Community League #5: Classic Pauper, Week 3

community league 5 banner

Hey gang!

Check out the week one article for a reminder on rules, reporting, and prize payouts.

I’m not sending out any more email updates, so hopefully you all made it here to this article, one way or another!

Week Two for Bava

I played Domain Zoo in week 2 against Sebastian_Boller, who was playing an interesting UW Exalted list.

What have you guys been playing and how has it gone? Respond in the comments below, or use the league forum!

Week Three Pairings

With further ado, here they are. We had two more drops after week two, so yawgmoths_trust gets a BYE this week. If you have any questions, get in touch.

league-5-week-3

Good luck, have fun!

 

Game of Thrones Chat S05E07 The Gift

The boys discuss The Gift, Game of Thrones S05E07. Where is Ghost kept? Why does Tyene use a slow poison on her weapons? How did Littlefinger make Lancel confess in five minutes? Who was the burly guard that freed Tyrion? Does anything make sense anymore? Find out here

We assume that you have seen the first four seasons and all the episodes of the fifth season up to and including this one when you listen to this. Otherwise there will be spoilers.

You can find Game of Thrones Chat on itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/game-of-thrones-chat/id972440953?mt=2

Please do not spoil anything from the books or later episodes in the comments to this podcast.
The fourth season on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjeCcjfkz_E&list=PLiLMS0AQ-jpBqXMsxwqnj1Hb9Uhk0bWqd
The fifth season will be published on Hard Nerd Cafe on YouTube as well as on itunes.

Talk Game of Thrones with us on Hard Nerd Cafe or
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Game-of-Thrones-Chat/233435420181626
or https://twitter.com/GameofThronesCt

Learn more about the Fan of History on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28o-28fc-t8
or check out the Fan of History podcast on itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/fan-of-history/id958058555?mt=2

Commander Corner: Zurgo Bellstriker

Welcome back,

For this week, I decided to get away from the slow ramp decks and control decks for something lean and mean. [c]Zurgo Bellstriker[/c] is about as lean as it gets. A 2/2 for one is pretty solid in other constructed formats, so why not in this one? We can definitely make this work in this wonderful format we call Commander.

Last time we saw Zurgo, he was the man in charge. He was the leader of the Mardu, charging them into battle. He was a master of war, dominating his foes on the battlefield. Things have changed since Sarkhan went back in time. Now, he rings bells and serves Kolaghan. He is Kolaghan’s personal attendant, and essentially a punching bag. When Kolaghan wishes to go to war, its Zurgo’s job to ring the bell and rally the troops together. Before this time shift, Sarkhan and Zurgo were enemies. Sarkhan wanted nothing more than to take vengeance on him, but now that he has saw how low his enemy has fallen, he decided against it. It seems that Zurgo’s fate was worse than what Sarkhan had planned for him.

[c]Zurgo Bellstriker[/c] lends himself to a super lean aggressive deck. In terms of constructed formats like Standard, he fits square into these hyper aggressive red decks that focus so much on curving out perfectly. This format is no different. The deck’s focus is about curving out and utilizing your mana effectively, while squeezing out every last point of damage you can from each spell you cast. Lets take a look at what troops [c]Zurgo Bellstriker[/c] can rally up for us.

cardart_qtcpFTe09Z

He may have lost his power, but he sure makes up for it in speed and efficiency

[d title= “Zurgo Bellstriker (EDH)”]

Commander

1 Zurgo Bellstriker

Lands

1 Bloodstained Mire

1 Mutavault

1 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx

1 Scrying Sheets

1 Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep

28 Snow-Covered Mountain

1 Strip Mine

1 Tectonic Edge

1 Wooded Foothills

[/d]

[d]

Creatures

1 Anger

1 Ash Zealot

1 Avalanche Riders

1 Chandra’s Phoenix

1 Diaochan, Artful Beauty

1 Dragon Whisperer

1 Eidolon of the Great Revel

1 Fanatic of Mogis

1 Firedrinker Satyr

1 Firefist Striker

1 Flametongue Kavu

1 Foundry Street Denizen

1 Frenzied Goblin

1 Goblin Guide

1 Goblin Heelcutter

1 Goblin Rabblemaster

1 Goblin Wardriver

1 Grim Lavamancer

1 Hellrider

[/d]

[d]

Creatures Cont.

1 Hero of Oxid Ridge

1 Ire Shaman

1 Kargan Dragonlord

1 Legion Loyalist

1 Lightning Berserker

1 Lightning Mauler

1 Magus of the Moon

1 Manic Vandal

1 Mardu Scout

1 Monastery Swiftspear

1 Ogre Battledriver

1 Purphoros, God of the Forge

1 Satyr Firedancer

1 Stormbreath Dragon

1 Thundermaw Hellkite

1 Urabrask the Hidden

1 Vexing Devil

1 War-Name Aspirant

1 Zealous Conscripts

[/d]

[d]

Instants

1 Chain of Plasma

1 Falter

1 Fireblast

1 Lightning Bolt

1 Magma Jet

1 Price of Progress

1 Pyrokinesis

1 Searing Blaze

1 Searing Blood

1 Stoke the Flames

Sorceries

1 Arc Lightning

1 Blinding Flare

1 Chain Lightning

1 Goblin War Cry

1 Harness by Force

1 Hordeling Outburst

1 Magmatic Chasm

1 Mizzium Mortars

1 Wheel of Fate

1 Wheel of Fortune

[/d]

[d]

Enchantments

1 Aggravated Assault

1 Goblin War Drums

1 Heat Stroke

1 Sulfuric Vortex

Artifacts

1 Hall of Triumph

[/d]

Price: Paper = $201.42 | MTGO = 154.9 TIX

The MTGO price does not include [c]Goblin War Cry[/c]. I would recommend replacing it with another [c]Falter[/c] effect like [c]Ruthless Invasion[/c], but this slot is up to you.

