Faithless Looting #9: The Fast and the Furious

Welcome back to Faithless Looting, my weekly look at budget lists and budget formats.

I made it a goal for myself to try and play in one Pauper Daily Event per week. I’ve missed one here or there (last week because I played Khans instead), but for the most part I’ve been able to get an event in every week, and I’ve been doing horribly! Want to know why? It’s not the decks I’m playing; even though I’m avoiding MBC and Delver, every deck I’ve played has the potential to win a DE. It’s consistency that is the problem. My consistency. To this point I have refused to become an “expert” on any given deck, especially in Pauper where I find brewing and experimenting so rewarding (and financially possible), and hate to think of being tied down to a single list. Really I just need to find a deck I like and practice, practice, practice.

I’ll probably play Khans this coming weekend instead of Pauper, so I’ve got two weeks to pick a list and practice. If you have suggestions on what list I should play, please feel free to send them my way.

I’m a pretty good Magic player, but I make a lot of mistakes because of unfamiliarity with lists and with match-ups. This last week I lost to MBC when I (maybe) could have won by playing around [c]Tendrils of Corruption[/c]. The worst part? I had just been talking about playing around Tendrils, but decided to push the extra one point of damage instead! If I have a point, it’s this: if you want to play Magic competitively, even in Pauper, you need to pick a good list, and then you need to practice, practice, practice. Despite losing, I did have a fun time playing Goblins, and I still think it could be a good deck to “go under” some of the big lists in the format right now, with a more consistent pilot.

Feel free to check out the videos:

 

Now let’s get on to awarding some prizes.

Faithless Contest #8: Winner!

The contest last week was to build around a wedge (or shard) in honor of Khans. I got four good entries. Archivold sent me Bant Midrange which felt somewhat underpowered in play; I really like the cycle of dudes including [c]Bant Sureblade[/c] and [c]Esper Stormblade[/c] but I’ve tried to use them before and, in the end, I don’t think they’re playable. I’d be happy for someone to prove me wrong, though. Sam sent me NecraKitty, which was, essentially, a Kitty deck crossbred with a Tortured Existence deck. It could very well be a thing, but I have to admit I don’t love playing TE decks.

So, the two decks that I really enjoyed this week were Brennon’s Cogs deck and Aught3’s Dervish list. Both lists lost in my play testing, but to some extent that was my poor play (see my notes above about practice!) and, in any case, they were fun matches and the lists felt powerful. Dervish felt so strong I got cocky, which contributed to my doom. In the end, between the two of them, I love Cogs just a little bit more. It’s an archetype I’ve played with in the past, and as one of Brennon’s ongoing pet projects, it was a really well-tuned list.

The winner this week, for his Jeskai Cogs list, is Brennon!

Congratulations, sir. You will receive two items, randomly selected, from my current Loot Crate stash.

Aught3 gets a clear runner-up spot here and is, overall, submitting awesome lists every week. I invite everyone to check them out and beat them, namely because I don’t want to keep shipping stuff to New Zealand. ;)

Here is Brennon’s winning Jeskai Cogs list:

[d title=”Jeskai Cogs (Pauper)”]
Creatures
3 Ninja of the Deep Hours
3 Aven Riftwatcher
4 Leonin Squire
3 Steamcore Weird
2 Sanctum Gargoyle
3 Mulldrifter
4 Trinket Mage

Spells
1 Bonesplitter
1 Sunbeam Spellbomb
1 Sylvok Lifestaff
1 Viridian Longbow
4 Skred
4 Momentary Blink
1 Aether Spellbomb
2 Pyrite Spellbomb

Land
9 Snow-Covered Island
1 Ancient Den
6 Snow-Covered Plains
6 Snow-Covered Mountain
1 Great Furnace

Sideboard
2 Sylvok Lifestaff
3 Porcelain Legionnaire
2 Nihil Spellbomb
4 Gitaxian Probe
1 Aven Riftwatcher
3 Apostle’s Blessing [/d]

And the video where I played against a previous FL winner, 0C-BuC!

 

Thanks again to everyone who submitted decks! Here are the rules for next week, contest #9. FYI coming up with contest rules is the hardest part about these articles, so if you have suggestions, pass them along.

Faithless Contest #9: Rules

1. Send me your fastest “kill” lists; any format so long as they are budget.

2. Submit it in the comments below. Don’t forget to tell me which format the list is for.

3. Submissions due before Monday, October 6.

Clarifications

  • Decks should be “budget”, but otherwise may be for any format.
  • Pauper can win on turn one, I expect the same is true in any other format. Decks will be judged on innovation, fun, power, and consistency. There are a lot of routes to go between abusive aggro and finicky combo, so I hope to see some fun and interesting lists. Most lists should probably be “able” to win before turn four.
  • I will highlight the most interesting decks in next week’s article, and may play some on video for the YouTube channel. One lucky winner will get two items, randomly selected, from my current LootCrate stash. Check out the videos at the bottom of this post to see what’s available.
  • Your chances of winning greatly increase if you submit a deck.

Faithless Decks #9: Brews Cruise

Last week I highlighted some of the great lists that Peyton has been sharing on this site for Legacy. This week I’d like to highlight another of our great authors, Troy Drinkard.

Drinkard has been examining deck archetypes across formats and, lately, looking at how Khans might impact the game. Here are some of my favorite lists that he’s shared in his articles.

Last week Drinkard gave us two Pauper lists utilizing recent card additions, [c]Tyrant’s Choice[/c] for Rakdos Burn, and some of the new Morph creatures from Khans for a “Morph and Shift” style fatty list. I like them both.

[d title=”Rakdos Burn, by Drinkard (Pauper)”]
Land
4 Bloodfell Caves
12 Mountain
4 Rakdos Guildgate

Creatures
3 Goblin Fireslinger
4 Spark Elemental

Other Spells
4 Bump in the Night
4 Chain Lightning
4 Curse of the Pierced Heart
3 Fireblast
4 Lava Spike
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Rift Bolt
2 Shard Volley
4 Tyrant’s Choice [/d]

[d title=”Pac Man Red Ghost by Drinkard (Pauper)”]
Land
14 Forest
6 Plains

Creatures
4 Avacyn Pilgrim
4 Aven Riftwatcher
4 Abzan Guide
4 Elvish Mystic
4 Llanowar Elves
1 Snowhorn Rider
3 Titanic Bulvox
4 Woolly Loxodon

Other Spells
4 Cloudshift
4 Otherworldly Journey
4 Turn to Mist [/d]

As for Rakdos Burn, how about a list in Modern that uses [c]Bloodchief Ascension[/c]? It seems like a surprisingly good Burn card.

[d title=”Rakdos Burn by Drinkard (Modern)”]
Land
4 Blackcleave Cliffs
4 Blood Crypt
2 Dragonskull Summit
8 Mountain
2 Sulfurous Springs

Creatures
4 Eidolon of the Great Revel
4 Goblin Guide
4 Hellspark Elemental

Other Spells
4 Bump in the Night
4 Lava Spike
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Rift Bolt
4 Searing Blaze
1 Searing Blood
3 Shard Volley
4 Skullcrack

Sideboard
4 Bloodchief Ascension
1 Dark Tutelage
3 Molten Rain
3 Rakdos Charm
2 Searing Blood
2 Shattering Spree [/d]

Moving into Legacy, we have an interesting Bargain Tendrils list that weighs in under 100tix.

