Community League Update: Changing the Guard

First off, I want to thank Sam for doing such an awesome job running Leagues #1 and #2. Sam’s enthusiasm is infectious, and I heard a number of compliments about how his energy benefited the league. Thanks, Sam!

Sam is taking some time off because he has a new baby and, hey, priorities! That said, we are hoping that he will be able to run some one-off PREs in the future, ideally some Pauper events at times that work for folks in Europe, because the official Pauper events (and even the current PREs) can be tough for them to attend. We’ll keep you apprised. In the meantime, we’ll keep doing leagues, and I’ll be running them and providing the updates. I lack some of Sam’s exuberance but make up for it with my more cautious use of punctuation. I’m sure we’ll all get along just fine.

League #2: dew4au wins!

Community League #2 is over! dew4au is the winner! Congratulations!

Here is the Top 8 bracket as it played out.


Congratulations to everyone in the Top 8. You guys were awesome, got your games in, and the league finished with a bang. Props in particular to Sirpoptart, who came in second, and who won League #1. Obviously he is someone to watch.

We’d love to hear about the lists you guys played! Go over here and talk about what you played and how it worked out.

League #3: Standard Pauper

You guys gave us your votes between Standard Pauper and Standard Silverblack, but in the end dew4au got to make the pick and he chose Standard Pauper. It’s still a pretty wide open format, and it’s the cheapest format by far, so everyone will have access to the same pool of cards without exception, and that’s pretty awesome.

Registration is open

If you’ve played in our other leagues, you know the drill.

Go down into the comments and provide a name you’d like to be known as, your MTGO username, and your time zone.

League rules and format and dates

You have a couple weeks to sign-up; the league will start on November 14. Posts will go up first thing on Friday mornings (PST), and you’ll have until noon on Thursday (PST) to get your matches reported. It is the winner’s responsibility to report the score, but both players are always welcome to chime in.

The format this time around is going to be 4 weeks of Swiss and then a cut to Top 8. This puts us on a timeline to be finished by December 19th, and we can take the holidays off without having to worry about scheduling matches.

Communication will be primarily through the site and through email. If you want to take a minute to add [email protected] to your email contacts list, that helps make sure things won’t get sent to your junk box.

I will also post updates on Twitter; please feel free to follow me @bava_mtg. And everything always goes on Facebook, so if you’re on that thing you should like us.

Standard Pauper

If you’re not familiar with Standard Pauper, there are some good resources and lists out there you can check out. First off, check out for their SPDC and MPDC events. This is pretty much THE competitive Standard Pauper scene for MTGO.

Every week on this site, Brennon goes over winning lists and talks about Standard Pauper. If you haven’t been reading and watching, now is a good time to catch up.

Last but not least, I got a lot of great Standard Pauper deck submissions for my Faithless Looting contest #10. Check out the comments in articles #10 and #11, and my write-up in #12, for some cool deck ideas from site regulars.

Extra Life

Extra Life is a very cool organization that raises money for local children’s hospitals. Peyton and I streamed last weekend to help raise money, and Dan will be streaming later on today (10am PST). We are always happy to provide our content here on the site and YouTube for free, and we hope you enjoy it. If you have a minute and a couple bucks to spare, though, we’d love your donation.

Our goal as a team is to reach $200. All of the money goes to local children’s hospitals.

Every donation, even just $1, helps us get there. We appreciate your support.

Sign up now!

Enough jibber-jabber. Sign up for League #3 below and let’s get this thing done! A reminder that your registration comment should look something like this:

Hi, my name is Simon, my MTGO username is ‘likestododrawrings’ and my time zone is PST (GMT -7).

Thanks to everyone for participating in the first two leagues. We’re looking forward to another great one!


The Standard Pauper Show, Issue 17

Section 1: This week in Standard Pauper

First off, let’s look at the SPDC and recap the Pauper Gauntlet!

If you can get live Standard Pauper events to take place at your LGS, I will promote it!

Sam and I will discuss the event and any decklists that may have participated.

Now, on with the PRE!

MPDC 27.02
27 October 2014
Standard · 18 Players
14 Decks · ~78% Reported
3 rounds Swiss
Top 8 playoff
Hosted by gwyned

1st Splashed MBC by beatnik bobby
2nd STOMP by hero1141
T4 R by Carnuz
T4 Grixis Control v. 2 by WujekMZK
T8 Tormenting Cruise by benne433
T8 Red Stuff by Blazing_Archon
T8 Dies to mass removal by MyGalaxy
T8 Heliod’s Giant by Pie_Master

Section 2: The Winning Deck

There is a problem with the website. It does not let me see the match ups. I know this deck was the winner, but the I cannot see how it made it to the top.


Standard · Control
1st by beatnik bobby in MPDC 27.02 (5-1)

4 Baleful Eidolon
4 Gray Merchant of Asphodel
4 Returned Phalanx
4 Servant of Tymaret
3 Benthic Giant
3 Disciple of Phenax
2 Black Cat

4 Pharika’s Cure
4 Read the Bones
2 Eternal Thirst
2 Font of Return
1 Aqueous Form
1 Festergloom

17 Swamp
4 Evolving Wilds
1 Island
1 Radiant Fountain

4 Asphyxiate
3 Festergloom
2 Mind Rot
1 Black Cat
1 Benthic Giant
1 Disciple of Phenax
3 Sultai Scavenger

Beatnik… Bobby… BB… B-Dawg… We need to talk. Your main deck, it has 61 cards. This makes my brain melt. Why the 1?

The other issue I have is, why are evolving wilds better than Jungle Hollow? You are splashing for 9 cards off of 5 mana. Now, I understand you won. However, I just don’t see how, if you are already accepting that your land will be tapped, 4 lands that do nothing on their own are better than one that taps for 2 of either man you need.

Let’s look at a sample opening hand:

Impressive first 7. I am keeping this all day everyday. The phalanx stops early aggro and the Eidolon will most likely be getting in for a few points of damage.

Now let’s look at the next six cards:

Not a lot of gas coming up in the next 6. You will get the 5 you need for Gary and that may just be enough to win the game. What I also see is that we could be starting the game at 21 hp if that Evolving Wilds were a [c]Jungle Hollow[/c].

Section 3: Why are you playing this game?

I use InoReader, which is an RSS feed aggregator, to keep on top of all the writing in Magic. Of the last 100 articles I read, only 5 mentioned having fun.


Just let that number sink in. Why are we playing this game? Is it not to have fun? Let’s face it, almost none of us are going to make a living from this game. Oh, you may make some cash buying and selling cards. You may even win an FNM or a regional. That will not pay the bills. So why else are you playing other than to have fun?

Recently I started playing Commander. When you sit down with a few friends, have a couple of you favorite beverages, and just hang out and sling some cards, that is fun. It fulfills our basic instincts for socialization and stimulation. It is a very basic and very healthy need. We are social animals. Despite what some of you may believe, we all need each other.

This game gives us the perfect opportunity to stimulate some of the most primal and important parts of your brain. Basically, this is what we are meant to do. We have built civilizations, together. We have crossed oceans in nothing more than logs lashed into a rough bowl shape, together. So, why are so few articles about this game written about having fun?

“But winning is fun for me!”

Yes, everyone likes to win. The reason I am even writing this article is to get you to think about why winning seems to hold more importance than having fun. Being caught up in the high of the win should not cloud what this game was based on, social interaction. Unless you suffer from a difference in brain chemistry, being social and having fun with other humans will benefit you far more than racking up wins.