This deck is pretty much hellbent on beating your opponent’s face into the pavement. This is the most aggressive deck I think I’ve ever seen or built. It’s creature dense, packed with burn and [c]Falter[/c] effects, and some card draw to keep the pain train coming. It does one thing, but it does that one thing extremely well.

The biggest draw to this deck is its curve. I’ve done the best I can to make the curve as good as possible. This deck has been in the works for at least a month now, so I’ve had a lot of time with it. The deck tends to curve out supremely, and usually has some way to use all of its mana in the turn cycle. I skimped a little on the one drops, because our turn one play is usually just [c]Zurgo Bellstriker[/c]. We do curve up to five drops, or six drops if you include [c]Pyrokinesis[/c] and [c]Fireblast[/c] though you usually won’t be casting it for its mana cost, so that we can maximize the pressure on our opponent during the early game.

Most decks in the format take some time to set up, which is where we do the most of our damage. We curve out to some of the best aggressive five drops printed in recent memory with [c]Stormbreath Dragon[/c], [c]Thundermaw Hellkite[/c], and [c]Urabrask the Hidden[/c]. These hasty threats will be able to close out the game in short order.

If we do end up going into the long game, our smaller creatures will probably get outclassed. So to mitigate this, we have a handfull of [c]Falter[/c] effects. They will allow us to blow out our opponent and shove tons of damage through. I hope your opponent doesn’t plan on blocking often, because that’s not going to happen.

On top of these effects, we also have some mana sinks to help us utilize our mana in the late game. Cards like [c]Aggravated Assault[/c] will give us extra combat steps, which lets us utilize [c]Falter[/c] even more. If one combat step where their creatures can’t block was bad, two seems like a death sentence. [c]Blinding Flare[/c] also acts like a mana sink when we get to pour mana into its strive cost. We can even refill our hand with [c]Wheel of Fortune[/c] and [c]Wheel of Fate[/c] so that we never run out of gas.

Our early game aggression, compounded with our late game mana sinks, lets us consistently keep the pressure on our opponent. This deck will never let up, and will punish any misstep or stumble from our opponent. Most of our creatures may be small, but it’s unwise to underestimate their potential. Who said red was the worst color in EDH? Zurgo would beg to differ.

Overall, this deck is tons of fun if you like turning cards sideways. It borrows its core concepts from the red decks of yore, focusing on curving out instead of shear power. In a format known for durdeling around in the early game, this deck doesn’t mess around. Its quick and unrelenting nature will turn any opponent to a pile of ash. Zurgo is ringing his bell. Will you answer the call to war?

Thank you for checking out this week’s Commander Corner. If you have any suggestions for a future commander, or topic you wish for me to discuss, let me know in the comments below. Next week, we will take a visit to Ravnica once again to meet the head of the [c]Church of Deals[/c]. I’ll get to testing that deck, as soon as I stop watching Kung Fury. Seriously, go watch that movie. It’s radical.

-Steven Gulsby

 

The MagicGatheringStrat Show, Ep. 14

Section 1: This week in Standard Pauper

Section 2: Player run events

SPDC 29.07

24-May-15
Standard · 20 Players
20 Decks · 100% Reported
3 rounds Swiss
Top 8 playoff
Hosted by DrChrisBakerDC

1st Mono Blue Control by DrChrisBakerDC
2nd Izzet Control by beatnik bobby
T4 Bad Aggro Boros by davbricar
T4 Dashing Dashers by johnnyinabucket
T8 GREEN SMASH by chcltthndridn
T8 monoGreen by Jonder_qind
T8 Izzet Control by tazerdadog
T8 G.W.2 by yelloweyes2

The winning deck:

MONO BLUE CONTROL
Standard · Control
1st by DrChrisBakerDC in SPDC 29.07 (6-0)

[d]
Creatures
4 Jeskai Sage
4 Whirlwind Adept
1 Nimbus Naiad
1 Palace Familiar
Spells
4 Divination
4 Griptide
4 Nullify
4 Treasure Cruise
3 Rise of Eagles
2 Anticipate
2 Negate
1 Cancel
1 Voyage’s End
1 Whisk Away
Lands
16 Island
4 Evolving Wilds
4 Radiant Fountain

SIDEBOARD
4 Sidisi’s Faithful
4 Coral Barrier
3 Disdainful Stroke
2 Voyage’s End
2 Negate
[/d]

The MatchUps

R1:  Win:  2 – 1 vs.  davbricar  Bad Aggro Boros 
R2:  Win:  2 – 0 vs.  br_laern  bg ramp 
R3:  Loss:  1 – 2 vs.  Bender_The_Great  UB_Devotion 
T8:  Win:  2 – 0 vs.  br_laern  bg ramp 
T4:  Win:  2 – 0 vs.  Grunker  UB Merchant 
T2:  Win:  2 – 0 vs.  davbricar  Bad Aggro Boros 

mgs 14 (1)

mgs 14 (2)

mgs 14 (3)

SPDC 29.07

MPDC 29.07

25-May-15
Standard · 21 Players
21 Decks · 100% Reported
3 rounds Swiss
Top 8 playoff
Hosted by rremedio1

1st tokens by karakusk
2nd Bad Aggro Boros by davbricar
T4 UB Merchant by Grunker
T4 monoGreen by Jonder_qind
T8 UB_Devotion by Bender_The_Great
T8 bg ramp by br_laern
T8 WUB by Nagi_Bultra
T8 Dash by slagel79

The winning deck:

TOKENS
Standard · Aggro
1st by karakusk in MPDC 29.07 (5-1)

[d]
Creatures
4 Aven Skirmisher
4 Mardu Hordechief
4 Sandsteppe Outcast
Spells
4 Dragon Fodder
4 Impact Tremors
4 Raise the Alarm
4 Triplicate Spirits
4 War Flare
3 Collateral Damage
2 Lightning Strike
2 Rush of Battle
Lands
8 Plains
5 Mountain
4 Evolving Wilds
4 Wind-Scarred Crag

SIDEBOARD

[/d]

