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

  1. #1

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

    This is a thread for SI and derivatives. I'm going to post several lists, but please note that I'm only going to talk about specific versions in the writeup. I consider these other versions obsolete and am including them for historical interests.

    This deck was conceptualized by Robert Vroman and others on Ogre's Message Boards in the late Winter/early Spring of 2006. I remember playing against an early version with Flame Vault Stasis Stax on the side of a Vintage tourney at some Anime Convention that March/April. One of the people on those boards was a kid by the name of Evenpence, who used this list to split first at a tourney in Blue Bell, PA.

    Warning: Obsolete Decklist Follows

    //"The Spanish Inquisition" by Colby Evenpence (May 2006)
    // Initial Mana Sources
    4 Land Grant
    2 Bayou
    4 Lotus Petal
    4 Chrome Mox

    // Tall Men
    4 Ornithopter
    4 Phyrexian Walker
    4 Shield Sphere

    // Ritual Effects
    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

    //Sideboard
    4 Naturalize
    4 Massacre
    4 Cabal Therapy
    3 Defense Grid

    Since this list, a few things have changed. Infernal Tutor allowed 4 creature slots to be freed. I added Goblin Charbelcher as a 1-of alternate win condition against Meddling Mage and storm-hate. We tried several splash colors. To my knowledge, only a few people play this deck, the most notable being B.C. (another Ogre boards guy) who has done a lot of testing with his own variants. I'll present the most interesting of these to you here:

    SI Variant Name: Sir Speedy
    Major Variation (from): Multiple Maindeck ETW (standard build)
    Colors: B/R/u

    // Maindeck
    // Initial Mana Sources:
    2 Polluted Delta
    2 Bloodstained Mire
    2 Badlands
    1 Underground Sea
    4 Lotus Petal
    4 Chrome Mox

    // Ritual Effects:
    4 Dark Ritual
    4 Culling the Weak
    4 Lion's Eye Diamond
    4 Cabal Ritual

    // Tall Men:
    4 Phyrexian Walker
    4 Shield Sphere

    // Business:
    4 Cruel Bargain
    4 Infernal Contract
    4 Infernal Tutor
    2 Ill-Gotten Gains
    4 Empty the Warrens
    3 Tendrils of Agony

    // Sideboard:
    3 Rebuild
    1 Hurkyl's Recall
    4 Tomb of Urami
    3 Echoing Truth
    4 Cabal Therapy

    SI Variant Name: SITES
    Major Variation (from): Simian Spirit Guide (Sir Speedy)
    Colors: B/R/u

    //Maindeck
    //Initial Mana Sources:
    2 Polluted Delta
    2 Bloodstained Mire
    2 Badlands
    1 Underground Sea
    4 Lotus Petal
    4 Chrome Mox

    //Ritual Effects:
    4 Dark Ritual
    4 Culling the Weak
    4 Lion's Eye Diamond
    4 Cabal Ritual
    3 Simian Spirit Guide

    //Tall Men:
    4 Phyrexian Walker
    4 Shield Sphere

    //Business:
    4 Infernal Tutor
    4 Cruel Bargain
    4 Infernal Contract
    1 Ill-Gotten Gains
    1 Tendrils of Agony
    4 Empty the Warrens

    //Sideboard:
    2 Tendrils of Agony
    4 Cabal Therapy
    3 Chain of Vapor
    2 Tomb of Urami
    4 Dark Confidant

    SI Variant Name: QSI
    Major Variation: Anti-Control Strategy (everything)
    Colors: B/U/r

    //Maindeck
    //Lands:
    2 Polluted Delta
    2 Bloodstained Mire
    4 Underground Sea
    1 Swamp

    //Additional Mana Sources:
    4 Lotus Petal
    4 Chrome Mox

    //Ritual Effects:
    4 Dark Ritual
    4 Cabal Ritual
    4 Culling the Weak

    //Tall Men:
    4 Phyrexian Walker
    4 Shield Sphere

    //Busted Draw:
    4 Brainstorm
    4 Cruel Bargain
    4 Infernal Contract
    3 Meditate

    //Other Business:
    4 Cabal Therapy
    4 Tendrils of Agony

    //Sideboard:
    2 Badlands
    4 Empty the Warrens
    4 Dark Confidant
    4 Echoing Truth
    1 Rebuild

    Card Choices:

    SI is made up of a few different classes of cards. You have Initial Mana Sources, Ritual Effects, Tall Men, and Business. I'll talk about each separately.

    Initial Mana Sources:

    Lotus Petal / Chrome Mox -These are required. They can help start your combo, provide storm, and enable to to keep playing off-black spells throughout your combo turn.

    Land Grant / Fetchlands - These are also required, but which you play is dictated by the other cards you want to run.

    Land Grant's largest drawback is that it can be countered. Generally, you will want to run no more than 3 Land in a Land Grant build in order to support Goblin Charbelcher as an alternate win condition. On the bright side, Land Grant can be cast for storm, deckthining (very minute, but drawing a land off a draw4 in these builds is very bad), and imprinted on Chrome Mox to make (essentially) colorless mana. Generally, Land Grant is eschewed in builds that play colors outside of green as supporting non-Bayou lands with Land Grant is extremely difficult in a deck that requires lands to produce black.

    Fetchlands provide non-counterable (generally, I've never had a fetchland stifled while playing SI) ways of fetching out non-green black-producing lands. Most of the time, the lifeloss will be insignificant due the rounding nature of the draw4s. Fetchlands allow you to run as few or as many lands as you choose. Lately, I've been running 7-9 lands (4-5 fetches) for more consistency. Generally, only black-fetchlands are used. Significantly, fetchlands are much harder to destroy than regular lands and can be played on the table and then saved until needed.

