Since our last article, the Legacy metagame has had another big shift with the banning and changes to the Companion mechanic. Since so much of the Legacy metagame warped around those cards, things are still in the process of stabilizing. The EPIC Storm has mostly stayed the same since the banning with a four-color Manabase that supports sideboard cards such as [[Abrupt Decay]] and [[Carpet of Flowers]].

Harlan Firer

Special Guest

Harlan Firer

(Twitter: @HarlanFirer | MTGO: HarlanMTG )

Harlan has been a regular competitor on the SCG Tour since 2015. He boasts an impressive resume of 16 Open Top 8s with five wins. He also manages Team Nova and is a co host of the podcast — Up2DateMTG.

Deck List

the epic Storm

 
Main Deck
  • 4 [[Burning Wish]]
  • 4 [[Wishclaw Talisman]]
  • 4 [[Brainstorm]]
  • 4 [[Ponder]]
  • 1 [[Tendrils of Agony]]
  • 1 [[Ad Nauseam]]
  • 1 [[Echo of Eons]]
  • 4 [[Veil of Summer]]
  • 2 [[Defense Grid]]
  • 4 [[Rite of Flame]]
  • 4 [[Dark Ritual]]
  • 4 [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]
  • 4 [[Lotus Petal]]
  • 3 [[Mox Opal]]
  • 2 [[Chrome Mox]]
  • 4 [[Polluted Delta]]
  • 2 [[Bloodstained Mire]]
  • 2 [[Verdant Catacombs]]
  • 1 [[Underground Sea]]
  • 1 [[Tropical Island]]
  • 1 [[Volcanic Island]]
  • 1 [[Taiga]]
  • 1 [[Badlands]]
  • 1 [[Swamp]]
Sideboard
  • 2 [[Abrupt Decay]]
  • 2 [[Chain of Vapor]]
  • 2 [[Carpet of Flowers]]
  • 1 [[Pyroblast]]
  • 1 [[Crash]]
  • 1 [[Thoughtseize]]
  • 1 [[Infernal Tutor]]
  • 1 [[Grapeshot]]
  • 1 [[Empty the Warrens]]
  • 1 [[Tendrils of Agony]]
  • 1 [[Echo of Eons]]
  • 1 [[Pulverize]]
 

SITUATION No. 1 – UR Delver

U/R Delver is the [[Delver of Secrets]] deck that has the fastest clock along with a consistent two-color mana base. Playing against U/R Delver can be challenging for The EPIC Storm because they can kill us quickly, and they are also known for playing lot of disruption and counter magic. While U/R Delver often struggles to beat an early [[Empty the Warrens]], many lists are now playing answers in the sideboard.

HOW I SIDEBOARDED:

-1 [[Chrome Mox]], -1 [[Rite of Flame]], +1 [[Carpet of Flowers]], +1 [[Thoughtseize]]

We are currently in game two on the play. We had a rough opening hand, and decided to mulligan. We decided to keep this hand, but we still have some awkward mana. What card would you put back, and how would you play out your first turn?

Situation 1

Special Guest

Harlan Firer

Harlan Firer

I’m by no means an expert on TES. In fact, I’ve never played a game with the archetype so hopefully that makes for an interesting guest perspective!

I am inclined to bottom the [[Mox Opal]] in this hand as we are quite far from being able to turn on Metalcraft and the rest of our hand is fairly well set up to play several turns. I feel that the [[Mox Opal]] will be less necessary to be used as fast mana, even if we are able to turn it on eventually.

As for how to sequence the first turn, this is a clear fetch [[Tropical Island]], cast [[Carpet of Flowers]] to me. This seems like a fairly easy sequence to me because outside of having [[Carpet of Flowers]] in play, we don’t have access to both green and black mana with this hand. Further, the only sequence that is truly punishing to this line is if the opponent both counters our [[Carpet of Flowers]] AND uses a [[Wasteland]] on our [[Tropical Island]]. Outside of that exact sequence, I think we end up in a pretty reasonable position with either our [[Tropical Island]] or the [[Carpet of Flowers]] in play to help set up our mana long term.

