[Official Thread] T.E.S - The EPIC Storm

  • #1
    The EPIC Storm
    The EPIC Storm was created by me – Bryant Cook, along with assistance from The E.P.I.C. Syndicate.

    The EPIC Storm (TES) is a deck with win conditions that use mechanic storm; mainly Tendrils of Agony and Empty the Warrens. Pasts lists have often used Grapeshot. The deck’s first and primary goal is to reach nine storm then cast Tendrils of Agony, however, it’s not always that simple. Often there’s problems in counter magic or not having enough resources, rest assured it’s not a problem because of Empty the Warrens our secondary win condition. The EPIC Storm is a deck based around Tutors which are found in Burning Wish and Infernal Tutor. One of the deck’s strengths is the utilization and flexibility of Burning Wish. The EPIC Storm really came to power with the release of Coldsnap and Timespiral, when it received another powerful acceleration piece and win condition. The EPIC Storm has gone from a niche deck to a powerhouse played all around the world, with some impressive Top 8’s (see reports below).

    History
    Back in march of 2006, I became fascinated with storm combo playing everything from Nausea in legacy to Pitch Long in Vintage. I began realizing flaws in each and every deck I tested which caused me to shelve them. Although, along this road I started to see the strengths and weaknesses in each deck became apparent. I decided I’d try and add all of the strengths into a single deck and have the fewest weaknesses that I could. Then in August 2006, I posted my first version of the deck ShLong (Shitlist Long). The deck opted to use creatures such as Priest of Gix and Trinket Mage (to find Lion’s Eye Diamond) for acceleration, Helm of Awakening and Second Sunrise were also used to “Go crazy”. As time went on I created a creatureless list about six months after my original incarnation, at this point in time I began to realize how creatures were under performing. Right about this time is when a new set was released, Coldsnap.

    Coldsnap was a huge step in the right direction when I saw the card Rite of Flame. Rite of Flame was a consistant ritual effect that had potential to be equal to or greater than Dark Ritual. This card replaced Priest of Gix which was only good with a Helm of Awakening or two in play.

    With the printing of Time Spiral, TES gained 2 new Storm weapons - Grapeshot and Empty the Warrens. Grapeshot was the secondary win condition that I set eyes on, not Empty the Warrens. It wasn’t until much later that it became apparent that it wasn’t really needed; Grapeshot generally was used to kill creatures like Meddling Mage and True Believer. Adam Barnello (Nightmare) was the first person to recommend Empty the Warrens in TES, The EPIC Syndicate saw a serious powerhouse in this card. It improved all of the difficult matchups for the deck, Landstill, Threshold, Solidarity and even Blue ********. With Empty the Warrens, you had the option of keeping hands that couldn’t or weren’t capable of creating storm ten. With Empty the Warrens you have the option of putting 6-10 goblins into play turn 1 and ride them to victory. Many of the decks at the time weren’t prepared for that many creatures one turn one and very rarely played anything that wasn’t spot removal. Because of this these blue decks were becoming much more favorable.

    Later on in time I started to realize that The EPIC Storm was starting to become inconsistent with its draws. Cards such as Brainstorm, Careful Study, Serum Visions and Grim Tutor were tried at this time. Brainstorm ended up filling this niche nicely even with very few shuffle effects. Sometime after I won the second Mana Leak Open, The EPIC Storm became hated on. Cards such as Xantid Swarm and Defense Grid were no longer getting the job done. An outsider was called – Orim’s Chant, Chant to this very day is still one of the most powerful cards in TES. With new set after new set, cards such as Simian Spirit Guide and Ponder were added. Duress was outclassed by Thoughtsieze in the sideboard, being able to hit Breakfast’s creatures. Recently cards such as Draw 4’s – Cruel Bargain and Infernal Contract, are being used as additional bombs to compliment Diminishing Returns and Ill-Gotten Gains.

