Paupers and Kings, Ep. 5: Soul Sisters

soul sisters

Hi everyone, and welcome to the fifth episode of Paupers & Kings, my series on porting Pauper decks into the Modern format while staying on a budget.

How do you feel about gaining life in Magic? Sure, it’s handy against Burn, but most people who know about these things will tell you that gaining life doesn’t advance the game and it is, in general, a bad strategy. So how is it that we have these lists where lifegain is a major priority?

The trick, of course, is that lifegain can only be a part of the plan.

This week we are looking at Soul Sisters lists in Modern and Pauper.

The sisters in the spotlight are [c]Soul Warden[/c] and [c]Soul’s Attendant[/c]. Ignoring the fact that Attendant is a hopeless fraud of a healer (read her flavor text), these two lovely humans fit in nicely with a number of strategies that utilize lifegain to do broken things. Maybe not broken things, but pretty powerful things.

Let’s take a look, first, at our Modern list for the week.

Wary Soul Sisters

There are more “standard” mono-colored Soul Sisters lists in Modern, but meh. You’ve seen ’em, and I wanted to do something a little different and more fun. So instead of those we’re playing with a Boros build that abuses [c]Norin the Wary[/c] and [c]Champion of the Parish[/c], along with a bunch of lifegain, to make giant face-beaters and win the game. Here is the list we’re using, adapted from this list from Uota on Goldfish.

[d title=”Wary Soul Sisters by Uota (Modern)”]
Land
9 Plains
4 Mountain
4 Cavern of Souls
4 Clifftop Retreat

Creatures
4 Ajani’s Pridemate
4 Champion of the Parish
2 Mentor of the Meek
3 Norin the Wary
2 Purphoros, God of the Forge
3 Ranger of Eos
4 Soul Warden
3 Soul’s Attendant
1 Legion Loyalist

Artifacts
4 Genesis Chamber

Spells
2 Return to the Ranks
4 Lightning Bolt
3 Path to Exile

Sideboard
1 Aven Mindcensor
2 Electrickery
2 Mark of Asylum
2 Rest in Peace
2 Stony Silence
1 Suppression Field
1 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
2 Sowing Salt
2 Wear/Tear [/d]

The interactions are pretty straight-forward and hinge around getting Norin onto the board. Once he hits, he is bouncing in and out on all of your turns and usually on your opponents’ turns as well. This lets you:

  • Gain life with the soul sisters.
  • Grow your Champions (and Pridemates if you’re gaining life).
  • Create Myr tokens, duplicating any other benefits you may be receiving (except Champions).
  • Kill your opponent with Purphoros triggers.

Mentor of the Meek helps make sure you don’t run out of gas, while Legion Loyalist is tutorable via Ranger of Eos and enables you to swing in effectively once your army has gotten big and tough enough. Return to the Ranks provides some resilience to sweepers, while Lightning Bolt and Path to Exile clear out annoying threats across the table.

Wary Soul Sisters on a Budget

I sprung for some more expensive cards than I might, normally, because they are land and sideboard staples. [c]Cavern of Souls[/c] is, namely, a great card for most tribal lists, so I picked up a playset. It has the major added benefit of working around Chalice, which is otherwise a very strong piece of SB hate against all our one-drops. Still, the best place to start budgetizing lists is usually in the mana base. It has an impact, for sure, but you can still get the right lands and play your game without a hitch plenty of the time.

Ranger of Eos and Purphoros are both strong components of the list, but it kind of works without them, so you could save some money there. You will be missing out on tutors and wincons, though, so consider alternatives. More Mentors could come in to replace Ranger, and you could consider [c]Harsh Sustenance[/c] as a cheap wincon if you found a way to splash black.

[c]Condemn[/c] is my favorite budget alternative to Path and will do in a pinch.

Even as it stands the list is less than 150 tix. For the price, you’re not getting something as powerful as the U Tron list we looked at last week, but it can still blow out games and does quite well in certain match-ups. It is also very fun to play.

Now let’s check out our Pauper list this week.

Midnight Presence

If you watch videos on our YouTube channel at all, you will recognize this list from the Pauper Gauntlet, submitted by mad brewer, Aught3. While it packs the Midnight Guard / Presence of Gond combo in the list, it is more of a midrange list that stalls your opponent with lifegain, grows an army of saprolings, and then swings in for a massive alpha strike. Here is the list.

[d title=”Midnight Presence by Aught3 (Pauper)”]
Land
4 Khalni Garden
3 Forest
4 Blossoming Sands
7 Plains
4 Selesnya Sanctuary

Creatures
4 Midnight Guard
4 Pallid Mycoderm
4 Selesnya Evangel
4 Soul Warden
4 Soul’s Attendant
4 Veteran Armorer

Spells
4 Presence of Gond
3 Scatter the Seeds
4 Sprout Swarm
3 Spidersilk Armor

Sideboard
3 Gleeful Sabotage
4 Scattershot Archer
4 Standard Bearer
3 Sunlance
1 Prismatic Strands [/d]

Along with stalling out via lifegain, the main Spidersilk Armors allow your creatures to get big and, along with the Veteran Armorers, give you good blocks to shut down your opponent’s offense. After that, it is just a matter of growing your army much, much, much larger than theirs, and then smashing in with a Pallid Mycoderm activation (or 2 or 3 or 4) to make your saproling tokens mean business.