    Swamp/Bayou/Badlands/Underground Sea/Scrubland - which of these lands and how many you play largely depends on what other cards you're using. Obviously, don't include duals you don't need to, and play with basic swamp if your manabase will allow it.

    Ritual Effects

    Dark Ritual - Three black mana for one black mana and a card is pretty good. If you need more explanation, you might want to give up Magic for tic tac toe.

    Cabal Ritual - SI reaches threshold very easily. In variants with Simian Spirit Guide this can be used for a turn1 draw4, as well as cast after a Dark Ritual to leaving mana floating post-draw4. Without effects that reduce our graveyard size like Diminishing Returns, Cabal Rit is a monster.

    Culling the Weak - BBBB for B and a creature. This is a defining card of the SI archetype, and the card that allows it exist. Culling the Weak gives you density of black rituals necessary to play a mass of spells with 2-3 black mana in their casting cost.

    Lion's Eye Diamond - Although I'm not currently favoring it in QSI, the ability to get three mana of any color is extremely potent when combined with Brainstorm, Infernal Tutor, IGG, Diabolic Intent, or Goblin Charbelcher. If you run tutors, you should likely also run LED. It's important to note that LED can be an extremely risky gamble into a draw4, so break LED into a draw4 with extreme caution (or rather, with your balls against the grinder).

    Simian Spirit Guide - Recommended recently after testing done by wastedlife, Simian Spirit Guide allows easy casting of Empty the Warrens and acceleration into Cabal Ritual and Infernal Tutor. This significantly speeds up versions that play it by enabling "fizzles" that produce large amounts of Goblin tokens.

    Rite of Flame - SI doesn't play Rite of Flame because it has no use for red mana. Changing the deck to use Rite of Flame will almost always require Burning Wish, which takes away space from draw4s leading to you building TES.

    Seething Song - See Rite of Flame

    Lotus Bloom - This card is simply too slow for a deck that wants to win turns 1-3. Drawing these off of a draw4 is like drawing a currently dead card, but worse since you cannot go off the next turn with Lotus Bloom.

    Creatures (aka Tall Men)

    Phyrexian Walker/Shield Sphere/Ornithopter - Walker and Shield Sphere are generally played first as they have the fattest asses making them the hardest to kill. These creatures add storm as well as enable Culling the Weak, Diabolic Intent, and Cabal Therapy's flashback. Furthermore, they can block while you setup. The major reason to play these over Trinket Mage/Priest of Gix is that they can be used to start you combo using Culling the Weak without extra mana.

    Trinket Mage - Mage isn't played because its casting cost slows the deck down considerably. Playing this takes away Culling the Weak as a first turn play.

    Priest of Gix - See trinket mage.

    Dark Confidant - many times dark confidant comes out of the sideboard. While it may be counter-intuitive to play Dark Confidant in a draw4 deck, if you are resolving confidant, you have likely not resolved a draw4 yet. Even so, the average mana cost of this deck is extremely low, and the likelyhood of confidant killing you at 9-10 life is very low. The extra cards drawn off an early confidant far outweigh any lifeloss (that will simply be halved anyway as you start to combo). Because of draw4 math, you can safely go down to 16 before you start losing draw4s.

    Avatar of Discord - sometimes played in the sideboard, Avatar of Discard was part of "The Man Plan", a sideboard strategy that revolved around boarding into high power creatures with evasion against difficult matchups. With the advent of Empty the Warrens, this is largely unnecessary. This was normally played with Tomb of Urami and either Vampiric Spirit or Phyrexian Negator.

    Vampiric Spirit - see avatar of discord

    Phyrexian Negator - see avatar of discord

    Tomb of Urami - sometimes played as an alternate win condition, this can provide you with a 5/5 flyer for the mere cost of 2BB and your lands. Seeing as you play very few lands, this is often a bargain against unprepared control decks. Tomb of Urami is still sometimes played, unlike Avatar of Discord, Phyrexian Negator, and Vampiric Spirit due to its usefulness as an actual land when needed. That said, the lifeloss will quickly add up if you tap it multiple turns in a row. This isn't a bad random land to place in your deck.

    Business

    Cruel Bargain/Infernal Contract - "drawing 4 cards is busted" You can safely ignore the lose half your life part since you only need 1 life point anyway ;) SI was originally designed around and still uses the power of these draw4s to stock its hand with useful rituals and win conditions in order to overwhelm an opponent. Much of the fun, consistency, and inconsistency of SI can all be traced back to these cards. Part of designing a good SI build is making sure you can survive a bad draw4 as well as mitigating the chances of one. It generally pays to be highly aggressive with draw4s in order to see as many cards as possible. "When in doubt, draw some cards."

    Meditate - Yet another draw4, this one is instant-speed, blue, and doesn't cost life. Meditate, while it can be played on your own turn, allows you to cast it on your opponent's end step, dropping them with a turn they weren't expecting and letting you untap with up to 11 cards post draw step. In a deck like SI, it is very difficult to not win when you have 11 cards in your hand.

