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Licia, the Sanguine Storm

This is my take on a Licia, Sanguine Tribune storm / lifegain deck. Now, I recognize that this seems a little strange and off-color, but after spending some time building the deck I think it actually has some potential for some really powerful plays. Hopefully you can all help me tune it up!

Why Licia?

I really wanted to make a new deck with one of the new legends from C17, but tribal just feels so boring to play for me. I took a look at Licia and after chatting with some friends the idea of pairing her with the extort mechanic came up. From there, it was a natural jump to "Spells Matter" and indeed storm cards.

Mardu Storm? Huh?

So why Mardu storm? Well, mostly because I like off-beat decks. They get me excited to be doing something unique. That being said, I also like to have a chance to win in my casual play group. I really do believe that Mardu storm has some potential to check both of those boxes, and I think Licia, Sanguine Tribune is an interesting commander choice for the archetype due to the interaction with Extort and Aetherflux Reservoir. Additionally, she can just bash some face in for a couple of turns as an alternate win condition, which is always nice.

The original concept of the deck was as a "Spells Matter" featuring Extort and cards like Monastery Mentor to derive incremental value while building towards a late game Mizzix's Mastery or Past in Flames in conjunction with Aetherflux Reservoir. That has changed dramatically over much play-testing, to where I now recognize Licia's value as a Bona Fide Storm commander.

So what does Licia offer us that more traditional Storm commanders do not? I will tell you she is certainly not the fastest clock, without access to blue that is nigh impossible. She is not the most consistent for that same reason. What Licia offers us is Flavor, Synergy, and a Solid Plan B!

Flavor: Licia is a highly flavorful storm commander. Taking her to a fresh table is unexpected and exciting. People will gives you mad props for your unique deck.

Synergy: This was an aspect I completely overlooked until certain commenets started flowing and I really started tuning her up. What I've found is that the synergy between an "8-mana" commander and Burnt Offering/Sacrifice can allow for some absolutely Broken sequences making absurd amounts of mana. This ability to run 2 "unplayable" rituals sets her apart from other storm commanders.

Plan B: Licia can easily just smack an opponent twice for a W. Most Storm commanders are only enablers. Licia does more than that by enabling and being her own Plan B.

A Brief Word about my Playgroup

It is important to put anything you see into the context of my own experience. I make these decklists and fleshed out explanations because I'm seeking feedback. If I can deliver some inspiration to you, dear reader, then all the better!

That being said, here are the contours of my group: we like to win and are competitive people, but we are fundamentally casuals. This means that things like infinite combos are no-nos for us. We have one unofficial house rule, that if you assemble and demonstrate an infinite loop you can utilize it no more than 5 times per turn. This keeps any wanna-be combo players in check and leads to longer developing games. Combos that don't go infinite are highly encouraged, because it is still fun to assemble a Rube Goldberg and go off!

We do encourage aggro decks to keep the filthy control players in check. As such, a lot of my deck building prioritizes curve very heavily. I typically don't like to play more than six-eight four-drops, and ideally no more than five 6+ drops. I have found that the sweet spot on the commander curve is really around three-four mana. If we prioritize this spot in our curve, we can almost always drop multiple spells in a turn later game, which can often change the board state significantly more than playing an eight drop that fishes out a board wipe in response.

Card Categories

I have tried to break out my decision making process by category and by card. This is an in-depth look at why I've chosen what I have, and why other cards did not make the cut or have been removed since the first iteration of the deck!

As a heuristic I try to include 10 Card Draw spells in all my decks, but with Cantrips being a heavy theme I broke that rule here. I have found through much gold fishing and much less live testing that this is sufficient to keep my wheels spinning.
  • Tymna the Weaver
  • - Tymna is insane, and I think warrants inclusion in any Orzhov creature based deck. She builds so much card advantage over just a few turns, she is truly an engine, and she doubles down as a 2 mana cost reducer for Licia as well.
  • Phyrexian Arena
  • - Tried and true card draw that seems to draw less hate than it should. An old classic that is probably a top 5 black card in EDH.
  • Necropotence
  • - Tried and true card draw that draws exactly as much hate as it should. Truly insane spell when your life no longer matters, expect to get targeted or immediately removed when you play this.
  • Sensei's Divining Top
  • - Not technically card draw, but the selection is insane and this is also basically a re-usable cantrip.
  • Damnable Pact
  • - A finisher and mass card draw all in one! I have always felt playing storm that a decent backup win con is a big Fireball. Enter Black Fireball.
  • Diabolic Revelation
  • - If we resolve this, we will typically win. X=3+ and we can find what we need to go off immediately for with even a few excess mana.

Notable Exclusions

You probably have ideas from other Storm decks that you will suggest, and I absolutely encourage you to do so! Here are some cards that I have tinkered with or used to be considered worth a slot that I no longer feel the same way about, or that I would like but do not currently own.