The MatchUps

R1:  Win:  2 – 1 vs.  davbricar  Bad Aggro Boros 
R2:  Win:  2 – 0 vs.  br_laern  bg ramp 
R3:  Loss:  1 – 2 vs.  Bender_The_Great  UB_Devotion 
T8:  Win:  2 – 0 vs.  br_laern  bg ramp 
T4:  Win:  2 – 0 vs.  Grunker  UB Merchant 
T2:  Win:  2 – 0 vs.  davbricar  Bad Aggro Boros 

mgs 14 (4)

mgs 14 (5)

mgs 14 (6)

MPDC 29.07

Mid-Week Pauper Meta Report: May 28, 2015

ghostly flicker art

About this article

This is a weekly report on the online pauper meta. The data it uses are from last Wednesday to this Wednesday. It looks at the data that Tom Scud collects from a selection of dailies. He watches the replays on MTGO to figure out how each person did, not just the 3-1s and 4-0s that Wizards publishes. This allows us to see the whole iceberg and figure out how well each deck did in total. Now, this data is just for this week and just from the data Tom collects, so it does ignore the other 3-1/4-0 results which means it is not perfect. Additionally, the conclusions in this article are just based on this week, and as the meta is fluid, the top decks shift. This is intended to see what decks are performing well this week and is not necessarily a reflection of the deck’s overall strength.

This uses the data from the 5/21, 5/22 evening, 5/24 afternoon, and 5/24 evening results

No decks really exploded onto the scene this week and W Tokens continued its fall, but UB Angler has now risen to make up more than 5% of the field and had a quite decent week. The other major story is that the DtK season is wrapping up and Modern Masters 2015 is coming in as the hot new thing.

pauper-meta-5-28-05pauper-meta-5-28-04

The prominence graphs are above and really there is not too much fluctuation from the prominence in all of the field and just the 3-1 and 4-0 results. The only deck that increased/decreased by more than 2% was Esper Fae. This shows a decently even metagame for the week and not the large jumps that can often occur.

pauper-meta-5-28-03

The graph above demonstrated the 2 groups of decks this week. Esper Fae is above all with over 60% cash and win rates and just after that UR Fiend, UB Angler, Delver, and Burn are all very close to each other with very strong weeks. Affinity, MBC, and Stompy did not do as well, with the entire group having less than 30% cash rates and a losing record. Stompy had a much worse week than I expected, but other than that this graph is not super surprising.

As always thanks for reading, Najay1!

Winners

1. Esper Fae Combo – Esper Fae continues its hot streak at the top of the charts with a 62.5% cash rate and a 65.45% win rate. It was very polar in the results as it had 10 decks in the money and 4 decks winless with only 2 in between. With the arrival of Gut Shot, the deck now is much less safe going off while the opponent is tapped out and could suffer as a result, but for the current season Esper Fae is leaving on top. Look for another strong week from Esper Fae.

2. UR Fiend – A deck that has not been racking up the numbers recently, it made a strong showing this week as it put up a 43.75% cash rate and 57.41% win rate. Despite that, I do not expect the deck to be a major power in the meta in the immediate future. The question with the deck going forward is to what extent the deck will utilize Gut Shot, if at all. I am a bit surprised about the amount of UR Fiend with the dominance of MBC as it is not a strong match up at all and I would not look for the deck to be great during the end of the season.

3. UB Angler – The best Gurmag Angler deck is starting to really become a deck to watch out for. Last week the deck just missed 5% prominence and this week it barely got over the mark with a 5.06% prominence. With the larger sample size, the deck’s results can now be analyzed more accurately and this week it did quite well with a 43.75% cash rate and a 55.56% win rate. The Delver version of the deck is now by far the better contender and has put up very strong results. I really like this deck and its current version which have done better than the Turbo Angler decks of last season.

Losers

1. W Tokens – The past flavor of the week deck is now diminishing back to its normal size with a 3.8% prominence across the 4 dailies. Those decks did not have strong numbers either as it had a 8.33% cash rate and a 42.11% win rate, not the most stellar. The win rate does indicate the cash rate should probably be higher (as 1/3 of the pilots went 2-X), but it could also indicate that the top decks were prepared for W Tokens. As the hate starts to fade away, the deck may be able to make a comeback.

2. Stompy – Stompy is a deck that I thought would be great in the coming weeks, but it certainly did not have a great performance this week. With a 22.73% cash rate and a 45.07% win rate, the deck did not do as well as expected. One of the reasons for the failure is a 2-6 record versus Esper Fae (not including the data from the 5/24 evening daily) which was its second most common match up. This was mostly just a bad draw for Stompy and they probably will not meet too much in the future. Overall, I can see this deck doing decent to great before Gut Shot hits at which time the future is unknown.

3. Affinity – Affinity also had a below average week, again, as it took home a 27.27% cash rate and a 44.93% win rate. The deck had as many 0-X as it did 3-1s and it placed 0 4-0s. The deck has been mediocre pretty consistently in the season, but the addition of Gut Shot ma change its fate. On one hand, Gut Shot is just terrible against Affinity, as it can basically hit nothing except Flayer Husk (which isn’t even in every list). Yet, Delver isn’t a bad matchup (16-16 in this season) and can be tuned to be a great one and Delver may be put out of the meta to some extent (although it is currently underplayed so we will see). The results of this deck in the next season will be interesting to watch.

Deck Spotlight

MBC – MBC was again the most popular deck with 51 entries through 4 dailies. That leads to a prominence of 16.14% which is down from the more than 20% it packed last week. The deck was below average this week with a 29.41% cash rate and a 48.78% win rate. These are both a bit below average, but are not as bad as some of the numbers seen in the past. Interesting again was the difference between the cash and win rate. Overall, the deck was again did not merit the top spot in the meta, but this week was a bit better than some of its past results.