You win with the combo from time to time as well, but Presence of Gond does good work on any creature you cast it on, while the Guard does a good job blocking things like Spire Golem that your 1/1s have an issue handling.

If you want to try something different in Pauper, I recommend taking this list for a spin. It is surprisingly strong against a lot of lists, but it does have some very bad matchups. MBC lists with edicts and discard aren’t too bad; MBC lists with direct removal and Pestilence / Crypt Rats are much harder. UR Control is a challenge. We probably just lose to Familiars. For competitive play, this deck does exactly what you don’t want to do in the current meta, it tries to be fair and play its own game. It gets punished for its efforts.

All the same, it’s a great deck for the practice room, and wins as much as it loses.

Here are the videos for this week’s lists.

 

I took Midnight Presence for a spin in a Pauper Daily Event. Those videos will be up on our YouTube channel soonish, so keep an eye out.

Next week on Paupers and Kings

I’m abusing combo elves for next week’s article, and it should be a ton of fun. As always, if you have recommendations for Modern / Pauper lists that crossover formats, let me know in the comments.

Until next time, may your Norins ever be wary.

/bava

Faithless Looting #10: In the Company of Khans

Welcome back to Faithless Looting, my weekly look at budget lists and budget formats.

I keep durdling around with horrible lists, trying to brew up something original. I’m pretty convinced that [c]Putrid Leech[/c] and [c]Werebear[/c] are underutilized, but I’ll be damned if I can find the right thing to put them in. If you want to give it a shot, I’m pretty sure there is a good deck in there with those cards, [c]Stinkweed Imp[/c], and maybe even [c]Blastoderm[/c].

Not much else to say this week, except that I took Aught3’s Dervish list for another spin, this time for my league match, and it was a nail-biter. I won’t give away anything except to say that the deck is powerful and that I keep misplaying with it. Also, I bought my playset of Khans dual-lands and those are going to make more things possible (or probable) in Pauper Magic. I have already played around with them some and I really like the added consistency they provide.

But enough of that, let’s give away some prizes.

Faithless Contest #9: Winner!

This week was a hard choice. Some lists were more explosive. Glass Cannon Red, for instance, can get turn two kills pretty consistently. I got t2 kills 3 out of 10 times in goldfishing, and once in my feature match against MBC (on the play). On the other hand, it did end up losing to MBC. If you’re on the draw, those 2 mana removal spells really hose you. Tireless Tribe was consistently slower than Glass Cannon but much more resilient in my match. Yeah, it played against Elves, so there wasn’t any disruption, but there was a lot of lifegain to get through. The Freed from the Real combo is potentially just as fast as Glass Cannon Red, but is less consistent in getting there, and is even more fragile. Keeping your 1/1 and 1/2 guys alive without any protection is a real challenge. Of all the decks, though, it was the only one that went infinite, which is a chit in its favor.

If I were just going on speed and explosiveness, I would probably give the medal to Glass Cannon Red. I still have mixed feelings, however, about rewarding non-original lists, and it was David Shaffer’s list that was submitted. In the end, I have to reward the list that was very consistent in getting t4 goldfish wins (which was our bar, after all), and which did the unthinkable.

It beat Boroskitty.

I love Boroskitty, but I have never, ever, ever beat that deck. And so, even though one could attribute my victory to the play mistakes of my opponent more than anything else, I fought through countless 1/1 goblins AND a [c]Circle of Protection: Red[/c] and nabbed a victory. Pretty impressive!

The winner this week, for his Classic Sligh list, is jphsnake.

Congratulations, sir. You will receive two items, randomly selected, from my current Loot Crate stash.

Thanks, as always, to everyone who submitted decks, and especially to Aught3, who submitted FOUR decks and gave me an excuse to play Suicide White again, another deck that I love.

Here is Jack’s winning Sligh list:

[d title=”Classic Sligh by jphsnake (Pauper)”]
Land
17 Mountain
3 Teetering Peaks

Spells
3 Onslaught
4 Lightning Bolt

Creatures
4 Mogg Conscripts
4 Goblin Cohort
3 Foundry Street Denizen
3 Jackal Familiar
4 Goblin Bushwhacker
4 Valley Dasher
4 Mudbrawler Cohort
4 Heartlash Cinder
3 Inner-Flame Acolyte

Sideboard
4 Forge Devil
4 Martyr of Ashes
4 Immolating Souleater
3 Flame Slash [/d]

And the video where I played against (and yes, beat) Boroskitty!

 

Thanks again, everyone! Keep those lists coming; I’m having a blast trying them out. Here are the rules for next week, contest #10.

Faithless Contest #10: Rules

  1. There are two choices this week, both centered around Khans of Tarkir.
    • Choice #1: Submit a budget list in post-rotation Standard or Standard Pauper.
    • Choice #2: Submit a budget list in any format, but it has to center around a Khans of Tarkir card.
  2. Submit your list in the comments below. Don’t forget to tell me which format the list is for.
  3. Submissions are extended through Monday, October 20!