  • Disciple of Bolas
  • - One of the few ways remaining in the deck to take advantage of the high P/T you can produce on Licia. This is a real combo on the turn we plan to go off, as he reduces our Licia cost typically by 10 or 13, allowing us to cast her over and over while netting copious mana with Burnt Offering. Also a strong play to re-stock our hand if we fizzle out. Removed during re-design towards pure storm.
  • Underworld Connections
  • - Weaker Arena and Necropotence.
  • Weathered Wayfarer
  • - This probably deserves inclusion, a very strong card. If I add him, I would likely add Cabal Coffers as well.
  • Charmbreaker Devils
  • - He does a lot for us, and card advantage is the least of those things. Powerful card if you untap with him. Removed during Yawgmoth's Will cuts.
  • Alhammarret's Archive
  • - This is a little slow, but the synergy with cantrips is insane, and also powers up our lifegain. Removed during Yawgmoth's Will cuts.
In general, I like to include about ten ramp spells, but in this deck there are some ritual effects that make me feel comfortable reducing that number. For this deck, it is more critical that you start spinning your wheels than it is that you impact the board with a splash play ahead of schedule.
  • Treasonous Ogre
  • - This little betrayer enables some of our most busted turns. Untapping with a treasonous ogre and a reasonable life total makes it _Insanely_ easy to storm off. He can also be a ritual effect on the turn we go off if you're willing to pay 15+ life and have plenty of black/white sources available post casting him. After palytesting, superior to Skirge Familiar in most cases.
  • Crypt Ghast
  • - One of our strongest ramp spells. He does it all, he Extorts, he adds typically 2 or 3 mana into our pool, or double with Urborg in play, and he is a body when that's relevant.
  • Sol Ring
  • - Obvious inclusion is obvious. Added style for being a ritual for our spell count.
  • Orzhov Signet
  • - Signets are crucial in this deck. Fixing is a major concern, particularly for white as our rituals only produce black/red. Laundering for white is too critical not to include.
  • Boros Signet
  • - Signets are crucial in this deck. Fixing is a major concern, particularly for white as our rituals only produce black/red. Laundering for white is too critical not to include.
  • Helm of Awakening
  • - Added to pair with the new Yawgmoth's Will package. Works strongly with 7 rituals in the deck. This is one of the most important tutor targets when close to going off. Also turns Eggs into real cantrips that also color fix! Color fixing so clutch!
  • Myriad Landscape
  • - I include this card in nearly all of my decks. I think it is highly under rated and belongs in all but maybe 4 and 5 color decks. Harrow attached to a land is some insane value.

Notable Exclusions

You probably have ideas from other Storm decks that you will suggest, and I absolutely encourage you to do so! Here are some cards that I have tinkered with or used to be considered worth a slot that I no longer feel the same way about, or that I would like but do not currently own.

  • Stone Calendar
  • - As I was searching through cards for alternates for the blue cost reducers I came across this beauty. I didn't know this was a thing, but wow, what a card! One-sided Helm of Awakening, adds redundancy.
  • Skirge Familiar
  • - Replaced Treasonous Ogre as repetitive ramp of choice. On turns we are going off, it basically makes cantrips from the GY free. Also plays well with Dragon Mantle.
  • Cabal Coffers
  • - I have thought about including my copy of the Coffers here, but my issue is that it does nothing until you have 3 swamps in play, and doesn't ramp until 4+. Obviously it is a wombo with Urborg, but I'd rather not expend tutor resources seeking out a ramp combo inferior to many of my Rituals on the turn I plan to go off.
  • Pristine Talisman, other 3 mana Rocks
  • - Of the 3 mana Rocks, the Talisman is the most intriguing to me since it acts as lifegain and a double ramp spell for Licia. In general, 3 mana Rocks feel weak in this deck per my play experience.
  • Mind Stone
  • - The Cantrip Rock would be a decent add, as another way to keep spinning wheels. Colorless mana is not very useful here, however.
  • Sad Robot
  • - I love me some sad robots, but 4 mana ramp spells are not exactly ideal unless they are gushing mana like Crypt Ghast or Treasonous Ogre.
Cantrips are the lifeblood of a Spells Matter deck, and I am absolutely not sure that I have enough in here for what I'm trying to do, but cuts were super tough to make. Not all of the cards here are true Cantrips, but anything that costs 1 or 2 mana and draws 1-2 cards I counted for the sake of efficiency. Every cantrip has a minor usefulness, which makes the deck play out way more smoothly and powerful than it otherwise would seem.
  • Aphotic Wisps
  • - Being able to sneak through a big attack from Licia or a Charmbreaker Devils is really quite insane. A common theme among our cantrips. Also, Black and Red cantrips will get the nod over similar White cantrips because of the availability of Black and Red mana.
  • Cremate
  • - Graveyard hate on wheels. Obvious inclusion.
  • Nighthaze
  • - Paired with Urborg this is another evasion strategy.
  • Crimson Wisps
  • - Haste is very powerful paired with many of our creatures, or given out as a favor.
  • Expedite
  • - Haste is very powerful paired with many of our creatures, or given out as a favor.
  • Overmaster
  • - Protection for a Mizzix's Mastery is absolutely key in many cases.
  • Faithless Looting
  • - Not a "Cantrip" per se, but discarding cards is really a big deal if we want to stock our graveyard on our "go off" turn.
  • Night's Whisper
  • - a 2 mana cantrip, sometimes adding some velocity is what we need.
  • Tormenting Voice
  • - 2 mana cantrip that allows for some forced discard, very desirable.
  • Abeyance
  • - Another protection spell for your combo turns. Certain metas will want this more than others.
  • Shelter
  • - A 2 mana cantrip, so it better be good. Well, it is good, warrants inclusion on its own to protect our key creatures and sneak through big swings from time to time. The issue - it does nothing without a target, and we don't have many of those. Worth it to enhance Plan B.
  • Dragon Mantle
  • - A non-spell cantrip worth playing. Paired with your Rituals it can cause a blowout out of nowhere.
  • Sunbeam Spellbomb
  • - A cantrip that enables a turn 4 Licia. Worth it easily.
  • Tithe
  • - A "Cantrip" that plays very well with our low land count and ability to sift away dead cards for value.
  • Reverberate
  • - A versatile do-anything card that most often functions as a cantrip.
  • Chromatic Star
  • - Eggs! The ability to color fix is critical in this deck while attempting to go off. When I acquired a Yawgmoth's Will to be the preferred recursion enabler, Eggs became significantly stronger. They are also literally free if we have a Cost Reducer effect in play.
  • Chromatic Sphere
  • - Eggs! The ability to color fix is critical in this deck while attempting to go off. When I acquired a Yawgmoth's Will to be the preferred recursion enabler, Eggs became significantly stronger. They are also literally free if we have a Cost Reducer effect in play.

Notable Exclusions

You probably have ideas from other Storm decks that you will suggest, and I absolutely encourage you to do so! Here are some cards that I have tinkered with or used to be considered worth a slot that I no longer feel the same way about, or that I would like but do not currently own.

