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Budget Magic: $94 (20 tix) Modern Possibility Storm


Salibonani, Budget Magic lovers! It's that time again. This week, we are heading to Modern for a super-sweet combo deck that can cast Emrakul, the Aeons Torn as early as Turn 2 with its nut draw: Possibility Storm! Possibility Storm is a super-powerful effect, but it's difficult to harness its power, because the card you get off of it is random. However, with a little bit of work and careful deck building ,we can eliminate the random element and make sure that we're consistently casting an Emrakul, the Aeons Torn!

Let's get to the videos; then, we'll break down exactly how our Possibility Storm deck works. A quick reminder: if you enjoy the Budget Magic series and the other video content on MTGGoldfish, make sure to subscribe to the MTGGoldfish YouTube Channel to keep up on all the latest and greatest.

Possibility Storm: Deck Tech

Possibility Storm vs. Naya Zoo

Possibility Storm vs. Merfolk

Possibility Storm vs. Mono-Green Stompy

Possibility Storm vs. Scapeshift

Possibility Storm vs. Naya Burn

The Deck

For being built around Possibility Storm, one of the most random and confusing enchantments in recent years, our deck is surprisingly straightforward. Step one, we find and play a Possibility Storm; step two, we find and play a creature; step three, we win the game. There are two main downsides to the deck. First, we are extremely dependent on Possibility Storm to win—if we can't find and resolve a copy, we pretty much can't win. Second, to break the randomness of Possibility Storm, we have to work with a major deck-building restriction (only playing two creatures: one to cast and one to Possibility Storm into), so if our opponent manages to deal with one of our creatures or if we draw both of our creatures (so that we have nothing left to Possibility Storm into), winning is extremely difficult. The upside? We sometimes just win on Turn 2 or Turn 3!

The Combo

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Possibility Storm has a ton of words on it, but the TLDR is that whenever either player casts a spell, they get to cast another, random spell of the same type from their deck for free. While it would be fun to just jam it into a regular deck and see what happens, this isn't a very realistic plan for actually winning the game, especially in a powerful and streamlined format like Modern. 

While it takes a bit of work, it is possible to control the randomness of Possibility Storm. The trick is to only play two cards of any given type—one to cast, and the other to Possibility Storm into. For example, if your only sorceries are Serum Visions and Worldfire, whenever you cast your Serum Visions with a Possibility Storm on the battlefield, you know the end result will be that you get to cast a Worldfire (essentially for one mana). That's the plan of our deck, but our chosen card type is creature rather than sorcery. We play exactly two creatures: a single copy of Endless One and a single copy of Emrakul, the Aeons Torn

Two final things about Possibility Storm. First, just to reiterate, we are super dependent on finding a copy to actually win the game. Since we only have two creatures and one of them is Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, which we are extremely unlikely to hard cast, we pretty much can't win the game without a copy of Possibility Storm. Second, my biggest regret for this deck is that I couldn't figure out a way to make Rule of Law or Curse of Exhaustion (which form a hard lock with Possibility Storm, much like they do with Knowledge Pool) fit in the 75. It might be possible to have the lock as a transformational sideboard plan, but I couldn't make the mana work while staying under budget. 

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In theory, Endless One could be any zero-mana creature (like Ornithopter or Memnite, for example) because we never really intend to have an Endless One on the battlefield. That said, Endless One is the best of the bunch, because when everything else goes very wrong, at least we can cast Endless One as a 7/7 or 8/8. The basic rule of thumb is that we never, ever cast Endless One until we have a Possibility Storm on the battlefield, because we need it to find and cast our Emrakul, the Aeons Torn

Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, on the other hand, is not replaceable in the deck. It's the only creature in Magic that does what we need (allow us to kill the opponent without letting them untap a high percentage of the time). Remember, Possibility Storm actually allows us to cast our Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, so we do get the "take an extra turn" trigger, which is hugely important. Our deck is almost exclusively focused on putting together our combo, so most of the time, the game comes down to our opponent being the aggressor and beating us down, while we filter through our library to find our combo the turn before we die. If we didn't get to take another turn, we'd lose a lot more games to the aggressive decks in the format. So, while it might seem like a stretch to play Emrakul, the Aeons Torn in a budget deck, we really don't have a choice; plus, we only need a single copy, so the total price of the deck still comes in under budget.

Meanwhile, Tolaria West serves as additional copies of Endless One thanks to Transmute. One of the biggest downsides of the deck is we don't have that many cards that matter, and we can't simply play more copies of Endless One, because then we won't be assured of Possibility Storming into an Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. As such, Tolaria West is an Endless One that isn't technically a creature when it comes to Possibility Storm, and in some ways, it's actually better than a real Endless One because it can't be hit by Thoughtseize or Inquisition of Kozilek while we are waiting to put together the rest of the combo. 

