Cook’s Kitchen: Storm Hands III

Cook’s Kitchen: Storm Hands III

I apologize for the lack of article last week. I was planning on writing a Grand Prix analysis from Vegas while at CES, sometimes life just gets in the way. Although, you can look forward to multiple articles next week!

Deathrite ShamanDeathrite Shaman is everywhere! If the Grand Prix proved anything it’s that Deathrite Shaman is here to stay. Exactly half of the decks in the top 8 of the Grand Prix were playing the Elf Shaman. The black and green accelerant was in everything from BUG to Jund and even Elves. This storm hands is going to teach you everything there is to know about winning around Deathrite Shaman.

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. The same exact main deck as the last “Storm Hands” although the sideboard has changed slightly. The additional Empty the Warrens was a failed experiment, it wasn’t worth the additional damage on Ad Nauseam. The Karakas’ were losing value as Mother of Ruins and Thalia haven’t been a pair in some time. The cards added were a pair of Chain of Vapor and an additional Abrupt Decay! If you read my last report where I took first at Jupiter Games with TES, I had some problems with Leyline of Sanctity. Chain is an answer to both Leyline and Thalia, it’s just more versatile. The third Abrupt Decay is there to make sure cards like Counterbalance stay off the table.

There’s the abbreviated version of card choices, let’s move on to the Storm hands!

Hand I: TES is on the draw against Elves

Opening Hand: Gitaxian Probe, Brainstorm, Infernal Tutor, City of Brass, Burning Wish, Underground Sea, and Lion’s Eye Diamond

Not exactly a fast hand, but it has a lot of potential.


Elf player begins with Verdant Catacambs searching for a Bayou (19 life)
Tap the Bayou, cast Deathrite Shaman
Pass turn

TES Draw Chrome Mox for turn

Gitaxian Probe (18 Life), draw Ponder (Storm 1)
Probe reveals Wirewood Symbiote, Nettle Sentinel, Natural Order, Windswept Heath, and Heritage Druid.

Play Underground Sea, tap Sea and cast Ponder (Storm 2)
Ponder looks at Infernal Tutor, Brainstorm, and Silence

None of these cards are really ideal.

Shuffle, draw Brainstorm
Pass turn to Elves

Elves untaps, draws
Plays Windswept Heath, searches for a second Bayou
Elves taps both Bayous and casts Heritage Druid, and then Nettle Sentinel
Taps all three Elves to play Wirewood Symbiote, untapping Sentinel (GG)
Casts Elvish Visionary
Activate Symbiote to return Visionary to Elves hand and untap Deathrite Shaman
Pass turn to TES

Well that certainly was an significant turn. It’s important to be cautious of Deathrite Shaman. Elves can activate Shaman to add a mana, use Symbiote to untap Shaman and use the previous activations mana to use one of its other abilities.

Untap Underground Sea, draw a second copy of Infernal Tutor
Tap Underground Sea, cast Brainstorm (Storm 1)
Draw Gemstone Mine, Silence, and Rite of Flame

Not exactly the best draws.

Put Silence and City of Brass on top of the library
Play Gemstone Mine
Cast Chrome Mox, imprinting Infernal Tutor (Storm 2)
Cast Infernal Tutor revealing Lion’s Eye Diamond (Storm 3)
Pass the turn

During the end step, Elves does exactly as expected and removes a land in the graveyard then returns Sentinel to untap Deathrite Shaman. Then they exile Infernal Tutor (TES: 16 life)

Elves untaps and draws
Tap a Bayou, cast Nettle Sentinel
Taps Deathrite, Druid, and Sentinel to add three mana
Cast Visionary, untap Sentinel (G)
Return Visionary with Symbiote to untap Deathrite Shaman (G)
Cast Birchlore Ranger
Elves play a land for the turn, Gaea’s Cradle
Tap the green Legendary Land (GGGGG)
Elves sacrifices Ranger to Natural Order for Regal Force
The Elves player draws five cards and then sighs
Elves pass the turn

