Pauper Daily Report: May 18, 2015

slippery bogle art wide

Hello again, my friends. Another week, another Pauper Daily Event. I would have run Burn again, since I 4-0d with it last week, but didn’t want to bore you all by running the same list two weeks in a row. So instead I picked up my other most successful DE list, GW Hexproof. I like the list that Dain5 runs: the manabase is straight-forward so that even though you depend on your fixing enchantments and [c]Manamorphose[/c] to get {W} you don’t have tapped lands messing with your tempo.

Let’s take a look.

[d title=”GW Hexproof by Dain5 (Pauper)”]
Land
16 Forest
1 Khalni Garden

Creatures
2 Aura Gnarlid
4 Gladecover Scout
4 Silhana Ledgewalker
4 Slippery Bogle

Spells
2 Kruphix’s Insight
4 Manamorphose
4 Abundant Growth
3 Ancestral Mask
4 Armadillo Cloak
4 Ethereal Armor
4 Rancor
4 Utopia Sprawl

Sideboard
1 Flaring Pain
3 Gleeful Sabotage
2 Hornet Sting
3 Moment’s Peace
3 Scattershot Archer
3 Young Wolf [/d]

Play a Bogle. Grow a Bogle. Bogle smash. Another simple game plan this week, let’s see how it works out.

Round One vs Burn

Burn is an okay match-up. If we stick our lifegain spells it’s pretty much GG, but we can certainly die before that ever happens. It’s pretty much a matter of who can count to 20 first. We are more likely to stumble since we have more components to put together, giving Burn a slight edge.

Game 1: We keep a one-lander on the play, but have a great hand otherwise. Our turn one Bogle hangs out for a bit while we Utopia Sprawl on t2, and then we get to live the dream of [c]Rancor[/c] and [c]Ethereal Armor[/c] right off the bat. He gets us down to 7 with burn spells on t3, but is tapped out. We rip [c]Ancestral Mask[/c] and swing in for lethal on our next turn.

Sideboard: We have nothing for Burn, really, so we keep the list as is and head into g2.

Game 2: We keep another one-lander, this time on the draw, and play a t1 [c]Gladecover Scout[/c]. Our opponent plays [c]Keldon Marauders[/c] and we’re not hitting our land drops, so we throw on a Rancor and offer the trade, which he takes. We’re stuck on land for awhile but our opponent can’t seem to close us out. By t5 we’ve got two guys on board, we’re at 10 life, and even though he has 3 cards in hand and a curse on us, we’re feeling pretty good. We don’t have {W} for [c]Armadillo Cloak[/c] but we’re making due anyway. On our t7 we’re down to 5 life and our opponent must be flooding because he doesn’t burn us out. We finally stick an Armadillo Cloak and swing for lethal, making the lifegain pointless anyway.

Match score: 1-0 | Game score: 2-0

Round Two vs Affinity

Affinity is always a hard match-up but it also just loses games to itself. We’re up against Eredion, who is my favorite Affinity player and who isn’t going to give away any games with silly mistakes, so we have to play our best.

Game 1: We’re on the play and by t3 have a Ledgewalker with an Armadillo Cloak and more gas to come. Our opponent is stuck on one land a turn too long and scoops after we cast Mask and swing with our 9/9 trampling life-linker.

Sideboard: IN 3x [c]Gleeful Sabotage[/c], 1x [c]Moment’s Peace[/c] | OUT 4x [c]Manamorphose[/c]. I don’t love Gleeful but it works fine here to keep our opponent stumbling. Moment’s Peace can be pivotal but I’ve been stuck with it in hand while I was [c]Fling[/c]ed to death one too many times to bring in the whole set. Manamorphose is my easy “side out” card though I’m not sure it’s correct to do so.

