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How to Play

Four easy to understand examples of how The EPIC Storm works and functions. I consider the four categories the four main paths to victory with the deck. You'll notice that at the bottom of tournament reports on the website that they're often tallied by the number of wins per method.

Recommended reading:

For even more information on How to Play, check out TES Infernal Tutoring.

10-03-2018 Reading the Ropes - Getting More Mileage from Tutors by AJ Kerrigan

08-29-2017 Playing in Paper by Josh Hughes

07-27-2018 Reading the Ropes - Using Discard Spells by AJ Kerrigan

06-29-2018 Reading the Ropes - Using Draw Spells by AJ Kerrigan

04-27-2018 Reading the Ropes - Mulliganing by AJ Kerrigan

03-12-2018 Reading the Ropes - Winning the Game by AJ Kerrigan

01-19-2018 Reading the Ropes - The Win Conditions by AJ Kerrigan

12-19-2017 Reading the Ropes - Introduction by AJ Kerrigan

Ad Nauseam

The EPIC Storm (TES) is the best Ad Nauseam deck in Legacy, this is because TES is optimized to abuse the card. By this I mean that we've intentionally lowered the overall converted mana cost of the deck while turning these cards into accelerants, by now you've realized I'm talking about: Chrome Mox, Mox Opal, Lotus Petal, and Lion's Eye Diamond. That's not the entire story though, maybe you haven't realized but TES only plays a single card that can be revealed to Ad Nauseam that costs more than two mana! This is fairly different from Ad Nauseam Tendrils (ANT), which is actually a Past in Flames deck, that plays between three and four cards that cost four mana and then even Dark Petition! It's fairly easy to see why TES's optimization of Ad Nauseam make it a very powerful card.

Something to keep in mind that Ad Nauseam is an instant, you can cast the spell in response to a Brainstorm or on an end step. There’s also the Chrome Mox trick” — which is to cast Chrome Mox, in response cast Ad Nauseam, and in response to Ad Nauseam activate Lion's Eye Diamond! You do this in order to be able to imprint after Ad Nauseam has resolved and is only viable if you didn’t have a card you could imprint prior to casting Ad Nauseam.

Opening Hand

Dark RitualInfernal TutorRite of FlameUnderground SeaLion's Eye DiamondMox OpalLotus Petal

I would definitely keep this opening hand, it's a turn one Ad Nauseam!

I would start off by playing the Underground Sea and the following it up by casting Lion's Eye Diamond (Storm 1).

Lotus Petal (Storm 2) and then Mox Opal (Storm 3).

Note: If you cast Mox Opal last, it doesn't give your opponent the opportunity to decide to counterspell an artifact to shut you off a mana.

Tap Mox Opal and cast Rite of Flame (Storm 4 — ).

Note: You should tap Mox Opal to cast Rite of Flame because if you use Lotus Petal or Lion's Eye Diamond later on in the turn, you'll lose Metalcraft, it's also good to cast Rite of Flame before Dark Ritual because Dark Ritual is an instant which means you can respond to effects such as Daze.

Tap Underground Sea and cast Dark Ritual (Storm 5 — ).

Cast Infernal Tutor, holding priority, sacrifice Lion's Eye Diamond for (Storm 6 — ).

Note: If you had any cards in hand, Lion's Eye Diamond would discard them which works very well with Infernal Tutor's Hellbent clause.

Cast Ad Nauseam (Storm 7 — ).

Note: I prefer to float in most situations because The EPIC Storm has fewer red cards to Imprint onto Chrome Mox post-Ad Nauseam, where we have plenty of spare black cards such as Thoughtseize or Duress.


Note: I personally like to continue to flip until it's no-longer safe to flip. This will help you a small percentage of the time if your opponent has something that you didn't expect, you'll have additional or spare resources to play around whatever that card may be.

Cast Lotus Petal (Storm 8 — ), Chrome Mox (Imprint: Infernal Tutor) (Storm 9 — ), and then Lion's Eye Diamond (Storm 10 — )

Cast Rite of Flame (Storm 11 — ) and another Rite of Flame (Storm 12 — ).

Tap Chrome Mox and cast Dark Ritual (Storm 13 — ) into Duress (Storm 14 — ).

At this point it's safe to cast Burning Wish (Storm 15 — ) into Tendrils of Agony (Storm 16 — ).

Note: Notice how easy it was to get to sixteen storm? If you ever needed to in this scenario, you could continue to play more spells into Grapeshot in an effort to play around Veil of Summer.

Empty the Warrens

Above in the Ad Nauseam section, we covered how the artifact mana really fuels our primary engine. It's no coincidence that our secondary option (Empty the Warrens) would also work well with these cards. By playing fourteen to fifteen free spells, it really rewards you for having an Empty the Warrens in your main deck as it'll catch plenty of opponents off guard when they aren't sure what the best spell is to counter. Speed has always been an over-arching theme across all of the storm-engines and plans in TES's history, Empty the Warrens is crucial to this. Most Ad Nauseam lines cost seven mana (some even cost as much as nine with Burning Wish), where at most with Empty the Warrens it's costing to be six mana, but in plenty of match-ups where you side in additional copies it's only four mana!

