After a few reviews, here we go again with another Deck Tech! This time we go to an archetype that is the fusion of an old and super traditional ability in Legacy, Storm, with Birgi, God of Storytelling, one of the recent additions of the numerous expansions that Wizards has been releasing in these last few months.
But then, here we are, talking about Storm again. When we do a survey of Magic's most broken abilities and keywords, Storm is always there alongside Dredge, Delve, Companion (pre-nerf) and Phyrexian Mana.
And Storm was the first of those keywords that anyone could see was absurd right away: Mind's Desire came out restricted in Vintage! Since then, Storm has been wreaking havoc on basically all formats where it's legal, just look at, for example, Pauper's banned list.
In Legacy, it is the centerpiece of some archetypes. The most common are the UB-based ones: ANT (Ad Nauseam Tendrils) and TEPS (The Epic Storm), both using the mana ramp Dark Ritual and Cabal Ritual and the filtering their hands with Ponder and Brainstorm.
High Tide is another deck that was once more popular, but it also makes use Storm with Brain Freeze to mill your opponent's deck. Nor can we forget that swarming the board with Empty the Warrens tokens is the plan B of Goblin Charbelcher's reckless deck.
Getting to Know Birgi Storm
The reference list was used by player Tonyscapone for a Top 4 at The Legacy Pit Open II.
This newbie that we present today gives up the Dimir base to abuse not only the red mana acceleration but also the great colorless options available in the format: Ancient Tomb, Grim Monolith and City of Traitors.
You also have access to one of the best unbanned tutors on the format: Gamble. Not even its drawback of discarding a random card is a problem when your plan is to fetch Echo of Eons to flashback it with Lion's Eye Diamond.
Speaking of LED, another classic play is to cast Burning Wish (or even the worse version, Wish), hold priority, sacrifice artifact(s), discard your hand, resolve the spell and use all the mana in the world to do whatever you wanted from your sideboard.
But the great charm of the deck is the card that gives the archetype its name: Birgi, God of Storytelling, or to be more exact, its other side: Harnfel, Horn of Bounty. Although the Goddess is interesting and can generate a lot of mana, what interests us here is her Horn which with Echo of Eons or the draw cards from our sideboard — Reforge the Soul or Peer into the Abyss, allows you to simply grind your entire deck after the lethal amount of Storm so that a Grapeshot or Tendrils of Agony can be desired to end the game. If all else fails, a number of spells can fuel a Galvanic Relay for a retry on the next turn.
As for mulligans, in game 1 you're looking for the most explosive hands as possible if you know your opponent doesn't have counterspells, so preferably combo on turn 1 or 2. If you know you're facing a blue deck or if you're not sure, it's better to look for hands with access to Defense Grid or Overmaster, or even a Gamble for one of them.
After Game 1, you can go after less explosive hands, but that can build a protected combo or that make a non-instantly lethal amount of Empty the Warrens Goblins, of which will force the end of the game in a few turns.
It's always good to point out that this is a Burning Wish deck, so your sideboard options are limited as many slots are occupied with targets for this spell.
Basically, your options are to bring Echoing Truth to deal with problematic permanents (Maddening Hex, Chalice of the Void, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Trinisphere, Ethersworn Canonist, just to name a few) and raise an amount of Empty the Warrens to attack the opponent from another angle, as it is normal for them to take away creature removals for games 2 and 3.
The main cards they should come up against you are Meltdown and Maddening Hex. As for the first one, there's not much to do except to try and go off before it's relevant. As for the second, Echoing Truth can save the day.
A cautious opponent will also add cards like End the Festivities, Izzet Staticaster or Rough//Tumble, but this ends up generating a game where they're uncertain on how you might behave or which wincondition you will use, and can end up with useless cards in their hand as you force the win with spells and not with Goblins. Or vice versa.
Death and Taxes
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben is a big problem, as are some disruptive threats like Kataki, War's Wage or Ethersworn Canonist, as well as Deafening Silence. Fortunately, the deck doesn't have many ways to deal with a horde of Goblins, and this is a good post-side plan.
Blue Control (Grixis/Jeskai/Bant/4C)
This deck was made to prey on slower decks of the format because with Overmaster and Defense Grid, you put too much pressure on their Force of Will and with that, you can force your combo over their defenses.
They usually have enough answers against the Goblins for you to worry about adding Warrens, but you might want to rethink this option for an eventual Game 3 if you suspect they've decided to remove the sweepers (you can trade in an amount of Gamble, Galvanic Relay and/or Simian Spirit Guide for spells).
On the other hand, this one is a demonic matchup. Chalice of the Void and Trinisphere are a nightmare (even a Chalice for 1 gets in the way — that's their default play when they don't know your deck).
The Goblins' plan isn't that efficient when they have Fiery Confluence anyway. But we can win games if done quickly. You can add Void Snare, as your default answer option in Burning Wish will end up being Shattering Spree.
It's a bit similar to games against Blue Control in that they don't have many Counters to deal with your bombs. However, they have access to Chalice of the Void, which can complicate things up. Fortunately, if set to 0, the mode that freaks you out the most, they are also affected by the artifact.
If in the first game they indicate that they are going to follow the plan of making Chalice to 1 instead of 0, it is better to take Rite of Flame instead of the 0-cost artifacts.
That's it for now, I hope you liked it. Any questions, I'm available in the comments!