apostle
Shadowborn Apostle by Lucas Graciano; ©2014 by Wizards of the Coast

 


So, last Big Daddy Brews we went over the mild additions that Hour of Devastation brought to my collection of decks. In that installment, we went over card choices and the logic behind them, but we did not explore any of the lists in depth. This week’s take is going to change that. I’m going to do an article for each of the four decks featured in the last article. Which, if you care to, you may read here. We’ll be starting off with Apostle Storm because it’s the unique of my four decks in that I took somebody else’s deck, made some revisions to it, and called it my own (kind of). This week’s deck was originally Mono-Black Storm as seen played by SaffronOlive from Mtg goldfish. If you’d like to see him pilot the original build, then you may do so here. Let’s start by taking a look at the original list. Do note that for the series Saffron is playing in they play with a $20 online budget restriction. That will, of course, affect his card choices. Instead of just posting my list underneath SaffronOlive’s I’m also going to explain exactly what my thought processes were when creating my list.


 

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Shirei, Shizo’s Caretaker by Wayne Reyolds; ©2005 by Wizards of the Coast

 


Commander: Shirei, Shizo’s Caretaker

40 Shadowborn Apostle
1 Blood Artist
1 Zulaport Cutthroat
1 Pawn of Ulamog
1 Rotlung Reanimator
1 Xathrid Necromancer
1 Xiahou Dun, the One-Eyed
1 Sidisi, Undead Vizier
1 Rune-Scarred Demon
1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Plunge into Darkness
1 Beseech the Queen
1 Yawgmoth’s Will
1 Diabolic Tutor
1 Tendrils of Agony
1 Dark Petition
1 Demonic Collusion
1 Diabolic Revelation
1 Living Death
1 Lich’s Tomb
1 Thrumming Stone
1 Carnival of Souls
1 Dark Prophecy
1 Last Laugh
1 Barren Moor
1 Crypt of Agadeem
1 Deserted Temple
1 Ebon Stronghold
1 Lake of the Dead
1 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
1 Peat Bog
1 Polluted Mire
1 Reliquary Tower
1 Strip Mine
24 Swamp
1 Thespian’s Stage


Zulaport Pawn Rotlung.jpg

Saffron has some amount of combo built into the Apostles themselves and also the capacity to play a somewhat fair game using Reanimator and Xathrid Necromancer to upgrade his Apostles.
We’re going to cut this and be more of a boom or bust combo deck. To go along with this change we will be changing the Commander from Shirei, Shizo’s Caretaker to Sidisi, Undead Vizier.


Diabolic Dark Tomb.jpg

Some of these cards have replacements that I feel will be strict upgrades while fulfilling the same role. Dark Prophecy, for example, will become Necropotence. Lich’s Tomb will become Platinum Angel to create a two card combo with Ad Nauseum. With our Commander change, I’m going to fill Diabolic Tutor in with another combo piece in Skirge Familiar. When going all in with Angel and Ad Nauseum be aware of untapped mana from your opponents. The deck is not constructed in such a way that you can draw your whole deck and still have a positive life total. A well timed instant speed removal spell on your Angel will cause you to lose the game.


Rune-Scarred Demon Razaketh.jpg

These are our only Apostle targets. Cashing your Apostles in for a tutor turns on Crypt of Agadeem and allows you to find a combo piece. The Apostles are here to enable our tutor demons and then serve as a reliable way to combo. They help add to our Storm count as well as fuel Nykthos and Crypt of Agadeem to ensure we have enough mana to go off on the turn we go all in.


Dark Cabal Lotus.jpg

These cards all add mana to our mana pool for free after we’ve drawn our whole deck. These let us get enough mana to cast the rest of our spells and win. They’re also great with Yawgmoth’s Will as you can cast them, generate mana, cast Will, and do it again all adding to the Storm count. The other use is using them to generate enough mana all at one time to go in for a big turn to win the game. They help you get to the beginning of your combo chain as well as help you finish it off.


