What’s up my fellow Storm aficionados! Holidays are over and we are approaching new set, Ravnica Allegiance. Like always I’ll update my Stormlist, sideboard plans and address possible new toys from the set. Also we have a few topics to discuss so, let’s get to it!
As far as any new additions, there are none. The meta has stayed in a shape that I feel that no additions have felt necessary. Especially regarding our lgs (local game shop) meta, this list is better since we have lots of Control, Midrange and even other Combos have started to rise a bit. Aggro is not that prevalent here, so double Remand still does wonders, and it allows that Grapeshot Remand Grapeshot line should you face something like main deck Relic Of Progenitus. Which brings me to my next subject…
To Empty, or not to Empty?
Now I’ve been waiting a long time to have a chance to talk about main deck Empty The Warrens. I was a longtime player of the card, and at the moment it sees a decent amount of play from the main deck. However, I don’t agree with this plan. I believe I already addressed this in my last update, Modern’s meta contains lots of sweepers and it has only grown since last time. My opinion might be a bit based on the fact that our local meta has loads of Maelstrom Pulses and Terminus running around, so that is my main reasoning why I don’t include it in my 60. I’ll admit that Empty does steal some games away, if you’re meta is full with Grixis Death’s Shadow or other decks that hate to face Empty game 1, then go ahead, it’s not a terrible choice. But in an open meta, it’s too risky for me.
The counter argument has been that Empty helps against some of the main deck hate we might see, cards like Meddling Mage, Chalice Of The Void or Leyline Of Sanctity. Well, the decks that run those specific cards don’t really fold to Empty to begin with. Humans can go much wider than 8-10 Goblins, Boggles has Daybreak Coronet and Eldrazi Tron has sweepers. So even in those situations Empty might still not get the job done.
I feel that our most solid plan is just Grapeshotting for lethal in-game 1, and like many times before, since I run Merchant Scroll+bounces, I can answer those hate cards that way while also making my main game plan more solid. So that’s my 2 cents about this subject, feel free to counter argument, I’d love to talk about this more! Also as we check out the spoilers (we will get there soon), there is a card that will see modern play and that specific card also nerfs main deck Empty The Warrens plan.
The fate of Noxious Revival.
Noxious Revival has been discussed a lot lately. So I will share my 2 cents about the card. The thing with Noxious is, it acts as _any_ card in our deck. Literally any card, at instant speed. Especially if you happen to play fetches, it can get those as well. And lastly, it’s just free storm count. I understand that it’s a poor card against aggro decks or if you happen to run into main deck graveyard hate. But let’s take a closer look at the latter argument.
Most common graveyard hate from the main deck is Relic Of Progenitus, if you use Noxious to get back something important, what are they going to do? Let it happen and I most likely win? Or pop it, and then my graveyard is free for business again? Sure, I’ll take it either way honestly. Also it just makes so many Gifts Ungiven piles autowin, or protects against Surgical Extraction, or hits Grishoalbrand/Dredge. I just cannot get myself to cut this card, and I advice you do the same.
Now then, time to take a look at the most interesting cards from the new set and my personal reviews of the cards. Here we go!
Kaya does some pretty interesting things for 3 mana planeswalker. Especially the ability to exile 1 mana threats like Death’s Shadow sounds good. That being said, I think she falls a bit short for Modern at least, you would need a lot of graveyard synergies in order to maximize her +1 and -5 ultimate.
Another 3 mana planeswalker, Dovin looks fairly strong. If you can make some small evasive threats (tokens for example), you can ramp him up to ultimate _really_ quickly. Second ability helps make that plan possible, r is never bad, and he protects himself. And the -7 ultimate is just disgusting, if you thought that Dig Through Time was busted, well here you go, take some more! Not sure what is the right deck for Dovin though, UW Control already has such a powerful planeswalkers to begin with, so I’m not convinced that this can compete with Jace or Teferi. But then again, Dovin only costs 3 mana, so maybe we see him pop up in Modern?