TES untap and draws Ad Nauseam
Tap Underground Sea, cast Brainstorm (Storm 1)
Brainstorm draws Rite of Flame, Volcanic Island, and Scalding Tarn
Place Scalding Tarn then Ad Nauseam on top of the library
Lay Volcanic Island
Tap Volcanic and cast Rite of Flame (RR – Storm 2)
Then the next Rite of Flame (Storm 3)
Elves opts not to remove the first Rite of Flame (RRRR)
Play both Lion’s Eye Diamonds (Storm 5)
Cast Burning Wish, in response break both Lion’s Eye Diamonds (RRUUUBBB – Storm 6)
Retrieve Ill-Gotten Gains

Cast Ill-Gotten Gains (UBRR – Storm 7)
Choose Lion’s Eye Diamond, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Ponder
Elves reveals three lands, two Glimpse of Nature, and a Green Sun Zenith

Lay both Lion’s Eye Diamond (Storm 9)
Play Ponder and in response break both Lion’s Eye Diamond (BBBBRRRRR – Storm 10)
Ponder reveals Ad Nauseam, Scalding Tarn, and Brainstorm
Leave them in that order, draw Ad Nauseam
Cast Ad Nauseam (BRRR – Storm 11)

  • Scalding Tarn (16 life)
  • Brainstorm (15 life)
  • Lotus Petal (15 life)
  • Dark Ritual (14 life)
  • Duress (13 life)
  • Lion’s Eye Diamond (13 life)
  • Dark Ritual (12 life)
  • Dark Ritual (11 life)
  • Burning Wish (9 life)
  • Stop Ad Nauseam

You could continue, but I just want to stay away from the possibility of two Deathrite activations.

Cast all three Dark Ritual (BBBBBBBRRR – Storm 14)
Lay Lotus Petal followed by Lion’s Eye Diamond (BBBBBBBRRR – Storm 16)
Tap Gemstone and cast Brainstorm (BBBBBBBRRR – Storm 16)
Draw Chrome Mox, Ponder, and Silence. Put Scalding Tarn and Silence on top.
Chrome Mox, Imprinting Ponder (BBBBBBBRRR – Storm 17)
Burning Wish (BBBBBBRR – Storm 18)
Sacrifice Lotus Petal, Grapeshot for 19 damage (BBBBBRR – Storm 19)

Hand II: TES is on the Play against Jund

Opening Hand: Rite of Flame, Chrome Mox, Dark Ritual, Gemstone Mine, Volcanic Island, Infernal Tutor, and Ponder.

This hand is decent. It’s got business, mana, and a cantrip let’s try it out.

Play Volcanic Island, tap it and cast Ponder (Storm 1)
Look at Lotus Petal, Rite of Flame, and Burning Wish
Leave them in that order, draw Petal
Pass the turn

Jund draws
Plays a Bloodstained Mire searching for Bayou (19 life)
Taps Bayou and plays a Thoughtseize (17 life) TES discards Infernal Tutor
Jund passes the turn

Untap and draw the second copy of Rite of Flame
Play Gemstone Mine
TES passes the turn

Jund untaps, draws
Plays a Verdant Catacombs followed by a Deathrite Shaman
Jund passes the turn.

Knowing that Burning Wish is on top of the library it’s time to look at the game plan. We could cast Ill-Gotten Gains again, but that would end in not having enough mana to actually do anything. We could also play Diminishing Returns by playing Chrome Mox (Imprinting Rite of Flame) using that Mox to cast Rite of Flame into Burning Wish for Returns. Then at this point, cast Lotus Petal and use it to play Dark Ritual, tap both lands and Returns floating a black mana. A solid choice.

However, I’m going to go for a more “sure thing” and play Past in Flames. The Past in Flames kill forces you to combo off this turn whereas Diminishing Returns could be cast at your leisure. However, Deathrite Shaman hitting the table causes things to speed up.

