Paupers and Kings, Ep. 9: Hypermana

Voyaging Satyr

Hi everyone, and welcome to the ninth episode of Paupers & Kings, my series on porting Pauper decks into the Modern format while staying on a budget. Today we’re ramping up to talk about … well, ramp. We’ve got Tooth and Nail to look at in Modern and Eldrazi Green to check out in Pauper. Let’s take a look!

Hypermana in Pauper

Partially inspired by Alex Ullman’s article on SCG last year, I wanted to take a look at the hypermana concept in both formats. Below we have Alex’s list from the article, and his write-up is more detailed than I will get here.

[d title=”Eldrazi Green by Alex Ullman (Pauper)”]
Land
18 Snow-Covered Forest
2 Haunted Fengraf

Ramp
4 Voyaging Satyr
4 Arbor Elf
4 Utopia Sprawl
4 Wild Growth

Creatures
4 Nylea’s Disciple
1 Fangren Marauder
4 Nest Invader
3 Ulamog’s Crusher
4 Aurochs Herd
4 Llanowar Sentinel
2 Fierce Empath
2 Krosan Tusker

Sideboard
1 Fangren Marauder
4 Scattershot Archer
3 Wickerbough Elder
1 Calming Verse
4 Thermokarst
2 Moment’s Peace [/d]

The plan in brief is to get a lot of mana early and play things like [c]Ulamog’s Crusher[/c] by turn 3. Nest Invader provides ramp and early blockers when necessary, while Krosan Tusker can help ramp or come down late game as a big body.

As I was playing it, I found the list to be vulnerable to flyers, so I would add some Spidersilk Armor into the sideboard I think to shore up those matches.

Hypermana in Modern

Tooth and Nail could also be called Eldrazi Green, by rights, since it is a mono-green shell that ramps up and (often) wins by getting Emrakul on the board. The key players are Emrakul, Xenagos, and Tooth and Nail. Everything else serves to ramp into the combo or protect you while you get there.

[d title=”Tooth and Nail (Modern)”]
Land
22 Forest

Ramp
4 Arbor Elf
4 Voyaging Satyr
4 Overgrowth
4 Utopia Sprawl
1 Garruk Wildspeaker
1 Garruk, Primal Hunter

Creatures
3 Acidic Slime
2 Eternal Witness
1 Xenagos, God of Revels
1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
1 Wurmcoil Engine

Spells
4 Harmonize
2 Primal Command
4 Tooth and Nail
2 Beast Within

Sideboard
1 Beast Within
4 Creeping Corrosion
4 Creeping Mold
2 Eyes of the Wisent
4 Naturalize [/d]

The deck is surprisingly resilient for a combo deck. While your opponent may counter your Tooth and Nails, you will eventually be able to hard-cast Emrakul if they take too long, and there often isn’t much that can be done after that. Wurmcoil is a key player against aggressive lists like burn and the deck can often get him down early enough to actually make a difference.

Xenagos is a key enabler here and the component that makes it so your wincon happens the same turn (not the next turn). Attacking with Emrakul is always fun, but even better when she is 30/30 and has haste. Getting in with a 12/12 lifelink wurm is also quite strong and, if it won’t win you the game outright, will often do so in a turn or two.

Cost-wise you’re looking at just 45 tix or so online to put the list together, or about $155 in paper. If you’ve picked up some of the spendier staples already (Emrakul, Wurmcoil, Primal Command) then the list costs almost nothing to try out. Make sure you find the inexpensive [c]Garruk Wildspeaker[/c] so you can save a couple tix. I got mine off Cardhoarder as MTGOTraders didn’t have any in stock at the time, though it appears they do have one now.

Hypermana on the Play

We definitely ramped, but did we crush? I played three matches with Eldrazi Green and lots and lots (and lots) of matches with Tooth and Nail. I’ve rotated them in the playlist by format for your viewing pleasure.

 

In a way, Eldrazi Green seems a bit “fair” in the current Pauper format. People have answers to Crusher and other big threats, and countermagic is a big component of the game right now, which stymies our plan somewhat. Tooth and Nail, on the other hand, was surprisingly resilient (it only needs to get one fatty out and that’s the game, usually), though it did have an issue on occasion with faster aggressive decks.

Next week on Paupers and Kings

Next week will be the 10th and last episode of Paupers and Kings, where we will look at Affinity in both formats. Thanks for tuning in and I hope you’ve enjoyed the series!

Until then, may your utopias always be sprawling.

/bava