Clarifications

  • Decks should be “budget”, but otherwise may be for any format.
  • Decks will be judged on innovation, fun, and power level.
  • I will highlight the most interesting decks in next week’s article, and may play some on video for the YouTube channel. One lucky winner will get two items, randomly selected, from my current LootCrate stash. Check out the videos at the bottom of this post to see what’s available.
  • Your chances of winning greatly increase if you submit a deck.

Faithless Decks #10: Daily Rogues

I have a confession to make. I’ve been seeing other articles. Okay … actually …

I’ve been writing them.

I know, I know, how could I be so faithless?

I admit it, I can’t help myself. After all, being faithless is my modus operandi. I like to play different decks as much as possible (often to my detriment) and, it turns out, I like to write different articles, too.

Anyway, I’ve been doing Pauper Daily Event Analysis, and if you haven’t checked it out yet, go take a look. I’ve done breakdowns so far for Dailies on September 20-21, and September 27-28. I’ll do another this Friday, so stay tuned.

For now, I just want to point out the interesting rogue lists that have placed in the last few weekends.

I pointed this list out last week, but it deserves another mention.

[d title=”Trinket Affinity, 3-1 by herosaine2006 (Pauper)”]
Land
1 Dimir Guildgate
4 Evolving Wilds
4 Great Furnace
2 Island
1 Izzet Guildgate
1 Mountain
4 Seat of the Synod
1 Swamp
4 Vault of Whispers

Creatures
4 Faerie Mechanist
4 Frogmite
4 Mulldrifter
4 Myr Enforcer
3 Trinket Mage

Spells
4 Galvanic Blast
4 Thoughtcast

Artifacts
2 Bonesplitter
2 Executioner’s Capsule
4 Flayer Husk
2 Prophetic Prism
1 Sylvok Lifestaff

Sideboard
2 Executioner’s Capsule
1 Sylvok Lifestaff
4 Chainer’s Edict
1 Pyroblast
3 Smelt
4 Vault Skirge [/d]

And then we had two more rogue lists place on the 27th and 28th. This one from Arnaud.

[d title=”1-Land Spy, 3-1 by Arnaud (Pauper)”]
Land
1 Forest

Creatures
4 Balustrade Spy
1 Blood Celebrant
1 Cavern Harpy
1 Dimir House Guard
1 Elvish Aberration
1 Gray Merchant of Asphodel
2 Manaforge Cinder
1 Mnemonic Wall
2 Pit Keeper
4 Simian Spirit Guide
4 Street Wraith
3 Tinder Wall
4 Wild Cantor

Spells
4 Cabal Ritual
2 Conjurer’s Bauble
4 Dark Ritual
4 Gitaxian Probe
4 Land Grant
4 Lotus Petal
2 Manamorphose
2 Morgue Theft
4 Songs of the Damned

Sideboard
4 Exhume
4 Faithless Looting
3 Scattershot Archer
4 Ulamog’s Crusher [/d]

This list has quite an interesting development story, and I go more into the provenance in my breakdown.

We also had a strange, Gruul Dredge aggro list, which I actually played against in the JFF room yesterday (sorry, no video!). I love the interaction between [c]Nightshade Peddler[/c] and [c]Granger Guildmage[/c].

[d title=”Gruul Dredge Aggro, 3-1 by Sssight (Pauper)”]
Land
6 Forest
4 Gruul Guildgate
2 Khalni Garden
8 Mountain

Creatures
2 Ghitu Slinger
4 Golgari Brownscale
4 Granger Guildmage
2 Leafcrown Dryad
3 Nacatl Outlander
4 Nightshade Peddler
4 Tin Street Hooligan
3 Yavimaya Barbarian

Spells
4 Burst Lightning
2 Electrickery
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Moldervine Cloak

Sideboard
1 Electrickery
4 Gleeful Sabotage
4 Raze
3 Relic of Progenitus
1 Reverent Silence
2 Stone Rain [/d]

That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading and here are the Loot Crate videos where you can find out what sort of awesome loot is up for grabs.

Until next time, keep the faith!

/bava

Loot Crates:

Faithless Looting #9: The Fast and the Furious

Welcome back to Faithless Looting, my weekly look at budget lists and budget formats.

I made it a goal for myself to try and play in one Pauper Daily Event per week. I’ve missed one here or there (last week because I played Khans instead), but for the most part I’ve been able to get an event in every week, and I’ve been doing horribly! Want to know why? It’s not the decks I’m playing; even though I’m avoiding MBC and Delver, every deck I’ve played has the potential to win a DE. It’s consistency that is the problem. My consistency. To this point I have refused to become an “expert” on any given deck, especially in Pauper where I find brewing and experimenting so rewarding (and financially possible), and hate to think of being tied down to a single list. Really I just need to find a deck I like and practice, practice, practice.

I’ll probably play Khans this coming weekend instead of Pauper, so I’ve got two weeks to pick a list and practice. If you have suggestions on what list I should play, please feel free to send them my way.