    Infernal Tutor - Infernal Tutor allows you to double up rituals, blockers, mana, discard cards (with a chrome mox in hand, possibly to get hellbent for a second Infernal Tutor), IGG-loop (Ill-Gotten Gains), and many times to find whatever you need. This is most powerful when finding Cabal Therapy, Tendrils of Agony, or Ill-Gotten Gains. Combine with a Lion's Eye Diamond to get a Demonic Tutor with Black Lotus added on. SI, like Iggy Pop, can sometimes "just win" by getting 2 rituals that will net BBB and an Infernal Tutor with Hellbent to find an IGG, recurring Infernal Tutor and 2 Rituals. An often-useful play is casting an IGG in hand to recur two ritual effects and an Infernal Tutor to find a win condition, since the IGG will not only generate mana, but also provide Hellbent.

    Diabolic Intent - this "fixed" Demonic Tutor generally requires you play 10+ creatures, but rewards you with the abiliy to find any card required for only a creature and 1B. Whether you play Infernal Tutor, Diabolic Intent, or both, largely depends on what your build is trying to do. Lately, Infernal Tutor has been favored for allowing the IGG loop as well as not requiring extra creatures.

    Ill-Gotten Gains - A general storm enabler in SI, IGG allows you to replay things from your graveyard, giving you hellbent in the process. This is important in builds that play Infernal Tutor as often casting the IGG to return an earlier played Tutor will result in being able to replay tutor and finding a game-ending Tendrils. It's worth noting that IGG can be played as a mass-discard spell if necessary, as well as being able to return a Cabal Rit and two draw4s.

    Tendrils of Agony - The primary win condition of SI, this can be played for upwards of 80 lifeloss in a single turn per copy of Tendrils. Multiple by the number of Tendrils and add in Ill-Gotten Gains and it's possible to take down very large life totals with Tendrils. The standard gameplan of SI is to play a lethal Tendrils of Agony (by default, with 9 storm), although mini-tendrils (less than lethal) for lifegain to play more draw4s are common.

    Empty the Warrens - The favored secondary win condition of SI (and storm in general), ETW gives you flexibility to create fewer storm than needed for a lethal Tendrils of Agony but also put significant pressure on your opponent.

    Brain Freeze - Another secondary win condition, Brain Freeze allows U/B versions with multiple lands an out against Mage on tendrils without resorting to finding and resolving bounce/removal. Given the easy storming capabilities of SI, a lethal or near-lethal Brain Freeze is not difficult.

    Goblin Charbelcher - Yet another win condition, this is normally played by B/g variants with Land Grant. Belcher is unique among secondary win conditions in that it is largely unaffected by standard hate cards. Indeed, it was common in the past for control players to fall to SI post-Arcane Lab or Meddling Mage due to Goblin Charbelcher.

    Brainstorm - a previously unplayed draw/optimiztion spell, Brainstorm became significantly better when more fetchlands were added. Brainstorm allows you to build a signifcant hand to overpower control, while digging for needed cards against other archetypes. Never dead, late game brainstorms can be imprinted on Chrome Mox to cast Meditate when not needed. Note, if you haven't already, the Brainstorm + fetchland mini combo.

    Cabal Therapy - a mass discard spell made better by our Tall Men, Cabal Therapy lets you rid yourself of problem cards that stop your combo, allow your opponent to win, and gives you information at the same time. It is very important to note that casting IGG with an enemy Force of Will/Stifle/Trickbind in the graveyard is much more acceptable in SI than in Iggy Pop or TES since you can just flashback Cabal Therapy with a creature before casting other spells. Furthermore, Cabal Therapy can be used as a storm enabler or hellbent enabler when necessary.

    Mystical Tutor - while never a maindeck card due to speed and space requirements, Mystical Tutor has recently been considered as a sideboard option to increase the numbers of IGG or bounce available without taking up so many slots. This accels against discard, which is where it is being tested.

    Removal

    Naturalize/Oxidize/Emerald Charm/Krosan Grip/Ancient Grudge - Of actual artifact/enchantment removal, Naturalize is generally favored due to casting cost, although cases can be made for Krosan Grip or Oxidize depending on your manabase and expected meta.

    Massacre - This removes troublesome True Believers, Meddling Mages, and sometimes Goblin Hordes, usually for 0 mana.

    Chain of Vapor/Echoing Truth - these can be used against any problem permanent, with Echoing Truth being especially useful against enemy combo decks utilitizing Empty the Warrens, or against decks that would play multiples of things like Meddling Mage/Pyrostatic Pillar/Chalice of the Void/Arcane Lab.

    Hurkyl's Recall/Rebuild - Given that SI's largest problems come from Chalice of the Void and Trinisphere, most sideboards pack one or both of these in an effort to not lose to Chalices. While it doesn't happen often, each can both be used to generate storm off Tall Men/Moxen/Petals if the conditions are right.

    Other sideboard options:

    Ill-Gotten Gains - Recently moved to the sideboard in some lists, it is played with Mystical Tutor to shore up discard-based aggro control matchups.

    Mystical Tutor - Recently tested in order to maximize sideboard slots through a silver-bullet system. Still under consideration.

    Xantid Swarm - Useful against reactive blue strategies and Orim's Chant, this allows you to go off unmolested and can be sacrificed in the second mainphase to Culling the Weak or Diabolic Intent once its ability has resolved.

    Defense Grid - Again, useful against reactive strategies, without as much vulnerability as Xantid Swarm to common removal. Late game, this is probably worse than Xantid Swarm as your opponent can usually just pay the extra mana.

    Duress - While Cabal Therapy is almost always better, a case could be made for Duress since it will almost always hit something. Given that it cannot stop multiple threats, and it can't be flashed back, I personally do not play it, but it is still a consideration.