As I mentioned above, very few of us will ever make a living at this. If you do have the goal of becoming a professional magic player, I want to leave you with this quote from Michael Jordan:

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

On the other hand, if you are like me, get out, find yourself a group of like minded players, draw some cards and have fun. Oh, and try to win a few games while you are at it!

Do you like having fun or do you want to win at all costs? Which attitude do you think is healthier?

The Man With The Golden Gun

Hi all,

If you’re as old as I am, reader, then you remember the Nintendo 64 game Goldeneye well. Countless Summer and Friday nights were spent playing the game, trying to unlock the Invincibility cheat on your own or jamming in round after round of multiplayer, where winner stays and chooses the level and weapons. For me, it was always proximity mines and the complex. The goal was to lay the mines at all the spawning points and watch as your opponents floundered. Sadly, the decks I enjoy playing in Magic are much the same way.

My least favorite way of playing was The Man With The Golden Gun. The golden gun killed in one shot, whether it was in the head, the foot, or even the enemy’s gun. The player who spawned nearest the golden gun was incredibly difficult to defeat.

Golden cards in Magic: The Gathering are very strong as well. [c]Jeskai Ascendancy[/c] has been cried about well enough (while I wouldn’t quite agree that the combo deck is a “real Modern deck” just yet), and [c]Glittering Wish[/c] is a gold card that provides the player with another powerful piece. Well before talks of banning [c]Jeskai Ascendancy[/c] came to be, there was some discussion about banning [c]Manamorphose[/c] due to the prevalence of Storm. [c]Living End[/c] and [c]Restore Balance[/c] decks are other combo decks fueled by the Cascade trigger of gold cards, and gold cards round out control decks as well with [c]Lightning Helix[/c] and [c]Electrolyze[/c]. Even Aggro decks enjoy [c]Qasali Pridemage[/c], [c]Dryad Militant[/c], [c]Loxodon Smiter[/c], and [c]Figure of Destiny[/c]. All archetypes find support in their maindecks or sideboards with gold cards.

When gold cards are so powerful and lands such as [c]Gemstone Mine[/c] and [c]Mana Confluence[/c] are so valuable, it is hard for me to believe that [c]Pillar of the Paruns[/c] cannot support a functional archetype.

There are a few considerations to make to try and use [c]Pillar of the Paruns[/c] functional in Modern:

1) The first is the elephant in the room: the deck has to be effective against U/R Delver and Burn. Modern is lousy with these decks and variants of each right now. Stats pages list R Burn, RB Burn, RBG Burn, RG Burn, RUG Burn, RBW Burn, RW Burn as different archetypes represented in dailies, but the fact is, you’re going to be bolted a lot. Similarly, [c]Delver of Secrets[/c] has several archetypes of his own in just two colors: U/R. Our creatures have to survive to [c]Lightning Bolt[/c], and I wouldn’t say ‘no’ to some life-gain. This also means that [c]Firespout[/c], perhaps moreso than [c]Pillar of the Paruns[/c], will be integral to the viability of this deck.

2) Aggro, while so tempting, turns out not to be an option. I wanted it to be so badly. After all, The Man With The Golden Gun kills in one shot. [c]Spike Jester[/c] and [c]Jund Hackblade[/c] play well together, and [c]Burning-Tree Emissary[/c] is great in conjunction with the other two for the quick golden gun kill. The aforementioned [c]Qasali Pridemage[/c] is exciting because he has been proven to have application in Aggro by way of Zoo. The trouble is the one-drop slot. [c]Dryad Militant[/c] is the only creature to play on turn one without feeling awkward. [c]Tattermunge Maniac[/c] and [c]Nivmagus Elemental[/c] are significantly below her. She is good to keep in mind, though, because she offers disruption against Modern’s two best spells from Khans: [c]Dig Through Time[/c] and [c]Treasure Cruise[/c]. So we’re going to bookmark her for now.

3) [c]Pillar of the Paruns[/c] is great at casting multi-colored spells, but not so great with some core deck functionality after that. For example, [c]Figure of Destiny[/c] is a great turn one play, but if you can’t use your land in subsequent turns to activate his abilities, then he’s not so impressive. Similarly, [c]Pillar of the Paruns[/c] is perfect for running both [c]Ardent Plea[/c] AND [c]Violent Outburst[/c] in the same deck until you realize that Pillar will neither cycle [c]Monstrous Carabid[/c] nor suspend [c]Greater Gargadon[/c].

In the end, I think we’re going to be looking at a hateful midrange deck. While we’re still flooded at the 2-drop point of the curve, all the pieces are good for us to ignore. We want four toughness creatures, life-gain, powerful effects, and a rainbow mana-base. Here is draft one of The Man With The [Slower] Golden Gun:

[d title=”Goldeneye (Modern)”]
2 Bloodstained Mire
1 Breeding Pool
1 Forest
1 Hallowed Fountain
4 Pillar of the Paruns
1 Plains
4 Reflecting Pool
1 Sacred Foundry
1 Steam Vents
1 Stomping Ground
1 Temple Garden
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Watery Grave
4 Windswept Heath
2 Wooded Foothills

1 Brion Stoutarm
1 Butcher of the Horde
4 Kitchen Finks
2 Loxodon Smiter
3 Qasali Pridemage
2 Siege Rhino

Other Spells
4 Abrupt Decay
1 Ajani Vengeant
2 Electrolyze
3 Firespout
4 Lightning Helix
1 Sorin, Solemn Visitor
2 Steam Augury
2 Terminate
2 Treasure Cruise

2 Dryad Militant
1 Firespout
2 Fracturing Gust
2 Golgari Charm
1 Orzhov Pontiff
1 Qasali Pridemage
4 Slaughter Games
2 Wheel of Sun and Moon[/d]

I know what you’re thinking: this looks like a best of list from the past two Standard formats: [c]Siege Rhino[/c], [c]Abrupt Decay[/c], and [c]Butcher of the Horde[/c] among others are really new cards. So what this deck does is to put them together with the rainbow mana-base, and I really feel like it has the pieces to beat U/R Delver and Burn. Now, whether you get those pieces in the order you need is up to some testing and tweaking; remember, this is draft 1 of the list.

Essentially, this list is like Jund or Junk. We want to play 1-for-1 removal and win the game with midrange beats. [c]Steam Augury[/c] and [c]Treasure Cruise[/c] restock our hands to keep the 1-for-1 available.

Here are more specific reasons for card choices:

The mana-base

Fetchlands support [c]Treasure Cruise[/c] and give you a relatively painless option for mana consistency as opposed to the [c]City of Brass[/c] and [c]Mana Confluence[/c] option the Modern cardpool offers. [c]Reflecting Pool[/c] and [c]Pillar of the Paruns[/c] ensure that we have the different colors we need for our diverse spell. Our basics are available for [c]Ghost Quarter[/c], [c]Path to Exile[/c], and [c]Blood Moon[/c] that we will likely encounter.

The creatures

Boy, is there plenty that needs justification here!

[c]Brion Stoutarm[/c]: The giant is a really strong creature I’m excited to use in Modern when Burn is so prevalent. He adds to your life total resource at four mana, so [c]Eidolon of the Great Revel[/c] will not trigger when you cast him. Further, he is very effective at closing out games.

[c]Butcher of the Horde[/c]: Again, the keys are a toughness and casting cost greater than 3. Butcher has the opportunity to gain life and haste, and he plays well with [c]Kitchen Finks[/c].

[c]Kitchen Finks[/c]: These are symptoms of the Modern era we are playing in right now. They work well with sweepers and hold the fort down against Aggro and Burn, which is becoming more and more combat-dependent with [c]Monastery Swiftspear[/c].

