11, Jun, 23

Unique Combo Deck Showcases Resiliency At Major Tournament!

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Article at a Glance

Pioneer has a wide range of combo decks available to choose from. From Lotus Field combo to Abzan Greasefang, the format is defined by different linear strategies. Despite this, there has been clear room for innovation. The first group of Regional Championships showcased a unique combo deck at the top tables, and it looks like we have a similar situation at the Athens Regional Championship. Marc Tobiasch was the lone undefeated player at the end of day one with none other than his take on Storm Herald combo! Storm Herald combo is a really cool deck, so let’s break it down.

The Combo

Storm Herald
Burning Anger

Storm Herald functions similarly to Greasefang, Okiba Boss in that they are both three mana Creatures that return enormous permanents to play designed to defeat the opponent. While Greasefang combo is designed to return large Vehicles with haste, Storm Herald combo is designed to return enormous auras and kill the opponent in one shot. By returning a copy of Colossifcation and a copy of Burning Anger from the graveyard attached to a Creature you control, you have the opportunity to tap the Creature, as long as it doesn’t have Summoning Sickness, and dome your opponent for at least 20. Be careful, as Colossification does cause the Creature to tap, so you have to deal 20 in response to the tap trigger.

Storm Herald combo, while similar to Greasefang combo, has some unique play patterns that, in some ways, make the combo more resilient. First, Storm Herald returns these Auras when it enters the battlefield. This means there is no need to enter combat to win the game. Second, Storm Herald returns any number of Auras attached to any Creatures you control, meaning Storm Herald doesn’t target the Auras in the graveyard, nor do the Auras target your Creatures. This means that if you have multiple Creatures in play when Storm Herald enters the battlefield, your opponent will need to kill all of them in response to break up the combo with removal. While people are prepared with lots of sideboard copies of Rending Volley for Greasefang, breaking up the Storm Herald Combo isn’t as simple.

Read More: Insane MTG Cleanup Step Combo Leads to Turn One Wins!

Getting Auras in the Graveyard

Satyr Wayfinder

Just like Greasefang combo, this deck relies on getting the requisite combo pieces into the graveyard to be returned with Storm Herald. One weakness of the Storm Herald combo deck is that it needs to assemble two different Auras into the graveyard, not just one. This means that most of the rest of the deck is focused on getting cards into the graveyard as quickly as possible. Lots of these are Creatures like Satyr Wayfinder and Merfolk Secretkeeper to maximize combo potential through removal spells from the opponent.

Beyond that, the deck plays cards like Gather the Pack and Traverse the Ulvenwald[/tooltips] to help guarantee that you have a copy of Storm Herald to win the game with. Finding every piece of the combo can take some time, but the ability to kill in one shot through interaction helps make up for this. It may be wise to pack extra graveyard hate for this deck moving forward.

Read More: $50 MTG Budget Deck Makes Waves After Massive Banning!

Additional Resiliency

Silent Gravestone

In addition to Storm Herald’s resiliency against removal spells, this deck plays lots of ways in the sideboard to push through the combo against interaction. Silent Gravestone is a cool piece of interaction this deck gets access to. Not only does it serve as graveyard hate for other graveyard-centric decks like Greasefang, it doesn’t break up your own combo because Storm Herald doesn’t target the Auras in the graveyard. Additionally, Silent Gravestone negates your opponent’s graveyard hate pieces that target your graveyard. Cards like Unlicensed Hearse get completely shut off by this card.

In addition to Silent Gravestone, the sideboard is filled with Counterspells to help push the combo through. Spell Pierce does a great job at helping you resolve Storm Herald and disrupt your opponent’s interaction for cheap. The deck also plays additional ways to remove more dedicated pieces of graveyard hate. This deck has trouble with cards like Leyline of the Void, hence why there are three copies of Boseiju, Who Endures between maindeck and sideboard. Marc Tobiasch really did his best trying to cover all angles, no wonder he did so well!

Read More: New MTG LOTR Card Creates Two-Card Infinite Combo!

Weaknesses Moving Forward

Storm Herald combo did a great job catching people off guard at the Regional Championship this weekend, but definitely has its weaknesses moving forward. The first weakness was already mentioned, in that the deck needs to assemble three different pieces to actually win the game. This takes time, so aggressive decks with cheap removal spells can punish this combo deck, especially if they come prepared with graveyard hate. That leads to the second weakness of the deck: no good plan b.

Many combo decks in Pioneer have a good plan b that can win the game even if the opponent came readily prepared with lots of graveyard hate and interaction. Take Greasefang for example. Cards like Esika’s Chariot, while obviously great with Greasefang, are also naturally good cards on their own. This is not the case with either of the Aura cards that the Storm Herald combo deck has access to. This deck does get to play decent cards like Fable of the Mirror-Breaker as a discard outlet, but the plan of just attacking the opponent to death through normal combat is difficult to come by.

Luckily, this deck does make up for these weaknesses in different ways. As stated, the combo is quite good against removal, assuming you are patient and able to add multiple Creatures to the board. Lots of the interaction in the format doesn’t line up too well against this deck at the moment, and while Storm Herald is vulnerable to graveyard hate, packing your sideboard with answers like Marc Tobiasch did is a real strategy. Expect to see this deck pop up more in the coming weeks.

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