Pauper Gauntlet S03R04 Week Two

We are now in the middle of round four. The decks are now fighting for their lives but there is still hope of a voteback if you get eliminated. The voteback happens after this round ends on February 7th, 2016.

What is the Pauper Gauntlet?
All about the Pauper Gauntlet Season 03: http://mtgolibrary.blogspot.se/2015/11/the-pauper-gauntlet.html
All the deck lists: http://mtgolibrary.blogspot.se/2015/11/the-decks-of-pauper-gauntlet-s03.html

The banning of Cloud of Faeries
Two decks are in trouble because of the banning of Cloud of Fairies: Delver and Blue Bichinho. The brewers have now modified their decks and both decks are still in the Pauper Gauntlet S03.

Round four
Round fouris played in the Tournament Practice room and if a deck loses it is elmiinated from the Pauper Gauntlet (unless voted in the voteback). Here are all the results of round four so far
43 decks bravely walked into round four, ready to fight to the death.

UG Madness defeats Delver 2-0
Infect defeats AzKitty 2-0
Rakdos Vampires loses to Cavern Control 1-2
Counter-Kitty dies to Dimir Teachings 1-2
Stompy Tokens vs Angler Delver 2-1

Death Control vs Snow Zoo Quitter 2-0
BUGS & Pigs vs Burn 0-2
UB Trinket Control vs MBC 0-2
Kuldotha Mardu vs Grixis Valuetown 2-1
Bant Sword and Shield vs AzKitty 2-1

Aristocrats vs Dimir Control 2-0
MUC vs Bant Fog 2-0
Stompy vs RUG Tron 2-0

9-4 gives a total score of 18-7 for round four so far. Round four ends this upcoming week.

Below are the results from R04 matches from last week:

Izzet Cooldotha defeats Orzhov Extort 2-1
RUG Tron makes short work of Elrond, Legolas and Friends (Elves) 2-0
Shroudfang Ninja is defeated by Orzhov Metalcraft 1-2
WW Soul Tokens defeats Hexproof 2-1
Goblin Storm Combo goes off against Grixis Counterburn 2-1

White Heroes defeats Dimir Control 2-0
Burn fights a GW Tokens Essence Warden deck and still wins 2-1
Flying Ninjas dies to Dimir Control 1-2
Turbo Zoo falls to AzoriusKitty 1-2
BorosKitty Initiated defeats Burn 2-0

Simic Oracle races Burn 2-1 somehow. Rancor is a good card.
Black Auramancer wins against Burn as well, 2-0

What happens now?
Round four will end on Sunday Feb 7 and then we will have the voteback. 36 decks are still alive and three more will return via the voteback.

The preliminary format for the Voteback is that every viewer gets three votes and three decks are brought back into the Gauntlet. A deck that is voted back can be from any round – i.e. even the decks that lost during double elimination can come back after the Voteback.

The Eliminations before this round
Round four eliminations so far: Counter-Kitty, BUGS & Pigs, UB Trinket Control, Rakdos Vampires, Flying Ninjas, Turbo Zoo and Shroudfang Ninja.
44th place: Shared by the 26 decks eliminated in round three: Affinity, Exhume Control, Familiars, Rebel Grind, Pestilence Control, Encroaching Blight, Green Grifters, The Pauper Gauntlet, Project X, Tortured Toolbox, RG Land Crusher, RG Landfall, DelverFiend, Eggs, Spiteful Leeches, Gary Busey LD, Selesnya Flash, Abzan Grindhouse, Bant Fog, Crocajund, BUG Proliferators, Evil Allies, Land-o-derm, Pig Trinket, Sultai Delve, 5-color Green
70th place: Shared by nine decks that died during double Elimination, (round one and two): Red Land Destruction, Mono Black Land Destruction, Glass Cannon Red, Tortured Madness, Cheaty Morph, Living End, 1-land Spy, UB Justice Control and Dragon Delve.

Round 1 ended 56-22 (72% match win rate)
Round 2 ended 13-9 (59% win)
Round 3 ended 43-26 (62% win)

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Why should your favorite deck return to the Pauper Gauntlet?

The Pauper Gauntlet S03 Voteback starts on February 7th here on mtgolibrary.blogspot.com.
The voteback is a chance for decks that have been eliminated from the Pauper Gauntlet to return to action in round five. You will each get three votes and three decks will be voted back. Any deck that is eliminated is eligible for voteback, even the decks that were eliminated in round two.

More about that on February 7th.

Previous seasons I have just made a short argument for each deck so you could see why you should vote it back. One year I tried to be funny. This year I want you guys to argue for the decks. First and foremost I want the brewer to defend his deck, next the champion, then the public and last myself.

So, notice the important order.

1. Brewer
2. Champion
3. You the reader
4. Me

So, if there is a deck that you want to return to the Pauper Gauntlet that was eliminated in round two, three or four (no decks were eliminated in round one), post your reasons for bringing it back below and I will include them in the February 7th article.

Good arguments include, but are not limited to:

Dan made a serious play mistake
I love this deck
This deck got a horrible matchup
This deck had terrible luck with mulligans

Unsure if your beloved deck is still in? Well, then you are probably not passionate enough to make a case for a defeated deck… but I will still tell you.

In this video, Sam summarizes which decks are in and which are out

You can also read about it here: http://mtgolibrary.blogspot.se/2016/01/the-pauper-gauntlet-week-ending-jan-17.html

All about the Pauper Gauntlet Season 03: http://mtgolibrary.blogspot.se/2015/11/the-pauper-gauntlet.html

All the deck lists: http://mtgolibrary.blogspot.se/2015/11/the-decks-of-pauper-gauntlet-s0

Pauper Primer: Love Train

This Pauper Primer comes to us from our friend, jphsnake. It was written awhile ago so some parts of the article may be dated.

[d title=”Love Train by jphsnake (Pauper)”]
Lands
4 Simic Guildgate
3 Island
3 Seat of the Synod
1 Tree of Tales
8 Forest
2 Tranquill Thicket
1 Terramorphic Expanse

Creatures
4 Wall of Roots
4 Overgrown Battlement
4 Axebane Guardian
2 Gatecreeper Vine
2 Deadly Recluse
3 Drift of Phantasms
1 Shield Sphere
4 Trinket Mage
4 Mulldrifter

Spells
3 Freed from the Real
3 Vines of Vastwood
2 Viridian Longbow
2 Train of Thought

Sideboard
2 Hydroblast
2 Nourish
2 Moment’s Peace
2 Deadly Recluse
2 Muddle The Mixture
2 Gigadrowse
1 Fangren Maurader
1 Tranquility
1 Viridian Longbow [/d]

Playing Love Train

Love Train is a really cool deck, because it is a combo deck that encourages interaction. Every part of the combo can be interacted with, and it can interact with most decks. Describing this deck would be to describe a fair version of fissure that is both fun to play with and against. However, it takes a lot of play skill to pilot correctly, and there are plenty of mistakes that all of us make. I am going to go through the common lines of play in this deck and then cover the matchups. I still haven’t developed a stock sideboard yet, so I am still open to suggestions

Lines of Play

There are lots of small interactions that make the deck run smoothly. I will address them as opening (the first 3 turns), midgame (general interactions with the deck), and endgame (going off).

