Last updated on August 29, 2023

Elsha of the Infinite - Illustration by G-host Lee

Elsha of the Infinite | Illustration by G-host Lee

Storm is one of the most controversial mechanics in MTG. It’s the namesake of the Storm Scale, which tracks how likely a mechanic is to return to Standard due to how broken (positively or negatively) it’s considered to be.

This deck is bit out of my comfort zone because it aims for a higher power level than I usually play. It relies on some cards known for being absurdly strong and sometimes even unfun, like Omniscience. I purposefully left out a few cards or interactions that could make it even more powerful, but it’s still intended to be a considerably powerful deck.

I had (and honestly still have) the idea to build a chaos deck that mixed storm and cascade, just to make the most confusing and bizarre board state possible happen. This isn’t that deck, which for now is a work in progress. I chose to use Elsha of the Infinite for this more focused storm deck.

Let’s look at the deck!

The Deck

Steam Vents - Illustration by Jonas De Ro

Steam Vents | Illustration by Jonas De Ro

The Commander

Elsha of the Infinite

There are a few reasons I went with Elsha of the Infinite as a commander for this deck. First is flavor, which is that this deck depends heavily around Omniscience. Having a commander that’s a monk searching for enlightenment just feels right.

On a more technical level, this deck also has a strong focus on Thousand-Year Storm, so there’s a ton of instants and sorceries. This deck only runs five creatures aside from the commander, which means Elsha is your number one attacker and blocker. It has prowess, which makes it a more reliable fighter since you can manipulate its stats.

Elsha of the Infinite gives you access to the top of your library as long as that card is a noncreature spell. you can benefit from running a low number of creatures so that you have almost constant access to that extra card, which also gets flash.

The Wincons

This is a deck that doesn’t win through its commander. You have a handful of cards to build possible wins through your deck.

Combine Omniscience with Enter the Infinite to allow you to draw your entire deck and play it for free, building a massive storm count for Grapeshot and Brain Freeze. This combo also enables Jace, Wielder of Mysteries as a wincon by emptying your library.

Another wincon for this deck is Approach of the Second Sun. There’s two ways to enable this card. One option is to play it after Enter the Infinite to ensure a next turn win (or same turn if you simply draw and play it again). The other is through Narset's Reversal, using it to return Approach of the Second Sun to your hand and cast it again on the same turn for an instant win.

Thousand-Year Storm

A card that isn’t a wincon itself but essentially turns your other spells into wincons is Thousand-Year Storm. It gives all your instants and sorceries a pseudo-storm, which can turn a simple Lightning Bolt into like 25 Lightning Bolts if you played your cheap spells right.

The deck also plays two extra turn spells to ensure a certain win. Particularly Nexus of Fate, if combined with Enter the Infinite, essentially means infinite turns.

Sensei's Divining Top

There’s also a way to get almost infinite storm count and card draw with Sensei's Divining Top, but I’ll cover that one later.

Another wincon is Storm Herd combined with Thousand-Year Storm to create a massive number of Pegasi that can overpower your opponents on your next turn.

The Creatures

Three of the creatures in this deck are tutors.

Imperial Recruiter

Imperial Recruiter is here to find any of the other tutors in the deck.

Trinket Mage

Trinket Mage’s main purpose is to find Sensei's Divining Top either to start the combo or simply to ensure Elsha of the Infinite can always play the card on top of your library.

Academy Rector

The final tutor is Academy Rector to allow you to cheat Omniscience onto the field for free.

The other two are Kykar, Wind's Fury and Storm-Kiln Artist, both of which aim to recover the mana spent on spells so you can keep casting and building your storm count. Kykar, Wind's Fury also creates some chump blockers to avoid taking damage.

Enablers and Tools

Essentially all the instants and sorceries in this deck serve this purpose. They all have specific uses but are also focused on being cheap so you can chain them together to enable the storm count.

Jace, Wielder of Mysteries

The deck also has two other planeswalkers aside from Jace, Wielder of Mysteries that synergize well with its aim.

Narset of the Ancient Way and Ral, Storm Conduit both have abilities that enable you to play non-creature spells while also benefiting when you do so. The former’s third ability and the latter’s passive both make storming off almost certainly lethal.

Hall of Heliod's Generosity

Hall of Heliod's Generosity is in the deck to ensure you can recover any of your particularly important enchantments in case they’re destroyed.

Jeskai Ascendancy and Whirlwind of Thought both give you some consistent advantages in the context of this deck.

The Mana Base

Hall of Heliod's Generosity

Except for Hall of Heliod's Generosity, all the lands in this deck are simple, straightforward lands to enable your gameplay with no added utilities.

