Thursday, September 17, 2009

I noticed a comment from Jordi Amat (piZZero on SoloLegacy) that cuts to the core of what I have believed for a long time. Writing about storm combo, indeed magic in general, does not produce eye-opening ideas causing amazing lines of play for an experienced player. I don't know any secrets to playing Brainstorm and I can't offer you a formula to go 90-10 vs the field. I can offer you generalizations about cards in or matchups with storm combo (e.g. don't run out Brainstorm turn 1 unless it's protecting something (maybe from Duress or Thoughtseize) or the three card dig will either win (missing a rit effect) or cause you to not lose the game (Wasteland)) and commentary on specific lines of play (like my Duress Situation).

Sadly, most plays with storm combo follow a similar pattern. You ask yourself, "what does the most to help me win?" and then run with that play. If you generally maximize the number of cards you've seen with cantrips and sandbag your tutors, you'll find that (a) you win a lot of games with storm and (b) the deck really isn't that hard to play, regardless of the list. Of course, this assumes that you know what the cards in your hand can do, what's left in your deck, and you have at least some idea of the cards your opponent might use to try to interact with you. Knowing what you need to win the game is half the battle. The other half is getting lucky while maximizing your chances to see those cards.

In summary, if you are already a strong technical player with a solid understanding of your lines of play, I don't have a lot to help you with. I can tell you to practice more so you can pull off your analysis fast enough to not get called for stalling, but you probably already knew to do that. However, if you don't yet see all the plays for yourself, I can try to point them out for you while explaining why a given line of play is correct.

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