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Thread: [Deck] Spanish Inquisition (B/x Storm Combo)

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    [Deck] Spanish Inquisition (B/x Storm Combo)

    - Spanish Inquisition -

    - Introduction Ė

    Youíve heard of the Spanish Inquisition, right? In 1500ís, tribunal officers went door-to-door asking the question ďIs Jesus Christ divine?Ē hoping to purge Spain and Portugal of Jews and Christian heretics. Well, SI and its derivatives ask a similar question: ďDo you have Force of Will

    No we SI players arenít purposely beating the shit out of Jews and Christian Heretics. Actually, we just indiscriminately beat the shit out of anyone that doesnít play Force of Will.

    Unfortunately, you donít get to torture your opponents either while they scream for repentance. Itís over very quickly. We are kind.

    Actually, this is merely a hilarious coincidence and was not how the deck got its name. Rather, the creator, Colby Evenpence, chose to name it the Spanish Inquisition because he planned on winning so quickly that his opponents would say "I wasn't expecting that," then Colby could reply, "Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!!" Sadly, nobody ever expects SI because only a handful of people play it in real life. Next to Solidarity and NLS, SI is considered one of the hardest decks to master in the entire format. In fact, most people doubt its viability simply because they donít understand how it works.

    Spanish Inquisitionís greatest strength and the reason to play it instead of another deck is its unmatched speed. SI is by leaps and bounds the fastest deck in the format; not even Belcher or Hulk Flash can hold a candle to it. In particular, PSI pushes +60% turn 1 kills in the hands of skilled pilot while I and a few other pilots have claimed as high as 70% turn 1 kills. However, there isnít one set list you ought to play. There are several lists each with slightly different supplemental strategies. Each list is capable of consistently going off by turn 3 and due to the nature of its unique draw 4 engine, SI and its variants mulligan better than any other deck in the format. These claims might seem outrageous at first glance; however, the secret to the consistency at speed kills lies in SIís ability to go off with relatively few resources. While a deck like Belcher will often invest its initial 5-7 cards going off, SI can go off with as few as 3 cards (i.e. Lotus Petal, Dark Ritual, Cruel Bargain). Therefore, mulligans become powerful when the new 6 need only yield a few redundant resources to facilitate a lethal spell chain. In theory, the deck can win on the first turn after a mulligan to 3, and I've finally done so Aug '10. In addition to great mulligans, investing few resources also enables SI to go off multiples times. A draw 4 that yields jank will still yield 4 cards worth of resources. A few topdecks later, SI can easily explode again. This principle also applies to countermagic. A single piece of countermagic will not keep SI down. Even if SI doesnít get to keep the resources from its draw 4 (like in the previous case), it will often still have resources in its hand to go off again in a few turns.

    All SI variants play the following shell:

    4 Cruel Bargain (D4)
    4 Infernal Contract (D4)
    4 Dark Ritual
    4 Cabal Ritual
    4 Culling the Weak
    4 Lotus Petal
    4 Chrome Mox
    X Tendrils of Agony (ToA)
    0-4 Lionís Eye Diamond (LED)
    0-4 Infernal Tutor (IT)

    As I mentioned before, SI runs a unique draw 4 engine but it also runs a unique piece of acceleration that facilitates this engine: Culling the Weak. Culling the Weak adds a whopping BBBB to your mana pool at the expense of a creature. Storm combo that runs creatures? What you say?

    Different lists run different culling fodder. The original list ran this configuration:
    4 Phyrexian Walker
    4 Shield Sphere

    Back in the day when Goblins was the dominant aggro deck, these so called Tallmen acted as both Culling the Weak fodder for acceleration, Cabal Therapy fodder for protection, and blockers to give you a few turns to comfortably set up the kill against aggro. They are still quite good at holding creatures at bay for the first couple turns; however, the advent of Zoo made this plan significantly weaker. A few of the lists still play this configuration, but in early 2008, Breathweapon shared a truly innovative list that did not run a single Tallman from the old configuration. Instead he ran the following configuration:
    1 Dryad Arbor
    1 Vine Dryad
    4 Summonerís Pact
    4 Elvish Spirit Guide

    The configuration is known as the Pact list. Instead of laying down Tallmen as potential blockers, the Culling the Weak fodder instead acted as protection against Daze and facilitated a better chance at an early Cabal Ritual.

    Also, in 2008, Pulpfiction suggested that Manamorphose be run in the Pact list. It was immediately added in as a tuning mechanism, turning your draw 4 into a draw 5 as well as color fixing with Elvish Spirit Guides. The Manamorphose slots in the Pact list are now considered flex slots but in my experience it makes goldfishing a little easier.

    The Pact list got a facelift in 2010 when theresurrection shared his list, which further abused Summonerís Pact with the following three cards:
    1 Eternal Witness
    1 Odious Trow
    1 Wild Cantor

    Odious Trow quickly proved its worth as a replacement for Vine Dryad. Though Vine Dryad could remove spare Land Grants, Summonerís Pacts, and Elvish Spirit Guides, Odious Trow could be cast with spare green mana OR spare black ritual mana. Also, Trow enabled Summonerís Pact to fetch a black card to imprint on Chrome Mox.

    Wild Cantor acted as either Culling the Weak fodder or as a color fixer for opening hands without a starting black source like ESG + Pact or x2 Pact. I dropped it from my build but itís a fine replacement for Manamorphose or even Odious Trow.

    Eternal Witness is a very tricky piece of theresurrectionís build. With enough spare mana it could be cast to return whatever was necessary to continue the spell chain whether it be the win condition, acceleration, starting mana, or business. Previously unplayable draw 4ís like Tallman x2, LED x2 were now playable with Pact, ESG, LED x2; play both LEDs, remove ESG, then play Pact for Eternal Witness, breaking the LEDs in response for BBBGGG. Then return business to your hand to keep the spell chain going.

    At some point in my own testing of the Pact list, I became fascinated with D7 effects like Diminishing Returns and Slithermuse. I removed some of the MD win conditions from Pact SI and replaced them with Burning Wish. The list was fantastic at first, but after more testing it proved to be more volatile than I was comfortable with. Recently, Direlemming began testing his own variation on this Burning Wish build with maindeck Tinder Walls. This build is still being fine-tuned but it is very promising.

    Obviously SI wins with Tendrils of Agony; however, the faster lists also play either Empty the Warrens or Goblin Charbelcher as an alternative win condition. The original Land Grant SI and Pact SI tend to play Goblin Charbelcher while SITES always plays EtW. QSI used to play Brainfreeze in the board and sometimes plays EtW postboard as well.