1-Mana Cantrips

  • Festival of the Guildpact
  • - A powerful effect in the right situation. One of the reasons to play a white cantrip.
  • Niveous Wisps
  • - This is a white cantrip worth including. This can save us on a key turn against a powerful creature, or open the way for a Licia swing.
  • Scout's Warning
  • - This is my favorite cantrip in the deck. Vedalken Orrery is historically one of my favorite spells, but I find that it draws massive amounts of hate in my meta, so I cast maybe one spell off of it. The warning gives some surprise factor to our gameplan that the Orrery provides, without the telegraph that says "Swing Here".

  • Renegade Tactics
    • A 1-mana red cantrip that I couldn't fit. One of several cantrips not included in this build.
    • Bandage
    • - A 1-mana white cantrip with an effect that does barely anything. White cantrips are not ideal, and this is not good to boot.
    • Defiant Strike
    • - A 1-mana white cantrip with a slightly stronger effect, but still not great. Inferior to other options
    • Balduvian Rage
    • - A very interesting spell. It can act as Dragon Mantle #2, but is a spell, the issue is that it is a delayed cantrip. There are several of these types of spells, and they aren't ideal as they don't help you spin the wheels on the turn you really want them to. Still may be worth an inclusion, possibly even as a replacement for Dragon Mantle since it is a spell.
    • Panic
    • - This is a general substitute card for all "Delayed" cantrips. They just are not ideal, I'd prefer to include a true white cantrip or a non-spell cantrip over them in most cases.
    • Crash Through
    • - Decent well-colored cantrip that doesn't require a target. Sorcery speed not ideal. Could warrant inclusion, removed for Eggs.

    2-Mana Cantrips

    • Psychotic Fury
    • - This card is strong with Licia, but a dead card too often to warrant inclusion.
    • Wild Guess
    • - May warrant inclusion, as forcing discard is a strong effect in this deck to discard for Mizzix's Mastery.
    • Sign in Blood
    • - Night's Whisper #2 is solid, but double black can be awkward when you're trying to hit land drops early game.
    • Aura Blast
    • - A solid cantrip, may eventually makes it way into my deck. Not being able to cast with no targets is the real downside, however.
    • Accelerate
    • - Crimson Wisp and Expedite #3. Haste enablers are stronk, if we wanted a 3rd this would be it.
    • Wall of Omens
    • - An early blocker is nice, a non-spell cantrip not so nice.
    • Angelic Gift
    • - Another non-spell cantrip, in my opinion inferior to other options. Not on the short list for an inclusion.
    • Stun
    • - Inferior to Renegade Tactics, which doesn't have a slot.
    • Recoup
    • - Another virtual cantrip in the mode of Reverberate.


    Hugely renovated section of my list. This deck is now dedicated to storming off as Plan A. Incremental Spells Matter was not as effective as I had hoped. This deck now loads up on rituals and tutors to go off quickly and efficiently.
    • Dark Ritual
    • - The OG Ritual. Turn 1 Necropotence anyone? Just a classic fit and the easiest inclusion.
    • Burnt Offering
    • - The main reason to run Licia as our commander. This card truly enables some busted plays. If we've managed to gain 7 or 10 life in the turn (not an unreasonable task by any means), we can cast Licia for 3 at a time and Sac her to the offering for 8, then Past in Flames later in your spell count and repeat, netting 5 mana each time. That is a strong sequence that accounts for 4-5 spell and +7 mana (-3Licia->+8Offering->-3Licia->+8Offering->-3Licia).
    • Sacrifice
    • - Burnt Offering without the red mana. The main synergy with Licia
    • Cabal Ritual
    • - Stronger than Dark Ritual with Threshold active, and has synergy with cost reducers. Top 5 ritual of all time.
    • Seething Song
    • - Same basic efficiency level as dark ritual, without the turn 1 utility, but with added synergy with cost reducers. Top 5 tutor option.
    • Desperate Ritual
    • - Weaker than average ritual, but synergizes with cost reducers.
    • Pyretic Ritual
    • - Weaker than average ritual, but synergizes with cost reducers.
    • Mana Geyser
    • - The grand daddy of rituals. This can easily net 20+ mana late game depending on your opponents. Provided you can wash your mana in some way usually makes going off easier than any other spell.
    • Spoils of Evil
    • - In my quest for rituals I came across this little beauty. Wow. This is an actually absurd card for Licia, the synergy here is amazing and makes utilizing the Burnt Offering combo to up our spell count SOOOO much easier to pull off. Note that the oracle text clarifies that this counts both artifacts _and_ creatures out in the target graveyard, it's not one or the other.
    • Lotus Petal
    • - Our only option for a "White" ritual. Free to play, synergizes highly effectively with Yawgmoth's Will.

    Notable Exclusions

    You probably have ideas from other Storm decks that you will suggest, and I absolutely encourage you to do so! Here are some cards that I have tinkered with or used to be considered worth a slot that I no longer feel the same way about, or that I would like but do not currently own.

    I have several types of Lifegain effects, which I have aggregated here for brevity. Some are intended to allow for a turn 3 or 4 Licia, Sanguine Tribune, others are intended more for massive or recursive lifegain to power other effects. This pairs with our spells matters effects through Aetherflux Reservoir as our crossover spell. Extort only cards are included in the "Spells Matter" section, but keep in mind they also gain us life.
    • Tymna the Weaver
    • - 2-mana "Ritual" for Licia.
    • Chaplain's Blessing
    • - Turn 4 Licia enabler that also helps enable some extra casts of Licia on our big turn.
    • Aetherflux Reservoir
    • - Really our storm win condition. Be careful about how you stack spells - if we stack multiple cantrips and layer the Reservoir triggers, we gain life "per cast" on the triggers. IE, 4 triggers on the stack from layering 4 instants, 4+4+4+4=16 life.
    • Radiant Fountain
    • - 2-mana Licia "Ritual"
    • Serra Ascendant
    • - Strongest Licia enabler, also draws out some removal early. Be careful who you anger with this....
    • Tithe Drinker
    • - 2-mana Licia ritual plus Extort enabler. One of our strongest 2-drops.
    • Fumigate
    • - Have no fear, when you cast this while Licia is out she is usually easy to re-cast!
    • Tendrils of Agony
    • - If we cast this early in our storm off to get it into your GY it can enable more Licia casts.
    • Sunbeam Spellbomb
    • - Another T4 Licia enabler.
    • Licia, Sanguine Tribune
    • - If unanswered, she will put you over the top in one way or another. Also enables 2-turn Voltron kills.