Opening

Mulliganing: overall this deck is a pretty good for mulligans. Usually its correct to play 21-22 lands, with about 2-3 cycling lands for the lategame. You will have a 80-90% chance of having a blue source, a 80-90% chance of having at least 1 untapped land, and 70-80% chance of having a decent hand of between 2-4 lands. If you keep a 1 land hand on the draw, you will have a 60-65% chance of a drawing a land by turn 2, but only a 40% chance on the play. Here are some of the keepable/not keepable mulligans:

Throw these out:
1-land hands on the play
1-land hands on the draw in bad matchups
5-land lands without both a turn 2 play and Trinket Mage or Mulldrifter
6-land hands
Hands 3+ blue cards and no blue sources (Axebane Guardian counts as a blue source)

You can keep these hands:
5-card hands with mana
1-land hands on the draw with decent matchups (especially if you have the guildgate)

Turn 1: You don’t have a lot of turn 1 plays except for longbow and cycling the thicket if flooded, so usually T1 is a guildgate. You can play T1 longbow in place of a guildgate if you plan on abusing the longbow (eg. Goblins, WW, Elves, and Delver). One card to watch out on the draw is spreading seas, don’t screw up your mana base If you don’t need to. Also, hold on to the shield sphere until you need it to block or up your wall count.

Turn 2: This is your wall turn. If you only have 1 wall in your hand, play it, otherwise follow these guidelines about your turn 2 plays of Battlement, Roots, Gatecreeper, and Recluse.
Battlement T2: Default on this. It provides a tremendous mana advantage

Gatecreeper T2: If you are playing against black, play gatecreeper vine as it protects against edicts. Usually look for Islands or guildgates if you have no use for the tempo loss.

Roots T2: If there is a big ground threat, play Wall of Roots. You can also play Wall of Roots if you are flooded and have cycling lands and/or vines in your hand or you really need to resolve Viridian Longbow.

Recluse T2: If there is a big threat and you need to be defensive, or if you have a T1 longbow against aggro, play a Deadly Recluse.

Other T2: If you have no walls, you can play tapped lands, cycling, train for 1 against fast aggro/combo, or leave vines up.

Turn3: this is the important turn for this deck.

Longbow T3: Start Pinging if you have guys you need to kill, ex. Deadly Recluse+longbow against slivers. If you played wall of roots turn 2, and have a long bow in your hand, you can start pinging right away.

Gatecreeper T3: Play gatecreeper T3 and forwards if you are missing land drops and can afford to grind.

Battlement T3: Develop your battlement, if you have overgrown battlement, play your walls using your lands first before tapping it, you can get more mana this way. Wall of roots is a really strong T3 play as it is essentially free with battlement (+1 mana from battlement, +1 mana from the hasty wall activation). Remember that you can play walls and 3 drops with Overgrown battlement on turn 3 and your turn 3 can function without lands.

Drift T3: Play against Delver. Transmute usually comes after T3

Trinket Mage T3: this is a really good card as it provides flexibility. What to find, though? If you have a deadly recluse against aggro or if you want to set up the combo, then you should find the longbow. If you have some pretty big threats, find the shield sphere, and if your hand is mulldrifters and your opponent is control, find a seat. If you have no green mana, find tree.

Axebane T3: Axebane is the hardest question to see if on T3. The rule of thumb is that if you can protect it, you can play it turn 3 regardless if the combo is in your hand or not, because even if the combo is not in your hand, a T4 mulldrifer chain or a massive Train on T4 is pretty good.

Guildgate T3: if you don’t have a mana-wall T2, refer back to a turn 2 play

Other T3: Against decks like DelverFiend, it might be smart to leave a vines to prevent them from going off.

Midgame

In some matchups, the midgame does not exists, in about ¼ of the games, you can go off after the opening plays, and in some of the non-interactive matchups, they will kill you after the opening, but for most aggro and control matchups, there is a big midgame . The most important part of the midgame is to develop the line of play to get to a favorable endgame. Failing on that objective will bring you to a bad ending. The good thing about Love Train is that, you can change your midgame based on your opponents play style pretty easy with all the mana and cards you have access to. Many of your wins will be determined based off of your opponent misinterpreting your midgame.

Midgame Lines of Play:

The great thing about this deck is that there are no dead cards in whatever line of play you choose, so switching your line of play is not something that takes a lot of investment, but that makes your opponent very confused and prone to many play errors. Love Train can play Aggro, Combo, and Control, and that is why it’s a good deck.

Combo:

To race combo decks

Here you devote your resources to finding and protecting the combo, this is usually good if your opponent has little pressure and little disruption or if they are straining their mana-base. If you are playing against a non-interactive deck, you have to race them with the combo kill regardless if you want to or not.

Combo kill lines a.k.a trains (From Fastest to Slowest):
1. Axebane->Freed->Endgame (T4-5)
2. Axebane->Drift->Freed->Endgame (T4-6)
3. Drift->Axebane->Freed->Endgame (this is slower than the previous due to Axebane’s summoning sickness) (T5-7)
4. Axebane (Drift->Axebane)->Train/Mulldrifter->Freed (Drift->Freed)->Endgame (T 6-8)
5. Train/Mulldrifter-> Axebane (Drift->Axebane)-> Freed (Drift->Freed)->Endgame (T 7-9)
6. Train/Mulldrifter-> Axebane (Drift->Axebane)-> Train/Mulldrifter ->Freed (Drift->Freed)->Endgame (T 7-10)

(Vines or other disruption always welcome in any of these 6 combo lines ^_^)

The combo kill can happen anywhere from T 4-10 (though usually between 4-7), and usually this is how you have to race decks, especially non-interactive decks. Usually, you should probably abandon the combo kill if you have to look for lines 5-6 and/or you expect that you opponent has counters and removal for everything. However, against non-interactive decks like burn, you pretty much have to is follow this line of play regardless of what happens. In the non-interactive matchups, you should usually EVOKE mulldrifter as you need to dig for the combo and have the mana to play it.

Aggro:

To grind control decks

You want to play this against the control matchups if they have lots of hate for your walls, the signal to play this style is if you have multiple beaters in your hand and the control player starts counters and kills your walls but lets your drifters and mages live. In this line of play your goal is to put as much damage on the board as possible and beating down. You want to use your draw to draw threats and longbow handlers to kill blockers and ping your opponents to death. Here are your threats in order of effectiveness.

While you are playing the aggro list, you might come across the combo, if your opponent is still trying to kill your threats, you might quickly change your line of play to the combo kill and surprise them after they ignore your walls.

Priority lists for the Aggro Kill:
1. Mulldrifter: 2/2 with evasion, your best beater, also draws you more threats
2. Trinket Mage: 2/2, lets you draw a longbow to add more damage
3. Deadly Recluse: 1/2, attacks and is difficult to block, a total beast with the longbow at removing blockers
4. Longbow: turns all your walls on. When you have lots of mana, you can switch the longbow between walls and really pile on the damage
5. Drift of Phantasms: It can transmute into trinket mage, giving you an extra beater/longbow. While paying 6 mana for it is kind of awkward , lots of decks will have fits trying to deal with both walls and beaters.
6. Freed from the Real: If longbow is active, this lets you play blaze every turn. Putting it on a wall (especially shield sphere or drift) makes it hard to remove as well
7. Vines of Vastwood: Remember Stompy??? Protect your creatures first, and when your opponent is about to die, blow them out!

The coup de grace of the Aggro kill is Train of Thought, once you resolve a train against a control deck you will then be able to deploy too many threats, and they wont be able to deal with all of them.

Sometimes, the hardest decision is to play out your freed from the real or to spend your vines on protecting a mulldrifter. You should commit to the aggro endgame once your opponent is at 10-less life and with few cards in hand or if your opponent ruined your combo kill.