[d title=”Bargain Tendrils by Drinkard (Legacy)”]
Lands
1 Phyrexian Tower
11 Swamp

Creatures
2 Ornithopter
4 Phyrexian Walker
4 Shield Sphere

Other Spells
4 Cabal Ritual
4 Cabal Therapy
4 Cruel Bargain
4 Culling the Weak
4 Dark Ritual
3 Diabolic Intent
2 Gitaxian Probe
3 Ill-Gotten Gains
3 Infernal Contract
4 Lotus Petal
3 Tendrils of Agony [/d]

In the same article he gives us a Vintage version of the list as well, so go check it out.

Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point you over to my new Pauper DE Breakdown series and share the only Rogue list that placed in the September 20-21 Pauper Daily Events.

[d title=”Trinket Affinity by herosaine2006 (Pauper)”]
Land
1 Dimir Guildgate
4 Evolving Wilds
4 Great Furnace
2 Island
1 Izzet Guildgate
1 Mountain
4 Seat of the Synod
1 Swamp
4 Vault of Whispers

Creatures
4 Faerie Mechanist
4 Frogmite
4 Mulldrifter
4 Myr Enforcer
3 Trinket Mage

Spells
4 Galvanic Blast
4 Thoughtcast

Artifacts
2 Bonesplitter
2 Executioner’s Capsule
4 Flayer Husk
2 Prophetic Prism
1 Sylvok Lifestaff

Sideboard
2 Executioner’s Capsule
1 Sylvok Lifestaff
4 Chainer’s Edict
1 Pyroblast
3 Smelt
4 Vault Skirge [/d]

That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading and here are the Loot Crate videos where you can find out what sort of awesome loot is up for grabs.

Until next time, keep the faith!

/bava

Loot Crates:

 

The Standard Pauper Show, Episode 16

Brennon and Sam go over the SPDC Resutls, Brennon talks about his Khans of Tarkir PreRelease, and they talk to Dan about the Pauper Gauntlet!

Fan of History, Episode 3: Events of the 980s BC

The Fan of History and Kevin talks about the events in the world of the 980s BC.

Siamun becomes the Pharaoh of Egypt and looks outside Egypt (before the sack of Gezer). Mir-biti-apla-usur of Elam manages to become the 7th Dynasty of Babylon. King Zhao of Zhou China does battle with the Dog People and the Assyrian doomsday clock still has 69 years to go before the Middle East will know the wrath of Assur once again.

Here is the media file: http://magicgatheringstrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/980sPodcast_Final.mp3

Legacy on Mondays, No. 13: Will Khans have ANY Impact?

Welcome Back!

Khans of Tarkir was released last Friday, and everyone is talking about it. Brewers are salivating with all kinds of tasty prospects for the new standard, drafters at the prerelease have said good things about it, and I for one am very excited about the reprint of fetchlands, as covered in a previous article. So, here is another speculation for you! Instead of talking about economic prospects, or the burgeoning of a new standard, I’d like to look at the potential for Khans in the Eternal Formats. And by potential, I mean lack thereof.

The only reason I would ever see myself purchasing Khans of Tarkir would be to acquire fetchlands, and purchasing boosters or booster boxes looking just for fetches is a losing game. When they come down to $10-12 a piece, it will be more efficient to buy them as singles than to search through droves of packs to find a few rares. No creatures seem appealing, and the new mechanics are not powerful enough to see Legacy play. This is, of course, only a summary of my opinion, so let’s take a closer look at what the set will likely not bring to the Eternal party.

Any yes, [c]Tarmogoyf[/c] is not impressed by the inefficient and orcish [c]Zurgo Helmsmasher[/c].

Tarmogoyf is Not Impressed

Creatures

There are literally no Legacy-viable creatures in Khans of Tarkir. While the general trend of Magic is true, that older spells are more powerful and have gotten weaker recently, and older creatures sucked but have become more efficient with newer sets, creatures from Khans do not fit the bill for Legacy material. Let’s compare.

delver insectile

Ah, here’s our good friend [c]Delver of Secrets[/c]! He is a perfect example of a Legacy creature. A 1-mana 1/1 that is potentially a 3/2 flyer that is attacking on the second turn. There is nothing truly special about this guy; he isn’t overloaded with crazy abilities or anything. It’s all about efficiency. A one mana investment into Delver can potentially deal 9 damage in the first four turns of the game. All that is needed is a spell on the top of the library, and away we go with evasive damage. There is clearly a reason that several Legacy decks are called “(Insert color scheme here) Delver.”

mantis rider

Here is [c]Mantis Rider[/c], another three-power flier that was just printed in Khans. He is also fairly efficient; a 3/3 with flying, haste, AND vigilance for a mere three mana seems pretty good. However, even hasty he can only deal 6 damage in the first four turns of the game. He also is the turn three play, whereas Delver lets you play stuff on turns two, three, and four while beating down. The cost {U}{R}{W} is also a pain. While fixing is not a problem with fetches and duals in Legacy, the fact that fixing is necessary for a [c]Mantis Rider[/c] makes it less efficient. No unnecessary fetches need to be popped to get extra colors for a [c]Delver of Secrets[/c].

Nimble mongoose

The same argument can be made for these two. [c]Nimble Mongoose[/c] is easy to turn on in the right decks, and costs a mere one mana, while [c]Sagu Mauler[/c] requires either a two-time mana investment for a turn-5 6/6 trample hexproof or a one-time investment to attack on turn 7. Mongoose is clearly superior and capable of doing much more damage in short order.

Spells

When people think “Legacy,” they usually also think “[c]Force of Will[/c].” This is for a good reason, as the card is very powerful and universally known. I see no meaningful counterspells coming out of Khans of Tarkir. FoW is on a whole ‘nother level compared to [c]Stubborn Denial[/c], which in comparison is terrible. But not all spells are counterspells, so let’s look at something else.

It’s very easy to compare these two. [c]Utter End[/c] is great removal for anything outside of a land for a decent cost of four mana. [c]Vindicate[/c] can remove anything, just not exiled, for one less mana. Instant vs Sorcery speed does make a difference, but in Legacy the reason to prefer [c]Vindicate[/c] will be the fact that it nukes lands and costs less mana. Cards like [c]Maze of Ith[/c] wreck some decks, and being able to deal with it without a [c]Wasteland[/c] is huge. Also, many decks run with extremely low curves that sometimes will not have more than three or four lands on the field for the duration of the game.

Some of you may be thinking: “Woah! That card’s totally sweet, and will own in Dredge and stuff!” It won’t Well, Dredge will never play it because it will always cost at least {B}{B}{B}{B}, and no one is going to craft a Legacy deck around this one “game winning” spell. [c]Fireblast[/c] is practically more “game winning” than this card. Besides, quite a few Legacy decks have this lovely answer to [c]Empty the Pits[/c] (which conveniently also answers [c]Empty the Warrens[/c]):

Yeah. No tokens ever survive this nuke. [c]Ratchet Bomb[/c] and [c]Powder Keg[/c] would both also wreck a board full of not-hasty 2/2’s.