    Notable Exclusions

    You probably have ideas from other Storm decks that you will suggest, and I absolutely encourage you to do so! Here are some cards that I have tinkered with or used to be considered worth a slot that I no longer feel the same way about, or that I would like but do not currently own.

    • Brion Stoutarm
    • - Allows for a turn 5 Licia unaided, plus has a nice Fling on a stick attached that also gains us life. NOT STREAMLINED ENOUGH
    • Disciple of Bolas
    • - We can really go off with a sacrificed Licia or Charmbreaker Devils. NOT STREAMLINED ENOUGH
    • Gonti's Machinations
    • - This was in my build for some time, and worked well, but there is only so much room for lifegain effects without over-diluting your spells matters, and Chaplain's Blessing is itself a spell and so gets the nod. This is super easy to enable, however, and sometimes acts as a pseudo rattlesnake effect.
    • Sunspring Expedition
    • - A potential T3 Licia enabler combined with Fetchlands. Again, not a spell, so we sacrifice some speed for more well-rounded effects.
    • Icatian Moneychanger
    • - Sunspring Expedition effect on a body, more or less. Offers the potential of an early Licia, which this deck achieves incidentally more so than as a primary design goal.
    • Rite of Consumption
    • - Solid with Licia in play, but narrow otherwise. Offers our opponents the chance at a blowout as we go to cast.
    • Venser's Journal, Ivory Tower
    • - Both strong cards, especially the journal, but there is no space for this type of effect in this tight deck.
    • Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim
    • - A strong early rattlesnake that doubles as lifegain when Licia would be removed or in the face of a board wipe. Again, the deck is pretty tight, so I ended up removing this as there aren't many ways to abuse her.
    • Vampire Nighthawk, Gifted Aetherborn
    • - Both are strong rattlesnake cards that "Ritual" out your Licia by 2 mana, but they do nothing else.
    • Authority of the Consuls
    • - Blind Obedience #2. I may eventually include this, as I do love Kismet effects.
    • Chandra's Ignition
    • - Too difficult to pull off the wombo, and too easy to disrupt. My general trend has been to remove cards that do nothing without an active Licia.
    • Debt to the Deathless
    • - Honestly, just a sort of boring win condition. It very well probably belongs, but there are times where it just does not a thing for us too.
    This entire package has basically been removed. This is no longer the goal of the deck, incremental value has much stronger commanders. I left the tab for posterity, and some of the cards fit into the current theme still as well.
    • Crypt Ghast
    • - Extort is really more incidental than anything on this guy, but we'll take it. He does draw plenty of hate, so be careful.
    • Tithe Drinker
    • - 2-mana Licia ritual plus Extort enabler. One of our strongest 2-drops.
    • Blind Obedience
    • - Our best extort card by a long shot. A very under rated effect on a difficult to remove permanent to maintain our Extort triggers.
    • Guttersnipe
    • - Arguably our strongest "Spells Matter" card, sometimes he acts as a pure storm win con as well. Drop him on your big turn and he can sometimes win without even finding another piece.

    Notable Exclusions

    You probably have ideas from other Storm decks that you will suggest, and I absolutely encourage you to do so! Here are some cards that I have tinkered with or used to be considered worth a slot that I no longer feel the same way about, or that I would like but do not currently own.

    • Monastery Mentor
    • - The other potential "Best Card" on the spells matter side of the deck. Sometimes this just runs away with a game if unanswered for a couple of turns.
    • Young Pyromancer
    • - I would really love to fit this card into the deck. It would act as early chump blockers, and late it can actually start putting dents as we develop out a board of 6 or 7 tokens. The problem is, there is no way to abuse the tokens. Could eventually find a home.
    • Thermo-Alchemist
    • - This guy also probably deserves a spot. He is Guttersnipe #2, but 1 damage is just so much less impactful. Still, an early blocker for bears isn't a bad thing either.
    • Basilica Guards, Syndic of Tithes, Kingpin's Pet, Thrull Parasite
    • - All Extort cards that didn't make the cut. Extort is cute, but you only ever really want 1 of the effect going in order to gain some incidental life and make Licia cheaper your combo turn.
    • Pontiff of Blight
    • - This used to be in the deck over Charmbreaker Devils, but with the low creature count in this deck it was often just a basic extort creature for 3 times the mana. Cooler in theory than in practice.
    • Charmbreaker Devils
    • - This guy can absolutely win games. If you untap with him, he can force a lot of contortions out of players with no natural defence or chump. All sorts of ways in this deck to force damage through as well. Ultimately proved too fragile, never untapped with him.
    Tutors are critically important for a storm deck. As I have play tested and let this deck evolve, I have come to realize how critical tutors are to the proper functioning of my more all-in storm concept. They allow us to find what we need - engine, ritual, or fodder - and then re-casting with a Graveyard enabler as we go off usually ices it. Part of my philosophy is that I do like some amount of variation in a deck, even a more tuned storm list. This section needs some additional work, but I have been pre-occupied with other decks. Comments appreciated!
    • Vampiric Tutor
    • - What a house of a card. Think of all your use cases for a tutor, then double them because it is instant speed. This does not produce card parity, which can be a shame, but the additional use cases of being 1-mana and instant speed outweigh that.
    • Gamble
    • - When searching for Past in Flames there is no downside. Or when we have any GY enabler ready to rock.
    • Entomb
    • - Strong play in conjunction with a GY enabler. Can also grab Past in Flames straight to the graveyard for go-time.
    • Beseech the Queen
    • - A reasonably costed, powerful tutor at a reasonable $$$.
    • Dark Petition
    • - Does a decent Demonic Tutor impersonation most of the time. In some cases, it can actually be stronger as it washes your mana or rituals off of a Mizzix's Mastery.
    • Diabolic Revelation
    • - A little tough to pull off, but when it lands we basically auto-win.
    • Tithe
    • - Technically a tutor, though I consider it fixing, cantrip, or card advantage to be a somewhat more accurate statement.