Control:

The control route is to stall out the board. Remember that your walls are excellent blockers and that Deadly Recluse+ Longbow (or anyone+ longbow is really really good against creature decks). The goal of this route is to stall your opponents until you can get enough mana to use Longbow to lock them out of the game or if you find deadly recluse. Once you lock your opponent out of the game, you can go about your pace to win the game. Usually, this line of play is used against aggro decks, but there are games where you can block and or kill threats of the control player to deck them out or to time them out.

You lock your opponent down in phases, with each phase being harder and harder to beat. This is the most common order of the phases, but you can skip the phases if you have the resources to.
1. Blocking: block with your walls
2. Trading: start trading your mulldrifters and your trinket mages to clear some of the board
3. Pinging: kill their small threats
4. Multipinging/Deathtouch: Kill their big threats. This refers to either the Deadly recluse or strapping someone with Freed from the Real, or just having so mana walls, that you can kill anything. (FFTR is also a very expensive curse of chains, but a curse of chains nonetheless)
5. Card Advantage: Train/Mulldrifter
6. Win Con: Either Aggro or Combo win cons: Usually, your opponent will concede before this happens.

Being able to grind is super-important in the aggro matchups, the investment of the control matchup is simply one where you will spend your mana to clean the board rather than cast your big spells.

Endgame

The endgame is when one person is on the verge of winning or if the game is about to end in a photo finish. In this section, it will be about how to win and/or not lose with this deck.

The Combo Kill: The combo kill is pretty simple. Simply suit up the axebane guardian and ping your opponent to death. All three combo pieces can be found by drifting. Conditions to go off
1. Axebane Guardian untaps
2. Another wall is in play
3. Freed From the Real resolves (may need protection)
4. Longbow in play or Train of Thought in hand, or capsize in hand
5. If they are not in play, you can find Longbow by Drift->Trinket Mage->Longbow or find Train by Muddle.
6. Win

If you have a choice as to how to go off, usually its to find the longbow, but if your opponent is playing counters of artifact destruction, you might just go for a train of thought and resolve multiple longbows.

All you need to have is access to 4 mana and 2 walls which is quite a small win condition to go off with freed. To go off with Drift, you need to have access to 7 mana (4 of which is blue). Make sure to count your mana before going off.

Protection is usually in the form of vines, muddle, or gigadrowse. Dispels, negates, and other counterspells usually work as well. Other protection spells are blessing or sheltering ward.

Alternate WinCons for brewers: Rolling Thunder/Torch, Pyromantics, Sprout Swarm, Capsize, Psionic Gift, Doorkeeper, Presence of Gond, Flamewave Invoker, Wildheart Invoker, and many others.

The Beatdown: It is OK to win by beating down your opponent, and something everyone needs to know about this deck is that this an acceptable way to do things. It can even help the combo kill by forcing your opponent to focus on removing your beaters and not your combo. You should beatdown when your opponent has an empty board with few cards in hand and is somewhere around ½ life.
If you are on the losing side of the endgame: If it comes to the scenario where you have to start chumping with your back against the wall, you still have a chance to win if you find the combo. You should try to set up a situation where topdecking a freed from the real, drift, trinket mage, or longbow can get you to win the game, (or vines if you are on the aggro route). This means, sacrificing all non-essential walls, try to keep axebane and another wall (preferably a mana-wall) on the board at all times. Because there are not that many requirements to win, you can pretty much use everything else in the endgame as damage prevention. In the rare situation that you are losing and they have 6 life or so, and topdecking a vines will win, keep around a 2/2.

Specific Matchups

These are matchups plays: No sideboard yet but I am thinking

Percentages lists
• Terrible: 30-70
• Bad (but winnable): 40-60
• Even: 50-50 (+/- to indicate the 5% advantage)
• Good (but losable): 60-40
• Amazing: 70-30

Aggro Decks

These are decks where you are control.

Delver:

Prospect: Bad (40-60)

Your Worst Aggro Matchup. Delver is pretty tough because they have flyers you can’t interact with, but they can interact with you using both counterspells and bounce. However, if you can resolve an early longbow and keep a guy in play (hopefully deadly recluse), you can win the matchup. The thing that you need to do is protect recluse and play drift to buy time. They are trying to race with delver and use ninja and sprite to screw with you. You need to push through the longbow at all costs to beat delver and doing so wins the game.

Sideboard Cards: Deadly Recluse, Oona’s Gatewarden, Hidden Spider, Ezuri’s Archers, Wall of Tanglecord. Basically anything that can block them. Gigadrowse (?), dispel (?)
-1 Train, -1 Vines of Vastwood, -2 Battlement, -1 Shield Sphere
+2 Deadly Recluse, +1 Longbow, +2 Gigadrowse

Goblins:

Prospect: Even- (45-55)

I am even with goblins so far, but I feel that it is a much harder matchup than I think. Goblins are really a skill test. Your walls can stall them long enough to lock and win, but they might just get you in time. It’s a test of skill, but usually not your skill, as your job is basically to block until the combo assembles. Sparksmith is your public enemy #1 and needs to be killed. They can also interact with your combo as well as put pressure on you so be careful.

Sideboard Cards: Hydroblast!, Moment’s Peace. Kill an d prevent. Nourish (?)
-2 Train, -1 Vines, -2 Mulldrifter, -1 Tranquil Thicket
+2 Hydroblast, +2 Moment’s Peace, +2 Nourish

Stompy

Prospect: Even to Good (50-50/60-40)

It depends really on what build they are playing. The stompy decks that play Garruk’s companions and River Boas to kill fissure are harder for us, but the stompy decks that play ledgewalkers are good because they cant race us very well. I predict that the second build will show up more and be that is the hope. Your goal here is to block and try to make them waste pumps on your walls rather than your face. The best blocking wall is Wall of Roots, so play that T2 against stompy. You can use Vines to stop their pump as a pretty sick tempo play. You can beat stompy either by getting a longbow lock with recluse or just going off as regular, even if they waste a vines to disrupt you, the vines is not going to your face.
The cards that you need to watch out for are hunger, rancor, pit skulk, and river boa everything else is pretty bad against you (though you might want to shoot Quirion ranger). Trinket mage and mulldrifter should be saved to block pit-skulks and ledgewalkers when possible. Drift of Phantasms is your ace in the hole to stop a hungry ledgewalker.

Sideboard Cards: Deadly Recluse, Moment’s Peace. Kill an d prevent. Nourish (?)
-2 Train, -1 Mulldrifter, -1 Tranquil Thicket, -2 Overgrown Battlement
+2 Deadly Recluse, +2 Moment’s Peace, +2 Nourish

Affinity

Prospect: Even+ (55-45)

In the affinity matchup, your ability to stall 4/4’s and stop the atog fling is how to win against affinity. This means that Deadly Recluse and Wall of Roots are the keys to the matchup, and Vines of Vastwood is insane support as it means that all your walls can kill a myr enforcer as well as protect from their 4-8 removal pieces. You need to go off, get a recluse combo, resolve a Fangren Maurader to win, and that is not super difficult as the pressure that affinity puts can be dealt with as unlike Goblins, they are usually attacking with just a few creatures. However,
sometimes, they can poop their hand, and you have no chance.