I will say that this specific, and probably fairly uncommon, scenario made me really wish there was a [[Bayou]] in the deck to give access to having both green and black mana in this hand. As stated before, I’m far from an expert on the TES archetype, but all the fetches in this current list get [[Bayou]] so seems like something worth looking into if these types of situations come up often enough.

#TEAMTES

Josh Hughes

Josh Hughes

In this scenario I would play out the fetchland and pass. We are unfortunately a long way from winning, because of this I think having the option to [[Brainstorm]] and play around [[Wasteland]] is huge!


Bryant Cook

Bryant Cook

Just for reference, I don’t love the sideboarding plan here. Both copies of [[Carpet of Flowers]] should have come in and siding in your [[Burning Wish]]-able disruption spell is a little awkward, but here we are. This seems pretty straight-forward, bottom the [[Mox Opal]] and cast [[Carpet of Flowers]] off of [[Tropical Island]]. [[Carpet of Flowers]] later will provide the black mana necessary to cast the [[Thoughtseize]].


AJ Kerrigan

AJ Kerrigan

Especially given that we are down an artifact from our deck, this [[Mox Opal]] seems less than stellar. The plan with this hand is going to be playing the game a bit slower, and using our disruption to allow us to get away with having less mana overall. The biggest issue I see is that if we play [[Carpet of Flowers]] on turn one, we lose a fetchland for our [[Brainstorm]] which is important in a hand that needs some work. For that reason, I think I would likely want to lead on [[Volcanic Island]]. If they [[Wasteland]] us, we can [[Brainstorm]] then and then play [[Carpet of Flowers]] next turn. I may even strongly consider just playing [[Brainstorm]] on our main phase, as getting it hit by Daze after a turn-one [[Delver of Secrets]] just sets us too far behind.


Alex Poling

Alex Poling

I would put back the [[Mox Opal]]. It is the card that is going to do the least in the first couple turns. All of the other cards at least have some functionality to them. My plan would be to play out the [[Volcanic Island]] and pass the turn. On my second turn, I’d cast the [[Brainstorm]] and use the [[Verdant Catacombs]] to shuffle the worst cards away.


Alex McKinley

Alex McKinley

This is a situation that shows the power of [[Carpet of Flowers]]. While I’m not entirely sure why there is a [[Thoughtseize]] in the opening hand, the card to bottom is [[Mox Opal]]. Metalcraft is far away and lands are very powerful in the match up. I’d play turn one by fetching for [[Tropical Island]] to cast [[Carpet of Flowers]].


Landon Sworts

Landon Sworts

I would place [[Mox Opal]] on the bottom our library as we are not close to establishing Metalcraft. My first turn is all about getting [[Carpet of Flowers]] into play. As the game advances, having additional mana available each turn is a strong asset.


Daniel Lee

Daniel Lee

Put the [[Mox Opal]] back. It’s tempting to save the [[Verdant Catacombs]] to power up our [[Brainstorm]], but my instinct here is to fetch a green source to force action on our [[Carpet of Flowers]]. If they fight us over it, then we still have the [[Brainstorm]] to find more action. If they don’t, then they just turned on our [[Thoughtseize]] for next turn.


Theo Andresier

Theo Andresier

I think putting back the [[Mox Opal]] is a given here. Our ability to generate mana with land drops and [[Carpet of Flowers]] is there, but we are still a little weak to [[Wasteland]]. Leading with the turn one [[Thoughtseize]] leaves us vulnerable to having stranded green cards in hand and makes [[Brainstorm]] weaker, so I don’t believe we can afford the risk for a [[Thoughtseize]]. Green/Black mana is what most of our hand is made of and what we need to protect ourselves (I’m also a huge [[Carpet of Flowers]] fan). I am slamming that on the table turn one off of a fetched [[Tropical Island]]. Turn two, I would look at generating black mana off of the [[Carpet of Flowers]] and casting [[Thoughtseize]].

SITUATION No. 2 – BUG Control

BUG Control is one of the classic control decks of the format. While the deck has always been around, the deck got a boost with the printing of [[Oko, Thief of Crowns]]. In addition to [[Oko, Thief of Crowns]], the decks will generally play [[Arcum’s Astrolabe]], which does a phenomenal job at fixing the sometimes awkward mana base. BUG Control can be a challenging matchup for The EPIC Storm because they are able to attack us with hand disruption and countermagic. The key is to try to win fast before they can establish control or prepare for a long and “grindy” match.

