The MagicGatheringStrat Show, Ep. 11

Section 1: This week in Standard Pauper

Section 2: Player run events

MPDC 29.04
4 May 2015
Standard · 17 Players
14 Decks · ~82% Reported
3 rounds Swiss
Top 4 playoff
Hosted by gwyned

1st Deck Colors Izzet Control by beatnik bobby
2nd Deck Colors BU by totalhate
T4 Deck Colors Ksco Merchant by Papieru
T4 Deck Colors BUR.n by Yaxarell

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

Normally at this point I talk about one of the winners.
However, I want to discuss BambooRush’s deck. He went 3-0 but then was not in the top 4. Jason Moore was the pilot and he wrote about the deck in his latest article on

I have enjoyed Jason’s articles for years. His were among the first I ever read on the subject of pauper. I think he is a good player and is a positive influence in the community. If you haven’t, I recommend giving him a read.

A winning deck in its own right

Standard · Unclassified
Played by BambooRush in MPDC 29.04 (3-0)

4 Gurmag Angler
4 Hooting Mandrills
4 Necromancer’s Assistant
4 Satyr Wayfinder
4 Shambling Attendants
4 Sultai Scavenger

4 Commune with the Gods
4 Epic Confrontation
4 Scout the Borders
1 Duress
1 Rakshasa’s Secret
1 Read the Bones

7 Forest
6 Swamp
4 Evolving Wilds
4 Jungle Hollow

3 Duress
3 Rakshasa’s Secret
2 Sedge Scorpion
2 Plummet
2 Naturalize
2 Hunter’s Ambush
1 Read the Bones[/d]

You should be able to see the synergy. Fill the graveyard, then use it up.

Now, lets look at an opening hand:

I don’t think you can throw back a hand like this. You have threats and enablers.

Now I want to show you the “curve”:

That is not a curve. The thing we have come to know and love about devle decks is that they are heavily skewed as far as the CMC is concerned. So, do not look at this like a normal deck.

Let’s look at the next six cards:

Well, as he mentioned in his article, this is going to be a long grindy fight. In the end, you should have bigger and better creatures than your opponent. Which usually means you will be winning. Thanks, Jason, for giving the MPDC a shot!

Section 3: The League

Classic Pauper
Hurry up!
Last day to sign up is Friday!

What deck will you be piloting?

Mid-Week Pauper Meta Report: May 6, 2015

doomed traveler art

This article courtesy Najay1 and is reprinted with his permission.

About this article

This is a weekly report on the online pauper meta. The data it uses are from last Wednesday to this Wednesday (May 6). 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.

This week is a bit unique, as I am putting 3 losers and only 2 winners. Really, only 2 decks stood out as being above the curve, whereas a lot of decks had pretty bad weeks. The amount of decks that 3-1ed or 4-0 is really quite impressive. Yet, it seems that the meta has really started to even out a little bit. 8 decks made up 5% of the meta or more – Affinity, Delver, Stompy, UR Fiend, MBC, Goblins, W Tokens, and Burn. Together they made up about 68%.

Enjoy, and thanks for reading!


1. W Tokens – The definite winner of the week was the token deck. After it exploded on the scene last week, it has continued to play a role tying for the 5th most prominent deck at 7.1% this week. Not only did it see popularity, it had great success. With a 61.5% cash rate and a 64.1% win rate – both great numbers. It even only had 1 deck at each 1-X and 0-X (out of 13 entries). Interestingly, it looks like the Wu version has basically disappeared which is not that surprising. People really need to start packing more Crypt Rats in MBC, as tokens went 6-0 v. MBC, although because of the price I’m not sure that it’ll happen. For now, tokens remains a great meta call.

2. Affinity – This deck has not seen too much success in the recent meta, but it was able to put up great results this week with a 46.7% cash rate and 54.3% win rate. It also won the PCT and had a T8 finish (with a combined W-L of 10-2). Affinity has been one of the decks that I have seen as worse since the meta change. This is one of the first weeks where it has put up really strong results. Affinity can have really strong, and really weak, weeks just based on the amount of inconsistency and raw power in the deck. The deck has strong matchups vs. MBC and Delver, but it significantly weaker versus Stompy, Burn, W Tokens, etc. This week it somehow went 3-0 v. Stompy and 2-0 v. Burn which indicated that it did get a bit lucky. Maybe I judged this one a bit too quickly though, it ones of the decks I really have my eye on coming up.

krenkos command art


1. Burn – By far the most surprising deck of the week was burn. It put up 0 results in the money from 13 entrants. It had a dismal win rate of only 25.5%. Now there were 4 people who 2-Xed, which means a 3-1 wasn’t far off, but a 25.5% win rate is just too bad to come up with excuses for. Looking at its matchups (with the data from Tom’s column Pauper Observed), it went 0-2 v. Affinity, 0-6 v. Delver, 0-3 v. Stompy, 0-3 v. W Tokens, and it only faced MBC 4 times for a record of 3-1. This was obviously to some extent luck, but going winless against 4 of the most popular decks is just inexcusable. Maybe the worst week of any deck I’ve seen since I started looking at the data.