    Playing SI

    While SI can be pushed into extreme turn 1 kill percentages, the days of racing Force of Will every game are pretty much gone. Instead, SI looks to gain card advantage through draw4s, Brainstorms, Dark Confidant, and constantly test for openings. When an opening is found, you seek to press the advantage by playing a multitude of spells and eventually a Tendrils. With Empty the Warrens in the deck, baiting countermagic for storm becomes an option, especially with more rituals and draw4s in hand, since you will then be able to apply pressure from the attack step and through drawing more cards (into a now much smaller Tendrils than previously required).

    Common openings include Brainstorm, Dark Rit/Culling the Weak into a Draw4, and Cabal Therapy. Alternately, with red versions, opening with 6-8 tokens is a good start, along with the standard draw4 opening. In general, you want to draw as many cards as you can, as early as you can, in order to be able to present a Tendrils/ETW as fast as possible. Many times this means playing a draw4 into a Brainstorm and passing the turn with a fully stocked and optimized hand. This method allows you to more fully exploit the additional lands that newer lists play.

    Something to remember when attempting to combo off is how much mana you have floating versus what you can use to continue comboing off. This is the difference between opening Dark Rit, Draw4 and Dark Rit, Cabal Rit, Draw4. If you hand has another 1cc accelerant and something to do with it, it is probably wise to spend the extra rit in the hopes of continuing your combo. If you are missing multiple things, it is better to save the Cabal Rit for a later turn (probably the next one).

    Things to look for in an opening hand are business, ritual effects, and starting mana, with mana to start with being the most important. Business is the most plentiful asset in the deck, so if you open a hand with good intial mana, ritual effects, and a couple blockers, it is likely a keeper. Mulliganing aggressively with SI is suggested, since your ability to quickly recover from mulls with draw4s is unparalleled.

    Matchups

    I'll put up general strategies for matchups later, as well as some games against each archetype either today or later this weekend.

    I'm working on blending the QSI list (that currently don't run a second win condition main) with the SITES list to provide yet more threats without taking anything away. I'm open for suggestions on how to do this. I prefer to play with QSI though, as I believe it is the strongest test list to date (only lacking a definite sideboard plan and the maindeck ETW so far).

    Questions, thoughts, comments? I'll get a matchup guide up soon, and some play scenarios with a slightly modified QSI build and explanations for each of those card choice (as opposed to a general archetype explanation).

    Links to Previous Discussion about SI:

    Old Primer and Discussion on MTG Salvation - http://forums.mtgsalvation.com/showthread.php?t=58807
    Last edited by emidln; 07-31-2007 at 05:40 PM.
    BZK! - Storm Boards

    Been there, tried that, still casting Doomsday.
    Drawing my deck for 0 mana since 2013.

  2. #2

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

    Altho' I think it's better to build around Brainstorm and Mystical Tutor to increase the threat and acceleration density in the deck instead of using Shield Sphere, Phyrexian Walker and Culling the Weak to increase the acceleration density, I have to admit this deck is fast, consistent and durable by combo standards.

    4 Tendrils of Agony
    1 Ill Gotten Gains
    4 Infernal Tutor
    4 Infernal Contract
    4 Cruel Bargain
    4 Cabal Therapy
    4 Shield Sphere
    4 Phyrexian Walker
    4 Dark Ritual
    4 Cabal Ritual
    4 Culling the Weak
    4 Lion's Eye Diamond
    4 Chrome Mox
    4 Lotus
    4 Land Grant
    3 Bayou

    This is the list I'm using, and it just obliterates aggro, control and combo by virtue of being combo, Tendrils and bomb heavy instead of Warrens and tutor heavy and faster, respectively.

    One of the deck's biggest weakness is its dependency on its draws, but against non-interactive decks like aggro you can mulligan aggressively into a Draw 4 and then sit behind your creatures until you can set up. On the flip side, this deck can keep a hand on almost any single Land Grant, Bayou, Chrome Mox, Lotus Petal and either Dark Ritual, Culling the Weak + artifact creature and either a Draw 4, Infernal Tutor + Lion's Eye Diamond.

    My main problem with the artifact creature over Brainstorm/Mystical Tutor skeleton is its ability to find answers against permanent based disruption. If a deck like Fairy Stompy can Force of Will your first threat or you take the time to name Force of Will with Cabal Therapy, they can play Chalice of the Void and ruin you. Threshold can do the same thing with Null Rod and to a lesser extent Meddling Mage, and the only way to be certain you can get around it is to draw a Cabal Therapy and artifact creature on the play.

    You probably need to replace a Tendrils of Agony with either an Empty the Warrens or a Goblin Charblecher and replace a Bayou with a Tomb of Urami, but the MD is solid and the SB is wide open for alternate win conditions and disruption (I suggest Oxidize for Chalice of the Void removal).

    All in all, I think this deck has major potential as long as it stays as far away from Empty the Warrens as possible. What makes this deck a serious consideration is that it doesn't have to invest its hand into any single play.

    I'm definitely having a lot of fun with this thing online.