    Another defining characteristic of SI is known as the IGG loop, originating in the old school combo deck IGGY Pop. The IGG configuration looks like this:
    4 Infernal Tutor
    4 Lionís Eye Diamond
    2 Ill-Gotten Gains
    X Tendrils of Agony

    First you would play some acceleration, usually Dark Ritual, to begin the loop. Then you would play Lionís Eye Diamond, followed by Infernal Tutor, breaking the LED in response for BBB. Then you find Ill-Gotten Gains, play it, and return Dark Ritual, Lionís Eye Diamond, and Infernal Tutor to your hand. This play would allow you to build up storm, and then repeat the loop, eventually finding Tendrils of Agony for the win. IT + LED would also allow you to go for Empty the Warrens or Belcher, depending on the situation.

    IGG also serves another purpose. If played on the first turn, IGG acts as a pseudo-Mindtwist, forcing the opponent into a mulligan to 3. It would be virtually one sided as well since you can drop mana sources, tallmen, LEDís, etc, and then return acceleration and/or business to your hand. This play is particularly strong because it turns back the opponentís clock significantly, especially considering you could drop tallmen to hold whatever creatures the opponent had at bay. In 2010, I suggested replacing Ill-Gotten Gains with Slithermuse. I found that games where I would play IGG as Mindtwist, I would much rather not go into topdeck mode. If IGG resolved against control, then why would I bother going into topdeck mode when I could simply win with Slithermuseon the spot? I tried out Slithermuse in the Pact list and absolutely loved it. Unfortunately, the Pact list is the only list where it is playable because you have such a high chance of going off on the first few turns of the game. If you have to wait a turn it becomes a D5 instead of a D7. I didnít find it difficult to win after drawing 7 cards instead of completing the IGG loop. Also, it would allow me to still get the win when I had the Ďwrong ritualí in the graveyard. Returning something like Dark Ritual, LED, IT is certainly strong, but when your acceleration is Cabal Ritual or Culling the Weak, the IGG loop doesnít always work because you may not have enough mana floating after you cast IGG. Slithermuse makes more opening hands keepable than in the IGG version, and it also has an occasional interaction with Culling the Weak. However, its gets weaker if you are on the play or if you donít go off in the first few turns of the game. Itís a personal choice though and I donít recommend it unless you are very comfortable piloting the Pact list.

    Now, not every SI variant plays this IGG configuration. The list that doesnít is the anti-control list known as Quasi-Spanish Inquisition (QSI). Its not nearly as fast but has a pretty consistent kill rate between turns 2 and 3. As you can probably imagine, the IGG loop is terrible against control; its akin to putting all your eggs in one basket, banking on the opponent not having an answer for IT, as well as giving the opponent back their countermagic through IGG. QSI takes a different approach:
    4 Meditate
    4 Brainstorm
    4 Ponder

    The QSI list also plays Underground Seas and Polluted Deltas to facilitate multiple attempts at a lethal spell chain. Meditate at the end of turn is one of QSIís strongest plays against control. Either your opponent uses up his counterspell and you can go off after you untap, or you can go off on your turn with 11 cards in hand. Brainstorm and Ponder allow you to sculpt a decent hand before you go off or help you dig deeper on your combo turn. QSI also plays a good protection suite:
    4 Cabal Therapy
    4 Shield Sphere
    4 Phyrexian Walker

    Often you should just name Force of Will or Counterbalance. Tallmen enable you to play the flashback. Therapy is an excellent piece of protection because you can use it twice if you need to go off more than once or you can remove multiple pieces of protection from your opponents hand before going off. The tallmen also enable you to block for the first few turns of the game while you play your cantrips, protection, and hit your land drops.

    - How to Play -

    Due to the volatile nature of the draw 4 engine, SI is a very difficult deck to play. Whenever you have invested resources into a draw 4, you must constantly evaluate the odds. How much business is left in the deck? What do you need to continue the spell chain? Do you have mana floating? These are obviously very important questions, but there are two questions that are significantly more important:
    - Should I mulligan?
    - Should I continue the spell chain?

    As I mentioned earlier, SI mulligans better than any other deck in the format; its one of SIís greatest strengths. Knowing when to mulligan and when to keep is crucial to playing SI. When looking at your 7, you ought to quickly identify initial mana sources, business, and acceleration. If you cannot identify a keepable hand quickly, your opponent might put you on combo and mulligan for hate.

    Now, trying to explain how to play SI is entirely list dependent. A PSI line of play will be completely different from a QSI line of play. In general, I will speak of the faster lists. QSI is a completely different animal but it is not hard to judge how to play QSI if you learn first how to play the faster, more volatile lists.

    In game 1 against an unknown opponent, you should try to get a fast hand. If your hand is all mana sources and acceleration, you might want to mulligan that hand for a hand that can go off on the first turn. Then again, a hand with perpetual resources can be very powerful. Getting down some early land and Chrome Mox will allow you to go off multiple times. Such hands with perpetual resources are great against control because they allow you to go for the throat more than once, while one-time-use mana sources like Lotus Petal only allow you to go off once. If you can scout ahead and put your opponent on a deck, then you can better decide how to mulligan. In general, you should let non-disruptive aggro play first, and even non-disruptive combo like Belcher. Being on the draw makes going off much easier. Against control, try to win before they have access to resources other than FoW. If you are on the draw against control, try to mulligan into a hand with perpetual resources, or a hand that requires few resources to go off, or a hand with protection (if you play it).

    Now, SIís speed is its greatest strength, on the field and off the field. Against non-FoW decks, your games will likely be brief. Iíve had matches end in less than 5 minutes. That gives you a lot of time to scout and put players on decks, even watch them board. In smaller tournaments where scouting is actually relevant, fast games work to your advantage because your opponents will not be able to see what you are playing or how you are boarding. Even if you are known as Ďthe SI guyí in a local metagame, the MD and the SB are both very flexible and allow you to play different tech whenever you feel like it.

    - Boarding -

    One of the most common tech players switch between is playing a post-board protection plan or a man-plan. Protection plans vary quite a bit but they usually run a few of the following cards:
    - Cabal Therapy
    - Duress
    - Unmask
    - Pact of Negation
    - Xantid Swarm

    Cabal Therapy and Xantid Swarm see the most play because both provide protection in more than one instance; however, Therapy can sometimes miss and requires you to play multiple creatures while Swarm is vulnerable to creature removal. Unmask and Pact are both free protection, but Pact of Negation is bad with LED and Unmask requires you to pitch something.

    Recently, Autumnís Veil was unveiled in the M11 spoiler. This is the best protection spell we could have ever hoped for. Not only is it a virtual Orimís Chant, protecting our spell chains from countermagic, it doesnít have to be played before we go off. If the opponent responds to a spell with FoW, we can respond with Veil. Once Veil resolves, FoW can no longer legally target your spell. In that sense, we arenít forced to play Veil until we need to. This is a huge advantage as we might need the Veil to imprint on Chrome Mox later in the spell chain or we might need the green source to play a Cabal Ritual. It also protects our Xantid Swarms from blue and black removal (though this is marginal as we usually encounter white removal STP or PtE).

