Swarm Storm

Hi everyone,

I’m sure you have already noticed by now that TFA now has three writers and this means we’re able to cover more topics, more formats, more deck techs and deck discussions here on out. As a matter of fact, Julio has published his debut work on Semblance Anvil and the rebirth of KCI yesterday so that’s the Lab trying to really break out from Standard Jank. Stay tuned for Nick’s article where he discusses his pet deck that got him into the top 8 in his first Store Champ so watch out for that.

As for me, I’m still dedicated to brewing Jank so you can still expect a lot of weird brews from the Lab. Without further adieu, let me show you the cards I’m toying with in my brain.

Thousand-Year StormHeroic Reinforcements

I want to see a board state where I create a bazillion 1/1 white soldier tokens that gets a gazillion +1/+1 bonus thanks to Thousand-Year Storm and Heroic Reinforcement. This idea is a byproduct of a deck idea that was shared to me by a friend’s friend (see how far sometimes we need to go to get ideas nowadays).

The idea of any ‘storm’ deck is that you need to play towards a critical mass of spells and then play your bomb to collect as much value from your investment. A good thing to note is that Thousand-Year Storm does not need the spell to resolve for it to count because the spell is already counted when you cast it. This means that even your payout spell can be countered but you still get the rest of its copies normally. Remember that.

OptCrash ThroughChart a Course

To build towards a high spell count, you need to play cards that replace themselves. Cards like Opt, Crash Through, Warlord’s Fury, Chart a Course are all good examples. They also scale really well if a Storm is out because a 1-mana draw spell will draw you 2-3 cards easily the more mana you have to spare.

Discovery // DispersalMission Briefing

Key cards that help us find our combo pieces and actually retrieve it later are the full playsets of Discovery // Dispersal and Mission Briefing.

Discover helps us dig deep for lands (we’re playing 23 despite having a 6-mana enchantment), and can help dump key spells we can rebuy later with Mission Briefing.

Pirate's Pillage

Stepping up on the converted mana cost chart, Pirate’s Pillage is one of the best cards to scale with Thousand-Year out on the battlefield. The cast trigger is not duplicated since it’s getting copied and not recast. This means we’re netting 2 additional cards and 2 additional treasure each time we copy it. Playing an Opt, then a Crash Through, then a Pirate’s Pillage will consume 6 mana, but will give you a total of 9 cards and 6 treasures. That’s a full grip of cards and enough mana to cast more cantrips and then cash in with a huge Heroic Reinforcement.

Here’s a table to show how the tokens scale as more copies of Heroic Reinforcement gets resolved.

Cast Copies Tokens Created Total Power
1 2 4
2 4 10
3 6 18
4 8 28
5 10 40
6 12 54
7 14 70
8 16 88
9 18 108
10 20 130

Technically you only need to get 3 copies in (or 3 spells prior to casting HR) to get lethal power on the board. Considering blockers and life gains, you can easily breach 5-6 copies which amounts to an astounding 40-54 damage Crashing Through. LOL, I just had to do it.

Swarm StormSwarm Storm Decklist

The deck is linear but very fun to play with a lot of decision making and sequences to go off. Although the win con is essentially the same, we added two copies of Lightning Strike in the deck in case you’re against a Turbo Fog Deck and you just want to burn him to death.

Arclight PhoenixEnigma DrakeCrackling Drake

The sideboard is a complete 15-in-15-out transformative list, turning the deck into an Izzet Drakes deck. The following cards are taken out to fit in the entire sideboard:

  • 2 Deafening Clarion
  • 2 Mission Briefing
  • 4 Pirate’s Pillage
  • 4 Thousand-Year Storm
  • 3 Heroic Reinforcements

Radical IdeaTormenting Voice

The Chart a Course, Disovery // Dispersal and Mission Briefing will still help us bin Arclight despite not having Radical Idea or Tormenting Voice in the list.

The deck in theory looks really fun, very explosive, and sometimes hard to disrupt as well. The key is sneaking a win in game 1, then surprise the opponent with the Drake-swap to counter the opponent boarding in Negates, Spell Pierce, Enchantment Removal, etc. I would bet good money people won’t expect the switch and will pay for it dearly.

I will test it out in Arena when time permits and come back with screen shots!

Till then, leave a comment on what ideas you are working on and perhaps we can collaborate and refine your ideas into FNM-winning decks!


Shout out to Joseph Al-Tawalbeh for catching the wrong computation in the table of HR triggers, and for Judge Ian Go for providing the equation.


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