2. Goblins – Goblins also had a terrible week even though it jumped up to 5.5% of the meta. It had just one 3-1 for a cash rate of 10% and an overall win rate of 30.8%. I started playing the deck last week and I’ve had decent success with it in the PCT and Tournament Practice room although I haven’t run it out in a daily. It also had 4 pilots at 2-X, so it was close to increase the cash rate, but such a low win rate is telling. I don’t think the deck is as bad as this week’s results indicate, but this is another deck that I will be watching closely to see how it develops.

3. Stompy – Stompy continue the trend of good decks doing really bad this week with an 18.2% cash rate and 34.7% win rate. It quite simply did not put up strong results 7 of the 11 decks went 0-X or 1. Why exactly it did so badly, I’m not certain. According to Tom’s data, the deck put up a losing record to every top deck except for burn. I wouldn’t expect this to be the same in the future and would anticipate the results going back up.


MBC is an interesting case. This week it was 14.8% of the meta with 27 results through the 3 dailies – 8 more than the next highest. Yet, it still was not able to put up results. It had a cash rate of 22.2% and a win rate of 45.3%. Again it put a huge amount of decks at 2-X (9), and it consistently has a ton of decks in that spot. It made up more than its fair share at 2-X with 9 out of the 34 decks, which means it made up 26.5% of the 2-X spots.

The deck seems to be just not strong enough to get to the top end. The other interesting thing with MBC is that it also had some great events this week that data wasn’t fully available for. It put up more than 5 decks into the cash in 4 events out of the 6 Wizards put out last week, none of which Tom looked at. This is one of the weird cases where the data conflicts heavily. Really a deck to watch in the next few weeks as its success is in question.

Deck to Watch For

UB Teachings & Turbo Angler – There are two main flavors of Angler going on. One of them is a Mystical Teachings deck that I have touched on earlier, but does have some game. The other is a more tempo-control list that packs a few more creatures (most importantly Delver) and a lot more enabler cards like Mental Note and Thought Scour. These decks have started to put up more and more real results in the recent weeks and placed 2 of its 3 entries into the cash in these dailies. This is a deck I wouldn’t be surprised if people jump on a bit as the last iteration of the list was very popular and UB Control tends to be a popular deck no matter how strong it is. I’m interested to see which version has more success in the coming weeks.

kor skyfisher art wide

Brew of the Week

No G Kitty – Now this is not the exact list, but Wizards didn’t release it and I can’t assume too many people are running this list so it should be similar at least (although the 4-0 list ran Gravedigger). Now it does have the mana to afford a splash with 4 Prophetic Prism, 3 Evolving Wilds (although no swamps which there really should be), and 4 black gain lands. Now that doesn’t mean the splash is necessary, but it really doesn’t need black mana until late in the game (as it is playing Grim Harvest and Angler, both cards that can be saved for late). I’m also not really sure why people feel the need to add more and more colors to Kitty, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a 5 color list in the future (probably not, Green doesn’t offer too much). We’ll see if this trend of more color kitty continues in the future.

Edit: here is the list that 4-0ed (thanks DromarX). He does play 7 fetches and a swamp (along with 3 Prisms and 3 gain lands) so the black will be there if it is needed. He is playing the black for 3 Terminate and 2 Gravedigger which is interesting to say the least. I do like the Terminate, but Gravedigger seems just too slow for all of the aggro out there. I would rather have Grim Harvest as it is just a better long term plan. Very interesting deck, though.


Thanks to Tom the Scud for providing the data for these reports. Check out his Facebook and his Big Fat Spreadsheet.


PCT Results

The PCT is a free weekly tournament (with prize support from MTGOTraders) hosted on by LongTimeGone. It occurs Tuesday at 8 pm EST.


Tribal Fun in Modern #4: Merfolk Under the Sea

master of the pearl trident art

Welcome back to Tribal Fun in Modern! This week we have even more of an aggro deck than last week. We are going to be looking at the increasingly popular mono-blue merfolk. Lets look at the list:

[d title=”Merfolk (Modern)”]

2 Cavern of Souls
4 Mutavault
1 Tectonic Edge
14 Island

4 Lord of Atlantis
4 Master of the Pearl Trident
2 Merrow Reejerey
4 Cursecatcher
4 Silvergill Adept
2 Master of Waves
2 Phantasmal Image
1 Kira, Great Glass-Spinner
2 Spellskite

Instants and Sorceries
4 Spreading Seas
2 Dismember
3 Vapor Snag
1 Spell Pierce

4 Æther Vial

3 Tidebinder Mage
1 Swan Song
1 Spell pierce
3 Hurkyl’s Recall
2 Mana Leek
2 Stubborn Denial
2 Echoing Truth
1 Relic of Progenitus [/d]

Following tradition, I will go over the card choices, strategy, play style, matchup and sideboarding guide, and some different versions of the deck.


