Community League #6, Extended Pauper: Week 2

community league 6 banner web

Check out the week one article for all the rules and stuff. Also a quick reminder that I won’t send any more “bulk” emails until Top 8. Check back on the site every week, or follow us on social media for updates. Pairings will go up Friday mornings PST.

League Prizes

MagicGatheringStrat is proud to list Cardhoarder as an official sponsor of all our events going forward. Cardhoarder has been serving the MTGO community since 2005, and with new ownership since 2014 has shown renewed vigor to improve the way they serve their customers and create innovation in the MTGO community.

cardhoarder-logo
Thank you to Cardhoarder for sponsoring this event.
Buy MTGO singles at Cardhoarder.com or through their bot network.

We are happy to welcome additional sponsors or donations to the prize pool. If you’re interested, please get in touch.

Week Two Pairings

With further ado, here they are. Good luck, have fun! If you have any questions, get in touch.

mgsleague6-week2

 

The MagicGatheringStrat Show, Ep. 21

Section 1: This week in Standard Pauper

If you missed us, join us Tuesday evening at 12 am Eastern for the the Live show!

http://www.twitch.tv/magicgatheringstrat/

Section 2: Player run events

SPDC 29 Worlds

26-Jul-15
Standard · 11 Players
11 Decks · 100% Reported
3 rounds Swiss
Top 8 playoff
Hosted by rremedio1

1st Mono B Exploit by amnaremotoas
2nd Token Izzet Control by Cabel
T4 Exiler by rremedio1
T4 Boros Heroic by WujekMZK
T8 Red Deck Wins by AmericanGaren
T8 Why is Cruel Revival uncommon :( by amnaremotoas
T8 Winged Weenie by Azgan
T8 mono green by yelloweyes2

The winning deck:

MONO B EXPLOIT
Standard · Control
 1st by amnaremotoas in SPDC 29 Worlds (4-1)

[d]
Creatures
4 Black Cat
4 Gray Merchant of Asphodel
3 Baleful Eidolon
3 Dutiful Attendant
3 Typhoid Rats
3 Vulturous Aven
2 Disciple of Phenax
2 Gurmag Angler
2 Qarsi Sadist
Spells
4 Sign in Blood
3 Pharika’s Cure
2 Font of Return
1 Eternal Thirst
1 Read the Bones
Lands
15 Swamp
4 Evolving Wilds
4 Radiant Fountain
SIDEBOARD
4 Duress
3 Festergloom
2 Disciple of Phenax
1 Font of Return
1 Flatten
1 Pharika’s Cure
1 Feast of Dreams
1 Disowned Ancestor
1 Eternal Thirst
[/d]

The MatchUps

R1:  Loss:  1 – 2 vs.  Cabel  Token Izzet Control 
R2:  Win:  2 – 0 vs.  KyranOHyran  Mono Green Devotion 
R3:  Win:  2 – 0 vs.  yelloweyes2  Mono Green 
T4:  Win:  2 – 1 vs.  WujekMZK  Boros Heroic 
T2:  Win:  2 – 0 vs.  Cabel  Token Izzet Control

The winning deck:

EXILER
Standard · Control
 1st by rremedio1 in MPDC 29 WORLDS (5-0)

Yay Roberto!

[d]
Creatures
2 Mnemonic Wall
2 Student of Ojutai
Spells
3 Anticipate
3 Divination
3 Flurry of Horns
3 Last Breath
3 Lightning Strike
3 Magma Spray
3 Nullify
3 Treasure Cruise
2 Pillar of Light
2 Rise of Eagles
2 Voyage’s End
1 Cancel
1 Weave Fate
Lands
6 Island
4 Evolving Wilds
4 Swiftwater Cliffs
3 Mountain
3 Tranquil Cove
2 Plains
2 Wind-Scarred Crag
SIDEBOARD
4 Negate
3 Scouring Sands
2 Disdainful Stroke
1 Pillar of Light
1 Voyage’s End
1 Magma Spray
1 Last Breath
1 Lightning Strike
1 Cancel
[/d]

The MatchUps

Having been a winner in the past, though I consider you all winners, Roberto got a round 1 bye!

R1: 
R2:  Win:  2 – 0 vs.  evolver3  No Deck Found 
R3:  Win:  2 – 1 vs.  Jonder_qind  bohaterism 
T8:  Win:  2 – 1 vs.  yelloweyes2  Token Izzet Control 
T4:  Win:  2 – 1 vs.  JogandoPelado  Red heroic 
T2:  Win:  2 – 0 vs.  Jonder_qind  bohaterism 

Do not forget your league matches! Get those in as soon as you can so we can keep the fun train running.

 

Deadguy Ale in Modern

pack rat art wide

This article was submitted by Jack Marion. If you like it, let him know in the comments, and maybe he will write some more!

Hi Everybody,

For some time now I have been toying with a way in which to crack this current modern format. Modern is in an interesting place right now because there is no clear “best deck” like there has been in the past. Despite the fact that there are a few top tier decks (to name a few: Amulet Bloom, Grixis Delver, Twin, Jund, burn, Tron, and maybe even Grishoalbrand), these decks function in extraordinarily different ways.

Even if you find a way to one up all of these top-tier decks, which is nigh on impossible, you can’t even begin to account for all of the random rogue decks making a resurgence, like Ad Nauseam, Infect, or Merfolk (speaking of Merfolk I have also been toying with a Collected Merfolk deck, but that is for another article).

So sitting in my lair I was spending all of my time trying to figure out how to game the meta, and thus validate my god-complex. But then inspiration struck me: why find a way to beat each of these decks specifically when I can have at least an even match-up against every deck ever conceived. With this goal is mind I present to you my rogue beauty: Deadguy Ale.

[d title=”Deadguy Ale (Modern)”]
Lands
1 Fetid Heath
3 Godless Shrine
4 Marsh Flats
3 Mutavault
2 Plains
2 Swamp
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
1 Vault of the Archangel
3 Windswept Heath
3 Bloodstained Mire

Creatures
4 Dark Confidant
4 Fulminator Mage
1 Hypnotic Specter
4 Pack Rat
1 Tidehollow Sculler

Instants
2 Dismember
4 Path to Exile
2 Slaughter Pact

Sorceries
4 Inquisition of Kozilek
4 Lingering Souls
4 Thoughtseize

Enchantments
1 Bitterblossom

Planeswalkers
1 Sorin, Lord of Innistrad

Artifacts
1 Sword of Fire and Ice
Sideboard:
2 Disfigure
1 Dismember
1 Ethersworn Canonist
1 Kataki, War’s Wage
2 Kor Firewalker
3 Leyline of Sanctity
1 Mirran Crusader
1 Nihil Spellbomb
1 Rest in Peace
2 Stony Silence [/d]

For those of you not familiar with the archetype Deadguy Ale is an old legacy deck that wins the game through efficient creatures in combination with efficient discard. This deck was the original BW good stuff. I really do believe that this deck is well-positioned right now, otherwise there is no way it could convince me not to play a deck with either counter magic or some degenerate combo.

One of the best things about this deck is how loose its list actually is. You can change out almost any card in this deck, maindeck or sideboard, depending upon what you expect to be facing.

