Cook’s Kitchen – Updating Storm

I’ve played The E.P.I.C Storm or T.E.S (pronounced by the letters, it’s not said like test without a second t) in three large events at Jupiter Games over the last three months. In fact, T.E.S. is the only deck I play in large Legacy events. Playing the same deck every event has benefits, but it also has downsides. I’m extremely skilled with the deck, I know it in and out and can find ways out of scenarios where others would have conceded.  On the downside, every round my opponent sits down knowing that they’re looking for a way to stop ten storm. To read more about these events please visit these tournament reports:

Storming to Jupiter pt.2

Storming to Jupiter pt.3

During these events I’ve finished fifth, second, and eleventh in that order. Even when my opponents all know what they’re playing against every single round, T.E.S still has been coming out on top. The reasoning being (not counting play skill) that The EPIC Storm is in an incredible position right now in the metagame. With Maverick and “Nic Fit” (What an awful deck name) dominating most of the large events, Storm is a great deck to play because it can easily handle both of these mid-range board control decks. Maverick and “Nic Fit” don’t have much to interact with combo. Maverick has a singleton Gaddock Teeg in the sideboard as a Green Sun Zenith target and “Nic Fit” has some discard. Gaddock Teeg can be a problem, but there’s a reason T.E.S plays four bounce spells and Grapeshot in the sideboard.


[Side note: Gaddock Teeg is easily in my top five for most hated Magic Cards. I wish someone would collect Teeg and burn them afterwards. That would be the greatest birthday present ever, besides more Walking Dead and zombie related stuff. If someone does this send me a picture and I’ll turn it into an article. My birthday is in the beginning of March, meaning that there’s a time frame. Let’s make this happen!]


Back to topic, Nic Fit’s discard can cause a game loss here and there. But for the most part the match-up is fairly easy. If the discard spells turn into a problem the solution is really simple, one of the deck’s newest tools shines here. Past in Flames.



Allow Nic Fit to discard it and flash it back when there are enough resources to win the game. While these decks don’t pose a major threat to T.E.S they do something much more important than allow an easy win. These two mid-range decks are pushing out T.E.S’s bad match-ups – decks that play islands. You’d think islands would be bad match-ups, right? Well it hasn’t been the case as of late. In the linked reports up above, I was dominating these Island-based Delver decks. I didn’t fair badly against them in my eleventh place finish either. I faced a blue deck every single round until my “win-and-in” round six where I was paired against a stax variant. Needless to say, even that match came down to a very close game three. The secret behind beating all of these blue decks is simple:


Orim’s Chant W


Kicker {W} (You may pay an additional {W} as you cast this spell.)

Target player can’t cast spells this turn.

If Orim’s Chant was kicked, creatures can’t attack this turn.


Silence   W


Your opponents can’t cast spells this turn. (Spells cast before this resolves are unaffected.)


The most recent trend in Delver of Secrets based tempo decks has been Stifle paired along with Spell Snare. Orim’s Chant and Silence completely negate these two spells. In the first two top 8 appearances I was playing a 4/4 split between Duress and the “Chant” effects. It then became apparent that the Chant effects were much more valuable than Duress. This caused to me reevaluate my protection package.


After spending some time thinking about what changes were going to be made I eventually came to a conclusion with:


3 Duress

3 Orim’s Chant

2 Silence


Duress is still a fantastic card, the deck isn’t going to get paired against Tempo Delver decks every single round. The real value behind Duress is getting a peek at their hand and gaining information. The information allows a storm player to know if it’s safe to attempt to combo. The increase in Chant effects from four to five is for an even better game against these popular Stifle/Snare decks.  The configuration was decided based on two reasons. The first one being 2x Silence in the deck means that Infernal Tutor can now find a second Silence, the second reason is that Japanese foil Orim’s Chants are $140. Seriously, my second Japanese foil Silence was $5. With Duress, an opponent doesn’t need to counterspell the Duress. They can easily just reveal their hand of 2+ disruption spells and cast the other. Silence and Orim’s Chant don’t allow the opponent to do that. These spells are must counters if the opponent doesn’t want to lose the game immediately.

