DSC01804

Cook’s Kitchen – Storm Hands IV

Cook’s Kitchen – Storm Hands IV

It’s been a while since my last Storm Hands! Luckily, it’s back! This time we’re going to focus on beating any storm deck’s worse nightmare – MUD/Stax. While The EPIC Storm can be blazingly fast, sometimes its pure speed is just not enough to defeat MUD. The best advice I can give is to win the die roll, however, they say those odds are random. The reason these “MUD” decks are an issue is that they play cards such as Chalice of the Void, Trinisphere, and Lodestone Golem. These cards can completely shut down anyone trying to create a storm, they create long lasting effects that are much more difficult than a Force of Will to win through.

Don’t fret! While the match-up against MUD is incredibly difficult, it is certainly winnable. Although, there are some harsh realities EPIC Storm players need to face before we can continue:

  • We don’t have a “wishable” Artifact destruction spell anymore, because of this everything else below this is true.
  • If the MUD Player successfully casts a Trinisphere in the first game of a match, we cannot win that game.
  • Lodestone Golem while devastating, isn’t the end of the world, it’s possible to win through it.
  • Don’t scoff at Wurmcoil Engine, it shuts down Empty the Warrens, our best plan of attack!
  • Chalice of the Void hurts, but it’s not impossible to win with it on the table.

Shattering SpreeIn the recent past, The EPIC Storm ran a Sorcery speed artifact destruction spell in the sideboard as a Burning Wish target. With the printing of Abrupt Decay, this changed, there were too many cards to fit within those fifteen slots. Because of this, Shattering Spree is now without a home. For those of you still playing my long-time friend, this is how the card interacts with Chalice of the Void and Trinisphere:

Situation A: The opponent has a Chalice of the Void on zero and one, yes, they’re very “lucky.” You have a tapped Volcanic Island and Gemstone Mine from casting Burning Wish the previous turn finding Shattering Spree. Untap, draw, and lay a City of Brass. Tap all three lands for red and cast Shattering Spree replicating it twice. It seems complicated, but in fact, it’s actually very simple. Replicate puts a copy of the spell onto the stack and Chalice of the Void only counters “played” spells. This means that the original spell will be countered, however, the other two are still on the stack. The Chalice of the Void on zero doesn’t stop them either. This scenario will end with two destroyed Chalice of the Void if targets are played correctly.

Situation B: You already have Shattering Spree in hand, the opponent has a tapped Grim Monolith, Voltaic Key and Trinisphere. You have two City of Brass and a Gemstone Mine. If you cast Shattering Spree and replicate it twice the mana cost will not be 3RR, but instead you can successfully cast and destroy three artifacts for three red mana! As long as the converted mana cost of Shattering Spree is three by the time it’s cast is all that matters. You might as well take down two other artifacts!

Before we dive into the games let’s talk about some of the strategies you’ll want to keep in mind in order to defeat T.E.S.’s worst match-up. First off, mulligan aggressively! If it doesn’t win on turn one or two, send it back. Empty the Warrens is very good in this match-up, the only card MUD has to compete with a bunch of Goblins is Wurmcoil Engine. On the Brightside, Wurmcoil costs six mana. While Empty the Warrens isn’t the guaranteed win you prefer, it’s important to combo out before Chalice,Trinisphere, or Lodestone Golem hit the table. Outside of these things, there just simply isn’t much that you can do during game one.

[Editor’s note – click any of blue card names or featured card images to view and purchase the card from Jupiter Games!]

Post board is actually slightly better for us, more than likely the MUD deck will be siding in Trinisphere if they weren’t already playing it main deck and possibly Phyrexian Revoker. Meanwhile, The EPIC Storm actually gains answers to those problem cards that were unanswerable previously in game one. Enough talking, let’s take a look at the deck list.

This is my most current list of The EPIC Storm.The deck list doesn’t change much does it? There are a few small changes in the sideboard though! The differences from the sideboard posted in Storm Hands III would be one less Cabal Therapy and a lack of Hull Breach for two copies of Xantid Swarm. With Sneak & Show as well as Reanimator on the rise once again our Bug friend has found it self back in our sideboards. It’s also very good against the High Tide decks as well as the new ‘Post decks.

Pretty simple stuff, let’s move on to the Storm hands!

Hand I: TES is on the play against MUD.

Opening Hand: Chrome Mox, Lotus Petal, Brainstorm, Gitaxian Probe, Burning Wish, Empty the Warrens and Dark Ritual.