Sideboarding into more copies against decks trying to attack your mana is an extremely efficient way of winning the game, but it's also great against decks trying to diminish your resources with discard spells. What Empty the Warrens does against these decks and across the field in general, is it allows you to combo off without needing the full storm-count ten for Tendrils of Agony. Six or seven into a horde of Goblin Tokens wins a decent amount of match-ups while very rarely being a dead draw (the same cannot be said for Tendrils of Agony).

Opening Hand

Rite of FlameRite of FlameLotus PetalBloodstained MireBurning WishInfernal Tutor

This hand is deceptively good!

We've already mulliganed but that's fine as our hand is still going to "combo-off" on turn one. I'd start off by using Bloodstained Mire to search up Badlands.

Note: This is important because we're going to tap Badlands for this turn and next turn if we draw a discard spell, we're going to want to have available.

Cast Lotus Petal (Storm 1), tap Badlands for Rite of Flame (Storm 2 — ).

Sacrifice Lotus Petal for and cast Infernal Tutor (Revealing: Rite of Flame) (Storm 3 — ).

Cast Rite of Flame (Storm 4 — ) and then another Rite of Flame (Storm 5 — ).

Cast Burning Wish (Storm 6 — ) for Empty the Warrens and cast it (Storm 7) for fourteen Goblin Tokens.

Echo of Eons

Let's start with the basics, Echo of Eons works very well with Lion's Eye Diamond. First you play Burning Wish to retrieve Echo of Eons, then play your Lion's Eye Diamond (this plays around artifact disruption), discard your hand and add three blue to flashback your pseudo Timetwister. Another way of getting Echo of Eons into your graveyard is to Thoughtseize yourself, while not ideal, it is a "build your own Diminishing Returns!"

Something to keep in mind is that Echo of Eons is symmetrical, which means your opponent will also draw a fresh seven card hand off of Echo of Eons. This is an issue against blue decks. To offset this, cards such as Hope of Ghirapur, Defense Grid, and even Veil of Summer I would recommend over additional discard spells opening up another engine versus counterspell archetypes.

Opening Hand

Scalding TarnDark RitualThoughtseizeLotus PetalLion's Eye DiamondBurning Wish

Pretty good for a mulligan!

Note: This is a match-up where we can't afford to Empty the Warrens.

Let's activate Scalding Tarn and search up Badlands. Tap Badlands and cast Dark Ritual (Storm 1 — ) and then cast Thoughtseize to make sure the coast is clear (Storm 2 — ).

Cast Lotus Petal (Storm 3 — ) and then Lion's Eye Diamond (Storm 4 — ).

Use Lotus Petal for and then cast Burning Wish (Storm 5 — ) while passing priority.

Note: Do not activate Lion's Eye Diamond here, we need to use it to discard Echo of Eons.

Retrieve Echo of Eons and then use Lion's Eye Diamond to generate and then flashback Echo of Eons (Storm 6 — ).

New Hand

Mox OpalLotus PetalChrome MoxRite of FlameRite of FlameBurning WishInfernal Tutor

We've got this!

Cast Chrome Mox (Imprint: Infernal Tutor) (Storm 7 — ), Lotus Petal (Storm 7 — ), and then Mox Opal (Storm 8 — ).

Tap Mox Opal, cast Rite of Flame (Storm 10 — ) and then the other Rite of Flame (Storm 11 — ).

Cast Burning Wish (Storm 12 — ) for Tendrils of Agony.

Tap Chrome Mox and cast Tendrils of Agony (Storm 13).

Tendrils of Agony

Have you ever drawn Tendrils of Agony in your opening hand? It's fairly miserable — you can compare it to drawing multiple copies of Chrome Mox. For this reason, Tendrils of Agony has been moved to the sideboard as its usefulness in the main deck was decreasing. What caused this change is that I found that most of the time that I was using Tendrils of Agony, that I had more than enough available mana to Burning Wish before casting it. This isn't anything new (the change happened in 2012), so those of you who are experienced with The EPIC Storm, this shouldn't see this as a shock.

One of the most common ways of getting to a "Natural Storm" kill is by using cantrips on your combo turn to raise the storm count before casting Burning Wish into a lethal Tendrils of Agony.

Note: There are times when sideboarding into Tendrils of Agony is correct. Typically these are match-ups with an overload of mass removal for our Goblin Tokens. The other time siding in Tendrils of Agony is what you want to be doing is against a deck that is trying to discard Burning Wish and then hit it with Surgical Extraction.

Opening Hand

BrainstormPonderPonderBurning WishLion's Eye DiamondLion's Eye DiamondMox Opal

This is... interesting...

I would start out by casting Lion's Eye Diamond (Storm 1), the second Lion's Eye Diamond (Storm 2), and then Mox Opal (Storm 3).

Note: I mentioned this previously, but sequence your spells so that our opponent can't take advantage of our hand by counterspelling an artifact to shut off Metalcraft.

From here I would cast Brainstorm (Storm 4) which draws Lotus Petal, Volcanic Island, and Rite of Flame. Put Burning Wish and Ponder on top of the library.

Play Volcanic Island and then Lotus Petal (Storm 5).

Tap Volcanic Island and then cast Rite of Flame (Storm 6 — ).

Sacrifice Lotus Petal for and then cast Ponder (Storm 7 — ), in response sacrifice both copies of Lion's Eye Diamond for .

Draw Ponder and then cast it (Storm 8 — ), draw Burning Wish off of the Ponder.

Cast Burning Wish (Storm 9 — ) for Tendrils of Agony (Storm 10 — ).