Lands

There’s not much to say here. The fetchland + dual recipe is so beautiful that is has not been tampered with in years. RUG Delver is not going to start playing [c]Frontier Bivouac[/c]; it is slow and superfluous in comparison, and doesn’t come with the lovely shuffle-effect bonus. The new life gain Guildgates aren’t going to do much outside of Draft and Pauper. The fetch reprint is the only important thing landwise for the set, and the only thing that will impact any Eternal format.

Of course, all of this speculation is only my opinion. Are you an Eternal player planning on modding you decks to fit Khans cards? If so, please leave a comment! I would love to know what you guys think will happen to Legacy when Khans hits modo. Thanks for reading, and hope to see you all next week!

/Peyton

Pauper Daily Event Breakdown #1: September 20-21

First things first.

This is an experiment. If you want to see this on a weekly basis, you need to let me know in the comments. If I don’t hear anything, I’ll assume it is not useful to you and therefore won’t waste my time doing more.

Second things second. Part of the reason I am doing this is because we don’t currently have anything slotted for the site on Friday, and I’d like to fill in that gap with something (anything!) but hopefully something good. That said, if you like Magic, and you like writing, you should get in touch. Yeah, it’s a tough job, but at least the pay is awful.

Third things third. Here is the video. I’ll add some additional analysis after.

 

You may have noted in the video I said that for more in-depth analysis you should check out AU’s stuff. That kills me a little bit because, historically, he hasn’t been very nice to me or my Magic friends. He does have plenty of Pauper experience, though, so feel free to check out his stuff on Facebook and PureMTGO. No, I’m not so nice as to provide links.

It turns out, though, that I like to do analysis and statistical breakdowns as well. And really, I would rather do my own. So here you go. These are the decks we saw go 3-1 and 4-0 last weekend.

pauper daily event analysis 9-20-21-2014

And here are links for September 20 and September 21, respectively. They are a pain to track down very long after the fact, so having links is handy.

Delver & MBC

So what do we see here? Well, no surprise, but MBC and Delver are huge. If you want to play in a DE, have a plan to beat those decks. And if you’re playing one of those decks, have a plan to beat the mirror. We saw more Delver lists including resilient or big flyers like [c]Stormbound Geist[/c] and [c]Stitched Drake[/c]. Geist, in particular, is good against both MBC and Delver; I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw more of them in the future. It’s worth noting that EVERY single MBC list ran 2x [c]Oubliette[/c]. AU thinks this may be because MBC players are dumb; I think that Oubliette does a number of things well. I’ll copy some of the points I made over in the comments on Pure.

Pros and Cons of Oubliette

  • Con 1 – Fights for space in 3cmc spot.
  • Con 2 – No longer bugged, so can be destroyed and opp can get creature back.
  • Con 3 – Sorcery speed.
  • Pro 1 – The only removal being run in MBC that does something other than send a creature to GY. Good against recursion decks including TE, others.
  • Pro 2 – Adds 2 devotion to Gary. This seems to me it would be very helpful in the mirror, where it’s a game of attrition and who plays bigger Garys makes a difference.
  • Pro 3 – Targeted removal that kills anything in one spell including Young Wolf, Stormbound Geist, Loyal Cathar, etc.

Longtimegone seconded the point about Gary in the mirror, and that it won him two close games over the weekend. He also reminded me that Oubliette kills creatures AND the enchantments attached to them, e.g. [c]Nettle Sentinel[/c] AND [c]Rancor[/c], so that’s another chit in the pro column.

There are good points on both sides, but I think the benefits are enough that running 2x seems like a pretty good call, alongside another suite of faster, lower-cmc removal. What surprised me over the weekend, really, was how many MBC decks ran Tendrils. Another note from Longtimegone:

“I took two different MBC decks 3-1 this weekend, first one with more traditional cheaper removal, then one of the Tendrils/Corrupt builds. The tendrils gave a *lot* of comeback potential, they come online a bit later, but they are usually able to gain back more life than you lost to the delay.”

Other lists

Familiar Combo was the third most popular list in the standings. In my mind, this deck picks up a lot where Fissure left off, though it isn’t, maybe, quite as horrible to play against. Nothing was worse than getting your entire board returned to your hand and then having to wait 20 turns until your opponent could finally finish you off. Familiar Combo at least has a plan that can win pretty early and consistently, so you don’t have to wait forever to die. Small favors.

White Weenie had a good showing, coming in with three placements and over all the 1-of and 2-of showings. Two of these lists were borderline “vanilla” WW, while one was a WW Tokens list by Naga_tsuki.

The one, true rogue

There was only one real “rogue” deck that didn’t fit into an established archetype, and it was this Trinket Affinity list from herosaine2006. Here is the decklist:

[d title=”Trinket Affinity, 3-1 by herosaine2006″]
Land
1 Dimir Guildgate
4 Evolving Wilds
4 Great Furnace
2 Island
1 Izzet Guildgate
1 Mountain
4 Seat of the Synod
1 Swamp
4 Vault of Whispers

Creatures
4 Faerie Mechanist
4 Frogmite
4 Mulldrifter
4 Myr Enforcer
3 Trinket Mage

Spells
4 Galvanic Blast
4 Thoughtcast

Artifacts
2 Bonesplitter
2 Executioner’s Capsule
4 Flayer Husk
2 Prophetic Prism
1 Sylvok Lifestaff

Sideboard
2 Executioner’s Capsule
1 Sylvok Lifestaff
4 Chainer’s Edict
1 Pyroblast
3 Smelt
4 Vault Skirge [/d]

So how should you prepare? MBC and Delver are decks you either need to get under (win early) or outlast (more control, more card advantage, grind them out). Doing either of those can be challenging.

I was chatting with obZen a bit yesterday, and he mentioned he had just taken CoP:Red out of his Sideboard because he was running into Burn so infrequently. I think that in the going under category, Red decks are a good choice right now, either straight-up Burn or a reachy version of Goblins with 8-10 solid burn spells. In the Outlast category, I recommend Teachings or a Kitty deck. One is straight-up card advantage control, and the other is grindy, grindy Midrange. Both are pretty good against MBC and Delver, but both also require a lot of skill and experience to pilot well. Patrickj has been killing it with Boroskitty week after week, but he seems to be the only one. The question is, is he the only one playing the deck, or just the only one winning with it?

That’s it for this week. Again, let me know if this is a useful column. If so I can do it weekly, otherwise we’ll just consider this one a fun diversion.

Until next time, may your opponents’ verdicts only ever eat [c]Khalni Garden[/c] tokens,

/bava

Standard Pauper Show, Issue 12

Section 1: This week in Standard Pauper

Sam and I talk about the SPDC and my experience at the Khans of Tarkir PreRelease. Also, Dan joins us to talk about The Pauper Gauntlet.

 

So much going on in the Gauntlet. There are plenty of decks left to pick from. With actual foil cards for the winners, this going to be great. You can go here to pick your deck:

Section 2: The Winning Decks

MPDC 26.06
22 September 2014
Standard · 22 Players
18 Decks · ~82% Reported
3 rounds Swiss
Top 8 playoff
Hosted by gwyned

Lets look at the results:

1st Wb auras by Forli
2nd Rapid Red by ByeBye
T4 Remove You by rremedio1
T4 WB Pilgrim by Torreth
T8 RDW by Dwarven_Pony
T8 Dimir Mill by Garth_Edu
T8 Stracciatella by GodZo
T8 Gruul by MisterMroz

Another WhiteBlack deck wins the day. Forli went 6-0, now that is impressive. Orzhov domination is becoming a pattern. Well, not for too much longer! I will go through the decks next week and try to prep you all for the upcoming rotation. Can you believe it is already time for rotation? Seems that we will need to get used to it happening more often after M16.