The lands are fairly basic. Since we are mono colored there isn’t much to talk about. As I have said earlier, [c]Cavern of Souls[/c] is great in tribal and really there is no need to be cut. In some very rare situations you may get a hand of [c]Mutavault[/c], [c]Cavern of Souls[/c], and [c]Spreading Seas[/c] but I never got that so it isn’t much of a hindrance.

The [c]Mutavault[/c]s are great because not only do they generate mana, but they become 2/2 merfolk.

The one [c]Tectonic Edge[/c] is for the Tron matchup.

silvergill adept art


The [c]Lord of Atlantis[/c] and [c]Master of the Pearl Trident[/c]s are a must have 4-of a piece. Not only do they pump your merfolk but also make them unblockable in tons of games, either because your opponent is playing blue already or because you cast [c]Spreading Seas[/c]. The [c]Merrow Reejerey[/c] on the other hand is not quite as impressive. He is definitely good, but not nearly as good as the other two lords. Sticking with the negatives, he costs three mana, which is high on the curve, and only provides one devotion. One the other hand, he synergizes well with [c]Aether Vial[/c]s and the tap/untap ability is useful, but he is not quite as good as the other lords. Despite this, his effects still warrants his inclusion.

Although some are opposed to him, I find [c]Cursecatcher[/c] is a great card. Not only is he a body, but if he is on the table it basically [c]Time Walk[/c]s your opponent (or at least stops them from playing anything that important for another turn). Even better he can be [c]Aether Vial[/c]ed in and act as a [c]Counterspell[/c] in that situation.

[c]Silvergill Adept[/c] is an automatic four-of. Not only is the extra cost clause easy to fulfill with so many merfolk in the deck, but also it acts as the [c]Mulldrifter[/c] of the deck. Although he may not seem great, pure value makes it so that he definitely needs to be a 4-of.

[c]Master of Waves[/c] is a fairly new inclusion to the deck but he is probably the biggest bomb in the whole deck. Considering that even by just turn 4 you can rack up a lot of devotion, not only will he create a ton of 2/1s, but also he can be a body himself with all of the buffs from lords.

[c]Phantasmal Image[/c] is an amazing and cheap [c]Clone[/c]. He is pretty self-explanatory. Copy an opponent’s best creature, copy your own creature, or [c]Aether Vial[/c] him in to respond to something, he is a cheap [c]Clone[/c].

[c]Kira, Great Glass-Spinner[/c] is a good way to protect your threats. She obviously makes it very hard to remove or even target any of your cards, which is an amazing ability, especially considering that she can be [c]Aether Vial[/c]ed in to respond to something. It is worth noting, of course, that she is not a merfolk.

To finish out our creatures we have 2 [c]Spellskite[/c]s. Of course they are an answer to Twin, but also they help against burn and are great blockers. I think their inclusion is fairly self-explanatory, considering that they are live basically every single matchup, even though they are also not merfolk.


[c]Spreading Seas[/c] is a staple in this deck. Not only does it help a lot in the Tron matchups and against other greedy decks that need a lot of mana requirements, but it also turns on islandwalk, which many times means that all of our creatures are unblockable (and this likely means you win the game very quickly). On top of all of that, it draws you a card when you play it.

[c]Dismember[/c] is the only removal in the deck. Since the deck is so aggressive, the removal is very light, but this can get the job done.

[c]Vapor Snag[/c] and [c]Spell Pierce[/c] are the control package. [c]Vapor Snag[/c] is a great tempo play and can answer a threat (temporarily). [c]Spell Pierce[/c] is the only counter in this whole mono blue deck, but again it can usually be used as a hard counter or at least a tempo play.

Finally, there is [c]Aether Vial[/c]. It is pretty obvious why this card is so good (and who at R&D put this at uncommon in Darksteel). Not only does this act like lands 22-25, but it allows basically all of the creatures to be flashed in. This is not only a way to be efficient with your mana, but also adds some control elements to the deck as well. Finally, it synergizes very well with [c]Merrow Reejerey[/c], being able to dump out your whole hand very quickly.