Sideboard Cards: Deadly Recluse, Fangren Maurader, Moment’s Peace, Hydroblast.
-2 Train, -1 Mulldrifter, -1 Tranquil Thicket, -1 Overgrown Battlement, -1 Gatecreeper, -1 FFTR
+2 Deadly Recluse, +2 Moment’s, +2 Hydroblast, +1 Fangren Maurader

Slivers

Prospect: Good (60-40)

Slivers is a deck that you can race mainly because they need to get out a bunch of lords to start going through your walls, and they won’t get there most of the time before you get the lock or the kill going. Virulent Sliver is something to watch out for because poison is harder to stop than life loss. However, they have much less ways of interacting with you than you them. Remember that you can stop a pesky sliver by blocking and playing kicked vines. If you have no deadly recluse or combo, you can try to FFTR a pinger to kill some of the lords. However, that being said, sometimes, with a bunch of lords, slivers just wins.

Sideboard Cards: See Stompy
-2 Train, -1 Mulldrifter, -1 Tranquil Thicket, -1 Overgrown Battlement
+2 Deadly Recluse, +2 Moment’s Peace, +1 Longbow

White Weenie

Prospect: Amazing (70-30)
White Weenie is at an awkward position where they can’t race you with their guys and Deadly Recluse just mows them down. To make matters worse, they don’t play a ton of relevant removal and their hate is nonexistent against you (maybe a disenchant or 2 and that’s it). Pack some extra longbows to make sure you don’t lose to disenchant and its smooth sailing.

Sideboard Cards: Deadly Recluse, Moment’s Peace. Kill and prevent.
-2 Train, -1 Tranquil Thicket
+2 Deadly Recluse, +1 Longbow

Combo Decks

These are decks where you are also combo.

Burn:

Prospect: Terrible (30-70)

This matchup is probably worse than terrible as walls can’t stop lightning bolt but lightning bolt can stop walls. Maybe some aggressive sideboarding may get you there, but I doubt it. Their most devasting spell is searing blaze, and there’s not a whole lot to do about it.

Sideboard Cards: Hydroblast, Nourish, Muddle the Mixture.
-2 Train, -2 Recluse, -1 Thicket, -1 Mulldrifter
+2 Hydroblast, +2 Muddle The Mixture, +2 Nourish (Muddle searches for Nourish)

DelverFiend:

Prospect: Bad (40-60)

Because you might have the small chance of a recluse lock, race, or being able to block, this matchup is somewhat winnable though not good. Your sideboarding can make it better though. Remember that you can use vines to stop them from making their guys unblockable or dealing lethal with the strobe. Also, Freed from the real is also very inefficient removal. Other than that, good luck I guess.

Sideboard Cards: Hydroblast, Moment’s Peace
-2 Train , -1 Thicket, -1 Mulldrifter, -1 Battlement
+2 Hydroblast, +1 Recluse, +2 Moment’s Peace

Elves:

Prospect: Unknown (probably even) (50-50)

I’ve not played this matchup. I assume its just a race though. They can consistently win faster than you can but you can interact with them so its probably a wash.

Sideboard Cards: Longbow, Deadly Recluse
-1 Train, -2 Vines
+2 Deadly Recluse, +1 Longbow

The Mirror:

Prospect: Unknown (probably even) (50-50)

I’ve not played the mirror before, however, from my theory, it seems to be a lesson in Deadly Recluse Longbow interactions more than anything else. Other than that, vines of vastwood can be used to disrupt the combo.

-1 Thicket, -1 Trinket Mage, -1 Gatecreeper
+2 Deadly Recluse, +1 Longbow

Hexproof:

Prospect: Even + (55-45)

Probably your best combo matchup as you can do one thing that you can’t do in any other combo matchup: block. Not only can you block, you can block for ages until the armor or mask come out. You need to be mindful of the ledgewalker, once it’s played, respond with a drift if you are missing multiple combo pieces. Deadly recluse is an insane blocker in this matchup! This is also favors you because you they can’t interact with you.

Sideboard Cards: Moment’s Peace, Naturalize (Wickerborough Elder)
-2 Train, -1 Mulldrifter, -1 Battlement, -1 Thicket
+2 Deadly Recluse, +1 Tranquility (can be searched for), +2 Moment’s Peace

Control Decks

These are decks where you are Aggro.

MUC: Bad (40-60)

This is your worst control matchup as there are certain key spells that the MUC player needs to counter (like viridian longbow) and they are golden. They can also protect delvers and spire golems, making them a much better aggro deck than you are. This matchup might even be terrible but I think I have a chance. You pretty much lose G1 unless you can sneak in the combo somewhere, and you will need to sideboard into your game 2. Probably into Gigadrowse to get a few free turns. But yeah, it is not an easy matchup. Counter control is MUCH harder than removal control.

Sideboard Cards: Gigadrowse, train, any alternate wincons
-1 Gatecreeper, -2 Wall of Roots, -1 Drift, -1 Trinket Mage, -3 Vines
+2 Recluse, +1 Longbow, +2 Gigadrowse, +1 Train, +2 Muddle

U/x control:

Prospect: Even- to Even+ (45-55/55-45)

This control is usually a hybrid control that plays counterspells backed with removal. Usually these are UW, UB, and UR control. Some of them play a tron manabase with teachings as well. Depending on the number of counterspells they play, it can be good or bad. The more counterspells and the more mana they can generate, the harder the matchup is. The reason is that usually the control player can project when they have removal and not all removal hits your creatures. The only real type of removal that can crush you is swirling sandstorm (but don’t tell anyone to use that!)

The good news that you will always have a better matchup against any splashing colors than MUC because these decks divert too many resources away from counterspelling but cant apply the pressure that delver can.

Playing against these decks is pretty skill intensive, you want to resolve your spells in order of crappiest to best, and see if anything bites counters and removal. If they save their counters and removal, you want to spend your turns building mana to cast train or other draw spells to get your longbow and other threats to resolve so you can overwhelm them with aggro. If they kill everything, just go for the combo and kill them that way. The important thing is to make do with whatever they give you.

Sideboard Cards: Gigadrowse, train, Vines
-1 Gatecreeper, -2 Recluse, -2 Drift
+2 Gigadrowse, +1 Train, +2 Muddle

MBC (w/Corrupt):

Prospect: Good (60-40)

The only reason this matchup is better than other black control matchups is because of corrupt. Corrupt swings the game in their direction giving them reach and makes it harder for your aggro plan to succeed. That being said, they are unlikely to get a lot of non-corrupt damage through and there is no guarantee that they will even reach that kind of mana but it is something to think about in the MBC matchup.

Sideboard Cards: Gigadrowse, train, Vines
-2 Recluse, -2 Drift
+1 Nourish, +1 Train, +2 Muddle

Kitty Control:

Prospect: Good to Amazing (60-40/70-30)

These decks are too slow to put enough pressure on you, don’t play enough removal to handle your threats, and cant outdraw you or deal with all the things that are going on. Boros-kitty has a better prospect against you than Azorius-Kitty as it is faster and can play instant-speed removal as well as aim all the burn to your face. That being said, it’s really a crapshoot for them too. All you really need to do is play your mana walls, wait for a response, and get them to waste their removal on your walls, if they don’t then just punish them with mulldrifters and trains. If they kill the walls, punish them with the combo. And Gigadrowse just wrecks their tempo.

Two important notes: don’t play your longbows until you have gigadrowse or hydroblast protection as they are good at destroying them, and don’t lead with a basic forest. Spreading seas can ruin your day.

Sideboard Cards: train, hydroblast (BK), Gigadrowse (AK)
-2 Recluse, -1 Drift, -1 Trinket Mage
+1 Train, +1 Gigadrowse +1 Tranquility
(AK)
-3 Drift
+1 Train, +2 Hydroblast
(BK)

B/(x) control:

Prospect: Amazing (70-30) (worse if you are not skilled)

This is mainly for MBC (without corrupt), and Trinket. See the kitty analysis to see why this matchup really good for us. Remember, that you will take the path that the control player gives you and life is good. The thing is, just make them run out of removal.

