At the New Capenna Championships, various versions of Esper were the talk of the town. It was the most popular deck and put multiple copies into the Top 8. However, the deck only had a 50 percent win rate. Like midrange decks of the past, it looks good on paper, but it’s actually just average. The real deck of the tournament was the Jeskai Storm deck. It only put one copy into the Top 8, but if you look at the Top 16, it is the most represented deck. Many players were gunning for Esper and did not have the right cards to combat Storm. The deck just shreds through a field that’s not prepared for it. The issue is that the deck is very complicated and hard to learn – I found that out first hand. If you want to pick up the deck. you’ll need to put in a lot of reps. Today, I’ll try to provide a head start so you don’t have to learn the deck the hard way.
The basic premise of the Jeskai Storm deck is to stall the game and draw cards until you can cast a Goldspan Dragon. Once you have a Goldspan in play, all of your Big Scores and Unexpected Windfalls are mana neutral and all of your one-mana burn spells generate a mana by targeting the Dragon. Then you cast Lier, Disciple of the Drowned and flash them all back. Once you have cast a lot of spells, you play Show of Confidence and make your Dragon very large and make lots of free Treasure tokens. The exact order of these spells can vary when you are comboing off. Sometimes you need the mana that Show produces to keep going, sometimes you need the extra cards that Lier provides first.
The beauty of this deck is that the combo is only one angle of attack. When you have a Goldspan and a Lier together, they power each other up, but when you just draw a Goldspan, you can tempo your opponent out and hit them with the Dragon five times. If you only draw a Lier, you can become a control deck and out-value your opponent with your graveyard. Some of these plans will be better against some decks than others, but the flexibility and the threat of the combo is what makes the Storm deck so powerful.