Hello again, my friends. Another week, another Pauper Daily Event. I would have run Burn again, since I 4-0d with it last week, but didn’t want to bore you all by running the same list two weeks in a row. So instead I picked up my other most successful DE list, GW Hexproof. I like the list that Dain5 runs: the manabase is straight-forward so that even though you depend on your fixing enchantments and Manamorphose to get you don’t have tapped lands messing with your tempo.
Let’s take a look.
GW Hexproof by Dain5 (Pauper)
1 Khalni Garden
2 Aura Gnarlid
4 Gladecover Scout
4 Silhana Ledgewalker
4 Slippery Bogle
2 Kruphix’s Insight
4 Abundant Growth
3 Ancestral Mask
4 Armadillo Cloak
4 Ethereal Armor
4 Utopia Sprawl
1 Flaring Pain
3 Gleeful Sabotage
2 Hornet Sting
3 Moment’s Peace
3 Scattershot Archer
3 Young Wolf
Play a Bogle. Grow a Bogle. Bogle smash. Another simple game plan this week, let’s see how it works out.
Round One vs Burn
Burn is an okay match-up. If we stick our lifegain spells it’s pretty much GG, but we can certainly die before that ever happens. It’s pretty much a matter of who can count to 20 first. We are more likely to stumble since we have more components to put together, giving Burn a slight edge.
Game 1: We keep a one-lander on the play, but have a great hand otherwise. Our turn one Bogle hangs out for a bit while we Utopia Sprawl on t2, and then we get to live the dream of Rancor and Ethereal Armor right off the bat. He gets us down to 7 with burn spells on t3, but is tapped out. We rip Ancestral Mask and swing in for lethal on our next turn.
Sideboard: We have nothing for Burn, really, so we keep the list as is and head into g2.
Game 2: We keep another one-lander, this time on the draw, and play a t1 Gladecover Scout. Our opponent plays Keldon Marauders and we’re not hitting our land drops, so we throw on a Rancor and offer the trade, which he takes. We’re stuck on land for awhile but our opponent can’t seem to close us out. By t5 we’ve got two guys on board, we’re at 10 life, and even though he has 3 cards in hand and a curse on us, we’re feeling pretty good. We don’t have for Armadillo Cloak but we’re making due anyway. On our t7 we’re down to 5 life and our opponent must be flooding because he doesn’t burn us out. We finally stick an Armadillo Cloak and swing for lethal, making the lifegain pointless anyway.
Match score: 1-0 | Game score: 2-0
Round Two vs Affinity
Affinity is always a hard match-up but it also just loses games to itself. We’re up against Eredion, who is my favorite Affinity player and who isn’t going to give away any games with silly mistakes, so we have to play our best.
Game 1: We’re on the play and by t3 have a Ledgewalker with an Armadillo Cloak and more gas to come. Our opponent is stuck on one land a turn too long and scoops after we cast Mask and swing with our 9/9 trampling life-linker.
Sideboard: IN 3x Gleeful Sabotage, 1x Moment’s Peace | OUT 4x Manamorphose. I don’t love Gleeful but it works fine here to keep our opponent stumbling. Moment’s Peace can be pivotal but I’ve been stuck with it in hand while I was Flinged to death one too many times to bring in the whole set. Manamorphose is my easy “side out” card though I’m not sure it’s correct to do so.
Game 2: Our opponent gets a much better start, so even though we’re quickly squaring off with a 5/3 lifelinked Bogle, he has 2 Frogmites and a Carapace Forger to contend with and we can’t get through. On t5 I manage to swing through the stalemate with a 6/6 Gnarlid and the next turn I stick Ethereal Armor on my bogle to swing in with him and the (now 7/7) Gnarlid. My opponent shoves everything into his Atog to trade with the bogle, but I still get him down to 7 life and, after moving the Rancor over to the Gnarlid I’m still showing lethal on the next turn and my opponent has no board left to speak of. He concedes.
Match score: 2-0 | Game score: 4-0
Round Three vs RUG Tron
This should be a good match-up for us. I’ve been shut out by Circle of Protection: Green from the sideboard here, though, so we need to consider that in our SB decisions. Otherwise this can be very one-sided, since Tron’s traditional tools to keep control until they stabilize don’t work very well against us.
Game 1: We keep another one-lander on the draw, but have all sorts of wonderful things if we hit any of our fixing. On t2 we swing with Bogle + Rancor and on t3, thanks to a land drop and 2x Manamorphose, we swing with a Bogle + Rancor + 2x Ethereal Armor. Our opponent put Tron together well enough but scoops to our lethal swing on the next turn that he can’t answer.