[c]Loxodon Smiter[/c]: This card gives us game against decks that this list isn’t specifically geared to beat: Jund, Junk, discard, etc. We forgive the mana cost in an Eidolon-heavy environment because of the discard clause and the inability to be countered. He’s crucial in a lot of the match-ups we face today.

[c]Qasali Pridemage[/c]: The deck needs an answer to [c]Blood Moon[/c], [c]Daybreak Coronet[/c], [c]Eidolon of the Great Revel[/c], [c]Jeskai Ascendancy[/c], and most creatures Affinity plays. Pridemage is that answer, and he allows you to put pressure on the opponent while holding back defense.

[c]Siege Rhino[/c]: I only question playing him here over other [c]Kitchen Finks[/c] because the opponent can easily hold up [c]Skullcrack[/c] and [c]Flames of the Blood Hand[/c] at this stage of the game, but the fact is that he is quite a bomb in the Burn and Aggro-Control match-ups.

Other Spells

[c]Abrupt Decay[/c]: This card will save you equally in fair and unfair match-ups. It’s one of the pillars holding up Jund and Junk, and it helps this deck defeat combo, aggro, and control. In today’s meta, the primary targets will be Delver, Pyromancer, Swiftspear, Eidolon, and whatever is receiving +1/+1 counters from [c]Arcbound Ravager[/c].

[c]Ajani Vengeant[/c] and [c]Sorin, Solemn Visitor[/c]: There are a few other multi-colored planeswalkers that we can choose from to occupy these slots, but I thought that these had a good incremental advantage over the course of the game and immediate board impact against Delver and Burn.

[c]Electrolyze[/c]: I’m not sure this card warrants an explanation. It’s essentially an [c]Ancestral Recall[/c] in so many match-ups, particularly when everyone is playing [c]Young Pyromancer[/c], [c]Delver of Secrets[/c], various Soul Sisters to defeat Burn, Affinity creatures, etc.

[c]Firespout[/c]: This card really shines, and I do believe that it is worth building a deck that can produce green and red, support x/4 creatures, and cast this card in today’s meta. Why not play a one-sided [c]Wrath of God[/c]?

[c]Lightning Helix[/c]: Who could have ever said that [c]Healing Salve[/c] would be such a powerful effect to tack onto [c]Lightning Bolt[/c] ten years ago? Then this was printed, and it’s been a staple in the Extended of its day and now Modern. Control the board, gain a card against Burn, and gain a turn against Aggro.

[c]Steam Augury[/c]: [c]Fact or Fiction[/c] is back in Modern, but it is golden. That suits this deck perfectly. After nickel and diming your opponent into the fifth and sixth turns of the game, you have this to refuel your hand. As a bonus, it feeds the graveyard for [c]Treasure Cruise[/c].

[c]Terminate[/c]: Everything dies to [c]Doom Blade[/c], and [c]Terminate[/c] is better.

[c]Treasure Cruise[/c]: The only non-golden card in the deck is still well worth the two slots as a late-game draw engine. Perhaps more are necessary.

There is really so much room to work on the sideboard in the golden Modern cardpool. We have a big number of Charms, hand disruption in [c]Tidehollow Sculler[/c] and [c]Sin Collector[/c], counterspells such as [c]Counterflux[/c], big finishers for grinding matches like [c]Sphinx’s Revelation[/c], etc. If I were just looking at a snapshot of today’s Modern metagame, though, I believe I would run these 15 cards in the sideboard, with this plan for the two most common matches in MTGO Dailies:

Against U/R Delver: The cards we want in here are [c]Golgari Charm[/c], [c]Orzhov Pontiff[/c], and possibly graveyard disruption as well. If we are sure there are no [c]Blood Moon[/c] cards coming on the other side of the table, we can eliminate [c]Qasali Pridemage[/c], but that is risky. [c]Firespout[/c] is less impact here than in a matchup like Zoo or Affinity, so we can drop these 3. Finally, some number of [c]Kitchen Finks[/c] can be removed.

Against Burn: We want [c]Qasali Pridemage[/c] and [c]Golgari Charm[/c], so we remove the [c]Firespout[/c] cards for them. This may be a little low impact, but if you can gain any life and destroy their creature sources of recurring damage, you should be very well suited to beat them.

Thanks for reading. Good luck, have fun.


Faithless Looting #13: Cruising with Commons

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

If there is one truly contentious card brought to us by Khans of Tarkir, that card is [c]Treasure Cruise[/c], and it is contentious because it just might be “too good.” Its effect, after all, is very similar to [c]Ancestral Recall[/c], and while you’ll never cast Cruise on turn 1, it is pretty easy to meet the conditions on t4-5 to cast it for 1-2 mana. In long, grindy games, it’s a powerhouse.

People think it should be banned in quite a few formats; other people act like you’re trying to steal their baby when you try and ban cards. It will be interesting to see what WotC decides to do, if anything. Today we’re going to look at Cruise in Pauper. After all, if a card is considered OP in formats like Modern and Legacy, it must REALLY be OP in our beloved all-commons format, right? It certainly makes Blue that much more powerful and consistent; things that Blue really didn’t need since it already dominates the meta. Let’s take a look at other places the card shines, starting with Daily lists from this past weekend.

ScionOfJustice, who usually wins with black cards, decided to splash blue to include 4x [c]Treasure Cruise[/c] in the main, and a singleton [c]Ghostly Flicker[/c] for good measure. Basically he is playing MBC with Cruise in it; I guess you really can play it in every deck. Here is the list.

[d title=”MBC Cruise by ScionOfJustice”]
1 Augur of Skulls
4 Chittering Rats
1 Crypt Rats
4 Cuombajj Witches
4 Gray Merchant of Asphodel
2 Liliana’s Specter
1 Mulldrifter
1 Okiba-Gang Shinobi
3 Phyrexian Rager

4 Chainer’s Edict
1 Syphon Life
4 Treasure Cruise
1 Wrench Mind
1 Devour Flesh
1 Ghostly Flicker
1 Undying Evil
2 Oubliette
1 Pestilence

4 Dimir Guildgate
4 Dismal Backwater
15 Swamp

1 Crypt Rats
2 Child of Night
2 Choking Sands
1 Disfigure
2 Font of Return
2 Geth’s Verdict
1 Nausea
1 Pharika’s Cure
2 Relic of Progenitus
1 Stinkweed Imp [/d]

Surucucu added 2x Cruise in Delverfiend, which seems like a very natural inclusion.

Dirknight put the full set into UR Control, and I think this deck is one of the biggest Cruise winners. Enough to push it into consistent Tier 1 territory? I guess we’ll see, but the deck seems very strong. Here is his list:

[d title=”UR Control Cruise by Dirknight”]
4 Delver of Secrets
4 Mulldrifter
4 Sea Gate Oracle

4 Firebolt
4 Flame Slash
4 Preordain
4 Treasure Cruise
4 Counterspell
2 Electrostatic Bolt
4 Exclude

6 Island
3 Izzet Boilerworks
1 Izzet Guildgate
3 Mountain
1 Radiant Fountain
4 Swiftwater Cliffs
4 Terramorphic Expanse

2 Curfew
2 Curse of the Bloody Tome
1 Electrickery
4 Hydroblast
2 Negate
4 Pyroblast [/d]

RainbowSlushy played a faeries version of UR Control with a full set. Zakurero22 4-0ed with a list that is a cross between Delverfiend and UR Control and ran 3x Cruise.

Funny enough, the dominant blue deck in the format, Delver (or Mono Blue Faeries), is only checking in at 1x Cruise for the most part, with the greedier lists reaching for 2.