I’m a pretty good Magic player, but I make a lot of mistakes because of unfamiliarity with lists and with match-ups. This last week I lost to MBC when I (maybe) could have won by playing around [c]Tendrils of Corruption[/c]. The worst part? I had just been talking about playing around Tendrils, but decided to push the extra one point of damage instead! If I have a point, it’s this: if you want to play Magic competitively, even in Pauper, you need to pick a good list, and then you need to practice, practice, practice. Despite losing, I did have a fun time playing Goblins, and I still think it could be a good deck to “go under” some of the big lists in the format right now, with a more consistent pilot.

Feel free to check out the videos:

 

Now let’s get on to awarding some prizes.

Faithless Contest #8: Winner!

The contest last week was to build around a wedge (or shard) in honor of Khans. I got four good entries. Archivold sent me Bant Midrange which felt somewhat underpowered in play; I really like the cycle of dudes including [c]Bant Sureblade[/c] and [c]Esper Stormblade[/c] but I’ve tried to use them before and, in the end, I don’t think they’re playable. I’d be happy for someone to prove me wrong, though. Sam sent me NecraKitty, which was, essentially, a Kitty deck crossbred with a Tortured Existence deck. It could very well be a thing, but I have to admit I don’t love playing TE decks.

So, the two decks that I really enjoyed this week were Brennon’s Cogs deck and Aught3’s Dervish list. Both lists lost in my play testing, but to some extent that was my poor play (see my notes above about practice!) and, in any case, they were fun matches and the lists felt powerful. Dervish felt so strong I got cocky, which contributed to my doom. In the end, between the two of them, I love Cogs just a little bit more. It’s an archetype I’ve played with in the past, and as one of Brennon’s ongoing pet projects, it was a really well-tuned list.

The winner this week, for his Jeskai Cogs list, is Brennon!

Congratulations, sir. You will receive two items, randomly selected, from my current Loot Crate stash.

Aught3 gets a clear runner-up spot here and is, overall, submitting awesome lists every week. I invite everyone to check them out and beat them, namely because I don’t want to keep shipping stuff to New Zealand. ;)

Here is Brennon’s winning Jeskai Cogs list:

[d title=”Jeskai Cogs (Pauper)”]
Creatures
3 Ninja of the Deep Hours
3 Aven Riftwatcher
4 Leonin Squire
3 Steamcore Weird
2 Sanctum Gargoyle
3 Mulldrifter
4 Trinket Mage

Spells
1 Bonesplitter
1 Sunbeam Spellbomb
1 Sylvok Lifestaff
1 Viridian Longbow
4 Skred
4 Momentary Blink
1 Aether Spellbomb
2 Pyrite Spellbomb

Land
9 Snow-Covered Island
1 Ancient Den
6 Snow-Covered Plains
6 Snow-Covered Mountain
1 Great Furnace

Sideboard
2 Sylvok Lifestaff
3 Porcelain Legionnaire
2 Nihil Spellbomb
4 Gitaxian Probe
1 Aven Riftwatcher
3 Apostle’s Blessing [/d]

And the video where I played against a previous FL winner, 0C-BuC!

 

Thanks again to everyone who submitted decks! Here are the rules for next week, contest #9. FYI coming up with contest rules is the hardest part about these articles, so if you have suggestions, pass them along.

Faithless Contest #9: Rules

1. Send me your fastest “kill” lists; any format so long as they are budget.

2. Submit it in the comments below. Don’t forget to tell me which format the list is for.

3. Submissions due before Monday, October 6.

Clarifications

  • Decks should be “budget”, but otherwise may be for any format.
  • Pauper can win on turn one, I expect the same is true in any other format. Decks will be judged on innovation, fun, power, and consistency. There are a lot of routes to go between abusive aggro and finicky combo, so I hope to see some fun and interesting lists. Most lists should probably be “able” to win before turn four.
  • I will highlight the most interesting decks in next week’s article, and may play some on video for the YouTube channel. One lucky winner will get two items, randomly selected, from my current LootCrate stash. Check out the videos at the bottom of this post to see what’s available.
  • Your chances of winning greatly increase if you submit a deck.

Faithless Decks #9: Brews Cruise

Last week I highlighted some of the great lists that Peyton has been sharing on this site for Legacy. This week I’d like to highlight another of our great authors, Troy Drinkard.

Drinkard has been examining deck archetypes across formats and, lately, looking at how Khans might impact the game. Here are some of my favorite lists that he’s shared in his articles.

Last week Drinkard gave us two Pauper lists utilizing recent card additions, [c]Tyrant’s Choice[/c] for Rakdos Burn, and some of the new Morph creatures from Khans for a “Morph and Shift” style fatty list. I like them both.

