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Thread: Dragonstorm

  1. #1
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    Dragonstorm

    Moving this discussion over from the other thread, to avoid derailing the spoiler thread.

    This thread is for storm builds around the new card


    Credit to Scott for the idea first:
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott View Post
    I've been messing around with different ideas, and I brewed this up: https://www.moxfield.com/decks/6cTOltP71kCAQ779P8kZjA

    There are other directions you could go in (like Ruby Storm-style, artifacts, etc., or just a Burning Wish target in existing decks) but my favorite concept was having 12 Storm payoffs, without having to counterably tutor for it, kind of like Belcher's Empty plan, enlarged. Except we get to play sol lands.

    I submitted it to Tony Scapone as a dono deck, so when the set comes out, he'll stream it on Twitch and we'll get an idea of how good it is. I'll also be testing it on MTGO.
    Scott's decklist

    //Lands: 10
    4 Ancient Tomb
    1 City of Traitors
    1 Mountain
    4 Shatterskull Smashing

    //Mana: 38
    4 Lotus Petal
    4 Chrome Mox
    4 Simian Spirit Guide
    4 Rite of Flame
    4 Desperate Ritual
    4 Pyretic Ritual
    3 Manamorphose
    2 Grim Monolith
    4 Seething Song
    4 Jeska's Will
    1 Irencrag Feat

    //Business: 12
    4 Galvanic Relay
    4 Empty the Warrens
    4 Elemental Eruption

    //Sideboard: 15
    4 Leyline of the Void
    4 Leyline of Sanctity
    4 Abrade
    3 Pyroblast



    Quote Originally Posted by morgan_coke View Post
    Why do you not just have 1 or 2 Belchers in there as well? It's less reliable, but it still works. Song of Totentanz It makes an army given enough mana or for R gives your dragons haste and a +1 prowess.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott View Post
    I appreciate the thoughts on mana and such because it gets to a core matter of importance to this type of deck: the balance between initial mana, bigger mana, payoffs, lands that are amazing as uncounterable rituals but bad to draw in multiples when you want storm spells, and rituals that are amazing for storm count and ramp but need starting mana.

    I like your idea to compare the initial red sources to recent Belcher lists (neither deck can do anything without it). My deck has 17 atm: 1 Mountain, 4 MDFC, 4 Mox, 4 Petal, 4 SSG.

    This is the Belcher build that's had the most recent success. I would consider it to have ~18.5 initial red sources. It has 4 SSG, 4 Land Grant, 4 Mox, 4 Petal, and 1 Taiga. It has 4 SSG but those are only the initial red source if you also draw Tinder Wall, and the odds of that also being in your remaining 6 cards are 30-something percent, so I'll say it's 1.5 red sources. I think that way of counting the SSG green mana makes sense.
    https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/5366375

    This is another recent Belcher placing. I'd consider it to have ~14 initial red sources: 4 SSG, 3 Mox, 4 Petal, and this time 4 SSG and 4 Turntimber Symbiosis, which I'll apply the same math to, as they're only initial red mana if you also have Tinder Wall.
    https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/5267605

    Things get more complicated with Echo re-draws. They also get more complicated when discussing the starters beyond the initial mana, like Rite of Flame, because I have things like, initial red mana plus sol land into 3-drop, or sol lands into Monolith.

    The numbers are definitely not in stone (assuming it's not a doomed 2-3 league idea in the first place), but I'll give some reasons for my current numbers:

    In testing, 2-drop rituals are super important for going up the ladder, from initial mana, to 3-drops like Seething Song and Jeska's Will. It's a big reason why I added a couple of Monoliths, in addition to the multi-turn line into Elemental Eruption.

    Sandstone is really interesting. Adding it to the considering section on the deck page. I confess that I don't like the idea of it coming into play tapped. I haven't wanted more lands (Cities got trimmed), because you essentially fizzle as you have or Relay into too many lands that can't all be played in the same turn. So then it would be a question of what existing land it replaces. The most likely candidate would have to be City, because I'm not cutting any red lands, but I do like that 5th untapped sol land acceleration. Will have to test it at some point.

