Hello everyone.

I've been trying to build up my paper Vintage collection to a point where I can participate in a 15-proxy event. The Waterbury is coming up, so I've been trying especially hard to get a deck together. I came to realize that Dark Petition Storm was my best bet, as the lack of Force of Wills made sliding in under the proxy limit easier.

Because that I'm 90% sure this is the deck I'll play, I've been building and testing DPS lists as much as I can.

I'd like to share my list so that the community can critique it, or just post snarky comments and laugh. It's all good fun.

Main Deck

alt text


alt text

Card Choices

2 Win Conditions - I'm playing two win conditions, but instead of two Tendrils, one is an Empty the Warrens. I could see changing this to a second Tendrils, but I do really like to have access to one Empty the Warrens and this saves sideboard space.

Having two win conditions reduces the chances of losing to the discard/exile clause on Necropotence. It also means that if one of my win conditions is stopped some way, I can still win (with or without Yawgmoth's Will).

I can often win with a much smaller Storm count with Empty the Warrens. It doesn't always happen, but I've had games where I Probed my opponent and saw that this turn was my only opening, so I went for a mid-sized Empty and won two turns later.

Pack Rat I borrowed this idea from @desolutionist . So far it's been surprisingly good, but I haven't been able to use it enough to know for sure.

I'm packing a Plague Spitter in the SB too so that I can bring it in against hatebears or other decks that might play Revoker. Hopefully that might help keeping my Rats free from the Revokers,

No Lion's Eye Diamond This is one more card I have to proxy if I want to use it (thanks to Dr. Funtimes Buyoutguy). LED was often decent for me in the past, but it's only good with certain other cards. I kind of felt like it was win-more, as in only good when you were in a position to be able to win anyway. Still, if I had one I would consider running it (my goal is to proxy as few cards as possible).

Sensei's Divining Top? This is a card that I don't own in paper, but I could afford to pick one up. I'm wondering if there's a good spot for the card in my main deck. I've had some losses recently where I made openings to go off, but I just ripped lands instead of gas. Maybe top could help? Also if I played Mindbreak Trap in my SB, SDT could help keep it hidden from Duress.

That's all I've got time to write about right now. I plan on adding to this post via edits or replies. I would also like to try @desolutionist 's Bob Tendrils deck, or even his Academy Rector Storm deck, but those cards are currently unavailable to me on MTGO or in paper Magic. Since my goal is to play with what I own, it feels like a bad use of time to practice with a deck I can't play.

I welcome any and all suggestions, and thanks in advance for any help I get.

the deck looks good, and this is actually one of the first storm decks ive seen that make good use out of time walk (timewalk into warrens)

@letseeker Thanks. Mostly I'm worried about the matchups that are poor. Workshops, Hatebears, White Eldrazi, etc.

I'm wondering if 4 Duress, 2 Cabal Therapy, and adding one Sensei's Divining Top could be good. I'm not sure though.

I have also seen a few people do well running Thoughtseize over Duress. Hitting a Thalia, Mentor, or Thought Knot could be very helpful. The life loss must add up quickly though, and usually the Thorn/Thalia/etc decks are so redundant that one Thoughtseize isn't going to cut it anyway. It's intriguing to me still though.

@Islandswamp what you could try is cutting a therapy for a top like you said have a 2/2 split between duress and thoughtseize to test it out and see if you want more thoughtseize or less.

Edit: actually i would say go all in on thoughtseize since you arnt playing bob, you wont have as much life loss

last edited by letseeker


Actually Time Walk has many uses. The most important reason is that it gives you access to one more mana on turn one, which could be the difference between turn 1 Bargain or nothing. It's also very over powered when combined with other bombs such as Necropotence or any of the draw7s. And last but not least, it helps reduce the bottlenecking of mana against a Blue control deck; play a bomb that gets countered, Time walk to untap and play another bomb.

last edited by Guest

@desolutionist ive always always thought it was one of the worst cards but as ive said before in other posts im not a storm expert, thank you for the insight

I brought in pack rat today and it was pretty sweet 🙂


There are a few "good" cards that are justifiably excluded from some Storm lists.