[d title=”Rakdos Burn, by Drinkard (Pauper)”]
Land
4 Bloodfell Caves
12 Mountain
4 Rakdos Guildgate

Creatures
3 Goblin Fireslinger
4 Spark Elemental

Other Spells
4 Bump in the Night
4 Chain Lightning
4 Curse of the Pierced Heart
3 Fireblast
4 Lava Spike
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Rift Bolt
2 Shard Volley
4 Tyrant’s Choice [/d]

[d title=”Pac Man Red Ghost by Drinkard (Pauper)”]
Land
14 Forest
6 Plains

Creatures
4 Avacyn Pilgrim
4 Aven Riftwatcher
4 Abzan Guide
4 Elvish Mystic
4 Llanowar Elves
1 Snowhorn Rider
3 Titanic Bulvox
4 Woolly Loxodon

Other Spells
4 Cloudshift
4 Otherworldly Journey
4 Turn to Mist [/d]

As for Rakdos Burn, how about a list in Modern that uses [c]Bloodchief Ascension[/c]? It seems like a surprisingly good Burn card.

[d title=”Rakdos Burn by Drinkard (Modern)”]
Land
4 Blackcleave Cliffs
4 Blood Crypt
2 Dragonskull Summit
8 Mountain
2 Sulfurous Springs

Creatures
4 Eidolon of the Great Revel
4 Goblin Guide
4 Hellspark Elemental

Other Spells
4 Bump in the Night
4 Lava Spike
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Rift Bolt
4 Searing Blaze
1 Searing Blood
3 Shard Volley
4 Skullcrack

Sideboard
4 Bloodchief Ascension
1 Dark Tutelage
3 Molten Rain
3 Rakdos Charm
2 Searing Blood
2 Shattering Spree [/d]

Moving into Legacy, we have an interesting Bargain Tendrils list that weighs in under 100tix.

[d title=”Bargain Tendrils by Drinkard (Legacy)”]
Lands
1 Phyrexian Tower
11 Swamp

Creatures
2 Ornithopter
4 Phyrexian Walker
4 Shield Sphere

Other Spells
4 Cabal Ritual
4 Cabal Therapy
4 Cruel Bargain
4 Culling the Weak
4 Dark Ritual
3 Diabolic Intent
2 Gitaxian Probe
3 Ill-Gotten Gains
3 Infernal Contract
4 Lotus Petal
3 Tendrils of Agony [/d]

In the same article he gives us a Vintage version of the list as well, so go check it out.

Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point you over to my new Pauper DE Breakdown series and share the only Rogue list that placed in the September 20-21 Pauper Daily Events.

[d title=”Trinket Affinity by herosaine2006 (Pauper)”]
Land
1 Dimir Guildgate
4 Evolving Wilds
4 Great Furnace
2 Island
1 Izzet Guildgate
1 Mountain
4 Seat of the Synod
1 Swamp
4 Vault of Whispers

Creatures
4 Faerie Mechanist
4 Frogmite
4 Mulldrifter
4 Myr Enforcer
3 Trinket Mage

Spells
4 Galvanic Blast
4 Thoughtcast

Artifacts
2 Bonesplitter
2 Executioner’s Capsule
4 Flayer Husk
2 Prophetic Prism
1 Sylvok Lifestaff

Sideboard
2 Executioner’s Capsule
1 Sylvok Lifestaff
4 Chainer’s Edict
1 Pyroblast
3 Smelt
4 Vault Skirge [/d]

That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading and here are the Loot Crate videos where you can find out what sort of awesome loot is up for grabs.

Until next time, keep the faith!

/bava

Loot Crates:

 

Faithless Looting #8: A Wedge of One’s Own

Welcome back to Faithless Looting, my weekly look at budget lists and budget formats.

So the Khans prerelease happened (in paper Magic) and I went on Saturday to play in a 6-round Sealed event. It was a really great set for Limited, and I really liked the choices I had to make while putting my list together. I had chosen Abzan, but opened a ton of really great Temur cards, including [c]Trap Essence[/c], [c]Bear’s Companion[/c], and [c]Surrak Dragonclaw[/c] himself. I also opened a lot of fixing, as I think we will in this set.

In the end, though, I also had a good Abzan pool, and I went for the consistency of three-color (it’s funny to say that) instead of trying to put together five-color bombs. It’s hard to say what might have worked better, but I’m happy with the choice I made because it meant that I had the opportunity, more often than not, to play my deck the way it was meant to be played. In six rounds, I only got mana-screwed once and color-screwed once. Both times sucked, and were in the matches I lost (I went 4-2 on the day), but considering the nature of variance, I really can’t be too upset. I feel like if I had gone five-color, I would have lost to my own deck more than twice.

Did you attend any paper Khans events? How did it go? Let me know in the comments; I’d love to hear!

For now, let’s get on to some looting.

Faithless Contest #7: Winner!

The contest last week was to build around an artist, and comments came in that it was a challenging one. While some constraints are good when it comes to encouraging creativity, too much constraint can have the opposite effect. This was probably one of the latter.

In the end, I had three entries. A Stoneblade deck from Aught3 featuring the art of Chippy, a mono-blue Delver deck from Archivold featuring the art of Dan Scott, and a Legacy Restore Balance deck from Yugular featuring the art of Mark Poole.

Thanks to everyone for their submissions!

In the end, I only played one deck. Archivold’s list had plenty of Dan Scott cards, but it looked almost exactly like the Delver Blue we all know and … love. Yugular’s list just barely hit the three-card-by-an-artist brief, and since two of the three were land, I felt like it didn’t deserve to win this particular contest, though it looks like a fun and interesting deck.