-2 Recluse, -1 Drift
+1 Train, +2 Muddle

Pauper Commander League Reminder and Updates

community league 8 banner

Hello! I wanted to remind folks to sign up for our upcoming league by the end of Thursday this week.

Sign up in the comments on this post.

And now for some quick updates.

These commanders are banned based on 1v1 “Duel Commander” rules: Derevi, Empyrial Tactician, Edric, Spymaster of Trest, Erayo, Soratami Ascendant, Oloro, Ageless Ascetic, Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary, Zur the Enchanter.

Join the #PEDH chat room when you’re in MTGO to find practice partners.

Match timers should be set for 40 minutes rather than the normal 25. I could not find this option when making a challenge, but if you are in the play screen you can open a match with a 40-minute time limit and restrict it to just your buddies, then message your opponent to join. 25 minutes does not seem enough time to finish an EDH match.

We have just over 20 people signed up at the moment. Tell your friends and get more people to join us; I have been practicing and it is a really fun, interesting, and challenging format!

Get in touch if you have questions and, if you really love us, become a patron today. Thanks!

/bava

Pauper Gauntlet Season Three, Week 7: Middle of Round Three

We are now in round three of the Pauper Gauntlet. Play has moved to the Tournament Practice room and decks are now eliminated immediatly if they lose.

What is the Pauper Gauntlet?
All about the Pauper Gauntlet Season 03: http://mtgolibrary.blogspot.se/2015/11/the-pauper-gauntlet.html
All the deck lists: http://mtgolibrary.blogspot.se/2015/11/the-decks-of-pauper-gauntlet-s03.html

Round three
Round three is played in the Tournament Practice room and if a deck loses it is elmiinated from the Pauper Gauntlet (unless voted back after round 4). Here are all the results of round three so far (including results from last week)

We were 12-4 in round 3 when this week began. 67 decks went into round three.

These are the matches that have been played this week.

Blue Bichinho beats Mono Black Land Destruction 2-1
Simic Oracle takes down tier 1 deck MBC 2-1
CrocaJund loses to Simic Devoid 1-2
Turbo Angler wins against AzoriusKitty 2-1
Delver obliterates Rakdos Nightmare 2-0 (The best deck in Pauper has not done well in the Pauper Gauntlet – maybe this is the year for Delver?)

RG Land Crusher gets overrun by Suicide Black 0-2
Suicide Black defeats RUG Tron 2-1
Stompy Tokens defeats Angler Delver 2-0
Pestilence Control stood no chance against Izzet Tron 0-2
Izzet Cooldotha takes on a TE deck that quit

Selesnya Flash is defeated by Delver 0-2
MUC faces a quitter
The Pauper Gauntlet is eliminated from the Pauper Gauntlet by MBC 1-2
Pauper Nightmare takes on Delver and wins 2-0
Gary Busey is arrested and imprisoned by WatchRites 1-2

TurboZoo defeats Goblins 2-0

16 matches played with a 10-6 record. 22-10 total for round 3. 35 decks still has to play their round 3 match. 57 decks are still active in the Pauper Gauntlet S03.

These were the earlier matchs played in round 3 before this week:

RUG Tron defeats Angler Delver 2-0
Green Ramp LD takes down Ninjutsu Reality Acid (!) 2-1
Infect gets a two turn kill (see above) and wins 2-1
Mono Red Heroic crushes Jund Dredge 2-0
Green One takes on Simic Explore and wins 2-0

Goblins run over Rakdos Reanimator 2-0
Exhume Control got outresourced by Pig Trinket piloted by a Gauntlet fan 0-2
5-color Green is murdered by Angler Delver 0-2
Death Control wins against Eye Candy Control 2-0
BUGS & Pigs plays double lifestaff against RDW and wins 2-0

Affinity lost to Dimir Teachings 1-2 and is eliminated.
Burn defeats AzoriusKitty 2-0
Encroaching Blight is defeated by White Metalcraft 1-2
Black Auramancer, the Pauper Rogue Cup champion, defeats MBC 2-1
Kuldotha Mardu defeats RUG Tron 2-1.
MBC defeats BorosKitty 2-1

What happens now?
Round 3 will end on Jan 19 (it was a long round due to the holidays). Round 4 will be shorter and will end on Sunday Feb 7 and then we will have the voteback. The preliminary format for the Voteback is that every viewer gets three votes and three decks are brought back into the Gauntlet. A deck that is voted back can be from any round – i.e. even the decks that lost during double elimination can come back after the Voteback.

Please visit our sponsor Mtgotickets, new customers receive 10 tickets for $8. Click on this link to check out mtgotickets

Community League #8, Pauper Commander: Registration is Open

community league 8 banner

The holidays are over and it is time to get our next league event going. I hope you guys enjoyed a merry Yule and are ready for some Magic mayhem.

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.

Now let’s talk about our next league!

Community League #8: Format and Rules

I thought it would be fun to try something different for this league, and I’m not sure what could be more different than Pauper Commander. Commander, also known as EDH (Elder Dragon Highlander) is a singleton format with 100-card lists and a “Commander” card to lead your armies.

About the Format

Build decks using the “Commander” format in MTGO. Here are the official rules and banlist for Commander and a link with additional information on the format. Commander uses the Vintage card pool. We are playing 1v1 so Duel Commander bans apply as well.

These Commanders are banned: [c]Derevi, Empyrial Tactician[/c], [c]Edric, Spymaster of Trest[/c], [c]Erayo, Soratami Ascendant[/c], [c]Oloro, Ageless Ascetic[/c], [c]Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary[/c], [c]Zur the Enchanter[/c].

Pauper Commander, the way we will play it, differs from regular Commander in that while your Commander may be of any rarity all of the other cards in your deck must be commons. We will not be using the Pauper banned list for this event.

We will be enforcing the “printed as a common in an online set” restriction, however, which means no [c]Sinkhole[/c], no [c]Desert[/c], and no [c]Hymn to Tourach[/c]. Basically set your rarity filter in your MTGO collections page to “Common” and go from there.

This is a singleton format. The only cards you can have more than one copy of in your lists are basic lands and [c]Shadowborn Apostle[/c]s. We will be playing matches (best 2 games out of 3) and 1v1.

Registration is open now and closes in on Friday, January 22.

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 January 22 and will also send out an email with contact information. I try very hard NOT to send people lots of emails. It is up to you to keep track on the site and get in touch with your opponents promptly. 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!

For this event I am going to be very strict concerning players that don’t communicate well. If your opponent says they are having a hard time getting in touch with you, and you don’t respond to my follow-up email in a timely fashion, your opponent will get the win for that week and you may be removed from the event. Check your email, respond to your email, email your opponents, email me. Short notes are fine, but KEEP IN TOUCH!

We will play 4-5 weeks of Swiss and then cut to top 8 with the goal to finish the league by the end of February.

League Rules

1. Pauper Commander uses the Vintage card pool and while your Commander may be any rarity all of the rest of the cards in your deck must be considered “common” in MTGO.

2. Duels will be 1v1 and fought in matches best 2 out of 3. 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. Set your match timers for 40 minutes.

3. We will use Challonge to track this event since it worked well last time. It is the responsibility of the winner to report their win. 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 and one or both players may 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. 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 4-5 weeks of Swiss and then cut to Top 8. The league will end by February 28.

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 tickets from me personally. 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 $300 by the end of January 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.