    The Decklist
    Lands
    4 Gemstone Mine
    4 City of Brass
    2 Undiscovered Paradise

    Creatures
    4 Simian Spirit Guide

    Spells
    4 Orim’s Chant
    4 Dark Ritual
    4 Rite of Flame
    4 Lion’s Eye Diamond
    4 Lotus Petal
    4 Chrome Mox
    4 Infernal Tutor
    4 Burning Wish
    4 Brainstorm
    2 Ponder
    2 Cabal Ritual
    1 Infernal Contract
    1 Cruel Bargain
    1 Diminishing Returns
    1 Ill-Gotten Gains
    1 Tendrils of Agony
    1 Empty the Warrens

    SB:1 Diminishing Returns
    SB:1 Ill-Gotten Gains
    SB:1 Cruel Bargain
    SB:1 Tendrils of Agony
    SB:1 Empty the Warrens
    SB:1 Thoughtsieze
    SB:1 Tranquility
    SB:1 Pyroclasm
    SB:1 Shattering Spree
    SB:1 Red Elemental Blast
    SB:2 Xantid Swarm
    SB:3 Pyroblast

    Card Choices

    Manabase - Since The EPIC Storm is technically a five color deck we need to be able to support all five colors. I ported the Grim Long manabase to Legacy, obviously removing Tolarian Academy and adding the Legacy legal land - Undiscovered Paradise. I’ve tested plenty of lands and the ones chosen are the best for the job.

    Acceleration and Mana - 4 Dark Ritual, 4 Lion’s Eye Diamond, 4 Lotus Petal, 4 Simian Spirit Guide, 2 Cabal Ritual, and 3 Rite of Flame are a necessity. There has been discussion to where the fourth Rite of Flame belongs. I personally believe that Rite of Flame in the sideboard is not worth it, you’re better off increasing your potential turn 1 and 2 wins. Another debate for fast-mana is the number of Chrome Mox. I believe you want the best chance of winning on turn 1 and the best chance of winning after a Diminishing Returns or Draw 4. To do this you need to play the maximum amount. Cabal Rituals were taken out for an extended period of time but were added to support Draw 4’s. Cabal Ritual with Threshold is often greater than Lion’s Eye Diamond.

    Tutors and Draw - Burning Wish along with Infernal Tutor were auto includes into The EPIC Storm because well, paired with Lion’s Eye Diamond they might be the most broken play in Legacy. For awhile Plunge into Darkness was included but it became apparent that it was a weakness in the deck. Plunge into Darkness was later replaced with Ponder. Which happens to be Brainstorm 5-6 in The EPIC Storm, however, too much of a good thing can be a problem. Don’t get caught up in how broken or dumb a card is; casting Brainstorm on turn 1 can be amazing or devastating. With too many cantrip effects it becomes hurtful, because you draw into more instead of drawing into what you need. I would include Draw 4’s in here but they are more of a “Bomb” card than draw.

    Win Conditions and Bombs – Tendrils of Agony the primary win condition was clearly one of the cards since the beginning of the deck- a must include. Empty the Warrens was a huge addition to The EPIC Storm, for awhile it was a 3 of in the maindeck. However, times have changed and the metagame has adapted to Empty the Warrens. We have to cut back. Tutors in The EPIC Storm are used mainly to find one of two cards- Diminishing Returns or Ill-Gotten Gains. Since this format has no Yawgmoth’s Will, I guess we settle for the next best thing [Yawgmoth’s W]Ill-Gotten Gains and an effective Time Twister in Diminishing Returns. These two cards are often our “engine” in the combo. By engine I mean they ramp our storm count high enough for us to win the game, since we can’t always win by chaining tutors. Draw 4’s – Cruel Bargain and Infernal Contract, are what I consider a Half-Engine. I don’t rely on them to be my engine, however, it can often turn out to raise the storm count high enough to win the game. This is why I consider them Half-Engines, the other half being a set-up card. Often cast on turn one to set up a turn two win.