Aught3’s Stoneblade list, on the other hand, includes 7 cards by Chippy. And yes, three of those are land, but we also get [c]Ostracize?printing=2436[/c] and [c]Doom Blade[/c] and [c]Windwright Mage[/c] and [c]Faith’s Fetters[/c], so we are appeased. And did I mention that I love the play on words in the name? I really, really do. And so I am happy to declare Aught3 the winner of Faithless Contest #7!

It’s Aught3’s second win, making him the front-runner in Faithless Contests and, now, the one to beat. So get to it.

Here is the winning decklist:

[d title=”Chipped Stoneblade, by Aught3 (Pauper)”]
Chippy
4 Island
7 Plains
5 Swamp
3 Ostracize
4 Doom Blade
2 Windwright Mage
1 Faith’s Fetters

Creatures
4 Court Homunculus
4 Esper Stormblade
4 Glaze Fiend
4 Vault Skirge
4 Porcelain Legionnaire
2 Ethersworn Shieldmage

Artifacts
3 Bonesplitter
4 Fieldmist Borderpost
4 Mistvein Borderpost

Spells
1 Thoughtcast

Sideboard
3 Hydroblast
3 Pyroblast
3 Chainer’s Edict
2 Circle of Protection: Red
3 Standard Bearer
1 Faith’s Fetters [/d]

And because it was an artist challenge, here is the Chippy gallery of cards used in this list:

[one_third]Island4[/one_third]

[one_third]plains_art_by_chippy[/one_third]

[one_third_last]Swamp[/one_third_last]

[one_fourth]ostracize-chippy-2[/one_fourth]

[one_fourth]ld197_doo[/one_fourth]

[one_fourth]stf13_windwrightmage[/one_fourth]

[one_fourth_last]faiths_fetters_art_by_chippy.jpg[/one_fourth_last]

And of course I played the list as well:

 

Thanks again to everyone who submitted decks! Here are the rules for next week, contest #8.

Faithless Contest #8: Rules

1. In honor of Khans, our contest this week is to build a fun, innovative, or powerful budget list in wedge colors.

2. Post it in the comments below. Don’t forget to mention the wedge and the format.

3. Submissions due before Monday, September 29.

Clarifications

  • Decks should be “budget”, but otherwise may be for any format.
  • Decks should be three colors. No more, no less. You may use any of the wedges, not just the ones from KTK.
  • I will highlight the most interesting decks in next week’s article, and may play some on video for the YouTube channel. One lucky winner will get two items, randomly selected, from my current LootCrate stash. Check out the videos at the bottom of this post to see what’s available.
  • Your chances of winning greatly increase if you submit a deck.

I have a horrible time remembering the names of color combinations in Magic, so I like this tool to help me remember.

Faithless Decks #8: Leaving a Legacy

I want to highlight some of the great work other authors on the site have been doing. In particular I want to pick on Peyton, who has been consistently writing about Legacy since the site launched and whose articles, to my overwhelming joy, need little to no editing. That last part doesn’t matter much to you guys, but it certainly makes my life easier.

Legacy is a format I know almost nothing about, but it is one that I am starting to learn about, thanks to Peyton’s articles, and many of his lists are available on the cheap; amazingly cheap when you consider the format. Check out some lists and don’t forget to read his articles as they come out every Monday.

Here is the most recent, budget combo list, Cephalid Breakfast.

[d title=”Mono-Blue Cephalid Breakfast (Legacy)”]
Creatures
4 Cephalid Illusionist
4 Vedalken AEthermage
3 Narcomoeba
2 Trinket Mage
1 Azami, Lady of Scrolls
1 Angel of Glory’s Rise
1 Laboratory Maniac

Artifacts
4 Shuko

Instants
4 Brainstorm
4 Dispel
4 Daze
1 Spell Pierce

Sorceries
4 Careful Study
1 Dread Return

Land
22 Island [/d]

And a budget rogue list (no, literally, rogue tribal).

[d title=”Budget Rogues (Legacy)]
Rogues
3 Frogtosser Banneret
3 Inkfathom Infiltrator
4 Nightshade Stinger
4 Oona’s Blackguard
4 Oona’s Prowler
4 Prickly Boggart
4 Stinkdrinker Bandit

Spells
1 Go for the Throat
4 Inquisition of Kozilek
3 Spell Pierce
2 Snuff Out
2 Smother

Lands
4 Darkslick Shores
4 Island
10 Swamp
4 Underground River

Sideboard
3 Duress
4 Mana Leak
3 Cold-Eyed Selkie
2 Earwig Squad
1 Go for the Throat
2 Faerie Macabre [/d]

And his favorite High Tide variant, Spring Tide.

[d title=”Spring Tide (Legacy)”]
Creatures
4 Cloud of Faeries

Spells
4 Brainstorm
3 Cunning Wish
4 High Tide
4 Ideas Unbound
3 Meditate
4 Merchant Scroll
4 Ponder
3 Snap
4 Spell Pierce
3 Turnabout
4 Preordain

Lands
16 Island

Sideboard
1 Blue Sun’s Zenith
2 Brain Freeze
1 Capsize
1 Chain of Vapor
4 Disrupt
1 Meditate
1 Pact of Negation
1 Rebuild
1 Snap
1 Turnabout
1 Wipe Away [/d]

And finally cheap fun, ANT Style!