    Notable Exclusions

    The primary win-con of the deck. Spells Matters effects may accrue us some value, but these are intended to wipe up the floor. Facilitated by our Rituals and Cantrips, these spells will either be the win-con themselves, or the main Graveyard Enabler to get them off the ground.
    • Tendrils of Agony
    • - Tried and true 2 damage per storm count. This is Ignite Memories more reliable cousin. Also has synergy with Licia, which is pretty key on turns we intend to abuse Sacrifice effects.
    • Aetherflux Reservoir
    • - Probably our most versatile spell. Oftentimes this allows us to kill an opponent without even storming, just bash with Licia to pad your life total and then blast someone. There are tricks to keep in mind, most notably stacking of Reservoir triggers to gain more life using instant speed cantrips. IE cast 4 cantrips without letting triggers resolve, each trigger gaining you 4 life for 4+4+4+4=16 life gained.
    • Guttersnipe
    • - Arguably our strongest "Spells Matter" card, sometimes he acts as a pure storm win con as well. Drop him on your big turn and he can sometimes win without even finding another piece.
    • Yawgmoth's Will
    • - OG GY enabler. I finally acquired one and it really transformed the deck.
    • Past in Flames
    • - Graveyard Enabler #1. Probably the most important spell in the deck.
    • Mizzix's Mastery
    • - Graveyard Enabler #2. Past in Flames may be more versatile, but Mizzix's Mastery is by far the most explosive spell in the deck. Sometimes this just casts us about a million cantrips and finishes with a big Tendrils to wrap it up.

    Notable Exclusions

    You probably have ideas from other Storm decks that you will suggest, and I absolutely encourage you to do so! Here are some cards that I have tinkered with or used to be considered worth a slot that I no longer feel the same way about, or that I would like but do not currently own.

    • Ignite Memories
    • - The most fun Storm card ever. I can't say it always works well, but it typically averages higher than the average card cost in the opponents deck, because higher cards naturally sit around in hands for longer than cheaper cards. Under the right conditions this card can grab a kill with very low storm count, be observant and you can often determine who has the expensive bombs clogging up their hands. TOO CLUNKY TO EXECUTE, MAKES A NO FUN SITUATION TO PICK 30+ CARDS AT RANDOM
    • Recoup
    • - Former third enabler, cut to make room for Yawgmoth's Will.
    • Ad Nauseam
    • - A classic storm card, I think I could probably include this. I'm up in the air about it. the added lifegain effects in the deck make it significantly easier, the problem is that my Ritual density is currently far too low to make use of the cards effectively once I've drawn them. Could go in a more all-in rework down the line.
    • Grapeshot
    • - Weakest of the available Storm cards in our colors. 1 damage per spell is not the rate I'm interested in, although pseudo removal is nice.
    • Empty the Warrens
    • - The prospect of untapping with these tokens is slim to none for all the work we just did to make them. Not worth it in commander.
    • Volcanic Awakening
    • - Mass Land destruction storm off is inferior to killing your opponents.
    • Storm Entity
    • - Interesting card, but fundamentally weaker than other options by virtue of being a creature and being one spell.
    These are additional lifegain payoffs. The point of synergy between lifegain, spells matters, and our commander's strengths is The Reservoir, which really just typifies what this deck wants to do in every possible way.
    • Aetherflux Reservoir
    • - The ultimate lifegain matters card. Probably my favorite card in the deck, this card is pretty much bonkers in so many ways. As you may have noticed, it is included in multiple categories in this deck. Truly a do-it-all card. Be careful when you play it, people go ape-shit when they see this hit the board. Remember - if someone uses removal on it or another permanent you really care about losing, you can murder them in response if you have >50 life to "Counter" their effect. GGs.
    • Vizkopa Guildmage
    • - This is an excellent win condition. If we can start bashing with Licia, or better yet storming off with this, it significantly reduces the whaps or spells required to kill our opponents.
    • Glacial Chasm
    • - I consider this card a lifegain payoff, because if you have an active lifegain engine in play it is sooooo easy to keep this active for 5, 6, possibly more turns. This card flat out stonewalls most voltron or aggro decks, leaving you to peacefully spin your wheels until you decide it's time to explode.
    • Licia, Sanguine Tribune
    • - A technical lifegain matters effect, since you need a relatively high life total to safely activate her.

    Notable Exclusions

    You probably have ideas from other Storm decks that you will suggest, and I absolutely encourage you to do so! Here are some cards that I have tinkered with or used to be considered worth a slot that I no longer feel the same way about, or that I would like but do not currently own.