Let’s rundown your strategy when running this deck. You want to start off with a turn one discard spell, you have a whopping eight main-deck so it really shouldn’t be difficult to have an opener with one. After you put your opponent on a deck is where things get interesting. The reason why the list is so loose to begin with is because the deck is so reactive and malleable, much like Jund. So after you see your opponent’s hand your deck is suddenly either a linear aggro deck, or an incredibly disruptive control deck. This malleable play style is supported by the hyper-efficiency of your creatures.

A perfect example of this is [c]Pack Rat[/c]: [c]Pack Rat[/c] is always going to be a good card no matter what play-style you opt into. If you are playing against a mid-range fatty deck like Junk, you just go all in on your rat and it’ll eventually be big enough that you can fight a [c]Siege Rhino[/c] in combat, which is a really good feeling, and their clock isn’t very fast so you have time to get there. Playing against a combo deck like Twin? Just strip their hand to nothing and drop a Pack Rat when the coast is clear, when it’s out of bolt range they may as well scoop. Pack Rat really is the defining card of the deck due to its flexibility. We saw this trait most clearly when it was dominating Standard, you go in on a Pack Rat in a match-up where they can’t deal with it, and you leave your options open into those that can.

[c]Dark Confidant[/c] is how you out-value a grindier matchup, you just drown them in card advantage. Not to mention the sick wombo combo with pack rat.

[c]Fulminator Mage[/c] is key in helping with matchups that would otherwise be very difficult, such as Tron, Scapeshift, and Amulet Bloom. It was also surprisingly good in aggro matchups during testing. Into burn, a matchup where the card is traditionally useless, it is pretty sweet because of all of the rampant splashing. It is currently in style to play three or even four color burn decks, but skimp on actual shocks in favor of fetches, so I you drop multiple Fulminators you can frequently entirely lock them off certain colors.

[c]Hypnotic Specter[/c] and [c]Tidehollow Sculler[/c] do similar things in this deck: just being a nuisance to card advantage matchups like Twin or Grixis Control. You win those matchups by stripping their hand, so these one-ofs are key.

[c]Lingering Souls[/c] is a card that doesn’t need much introduction, it’s been omnipresent in the format for months. Lingering Souls are here because of just how efficient they are, you would be surprised how many decks just can’t answer this card, so a playset is a must.

Our removal is pretty self-explanatory, [c]Path to Exile[/c] because [c]Swords to Plowshares[/c] is a decent Magic card. Dismember for fatties like [c]Tarmogoyf[/c], [c]Tasigur, the Golden Fang[/c], [c]Gurmag Angler[/c], and [c]Siege Rhino[/c]. [c]Slaughter Pact[/c] is a bit weird but having the extra instant speed removal really helps us destroy Twin.

[c]Bitterblossom[/c] and [c]Sorin, Lord of Innistrad[/c] are there to have some hard to answer threats in case you can’t strip their removal.

[c]Sword of Fire and Ice[/c] is just amazing in the age of Grixis we live in today, if you stick this on a creature you just win those matchups.

Our eight one-drop discard spells really are the cornerstones of the deck, and I think I’ve talked about them enough.

As for the sideboard, you can really change all of it to fit the meta you expect to be facing. I’ll quickly run through each inclusion:

  • [c]Disfigure[/c] is for Delver, Elves or other similar small creature decks.
  • [c]Dismember[/c] is for decks that have big stuff in them (Angler, Tasigur, Goyf).
  • [c]Ethersworn Canonist[/c] hoses Storm, Ad Nauseam, Grishoalbrand, Living End, or Jeskai Ascendancy.
  • [c]Kataki[/c] for Affinity or other artifact based strategies.
  • [c]Kor Firewalker[/c] for Burn and Goblins.
  • [c]Leyline of Sanctity[/c] for Burn and discard.
  • [c]Mirran Crusader[/c] for Jund, Junk, or any green or black deck.
  • [c]Nihil Spellbomb[/c] and Rest in Peace for any graveyard strategy.
  • [c]Stony Silence[/c] for Affinity, Tron, and Eggs.

Anyway, that’s all for now, hope you enjoy playing the kind of scumbag deck that I love to play!

Good Luck, Have Fun!

-Jack

 

The Pauper Brewer’s Cup, Week Seven: Apprehension Engine

brewerscup01-wide

Wow, it’s the penultimate episode of the Pauper Brewer’s Cup, and either we’re losing steam or you you guys didn’t find much inspiration in the Tron / Ramp challenge. If it is the latter, my apologies. You have one more chance to send me suggestions for next week. After that we will jump into the “gauntlet” portion of this challenge, where your lists will fight for honor and glory.

By now you know the score. If you’re new here, don’t worry, I’ll go over it each week. This week’s article has two sections. First you get to vote on your favorite list from our top contenders last week. Second, you get to submit new lists around a new theme, which will be voted on next week. Here is a reminder of how this whole thing works.

The Pauper Brewer’s Cup

Here are some rules and stuff.

  1. Every week, I will offer some kind of constraint or challenge to our readers.
  2. Submit a fun, innovative, or powerful brew built around those constraints.
  3. Your submission must be legal for Pauper in Magic Online. Guidelines are here.
  4. I will select three lists out of your submissions, and you will get to vote for that week’s winner.
  5. After 8 weeks we will have 8 innovative brews, and they will enter the gauntlet portion of the Brewer’s Cup.
  6. Whoever owns (submitted) the deck that wins this gauntlet will be endowed with fabulous riches (to be determined) and great esteem.

If any of that doesn’t make sense, ask for clarifications in the comments. The idea is that we should have fun sharing ideas and brewing, maybe discover some new, powerful decks, and in general support and promote the format we love the most, Pauper.

If at any point you have a suggestion for a theme or challenge, send those along too. I will do my best, but I am relying upon the ingenuity of you guys to make this thing really successful. I know you won’t let me down!

So, rules and stuff aside, let’s get down to business.

Week Five Winner

Light votes this week, but we had a close race.

ModernFever secures the win with his “All Deaths Welcome” list, edging out obZen’s Grixis Go list by a single vote. Midnight_Memory brought up the rear but was just five votes back from second. Congratulations to Modern_Fever! All Deaths Welcome is not the fifth list to make it into the gauntlet portion of the Brewer’s Cup.

Voting for Week Six

We were light on submissions this week, but not on quality. The challenge was to brew a Tron or Ramp list, and you guys delivered. Here are my three favorites.

[d title=”Urza’s Rebellious Teenage Phase by Shnuffles”]

Lands
4 Urza’s Mine
4 Urza’s Power Plant
4 Urza’s Tower
1 Bojuka Bog
10 Plains
3 Expedition Map
Rebel Tutors
4 Ramosian Sergeant
4 Ramosian Lieutenant
4 Defiant Falcon
4 Amrou Scout
1 Blightspeaker
Utility Rebels
3 Zealot il-Vec
3 Aven Riftwatcher
1 Thermal Glider
1 Nightwind Glider
1 Amrou Seekers
1 Children of Korlis
Removal
3 Journey to Nowhere
4 Bound in Silence
Sideboard
2 Samite Censer-Bearer
1 Errant Doomsayers
1 Aven Riftwatcher
2 Lightbringer
1 Nightwind Glider
2 Thermal Glider
1 Zealot il-Vec
3 Oblivion Ring
2 Gravepurge [/d]

I like the title, and rebels + tron lands makes good sense. Aside from using Tron, it isn’t the most innovative Rebels list in the world, but still looks like it would be good fun to play and could be a competitor. Never underestimate the power of the rebellion!