    The man-plan, pioneered in LGSI by B.C., runs a configuration of a few of the following cards:
    - Tomb of Urami
    - Tombstalker
    - Avatar of Discord
    - Phyrexian Negator
    - Phylactery Lich
    - Deathís Shadow

    Phyrexian Negator was great in the days of Landstill but it doesnít see much play these days. Deathís Shadow is decent as a 1 ofí; you need to lose life before its playable so its not good to see these guys in multiples. Tomb of Urami is easily the best part of the man-plan. After the first game, the opponent will usually let you play your acceleration and try to counter the business. Unfortunately for them, you can drop your Tomb after you hit 4 mana and then crack it. I have yet to test Lich but it looks pretty good. Avatar of Discord is probably the worst, second only to Negator, for obvious reasons. Tombstalker requires cards in the grave, but conveniently you can remove the rituals and mana sources you use to accelerate into it.

    In addition to protection spells and man-plan, there are several utility spells that the SI board can use.
    - Dark Confidant
    - Carpet of Flowers
    - Death Mark
    - Rebuild
    - Wipe Away
    - Chain of Vapor

    Dark Confidant is great; drawing an extra card each turn allows you to sculpt a great hand against control. It can also be pitched to Culling the Weak or Cabal Therapy. Carpet of Flowers is amazing tech. It acts as both a potential ritual mid combo and as a perpetual resource to facilitate multiple attempts at going off. Carpet has errata that enables you to choose which main phase youíd like to add the mana. So if your opponent has a few islands and you play it in your mainphase while going off, you can pass to your 2nd mainphase to add mana like a ritual. Its bad against Daze because then the opponent will have fewer islands, but even adding just 2 mana per turn is worth it in SI. Death Mark is great for taking out hatebears like Meddling Mage, Ethersworn Cannonist, and Gaddock Teeg. Usually you can just win before these guys hit play, but if a deck like Bant Survival or UW Tempo packs both bears and countermagic, it becomes a much stronger choice post-board. Rebuild is usually played in QSI as an answer to Trinisphere and Chalice of the Void. Wipe Away is QSIís answer to CB. Chain of Vapor is good both as a potential storm generator and as an answer to hatebears. Chain of Vapor can generate storm in QSI by playing out some artifacts, and then sacrificing lands to bounce the artifacts back to your hand. A few of these utility cards are usually run in addition to the man plan or the protection plan.

    - Lists -

    The different versions of SI are as follows. I will provide some example list but please note that each list is particularly flexible.
    - The Original List (SI) -
    Colby Evenpenceís original list with some outdated tech.
    SI
    Initial Mana Sources
    4 Land Grant
    2 Bayou
    4 Lotus Petal
    4 Chrome Mox

    Tall Men
    4 Ornithopter
    4 Phyrexian Walker
    4 Shield Sphere

    Acceleration
    4 Dark Ritual
    4 Cabal Ritual
    4 Culling the Weak
    4 Lion's Eye Diamond

    Business
    4 Cruel Bargain
    4 Infernal Contract
    4 Diabolic Intent
    2 Ill-Gotten Gains
    4 Tendrils of Agony

    SB
    4 Naturalize
    4 Massacre
    4 Cabal Therapy
    3 Defense Grid

    - Land Grant SI (LGSI) Ė
    Emidln and Team Blitzkriegís variation on the original list. It plays minimal protection in the form of Cabal Therapy, usually plays a man-plan post-board, and plays Goblin Charbelcher as an alternative kill condition. It has a 50% turn 1 kill rate.
    LGSI
    Initial Mana Sources
    2 Bayou
    4 Land Grant
    4 Lotus Petal
    4 Chrome Mox

    Tallmen
    4 Phyrexian Walker
    4 Shield Sphere

    Acceleration
    4 Dark Ritual
    4 Cabal Ritual
    4 Culling the Weak
    4 Lion's Eye Diamond

    Protection
    4 Cabal Therapy

    Business
    4 Cruel Bargain
    4 Infernal Contract
    4 Infernal Tutor
    2 Ill-Gotten Gains
    3 Tendrils of Agony
    1 Goblin Charbelcher

    SB
    4 Xantid Swarm
    4 Tomb of Urami
    4 Tombstalker
    3 Phylactery Lich

    - Glimpse SI (GSI) Ė
    Iranonís variation on the LGSI that runs Glimpse of Nature as a supplemental draw engine. Itís a little faster than the classic LGSI list but foregoes protection for this additional speed boost.
    GSI
    4 Land Grant
    2 Bayou

    4 Lotus Petal
    4 Chrome Mox
    4 Lion's Eye Diamond
    4 Dark Ritual
    4 Cabal Ritual
    4 Culling the Weak

    4 Shield Sphere
    4 Phyrexian Walker
    2 Ornithopter

    4 Infernal tutor
    4 Cruel Bargain
    4 Infernal Contract
    2 Glimpse of Nature
    2 Ill-Gotten Gains

    3 Tendrils of Agony
    1 Goblin Charbelcher

    - SI-TES Ė
    A variation on LGSI that drops Charbelcher for Empty the Warrens and Land Grant for a Fetchlands/Badlands suite. The current lists also play Burning Wish. It has about a 40% turn 1 kill rate but can often just land an early Empty the Warrens and win on turn 2.
    SITES
    Business
    1 Tendrils of Agony
    3 Empty the Warrens
    2 Infernal Tutor
    4 Burning Wish
    4 Cruel Bargain
    4 Infernal Contract

    Acceleration
    4 Crimson Kobolds
    3 Kobolds of Kher Keep
    4 Dark Ritual
    4 Cabal Ritual
    4 Culling the Weak
    4 Simian Spirit Guide
    4 Lion's Eye Diamond
    4 Lotus Petal
    4 Chrome Mox
    4 Bloodstained Mire
    2 Badlands
    1 Bayou

    SB
    1 Diminishing Returns
    1 Balance of Power
    1 Empty the Warrens
    1 Tendrils of Agony
    1 Deathmark
    1 Meltdown
    1 Shattering Spree
    1 Reverent Silence
    1 Thoughtseize
    3 Xantid Swarm
    3 Autumnís Veil

    - Quasi-SI (QSI) Ė
    Emidlnís variation (props to Marit for contributing an updated list) on SI that lacks the IGG loop, but plays Meditate and cantrips to improve the control matchup. It has a relatively low turn 1 kill rate but kills consistently on turns 2/3.