    It is nice that Needle an uncounterable ritual, and you can just wait a turn like with Monolith, but at least Monolith is always at a minimum mana positive in that turn.

    Apart from the lower reliability that you mentioned, because of the lands, Belcher quickly got the axe for a few reasons, at least in the conceptual frame that I'm going for: a.) Really focusing on mostly-uncounterable payoffs, unlike Belcher, and Echo and Burning Wish, if you want to group them in there b.) LED doesn't make sense as the build stands c.) In a general sense, mana intensive and susceptible to things like FoN.
    Will add more discussion below.

  2. #2
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    Re: Dragonstorm

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott View Post
    I appreciate the thoughts on mana and such because it gets to a core matter of importance to this type of deck: the balance between initial mana, bigger mana, payoffs, lands that are amazing as uncounterable rituals but bad to draw in multiples when you want storm spells, and rituals that are amazing for storm count and ramp but need starting mana.

    I like your idea to compare the initial red sources to recent Belcher lists (neither deck can do anything without it). My deck has 17 atm: 1 Mountain, 4 MDFC, 4 Mox, 4 Petal, 4 SSG.
    Did your last list have SSG or were they just added? Maybe I missed it in the Moxfield formatting. If so, ignore that comment. As you can see above, my comment assumed you had 0 SSG. 13 red seemed low. 17 is reasonable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott View Post
    Things get more complicated with Echo re-draws. They also get more complicated when discussing the starters beyond the initial mana, like Rite of Flame, because I have things like, initial red mana plus sol land into 3-drop, or sol lands into Monolith.
    LED + Echo improves mulligans, allowing those builds to run riskier opening hand %s because they can mulligan out of it. Unfortunately you can't play LED because you're not tutoring into the payoff spell.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott View Post
    In testing, 2-drop rituals are super important for going up the ladder, from initial mana, to 3-drops like Seething Song and Jeska's Will. It's a big reason why I added a couple of Monoliths, in addition to the multi-turn line into Elemental Eruption.
    Traditionally Belcher and Ruby Storm and The Epic Gamble avoid running too many 2 cmc rituals. They're the worst rituals for red storm. Because they only add +1 mana, they're no better than 0-1 cmc mana sources, except they're harder to use & more vulnerable to disruption. Red storm usually prefers another 0-1 cmc source to climb the ladder to 3.

    To hit 3 mana you need any 3 +1s. Example:
    Lotus Petal, Rite of Flame, Pyretic Ritual
    Lotus Petal, Rite of Flame, Simian Spirit Guide
    Lotus Petal, Rite of Flame, Mountain
    Lotus Petal, Rite of Flame, Lotus Petal

    They all build the ladder to 3. Pyretic Ritual doesn't do anything special (other than build storm, where spirit guides & land don't).

    But the other ones can also function as initial mana, play around Daze, give resilience against discard, cast SB hate cards without building the full ladder, etc. So in practice, Pyretic is usually the worst +1. Desperate Ritual and Grim Monolith at least have the potential to be +2 or +3.

    Increasing the number of free cyclers also builds storm: 4 Manamorphose.

    You could maybe consider Land Grant and Taiga (over Mountain). You only have 6 "lands", so Land Grant is still free on turn 1 most of the time (sometimes after playing 1 land). Permanent mana sources are good for casting SB cards or rebuilding after disruption. Land Grant + Taiga also brings the number of green sources to >9 (Land Grant, Taiga, Petal, sometimes Mox+Manamorphose/Land Grant), which is enough to have green cards in the SB. Green answers things red cannot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott View Post
    Sandstone is really interesting. Adding it to the considering section on the deck page. I confess that I don't like the idea of it coming into play tapped. I haven't wanted more lands (Cities got trimmed)
    ETB tapped lands are a risk. They set up for going off turn 2, but can't go off turn 1. Ruby Storm sometimes played them. Belcher didn't. I assumed with sol lands and Grim Monolith those lines were building for turn 2 anyway. In that case, Needle may not be that bad and seems better than City. But if you are trying to go off turn 1 or go off after Relay, then Needle is bad. So it depends when and how you try to go off.

    I agree Belcher doesn't fit. You've gone up on non-Mountain lands, and you don't have LED to pay the activation cost.