[d title=”Artificial Sweetener by Icepick23″]

Lands
4 Urza’s Mine
4 Urza’s Tower
4 Urza’s Power Plant
4 Plains
4 Ancient Den
Recur Engine
4 Remember the Fallen
3 Salvage Scout
3 Sanctum Gargoyle
Recur Targets
3 Arcbound Bruiser
4 Arcbound Worker
2 Arcbound Stinger
2 Guardian Automaton
4 Ichor Wellspring
4 Origin Spellbomb
Utility Cards
4 Auriok Sunchaser
3 Thermal Navigator
4 Whispersilk Cloak
Sideboard
1 Circle of Protection: Green
2 Circle of Protection: Red
1 Circle of Protection: Blue
2 Vulshok Morningstar
2 Disenchant
3 Oblivion Ring
2 Dust to Dust
1 Mana Tithe
1 Sunbeam Spellbomb [/d]

Using the modular guys with recursion is interesting, and you have a sac outlet in [c]Thermal Navigator[/c] to push modular bonuses as needed. 4x [c]Whispersilk Cloak[/c] feels like too many, but otherwise the list seems solid enough. Icepick submitted a second list, but he dropped the land count to 17 and added in some Expedition Maps. I like maps, but generally you don’t want to replace land with them, especially not down to 17. It’s weird how greedy people get with mana in Pauper. Even with the Tron lands, I’d probably run 22 or so, adding in some dual-purpose lands like [c]Haunted Fengraf[/c] or [c]Quicksand[/c].

[d title=”GR Tron Control by Marvin02″]

Lands
4 Urza’s Mine
4 Urza’s Power Plant
4 Urza’s Tower
8 Forest
1 Rugged Highlands
1 Bojuka Bog
Creatures
4 Tinder Wall
4 Satyr Wayfinder
2 Ulamog’s Crusher
Spells
2 Lotus Petal
4 Crop Rotation
4 Faithless Looting
4 Firebolt
1 Flame Jab
2 Prophetic Prism
4 Mulch
1 Morgue Theft
4 Earth Rift
2 Swirling Sandstorm
Sideboard
2 Ancient Grudge
1 Canopy Claws
1 Electrickery
2 Fangren Marauder
2 Moment’s Peace
3 Pyroblast
2 Serene Heart
2 Swirling Sandstorm [/d]

This is both a Tron deck AND a ramp deck, so it fits the brief twice over. I love [c]Swirling Sandstorm[/c] and it makes me happy to see it in use here. I’m not sure about the “retrace vs card draw” idea, since there isn’t a lot of retrace in here, but I approve of the list nonetheless.

Vote Here!

Alright, which of these three lists do you like the most? Submit your votes by the end of the week. One vote per reader, please.

Week Seven: Apprehension Engine

I’m reading Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway right now, and in the story there is a device called the Apprehension Engine. What it actually does is somewhat mysterious at this point, but the gist seems to be that it removes all mystery, granting perfect knowledge and banishing the unknown. Or something like that. There are tiny, golden mechanical bees. They go off and unlock more bees. And more bees. And more bees. Essentially it is a chain reaction that may (or may not) lead to an armageddon of some kind. All of which is a roundabout way of getting to my point, which is that your deck should cause a chain reaction of some kind that should lead to armageddon for your opponent.

tl;dr build me an awesome Pauper combo deck.

There are lot of unexplored combos in Pauper. If you have seen my [c]Blessing of Leeches[/c] videos on the channel, you know that some are jankier than others. Even so, there is a TON of unexplored space, here; okay, so maybe not in terms of tier 1 potential, but plenty of solid t2 stuff that might be ready for its moment to shine. Your combo list doesn’t need to be “infinite” but it should do something powerful when it goes off. For instance, one-land spy is not an infinite combo, but generally does enough to kill your opponent. Same with [c]Songs of the Damned[/c]. Infinite combos are in no way discouraged, of course, just so long as they do something worthwhile. Infinitely playing and bouncing creatures, to no other effect, isn’t very impressive.

  1. Brew up a fun, interesting, powerful, janky, or otherwise underexplored Combo list for Classic Pauper.

I am willing to consider that [c]Kiln Fiend[/c] “combos” with cantrips, and that infect combos with pump spells, but it better be more “interesting” than that or it won’t pass muster.

Submissions will be judged on power, innovation, and how well you work within the constraints.

This is a brewing contest, so creativity is paramount.

Submit your brews and ideas

That’s it! Submit your lists in the comments below. Yes, that means other people can see your stuff and copy it or adapt it, but I do really want this to be an opportunity for us to discuss and brew together for Pauper.

Lists need to be submitted before next Tuesday, August 4, to be considered.

I will pick three submissions to highlight in next week’s article, and you guys will get to vote to decide the winner.

Our Forum Guidelines and Style Guide are available here, so you can make your decklist look like a list. Please use it.

Other thoughts, comments, or concerns? Suggestions for a weekly challenge? Leave those in the comments too!

Last but not least, if you like this challenge or any of our other content, please consider supporting us via our Patreon.

Happy brewing!

/bava

 

Community League #6: Extended Pauper, Week 1

community league 6 banner web

Get your Extended Pauper lists together, because it’s time to get this league rolling!

First, a shout-out to our Patrons. Without our supporters on Patreon we would not be able to do these leagues, which now occur every 2 months. For as little as $2 per month you let us do awesome things. If you’re not a patron already, please consider signing up today. I also want to remind you that if you become a patron before the end of July you will be eligible for the patron prize at the end, and if we hit $250 total before the end of the month and maintain that level throughout this event, I would DOUBLE all prize payouts.

Really, y’all, every little bit helps!

Here is a quick reminder of how this thing works.

League Rules

1. Extended Pauper lists may include commons from Standard-rotation MTGO sets from Innistrad through Origins. Use the “Pauper” filter on MTGO, but make sure you are not using cards that were commons in previous sets but are uncommon in a recent set (e.g. [c]Rancor[/c]). If you have questions about which sets are legal, or specific cards, ask in the comments. It’s better to be sure now than to get DQed for using illegal cards. Origins cards will be legal in MTGO starting on Monday, July 27. If you see an opponent using illegal cards, take a screenshot and send it to me. You may play a new list every week or keep the same list, so long as each list is Extended Pauper legal.

2. You get 3 points for a match win, 1 point for a draw, and 0 points for a loss. 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 5 weeks of Swiss and then cut to Top 8. The league will end by September 6th.

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

MagicGatheringStrat is proud to list Cardhoarder as an official sponsor of all our events going forward. Cardhoarder has been serving the MTGO community since 2005, and with new ownership since 2014 has shown renewed vigor to improve the way they serve their customers and create innovation in the MTGO community.

I have personally switched all of my singles purchases for MTGO from MTGOTraders to Cardhoarder and have had a top-notch experience. I highly recommend them. Shop online or use their bots by searching for #cardhoarder in the Trade screen.

cardhoarder-logo
Thank you to Cardhoarder for sponsoring this event.
Buy MTGO singles at Cardhoarder.com or through their bot network.

We are happy to welcome additional sponsors or donations to the prize pool. If you’re interested, please get in touch.

The winner of this event will receive 35 bot credits from Cardhoarder.

Second place will receive 15 bot credits from Cardhoarder.