    QSI
    Lands
    4 Polluted Delta
    4 Underground Sea

    Creatures
    3 Phyrexian Walker
    4 Shield Sphere

    Spells
    4 Cabal Ritual
    4 Culling the Weak
    3 Cruel Bargain
    3 Meditate
    3 Tendrils of Agony
    4 Dark Ritual
    4 Brainstorm
    4 Cabal Therapy
    4 Infernal Contract
    4 Chrome Mox
    4 Lotus Petal
    4 Ponder

    SB
    1 Meditate
    4 Dark Confidant
    4 Rebuild
    2 Island
    2 Wipe Away
    2 Swamp

    - Pact SI (PSI) -
    Breathweaponís variation on LGSI that plays Summonerís Pact and Elvish Spirit Guide in place of the tallmen. It is the fastest list with a turn 1 kill rate of 60-65%.
    PSI
    Business
    1 Slithermuse
    2 Goblin Charbelcher
    3 Tendrils of Agony
    4 Infernal Tutor
    4 Infernal Contract
    4 Cruel Bargain

    Mana
    1 Eternal Witness
    1 Odious Trow
    2 Manamorphose
    4 Summoner's Pact
    4 Elvish Spirit Guide
    4 Lion's Eye Diamond
    4 Lotus Petal
    4 Chrome Mox
    4 Dark Ritual
    4 Cabal Ritual
    4 Culling the Weak
    4 Land Grant
    1 Bayou
    1 Dryad Arbor

    SB
    4 Carpet of Flowers
    4 Xantid Swarm
    3 Duress
    2 Goblin Charbelcher
    2 Tomb of Urami

    - Draw-7 SI (DSI) -
    An experimental variation on PSI that Direlemming and I have been working on that runs Burning Wish and Infernal Tutor, which adds additional speed through a D7 engine in the wishboard. Its still in its developmental stages but the most recent list is pushing a 70% turn 1 kill rate.
    No list available ATM. Still in developmental stages.

    - Potential Tech -
    This is a section for tech you can use in your lists that may not necessarily be in any of the conventional lists. If something isn't on this list that you think could go here, give it a test and tell us about it.

    Null Profusion - Decent as a 1'of engine. Works better in Land Grant lists
    Manamorphose - Color fixing cycler
    Living Wish - Facilitates a wish board in PSI
    Death Wish - A decent supplement to Infernal Tutor
    Grim Tutor - See above
    Oxidize - Artifact removal
    Slaughter Pact - Creature removal
    Serum Powder - Improve mulligans post-board
    Pact of Negation - Free protection
    Unmask - Free protection
    Defense Grid - Protection that doesn't die to creature removal
    Planar Void - Cheap way to hose decks that like graveyards
    More to come...

    - Matchups -
    This section is entirely list dependent. I will have some basic percentages up at some point but I will leave it blank for the moment. Just know that the close to PSI the list is, the worse it probably is against control. SITES falls in the middle, and QSI is great against control.

    - Suggested List -

    PSI
    Business - 19
    1 Empty the Warrens
    1 Ill-Gotten Gains
    4 Goblin Charbelcher
    1 Tendrils of Agony
    4 Infernal Tutor
    4 Infernal Contract
    4 Cruel Bargain

    Mana - 41
    1 Deathrite Shaman
    1 Wild Cantor
    1 Skyshroud Cutter
    4 Summoner's Pact
    4 Elvish Spirit Guide
    4 Lion's Eye Diamond
    4 Lotus Petal
    4 Chrome Mox
    4 Dark Ritual
    4 Cabal Ritual
    4 Culling the Weak
    4 Land Grant
    1 Bayou
    1 Dryad Arbor

    SB - 15
    4 Carpet of Flowers
    4 Lotus Bloom
    4 Duress
    3 Thoughtseize


    This is the list I would suggest. The maindeck has many Pactmen options. Deathrite Shaman is a much better version of Odious Trow since we can keep it in against Threshold as an occasional bomb that shrinks their yard and softens our life total. Skyshroud Cutter is a 0cc creature if you've played Bayou, Dryad Arbor is 0cc if you haven't played Bayou. Wild Cantor is a fantastic color fixer. Empty the Warrens > Slithermuse since EtW can stay in post-board, gives us maindeck outs to a few hate pieces like Leyline of Sanctity. IGG is better than PIF because its pretty much an autoloop. 4 Charbelcher is necessary for the post-board plan. You board out your Pacts/Pactmen/Culling package for timebomb acceleration like Lotus Bloom and Carpet. They aren't as explosive initially, but they provide you with a much better long game against control as you pound at their hand with disruption. Thoughtseize is actually quite good since it can take bears and Vendillion Clique. Clique + Karakas against a UW variant on top of all their hard permission is pretty tough to work around.



    - Sample hands -

    - PSI Sample Hands -
    PSI
    Business
    1 Slithermuse
    2 Goblin Charbelcher
    3 Tendrils of Agony
    4 Infernal Tutor
    4 Infernal Contract
    4 Cruel Bargain

    Mana
    1 Eternal Witness
    1 Odious Trow
    2 Manamorphose
    4 Summoner's Pact
    4 Elvish Spirit Guide
    4 Lion's Eye Diamond
    4 Lotus Petal
    4 Chrome Mox
    4 Dark Ritual
    4 Cabal Ritual
    4 Culling the Weak
    4 Land Grant
    1 Bayou
    1 Dryad Arbor


    Color added for clarity.

    H1: Pact, Pact, Dark Ritual, Land Grant, Cruel Bargain, Culling the Weak (mull to 6)
    Land Grant--> Bayou, Dark Ritual, Cruel Bargain
    Draw4: Infernal Tutor, Infernal Tutor, Cabal Ritual, Chrome Mox
    Chrome Mox (IT), Pact-->ESG, Pact--> Odious Trow, ESG--> Trow, Culling the Weak (BBBB), Cabal Ritual (BBBBBBB), Infernal Tutor--> Tendrils for 22.

    Notice that another line of play allows you to go first for Culling the Weak line of play, then Dark Ritual, which allows you to Infernal Tutor for Cabal Ritual for extra storm.
    Also, please note that I have not played either of the 2 Pacts until after Iíve drawn 4. This is not always the optimal play. Considering Culling the Weak is already in hand, we know that we are going to play Pact-->ESG and Pact-->Odious Trow; however, I played this hand more conservatively. If played a Bargain into no Business, then it might be a better plan to wait until you draw a business spell, having already had Bayou in play. The other option is to fetch those 2 cards out of your deck and play Culling the Weak before you play the D4. This increases your chances of not drawing those cards off the D4 itself. The other down side to this would be not having access to the Eternal Witness line of play if you drew a topdeck like LED, LED, Trow, Lotus Petal. Itís a trade off and ultimately up to the pilot, who should take into account if he needs a win now situation, or a more conservative line of play.


    H2: ESG, Lotus Petal, Infernal Contract, Tendrils, Cabal Ritual, Cabal Ritual, Infernal Tutor
    ESG, Lotus Petal (BG), Cabal Ritual (BBB), Cabal Ritual (BBBB), Infernal Contract (B)
    Draw 4: LED, Chrome Mox, Chrome Mox, Cabal Ritual
    Chrome Mox (Tendrils) (BB), Chrome Mox (nothing), Cabal Ritual, LED, Infernal Tutor (breaking LED in response for BBB) --> Tendrils for 20.