    • Sanguine Bond
    • - I used to also run Sanguine Bond, but I found that A- it brought on too much hate for a deck that didn't run the Exquisite Blood combo (I'm innocent, I swear!), B- as opposed to Her it targets one player and draws more hate, and C- it costs 5 mana and often feels durdly in my fast meta. May be a mistake, since it is just so powerful with our commander, but 5 mana spells are not the strongest in this deck.
    • Cradle of Vitality
    • - This card honestly just feels win-more. It was cool to be able to create multiple threats if you have n active Licia gaining you gobs of life and putting counters on your Bears, but if you have an active Licia.... Do you really need that? I don't know, between the win-more and the cost to play and repeatedly activate, it just felt very jank and off-kilter with the rest of the streamlined deck.
    • Karlov of the Ghost Council
    • - This was one of the hardest cuts I have made out of this deck. I love love love this card, and love how he works with Extort, and love how he works with some of the randomly synergistic Licia cards like Boros Charm, but there have also been multiple games where I play him and then struggle to enable anything impressive with him. The deck is just not primarily focused on lifegain, it is more of a secondary goal. I wouldn't be surprised if he amde his way back in at some point, however, especially if I ever increase the extort cards.
    • Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim
    • - Another tough cut I made, Ayli as repeated removal and emergency lifegain engine is no joke. Problem is, the creature count we play is low, so what do we sacrifice, short of with an active Monastery Mentor? Maybe worth another look if I add Young Pyromancer.
    • Defiant Bloodlord
    • - Too expensive. Plain and simple. Dies to STP for a 7-mana investment that we don't have time to pay for in the first place.
    Necessary for all decks, these are some removal spells we have access to. This category needs refinement I think, and as I play more games this number may fluctuate, especially the Mass Removal. This deck does sometimes have trouble establishing an early board presence, so being able to reliably spin our wheels into a board wipe to take advantage of the one-sidedness may prove very attractive and up our mass removal count.
    • Swords to Plowshares
    • - Sometimes you just want a 1-mana way to handle that Jerk who decided you are lunch. This is just so efficient, and if there is one thing I've learned over the years about commander, it's that efficiency often wins. Playing multiple board impacting spells per turn is the most likely way to gain an edge. Refine those curves y'all.
    • Pyroblast
    • - In my meta, this is often a stronger card than Swords. I play against a lot of 4/5 color decks, and this handles threats ranging from a regular Scion player to a Counterspell heavy Vendilion Clique deck trying to Tunnel Vision me. I rarely make a red deck that doesn't play this card.
    • Anguished Unmaking
    • - The ability to remove anything at instant speed for 3-mana is not to be trifled with. Life loss is either very negligible for our deck or a huge deal, be aware of when it matters and when it doesn't.
    • Vandalblast
    • - Another near auto-include in red decks. Red Cyclonic Rift is good, you should play it.
    • Blasphemous Act
    • - Half of your gameplan with this deck is to spin the wheels into a board wipe and reset enough times to build up a GY and go-off. Following that logic, the wipes we choose need to be efficient and powerful, and work on there own. This got the nod over Chandra's Ignition for these reasons.
    • Fumigate
    • - Great synergy here, this board wipe is an excellent inclusion to the removal suite. It makes recasting your Licia a realistic possibility after you clear the threats. Auto-inclusion in my book.
    • Merciless Eviction
    • - A really great modular wipe. I am generally opposed to 6-drops in this deck, but board wipes are the one exception. This does what we need at any given time, though we are unlikely to be able to rebuild anything post-wipe.

    Notable Exclusions

    You probably have ideas from other Storm decks that you will suggest, and I absolutely encourage you to do so! Here are some cards that I have tinkered with or used to be considered worth a slot that I no longer feel the same way about, or that I would like but do not currently own.

    • Path to Exile
    • - After STP and Pyroblast, my next in line for cheap removal. let's call it meta-dependent, I don't personally want another 1-drop removal spell, maybe you do.
    • Vindicate
    • - A great spell, and possible inclusion over or alongside Anguished Unmaking. I could see adding it. My meta should probably start playing it more, because I play Glacial Chasm in like 6 decks.
    • Utter End
    • - A solid spell. In my opinion, once removal spells get over 3 mana it's much harder to keep them up. I've been slowly cutting this from more and more decks as it feels clunkier and clunkier every time I draw it.
    • Toxic Deluge
    • - An absolute house. I currently have one copy in a different deck, but I may purchase a second because I just love the card. It handles what you need. Some anti-synergy if you are trying to Aetherflux Reservoir someone.
    • Wrath of God/Damnation
    • - Old faithful. If I up the mass removal count, I will likely look at the two spells above first.
    • Paraselene
    • - Really unique card. Fumigate for artifacts. May warrant a spot, I'm interested that's for sure. If your meta loves enchantment or has a dedicated Enchantment deck, pop it in there.
    • Chandra's Ignition
    • - I'm on the fence with this card, but the idea is to wipe the board with Licia in play and gain a million life doing it, utilizing her lifelink. You are left with a massive lifelinking Voltron beater and the world is your oyster. Life never seems to work out that way, although I have gotten my playgroup good with this. It seems unlikely to happen again, so I cut it.
    These are largely protective effects. Cantrips not included, but they all do some cool utility stuff as well.

    Protective SpellsLicia is not easy to protect, both the creature herself and the player piloting the deck. People get nervous even if you aren't close to anything busted. We need to find creative ways to protect her, and in doing so often protecting ourselves.

    • Blind Obedience
    • - This gives us a turn to react to any plays they make, and makes mana rocks incredibly challenging to plan out.
    • Boros Charm
    • - This is an excellent protection spell for whatever type of permanent needs protecting. Has caused many a blowout using 2 of the 3 modes. Mode 3, player burn, rarely comes up, but could!
    • Shelter
    • - Already included in Cantrips, but this is most relevant as a way to counter a removal spell. May get the axe for some stronger non-cantrip version.
    • Glacial Chasm
    • - The ultimate defensive land. I play this all over my decks, and really it pulls its weight in gold. This may be the perfect deck for it.
    • Maze of Ith
    • - I made the addition and will never look back. This deck has few ways to interact, so the ones it does pack need to be resilient, which the Maze is.
    • Kor Haven
    • - Ditto from above, but it also makes mana!
    • Reverberate
    • - This acts as counter back up protection when you are trying to go-off. Copy their counterspell and counter it!
    • Pyroblast
    • - Another counter-protection spell on your critical turn.

    Notable Exclusions

    • Mother of Runes
    • - My favorite white 1-drop to see in my opening hand, even over Serra Ascendant. I put Momma in all of my white decks, I encourage you to do the same. Efficiency personified. One neat trick - hold up Expedite or another haste enabler after you cast her as a back-up in case they try to deal with her before summoning sickness wears off. REMOVED BECAUSE.... I HAD TO MAKE CUTS. FEELSBADMAN
    • Vampire Nighthawk, Gifted Aetherborn, and Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim
    • - Strong rattlesnake cards that were in different versions of the deck. I have chosen to cut for now, but rattlesnakes with other synergies may be necessary depending on the meta you play in.
    • Lightning Greaves
    • - May be warranted, but going all-in on Licia is not really our gameplan. Still, protecting our other spells matters creatures and enabling hasty plays might mean this deserves a spot. It's a card I'm considering.

