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Thread: [Deck] TES (The EPIC Storm)

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    [Deck] TES (The EPIC Storm)

    Alright, where to begin? This article is here to teach you everything there is to know about The EPIC Storm. The EPIC Storm was created by me Bryant Cook, along with my team The EPIC Syndicate, as an attempt to make a valid storm based deck. The mechanic Storm was first printed in the set Scourge; storm copies the spell that is cast for how many spells are played before it that turn. You may be saying,”…And I care why?” You see certain cards with the mechanic storm can be used as win conditions - such as the win conditions Tendrils of Agony and Brain Freeze. When The EPIC Storm was created the only valid win condition for sorcery speed combo was Tendrils of Agony. This means you’d need a storm count of ten to kill someone with Tendrils of Agony. This is accomplished by playing zero casting cost artifacts, acceleration, and tutors. Innovation on The EPIC Storm really started with the release of Cold Snap and Time Spiral; these two sets gave The EPIC Storm the endurance it needed to survive with cards such as Rite of Flame and Empty the Warrens.

    General History
    One of the initial problems of The EPIC Storm was that reaching a storm count of ten was impossible with your 7 card hand; to solve this problem we knew we had a few options. Either A) Add draw to the deck, B) Add tutors to the deck or C) Add “Win now” cards to the deck (Ill-Gotten Gains and Diminishing Returns). To help us we decided to utilize tutors, eventually we did all 3 options in separate time frames. The preliminary list of the deck contained only tutors. Although this solved the problem of reaching a storm count, then there were no “Bombs” or a real reason for tutors to be in the deck. With the addition of Diminishing Returns and Ill-Gotten Gains the deck had strong tutor cards outside of Tendrils of Agony. Draw was added much later in the evolution of The EPIC Storm; the deck in its infancy went through millions of changes and cuts.

    The deck ran different ways of producing mana until Cold Snap came out and the inclusion of Rite of Flame was added, making the deck even faster while freeing up slots in the main deck. With the ever exciting release of Cold Snap I was ecstatic along with other members of EPIC; this set gave The EPIC Storm the cards it needed to man handle the control match-up. With the Addition of Grapeshot the deck had a way around a troublesome card Meddling Mage, while gaining another win condition. Grapeshot was the card that shined out to me personally, then was cut later in time. Then Adam Barnello (Mr. Nightmare) of the EPIC Syndicate advised me to test Empty the Warrens. I was skeptical at first and then astonished; this card allows you do ridiculous things to the Threshold match-up while allowing you to combo out more easily. At this point in time there were debated slots in the deck and this is when draw option A was included with Brainstorm.

    Choosing The EPIC Storm
    “Why play The EPIC Storm?” It’s a logical question. I sure won’t pick up a deck without good reason. The EPIC storm has something that other combo decks just don’t have – no, not good-looks - but being both fast yet stable. Most combo decks trade one for the other or settle for a slower average win while having both. You’re probably still thinking “…And why do I care?” am I right? There’s one blistering fact about The EPIC Storm that separates it from the rest - its ability to not care about all the hate thrown at it. The deck can win through the million obstacles put in its way. I would list the millions of hate cards that people play but more than likely I would forget one and people will assume I lose to it so I won’t. However if the deck is piloted by a strong player the deck can fight through anything.

    Many combo decks have to face the dreaded Meddling Mage, but with The EPIC Storm the Meddling Kids aren’t truly scary. The EPIC Storm has options that other storm based combo decks don’t have and one of them is simply winning with another card; between Tendrils of Agony AND Empty the Warrens, you should never have a problem with Meddling Mage. Another option is the multitalented card Burning Wish; you’ll Burning Wish for Earthquake or Rough/Tumble to deal with multiple chants from Mages. The last and probably weakest option is going to be Cabal Pit. I call it the weakest because you almost never want to tutor for a land and therefore “miss” your land drop to kill something pesky. However being a land has a side effect of being uncounterable which is good enough for its inclusion.

    Finally my reason to play The EPIC Storm is the fact it is challenging to play and I dislike decks that you can play on “Auto-Pilot.” This deck takes time and practice to learn how to play correctly and it can only increase your playskill. That may turn people/players away, but decks that require skill to play are generally thought provoking and complicated and if someone can’t handle it they shouldn’t have mounted the bull anyways. If you’re prepared to grab the bull by the horns and are ready for the long run continue reading.

    The Deck List
    The EPIC Storm

    Lands
    4 City of Brass
    4 Gemstone Mine
    2 Undiscovered Paradise
    1 Tomb of Urami

    Creatures
    4 Xantid Swarm

    Spells
    4 Lion's Eye Diamond
    4 Lotus Petal
    4 Chrome Mox
    1 Ill-Gotten Gains
    4 Burning Wish
    2 Tendrils of Agony
    4 Dark Ritual
    4 Cabal Ritual
    4 Infernal Tutor
    4 Plunge into Darkness
    1 Diminishing Returns
    4 Rite of Flame
    1 Empty the Warrens
    4 Brainstorm

    Sideboard
    SB: 1 Ill-Gotten Gains
    SB: 1 Tendrils of Agony
    SB: 1 Diminishing Returns
    SB: 3 Empty the Warrens
    SB: 1 Tranquility
    SB: 2 Shattering Spree
    SB: 4 Dark Confidant
    SB: 1 Earthquake
    SB: 1 Duress

    The Deck Breakdown

    The Mana Base
    Since The EPIC Storm is a four color deck it cannot run on dual lands which means we will need an alternative source of many colors of mana. Lands such as City of Brass, Gemstone Mine and Undiscovered Paradise are key factors to The EPIC Storm for their ability to produce any color of mana. “But why is more than one color important?” Well you see being able to cast first turn Xantid Swarm then second turn Plunge into Darkness is a key factor, this is one of many examples. Not being able to cast cards in the deck due to them being different colors can often hinder your ability to win fast. Tomb of Urami was added to the deck after a lot of consideration because it gets around Pyrostatic Pillar and Chalice of the Void. Then again it’s never a bad idea to just go beat down.

    Are eleven lands really enough? Believe it or not eleven lands is plenty with twelve artifact mana producing cards and twelve ritual effects, eleven lands works out perfectly.

    Tutors and Draw
    To play The EPIC Storm you must play tutors since the deck is (duh!) tutor based. This goes back the beginning with reaching that special storm number… what was it again? I believe it was ten. Let’s get onto the point. Tutors are what make this deck go round and without tutors that suit this deck, you’ll never reach a storm of ten. You need certain tutors for this deck because not all tutors work the same way as one another. Tutors such as Infernal Tutor synergize with other cards in your deck.

    Infernal Tutor is one of the most synergistic cards in the deck as you may or may not know. The card has incredible synergy with Lion’s Eye Diamond, Rite of Flame, and Ill-Gotten Gains. Lion’s Eye Diamond let’s your Infernal Tutor have Hellbent. This is accomplished by putting Infernal Tutor on the stack and using Lion’s Eye Diamond to discard your hand. Rite of Flame is also savagely good with Infernal Tutor, finding another Rite of Flame to increase your mana and increasing storm count is never a bad idea. Infernal Tutor with Ill-Gotten Gains may not seem like a “Combo” or very synergistic to you but it’s the only tutor in the deck that can come back reliably with Ill-Gotten Gains without causing too much harm. You see Burning Wish removes it’s self from the game and Plunge into Darkness can be very risky.

    Burning Wish may be the most powerful tutor of Legacy; I’m aware this is an opinion but the card has no drawback and is very powerful and versatile. The card allows broken turn one and two wins, while only increasing power in the middle to late game. It lets you access answers for problems that might occur with answers such as Shattering Spree, Tranquility, Earthquake or Rough/tumble and Empty the Warrens. While Burning Wish is not able to comeback with Ill-Gotten Gains it can however keep bringing back Ill-Gotten gains. This is important for ramping up your storm count; the more storm the better off you’ll be. The most tutored for cards off of Burning Wish are Diminishing Returns, Ill-Gotten Gains, Tendrils of Agony, and finally Empty the Warrens.

    The most thought provoking card in this deck is Plunge into Darkness. This card is the most frequently mis-played cards in the deck for many reasons. People often don’t know when to cast Plunge into Darkness, or how much life to pay with Plunge. All of your questions will be answered AND you’ll learn how to play it correctly!

    Plunge into Darkness has no one proper time to play it; it has many opportune times based on the hand you’re given. Here’s an example.

    It’s turn one on the play; your opening hand consists of Chrome Mox, City of Brass, Rite of Flame, Plunge into Darkness, Forbidden Orchard, Ill-Gotten Gains and Infernal Tutor. You have a few options here when it comes to Plunge into Darkness.
    Option A) Play a Land, pass the turn. Next turn play the other land, Plunge during their end step.
    Option B) Play a Land, play Chrome Mox (Removing: X) then casting Plunge into Darkness during your opponent’s end step.
    These two are the choices you’ll be deciding on, the question is “What’s more optimal?” Well Option A) is kind of slow, but is more stable While Option B) Lets you attempt to win turn two, and is slightly less stable. The correct choice is Option B) why though? With The EPIC Storm you will want to win as fast as possible if you have no idea what they’re playing. Now that you know one example, start practicing more and more until your arms get tired of shuffling. Practice makes perfect, don’t forget it.

    Now for the never ending question, “How much life do I pay with Plunge?” I hope this finally answers your questions so that my migraine will go away. “Well… how much do I pay?” it’s a simple question with many complicated answers. To correctly understand how to play Plunge into Darkness you will need to know many things. First off, what is your opponent playing? What turn is it? What is my life total? Am I winning next turn or now? Is Burning Wish in my hand? Is there anything I don’t want removed? How much mana do I have and of what colors? Am I using Plunge into Darkness as a set-up card or tutor? Lastly do I have another Plunge into Darkness? These are the questions you will need to be asking yourself in that order if you want to play The EPIC Storm correctly.

    If your opponent is playing Vial Goblins you generally pay less life than you would pay against Solidarity. This is because of goblins somewhat speedy starts. Goblins’ speedy starts are often irrelevant because The EPIC Storm is much faster, but slow hands do occur. Well, how much is “less life than against Solidarity?” There’s no answer for this because of what turn you are casting Plunge; if you are casting Plunge into Darkness as a set-up during the end step card of the goblin player’s turn one ask yourself, “Do I have another tutor in hand.” if no; you’ll be going anywhere for 8-10 depending on your life total, looking for a better tutor or a “Win now” card. If yes, is that tutor Burning Wish? You don’t want to remove too many cards from the game with Plunge into Darkness; you’ll end up removing important cards such as the “Big Five” which are Lion’s Eye Diamond, Tendrils of Agony, Empty the Warrens, Diminishing Returns and Ill-Gotten Gains. These cards are the most tutored for cards in the deck. You often don’t want to remove them from the game because you’ll need a Burning Wish to have access to them again. Keep track in your head what turn you will be combo-ing out. If you are casting Plunge into Darkness as a set-up card and you’re not winning on your next turn or turn one I’d recommend doing it for 3-4. Using Plunge into Darkness as a tutor is probably the easiest thing about the card since you are looking for a specific card or another tutor to find that card. Just remember what color mana is in your mana pool and be very wary of your life total. This applies for other match-ups also.