HOW I SIDEBOARDED:

-1 [[Chrome Mox]], -1 [[Rite of Flame]], +2 [[Abrupt Decay]]

We are currently in game two and down a game. We are in a pretty solid spot where we have a couple of options to hopefully defeat our opponent on this turn. How would you play out this turn to win, or put yourself in a winning situation?

Situation 2

Special Guest

Harlan Firer

Harlan Firer

From my perspective as a blue player, I would realistically only be using a [[Force of Will]] on a [[Wishclaw Talisman]] in this position if I already have another “Force effect” in hand and likely a follow up play such as an [[Oko, Thief of Crowns]] or [[Leovold, Emissary of Trest]].

With that information in my mind, I want to avoid going for [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] paired with [[Burning Wish]] for [[Empty the Warrens]] as that plays into a second [[Force of Will]] from the opponent and leaves us with an effectively blank card in [[Echo of Eons]].

Instead, I would take the far more conservative line of using [[Burning Wish]] for [[Thoughtseize]] and playing the [[Echo of Eons]] off the [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]. The downside is that we are likely passing to an opponent who is drawing up to eight cards in hand, but we could high roll into a hand that kills them without passing the turn, or a hand that has a [[Lotus Petal]] and a [[Veil of Summer]] to insulate us on the opponent’s turn.

#TEAMTES

Josh Hughes

Josh Hughes

There are some creative lines you could attempt, but I would just play out [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] and then [[Burning Wish]], sacrificing the [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] for . If it resolves, I would then cast Empty the Warrens. While this isn’t always a great line against BUG, we could always cast the [[Echo of Eons]] at a later time, assuming they deal with our [[Goblin Token]]s without removing our Graveyard.


Bryant Cook

Bryant Cook

Cast [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] and then [[Burning Wish]] floating , hold priority, sacrifice the [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] for . This way if the opponent casts [[Force of Will]] on the [[Burning Wish]] you can always Flashback [[Echo of Eons]] with a available. If the [[Burning Wish]] resolves, you’re generating fourteen [[Goblin Token]]s via [[Empty the Warrens]]. The bright spot here is if the opponent does have a sweeper such as [[Plague Engineer]], there’s still an [[Echo of Eons]] in the graveyard.


AJ Kerrigan

AJ Kerrigan

This game really rewards knowing the general structures of main decks and sideboards in the metagame. Importantly, we want to know how many [[Force of Negation]] people usually play as well as how many total answers to [[Empty the Warrens]]. [[Echo of Eons]] with one of each relevant color floating is around 75-80 percent to win the game I believe, but our opponent’s chances of a [[Force of Will]] or [[Force of Negation]] being upwards of 40 percent can meaningfully reduce our overall odds. Additionally, the straight [[Echo of Eons]] plan loses to a second [[Force of Will]] from our opponent. Assuming the metagame isn’t in a place where BUG Control is playing more than around four answers to [[Empty the Warrens]], I like going for [[Burning Wish]] into [[Empty the Warrens]] here, leaving ourselves with floating from the [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]. This gives us the backup plan of being able to [[Echo of Eons]] with a mana floating is they have another [[Force of Will]] effect for our [[Burning Wish]].


Alex Poling

Alex Poling

I would cast [[Burning Wish]] to grab [[Thoughtseize]] and immediately cast it. This will clear the way of any counters the opponent could have. It’s a little on the safe side, but I think we can afford the extra safety here. I would then cast the [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] and sacrifice it in order to flashback the [[Echo of Eons]]. This leaves less mana to combo with, but I think resolving the [[Echo of Eons]] is crucial here.


Alex McKinley

Alex McKinley

To me, this feels like the opponent believes that [[Wishclaw Talisman]] is the only payoff in our hand. Because of that, I would cast [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], [[Burning Wish]] (crack [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] for ) and find [[Empty the Warrens]]. Even if the opponent does find a [[Plague Engineer]], [[Echo of Eons]] is a nice reset button to attempt to win the game again.