    Good luck with testing!

  3. #3
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    Re: Dragonstorm

    Like Scott suggested, let's say the game plan is to be resilient to Force by avoiding tutors and counterable payoffs. Use redundant storm wincons instead of relying on cards like Goblin Charbelcher, Burning Wish, Echo of Eons, Gaea's Will, or Infernal Tutor (traditional choke points that are vulnerable to Force).

    After reflecting on some of the above comments and brewing a bit, I wondered why the deck needs to be restricted to monored.

    Monored struggles with answering hate.
    - T1 Deafening Silence is a big obstacle. Monored struggles to remove enchantments. Other colors can kill enchantments.
    - Terminus/Powder Keg/Toxic Deluge/Plague Engineer killing all the tokens is a big setback. Monored struggles to interact with the stack and spells in hand, yet the plan requires passing the turn & using the combat step, which allows opponent to interact. Blue or black could interact with spells.
    - Storm counters still get through: Flusterstorm, Mindbreak Trap, Stifle. Red blasts stop the last 2 but not Flusterstorm.

    Black has better rituals and discard

    Blue has better card selection and bounce

    Green offers some other fast mana, stack protection and enchantment kill

    White has disenchant effects and Silence effects

    Unlike Belcher and Oops, there's no deck construction limitation keeping you at few lands, so more lands and colors are possible.



    You could make an RB build splashing for better mana acceleration (Dark Ritual, Cabal Ritual) and discard protection. This is roughly built around a shell I built earlier for ramping into Mind's Desire/Peer into the Abyss using only the "big guns" for resource efficiency (Dark Rit + Rite of Flame + Grim Monolith, with Seething Song replacing LED). It should hit 6 mana for Elemental Eruption consistently. Building around +2s instead of +1s, you need fewer total resources to go off, which helps after mulligans or disruption.


    //Lands: 15
    4 Shatterskull Smashing
    4 Bloodstained Mire
    3 Badlands
    1 Bayou
    3 Troll of Khazad-dm

    //Mana Sources: 27
    4 Lotus Petal
    4 Chrome Mox
    4 Rite of Flame
    4 Dark Ritual
    3 Grim Monolith
    4 Manamorphose
    4 Seething Song

    //Protection: 6
    4 Thoughtseize
    2 Duress

    //Business: 12
    4 Galvanic Relay
    4 Empty the Warrens
    4 Elemental Eruption

    //Rough SB: 15
    4 Leyline of the Void
    3 Hull Breach
    2 Brotherhood's End
    2 Feed the Swarm
    2 Carpet of Flowers
    2 Veil of Summer


    Discard answers not only counters but also mass removal, storm hate, faster combos, etc. Cabal Therapy is possible over Duress. It flashes back off Goblin tokens, adds to storm count, triggers Prowess on attacking Dragons, etc.

    Troll functions as an alternate 6-mana "payoff" (most players board out StP vs Storm).

    SB has 5 answers to Chalice/Spheres, 5 answers to Deafening Silence, 4 answers to hatebears (plus Smashing main), 4 answers to faster Reanimator, 4 answers to blue decks, and 2 answers for discard. That should give more ability to answer hate than monored.

  4. #4
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    Re: Dragonstorm

    I tested this a bit. The Empty the Warrens hands felt so weak. You don't want to make 1/1 Goblins, especially not past turn 1 (if taking a turn to develop mana, discard, Galvanic Relay, etc.). Empty feels like a dud.

    I tested a UR version cutting Empty. Made 257 hasty Dragons on turn 2 (ranging from 6/6 to 22/22). Protected by turn 1 Defense Grid!

  5. #5

    Re: Dragonstorm

    Replace empty with beseach/will

  6. #6
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    Re: Dragonstorm

    I switched to blue instead and tested this:

    If ramping to 6 anyway, why not cast Mind's Desire instead of Empty? Then it's all dragons, no pesky goblins.


