[[Ad Nauseam|]] [[Dark Ritual|]] [[Lotus Petal|]] [[Echo of Eons|]] [[Veil of Summer|]] [[Chrome Mox|]] [[Wishclaw Talisman|]]
I had a number of responses that this hand was a mulligan. I’m going to guess that the individuals that wanted to ship this hand were too focused on [[Ad Nauseam]] and not enough on [[Echo of Eons]]! [[Ad Nauseam]] here is just a black card to Imprint onto [[Chrome Mox]]. This is actually a protected turn-one Echo of Eons with a land drop! It’s not too often that you pass that up.
Start off by casting [[Chrome Mox]] (Imprint: [[Ad Nauseam]]), [[Lotus Petal]], and cast [[Dark Ritual]] off of [[Chrome Mox]]. Assuming it resolves, play [[Wishclaw Talisman]], activate it, search up [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], and cast it. At this point, if your opponent hasn’t fallen for the [[Veil of Summer]] it’s best to cast it before attempting to resolve [[Echo of Eons]].
We’re back to the classic, “Does the opponent have [[Force of Will]]?” I specify [[Force of Will]] since UG Omni-Tell doesn’t play [[Force of Negation]] or really any other counterspells at all. Their other disruption is [[Veil of Summer]] which has minimal impact on The EPIC Storm. This means our opponent has roughly 40 percent odds of being able to stop us, you definitely take those odds in a casino — time to jam.
One of my favorite aspects of these seven cards is that if you sequence everything correctly, you’ll be able to cast [[Ad Nauseam]] with the [[Chrome Mox]] trigger still on the stack!
While it’s pretty clear that his hand is exceptional, there’s some trickery in motion. Typically against most Sneak & Show builds, you’re able to hold [[Defense Grid]] in your hand until the opponent casts [[Show and Tell]] which allows you to put [[Defense Grid]] into play for free. This plan doesn’t usually work against UG Omni-Tell as this deck tends to win the game immediately using [[Omniscience]]. [[Defense Grid]] in play when you’re already dead isn’t doing anyone a lot of favors. Because of this, it’s best to just accelerate out the [[Defense Grid]] using [[Rite of Flame]]. Even if the [[Defense Grid]] is countered by [[Force of Will]], UG Omni-Tell is unlikely to have any additional interaction which means a decent draw ([[Rite of Flame]], [[Dark Ritual]], or [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]) on the second turn of the game could mean victory.
Hand No. 3: (on the play)
[[Burning Wish|]] [[Chrome Mox|]] [[Rite of Flame|]] [[Rite of Flame|]] [[Lotus Petal|]] [[Dark Ritual|]] [[Volcanic Island|]]
“Wait, what? What about the 40 percent?” There is a difference between resolving an [[Ad Nauseam]] on the first turn and dropping 14 [[Goblin Token]]s on the table with an [[Empty the Warrens]]. UG Omni-Tell is a fast deck that is capable of a second turn kill. If they’re not keeping a hand with [[Force of Will]], what do you expect the rest of their hand to do? This seems very risky. The bright side to this hand is that 14 [[Goblin Token]]s can race a second turn [[Griselbrand]] and stops the activation of [[Griselbrand]] to draw seven cards. I just believe overall this isn’t the direction you’d like to take as it’s very risky and gets annihilated by the opponent having a [[Cunning Wish]] or even just an [[Emrakul, the Aeons Torn]] to take another turn to find another draw spell into actual lethal.
Hand No. 4: (on the draw)
[[Veil of Summer|]] [[Veil of Summer|]] [[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]] [[Mox Opal|]] [[Wishclaw Talisman|]] [[Dark Ritual|]] [[Defense Grid|]]
At a quick glance this hand seems great. It has multiple pieces of protection, acceleration, and a “tutor-effect”, but sadly [[Mox Opal]] doesn’t actually tap for a mana despite having four artifacts in your hand. If you’re very bold, you could hope to draw a land or another zero-casting-cost artifact, but this is living dangerously. We’ve also been over the fact that UG Omni-Tell doesn’t play that many counterspells which means that three pieces of interaction tends to be on the high side of protection spells in your hand.