On the draw this would be an automatic mulligan. There’s just too much of a risk to keep this hand against an opponent with the ability to cast a turn one Chalice of the Void for zero. However, on the play this hand is solid. It wants its cantrips to hit business for increased storm, but it does have a guaranteed Warrens if it doesn’t play Brainstorm.

Keep

The first decision is if this hand wants to cast Brainstorm using Chrome Mox. I personally wouldn’t because it takes away the sure thing of a turn one Empty the Warrens. I would begin with a Gitaxian Probe for information.

Gitaxian Probe (18 Life), draw Chrome Mox (Storm 1)
Probe reveals Ancient Tomb, Ancient Tomb, Mox Opal, Grim Monolith, Lodestone Golem, Wurmcoil Engine and Crucible of Worlds

This hand is actually really good against T.E.S. it can cast either a turn two Lodestone Golem or a Wurmcoil Engine. We better work fast!

We drew another initial mana source off of Probe, meaning I think it’s now right to play Brainstorm. We need Brainstorm to add to the storm count if we’re going to try and defeat a second turn Wurmcoil Engine. All we need is another initial mana source or a black card to imprint on Chrome Mox.

Lotus Petal (Storm 2)
Brainstorm (Storm 3)
Brainstorm draws Burning Wish, Brainstorm, and Infernal Tutor
Put Brainstorm on top of the library followed by Burning Wish
Chrome Mox, Imprinting Infernal Tutor (Storm 4)
Chrome Mox, Imprinting Burning Wish (Storm 5)
Dark Ritual (BBB – Storm 6),
Tap the second Chrome Mox
Finally cast Empty the Warrens for fourteen Goblins (Storm 7)

Pass the turn

MUD draws, lays Ancient Tomb taps it (18 life)
Mox Opal, Grim Monolith and then motions for T.E.S. to take its turn

Untap and draw Burning Wish
Attack for fourteen tapping all of the Goblins, MUD falls to six life
Afterwards, cast Burning Wish targeting Grapeshot

MUD untaps, draws, and lays a City of Traitors
MUD pauses for a moment, and then taps City, Monolith and Ancient Tomb (4 life)
MUD plays Wurmcoil Engine

Untap and draw Brainstorm

If we swing into MUD, they’ll block one Goblin and then take thirteen from the rest of the Goblins. But not before Wurmcoil Engine gains six life. Luckily, that still puts MUD to negative three.

Attack

It’s important to note that fourteen Goblins on the play was barely enough to defeat a turn two Wurmcoil. If the MUD player had a pair of City of Traitors instead of Ancient Tomb we might’ve been in some trouble.

Hand II: TES is on the draw against MUD.

Opening Hand: Gemstone Mine, City of Brass, Lotus Petal, Burning Wish, Chrome Mox, Volcanic Island and Rite of Flame.

This hand is simply too slow against MUD. It won’t do anything or even attempt to stop a Lodestone Golem or Trinisphere from hitting the table.

Mulligan

Opening Hand II: Ponder, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Dark Ritual, Gemstone Mine, Silence and Underground Sea

I’ve kept much worse, let’s try it. It’s going to be better than almost any five card hand.

Keep

MUD Begins the game with an Ancient Tomb (18 Life) into Grim Monolith
Passes the turn to TES

TES draws Chrome Mox for turn

Normally I’m an advocate of playing out all artifact mana before there is a cost on them (Sphere of Resistance/Trinisphere), however, I think it’s best to cast Silence on MUD’s upkeep. This means that there’s no reason to play them yet. The alternative is to play Ponder and pass. That line of play doesn’t dig as deep for a tutor effect and allows the MUD player a crucial turn to play game ending spells.

Gemstone Mine, pass

During MUD’s upkeep cast Silence
MUD draws and lays a Darksteel Citadel

T.E.S. untaps and draws Gitaxian Probe
Gitaxian Probe (18 life) drawing Lotus Petal (Storm 1)
Probe reveals Lodestone Golem, Phyexian Metamorph, Karn Liberated, Crucible of Worlds and Metalworker
Lay Underground Sea, tap it, and cast Ponder (Storm 2)
Ponder looks at Rite of Flame, Chrome Mox, and Flooded Strand
Shuffle and draw Lotus Petal

Remember what I said about avoiding your spells being taxed? This is an exception. Lodestone Golem doesn’t tax artifacts. Playing them now would be wrong, because we currently need them for storm.