Brew of the Week

UR Tron Fae Combo – This is not the newest deck on the block and has been around for a decent while, and has never really put up more than a few copies in the results. The list is similar to RUG Tron, but it does not rely on big fatties to get the job done, but the Cloud of Fae win con like in Esper Fae. I do like this deck because it seems to have more resistance to MBC and also can win by Kaervek’s Torch or Sage’s Row Denizen. An interesting list and one that I think more should check out.

Data

Thanks to Tom the Scud. Check out his Facebook and his Big Fat Spreadsheet.

pauper-meta-5-28-01

PCT Results

The PCT is a weekly tournament hosted on Gatherling.com by LongTimeGone. It occurs Tuesday at 8 pm est.

pauper-meta-5-28-02

 

Fan of History episode 13 – 890s BC Assyria vs Babylon

Adad-Nirari II, the first king of the Assyrian Empire, marches through the land, forcing people to give him their beds and monkeys. Can anyone resist him? Well, maybe Babylon can!

Contact information:

facebook.com/fanofhistory
twitter.com/thefanofhistory

This was made by a fan of history, not a scientist. The Fan of History wants to learn and he is happy to be corrected.

Music: “Tudor Theme” by urmymuse.

Used here under a commercial Creative Commons license. Find out more at http://ccmixter.org/files/urmymuse/40020

Linear Primers: Suicide Zoo, Part 1

become immense

Hi all,

Modern is a format that rewards players for choosing decks that win as quickly and efficiently as possible. The top decks to prepare your 75 cards against are Burn, Affinity, Grixis Delver, Twin, Abzan, Infect, and Bloom Titan. The latter two are most capable of exploding and winning by turn 3. Burn and Affinity are less explosive but more consistent at winning by turn 4. Splinter Twin is a “slower” combo deck that wins on turn 4 or later, but it has means of controlling the opponent until the pieces come together. Delver and Abzan are capable of winning quickly or grinding the opponent out.

Aside from these top lists, Bogles, Collected Company Elves, Merfolk, G/R Tron, and other lists are fairly linear. For purposes of this article series, I am using “linear” to describe decks that have a limited number of decisions to make in the early turns where decision-making is critical. When plays open up, the decisions are likely irrelevant. Of the above list, Tron is likely the least linear, but once you figure out a few nuances, its early turns are very similar.

Background

This month I decided to qualify for MOCS. It will be the first time since I got MTGO two years ago that I have attempted to do it, and at this article’s writing, I am 13/15 the way there. I have earned these points, easily might I add, on the back of a Modern linear strategy: Suicide Zoo. I am profiting while playing in 8-man queues and maintaining a 60% win rate.

[d title=”Suicide Zoo (Modern)”]
Land
4 Marsh Flats
4 Wooded Foothills
2 Arid Mesa
1 Verdant Catacombs
1 Bloodstained Mire
1 Windswept Heath
1 Overgrown Tomb
1 Temple Garden
1 Sacred Foundry
1 Blood Crypt

Creatures
4 Wild Nacatl
4 Death’s Shadow
4 Steppe Lynx
2 Monastery Swiftspear
1 Hooting Mandrills
4 Street Wraith

Other Spells
4 Gitaxian Probe
4 Mutagenic Growth
4 Mishra’s Bauble
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Become Immense
4 Temur Battle Rage

Sideboard
4 Thoughtseize
4 Nourishing Shoal
3 Hooting Mandrills
2 Ancient Grudge
2 Faith’s Shield[/d]

While the deck is explosive and extremely consistent at turn three kills, it also plays through a lot of disruption. I am undefeated in 3 ranked matches against Twin, and I am highly favored in the Abzan matchup as well. The deck has a surprising ability to go wide for so few creatures because of all the cantrips, and all you need is one opening to end the game.

This deck is more powerful than the sum of its parts. Consider the resources that you use which are unlike any resource pools that any other deck takes advantage of:

  1. Land-drops, particularly from fetch-lands, enabling ferocious and explosive power from [c]Steppe Lynx[/c].
  2. A low life total produces a lethal [c]Death’s Shadow[/c].
  3. Cards in graveyard enable the casting of [c]Hooting Mandrills[/c] and [c]Become Immense[/c].
  4. Non-creature spells power up [c]Monastery Swiftspear[/c].

Each of these cogs rotate together very smoothly and powerfully. When you are making your land drops, you are building your graveyard and lowering your life total. Cyclers like [c]Street Wraith[/c] and [c]Gitaxian Probe[/c] lower your life total and increase the graveyard resource. Comboing out with [c]Temur Battle Rage[/c] and [c]Become Immense[/c] naturally powers up [c]Monastery Swiftspear[/c] as well.

Because of the interaction between these resources, it is very inadvisable to make any changes to the deck. Many people are tempted to change the land base or bring in [c]Goblin Guide[/c], but both of these changes create a marginal increase in consistency with a huge collapse in explosiveness. The deck is a brick wall that stands strong but needs all of its components.

The next question that comes to everyone’s mind when they see [c]Become Immense[/c] is “Why not just play Infect?” After all, [c]Become Immense[/c] and a creature deals 70% of the damage needed to kill with Infect and only 33% of the damage needed to kill with regular damage. To answer this, I say that this our opponents’ Modern mana-bases are dealing damage to them, that our creatures have more durable backsides, and we play more creatures than Infect can. I have played with Infect, and I have played with Suicide Zoo, and the latter is the more consistent early killer.

The Game-plan

Turn Zero:
Your opening hand is critical, and what’s more is that there are many question marks in your opening hand. You have twelve cantrips, and when examining your seven, it is impossible to tell what those twelve will become once you’ve kept. You have to mulligan hands without creatures, and if you suspect [c]Thoughtseize[/c] or [c]Inquisition of Kozilek[/c], even one creature can be suspect. What’s more, [c]Death’s Shadow[/c] and [c]Hooting Mandrills[/c] have varied reliability in the early game. Any hand with 1-2 creatures and 1-2 land is a snap keep. Remember that you can go aggro the old-fashioned way without a combo piece.