In addition, the best-ranking patron in the league will receive 10 tix. This will be in addition to any prizes already won by placing first or second in the event.

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 (with tickets) if we reach Patreon support of $250 by the end of July and maintain it through the end of the event.

Week One Pairings

With further ado, here they are. Good luck, have fun! If you have any questions, get in touch.

league-6-week-1

MagicGatheringStrat: The Podcast Ep. 20

This week on the magicgatheringstrat.com Brennon Sam and Dan talk about Standard Pauper! Classic Pauper! Extended Pauper! Leagues! The Pauper Gauntlet! Brews! Cubes! Modern! Metas! Prices!!

If you understand the storylines behind the Eldrazi block and can explain it to us that would be great.

It’s the magicgatheringstrat.com podcast and you are the best ever!

www.MagicGatheringStrat.com
YouTube: MagicGatheringStrat (subscribe!)
https://www.patreon.com/magicgatheringstrat
Twitter: @MagicGathStrat @cyruleansayshi @Spo7677
www.facebook.com/Magicgatheringstrat
Subscribe and Like please. It helps.

Commanding on a Dime: Lovisa Coldeyes

Welcome back,

I was looking through the legendary creature list, looking for something to work on this week, and I just found this little one. I never really heard [c]Lovisa Coldeyes[/c] before this, and she seemed really straightforward and interesting. Honestly, I don’t know why I don’t see her pop up more at my local game store. Her ability is crazy powerful, and pretty much builds the deck by herself. She may be nothing flashy or make for interesting lines, but she gets the job done. Lets take a look at what Barbarians, Warriors, and Berserkers we can rally together with [c]Lovisa Coldeyes[/c].

 

1113_lovisa4

She’s blunt, straightforward, and powerful. She’ll get the job done, no matter what.

[d title= “Lovisa Coldeyes (EDH)”]

Commander

1 Lovisa Coldeyes

Lands

1 Ghitu Encampment

34 Mountain

1 Myriad Landscape

1 Spinerock Knoll

[/d]

[d]

Creatures

1 Anger

1 Archetype of Aggression

1 Ash Zealot

1 Atarka Pummeler

1 Bloodmark Mentor

1 Boldwyr Intimidator

1 Brighthearth Banneret

1 Cyclops Gladiator

1 Falkenrath Marauders

1 Flamerush Rider

1 Goblin Wardriver

1 Inner-Flame Igniter

1 Kamahl, Pit Fighter

1 Kargan Dragonlord

1 Kazuul, Tyrant of the Cliffs

1 Lightning Berserker

1 Lightning Mauler

1 Manic Vandal

1 Ogre Battledriver

1 Purphoros, God of the Forge

1 Scab-clan Berserker

1 Tahngarth, Talruum Hero

1 Taurean Mauler

1 Zurgo Bellstriker

[/d]

[d]

Instants

1 Beacon of Destruction

1 Burst Lightning

1 Chain of Plasma

1 Chaos Warp

1 Comet Storm

1 Dead // Gone

1 Fated Conflagration

1 Grab the Reins

1 Lightning Bolt

1 Magma Jet

1 Pyrokinesis

1 Seismic Strike

1 Shard Volley

1 Smash to Smithereens

1 Stoke the Flames

Sorceries

1 Exquisite Firecraft

1 Magmatic Insight

1 Mizzium Mortars

1 Roast

1 Rough // Tumble

[/d]

[d]

Enchantments

1 Berserkers’ Onslaught

1 Flameshadow Conjuring

1 Outpost Siege

1 War Cadence

1 Warstorm Surge

Artifact

1 Dragon Throne of Tarkir

1 Hall of Triumph

1 Hammer of Purphoros

1 Lightning Greaves

1 Obsidian Battle-Axe

1 Skullclamp

1 Sol Ring

1 Thran Dynamo

1 Wayfarer’s Bauble

1 Worn Powerstone

Planeswalkers

1 Chandra, Pyromaster

1 Koth of the Hammer

1 Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker

[/d]

Prices

MTGO: 38.69 TIX (Note that this does not contain the prices for the cards in Magic Origins)

Paper: $89.86

Not bad, especially for its price. Its a pretty straightforward aggressive deck. Nothing too fancy or anything, just play your creatures and turn them sideways. Unlike most aggressive decks, we can make some bigger plays and actually have stuff to do in the end game with our handful of mana sinks. Like I said earlier, [c]Lovisa Coldeyes[/c] pretty much builds the deck herself because of her static ability. Its such a great one though that its hard not to build around it.

Lovisa’s ability, while restrictive, is extremely powerful. Its only as good as the creatures that are in the deck though, which there are plenty of good Warriors, Berserkers, and Barbarians in red to make a viable deck. The tribal synergy may not be as strong as say, an [c]Ezuri, Renegade Leader[/c] or a [c]Krenko, Mob Boss[/c] deck, but her ability makes up for that lack of synergy by making your creatures bigger than everybody else’s. Its not like there aren’t any synergies here, we have [c]Boldwyr Intimidator[/c] that can make almost every creature in this deck unblockable for one mana per opposing creature. [c]Brighthearth Banneret[/c] makes things just a bit cheaper, and [c]Bloodmark Mentor[/c] gives everybody first strike. This band of brothers will end up playing together quite well actually. If not, most of them are just solid creatures on their own.

For removal, out side of a couple of spells, we pretty much just have a pile of burn. You won’t be able to kill big creatures outside of blocking them or attacking into them for the most part. Since we are red, we wont really be interacting with enchantments either outside of [c]Chaos Warp[/c], one of the best removal spells in the format.

Since we can’t really deal with super large creatures outside of smashing into them or blocking, we will try to simply go around them. [c]War Cadence[/c] can wreck combat for your opponent. It will help end board stalls and allow your team to sneak by and crash in for huge amounts of damage. As mentioned earlier [c]Boldwyr Intimidator[/c] also does some much needed work in this department as well. [c]Chandra, Pyromaster[/c] can help out a bit, but she isn’t as effective as the other two.

Overall, this deck is pretty solid, and a lot of fun. Its on the cheap, easy to play, and can hold its own with relative ease. In terms of upgrading it if you want to put more money into it, the creature base is pretty much l0cked in. For burn spells though, there are some more efficient ones, they just cost a bit more money. It wouldn’t cost too much to make some good changes, but if I were to add anymore to it, I couldn’t exactly call it a budget deck anymore.

Thank you for checking out this weeks Commander Corner. If you have any suggestions, let me know in the comments below. I apologize for not having anything last week, my internet went out again. Hopefully it shouldn’t happen again, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. See you next time my friends.

-Steven Gulsby

Examining the New Tournament Payout Model for Magic Online

syndic-of-tithes-art-wide

Magic Online (MTGO) has needed to fix tournaments payouts for a while now. In the last two years the economy has literally fallen apart with a consequent decrease in tournament attendance. The reasons behind this decline are hard to evaluate but I think this article gets pretty close to the truth.

Magic Online is not a free-to-play game. On the contrary, it is quite expensive, so the possibility for players to even partially repay themselves by playing well is crucial in order to maintain a large crowd of active non-casual players. I think a change was necessary, and I believe that with this new policy (you can find the announcement here) Wizards of the Coast is also stating that there is a problem that must be fixed.

The direction WotC is taking seems quite promising, though there are a couple of problems that I want to discuss with you all.