Untap and draw Burning Wish
Tap Volcanic Island, cast the pair of Rite of Flames (RRRR – Storm 2)
Turn Gemstone sideways (2 Counters) and play Dark Ritual (RRRRBBB – Storm 3)
Burning Wish for Past in Flames (RRBBB – Storm 4).
Lotus Petal (RRBBB – Storm 5)
Followed by Chrome Mox (RRBBB – Storm 6).
Past in Flames (R – Storm 7).

FLASHBACK both Rite of Flames (RRRR – Storm 9)
FLASHBACK Dark Ritual as well by sacrificing Lotus Petal (RRRRBBB – Storm 10)
FLASHBACK Infernal Tutor for Ad Nauseum (RRRBB – Storm 11)
Cast Ad Nauseam (Storm 12)

  • Brainstorm (19 life)
  • Flooded Strand (19 life)
  • Silence (18 life)
  • Undeground Sea (18 life)
  • Gemstone Mine (18 life)
  • Lion’s Eye Diamond (18 life)
  • Rite of Flame (17 life)
  • Gemstone Mine (17 life)
  • Burning Wish (15 life)
  • Burning Wish (13 life)
  • Brainstorm (12 life)
  • Dark Ritual (11 life)
  • Lion’s Eye Diamond (11 life)
  • Ponder (10 life)
  • Dark Ritual (11 life)
  • Lotus Petal (10 life)
  • City of Brass (10 life)
  • Underground Sea (10 life)
  • Chrome Mox (10 life)
  • Infernal Tutor (8 life)
  • Lotus Petal (8 life)
  • Infernal Tutor (6 life)
  • Stop Ad Nauseam

I stopped at six because if the next card were Empty the Warrens we then lose to Lightning Bolt.

Lay Gemstone for the turn’s land.
Cast all five pieces of artifact mana, imprint Infernal Tutor to Chome Mox (Storm 17)
Tap Chrome Mox to cast both Dark Ritual (BBBBB – Storm 19)
Then tap the new Gemstone Mine (2 Counters) to cast Rite of Flame (BBBBBRR – Storm 20).
Burning Wish for Grapeshot (BBBBR – Storm 21)
Grapeshot for 22 (BBB – Storm 22)

You could even kill the Deathrite Shaman if you would like!

Hand III: TES is on the draw against Junk

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

It’s a good hand, let’s try it out.


Junk begins with Verdant Catacombs searching for a bayou (19 life)
Tap the Bayou and cast Deathrite Shaman

TES Draws Silence for turn
Lay Gemstone Mine, tap it (2 Counters) and cast Ponder (Storm 1)
Look at Gemstone Mine, Burning Wish and Silence

Almost worth shuffling, but we’re going to keep with it.

Draw Gemstone, leaving Burning Wish on top of the library.
Pass the turn.

Junk puts a Windswept Heath on the battlefield
Followed by a Sensei’s Diving Top off of the Bayou
Junk passes the turn

Play the second Gemstone Mine
Cast Chrome Mox imprint Burning Wish (Storm 1)
Then cast Rite of Flame off of Chrome Mox (RR – Storm 2)
Attempt to cast the second Rite of Flame,
In response the Junk players uses Heath to search for Scrubland (Junk: 18 life)
Then activates Shaman to remove the first Rite of Flame from the game (TES: 18 life)
Rite of Flame resolves (RRR – Storm 3)
Tap the couple of Gemstone Mines (1 and 2 Counters) to cast Ad Nauseam (Storm 4)

It’s a bit riskier due to the one less mana and two less life. But we’re still in good shape.

