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Storm
Keyword Ability
Type Triggered
Introduced Scourge
Last used Bloomburrow
Reminder Text Storm (When you cast this spell, copy it for each spell cast before it this turn. You may choose new targets for the copies.)
Storm Scale 10 by definition (see Storm Scale)[1]
Statistics
30 cards
{W} 6.7% {U} 26.7% {B} 6.7% {R} 40% {G} 16.7% {B/R} 3.3%
Scryfall Search
keyword:"Storm"

Storm is a keyword ability that creates a copy of the spell when it's cast, for each spell cast before it in the current turn. It can become extremely powerful in decks that can arrange for many cheap spells to be cast in a turn. Storm is well known as the namesake of the Storm Scale, which measures the unlikelihood of a mechanic returning to the Standard format, because it is considered one of the most broken mechanics ever.

History[ | ]

Storm was introduced as a major keyword in Scourge, then returned on several cards in Time Spiral block.

In 2012, five years after last being used in a Standard-legal set, head designer Mark Rosewater received a question asking him to rate the chance of another mechanic returning "on a scale of storm-10". This led him to create the Storm Scale, as he considered Storm so broken that it was judged the least likely mechanic to ever return to Standard format. He elaborated:

"Note that the Storm scale isn’t if they will actually return, it’s a scale of what I as Head Designer am willing and not willing to bring back. Storm is a mechanic I don’t want to bring back more than other mechanics that also shouldn’t come back."[2]

and

"Storm is probably the most broken mechanic we’ve ever created and it’s caused problems every time we’ve brought it back. I’ve compared the mechanic to a dysfunctional relationship where R&D keeps thinking that this time things will be different. I never say never but there would have to be a pretty strong reason to bring storm back."[3]

The Storm Scale has been heavily used since then to rate the likelihood of return of many mechanics and themes. In a later breakdown of the scale, Rosewater wrote that mechanics rated the maximum of 10, including Storm itself, would require a "major miracle" to be reprinted in Standard.[4]

At the same time, Storm itself was well-remembered by enfranchised players, and has continued to appear in small quantities in supplemental sets for that audience, starting with one card in each of Commander, Unstable and Modern Horizons.[5]

Among subsequent Standard-legal sets, Thousand-Year Storm from Guilds of Ravnica references Storm by providing a version of the original ability restricted to instants and sorceries, and only the ones cast by a spell's controller, a pattern continued in Strixhaven: School of Mages with Show of Confidence. Strixhaven's Mystical Archive included four Storm cards as well, allowing them to be used in Limited-format Strixhaven games without disrupting the power level of Standard format.

Storm's design space continued to be explored in supplemental sets. In Mystery Booster it appeared on the test card Krosan Adaptation, the first time it was used on a permanent, in this case an Aura enchantment. Aeve, Progenitor Ooze from Modern Horizons 2 is the first black-bordered permanent with storm and the first creature.[6] As with other copies of permanent spells, the copies created by Storm become tokens when they resolve.

It was also used as a one-off in Doctor Who, the Lord of the Rings Holiday Release Commander, Fallout, Thunder Junction Commander and Modern Horizons 3. Despite it being the namesake of the Storm Scale, Storm reappeared in Standard set with Bloomburrow's Ral, Crackling Wit. This was considered to be a cameo appearance.[7] This does not effect its rating on the Storm Scale.

Rules[ | ]

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (June 7, 2024—Modern Horizons 3)

Storm
A keyword ability that creates copies of a spell. See rule 702.40, “Storm.”

From the Comprehensive Rules (June 7, 2024—Modern Horizons 3)

  • 702.40. Storm
    • 702.40a Storm is a triggered ability that functions on the stack. “Storm” means “When you cast this spell, copy it for each other spell that was cast before it this turn. If the spell has any targets, you may choose new targets for any of the copies.”
    • 702.40b If a spell has multiple instances of storm, each triggers separately.

Rulings[ | ]

  • The storm copies are put directly onto the stack—they aren't cast. That means the copies don't generate storm copies themselves, and they aren't counted by other storm spells cast later during the turn.
  • For the same reason, an effect like Twincast or Beamsplitter Mage, which can copy a spell with storm, will only create one new spell. The copy's storm ability will not trigger because the spell was not cast.
  • Each storm spell with a target allows you to change the target for each copy of that spell. You make that choice for each copy individually.
  • When counting spells cast in a turn, you count spells that were cast face down, spells cast from zones other than a hand, and spells that were countered.[6]
  • A copy of a spell can be countered, just like any other spell, but each copy has to be countered individually. Countering a storm spell won't counter the copies of it.
  • Exiling a card using suspend doesn't count as casting a spell; you only cast a suspended card when you remove the last time counter from it and that ability resolves.

Example[ | ]

Example

Grapeshot {1}{R}
Sorcery
Grapeshot deals 1 damage to any target.
Storm (When you cast this spell, copy it for each spell cast before it this turn. You may choose new targets for the copies.)

Notable cards with storm[ | ]

As befitting the brokenness of this mechanic, most of these are the win conditions of still-operational combo decks.

Storm scale[ | ]

Main article: Storm Scale

Mark Rosewater has declared that he doesn't ever see storm coming back in a Standard-legal set. The significant problems with storm is that the space in which storm can be printed safety is narrow, and often not worth the keywording. Most limited formats do not have the infrastructure to cast more than two spells a turn, but the gap between an effect and that effect being doubled or tripled is often quite large. If the card is proactive, it will be a kill condition when copied eight to ten times.

On Blogatog, he uses the Storm Scale—a scale of 1 through 10 where Storm is rated 10 —when he answers questions about the likelihood of the return of a mechanic in a Standard-legal set.[8][9][10] Mechanics rated at 1 will be definitely seen again, while mechanics rated at 10 is pretty close to never to be seen again.

The Storm Scale does not affect the reprinting of cards in supplemental sets such as Modern Masters and the Magic Online-only set Vintage Masters. It also didn't prevent the creation of Crow Storm in the silver-bordered set Unstable[11] or of Krosan Adaptation as a Mystery Booster test card.

References[ | ]

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