Corey Murphy is one of two hosts of the Card Knock Life Podcast. He started playing magic in 1999, lives in Wisconsin, can touch his tongue to his nose, plays the trombone, and focuses his MTG content efforts on Modern. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. You’re here for the magic content right? Ok, I’ll shut up now…
It is surprising to me that there are still doubters…
We’ve seen many recent MTGO League results slotting this pairing into Abzan company-style decks already packing Kitchen Finks/Viscera Seer as Vizier serves as a perfect pivot point between each plan. This new option provides not only MORE combo potential for this style of deck, but one that strikes on a different axis; a combo that does not use the graveyard and one that is extremely difficult to interact with once it is assembled.
My name is Mike Thomas. I have been playing magic competitively since Fate Reforged, grinding tournaments in the Oklahoma area with mild success. I started, as many grinders do, in Standard and I saw my first glimpse of success in Dragons of Tarkir with an Esper Dragons list at the SCG Open level with a Day 1 finish of 5-4. I narrowly missed day 2 by punting my 2 win-and-in opportunities. I’ve since delved into the world of Modern and Legacy where I was able to cash for the first time in a Premier IQ with Death and Taxes, earning a Top 32 finish. While my opportunity to play in PPTQs have waned with the continual marching of college and professional developments, I have still maintained a competitive spirit playing the game and have worked on tuning the lists of my teammates in Standard and Modern.
After seeing many local players bringing this new version of storm featuring Baral, Chief of Compliance to events, I was inspired to try it out myself. A bit of testing and tuning has resulted in the following list…
Storm is a deck that has been around since the beginnings of Modern and has arguably had the most targeted bans of any deck in the format’s history. From Seething Song to Gitaxian Probe, the Storm archetype has found itself constantly being hindered and nevertheless, the deck has managed to survive.
This week, Esper Transcendent designer and Facebook Team Transcendent admin Francesco Neo Amati sat down with Dylan Brown after his recent 21st place finish at GP Brisbaine with the deck. Dylan shared his thoughts on why he chose to bring this list to the event, his thoughts on its position in the meta, and his overall experience piloting it at the GP.
My name is Blake Niemi. I began playing Magic in 1995 around the release of 4th Edition. I was a casual kitchen table player for a number of years and then turned to competitive play with the release of Mirrodin in 2003. While my ability to find the time for competitive play has waxed and waned over the years, I’ve continued to follow the game closely and presently find my enjoyment primarily in brewing decks for Modern.
The release of Aether Revolt had me excited. The set seemed to be full of potential with lots of cards looking to be strong enough to find a place in Modern. One card that immediately stood out to me was Renegade Rallier. In a format with fetchlands, triggering revolt seemed rather reliable and having access to one-drop mana creatures meant that Rallier could potentially serve as a potent piece of acceleration in a deck looking to ramp its mana. But what would I want to be ramping toward?
On our last cast, Darrel and I got on the topic of how great Renegade Rallier worked with Eldrazi Displacer and started to brew a deck around this engine.
This week, I began brewing around this idea and came up with something that I am quite excited to share. In the process, I’ve uncovered some incredible interactions between many of the cards in standard that aren’t outwardly obvious. Rather than posting the decklist first, let’s start by going through the opening to a hypothetical game.
Let’s imagine that this is our opening hand on the play…
My name is Christian Lorenz, and I began playing magic in 2006 with the release of the magic expansion Guildpact. I played through the introduction of Time Spiral Block, and then took a break from magic until the release of Return to Ravnica. Nostalgia brought me back in, and I haven’t looked back since. I am a green mage at heart, and drift towards aggressive and midrange strategies. I play Standard competitively, but my true goal in any game of magic is to learn and have fun. I currently reside in Denver Colorado, where there is a large and thriving magic community.
This week we sit down with Francesco Neo Amati, progenitor of the Modern UW control community and Team Transcendent Facebook groups. Amati has taken a new approach to modern control with an esper deck based around none other than Narset Transcendent.
Your opponent plays T1: Urza’s Tower and Expedition Map. You’ve almost got to assume that this player is on GR Tron because if you don’t, a T3 Karn will hurt that much more. What do you do? Go on the offensive, flood the board and hope to overwhelm, use discard spells like Thoughtseize in hopes of dismantling the army of threats in their hand, activate your Ghost Quarters before they can assemble Tron?
For a deck that relies on a quick 7 mana to play ‘unfair’ cards early on, this could hurt. When you pack a surprisingly offensive mid-range strategy, this can be the perfect diversion to unleash Thought-Knot Seer or Reality Smasher and go to town.
In the words of the immortal Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson…
“Delver is yes and then no Delver’s in then it’s out Delver’s up then down Delver’s wrong when it’s right It’s blue and it’s…blue”
…well, something like that.
I am surely not alone when I say that I have a ‘hot and cold’ relationship with Delver of Secrets in Modern. Without enablers like Brainstorm, modern players are forced to set up Delver flips with Serum Visions or (ick!) Snapcaster to flashback Serum Visions or… uh…”lucking out”. While this can be maddening, the upside just might be worthwhile and Plan C, luck, may be the most common avenue.