  • Gitaxian Probe (17 life)
  • Misty Rainforest (17 life)
  • Gitaxian Probe (16 life)
  • Volcanic Island (16 life)
  • Empty the Warrens (12 life)
  • Underground Sea (12 life)
  • Lion’s Eye Diamond (12 life)
  • Silence (11 life)
  • Duress (10 life)
  • Infernal Tutor (9 life)
  • City of Brass (9 life)
  • Dark Ritual (8 life)
  • Flooded Strand (8 life)
  • Ponder (7 life)
  • Gitaxian Probe (6 life)
  • Rite of Flame (5 life)
  • Dark Ritual (4 life)
  • Chrome Mox (4 life)
  • Stop Ad Nauseam

Cast Chrome Mox, imprint Duress (Storm 5)
Then use Mox to cast the two Dark Rituals (BBBBB – Storm 7)
Lion’s Eye Diamond (BBBBB – Storm 8)
Infernal Tutor in response crack Lion’s Eye Diamond (BBBRRR – Storm 9)
Search for Burning Wish
Play Wish for Tendrils of Agony (BBRR – Storm 10)
Cast Tendrils for 22 life (Storm 11).

Hand IV: TES is on the play against BUG Delver/Team America

Opening Hand: Empty the Warrens, Chrome Mox, Dark Ritual, City of Brass, Underground Sea, Gitaxian Probe, and Rite of Flame

Hopefully Gitaxian Probe draws into another card that’s likely to also be cast on the first turn.


Gitaxian Probe (18 life) draw Brainstorm (Storm 1)
Probe reveals Spell Pierce, Deathrite Shaman, Deathrite Shaman, Thoughtseize, Tropical Island, Misty Rainforest, and Polluted Delta

Underground Sea, tap it, and cast Dark Ritual (BBB – Storm 2)
Chrome Mox, imprint Rite of Flame (BBB – Storm 3)
Tap Mox and cast Empty the Warrens for 8 Goblins (Storm 4)
Pass the turn

BUG Delver draws, lays Tropical Island, and casts Deathrite Shaman.
BUG passes the turn.

Untap draw Duress, cast Brainstorm using Underground Sea (Storm 1)
Draw Scalding Tarn, Gitaxian Probe, and Burning Wish
Put Burning Wish on top followed by Gitaxian Probe
Lay City of Brass and then use it (19 Life) to cast Duress (Storm 2)
Duress reveals Spell Pierce, Deathrite Shaman, Thoughtseize, Misty Rainforest, Polluted Delta, and Ponder
Discard Spell Pierce
Attack with everything, Deathrite blocks a Goblin token, BUG Delver goes to 13 life.

BUG Delver untaps, draws, searches with Misty for an Underground Sea (BUG: 12 life)
Tropical Island casts Ponder
BUG shuffles and draws
Then casts the second Deathrite Shaman off of the Underground Sea
BUG Ends the turn

Untap and draw Gitaxian Probe

Gitaxian Probe (16 life) draw Burning Wish (Storm 1)
Probe reveals Thoughtseize, Polluted Delta, Tarmogoyf, and Force of Will.
Scalding Tarn searching for Volcanic Island (15 life)
Cast Burning Wish using Chrome Mox and Volcanic Island for Grapeshot (Storm 2)
Use City of Brass (14 life) and Underground Sea to cast Grapeshot (Storm 3)
Deal two damage to one Deathrite and one to the other
Attack for seven
BUG decides not to block, (BUG: 5 life).
Pass the turn

BUG untaps and draws. Taps both of its lands to play Tarmogoyf
Then lays the Polluted Delta
Pass the turn

Untap and draw Gemstone Mine.

Attack for Seven.
Tarmogoyf and Deathrite both block,
BUG’s Polluted Delta finds Tropical Island (BUG: 4 life)
BUG taps Tropical to remove its own Deathrite Shaman from the game (BUG: 6 life)
BUG goes to one after damage
Five goblins remain
Pass the turn

BUG Delver draws and concedes

Hand V: TES is on the draw against Zombies

Opening Hand: Lion’s Eye Diamond, Lotus Petal, Dark Ritual, Rite of Flame, City of Brass, Ponder, and Brainstorm.

Lacks actual business spells but has plenty of dig. I’d keep this every time.

