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By: kelvinmai, Kelvin Mai
Jun 17 2013 8:05am
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On tonight's forecast it's cloudy with a hundred percent chance of STORM!!

So I've been playing a lot of Modern Masters limited and I know in the last article I said I was more of a dredge player but I forced myself to try out storm just so I could write about it. And I'll admit at first it was a bit tricky to draft but once I figured it out, that you need to mix it with the suspend cards I fell in love with the mechanic! I almost always draft it now. So where does that take us? Well it's time to force storm in Modern constructed! 

So with the banning of Seething Song everyone's been saying that Storm is dead, well on the contrary it just means they haven't tried thinking outside of the box. So first thing's first we have to decide how we want to win, how to storm out. Well we have quite the selection in modern and while land destruction with Volcanic Awakening is an option it's not my style, I don't like to feel like a dick and take away all of their resources. Dragonstorm is definitely out because no matter how many rituals we have it'll be extremely hard to hit nine mana. Grapeshot is the default answer, and the new art looks amazing, but of course I will always stray away from the default and go a little further from the box. Empty the Warrens? Nope guess again, the answer you are looking for is Storm Entity.

Storm Entity

Yup that's right we're creature storming it tonight! I saw rumblings of this deck coming together when Burning-Tree Emissary was released but since then I haven't heard or seen anything about it so I have to put it all together myself. So the same concept of the original storm deck, we need to draw a lot of cards and make a lot of mana all while casting a lot of spells. Think we can do that? 

Burning-Tree Emissary Wild Cantor Infernal Plunge

We have no shortage of mana producers especially if we want to use creatures. The best thing about this is that while we're making a lot of mana to fuel our next spells we are also creating a great board state for us. You've seen the craziness of Blitz in standard when they get the god hand. It's a turn two Burning-Tree into Burning-Tree into Burning-Tree into Lightning Mauler and across the board there's maybe one creature, two if they're lucky. We want to do the same thing here, except now we have access to more than just Burning-Tree Emissary, we have Wild Cantor and Priest of Urabrask. What about Simian Spirit Guide? I don't like him in this deck because activating him isn't actually casting a spell so it's not contributing to our storm count.

 Gitaxian Probe Elvish Visionary Manamorphose

When it comes to draw spells off of creatures we're a bit more limited as we only have access to Elvish Visionary without stepping out of our colors. We're still thinking about budget of course and we're staying within the borders of Red and Green. But never fear we have access to non creature draw spells! Manamorphose is the best kind because it gives us back the mana we spent on it, and speaking of free spells we also have Gitaxian Probe as another draw spell. But if we do decide to splash a card we can always try out Beck and Call. This is the one card that inspired Kevin Grimin, the RogueDeckBuilder, to try out this deck. I believe it's completely fine to play one blue card in this and it's not even that hard to cast. Of course we can't go Burning-Tree Emissary into beck, but we could instead put a Wild Cantor using up a red sacing him for blue and then cast beck. Not only that we could even cast it off of a Manamorphose. The Beck & Call strategy will mean that we will never run out of cards and our storm count can go infinitely high, the only problem is that we do want to leave up mana for casting things after it as we'll use it up for the split card.

Talara's Battalion Myr Superion Storm Entity

You've got the mana and the draw so the deck is done right? Wrong, you can't blindly combo off without an end goal and thats where these guys come in, these are the bombs, game ender and finishers. As mentioned above I want to make the deck all about Storm Entity but leaving the end of the game up to one card isn't so smart so he needs some buddies. Myr Superion is a great buddy and you should have no problem casting it since almost all your creatures make mana anyways. Talara's Battalion is another great two drop, but in modern the premium red removal spell is Lightning Bolt and she fails the bolt test. However she does offer an explosive start if you cast her off of a Burning-Tree. Ok we have all the pieces so what's the deck look like? Well here it is! 

Storm the Field
4 Burning-Tree Emissary
4 Myr Superion
2 Priest of Urabrask
4 Wild Cantor
4 Storm Entity
4 Memnite
22 cards

Other Spells
4 Manamorphose
4 Gitaxian Probe
2 Paradise Mantle
4 Grapeshot
2 Empty the Warrens
3 Infernal Plunge
19 cards
19 Mountain
19 cards
Burning-Tree Emissary

As you can tell it is the perfect mana base for a budget brew, it's all mountains! And I know I said that the focus is on the creatures but I included Grapeshot and Empty the Warrens for those times you try to storm out and dig for your answers through things like probe and Manamorphose, you'll be able to draw a finisher. Diversify your threats right? Grapeshot isn't going to win you the game by itself because it's really hard to get a storm count over 10 in this deck, but it does compliment your assault right before you lay down a hasty 6/6 Storm Entity or such. Two spells I haven't talked about yet are the free spells: Memnite and Paradise Mantle. Unlike Ornithopter which has been considered for this deck, these two cards actually benefit the deck that we're trying to build. Memnite actually has some power so he can actually be a threat on his own, and while it takes one mana to equip Paradise Mantle the creature you equip it on will happily give you back that mana by tapping for it.

Ok so you don't actually like the combo of the deck and you're more comfortable with the blitz ability of standard's MVP, Burning-Tree Emissary, I still have a deck for you. It still has a lot of the same elements as the above deck but it just takes out the storm cards, and the cards that are simply there for the storm count such as Memnite and Gitaxian Probe

I just included a bunch of gruul dual lands, I'm sure there are better mana bases but that's up to you. And as you can tell this deck relies more heavily on Burning-Tree Emissary to be one of your opening 7. It does however hit hard with a lot of pretty big creatures on the field. Elvish Visionary is in it because I felt the deck wanted more card draw. It makes up for the lack of stormy goodness with the Lightning Bolt and Incinerate for added removal. 

