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Explanation of Play Patterns in Storm/TPS?

Started by OckhamsChainsaw, 13-06-2022, 09:40:56 PM

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Hi there,

So I'd be really interested in returning to Highlander FNM and working towards building a Storm/TPs deck. I have mostly been playing UR Tempo/Control and Mono Red up until this point but have some experience piloting ANT in Legacy, so I know the general archetype to some extent. While not exactly an easy deck to pilot in Legacy, the play patterns there are much more singular than they are in Highlander (combo either with Infernal Tutor + Past in Flames, a Tutor Chain or Ad Nauseam). Looking at Carsten K.'s TPS-list from 11/01/2020 on the main website and goldfishing for a bit on Tappedout, there are several cards in the deck where the general play pattern eludes me and no amount of googling could help me so far. Checking out the copious amounts of Canlander content online is also of very little help since they build around Black Lotus instead of Demonic Tutor leading to entirely different choices in deck construction. If anyone could help me out here, I'd be very grateful. So here are the cards:

Crop Rotation - Aside from fixing your mana in a pinch and essentially adding +1 to Storm count for free, the only interesting target in the list above appears to be Lake of the Dead, which generates BBBB if you sac two Swamps, which is fine, I guess, but also not always a given. Is there anything I'm overlooking here?

Oaths of Druids - So what I'm reading here is that you'd ideally slam it on Turn 2, bin half your library and put Griselbrand in play the next turn and then win by drawing 14 and using all those cards in your graveyard as a resource. Anything else?

Memory's Journey - I have a strong feeling that it interacts with Oaths of Druids in a sense I can't quite put my finger on, so if there was no Griselbrand, it'd be akin to Doomsday (getting to that later). But since Big Grizz is in the deck, what use is there to shuffle cards back in? Is it a way to get cards into your hand you can't cast from the graveyard when going off with Past in Flames instead of Yawgmoth's Will such as Lion's Eye Diamond? Or is there some line, where you bin your entire library and shuffle three cards back in, that leads to a deterministic victory?

Intuition - What are some common Intuition piles, i.e. combinations where your opponent has no real choice? I can see Demonic Tutor + Dark Petition + Grim Tutor to get an unconditional tutor to fetch Yawgmoth's Will or Lion's Eye Diamond. There is also the possibility of getting Silence + Abeyance + Orim's Chant for protection, but maybe there are other clever combinations involving e.g. the Flashback cards I'm not seeing.

Doomsday - This is the big one. I know that this card is notorious for its complexity and the incredible variety of piles it allows for to flexibly win the game in a deterministic manner. I also have no idea how it works in Highlander. Almost every primer and explanation online is for other formats and involves cards that are either banned outright (Treasure Cruise, Thassa's Oracle but Sensei's Divining Top really is the big one) or not played in the deck (Gush, Ideas Unbound, Laboratory Maniac). I literally could not find a single primer that wins the next turn with just the cards in Carsten K.'s list, so some help would be greatly appreciated.

Lastly some questions about new additions to the deck since a lot of time has passed since 11/01/2020.

  • Dread Fugue - A worse Inquisition of Kozilek 90% of the time but could maybe replace Thought Erasure?
  • Expressive Iteration - Just a generally good card, though it's maybe a bit hard on the manabase and doesn't find cards to cast consistently enough.
  • Lier, Disciple of the Drowned (maybe replacing Griselbrand?) - The upsides should be that if you bring him into play with Oaths of Druids, you can go off the turn he comes down if you mill enough cards and with effectively three Yawgmoth's Will in the deck, you could be guaranteed to find one with Intuition. Moreover, he is probably more useful against Aggro decks where you can't afford to pay 14 for fear of being burned to death in response. On the flipside, with most of your rituals being Sorcery speed, he is more susceptible to removal. What's the concensus here?

  • Peer into the Abyss - Seems hot, though it is maybe just too expensive and the deck doesn't run Behold the Beyond either.
  • Profane Tutor - Effectively a delayed Demonic Tutor. I can see it being either really useful if cast early or way too slow like Lotus Bloom. It's also entirely useless the turn you're going off, so you have either still find another Tutor or use it to go directly for Tendrils.
  • Ransack the Lab - Could be a good card selection spell, sometimes maybe even better than Expressive Iteration while being easier to cast consistently.
  • Solve the Equation - Seems incredibly strong since it finds many important combo pieces and is costed quite fairly at that.
  • Strike It Rich - Provides free Storm count, filtering and value in longer games where you might need to ramp more slowly.
I could also ask about some of the Canlander staples that are not played in the Germanlander version, such as Diabolic Revelation, Beseech the Queen and Cruel Tutor, Ill-Gotten Gains or ask why there are no basic Swamps in the deck but I have to draw the line somewhere. Thanks for any input!