Sideboard: IN 3x Gleeful Sabotage, 1x Flaring Pain | OUT 3x Ancestral Mask, 1x Armadillo Cloak. Note this is how I SHOULD have sideboard both games, but for g2, even though I was thinking about COP:Green in particular, I only brought in the Flaring Pain and left out the sabotage.
Game 2: He sticks COP:Green on t2 and then keeps me from hitting him until we gets up to a lethal Rolling Thunder. I never find my 1x Flaring Pain which is reasonable, and curse myself for messing up and not bringing in the sabotage this game. I definitely bring them in for g3.
Game 3: He is a bit slower getting the Circle out this game and I get him to 5 life before he stabilizes, but stabilize he does. Now having 4x answers to his Circles, I feel like I should be able to draw an answer eventually. He blows me up with a Rolling Thunder on t12 because even though I saw 26 cards I never hit an answer to his Circles. I curse myself, my opponent, and the gods of luck. Mostly I swear at Gleeful Sabotage once I spot it another 7 cards down in my deck. Finally I swear at myself because had I boarded correctly in g2 I likely would have been able to win at least one of these last two games.
Match score: 2-1 | Game score: 5-2
Round Four vs Affinity
As I mentioned before, this is never not a tough match-up. Affinity can be just as explosive as we are, and in a stalemate on board, they will eventually just Fling into us for a win, meaning that time is on their side.
Game 1: I get my first really stupid 7 and throw it back, keeping a reasonable 6 though (again) with just a single land. The fixing has been strong with me today, so I cross my fingers and go for it, especially since we’re on the draw. By t4 we are outclassed by his Auriok Sunchaser, a Frogmite, and an Atog representing lethal. We have a 6/4 Bogle with trample and firststrike, but it’s not quite enough to kill him or counter his threat on the next turn. He uses his Atog to hold us back while he hits us in the air. He gets us to 6 life on t6 with three cards still in hand. This is the board state on our t6. (You can click the image to open a larger version.)
What’s the play?
The play I made was to throw Armadillo Cloak and Rancor on the Gnarlid and swing in. We get our opponent to 1 and gain a bunch of life, but remain dead to his crack-back the next turn + Galvanic Blast, which he has. (Pro tip: Affinity always has a Galvanic Blast in hand.) I think the better play is to grow the Bogle, hitting him harder or, at the least, netting us more life and killing a few of his creatures. What do you think? Did I throw away a win here, or was there no chance?
Sideboard: IN 3x Gleeful Sabotage | OUT 3x Ancestral Mask. Yes, I sideboard here different than my last Affinity match-up. I’m not sure why. I like my prior SB plan better because Ancestral Mask can be a huge back-breaker in this match-up and it feels wrong to bring it out.
Game 2: We keep *another* one-lander and cross our fingers, dropping the t1 Bogle. By t4 that Bogle has Rancor + Ethereal Armor + Armadillo Cloak, and our opponent scoops.
Game 3: We keep a three-lander with some guys and a Rancor and a Gleeful Sabotage, and pick up another Sabotage on our first draw. He manages to stick Carapace Forger and Atog before we blow up his and mana sources and our remaining 2x Gleefuls stare balefully at his Darksteel Citadels. We make some trades to protect our life total, and on t7 play a Bogle with a Rancor and Armor staring down an Atog and Darksteel Citadel on our opponent’s side. The only problem is that, at 9 life, I am dead to any two artifacts he plays and feeds to his Atog, so I can’t afford to swing in. He still has 17 life and I’m out of gas. We take a chance, swinging once to get him to 10. He cracks back for 1 and plays a Sunchaser, representing both lethal and an unblockable threat that will close the game quickly if I can’t win. After drawing land after land, we finally are forced to block the lethal Atog and lose our board, dying next turn to the Sunchaser and a Myr Enforcer.
Match score: 2-2 | Game score: 6-4
Wrap-Up and Videos
Nothing worse than going 2-0 into a 2-2 finish. Except, I guess, when you probably could have won those last two matches if you hadn’t made dumb mistakes. Not bringing in the right cards vs RUG Tron in game 2 was a back-breaker, and I have only myself to blame. The Affinity match in r4 was a closer thing; I’m not sure making different decisions would have won me that one, but I do feel like it was possible. Hexproof handled itself well, as it almost always does. We avoided MBC, which is the toughest match-up, and even Delver, for the second week in a row. Are we sure people are still playing those decks?
I know that they are but, hey, I’m happy to avoid them for now.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed the write-up. Here are videos of the matches.
See you next week!