We are back with this month's Infernal Tutoring article! With this month's version of the decklist, Massacre has been removed in favor of a second Empty the Warrens in the sideboard. As the year draws to a close, the meta continues to evolve and churn. There seems to have been an influx of new players on MTGO, with the crash of card prices. This could be why I saw a lot more off meta decks while playing this month. Let's take a look at some of these less seen decks!
A few words on Wilson Hunter (Patrunkenphat7):
Wilson Hunter is a serial entrepreneur and co-founder of CardBoard Live. Father of two humans and one dog. He is an Atlanta Braves fan, pinball wizard, and aquarium enthusiast. Magically, Wilson has 2 GP top 8s, 3 GP top 16s, SCG Invitational top 4 (with ANT), and a Pro Tour top 25. He started playing Magic in 2002, but started playing competitively in 2011. He is a huge fan of Cube and Magic podcasting.
- 4 Burning Wish
- 4 Infernal Tutor
- 4 Brainstorm
- 4 Ponder
- 4 Thoughtseize
- 4 Duress
- 1 Empty the Warrens
- 1 Ad Nauseam
SITUATION #1 - BUG Delver
Welcome to game two against BUG delver. Despite being one of the less popular Delver strategies, BUG Delver has a suite of powerful tools in the matchup, including Stifle, Leovold, Emissary of Trest, and Hymn to Tourach. It backs up these disruptive elements with large creature threats in Tarmogoyf, Gurmag Angler, and, of course, Delver of Secrets.
Welcome to game one. The opponent has two Delver of Secrets ready to begin attacking our life total, which is a problem given the Ad Nauseam in our hand. Fortunately, Ponder turned up a couple of Chrome Mox to make another red source to get to five mana. The problem is the opponent revealed a Stifle to their Delver of Secrets on the previous turn, as this can counter the imprint trigger.
SITUATION #2 - B/R Reanimator
B/R Reanimator is one of the worst matchups for The EPIC Storm. They have a faster combo and tons of discard to prevent us from going off. Often the key to the matchup is more of going off before they can rather than preventing a reanimation with our discard.
In this situation, the opponent is ready to reanimate a Griselbrand on their next turn, likely spelling doom for us. Fortunately, multiple copies of Brainstorm might either let us go off this turn or survive their onslaught of discard. There a couple of things to consider here: What do you put back from this Brainstorm? Do we play any other spells this turn?
SITUATION #3 - Painter
Painter is a combo prison deck based around the interaction of Painter’s Servant and Grindstone.
In this situation, the opponent missed their second land drop, drawing and playing an Engineered Explosives for their turn. There are several constraints on the ability to combo here, including Tormod's Crypt, the Engineered Explosives, and the two Ethersworn Canonist in their hand.
After playing without Massacre for a month, I really want it back. I ran into Death & Taxes or other Thalia, Guardian of Thraben decks often enough that I believe it's useful and a nice safety net to have. The other thing I learned this month was figuring out how to have a more balanced play-style of being aggressive and cautious enough to win. Learning how to read an opponent, to see what they might consider to be more of a threat than it is is an important part of playing the EPIC Storm.
Until next time, keep storming on!