UR Storm is a combo deck that aims to cast many spells in one turn and kill the opponent with Grapeshot. It can often manage to do this by turn 4 with some ease, making it a resilient and fast combo deck. Storm decks feature four essential parts: an engine that allows spells to be cast for very little mana, cards that generate mana, cards that draw more cards, and a win condition. Storm runs three engines to drive the deck: Past in Flames, Pyromancer Ascension and Goblin Electromancer. Ascension, and Electromancer are the most powerful engines, whilst Past in Flames acts as a way to generate more storm by recasting used spells. Both Goblin Electromancer and Pyromancer Ascension are integral to the deck as they allow cards such as Desperate Ritual, Pyretic Ritual, and Manamorphose to generate far more mana compared to their cost. A Goblin Electromancer allows you to generate 3 mana, while spending only a single red mana with Desperate Ritual. Pyromancer Ascension allows you to generate 4 mana, and draw 2 cards, off a single Manamorphose costing 1R. These engines allow a lot of mana to be produced with relatively little effort, and therefore keep the deck going. The mana generated with the Rituals and Manamorphose is then used on cheap draw spells (cantrips) like Gitaxian Probe, Serum Visions and Sleight of Hand to refill your hand. Once this is done the process is repeated. Eventually the Storm player casts Grapeshot, after 20 spells have been cast, and wins with a single card. Given the amount of card draw Storm plays and the incredible ability to generate massive amounts of mana by turn 3, Storm is one of the faster combo decks and preys on slower decks like Tron or any that are light on disruption like Zoo.
Sideboarding Against This Deck
The only way to reliably beat Storm is to remove the engine. Killing Goblin Electromancer or removing Pyromancer Ascension means that the mana producing spells no longer sustain the deck as effectively and therefore fewer draw spells can be cast, and therefore a large storm count is unobtainable. Counterspells do not work too effectively because Storm decks spend so little mana on each of their spells they can easily cast another, often without even having to wait for the next turn to untap their lands again. A counterspell used on Grapeshot does not work because Grapeshot creates copies and therefore a counterspell only counters 1 of those copies, the rest will resolve. Storms resilience to interference is a major reason why the deck is so successful.
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