So, after praising [c]Cryptic Command[/c] last week, you may wonder why it isn’t included, not even 1, this week. This is not a mistake. No merfolk decks run [c]Cryptic Command[/c] because it is to slow for the deck and the deck doesn’t need/want its abilities. Some other cards I choose not to include were [c]Cosi’s Trickster[/c] as it only really triggers on fetches, [c]Coralhelm Commander[/c] as I felt it was to slow, and [c]Thassa, God of the Sea[/c] because I couldn’t find room for her (even though her power level is definitely on par) and I didn’t want another non-merfolk creature.

gtyb art


The strategy, as I earlier mention, is very aggressive. You want to try to get as much damage in as quickly as possible. Since there is so little of a control element to the deck, it is very easy to play. Generally you are removing, bouncing, or countering the first opposition to try to push as much damage through as possible. Generally I keep my [c]Aether Vial[/c]s at two counters because most of my creatures are at two. I’ll let it go up to three when I really need to.

The deck plays a lot like a red or Boros aggro minus the burn. In general, the burn is replaced with effective burn that allows you to push through extra damage ([c]Spreading Seas[/c], bouncing, countermagic, and removal). If you like a deck like UR Aggro or even just RDW or Boros Aggro, then you will likely like merfolk just as much.

The deck’s matchups are somewhat similar to that of an aggro deck. It does pretty well against most traditional control decks, such as Tron and UW Midrange, has more of a 50%/50% matchup against Abzan (it can really depend on the build), RDW and Boros Aggro, and Infect and generally has poor matchups against Twin, [c]Scapeshift[/c], and other quick combos (it is hard for us to interact with these).


The [c]Tidebinder Mage[/c]s obviously come in against anything red or green (Abzan, RDW, etc.).

The [c]Swan Song[/c] comes in against Twin, Aggro (haven’t quite decided if this is the right choice yet), Control, and anything else relevant.

The extra [c]Spell Pierce[/c] comes in against Aggro, Tron, Scapeshift, Infect, and other non-aggro matchups where you can afford to slow down.

The [c]Hurkyl’s Recall[/c]s come in against Affinity, obviously.

Again the [c]Mana Leak[/c]s come in against decks where you can usually afford to slow down a bit (Abzan, Control, etc.) and Twin usually.

[c]Stubborn Denial[/c]s come in against aggro, twin, and other racing matchups.

[c]Echoing Truth[/c] is usually a catchall, for Twin, Abzan, Aggro, basically anything to fill up the space of a dead card.

Finally there is [c]Relic of Progenitus[/c] for graveyard decks and for [c]Tarmogoyf[/c].

In hindsight I put a lot of spaces for Aggro when I could have filled them up with something more relevant for the even worse matchups, but I can fine-tune the sideboard as I continue to test.

More thoughts

So the big thing I choose not to do with this deck is splash white. A few fetches, shocks, and a playset of [c]Wanderwine Hub[/c] opens up [c]Path to Exile[/c], [c]Harm’s Way[/c], and many sideboard options.

Of course the numbers can be changed too. Even splashing black could be viable. Some specific cards that I decided not to include that could definitely still be good in the deck and in your meta are [c]Thassa, God of the Sea[/c], [c]Coralhelm Commander[/c], and [c]Cosi’s Trickster[/c] (likely in the sideboard). The control and removal packages have some slight wiggle room. I wouldn’t go with more than 11 cards for both removal and control and the deck isn’t a control deck, it is an aggro deck.

There are many sideboard options. As my main resource for sideboards (since I am not very good at it myself) I usually use the compare feature of (it is a great website for netdecking and seeing the metagame, most the time at least). That shows you many more options for sideaboards, basically all of which I think are viable, depending on your meta.

There it is, my take on the ever-popular Modern Merfolk deck. If you have any suggestions at all feel free to talk about them in the comments (I do usually respond). Thanks for sticking with me, as today’s article was a little long again, but hopefully interesting.


– Dylan

How To Take Advantage of Modern Masters 2015

kor spiritdancer art wide

Hi all,

If you have been interested in moving into Modern, or if you are interested in trying new decks in the format you already play, then this article will help you know how to do it best. Keep in mind that the information presented here is time-sensitive and based on thirty cards spoiled so far. Further, as a primarily online player, keep in mind that I am more knowledgeable about prices in terms of tickets.

People are always excited about reprints. They make cards cheaper! Unfortunately, what they tend not to do is to make decks cheaper. When [c]Arcbound Ravager[/c] was reprinted in the original Modern Masters, players were disappointed to see that the Affinity deck cost the same despite the price drop. What had happened was that [c]Mox Opal[/c] and other Affinity requirements increased in demand. The same cycle continues to happen as we see shock land and fetch land reprints.

So here I will give you pre-existing decks that have Modern Masters reprints and what you need to buy now in order to move into them. I’ll close the article with a budget brew that will be available to us thanks to Modern Masters 2015.