[d title=”Dirt-Cheap ANT (Legacy)”]
Bidness
3 Tendrils of Agony
4 Ad Nauseam
4 Dark Ritual

Storm Builders
4 Claws of Gix
4 Ornithopter
4 Everflowing Chalice
4 Shield Sphere
3 Spellbook
4 Memnite

Lands
26 Swamp [/d]

That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading and here are the Loot Crate videos where you can find out what sort of awesome loot is up for grabs.

Until next time, keep the faith!

/bava

Loot Crates:

 

 

 

Faithless Looting #7: A Blessing of Leeches

Welcome back to Faithless Looting, my weekly look at budget lists and budget formats.

I love collective nouns. Last weekend, at the beach, I saw a murmuration of starlings, which, if you’ve never seen one, is quite breathtaking. Other favorites include a parliament of owls, a murder of crows, and escargatoire of snails. There are lots of them.

Leeches, sadly, don’t seem to travel in packs, and have therefore never been collectively nouned. And so I like to think that this Magic card, [c]Blessing of Leeches[/c], with beautiful art by Rebecca Guay, is not just because one has been blessed but because, just maybe, a group of leeches could be called “a blessing.”

But more on all that in a bit. We have loot to give away, first!

Faithless Contest #6: Winner!

The contest last week was to find a good home for Heliod’s Pilgrim. I don’t know if we “broke” her, but there were definitely some innovative lists. I played a lot of them – four to be exact – and liked the direction each one had. I was looking at power level, at fun factor, and at how strong the Pilgrim felt in the overall game plan. Two decks had [c]Midnight Guard[/c] and [c]Presence of Gond[/c]. I played one and it did quite well, but that wasn’t the direction I really wanted to go. To me, Pilgrim wants a toolbox strategy more than a combo.

Heliod’s Curse, a Legacy (?) deck from berniematt, was very interesting, but I got a pretty bad match-up and felt like I didn’t have any outs with it, in the end.

Aught3 gave me UW Hexproof; an idea that I loved, but when my opponent played a [c]Standard Bearer[/c], I was unbelievably stymied.

It was BrocoLee’s deck that felt powerful and consistent; it acted like an aggro deck at the beginning and it had reach in the end, and my match-up was against UB Teachings, of all things, a deck that has been haunting me of late. It is for this reason that I am happy to declare BrocoLee the winner of Faithless Contest #5. Congratulations! You will receive two items, randomly selected, from my current Loot Crate stash.

Here is the winning decklist:

[d title=”Galvanic, by BrocoLee (Pauper)”]
Lands
4 Boros Guildgate
8 Plains
9 Mountain

Creatures
4 Generator Servant
4 Keldon Marauders
4 Heliod’s Pilgrim
4 Squadron Hawk
4 Kor Skyfisher
3 Whitemane Lion

Auras
1 Bloodfire Infusion
1 Bravado
2 Dragon Mantle
1 Fire Whip
3 Galvanic Arc
1 Immolation
1 Ethereal Armor

Instants
4 Lightning Bolt
2 Apostle’s Blessing

Sideboard
1 Dizzying Gaze
2 Fire Whip
2 Boros Fury-Shield
1 Mask of Law and Grace
1 Shield of Duty and Reason
2 Latulla’s Orders
1 Guardian of the Guildpact
3 Obsidian Acolyte
2 Circle of Protection: Red [/d]

And videos of each deck I played:

 

 

 

 

Thanks to everyone who submitted decks! I loved playing four lists this week and will try and keep playing as many as I can (as time allows). Here are the rules for next week, contest #7.

Faithless Contest #7: Rules

1. Let’s call this week, Artist Wars. Pick an artist and play at least three of their cards in a budget list, any format.

2. Post it in the comments below. Tell me which artist you are highlighting and which format the deck is in.

3. Submissions due before Monday, September 22.

Clarifications

  • Decks should be “budget”, but otherwise may be for any format and as few or as many colors as you want.
  • The artist’s cards should be three different cards and should feature in the main-board of the deck. You can have as many copies as you want, but you get a bonus for multiples.
  • I will highlight the most interesting decks in next week’s article, and may play some on video for the YouTube channel. One lucky winner will get two items, randomly selected, from my current LootCrate stash. Check out the videos at the bottom of this post to see what’s available.
  • Your chances of winning greatly increase if you submit a deck.

Bonus Contest!

blessing of leeches.crop

Deluxeicoff issued a challenge on Facebook. He says:

Challenge – design a Pauper deck that uses 4x [c]Blessing of Leeches[/c] as a centerpiece … if a list stands out as truly original/inspiring, I’ll give the winner a [c]Daze[/c].

I’ll add to his prize; if he picks a winner, I’ll also give them 2x [c]Firebolt[/c]. Daze is worth over $20 in MTGO, so that’s a hefty prize!