    Against Solidarity you can generally Plunge into Darkness for as much as you’d like since they deal you zero damage. But don’t forget about the “Big Five” while doing it; you may be cursing yourself later if you go too far into your deck. I know this seems so short compared to the information given to you on goblins but most of the details I gave you cover most match-ups. Although during this match-up Xantid Swarm is relevant so casting Plunge into Darkness during your own turn would more than likely be more optimal.

    When your opponent is playing Threshold you want to always play Plunge into Darkness during the end step as a set-up card. When you do, only pay 3-5 life; you rarely cast Plunge as a tutor against Thresh since if they make you fizzle you are more than likely going to lose. The same things listed under goblins all apply here, but now you have to worry about counter magic as well.

    Brainstorm is a very different card when it is played in The EPIC Storm. Brainstorm’s ability to fix somewhat unplayable hands into turn two hands and its ability to be incredibly flexible is why it was chosen to be in The EPIC Storm. “When do I brainstorm?” There are two opportune times to Brainstorm. Obviously one time is turn one; I mean C’mon who doesn’t want to see if they can win turn one? This changes if your opponent is playing swamps, discard is generally a bad match-up and you don’t want valued cards lost. The other opportune time to cast Brainstorm is with a Plunge into Darkness or a Burning Wish on the stack and then sacrificing Lion’s Eye Diamond. I don’t highly recommend trying to win off of Brainstorm and Lion’s Eye Diamonds. Not only is it terribly vulnerable but extremely risky.

    Acceleration
    Whether it’s Dark Ritual or High tide, acceleration is another key factor to any storm based deck. Without acceleration the deck cannot begin to “go off” so to speak, because you’ll be sitting there with a handful of dead cards. Cards such as Dark Ritual, Cabal Ritual, and Rite of Flame all have something in common. And what is that? Besides the fact that they’re all in this deck… It’s that they all produce more mana than their cost. They add mana to your mana pool so you can continue to ramp that storm count and continue casting spells. Dark Ritual is pretty much a given in this deck, but Cabal Ritual is a little bit different. People can forget when casting Cabal Ritual that it’s not Dark Ritual; by this I mean that they try casting it for a black or they forget about its ability threshold! Rite of Flame is a little different than Dark Ritual or Cabal Ritual because it messes up peoples math when it comes to combo-ing because it produces red mana and not black. Keep in mind that for each Rite of Flame in the graveyard, the card produces an additional red; the expression the more the merrier is actually true.

    “This can’t be the only acceleration, can it?” You’re absolutely correct, there’s no way The EPIC Storm could possibly be consistent with only twelve “Ritual” effects. We need something else; but what? “Artifact mana?” Exactly; With The EPIC Storm artifact mana is just as important as “Ritual” mana if not more important. Cards such as Lion’s Eye Diamond, Lotus Petal, and Chrome Mox are very crucial to The EPIC Storm because they are a free means of ramping up that storm count while producing mana.

    The card Lion’s Eye Diamond is very tricky card with this deck, because it has the ability of being Black Lotus or the ability to lose you the game. “Well, which one is it?” It all depends on how you play your cards with Lion’s Eye Diamond. Many people forget about using Lion’s Eye Diamond properly and by this I mean many things. People often forget that you MUST sacrifice Lion’s Eye Diamond before passing priority you may be saying. In order to use Lion’s Eye Diamond you have to do it before your opponent gets a chance to have priority to do anything or your opportunity at winning that game was more than likely loss. “Well why can’t I do it after my opponent says it resolves?” Here is why: after both players pass priority, a spell resolves and priority isn’t passed back to you. This isn’t the only thing people mess up; many people forget that you can put more than one spell on the stack then use Lion’s Eye Diamond. Putting multiple spells on the stack and then using Lion’s Eye Diamond is the best way of squeezing the juice out of it. For example, you have a Burning Wish on the stack, Lion’s Eye Diamond on the stack and a red, four black mana and an untapped City of Brass. In hand is Plunge into Darkness, Brainstorm, and Diminishing Returns. To do this correctly before passing priority you must in response cast Plunge into Darkness, then respond with Brainstorm, respond to that by sacrificing Lion’s Eye Diamond. That gives you the best means of abusing Lion’s Eye Diamond, while the order of Brainstorm or Plunge into Darkness may not matter but Burning Wish must be the first spell since it is a sorcery.

    After Lion’s Eye Diamond there’s Lotus Petal and Chrome Mox. There’s not much to be said about Lotus Petal, but Chrome Mox has a few things to be said on it; if you ever have a hand of 3 or 4 Chrome Mox, mulligan. “Why Chrome Mox?” Chrome Mox’s inclusion was decided on the fact that this deck needs all the mana it can get. “Is the card disadvantage worth the one mana?” Actually yes it is; you see Chrome Mox requires you to remove a card. Chrome Mox is extremely helpful when trying to be Hellbent with Infernal Tutor when you don’t have a Lion’s Eye Diamond. “What if I imprint Xantid Swarm and can’t cast anything?” This is your own fault. I will say it again and again and people won’t listen, think before you act with this deck it will only help you. I’ve never gone to time in the round because I’ve had to think about a play - neither will you. Even if there is a Mox Emerald on the table you can still tap it for a green; meaning you play cards that have 1 before the black or red.