We’re not seeing [c]Treasure Cruise[/c] make its way into green decks like Stompy or White Weenie lists quite yet. Sensible choice, or simply lack of imagination? While we’re being hypothetical, does Cruise make [c]Thought Scour[/c] playable in blue decks? I was a little surprised to see zero Cruise in the various Affinity decks that placed; it seems like a fair 1x or 2x in a lot of those lists, especially the lists that are sacrificing all those 1-mana artifacts to draw cards anyway.

Outside of daily lists, there are other places where Cruise might fit. I personally tried Burn and, like most attempts at adding a color to Burn (or any similar “win fast” list), I felt like diluting the deck made it worse rather than better. Even so, two distinct threads popped up just for Cruise Burn on Reddit, so people are having similar thoughts.

Dredge & Delve

If there are two mechanics that work well together, these two seem like they’re it. The synergy is simple and natural: one adds cards to the GY, often for a beneficial effect, and the other takes cards away from the GY, also for a beneficial effect.

Aside from Cruise, Delve has a couple good cards we can experiment with, including [c]Death Rattle[/c], [c]Hooting Mandrills[/c], and [c]Sultai Scavenger[/c]. We only get 7 cards total at common level with the Delve mechanic, though we’ll likely see more in upcoming sets. That’s still more cards than we have with Dredge, though, which clocks in at only 5. Notable players include [c]Stinkweed Imp[/c], [c]Golgari Brownscale[/c], [c]Moldervine Cloak[/c], and [c]Shambling Shell[/c].

Based on the cards we have with each mechanic, we are looking at Black cards with both mechanic, Green cards with both mechanic, and Blue cards with … oh wait, it’s just [c]Treasure Cruise[/c]. We could consider [c]Logic Knot[/c] as well, but Cruise is strictly better, I think, and we need to be careful about how many Delve cards we include in a list.

So a D&D list would be UG, UB, or GB. Mono-colored lists could be possible, but I think two colors makes a lot more sense. We’re not playing a speedy aggro deck in any case, so the additional color should only help us. We could even go all three colors if we want to get greedy.

In UB, we definitely want Stinkweed Imp and Treasure Cruise, which automatically has us looking at a grindy control deck with card advantage. Cards like [c]Pilfered Plans[/c] let us draw cards AND fill our GY, which seems pretty good with Cruise. [c]Soul Manipulation[/c] is another fun include, while [c]Lurking Informant[/c] is FAR too fiddly, but scrying every turn and adding cards to the GY seems fun in a casual list. [c]Scarscale Ritual[/c] is another of my favorite UB cards and works particular well in lists with Undying, which UB also has, namely [c]Stormbound Geist[/c]. [c]Death Rattle[/c] and [c]Ghastly Demise[/c] are both good pieces of removal that care about how many cards we have in our GY; we don’t want too many, but a few fit in nicely.

GB has the other best synergies (UG seems unappealing, really). [c]Shambling Shell[/c] is the only self-sacrificing recursive creature in the game. He single-handedly sends himself to the graveyard AND brings himself back, filling our GY with more cards in the process. [c]Grisly Salvage[/c] helps us dig for creatures or land and fills the GY as well. [c]Drown in Filth[/c] is decent removal if our GY is full. Golgari also gifts us with Scavenge creatures like [c]Sluiceway Scorpion[/c] if we want another angle on GY shenanigans. Cards like [c]Desecrator Hag[/c] and [c]Pit Keeper[/c] let us gain card advantage from having creatures in the GY, and we could even go for an [c]Exhume[/c] angle (or at least back-up plan) using Dredge to throw an [c]Ulamog’s Crusher[/c] or another fatty in the GY and (if we want) a singleton [c]Dragon Breath[/c] just for kicks.

I don’t have any lists for you, but I think there are some there asking to be built. Even though there isn’t a contest this week, feel free to look at some of the cards above and submit lists in the comments if you think something’s there.

Until next time, keep the faith!


Legacy on Mondays: Post-Stream Thoughts and Crazy FTK!

Welcome Back!

Saturday during the day and into the evening, Bava and I were streaming to support Extra Life, a group that supports children’s hospitals through video gaming. Over the course of the almost-ten hours of total streaming, we raised an amazing…. $30.00! This is a little less than what we were hoping for, and I don’t think the word was out well enough. If you are interested in donating, check out our Extra Life page.

If you are so inclined, please donate to any one of the pages there. We really appreciate the support, and not even a cent goes to us. Here are some highlights of my part of the stream, in case you missed it and want to donate but still get some stream action:

1. I play some MtG – pretty standard stuff, nothing too crazy.

2. Tired of Magic, I decided to try some Half Life 1 multiplayer, which failed miserably with my awful DSL internet connection.

3. Still itchin’ for some gaming action, I loaded the old Fallout 3 GOTY disc to have a go at that. Sadly, it lagged massively with the stream running on my old Dell Latitude E6400.

4. Computer crash! Overheating killed the poor old laptop, so I placed a fan next to the heat vent, rebooted, and stopped trying to play Fallout.

5. I almost s*** my pants playing Vanish, a brutally scary indie horror game. Ugggggggg.

6. Back to Magic! There are no scary Ackbar-like creatures lurking to kill me in this game, right? …Right?

7. I awkwardly wrap things up with a couple of Legacy 60-card tribal wars decks.

So those are some of the highlights! If any of this interests you, feel free to check out the recorded stream on YouTube.


Here is Bava’s part of the stream:


Thanks so much for the support, guys. Let’s raise some money!

Now I wanted to share with you one of the craziest and most random decks out there in the Legacy format. It is probably one of the most notable first-turn kill (hereafter abbreviated FTK) decks in the format, and one of my favorites. While definitely not a competitive deck, this is a fun little build that will take some people by surprise when you kill them out of the blue. The deck is called Leyline FTK, and that’s because you win by attacking with a bunch of Leylines. Crazy, right? Check out this list:

[d title=”Legacy Leyline FTK”]

4 Leyline of Anticipation
4 Leyline of Lifeforce
4 Leyline of Lightning
4 Leyline of Punishment
4 Leyline of Sanctity
4 Leyline of the Meek
4 Leyline of the Void
4 Leyline of Vitality
4 Opalescence
4 Gemstone Mine
4 City of Brass
4 Serra’s Sanctum
4 Mana Confluence
3 Enlightened Tutor
3 Crop Rotation
2 Street Wraith


Here is an example hand:

5x any Leyline, [c]Serra’s Sanctum[/c], [c]Opalescence[/c]

FTK! Assuming you are playing first, or drawing and the opponent does not play a blocker, you will win on your first turn. It works like this: You start the game with five Leylines in play; their type is largely irrelevant. Turn 1, play that [c]Serra’s Sanctum[/c] and tap it for {w}{w}{w}{W}{W}. Play [c]Opalescence[/c], making all of the Leylines into 4/4’s. Since the Leylines started the game in play, they are unaffected by summoning sickness. Ergo, attack for the even 20.

While that won’t happen most of the time, the rest of the deck is designed to make it so that an [c]Opalescence[/c] can resolve with at least a few enchantments in play. [c]Crop Rotation[/c] turns any land into [c]Serra’s Sanctum[/c], which will almost always produce more mana than the previous land did, with 32 Leylines in the deck with which to start the game. [c]Enlightened Tutor[/c] can find [c]Opalescence[/c] for only 1 mana. It’s possible to run [c]Idyllic Tutor[/c]. However, I like that E-Tutor only costs 1 mana as opposed to 3, with only 16 lands in the deck. Running a couple of [c]Street Wraith[/c] also makes it possible to draw the tutor target for 2 life if the tutor is cast at the end of the opponent’s turn. Wraith is also just good in general, just to get through the deck for relevant spells a little bit more quickly.