 

Pauper Gauntlet Season Three, Week Six: Middle of Round Three

We are now in round three of the Pauper Gauntlet. Play has moved to the Tournament Practice room and decks are now eliminated immediatly if they lose.

What is the Pauper Gauntlet?
All about the Pauper Gauntlet Season 03: http://mtgolibrary.blogspot.se/2015/11/the-pauper-gauntlet.html
All the deck lists: http://mtgolibrary.blogspot.se/2015/11/the-decks-of-pauper-gauntlet-s03.html

Round three
Round three is played in the Tournament Practice room and if a deck loses it is elmiinated from the Pauper Gauntlet (unless voted back after round 4). Here are all the results of round three so far (including results from last week)

67 decks entered round three.

RUG Tron defeats Angler Delver 2-0
Green Ramp LD takes down Ninjutsu Reality Acid (!) 2-1
Infect gets a two turn kill (see above) and wins 2-1
Mono Red Heroic crushes Jund Dredge 2-0
Green One takes on Simic Explore and wins 2-0

Goblins run over Rakdos Reanimator 2-0
Exhume Control got outresourced by Pig Trinket piloted by a Gauntlet fan 0-2
5-color Green is murdered by Angler Delver 0-2
Death Control wins against Eye Candy Control 2-0
BUGS & Pigs plays double lifestaff against RDW and wins 2-0

Affinity lost to Dimir Teachings 1-2 and is eliminated.
Burn defeats AzoriusKitty 2-0
Encroaching Blight is defeated by White Metalcraft 1-2
Black Auramancer, the Pauper Rogue Cup champion, defeats MBC 2-1
Kuldotha Mardu defeats RUG Tron 2-1.
MBC defeats BorosKitty 2-1

12-4 so far, which is decent.

63 decks remain in the third season of the Pauper Gauntlet (+3 from the voteback)!

What happens now?
Round 3 will end on Jan 19 (it was a long round due to the holidays). Round 4 will be shorter and will end on Sunday Feb 7 and then we will have the voteback. The preliminary format for the Voteback is that every viewer gets three votes and three decks are brought back into the Gauntlet. A deck that is voted back can be from any round – i.e. even the decks that lost during double elimination can come back after the Voteback.

Please visit our sponsor Mtgotickets, new customers receive 10 tickets for $8. Click on this link to check out mtgotickets

Pauper Gauntlet Season Three, Week Five: The first eliminations of the Pauper Gauntlet

Round two of the third season of the Pauper Gauntlet is over and eight decks have been eliminated during double elimation. Round three has started and another two decks have fallen. 68 decks remain.

What is the Pauper Gauntlet?
All about the Pauper Gauntlet Season 03: http://mtgolibrary.blogspot.se/2015/11/the-pauper-gauntlet.html
All the deck lists: http://mtgolibrary.blogspot.se/2015/11/the-decks-of-pauper-gauntlet-s03.html

Round two is over!
If you read further than this, you will get results spoiled. That is probably why you are here, though.

Catch the matches when they are published on Twitter: @MagicGathStrat
Watch the feature matches on youtube: youtube.com/magicgatheringstrat
Also make sure you subscribe to magicgatheringstrat2 on YouTube for more matches.

Ok, lets get into details.

All the matches of round two:

Mono Black Land Destruction is outresourced by Illusory Tricks 1-2
Rakdos Vampires defeats Golgari Delve
Glass Cannon Red falls to White Metalcraft 0-2
Suicide the Painless runs into another mirror match (almost) but the opponent quits. The deck also faces bad press for its tasteless name and will return during round 3 as Pauper Aristocrats.
Livind End is crushed by Angler Delver 0-2

Tortured Madness is defeated by Pestilence 1-2
BorosKitty Initiated defeats MBC splashing white 2-1 in a very tight match
Dragon Delve lost to RUG Tron and was eliminated from the Pauper Gauntlet despite being able to put a 11/9 flyer vigilance Gurmag Angler into play. Turns out that Fangren Marauder just gains too many life.
Sultai Delve defeats Izzet Wizards 2-0
Crocajund defeats Illusory Tricks 2-1. With so many people playing Tricks in the practice rooms I am starting to believe that people actually read magicgatheringstrat.com. Tricks was the runner-up in season one of the Pauper Gauntlet and is a deck brewed by my friend Bava.

UB Justice Control was defeated by Blue Bichinho (the flying blue swarm) 1-2
Burn defeats Sultai Exhume 2-0.
Cheaty Morph is defeated by Nightsky Mimic 0-2
Familiars defeat Azorius Control 2-0
1-land-spy ran into a control deck and could not go off. 0-2

Snow Go defeats Orzhov Removal 2-0
Tortured Toolbox defeats Mono Black 2-0
Rebel Grind defeats Boros Landfall 2-0
Eggs defeats Illusory Tricks 2-1
Goblin Storm Combo goes off against Abzan Lifegain and does 65 points of damage in one turn! The match ends 2-1 to the combo deck.

Mono Red Land Destruction is defeated by Selesnya Vigilance 0-2
MBC defeats Mono Blue 2-0

22 matches played in round two. The final score was 13-9.

The following eight decks are eliminated (but can be voted back after round four if you really miss one of them): Tortured Madness, Living End, Glass Cannon Red, Mono Black Land Destruction, Dragon Delve, UB Justice Control, Cheaty Morph, 1-land-spy and Mono Red Land Destruction.

Round three has started!
Round three is played in the Tournament Practice room and if a deck loses it is elmiinated from the Pauper Gauntlet (unless voted back after round 4).

Affinity lost to Dimir Teachings 1-2 and is eliminated.
Burn defeats AzoriusKitty 2-0
Encroaching Blight is defeated by White Metalcraft 1-2
Kuldotha Mardu defeats RUG Tron 2-1.
MBC defeats BorosKitty 2-1

67 decks remain!

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Pauper Gauntlet Season Three, Week Four

Round one of the third season of the Pauper Gauntlet is over and now the losers of that round face the threat of elimination in round two!

What is the Pauper Gauntlet?
All about the Pauper Gauntlet Season 03: http://mtgolibrary.blogspot.se/2015/11/the-pauper-gauntlet.html
All the deck lists: http://mtgolibrary.blogspot.se/2015/11/the-decks-of-pauper-gauntlet-s03.html

Round one is over!
If you read further than this, you will get results spoiled. That is probably why you are here, though.

Catch the matches when they are published on Twitter: @MagicGathStrat
Watch the feature matches on youtube: youtube.com/magicgatheringstrat
Also make sure you subscribe to magicgatheringstrat2 on YouTube for more matches.

Ok, lets get into details.

These were the final matches of round one:

Elves took down Esper Control 2-0
Snow Go faced Bant Fog in a very skill intensive matchup. I am sure the more experienced pilot would win on either side. I was not the more experienced pilot and lost 0-2. In fact, this was the very first Pauper Gauntlet match ever that I was timed out and lost by the clock. Check out the video above if you want to be boooored
Tortured Toolbox lost to Domain 0-2
Land-o-derm defeated Encroaching Blight 2-0

Turbo Exhume defeated RB Madness 2-1
Evil Allies ran into a quitter
BUG Profilerators saw the worst misplay of the Gauntlet so far but then the opponent quit after winning the first duel.

78 matches played. The final score was 56-22.

Round two has started!
Any deck that loses in round two is eliminated from the Pauper Gauntlet (unless voted back by you, the readers, after round four).

