Brewed Up: Temur Lotus Storm

Some weeks ago we introduced you to Lotus Storm and it has earned a special place in our hearts. However, we have recognized some frustrating deficiencies and are trying to right the ship. The original build was a good budget deck but we are looking to take it to the next level by adding another color and the myriad options that come with it. Today we would like to introduce you to Temur Lotus Storm.

Decklist
Lands (19)
4 Botanical Sanctum
2 Island
1 Lonely Sandbar
4 Lotus Field
4 Waterlogged Grove
4 Yavimaya Coast
Spells (41)
4 Dream’s Grip
2 Grapeshot
4 Ideas Unbound
4 Manamorphose
2 Past in Flames
4 Peer Through Depths
4 Psychic Puppetry
4 Reach Through Mists
4 Serum Visions
4 Sleight of Hand
3 Sylvan Scrying
2 Twiddle
Sideboard (15)
1 Echoing Truth
1 Empty the Warrens
2 Force of Negation
2 Nature’s Claim
2 Precognition Field
1 Rebuild
2 Thing in the Ice
2 Veil of Summer
2 Weather the Storm
75 Cards Total

The Build
One of the biggest issues with the old Lotus Storm builds was consistently finding Lotus Field. The deck straight up does not function without it. In addition to a full playset of Lotus Field, the deck generally ran Tolaria West as an additional way to help find Lotus Field. Tolaria West hurt for a few reasons. The first is that it is a land. It’s basically dead when going off, doesn’t add to your storm count, and it is three mana to actually find Lotus Field. This means that you are not getting Lotus Field into play until turn four or you are burning a Twiddle effect in order to play turn three Field. The awkwardness of this card is one of the driving forces behind moving to a Temur build.

Enter stage right, Sylvan Scrying. Modern players should already be fairly familiar with this card as it is one of the cornerstones of the Tron decks. Our goal is to get Lotus Field into play turn three. What better way to do that than a two mana spell that tutors it up? In addition to being naturally cast on turn three, Sylvan Scrying is a sorcery. This means that it adds to our storm count and is findable with Peer Through Depths. Although I wouldn’t keep a seven card hand with just Peer, I’m willing to keep a solid six with Peer and without Lotus Field or Scrying. A hand like this cannot play Field until turn four unless we get lucky, but Tolaria West wouldn’t be putting Field into play until turn four anyway. It’s also significantly better when going off as it adds to our storm count and basically has three mana cycling while Lonely Sandbar is still in the deck.

The other big thing that the main deck gets for adding green is access to Manamorphose. Manamorphose is basically the ideal storm card. It’s a “free” spell, it fixes your mana, and it replaces itself. Any storm deck benefits from having this card and this one is no exception.  In particular, when going off we eventually need our  Lotus Field to generate RRR for Past in Flames. Being able to transform excess red mana back into blue when going off is invaluable. Manamorphose and Sylvan Scrying are big reasons to play green and the manabase has changed to accommodate that. The deck has trimmed down nineteen lands. We’ve already touched on the four Lotus Fields and one Lonely Sandbar. Botanical Sanctum was the first choice for Blue/Green lands. It is painless and this deck is almost always functioning with two or fewer other lands in play. Next up is our canland, Waterlogged Grove. Although taking damage isn’t ideal, the ability to turn it into a card is always nice. Lastly, we have Yavimaya Coast. This deck has a ton of colored mana symbols so it is almost always going to ping us, but we have a great sideboard plan to cover that.

The core of the deck remains almost entirely the same. If you’d like a more in depth look at how that functions, I’d recommend checking out my first Lotus Storm article. Basically, this deck needs a critical mass of  Twiddle effects and Arcane spells in order to function and that has remained largely in tact. One downside of adding green is that we’ve lost some of our tutors and are down from eleven Twiddle effects to ten. These are acceptable losses though as the deck should be able to do more with it’s mana and more easily get to high storm counts. In addition to the main deck cards that green adds, it also gives the deck access to a multitude of great sideboard cards.

Our manabase is now relatively painful, but the sideboard is greatly improved. We now have one of the best sideboard cards against aggro and burn decks, Weather the Storm. Weather the Storm in a storm deck you say? Sign me up. Veil of Summer is another amazing sideboard card that green gives us access to. It helps the deck beat countermagic and discard which both can be troublesome for the deck. Finally green gives us access to Nature’s Claim which is a nice catch-all for hate pieces. This version of the deck is more easily able to get its storm count up which means that it is easier to cast large Empty the Warrens early. Thing in the Ice is better in here than it had been in other versions of the deck for similar reasons.

The rest of the sideboard are all cards coming from the previous build of the deck. I still think that there is some refining to be done with the sideboard. Green gives us acces to a multitude of awesome cards and I’m not sure that the options have been fully explored. I do know that the cards that green has given us have felt great so far and they’ve been equally worth it if not more worth it than the main deck additions.

The Verdict
Sylvan Scrying allows us to play a Turn 3 Lotus and go off earlier. Manamorphose helps us to not fizzle while going off. The sideboard is perhaps the largest beneficiary with improved anti-hate spells, anti-Burn spells, and protection against targeted interaction. I will say that the extra color adds a touch of mana pain and inconsistency but it is a worthwhile price to play. We are gaining more than we lose and I believe that this may just be the path forward for Lotus Storm decks.

Wrap-Up
I always love to see a new take on an old favorite. I must admit that the low cost was a lot of the appeal to the original build. But when you can improve the deck, improve the deck. Nature’s Claim in particular has been the premier anti-hate card for some time now. Do you think this is the way forward for the archetype? Or is the traditional Gifts Ungiven build the best way to Storm? Please share your thoughts with us in our discussion group. Or if you would like to take a swing at writing content for the site you can contact us directly here. We will be back next week with another article for you to enjoy. Until then my friends.

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