    Protection
    The EPIC Storm plays protection much like any other deck out there, but there’s something different about The EPIC Storm’s protection than most decks. The EPIC Storm plays protection that lasts through different effects. Cards like Duress and Cabal Therapy only take away cards from one hand; while cards such as Xantid Swarm allows you to go off completely unhindered. Cards like Ill-Gotten Gains and Diminishing Returns changes the game state by giving both players completely new hands which those Duress’s and Therapies were completely wasted. With Xantid Swarm they can’t even cast any of the cards that were given to them by Ill-Gotten Gains or Diminishing Returns.

    Huge threats
    You may be wondering, “What am I accelerating and Tutoring into?” You see every storm based deck needs a card to be better than others and win you the game. The EPIC Storm has several of these to make your life easier, they are; Diminishing Returns, Ill-Gotten Gains, Empty the Warrens and last and foremost Tendrils of Agony. Why are these important? Without a way to gain a massive storm count by either Diminishing Returns or Ill-Gotten Gains combo-ing out in the early turns would be incredibly harder; making the deck less consistent.

    Let’s first start out with Diminishing Returns. Legacy’s Time Twister has an amazing level of power that is indescribable but I’ll do my best to try. “Why Diminishing Returns? I mean it costs UU?” Its mana cost makes up for the cards ability to simply win games. “What are some common ways of getting UU?” You could always take the slow route of using two lands to tap for U. Lotus Petals also work very fine, but the big one is Lion’s Eye Diamond and a tutor effect to cast Diminishing Returns. “When is the appropriate time to cast Diminishing Returns?” The right time to cast Diminishing Returns is when you can’t win off of Ill-Gotten Gains or if your opponent has something that will disrupt you. Another time to cast Diminishing Returns is when your opponent plays graveyard hate. “Doesn’t removing ten cards hurt?” Well, define “hurt.” The deck is very dense with threats that removing ten cards often doesn’t hurt unless you are terribly unlucky and remove all Burning Wishes, both Tendrils of Agony, and the Empty the Warrens.

    Ill-Gotten Gains is a card that is so terribly easy to play I wonder how people mess it up. The key to playing Ill-Gotten Gains is being able to create up to six mana and having a tutor effect. But what are your prime targets? The most optimal targets for Ill-Gotten Gains are two Lion’s Eye Diamond and Infernal Tutor/Burning Wish. Against what decks is Ill-Gotten Gains better than Diminishing Returns? Goblins and non-blue decks. You see Stifle and cards like free counters (Daze, Force of Will) can be very troublesome if your opponent recurs them.

    The win conditions for The EPIC Storm are pretty simple: Tendrils of Agony and Empty the Warrens. When casting Tendrils of Agony you will need a storm count of ten and for Empty the Warrens on turn one you will need a storm count of five without blockers six with blockers per turn.

    Playing the Deck
    Playing The EPIC Storm may not be as easy as it seems; get to ten spells and win, right? No. The EPIC Storm is much more difficult to play; because of this I will walk you through a few games. Keep in mind the two sample games are completely random hands.

    Opening hand one (on the play):
    Cabal Pit
    City of Brass
    Rite of Flame
    Chrome Mox
    Burning Wish
    Infernal Tutor
    Empty the Warrens

    Turn One: Cabal Pit, Chrome Mox (Imprinting: Empty the Warrens). Tap both mana sources Infernal Tutor revealing Rite of Flame.
    Turn Two: [Draw: Lotus Petal] City of Brass. Play Lotus Petal, Tap Chrome Mox play Rite of Flame one then play Rite of Flame two(RRRR), cast Burning Wish -> Diminishing Returns(RR). Tap City of Brass, sacrifice Lotus Petal (RRUU untapped Cabal Pit) Cast Diminishing Returns.
    Removing ten from the game:
    City of Brass
    Gemstone Mine
    Tendrils of Agony
    Tomb of Urami
    Xantid Swarm
    Burning Wish
    Cabal Ritual
    Brainstorm
    Forbidden Orchard
    Infernal Tutor

    Drawing seven:
    Gemstone Mine
    Xantid Swarm
    Lion’s Eye Diamond
    Lion’s Eye Diamond
    Plunge Into Darkness
    Rite of Flame
    Chrome Mox

    Play Chrome Mox (Imprinting: Rite of Flame), play Lion’s Eye Diamond, play Lion’s Eye Diamond. Tap Cabal Pit, tap Chrome Mox; cast Plunge into Darkness in response sacrifice both Lion’s Eye Diamond (RRRBBB) (Your life total is currently seventeen) [Pay sixteen life with Plunge into Darkness]
    Plunge into Darkness cards:
    3x Brainstorm
    3x Lotus Petal
    2x Chrome Mox
    2x Dark Ritual
    2x Plunge into Darkness
    Lion’s Eye Diamond
    Burning Wish
    Cabal Ritual
    Diminishing Returns
    [Selecting: Burning Wish, Removing: The rest]
    Casting Burning Wish-> (RBBB) Tendrils of Agony for twenty two.