Opening plays:
The best fetchlands to play in this deck have the same color configurations of the shocklands that you do not play. Since we do not play [c]Godless Shrine[/c] or [c]Stomping Ground[/c], the fetchlands we have 4 of will fetch any shock in the deck. The design for the rest is to have a balance between the shocks, but the best configuration to have on turn 2 is [c]Temple Garden[/c] and [c]Blood Crypt[/c]. The reason is that often you want [c]Steppe Lynx[/c] on turn one and need access to [c]Wild Nacatl[/c] mana and [c]Death’s Shadow[/c] or [c]Monastery Swiftspear[/c] mana on turn 2.

[c]Mishra’s Bauble[/c] is the most misunderstood card in the deck. With 13 fetchlands, you can use [c]Mishra’s Bauble[/c] to draw a card and give yourself some security knowing that you are drawing a card you want. Take a look at your own top card before activating a fetchland, and you can decide whether you want to pick it up with [c]Gitaxian Probe[/c] or [c]Street Wraith[/c]. If not, wait until after shuffling. Additionally, [c]Mishra’s Bauble[/c] can be activated on your opponent’s upkeep to see what they are drawing and play around it. The card that you draw from this activation will be safe from discard spells.

Aside from bauble, I see many people misplaying the other cantrips. My advice to you for the early game is that if you already know what you are playing that turn, then there is no need to cantrip. Needlessly cycling [c]Street Wraith[/c] and [c]Gitaxian Probe[/c] open you up to crippling [c]Thoughtseize[/c]s and [c]Inquisition of Kozilek[/c]s. I’ve smiled as many opponents target me with discard, placing [c]Street Wraith[/c] in the graveyard, only for me to topdeck [c]Wild Nacatl[/c] and proceed with the beatdown undeterred.

Besides these cantripping mistakes and directions to take your lands, your first two turns are spent widening out your board. A creature has to get through blockers to combo off.

Finish Him!

The combo is [c]Temur Battle Rage[/c] and [c]Become Immense[/c]. Because you are playing a 48 card deck, this is assembled with relative ease. Even without the pair of cards, either one is often enough to deal lethal damage. Many games will be won with [c]Temur Battle Rage[/c] alone on a creature targeted also by [c]Mutagenic Growth[/c] or just on a [c]Death’s Shadow[/c].

I do not want to advertise this deck as the turn 3 deck of the format that always accomplishes this feat. I win many games on turns six through as high as thirteen. Unlike other aggro decks, this deck does not fold if the opponent survives past turn 4. Any opening creates a kill, and your opponent will not be making good trades with [c]Death’s Shadow[/c] in the late game.

Conclusion

Before I move on to other decks I will look at matchups playing this deck.I’ll show you my numbers against decks in the metagame and tell you how the games play out. Some of them might not be what you think. After that, I will explain the sideboard and tell you how I side in different matches. Continue to Linear Primers: Suicide Zoo, Part 2.

-drinkard

 

Commander Corner: Anowon the Ruin Sage

Welcome back,

For most of his life, [c]Anowon, the Ruin Sage[/c] has been searching for one thing, the [c]Eye of Ugin[/c]. He used his reputation of being a master of the ancient languages, ruins, and runes to his advantage. He created a following, as adventurers would seek him out for his wisdom. In order to gain this reputation, he had to hide his vampiric heritage. Anowon is known to stoop to violence to get what he wants. Many vampires on Malakir know that he is a ruthless murderer and is hungry for power. He wasn’t always this way though.

In his early life, [c]Anowon[/c] belonged to the House of Ghet. His parents are unknown, but he took to the bloodchief, Tenihas, and saw him as a father figure. Tenihas also was fond of the young boy. During his childhood, [c]Anowon[/c] spent most of his time in Tenihas’s library. He was fascinated with the ancient world. This world was described as “a world in which vampires were enslaved by famished gods.” Tenihas didn’t want him to unearth anything that had to do with the old world, but Anowon disagreed. This created tension between the two.

One night Tenihas was found murdered in his chambers, and all of his treasures were missing. A witness stated that it was [c]Anowon[/c] himself that killed the bloodchief. In a fit of rage, he left the House of Ghet.

For many years he wandered and went on many expeditions. Eventually. he went to the Lighthouse at Sea Gate, disguised as a man named Kejahar. He dazzled the scholars with his knowledge of the ancient world, as well as with the many relics he possessed. He successfully integrated himself among the scholars, and decided to spend his time there for a while. During his stay, he went on many expeditions with the local merfolk. He also spent a great deal of time in the Lighthouse’s library, as it was the largest collection of works in all of Zendikar. It was there that he discovered a connection between the [c]Eye of Ugin[/c] and the vampires of the old world.

After this discovery, a Kor woman was found in an alleyway, brutally murdered. [c]Anowon[/c] was blamed for her death, as she was friends with him at the time. During the interrogations about this murder, it was revealed that [c]Anowon[/c] was a vampire. They immediatly kicked him out of the Lighthouse and savagely beat him within an inch of his life. They then threw him hundreds of feet off a cliff, into the Halimar.

He managed to survive, and went on a quest for the [c]Eye of Ugin[/c]. Using his reputation, he created a following. Many adventurers would seek him out, and he would use their relics to help him find the Eye. It was during this time that [c]Chandra Nalaar[/c] appeared. She seeked him out for his knowledge of the ancient world, as she was also searching for the Eye. She claimed that she memorized a map that would take them to the Eye. [c]Anowon[/c] agreed to venture with her, and set off. [c]Anowon[/c] later discovered that she had a physical map, and tried to kill her. Out of nowhere, [c]Sarkhan Vol[/c] showed up and knocked him out.

When he awoke, he found a man by the name of [c]Jace Beleren[/c]. He attacked Jace, but Jace disabled him. Jace read his mind, and convinced [c]Anowon[/c] to lead him to the Eye.

When the Eldrazi were released, they found [c]Anowon[/c] and enslaved him like all of the other vampires. He followed their code for many months, until he was freed by [c]Sorin Markov[/c] and [c]Nissa Revane[/c]. They went back to the Eye, and [c]Anowon[/c] divulged all he knew about the ancient world to them.

