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.
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 Stormbound Geist and Stitched Drake. 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 Oubliette. 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. Nettle Sentinel AND Rancor, 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.”
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:
Trinket Affinity, 3-1 by herosaine2006
1 Dimir Guildgate
4 Evolving Wilds
4 Great Furnace
1 Izzet Guildgate
4 Seat of the Synod
4 Vault of Whispers
4 Faerie Mechanist
4 Myr Enforcer
3 Trinket Mage
4 Galvanic Blast
2 Executioner’s Capsule
4 Flayer Husk
2 Prophetic Prism
1 Sylvok Lifestaff
2 Executioner’s Capsule
1 Sylvok Lifestaff
4 Chainer’s Edict
4 Vault Skirge
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 Khalni Garden tokens,