Deck 1: Bogles

Bogles is a great deck for consistent MTGO grinding. It has not earned many states, SCG IQ, Pro Tour, or qualifying wins, but if you want to take six tickets and consistently turn them into 18 with minimal time and clicking investment, then Bogles is right for you. Not many appreciate how, but you do get better with the deck after experience, particularly in games two and three, even if the learning curve is easy. It is like playing Vintage Dredge or the bass guitar in that way.

So far we have seen two crucial reprints for Bogles: [c]Daybreak Coronet[/c], the most obvious one, and [c]Leyline of Sanctity[/c] for the sideboard. Arguably, depending on the metagame, [c]Spellskite[/c] is another essential we’re being given.

If you want to move into Bogles, then here is a list of the cards you need to buy before they become more expensive:
-[c]Kor Spiritdancer[/c] (at one ticket!!)
-[c]Windswept Heath[/c] and [c]Wooded Foothills[/c]
-[c]Horizon Canopy[/c], though I may be wary of a reprint here
-[c]Slippery Bogle[/c]: For whatever reason, this guy climbs to a full ticket from time to time.

Deck 2: Tron

Who doesn’t want to begin exiling his opponent’s board on turn three, following it with a [c]Wurmcoil Engine[/c] that exhausts all of the opponent’s remaining resources, just in time to slam down recurring Eldrazi? Similarly to Bogles, Tron is powerful enough to forgive mistakes. It cycles through itself at an aggressive pace, and the power level of the cards you begin dropping on turns three and four often win regardless.

We have seen a ton of reprints for Tron: [c]Eye of Ugin[/c], [c]Karn Liberated[/c], [c]Spellskite[/c], and the Eldrazi: [c]Emrakul, Aeons Torn[/c], [c]Kozilek, Butcher of Truth[/c], and [c]Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre[/c].

Here are the cards you need to consider buying before the rest of the prices drop:
-[c]Grove of the Burnwillows[/c]: Again, this may see a reprint, but for whatever reason, I’m doubting it.
-[c]Wurmcoil Engine[/c]: The promo foil of this can be scouted for and found cheaply in the classifieds. Otherwise, I am fairly certain that any version is a good investment.
-[c]Oblivion Stone[/c]: It isn’t cheap, and it won’t be. If you wait, though, it will be regrettable. I guess we do have [c]All Is Dust[/c], [c]Perilous Vault[/c], and [c]Ugin, the Spirit Dragon[/c] to catch our fall, but these all operate best when we have assembled Tron. Stone works when we are limping, and it helps us catch some air in the midgame.

cranial plating art wide

Deck 3: Affinity

This is probably my number one deck to recommend you to buy into if you want to grind Modern for tickets. It is fast, it is oppressive, and it is consistent.

[c]Mox Opal[/c] is the main reprint we are excited about to play Affinity. The rest of the deck can be acquired really cheaply. Still, we are being thrown other bones in [c]Cranial Plating[/c] and [c]Etched Champion[/c].

Non-[c]Mox Opal[/c] pieces can be acquired for around 100 tickets, but they are already seeing spikes. Quickly acquire these cards:
-[c]Blinkmoth Nexus[/c]
-[c]Inkmoth Nexus[/c]
-[c]Master of Etherium[/c]
-And, depending on how you want to sideboard, [c]Blood Moon[/c] and [c]Chalice of the Void[/c].

Deck 4: Living End

The namesake card has tripled in price in the past two months, but still the deck can reasonably function for about forty tickets. The card that sets the budget decks from the consistently prizing ones is coming back: [c]Fulminator Mage[/c] has been confirmed at rare. Our best removal (perhaps arguably over [c]Beast Within[/c]) [c]Dismember[/c] is also being reprinted.

If free rides through aggro matches is your thing, and you don’t mind learning how to slog through control and fight combo and burn with spells that cost three or more, then you need to buy:
-[c]Living End[/c]
-[c]Blackcleave Cliffs[/c] and [c]Copperline Gorge[/c]
-[c]Bloodstained Mire[/c] and [c]Wooded Foothills[/c]: Remember, [c]Verdant Catacombs[/c] is better, but it is joining us later in the year as we return to Zendikar.

noble hierarch art wide

Deck 5: Infect

I don’t recommend buying into Infect, really. Sure, it is getting [c]Noble Hierarch[/c], and some evidence suggests that [c]Inkmoth Nexus[/c] is a card to buy into anyway, but other than that, the deck hasn’t recovered from the price spikes that have existed since the Pro Tour where Team Pantheon introduced Tom Ross’s brew.

Some brews

Of the 42 cards spoiled so far, I am most excited about [c]Iona, Shield of Emeria[/c] and the Eldrazi. Let’s throw them together with some Tron lands and see what happens.