Dragon Delve lost to RUG Tron and was eliminated from the Pauper Gauntlet despite being able to put a 11/9 flyer vigilance Gurmag Angler into play. Turns out that Fangren Marauder just gains too many life.
Sultai Delve defeats Izzet Wizards 2-0
Crocajund defeats Illusory Tricks 2-1. With so many people playing Tricks in the practice rooms I am starting to believe that people actually read magicgatheringstrat.com. Tricks was the runner-up in season one of the Pauper Gauntlet and is a deck brewed by my friend Bava.
UB Justice Control was defeated by Blue Bichinho (the flying blue swarm) 1-2
Burn defeats Sultai Exhume 2-0.

Cheaty Morph is defeated by Nightsky Mimic 0-2
Familiars defeat Azorius Control 2-0
1-land-spy ran into a control deck and could not go off. 0-2
Snow Go defeats Orzhov Removal 2-0
Tortured Toolbox defeats Mono Black 2-0

Rebel Grind defeats Boros Landfall 2-0
Eggs defeats Illusory Tricks 2-1
Goblin Storm Combo goes off against Abzan Lifegain and does 65 points of damage in one turn! The match ends 2-1 to the combo deck.
Mono Red Land Destruction is defeated by Selesnya Vigilance 0-2
MBC defeats Mono Blue 2-0

Seven matches remain in round two. So far we have lost the following five decks: Dragon Delve, UB Justice Control, Cheaty Morph, 1-land-spy and Mono Red Land Destruction. 73 decks remain in the Pauper Gauntlet S03.

Round two ends on December 22nd and round three will be going on over the Holidays and will be a 3 or 4 week round.

Please visit our sponsor Mtgotickets, new customers receive 10 tickets for $8. Click on this link to check out mtgotickets.

WW Soul Tokens in the Pauper Gauntlet

This is Deluxeicoff’s list, but my favorite version of it and my submission to the Gauntlet. So here I go with the list and a sideboard plan!

[d title=”WW Soul Tokens by Deluxeicoff (Pauper)”]
Creatures
4 Doomed Traveler
3 Order of Leitbur
4 Soul Warden
4 Soul’s Attendant
4 Squadron Hawk
4 Suture Priest

Enchantments
4 Journey to Nowhere

Instants
4 Guardians’ Pledge
3 Raise the Alarm

Sorceries
4 Battle Screech
1 Cenn’s Enlistment

Land
18 Plains
3 Quicksand

Sideboard
2 Cho-Manno’s Blessing
1 Holy Light
4 Lumithread Field
3 Prismatic Strands
2 Rune of Protection: Red
3 Standard Bearer [/d]

Notes

Gaining life against aggro decks is solid. Burn is a joke. The deck *destroys* Delver. We should win against MBC, but my personal track record is iffy. Suture Priest is an all-star against Flicker decks and combos. Bring in Cho-Manno to protect him when you really need to stop the combo win. This is really not an aggro deck. It’s a mid-range list that takes grinds card advantages by getting multiple creatures per card and then wins with an alpha strike off of Guardian’s Pledge. We *can* win as early as t4-t5 and sometimes that is the goal, but a lot of games will go longer than that.

This deck’s primary win condition *can* be the clock, so play accordingly. Gain shitloads of life and Lumithread into unkillable blockers and then just play fast.

Sideboard Plan

Delver: Our card advantage and flyers eventually overwhelm them. Counter my birds? I’ll just flash them back. Don’t forget to use Quicksand on Ninjas.
+1 Holy Light, +4 Lumithread Field | -4 Journey to Nowhere, -1 Suture Priest

Esper Familiar: We have awesome Familiar tech if we can play it before they win. Basic plan is either win really early or get Suture Priest with Cho-Manno and/or Standard Bearer back-up. Keep up WW so if they capsize Cho-Manno you can recast it (remember it has flash!). They have to Snap and / or Capsize Suture Priests if they want to win.
+2 Cho-Manno’s Blessing, +1 Holy Light, +3 Standard Bearer | -4 Battle Screech, -1 Cenn’s Enlistment, -1 Journey to Nowhere

MBC: Deluxe thinks this is easy and I have a hard time. My SB plan has changed a lot over time and is quite simple now. You will get some hits early but be ready to slow down and grind out if necessary. Protect your Orders and don’t ever let your Lumithread Fields out as a morph creature if you tap out. Sitting on a lot of 1/5s can get you there, eventually.
+4 Lumithread Field | -4 Suture Priest

Delverfiend: Block, block, block, and then block some more. Lumithreads can still block after Apostle’s Blessing when they are a morph creature. Quicksand kills Kiln Fiend.
+4 Lumithread Field, +3 Prismatic Strands, +2 Rune of Protection: Red, +3 Standard Bearer | -3 Order of Leitbur, -4 Suture Priest, -4 Doomed Traveler, -1 Guardian’s Pledge

Boros/Jeskai-Kitty: Lumithread will save you g2-3 from Electrickery and give you giant blockers. Grind it out, gain life, block, and they just can’t win.
+4 Lumithread Field, +3 Prismatic Strands (Electrickery and Burn protection) | -3 Order of Leitbur, -4 Suture Priest

Stompy: Standard Bearer and Strands pretty much kill ’em. Plus you gain life all over the place. Win in the air.
+3 Standard Bearer, +3 Prismatic Strands | -4 Journey to Nowhere, -1 Doomed Traveler, -1 Guardian’s Pledge

Elves: Suture Priest and Standard Bearer = GG. Journey the Wellwishers. Watch out for arrows. Win in the air or on time.
+3 Standard Bearer, +3 Prismatic Strands, +4 Lumithread Field, +1 Holy Light | -3 Raise the Alarm, -4 Doomed Traveler, -3 Order of Leitbur, -1 Guardian’s Pledge

Goblins: Strands and Lumithread shine.
+1 Holy Light, +4 Lumithread Field, +3 Prismatic Strands, +2 Rune of Protection: Red | -4 Suture Priest, -4 Journey to Nowhere, -1 Guardian’s Pledge, -1 Order of Leitbur

RUG Tron: You can occasionally win fast but you can also win on the clock with giant blockers. Don’t be afraid to just wait them out and play defensively.
+4 Lumithread Field, +3 Prismatic Strands, +2 Rune of Protection: Red | -4 Suture Priest, -4 Order of Leitbur, -1 Guardian’s Pledge

Burn: Play so you can gain life off your sisters. No need to be aggressive. Watch out for Electrickery g2-3. One Lumithread as an enchant is fine and the rest can be morphs.
+4 Lumithread Field, +3 Prismatic Strands, +2 Rune of Protection: Red | -3 Order of Leitbur, -4 Journey to Nowhere, -1 Guardian’s Pledge, -1 Battle Screech

White Weenie: If they have sisters, expect to go to time. Manage your triggers as quickly as you can. Journey should hit their lifegain guys when possible.
+4 Lumithread Field, +3 Prismatic Strands | -4 Doomed Traveler, -3 Order of Leitbur

Affinity: Block low, swing high. Watch out for Fling.
+4 Lumithread Field, +3 Prismatic Strands, +2 Rune of Protection: Red | -3 Order of Leitbur, -4 Journey to Nowhere, -1 Guardian’s Pledge, -1 Suture Priest

UB Angler: We pretty much win. Journey + Order wrecks them; bait counters when necessary.
+4 Lumithread Field | -4 Suture Priest

Pauper Gauntlet Season Three, Week Three

The first round of Season Three is drawing to a close!

Learn what happened in week one | All about the Pauper Gauntlet Season 03 | All the deck lists.

Catch the matches when they are published on Twitter | Watch the feature matches on YouTube | Also make sure you subscribe to MagicGatheringStrat2 on YouTube for more matches.