    Protection- In the early days of The EPIC Storm the deck relied on laying down a Xantid Swarm and winning the turn after. These days are over, in today’s day in age we use Orim’s Chant. Blue decks have adapted to answer X/1 creatures on turn 1, we must adapt with the metagame. Orim’s Chant single handily shuts down the combo mirror and if it resolves against blue you generally win the game. Out of the sideboard we play Red Elemental Blast and Pyroblast to deal with Force of Will on Orim’s Chant mainly. However, you can also use it them to kill Counterbalance- a huge threat to The EPIC Storm. Burning Wish -> into Thoughtsieze is also a great way to protect your Orim’s Chant.

    Cards That Didn’t Make The Cut
    Basically I’m tired of people asking, “Have you tried this?” this list will answer your questions.

    Grim Tutor, Rhystic Tutor, Plunge Into Darkness, Defense Grid, Duress, Serum Visions, Slight of Hand, Portent, Mental Note, Impulse, Meditate, Thirst for Knowledge, Careful Study, Ideas Unbound, Extract, Inuition, Merchant Scroll, Gifts Ungiven, Echoing Truth, Chain of Vapor, Wipe Away, Rebuild, Hurkyl’s Recall, Washout, Repeal, Eye of Nowhere, Snap, Rushing River, Morning Tide, False Dawn, Swords to Plowshares, Abeyance, Trinket Mage, Priest of Gix, Helm of Awakening, Culling the Weak, Diabolic Intent, Chromatic Sphere/Star, Night’s Whisper, Skeletal Scrying, Doomsday, Leyline of the Void, Massacre, Spoils of the Vault, Street Wraith, Living Wish, Minion of the Waste, Cabal Therapy, Recoup, Cabal Pit, Second Sunrise, Sudden Shock, Sudden Death, Grapeshot, Earthquake, Rough/Tumble, Cave-In, Meltdown, Dark Confidant, Echoing Ruin, Goblin War Strike, Seething Song, Firebolt, Storm Entity, Elvish Spirit Guide, Cleanfall, Tinder Wall, Krosan Grip, Mox Diamond, Engineered Explosives, Goblin Charbelcher, Conjurer’s Bauble, Predict, Pernicious Deed, Lim-Dul’s Vault, Mystical Tutor, Hull Breach, Crime/ Punishment, Bound/Determined, Wild Cantor, Duals, Fetches, Cephalid Coliseum, Glimmervoid, Tomb of Urami, Forbidden Orchard, Darkblast, Compost, Coffin Purge, Desperate Ritual, Incendiary Command, Death Wish, Molten Disaster, I’m sure there’s more.

    Reasons to Play The EPIC Storm Over Other Storm Combo

    Playing The EPIC Storm over other combo in the format is a good idea for many reasons mainly because TES is fast, resilient, has maindeck protection and can fight through the hate. Many people played CRET Belcher for awhile because it’s a fundament turn faster than TES, until they realized the unstableness and how fragile the deck was; The EPIC Storm doesn’t have to go for Empty the Warrens. Belcher often can’t choose what win condition to go for, it’s whatever it draws, not with TES, you choose between Tendrils or Empty the Warrens. Because of this you will win more games due to the fact there is so many Engineered Explosives running around. Belcher doesn’t play any maindeck protection whatsoever, here in TES we play 4 Orim’s Chant to make sure we have a fighting chance to beat Threshold. One last reason to play TES over Belcher is that if you somehow manage to fizzle The EPIC Storm recovers a lot faster than Belcher.

    The reason to play The EPIC Storm over Iggy-Pop is TES is a turn and a half faster and just as consistent. Iggy-pop was a reference that I used to build TES, however, I left the weaknesses behind. The deck plays too many set-up spells and not enough gas (acceleration) to get the car going. The EPIC Storm has Empty the Warrens to its advantage, the Iggy-pop list that do play Empty don’t have the tools to really make it good.TES also has a better blue based control match-up and agro control match-up due to more protection in the maindeck and sideboard. A huge difference is the utilization of Burning Wish in TES giving it an edge against Iggy-Pop, not having to waste maindeck slots on answers. Burning Wish is just a powerhouse and without it, winning becomes harder and harder for storm combo.