    Notice that another line of play allows you to imprint Cabal Ritual on Chrome Mox, and Infernal Tutor for Belcher. You will be mana short of activating it, but you already have 2 mana in play and mostly mana sources in the deck. Yet another option would be to break LED for UUU and find Slithermuse, drawing 7 cards.

    H3: ESG, Tendrils, Manamorphose, Chrome Mox, Dark Ritual, Infernal Contract (mull to 6)
    ESG, Chrome Mox (Tendrils) (GB), Manamorphose (BB) draw--> Tendrils of Agony, Dark Ritual (BBBB), Infernal Contract (B)
    Draw 4: Pact, Chrome Mox, LED, LED
    LED, LED, Chrome Mox (Tendrils), Pact (breaking LEDís for GGGBBB) --> Eternal Witness--> Infernal Contract (BB)
    Draw 4: Tendrils of Agony, Infernal Contract, Culling the Weak, Land Grant
    Land Grant--> Dryad Arbor, Culling the Weak (BBBBB), Tendrils for 24.

    H4: Pact, Pact, Pact, Slithermuse, Lotus Petal, LED (mull to 6)
    Pact--> ESG, Pact--> ESG, Pact--> ESG, LED, Lotus Petal (GGGU), Slithermuse (breaking LED in response for BBB)
    Draw 7: Culling the Weak, Tendrils of Agony, Tendrils of Agony, Chrome Mox, Infernal Tutor, Land Grant, Culling the Weak
    Land Grant--> Dryad Arbor, Culling the Weak (BBBBBB), Chrome Mox (Culling the Weak) (BBBBBBB), Tendrils for 20.

    H5: Pact, Pact, Chrome Mox, Dark Ritual, Cabal Ritual, Cruel Bargain, Infernal Contract
    Pact--> Odious Trow, Chrome Mox (Trow) (B), Dark Ritual, Cabal Ritual, Infernal Contract
    Draw 4: Land Grant, Land Grant, Pact, Culling the Weak
    Land Grant--> Dryad Arbor, Culling the Weak (BBBB), Infernal Contract (B)
    Draw 4: Manamorphose, Eternal Witness, Slithermuse, Chrome Mox
    Pact-->ESG, Pact--> ESG, Manamorphose (BBU) drawing Culling the Weak, Chrome Mox (Culling the Weak) (BBBU), Slithermuse
    Draw 6: LED, ESG, Pact, Manamorphose, ESG, Lotus Petal
    LED, ESG, Pact--> ESG, ESG (GGG), Manamorphose--> (BGG) drawing Dark Ritual, Dark Ritual (BBBGG), Lotus Petal (BBBBGG), Eternal Witness (BBB)--> (breaking LED in response for UUU) Slithermuse (BB)
    Draw 7: Land Grant, Chrome Mox, Bayou, Infernal Tutor, Tendrils of Agony, Infernal Contract, Cabal Ritual
    Chrome Mox (Infernal Tutor) (BBB), Cabal Ritual (BBBBBB), Tendrils for 44

    H6: Pact, ESG, Manamorphose, Dark Ritual, Infernal Tutor, LED (mull to 6)
    Pact--> ESG, ESG, Manamorphose (BB)--> Land Grant, Land Grant--> Bayou, (BBB), Dark Ritual (BBBBB) LED, Infernal Tutor (breaking LED in response for UUU) (BBBBBU) --> Slithermuse (0)
    Draw 7: Dark Ritual, Lotus Petal, Lotus Petal, ESG, Land Grant, Infernal Tutor, Chrome Mox
    Chrome Mox (Land Grant), Petal x2 (BBBBG), ESG, (BBBBGG), Dark Ritual (BBBBBBGG) Infernal Tutor--> Tendrils for 24.

    H7: Land Grant, Land Grant, LED, Dark Ritual, Chrome Mox, Goblin Charbelcher (mull to 6)
    Option 1:
    T1: Land Grant-->Dryad Arbor, pass
    T2: Draw Chrome Mox, Land Grant--> Bayou (BG), Dark Ritual (BBBG), LED, Belcher, activate for the kill.
    Option 2:
    T1: Land Grant--> Bayou, Chrome Mox (Land Grant) (BG), Dark Ritual (BBBG), LED, Belcher, activate for 28.

    The first option has less risk of a misfire. Even so, you have both Land Grant and Bayou in play in option 2, which means you have a high probability of a 2nd activation if the first misfired.

    H8: Lotus Petal, Dark Ritual, Cruel Bargain, Infernal Contract, Tendrils of Agony, Land Grant (mull to 6)
    Lotus Petal (B), Dark Ritual (BBB), Infernal Contract (0),
    Draw 4: Culling the Weak, Culling the Weak, Chrome Mox, Belcher
    Land Grant--> Dryad Arbor, Chrome Mox (Tendrils) (B), Culling the Weak--> Arbor (BBBB), Infernal Contract (B)
    Draw 4: Bayou, Pact, Dark Ritual, Cabal Ritual
    Dark Ritual (BBB), Pact--> Odious Trow (BB), Culling the Weak (BBBBB), Cabal Ritual (BBBB BBBB), Belcher, activate for the kill

    H9: Land Grant, ESG, Infernal Contract, Cabal Ritual (mull to 4)
    T1: Land Grant--> Bayou, ESG (GB), Cabal Ritual (BBB), Infernal Contract
    Draw 4: Land Grant, Belcher, Culling the Weak, Culling the Weak
    Pass
    T2: Draw--> LED
    Land Grant--> Dryad Arbor, Culling the Weak (BBBB), Belcher, LED, activate for the kill


    H10: Infernal Contract, Infernal Contract, Culling the Weak, Lotus Petal, Cabal Ritual, ESG, Dark Ritual
    Lotus Petal, Dark Ritual, Cabal Ritual, Infernal Contract (B)
    Draw 4: Infernal Tutor, Pact, Pact, Dark Ritual
    Dark Ritual (BBB), Pact--> Dryad Arbor, Culling the Weak (BBB BBB), Pact--> ESG (BBB BBB G), Infernal Contract (BBB G)
    Draw 4: Infernal Tutor, Cabal Ritual, Chrome Mox, Culling the Weak
    Chrome Mox (Culling the Weak) (BBBB G), Infernal Tutor--> Cabal Ritual (BBB), Cabal Ritual (BBB BBB), Cabal Ritual (BBB BBB BBB), Infernal Tutor--> Tendrils for 30.

