Outside of M:TG he's an avid New York Mets fan, graphic designer, pop-punk enthusiast, and doggo aficionado. Bryant Cook is the owner and president of The EPIC Storm.