With this article, I will walk you through my thoughts, analyzing the pros and cons of the new and the old system. Before going deep into my considerations, though, I want to introduce you to a base concept that I often use when I need to analyze MTGO tournaments. That concept is called Expected Value, or EV.

Expected Value (EV)

Let’s assume that a friend of yours asks you if you want to play a game set like this: you pay $10 to roll one dice; if the number that comes out is between 1 and 4 you lose, if it’s 5 you earn $20, and if it’s 6 you earn $30. You might want to know if it’s worth playing or not. Tossing aside whatever gambling inclinations you may have, there’s a parameter that is possible to calculate that can estimate if such a proposal is worthwhile or not. This parameter is called expected value and it determines how much you can earn on average each time you roll that dice.

Considering the odds of each number as 1/6, we can make this table.

Buy-In = $10

Numbers | % | Payout
1-4 | 67% | 0
5 | 17% | $20
6 | 17% | $30

The EV is calculated by adding all these numbers together using this formula: EV=P(1,4)*(Payout(1,4)-Buyin)+P(5)*(Payout(5)-Buyin)+P(6)*(Payout(6)-Buyin)

We can plug the numbers in our table above into the formula to get this: EV=4/6*(0-10)+1/6*(20-10)+1/6*(30-10) = -1.6667

You can see that the final EV in this scenario is negative 1.6667. So what does it mean that you have a negative EV?

It means that on average every roll is making you lose money. In this case, over the long term, you would be losing about $1.67 every time you rolled the dice. Of course, it’s a game of probability so while it remains possible to win in a short run, in the long run you will almost certainly end up with less cash than when you started.

How is EV related to MTGO?

MTGO works the same way as the example that I used above: we can calculate the EV for every tournament we decide to participate in to help us understand if it is worth playing in them or not. Let’s understand how we can compare it with our dice experiment. We can try to draw the same table we did before, for instance we’ll look at an MTGO Daily Event (DE) with the old system.

Buy-In = 6 tix

Results | % | Payout
x-2 | ? | 0
3-1 | ? | 6 boosters
4-0 | ? | 11 boosters

As you can see the only thing missing is the % likelihood of each result. This probability is related with our win rate.

What’s the win rate, you might ask? Well it’s the probability of winning a game of Magic against an unknown opponent. It is not possible to calculate this number in advance, but we still can evaluate how daily events compare to other tournaments by looking at a variety of win rates to understand which events are more convenient, or simply to try and determine if the new system is better than the previous one.

On of the factors to consider is that the higher is the payout, the less we need in terms of win rate to have a positive EV. The opposite is true as well; the lower the payout, the higher our win rate should be, assuming the same buy-in. Let’s see how is possible to calculate the probability (P) to make a 3-1 or even a 4-0.

  • Winning a game of Magic on MTGO is like flipping a coin; you can only win or lose. The only thing different is that the probability of these two events are different so while the odds of having tail or heads is 50% the chance of winning is WR% (win rate) and losing is 1-WR%.
  • Calculating the chance of making a 4-0 is pretty simple, you just have to toss your coin 4 times hoping that you win the roll every time. Therefore
    P(4 wins)=(W〖R)〗^4.

  • We have 4 different ways in which we can achieve a 3-1 (WWWL,WWLW, WLWW, LWWW) so the formula is P(3 wins)=(WR)^3*(1-WR)*4.
  • The rest of the cases are the X-2s but we don’t care to differentiate those as much, so the probability is calculated like this P(2 wins or less)=1-[P(3 wins)+P(4 wins)].

The same formula used to calculate our EV before is still applicable for our DE:

EV = P(4w)*[Payout(4w)-Buyin]+P(3w)*[Payout(3w)-Buyin]+P(2w or less)*(-Buyin)

Let’s fix three different values for the price of booster packs (3 tix, 2.5 tix, and 2 tix), and see how the EV is different with a change in our win rate and/or payout.

mtgo-ev-01

As in our previous example, this graph could be read as follow: with an 80% win rate in the 3 tix curve we will expect an average 15 tix gain per daily event; or at a 53% win rate in the 2.5 tix curve the EV will be 0 and we will break even. As you can see the higher our win rate the higher the EV, but the less the payout the less the EV. The more value we see in our booster packs (payout) then the lower our win rate can be while still maintaining a positive EV.

Now that it’s clear what Expected Value is and how it works, I’ll continue my analysis comparing Daily Events and 8-man tournaments in the old and the new structures.

Daily Events – Old vs New

Let us first look at Daily Events with both the old and new models.

Old System

  • Buy In = 6 tix
  • 3-1 finish gets 6 boosters, 4-0 finish gets 11 boosters

Dailies are the backbone of constructed Magic on MTGO. They retain the highest EV possible and for years (I assume) they have worked well. The boosters a player won could be sold on the secondary market for tix. However, in the last two years the market was saturated too quickly with unwanted boosters and consequently the prices of those boosters plummeted.

mtgo-ev-02

This is the price trend of KTK boosters over time between their release and the release of Dragons of Tarkir. The price went down from 3.9 to 1.4 tix and significantly lowered the EV of daily events. For simplicity let’s consider only the period of time when dailies where paid with KTK boosters only, from October (3.9 tix each) to February (2.2 tix each), and see how the EV decreased over time for 3 different win rates.

mtgo-ev-03

As you can see the 55% win rate curve was earning 5 tix per event in October but by February was merely breaking even. Any win rate lower than 55% was losing money by February! The system needed a fix. Let’s see how things will change with the new system.

New System

  • Buy In = 12 tix OR 120 Player Points
  • 3-1 finish gets 3 boosters + 180 Player Points, 4-0 finish gets 6 boosters + 360 Player Points

This new system features the introduction of Player Points: an untradable way of paying for tournaments. This appears to be an attempt to fix the variable EV of daily events caused by booster price fluctuations, but is it really that convenient?

mtgo-ev-04

As you can see this system will cause you to lose less money if boosters are decreasing in value (the slope is less high), but in the end on average has a lower EV than the old system.

This is not, however, true for all the win rates. In fact, for win rates higher than 64%, this new system is actually more profitable. I believe this is due to the fact that increasing the buy-in and consequently the payouts really helps players with a higher win percentage.

mtgo-ev-05

Overall, though, this new Daily Event system should be revisited. Let us see, for instance, what could happen with a different payout. What if a 3-1 finish gets 3 boosters + 240 Player Points while a 4-0 finish gets 6 boosters + 480 Player Points?

mtgo-ev-06

mtgo-ev-07

This payout system gives you a lower EV for Win rates under 52% and provides a lower risk of losing money if booster pack prices drop extremely low. I think it’s a better transition from the old system because it keeps the same EV for average win rates while decreasing the difference in EV between release dates.

Moving on from daily events, let’s take a look at 8-man events.

8-Man Events (5-3-2-2) – Old vs New

Here is what the buy-in / payout breakdown looks like in the old and new systems.

Old System

  • Buy-in = 6 tix
  • 3-0 finish gets 5 boosters, 2-1 finish gets 3 boosters, 1-1 finisher gets 2 boosters

New System

  • Buy-in = 6 tix OR 60 Player Points
  • 3-0 finish gets 2 boosters + 140 Player Points, 2-0 finish gets 1 booster + 60 player points, 1-1 finish gets 60 players points

Let’s take a quick look at our EV in daily events vs 8-man events in the old system.

mtgo-ev-08

The problem with 8-man events is that when boosters are less than 3 tix each your first win no longer allows you to repay the buy-in for your next event. Looks like WotC had this problem in mind when reshaping the payouts. In fact, so long as you win one match it’s guaranteed that you can join another tournament.