All of the videos are on our site at http://magicgatheringstrat.com/the-pauper-gauntlet-season-three/.

The second week of round one

If you read further than this, you will get results spoiled. That is probably why you are here, though.

Ok, lets get into details.

  • Suicide is Painless ran into the mirror match curse and lost 0-2 – What is up with these super unlikely mirror matches? Which other decks played against Suicide is Painless in round one? That’s right. No other deck.
  • Shroudfang Ninja took on Snow Zombies and won 2-0
  • DelverFiend took on RG Madness. It is hard to race DelverFiend with an aggro deck. 2-1 win.
  • BorosKitty Initiated took on the Sliver horde and was ran over 1-2
  • Croca Jund took on Caw Blade (the dream never dies!) Loss 0-2
  • WW Soul Tokens took on Mono Blue Control. It is hard to control white weenies. Win 2-0
  • Stompy Tokens went up against Azorius Flicker. Your value does not matter if you are crushed to a pulp. Win 2-1
  • Illusory Tricks defeated Grixis Turbo Angler in the air 2-0
  • RG Landfall took on Grixis Angler and impressed everyone with an overwhelming 2-0 victory-
  • Goblin Storm was disappointed by MBC 1-2
  • Turbo Zoo fought Temur Freed Combo and won 2-1
  • Love Train spread the love to Simic Evolve 2-0
  • Project X comboed off against JeskaiKitty 2-0
  • Bant Sword and Shield defeated Angler Delver in a tight match 2-1
  • Turbo Angler defeated Izzet Freed Combo 2-1
  • Rhystic Tron was ready to fight JeskaiKitty but the opponent quit early.
  • Counter-Kitty showed Dimir Control what real card advantage is. 2-0
  • Spiteful Leeches defeated Simic Proliferate in the first duel and then he quit
  • Mono Green Ramp LD took away all the lands from a Dimir deck 2-0
  • 1-land-Spy …. well, it only worked once. 1-2 vs MBC
  • Infect ran through Naya Thallid Walls and poisoned the opponent 2-0
  • Exhume Control reanimated the heavy hitters and took down RUG Tron 2-0

22 more matches played. Only 9 matches remain until round one is over!

The score this week was 17-5 meaning that we now stand at 51-20, which is about what was expected.

The 20 decks that so far are facing elimination in round 02 of the Pauper Gauntlet season three are: Familiars, MBC, Rebel Grind, Glass Cannon Red, Burn, Tortured Madness, Living End, Rakdos Vampires, Mono Red Land Destruction, Cheaty Morph, Eggs, UB Justice Control, Mono Black Land Destruction, Dragon Delve, Suicide is Painless, BorosKitty Initiated, Croca Jund, Goblin Storm Combo, 1-land-spy and Sultai Delve.

Yes, that is three Top 10 decks from last season, a tier 1 deck (MBC) and the champion deck from the first season (BorosKitty) at risk of early elimination. Last year only three decks were eliminated in round two.

The goal is to win with all these decks in round two and have all 78 decks see the first tournament practice round in round three.

Round one will end right before we record the MagicGatheringStrat podcast on December 15th. Round two will end on December 22nd. As the winners do not play in round two, the second round will be significantly faster. Round three will go on over the holidays.

What happens to the decks that lost?

Round one and round two are double elimination so round two will have the losers play yet another match in the JFF room. If the decks win they move to round three (which will be tougher!) where they will join the winners of round one.

Please visit our sponsor Mtgotickets, new customers receive 10 tickets for $8. Click on this link to check out mtgotickets.

Pauper Gauntlet Season Three, Week Two

The Pauper Gauntlet has started!

Learn what happened in week one | All about the Pauper Gauntlet Season 03 | All the deck lists.

Catch the matches when they are published on Twitter | Watch the feature matches on YouTube | Also make sure you subscribe to MagicGatheringStrat2 on YouTube for more matches.

All of the videos are on our site at http://magicgatheringstrat.com/the-pauper-gauntlet-season-three/.

The second week of round one

If you read further than this, you will get results spoiled. That is probably why you are here, though.

Ok, lets get into details.

  • Simic Oracle defeated Tortured Abzan 2-1 and made it to round 3.
  • Mono Black Control took on its nemesis RUG Tron and got outvalued 0-2, forcing this tier 1 deck to play in round 2 and face the risk of early elimination!
  • Delver took on Freed from the Reel Combo and won 2-0
  • White Heroes ran into the unlikely mirror match (what are the odds?) and won 2-1
  • Top 10 S02 deck Rebel Grind faced off against MBC but lost 1-2
  • Cyborgs (White Weenie Metalcraft) took on Domain and won 2-1
  • Crowd favorite 5-color Green took on Goblins and bounced Lone Missionaries all day for a 2-0 victory.
  • Top 10 S02 deck Familiars lost to Elves 0-2
  • The confusingly named deck The Pauper Gauntlet took on Golgari Delve and won 2-1
  • Creature swarm deck Blue Bichinho faced UB Control and won 2-0
  • Pauper Gauntlet S02 winner Stompy took on RUG Tron and won 2-1
  • Power_T’s Pig Trinket faced an interesting RG Eldrazi ramp deck and won easily 2-0
  • Glass Cannon Red proved unreliaby and lost to White Weenie 1-2
  • Pauper Gauntlet S02 runner-up Burn took on Turbo Angler and was crushed 0-2
  • Tortured Madness faced Faeries (not Delver …. Faeries!) and lost hard 0-2
  • Everyone’s darling Green Grifters faced top tier Angler Delver and somehow won 2-1. This is a behaviour we have seen before from Green Grifters. Surely that was what made everyone vote it in this year.
  • Top 10 S02 deck Bugs & Pigs took on Grixis Control and won 2-1
  • Suicide Black, cheered on by many, faced Pestilence and won 2-1 to the crowd’s delight
  • RB Control Deck Pauper Nightmare took on DelverFiend and won 2-1. Removal is good.
  • UB Trinket Control, the deck that started it all, faced Bant Blink and won easily 2-0
  • RG Land Crusher also faced Bant Blink and made the elaborate deck unable to play its spells 2-0
  • Abzan Grindhouse played the grindiest match so far in the Gauntlet, winning with 15 seconds left against Dimir Control, timing him out.

22 more matches played. 18 wins. 6 losses. 31 matches to go until we are done with round one.

With the 16-9 result from week one the current result stands at 34-15.

The 15 decks that so far are facing elimination in round 02 of the Pauper Gauntlet season three are: Familiar, MBC, Rebel Grind, Glass Cannon Red, Burn, Tortured Madness, Living End, Rakdos Vampires, Mono Red Land Destruction, Cheaty Morph, Eggs, UB Justice Control, Mono Black Land Destruction, Dragon Delve, and Sultai Delve.

Yes, that is three Top 10 decks from last season plus a tier 1 deck (MBC) at the risk of early elimination. Last year only three decks were eliminated in round 02.

The goal is to win with all these decks in round 02 and have all 78 decks see the first tournament practice round in round 03.

Round one will end right before we record the MagicGatheringStrat podcast on December 15th. Round two will end on December 22nd. As the winners do not play in round two, the second round will be significantly faster. Round three will go on over the holidays.

What happens to the decks that lost?

Round one and round two are double elimination so round two will have the losers play yet another match in the JFF room. If the decks win they move to round three (which will be tougher!) where they will join the winners of round one.

Please visit our sponsor Mtgotickets, new customers receive 10 tickets for $8. Click on this link to check out mtgotickets.