    Old Threads:
    http://www.mtgthesource.com/forums/s...Storm-Combo%29
    http://forums.mtgsalvation.com/showthread.php?t=58807
    Last edited by Vacrix; 01-25-2013 at 06:47 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Re: [Deck] Spanish Inquisition (B/x Storm Combo)

    reserved for matchups and sample hands
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  3. #3
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    Re: [Deck] Spanish Inquisition (B/x Storm Combo)

    Actually, this is merely a hilarious coincidence and was not how the deck got its name. Rather, the creator, Colby Evenpence, chose to name it the Spanish Inquisition because he planned on winning so quickly that his opponents would say "I wasn't expecting that," then Colby could reply, "Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!!"
    Awesome. I approve of this primer.
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    Re: [Deck] Spanish Inquisition (B/x Storm Combo)

    This is fantastic - thanks Vacrix!

    Which of the above lists would you class as the 'easiest' to learn (even if sacrificing some speed)? I know you once mentioned a version of PSI that had more manamorphose in it. Would be good for newcomers to know where best to start.
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  5. #5
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    Re: [Deck] Spanish Inquisition (B/x Storm Combo)

    It really depends on your playstyle (glasshouse vs. slowroll) and familiarity with storm. SI-TES is probably the easiest though. Usually you will just play one D4 into EtW for like 20 tokens and win on turn 2. Its a very easy to list to learn on IMO. There aren't too many intricate lines of play, not even an IGG loop. Just BW + LED into Tendrils or a D7 or IT into Tendrils/EtW/BW. My plan is to have 10 sample hands up for each basic list in order to show basic play and the more intricate puzzles people run into, especially in the more convoluted lists like PSI.
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  6. #6
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    Re: [Deck] Spanish Inquisition (B/x Storm Combo)

    Wow! Great Primer.

    EDIT:
    The hands plays are very useful, but I think that you use 5 ESG in your H5 and forgot to cast Dark Ritual before the fisrt Draw spells in your H3 and H6 hands ;)
    I need 4 Cruel Bargain ASAP :D
    Last edited by Gocho; 07-09-2010 at 05:35 AM.

  7. #7
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    Re: [Deck] Spanish Inquisition (B/x Storm Combo)

    Nope there are definitely only 4. One of the plays is Pact--> ESG and one is just ESG. So one is RFGing it. I'll definitely fix the Dark Rituals in H3/H6.
    Yes pick up your Bargains ASAP before they skyrocket. I'm getting flooded with PM's about this deck. Just post your suggestions/questions/comments/ideas here guys.

    Also, given the rising popularity of New Horizons, I'm considering adapting my board to include 4 Planar Void. It functions as a virtual Duress because they have to counter it. If they don't, their clock shrinks to an unspeakable speed. Depending on who played first, it might completely shut down their clock, leaving them with 0/1 Goyfs and 0/0 Terravores, and 2/2 KoTRs.
    Luck is a residue of design.



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  8. #8

    Re: [Deck] Spanish Inquisition (B/x Storm Combo)

    My New Horizons board has Meddling Mages for the extra combo beatz, but sane people are going to take out Engineered Explosives against combo (while leaving in Plowshares for Swarm/Bob) and not bring in Grip, and those are the only two non-counter answers for Planar Void.

    Meddling Mage is also not a common SB choice for NH, so I wouldn't worry about it too much. I play it because I have a lot of Ichorid in my meta and MM is anti-combo "splash damage" that just wrecks them.

  9. #9
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    Re: [Deck] Spanish Inquisition (B/x Storm Combo)

    Sure, the point is that you can't put on a clock quickly, lay down creatures, counter protection spells, AND blow EE for 1. It makes you work much harder and make tougher calls with your cantrips. Besides, nobody plays this deck. I don't expect you to even remember what I'm boarding in if you ever play me. The deck is a dark horse. Its too hard to play to ever get more than a handful of people playing it. Even in its glory days, I think we had a grand total of 10 people playing different versions. Maybe with so many ANT players grasping at straws we will have more.

    However, you do bring up a good point. The new list I suggested doesn't really have all too many outs for MM. I'm actually thinking about cutting something in the board for Cabal Pit. SI's grave fills up to 7 almost as fast as it does in Dredge. Having initial black sources that also get rid of bears seems pretty good.
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  10. #10

    Re: [Deck] Spanish Inquisition (B/x Storm Combo)

    I bought my Cruel Bargains this morning!

    I would just try to combo out against NH if you have Swarm/Veil up or play a "longer game" with Confidant. New Horizons intentionally trades a fast clock for massive board control inevitability. Sometimes, after boarding, they'll go down to nine creatures if they don't have Meddling Mage-you can take the EE out, but you sure as heck can't take out any of the blue package against combo and you can't take out plow due to swarm/Bob.

    Which means if you need to board in four cards you might can afford to take out a land (since you can't get hosed by wasteland), so if you have four or five combo hate cards in your board, you might have to start losing Terravores (which really aren't that impressive in combo MU anyway).

  11. #11
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    Re: [Deck] Spanish Inquisition (B/x Storm Combo)

    Vacrix has inspired me to get back in the game, so I've been doing a little work with the latest versions of SI. Here are my impressions so far:

    1) I don't like Slithermuse. It's expensive, off color, and the effect is unreliable (just like Windfall always was in Vintage).
    2) Summoner's Pact scares the shit out of me. I know it is fairly versatile and can do some crazy powerful stuff, but it says "you lose the game" on it. That's going to come up eventually, especially since there is pretty much no way to pay the "don't lose" cost.
    3) The most important card added since I last played this deck (Gencon 2007) is Dryad Arbor. Being able to Fetchland, Land Grant, or Pact for a free creature is unbelievably powerful.
    4) I can do without Charbelcher, but I need my Empty the Warrens. It's much too good not to have in the bag.
    5) Xantid Swarm maindeck is awesome.

    Based on these observations, I am currently throwing around a list that looks a little something like:

    1 Bayou
    1 Badlands
    1 Dryad Arbor
    2 Verdant Catacombs
    2 Wooded Foothills
    4 Xantid Swarm
    4 Crimson Kobolds
    2 Elvish Spirit Guide
    2 Simian Spirit Guide
    4 Dark Ritual
    4 Cabal Ritual
    4 Culling the Weak
    4 Lotus Petal
    4 Chrome Mox
    4 Lion's Eye Diamond
    4 Infernal Contract
    3 Cruel Bargain
    4 Burning Wish
    3 Infernal Tutor
    1 Ill-Gotten Gains
    1 Empty the Warrens
    1 Tendrils of Agony

    Sideboard:
    1 Ill-Gotten Gains
    1 Tendrils of Agony
    1 Empty the Warrens
    1 Cruel Bargain
    1 Infernal Tutor
    some other stuff...

    Testing so far has been pretty solid. I'll try to update with some stats or sample hands or something.