The deck is definitely not tiered. I have opted to not include a sideboard here, as there is almost no chance someone could place with this at a GP, or even an FNM event. If you wish to use a sideboard for more competitive, or just improved casual play, I would start with 4 [c]Greater Auramancy[/c]. Not a bad tool to have in the face of potential game two hate; remember that [c]Qasali Pridemage[/c] is a thing. The inclusion of 4 [c]Serum Powder[/c] in the board is not a bad idea either. It improves the chances of finding a turn 1 or 2 kill in the face of a fast deck such as ANT. In fact, it’s not a bad idea to have [c]Mindbreak Trap[/c]s – four to be precise – to beat most Storm decks. Just mull down to either [c]Leyline of Sanctity[/c] or the Trap and win from there. The last three spots I will dedicate to [c]Squire[/c]. Really. I’m sure there is some good relevant spell that would fit nicely there, but it is not coming to me off the top of my head.

That’s the nice thing about running a deck with lots of Leylines – sometimes, you just insta-win. We already have 4 maindeck [c]Leyline of the Void[/c] for Dredge and Reanimator, and 4 [c]Leyline of Sanctity[/c], which is amazing against Burn and Storm, and decent against Jund. That kind of built-in resiliency makes the deck that much more fun when sneaking in wins against tiered decks.

That’s all for this week. I hope you enjoyed the deck! Once again, if you feel so compelled, please donate to our Extra Life page here. Thanks again, and allow me to close with the quote of the week:

“Critics are men who watch a battle from a high place then come down to shoot the survivors.” -Unknown


The Standard Pauper Show, Ep 19

Brennon and Sam talk about the changing meta. Dan joins us to discuss the pauper gauntlet and the end of round 2!

The Standard Pauper Show, Issue 16

Section 1: This week in Standard Pauper

Lordy, lordy, it’s time for a new season!

This first week is weird. There is a glitch going on in MTGO which is allowing any card printed at common at any point in its history to be used in a pauper event. This goes for Standard as well as Classic Pauper matches.

In these results below, you may need to take that into consideration if a card was used, like stab wound, which is allowed for this week only.

MPDC 27.01
20 October 2014
Standard · 17 Players
12 Decks · ~71% Reported
3 rounds Swiss
Top 8 playoff
Hosted by gwyned

1st Random Red by Mundisv
2nd Save the cheerleader v2.0 by wisker
T4 BU Control by Muzac
T4 RDW by Torreth
T8 UR Tempo by benne433
T8 WB by bigbee
T8 STOMP by hero1141
T8 The Splashing Pauper v2 by makepeaceonearth

Section 2: The Winning Deck

I want to talk about 2 decks.

One, the first one, uses one of the “forbidden” cards. The second, only used legal cards.


Standard · Aggro
1st by Mundisv in MPDC 27.01 (4-1-1)

4 Akroan Crusader
4 Foundry Street Denizen
4 Minotaur Skullcleaver
4 Nyxborn Rollicker
4 Satyr Hoplite
3 Borderland Marauder

4 Arc Lightning
4 Dragon Mantle
4 Lightning Strike
4 Titan’s Strength
1 Hammerhand
1 Inferno Fist
1 Trumpet Blast

18 Mountain

3 Kragma Butcher
2 Magma Spray
2 Ill-Tempered Cyclops
2 Act of Treason
2 Fall of the Hammer
1 Scouring Sands

Arc Lightning really makes this deck cook. Pun totally intended.

Let’s look at a sample opening hand:

I need a cool image for Snap Keep! Cause this keep be snappy. We do hit the top of our curve with the 2 three drops, but with 2 mana in hand. I feel pretty good about our chances.

Now let’s look at the next six cards:

Thankfully we had a hand of gas because its going to take a lot of fuel to get our boat out of this flood. That seems like a disproportionately large number of lands in the first 13. Oh well, random is cruel mistress.

Now for a look at a deck that was certified by the Olympic Committee to be free of illegal substances.


Standard · Aggro
2nd by wisker in MPDC 27.01 (4-1-1)

4 Ainok Bond-kin
4 Akroan Skyguard
4 Lagonna-Band Trailblazer
3 Elite Skirmisher
3 Hopeful Eidolon
3 Wingsteed Rider
2 Nyxborn Shieldmate

4 Ephemeral Shields
4 Gods Willing
4 Oppressive Rays
2 Chosen by Heliod
4 Defiant Strike

19 Plains

4 Pillar of Light
4 Mortal Obstinacy
3 Erase
4 Kill Shot

I like this deck. You know why? Cause I like my decks like I like my women… with Mono.

Clever Heroes TV show reference in the title aside, this seems like a very fast, very consistent deck.

Let’s look at a sample opening hand:

Two Snap Keeps in a circle! That reference is about as dated as my wardrobe. Which is out of date.

Now let’s look at the next six cards:

Pulling the protection, a hero and a combat trick all in the next four turns is very good for us.

Both of these decks can go the distance. The only thing I wonder is what the next week holds for us. As of writing this, the filter is fixed and Pauper is back to its old self again.

Section 3: A look at Classic Pauper

I was unfortunately absent during this week’s Pauper Show. I really hate to miss out. I love our weekly chats together. Just you, me, and a warm PC between us.

October has been historically hectic in my house. This year’s will be in the top five craziest Octobers ever. Just about everything that can go wrong has. Anyway, here is Dan and Sam discussing the Pauper Gauntlet in all its glory.

Round 3, The Culling Begins.

Now that’s a tag line!

How do you all feel about a possible standard pauper league? Sam has put it to a vote, let him know what you think.

Some Modern Cards to Brew Around

Hi all,

This week I’ll be avoiding the bandwagon topics and pick up a few cards that need more decks built around them.

[c]Phyrexian Unlife[/c]

I love [c]Phyrexian Unlife[/c], especially in the current online meta-game. It has seen play in decks such as [c]Ad Nauseam[/c] combo, [c]Enduring Ideal[/c] decks, and Travis Woo’s [c]Death’s Shadow[/c], [c]Spoils of the Vault[/c] deck. With no combo potential whatsoever, it even finds its way into the sideboards of B/W Tokens and Zoo decks. Why? Well, Burn of course!

Burn has minimal draw engine available to it, excepting the few players that are attempting [c]Treasure Cruise[/c] right now. If you can gain a certain amount of life, you buy yourself up to three new draw steps and turns. Burn mitigates this counter-strategy with one of its own: [c]Skullcrack[/c] and [c]Flames of the Bloodhand[/c]. [c]Phyrexian Unlife[/c] bypasses all that and gains you between ten and thirteen life, no exceptions. Since Burn is designed to have twenty damage within its top 10-11 cards, you now have more opportunity to get in the game, interact, and win.

The [c]Enduring Ideal[/c] decks aim to ramp to seven mana using [c]Pentad Prism[/c] and [c]Lotus Bloom[/c]. Over the course of the next turns, the opponent is increasingly constricted with [c]Greater Auramancy[/c], [c]Form of the Dragon[/c], [c]Dovescape[/c], and [c]Phyrexian Unlife[/c], not necessarily in that order. Any time the opponent does successfully knock you below zero, even if it is a combat step of 78 damage, you still begin after that to accumulate poison counters. Then your life total resets to 5 thanks to [c]Form of the Dragon[/c], and you start all over.

So what I hope to answer with this brew is, what if we skip [c]Enduring Ideal[/c] and just try to run out [c]Form of the Dragon[/c] using the same ramping process? It’s very risky in a Burn-heavy metagame, so we’re going to have to give ourselves hexproof.