Thrumming Aetherflux Apostle.jpg

This is our main way to win via Storm. Aetherflux Reservoir may not have the word “Storm” printed on it, but it is a Storm card. This is why we run so many Shadowborn Apostle. When casting your first Shadowborn Apostle with Ripple 4, there is an 88% chance that you’ll find a Shadowborn Apostle in your next four cards. Importantly, Ripple says “cast,” so each Apostle you Ripple into adds to your Storm count and triggers the second ability on Aetherflux Reservoir. I’ve yet to resolve these three cards in one turn and unsuccessfully pull all of my Apostles out of my deck. If you’re concerned about fizzling and think you can afford to wait, then wait until you draw a second Apostle to begin the chain again should you need to. (As in wait until you have 2 Apostles in hand before trying to Ripple them all out of your deck.)

Step 1: Cast Aetherflux Reservoir

Step 2: Cast Thrumming Stone

Step 3: Cast Shadowborn Apostle and being your Ripple chain. Once you cast all of your Apostles your life total should be high enough to pay 50 life 3 times and kill all of your opponents. You don’t have to cast these cards all in the same turn, but it lowers a number of opportunities your opponents have to destroy one of your key artifacts.

Step 4: Cast Tendrils of Agony.

Step 5: Cast Xiahou Dun, the One-Eyed and sacrifice him in order to bring Tendrils back to your hand. If you cast Yawgmoth’s Will before Xiahou Dun then you will exile your Tendrils after you cast it the second time and no longer have access to it in order to kill your final opponent. After bringing Tendrils back to your hand, cast it and kill your second opponent.

Step 6: Cast Yawgmoth’s Will so that you may cast Tendrils of Agony a third and (presumably) final time from the graveyard, winning the game!


Platinum Ad Nauseum Skirge Familiar Exsanguinate.jpg

Alright, we touched on this one a bit earlier.

Step 1: Resolve Platinum Angel.

Step 2: Resolve Ad Nauseum putting your entire deck into your hand and go to a negative life total to do so. Again, I’ll stress to be wary of an opposing removal spell on Angel here as you will lose the game should that happen.
Step 3: After drawing your deck uses your Rituals to get up to 5 mana and cast Skirge Familiar. In order to do this, you’ll need to either have 1 black mana already floating/an untapped black source or you’ll need to have not yet used your Lotus Petal. Going from 1 mana to 5 is quite easy once you start casting your Rituals, but if you used all of your mana casting Angel and Ad Nauseum then you’ll need to have access to Lotus Petal since Mana Crypt can’t tap for colored mana and thus cannot chain together Rituals.

Step 4: Discard all of the excess cards in your hand to add black mana to your mana pool with Skirge Familiar. The only card you need to make sure you do not discard is Exsanguinate. Cast Exsanguinate and win. So, here is my list for Apostle Storm listed by category:

Commander: Sidisi, Undead Vizier

Shadowborn Apostle

40 Shadowborn Apostle

Storm Combo Pieces

1 Carnival of Souls
1 AEtherflux Reservoir
1 Tendrils of Agony
1 Thrumming Stone

Exsanguinate Combo Pieces

1 Ad Nauseum
1 Skirge Familiar
1 Platinum Angel
1 Exsanguinate

Tutors

1 Vampiric Tutor
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Rune-Scarred Demon
1 Razaketh, the Foulblooded

Recursion

1 Yawgmoth’s Will
1 Xiahou Dun, the One-Eyed

Ramp/Rituals

1 Lotus Bloom
1 Lotus Petal
1 Mana Crypt
1 Culling the Weak
1 Dark Ritual
1 Mana Vault
1 Cabal Ritual
1 Sol Ring

Miscellaneous

1 Sensei’s Divining Top
1 Necropotence

Lands

1 Ebon Stronghold
1 Lake of the Dead
1 Peat Bog
1 Phyrexian Tower
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Cabal Coffers
1 Crypt of Agadeem
1 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
1 Deserted Temple
1 Barren Moor
1 Desert of the Glorified
1 Polluted Mire
1 Boseiju, Who Shelters All
1 Reliquary Tower
21 Swamp


SaffronOlive’s take on Apostle Storm was so innovative to me that I couldn’t help but be inspired! Maybe Thrumming Stone plus Storm cards have been a thing forever and I was just out of the loop, but either way thanks to Saffron and of course, thanks to you, the readers! I hope you enjoyed this Big Daddy Brew and I hope you enjoyed my take on the deck. Next time we’ll be tackling my Omnath, Locus of Mana list! See you there.


-Brandon “Big Daddy B” Dauer
Twitter: @BrandonDauer
Instagram: midwest.brandon


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