Now onto the sideboard, how do we do it? Well I'll be honest, I have no idea I'll need more experience with the format before I'm actually good at this. But I'll say that Ancient Grudge seems good against affinity but if you don't want to splash green for the flashback there's always Smash to Smithereens. Against graveyard decks like Dredgevine and Living End I would put in Relic of Progenitus which also serves as card draw so it can still fuel our storm count. So what else is out there? Splinter Twin, right? Let's bring in Combust against those pesky Pestermites and Restoration Angel before they combo off. And Blood Moon is a staple sideboard card in red decks against almost all other modern decks because of the amonut of non basics they run. In addition it shuts down some decks like Tron and Scapeshift. Unfortunately Blood Moon is a little more than what I'd like to pay for a magic cards, thankfully we have access to Magus of the Moon. Not only is it Blood Moon on a stick, it's also half the price! After that I think a full set of Dismember to take care of everything else. I know it's not the most refined sideboard but it's what we've got to deal with right now. It should look something like this:

3 Relic of Progenitus
3 Combust
4 Dismember
3 Smash to Smithereens/Ancient Grudge
2 Magus of the Moon

Would I recommend this deck to play? Absolutely! You've seen how awesome it is and you should experience how fun it is to play. But I'm sure I have to put up the disclaimer that it isn't a competitive deck. I wouldn't recommend it to play in a big tournament or when there is a lot on the line.

Moving over to the Standard region there is a slight possibility of storm.

Yeah that's right, we're going to talk about Possibility Storm in standard. If you don't want to switch gears and stay in modern, Rofellos wrote an article about how to use this card in modern, you can read it here! Anyways remember when I was previewing the Dragon's Maze cards and I talked about some things you can do with the Possibility Storm? A hard lock is when you manage to make your opponent not able to do anything and it's one thing that control decks love to do. There are plenty of ways to do it in standard, such as Tamiyo cutting you off from a precious land or Rakdos's Return forces you to play off the top of your deck. But Possibility Storm puts you in the hardest of locks, making it virtually impossible for the opponent to play anything! How? Curse of Exhaustion! Let's review: You cast a spell from your hand, Possibility Storm exiles it and make you search for something else, you try to cast that spell, Curse of Exhaustion doesn't let you cause that will be your second one! Apparently I wasn't the only one that wanted to bring it to life someone at my LGS put it together and it is quite the beast and here is his deck.

His deck obviously has the hard lock but his win condition is just beat down with creatures. He actually told me the weakness of this lock though, there are still things a player can do to fight against it. First it only affects spells cast from the hand, so graveyard spells can still fight it. It is a relatively slow deck so it is completely impossible to die to a Devil's Play for 20. To fight against this every creature gains you life, so when you cast a creature it'll be guaranteed life gain even if it gets stormed away. The lock also has no way to fight land interactions so those Nephalia Drownyard can still get through. Fighting this would mean a Pithing Needle in the board.

The first thing I notice is that it's has a couple money cards that I wouldn't include in any of my brews. Of course I'm talking about the Thragtusk and Huntmaster of the Fells so thats the first thing I would change. Looking through the standard cardpool I see a nice little one drop that accomplishes the same life gain thing. This creature is the Cathedral Sanctifier. (Saruli Gatekeeper) is a consideration if we decide to change up the win condition to Maze's End and include 2 of every gate. If we go the gate route, and let's face it it's about time I made a Maze's End deck, we'd have to include Gatecreeper Vine in place of Ground Seal. Outside of the gate plan, I think the deck would need Pacifism in addition to the main Oblivion Ring to help the aggro matchup. Anyways those are my thoughts on the decks, I won't provide a decklist here because I'm sure the rest of you will have fun Brainstorming the deck.

Off the Radar

Slumbering Dragon

Ever since the budget focus article that I wrote this section has become more and more permanent so here I am to continue the trend. Of course we'll be talking about standard as it's the only format that I follow closely enough to give good insight on some cards. And today we're going to start with Slumbering Dragon! This little guy is perfect for Varolz decks, it's a one mana 3/3, a great scavenge target and a mean creature on the battlefield. Against aggro it's a great roadblock because it puts a wrench in their always attacking plan, if they attack then they won't be able to deal with the dragon their best removal being Mizzium Mortars which only hits for 4. It's also pretty hard for them to race a growing dragon because it will always hit them harder. Against control or midrange however it's mediocre as ever.

Sublime Archangel Nefarox, Overlord of Grixis

Next on the chopping block is Sublime Archangel. Where has this card gone? I remember it being the first money card I ever owned from M13 and now it's no where to be seen. It is still a great killing machine and isn't outclassed by anything else. I feel like it belongs in a BW or Esper token deck cause you can make a lot of exalted Lingering Souls tokens and combined with Sorin, Lord of Innistrad for even more power on board. Esper token control will want you to leave some dudes back for blocking the blitz wave and pumping your attacker with exalted triggers sounds like you're getting a great deal out of it. Continuing the exalted train we have Nefarox, Overlord of Grixis which doesn't take advantage of the exalted mechanic as much but he is a great demon for something like mono black control. He may not be Griselbrand but he accomplishes everything you want in a black control deck, you will kill every creature your opponent controls. Stick him with (Homocidal Seclusion) and he'll be amazing.


Update: If you remember from this article I presented you guys with an izzet aggro deck, well I faced off against Travis Woo on a Twoosday Brewsday and won! You can see it here. Granted I mulled to 5 and was stuck on 1 land and basically won through luck it was exhilarating to play against someone so prominent in the magic community.


Good to know the concept of by MaryHelton at Mon, 07/08/2013 - 18:09
MaryHelton's picture

Good to know the concept of this one. I like the idea on this. Keep it up. - Mallory Fleming