[d title=”The Great White Hate”]
4 Arid Mesa
4 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
8 Plains
4 Rugged Prairie
4 Sacred Foundry

2 Blood Moon
1 Enduring Ideal
3 Form of the Dragon
4 Ghostly Prison
4 Leyline of Sanctity
4 Lotus Bloom
2 Luminarch Ascension
4 Pentad Prism
4 Phyrexian Unlife
2 Poryphory Nodes
4 Runed Halo
2 Sphere of Safety

This is part mono-white Nykthos hate, part [c]Form of the Dragon[/c] and [c]Phyrexian Unlife[/c] combo. Tweaking the deck and practicing with it can be filed under my “things to do.” That being said, I’m tempted to jam [c]Leyline of Sanctity[/c] into the main of many online decks. As of this weekend, I’m 2/3 on cashing with Bogles that includes Leyline in the side and 0/2 on cashing without it.

You may have noticed that lately there has been a prevalence of [c]Ad Nauseam[/c] decks placing in Dailies. I suspect that this has a lot to do with the [c]Phyrexian Unlife[/c] and [c]Angel’s Grace[/c] package the deck has to fight the overwhelming amount of Burn.

[c]Fury of the Horde[/c]

This card creates a win in the [c]Goryo’s Vengeance[/c] deck that is regaining popularity now that everyone wants the turn two kill that [c]Jeskai Ascendancy[/c] apparently has. It is also used in Travis Woo’s new combo deck built around [c]Narset, Enlightened Master[/c]. I want to build a deck that uses [c]Fury of the Horde[/c] with another Khans card, [c]Howl of the Horde[/c], just in case we need to attack for 80 on turn 3.

[d title=”Raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaid”]
20 Mountain

4 Immolating Souleater
4 Kiln Fiend
2 Nivmagus Elemental
4 Simian Spirit Guide

Other Spells
4 Assault Strobe
4 Brute Force
4 Double Cleave
4 Fury of the Horde
4 Ground Rift
4 Howl of the Horde
2 Psychotic Fury[/d]

The sheer amount of redundancy in a deck like this is surely getting close to the breaking point. There are so many different combinations of cards that easily produce a turn three kill. Would it be more resilient with a Rakdos mana-base and some discard disruption? Heck yes, especially in this Delver, Burn-infested metagame. But for the time being, I want to attack with a 1/2 [c]Kiln Fiend[/c] on turn 3, then have three copies of [c]Fury of the Horde[/c] and a 7/2 [c]Kiln Fiend[/c] to take advantage of them. In order to do this, I have to have plenty of red cards.

[c]Ensoul Artifact[/c]

I love Affinity. I love what [c]Ensoul Artifact[/c] has done for Affinity, and that I have a pretty sweet Affinity deck for 100 tix. I sort of cross my fingers in the hopes that [c]Mox Opal[/c] is spoiled for Modern Masters 2 so that this deck becomes more than 100 tix, but I am not a talented shot-caller or speculator.

I also love Infect. Mono Green Infect was a $40 Modern investment that repaid me well over 100 tix in 2-man queues, 8-man queues, and dailies. I bought 4 Noble Hierarchs with my winnings! Eventually, the metagame had too much incidental hate, including Pod’s maindeck [c]Melira, Sylvok Outcast[/c].

When playing Infect, many decks use their life total as a resource in a more aggressive way than they would against any other, more traditional aggro or midrange deck. This is where [c]Noble Hierarch[/c] and a couple of [c]Rancor[/c] enchantments would shore up a lot of games. It would come up at least once in a daily or 8-man for me.

[c]Ensoul Artifact[/c] could serve the same purpose in an Infect deck as Hierarch and [c]Rancor[/c] did, as long as the deck was built a little differently. Here is my take on mono-blue Infect that is built to utilize [c]Ensoul Artifact[/c]. Bonus: We can use [c]Ghostfire Blade[/c] from Khans!

[d title=”Modern Blue Infect”]
4 Darkslick Shores
4 Darksteel Citadel
4 Inkmoth Nexus
2 Island
4 Polluted Delta
2 Watery Grave

4 Blighted Agent
4 Ichorclaw Myr
2 Spellskite
4 Vector Asp

Other Spells
4 Aether Vial
4 Cranial Plating
4 Ensoul Artifact
2 Ghostfire Blade
4 Mox Opal
4 Serum Visions
4 Welding Jar[/d]

The real beauty here, besides the multiple angles of attack, is that blue offers us many more sideboard choices to counteract the hosers that exist. We can play [c]Dispel[/c] and [c]Spell Pierce[/c], [c]Unsummon[/c] or [c]Vapor Snag[/c] (the former actually has its merit in this list over the latter!), and [c]Echoing Truth[/c] or other counters.

This deck also has to resolve less spells at the right time to function. The mono green list has to hold up [c]Ranger’s Guile[/c] and [c]Vines of Vastwood[/c] to maintain lethal, and here we can use [c]Aether Vial[/c] at the end of turn to play our threat when the opponent is not prepared. Or we can Vial in a [c]Spellskite[/c] (credit to deluxeicoff here, you can see his U/G lists on stats pages).

I’m fairly devoted to a couple of different lists in Modern right now and have less time to test and practice brews, but if these spark something in you, good luck, have fun!

Closing question: Have you considered what can be done to fix the Modern MTGO metagame that is so littered with burn? Does anything need to be done besides deck adjustments?


Community Participation League #2: Top 8

Hello Ladies and Gentlenerds!!!

Welcome to the final week of the second Community Participation League! It’s Top 8 time, and we have a strong line up!

  1. Dew4au 6-0
  2. Deluxeicoff 5-1
  3. Sirpoptart 5-1
  4. Najay1 5-1
  5. Juanmcrae 5-1
  6. Denofbears 4-1-1
  7. Fanofhistory 4-2
  8. Magicgatheringstrat2 4-2

Here is the link if you want to follow along with the rounds:

league 2 top 8

Set up matches with your opponent as soon as you can, report here per usual, and check up in the comments (or on Challonge) to see your next pairings. You can arrange with your next opponent as soon as the bracket updates. I would like all of the matches to be complete by Wednesday, October 29th, so we can announce the winner of the league as well as the format for the third league during the article that goes up that day!

That’s right, voting for the third league starts right now, and lasts till Tuesday the 28th. We are going to do things a little different this time around. We found that having an established format like Pauper was great at the beginning of League, but it showed player fatigue very quick. So this time around we are going to be picking from a few different formats that are much more open for brewing.

So the formats we are choosing from are.

Standard Pauper. The death of Dimir Mill, and the power level of Khans, has breathed new life into Standard Pauper. It is a blast to play right now. 1 color to 5 color. Anything goes!


Standard Silverblack. The totally unknown format. We would be making our own Meta, starting from scratch. There are some very strong Uncommons around right now, and it looks like it would be amazingly fun to play.

So vote in the comments below! The winner of the League does get to pick the format for the next League, but the voice of the community should have a huge influence on their choice.

So how did you do in the League? Here is a link to the final standings!

I finished a respectable 19th!

Plugs and other stuff

Round three of the Pauper Gauntlet is starting up after the downtime today. The sharks are starting to gather because there is blood in the water! Dan is still looking for people to claim decks, to win amazing prizes!

And of course Brennon, Dan, and I are doing the Standard Pauper Show each week talking about Standard Pauper, Pauper, and the Gauntlet!

Also something cool happened in the last week.

I got a shout out from Scramble, he played my Raka Storm deck to a 3-1 during SPDC 27.01. Pretty awesome I think, and thanks for the props Mr Scramble. I talked to Roberto who finished second, and he let me know Scramble crushed him on his way to 3-1. So the deck does work!