Nissa then freed the Eldrazi Titans. She, along with [c]Anowon[/c], fled to Afta. [c]Anowon[/c] was last seen stalking her.

[c]Anowon, the Ruin Sage[/c] is a complex character. He is a vital piece to the story of Zendikar. The type of decks he lends himself too, however, is much more straight-forward. His ability is powerful, and can easily swing the game to your favor, as he helps clear the board, and allows for your swath of vampires to go in for the kill. Let’s take a look at what the Ruin Sage can do for us today.

Anowon,_the_Ruin_Sage

A vampire obsessed with the ancient world. In the end, I guess he did get what he wanted
[d title = “Anowon, the Ruin Sage (EDH)”]
Commander
1 Anowon, the Ruin Sage
Lands
1 Barren Moor
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Cabal Coffers
1 Cavern of Souls
1 Crypt of Agadeem
1 Deserted Temple
1 Everglades
1 Lake of the Dead
1 Leechridden Swamp
1 Mutavault
1 Myriad Landscape
1 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
1 Polluted Mire
1 Shizo, Death’s Storehouse
23 Swamp [/d]

[d]
Creatures
1 Adaptive Automaton
1 Ascendant Evincar
1 Blood Artist
1 Bloodghast
1 Bloodhusk Ritualist
1 Bloodline Keeper
1 Bloodlord of Vassgoth
1 Butcher of Malakir
1 Captivating Vampire
1 Dark Impostor
1 Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief
1 Falkenrath Noble
1 Gatekeeper of Malakir
1 Guul Draz Assassin
1 Kalastria Highborn
1 Kalitas, Bloodchief of Ghet
1 Malakir Bloodwitch
1 Mirri the Cursed
1 Necropolis Regent
1 Nirkana Revenant
1 Sangromancer
1 Vampire Hexmage
1 Vampire Nighthawk
1 Vampire Nocturnus [/d]

[d]
Instants
1 Dismember
1 Doom Blade
1 Hero’s Downfall
1 Sudden Death
1 Tragic Slip
Sorceries
1 Beseech the Queen
1 Blood Tribute
1 Chainer’s Edict
1 Demonic Tutor
1 Exsanuinate
1 Mutilate
1 Night’s Whisper
1 Overwhelming Forces
1 Patriarch’s Bidding
1 Profane Command
1 Sign in Blood
1 Yagmoth’s Will [/d]

[d]
Enchantments
1 Black Market
1 Dictate of Erebos
1 Grave Pact
1 Greed
1 No Mercy
1 Phyrexian Arena
Artifacts
1 Blade of the Bloodchief
1 Caged Sun
1 Charcoal Diamond
1 Darksteel Ingot
1 Door of Destinies
1 Expedition Map
1 Gauntlet of Power
1 Gilded Lotus
1 Lightning Greaves
1 Mimic Vat
1 Mind Stone
1 Sol Ring
1 Worn Powerstone
Planeswalkers
1 Liliana Vess
1 Sorin Markov [/d]

Price: MTGO = 87.10 TIX | Paper = $493.14

Price will vary greatly if you get the Overwhelming Forces Promo instead of the Portal 3K one. This is the price with the Promo.

This deck is rather straightforward, but powerful. Its primary focus is to just keep the board clear of creatures so yours can freely attack through. Easy as that. It works more like a monoblack control deck, slowly grinding your opponents down until you’re the only one left with things to do. It’s simple, yet effective.

The main way to win, like almost all tribes, is to just beat down. Just about all of your creatures are capable of applying a solid amount of pressure. Creatures like [c]Captivating Vampire[/c], [c]Adaptive Automaton[/c], and [c]Vampire Nocturnus[/c] will buff your entire team and just make things easier for you. Your finishers usually involve [c]Drana, Kalastria Bloodchief[/c] or [c]Butcher of Malakir[/c], and a handful of others, as they will end the game almost immediatly. Especially [c]Drana[/c]. I have yet to loose when she stuck around for a few turns.

The only real function [c]Anowon[/c] serves in here is to keep the board clear. He does this extremely well though. In order for them to have anything on the board, they have to at least have two creatures to be able to block anything. If it’s late in the game, Anowon will pretty much just lock an opponent out of creatures. He will grind your opponent down, generating you value every turn until your opponent has nothing left.

If your opponent is playing a token strategy, things get a bit harder for you. [c]Anowon[/c] becomes much less effective if they can sacrifice one of their more useless tokens. We do have ways to mitigate this though. The handful of board sweeps will be able to keep the tokens at bay. [c]Overwhelming Forces[/c] is hands down the best out of the bunch, as it will pull us ahead so far that it will be difficult for them to come back. As long as you can get to its astronomical mana cost, that is. Besides that, we have [c]No Mercy[/c] which isn’t at its best here, but gets the job done nonetheless.

Overall, this deck is a good amount of fun, though it’s super grind-heavy. If you really like a tribal theme in black, I can easily recommend giving this a shot. It’s rather straight forward and to the point. This deck wants nothing more than your opponent to be dead, one way or another.

Thank you for checking out this week’s Commander Corner. If you have any suggestions, please let me know in the comments below. See you soon, my friends.

-Steven Gulsby

 

Community League #5: Classic Pauper, Week 2

community league 5 banner

Hey gang!

Check out last week’s article for a reminder on rules, reporting, and prize payouts.

I’m not sending out any more email updates, so hopefully you all made it here to this article, one way or another!

Week One for Bava

I played Elves for week one and was up against Maigray, who ran a version of Stompy that had a +1/+1 counters sub-theme. This could have worked out fine for elves, but unfortunately he had the removal for my key players every time, and I got “stomped” in short order.

Sorry, I spoiled it already. Here is the video of my gruesome defeat.

 

What have you guys been playing and how has it gone? Respond in the comments below, or use the league forum!