  12. #12
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    Re: [Deck] Spanish Inquisition (B/x Storm Combo)

    Quote Originally Posted by B.C. View Post
    Vacrix has inspired me to get back in the game, so I've been doing a little work with the latest versions of SI. Here are my impressions so far:

    1) I don't like Slithermuse. It's expensive, off color, and the effect is unreliable (just like Windfall always was in Vintage).
    2) Summoner's Pact scares the shit out of me. I know it is fairly versatile and can do some crazy powerful stuff, but it says "you lose the game" on it. That's going to come up eventually, especially since there is pretty much no way to pay the "don't lose" cost.
    3) The most important card added since I last played this deck (Gencon 2007) is Dryad Arbor. Being able to Fetchland, Land Grant, or Pact for a free creature is unbelievably powerful.
    4) I can do without Charbelcher, but I need my Empty the Warrens. It's much too good not to have in the bag.
    5) Xantid Swarm maindeck is awesome.

    Based on these observations, I am currently throwing around a list that looks a little something like:

    1 Bayou
    1 Badlands
    1 Dryad Arbor
    2 Verdant Catacombs
    2 Wooded Foothills
    4 Xantid Swarm
    4 Crimson Kobolds
    2 Elvish Spirit Guide
    2 Simian Spirit Guide
    4 Dark Ritual
    4 Cabal Ritual
    4 Culling the Weak
    4 Lotus Petal
    4 Chrome Mox
    4 Lion's Eye Diamond
    4 Infernal Contract
    3 Cruel Bargain
    4 Burning Wish
    3 Infernal Tutor
    1 Ill-Gotten Gains
    1 Empty the Warrens
    1 Tendrils of Agony

    Sideboard:
    1 Ill-Gotten Gains
    1 Tendrils of Agony
    1 Empty the Warrens
    1 Cruel Bargain
    1 Infernal Tutor
    some other stuff...

    Testing so far has been pretty solid. I'll try to update with some stats or sample hands or something.
    Thanks. I like being an inspiration.
    To answer your concerns..
    1. Slithermuse is great in the Pact list. I don't recommend it if you aren't comfortable replacing the IGG but I feel that IGG is really a crutch and it only works well if you have way too much mana floating already (via Crit), redudant resources for Culling the Weak, or Dark Ritual. 4/12 times you don't have the proper ritual to make it work unless you are sitting on x2 LED, in which case, why not just go for a D5-D7? At least, this is the justification, with the occassional interaction with Culling the Weak. More notably, it is completely immune to the random grave hate that players bring in, anticipating IGG. Also, I won a game off its back once after breaking LED in response against reanimator player who was at 1 life after Dryad Arbor beat down. I had 2 creatures to attack through his Iona on the next turn for the win. IGG would not have won this game. Also, its allowed me to keep way more opening hands and is hardly a dead draw mid combo while IGG sometimes is. Its ultimately a preference though. Also, Windfall is banned in Legacy for a reason; its awesome. I'm willing to play it at 3U. :D
    2. Someone at MTGS had a similar concern..
    Yes you will die to Pact sometimes. However, this doesn't even always happens. Hell one time in a tournament I only raised the storm count to 20 only to meet FoW on the 10th copy from Dredge post-board. I was sitting on Chrome Mox and LED. I break the LED and tap mox to save myself. 3 Turns later, I have the following hand: Infernal Tutor, Dark Ritual, LED --> GG
    You aren't always out of the game if you have extra resources
    Also, you can be careful with Pact. In hands where you are uncertain whether or not you can combo off, you shouldn't play it. In all in hands against stax where its purely a race, go all in and hope for the best. The deck will bail you out most of the time just because the resources are so redundant that you'll often find what you need if you have some mana floating after a blind D4 + LED or something risky like that. Also, you don't necessarily have to keep hands with Pact. If you know your opponent is playing control in game 1 from scouting or something, then mulligan for hand that doesn't need it, or if that hand is great, something like Lotus Petal x2, Dark Ritual x2, D4 x2, Pact, then keep that shit cause you will certainly have many options and many attempts at a spell chain, using Pact possibly on the following turn as Daze protection. Also, the deck now bails you out better than it ever did when it ran tallmen. The Eternal Witness line of play has made previously horrible hands with Pact playable. Further, keep in mind that Pact doesn't even stay in against control in games 2/3. You board it out for Carpet of Flowers, a much stronger choice against control.
    3. Yes Arbor is awesome. I think that Autumn's Veil is a far more important addition to the deck, giving us access to x8 protection post-board that also protects the IGG loop, and if occassional bounce on Swarm.
    4. EtW is awesome. SI-TES is looking pretty strong atm. Keep in mind that decks like popular Tempo based control like New Horizons pack MD Stifle these days, which is good against EtW and not so much against Belcher. Just something to think about but in general I agree that EtW is stronger. Belcher, however, is very strong in SI. I can't say how many games I've won by baiting with D4's, and then using Carpet to resolve a Belcher.
    5. Yes it is.

    Your list looks like a pretty solid SITES hybrid. IDK if A split between ESG and SSG is the right call. You have way more need for red than green, needing your red for Burning Wish, and especially EtW post-board when you bring in 2 more against control. If you had Autumn's Veil in the post board then maybe this split will be more justified. Even so, I'm curious to see how it works out for you. Definitely post share your results, stats, etc.
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  13. #13

    Re: [Deck] Spanish Inquisition (B/x Storm Combo)

    Awesome primer.

    I really wish that the Crzuel Bargains were a bit cheaper, because this deck looks really funny and strong.
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  14. #14
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    Re: [Deck] Spanish Inquisition (B/x Storm Combo)

    Yeah, that's really the only thing that's holding me back from getting this deck together.

    And, in initial MWS testing, Autumn's Veil has been awesome.
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  15. #15
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    Re: [Deck] Spanish Inquisition (B/x Storm Combo)

    Props for the great primer, Vacrix. I'm seriously considering to finally buy myself those draw-4s and start playing this glass-cannon.
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  16. #16

    Re: [Deck] Spanish Inquisition (B/x Storm Combo)

    Troll and Toad had a bunch of them for $12 last week. I only bought one to finish my set; I was surprised to find that they had gone down in price. :shrug:

  17. #17
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    Re: [Deck] Spanish Inquisition (B/x Storm Combo)

    Excellent summary.

    Something about the match-ups and reasons to play SI: To have a noticable edge against the deck, an opponent needs a relevant number of tools to survive turn 1-2 AND a relevant number of tools to put the game away quickly. A conventional clock with counter backup is not usually enough - decks like Merfolk will usually run out of counters before SI runs out of threats.
    Details differ from version to version, but SI typically has either tall men to buy time or Spirit Guides to make playing around Daze-like effects easier.

    Likewise, any amount of heavy duty hate that shuts down SI for good is irrelevant if the opponent dies before they play it.To use the most icnoic example: Turn by turn, percentage chances of Stax doing something gamewinning < SI killing outright < Stax doing something relevant that may very well win. If they don't run free counters in addition to the lock pieces, it never gets much worse than a coinflip... and most prison decks dilute their lockdown for various tools that won't be relevant here.