WB AURAS

Standard · Aggro-Combo
1st by Forli in MPDC 26.06 (6-0)

[d]
Creatures
4 Akroan Skyguard
4 Auramancer
4 Heliod’s Pilgrim
4 Hopeful Eidolon
4 Wingsteed Rider
2 Keening Apparition

Spells
4 Ethereal Armor
4 Gods Willing
4 Pacifism
2 Font of Return
2 Stab Wound
1 Ajani’s Presence

Lands
11 Plains
4 Evolving Wilds
4 Orzhov Guildgate
2 Swamp

SIDEBOARD
4 Celestial Flare
4 Duress
2 Keening Apparition
2 Beckon Apparition
1 Pillar of Light
1 Feast of Dreams
1 Ajani’s Presence
[/d]

Let’s look at a sample opening hand:

Had to mulligan a 1 land hand. However, this hand is perfectly keepable. You have all you need to get your beats on!.

Now let’s look at the next six cards:

Better roll your pants legs up, there’s a flood a comin’. Even with the land flood, you still have what you need to make the first 12 cards into a win.

Section 3: A look at Classic Pauper

Bava did a video where in he goes over the 4-0 and 3-1 list for the latest Pauper events. Lets take a look:

 

I am curious if Khans has anything for classic. Jason Moore wrote an article about that very subject. He brewed up a list to utilize the potential 1 cmc draw 3 that is [c]Treasure Cruise[/c]. Even though that is a very tempting card to brew with, I think the [c]Mardu Skullhunter[/c] has a better shot at a spot. Also, our own Drinkard wrote a similar article, but looking at Rakdos Burn and Selesnya Flicker in Pauper.

What do you all think?

Brews Cruise: Khans in Pauper

Hi all,

If you like to browse around the various sites where Magic: The Gathering content is published, then by now you’ve read approximately 78 Top 10 lists for Khans of Tarkir. A couple of those were here. I’ve been submitting brews as spoilers were released, though, so in keeping with that, I promise this is the last you will hear from me on the subject. Here is what I have for Pauper:

Khans in Pauper

The general consensus with Khans of Tarkir and Pauper is that the new lands are the only good cards. If you break this down, there are two statements here:

1) The new lands are good.
2) There is nothing else that is good.

I disagree with both of them.

As to the first, that the new “refuges” are good, I ask: where? I mean, sure, in place of Guildgates, but are those even used? The Karoo lands are used in Esper combo because of their synergy with [c]Snap[/c] and [c]Cloud of Faeries[/c]. Basics and [c]Terramorphic Expanse[/c] are commonly used in [c]Kiln Fiend[/c] decks because of their synergy with [c]Daze[/c] and [c]Gush[/c]. The only deck that seems to provide one of these new lands a home doesn’t even use guildgates, and that is [c]Wind-Scarred Crag[/c] in Red White Cogs, perhaps in place of [c]Kabira Crossroads[/c].

Pauper is stunted by its inability to produce multi-colored aggro. Decks are either multi-colored control or combo or mono-colored aggro. The exception is Affinity because it has access to 20 [c]Ancient Tomb[/c] lands due to its mechanic. Guildgates did nothing to solve Pauper’s problem, and neither will these lands.

Besides pre-existing lists that can make way for the refuges, I could see [c]Thornwood Falls[/c] smoothing out the Madness mana-base. Its essential plays are [c]Wild Mongrel[/c] and [c]Aquamoeba[/c] anyway, so a tapped land on turn one isn’t so bad. Is this enough to make Madness playable, though? I doubt it. It was hyped when Vintage Masters was released, but since the beginning of the Weekendies, we haven’t seen it produce results.

Another card given to us in Vintage Masters was [c]Tyrant’s Choice[/c]. What [c]Flame Rift[/c] does for burn, Choice does better. It causes loss of life unaffected by [c]Circle of Protection: Red[/c] at no expense to the caster. Together with [c]Bump in the Night[/c], a pitch could be made for Rakdos burn in Pauper. As soon as you talk about playing [c]Bloodfell Caves[/c], though, we’re losing our consistent access to [c]Fireblast[/c] at its alternative cost. Still, I’ll probably try this out:

[d title=”Rakdos Burn (Pauper)”]
Land
4 Bloodfell Caves
12 Mountain
4 Rakdos Guildgate

Creatures
3 Goblin Fireslinger
4 Spark Elemental

Other Spells
4 Bump in the Night
4 Chain Lightning
4 Curse of the Pierced Heart
3 Fireblast
4 Lava Spike
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Rift Bolt
2 Shard Volley
4 Tyrant’s Choice[/d]

I know I talk about Burn a lot, so I’ll just end it there.

As to the second statement made, that there are no other good Pauper commons, I think that the morph guys are worth experimenting with. The Pauper-legal creatures with Morph worth talking about include [c]Glacial Stalker[/c], [c]Woolly Loxodon[/c], [c]Abomination of Gudul[/c], [c]Snowhorn Rider[/c] and [c]Abzan Guide[/c]. These pass the [c]Lightning Bolt[/c] test, and many pass the [c]Flame Slash[/c] test as well. Any deck utilizing the effects to make these creatures worthwhile would also do well to consider [c]Ponyback Brigade[/c].

A Blue White Red snow control deck utilized [c]Titanic Bulvox[/c] and [c]Cloudshift[/c] to close games before the end of Pauper Dailies. It’s the format’s equivalent to [c]Phyrexian Dreadnought[/c] and [c]Stifle[/c]. With its Jeskai mana-base, the deck never intended to cast Bulvox, and neither will any deck utilizing the Khans morph options. I think a number of them serve the purpose better.

It is worth noting that any attempt to cheat in fatties using morph and [c]Otherworldly Journey[/c] or [c]Undying Evil[/c] will struggle against the two dominant decks: Delver and MBC. Against Delver, your face-down creature awkwardly sits while [c]Spellstutter Sprite[/c] counters your blink effects, and once you finally plow through the counter wall, a [c]Snap[/c] awaits you at the finish. Against MBC, discard effects leave your creatures helplessly at 2/2, Edict effects are unaffected by most blink ones, and [c]Chittering Rats[/c] slows your digging progress. Still, if you manage to have a [c]Snowhorn Rider[/c] or [c]Abzan Guide[/c] face-up against Goblins, Affinity, White Weenie, Stompy, or Burn, you’ll be doing well. With the redundancy of blink effects available in the format, we can dodge targeted spot removal.

Here are a few directions we can take the idea:

1) A Selesnya approach that can attempt to cast some of its creatures complete with mana dorks for turn 1. Combine [c]Avacyn Pilgrim[/c], [c]Titanic Bulvox[/c], [c]Otherworldly Journey[/c], [c]Cloudshift[/c], and some combination of [c]Abzan Guide[/c] and the rest.

2) An Orzhov deck with the aforementioned blink effects and [c]Undying Evil[/c] to prevent burn spells and [c]Doom Blade[/c] from totally ruining your day.

