Eye of the Storm / Mono-Black


Written by squinty_eyes

Johnny’s Quest is a weekly deckbuilding challenge for Magic: the Gathering that encourages players to build new decks while adhering to sometimes strange restrictions. Each week, we vote on which submission we liked the best of the previous week, while also submitting new decks to be put up for voting the following week. This is a fairly recent weekly challenge, and because of that, for the first few weeks until we catch up with the most current contest, I’m going to be posting two week’s winners per article so we don’t miss out on any of the great decks submitted so far.

 


 

Card: Eye of the Storm

Restrictions:

Build your deck as though you begin the game with an emblem copy of Eye of the Storm.
It is not necessary to include Eye of the Storm in the deck itself this week.
No card may cost over $7.00 each, based on TCGplayer.com’s Average Price.
The decklist must be Legacy Legal.
Please include a unique name for the deck.

Silent is the Mind

by Tzenesh

Lands
2x Evolving Wilds
8x Island
5x Mountain
3x Plains
2x Terramorphic Expanse

Draw Spells
4x Brainstorm
4x Ideas Unbound
4x Vision Skeins
4x Windfall
4x Words of Wisdom

Disruption
4x Reverberate
4x Silence
4x Twincast

Win Conditions
4x Cerebral Vortex
4x Intellectual Offering

 

I reached out to Tzenesh and asked if they wanted to write anything about their deck, and this is what I got:

 

I have always had a fascination with “bad” cards. The Ravnica set was no exception. When it was first released I stared at Eye of the Storm in amazement wondering how to use this card. At the time I was playing a High Tide deck in Legacy and thought that Eye of the Storm would be a perfect fit for the deck…if you could ever cast it. This certainly didn’t stop me from trying. I eventually gave up on it being viable in Legacy and tried porting it over to Standard. I tried loading the deck with Dimir Signets and Dimir Aqueducts as a way to ramp into it because this seemed like the only way I could reasonably cast it. The big problem was being able to survive the onslaught from Zoo decks. After realizing that the card was a failure in the competitive world I decided to shelve the idea. Once EDH was introduced I tried to abuse it again. The issue was always not having it when it was useful or having it when it wasn’t. I had it in a few lists but ultimately other cards were just better. The 5UU investment proved to just be too much.

Years had passed when Squints asks for suggestions for his Johnny’s Quest challenge. Naturally I suggested most of my favorite cards to see what others would do with them. The best part about this challenge was that we were to assume that we had an emblem with Eye of the Storm in play. Well…this made the greatest hurdle for the card irrelevant. Truly exploiting this card is now possible without needing to convolute the deck with ramp spells.

In order to take advantage of this card you need a way to completely shut down your opponent. My first choice was going to be Orim’s Chant but they are well above the set price limit. Silence however fit the budget just fine. Once Silence is exiled by Eye of the Storm…you will effectively be able to shut your opponent out of the game as long as you can maintain control of the stack after you cast it. This will be done by out “instanting” your opponent. For example…after you cast Silence there is going to be a trigger from Eye of the Storm which will exile Silence and then you will gain access to a copy of every spell that has been exiled by Eye of the Storm…whether you were the person that originally cast it or not. Then you have the choice to cast each of these copies or not. Once Silence is exiled the danger becomes your opponent casting an instant with the trigger from Eye of the Storm still on the stack. If you don’t respond to the trigger from Eye of the Storm with a spell of your own…your opponent will gain access to copies of all the spells exiled by Eye of the Storm including Silence which prevents you from casting spells. This is obviously problematic considering how overpowered Eye of the Storm becomes after only a few spells being exiled. Pretty much a single failure to respond will almost certainly cost you the game once Silence has been exiled. The card advantage gained will just be too much to overcome.