Faithless Decks #7: Throwing Down the Gauntlet

Dan launched into the second season of the Pauper Gauntlet this week, and ended up with 70-or-so decks he will be playing. Holy &^$%, I say! You can check ALL the lists out over in this post at MTGOLibrary, and while you’re there, pick one you think might win and “claim” it in the comments. You could win fabulous prizes!

Hey, we’re all about fabulous prizes around here.

I claimed UB Teachings because I think that deck is REALLY strong right now, but the funnest thing about the Gauntlet is really getting to see all the rogue decks in action. So today I’m going to highlight a couple lists I think look fun.

[d title=”Croca JUND by sammydeluxe”]
Land
2 Evolving Wilds
4 Forest
2 Golgari Guildgate
1 Gruul Guildgate
3 Mountain
3 Rakdos Guildgate
3 Swamp

Creatures
2 Blastoderm
2 Borderland Ranger
3 Crocanura
2 Keldon Marauders
1 Okiba-Gang Shinobi
3 Putrid Leech
4 Werebear
1 Zhur-Taa Swine

Sorcery
2 Blightning
4 Chainer’s Edict
3 Edge of Autumn
2 Faithless Looting
2 Flame Slash
1 Pillar of Flame
2 Unearth

Instant
2 Burst Lightning
4 Lightning Bolt
2 Terminate

Sideboard
2 Ancient Grudge
2 Devour Flesh
3 Duress
1 Evincar’s Justice
2 Nature’s Claim
3 Pyroblast
2 Raze [/d]

Word on the street is that [c]Crocanura[/c] is the ‘Goyf of Pauper. What do you guys think?

[d title=”Thunder Trees by samo1977″]
Land
2 Barren Moor
1 Bojuka Bog
3 Evolving Wilds
4 Forest
3 Forgotten Cave
2 Haunted Fengraf
3 Mountain
2 Quicksand
2 Swamp
3 Tranquil Thicket

Creature
2 Krosan Tusker
2 Nantuko Vigilante
4 Tilling Treefolk
2 Twisted Abomination

Instant
4 Crop Rotation
2 Grim Harvest
3 Harrow
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Resounding Thunder

Sorcery
4 Firebolt
1 Flame Jab
1 Raven’s Crime
2 Swirling Sandstorm

Sideboard
3 Ancient Grudge
1 Grim Harvest
4 Pyroblast
1 Raven’s Crime
2 Serene Heart
2 Swirling Sandstorm
2 Terminate [/d]

Get a lot of land and then cycle [c]Resounding Thunder[/c] until your opponent is lying among the roots. I can get behind that strategy!

[d title=”White Hot Hottie, by jphsnake”]
Land
6 Plains
5 Mountain
1 Island
1 Swamp
1 Forest
1 Evolving Wilds
2 Boros Garrison
2 Dimir Aqueduct
4 Terramorphic Expanse

Creatures
4 Mulldrifter
3 Mournwhelk
3 Kor Skyfisher
3 Auramancer
2 Walker of the Grove

Spells
4 Angelic Renewal
3 Seal of Fire
1 Rush of Knowledge
4 Journey to Nowhere
4 Flame Slash
3 Darksteel Ingot
3 Cloudshift

Sideboard
1 Rush of Knowledge
4 Ingot Chewer
1 Kor Sanctifiers
3 Lone Missionary
4 Pyroblast
2 Faultgrinder [/d]

This was the inspiration for my final Lady of the Mountain list, part of our 24 decks of Christmas video series. Here was my list, just for kicks:

[d title=”Icy Hot Rakdos, by bava”]
Land
4 Rakdos Carnarium
10 Snow-Covered Mountain
8 Snow-Covered Swamp

Creatures
4 Faultgrinder
4 Mournwhelk
4 Goretusk Firebeast
4 Cinderhaze Wretch
4 Smokebraider

Spells
4 Skred
4 Undying Evil
4 Grinning Ignus
4 Lightning Bolt
2 Befoul

Sideboard:
4 Ingot Chewer
4 Pyroblast
2 Nihil Spellbomb
4 Martyr of Ashes [/d]

Oh wait, that’s the wrong one. So I guess I made numerous lists based off of how much I like hotties. Here is the one I was thinking of, from this video:

[d title=”White Hot Hottie, Lady of the Mountain Edition, by bava”]
Land
8 Snow-Covered Plains
8 Snow-Covered Forest
1 Snow-Covered Island
1 Snow-Covered Mountain
2 Evolving Wilds

Creatures
4 Auramancer
4 Walker of the Grove
4 Mulldrifter
4 Aven Riftwatcher

Spells
4 Angelic Renewal
4 Journey to Nowhere
4 Abundant Growth
2 Prismatic Lens
4 Cloudshift
4 Seal of Fire
2 Darksteel Ingot

Sideboard
3 Ingot Chewer
3 Faultgrinder
4 Pyroblast
3 Mournwhelk
2 Lone Missionary [/d]

That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading and here are the Loot Crate videos where you can find out what sort of awesome loot is up for grabs. Sorry I keep forgetting to include them!

Until next time, keep the faith!

/bava

Loot Crates: