Cook’s Kitchen – Storm Hands I

Cook’s Kitchen – Storm Hands I

In my absence from combo I’ve been paying more attention to other The E.P.I.C. Storm (TES) pilots over the last few weeks. I’ve noticed something. The people I have watched had no clue of even the basics of playing storm. Storm Hands is going to be a recurring article series in order to educate these TES players.

First things first, let’s take a look at the deck list.

This is my most current list of The EPIC Storm, it’s important to know what we’re working with to make the proper decisions. This article is going to include five basic hands. Let’s dive-in!

Hand I – TES is on the play against an unknown opponent.

Opening Hand: Gitaxian Probe, Gitaxian Probe, Brainstorm, Dark Ritual, Rite of Flame, Lion’s Eye Diamond, and Lion’s Eye Diamond.

This hand is very questionable, lacking an initial mana source. This hand is the definition of risk versus reward. However, if the deck manages to hit both a mana source and a business spell off the initial cantrips, it’s very likely for a turn one or two kill. Honestly, I’m pretty loose with my mulligan decisions. I’d probably run this hand. Some of you would mulligan. I’d understand either decision.

Gitaxian Probe (18 life – Storm 1), draw Silence.
Gitaxian Probe (16 life – Storm 2), draw Gemstone Mine.
Play Gemstone Mine, tap Gemstone (2 counters remaining) to cast Brainstorm (Storm 3). Draw Burning Wish, Underground Sea, Dark Ritual.

You’re most likely to put Silence back first because on the following turn, if you’re willing to combo off, it’s not castable in the current situation. Then any card you’d like to draw on top. Most likely the Burning Wish to avoid it being discarded. If the opponent is playing discard, it’s wise to play the Lion’s Eye Diamonds immediately. However, in this test run we’ll save them for Storm count.

Pass the turn.
Untap, draw Burning Wish.
Play Underground Sea, tap Gemstone Mine (1 counter remaining), play Rite of Flame.

You do this first to play around Daze or Spell Pierce, Dark Ritual is an instant!

After Rite of Flame (RR in Pool – Storm 1), tap Underground Sea and play both Dark Rituals (RRBBBBB – Storm 3).
Play the pair of Lion’s Eye Diamonds (RRBBBBB – Storm 5).
Burning Wish (RBBBB – Storm 6), maintain priority.
Break both of the Lion’s Eye Diamonds (RRRRBBBBUUU – Storm 6).
Retrieve Reforge the Soul and cast it! (RRBBUU – Storm 7)
Draw that Silence you couldn’t use before followed by Lion’s Eye Diamond, Chrome Mox, Silence, Gitaxian Probe, Brainstorm, and Ponder.
Gitaxian Probe (14 life, RRBBUU – Storm 8), draw Duress.
Ponder (RRBBU – Storm 9), looks at Volcanic Island, Dark Ritual, Chrome Mox.
Choose to shuffle, draw Rite of Flame.

You play Ponder first over Brainstorm because it allows you to see the most cards possible. It’s also why I lead with Gitaxian Probe, aside from the additional Storm and no mana cost.

Brainstorm (RRBB – Storm 10), draws Burning Wish, Rite of Flame, Gemstone Mine.
Put Silence and Gemstone Mine on top.
Cast Duress (RRB – Storm 11), take whatever,
Follow up with the pair of Rite of Flames (RRRRRRRB – Storm 13)

Remember there was already a Rite of Flame in the graveyard from earlier in the game!

Play Chrome Mox (No Imprint, RRRRRRRB – Storm 14)
Cast Lion’s Eye Diamond (RRRRRRRB – Storm 15)
Play Burning Wish, break Lion’s Eye Diamond in response (RRRRRBBBB – Storm 16). Tendrils of Agony for 34 life ((RRRBB – Storm 17).

Hand II – TES is on the draw against an unknown opponent.

Opening Hand: Gitaxian Probe, Infernal Tutor, Burning Wish, Duress, Silence, Lion’s Eye Diamond, and Rite of Flame.

I would mulligan this hand, despite keeping a very risky hand 1. This hand, even if it draws a land, doesn’t have a turn one or two kill in its future.

Opening Hand after first Mulligan: Brainstorm, Polluted Delta, Lotus Petal, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Rite of Flame, and Empty the Warrens.


Draw Duress for turn.
Play Polluted Delta and break it for an Underground Sea (19 life).
Tap Underground Sea, cast Brainstorm (Storm 1).
Draw Chrome Mox, Gemstone Mine, and Gitaxian Probe.
Put Gemstone back first and then Empty the Warrens on top of your Library.

This is because you can use Lion’s Eye Diamond and Gitaxian Probe to play cards you don’t have the mana for right away.

Play Lotus Petal (Storm 2)
Cast Duress (Storm 3) and take a card.
Play Chrome Mox, Imprint Rite of Flame (Storm 4)
Play Lion’s Eye Diamond (Storm 5)
Cast Gitaxian Probe (Storm 6, 17 Life)
Maintain priority and break Lion’s Eye Diamond. (BBB – Storm 6)
Draw Empty the Warrens.
Tap Chrome Mox and Empty the Warrens for 14 Goblins! (Storm 7)

Hand III – TES is on the play against an unknown opponent.

