Storm

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'Storm' is a deck archetype, similar to combo, that seeks to cast multiple, low-cost spells in one turn, using the high density of spells cast to build up to a powerful, game-ending play. The name derives from the Storm mechanic, which copies a spell's effect for each other spell that has already been cast that turn.

'Storm' decks do not need to specifically use cards with the Storm keyword to fall within this archetype.

Storm decks commonly include the colors blue and/or red.

Popular Cards & Commanders

Common Storm cards include:

Common Storm commander include:

Strategy

Storm decks typically make use of three different card categories:

Chainable Spells

Storm decks require a high density of low-cost cards to cast, especially cantrips (cards that allow the caster to draw a card, replacing themselves with another card in hand). Examples of this include cards like Brainstorm, Ponder, Gitaxian Probe, Faithless Looting, and Opt. This category also includes 'ritual' effects that resupply the Storm player with a burst of additional mana. Examples of this include Manamorphose, Cabal Ritual, Dramatic Reversal, Lotus Petal, and Turnabout.

Enablers

Storm decks require lots of resources to cast so many spells in a single turn. Enabler cards may allow the player to draw extra cards, ensuring they never run out of cards in hand, or they may provide additional mana, so the player has the ability to continue casting more spells. Examples of enablers include Song of Creation, Whirlwind of Thought, Urza, Lord High Artificer, or Jhoira, Weatherlight Captain.

Payoffs

These cards allow a player to make the Storm turn lethal by taking advantage of the multiple spells cast in one turn. This may include cards like Thousand-Year Storm, Aetherflux Reservoir, Aria of Flame, and of course, cards with the Storm ability, such as Tendrils of Agony or Brain Freeze.
Compared to other archetypes, Storm decks commonly bide their time during a game. Rather than deploying a steady number of spells each turn, Storm decks wait until they can cast as many spells as possible in one big turn. This usually requires them to wait until they have assembled enough a satisfactory number of chainable spells and/or enablers that will allow their payoff to be lethal.

Variations

”Classic” Storm

The "Classic" Storm deck is similar to the Spellslinger archetype. This variation specifically uses instant and sorcery spells to accumulate a high density of spells cast in one turn. This type may also include wheel spells such as Wheel of Fortune and Timetwister to refill their hand with additional cards.

Cheeri0s

"Cheeri0s" is a storm variation that uses zero-mana spells, especially artifacts, to accumulate high Storm counts. Because these spells do not cost any mana to cast, this variation is able to cast many spells in a single turn without worry of running out of mana to cast them. This variation may also utilize cost-reducing effects, such as Etherium Sculptor, to reduce the cost of other artifacts.

Dragonstorm

Dragonstorm is a Storm deck that uses the card Dragonstorm as its primary payoff spell, which will put a large number of Dragon tribe creatures from within the deck onto the battlefield at once. These decks are similar to the "Classic" variation, except that they will contain a large number of Dragon tribe cards for Dragonstorm to put into play.

Combo Storm

Some Storm decks will utilize combo effects instead of chaining multiple spells together. For example, Dramatic Reversal + Isochron Scepter are a common combo that allows a player to repeatedly cast the same spell an infinite number of times. Because this combo results in an infinite number of spell casts, players may choose to use combos as a means of generating a high Storm count.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths

  • With proper buildup, Storm decks produce exponentially more powerful payoffs than most other deck archetypes. Cards like Thousand-Year Storm, for instance, can create game states where a single spell is copied dozens of times.
  • Storm decks can be difficult for opponents to disrupt or react to. Storm does not rely on specific, individually powerful cards, but rather a collection of smaller spells, so removing any individual piece does not disrupt the overall strategy. Storm spells themselves produce large numbers of copies, so even counterspells struggle to prevent a Storm player from resolving their game-ending payoffs.
  • The Storm archetype has a low reliance on board presence; it does not often require many cards on the battlefield to assemble its strategy.

Weaknesses

  • Because the Storm strategy requires a player to devote all their resources into one singular turn, the archetype can be somewhat inconsistent. If a Storm player is eliminated from the game before they have a chance to assemble the Storm turn, they may have done very little to affect the game at all. Contrarily, when a player executes the Storm turn, the turn itself can produce a highly uninteractive play pattern, which may cause excess downtime for the rest of the table.
  • Storm decks often rely upon a combination of enablers and cantrips to continue their Storm turn, but these cards may occasionally fail to provide the player with the fuel they need. For instance, a Storm player may fail to draw any further spells, resulting in a low Storm count. Alternatively, they may generate a high Storm count but fail to acquire their payoff spells, so their large turn is not lethal at all.
  • If the Storm turn results in a non-lethal payoff, Storm players may find themselves out of the game completely, as they have spent all their cards and resources and will have very little of both leftover afterward. It is difficult to build up enough card advantage to attempt a second Storm turn, and Storm payoff cards, while exponentially powerful, do very little on their own.


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