    Opening hand two (on the Draw):
    Cabal Pit
    Lotus Petal
    Dark Ritual
    Cabal Ritual
    Cabal Ritual
    Empty the Warrens
    Lotus Petal
    [Draw: Brainstorm]
    Turn one: Cabal Pit, Lotus Petal; sacrifice Lotus Petal, Brainstorm (Lotus Petal, Tendrils of Agony and Diminishing Returns) (Putting back Tendrils of Agony and Empty the Warrens). Play Lotus Petal, Lotus Petal then Dark Ritual, Cabal Ritual, Cabal Ritual off of Cabal Pit. (BBBBB possible UU) Cast Diminishing Returns
    Removing ten from the game:
    Tendrils of Agony
    Cabal Ritual
    Xantid Swarm
    Forbidden Orchard
    Lion’s Eye Diamond
    Infernal Tutor
    Chrome Mox
    Chrome Mox
    Burning Wish
    City of Brass

    Drawing seven:
    Plunge into Darkness
    Plunge into Darkness
    Plunge into Darkness
    Burning Wish
    Dark Ritual
    Cabal Ritual
    Tendrils of Agony

    Play Dark Ritual and Cabal Ritual (BBBBBB), If you so choose cast Plunge into Darkness; Tendrils of Agony for twenty two, twenty four, or twenty six.

    Match-ups against “The Big Three”

    Threshold/Gro (45%-55%) Dependant on the list and Player.
    Key Factors:
    - Do I have Xantid Swarm? If so play it as quickly as possible.
    - Try and win as fast as possible.
    - Does my hand have a Tendrils or Warrens?
    - How am I winning? Am I using Diminishing Returns or Ill-Gotten Gains? Am I using Empty the Warrens or Tendrils?
    - Do I have the double Tendrils option?
    - How many turns do I have left?
    - Keep in mind what Meddling Mage is chanting.
    - Do they play a singleton Engineered Explosives?
    - Do they play Stifle?
    - Lastly, this is the most important question; can you read a bluff? Reading your opponent is HUGE when trying to figure if you’re brave enough to win turns one–two.

    Sideboarding
    -3 Plunge into Darkness
    -3 Cabal Ritual
    +2 Empty the Warrens
    +4 Dark Condifant

    Solidarity (50%)
    Key Factors
    - Do I have Xantid Swarm? If so play it as quickly as possible.
    - Try and win as fast as possible.
    - Win before they get three islands.
    - Do they have mana for Remand?
    - Don’t be afraid to be aggressive. In this match-up you can afford to be since they don’t have Daze or Counterspell.

    Sideboarding
    -1 Cabal Ritual
    -1 Diminishing Returns
    +2 Empty the Warrens

    Goblins (70%)
    Key Factors
    - Aim to keep a hand with more acceleration than tutors.
    - If your hand generally has more than one piece of protection (Swarm) mulligan.
    - Try and win as fast as possible
    - If keeping a one land hand, be hesitant to play that land unless combo-ing out that turn.
    - Chrome Mox is pretty good in this match-up as an unkillable mana source that dodges wasteland and port.

    Sideboarding
    -4 Xantid Swarm
    +2 Empty the Warrens
    +1 Dark Confidant
    +1 Shattering Spree

    Here are major tournament reports that should help you:
    http://mtgthesource.com/forums/showp...11&postcount=1 Bryant Cook's (Wastedlife) 1st place finish
    http://mtgthesource.com/forums/showp...&postcount=393 Florian Fischer's(Flod0) 1st place finish
    http://mtgthesource.com/forums/showp...33&postcount=1 Brandon Adams's (Emildn) 4th place finish
    http://mtgthesource.com/forums/showp...08&postcount=1 Bryant Cook's (Wastedlife) 15th place finish
    http://mtgthesource.com/forums/showp...81&postcount=1 Jesse Krieger's (Krieger) 16th place finish

    Here are articles that include The EPIC Storm:
    http://www.starcitygames.com/php/new...cle/13782.html By Chris Coppola

    Here are podcasts that include The EPIC Storm:
    http://feed.teamicbm.com/ By I@n Degraff interviews me

    All in all The EPIC Storm is a very powerful storm based, up and coming deck that you should get your hands on. With the current Metagame the way it is, The EPIC Storm is a great foil while being blast to play. Hope you enjoyed the article and would like to hear your thoughts.
    Last edited by Bryant Cook; 03-15-2007 at 03:17 PM.

  2. #2
    Artist formerly known as Anti-American
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    Re: The EPIC Storm 3.0- Bigger and Badder

    Nice... It's imporved a whole lot. I expect more flexible and progressive players to pick this up and play it. It's a very good deck, and can easily benefit good players who make good plays. Only luck this deck relies on are your draws and your hand. Hardly anymore drawing from there (Outside of Diminishing Returns).

    It's nice to see Helm being cut. It forced through so many aggressive mulligans, I hated it. I mean, the whole deck was pretty much built around it back then.

    Also, IGGy-Pop, IMO is horrible. This deck can do what that does better, and faster, and hardly affected by hate versus Control. Reasons? This deck actually doesnt roll over to Meddling Mage.