3) An Azorius deck that goes big with white blink effects and [c]Ghostly Flicker[/c] and [c]Momentary Blink[/c]. Complete with [c]Mulldrifter[/c] for value.

4) A mono-white deck for mana-consistency and plenty of access to blink effects, enter-the-battlefield creatures, and morph creatures.

5) A tron deck with [c]Maul Splicer[/c], the morph creatures, and blink effects galore of all colors, using Chromatic cogs and [c]Prophetic Prism[/c] to smooth mana.

I think I prefer option #1 for the time being, so here’s something to toss out to you all:

[d title=”Pac Man Red Ghost (Pauper)”]
Land
14 Forest
6 Plains

Creatures
4 Avacyn Pilgrim
4 Aven Riftwatcher
4 Abzan Guide
4 Elvish Mystic
4 Llanowar Elves
1 Snowhorn Rider
3 Titanic Bulvox
4 Woolly Loxodon

Other Spells
4 Cloudshift
4 Otherworldly Journey
4 Turn to Mist[/d]

Sideboard includes cards like [c]Serene Heart[/c], [c]Stonehorn Dignitary[/c], [c]Hornet Sting[/c], etc. according to what you are experiencing online.

This is the simplest of the ideas really. The Tron deck might prove powerful as well, but the turn 1 mana-dork, turn 2 face-down creature, and turn 3 blink (even on only 2 lands) is very appealing to me. [c]Otherworldly Journey[/c] and [c]Turn to Mist[/c] dodge targeted removal spells and edict effects, and with 12 morph creatures and 12 blink spells, you’re sure to hit your combo reliably.

Community Participation League #2: Week Three

Week Three Update!

Hello Ladies and Gentlenerds and welcome welcome welcome to week three!

What a week it was. I played Trinket, against Boros Kitty, and got owned. Always bet on the Kitty folks, it’s just a great deck. I am not good enough at Trinket to play it and win, no matter how much I want to be. Next week I am playing aggro! So be ready, opponent, I am coming for you!

First off, the standings!

Some pretty good stuff going on. Congratulations to the 2-0 crowd. I look up at you from my lowly 0-2 basement and wonder what all that sunshine feels like. Are the birds singing, are the flowers blooming?

Reminders and Updates

Thanks again, guys, for getting your matches done on time, and reporting them in the comments. Remember it’s better if both people in the pairings email each other, don’t wait for your opponent to email you, they may be waiting on you to email them, and then nothing gets done! Email is free! It doesn’t even cost a stamp!

So week three has a few drops, and a few outs. Drops are people who told us “Hey, I want to drop now,” and Outs are people who we never heard from in two weeks and who thus are being removed from the League. Of course any of you guys are free to try again next league and we will welcome you back with open arms.

Drops

Avery61
Farfishere
Ztrman

Thanks for letting me know what was going on guys!!

Outs

Darkpaladan3
Ecar642
Kayz
Basedx
Lilimpulse
Bdgp009
Pae_forever

You all are always more than welcome to come back for the Third League, and to vote in the format, and everything.

And that’s all the updates guys!

I got to watch some more matches this week, got to talk to a bunch of you on the client and it was awesome to get to know some of you guys. I got to talk to Wrasslen on Sunday, Standard Pauper with a drunk guy playing 4 colors, and learned how to get better at an up-and-coming powerhouse in Pauper, Dimir Teachings. Very cool times.

Plugs

Not much new stuff this week, but Dan is still looking for people to root on decks in the Pauper Gauntlet #2. Go, pick a deck, and if your deck wins you win snazzy prizes. Look, there is a link! Click it!

http://mtgolibrary.blogspot.com/2014/09/the-decks-of-pauper-gauntlet.html

Speaking of prizes our own Creature-Superbeast Editor Bava gives away weekly prizes in his Faithless Looting articles for budget themed brews. This week’s theme is Wedge color! I submitted one this week, and its Pauper and Necra, and its fun to win fun stuff. Look! Another link.

http://magicgatheringstrat.com/2014/09/faithless-looting-8-a-wedge-of-ones-own/

Oh yeah, you all can also go subscribe to The Standard Pauper show on iTunes now. That’s right, Brennon and Bava got it done, and the show is a Podcast now. Which is super sweet. One word of caution: we have had Dan on the last two weeks, and if you are following the Gauntlet #2 you should be fully caught up on the matches on both the YouTube channels first, as we talk about the results, and spoilers abound.

One of the last matches to go up for the Pauper Gauntlet #2 was one of the decks I submitted, and I thought I would share the deck list. It’s not Tier 1, more like Tier 3, but Dan seemed to enjoy playing it.

[d Title=”Thunder Trees”]
Lands
1 Bojuka Bog
3 Evolving Wilds
3 Forgotten Cave
3 Tranquil Thicket
2 Haunted Fengraf
2 Barren Moor
2 Swamp
4 Forest
3 Mountain
2 Quicksand

Creatures
4 Tilling Treefolk
2 Nantuko Vigilante
2 Krosan Tusker
2 Twisted Abomination

Sorcery
1 Flame Jab
1 Raven’s Crime
4 Firebolt
2 Swirling Sandstorm

Instant
4 Crop Rotation
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Resounding Thunder
3 Harrow
2 Grim Harvest

Sideboard
1 Raven’s Crime
1 Grim Harvest
2 Swirling Sandstorm
3 Ancient Grudge
4 Pyroblast
2 Serene Heart
2 Terminate
[/d]

The thought is to use the Treefolk and utility lands to use the lands in place of spells, to draw cards, and eliminate creatures, with the Crop Rotations letting you re-use lands you already have in play like the Bojuka Bog, you have the Fengrafs to get the Treefolk back to get the Fengrafs back. Your win con is Thunder cycle, and beats. I love the smell of midrange in the morning.

Pairings

Here are your matches for week three!

league-r3

Remember email early and often, the more you communicate with your opponent the better chance of getting your match done!

And that’s it for your week three update!

May your opponent never Pyroblast your Mulldrifter in response to your Undying Evil.

Sam Aka Vaultboyhunter

Fetchlands, therefore Zoo

woodedfoothills1A friend and I started trying to get into MTG tournaments about two years ago. We hadn’t played Magic since secondary school, and the first attempts were not nice. I tried using a version of Spooky’s Aura Gnarlid deck, which was originally thought for Legacy, but I wanted to adapt to Modern, this being the format I was told was going to be the future.

It didn’t work, partly because I had no idea about deckbuilding and partly because I had no idea about playing Magic. I still don’t, but here we are. And the idea of piling up auras on a creature proved to be a good one mere months later, with Aura Hexproof getting to second place in a Pro Tour piloted by Duke Reid. My friend tried to play Zoo, because he had received some cards as a birthday present that pointed him in that direction.

That didn’t work either, because he was informed he basically had to spend around 300 euros on lands, and he was not going to do that, as it was just crazy to spend more than a couple euros on a card. Little did we know.

Fetchlands have been a huge deterrent for a lot of players to start playing Modern. It’s not only about affording them, but also about people finding a justification for this investment. As time passes, and players get more involved in the game, they start to find big investments not so crazy anymore, as Magic is an activity they devote a lot of time to, and which they enjoy a lot. It starts being worth it.