    Edit: This is the U/b list I keep referencing,

    4 Tendrils of Agony
    1 Ill Gotten Gains
    1 Diminishing Returns
    4 Infernal Contract
    4 Cruel Bargain
    4 Infernal Tutor
    4 Mystical Tutor
    4 Brainstorm
    4 Duress
    1 Massacre/Echoing Truth
    4 Dark Ritual
    4 Cabal Ritual
    4 Lion's Eye Diamond
    4 Chrome Mox
    4 Lotus
    4 Polluted Delta
    3 Underground Sea
    1 Swamp
    1 Island

    The basic idea is that the deck can take 4 points of damage before the Draw 4 math is affected, so it uses that cushion to set up with Brainstorm and Mystical Tutor against aggro and then go off all at once or hit a large Tendril and rebuild from there, or if the hand has Lion's Eye Diamond, Mystical Tutor can find Infernal Tutor and end the game immediately. During Draw 4 combo, you just use the Mystical Tutors to interconnect the Draw 4s, find Cabal Rituals with Threshold or end the game with Tendrils of Agony. Brainstorm can be used to stack Draw 4s with Lion's Eye Diamond casting the second Draw 4 after the first one draws into it.

    It doesn't have the speed or blockers of the list above, but it's a lot more resilient, consistent and a lot less hand dependent by comparison.
    Last edited by BreathWeapon; 06-24-2007 at 06:32 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by wastedlife View Post
    Breathweapon, I regret saying this but ... I've been liking you more and more every day.

  3. #3
    Plays green decks
    Jak's Avatar
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    Re: [Deck] SI (B/x Storm Combo)

    Thanks emidln for starting a thread. .

    Anyways, have you ever thought to cut the Tall men to open up 12 slots?

  4. #4
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    ForceofWill's Avatar
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    Re: [Deck] SI (B/x Storm Combo)

    then you also have to cut culling and the sac a guy tutor.
    Team NeverWin: We just top 8 a lot.

    Too lazy to post.

  5. #5

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

    Culling the Weak enables the deck to play 8 cards that cost BBB. There isn't any way around this.
    BZK! - Storm Boards

    Been there, tried that, still casting Doomsday.
    Drawing my deck for 0 mana since 2013.

  6. #6
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    Re: [Deck] SI (B/x Storm Combo)

    Yeah that's why I said 12 slots are free. I think you were looking at the outdated version, because intent is not used. There is a ton of accel, si I would rather run something else. I really don't know if it's good or anything, but I threw together a B/r/u version.

    Lands:
    2 Polluted Delta
    2 Bloodstained Mire
    4 Underground Sea
    2 Badlands
    1 Swamp

    Accel
    4 Dark Ritual
    4 Cabal Ritual
    4 Simian Spirit Guide
    4 Lotus Petal
    4 Chrome Mox
    4 Lion's Eye Diamond

    Mana Fixing
    4 Wild Cantor

    Draw/Tutors
    4 Brainstorm
    4 Infernal Tutor
    4 Infernal Contract
    3 Meditate

    Win
    2 Tendrils
    2 EtW
    2 Ill-Gotten Gains

    Not tested, but it is a new idea for the deck.

  7. #7

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

    Street Wraith? The life loss is obviously an issue, but maybe it could work. It's on-color to imprint on Mox and it's a free way to dig for mana and build Thresh. 4 more cards and you can cut blue. Just throwing out ideas...

  8. #8
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    Re: [Deck] SI (B/x Storm Combo)

    I briefly netdecked a few of the lists and have a suggestion that i believe will improve SI's consistancy alot: UNMASK

    In breathweapon's list i took out 4 therapies for this card and was amazed. With therapy you have to sacrifice one of the tall peoplz which are crucial for culling the weak. Often there will be 1 card in you hand that dont plan on casting because of iggy or lion's eye in resp to infernal contract/bargain, infernal tutor so unmask is rarely dead. Its free so it easily builds up storm and because it is pinpoint hand discard, you will be ripping counters out of peoples hand before comboing off.
    Call me Ishmael

  9. #9

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

    Quote Originally Posted by emidln View Post
    Culling the Weak enables the deck to play 8 cards that cost BBB. There isn't any way around this.
    That's actually not true, I've had that U/b Tendrils list since the Fall. If you can Brainstorm and Mystical Tutor into your acceleration, you're effectively increasing their density. Mystical Tutor for a Cabal Ritual with Threshold during the Draw 4 chains is about as good as an artifact creature + Culling the Weak, and Mystical Tutor and Brainstorm can stack Draw 4s to cheat the odds. If you add more lands, you don't even need rituals to resolve Draw 4s.

    If you look at Vintage Long, the deck supports 4 Grim Tutors, Necropotence, Yawgmoth's Bargain and sometimes an Infernal Contract with just 8 rituals.

    Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with SI, I think its speed and its ability to SB out Cabal Therapy and SB in a set of Goblin Charblechers when its on the play against aggro/combo is awesome, but Culling the Weak is by no means necessary for supporting 8 Draw 4s.

    Edit: I misconstrued that quote, but I'll let the point stand.
    Quote Originally Posted by wastedlife View Post
    Breathweapon, I regret saying this but ... I've been liking you more and more every day.

  10. #10

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

    Quote Originally Posted by BreathWeapon View Post
    That's actually not true, I've had that U/b Tendrils list since the Fall. If you can Brainstorm and Mystical Tutor into your acceleration, you're effectively increasing their density. Mystical Tutor for a Cabal Ritual with Threshold during the Draw 4 chains is about as good as an artifact creature + Culling the Weak, and Mystical Tutor and Brainstorm can stack Draw 4s to cheat the odds. If you add more lands, you don't even need rituals to resolve Draw 4s.
    The problem is that you must first obtain Threshold, which is much more difficult to do without Culling the Weak. U/B Tendrils in Legacy is actually a fine deck, but it is forced to cheat to appear to have threat density. While it may seem like you can Mystical during a draw4 chain, the extra blue mana is rarely available. Once you've played your land per turn, you have Lotus Petal and Chrome Mox (if you happen to have another blue card) to cast.*

    If you look at Vintage Long, the deck supports 4 Grim Tutors, Necropotence, Yawgmoth's Bargain and sometimes an Infernal Contract with just 8 rituals.

    Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with SI, I think its speed and its ability to SB out Cabal Therapy and SB in a set of Goblin Charblechers when its on the play against aggro/combo is awesome, but Culling the Weak is by no means necessary for supporting 8 Draw 4s.
    Vintage Long supports 3 Grim Tutors, Necropotence, Yawgmoth's Bargain, sometimes an Infernal Contract on 4 Dark Ritual, 4 Cabal Ritual, and 1 Black Lotus. The major difference here is that our "necropotence" isn't the only card we have to cast. Even with Grim Tutor, they only need to cast 1-2 Rituals to Grim Tutor into Will/Bargain and just win on the spot. We do not have that capability since our equivilent usually requires us to play another one. I've never encountered an instance in Long where I've played a Necro to be forced to play a Bargain. Playing a Cruel Bargain to play an Infernal Contract to play an Ill-Gotten Gains is the norm in SI.

    *As an aside, I happen to think that the combination of Dark Rit/Cabal Rit/LED/Infernal Tutor/Mystical Tutor/Grim Tutor makes for the best combo deck in Legacy, but that's a different thread.
    BZK! - Storm Boards

    Been there, tried that, still casting Doomsday.
    Drawing my deck for 0 mana since 2013.

  11. #11

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

    I'm not certain I can come up with a counter argument to that other than that the deck works, and it just takes time to get a grip on the Brainstorm and Mystical Tutor interactions in the Draw 4 shell to pilot it. I rarely have an issue achieving Threshold or finding blue mana, because I have 8 more business cards and can afford to wait another two turns to achieve Threshold and 4 more lands to produce blue.

    That aside, is there a reason that the original deck list on page 1 of the MTGSalvation list was disregarded? It has the most ridiculous goldfish rate I have ever seen, and being able to support Goblin Charbelcher not just as an alternate kill condition, but as a win condition in multiples has made the Suicide match up favorable. It's amazing the number of sand bagging strategies this deck can use against Suicide, just boarding out the Cabal Therapies for 4 Tomb of Urami on the draw is giving me a great game against them.

    I'm at the first list on the MTGSalvation thread -1 Ill Gotten Gains for + 1 Goblin Charbelcher and just smashing the gauntlet. This deck came a long way from the original list posted on TheManaDrain.
    Quote Originally Posted by wastedlife View Post
    Breathweapon, I regret saying this but ... I've been liking you more and more every day.

  12. #12

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

    Quote Originally Posted by BreathWeapon View Post
    I'm not certain I can come up with a counter argument to that other than that the deck works, and it just takes time to get a grip on the Brainstorm and Mystical Tutor interactions in the Draw 4 shell to pilot it. I rarely have an issue achieving Threshold or finding blue mana, because I have 8 more business cards and can afford to wait another two turns to achieve Threshold and 4 more lands to produce blue.

    That aside, is there a reason that the original deck list on page 1 of the MTGSalvation list was disregarded? It has the most ridiculous goldfish rate I have ever seen, and being able to support Goblin Charbelcher not just as an alternate kill condition, but as a win condition in multiples has made the Suicide match up favorable. It's amazing the number of sand bagging strategies this deck can use against Suicide, just boarding out the Cabal Therapies for 4 Tomb of Urami on the draw is giving me a great game against them.

    I'm at the first list on the MTGSalvation thread -1 Ill Gotten Gains for + 1 Goblin Charbelcher and just smashing the gauntlet. This deck came a long way from the original list posted on TheManaDrain.
    We largely started testing more and it took more effort than it was worth to beat Control. I maintained for a long time that the original list was more than capable of smashing control, but in light of others not being able to reproduce my results, I started tweaking to make it easier to accomplish wins against control and aggro-control. In other words, there is no amazing reason why you should use the B/g list with Grants, other than it makes life more difficult in some matchups. As for goldfishing speed, you are correct, and I believe that the SI list posted there is the fastest deck ever legal in Vintage or Legacy in terms of goldfish speed.
    BZK! - Storm Boards

    Been there, tried that, still casting Doomsday.
    Drawing my deck for 0 mana since 2013.

  13. #13

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

    I don't seem to have a problem beating control with it, tho' aggro-control is a nuisance as always, and I'm not certain that replacing Cabal Therapy or Tendrils of Agony with Empty the Warrens is going in the right direction when Cabal Therapy is the reason you can disregard Stifle and Empty the Warrens is walking straight into removal game 2.

    I think the first incarnation of the deck had it right, minus the second Ill Gotten Gains, and if people need to dumb it down then reversing the Tendrils of Agony and Goblin Charbelcher ratio is the right call. I think Goblin Charblecher is the selling point of the original deck, because instead of using the Draw 4 chain or the IGG chain to win, the deck can just cast a Goblin Charbelcher and it becomes inevitable.

    I could see 3 Goblin Charbelcher, 4 Empty the Warrens, 4 Simian Spirit Guide and 1 Taiga as an entire SB plan with perhaps replacing one of the MD Bayou with a MD Taiga to free up the fourth space for a set of Oxidize.

