I might as well do this now. As though The Storm Count wasn't enough. Oh, who am I kidding? If there is such a thing as too much power, I have not discovered it. But I'm getting ahead of myself. The proper lead to this, the starting point for what led me here, is an older article. Because yeah, now I have Tendrils of Agony in my signature and I remain a fervent advocate of the card. But several years ago, I wrote an article about things that I thought WotC had really gotten right over the years, things that weren't necessarily universally appreciated but that I had come to appreciate. And here's how I put it when it came to the Storm mechanic... So yeah, my stance did a complete 180° on this. No point in pretending that it didn't. Tendrils of Agony is one of my favorite cards. But when it was new, I was livid that I couldn't counter it. The lazy version of my excuse is that I was 17 years old at the time, and therefore I was young and stupid. But really, there was more to it and I can recall most of this stuff surprisingly well... I didn't have a lot of money, but I was spending what I could on Magic cards during Urza's Block and Masques Block. But I couldn't keep that up and Prophecy was a very disappointing set, clearly weaker than the stuff I'd been using from Rath Block, Urza's Block, and even the first two sets in the new block. I slowed down on purchasing new cards during Invasion Block and only picked up a few booster packs of Odyssey. So as new sets came out and others were playing the new cards, I became, by default, someone playing with "the old cards." And as it happened, some of those cards were very good. So when I was playing Magic in high school, like I said in the Masticore thread, I won a lot. It probably helped that I had been playing my Necro-Donate deck a lot and had become very proficient with it. It probably helped that my Academy deck was, like almost any Academy deck, broken. And it probably helped that, in general, I was using some good cards. But I also found ways for my casual control decks to sabotage the fads of the month. So when opponents would discard their hands to Wild Mongrel or sacrifice their board to Nantuko Husk, my Word of Undoing was ready. And when they dropped a Goblin Piledriver, Masticore could kill it easily. I had, unfairly, a certain disdain for "the new cards." And then Legions came out. A set with nothing but creatures. As a control/combo enthusiast who already disliked newer sets, I was already predisposed to dislike this one. What made me hate it, though, was that it featured a lot of Morph creatures with abilities that they could hide until they were flipped face-up. A nightmare for an old-school control player. In my mind, it was just wrong. Some guy attacks me with his face-down 2/2 whatever and I let it through, then with combat damage on the stack, he flips it face up and I lose half my life to Ebonblade Reaper, a card I'd never seen before. I'd cast a spell at my opponent, but then he'd respond by flipping a creature up, and now my spell was pointed at me instead. I couldn't stop it with Force of Will! I couldn't stand it. These uppity new cards and their weird tricks I couldn't deal with. It wasn't how I thought the game was supposed to work. It was new and different, but it was also causing trouble for me, when I'd been winning so much before. In hindsight, I definitely overreacted. But there you have it. I was set in my ways and biased against new cards. When Dragonstorm was spoiled, I sneered at it as overcosted nonsense. When Mind's Desire was preemptively restricted, I was surprised and slightly confused. I asked a more knowledgeable player (my friend Eric, whom I might have mentioned before at some point) about it, and he talked about how it'd be too easy to use Moxen and such to generate mana and cast enough spells that Mind's Desire would hit another Mind's Desire, which would let the deck go crazy. That led me to ask what the deck would use to win. Tendrils of Agony was the answer. And when he showed it to me, that was the first time I'd actually seen the card. Initially, I wasn't impressed. It struck me as a bad Drain Life. You had to jump through all these hoops to make it do anything. But I could see that by that point, it might be possible to cast multiple Tendrils of Agony or to recur them with Yawgmoth's Will, so my next inquiry was why the opponent wouldn't just counter the first Mind's Desire. The Storm player would be investing a lot into it and countering it would stop the whole process, break the engine of the deck. And that was when I learned that Storm, as a triggered ability, still made the copies even if the original spell was countered. It was the Morph thing with Willbender all over again, but much worse. So these upstarts could cast a bunch of meaningless spells and then cast Tendrils of Agony and I couldn't even stop it with Force of Will? I'd have to waste my Force of Will on what? A card-drawing spell? And if they got another one? And so Scourge hit the shelves and Storm became one of the new fads. I already despised it and couldn't think of how to deal with it. Countermagic was no longer good enough. Well, it was technically possible to stop the Storm cards with Stifle or Hindering Touch. But those were also in Scourge and I wasn't using the new cards! Determined not to give up, arrived at two possible approaches and set out to use both... Outrace the Storm decks. Find disruption that did work against them and learn which targets to pick. The first approach just involved me making my decks more cut-throat. But the second approach meant that to beat Storm, I had to understand Storm. I had to learn how it was played. I didn't want to play such decks myself. After all, I hated them! But my hatred motivated me to learn how they operated, so that I could find their weaknesses and exploit them. As you might have already guessed, that took me down a path I wasn't expecting.