Opening Hand – Infernal Tutor, Ponder, Scalding Tarn, Ad Nauseam, Lotus Petal, Chrome Mox, and Chrome Mox.

Not an all-star hand by any means, but it’s keep-able.

Scalding Tarn and crack it for an Underground Sea (19 life).
Tap Underground Sea, cast Ponder (Storm 1)
Look at Ponder, City of Brass, and Duress. Draw City of Brass, with Duress on top.

Leaving Ponder third allows the greatest opportunity to win the game after an Ad Nauseam resolves.

Pass the turn. Untap, Draw Duress.
Lay City of Brass, Lotus Petal (Storm 1)
Chrome Mox, imprint Infernal Tutor (Storm 2)
Chrome Mox, imprint Duress (Storm 3)
Tap out, sacrificing Lotus Petal and take one damage from City of Brass (18 life)
Cast Ad Nauseam (Storm 4).

  • Ponder (17 life)
  • Rite of Flame (16 life)
  • Brainstorm (15 life)
  • Bloodstained Mire (15 life)
  • Underground Sea (15 life)
  • Ponder (14 life)
  • Brainstorm (13 life)
  • Lion’s Eye Diamond (13 life)
  • City of Brass (13 life)
  • Gemstone Mine (13 life)
  • Gemstone Mine (13 life)
  • Gitaxian Probe (12 life)
  • Lion’s Eye Diamond (12 life)
  • Dark Ritual (11 life)
  • Ponder (10 life)
  • Gemstone Mine (10 life)
  • Gemstone Mine (10 life)
  • Chrome Mox (10 life)
  • Lotus Petal (10 life)
  • Silence (9 life)
  • Rite of Flame (8 life)
  • Infernal Tutor (6 life)
  • Gitaxian Probe (5 life)
  • Infernal Tutor (3 life)
  • Stop Ad Nauseum.

Gitaxian Probe, draw Rite of Flame (1 life – Storm 5)
Chrome Mox, imprint Infernal Tutor (Storm 6)
Lotus Petal (Storm 7)
Play all three Rite of Flame off of Lotus Petal (RRRRRRR – Storm 10)
Tap Chrome Mox to play Dark Ritual (RRRRRRRBBB – Storm 11)
Play Lion’s Eye Diamond, and then the other one (RRRRRRRBBB – Storm 13)
Cast Infernal Tutor, maintain priority. (RRRRRRBB – Storm 14)
Break both Lion’s Eye Diamonds in response (RRRRRRBBBBBBBB – Storm 14)
Burning Wish for Tendrils of Agony (RRRRRBBBBBBB – Storm 15)
Play Tendrils of Agony for 36 life (RRRBBBBB – Storm 16).

Hand IV – TES is on the draw against RUG Delver/Canadian Threshold.

Opening Hand – Infernal tutor, Ponder, Gemstone Mine, Dark Ritual, Gitaxian Probe, Chrome Mox, and Lion’s Eye Diamond.

Not a bad opening hand at all! It’s actually pretty good in this match-up.

Opponent leads off the game with Scalding Tarn finding Volcanic Island (19 life)
Casts Delver of Secrets.

Our turn.
Draw for turn Underground Sea.
Play Gemstone Mine.

Play your lands first to avoid Gitaxian Probe being a Daze target.
If I’m forced to make goblins, I’ll want white mana available if I draw a Silence.

Gitaxian Probe (18 life – Storm 1)
Look at Spell Pierce, Lightning Bolt, Daze, Ponder, and Tropical Island
Draw Rite of Flame.
Chrome Mox, imprint Ponder (Storm 2)

Imprinting Ponder allows for recurring blue mana without a drawback I can use for additional digging after I make Goblins. Also, Rite of Flame has more value in the graveyard.

Dark Ritual (BBB – Storm 3)
Then cast Lion’s Eye Diamond (BBB – Storm 4)
Follow it with Infernal Tutor! Use the Chrome Mox for colorless (BB – Storm 5)
Use the Lion’s Eye Diamond in response for red (BBRRR – Storm 5)
Empty the Warrens for 12 Goblins (B – Storm 6).
Pass the turn.

Opponent untaps, reveals Forked Bolt to Delver of Secrets
Opponent draws and lays down Tropical Island
Then casts Ponder, tapping Tropical Island
The opponent casts Forked Bolt killing two Goblin Tokens followed by an attack for three bringing TES to 17 life.

Untap and draw Scalding Tarn
Attack with the ten remaining Goblin tokens bringing the opponent to 9 life
Pass the turn

Opponent lays another Tropical Island and plays Tarmogoyf, tapping the two non-Volcanic Islands. Attacks for three bringing TES to 14 life.

Untap and draw Rite of Flame.
Attack with the ten remaining Goblin tokens, a Goblin becomes a Lightning Bolt target. The attacks brings the opponent to 1 life.
The opponent untaps, draws a card and attacks out for seven damage. Then concedes.