To evaluate if this new system is better or not we have to consider three different booster pack price scenarios: booster prices under, equal to, and over 3 tix. Let’s look at EV based on pack prices of 2.5 tix, 3 tix, and 3.5 tix.

mtgo-ev-09

Looks like WOTC really nailed it! The EV in the new system is far less dependent on the booster price and is even a little bit higher than in the old system. I guess now we will be encouraged to play 8-man events a little bit more.

Other considerations

There are a few other considerations that I want to point out in conclusion:

  • Doubling the Daily Event buy-in is beneficial for grinders (who tend to have a higher win rate) because the payouts are also increased. Having higher payouts means that other tournaments like PTQs and Drafts are actually cheaper in proportion. This change is detrimental for casual players, however, who tend to have a lower win rate and now they have to pay double the price they were paying before.
  • Adding Player Points as a reward will decrease the number of boosters packs in circulation and will hopefully ensure that they will better maintain their value. This might actually be bad for single card prices but I’m not sure yet which factor will be dominant.
  • Not having Player Points available for trade means that really good players will have a stock of actual junk, because they will earn too much compared of what they need. WotC should implement more ways for players to transform their player points into something with value, like boosters in the store, promo cards, or something similar. Finally, with less tix at our disposal and a plausible increase in card price, it may become more costly to collect the single cards needed for constructing decks.

Magic Online is a complex financial system, and instead of doing nothing I’m actually glad that WotC is trying to shake up things a bit. Based on the changes they’re making now, it is my opinion than daily events still need some revision while 8-man events saw a substantial improvement.

Thanks for reading, and that’s all for now. Hope you enjoyed the article!

Until next time, Mattia

PS: You can find my excel sheet with all the calculations here.

The MagicGatheringStrat Show, Ep. 20

Section 1: This week in Standard Pauper

Section 2: Player run events

SPDC 29.15

19-Jul-15
Standard · 18 Players
18 Decks · 100% Reported
3 rounds Swiss
Top 8 playoff
Hosted by DrChrisBakerDC

1st bohaterism by Jonder_qind
2nd Token Izzet Control by Cabel
T4 Simic Hexproof by DrChrisBakerDC
T4 Boros Heroic by WujekMZK
T8 Red Deck Wins by AmericanGaren
T8 Why is Cruel Revival uncommon :( by amnaremotoas
T8 Winged Weenie by Azgan
T8 mono green by yelloweyes2

The winning deck:

BOHATERISM
Standard · Aggro
 1st by Jonder_qind in SPDC 29.15 (6-0)

[d]
Creatures
4 Akroan Skyguard
4 Satyr Hoplite
4 Wingsteed Rider
3 Hopeful Eidolon
3 Lagonna-Band Trailblazer
Spells
4 Dragon Mantle
4 Feat of Resistance
4 Gods Willing
4 Titan’s Strength
2 Chosen by Heliod
2 Inferno Fist
2 Temur Battle Rage
Lands
8 Plains
6 Mountain
4 Wind-Scarred Crag
2 Evolving Wilds
SIDEBOARD
4 Scouring Sands
4 Pillar of Light
4 Kill Shot
3 Erase
[/d]

The MatchUps

R1:  Win:  2 – 0 vs.  goraph  RG Monsters 
R2:  Win:  2 – 1 vs.  DrChrisBakerDC  Simic Hexproof 
R3:  Win:  2 – 0 vs.  Azgan  Winged Weenie 
T8:  Win:  2 – 0 vs.  amnaremotoas  Why is Cruel Revival uncommon :( 
T4:  Win:  2 – 1 vs.  DrChrisBakerDC  Simic Hexproof 
T2:  Win:  2 – 0 vs.  Cabel  Token Izzet Control 

MPDC 29.15

20-Jul-15
Standard · 18 Players
18 Decks · 100% Reported
3 rounds Swiss
Top 8 playoff
Hosted by gwyned

1st RW Heroic by Luc3k
2nd Red heroic by JogandoPelado
T4 Token Izzet Control by Cabel
T4 Malum`s MBC by DoutorTyr
T8 bohaterism by Jonder_qind
T8 Charge Forward! by kokonade1000
T8 Exiler by rremedio1
T8 monogreen by yelloweyes2

The winning deck:

RW HEROIC
Standard · Aggro
 1st by Luc3k in MPDC 29.15 (5-1)

[d]
Creatures
4 Akroan Skyguard
4 Satyr Hoplite
4 Sungrace Pegasus
4 Wingsteed Rider
2 Hopeful Eidolon
1 Ainok Bond-Kin
Spells
4 Defiant Strike
4 Dragon Mantle
4 Feat of Resistance
3 Titan’s Strength
2 Glaring Aegis
2 Gods Willing
2 Hammerhand
Lands
8 Mountain
8 Plains
4 Wind-Scarred Crag
SIDEBOARD
4 Fall of the Hammer
3 Revoke Existence
3 Heliod’s Pilgrim
2 Temur Battle Rage
2 Gods Willing
1 Lagonna-Band Trailblazer
[/d]

The MatchUps

R1:  Loss:  0 – 2 vs.  JogandoPelado  Red heroic 
R2:  Win:  2 – 0 vs.  beatnik bobby  Izzet Control 
R3:  Win:  2 – 0 vs.  Jebit  Flurry Monsters 
T8:  Win:  2 – 1 vs.  rremedio1  Exiler 
T4:  Win:  2 – 1 vs.  Cabel  Token Izzet Control 
T2:  Win:  2 – 0 vs.  JogandoPelado  Red heroic 

Section 3: Extended Pauper

Ok so we have some updates to what we will be playing.

MonoBlue Fliers

[d]
Creatures
4 Cloudfin Raptor
4 Delver of Secrets
4 Frostburn Weird
4 Stormbound Geist
2 Cloaked Siren
2 Scrapskin Drake
2 Stitched Drake

Spells
4 Nullify
3 Think Twice
4 Negate
3 Silent Departure
2 Mizzium Skin
1 Rise of Eagles

Lands
19 Island
2 Haunted Fengraf

Sideboard
3 One-Eyed Scarecrow
2 Runner’s Bane
2 Claustrophobia
2 Sidisi’s Faithful
2 Dispel
1 Silent Departure
1 Elgaud Shieldmate
1 Negate
1 Hands of Binding
[/d]

Because I love the mono so much!

Now, here is Sam’s updated deck:

[d]
Creatures
3 Sultai Scavenger
4 Delver of Secrets
4 Gurmag Angler
4 Stormbound Geist
3 Jeskai Sage

Spells
4 Thought Scour
3 Anticipate
3 Murder
4 Forbidden Alchemy
3 Tragic Slip
3 Devour Flesh

Lands
4 Dismal Backwater
4 Evolving Wilds
2 Dimir Guildgate
7 Island
5 Swamp

Sideboard
2 Festergloom
4 Duress
4 Negate
3 Curse of the Bloody Tome
1 Devour Flesh
1 Murder [/d]

What decks are you brewing up?