    The cool thing about SI is that it's a shell that's capable of supporting all of storm combo's win conditions, has two different engines to find them and make them lethal (Tutur+LED and "connect 4") up to 12 stand alone threats (4 Blecher, 8 Draw 4) 8 free walls and the most savage top decks in the format. You get hit by Chalice of the Void really, really hard, but that's what game 3 is for.
    Quote Originally Posted by wastedlife View Post
    Breathweapon, I regret saying this but ... I've been liking you more and more every day.

  14. #14

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

    I don`t mean to hate on anyone`s deck or anything but I think the most important thing to consider with any combo deck right now is: Why am I playing this instead of TES? I heard it mentioned that someone said TES is tutor heavy but this deck is draw heavy. That would lend me to beleive that this deck may be more explosive and/or consistent than a deck like TES but you have alot more difficulties with hate than TES does. I guess what I am trying to say is that TES kills about as fast as you do and can answer hate better so why are you playing this? Beating aggro with a storm combo deck is not a problem or even an issue so what seperates an awesome storm tendrils deck from an ok one is its ability to deal with control and aggro control that are both playing colors that give them access to the MOST vicious anti-combo cards available in the format. In TES you have burning wish, xantid swarm and orim`s chant but what do you have in this deck? Unmask? Therapy? Most pieces of disruption that are truly scary are things like meddling mage, arcane lab and chalice of the void. You pretty much can`t win or have an extremely difficult time trying to combo off with them on the board. Chalice seems to be worse for this deck than almost any other storm combo deck out there because it stops your petals, moxes, LED`s, creatures and culling the weak and it comes down for zero as early as turn 1...ouch. Not to mention it is the most popular anti-combo card and any deck can run it. Sorry for such a long post
    To not thirst for power is to be at the mercy of those that do

  15. #15

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

    I lost a post in response to this, but I'll go over the points again in short.

    SI is faster than TES, at least twice as fast if not more.

    SI uses ritual based threats, Dark Ritual + Infernal Contract being countered isn't as devastating as Burning Wish + Lion's Eye Diamond being countered.

    SI has non-storm based win conditions, Goblin Charbelcher is "The Nuts" in the Land Grant version of the deck, and I think the Land Grant version of the deck could just be a better skeleton for a Goblin Charbelcher based deck.

    SI has Cabal Therapy, and unlike Xantid Swarm, Cabal Therapy can discard permanent based hate. SI is stronger than TES against permanent based hate on the play while weaker against permanent based hate on the draw. Furthermore, I'm not convinced that SI scoops to Chalice of the Void on the draw, because 4 Shattering Spree, 4 Simian Spirit Guide, 1 Taiga and 4 Empty the Warrens SB in for 4 Cabal Therapy, 4 Culling the Weak, 1 Bayou and 4 of whatever win condition you are running has good odds of removing the Chalice of the Void. 2cc and 3cc permanent based hate is frankly either ineffective or too slow, Pyrostatic Pillar isn't much of an issue when you can just play a Goblin Charbelcher, and Meddling Mage is only a minor nuisance.

    SI, next to Belcher, mulligans better than any other combo deck I have ever seen.
    Quote Originally Posted by wastedlife View Post
    Breathweapon, I regret saying this but ... I've been liking you more and more every day.

  16. #16
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    Re: [Deck] SI (B/x Storm Combo)

    What do you think of Pain's Reward as another draw 4 without leaving black?

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

    That's a big no. We even trim lands (and we are notoriously short on permanent mana sources, which is currently the main limitation on the deck's consistency) because they are terrible draws mid-combo. Pain's reward is pretty much uncastable unless you start off with it.

    If you are desperate for more heavy-duty draw spells, Meditate is the way to go... it also has the bonus of setting up hand that will overpower most reactive answers.

  18. #18

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

    Pain's Reward is too conditional, it has to be the first threat the deck casts and neither losing 19 life for 4 cards or giving the opponent 4 cards for 13 damage is acceptable. Promise of Power is the next best card advantage spell and 5cc for 5 cards or an X/X Flying Demon and 5 Life is too difficult to support.

    The next best threat I've found is either using 4 Goblin Charbelcher in the Land Grant version and/or Death Wish.

    A few notes,

    Cabal Therapy is worthless in the Land Grant version, because I 2 fisted the SI vs Threshold match up and found out if the Threshold opponent Force of Wills or Dazes the Chrome Mox, the game is over. In order for that deck to work, it has to replace Cabal Therapy with Unmask and cut four other cards for Pact of Negation to even stand a chance.

    From what I've found, SI needs 7 lands in order to support Cabal Therapy and not rely on Lotus Petal->Dark Ritual->Draw 4. 4 of those lands should be Fetchlands and 3 of those lands should be Dual Lands so the deck can thin lands but still build a 3 land mana base for the Draw 4s.

    I think it's possible that replacing 3 Tendrils of Agony and 1 Phyrexian Walker with 4 Death Wish could lead to more playable starting hands, storming short with Empty the Warrens instead of Tendrils of Agony and gives the deck answers to resolved hate (Death Wish->Massacre on Meddling Mage) or accelerating wins with Empty the Warrens (SB in 3 Empty the Warrens and 4 Simian Spirit Guide, then Death Wish->Dark Triumph to double Time Walk them). It's also possible that replacing 4 Infernal Tutor with 4 Death Wish could just be a more efficient tutoring mechanism for the deck, where Diminishing Returns is replacing the function of Ill Gotten Gains and is significantly better with artifact creature, Culling the Weak and Lion's Eye Diamond combinations. You also release 2 MD slots to the Ill Gotten Gains and a Tendrils of Agony, which facilitates MD Empty the Warrens.