But it is precisely when one is able to go to big competitions that the game really gets interesting, and some players just don’t make that step, because they cannot grasp the whole thing. Modern needed to make it easier for beginners to try the first dose, and Wizards did so. The Onslaught fetchlands have been reprinted, and everything points at the Zendikar fetchlands getting a reprint to. Opinions vary, but most point at around 15€ as the average price for fetchlands when things stabilise. That’s a lot cheaper than they used to be. Like, a lot.

windsweptheath1And now Zoo is… substantially more attractive.

The big caveat is, of course, Tarmogoyf. There are a lot of discussions about it, with a large number of players suggesting Tarmogoyf is not so great, but with the numbers saying otherwise: it would take a khans-sized reprint to make supply meet demand in a reasonable price point, which in my opinion would be around 40€. It is going to happen, of course, but it may take a long time. After all, it was reprinted (albeit in ridiculously low numbers) last year. In any case, though, Zoo can be a valid strategy without a Tarmogoyf, and can even improve in certain games.

Zoo is also a really fun deck. There are lots of players who enjoy its mixture of beatdown strategy with removal and interaction resources. Also, the possibility of tweaking it into a more agressive, early game version or a mid-range deck makes it a very attractive combination of cards. We, as the metagame experts and all around MTG know-it-alls we are, know Modern has not been nice to Zoo and it is more of a Tier 2 deck, but it is attractive, pretty powerful and is becoming cheaper thanks to the Fetchland reprint. The consequence can only be one:

Zoo is going to be played a lot.

It is going to become similar to Burn or Soul Sisters: a cheap way to enter the format. It is more interactive and its strategy is more flexible, so it will be regarded as a better deck. It has all the elements there. If this was the financial advice section, I’d say ‘buy the Zoo staples’. Luckily for you, I am not advising you finantially and therefore I’ll just say, ‘expect Zoo to be everywhere in no time’.

THE DECKLIST

Decklists are nice. Let’s see what 200€ can do in the current situation ([c]Windswept Heath[/c] and [c]Wooded Foothills[/c] cost around 14€ now)

[d]
LANDS

4 Wooded Foothills
1 Sacred Foundry
3 Stomping Ground
1 Temple Garden
2 Windswept Heath
5 forest
3 mountain
1 plains

CREATURES

4 Experiment One
4 Wild Nacatl
4 Kird Ape
4 Burning-Tree Emissary
4 Flinthoof Boar
4 Ghor-Clan Rampager
4 Loam Lion

SPELLS

4 Rancor
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Path to Exile

12 Spells
[/d]

Getting 6 fetches would have meant spending around 200 euros not long ago. Now the same amount gets you 6 fetches… and the rest of the deck. Complete with some shocklands, [c]path to exile[/c], [c]lightning bolt[/c] and other modern staples. How’s that for a way to start playing the format?

Faithless Looting #8: A Wedge of One’s Own

Welcome back to Faithless Looting, my weekly look at budget lists and budget formats.

So the Khans prerelease happened (in paper Magic) and I went on Saturday to play in a 6-round Sealed event. It was a really great set for Limited, and I really liked the choices I had to make while putting my list together. I had chosen Abzan, but opened a ton of really great Temur cards, including [c]Trap Essence[/c], [c]Bear’s Companion[/c], and [c]Surrak Dragonclaw[/c] himself. I also opened a lot of fixing, as I think we will in this set.

In the end, though, I also had a good Abzan pool, and I went for the consistency of three-color (it’s funny to say that) instead of trying to put together five-color bombs. It’s hard to say what might have worked better, but I’m happy with the choice I made because it meant that I had the opportunity, more often than not, to play my deck the way it was meant to be played. In six rounds, I only got mana-screwed once and color-screwed once. Both times sucked, and were in the matches I lost (I went 4-2 on the day), but considering the nature of variance, I really can’t be too upset. I feel like if I had gone five-color, I would have lost to my own deck more than twice.

Did you attend any paper Khans events? How did it go? Let me know in the comments; I’d love to hear!

For now, let’s get on to some looting.

Faithless Contest #7: Winner!

The contest last week was to build around an artist, and comments came in that it was a challenging one. While some constraints are good when it comes to encouraging creativity, too much constraint can have the opposite effect. This was probably one of the latter.

In the end, I had three entries. A Stoneblade deck from Aught3 featuring the art of Chippy, a mono-blue Delver deck from Archivold featuring the art of Dan Scott, and a Legacy Restore Balance deck from Yugular featuring the art of Mark Poole.

Thanks to everyone for their submissions!

In the end, I only played one deck. Archivold’s list had plenty of Dan Scott cards, but it looked almost exactly like the Delver Blue we all know and … love. Yugular’s list just barely hit the three-card-by-an-artist brief, and since two of the three were land, I felt like it didn’t deserve to win this particular contest, though it looks like a fun and interesting deck.

Aught3’s Stoneblade list, on the other hand, includes 7 cards by Chippy. And yes, three of those are land, but we also get [c]Ostracize?printing=2436[/c] and [c]Doom Blade[/c] and [c]Windwright Mage[/c] and [c]Faith’s Fetters[/c], so we are appeased. And did I mention that I love the play on words in the name? I really, really do. And so I am happy to declare Aught3 the winner of Faithless Contest #7!

It’s Aught3’s second win, making him the front-runner in Faithless Contests and, now, the one to beat. So get to it.

Here is the winning decklist:

[d title=”Chipped Stoneblade, by Aught3 (Pauper)”]
Chippy
4 Island
7 Plains
5 Swamp
3 Ostracize
4 Doom Blade
2 Windwright Mage
1 Faith’s Fetters

Creatures
4 Court Homunculus
4 Esper Stormblade
4 Glaze Fiend
4 Vault Skirge
4 Porcelain Legionnaire
2 Ethersworn Shieldmage

Artifacts
3 Bonesplitter
4 Fieldmist Borderpost
4 Mistvein Borderpost

Spells
1 Thoughtcast

Sideboard
3 Hydroblast
3 Pyroblast
3 Chainer’s Edict
2 Circle of Protection: Red
3 Standard Bearer
1 Faith’s Fetters [/d]

And because it was an artist challenge, here is the Chippy gallery of cards used in this list:

[one_third]Island4[/one_third]

[one_third]plains_art_by_chippy[/one_third]

[one_third_last]Swamp[/one_third_last]

[one_fourth]ostracize-chippy-2[/one_fourth]

[one_fourth]ld197_doo[/one_fourth]

[one_fourth]stf13_windwrightmage[/one_fourth]

[one_fourth_last]faiths_fetters_art_by_chippy.jpg[/one_fourth_last]

And of course I played the list as well:

 

Thanks again to everyone who submitted decks! Here are the rules for next week, contest #8.

Faithless Contest #8: Rules

1. In honor of Khans, our contest this week is to build a fun, innovative, or powerful budget list in wedge colors.

2. Post it in the comments below. Don’t forget to mention the wedge and the format.

3. Submissions due before Monday, September 29.

Clarifications

  • Decks should be “budget”, but otherwise may be for any format.
  • Decks should be three colors. No more, no less. You may use any of the wedges, not just the ones from KTK.
  • I will highlight the most interesting decks in next week’s article, and may play some on video for the YouTube channel. One lucky winner will get two items, randomly selected, from my current LootCrate stash. Check out the videos at the bottom of this post to see what’s available.
  • Your chances of winning greatly increase if you submit a deck.