 

The Lord of Massacres, Fan of History episode 17

Now you will learn why you fear the night. Now you will learn why you are afraid of the dark. Now you will learn why we title Ashurnasirpal II “The Lord of Massacres”. Prepare for the darkest episode yet of our podcast. These massacres will become iconic for the Neo-Assyrians BUT they will not really reappear on this scale until the very last years of the empire far in the future.

After his great party, Ashurnasirpal II decides do deal with all the enemies of Assyria, i.e. everyone who refuses to pay protection money. He does this in a very handfast way and now we learn why the world remembers this particular king.

WARNING! This episode is not for the faint of heart. If you do not want to hear grim details of what Ashurnasirpal II decided to do to those that defied him, please skip ahead to episode 18.

Please consider supporting the Fan of History on Patreon here: http://www.patreon.com/fanofhistory

Check out the YouTube channel here: (History of Assyria 3000-1000 BC): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28o-28fc-t8

World Map: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NlVs2ndVpA

A music video tribute to Ashurnasirpal II, king of Assyria: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dof6PuYsNr0

Contact information:

youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuIXoVRYAX2KyMBtqq7JGxQ (Fan of History)
facebook.com/fanofhistory
twitter.com/thefanofhistory
web: thefanofhistory.wordpress.com
itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/fan-of-history/id958058555?mt=2
patreon: http://www.patreon.com/fanofhistory

Music: “Tudor Theme” by urmymuse.

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

Support the Fan of History on Patreon here: http://www.patreon.com/fanofhistory

Probability and Eggs

Hello all,

While playing Eggs, you can get yourself into a few sticky situations. In this article I will attempt to explain just how sticky those situations can be. Should you go for it, or will you likely end up with egg on your face?

Probability and Hypergeometry

First, let me direct you to this site: Hypergeometric Calculator. Getting accustomed to the use of this site while playing MTGO or getting a few ranges of probability for paper Magic will improve your game immensely.

Here are a few facts about the Modern format and probability:
1) While playing combo, you want to assemble two or more cards to win.
2) By deciding to keep an opening hand, you have one or more of those cards.
3) Most Modern cantrips function as an extra draw step for the immediate turn: [c]Gitaxian Probe[/c], [c]Serum Visions[/c], etc. [c]Sleight of Hand[/c] is an exception.
4) Some Modern decks, like Eggs and Storm, instead have engines that let you draw many cards.

So how do we use the Hypergeometric Calculator to play Magic? Well, let’s say we are playing [c]Ad Nauseam[/c] combo, and we have [c]Angel’s Grace[/c] and six mana but not the namesake piece. If our opponent has a three-turn clock on us, then we have three draw steps.
In the “Population size” space of the Calculator, we enter the size of our library. I’ll say 50.
Any one of our four [c]Ad Nauseam[/c]s is a success, so we enter 4 in the “Number of Successes in population” space.
We have three draw steps remaining, so we enter 3 in “Sample Size.”
Only one [c]Ad Nauseam[/c] will do the trick, so we enter 1 in “Number of Successes” and press “Calculate.”

The website spits out five new numbers, and the last of these is the likelihood that in three cards, we will draw one or more [c]Ad Nauseam[/c]. With no other factors, we have a 22% chance to win this game. Looking at it in long-range match terms (which you should when picking a deck), we will win one out of every five games that this situation comes up.

But that isn’t the fun part. Here, we are saying that we find the card or die. What if our clock is unknown? What if the [c]Splinter Twin[/c] player has three untapped lands at the beginning of our turn? Or what if Affinity has 7 artifacts, [c]Inkmoth Nexus[/c], and [c]Cranial Plating[/c], and one more artifact will kill us? Here we can decide what the cost is to try and go for it, and what percentage of the time we should win in these scenarios. Additionally, these scenarios come up very frequently.

Scenario #1: We need Ironworks
Often on turns three and four we will have three eggs and four mana available: [c]Chromatic Star[/c], [c]Chromatic Sphere[/c], and [c]Terrarion[/c]. Since each of these eggs replace their activation costs with added mana, we can sacrifice them all and have three chances to draw [c]Krark-Clan Ironworks[/c]. Again, we use our population size of 50 here, and all of our numbers in the previous example are the same: 4 successes, 3 chances, 1 success matters. Only one in five games will we find [c]Krark-Clan Ironworks[/c] with this method. A [c]Faith’s Reward[/c] can help us recoup our losses, but we can’t keep the cycle going without more mana. Here, without knowing that we are going to die next turn, it is only good to wait or have the value [c]Faith’s Reward[/c] turn. Continuing to cantrip is only good if we have [c]Open the Vaults[/c] and are on that plan.

Scenario #2: We need Faith’s Reward or Open the Vaults
In this scenario, it is turn four, and we have tapped out to play and resolve [c]Krark-Clan Ironworks[/c]. We have played a [c]Terrarion[/c], [c]Chromatic Star[/c], [c]Chromatic Sphere[/c], and [c]Ichor Wellspring[/c]. No amount of mana will be a problem, but we do not have either of our 7 combo pieces.
Population – 50
Number of Successes – 7
Sample Size – 4
Number of Successes in Sample – 1
We find here that we have a 47% percent chance to find [c]Faith’s Reward[/c] or [c]Open the Vaults[/c] from these four cards alone, and we will win half these games based on this probability.

What’s beautiful about playing Eggs, though, is that we can adjust our number of “successes” also to the cards that simply let us keep going. A land is a dud, but each egg piece allows us to lower our population and a new chance to “hit calculate,” as it were. Even [c]Reshape[/c] can find [c]Ichor Wellspring[/c] and likely be easily cast. In this scenario, while needing [c]Faith’s Reward[/c] or [c]Open the Vaults[/c], we give “success” the definition of the ability to keep playing, likely finding a win, instead of one of the seven cards outright. Usually this works. Let me acknowledge my failures in Math here and tell you that this is the section of the article that gets a little squirrelly.

Population – 50
Number of Successes – 21 (our eggs in deck – the ones I have mentioned on the table)
Sample size – 4
Number of successes in sample – 1

Here, our deck will only fail us and provide land, [c]Lotus Bloom[/c], [c]Mox Opal[/c], land one in ten games. We have a 90% chance to “win” with [c]Krark-Clan Ironworks[/c] and a handful of baubles provided that our opponent has no interaction. And let’s admit it; interaction will be tough against Eggs.

Application in Paper

Knowing that the probability of drawing 1 card in 50 with 3 chances comes up so much that I have used it twice in this article: roughly 20% chance of working. How do the numbers adjust, roughly, per Eggs in play and cards in deck?

Well, if it is cards in our deck, the probability is affected very minutely. With 51 cards in the deck, our 22.55% probability (from 50 cards in the deck) becomes 22.13%. With 49 cards in the deck, the probability is 22.98%. So you get half a percentage point per card in the deck.

If it is Egg cantrips, the probability is a little greater affected. If we have four draws on the board and 50 cards in the library (instead of the previously used 3 draws), or 22% moves to 29%. With two draws instead of three, our likelihood drops to 15%. Every egg cantrip is worth 7% at finding what we need! This shows how important it is to continue to develop your board and not sacrifice eggs randomly until you are ready to go off.

Conclusion
Probability is a fascinating thing to explore while playing Magic: The Gathering, and it obviously has many applications outside of playing Eggs. If you want to improve your game, consider where these calculations can be used with your deck. Should you [c]Thoughtseize[/c] this combo piece or that one based on the clock you have? If you have looked at your opponent’s hand earlier in the game, what are the chances he has drawn a piece of interaction? Should you go for it? It’s a beautiful study, and you will win more by exploring it.