For example: Duress targeting the opponent reveals Stifle, Stifle, and Spell Snare. Duress is pretty miserable here, but Orim’s Chant would have negated all three, spells clearing the way for an Infernal Tutor to find Ad Nauseam.


With the forth Duress being cut the main deck, it’s going to replace the sideboard Thoughtseize. The life-loss from Thoughtseize isn’t worth the potential to take something like an Ethersworn Cannonist. More than likely they’ll have a spell that’s just as dangerous. Enough talk, here’s my current deck list:


The EPIC Storm

Decklist as of 01/17/12



4 Dark Ritual

4 Rite of Flame

4 Burning Wish

4 Brainstorm

4 Ponder

4 Infernal Tutor

3 Duress

3 Orim’s Chant

2 Silence

2 Ad Nauseam

1 Tendrils of Agony



Lion’s Eye Diamond

Lotus Petal

Chrome Mox


Non-Basic Land: 

Gemstone Mine

City of Brass

Scalding Tarn

Underground Sea

Volcanic Island

Polluted Delta

Bloodstained Mire



3 Pyroblast

2 Echoing Truth

1 Wipe Away

1 Silent Departure

1 Shattering Spree

1 Duress

1 Grapeshot

1 Empty the Warrens

1 Tendrils of Agony

1 Ill-Gotten Gains

1 Diminishing Returns

1 Past in Flames


This list is fairly fine-tuned. The only thing that I’m considering changing is the sideboard Wipeaway to a Pyroclasm. Wipeaway is much more versatile, it hits Chalice of the Void, Trinisphere, Gaddock Teeg, Iona, Counterbalance, and other problematic cards. While Pyroclasm can kill multiple “hate bears” against Maverick and Nic Fit. It’s really a metagame call, however, I plan on keeping Wipeaway for the time being. I don’t see a reason to change the list to make a good match-up better.


I guess what I’m saying in this article is pick up The E.P.I.C Storm right now! It’s a deck with very few actual bad match-ups right now. It can be adjusted for whatever metagame it needs to be suited for too. I’m a firm believer in that this is one of the best times to play a storm deck, I never got to play in the UG Survival world due to school, but that’s a story for another time. I know my lists never change a whole lot but blame Wizards for not printing new combo cards very often. Although, small changes like an additional Chant effect do matter in the long run, that extra game here and there adds up.


Speaking of printing new cards, the new cards from Dark Ascension that I’m excited for are for my Zombie Horde! I’m now on the Zombie Horde bandwagon along with Dan Rae, Adam Wilson, and Ryan McKinney. Who didn’t see this coming with my love for Zombies? I’ve built my own 200 card horde deck and am only missing an Akroma’s Memorial.


You can read more about the Zombie Horde in Dan Rae’s article from last week here.


Zombie Apocalypse 3BBB



Return all Zombie creature cards from your graveyard to the battlefield tapped, then destroy all Humans.


Talk about flavor! I can’t wait to find two – one for my Horde and the second one being foil one for my collection.


Gravecrawler B


Creature – Zombie

Gravecrawler can’t block.
You may cast Gravecrawler from your graveyard as long as you control a Zombie.



This guy is going to be a recurring threat every turn for the horde! How ridiculous!


Mikaeus, the Unhallowed 3BBB


Legendary Creature – Zombie Cleric

Whenever a Human deals damage to you, destroy it.
Other non-Human creatures you control get +1/+1 and have undying.



Another Zombie lord is going to be nice, especially one that gives all of the creatures a second time through after a sweeper.


I can’t wait for more cards to be spoiled from this set! Well that’s all for this week, come back again next week! Until then, keep Storming!

Bryant Cook

Bryant Cook on MTGthesource