In addition to Time Walk, there are cases against Tolarian Academy because it doesn't generate a black mana AND it produces no mana without artifacts; it can be perceived as a dead card in some opening hands.

Necropotence had been a popular omission because it's "only good on turn 1" and you have to pass the turn after paying a bunch of life.

Library of Alexandria doesn't generate a black mana and slowly draws 1 card a turn in a deck that wants to explode out of the gates.

Even some of the bombs such as Yawgmoths Bargain, Minds Desire, and Draw7s can be excluded for various reasons.

Part of what makes Storm unappealing to some people is that the deck can be inconsistent; Any given card in the deck can be the worst card in the deck if you don't get the right kind of draws.

For all the cases against those cards, there are just as many FOR those cards. So it really comes down to personal preference and meta gaming

My best Empty the Warrens play was Turn 1 for 18 tokens after casting Time Walk. 😉

so how often do you actually go for this empty the warrens plan? I personally prefer the tinker for a giant robot as my backup wincon, the red mana for empty seems very hard to aquire with just the 1 badlands and mox. additionally i am not a fan of library as i find it is too slow in almost every matchup for the same reason top is also a very slow card. DPS is a deck about going off on turn 1-2 not about going super late with card advantage. you're never going to out card a gush deck and your never going to reliably win the mirror trying to combo off on turn 4. and while you can go late against eldrazi/shops every turn they get means your going to be farther away from casting a relevant spell through a sphere effect or worse your business is going to get taken by a thotnot. not playing LED is a fine decision as you also aren't playing alot of combo's with it, no wish cards and only 2 draw 7s.
can you explain to me the 2 random strip mine affects in the board? what do you want these for?
im also not sure what were slaughter gamesing, not tht i dislike it im just kind of curious what you name.

on what grounds do you consider thoughtseize to be a better discard spell than duress/therapy? the deck gets to play 4 probe for free which makes therapy so easy and 2-4 duresses that hit 90% of the things you want to discard anyways. personally the only reason i play 3 therapy 4 duress is because im not skilled enough to soul read my opponents opening hands. to play the 4th therapy.

how do people feel about bargin now adays? i keep being unable to reliably cast it and have cut it from my list. has anyone been reliably able to get bargin on the table compared to necro since the printing of dark petition?

while i don't particularly disliek top or library i feel that if you wanted to be playing those cards they would fit better in a slower storm deck, like a gush fastbond, tropical storm style list with force of will and ... w/e went into the weird green black blue storm deck. but personally i would rather cast cards that win the game instead of drawing me more copies of things that draw me more cards. preordains and gush's

You are playing ponder which is basically the same as casting a top for 1 turn. to be able to leverage value from top you need either A: to spend a minimum of 2 mana on the turn you cast it. or B: to get multiple turns with it in play. top gains value the more mana you spend on it but the more mana you spend toping the less mana you have to do real things that win the game.

Last thing has anyone considered mox diamond as a way to ge value from the awful times when you draw that nth land? that your never going to use.

@snowydude You can make red mana with Lotus, Petal, Mox Ruby, or badlands, so it's not really ever a problem. It feels pretty swell to cast a Empty when your opponent has brought in Leyline of Sanctity, not that it happens all that much.

I've looked at your lists, and I see you only run 12 lands. I don't have room for Tinker, a bot, and a jar. I've tried fitting them all in and it doesn't feel right. I was cutting Cabal Therapy for it.

Library of Alexandria has been great for me. The games where you get one in a seven card hand are amazing, other games it's just one of your mana sources (albeit the worst one). To me the opportunity cost is rather low. But if you can stay on library for the first two or three turns, you are more likely to power through your opponent's defenses using just your extra must-answer bombs. Honestly I think I've only lost one or two games where I got a library on turn one, and most of the time my opponent has just had a nut hand. I've kept a six card hand with a library and waiting to play anything until I could draw off of it and won that way. I'm sure I was pretty lucky at that point, but still it was good.