Zombies begins the game with a Bloodstained Mire for a Badlands
Taps to cast a Deathrite Shaman

TES draws Gemstone Mine for turn
City of Brass (19 life) cast Ponder (Storm 1)
Ponder finds another Gemstone Mine, Rite of Flame, and a Lotus Petal.
Shuffle. Draw Burning Wish
(not a bad draw!)
Lotus Petal (Storm 2)
This is so you’re able to protect your hand – using Brainstorm.
Lion’s Eye Diamond (Storm 3).
This is to ensure your opponent’s discard doesn’t hit it.
Pass the turn.

Zombies untaps, draws, lays a Scrubland
Casts Thoughtseize (17 life) off of it
TES Brainstorms in response using Lotus Petal
Draw Gitaxian Probe, Rite of Flame, and Gitaxian Probe
Put Dark Ritual on top then Wish as the first card to be drawn
Thoughtseize takes a Rite of Flame
Zombies Passes the turn

Untap and draw Burning Wish
Lay a Gemstone Mine
Gitaxian Probe (17 life) draw Dark Ritual (Storm 1)
Probe reveals Gravecrawler, Goblin Bombardment, Swords to Plowshares, and Lingering Souls
Gitaxian Probe (15 life) draw Lotus Petal (Storm 2)
Probe reveals the same cards
Lotus Petal (Storm 3)
Tap City of Brass (14 life) to cast Rite of Flame (Storm 4)
The first one is removed in response thanks to Deathrite Shaman (TES 12 life) (RR)
Tap Gemstone Mine (2 Counters) to play Dark Ritual (BBBRR – Storm 5)
Burning Wish in response break Lion’s Eye Diamond (BBRUUU – Storm 6)
Retrieve Diminishing Returns
Cast Returns (BU – Storm 7)

Returns Exiles: Burning Wish, Brainstorm, Brainstorm, Empty the Warrens, Ad Nauseam, Lotus Petal, Silence, Gemstone Mine, Dark Ritual, and Flooded Strand

Returns hand is: Lotus Petal, Gitaxian Probe, Ponder, Duress, Silence, Dark Ritual, and Chrome Mox

Gitaxian Probe (10 life) draw Lotus Petal (BU – Storm 8)
Probe reveals Cabal Therapy, Thoughtseize, Swords to Plowshares, Deathrite Shaman, Marsh Flats, Lingering Souls, and Carrion Feeder.

Ponder (B – Storm 9)
Ponder looks at Dark Ritual, Gemstone Mine, and Burning Wish
Draw Burning Wish

That was a very good Ponder.

Lotus Petal (B – Storm 10)
Followed by another Lotus Petal (B – Storm 11)
Followed by Chrome Mox, Imprint Duress (B – Storm 12)
Dark Ritual (BBB – Storm 13)
Sacrifice a Petal to cast Burning Wish for Tendrils (BB – Storm 14)
Tap Chrome Mox and sacrifice a Lotus Petal
Cast Tendrils of Agony for 30 life (Storm 15)

Here are three hands for you to try!

Opening Hand: Empty the Warrens, City of Brass, Rite of Flame, Ponder, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Brainstorm, and Gitaxian Probe

Opening Hand II: Infernal Tutor, Burning Wish, Chrome Mox, Lotus Petal, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Brainstorm, and Silence

Opening Hand III: Silence, Duress, Ponder, Underground Sea, Misty Rainforest, Lotus Petal, and Rite of Flame

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

3 thoughts on “Cook’s Kitchen: Storm Hands III”

  1. i real like all your storm articles you posted on the internet.you teached me how to play tes. the storm hand articles are very useful! i wonder if we could see you playing tes on magic online that would be a pleasure for me then u can teach ussome new tricks;)
    keep it up good work!!

  2. Awesome. It is nice to see one against BUG. That is a deck I expect to see a lot of for SCG ATL. I have tested against it a bit and it seems tough for us. I never thought to use Grapeshot in the manner that you used it though.

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