[d title=”Tooth, Nail, and Tron (Modern)”]
1 Eye of Ugin
5 Forest
1 Ghost Quarter
1 Stomping Ground
4 Urza’s Mine
4 Urza’s Power Plant
4 Urza’s Tower
4 Wooded Foothills

1 Elderscale Wurm
1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
1 Eternal Witness
1 Gaea’s Revenge
1 Kozilek, Butcher of Truth
1 Oracle of Mul Daya
4 Overgrown Battlement
3 Thragtusk
1 Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre
4 Wall of Roots
1 Wurmcoil Engine

4 Expedition Map
4 Explore
4 Summoning Trap
4 Sylvan Scrying

1 Boseiju, Who Shelters All
2 Choke
3 Dismember
3 Feed the Clan
1 Gaea’s Revenge
1 Nature’s Claim
1 Obstinate Baloth
2 Primal Command
1 Thragtusk[/d]

This is a no-nonsense ramp deck that doesn’t aim to play [c]Genesis Wave[/c], [c]Tooth and Nail[/c], or even [c]Primal Command[/c], but creatures. Should that plan fail, then we will resolve [c]Summoning Trap[/c] and get a fatty who is likely as sweet or sweeter.

[d title=”Gifts Eggs (Modern)”]
3 Adarkar Wastes
2 Darksteel Citadel
4 Urza’s Mine
4 Urza’s Power Plant
4 Urza’s Tower

1 Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
1 Iona, Shield of Emeria
1 Myr Retriever
1 Snapcaster Mage

Other Spells
1 Aether Spellbomb
4 Azorius Signet
4 Chromatic Star
2 Expedition Map
1 Faith’s Reward
4 Gifts Ungiven
4 Ichor Wellspring
4 Krark-Clan Ironworks
4 Mox Opal
1 Noxious Revival
4 Open the Vaults
4 Prophetic Prism
1 Thopter Foundry
1 Unburial Rites

3 Erase
1 Favor of the Mighty
3 Path to Exile
1 Phyrexian Unlife
2 Pyroclasm
1 Rest for the Weary
4 Swan Song[/d]

These two paths may seem too discordant to be put together in a deck, but I think that [c]Gifts Ungiven[/c] may be just what the Eggs archetype needed. Now we can completely shut down Burn even in the face of [c]Eidolon of the Great Revel[/c] (a large part of why this deck doesn’t exist anymore), and [c]Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite[/c] both works well with [c]Thopter Foundry[/c] and attacks opposing aggressive strategies also.

This deck ramps into [c]Gifts Ungiven[/c] better than most; with [c]Mox Opal[/c] and [c]Azorius Signet[/c], you are highly likely to ramp into a turn 3 [c]Unburial Rites[/c].

If the Rites package is not optimal for the moment, [c]Snapcaster Mage[/c], [c]Noxious Revival[/c], [c]Faith’s Reward[/c], and [c]Open the Vaults[/c] ensure a big turn coming up.

Lastly, [c]Krark-Clan Ironworks[/c], Tron pieces, and mana fixing can just naturally ramp you into an [c]Iona, Shield of Emeria[/c] or [c]Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite[/c].

Hope you all enjoyed. Happy mastering of Modern!


MagicGatheringStrat: The Podcast Ep. 10

This week on the podcast Dan is late to the party!! Brennon and Sam start without him! The whole gang covers Standard Pauper, Classic Pauper, Cube, Limited, Spoilers, and upcoming Paetron goals! Please support us!

All this, and awesome new electronic device suggestions, this week on the podcast. Thanks for listening.

It’s the show, thanks for listening!
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Game of Thrones Chat S05E04 Sons of the Harpy

The boys discus Sons of the Harpy, the fourth episode in the fifth season of Game of Thrones.

Are Barristan Selmy and Grey Worm really dead?

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:

Please do not spoil anything from the books or later episodes in the comments to this podcast.
The fourth season on YouTube:
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

Learn more about the Fan of History on
or check out the Fan of History podcast on itunes:

Announcing Community League #5: Classic Pauper

community league 5 banner

Thanks to the continued support of our wonderful patrons, league #4 is barely behind us and we are already full-steam ahead with league #5.

Want more leagues, tournaments, gauntlets, videos, articles, and other good stuff?

Become a patron today!

Just $2 per month does a lot to support our efforts and you get some great perks, too, including access to our patron-only forums, a direct line on video requests, and the opportunity to win patron prizes.

Community League #5: Format and Rules

As the winner of league #4, PunningLinguist got to choose the format from among those with the most votes. The options I presented to him included Classic Heirloom, Modern Heirloom, Classic Pauper, and Modern Pauper. And yes, I’ve already given it away in the title up there, but he chose Classic Pauper!