Once you have found a way to nullify your opponent…you need a way to actually win the game. Cerebral Vortex has always been my “go to” card for decks like this and it seems to fit perfectly. Rather than adding in tutors to find Silence, why not just draw your entire deck? You will notice a few sorcery speed cards in the deck. They work exactly the same as instants once they are exiled by Eye of the Storm. Sorceries by their very nature tend to be stronger than instants…and you can see that strength in the sorceries that I have chosen. The goal of the deck is to have your opponent draw cards. You can either win by decking or by casting a/several Cerebral Vortexes. The main thing to remember is that you cannot overextend yourself here. Once Cerebral Vortex has been exiled…every instant, or sorcery for that matter, that your opponent has will kill you. It is better to lock your opponent down during their upkeep with a Silence than it is to try and force a win with a tapped out Cerebral Vortex.

On the surface Eye of the Storm doesn’t appear to be that complicated of a card until you actually play it and realize that you are wrong. This card is incredibly difficult to understand the first few times you see it. In the end the card is really awesome…if it didn’t have such a high mana cost.

 


 

Card: –NONE–

Restrictions:

Every card except for lands must be black.
No nonland card may be white, blue, red, green or colorless.
No card may be able to produce W, U, R or G.
No card may cost over $8.00 each, based on TCGplayer.com’s Average Price.
The decklist must be Legacy Legal.
Please include a unique name for the deck.

Master of the Waste

by razorborne

Enchantment
4x Waste Not
4x Quest for the Nihil Stone

Creatures
4x Master of The Feast
2x Seizan, Perverter of Truth

Discard
4x Dark Deal
1x Mind Peel
1x Scepter of Fugue
4x Blackmail
4x Smallpox
4x Raven’s Crime
4x Skull Fracture
4x Hymn to Tourach

Lands
20x Swamp

 

I reached out to razorborne and asked if they wanted to write anything about their deck, and this is what I got:

 

This deck is basically an insane pile of vaguely-interconnected pieces that may work once in a blue moon but when it does it’ll be nuts. At its core, it’s a Waste Not deck, but Waste Not has the problem that once your opponent’s hand is empty, you can’t really get anything from them. Things like Burning Inquiry help but I couldn’t use red. so I went digging for black Howling Mine effects, and stumbled on Master of the Feast. This gave them a card, but you had a turn to knock it away for the Waste trigger. Of course, the whole plan crumbles without Waste, so I had to find a back-up. Quest For The Nihil Stone, it turns out, does exactly what I needed, and its major drawback of doing nothing if they empty their hand before you can turn it on is negated, again, by Master drawing them up just in time to discard back down. I also needed a backup for Master: this was trickier, but in a bind Seizan, Perverter of Truth will do the trick. I don’t like it as much because they draw on their turn, but you also get to draw, and it hits them for 8 a turn so it doesn’t have to work for very long. After that, the next step was filling the discard suite. Mostly this was about volume: quality was far more important than quality. I wanted things that would hit early and still hit more than one. Raven’s Crime, Mind Peel, and Scepter of Fugue all give you long-game plans to keep discard coming forever, although don’t be afraid to toss the Peel early if you have an extra mana. Skull Fracture gives you a discard now and a second one down the road, and with Waste Not’s draw and mana it won’t be hard to flash back. Blackmail gives you a little selection but really it’s just the best 1-drop discard I could fit in the budget. Hymn to Tourach really shouldn’t have been within budget, but it’s a great follow-up to turn-1 Quest. And Smallpox can help make up for a slow disruptive opening or just brutalize them from the get-go. As for Dark Deal, it’s probably not that good here but how can you not include it with Waste? Sometimes you’ll curve Quest-Waste-Deal, and that’s a hard start to beat. It’s a bit of a gamble, but if you’re firing hard enough that it’s bad you’re probably doing ok to begin with. As for the 20 swamps, the deck is fairly low-curve, and you can get a lot of draw off Waste, so it should be alright. I’d probably cut some Deals if I wanted more lands.

 


 

Next week we’ll be looking at the winner of the Mono-White deck as well as the winner of the Multi-color deck!  Apparently I liked the color theme…..

If you want to participate, check out this week’s thread here.  This week we’re working with Cloudstone Curio!


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