    My message here.... pick up this deck and play it. Seriously... it's a good deck.
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  3. #3
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    Re: The EPIC Storm 3.0- Bigger and Badder

    Quote Originally Posted by Anti~American4621 View Post
    Also, IGGy-Pop, IMO is horrible. This deck can do what that does better, and faster, and hardly affected by hate versus Control. Reasons? This deck actually doesnt roll over to Meddling Mage.
    Singleton IGG in tendrils wins you alot of games you shouldn't.
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  4. #4
    Artist formerly known as Anti-American
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    Re: The EPIC Storm 3.0- Bigger and Badder

    Quote Originally Posted by My Name Is Scott View Post
    Singleton IGG in tendrils wins you alot of games you shouldn't.
    ... I meant the deck. I refer to IGG as Ill-Gotten-Gains, and IGGy-Pop as the deck.

    Anyways, yes, the Single IGG can win tons of games versus aggro, and sometimes versus Control without protection. It's the closest card to Yawgmoth's Will in this format, so it isnt truely terrible.
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  5. #5
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    Re: [Deck] The EPIC Storm 3.0- Bigger and Badder

    Quote Originally Posted by wastedlife View Post
    Threshold (50%)
    The key to winning this match-up is your opening hand. Make sure to keep a decent/strong hand, because you have to decide if you're going for the throat or drag it out until the long run. Building up therapies by using Infernal or using/flashing back and Burning Wish is another way to safely go off. If you can try and bait counterspells, using Burning Wish when you have no storm count is another safe way. Because they either use a counterspell or you get Tendrils. If they don't have a clock feel free to go for the long run, but remember don't wait too long.

    SIDEBOARDING
    +1 Grapeshot
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    - 4 Trinket Mage
    How could you possibly go 50/50 with thresh when Nausea and Iggy Pop have a terrible matchup? There's nothing that makes this better for you, you dont even have tha nasty maindecked Leylines.
    Now playing real formats.

  6. #6

    Re: [Deck] The EPIC Storm 3.0- Bigger and Badder

    Quote Originally Posted by bane_of_the_living View Post
    How could you possibly go 50/50 with thresh when Nausea and Iggy Pop have a terrible matchup? There's nothing that makes this better for you, you dont even have tha nasty maindecked Leylines.
    Burning Wish, easier access to mana, and multiple win conditions/un-counterable removal MD.
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  7. #7
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    Re: [Deck] The EPIC Storm 3.0- Bigger and Badder

    Nausea plays Burning Wish and has Grapeshot and Promise of Power in the sideboard as alt win.

    Iggy has uncounterable removal md (WIPE AWAY) and maindeck Leyline. Some of them maindeck Defense Grid and most of them sideboard Swarm.

    Like I said this deck more or less just mashes the two together. How could it get better results just because it plays 3 Xantids and 2 Therapies?

    EDIT
    The Trinket Mage slot looks very weak to me, thought Id add that since you mentioned it. Cant this even be dark confidant? then you could have the 50/50 thresh claim. I know hes bad for the turn 1-3 combo plan but against thresh hes simply amazing. he lets you slow play your hand and resources into multiple small tendrils.
    Now playing real formats.

  8. #8
    monkey
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    Re: [Deck] The EPIC Storm 3.0- Bigger and Badder

    Why is Trinket Mage played over Fabricate? Is it the 2x Cabal Therapy + chump blockage? You could always stick a Fabricate in the SB to wish for, but maybe not if your looking to maintain mana while building storm.
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  9. #9
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    Re: [Deck] The EPIC Storm 3.0- Bigger and Badder

    Fabricate won't get anything that Mage doesn't, so a pair of legs seems like a good bonus if you need to whittle down life a few points before going off. Flashing back Therapy is also good, I guess.

    Edit - Fabricate finds Defense Grid in games 2 and 3, actually.

  10. #10

    Re: [Deck] The EPIC Storm 3.0- Bigger and Badder

    Quote Originally Posted by bane_of_the_living View Post
    Nausea plays Burning Wish and has Grapeshot and Promise of Power in the sideboard as alt win.

    Iggy has uncounterable removal md (WIPE AWAY) and main deck Leyline. Some of them main deck Defense Grid and most of them sideboard Swarm.

    Like I said this deck more or less just mashes the two together. How could it get better results just because it plays 3 Xantids and 2 Therapies?
    Nausea also relies on Helm of Awakening. Case and point?

    Iggy has a 3cc uncounterable, double blue, bounce spell congratulations. Wipe away is just bad; in fact main deck bounce is just bad. Burning Wish serves the purpose of bounce while being a threat. Burning Wish is a threat/answer/win condition all in one which is greater than a bounce spell. How is Burning Wish worse than a 3cc bounce spell, that doesn't dramatically increase any match-ups? Leyline of the Void is horrible; it doesn't win you the game, doesn't improve your position while in comboing and certainly doesn't protect you from hate/counter magic. Xantid Swarm is infinitely better than Leyline of the Void. The fact that Xantid Swarm protects, automatically makes it better than leyline. I understand after you cast Ill-Gotten Gains and if it resolves you'll be in a winning position, but if it resolves you were probably going to win anyway.

    The Threshold match-up also gets better post SB for both decks as most match-ups do your point? That was highly irrelevant.
    I don't really see this deck as Nausea and IGG crammed together it's separated itself enough from both to be its own. You could say the same thing for Grim Long and Pitch Long in Vintage but just because they share the same goal and cards doesn't mean one came from the other.