Registration is open now and closes in two weeks on Friday, May 15.

To sign up, provide your MTGO username, your real name (or preferred pseudonym), and your time zone down in the comments below.

I will post the first pairings on May 15 and will also send out an email with contact information. That is the only email you will get! After that, you will have to check the site for your next pairings, which will go up on Friday each week. It will be up to each participant to contact their opponent by email to set up their match for the week. Don’t wait for your opponents contact you; be proactive!

We will play 4 weeks of Swiss and then cut to top 8 with the goal to finish the league by June 21.

League Rules

1. Classic Pauper has a filter on MTGO so that part is easy. You may play a new list every week or keep the same list, so long as each list is Pauper legal.

2. You get 3 points for a win and 1 point for a draw. A BYE counts as a win.

3. It is the responsibility of the winner to report their win. They should do so in the comment section of that week’s post. Your comment should look something like this: “Hi, fanofhistory beat bava this week, 2-1.” Report by the end of Thursday each week.

4. Communicate early and often. I will only send out the one email with all your contact information. Don’t lose it! Get in touch by email (it is much more effective than waiting around on MTGO). If no one communicates with each other or with me, that week’s pairing will be considered a draw. After two consecutive draw weeks due to lack of communication, you will be removed from the League. If one person is attempting to communicate and the other person is not, they should let me know. I will attempt to solve issues when I can, but when that doesn’t work out, the person who is trying to communicate will always get the win. Don’t wait until the last minute.

5. After the initial email all official league announcements will happen here on the site. I will update every Friday. You can always stay up to date with the link on the home page or by keeping tabs on the Events page. You can also get updates by liking us on Facebook or following me on Twitter @bava_mtg.

6. We’ll play 4 weeks of Swiss and then cut to Top 8. The league will end by June 21.

7. You can drop at any time. Please let me know if you’d like to drop before the next week’s pairings go up. You will always be welcomed back into subsequent league events.

8. Chat about the league or share lists over in our forums.

9. Contact me if you have any questions.

League Prizes

The winner of the league will receive 10 tickets.

In addition, the best-ranking patron in the league will receive 10 tickets. If that is the same person, they will receive 20 tickets.

The winning patron will have to have been in good standing for at least one month, so go sign up now if you haven’t already!

I will double the prize payouts if we reach Patreon support of $250 by the end of May and maintain it through the end of the event.

Sign up below

To sign up, provide your MTGO username, your real name (or preferred pseudonym), and your time zone down in the comments below.

Creating My Legacy: Finding A Deck And The Search For Fun

cabal therapy art

Welcome Back,

So for this week I’ve decided to take a break from building an EDH deck, and instead decided to talk about my recent forays into the Legacy format. I have had some experience in the format a while ago when I was playing Manaless Dredge, but not much since then.

At that time, I was just trying to dip the toe and see if the format was for me, or if I should stick to Modern. What I experienced during those few months was some of the best Magic I have ever played. The amount of variance that was on display was unreal. Every match I played, I saw something new. One match I was playing against Burn, the next match was against Miracles, then Sneak and Show, then Lands, and so on and so forth. It was astounding to see how many ways one could go about building a Legacy deck.

Another thing I noticed is that each deck really complimented each pilot. I could tell that each deck I played against was a labor of love. Every player put so much of themselves into their deck, and it showed.  It reminded me so much of the amount of love I put into my EDH deck Melek, Izzet Paragon.

To me, this was what Magic is about. People playing what they want to, instead of netdecking and metagaming. They aren’t playing these decks because they are objectively good in the meta, they are playing them because they love them. That’s why I fell in love with this format. I then put away Manaless Dredge and started my search for my Legacy deck. Manaless Dredge was loads of fun, but in the end it wasn’t the deck for me.

I will show you guys what I was working with for a few months.

[d title=”Manaless Dredge (Legacy)”]


3 Balustrade Spy

1 Flayer of the Hatebound

4 Golgari Grave-Troll

4 Golgari Thug

4 Ichorid

4 Narcomoeba

4 Nether Shadow

4 Phantasmagorian

4 Shambling Shell

4 Stinkweed Imp

4 Street Wraith


3 Contagion

1 Sickening Shoal


4 Cabal Therapy

4 Dread Return

4 Gitaxian Probe


4 Bridge from Below


2 Ashen Rider

3 Faerie Macabre

4 Mindbreak Trap

1 Serra Avatar

1 Sickening Shoal

4 Surgical Extraction [/d]

Now that I had a taste of what Legacy is, I wanted more. Now all I needed to do was to find my deck. There is a deck in this format for everybody, it’s just a matter of finding it. Whether it’s your own brew, or an established archetype, there is something here for you.