    Sample Hands and Sample Plays
    “Keep, Mulligan, or I’d play it like this…”

    Sample Hand One:
    City of Brass, Lotus Petal, Lotus Petal, Orim’s Chant, Orim’s Chant, Chrome Mox, and Cruel Bargain.
    [Keep]
    City of Brass, Lotus Petal, Lotus Petal, then Cruel Bargain into…
    Infernal Contract, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Gemstone mine, Cabal Ritual [Pass Turn]
    [Draw - Infernal Tutor]
    Gemstone Mine, Cabal Ritual, Infernal Contract into…
    Chrome Mox, Dark Ritual, Lotus Petal, Ill-Gotten Gains
    Chrome Mox [Imprint: Orim’s Chant], Orim’s Chant, Lotus Petal, Dark Ritual, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Chrome Mox [No Imprint], Infernal tutor [Cracking LED for BBB], Tendrils of Agony.

    Sample Hand Two:
    Chrome Mox, Infernal Tutor, Burning Wish, Brainstorm, Orim’s Chant, Lotus Petal, and Simian Spirit Guide.
    [Mulligan]
    Dark Ritual, Dark Ritual, Cabal Ritual, Chrome Mox, Orim’s Chant, and Lotus Petal.
    [Mulligan]
    Simian Spirit Guide, Rite of Flame, Burning Wish, Lion’s Eye Diamond, and Simian Spirit Guide.
    [Keep]
    [Remove: Simian Spirit Guides] Rite of flame, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Burning Wish [Cracking LED for UUU] into…
    Diminishing Returns into…
    [Removing: Ill-Gotten Gains, Empty the Warrens, Undiscovered Paradise, Simian Spirit Guide, Rite of Flame, Cruel Bargain, Dark Ritual, Orim’s Chant, Burning Wish and Brainstorm]
    Lotus Petal, Undiscovered Paradise, Cabal Ritual, Infernal Contract, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Rite of Flame and Chrome Mox.
    Undiscovered Paradise, Lotus Petal, Cabal Ritual Infernal Contract into…
    Brainstorm, Ponder, Rite of Flame, Burning Wish.
    Rite of Flame, Chrome Mox [Imprint: Ponder] Brainstorm into…
    City of Brass, Gemstone, Rite of Flame.
    Rite of Flame, Lion’s Eye Diamond, Burning Wish [Crack LED for BBB], Tendrils of Agony.

    Sample Hands For You
    Lotus Petal, Dark Ritual, Dark Ritual, Infernal Tutor, Burning Wish, Lotus Petal, and Chrome Mox.

    Brainstorm, Brainstorm, Orim’s Chant, Dark Ritual, Cruel Bargain, Lotus Petal and Chrome Mox.

    Simian Spirit Guide, Simian Spirit Guide, Ill-Gotten Gains, Ponder, Lotus Petal, Lion’s Eye Diamond and City of Brass.

    Lion’s Eye Diamond, Rite of Flame, Simian Spirit Guide, Gemstone Mine, Dark Ritual, Infernal Tutor, and Infernal Tutor.

    Gemstone Mine, Undiscovered Paradise, Chrome Mox, Ponder, Diminishing Returns, Dark Ritual, and Ill-Gotten Gains.


    Match-Ups

    Threshold/Gro - (45%-55%) – Results vary with list and skill of opponent
    Things to Consider:
    - Do you have Orim’s Chant or Burning Wish?
    - Try and win as fast as possible.
    - Does your hand win with Tendrils or Warrens?
    - How are you winning? Are you using Diminishing Returns or Ill-Gotten Gains? Are you using Empty the Warrens or Tendrils?
    - Do they play Engineered Explosives?
    - How many turns do you have left?
    - Keep in mind if they play Counterbalance.
    - Do they play Stifle?
    - Lastly, this is the most important question; can you read a bluff? Reading your opponent is HUGE when trying to figure if you’re brave enough to win on turn one or two.

