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Jan 09 2016

Glaring Spotlight Volume 8 – Possibility Storm

GLARING SPOTLIGHT is a Magic the Gathering™ column featuring a card that may have gone over-looked during the the building of your EDH Commander deck. Today we discuss [card]Possibility Storm[/card].

[card]Possibility Storm[/card]

Do You Hate Yourself, Your Friends, and Magic: The Gathering Itself?

I say in jest. But there is, in fact, a lot (and I mean a lot) of hatred behind this card, among the typical “oh god this is jank” dismissals. I’m not here to say this isn’t a “stupid” or “jank” card (in fact, I’m probably moreso arguing that this card is those things), but I am here to tell you why this card needs to be in your arsenal for a unique and fun EDH experience. Stick around; I actually use this card in one of my decks, and in a story I’ll later tell, it’s used to great effect.

Buckle Up

Possibility Storm in EDH Decks

Possibility Storm has a couple things going on when it’s in play, despite red enchantments having a long streak of having a mountain of text with much-less-than-a-mountain of effect. Possibility Storm is an enchantment, which is one of the more difficult nonland permanents to remove for some color combinations. The card makes preexisting boardstate conditions even more important. Storm only affects the playing of cards from a player’s hand.

Storm affects all players, which is important for us, because we are the ones who play it, and can build and play with it in mind — where our opponents mostly can’t. Card types matter to this card, which is another thing to consider. There are decks we might play against that play many different and varied densities of card types, while others may play only a couple very-dense card types in their decks. We must consider that a large card type density and a small card type density both have meaningful strengths and weaknesses. A large collection of similar card effects all within one card type may allow for the Storm player to continue a consistent strategy even after Possibility Storm is played (for example, a goblin EDH player can just continue playing little goblin dongers to more or less the same effectiveness as the deck would normally have). A small amount of cards that share a card type allow a player to essentially “cascade” into another desired card, but potentially with less randomness than a cascade does, in order to play specific cards from their deck at particular times (“I hold [card]Liliana Vess[/card] in my hand right now, and [card]Sorin Markov[/card] is the only other planeswalker in my library. I can cast Liliana to play Sorin and surprise-‘-3’ him for sick tech”). This strategy can also enable players to “chain” perfectly-timed cascades by gaining knowledge of the remaining cards in their library by flipping through it.

Of course, these advantages also are possible for your opponent, but it wouldn’t be that much of a red card if it just shut out other players from the game, now, would it? There are obvious disadvantages to having Possibility Storm out, as well. A deck with a variety of answers and threats can lose all direction and finesse if it cannot storm-into a correct threat or answer (this is especially gruesome when a removal-or-counterspell becomes another instant-speed spell with no valid targets, among other situations). X-value products of Storm are cast with 0. When situations become urgent, Possibility Storm also tends to not deliver. at all.

Played with purpose to destroy opponents’ effectiveness, [card]Possibility Storm[/card] can be absolutely ruthless in a well-tuned deck that sports both card types that are plentiful and consistent and card types that are fleeting in order to provide selectivity. Played with the purpose to make friends cry, to make opponents scratch their heads, and to believe in the heart of the cards, [card]Possibility Storm[/card] becomes a Magic card favorite and legend.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Storm

One of my most beloved decks still is my 5-color enchantress lockdown-control deck. In truth, I will typically only sit down with the deck towards the end of an EDH night when I’m feeling for more of a “beer-and-pretzels” EDH experience, whether it be because I don’t want to think as strategically/hard anymore, or just want to focus on the company of the friends around me. As I say in my afore-linked article, the deck doesn’t win often or all that cleanly. But one of its most cherished components is [card]Possibility Storm[/card] for a number of reasons: the card is durldly and chaotic like my deck, and is also an enchantment that actually pumps out juicy consistency when timed right.