    //"Lands": 16
    4 Sea Gate Restoration
    4 Lorien Revealed
    4 Volcanic Island
    4 Ancient Tomb

    //Artifacts: 21
    4 Lotus Petal
    4 Mox Opal
    4 Lion's Eye Diamond
    3 Chrome Mox
    3 Grim Monolith
    3 Defense Grid

    //Spells: 23
    4 Brainstorm
    4 Ponder
    4 Burning Wish
    3 Galvanic Relay
    4 Mind's Desire
    4 Elemental Eruption

    //Sideboard: 15
    1 Tendrils of Agony
    1 Galvanic Relay
    1 Peer into the Abyss
    1 Mizzix's Mastery
    1 Song of Totentanz
    1 Brotherhood's End
    1 Consign // Oblivion
    2 Chain of Vapor
    2 Flusterstorm
    4 Leyline of the Void


    I caved and added Burning Wish to this version, because it works so much better with Mind's Desire (Mizzix's Mastery combo, Peer into the Game Win, Tendrils or Song to win without passing the turn).

    It's slower than the explosive Belcher/MonoR version, but it has more flexibility with card selection, access to SB tools against hate, and mulliganning less. It also wins on the combo turn more than half the time and doesn't need 1/1 goblins.

    Mind's Desire & Wish->Peer lead to the most crushing wins. But Elemental Eruption and Relay are both great value on fewer resources.

    Mind's Desire chains usually end in Wish -> Tendrils or Wish -> Song for hasty 6/6 dragons!

    Mizzix's Mastery is tech to use LED to pay for 6cmc storm spells when safe behind Grid. Wish + Mastery costs 4RR (same cost as Elemental Eruption or Mind's Desire) and casts the storm card from graveyard (with +2 storm count!). You can use 3 from cracked LED for the cost. So it's a cheat code on mana & storm for the 6cmc payoff spells. But it does risk disruption so it's not always optimal.

    LED can pay for a lot. Even without Wish, it pays for cards exiled by Galvanic Relay, doesn't discard cards exiled by Mind's Desire, and you can do tricks with Brainstorm/Ponder to pay for a storm payoff put on top of library.

    I tried Manifold Key over Chrome Mox. It usually led to overkill colorless mana, while sometimes Key was uncastable when you preferred another colored IMS.

  7. #7
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    Re: Dragonstorm

    For comparison I tested an RB version using Beseech instead of Empty


    //Lands: 15
    4 Shatterskull Smashing
    4 Bloodstained Mire
    3 Badlands
    1 Bayou
    3 Troll of Khazad-dm

    //Mana Sources: 25
    4 Lotus Petal
    4 Chrome Mox
    4 Rite of Flame
    4 Dark Ritual
    4 Manamorphose
    3 Cabal Ritual
    2 Grim Monolith

    //Protection: 6
    4 Thoughtseize
    2 Duress

    //Business: 14
    1 Gaea's Will
    4 Galvanic Relay
    4 Beseech the Mirror
    1 Tendrils of Agony
    4 Elemental Eruption

    //SB: 15
    4 Leyline of the Void
    3 Hull Breach
    2 Brotherhood's End
    2 Feed the Swarm
    2 Carpet of Flowers
    2 Veil of Summer


    Both this and the UR build now run some counterable tutors (Beseech in RB, Wish in UR). So it deviates from the original plan. But at least no Empty.

    This works consistently.

    Between this and the UR build:
    -This one is a bit faster on average
    -This one has more maindeck protection (6 discard vs 3 grid)
    -This one depends more on the graveyard (Will & Rituals vs Mizzix's Mastery)
    -This one depends more on Galvanic Relay, so sometimes you pass the turn twice (2nd Relay or non-haste Dragons)
    -Beseech has no synergy with Dragons, Desire does
    -UR has better hand sculpting & card draw
    -UR is better at winning on the combo turn, passing less often
    -UR is more fun to durdle with but opponent will quit before you can stack the 3rd Mind's Desire or 5th Elemental Eruption

    Because this now relies on the Beseech tech, it might just be a worse version of ANT/regular storm. Does a tuned storm list get better by adding Monolith and Elemental Eruption? Unclear.

    What I like about the UR build is it's a distinct 6cmc storm deck, instead of a worse version of a Tier storm deck.
    Last edited by FTW; 04-20-2024 at 02:15 PM.