Pass

MUD untaps and draws
MUD taps Grim Monolith and Darksteel Citadel to cast Lodestone Golem
End the turn

T.E.S. untaps and draws Volcanic Island
Lay it and pass

MUD untaps Citadel and draws
Taps both lands (16 life)
Plays Phyrexian Metamorph (14 Life) copying Lodestone Golem (14 life)
Attacks for five (TES at 13 life)

T.E.S. untaps and draws Lion’s Eye Diamond
End the turn

MUD untaps, drops a City of Traitors,
Taps its lands (12 life) and drops a Batterskull
T.E.S. isn’t looking good after it takes an attack from two Golems (TES at 3 Life)

Untap, draw Burning Wish
Lotus Petal (Storm 1)
Lotus Petal (Storm 2)
Chrome Mox (Storm 3)
Lion’s Eye Diamond (Storm 4)
Lion’s Eye Diamond (Storm 5)
Tap all three lands, which sacrifices a Gemstone Mine
Dark Ritual (BBB – Storm 6)
sacrifice Lotus Petal (RBBB)
Cast Burning Wish, in response break both Lion’s Eye Diamond (BBBBBB – Storm 7) Tendrils of Agony for 16 life (Storm 8)

Sideboard Strategy

Before we begin the sideboarded games, let’s talk strategy again. On the play the deck wants Silence over bounce, on the draw vice versa. Silence can be used to essentially “Timewalk” the opponent by preventing them casting dangerous spells. On the draw, that’s much less likely to happen. The game plan is currently:

On the Play:
-2 Silence
-3 Duress
+3 Abrupt Decay
+2 Cabal Therapy

On the Draw:
-4 Silence
-3 Duress
+3 Abrupt Decay
+2 Cabal Therapy
+2 Chain of Vapor

Hand III: TES is on the play against MUD (Post Board)

Opening Hand: Ponder, Cabal Therapy, Dark Ritual, Infernal Tutor, Burning Wish, Lotus Petal and Abrupt Decay.

Mulligan.

Opening Hand II: Ad Nauseam, Dark Ritual, City of Brass, Gemstone Mine, Rite of Flame and Chrome Mox

Better. Keep.

Gemstone Mine
Play Chrome Mox, Imprinting Rite of Flame (Storm 1)
Pass

MUD plays a Wasteland and a Chalice of the Void on zero

TES draws Misty Rainforest and then puts it on the battlefield
End of turn

MUD draws and lays a Darksteel Citadel

T.E.S. draws Cabal Therapy and then puts City of Brass on the table
Passes the turn

MUD slams another Wasteland targeting City of Brass
Hold up!
We have a response
Tap it (19 life), float a black mana
MUD attempts to pass the turn, but not before we have some fun
Dark Ritual (BBB – Storm 1)
sacrifice Misty Rainforest (TES at 18 life) searching for Underground Sea
Tap out to cast Ad Nauseam (Storm 2)

  • Gitaxian Probe (17 life)
  • Burning Wish (15 life)
  • Burning Wish (13 life)
  • Dark Ritual (12 life)
  • Rite of Flame (11 life)
  • Rite of Flame (10 life)
  • Infernal Tutor (8 life)
  • Abrupt Decay (6 life)
  • Brainstorm (5 life)
  • Lion’s Eye Diamond (5 life)
  • Chrome Mox (5 life)
  • Volcanic Island (5 life)
  • Burning Wish (3 life)
  • Stop

That was actually a pretty miserable Ad Nauseam, but I think it’ll get the job done.

TES untaps and draws Brainstorm
Gitaxian Probe (1 life) drawing Silence (Storm 1)
Probe reveals Lodestone Golem, Phyrexian Metamorph, Crucible of Worlds, Trinisphere, Mishra’s Factory and Mox Opal
Play Volcanic Island, tap it to cast Brainstorm (Storm 2)
Brainstorm draws Lotus Petal, Cabal Therapy, and Scalding Tarn
Put Silence and Scalding Tarn on top of the library
Play all three artifact mana spells, Chrome Mox, Lotus Petal, and Lion’s Eye Diamond
All are countered by Chalice of the Void (Storm 5)

Rite of Flame (RR – Storm 6)
Rite of Flame (RRRR – Storm 7)
Dark Ritual (BBBRRRR – Storm 8)
Burning Wish targeting Tendrils of Agony (BBBRR – Storm 9)
Cast Tendrils of Agony for 20 life (B – Storm 10)

Hand IV – TES is on the draw against MUD (Post Board)

Opening Hand: City of Brass, Lotus Petal, Chain of Vapor, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Chrome Mox, Dark Ritual and Burning Wish

It’s actually a pretty good hand. It has Chain of Vapor, a Tutor, and plenty of mana.

Keep

MUD begins with Ancient Tomb (18 life) to cast a Chalice of the Void on one

T.E.S. draws Brainstorm
City of Brass, Lotus Petal (Storm 1)
Chrome Mox, Imprinting Dark Ritual ( Storm 2)
Lion’s Eye Diamond (Storm 3)
Tap City of Brass (19 Life), tap Chrome Mox (RB)
Cast Burning Wish, in response break Lion’s Eye Diamond (UUU – Storm 4)
Retrieve Empty the Warrens,
sacrifice Lotus Petal and cast Empty the Warrens for ten goblins (Storm 5)
Pass

MUD untaps and draws
Puts a Darksteel Citadel into play followed by a Mox Opal
Taps all of it’s lands (16 life) to cast Lodestone Golem

TES untaps and draws Rite of Flame
Attack for ten! Nine goblins make it through!
MUD is now at 7 life

MUD untaps, draws and concedes

Hand V: TES is on the play against MUD (Post Board)

Opening Hand: Abrupt Decay, City of Brass, Lotus Petal, Infernal Tutor, Misty Rainforest, Underground Sea and Dark Ritual

It’s an extremely slow hand unless it finds a Lion’s Eye Diamond, but it has the potential to win through everything but Lodestone Golem

Keep

Misty Rainforest and Lotus Petal (Storm 1)
Pass

MUD draws, City of Traitors, Grim Monolith, taps Monolith into Trinisphere
End the turn

Well that’s obnoxious.
Draw a second Abrupt Decay
Play Underground Sea, pass

MUD draws
Plays Wasteland (Sacrificing City of Traitors) on Underground Sea, tap in response
Misty Rainforest quickly goes to the graveyard
Find the other Underground Sea (19 life)
TES taps all of its permanents to cast Abrupt Decay on Trinisphere

TES untaps and draws Lotus Petal
Lay City of Brass and Lotus Petal (Storm 1)
Pass the turn

MUD draws, puts Ancient Tomb on the battlefield
Then a Chalice of the Void for one
TES taps its two lands and uses its second Abrupt Decay (18 life)

TES untaps and draws a second copy of Dark Ritual
Tap Underground Sea, Dark Ritual (BBB – Storm 1)
Dark Ritual (BBBBB – Storm 2)
Infernal Tutor finding Ad Nauseam (BBB – Storm 3)
Tap City of Brass (17 life) and sacrifice Lotus Petal to cast Ad Nauseam (Storm 4)

  • Chrome Mox (17 life)
  • Gemstone Mine (17 life)
  • Burning Wish (15 life)
  • Brainstorm (14 life)
  • Rite of Flame (13 life)
  • Rite of Flame (12 life)
  • Gemstone Mine (12 life)
  • Rite of Flame (11 life)
  • Empty the Warrens (7 life)
  • Lion’s Eye Diamond (7 life)
  • Dark Ritual (6 life)
  • Cabal Therapy (5 life)
  • Lion’s Eye Diamond (5 life)
  • City of Brass (5 life)
  • Ponder (4 life)
  • Brainstorm (3 life)
  • Silence (2 life)
  • Stop

Gemstone Mine,
Chrome Mox, Imprinting Empty the Warrens (Storm 5)
Tap Chrome Mox to cast all three Rite of Flame (RRRRRRR – Storm 8)
Tap Gemstone Mine (Two Counters) to cast Dark Ritual (BBBRRRRRRRR – Storm 9)
Cabal Therapy naming Mindbreak Trap(BBRRRRRRRR – Storm 10)
MUD reveals an uninteractive hand
Lion’s Eye Diamond (BBRRRRRRRR – Storm 11)
Burning Wish for Tendrils of Agony (BBRRRRRR – Storm 12)
Brain the opponent for 26 life (RRRR – Storm 13)

Here are three hands for you to try!

Opening Hand: Lotus Petal, Chrome Mox, Duress, Duress, Infernal Tutor, Infernal Tutor and Ponder

Opening Hand II: Gemstone Mine, Gemstone Mine, Underground Sea, Silence, Burning Wish, Burning Wish and Brainstorm

Opening Hand III: Duress, Rite of Flame, Silence, Ponder, Infernal Tutor, Lotus Petal and Scalding Tarn

Please give me some feedback and do try out the hands for you.

Well that’s all for this week, come back again next week! Until then, keep Storming!

Bryant Cook
Bryant Cook on MTGthesource
BCook3289@yahoo.com

Leave a Comment...