Week Two Pairings

With further ado, here they are. We had one drop after week one, so zqft gets a BYE this week. If you have any questions, get in touch.

league-5-week-2

Good luck, have fun!

 

Mid-Week Pauper Meta Report: May 21, 2015

ghostly flicker art

About this article

This is a weekly report on the online pauper meta. The data it uses are from last Wednesday to this Wednesday. It looks at the data that Tom the Scud collects from a selection of dailies. He watches the replays on MTGO to figure out how each person did, not just the 3-1s and 4-0s that Wizards publishes. This allows us to see the whole iceberg and figure out how well each deck did in total. Now, this data is just for this week and just from the data Tom collects, so it does ignore the other 3-1/4-0 results which means it is not perfect. Additionally, the conclusions in this article are just based on this week, and as the meta is fluid, the top decks shift. This is intended to see what decks are performing well this week and is not necessarily a reflection of the deck’s overall strength.

The large story of the last few weeks had been the explosion in popularity in W Tokens. The deck shot up to the 2nd most popular deck last week, but as the deck got more popular, the hate made its way in. This week, the legion of 1/1s regressed to the 7th most played list. MBC also continued its reign as the most popular list and Burn became a much more dominant force after having one of the worst weeks ever a few weeks ago. The chart on the left below shows the percentage of the meta (from the entire daily) each of the top decks make up (decks that had >5% of the meta). The one on the right shows those same decks prominence in the 3-1 and 4-0 results.

pauper-meta-5-20-01pauper-meta-5-20-02

As seen, MBC takes he biggest hit from deck prominence to cash prominence at a loss of 8% and the other decks lose 9% (which is to be expected as many are not established decks). Stompy and Esper Fae Combo took the majority of that, each gaining ~7%, making up equal portions of the cash prominence. There appears to be a lot of diversity from the top lists here, and a decent spread between the top lists. The next graph looks at the same top decks and their cash and win rates (as a note, ~31.5% is the average for cash rate).

pauper-meta-5-20-03

I like this as a nice way to really visualize the results from the week. If you have any other graphs that you would like to see make sure to let me know!

Lastly, these are going up on MagicGatheringStrat solely which simplifies things a lot for me and allows the use of visuals in a much better and more streamlined way. Thanks for reading!

Winners

1. Stompy – This is a strong week for the Green Machine in a slightly unexpected position. Based on the amount of hate that W Tokens has attracted to the format, Stompy would have seemed to be only a decent option this week. That proved not to be the case as it had a 64.3% cash rate and 61.7% win rate. It had 9 people in the cash out of 14 pilots, compare that to MBC’s 10 pilots in the cash out of 47 tries. A little concerning is that only one of those pilots 4-0ed, which is not fantastic out of 9 appearances. Either way, I believe that Stompy is the best aggro deck in the format right now and should be played more than it is right now. If it can survive a week with as much hate as there was for W Tokens (although the hate isn’t close to as good v. Stompy), it can do well in the future.

2. Esper Fae Combo – The former dominant power, the explosive combo deck had a surprisingly large 16 pilots for a 7.3% prominence. Of those 16 pilots, 9 made it into the cash and 2 of those 4-0ed. The deck then had 3 0-X, 1 1-X, and 3 X-2. This is an interesting split and could come just from the learning curve of playing the deck, or also just variance. It had a 56.3% cash rate and 63.2% win rate. Esper Fae has been putting up better numbers as of late after a slump at the beginning of the season. I’m really surprised that the popularity grew in decent numbers – and had great success. As this deck has a massive learning curve, it is difficult for it to sustain great numbers if more people pick up the deck. A good sign for a deck that has been trending up.

3. Delver – With 18 pilots for the aggro-control deck, it made up 8.3% of the meta. With 4 pilots at each 4-0, 3-1, and 2-X, the deck had a very strong week with a 44.4% cash rate and 60.7% win rate. The 4 decks at 4-0 is really interesting. It is rare that a deck does so well reaching the 4-0 stage. In general, I don’t look too much into the difference in 4-0 and 3-1s because in just 3 dailies, there is a large amount of variance and without something too outstanding, it is difficult to take too much from 1 4-0 v. 2. Yet, when a deck is so successful at reaching 4-0 (as Delver was this week), it says something about the quality of the deck and its position in the meta. Even though there was a 20% difference in cash rate between Stompy and Delver, their win rates only differ by 1%. This is a much more even distribution for Delver which could be interpreted various ways. My theory is that it shows a lower variance deck, which could also mean greater rewards for better play. In general, the rewards for being a strong control player can be greater than a strong aggro player because if you make more correct decisions over a longer game, you have a better chance of winning. Delver is a strong choice (as it usually is), and the rewards are great if you get good at this deck and continue to improve.

4. Burn – Very polarized results this week as Burn also had a great week. It was very similar to Delver in that it had 18 pilots for 8.3% of the meta and had a 44.4% cash rate and a 59.7% win rate. The main difference in the results is that Burn was skewed slightly towards the losing end, but by a very small amount. Burn, just a few weeks ago, went 0-13 in dailies, probably the worst result I’ve seen since I started looking at the meta data. Yet, with such a strong MBC matchup, it got back into the game. In fact it went 12-0 v. MBC. Twelve wins and zero loses. On the other side of the coin, it went 0-6 v. Delver. As long as MBC is a player in the meta, the bolt deck can expect to do decently. I like this deck as a meta call for the near future.

Losers

1. MBC – With 21.6% of the meta and 47 results, MBC is dominating the meta in terms of numbers. Yet, it is not experiencing too much success in these dailies. With a 21.3% cash rate and 42.7% win rate, MBC again did not have a great week. One of the nice things about Tom’s collection is that it can give us the individual win rate of decks and see how they did in the matchup. One thing that can be noticed is that MBC played the mirror 15 times. Adjusting for that, MBC went 45-68 in non-mirror matches. That is a win rate of 39.8%. Not huge, but it means that the win rate is actually inflated when it plays the mirror, opposite of what happens when decks with a >50% play the mirror. While W Tokens isn’t a menace to the deck as much, Burn came in and gave the deck fits. This is the deck to beat in the current meta and it seems like a lot of decks are doing just that.