Landon Sworts

Landon Sworts

From here, I would plan to play out [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] and sacrifice it for to Flashback [[Echo of Eons]]. [[Burning wish]] for [[Empty the Warrens]] is another option however I would prefer to play around [[Plague Engineer]] if possible.


Daniel Lee

Daniel Lee

I would go for [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] into [[Burning Wish]] for [[Empty the Warrens]] (sacrificing the [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] for , using for the [[Burning Wish]]). This way, if they counter the [[Burning Wish]], we have plenty of mana left over to Flashback [[Echo of Eons]].


Theo Andresier

Theo Andresier

Our opponent hasn’t done much and is really trying to get into the control position in this game. It’s saddening that they have the [[Force of Will]] for our [[Wishclaw Talisman]] and it forces us to make a difficult decision — I would let the [[Force of Will]] finish resolving and then cast the [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]]. Aassuming it resolves, I would then look to cast the [[Burning Wish]] leaving a single red mana and then crack the [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] for three Blue. If they counter the [[Burning Wish]] here, we are forced to cast [[Echo of Eons]] for its flashback cost but otherwise, we make 14 [[Goblin Token]]s! (Please no [[Plague Engineer]]).

SITUATION No. 3 – Death & Taxes

While Death & Taxes has traditionally been a favorable matchup for The EPIC Storm, they have recently added cards such as [[Deafening Silence]] and [[Chalice of the Void]] — making the matchup way more challenging after game one. Against Death & Taxes, we would normally just need to win through creature and land-based hate — whereas now they are attacking combo on a whole different axis with artifact and enchantment “hate” cards.

We are currently in game one on the draw. Our opponent opened the game with a [[Mother of Runes]]. We started our turn with a [[Brainstorm]], and found a second [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]] and a [[Burning Wish]]. We played out [[Mox Opal]], both copies of [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], and a [[Rite of Flame]]. How would you play out this turn?

Situation 3

Special Guest

Harlan Firer

Harlan Firer

My gut tells me that I should just [[Burning Wish]] and make 14 [[Goblin Token]]s with [[Empty the Warrens]], but that line just loses if the opponent has second land and a [[Stoneforge Mystic]] to get a [[Batterskull]] as [[Goblin Token]]s is not enough to kill them through that setup.

If I was more experienced with this archetype, I would have a much better idea of how likely I am to win a game from this position if I [[Burning Wish]] for [[Echo of Eons]] and draw a fresh seven cards with three mana floating.

With the experience I currently have with the archetype, I’m going with my gut and rolling the dice on them not having a [[Stoneforge Mystic]] in hand and making 14 [[Goblin Token]]s with my fingers crossed.

#TEAMTES

Josh Hughes

Josh Hughes

Since this is game one and technically a [[Stoneforge Mystic]] on turn two can race 14 [[Goblin Token]]s, I would go for the [[Echo of Eons]] line. If this was a post-board game, I think I would make [[Goblin Token]]s because the opponent might trim on Stoneforge Mystic depending on their sideboard strategy.


Bryant Cook

Bryant Cook

If you do the math, 14 [[Goblin Token]]s doesn’t race a second turn [[Stoneforge Mystic]] from the opponent. This makes the decision a slam-dunk for me, I’d retrieve [[Echo of Eons]], discard it to [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], sacrifice the other copy of [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], and Flashback [[Echo of Eons]] floating .


AJ Kerrigan

AJ Kerrigan

Our choices are basically just [[Empty the Warrens]] for 14 [[Goblin Token]]s, or [[Echo of Eons]] with three mana floating across two colors, one of which has to be blue. If we think that [[Echo of Eons]] wins 75% of the time, and some percentage of the fail cases involve us getting to have a good hand for next turn and potentially [[Thoughtseize]] them, then you can roughly ballpark it at 80%. [[Empty the Warrens]] for 14 [[Goblin Token]]s clearly beats everything except [[Stoneforge Mystic]], but in most reasonable cases will fall just short of beating [[Stoneforge Mystic]] for [[Batterskull]]. Do we think they have [[Stoneforge Mystic]] more than 20-25% of the time? In the dark with a lot of assumptions built in, they have it in their opening hand 40% of the time, and when you shave off these assumptions of keepability, it probably reduces to ballpark 25-35% of the time. Given that one of their cards is [[Mother of Runes]], it reduces it a little bit, but not much, and so I’d argue from a very rough guess that they have [[Stoneforge Mystic]] right around 30% of the time. For that reason, I’d want to use [[Echo of Eons]] as off the bat it probably wins this turn often enough and the additional cases of you getting a good setup hand or them getting an awful hand probably nudge it up just a little bit. Anecdotally, if [[Empty the Warrens]] was in our main deck we could find [[Infernal Tutor]] for [[Empty the Warrens]] for sixteen [[Goblin Token]]s instead, which would definitely be enough to beat [[Stoneforge Mystic]]!