I have a horrible time remembering the names of color combinations in Magic, so I like this tool to help me remember.

Faithless Decks #8: Leaving a Legacy

I want to highlight some of the great work other authors on the site have been doing. In particular I want to pick on Peyton, who has been consistently writing about Legacy since the site launched and whose articles, to my overwhelming joy, need little to no editing. That last part doesn’t matter much to you guys, but it certainly makes my life easier.

Legacy is a format I know almost nothing about, but it is one that I am starting to learn about, thanks to Peyton’s articles, and many of his lists are available on the cheap; amazingly cheap when you consider the format. Check out some lists and don’t forget to read his articles as they come out every Monday.

Here is the most recent, budget combo list, Cephalid Breakfast.

[d title=”Mono-Blue Cephalid Breakfast (Legacy)”]
Creatures
4 Cephalid Illusionist
4 Vedalken AEthermage
3 Narcomoeba
2 Trinket Mage
1 Azami, Lady of Scrolls
1 Angel of Glory’s Rise
1 Laboratory Maniac

Artifacts
4 Shuko

Instants
4 Brainstorm
4 Dispel
4 Daze
1 Spell Pierce

Sorceries
4 Careful Study
1 Dread Return

Land
22 Island [/d]

And a budget rogue list (no, literally, rogue tribal).

[d title=”Budget Rogues (Legacy)]
Rogues
3 Frogtosser Banneret
3 Inkfathom Infiltrator
4 Nightshade Stinger
4 Oona’s Blackguard
4 Oona’s Prowler
4 Prickly Boggart
4 Stinkdrinker Bandit

Spells
1 Go for the Throat
4 Inquisition of Kozilek
3 Spell Pierce
2 Snuff Out
2 Smother

Lands
4 Darkslick Shores
4 Island
10 Swamp
4 Underground River

Sideboard
3 Duress
4 Mana Leak
3 Cold-Eyed Selkie
2 Earwig Squad
1 Go for the Throat
2 Faerie Macabre [/d]

And his favorite High Tide variant, Spring Tide.

[d title=”Spring Tide (Legacy)”]
Creatures
4 Cloud of Faeries

Spells
4 Brainstorm
3 Cunning Wish
4 High Tide
4 Ideas Unbound
3 Meditate
4 Merchant Scroll
4 Ponder
3 Snap
4 Spell Pierce
3 Turnabout
4 Preordain

Lands
16 Island

Sideboard
1 Blue Sun’s Zenith
2 Brain Freeze
1 Capsize
1 Chain of Vapor
4 Disrupt
1 Meditate
1 Pact of Negation
1 Rebuild
1 Snap
1 Turnabout
1 Wipe Away [/d]

And finally cheap fun, ANT Style!

[d title=”Dirt-Cheap ANT (Legacy)”]
Bidness
3 Tendrils of Agony
4 Ad Nauseam
4 Dark Ritual

Storm Builders
4 Claws of Gix
4 Ornithopter
4 Everflowing Chalice
4 Shield Sphere
3 Spellbook
4 Memnite

Lands
26 Swamp [/d]

That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading and here are the Loot Crate videos where you can find out what sort of awesome loot is up for grabs.

Until next time, keep the faith!

/bava

Loot Crates:

 

 

 

Legacy on Mondays, No. 12: Eat up!

Welcome back!

This week I would like to discuss a rogue Legacy deck with a lot of potential. This particular deck has not seen much tournament play, but can potentially win the game on turn two with only 2 specific cards and the requisite lands in hand. It is known as Cephalid Breakfast, and it centers around the card [c]Cephalid Illusionist[/c]’s first ability to mill the entire library in one fell swoop. There are a few variants of the deck, but I am going to cover just one today. It is the easiest to acquire for new players or ones returning to the game, and still has serious win potential. Check out the list, then let’s break it down:

[d title=”Mono-Blue Cephalid Breakfast”]

Creatures
4 Cephalid Illusionist
4 Vedalken AEthermage
3 Narcomoeba
2 Trinket Mage
1 Azami, Lady of Scrolls
1 Angel of Glory’s Rise
1 Laboratory Maniac

Artifacts
4 Shuko

Instants
4 Brainstorm
4 Dispel
4 Daze
1 Spell Pierce

Sorceries
4 Careful Study
1 Dread Return

Land
22 Island
[/d]

The Interaction

The deck mills itself through a very simple interaction: [c]Cephalid Illusionist[/c] and [c]Shuko[/c]. [c]Shuko[/c] can target the Illusionist and infinite number of times for no mana, therefore dumping the entire library. Unfortunately, because [c]Shuko[/c]’s is a sorcery-speed ability, the interaction is at times vulnerable to removal. This has been circumvented in the past with cards like [c]Nomads en-Kor[/c] and [c]Shaman en-Kor[/c], as their abilities are instant-speed and also free. In this list, [c]Shuko[/c] is used instead of an en-Kor card because the deck wants to stay mono-blue. While there are some benefits to adding white to the deck, I have found that the need for mana fixing, etc. decreases the speed and reliability of the deck.

This interaction allows the deck to win in a variety of ways. In general, there are three primary ways to win with the deck once a bunch of cards are in the graveyard. The first, as seen in this list, is to [c]Dread Return[/c] an [c]Angel of Glory’s Rise[/c] by sacrificing [c]Narcomoeba[/c]s. This returns both [c]Laboratory Maniac[/c] and [c]Azami, Lady of Scrolls[/c] to the battlefield, one of which or the Illusionist can then be tapped to draw a card and win. Another is to cast [c]Dread Return[/c] for [c]The Mimeoplasm[/c], which will exile [c]Lord of Extinction[/c] and [c]Murderous Redcap[/c] to instantly deal lethal to the opponent. A third method is to reanimate [c]Karmic Guide[/c] targeting [c]Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker[/c], who then taps to copy the Guide. The new Guide reanimate [c]Sky Hussar[/c], which untaps Kiki. Kiki then goes infinite by making a ton of hasty [c]Sky Hussar[/c]s for the kill. An older method involving [c]Sutured Ghoul[/c] and [c]Dragon’s Breath[/c] used to be used, but this is a more unreliable form of killing the opponent than the other three.

The Support

While it is only a two card combo, sometimes finding the elements can be difficult. Fortunately, the color Blue is rife with a plenitude of drawing and tutoring effects. One such effect is [c]Careful Study[/c]. This card is vital to Cephalid Breakfast, because it allows combo pieces such as [c]Angel of Glory’s Rise[/c] that are stuck in the hand to be discarded. The filtering can also be used to sculpt better hands early in the game if a combo piece does not need to be discarded. [c]Brainstorm[/c] is the other draw card. While it is not perfect without fetch lands, it puts trapped combo pieces back on top of the deck during or the turn before the combo turn so that they are milled.

A tutor suite is also employed to find said combo pieces. One of the best cards for this is [c]Vedalken AEthermage[/c]. The wizard provides an un-counterable way to search for [c]Cephalid Illusionist[/c] for the low cost of {3}. The other tutor target for the AEthermage is the other tutor himself – the ineffable [c]Trinket Mage[/c]. [c]Trinket Mage[/c] is an amazing card in Pauper, so why not use him in Legacy? This dude finds [c]Shuko[/c], and does not need to be played with more than two copies because he can be searched for by the Vedalken.

