Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Burning Storm

“There’s a storm coming, Mr. Wayne.“ Ah Storm, described by Wizards of the Coast’s Mark Rosewater as their most broken mechanic. Of course, this depends on who you ask, as the mechanic/deck archetype has friends AND foes around the world. There are a few choice win conditions in Storm decks, but the most popular has always been Tendrils of Agony. For 2BB you can drain 2 life from the opponent and gain 2 life for yourself. Not very impressive you say? Oh right, you make additional copies of it for each spell that was played during the turn. Were you at 20 life points? Not anymore. Welcome to Burning Storm!

When Burning Wish first came out, it was part of a cycle of cards that allowed a player to grab any card of the specified type that they owned from outside the game. This was quickly changed for tournament settings, limiting a player to cards from their sideboard instead. Many people saw this as a chance to build a “toolbox” sideboard, with Wishes allowing them to tutor for whatever card they needed at the time. Burning Storm follows this philosophy, putting both utility cards and win conditions in the sideboard to be searched for as required.

In order to bring the opponent’s life total down to 0, the deck has to be able to play enough spells in a turn to get the proper Storm count. Some decks choose to focus on graveyard recursion (such as IGGy Pop decks), but Burning Storm focuses on card drawing to get the win. It does so via cards such as Infernal Contract, Cruel Bargain, Diminishing Returns and even Brainstorm to an extent.

Diminishing Returns was one of the last cards I added to this deck, but after testing it out, it should have been one of the first. The card is amazing at re-stocking your hand and even helps give you mana to keep adding spells to your Storm count. How? If you crack your Lotus Petals and Lion’s Eye Diamonds in response to casting Returns, they get shuffled back into your library and thus can be re-drawn. The Mox Diamonds are also there to help the deck re-establish a mana base once you’ve cast Diminishing Returns and keep drawing ‘useless’ lands after you’ve played your land drop.

The sideboard contains a few cards that don’t seem very strong, or are even out of place. As I mentioned earlier however, the sideboard acts as a toolbox. The bolts are there as removal in case your opponent sides in Meddling Mage. The bounce spells are there to deal with cards such as Ivory Mask or Circle of Protection: Black. If you think there are better options though, you can add them! The sideboard, and even the mainboard, are very customizable and should be made to suit your play style and meta. Happy brewing!

Burning Storm


1 Badlands
3 Underground Sea
2 Volcanic Island
4 Polluted Delta
3 Bloodstained Mire
1 Island
1 Swamp

Total: 15


4 Dark Ritual
4 Burning Wish
4 Infernal Contract
1 Tendrils of Agony
4 Cabal Ritual
4 Duress
3 Cabal Therapy
4 Brainstorm
4 Sleight of Hand
4 Lion’s Eye Diamond
4 Lotus Petal
3 Mox Diamond
2 Diminishing Returns

Total: 45


1 Diminishing Returns
1 Cruel Bargain
1 Tendrils of Agony
1 Cabal Therapy
1 Temporal Fissure
1 Dematerialize
2 Chain of Vapor
4 Peek
2 Lightning Bolt
1 Chain Lightning

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