I had such an experience only days ago during my time back home from school. We sit down to our final game of the night, and we have my 5-color enchantment deck, a new [card]Rhys the Redeemed[/card] value deck, the notorious [card]Prossh, Skyraider of Kher[/card] combo-sacrifice-value deck (we all know the deck), and another 5-color deck that is Superfriends. Things begin naturally, with Prossh ramping insanely quickly and then pitting little dudes against the Rhys’s little dudes. I play lands and the Superfriends lands some mana rocks. Prossh reveals us some back-breaking tech in his hand ([card]Obliterate[/card]) after doing some serious punishment with [card]Purphoros, God of the Forge[/card]. I’m well on my way to invincible enchantment value town at this point, with [card]War Tax[/card] to protect my already-dwindling life total alongside [card]Maelstrom Nexus[/card] for great value and [card]Sterling Grove[/card] online for protection, among other smaller-effect enchantments. Between the three players, we are able to wrath or otherwise remove Prossh’s number of combo pieces time and time again — with the Superfriends deck finally able to stick a wrath after seeing [card]Altar of the Brood[/card] mill almost all of the wraths in his deck (that card did serious work that game — easily more than 30 cards were milled per deck). At the end of this turn, I use [card]Soothsaying[/card] to find [card]Possibility Storm[/card] and [card]Ghostly Prison[/card]. With the recently-cleared board, now is my perfect time to draw and slam the Storm. Suddenly I’m Storming into more value and protection enchantments that beef up my boardstate while Rhys and Prossh suffer some utterly heart-breaking turns. The Prossh player at times even jokingly exclaimed “Guys, I don’t like Magic: the Gathering anymore,” to which I responded “Guys, I finally like Magic: the Gathering again,”. Ravings and praise of the game’s purely-RNG’d fate continued, like “this is the way this game is meant to be played” and “this is true Magic”. The turn finally was passed back to the other 5-color player, who was the opponent who had benefited most from me casting [card]Possibility Storm[/card]. He, to my dismay, was able to Storm into [card]Teferi, Temporal Archmage[/card] while having [card]The Chain Veil[/card] out in order to Storm into [card]Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker[/card], overload a [card]Cyclonic Rift[/card], and then promptly ultimate Bolas targeting me — destroying my landbase, my hand, and any hope of surviving through at least one more combat phase.

I couldn’t fault the Superfriends deck for doing this– it allowed him to ultimately pull out the win of a challenging game, after all. I had given him an incredible advantage by slowing down the creature-based decks on the table while giving him the ability to essentially fish out a combo that gave him an incredibly powerful turn right when he needed to deal with me. But I wasn’t disappointed with the game’s results, either. It seemed like every deck had their time to do exactly what they wanted (except possibly for Rhys, who had instead just played more tempo all game but had milled something like >120 cards after the dust had settled). [card]Possibility Storm[/card], in a way, was a catalyst to the ridiculousness and enjoyment that came from such a long and grinding game. It also acted as a major weapon against some of my opponents, which is worth noting. After I was nuked down to something like 4 cards in hand and 3 lands, the Prossh player was actually still able to play [card]All is Dust[/card] and continue the fight to penetrate the Superfriends’ defenses, leading to more ridiculousness. Overall, I was greatly satisfied with Storm’s role in this game, and really have never been disappointed with its effectiveness ever, given that the player casting Possibility Storm has chosen to cast it at a strategic moment.

Try out [card]Possibility Storm[/card], and experience EDH with surprising possibilities.

1 comment

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  1. Wally D.

    Great write up for Glaring Spotlight! So glad you took the time and effort to include a personal experience with the card, well done!

    I have [card]Possibility Storm[/card] in my chaos deck, and so far, it delivers as promised. Counterspells turn into Brainstorms, little creatures turn into big creatures, etc.

    I have to laugh at the first time my playgroup came into contact with the Storm. We thought that we could cast our Commander and get the effect. It wasn’t until our boardstate was ridiculous that we noticed the “from hand” clause. doh!

    Great article!

  1. Chaos, "Fun", and You (and Your Playgroup, of Course!) - MTG Casual Play

    […] (Note: if you’re interested in hearing more about my exposure to Possibility Storm, check out my Glaring Spotlight article about the card here!) […]

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