    It's not just 3 Xantid Swarm and 2 Cabal therapy that makes the Threshold match-up better than IGGy Pop's. Yes, those are key factors it's also Burning Wish's versatility, Grapeshot as an uncounterable way to kill mage. Grapeshot also goes to the dome in appropriate situations. Empty the Warrens as a way around Meddling Mage and True Believer, not to mention its 4 storm less on turn 1 to win turn 3. Really, the deck can ignore Meddling Mage's existence and just win. Post SB the deck gains Defense Grid also to make the Threshold match-up greater.

    What is fabricate going to grab that Trinket Mage can't? I understand where your coming from, but Mage already grabs everything that fabricate could. But Trinket Mage grabs everything already while serving as a beater/blocker/tutor in some situations. Trinket Mage believe it or not increases the Threshold match-up as well making Mages sit on defense.

  11. #11
    monkey
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    Re: [Deck] The EPIC Storm 3.0- Bigger and Badder

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaynel View Post

    Edit - Fabricate finds Defense Grid in games 2 and 3, actually.
    Yeah, this is why I brought it up. I probably should have mentioned that
    info.ninja

  12. #12
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    Re: [Deck] The EPIC Storm 3.0- Bigger and Badder

    Thresh can play Mage naming Tendrils of Agony, and then counter Burning Wish or the bounce if need be. Against TES, they need two Mages.

  13. #13
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    Re: [Deck] The EPIC Storm 3.0- Bigger and Badder

    Quote Originally Posted by Lego_Army_Man View Post
    Thresh can play Mage naming Tendrils of Agony, and then counter Burning Wish or the bounce if need be. Against TES, they need two Mages.
    Two mages AND counters for Wishes through Xantid Swarm and Therapy (and post-board, through Defense Grid, and possibly a Mage for Empty the Warrens too). The Grapeshots are in the MD. And they can STILL die to Trinket Mage-beats after that if their draw is sufficiently creature-poor.

  14. #14
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    Re: [Deck] The EPIC Storm 3.0- Bigger and Badder

    The main reason for the better matchup are in fact the Xantids because they just kill ALL counters (so Swarm > Grid, if you aren't facing STP or Bolts). Still the Trinket Mage seems somehow out of place.

    Quote Originally Posted by wastedlife View Post
    Trinket Mage- It fetches Lion's Eye Diamond to replace itself or add mana, while boosting the storm count 2. It is also used frequently to grab lotus petal to fix mana or generate Storm.

    Fetching LED to replace itself requires you to have 5 mana and a Tutor/Wish in order to go off the same turn. Getting the mana of your choice by paying 2 also isn't that great. Maybe i miss the point and the Mage is that good because he also beats for 2, chumblocks and is and sacrifice-outlet for Therapy, but isn't beating and cumpblocking somehow off the aim of the deck? We want to combo off asap, don't we? I haven't been testing the deck long enough to really know, but it seemed to me as if Mage would not really belong into the deck; even more so since Helm is gone.

    The rest of the deck seems quite solid; especially because you have 3 MD solutions for Mage (I added Grapeshot to my Nausea MD, but it's somehow hard to find it if you need it :-().
    As for the reliance on Iggy/Helm, both Nausea and Iggy can just save mana and cast double Tendrils; Nausea has even more options because it can go off Iggy style (e.g. 2 LED + Wish/Tutor), go for double-Tendrils and go for Helm + eggs. I have been experimenting with combodecks quite a lot recently; this one seems to sacrifice much speed for more consistancy. Ofent you will go Iggy style or you won't get enough Storm because there is no carddraw and you wish for something like Empty the Warrens. I don't say this is bad, because those Tokens often just go for the win, but still I don't like Chrome Mox and Trinket Mage- they just don't seem to fit into the concept of a combodeck.
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  15. #15
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    Re: [Deck] The EPIC Storm 3.0- Bigger and Badder

    First, I must confess I am a beginner to Storm-based decks. Hence, my practises now is basically on the base of no disruptions.
    My experience is that:
    1.Trinket Mage is bad. Most of the time it is unplayable; on the few times I can play it out I have already LEDs in my hand, and it just compensates my mana and add my storm counts by 2, being mediocore.
    2.I have never used my maindeck Diminishing Returns, for it is so LED-reliant, not to mention draw it open hand sucks.
    3.The deck needs tutors badly, and Plunge into Darkness is great, maybe some Tainted Pact?
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  16. #16

    Re: [Deck] The EPIC Storm 3.0- Bigger and Badder

    Quote Originally Posted by Daze View Post
    The main reason for the better matchup are in fact the Xantids because they just kill ALL counters (so Swarm > Grid, if you aren't facing STP or Bolts). Still the Trinket Mage seems somehow out of place.




    Fetching LED to replace itself requires you to have 5 mana and a Tutor/Wish in order to go off the same turn. Getting the mana of your choice by paying 2 also isn't that great. Maybe i miss the point and the Mage is that good because he also beats for 2, chumblocks and is and sacrifice-outlet for Therapy, but isn't beating and cumpblocking somehow off the aim of the deck? We want to combo off asap, don't we? I haven't been testing the deck long enough to really know, but it seemed to me as if Mage would not really belong into the deck; even more so since Helm is gone.