    UtilityEvery deck needs those cards that can fill multiple roles. They make our deck run smoother, fill in the cracks if you will.

    • Boros Charm
    • - I double included this from above because granting double strike can do all sorts of different things. Use it as a favor, kill someone in 1 swing with Licia, this offers us up solutions we would never otherwise have.
    • Reverberate
    • - Again, like with the Charm this card can do many many different things. My favorite play is copying Cultivate on Turn 2.
        _**Notable Exclusions**_
        • Mirage Mirror
        • - This was in my deck, and I love the card, but typically whatever combo piece we are doubling up on is just win-more. If I can land an Aetherflux Reservoir and have it stick I basically win, I don't need 2 of the spell.
    **I won't go too into much detail here, but my philosophy with my mana base was to limit Comes Into Play Tapped (CIPT) Lands, as well as limit colorless producing lands. This deck is exceedingly color hungry, and it is difficult to wash too much colorless out of your base. The deck would strongly benefit from the filter lands like Graven Cairns, but alas I own none.**_Keep in mind, we should use our "Spell Lands" like Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion politically where able.__Also, Karoo lands like Orzhov Basilica are highly under rated, in my estimation. I struggle with including more than 2, but 2 just feels about right, especially with a low land count where being able to force a land draw can be highly beneficial.__I'd like to eventually replace Rogue's Passage with Shizo, Death's Storehouse. Someday I will!__I think Maze of Ith is great, likewise with Kor Haven__I think leaving Cabal Coffers to your Mono-Black EDH decks is smart.__I currently play 8 CIPT lands, and I'd like to reduce that number to maybe 6 or so. Problem is, the cycling lands like Barren Moor and Canyon Slough are just great in this deck. Maybe I am over-valuing them?__I love me some Bojuka Bog!_
    ## **THE END**_I hope you enjoyed my guide to Storming Sanguinely! If you liked it, upvotes are okay I guess, but comments feel more meaningful and helpful, so do that instead!__I am slowly attempting to convert all my decks into more thorough guides, so if you liked this, don't hesitate to check out what else I'm brewing!_


    I acquired a Yawgmoth's Will, so these edits were made with that card in mind. Specifically, Eggs become so much stronger now. Also made some general changes I had been thinking of. I am aiming to remove cards that do nothing without Licia in play - she is our supplementary gameplan, and occasionally a combo piece, but having her in play is extremely unreliable.

    +Blasphemous Act +Helm of Awakening +Stone Calendar +Cabal Ritual +Seething Song +Spoils of Evil +Yawgmoth's Will +Desperate Ritual +Chromatic Star +Chromatic Sphere +Sunhome, Fortress of the Legion +Skirge Familiar

    -Chandra's Ignition -Rakdos Signet -Charmbreaker Devils -Disciple of Bolas -Thrull Parasite -Debt to the Deathless -Recoup -Shelter -Crash Through -Alhammarret's Archive -Slayers' Stronghold -Treasonous Ogre


    Treehugger003 says... #1

    Two cards that might be interesting are Zada, Hedron Grinder and Magus of the Will

    I would also highly recommend Erebos, God of the Dead to keep others from gaining life back. Besides it is a potential card draw if necessary.

    A land to look at is Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth.

    I generally run very few instants and sorceries in my decks so I'm not really going to be much help there.


    August 28, 2017 10:37 a.m.

    Philoctetes says... #2

    Thanks for the comment! I really like your suggestions here - Erebos, God of the Dead is a great suggestion, I'd like to include him to pair with Greed as they are both powerful draw engines with lifegain effects.

    I used to run a Zada, Hedron Grinder deck so I can attest to it's power. I'll have to think of possible cuts. I do like the idea of Magus of the Will as Past in Flames #2, I'll try to think of possible cuts for these inclusions!

    August 28, 2017 10:56 a.m.

    Drakon562 says... #3

    I may be missing something, or maybe it's just to cast a turn 3 Licia, but I don't know if Tavern Swindler is worth it. At the same time, I really like its' inclusion, because I've seen it in a deck before.

    August 28, 2017 7:09 p.m.

    Philoctetes says... #4

    Yeah haha, Tavern Swindler has a chance to facilitate an early Licia. Also has some synergy with Well of Lost Dreams and Alhammarret's Archive. But mostly it's just janky and comical and will occasionally do something minorly busted.

    August 28, 2017 7:32 p.m.

    MagicBlues says... #5

    Wow, this deck idea is amazing. I'm really interested how your build developes after you take it to a few games.
    On to your deck, the card that I might cut first is probably Chaplain's Blessing since it unfortunately doesn't even allow you to play your commander on turn 3. From the cards in your maybeboard I'd probably look to put one more removal (you should know best what works best in your playgroup). Another kind of "control" element could be Possibility Storm. It wrecks a lot of decks and it works quite well with extort (double the triggers) and is just stupid if you copy it during your turn with Mirage Mirror.

    August 28, 2017 8:03 p.m.

    MagicBlues says... #6

    I forgot to mention that Sphinx-Bone Wand might be a good winning condition. If you add the Wand, I'd probably cut Dragon Mantle for another cantrip

    August 28, 2017 8:13 p.m.

    bendjohnson says... #7

    Why no Exquisite Blood ?

    August 28, 2017 8:16 p.m.

    bendjohnson says... #8

    Just read your description. Sorry for the suggestion.

    August 28, 2017 8:22 p.m.

    Philoctetes says... #9

    Thanks for the comments guys!

    MagicBlues I love the suggestions, this is exactly what I'm looking for, thank you for the kind words! I see where you're coming from with Chaplain's Blessing and I think you're right - it is the easiest cut in the deck right now. One removal spell that felt bad to cut was Crackling Doom, but I could also see just throwing in another board wipe, possibly Fumigate for the easy Licia follow up?

    Possibility Storm seems awesome here, as does Sphinx-Bone Wand. I'm going to try to take another pass at the deck tomorrow and both cards are in consideration, I'll include any changes in the update log.