And that’s it. Short and sweet this week as I don’t want to draw focus away from the awesome Top 8.

Just one last thing before I go …

I just want to say it was an amazing experience running the first two leagues on the website. It was great getting to know you all, and play against you guys. It was awesome that we ended up having over 100 players total join, and most of them play some games. I am looking forward to continuing to write for the website, and I am trying to come up with a PRE for the site that runs on the weekend and features a popular format, with prize support.

If anyone ever wants to reach me, I respond pretty much as soon as I get the email, and would love to keep in touch with everyone!

And till next time may you play Treasure Cruise in every blue deck you can jam it into. It’s not broken, but it is just amazing!

Sam Aka Vaultboyhunter

Faithless Looting #12: Stab Wound Jr.

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

Lots of things are happening in MagicGatheringStrat world and the Magic world in general. Hymn-gate is about to wrap up, and cards like [c]Hymn to Tourach[/c] and [c]Sinkhole[/c] will, once again, be banned in Pauper. Should they be? When we have broken commons like [c]Cloud of Faeries[/c] and [c]Treasure Cruise[/c], I wonder how much we really need to worry. On the other hand, Black decks don’t need any kind of boost, so I’m happy to see these cards go. I’ll be doing a post-Hymn meta review, probably on Friday, so keep an eye out for that. In the meantime, I’ll just say this.

If you were playing in any money event and lost to a deck playing the broken cards, SUBMIT A REIMBURSEMENT REQUEST.

I won’t criticize the people choosing to play these cards and I honestly hope that they won’t get in trouble with WotC (though it seems like a silly risk to take). But the fact is that they are not actually legal in Pauper and so if you play against them and lose you are entitled to reimbursement. It’s as simple as that.

For our contest last week – and really, over the last two weeks – our task was to build a list centered around Khans of Tarkir, either a post-rotation Standard or Standard Pauper list, or a list in any other format built around a KTK card or cards. While I did get some submissions for Pauper, by far the most submissions were in Standard Pauper, so in the interest of comparing apples to apples, that is mostly what I looked at. I also said last week that I would dole out multiple prizes, and that we’ll be taking a bit of a break from the contests after this. I’ve been falling behind on sending stuff out but I WILL be getting prizes to everyone who won; thanks everyone for hanging in there.

Faithless Contest #10-11: Winners!

I was excited to get some great lists from the Standard Pauper community, and I played matches with six of them. Honestly I wish I’d had time to play more. Still, I played enough to get a sense of what Standard Pauper might look like in the current meta, and I think there is a lot of room for interesting (and different) lists to shine. It’s always a bit surprising how many decks there are to put together from such a small pool, but there is a lot of variety even in the competitive scene. Speaking of, we have results from SPDC and MPDC to look at now, so if you want to see more cool Standard Pauper lists, go check those out.

For my money, the strongest color in Standard Pauper right now is White. For a mono-colored deck, it’s a top choice. That’s nothing new, though. White has been dominating Standard Pauper lists for quite awhile now; I expect that to continue. Wisker’s mono-white list(s) are a great example, and he got 1st and 2nd with them over the weekend.

Outside of weenie and heroic strategies, Green still has a strong representation in ramp and fattie builds, and shouldn’t be ignored. [c]Longshot Squad[/c] is an amazing card against Flyer match-ups, and [c]Nessian Asp[/c] is the format’s Crusher. Is there anything bigger than an 8/9 with Reach in the format? Maybe not, but [c]Humbler of Mortals[/c] seems neat, alongside [c]Hooting Mandrills[c] and [c]Siege Wurm[/c] and [c]Vulpine Goliath[/c]. There are plenty of big green dudes to beat face with and I imagine we’ll see more ramp and devotion lists emerge in the color.

There may or may not be a control deck out there that can stop these strong strategies. A lot of the removal cards in the format currently only kill creatures with 2 or less toughness, and that’s a big issue in my opinion since Khans gave us a lot of 3-toughness creatures. I think [c]Kill Shot[/c] is the best piece of removal in the format right now, though [c]Feast of Dreams[/c] and [c]Pillar of Light[/c] are both interesting as well. That said, [c]Debilitating Injury[/c] seems like the most popular piece of removal and for one good reason: it’s fetchable with [c]Heliod’s Pilgrim[/c]. Expect “Stab Wound Jr.” to do a lot of work, but without inducing quite as much rage as its predecessor.

Why am I highlighting all this in the winner’s section? Because these comments define the winners this week. In no particular order, I’d like to congratulate the following brewers for their winning lists:

  • Wisker for White Stompy
  • jphsnake for Putin’s Dream
  • Rremedio for Esper Annoyance
  • Brennon for BW Auras

You guys will all win fabulous stuff from my Loot Crate stash!

ALL the lists were great, guys, and I wish I didn’t have to pick winners. If you’re looking for cool Standard Pauper lists, check out the comments on BOTH articles from the last two weeks. Denofbears snuck in a comment on #11 with two strong lists, and there were many, many more lists to play with in FL #10.

Here are videos of me playing the winning lists:





Faithless Decks #12: Some Old Bullshit

If you follow Deluxeicoff on Facebook you’ll know that he’s got a new obsession, and it’s a Zero Creature control list similar to Johnny Lai’s 0C-BuC list (and previous FL winner) and moreso to someoldguy’s iterations of that list. Deluxe has added his own flavor to it, and the result is a rage-inducing piece of Magic mayhem. His name for it? And since I’m a complete juvenile, that totally cracks me up. Me, though, I’m gonna call it 0C-BuC Deluxe.

Not being able to resist, I made my own changes to the list. I added a [c]Bojuka Bog[/c] in place of a basic Swamp, and then turned the other Swamps into [c]Vault of Whispers[/c]. Since this made [c]Snuff Out[/c] bad out of the SB, I replaced those with [c]Ghastly Demise[/c]. Otherwise the list is as Deluxeicoff presented it. Here are a couple matches I played, sped up (since the deck is very grindy). Here is the list:

[d title=”0C-BuC Deluxe (Pauper)”]
2 Bojuka Bog
4 Dimir Aqueduct
4 Dismal Backwater
1 Dimir Guildgate
1 Island
4 Seat of the Synod
3 Vault of Whispers
4 Radiant Fountain

4 Preordain
4 Innocent Blood
4 Counterspell
4 Chainer’s Edict
3 Diabolic Edict
4 Pristine Talisman
2 Curse of the Bloody Tome
4 Exclude
3 Deep Analysis
4 Evincar’s Justice
1 Treasure Cruise

4 Hydroblast
1 Raven’s Crime
2 Crypt Incursion
4 Faerie Macabre
1 Child of Night
3 Ghastly Demise [/d]

We get to see the deck in action against Boroskitty first, and then the mirror match against Deluxeicoff himself.


That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading! I’ll be getting in touch and sending out prizes to everyone who hasn’t gotten one yet. Faithless Looting contests will be on hiatus for awhile, but I’ll try and find the time to write about other stuff on Tuesdays until the contests start back up again.

Until next time, keep the faith!


Legacy on Mondays: So I Was a Little Bit Wrong

Welcome Back!

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article stating that I doubted that Khans of Tarkir would have much impact on the Legacy format whatsoever. This, thanks to a mere two cards, has been proven slightly wrong. If Standard and Modern get [c]Jeskai Ascendancy[/c] as their new power card, then Legacy gets [c]Dig Through Time[/c] and [c]Treasure Cruise[/c]. Sure, both of those are being played in Standard and Modern, but Dig and the Bruise Cruise are getting a lot of attention in the Legacy scene as well.