2. UB Angler – This is a deck that has been doing decently in recent weeks, and it was not close to as successful this week. The Delver list (as opposed to the Teachings version) really started to emerge as the favorite in recent weeks. It made up 4.6% of the meta with only 10 pilots (and there is some problems with smaller sample sizes such as this in terms of increased variance). Even so, the deck had a 20% cash rate and 37.9% win rate. 7 of the pilots went 0-X or 1-X, and the win rate suffered as a result. Despite that, the deck certainly isn’t done and I’m watching this one to see how well it does in the near future.

3. W Tokens – The main story of the past few weeks, the token machine has lost its meta momentum. With just 5.1% of the meta, W Tokens is receding back into a T2/T3 deck. It had a 18.2% cash rate and 42.3% win rate. Potentially more importantly, it went 1-3 against MBC and Burn has emerged as the MBC hate deck. Really I expect that this is on the heels of significant amounts of tokens hate. The deck generated a buzz in the past few weeks, but that buzz has slowly descended to a whisper. If you want to play this list, I would wait a few weeks when the hate goes away and then return to the deck. Right now, this is not where I want to be.

Deck to Watch For

Boros Kitty – The slow card advantage machine has gone under the radar for the past few weeks and it is high time that stops. This week, the deck went 3 for 3 in appearances, 4-0ing once and 3-1ing twice. This is one of the best decks that isn’t being played and it has consistently done this throughout the season. Since the banning, the deck has had a 64% win rate and a 53% cash rate. This deck has averaged getting in the money and 5 of the 16 cashing decks were 4-0. This deck should be played more than it is right now, the deck is just good.

Brew of the Week

UG Land Auras Fae Combo by DoGBiscuit – A variation on the Esper Fae Combo list, this list is mainly just 2 colors (although it is able to run black and red cards because of the fixing). One of the nice things about this list is that it uses enchantments to help it go off instead of familiars. This is significantly more resilient game one, although it does open the deck open to more hate post-sb. One of the other problems with this list is that it plans to go off with a one-of [c]Kaervek’s Torch[/c] cast off of a two-of [c]Fertile Ground[/c]. This means that it can take longer to go off than Esper Fae. There are some other differences as well (such as only needing two colors mainly), but those appear to be the main ones. Overall, this is an interesting list, although I do not think it is as strong as Esper Fae, but I’m not 100%.

Data

Thanks to Tom the Scud. Be sure to check out his Facebook and his Big Fat Spreadsheet.

pauper-meta-5-20-04

PCT Results

The PCT is a weekly tournament hosted on Gatherling.com by LongTimeGone. It occurs Tuesdays at 8:00 PM Eastern Time.

pauper-meta-5-20-05

 

The MagicGatheringStrat Show, Ep. 13

Section 1: This week in Standard Pauper

Section 2: Player run events

MPDC 29.06
18 May 2015
Standard · 16 Players
14 Decks · ~88% Reported
3 rounds Swiss
Top 8 playoff
Hosted by gwyned

Here are the matchups:

1st copied monogreen by milegyenanevem
2nd Izzet Control by beatnik bobby
T4 Izzeting you by JorgeJacoh
T4 Ksco Merchant by Papieru
T8 Golgari delve by gonz
T8 Winter Greenier by KyranOHyran
T8 Lo Pan’s Room by rremedio1
T8 Deck not found** by WujekMZK

Cruise Watch: 2015
1st Place: 0 Cruise
2nd Place: 4 Cruise
3rd Place: 4 Cruise
4th Place: 3 Cruise

My goodness, all that green! Not a single Treasure Cruise in sight for this winner.

The winning deck:

COPIED MONOGREEN
Standard · Unclassified
1st by milegyenanevem in MPDC 29.06 (5-1)

R1: Win: ‘2 – 1 vs. SeiryuAzuma UR Control
R2: Loss: ‘0 – 2 vs. Papieru Ksco Merchant
R3: Win: ‘2 – 1 vs. KyranOHyran Winter Greenier
T8: Win: ‘2 – 0 vs. rremedio1 Lo Pan’s Room
T4: Win: ‘2 – 0 vs. Papieru Ksco Merchant
T2: Win: ‘2 – 0 vs. beatnik bobby Izzet Control

Only loss was to a Merchant Cruise deck. Pretty dominant.

Interestingly enough, this was Beatnik Bobby’s only loss in the tournament. They were 4-1 and 5-0 respectively. That means they both ended with 5-1 scores.

We went over the deck last week so instead, I want to bring you something different.

Now you may peruse the presentation at your leisure.

So, what changes are you making for the next round of the League?

 

Game of Thrones Chat S05E06 Unbowed Unbent Unbroken

Dan and Thomas discuss the somewhat controversial sixth episode of the fifth season of Game of Thrones. This episode has caused some people to stop watching Game of Thrones. Find out why here.

e assume that you have seen the first four seasons and all the episodes of the fifth season up to and including this one when you listen to this. Otherwise there will be spoilers.

You can find Game of Thrones Chat on itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/game-of-thrones-chat/id972440953?mt=2

Please do not spoil anything from the books or later episodes in the comments to this podcast.
The fourth season on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjeCcjfkz_E&list=PLiLMS0AQ-jpBqXMsxwqnj1Hb9Uhk0bWqd
The fifth season will be published on Hard Nerd Cafe on YouTube as well as on itunes.

The Dornishman’s Wife by Karliene can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQNrTv0u0Qo

Karliene on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KarlieneMusic

Talk Game of Thrones with us on Hard Nerd Cafe or
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Game-of-Thrones-Chat/233435420181626
or https://twitter.com/GameofThronesCt

Learn more about the Fan of History on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28o-28fc-t8
or check out the Fan of History podcast on itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/fan-of-history/id958058555?mt=2