The Protection

As with all combo decks, this one is vulnerable to hate cards and counterspells. Fortunately, mono Blue has a plethora of easy outs in the form of cheap countermagic. [c]Daze[/c] is absolutely fantastic. For no mana, it protects the combo when going off. It is so good, in fact, that they are 20 tickets each on modo. Wow. The price is much cheaper in paper, but it’s still expensive; the card runs about $3.00 each. It is the priciest card in the deck, but adds so much consistency and resiliency that it is well worth it. Four copies of [c]Dispel[/c] and one of [c]Spell Pierce[/c] are the only other counterspells. They are cheap and effective answers to any disruption the opponent might have, all of which will be instant-speed. In lieu of [c]Daze[/c]s, four [c]Swan Song[/c] can fill the hole in a not-so-efficient way.

What about the Sideboard?

I do not have a sideboard for the deck. I have never used nor needed one. While some cards may be worse in some matchups, there is generally not much that is better in games two and three. If you want to play the deck more competitively and desire sideboard cards, I might use something like this:

4 [c]Mindbreak Trap[/c]
3 [c]Defense Grid[/c]
2 [c]Stifle[/c]
3 [c]Flusterstorm[/c]
3 [c]Sensei’s Divining Top[/c]

It stops Storm decks, fixes draws in grindy matchups, and thwarts disruption. The main deck does a pretty good job of doing this with what’s there, and removing too many pieces may make the deck even less consistent. Or, just make your ‘board 15 [c]Island[/c]s and mess with your opponent by switching out lands! :)

Overall, the deck can win very quickly. It is simple to sculpt a decent hand, and a bunch of tutors makes finding the combo fairly easy. It is also a lot of fun to win with a [c]Laboratory Maniac[/c]; a feat that not many can claim to have done! Maybe the ‘fun’ aspect is just my fetish for mono-blue combo, but really, who doesn’t want to do that at least once?

That’s all for now! Thanks for reading, and hope to see y’all next week here at Legacy on Mondays!

Standard Pauper Show, Issue 11

Section 1: This week in Standard Pauper

Sam and I discuss the Khans of Tarkir cards we found most intriguing. With a special appearance by Dan to discuss the Pauper Gauntlet.

That is a lot to take in! I have to say, I am a total fan of the Jeskai way. Just call me an initiate.

MPDC 26.05
15 September 2014
Standard · 17 Players
12 Decks · ~71% Reported
3 rounds Swiss
Top 8 playoff
Hosted by gwyned

Lets look at the results:

1st Stracciatella by GodZo
2nd WB Extort v. 2 by WujekMZK
T4 WB Aura by beatnik bobby
T4 ETB by MyGalaxy
T8 WB Pilgrim by DownByTheRiverside
T8 Esper by FlxEx
T8 WW Tokens by gwyned
T8 Mono Black with dispels by hero1141

GodZo! From his close second on Sunday, to a #1 spot on Monday. Way to go GodZo!

Very clever name Mr. GodZo. For those who haven’t had their wife take them to eat at a fancy Gelato place, STRACCIATELLA is like chocolate chip ice cream. Which is very important as a name sake for this deck.

STRACCIATELLA

Standard · Aggro
1st by GodZo in MPDC 26.05 (5-1)

[d]
Creatures
3 Auramancer
3 Daring Skyjek
3 Heliod’s Pilgrim
3 Hopeful Eidolon
3 Keening Apparition
3 Sungrace Pegasus
2 Akroan Skyguard
2 Nyxborn Shieldmate
2 Ornithopter
Spells
4 Ethereal Armor
4 Pacifism
3 Gods Willing
2 Beckon Apparition
2 Celestial Flare
2 Font of Return
1 Battlewise Valor
Lands
14 Plains
3 Evolving Wilds
1 Swamp
SIDEBOARD
3 Razortip Whip
2 Concordia Pegasus
2 Celestial Flare
2 Beckon Apparition
1 Smite
1 Pillar of Light
1 Gods Willing
1 Auramancer
1 Hopeful Eidolon
1 Keening Apparition
[/d]

See? Just a little bit of chocolate to give this deck some flavor.
The older I get in Magic years, the more I like sideboards like this. There are a ton of answers peppered through out. With such a savory offering, you will feel confident going in to each match. Why do I feel hungry all of the sudden?

Section 2: History lessons

I know, normally I put the opening hand and discuss mulligans. This week I want to walk through a bit of a history lesson and discuss the new mechanics coming out in Khans.

Last year, I did an article on the evolution of mechanics. I tried to paint a picture of where things came from and how they have changed into today’s standard.

Outlast

Outlast [X] ([X], T: Put a +1/+1 counter on this creature. Outlast only as a sorcery.)
This mechanic is pretty straight forward, you pay a cost and a counter. Some cards also give a benefit along side the counter.

Outlast gives a name to an ability we see very often on creatures. However, there are some restrictions which make it less abusable (if that is a real word). Being only at Sorcery speed is quite a draw back for constructed.

What sets Outlast apart is that it does not require the removal of a creature or another counter to make this creature grow. Similar to Reinforce and Amplify, these are uncounterable counters. That sentence barely makes sense. Another interesting point, Amplify was in Onslaught block. What else was in that block? Morph! You don’t suppose WotC looks to the past to enhance the future do you?

Ferocious

Ferocious – Whenever [This card] [Performs an action], if you control a creature with power 4 or greater, [This Card] [Gains some benefit]
I am not a big fan of mechanics that are templated this way. I know they must account for a large variance due to being used on creatures as well as non-creature spells, so this is how it must be.

Ferocious gives a name to the Alara mechanic we see above. The restriction is a little less but the effects are similar. Funny, the other three color set and we have a “returning” mechanic. I wonder if that is just a coincidence?

Prowess

Prowess (Whenever you cast a noncreature spell, this creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn.)
Now this is a mechanic I can fully support.

This mechanic is probably the easiest to identify. There is a significant defensive boost with Prowess. As my personal favorite of the new mechanics, I am sure there be at least one player jamming prowess into as many decks as possible. This is an other example of giving a name to an already known function. The fact that Jeskai have blue and red in their wedge makes having an Izzet mechanic a no brainer. Coupling this fact that white is also in there, adding the defensive bonus just makes sense.

Delve

Delve (Each card you exile from your graveyard while casting this spell pays for 1.)

And now a mechanic that isn’t new. Delve has been seen before in Time Spiral block.

Oh Wizards, you tried to tell us it was coming back but we didn’t listen. Delve is one more in a long line of Future Sight mechanics that are finally being implemented. This makes me wonder which of these will be next? Fateseal? Frenzy? Grandeur perhaps?

Raid

Raid – When [This card] enters the battlefield, if you attacked with a creature this turn, [This card] [Gains a benefit].
The most restrictive yet powerful mechanic introduced in this set.

These are all portal era cards all require attacking to be cast. I cannot think of any creature with a similar effect. The biggest downside to this effect is that without the Raid trigger, you are left with over costed cards. Again, this appears to be another “Time Spiraled” mechanic being brought into the present. This makes me think that when Mark Rosewater says there will be a time travel aspect to the next expansion, I feel we are already being shown what that means.

What do you all think?