11, Jul, 24

MTG Common Fixes Failing Breakout Combo Deck

Article at a Glance

Two combo decks were at the forefront of Pro Tour Modern Horizons 3. One of the two decks, Nadu, Winged Wisdom combo, went on to dominate the entire event. The deck performed so well, that Nadu actually became cheaper after the Pro Tour. This is due to players expecting it to be banned at the next available opportunity. Unsurprisingly, no one wants to buy into a potentially bannable deck.

Ruby Storm was the second most-played deck in the Pro Tour. Prior to this tournament, the deck was posting insane win rates and looking incredibly promising. Once Pro Tour Modern Horizons 3 started, however, the deck got absolutely destroyed.

Fortunately, Ruby Storm is already beginning to perform better on Magic Online. Professional players may have had their builds of the blistering fast combo deck wrong. One famous combo personality has posted his 5-0 Modern League list with a particular innovation that may fix the archetype.

Reviving Ruby Storm

As a quick reminder of what this deck is trying to accomplish, Ruby Storm wins the game by getting a mana reducer into play. In this deck, those include Ral, Monsoon Mage and Ruby Medallion. After that, gather mana with various Ritual effects, cards with various Impulse Draw effects, and win the game with a Storm payoff like Grapeshot.

According to Bryant Cook, also known for his YouTube channel The Epic Storm, players have been building Modern Ruby Storm wrong all along. Glimpse the Impossible, a common from Modern Horizons 3, was a very popular card in these lists. The ability to Impulse draw three times and turn any unused cards into mana that can block seemed strong for three mana. Cook outrightly states that this card was the worst one in the deck.

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Galvanic Relay

Instead of running Glimpse the Impossible, Cook has decided to pick up Galvanic Relay from Modern Horizons 2. Galvanic Relay is capable of Impulse drawing a ton of cards thanks to the Storm mechanic. The catch? These cards must be used on the next turn.

This creates an interesting duality for the card. With a high Storm count, Galvanic Relay can essentially ensure that you win on the next turn. An abundance of resources should also be able to deter interaction somewhat unless you have an obvious choke point in your combo sequence.

This also allows for an alternate win condition of Thassa’s Oracle to be included in the deck. While you cannot use the Galvanic Relay cards until your next turn, they still aren’t in your deck. This also allows you to win on a rather late Galvanic Relay turn without building up much of a Storm Count. As a reminder, Wish allows your sideboard cards to be accessible even in the first game of a set.

Other Innovations

Shatterskull Smashing isn’t a particularly new addition but is an ingenious one. For the most part, this deck only needs red mana. White mana becomes relevant in the sideboard once you need pieces that can get rid of hate, but until then, Shatterskull Smashing doubles as both a land and an overcosted piece of removal. Cards like Drannith Magistrate stop your plan in their tracks, so having removal for them is paramount.

The rest of this decklist is pretty standard. Static Prison and Dismember can come in to stop various common storm hate pieces. Damping Sphere is likely to be particularly common at the moment since it stops so many established strategies.

If you’re a Storm fanatic that’s bummed out by the deck’s recent Pro Tour failures, consider trying Galvanic Relay and see how the deck performs.

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