Last planeswalker from the set, Domri has returned and boy does he do strong things! Giving mana to pump out creatures and either giving them haste or +1+1 counters sounds fairly strong. Not only that, he digs for max 2 creatures each turn so against control you can just keep digging for more and more gas. And the -8 ultimate is…well pretty much GG unless you play combo or have flyers to race. Now 4 mana is a lot, but I dare to say that decks that play him, play manadorks like Birds Of Paradise and Noble Hierarch so you can get him online quicker. I can’t say for sure what deck Domri will fit in, but I’m highly positive that some creature decks will want to at least give him a shot.
The much spoken “Creature Birthing Pod“, Vannifar does exactly what Birthing Pod did…except just a tiny bit worse unfortunately. The fact that she doesn’t have phyrexian mana, means that you can power her out at turn 3 the best with manadorks. And due to summoning sickness she is active at turn 4 the best. In Modern, combo decks have killed you before that, and fair decks can kill her, counter her or just Thoughtseize away. Though to be fair, I don’t play fair creature strategies so I might be missing something with this card, if it sees play and success in Modern, I don’t mind.
Ah Timetwister, good to see you aga..oh never mind. For Modern 7 mana is waaayy too much, granted that instant speed is very powerful. I can see this being really strong in Standard, but for Modern this is too mana intensive.
Lavinia seems potentially strong in the correct meta. Well Tron just gets getting hit again and again, but this is a potential card for Humans. Against Storm of KCI this is not the best option though, it basically stalls 1 turn at best, and then those decks are free to go off like normal. Also she counters any pacts which can be a factor against Valakut/Amulet Titan decks. Time will tell if she actually fits in humans.
I couldn’t find an English copy for this but here is the wording:
Repudiate G/U G/U
Counter target activated ability or triggered ability. (Mana abilities can’t be targeted.)
Create a token that’s a copy of a creature you control.
Instant speed Explore doesn’t sound like the worst plan in the world. This might have the guts to see play in Amulet Titan or blue Scapeshift decks. There is not much more to be said about this one, cool card with a powerful effect.
Interesting option for Storm, it digs for cost-reducers or anything else for that matter. Sorcery speed is a bummer so I think this will fall that 1 step short in the end. But it does dig deeper than Strategic Planning at least.
Now this is the card I was talking about a while ago, this is a creature that Coco decks, most likely Bant versions will be playing this card. Can you imagine going all in for goblins and they play this card? Feels bad right. So this is another reason to not main deck Empty since this card will see Modern play.
Probably one of the most hyped cards from the set. And for a good reason too! People have been playing Dreadbore to have a chance against opposing planeswalkers, this card does the same job, but with instant speed. And that is a huge deal, also hitting artifacts so you can kill KCI, Cranial Plating or Chalice Of The Void if need be. Sure, it costs extra mana but I think this will replace Dreadbore and will see play in Standard and Modern.
I know I saved the fun one for last. This card is pretty sweet, can kill creatures or act as a burn spell. But most importantly you can play any suspend spells with this. So Ancestral Vision, Living End, Restore Balance and Wheel Of Fate. So for example maybe UR based tempo deck could run this with Ancestral Vision for example. Very curious to see how this affects Modern! For current Storm though, I think this is too mana intensive. Maybe with a different build this can be worked on, we’ll wait and see!
Like always, here is my updated sideboard guide, I have added some decks that weren’t there before!
GB Midrange (Jund, Abzan, GB)
UW Control (Azorius)
UWR Control (Jeskai+Spell Quellers)
UWR Control (Jeskai no Spell Quellers)
Collected Company Decks (Abzan, Bant, GW Company)
RUG/Bring To Light Scapeshift
Classic Tron (RG, GW, MonoG)
Mono U Tron
Death’s Shadow Variants (Grixis, Esper, 4-5c, Jund)
Death&Taxes Variants (MonoW, GW, BW Eldrazi)
Soul Sisters/Martyr Proc
KCI Combo (Eggs)
Hardened Scales Affinity
Zoo (5C, Naya)
Living End (Jund)
Living End (Blue)
BR Hollow One
So that’s all for this time, and like always, if you have any questions about anything Storm related, don’t be shy to send me a message in my social medias or comment here! Until next time, and may the Storm ever be in your side!