    Sideboarding
    +3 Pyroblast
    +1 Red Elemental Blast
    +2 Xantid Swarm
    -2 Ponder
    -2 Cabal Ritual
    -2 Simian Spirit Guide

    Goblins (70%)
    Things to Consider:
    - Aim to keep a hand with more acceleration than tutors.
    - If your hand generally has more than one piece of protection (Orim’s Chant) mulligan.
    - Try and win as fast as possible
    - If keeping a one land hand, be hesitant to play that land unless combo-ing out that turn.
    - Chrome Mox is good in this match-up, as an un-disruptable mana source.

    Sideboarding
    None

    Additional Reading
    First Thread
    Second Thread
    Combo Summer
    TES vs. Iggy Pop

    Major Tournament reports from TES players:
    Bryant Cook's (Wastedlife) 1st place finish
    Bryant Cook's (Wastedlife) 1st place finish
    Florian Fischer's (Flod0) 1st place finish
    Gnesotto Carlo's (Jegger) 2nd place finish
    Carl Wauer, Jr's (Carlos El Salvador) 2nd place finish
    Bryant Cook's (Wastedlife) 4th place finish
    Brandon Adams's (Emidln) 4th place finish
    Bryant Cook's (Wastedlife) 15th place finish
    Jesse Krieger's (Krieger) 16th place finish

    Articles discussing The EPIC Storm:
    Unlocking Legacy- A Metagame Update By Chris Coppola (Machinus)
    Unlocking Legacy- The Pet Deck By Adam Barnello (Nightmare)
    Unlocking Legacy- Combo: The Missing Link By Chris Coppola (Machinus)

    Podcasts discussing The EPIC Storm:
    I@n Degraff of Vintage’s ICBM interviews Bryant Cook(Wastedlife), creator of TES

    Thank you for reading.
    Last edited by wastedlife: 12/24/2007 11:09:04 AM
  • #2
    Oooh.

    Thats a nice surprise. Smile

    Thanks a lot for this.

    Although In Future Please Wait For Me To Give You An Official Thread Tag.
  • #3
    Great to finally see this up and current.

    One question...

    Have you tried 4 Ponder and 2 Brainstorms instead of the current 2 and 4 configuration?

    I know the advantage of Brainstorm in the face of Duress and other forms of hand disruption, but Ponder's shuffle ability might work better in those games that you have to rebuild your hand, and you see 3 useless cards on top, as the deck carries only 5 ways to manipulate the deck.
    In Vintage (Type 1) > Budget Deck Discussion forum:


    Nothing says budget help like receiving $5000 in recommendations.

    I guess leaving out Time Walk, Timetwister, and Ancestral Recall is budget.
  • #4
    I have considered this however, Brainstorm allows for more turn 1 wins seeing more cards to actually play with. Brainstorms huge advantage is it puts cards such as Diminishing Returns or Ill-Gotten Gains on top of the library.
  • #5
    Well, dude. It looks like you finally removed all the alternate win nonsense. Very nice. I claim that this will be THE storm combo deck for a long time coming.
    I don't hate working out. I hate working. I'm actually fine with the out.
  • #6
    I just started playing TES and was like wtf, i play combo in EVERY format.... so yah. i was a quick learner but it took a long time to at least psudo good player at this, there are so many choices.

    So far im using a list identical to yours (well crule bargain=infernal contract) which came up 1 time because i ITed for it.

    Ok so i have several questions and a couple nice stories including why i finaly decided I have to learn to play this deck.

    1) i used to play ichorid but finaly became tired of it being popular. I like unknown combo decks.

    2) this is the story i have that just made me laugh at your responce "just win" Ok, im sitting at turn 7 vs threshold (4 color with counterbalance) and im at 5 life after 2 goyf swings, he has counterbalance in play and has showed a force and dase to Bob, i die in 1 turn, I topdeck a ETW. cast 4 1 drops he counters 3 and dies to bob for 1 + 14 gobs next turn, hitting 7 land drops with a 10 land deck is funny

    (PS this taught me, never scoop. EVER.)