    *

    Something to the kill percentages themselves: Players report very different ones, and it's not entirely dependent on the list. SI features a lot of card draw, a relatively small number of initial black mana sources and usually little tutoring/filtering before going off. This means shuffling habits make a huge difference. I'm emphatically not referring to intentional deck stacking, simply to the fact that full randomisation through manual shuffling isn't possible. The frequent complaints about the MWS shuffler - and SI has been accused of being awesome IRL and unplayable on MWS - are more likely to result from being accustomed to less then perfect randomisation than faults of the algorithm.

    Some reported turn-1-percentages on the play are higher than theoretical chances of having both initial mana and possibly sufficient business (e.g. a single IGG or Tendrils is never sufficient irrespective of mana; a single draw4 may be) even assuming a couple of mulligans. And, of course, hands that can go off don't always win immediately.
    Nevertheless: even with randomisation through MWS or something similar, a fast list should have an about even chance to kill on turn 1 without pushing the deck (e.g. you'd keep a turn-2 kill with some redundancy) and topping 60% is certainly possible with many. Something like QSI and versions relying heavily on Empty the Warrens naturally aren't optimised for first-turn kills but they can certainly pull them off and provide other benefits.

    @ Vacrix and others claiming higher achievable turn-1 percentages: Have you been able to reach these in something like MWS? Naturally, that won't reflect tournament conditions as well but comparing goldfishing results from different people working on different versions is very difficult if an obvious source of error is having a higher impact than the list.

    *

    Regarding the Glimpse list: I'd like to point out that the second IGG is questionable. For best anti-goldfish-performance this would be a 3rd Glimpse, in the real-world it may be a second IGG/Belcher or whatever throw-in you think may be useful.

  18. #18

    Re: [Deck] Spanish Inquisition (B/x Storm Combo)

    Hi,
    i am really not an expert in playing Storm Combo, but goldfished your "Pact SI (PSI)" a bit. All testing was done on mws. I did some work on this list, not knowing if it`s good or not: +1 Bayou -1 Land Grant -3 Diabolic Intents -1 Witness +2 Manamorphose + 1 Tendrils +1 Odious Trow

    Problems i had while I aprrox goldfishes 10 times with 7 cards hand not mulliganning:
    1) I had lots of hand with 0 black mana ( LED not counted as black mana)
    2) I often lacked the creature on turn 1 to get the Culling off
    3) On turn 2 i often lacked the mana or the 2nd creature to get the 2nd Culling off ( Culling is too foten dead)
    4) Even with Manamorphose Slithermuse is hard to cast

    Pros: We can often start Xantid go and then go off on turn 2, but whiffing is still possible

    I don`t love Odious yet...

    But like i said i am a big noob

  19. #19
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    Re: [Deck] Spanish Inquisition (B/x Storm Combo)

    @Iranon
    Percentages in MWS have massive fluctuations. Even so, you can still get an accurate depiction of how the deck plays. Once you know the theory well, you can pilot it well IRL, hence the tendency toward better percentages IRL than on MWS and its shitty shuffler. I pile shuffle every single hand I draw, without exception, even mulligans. Its been work out.
    As for percentages in general, I don't like them. In my matchup analysis I won't be giving any. Percentages vary so much from person to person that stating them accurately would only have a point if I tested against an optimal pilot of both decks. The fact is, this deck is a dark horse. Almost nobody knows how to play against it properly and I doubt that will change, even if the number of people playing it rises from 1(me) to 20. The deck beats other players as often as they beat themselves playing against it, especially when you factor in discard. Honestly, people pick the right card less than half the time. I'll talk about strategy and counter strategy in the matchups (not finished just yet), but again, I don't believe in percentages unless its in goldfishing.
    For the record, the first big tournament I played SI at I took 3rd, losing to Stax due to a play mistake. That tournament really sold me on the deck though. I had a ridiculous number of turn 1 kills, can't recall exactly how many but it was really unbelievable.

    @unicoerner
    Your edits don't make too much sense. I don't have a list that has Land Grant and Diabolic Intent. I think that you accidentally switched the 2 lists. Decks that play Land Grant should ALWAYS play Belcher. Otherwise, you might as well play more lands like in the Diabolic Intent list. I got rid of Belcher in the lands list (which is experimental ATM, I'll be testing it today), and added Diabolic Intent to open up more Slithermuse lines of play. Cutting Witness is a tough call. I prefer it because it makes more D4's keepable. Manamorphose will help you goldfish initially, color fixing and cycling one card deeper, but I'm sure you will drop it as you become more familiar with PSI.

    I took me about 20 tries to figure out how to go off with the classic LG list. Its all about the mulligans, knowing when to pass the turn, etc. You will rarely go off with your initial 7 in all 10 hands. Maybe about half the time, if not less. The deck still goes off turn 1 with 5 and 6 cards. Don't be afraid to mulligan. Sometimes I just practice mulliganing like 100 times to make sure I know the opening hands. It doesn't even take that long because you aren't actually playing it out.
    If you find that you have few hands with initial black, you can run Wild Cantor so you have the line of play Pact--> Wild Cantor + Pact/ESG for initial black. Also, Pact-->Trow + Chrome Mox works as well.
    You should have no problem going off with Culling the Weak in a list with 15 tallmen... unless you are keeping your opening 7.
    Slithermuse is not going to be cast often. I tend to hold my Lotus Petals in hand for this exact reason. Usually your line of play will be Diabolic Intent/Infernal Tutor + LED --> Slithermuse. LED gives you the UUU you need to cast it. Manamorphose has enabled me to cast it a few times as well, as does Wild Cantor.

    Again, you cannot play this deck if you cannot mulligan. SI mulligans better than any other deck in the format. You best use that to your advantage.
    Luck is a residue of design.



    I'm an aspiring Psychedelic Trance musician. Please feel free to enjoy my sense of life:
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    Expect me or die. I play SI.

  20. #20

    Re: [Deck] Spanish Inquisition (B/x Storm Combo)

    I'm kind of tempted to pick this up (mostly due to the sexiness of Autumn's Veil), but I have like.. zero experience playing combo.

    It's attractive to me because I already own 1 Bayou, 1 Badlands, 2 Chrome Mox, and 1 LED... So the money I'd have to drop on it would be pretty manageable. Also, it seems like it's currently even better positioned to catch people with their pants down than it was before (due to all the pissing and moaning about "Oh, the Mystical Tutor ban nerfed combo... "Guess I can drop my sideboard hate?")

    However, since I'm not really experienced playing any sort of Storm combo list, is this an overly ambitious deck to try to start on? Are there some builds that are easier to learn than others? Is maindeck Manamorphose enough of a reliable crutch to let me get some wins while I learn the ropes?
    Last edited by DukeDemonKn1ght; 07-11-2010 at 09:19 PM.
    Bless your heart, we must consider Blue/White Tempo's strategy and win percentages in an entirely different deck thread. -4eak

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