There are also all the expectable ramp artifacts to try to fix your mana base as needed.

The Strategy

This deck’s main strategy is to have various things that synergize with how you play tons of instants and sorceries. The commander and plenty of the cards within the deck benefit from it. Omniscience, Thousand-Year Storm, and Enter the Infinite are arguably the most important cards in the deck because they allow you to properly exploit the deck’s archetype.

This deck’s main goal is to build a huge storm count to play the storm cards (Brain Freeze, Grapeshot) or the other instants and sorceries with Thousand-Year Storm on the field, essentially turning them into storm cards. This enables you to overpower and overwhelm your opponents with massive plays and tons of effects on the stack.

Combos and Interactions

This deck has a handful of combos that you can play into.

The one that drives the deck is Omniscience in play and Enter the Infinite. This allows you to draw and play your entire deck for free, which you can use to build an absurdly huge storm count. Nothing like ending an EDH game by casting 25 (or more) copies of Lightning Bolt at your opponents. Jace, Wielder of Mysteries also greatly benefits from this combo since your deck is emptied out to allow you to win through its passive ability.

Another possible combo for this deck uses Elsha of the Infinite, Sensei's Divining Top, and Kykar, Wind's Fury. This combo gives you infinite card draw, quasi-infinite prowess, quasi-infinite storm count, quasi-infinite ETB and LTB triggers, quasi-infinite death and sacrifice triggers.

To activate this combo you need to have the three cards on the battlefield and a single mana available. It works pretty easily: use Sensei's Divining Top’s second ability. Once it’s on the top of your library, you can cast it thanks to Elsha of the Infinite. This cast triggers Kykar, Wind's Fury and creates a token. Activate Sensei's Divining Top again, sacrifice the token to generate one red mana, and you’re good to go.

You could technically add Ashnod's Altar to this deck so each token you sacrifice gives you two colorless mana, thus also getting quasi-infinite colorless mana from this combo.

Rule 0 Violations Check

Let’s address the elephant in the room: this deck’s strategy might not sit well with every playgroup. It relies heavily on combos and plays that reduce interaction as much as possible to steal wins with some tricky plays.

None of this is illegal in EDH, but it’s such a heavily casual format that some players frown upon these combos a bit. Remember to always check in with your friends and playgroups before just dropping a turn four Omniscience and playing your entire deck.

Budget Options

This decklist has a few expensive cards. There are none that step over the $100 mark, and Academy Rector is technically the only one that costs over $50. That said, we need to consider that some of these expensive cards are absolutely necessary for the deck and how it works.

Omniscience is essential to the deck working so I couldn’t honestly give an alternative without just saying “build the entire thing differently.”

Sensei's Divining Top is also a pretty costly card, but if you’re okay with forgoing the combo that involves it, it could be replaced with something like Tapestry of the Ages or Jodah's Codex for some repeatable card draw.

Academy Rector can be replaced by Lost Auramancers, which may be a bit slower but at least it doesn’t cost $80.

Most other cards, like Cyclonic Rift, Swan Song, Force of Negation, and other instants and sorceries, can be replaced with cards with relatively similar effects. I’d honestly argue that them having a lower mana value is more important than what they actually do to allow you to build up a storm count.

Land Tax and Smothering Tithe aren’t too easy to replace because they give consistent and powerful ramp, but you can always use more mana rocks or artifacts that allow you to fetch lands.

Other Builds

Elsha of the Infinite builds, for obvious reasons, tend to aim at casting non-creature spells. You can add a few more creatures to the deck and focus it more on a prowess-centered strategy, aiming at a more traditional victory through combat damage.

You can also make it a spellslinger deck with a monk tribal subtheme (or vice versa), effectively making a deck that’s strongly lore-based on Tarkir’s Jeskai way, to which Elsha belonged.

Commanding Conclusion

Wrath of God - Illustration by Kev Walker

Wrath of God | Illustration by Kev Walker

Storm has been a controversial mechanic for a while. This idea mostly comes from its time in Standard and the way it altered the format. It remains particularly strong in 1v1 formats, but it’s honestly a lot more manageable in multiplayer contexts. It can still be strong and even broken, but it takes a bit more effort.

But that’s enough about me. Will you be building this deck? What changes would you make to it? What fun or powerful interactions do you think I may have missed? Feel free to leave a comment letting me know! And while you’re here, don’t forget to join the Draftsim Discord where you’ll find an amazing community of MTG fans.

That’s all from me for now. Have a good one, and I’ll see you next time!

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