Alex Poling

Alex Poling

I would [[Burning Wish]] and cast [[Empty the Warrens]] here for 14 [[Goblin Token]]s. This has been a successful game plan for TES for many years. It will be close if they have turn two [[Stoneforge Mystic]] and [[Batterskull]], but I would take that risk.


Alex McKinley

Alex McKinley

Because this is a game one, the opponent may have [[Stoneforge Mystic]] instead of [[Thalia, Guardian of Thraben]] as their two drop. 14 [[Goblin Token]]s unfortunately does not beat turn two [[Stoneforge Mystic]] with a [[Mother of Runes]] in play. I would cast [[Burning Wish]], find [[Echo of Eons]], crack both copies of [[Lion’s Eye Diamond]], one for and one for . I would then cast [[Echo of Eons]], leaving in pool.


Landon Sworts

Landon Sworts

I’ll be honest. I’m just making [[Goblin Token]]s here. We could go for an [[Echo of Eons]] line to ensure our ability or play around our opponent’s future board state, but I’d rather just force them to have it. Cast [[Burning Wish]] followed by [[Empty the Warrens]].


Daniel Lee

Daniel Lee

Let’s check the math on an [[Empty the Warrens]] line: Make 14 [[Goblin Token]]s. Opponent plays [[Stoneforge Mystic]] for [[Batterskull]]. We attack for 14, lose teo [[Goblin Token]]s, get 12 damage in. They play any 1-drop blocker. We attack with 12 [[Goblin Token]]s, they play [[Batterskull]], block three [[Goblin Token]]s, only take five damage, and have now stabilized at three life. Even if they don’t play an additional blocker, they stabilize at two instead. This is going to come down to how you feel at the table. They have the same odds of having either [[Stoneforge Mystic]] or [[Thalia, Guardian of Thraben]] (both of which fit their opening line, but [[Empty the Warrens]] beats [[Thalia, Guardian of Thraben]]). If you don’t go for [[Empty the Warrens]], then [[Burning Wish]] for [[Echo of Eons]]. You can either float enough mana to cast it outright or flash it back with or floating.


Theo Andresier

Theo Andresier

I would be tempted to cast [[Burning Wish]] and make 14 [[Goblin Token]]s, but with a possibility of a turn three [[Batterskull]], we cannot race them and end up losing to the Lifelink/Vigilance death machine. An [[Echo of Eons]] leaves us with three mana of our choice and seven new cards in hand — I think that is pretty sweet. We are right up there with Storm count so let’s spin that wheel!

In closing, I would like to encourage everyone to keep trying new and exciting Storm builds. There is a ton of room to innovate in the current metagame, and there are also some spicy cards coming out in M21!


Want to see your play?

Moving forward, I will continue to do one scenario a month, but we’re now allowing for fan-based submissions for “Infernal Tutoring!” In order to submit, scroll down to the footer to the contact form. Attach your screenshot, describe the situation in detail, and press submit!

Disclaimer: Regarding the details of the scenarios, we do not want what the outcome of the situation is. For example, if the question is, “Do I go for it here?” do not tell the team if your opponent had [[Force of Will]] or not. This information honestly doesn’t matter for our purposes and it doesn’t change the answer if it’s correct or not to cast the business spell. Thank you for your understanding.

Instructions
  • Use the subject line of “Infernal Tutoring”
  • Write what list you are playing and if there’s anything special about your list compared to the current stock version. Scenarios that contain the current list are more likely to be selected.
  • If possible, please resize your images to be no larger than 1400px wide and preferably under 125kb. This will make our job easier, if you’re unfamiliar how to do this that’s okay too. Still message us with your scenarios!