    3) questions about this deck. the biggest is if I have IT and BWish and say 2 red and 5 black assuming i have none in hand or a LED which one is generaly better to go for. any real answer or is it situation based (thats what i think)

    4) the biggest problem i have is the mirror/fetchland tendrils. how do you deal with chant/abance? the other deck i have problems with is a luck sacking D stompy
    Quote from germanturkey
    Surprise! the majority of players are terrible!

    Quote from Jivanmukta
    See it works because most players are indeed bad at magic. The same as any other game/hobby/sport/thing.

    Wizards in relation to modern.
    "The bannings will continue until attendance improves."
    Quote from ktkenshinx
    Modern has a ban first, ask questions later policy, and it's terrible for our format's publicity.

    Not sure if trolling or just very stupid.:fry:
  • #7
    Quote from Complete_Jank

    I know the advantage of Brainstorm in the face of Duress and other forms of hand disruption, but Ponder's shuffle ability might work better in those games that you have to rebuild your hand, and you see 3 useless cards on top, as the deck carries only 5 ways to manipulate the deck.

    i think brainstorm is better than ponder. yeah, ponder allows you to shuffle. but brainstorm lets you put back extra cards you dont need, or you can put back a tendrils that you topdecked. i ran TES for a while at my local legacy tournament, and i often found myself playing ponder and saying "i wish i had a brainstorm" brainstrm seems to be more useful in most situations

    [CARD]
    Mana Drain
    [/CARD]
    Last edited by nix: 4/30/2008 11:00:55 AM
  • #8
    does manamorphose have a place here?
  • #9
    I just figured I'd post Bryant's Current list.
    Lands
    4 Gemstone Mine
    4 City of Brass
    1 Undiscovered Paradise
    1 Forbidden Orchard

    Creatures
    4 Simian Spirit Guide

    Spells
    4 Orim’s Chant
    4 Dark Ritual
    4 Rite of Flame
    4 Lion’s Eye Diamond
    4 Lotus Petal
    4 Infernal Tutor
    4 Burning Wish
    4 Brainstorm
    3 Ponder
    3 Chrome Mox
    3 Thoughtseize
    1 Slithermuse
    1 Diminishing Returns
    1 Ill-Gotten Gains
    1 Tendrils of Agony
    1 Empty the Warrens

    SB:1 Diminishing Returns
    SB:1 Ill-Gotten Gains
    SB:1 Cleanfall
    SB:1 Tendrils of Agony
    SB:1 Empty the Warrens
    SB:1 Grapeshot
    SB:3 Pyroblast
    SB:3 Shattering Spree
    SB:3 Vexing Shusher
    Team Hammafist
    C.I.#:5
  • #10
    Ad Nauseam has brought a lot to the table for T.E.S. (and storm decks in general) but after a lot of testing, I've concluded that T.E.S. best abuses AdN in Legacy. Bryant Cook (Wastedlife) and I are currently playing the same list with a 1 card difference:
    JanValentine00's DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Lands:10
    4 City of Brass
    4 Gemstone Mine
    1 Forbidden Orchard
    1 Undiscovered Paradise

    Creatures:2
    2 Simian Spirit Guide

    Noncreature Spells:48
    4 Dark Ritual
    4 Chrome Mox
    4 Lion's Eye Diamond
    4 Lotus Petal
    4 Rite of Flame
    4 Orim's Chant
    4 Infernal Tutor
    4 Burning Wish
    4 Brainstorm
    3 Ad Nauseam
    3 Ponder
    2 Cabal Ritual
    2 Duress
    1 Ill-Gotten Gains
    1 Tendrils of Agony


    His list has -1 Chrome Mox, +1 Ad Nauseam
    Team Hammafist
    C.I.#:5
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