Fast Mana

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There are a few different ways of building a Possibility Storm deck. There's the hard lock with Rule of Law; there are soft locks that disrupt the opponent like Blood Moon (making a deck that's similar to Blue Moon, but with Possibility Storm as the win condition); and there is our build, which is essentially an all-in combo build of the deck. While the Blood Moon / Blue Moon build might be slightly better, it's also significantly more expensive. 

Pentad Prism and Pyretic Ritual help us power out a Possibility Storm as early as possible. A Turn 2 Pentad Prism pretty much guarantees we'll be able to cast Possibility Storm on Turn 3, while Pyretic Ritual can let us cast the enchantment on Turn 2 if we draw enough copies. Basically, these two cards help us make up for our lack of disruption by speeding up our deck to the point where we just win faster than our opponent, instead of slowing our opponent down with disruption. 

Filtering

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As I mentioned a moment ago, one of the problems with the deck is that we don't have that many action cards, with a total of one Endless One, two Tolaria Wests, and four Possibility Storms, and we really need to find these cards to win the game. As a result, our deck is stuffed full of cantrips and card filtering spells to help us put together our pieces. 

Faithless Looting does triple duty in this deck. First, it helps us dig through our library to find our Possibility Storm. Second, it allows us to discard our Emrakul, the Aeons Torn should we happen to draw it, which is hugely important because we can't win with Emrakul, the Aeons Torn in our hand. Third, after we have a Possibility Storm on the battlefield, we can flash it back from the graveyard to find an Endless One or Tolaria West, since Possibility Storm only triggers on spells cast from a player's hand. So, while Possibility Storm randomizes all of our other spells, it has no impact on Faithless Looting, assuming we managed to get it into the graveyard before resolving the enchantment. 

Sleight of Hand is pretty much a budget substitute for Serum Visions, although I would probably play a few copies even if budget wasn't a concern because it's the second-best cantrip in Modern. Peek is a budget version of Gitaxian Probe and makes up for the fact that it costs mana by being instant speed. This can actually lead to some cool tricks with Possibility Storm, which we'll talk about in a minute. Finally, Izzet Charm does it all: killing a troublesome creature, acting as Faithless Lootings five through eight, or countering an opponent's counterspell to force through our Possibility Storm

Disruption

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Mana Leak and Lightning Bolt are in the deck to keep us alive for long enough to combo off. While we do sometimes nut draw into a Turn 3 kill, making counters and removal less important, there are also games where we spend several turns filtering through our deck to find our missing pieces, and in these games, Mana Leak and Lightning Bolt are key to buying us an extra turn or two to assemble the combo and win with Emrakul, the Aeons Torn

Card Type Chart

While we've spent most of the article talking about turning Endless One into Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, when you play a Possibility Storm deck, it's really important to keep track of the card types in the deck. There are times when we cast a Possibility Storm without having the Endless One, and when this happens, we want to know what spells we might Possibility Storm into when we cast something.

Ultra-Budget Possibility Storm

Bad news, ultra-budget-deck lovers: no list this week. Here's the problem: the deck needs a single copy of Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, and it needs Tolaria West (actually, the list in the videos is already skimping on Tolaria West for budget purposes). Plus, we are already playing the most budget option of each cantrip, with Peek instead of Gitaxian Probe and Sleight of Hand instead of Serum Visions. There just isn't a way to get the deck down to ultra-budget prices and still have it function. The good news is, apart from Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, nearly all of the somewhat expensive cards in the deck are commons and uncommons, so you might have copies laying around, and for Magic Online players, the deck is only 21 tix, which is already quite cheap. 

Non-Budget Possibility Storm

For the non-budget list this week, we have a Blue Moon-esque version of Possibility Storm. Unlike the build in the videos, it isn't looking to ritual into a Possibility Storm as quickly as possible. Instead, it's playing a fair, controlling game of Magic, with the Possibility Storm combo being the finisher. One of my favorite parts of this build is how much consistency you have under Possibility Storm. If you cast a sorcery, you're almost always going to hit Serum Visions or Sleight of Hand, while once in a blue moon, you'll hit Anger of the Gods. You can actually cast redundant copies of Possibility Storm and turn them into extra cards with Spreading Seas, while every instant in the deck is a counterspell of some type, sometimes with additional modes like Cryptic Command or Izzet Charm. Basically, what this deck gives up in term of raw speed, it makes up for in terms of consistency and resilience. 

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. While we only finished 2-3 in our recorded matches, I still came away from the games happy. We have several Turn 3 kills, got a lot of "what's happening" comments from opponents, and I had a blast playing the deck. While I'm not sure it's consistent enough to win a long tournament, since the natural variance of the deck is likely to take its toll over a 15-round event, I'd certainly take it to an FNM and have a ton of fun in the process! As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive, or at SaffronOlive@MTGGoldfish.com.

 


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