As regular readers know, I recently decided to start piloting Modern Storm, in hopes of combo-ing out the players at my local game store. Whenever I pick up a new Modern deck, I seek out as much existing information as I can, to give myself the best chance to win in Week One and going forward.
This time, I decided to compile all the interesting articles, videos, and Reddit threads I found into a blog post – one that I can refer back to and use to help others who are learning how to play Storm! If you’re picking up Modern Storm, this post SHOULD provide all the direction you need to get started … from people who are much more knowledgeable than me.
Level 1: Learning Storm
As I start tinkering with “established” Modern decks, I first look for basic guides and high-level explanations of how the deck is supposed to work in the majority of games. These sorts of guides cover the deck’s typical Game 1 plan, its strengths and weaknesses, as well as maybe some match-up and sideboarding specific information.
I also look for videos that show the deck in action, especially in the hands of high-level players or noted experts. In this case, I found the following starter set of Modern Storm resources:
- ChannelFireball’s “Level 1 Modern” series offers brief overviews of Modern’s top contenders, and Riley Knight’s article on Storm explains the deck’s game plan fairly succinctly. It’s a great place for new Storm pilots to start learning the basics.
- Caleb Scherer is probably Modern Storm’s most consistent pilot, so you could do worse than watching his explanation of how it works (from 2017). Caleb also maintains a blog explaining his current Storm list, but beware! Caleb’s posts might be overkill at this point in your Storm journey. Instead of reading them all, I recommend copying down Caleb’s most recent list (which you’ll likely use to start building your own) and reading the accompanying post if you’re up for it.
- Then, find the time to watch Hall of Famer Seth Manfield pilot Storm through a few match-ups, including the mirror match.
At this point, you should know enough about the deck’s basic mechanics (and what a sample decklist looks like) to start learning some advanced info.
Level 2: Learning Match-ups and Card Choices
You (and I) now know how Modern Storm works, what its basic game plan is, and what a sample decklist and sideboard looks like. Now it’s time to probe a bit deeper – to see how and why pilots’ lists differ, what sideboarding looks like across different match-ups, and start building our own deck.
- When figuring out what cards to buy for a deck (and what successful lists look like), I always look at twenty or so of the most recent lists found on MTGGoldfish. Modern Storm’s archetype page links out to the most recent successful Storm lists. By comparing and contrasting them, you can begin to see individual pilots’ sideboard and deck construction preferences.
- Storm pilots haven’t come to a consensus on whether to include fetchlands in their mana bases. Some pilots find fetchlands unnecessary, since Storm goes off quickly and shuffle effects negate your card selection efforts. Others, including those who put together the excellent primer at The Epic Storm, think fetches are better than Shivan Reef. The Epic Storm’s primer also goes deep into other non-stock card choices.
- Reddit user MonarchDoto (who we’ll see again later on in this list) provided a breakdown of over 1,000 matches they played with Modern Storm, as well as match-up analysis based on the data. The analysis is what we’re here for; it’s both understandable and insightful. If you’re a data nerd, though, feel free to crunch the numbers.
- And finally, ChannelFireball’s Brian DeMars has some more detailed (if a little old) sideboard thoughts that you can use to start thinking about not only WHAT to board in for specific matches, but WHY you’d board those cards in.
The above is more than enough information to build a Storm list, sleeve it up, and test it out at your local shop! (Or, at least, it was for me.) But we Magic players aren’t content to learn the basics; most of us look for any and all information we can get our hands on.
If you want that extra edge before you take Modern Storm to your local shop, read on to go deep.
Level 3: Going Deep on Storm
As I get further into learning a deck, I seek out detailed information (like tournament reports and Magic Online League breakdowns) and more videos of the deck in action. During my first few weeks of contemplating Storm-ing off, these are the additional resources I found:
- The MTGStorm sub-reddit is a veritable cornucopia of specific questions, answers, and information. If you’re new to the deck (like me), you can likely spend hours there, scrolling through threads from those who know Storm inside and out.
- Reddit’s MonarchDoto has written about Storm extensively, and has a couple other threads worth checking out:
- And finally, Storm pilot Jonathan Corzo recently took the deck to a Top 8 finish at GP Portland and wrote about his experiences.
You now know most all of what I know about Modern Storm. And hopefully, you’ve also learned how to start off when picking up any established Modern deck! If you know of any other Modern Storm resources, be sure to link them in the Comments below, so your fellow Storm pilots can take advantage of them in the future.