Hand No. 5: (on the play)
[[Ponder|]] [[Brainstorm|]] [[Brainstorm|]] [[Veil of Summer|]] [[Tropical Island|]] [[Rite of Flame|]] [[Wishclaw Talisman|]]
While this hand technically, “plays Magic™“, it doesn’t do anything meaningful. The [[Ponder]] needs to find more mana in both the form of lands and ideally [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]. Without a “fetchland”, these copies of [[Brainstorm]] are actually very bad. The lands need to product black for [[Wishclaw Talisman]] and then red for [[Rite of Flame]]. In a perfect world, you would be able to protect yourself with the [[Veil of Summer]] using the [[Tropical Island]]. What turn are you winning? Turn three at the absolute perfect cards off the top but more realistically turns four or five. Is that good enough against UG Omni-Tell? I don’t think so.
Hand No. 6: (on the draw)
[[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]] [[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]] [[Chrome Mox|]] [[Mox Opal|]] [[Pyroblast|]] [[Veil of Summer|]] [[Rite of Flame|]]
While this hand doesn’t have an action spell, we’ve determined in previous Matchup Mulligan articles that we’re about 36 percent every turn to draw something that gets us moving. What makes this hand a keep is that we have two interaction spells. [[Pyroblast]] can be used defensively to stop a [[Show and Tell]] from resolving and [[Veil of Summer]] can be used to ensure [[Pyroblast]] resolves in the face of a [[Force of Will]]. Of course, this requires [[Chrome Mox]] tap for red, which means exiling the [[Rite of Flame]] to Imprint.
This is a tough spot. We’re down to five cards already, and this hand is less than desirable. While you technically have Metalcraft for [[Mox Opal]] due to also having [[Chrome Mox]] and [[Lotus Petal]], you’re likely unable to keep all of these cards as we have to put two on the bottom. You could keep [[Chrome Mox]] and then Imprint one of the blue spells before casting the other. But at this point, you’ve essentially have gone to four cards. If we’re going to keep a bad four-card hand, why not try for four better cards with another mulligan? It seems like a no-brainer in this situation.
Hand No. 8: (on the draw)
[[Echo of Eons|]] [[Mox Opal|]] [[Lion’s Eye Diamond|]] [[Rite of Flame|]] [[Taiga|]] [[Mox Opal|]] [[Verdant Catacombs|]]
In Hand No. 1, we mentioned how UG Omni-Tell really only plays [[Force of Will]] and [[Veil of Summer]] for interaction — this typically doesn’t change after sideboard due to it being a [[Cunning Wish]]-based strategy. Once again, we’re at 40 percent, except we’re on the draw. It’s essentially the same math and situation. While [[Echo of Eons]] isn’t guaranteed, we are starting the game off with five Storm and floating assuming that [[Echo of Eons]] resolves. It’s also entirely possible that [[Veil of Summer]] or something like [[Ponder]] or [[Brainstorm]] are the draw step which would allow you to reassess your options. Regardless, these sorts of hands are still very much a keep even in post-board situations.
One of my favorite sort of plays! Cast the pair of [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Mox Opal]], and then [[Brainstorm]] off of [[Mox Opal]]. Ideally, you would draw a blue source that isn’t a “fetchland” since the plan is to put [[Ad Nauseam]] on top of the deck and then use [[Brainstorm]] to draw it while sacrificing the pair [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] to cast [[Ad Nauseam]]. This hand demonstrates the weakness of [[Pyroblast]] in TES as it doesn’t really play well with [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] unlike discard spells or [[Veil of Summer]]. [[Pyroblast]] serves a different role and sometimes it can be the wrong card, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t side it in or play it.
Hand No. 10: (on the draw)
[[Ad Nauseam|]] [[Veil of Summer|]] [[Chrome Mox|]] [[Mox Opal|]] [[Brainstorm|]] [[Ponder|]] [[Veil of Summer|]]
Share your answer in the comments below!
I’ll provide my answer in the next article. For now, make sure to post your thoughts!
Bryant Cook has one Grand Prix Top 8 as well as nine Star City Games Top 8s (two wins). Bryant recently won a Legacy PTQ and a Legacy Challenge in the same weekend with v10.8! You can most likely find him teaching others how to cast Rite of Flame or creating Legacy & Vintage content. Bryant is also a host of The Eternal Glory Podcast, as well as a Web Designer, New York Mets fan, and all-around nerd.
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