    I have a strong suspicion that a list along the lines of,

    MD

    3 Tendrils of Agony
    3 Empty the Warrens
    4 Death Wish
    4 Infernal Contract
    4 Cruel Bargain
    4 Cabal Therapy
    4 Shield Sphere
    3 Phyrexian Walker
    4 Dark Ritual
    4 Cabal Ritual
    4 Culling the Weak
    4 Lion's Eye Diamond
    4 Chrome Mox
    4 Lotus Petal
    4 Polluted Delta
    3 Badlands

    SB

    1 Tendrils of Agony
    1 Empty the Warrens
    1 Diminishing Returns
    1 Massacre
    1 Snuff Out
    1 Dark Triumph
    1 Mind Swords
    1 Crash
    4 Shattering Spree

    would be an absurd wrecking ball against control and aggro-control. The next logical step would be to see if Burning Wish was superior to Death Wish and then go from there. In the Burning Wish version, I think the artifact creatures should be replaced with Kobolds to increase the number of cards that can be imprinted on Chrome Mox and give access to red mana. The deck can go down to 16 life before it loses 1 Draw 4 and 8 life before it loses 2 Draw 4s and Phyrexian Walker can't chump that well any way, so you may as well make them more useful in combo mode then draw-go mode, which is actually a terrible position to be in any way. You can still use Kobolds to strategically chump block at crucial life markers, and getting the opponent to kill the damn things has given me Threshold on a number of occasions. You really can't count on them keeping out Goblin Lackey, because Tin-Street Hooligans blow them away and leave you with out chaff for Culling the Weak.

    Game 3 on the play, board out the Draw 4's and board in Empty the Warrens and Simian Spirit Guide, the opponent will let the counter resolve so he can counter the Draw 4, and then you bait/switch with Empty the Warrens. You'll also notice people countering Dark Rituals just with a Badlands on the board if they think you're playing Red Death or you lead with an artifact creature and tip them off. You can constantly mind fuck your opponent into countering your rituals and boarding in removal just because you have Badlands on the board.

    Get use to winning with only 3 Draw 4's, Mogg Fanatic will always keep you off of the fourth Draw 4 unless you can gain life off of a Tendrils

    I'm going to be messing around with the Wish based versions, .
    Quote Originally Posted by wastedlife View Post
    Breathweapon, I regret saying this but ... I've been liking you more and more every day.

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

    I have actually experimented a version with Burning Wish for some time, and it's my favourite of the splashes. The toolbox is lovely, preserving functionality of the deck against most widely played hate.


    3 Badlands
    1 Wooded Foothills
    1 Polluted Delta
    1 Bloodstained Mire
    4 Lotus Petal
    4 Chrome Mox
    4 Lion's Eye Diamond
    4 Dark Ritual
    4 Culling the Weak
    4 Cabal Ritual
    2 Simian Spirit Guide

    4 Shield Sphere
    4 Phyrexian Walker

    4 Burning Wish
    4 Infernal Tutor
    4 Infernal Contract
    3 Cruel Bargain
    1 Ill-Gotten Gains

    2 Tendrils of Agony
    2 Empty the Warrens

    4 Cabal Therapy
    1 Duress
    1 Erase
    2 Shattering Spree
    1 Meltdown
    1 Rolling Earthquake
    1 Ill-gotten Gains
    1 Empty the Warrens
    1 Tendrils of Agony
    2 Massacre



    The major problem: Kobolds or Robots is a choice of damnations. Robots stretch the mana base to the limit, but running them buys us ~2 turns against many decks.



    When all is said and done, I still prefer the Land Grant-based version for its speed and consistency. Belcher is ridiculous and often remains a viable win condition when everything else has become unfeasible in an orgy of hate.

  20. #20

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

    I have the same list -1 Tendrils of Agony for + 1 Empty the Warrens, -2 Simian Spirit Guide for +2 lands, -4 Shield Sphere and -4 Phyrexian Walker for + 4 Kobolds of Kher Keep and + 4 Crookshank Kobolds. I'm convinced that Kobolds are better than artifact creatures, because the artifact creatures cause you to unintentionally misplay your deck by reducing your storm, making your opponent's Swords to Plowshares and Tin-Street Hooligans live and losing an outlet and not being able to imprint the card on Chrome Mox.

    I'm convinced it's the fastest combo deck in the format.

    I was experimenting with a Land Grant version that ended up with this,

    4 Goblin Charbelcher
    4 Death Wish
    4 Infernal Contract
    4 Cruel Bargain
    4 Unmask
    4 Pact of Negation
    4 Shield Sphere
    4 Phyrexian Walker
    4 Dark Ritual
    4 Cabal Ritual
    4 Culling the Weak
    4 Lion's Eye Diamond
    4 Chrome Mox
    4 Lotus
    4 Land Grant
    2 Bayou

    It's 62 cards and still uses the artifact creatures, because you NEED a defensive wall if you play Goblin Charblecher and expect to be able to top deck into mana to activate it, but it's great on the play and garbage on the draw. The problem is that I think R/g Belcher is just a better deck because the tier 0 mana producers aren't clear targets for the opponent's counter spells. If they counter your Chrome Mox/Land Grant, you're completely fucked.

    B/r Kobold SI is definitely the way to go, my U/g/w Threshold match up is ridiculous by combo standards. I'm really only afraid of Faerie Stompy, AfFOWnity, Suicide, Stax and red based aggro-prison at this point.
    Quote Originally Posted by wastedlife View Post
    Breathweapon, I regret saying this but ... I've been liking you more and more every day.

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