Sensei's Divining Top on the other hand is a harder card for me to want to use. The games where it would have been good are games where things were going badly anyway.

How often are you drawing Blightsteel in your hand and realizing Tinker is almost useless at that point? With no way to discard it and only Brainstorm to put it back or Ponder to try to shuffle it away before you draw it, it seems like a liability at times.

About the deck going off on turn one or two. I just don't see hands all the time that are going to win that fast. It's pretty common on turn two, turn one is not nearly as much so for me. Then again I'm doing my testing online so the shuffle is as close to random as possible. I definitely do get fast wins fairly often, but so many people tell me that the best way to beat Shops decks or whatever Sphere effect deck is to just be faster, In practice that's just super rare for me. Every time I try to mulligan into something faster it just doesn't work out. And the idea of using Tinker as an out to Spheres, by getting a robot out on turn one -- That just never seemed reliable to me. Granted, I was just goldfishing to see how often I could Tinker on turn one, but it wasn't fast enough to make me feel confident about it.

@snowydude Last year the best performing Storm deck at champs ran a bunch of Wastelands in the board. The idea was to bring them all in and take out Workshops and tombs with them to stall the game long enough to get to Hurkyl's mana.

Alternatively some people use Ancient Tombs in their sideboards to get a jump on their mana production to hopefully cast Hurkyl's before they die, and open up a window to play spells. My plan against Workshops and other mana taxing decks(which I admittedly will need to test a lot more than I have managed) would be to bring in Pack Rats, Strip and Wastes (GQ), and plague spitter in addition to the artifact bounce spells. Then I'd take out everything expensive and try to win with pack rat.

Slaughter Games is something I'm trying in place of Sadistic Sacrament. The idea is that you can name Tendrils in the mirror, or Griselbrand against the 3xGris Oath decks, you can name Doomsday against Doomsday (if you live that long...). It can't be countered, which is only relevant against non-mirror matches. There could be a corner case where your opponent could Mindbreak Trap your Sad Sac, but that's probably pretty rare.

@Islandswamp said:

How often are you drawing Blightsteel in your hand and realizing Tinker is almost useless at that point? With no way to discard it and only Brainstorm to put it back or Ponder to try to shuffle it away before you draw it, it seems like a liability at times.

in an opening hand that can't do anything about it happens maybe 1/10 games. drawing it randomly on a turn so its in my hand maybe 1 in 6 or 7. i feel like that happens about 1 in 3 rounds. but i have many ways to discard it, all of the draw 7s, the LED the brainstorm, discarding it because necro overdraws it stil gets shuffled in because its replacement not trigger and on occasion i have therapy'd myself to put it back.so i rarely find it to actually be "dead" in my hand. every now and then i get to cast it for a trillion mana or off my minds desire but those are weird statistically anomalys. the number of games where i could not tinker my robot into play and i lost because of it is actual 0. it has not yet cost me a game. there have been 2 games wher ei had to tinker for jar because robot was in hand but i won those games anyway. results oriented 🙂 this is only a sample size of about 50 games or so in comp REL.

and yes it is very hard to find room for the tinker package. everytime i look at my list im always at 61 cards and cut 1 thing almost at random between chain of vapor, cabal rit, and other nonsence. so i completely understand not being able to squeeze them in.

sadistic sacrament? the 3 mana exile 3 cards from your opponents library? i guess that would work against any not me storm player as a win con. kind glad i play 4 wincons.

maybe im just really biased because of danny but i really just like having some elephants go around smashing all the artifacts in play more than trying to out mana the cost or play through with some rodents. that does require a 2nd mountain tho so i guess thats not a plan you can implement.

oh about the 12 lands thing. while i do run 1 less land than the norm i am playing 6 duals and the academy so i end up having more actual lands overall compared to 3 duals 2 basics and academy. i tried playing basics but island kept not being able to cast things and getting swamp felt weird when i wanted to cast 3ish blue spells in a turn. i actually fetch volcanic island more than badlands. also playing at least 1 of each of the duals let me have perfect mana no matter which grixis mox i draw.