  8. #8
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    Re: Dragonstorm

    Really interesting brewing!

    This is more in the Ruby Storm category, but GuiBonella got the first two 5-0s that I've seen, with 2X Elemental Eruption, then going up to 4X:

    https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/6328730#online
    https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/6330871#online

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    Re: Dragonstorm

    I like the use of Questing Druid and Sticker Goblin (over their spell alternatives) in a storm deck with a side beatdown plan.

    Also no 2cmc rituals, just card draw instead.

    Edit: Other similar builds have made results this week. Elemental Mastery looks strong!
    Last edited by FTW; 04-25-2024 at 10:00 PM.

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    Re: Dragonstorm

    This version without Mind's Desire is faster. Jeska's Will is nuts when casting Echos or trying to go off turn 1.

    Monolith & Lorien -> Rite & Jeska
    Mind's Desire -> Echo
    Ponder -> Gamble

    These changes favor being explosive over setting up for T3.

    It gains speed at the expense of card draw/selection. The other version has better sculpting & recovery but is slower.


    //Artifacts: 20
    4 Lotus Petal
    4 Lion's Eye Diamond
    4 Mox Opal
    4 Chrome Mox
    4 Defense Grid

    //Spells: 27
    4 Brainstorm
    3 Gamble
    4 Rite of Flame
    4 Burning Wish
    4 Jeska's Will
    4 Echo of Eons
    4 Elemental Eruption

    //Lands: 13
    4 Volcanic Island
    4 Scalding Tarn
    4 Ancient Tomb
    1 City of Traitors

    //Sideboard:
    1 Tendrils of Agony
    1 Mind's Desire
    1 Peer into the Abyss
    1 Song of Totentanz
    1 Fiery Confluence
    1 Consign // Oblivion
    3 Galvanic Relay
    2 Surgical Extraction
    2 Chain of Vapor
    2 Abrade


    The SB Mind's Desire means this deck can sometimes Mind's Desire better than the 4x Desire deck! I've made over 1000 hasty Dragons on turn 1!

    Wish -> Peer -> draw 25 -> build storm -> Wish -> Desire -> Grids -> more storm -> too many dragons -> Echo -> Desire again -> more dragons -> Echo -> Desire -> more dragons -> Echo -> Desire -> more dragons -> etc.. -> Wish -> Song -> Wish Tendrils to hand. Go to combat step.

    I think that is called poor sportsmanship.
    Last edited by FTW; 04-30-2024 at 08:58 PM.

  11. #11
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    Re: Dragonstorm

    Bryant Cook played a league with a different build. He put it in a Ruby Storm/Birgi shell: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1_o55E8iL8

    I like the Desire build more for its flashiness, but I'm assuming the card is decent in a number of shells.

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    Re: Dragonstorm

    The Birgi build is the most popular so far. Bryant was just playing someone else's 5-0 list. Sticker Goblin and Questing Druid are strong in a deck that wants to pass the turn and attack with Dragons.

    The 4x Desire build is fun, but the Echo/Gamble version (with Desire SB) is probably stronger.

    Jeska's Will is the only ritual that goes from 3 to 6 so it's very good at turn 1 Dragons. On later turns, Grid locks their hand after Echo so they'll often have 7 cards. So a shell with Grid, Echo, Gamble, LED, Rite is the best at Will into Dragons.

    Will also makes it easier to Wish into Peer.

    Turn 1 Sol Land, Petal/Mox, Jeska's Will, LED, Wish is a turn 1 Peer (if opponent doesn't mull to 5 or have Force).

    Floating mana through T1 Echo also makes T1 Peer accessible.

    In this deck it is really Peer Into the Game Win. If it resolves, you get enough resources to protect with Grid and choose between Tendrils or hasty Dragons (plays around Veil, Leyline of Sanctity, etc). Very hard to lose.

    When Will is bad, they can be boarded for Galvanic Relays. Relay can replace Echo when Echo is bad.

    Birgi doesn't make turn 1 Dragons, so I think the Echo shell with Will has more synergy with Dragons (even though Birgi is obviously good).
    Last edited by FTW; 04-30-2024 at 11:34 PM.

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