After Oscar Basart managed to win our Vintage event on Friday in spectacular fashion with his Storm deck, we expected players to come prepared for the Legacy variant of this fast archetype in our Legacy event. It turned out that this was not the case, which paved the way for 3 of the 16 players that piloted Storm through a field of Delver and Miracles decks and who managed to advance to the Top 8 of the event.
There, they all added yet another victory, making the semi-finals a rather one-sided affair with only Aurelio Crespo and his BUG Delver standing in their way. While BUG Delver is one of the few decks that has at least a couple of answers to Storm, it's not exactly an easy task to overpower the explosive deck; otherwise, the 16 Storm players should have found themselves on the bottom of the standings considering that Delver was the most popular deck today.
Storm decks are the odd one out
The game plan of Storm can hardly be compared to that of most of the other decks in the format. Unlike them, it doesn't focus on creatures; it simply waits to go for its gigantic blowout turn where you're activating a number of free Spells before following it up with Tendrils of Agony to wrap things up.
Therefore, you need a very different approach to combat this deck. While there are cards that can help you turn the tide in your favor, we didn't see them popping up in many sideboards this weekend, at least not in sufficient numbers. Such cards are Flusterstorm, Meddling Mage, Ethersworn Canonist, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben or Leyline of Sanctity. While you rarely have plenty of free space in your sideboard, you should at least have a few cards that can help you in an otherwise complicated match-up.
One of the best strategies is to bring in a number of cards that attack the Storm deck in different ways, because the Storm player will then need a variety of answers to best your anti cards. So rather than adding 4 copies of Flusterstorm, you should instead add lots of different 1-ofs. The reason behind this is that the Storm player could otherwise just peek at your hand with a Gitaxian Probe and make you discard all your answers with Cabal Therapy.
Dr. Hans Joachim Hoeh, our resident expert on the coverage team, even goes as far as playing some of the above-mentioned anti cards in his main decks. Thanks to Brainstorm and similar cards that can be considered staples in almost all Legacy decks, you can dramatically increase your odds of drawing some of your outs and then go on and already win against the Storm player pre-board. At the same time, these cards rarely clutter up your hand in other match-ups since you can simply shuffle them back.