Hand V – TES is on the play against RUG Delver/Canadian Threshold.

Opening Hand – Gemstone Mine, City of Brass, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Lotus Petal, Duress, Silence, and Infernal Tutor.

A pretty damn good hand, though it’s a little slow. It could use a Dark Ritual or two.

Gemstone Mine, Duress (Storm 1)

I like to lead with the worst land against tempo decks, it ensures if they have a Wasteland it’ll usually hit your worst land.

Duress reveals Force of Will, Force of Will, Spell Pierce, Misty Rainforest, Nimble Mongoose, Wasteland, and Thought Scour. Take a Force of Will.

Opponent draws and plays Wasteland destroying Gemstone Mine.

Untap, draw a Gitaxian Probe.
Play City of Brass, Pass the turn.

Opponent draws, then plays Misty Rainforest for Tropical Island (19 life) into Nimble Mongoose. Passes the turn.

Untap, draw Ad Nauseam.

Not exactly ideal right now.

Play Lotus Petal (Storm 1)
Tap City of Brass (19 life), Gitaxian Probe (Storm 2)

This is to avoid Gitaxian Probe becoming a Daze target.

Probe reveals Force of Will, Spell Pierce, Thought Scour, Volcanic Island, Tarmogoyf.
Draw Rite of Flame.
Pass the turn.

Opponent untaps, draws, plays Volcanic Island, attacks for one with Nimble Mongoose (18 life) and then casts Tarmogoyf.

Untap, draw Gemstone Mine. Play it and tap both lands (17 life, two counters)
Play Infernal Tutor, revealing Rite of Flame (Storm 1)
Pass the turn.

Opponent untaps, draws, and attacks with both Nimble Mongoose and Tarmogoyf for four damage (13 life), passes the turn.

Untap, draw Brainstorm.
Tap Gemstone Mine (One counter), Brainstorm (Storm 1)
Draw Infernal Tutor, Chrome Mox, and Scalding Tarn
Put Chrome Mox and Ad Nauseam back.

I tap Gemstone because it looks like we’re getting low on life and it looks like the route to victory is Ad Nauseam.

Play and activate Scalding Tarn (12 life) for Volcanic Island.
Pass the turn.

I pass the turn here because if I play both Rite of Flames the chances are that one of them gets Spell Pierced. If that happens there’s not enough colored mana to win through a Force of Will.

Opponent untaps, draws, and attacks with both Nimble Mongoose and Tarmogoyf for four damage (8 life), passes the turn.

Untap, draw Silence.

I think the best way of winning here is to use the opponent for Storm.

Tap Volcanic Island, Rite of Flame (RR – Storm 1)
Rite of Flame (RRRR – Storm 2)

No Spell Pierce with three open sources? I’m going to take this as the two cards we don’t know aren’t very good.

Cast Silence tapping Gemstone Mine, it dies (RRRR – Storm 3)
Opponent casts Spell Pierce targeting Silence (Storm 4)
Don’t pay for the Spell Pierce
Silence again this time tapping City of Brass (7 Life, RRRR – Storm 5)
Opponent casts Daze targeting Silence (Storm 6)
Pay this time
Opponent casts Force of Will pitching Thought Scour (RUG at 18 life – Storm 7)
Play Lion’s Eye Diamond which resolves (RRR – Storm 8)
Sacrifice Lotus Petal for a black mana.
Infernal Tutor maintaining priority.
Break Lion’s Eye Diamond (RRBBB – Storm 9).
Empty the Warrens for 20 Goblins (7 Life, B – Storm 10).
Pass the turn.

Opponent untaps, draws (a total of two unknown cards)
Replays the land from Daze and attacks with both creatures.

We haven’t seen any Lightning Bolts. I don’t want to risk losing to them.

Block both creatures.
Opponent Lightning Bolts a different goblin to give Nimble Mongoose threshold
(17 Goblins remaining)
One card remaining in the opponents’ hand.

Untap, draw City of Brass.
Attack with thirteen Goblins, leaving four back.

This allows TES to live through an extremely timely Forked Bolt.

The opponent untaps, draws, and casts Ponder. Then concedes.

Here are three hands for you to try!

Opening Hand 1 – Brainstorm, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Chrome Mox, Infernal Tutor, Duress, Duress, and Lotus Petal.

Opening Hand 2 – Underground Sea, Gemstone Mine, Duress, Dark Ritual, Infernal Tutor, Gitaxian Probe and another Gitaxian Probe.

Opening Hand 3 – Burning Wish, Dark Ritual, Dark Ritual, Gemstone Mine, Polluted Delta, Ponder, and Brainstorm.

Please give me your thoughts and do try out the hands for you. If people enjoy these types of articles perhaps they’ll be a bit more frequent. Let us know!

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

Bryant Cook
Bryant Cook on MTGthesource

2 thoughts on “Cook’s Kitchen – Storm Hands I”

  1. I would like to see articles like this with more intricate gamestates and opponent’s hands. These were all basically the retards guide to epic storm, granted it is the first in the series. I would love to see these get very in depth kind of similar to doomsday puzzles.

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