im curious what kind of hands you keep though. you said when you mullagin for fast hands you tend to. when i say go off i dont nessacery mean you win every game on t1/2. i mean you cast a must counter spell at least once a turn. so a turn 1 necro counts as going off even tho you didnt win the game. a turn 2 tinker for a robot counts as going off even tho it might get swords. games go to several turns sometimes but that happens because my opponent had good interaction with me not because i always mull to something like triple dark rit lotus will dt. i also consider draw 7's with 3 fast mana sources strong enough to just play on turn 1. im not above going land mox sol ring wheel pass the turn.

@snowydude I don't have enough of the proper dual lands and fetches to support pulverize in my sideboard, otherwise I'd probably play it.

I keep hands with cards that I can play I guess... I don't know how else to describe it succinctly.

Snowydude: What 4 win-cons do you speak of? What percentage of game wins go to Tinker-Bot?
In terms of Pulverize, yeah, great card, but 2 mountains is nigh impossible. Also depends on meta, artifact decks have dropped off a bit percentage wise, with current Eldrazi builds being a current flavor. Hurkyl's, Rebuild are useful in multiple ways, where Pulverize is a nuke for primarily a single deck type.
Key for Storm has always been utility, i.e. a Swiss Army knife is preferable over a scalpel.

@Islandswamp Great post 🙂

Personally I have been trying 4 Thoughtseize main (with no Confidants side) as these help get rid of the first creature menace (TKS, Mentor...) your opponent can bring to the table so you get some extra turns.

last edited by PeAcH

1 tendrils 1 robot 2 burning wish for the tendrils in the board.
tinker for robot has a very high win percentage of the games i go that route i think its close to 80% of the games. but i only go for a robot 1/5ish games. not counting the 100% of games i try to play him vs eldrazi/shops. going by the data since i started vintage i have had my robot defeated a total of 4 times, 1 of those games i ended up winning later with tendrils anyway because plowing the robot gave me enough life to not die to factory beats against a landstill deck.

compared to the artifacts in eldrazi the creatures aren't very relevant if your planning to go off which means pulverize does more. now if the creatures kill you before you get to cast that pulverize then yea there's gonna be problems but that's why we play cabal therapy so we can blind name thotnots on turn 1

i don't dislike hurkyls and i have't done any testing with rebuild so i cant give much opinion on it but it seems so expensive I can't bring myself to put it in the deck. i also very rarely take advantage of bouncing my own artifacts. personally play style i think more than anything.
I've always considered storm to be represented by the sai rather than a scalpel or swiss army knife. it is designed to kill quickly, efficiently and parry when necessary.

playing the pulverize in the board also enables access to it in game 1 via burning wish which has come in handy a couple of times.

last edited by Guest

I didnt test myself yet but i dont get how packrat is good against decks that commonly run 4 revokers. What do you do with your 2 mana 1/1 if it gets revoked? Or is the Revoker hitting anything else than a manasource positive enough to make it worth it?

@Evoclipse said:

I didnt test myself yet but i dont get how packrat is good against decks that commonly run 4 revokers. What do you do with your 2 mana 1/1 if it gets revoked? Or is the Revoker hitting anything else than a manasource positive enough to make it worth it?

The 1/1 trades with the 2/1 if nothing else...

The Pack Rat plan has to be strategically implemented; Gitaxian Probe and Therapy really helps this. If they have a Revoker in their hand, you want to wait until you can produce a second Rat (either cast or activated) so that one of your Rats can trade with the Revoker and still leave you with a Rat. Unless you know that you can get off a Hurkyl's Recall or Snuff Out; Pack Rat works in concert with the rest of the anti-Shops plan.

You're also right that if the opponent is focusing on Pack Rat, you're in good shape. The whole point is to have some cards that can be cast under spheres. If they have Spheres, Revokers on Rat, Lodestone Golem, and Thought-Knot Seers out then thats game and there's nothing you can do about it anyway.

last edited by Guest
  • 66
  • 50457