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Against the Odds: Ooze Storm (Modern)

Hello, everyone. Welcome to episode 295 of Against the Odds. Last week, we had another extremely close Against the Odds poll, with Aeve, Progenitor Ooze just barely beating out Braids, Cabal Minion by one percent of the vote (someday, Braids, some time). As such, we're heading to Modern today to Ooze Storm! While Storm has been an archetype in Modern for as long as Modern has been a format, Storm decks are almost always blue-red. Meanwhile, since Aeve, Progenitor Ooze isn't just green but triple green, Ooze Storm looks a lot different from a normal Storm deck, even though the plan mostly is the same: cast a bunch of spells to up our storm count, and then play an Aeve, Progenitor Ooze to make a ton of token copies and (hopefully) use them to win the game. What are the odds of storming off with Aeve, Progenitor Ooze in Modern? How many token copies can we make? Let's get to the video and find out in today's Against the Odds; then, we'll talk more about the deck!

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Against the Odds: Ooze Storm

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The Deck

When Aeve, Progenitor Ooze won the poll, I briefly considered playing an Ooze tribal deck. And while there is some upside to playing Aeve in Ooze Tribal (since Aeve, Progenitor Ooze enters with a +1/+1 counter for each Ooze we control), the problem is that Oozes don't really support storm. In Ooze Tribal, we'd mostly be casting Aeve, Progenitor Ooze with a storm count of zero or one, which just isn't all that exciting compared to being able to make a huge and potentially hasty and trampling board full of Aeves in a more storm-focused deck. 

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As far as winning the game, we're pretty much all-in on Aeve, Progenitor Ooze and the tokens it can make. While we do have one Empty the Warrens and one Chatterstorm as backup Storm cards (mostly because we have Past in Flames in our deck to help up our storm count, which allows us to cast Empty the Warrens or Chatterstorm from our graveyard but not Aeve). While we are hoping to win a match or two with Ooze Storm, our main goal is to try to make as many copies of Aeve, Progenitor Ooze as possible.

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Our two most important cards are our cost reducers Goblin Anarchomancer and Birgi, God of Storytelling, both of which essentially give us a one-mana discount on all of our spells. These cards help to supercharge our rituals by giving us all the mana we need to cast a ton of spells in one turn, to up our storm count enough that we can make a truly massive board of Aeve, Progenitor Oozes. While the main reason why Birgi, God of Storytelling is in our deck is to reduce the cost of our spells, the backside can also be very powerful, helping us dig through our deck to find more spells to cast until we eventually end the chain with Aeve.

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Pyretic Ritual, Desperate Ritual, and Manamorphose (which becomes a ritual if we have Goblin Anarchomancer or Birgi, God of Storytelling on the battlefield) are the glue that holds Ooze Storm together. The easiest way for us to cast a bunch of spells in a turn is to empty our hand of rituals, use Past in Flames to flashback the cards in our graveyard, empty our graveyard of rituals, and then finish with an Aeve, Progenitor Ooze. The rituals make this plan possible by both upping our storm count and giving us the mana we need to cast our payoffs. Manamorphose is especially important to our deck because of Aeve, Progenitor Ooze's triple-green mana cost. One of the challenges of Ooze Storm is that most of our rituals make red mana but Aeve itself requires a lot of green mana. Manamorphose is our best solution to this problem, allowing us to make a bunch of red mana with our other rituals and then transform some of it into green mana so that we can cast Aeve, Progenitor Ooze

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Past in Flames allows us to make a truly absurd number of Aeves. While we can make a decent number just by casting all of the cards in our hand and then finishing with an Aeve, Progenitor Ooze, if we have Past in Flames, we can—at least—double the number of Aeve, Progenitor Oozes we can make by emptying our hand of spells (hopefully making a bunch of mana with our rituals) and then using Past in Flames to allow us to recast all of our spells from our graveyard, doubling our storm count. The only drawback of Past in Flames in the deck is that it doesn't allow us to cast an Aeve, Progenitor Ooze from our graveyard, although we do have Chatterstorm and Empty the Warrens as backups. I did briefly consider playing Gaea's Will over Past in Flames since it would allow us to cast Aeve from our graveyard too along with our spells, but I decided that without a way to cheat Gaea's Will into play without suspending it, the no-mana-cost sorcery would be too slow and clunky, even if it did offer a little bit of upside compared to Past in Flames.

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Apart from a bunch of random card draw (Abundant Harvest, Galvanic Relay, and Valakut Awakening) to help us find our combo pieces, we have two other important support cards to help speed up our Aeve, Progenitor Ooze kill. First Day of Class is a Pauper Storm trick. If we can cast it during our combo turn, all of our Aeve, Progenitor Oozes will come into play with an extra +1/+1 counter (which is nice but not especially important) and haste, which is huge since it allows us to kill our opponent right away with our huge board of Oozes. Crash Through can help us get through blockers, although we should have enough Oozes that it won't matter if we can fully combo off. But since we can always cast it as a cheap (or with Birgi, God of Storytelling free) cantrip, it's a solid addition to the deck, even if we don't need it to win with our Aeves.

The Matchups

The hardest matchups for Ooze Storm are decks with a lot of disruption, especially discard and creature removal. Discard can take our finisher and leave us spinning our wheels, and we really, really need one of our Goblin Anarchomancers or Birgi, God of Storytelling to stick on the battlefield to combo fully (it's hard to cast a bunch of spells and make three green mana without them to reduce the cost of our stuff), which makes creature removal a problem. Thankfully, we do have a plan for this in Veil of Summer from the sideboard, which can answer both. On the other hand, decks that are mostly focused on executing their own game plan rather than disrupting ours are where Ooze Storm shines.

The Odds

All in all, we finished 3-2 with Ooze Storm, giving us a solid 60% win percentage. While we comboed off a few times throughout our matches, we were making five or 10 copies of Aeve, Progenitor Ooze much of the time, which was still enough to win games but not as spectacular. Thankfully, we got to see what Aeve could really do in our last match against Merfolk, making over 40 Oozes and hitting our opponent for more than 1,000 hasty Ooze damage!

Vote for Next Week's Deck

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Modern Horizons 2 still has a ton of sweet cards we haven't played yet. Let's cross another one off of our list next week, but which one? Click here to vote.


Anyway, that's all for today. Don't forget to vote for next week's deck! As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at

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