Through the Storm
One of the best (and easiest) ways to win in Magic is by attacking with Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. Now, I’m sure you’re aware of the normal ways to get everyone’s favorite flying spaghetti monster into play – Through the Breach, Tooth and Nail, and of course, good-ol’-hardcast-for-fifteen-mana have all been tried, but maybe there’s a possibility we haven’t examined yet.
Through the Storm
So – what’s the plan behind this deck? One of two things: Through the Breach with Emrakul or Possibility Storm to flip over one. The idea is that 15 damage and annihilator six should be enough to put the game away. Or at least it should give you enough time to do it again.
Through the Breach with Emrakul sees play across multiple formats (see Sneak and Show) and is probably the most straightforward way to win. But Possibility Storm? One of red’s typical trash rares from Dragon’s Maze that saw zero play. It’s regrettable that red always seems to get one enchantment per set that costs 5+ and has some chaotic effect (see Risky Move, Guild Feud, Confusion in the Ranks, Grip of Chaos, etc.) , but that’s for another time. Possibility Storm is winning on the spot. If you cast Norin the Wary with Possibility Storm out, you will flip over cards from your library until you find Emrakul (as the only other creature in your deck) and then you actually get to CAST it. The extra turn from Emrakul almost ensures your victory.
What’s very interesting about Possibility Storm is that, should it resolve, it suddenly becomes difficult for your opponent to respond. Granted, there aren’t a ton of ways to deal with Emrakul in modern, but if your opponent should happen to be playing a miser’s Mindbreak Trap it will flip over into some random instant. A Pestermite/Deceiver Exarch to try and tap down Emrakul might flip into Vendillion Clique/Tarmogoyf/etc. This could also work in the opposite way you want and a clever opponent with nothing in hand might try and “spin the wheel.”
Time of Need is a particularly neat card – you use it to go find an Emrakul for Through the Breach or go get Norin the Wary to set up for a Possibility Storm win.
Beyond this, the rest of the deck is mostly just air. Most cards serve just to dig and find the combo pieces. Gitaxian Probe can help see if the coast is clear, and Manamorphose is for the green on Time of Need. The three red draw spells are pretty obvious – discard all extra copies of Emrakul and Possibility Storm. One of the nice things about playing 4 Emrakul is that the deck doesn’t just lose to getting Thoughtseized – cards might eventually get shuffled back in. Just be mindful of Thoughtseize + Surgical Extraction.
15 lands is definitely not a lot, and I would play less if I thought I could get away with it.
One notable absence here is Simian Spirit Guide. We have to ramp to 5 (Possibility Storm/Through the Breach), thus the eight ritual effects. Possibility Storm makes it so we can’t play the monkey. It would be kind of embarrassing to cast Norin the Wary and flip over a Simian Spirit Guide instead of Emrakul. Don’t get me wrong, a 2/2 for R is value, but I’d much rather have an Emrakul…
As for the sideboard, there are a couple of the generic red sideboard cards, Rending Volley for Splinter Twin and Shatterstorm for Affinity. The relics are for any random graveyard strategies. I think this deck’s most difficult matchups are any decks with counters and then the gunslingers of modern (affinity/burn/infect – the “I-don’t-care-what-your-deck-does” decks). The Gemstone Caverns can be vital for being on the draw game 3 and Empty the Warrens is good when your opponent knows what your deck is up to (especially if they brought in Surgical Extractions). Also, you might just not have time to get to five mana and making 8 goblins is probably a good start against affinity.
I’m somewhat unsure about Pact of Negation. This makes the assumption that 15 damage is going to win you the game, as you’re unlikely to be able to pay for the pact next turn. Silence would be another option, but that requires tweaking the manabase some.
So, is this version better than the R/B version with Griselbrand and Goryo’s Vengeance? Maybe. It’s definitely less explosive. Also less susceptible to graveyard hate. I think it would be very interesting to see green splashed for Time of Need in the R/B version. Caleb Durward has been messing around with a list with Howltooth Hollow, which is interesting if nothing else.
So, until next time have a great time casting all your spaghetti-shaped monsters.