    The rest of the deck seems quite solid; especially because you have 3 MD solutions for Mage (I added Grapeshot to my Nausea MD, but it's somehow hard to find it if you need it :-().
    As for the reliance on Iggy/Helm, both Nausea and Iggy can just save mana and cast double Tendrils; Nausea has even more options because it can go off Iggy style (e.g. 2 LED + Wish/Tutor), go for double-Tendrils and go for Helm + eggs. I have been experimenting with combodecks quite a lot recently; this one seems to sacrifice much speed for more consistancy. Ofent you will go Iggy style or you won't get enough Storm because there is no carddraw and you wish for something like Empty the Warrens. I don't say this is bad, because those Tokens often just go for the win, but still I don't like Chrome Mox and Trinket Mage- they just don't seem to fit into the concept of a combodeck.
    Let's be perfectly honest here, is it really that hard to gain 5 mana in a deck with 15 Ritual effects and 12 artifact mana on turns 1 or 2? It is very likely such as in the demonstration hand in the opening post. I understand that you may not like it; it’s a card you grow to like in my opinion. Mage is everything you mentioned but that card alone wins you match-ups you shouldn't win. Against decks with Chalice that extra 2 damage here and there counts, against Threshold you either have a lot of balls and win fast or you drag the game out and win carefully. Sometimes you are forced to drag the game out and that there is where Trinket Mage shines. Mage is often used as a set-up card, I think of it as transferring mana between turns in a way (That horrible onslaught enchantment comes to mind). Much speed? This deck's average kill is turn 2, how is that sacrificing much speed? Seems fairly fast to me, maybe I'm wrong. As for consistency, I prefer a consistent deck over explosive and inconsistency. Don't know if you know this but TES can also go off "IGGy Style" with Burning wish for Ill-Gotten Gains over and over again. As for the concept of a combo deck it's all perspective and can't truly have a correct answer so I'll leave you with what you believe.

    Maindeck Diminishing Returns is crazy, the reason it is in here over a second Ill-Gotten Gains is that it dodges Meddling Mage, dodges grave hate, and if you somehow manage to fizzle you still have a full hand. It's a Time Twister what’s not to like? Yes, TES needs tutors it is tutor based combo which is why there are 11 tutors not including Trinket Mage. Tainted Pact just won't work there are simply too many 3-4's in the deck for it to be accessible, the deck would have to be sculpted around it and it would change the deck's style.

  17. #17
    monkey
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    Re: [Deck] The EPIC Storm 3.0- Bigger and Badder

    You could try -4 Trinket Mage + 4 Fabricate and 1 main deck Defense Grid. This would shore up the game 1 against Thresh/Control somewhat. It could be nice to play Fabricate and they let that resolve (because they think you are going for LED) and you can grab the grid. Your Fabricate target can become a "must counter" instead of an enabler.
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  18. #18

    Re: [Deck] The EPIC Storm 3.0- Bigger and Badder

    Quote Originally Posted by xsockmonkeyx View Post
    You could try -4 Trinket Mage + 4 Fabricate and 1 main deck Defense Grid. This would shore up the game 1 against Thresh/Control somewhat. It could be nice to play Fabricate and they let that resolve (because they think you are going for LED) and you can grab the grid. Your Fabricate target can become a "must counter" instead of an enabler.
    They'll counter the Grid, if they let fabricate resolve. So it's 5 mana drag out a counterspell and you are 2 for 1'd. Fabricate just doesn't belong, and defense grid isn't needed madindeck with Xantid Swarm is generally one or the other.

  19. #19
    monkey
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    Re: [Deck] The EPIC Storm 3.0- Bigger and Badder

    Quote Originally Posted by wastedlife View Post
    They'll counter the Grid, if they let fabricate resolve. So it's 5 mana drag out a counterspell and you are 2 for 1'd. Fabricate just doesn't belong, and defense grid isn't needed madindeck with Xantid Swarm is generally one or the other.
    Granted, but its Defense Grid +4 fabricate would give you another tutorable semi-answer to a big problem(in addition to therapy). MD defense grid is not plan "A" but its nice to have a plan "B" which only takes up 1 slot. Also, Xantid Swarm isnt always going to be online yet(summon sickness) and you may want to go off now instead of later. XS is somewhat easily answered due to creature status and its attacking clause.

    With all due respect, how does Fabricate "just not belong" ? It adds the same storm count, the same mana replacement trick with LED and has the exact same CC. Its not that radical of a change and offers some flexibility (maybe). The Trinket Mage offers you maybe 1 or 2 extra storm copies in terms of what it can do with its legs. If you really have a problem building a lethal storm then you could justfiy the Trinket Mage.

    Also, why no Cabal Therapy/Duress to wish for?
    info.ninja

  20. #20

    Re: [Deck] The EPIC Storm 3.0- Bigger and Badder

    The "creature status" of Xantid Swarm makes is harder to answer for some decks believe it or not. This forces them to keep hands with dead cards against you when you may or may not have the swarm. In a deck with very few actual threats to us like Threshold, this is huge. Against other decks, like Solidarity, it doesn't matter because they bounce it or counter it anyway, just like defense grid. Additionally, Defense Grid is something that many random control decks will be boarding hate for because they see we play with a lot of artifacts.

    Fabricate costs 5 mana plus whatever you want to cast. This is bad. In fact, this is terrible. How are you going to randomly come up with 5 mana without busting a whole bunch of resources that you need to combo? Legacy Combo, with very few exceptions, is a one-trick pony. If we expend the resources to Tutor up and something via Wish -> Fabricate then we will probably lose to Solidarity anyway. It would be better in such a situation to wish for Cabal Therapy or Duress, as you are at least not Time Walking them several turns in the process.
    Last edited by emidln; 11-14-2006 at 04:57 PM. Reason: spelling
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