Starting with Grand Prix Seattle, we decided to cut green again and go back to a Grixis build, this gave us v4.2. I am a big fan of this decklist, the addition of the fourth Chrome Mox in the sideboard has been amazing every time I brought it in for the decks we want it against, such as Grixis Delver, or any prison deck variant. We also have another new tool to help deal with the prison decks, Pulverize. This card is specifically great against decks like Dragon Stompy that use Blood Moon, as it makes Pulverize much easier to cast. The additional copies of Echoing Truth also help very much in the prison matchups, as Echoing Truth is much easier to cast than Abrupt Decay. With these types of decks growing in popularity, this decklist is very well positioned.
For this week, the latest version of The EPIC Storm (TES) was used from the website.
- 4 Burning Wish
- 4 Infernal Tutor
- 4 Brainstorm
- 4 Ponder
- 4 Gitaxian Probe
- 3 Cabal Therapy
- 3 Duress
- 1 Empty the Warrens
- 1 Ad Nauseam
SITUATION #1 - ANT
With the recent changes to our decklist, our Storm matchup changes just a tiny bit. We no longer run Telemin Performance in the board for a game one "silver bullet" win, but we do gain value with the copy of Cabal Therapy in our sideboard. I've already covered the basics of the matchup in Infernal Tutoring #14, but let's recap. The games in this matchup usually either end very quickly, as in one person wins immediately, or you tear apart each other's hands with Duress and Cabal Therapy until it becomes a topdeck war. A good rule of thumb is to lay out your copies of Lotus Petal and Lion's Eye Diamond to avoid having them discarded. Against specifically ANT, you also have to keep in mind that they usually bring in one to two copies of Flusterstorm from the sideboard.
Website Recommendation for Sideboarding:
We are in game one, currently, we are in the middle of resolving a Duress targeting our opponent. They responded to our Duress by cracking their Lotus Petal to play a Brainstorm. We have information from a Gitaxian Probe that we cast earlier in the turn that our opponent's hand before the Brainstorm was Infernal Tutor, Ponder, Lion's Eye Diamond, Past in Flames, and Cabal Ritual. Knowing this, we know that our opponent drew a Cabal Ritual and a Lotus Petal with the Brainstorm, and put back a Ponder and a mystery card. The way our hand is currently set up, we can go through an Ad Nauseam line on our next turn even if our opponent has a Duress, we just have to carefully choose a card to discard with this Duress that prevents us from dying on our opponent's next turn.
Which card would you choose to discard with the Duress, and why?
I chose to take their Lotus Petal. My thought process was to take their only initial source of black mana from their hand to prevent them from going off, in hindsight I think it might have also been correct to take Lion's Eye Diamond given the fact that our opponent would have to use both of their initial mana sources to cast a Cabal Ritual, denying them the red mana they need to cast Past in Flames to continue going off. If our opponent hid a land, Lotus Petal, or Lion's Eye Diamond on the top of their deck, I think we are dead no matter what, however, I believe taking the Lotus Petal edges out taking Lion's Eye Diamond only slightly, if we take Lion's Eye Diamond and they have a Dark Ritual on the top of their deck, we still lose.
SITUATION #2 - Dragon Stompy
With the addition of Pulverize and the fourth copy of Chrome Mox, our matchup against Dragon Stompy variants has improved. Pulverize gives us a "free" game one answer to Chalice of the Void, with the upside of synergizing with Blood Moon and Magus of the Moon. We bring the fourth Chrome Mox in after game one, which in my opinion is very important in this matchup as we need to go off as fast as possible.
Website Recommendation for Sideboarding:
We are in game three on the draw, our opponent led off with a Chalice of the Void on one. On our turn one, I play a Chrome Mox (Imprinting Rite of Flame), and a Polluted Delta and passed, the turn. This was a misplay, I should have played Burning Wish that turn for Pulverize which is what I planned on doing, but for some reason passed the turn instead. On our opponent's turn two, they floated two mana with their City of Traitors, played a Mountain and a Chrome Mox, and then played a Scab-Clan Berserker, then attacked with it to make it renowned. This is problematic, on our next turn I cast Burning Wish to get Pulverize and passed the turn. Our opponent attacks us for three, and simply passes the turn back. We are at eleven life, and have to sequence this carefully to destroy his Chalice of the Void, and make goblins afterward. Our draw for the turn was Burning Wish, which also made me consider if a line involving Grapeshot is viable here.
How would you play out this turn?
I took the clearest line available, I floated two red and one black mana with my lands and Chrome Mox, cast Pulverize sacrificing Badlands and Volcanic Island, cast Dark Ritual, Dark Ritual, Burning Wish, grabbing Tendrils of Agony (The card choice didn't matter, it was only for storm count.), and Empty the Warrens, making ten goblin tokens. This put as at one life, and left our opponent with a single Mountain when they already missed a land drop. If taking a Grapeshot line wasn't at the cost of sacrificing both of our lands, I think that option would have more merit to it.
SITUATION #3 - Tin Fins Depths
Tin Fins Depths has been picking up popularity since Grand Prix Seattle where the deck boasted an impressive twelfth place finish! As far as I know, this build of Tin Fins was pioneered by a Magic Online user named clone103. After playing this matchup with clone103 many times, I believe it plays out very similarly to our BR Reanimator matchup with a couple differences. The first and biggest one being, they don't use Chancellor of the Annex, which is definitely a plus for our side, on the other hand, if they get a Griselbrand into play we are almost guaranteed to lose, whereas against BR Reanimator we can sometimes still win if they get too greedy with Griselbrand activations. This is due to how easily Tin Fins Depths can access either it's three copies of Children of Korlis in the main deck, or it's sideboard copy with Living Wish. It is very easy for this deck to essentially draw their entire library with this combo compared to more traditional builds of Tin Fins. The way they usually win against us is by eventually using Living Wish to grab a copy of Laboratory Maniac and draw the remainder of their library with Griselbrand. The Dark Depths portion of the deck doesn't come up against us very often, as they are trying to win fast.
How I Sideboarded:
Even though the Dark Depths combo doesn't come up very often against us in this matchup, I still feel that it is necessary to bring in the copies of Chain of Vapor just in case. Anyways, we are in game three on the draw. We opened up a hand of seven that consists of Gitaxian Probe, Gitaxian Probe, Burning Wish, Burning Wish, Lotus Petal, Lion's Eye Diamond, and Rite of Flame. Our opponent mulliganed to six, we are left with the option of keeping this hand or shipping it. On one hand, this hand has potential to be explosive, on the other hand, if our opponent has a discard spell turn one and they use it on either our Lotus Petal or Lion's Eye Diamond, then we are in rough shape.
Would you keep this hand?
I decided to keep this hand, the only other thing we have to worry about other than a discard spell is losing on turn one, which can happen no matter what hand we keep. This hand has potential to be very explosive on turn one with a lot of different possible lines that could come up depending on the three cards we will draw with our draw step and our two copies of Gitaxian Probe. I think a high-risk, high-reward hand like this is better than most average hands on six. While we take the risk of eating shit to a discard spell, sometimes that's just the line you have to take when playing a deck like TES.
The EPIC Storm is at a spot right now where there is room for a lot of experimentation. I'm excited to see what the future holds for our beloved storm deck. That being said, if you are planning to play in a tournament in the near future, v4.2 is an excellent choice to bring to the table.
Keep storming on, and ALWAYS win with Grapeshot if your storm count is high enough, just to flex on 'em.