Overall, I could not care less about [c]Jeskai Ascendancy[/c]. It is not going to have any effect on the Eternal scene at all. I care more about the two blue delve cards, because they have much more raw, applicable, and immediate power than the Ascendancy does. I would also like to discuss how I plan to use these bad boys, but first, the cards themselves:

[c]Dig Through Time[/c] – This card is a bit like [c]Impulse[/c] on steroids. It is very different from [c]Treasure Cruise[/c] in that it is more of a cantrip and hand fixer than a gas spell. Sneak & Show has used this card some, as the graveyard can fill up with cards like fetchlands, [c]Lotus Petal[/c]s, and counterspells, so that it often only costs two or three mana. As of writing this, Dig is selling for $7.58 a piece on That is not cheap for a powerful cantrip, but the card is definitely useful for finding answers, win conditions, or more gas.

dig through time

[c]Treasure Cruise[/c] – The text box on this should read: “Threshold – [c]Ancestral Recall[/c].” Wow. This effect is ridiculously powerful. Decks like ANT have begun to use this card, and cast it twice for only {u} in the same turn. Delver decks, Canadian Threshold, and others have also started to play this card too, just to combat the raw card advantage that the other decks are getting from it as well. The Legacy graveyard fills up faster than ‘yards in almost every other format, with a possible exception for Vintage. Fetchlands, [c]Wasteland[/c], [c]Force of Will[/c], [c]Life from the Loam[/c], and friends will be filling graveyards at an exceptional pace. Fortunately, [c]Scavenging Ooze[/c] and [c]Deathrite Shaman[/c] slow things down a bit, so expect a resurgence of these two to help combat the menace in an effective way in the main deck.

bruise cruise

Fortunately, I doubt these will see play in too many [c]Dark Confidant[/c] builds. They both have CMC 8 regardless of Delve, so ol’ Bob will not be coinciding well with these. But I don’t care about that too much; I am far more interested in seeing how I might be able to fit these into my favorite Legacy archetype – [c]High Tide[/c].

Oh yes, after that four-article marathon, here we are again at that deck! But these cards both fit into the niche parts of the [c]High Tide[/c] deck: They either cantrip or provide draw power. Both are mana-efficient in a deck that usually fills the graveyard quickly, too. The one chosen is based on deck type, and whether or not the tight nucleus of cards that makes up the deck is worth thinning for something new.

One obvious example would be that [c]Treasure Cruise[/c] is outright unplayable in Solidarity. The deck is 100% instant speed, so no-no on the sorcery. [c]Dig Through Time[/c], however, is instant speed, and as mentioned earlier it does a great impression of a suped-up [c]Impulse[/c], a card that is normally run in Solidarity. A disadvantage is that Delving hurts [c]Snapcaster Mage[/c], which is a popular edition to recent Solidarity lists. I might try running two Dig instead of an [c]Impulse[/c] and an [c]Opt[/c]. Both of the lesser cantrips are still necessary in numbers, as they set up the hand nicely without a stocked graveyard while contributing to Delve themselves.

The card in which I am more interested for my purposes as a Spring Tide player is [c]Treasure Cruise[/c]. The old bruise cruise has the potential to be a draw spell that is far more efficient than [c]Meditate[/c] or [c]Ideas Unbound[/c], and it is much better as a set-up card than either. It is also a common, and sits at the lovely price of only $0.15 on I am not running Snappy Griller, so I do not fear exiling my entire graveyard to go cruising. It isn’t so good in the early turns, and it is awful when multiple start to pile up, as the graveyard can’t always be restocked at lightning pace after one cruise, and I do not want to spend too much mana casting the things. I want to test them as 2-ofs and 3-ofs, just to see what happens. It may improve the overall consistency of the deck as an effective turn-4 draw spell that sets up for a perfect turn-5 kill, or it may save that extra 1 mana that an [c]Ideas Unbound[/c] would not to continue to combo off in a tight spot.

All of this is purely hypothetical, but I may be picking up some [c]Treasure Cruise[/c]s and gathering some empirical data sometime in the near future. Oh, and Pauper players, did I mention that Cruise is legal in your format? I have seen none of it yet, and would love to see if Pauper’s [c]Ancestral Recall[/c] sees widespread play. Possibly in Trinket? I’m not sure. Leave a comment if you have any ideas!

Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you next week.


The Standard Pauper Show, Issue 15

Section 1: This week in Standard Pauper

Like Mr. Wonka says, you get nothing this week. Though he seems a bit harsh.

However, I am fairly proud of this week’s episode so I do encourage you to sit back and enjoy it. Oh, and please visit it on YouTube. The comments were particularly good!

Thanks for the Tweet, Derek!

Section 2: The Winning Deck

Unfortunately there are no winning decks. The problem is, I am a stickler when it comes to format consistency.

Here are our slightly revised deck lists:

Cyrulean’s Secret Bayou Graveyard Sauce

4 Leafcrown Dryad
4 Satyr Wayfinder
4 Netcaster Spider
2 Undergrowth Scavenger
3 Hooting Mandrills
3 Sultai Scavenger

2 Lash of the Whip
2 Asphyxiate
3 Bitter Revelation
3 Molting Snakeskin
3 Cast into Darkness
3 Debilitating Injury
2 Font of Return

8 Forest
4 Jungle Hollow
10 Swamp

No sideboard as I have no idea what the meta will look like. I think you get the idea.

Ana’s Succulent Sultai Graveyard Salad

4 Elvish Mystic
4 Satyr Wayfinder
3 Nimbus Naiad
3 Hooting Mandrills
3 Sultai Scavenger

4 Flesh to Dust
3 Commune with the Gods
3 Scout the Borders
3 Bitter Revelation
3 Treasure Cruise
4 Debilitating Injury
1 Font of Return

2 Dismal Backwater
4 Evolving Wilds
4 Forest
2 Island
4 Jungle Hollow
4 Swamp
1 Thornwood Falls
1 Unknown Shores

3 Festergloom
4 Netcaster Spider
3 Negate
2 Naturalize
3 Disdainful Stroke

I think we took a similar path. What would you add or remove from these decks to make them more effective?

Section 3: A look at Drawing Cards

Oh the lolz!

No, what I am wondering about is why everyone is flipping their shiz over Treasure Cruise

First of all, the art is gorgeous:

Artist: Cynthia Sheppard
Artist: Cynthia Sheppard

I have this as part of my rotating background images. If you are so inclined, you can visit this site:

They have so many beautiful images, I highly recommend it.

Secondly, the card is Sorcery speed.

This is not the second coming of [c]Ancestral Recall[/c].

This is not instant speed. If I can’t do it in response to something, it will never be as good.

Third, I don’t care if [c]Ancestral Vision[/c] is banned in modern.

You will not cascade into Treasure Cruise. How many alternate ways are there to cast 0 cost spells? Now, how many alternate ways are there to cast 8cmc spells? You will not cast Treasure Cruise during your upkeep for 0. These cards are not the same. You must spend resources, not just mana, to get this out by turn 4. Sure, it can happen much earlier. What did you give up to make that happen? There are costs to such a card. Powering it out on turn three seems like way more work than would be worth it. Why not just play reanimater and use your graveyard as the second library?

I do not see the ban hammer falling on this card anytime soon. What I see here is a fixed version of ancestral visions. I know I have no “skins on the wall” so WTF should I know right? I can only tell you what I see, and that is a lot of hype. Maybe if Sultai dredge becomes a real thing. Don’t you think they will work on fixing [c]Jeskai Ascendency[/c] first? Turn three kills get a lot of attention from Sir Bannington.

ban hammer jeskai