    August 28, 2017 11:43 p.m.

    MagicBlues says... #10

    I think I would favor another board wipe since you only got one that always works from behind.
    It might be possible that Debt to the Deathless is a considerable cut if you go with Possibility Storm, although it's your only bad hit.

    August 30, 2017 8:16 a.m.

    zombob57 says... #11

    I would highly recommend for rituals running Sacrifice and Burnt Offering because Licia has a cmc of 8, and if you gained a bunch of life can just recast her for 3. Just a really cool interaction with the commander.

    September 4, 2017 11:08 a.m.

    Philoctetes says... #12

    zombob57 I love that suggestion! I haven't felt great about Cabal Ritual in the deck, I will happily replace with Burnt Offering. I will add Sacrifice to the maybeboard for now, but it could be that I want both.

    I will also be finding room for Sunbeam Spellbomb, probably replacing Tavern Swindler. After goldfishing with this a bunch of times, Tavern Swindler just feels too cute, and Sunbeam Spellbomb can cycle if you don't need the lifegain to up my cantrip count.

    I'm also considering Icatian Moneychanger, although I'm not sure if more one shot lifegain type cards are where I want to head. I think I may need to shore up the cantrip count for Spells Matters payoffs.

    September 4, 2017 1:26 p.m.

    Razulghul says... #13

    Kudos on this deck, I really dig the creative idea of trying storm here. I've been trying to come up with some way to go infinite with Licia ever since seeing this deck and all I've come up with is : Mana Echoes+Mycosynth Lattice+Aetherflux Reservoir you would need 3 vampires tho and a sac outlet lol. Maybe someone will think of something more practical but there you go :)

    September 8, 2017 11:54 p.m.

    Philoctetes says... #14

    I love it! Haha. Licia is the perfect commander for all sorts of 3 card jank, if you build her post it I would love to take a look!

    September 9, 2017 9:41 a.m.

    I know a couple funny cards you might wanna consider, seeing as you have storm and all these cantrips in mind:

    Null Profusion is hilarious in decks like this. Please note that is says, "when you play a CARD", as in "lands count, too". To make it worse for the hopes and dreams of your enemies, Paradox Engine can be quite funny with a few more mana rocks. =3

    October 11, 2017 2:56 p.m.

    Philoctetes says... #16

    Hey there DrunkManSquakin666! Thanks for your suggestions, those are both really awesome cards in the right build!

    Paradox Engine is I think a great idea, but would require a massive re-tooling of the ramp mana rock package. As of today, I'm not feeling in for that, but it could be that the ability to untap signets and wash our mana is good enough to try for it....

    Null Profusion and Recycle are a couple of cards that have always caught my eye, I just have never been able to stomach the mana cost to put them in my decks. In a way, it acts like an improved Alhammarret's Archive on the turn we go off, though, so maybe it is worth considering! I'll have to think on it a little bit.

    October 11, 2017 5:03 p.m.

    Emensmansera says... #17

    Think about putting in a Tainted Remedy or a Temporal Extortion? Also Kambal, Consul of Allocation, and, hehe, Sorin Markov would br a fun addition.

    October 20, 2017 12:09 a.m.

    SurpriZe says... #18

    If you had the access to every card you wanted to include, what are the main changes you would have made to the decklist?

    October 22, 2017 6:29 a.m.

    Philoctetes says... #19

    Hey Emensmansera - thanks for the suggestions! I think that Tainted Remedy, while certainly an interesting card, isn't necessarily what this iteration of Licia is trying to do. Temporal Extortion I do find interesting, but it is somewhat difficult to cast and oftentimes just domes someone for a bunch of damage which feels just OK. Kambal, Consul of Allocation would be totally sweet if it was a spells matters effect that let us trigger it, but I think as is it is a little more incremental than this particular list wants to be. Sorin Markov is super sweet, and definitely makes killing our foes trivial, but the deck has limited room for high drops. Thanks for the suggestions!

    Hey SurpriZe! That's an excellent question, and a well put question that really got me thinking. I think the mana base is probably the furthest off from the ideal case - I would of course include ABRU Duals if I owned them, for one thing, and likewise would include probably 5 total fetches if I had access to Marsh Flats and Arid Mesa. Most importantly, I would include Fetid Heath and Rugged Prairie filter lands that can filter black or red into white, because they would significantly improve our combo turns with that capability. I would also consider adding a Maze of Ith, as I've always felt that defensive "spells" in land slots is a powerful way to hold down the fort.

    I think that most would make the argument that this deck needs more tutors. Diabolic Intent might fit, although the creature count is low which can be challenging. The one tutor I would strongly consider is Imperial Seal, otherwise I personally like playing somewhat tutor light.

    Lion's Eye Diamond also comes to mind as an obvious inclusion now that Yawgmoth's Will is in the deck. I suppose that at it's very worst it can enable a turn 4 Licia at the cost of our hand.

    Ultimately, this deck is evolving pretty much every week. I've never had a more challenging deck building experience than trying to tune this storm list. I'm sure that in a month there will be another 10 cards coming in and out of the deck.

    October 22, 2017 10:02 p.m.

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    This deck is Commander / EDH legal.

    Cards 100
    Avg. CMC 2.41
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    Top rank #7 on 2017-09-11
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    Revision 10 See all

    4 days ago)

    -1 Nighthaze main
    +1 Polluted Delta main
    +1 Entomb main
    +1 Nighthaze main
    +1 Beseech the Queen main
    -1 Scout's Warning main
    -1 Fumigate main
    +1 Sunbeam Spellbomb main
    -1 Command Tower main
    +1 Pyretic Ritual main
    +1 Clifftop Retreat main
    -1 Boros Signet main
    -1 Burnt Offering main
    -1 Brion Stoutarm main
    -1 Ignite Memories main
    +1 Yawgmoth's Will main
    +1 Abeyance main
    +1 Bojuka Bog main
    +1 Aphotic Wisps main
    -1 Aetherflux Reservoir main
    and 106 other change(s)