-drinkard

The Pauper Brewer’s Cup, Week Six: A Tron of One’s Own

brewerscup01-wide

Welcome back to another thrilling week of the Pauper Brewer’s Cup. We had some good Extended Pauper submissions last week, and hopefully some of you decided to sign up for the league as well. League registration runs through this Thursday. As always, if you have theme suggestions, don’t hesitate to suggest them!

By now you know the score. If you’re new here, don’t worry, I’ll go over it each week. This week’s article has two sections. First you get to vote on your favorite list from our top contenders last week. Second, you get to submit new lists around a new theme, which will be voted on next week. Here is a reminder of how this whole thing works.

The Pauper Brewer’s Cup

Here are some rules and stuff.

  1. Every week, I will offer some kind of constraint or challenge to our readers.
  2. Submit a fun, innovative, or powerful brew built around those constraints.
  3. Your submission must be legal for Pauper in Magic Online. Guidelines are here.
  4. I will select three lists out of your submissions, and you will get to vote for that week’s winner.
  5. After 8 weeks we will have 8 innovative brews, and they will enter the gauntlet portion of the Brewer’s Cup.
  6. Whoever owns (submitted) the deck that wins this gauntlet will be endowed with fabulous riches (to be determined) and great esteem.

If any of that doesn’t make sense, ask for clarifications in the comments. The idea is that we should have fun sharing ideas and brewing, maybe discover some new, powerful decks, and in general support and promote the format we love the most, Pauper.

If at any point you have a suggestion for a theme or challenge, send those along too. I will do my best, but I am relying upon the ingenuity of you guys to make this thing really successful. I know you won’t let me down!

So, rules and stuff aside, let’s get down to business.

Week Four Winner

We had a respectable 59 votes cast this week, and a clear winner.

GreaterGerardon secures the win with his Distant Spirits list, bringing in 30 votes. Distant Spirits is now the fourth list that will play in the brewer’s gauntlet.

Heltoupee almost got his back to back wins, but only brought in 21 votes for his UB Zombies list, while RRemedio brought up the rear with his wizards at 9 votes.

Voting for Week Five

Our constraint in week five was to brew an Extended Pauper list, using cards in Standard-rotation sets from Innistrad through Origins. This was a crossover with our league event that starts this Friday, so hopefully some of you were inspired to join. There were some excellent submissions, and here are my three picks for you to vote on.

[d title=”A Cruel, Beautiful World by midnight_memory”]
Creatures
4 Doomed Traveler
4 Ravenous Rats
4 Seller of Songbirds
2 Kingpin’s Pet
Spells
1 Tragic Slip
4 Gather the Townsfolk
4 Raise the Alarm
4 Kytheon’s Tactics
2 Read the Bones
4 Harsh Sustenance
1 Inspired Charge
3 Triplicate Spirits
Land
4 Evolving Wilds
4 Orzhov Guildgate
4 Scoured Barrens
5 Plains
5 Swamp
Sideboard
4 Revoke Existence
4 Beckon Apparition
4 Duress
2 Tragic Slip
1 Rootborn Defenses [/d]

From my play-testing, going wide could certainly work in this format, just so long as you don’t get hit by a Shrivel or Electrickery. I like this BW tokens list with the requisite [c]Harsh Sustenance[/c] (also a card I would like to see played more). I like the name, too.

[d title=”All Deaths Welcome by ModernFever”]
Creatures
4 Falkenrath Torturer
4 Doomed Traveler
3 Bloodflow Connoisseur
3 Unruly Mob
3 Qarsi Sadist
3 Cathedral Sanctifier
3 Vulturous Aven
2 Loyal Cathar
Spells
4 Tragic Slip
4 Gather the Townsfolk
3 Gods Willing
2 Reave Soul
2 Bone Splinters
Lands
3 Scoured Barrens
8 Swamp
9 Plains
Sideboard
3 Spare from Evil
3 Crypt Incursion
3 Revoke Existence
2 Reave Soul
2 Pharika’s Cure
2 Devour Flesh [/d]

I keep trying to make Exploit work in Classic Pauper, so far with no luck. I definitely think it has a home in this format, though (my one personal favorite list right now is Mono Black Exploit), and I chose this list by ModernFever to represent. Despite the stunning originality of the 13-card sideboard presented, I went ahead and added 2x [c]Devour Flesh[/c] to “flesh” things out a bit.

[d title=”Grixis-Go by obZen”]

//Lands
4 Dismal Backwater
4 Evolving Wilds
6 Island
4 Mountain
4 Swamp
4 Swiftwater Cliffs
//Spells
4 Cancel
4 Contradict
4 Devour Flesh
4 Font of Fortunes
2 Murder
4 Think Twice
4 Twin Bolt
//Creatures
2 Archaeomancer
4 Omenspeaker
2 Prescient Chimera
//Sideboard
1 Benthic Giant
1 Murder
2 Negate
1 Essence Scatter
1 Crypt Incursion
2 Magma Spray
2 Hooded Assassin
3 Stormbound Geist
1 Disdainful Stroke
1 Harvest Pyre [/d]

obZen hates you and doesn’t want you to enjoy Magic. We’ve had our fair share of “durdly” lists so far in this thing, but this is more just “straight-up control” than durdly. I do have concerns about “getting there” with only 8 creatures, only 2 of which have evasion. [c]Curse of the Bloody Tome[/c] might be a good sideboard add for the control mirror. [c]Whirlwind Adept[/c] could also find a home in here, somewhere.

A hat tip, here, to Roberto and Han and bigdumbgreen. I liked all three lists, but there are only so many spots to fill. Keep on submitting, though!

Vote Here!

Alright, which of these three lists do you like the most? Submit your votes by the end of the week. One vote per reader, please.

Week Six: A Tron of One’s Own

Since [c]Cloudpost[/c] was banned, Pauper has had only one set of ramp lands, the classic tron pieces. Tron is big in Modern right now, but how is it fairing in Pauper? RUG Tron, the most popular Pauper list, has been in decline. UW Tron only ever had the briefest moment in the spotlight. I have seen Simic Tron as well, and I wonder what other variations of Tron there may be yet undiscovered. Here are your constraints this week:

  1. Brew up your best “Ramp” list in Classic Pauper.
  2. Tron lists are encouraged, but I will consider non-Tron ramp as well.

I don’t want to be too strict, so while I am advocating for Tron lists, specifically, I will consider interesting and creative ramp lists as well.

Submissions will be judged on power, innovation, and how well you work within the constraints.

This is a brewing contest, so creativity is paramount.

Submit your brews and ideas

That’s it! Submit your lists in the comments below. Yes, that means other people can see your stuff and copy it or adapt it, but I do really want this to be an opportunity for us to discuss and brew together for Pauper.

Lists need to be submitted before next Tuesday, July 28, to be considered.

I will pick three submissions to highlight in next week’s article, and you guys will get to vote to decide the winner.

Our Forum Guidelines and Style Guide are available here, so you can make your decklist look like a list. Please use it.

Other thoughts, comments, or concerns? Suggestions for a weekly challenge? Leave those in the comments too!

Last but not least, if you like this challenge or any of our other content, please consider supporting us via our Patreon.

Happy brewing!

/bava