Top 25 Magic: The Gathering Sideboard Cards To Beat Storm In Modern

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Storm is the poster child for the combo archetype in the Modern format of Magic: The Gathering. The strength of the deck lies in its ability to go through its deck to search for the key cards and deal enough damage via Grapeshot or by deploying an overwhelming army of Goblin tokens via Empty the Warrens. Storm is such a consistent and efficient deck that it will rarely focus on what you're doing and simply kill you by turn 3 or 4 if left unchecked.

Tired of watching your opponent take their time and combo off to kill you? The key to winning against Storm is to disrupt their game plan and make sure their deck does not combo off.  In no particular order, here are some cards that can help you win against Storm.

  1. Leyline of Sanctity

    Pros: The primary win condition of Storm is Grapeshot. It is the most efficient and cleanest way they will deal damage to your dome. With Leyline of Sanctity in play, this immediately takes them off that game plan and will have to resort to other routes to victory.

    Cons: Usually, the Storm player brings in more copies of Empty the Warrens to work around this card and try to win via beatdown with the Goblin tokens.

  2. Runed Halo

    Pros: Naming Grapeshot can save you from Storm's main win condition. 

    Cons: Experienced players can work around this card or may use Echoing Truth on a crucial turn to finally deal the lethal blow.

  3. Meddling Mage

    Pros: Naming Grapeshot or Empty the Warrens will prevent Storm from casting their win conditions. Cons: Storm players might bring in Lightning Bolt or Echoing Truth to remove this card from the battlefield.

  4. Surgical Extraction

    Pros: Successfully exiling Grapeshot and/or Empty the Warrens can just be game over for the opponent.

    Cons: Sometimes, Storm is already going off with their combo before Surgical Extraction could be of any relevance. Some players also pack Noxious Revival to save their key card in the graveyard from being targeted.

  5. Dispel

    Pros: Storm is packing a lot of instants in their decks and Dispel has a lot of valid targets. The key is knowing which cards to counter to ensure the opponent doesn't go off. 

    Cons: Not effective in countering Grapeshot and Empty the Warrens which are sorcery spells.

  6. Negate

    Pros: Much like Dispel, knowing when to use Negate on key spells on crucial turns is what makes this an effective sideboard card.

    Cons: Not also great in countering the Storm spells: Grapeshot and Empty the Warrens.

  7. Counterflux

    Pros: The strength of this card is in its Overload ability. Even when the opponent goes off with Grapeshot or Empty the Warrens, all of the Storm copies will also get countered. The "cannot be countered" ability is just icing on the cake. Cons: Storm can usually combo off by turn 3 or 4, it may be too late to cast the Overload ability by that time.

  8. Grafdigger's Cage

    Pros: One of the key cards that help Storm go "deeper" in their deck is Past in Flames. It helps them look for either Grapeshot or Empty the Warrens and add to their Storm count. With Grafdigger's Cage, it stops the Storm from going deeper via Past in Flames.

    Cons: Sometimes, Storm can still combo off without having to cast Past in Flames.

  9. Nihil Spellbomb

    Pros: Can stop the effectivity of Past in Flames.

    Cons: The Storm player can simply rebuild their graveyard again after sacrificing Nihil Spellbomb.

  10. Relic of Progenitus

    Pros: Proactive use of this card will keep the graveyard at a minimum making Past in Flames ineffective.

    Cons: Much like Nihil Spellbomb, once the exile ability of Relic of Progenitus has been used, the opponent can rebuild their graveyard afterwards and use Past in Flames to go deeper in their deck.

  11. Rest in Peace

    Pros: The best way to slow down your opponent and stop the Past in Flames route to victory.

    Cons: The Storm player can still combo off without Past in Flames.

  12. Leyline of the Void

    Pros: This card is golden if it's in your opening hand. It immediately takes them off from the Past in Flames route. Cons: Drawing this card in the mid-to-late game is just horrible. There is a tendency the Storm player is about to combo off by the time you cast this card.

  13. Pyroclasm

    Pros: This usually comes in from the sideboard to battle the tokens generated by Empty the Warrens. Cards like Anger of the Gods and Kozilek's Return serve a similar purpose.

    Cons: Grapeshot is the primary win condition, and sometimes, Pyroclasm will just rot in your hands, not doing anything.

  14. Engineered Explosives

    Pros: This card is more effective in battling the Goblin tokens if ever your opponent tries to win via Empty the Warrens.

    Cons: There is a possibility this card will be ineffective if your opponent focuses on winning via Grapeshot.

  15. Izzet Staticaster

    Pros: This comes off from the bench to kill off all the Goblin tokens. Your opponent will have to get get rid off this card from the battlefield before they can combo off with Empty the Warrens.

    Cons: Sadly, this card is only effective for killing off the Goblin tokens. It can't kill Baral, Chief of Compliance or Goblin Electromancer.

  16. Thalia, Guardian of Thraben

    Pros: Thalia simply shines in this matchup and taxes the Storm player from comboing off. Thalia makes Baral, Chief or Compliance and Goblin Electromancer ineffective.

    Cons: Thalia is not as effective when drawn in the mid-to-late stage of the game. Players can also work around her ability and still combo off.

  17. Ethersworn Canonist

    Pros: Storm decks need to play multiple spells in order for the Storm abilities of Grapeshot and Empty the Warrens to be effective. Ethersorn Canonist is simply backbreaking once it resolves.

    Cons: Not much of a drawback unless the Storm player finds a way to get rid off this card from the battlefield.

  18. Eidolon of Rhetoric

    Pros: Same effectivity as Ethersworn Canonist. The crucial difference is the casting cost and difference in power/toughness.

    Cons: Not much of a drawback unless the Storm player finds a way to get rid off this card from the battlefield.

  19. Rule of Law

    Pros: Another backbreaking card for Storm players in the form of an enchantment. 

    Cons: An Echoing Truth from the opponent can open their route to victory.

  20. Thoughtseize

    Pros: This card comes in from the sideboard to help pick apart the opponent's hand. Snagging that crucial card can hinder the Storm from comboing off.

    Cons: Not much of drawback except when you cast Thoughtseize and the cards are all pretty redundant in your opponent's hand.

  21. Collective Brutality

    Pros: Casting this card for all of its Escalate modes can just be game-changing. You can kill off that pesky Goblin Electromancer, discard a crucial card and drain life for 2!

    Cons: When you pay for the Escalate ability but get countered by the opponent. Frown town.

  22. Duress

    Pros: A huge chunk of the Storm player's deck are live targets for this discard card.

    Cons: Baral, Chief of Compliance and Goblin Electromancer are key elements for helping Storm players win. Sadly, this card can't discard those cards from the hand. 

  23. Liliana of the Veil

    Pros: Forcing your opponent to discard every turn makes this a backbreaking card. It may not be an immediate win once it hits the battlefield. If left unanswered, Liliana will just take over the game.

    Cons: Drawing this card in the mid-to-late game may not be as effective and the Storm player can still combo off.

  24. Chalice of the Void

    Pros: Putting 2 charge counters on this card will simply shut off majority of Storm's cards, including Grapeshot.

    Cons: The challenge of resolving this card for 2 counters is the trick. It either may be too late and the opponent is about to combo off.

  25. Thorn of Amethyst

    Pros: It's basically Thalia, Guardian of Thraben without power and toughness. It can be a lot tricker to remove from the battlefield.

    Cons: This card is not as effective when drawn in the mid-to-late stage of the game. Players can also work around the ability and still combo off.