After months of searching, I boiled it down to three different decks, Worldgorger Dragon Combo, Miracles, or Nic Fit. Each deck, a vastly different playstyle. Each deck, a different part of the reasons why I love Magic as much as I do. I ended up taking the Dragon Combo deck out of the equation, because I decided to keep combo religated to Modern instead, where I’m currently building [c]Restore Balance[/c].

It took me a while to pick between Miracles and Nic Fit. I loved Miracles so much because of how skill intensive it is. It’s one of the hardest decks in the format to pilot. There are so many different decision trees that its mind boggling. I love decks like this because it really makes me think and helps me become a better player. In the end, I ended up choosing Nic Fit, primarily for just one reason. My love of a certain card.

thragtusk art wide

I love [c]Thragtusk[/c]. It’s one of my all time favorite cards. I have never had anything go wrong whenever this beast of a card resolves. Every time it resolves, you get value. Every single time. If they [c]Swords to Plowshares[/c], you still have a 3/3 left over. [c]Council’s Judgement[/c] can’t even take away that. Even if they go so far as to [c]Terminus[/c] it, you still have a 3/3 left over. There are certain decks, like Burn, that just can’t beat this card. It’s an monster of a threat and will generate two-for-ones every time you cast it.

It’s no wonder why [c]Thragtusk [/c] was the undisputed king of Standard at the time. With this, combined with my favorite planeswalker, [c]Garruk, Apex Predator[/c], we have the recipe for a deck that is straight out of my own heart. Here is my list of BG Nic Fit.

[d title=”Nic Fit (Legacy)”]


4 Bayou

1 Bloodstained Mire

5 Forest

5 Swamp

4 Verdant Catacombs

1 Windswept Heath


2 Courser of Kruphix

4 Deathrite Shaman

1 Grave Titan

1 Primeval Titan

3 Sakura-Tribe Elder

2 Thragtusk

2 Thrun, the Last Troll

4 Veteran Explorer


4 Abrupt Decay


4 Cabal Therapy

4 Hymn to Tourach

4 Innocent Blood


2 Pernicious Deed


1 Garruk, Apex Predator

2 Liliana of the Veil


1 Batterskull

1 Dismember

1 Garruk Wildspeaker

2 Guttural Response

2 Leyline of the Void

2 Melira, Sylvok Outcast

2 Mindbreak Trap

1 Ob Nixilis of the Black Oath

2 Pernicious Deed

1 Pithing Needle [/d]

This is the list I’m currently building. It’s going to take me awhile to finish, though I have the core of it already. I own a seventy-five, just have some place holders for some of the more expensive cards until I can afford them.

I was surprised at how well this deck did in testing. There were many a game where I started out with a [c]Veteran Explorer[/c], then cast and flashed back [c]Cabal Therapy[/c], then followed that up with a [c]Hymn to Tourach [/c]. After that devastating turn two play, it was difficult for my opponent to cobble together much of anything. These type of openings followed up by some huge threat has been back-breaking against almost everybody.

[c]Garruk, Apex Predator[/c] has been a blast to play in Legacy. He doesn’t show up all the time, but when he does, he makes his presence known immediatly. Most of the time, he shows up and kills the biggest threat they have. Then he just starts pumping out 3/3 deathtouchers that will take over the game if left unchecked. He protects himself, gains you life, and will win the game if he goes unchecked, which he usually does. By the time you get to a spot where you can cast him, your opponent is usually out of resources. He’s been amazing every time I cast him. I have yet to live the dream of killing a [c]Jace, the Mindsculptor[/c] with him, but I’m sure I will soon enough.

One thing I did find though is that there are a few decks that just are flat out bad matchups. Infect so far has been the absolute worst matchup of them all. With their lightning fast clock, our game plan is usually just too slow to matter. Most games just involved me playing a turn one [c]Veteran Explore[/c] and then dying. To help this, I’ve included [c]Melira, Sylvok Outcast[/c] in the Sideboard to help make this match as easy as possible (still not easy).

Overall, I’m excited about finally having a Legacy deck that I get to call my own. It may not be the best deck in the format, but it’s my deck. I pour my heart into each deck I build, and this is no different. If you’re looking for a deck that allows you to play some of your favorite cards in Magic that you normally think wouldn’t make it into this format, look no further. This deck is for the Little Timmys out there that love casting big creatures and having a good time. I sure love it when I get to play [c]Thragtusk[/c] along side [c]Garruk, Apex Predator[/c] in a format mostly about one and two drops.

Thank you for checking out my article this week. Next week, I will be returning to EDH and bring you another brew to take a look at. Hopefully some time in the future I will make another article and update you on how Nic Fit has been treating me. If you have any comments or anything you want me to discuss in a future article, let me know in the comments. See you soon, my friends.

-Steven Gulsby