Game 2: Our opponent gets a much better start, so even though we’re quickly squaring off with a 5/3 lifelinked Bogle, he has 2 [c]Frogmite[/c]s and a [c]Carapace Forger[/c] to contend with and we can’t get through. On t5 I manage to swing through the stalemate with a 6/6 Gnarlid and the next turn I stick [c]Ethereal Armor[/c] on my bogle to swing in with him and the (now 7/7) Gnarlid. My opponent shoves everything into his [c]Atog[/c] to trade with the bogle, but I still get him down to 7 life and, after moving the [c]Rancor[/c] over to the Gnarlid I’m still showing lethal on the next turn and my opponent has no board left to speak of. He concedes.

Match score: 2-0 | Game score: 4-0

Round Three vs RUG Tron

This should be a good match-up for us. I’ve been shut out by [c]Circle of Protection: Green[/c] from the sideboard here, though, so we need to consider that in our SB decisions. Otherwise this can be very one-sided, since Tron’s traditional tools to keep control until they stabilize don’t work very well against us.

Game 1: We keep another one-lander on the draw, but have all sorts of wonderful things if we hit any of our fixing. On t2 we swing with Bogle + Rancor and on t3, thanks to a land drop and 2x Manamorphose, we swing with a Bogle + Rancor + 2x Ethereal Armor. Our opponent put Tron together well enough but scoops to our lethal swing on the next turn that he can’t answer.

Sideboard: IN 3x [c]Gleeful Sabotage[/c], 1x [c]Flaring Pain[/c] | OUT 3x [c]Ancestral Mask[/c], 1x [c]Armadillo Cloak[/c]. Note this is how I SHOULD have sideboard both games, but for g2, even though I was thinking about COP:Green in particular, I only brought in the Flaring Pain and left out the sabotage.

Game 2: He sticks COP:Green on t2 and then keeps me from hitting him until we gets up to a lethal [c]Rolling Thunder[/c]. I never find my 1x Flaring Pain which is reasonable, and curse myself for messing up and not bringing in the sabotage this game. I definitely bring them in for g3.

Game 3: He is a bit slower getting the Circle out this game and I get him to 5 life before he stabilizes, but stabilize he does. Now having 4x answers to his Circles, I feel like I should be able to draw an answer eventually. He blows me up with a [c]Rolling Thunder[/c] on t12 because even though I saw 26 cards I never hit an answer to his Circles. I curse myself, my opponent, and the gods of luck. Mostly I swear at Gleeful Sabotage once I spot it another 7 cards down in my deck. Finally I swear at myself because had I boarded correctly in g2 I likely would have been able to win at least one of these last two games.

Match score: 2-1 | Game score: 5-2

Round Four vs Affinity

As I mentioned before, this is never not a tough match-up. Affinity can be just as explosive as we are, and in a stalemate on board, they will eventually just [c]Fling[/c] into us for a win, meaning that time is on their side.

Game 1: I get my first really stupid 7 and throw it back, keeping a reasonable 6 though (again) with just a single land. The fixing has been strong with me today, so I cross my fingers and go for it, especially since we’re on the draw. By t4 we are outclassed by his [c]Auriok Sunchaser[/c], a [c]Frogmite[/c], and an [c]Atog[/c] representing lethal. We have a 6/4 Bogle with trample and firststrike, but it’s not quite enough to kill him or counter his threat on the next turn. He uses his Atog to hold us back while he hits us in the air. He gets us to 6 life on t6 with three cards still in hand. This is the board state on our t6. (You can click the image to open a larger version.)

What’s the play?

Screenshot 2015-05-19 at 6.49.45 AM

The play I made was to throw [c]Armadillo Cloak[/c] and [c]Rancor[/c] on the Gnarlid and swing in. We get our opponent to 1 and gain a bunch of life, but remain dead to his crack-back the next turn + [c]Galvanic Blast[/c], which he has. (Pro tip: Affinity always has a Galvanic Blast in hand.) I think the better play is to grow the Bogle, hitting him harder or, at the least, netting us more life and killing a few of his creatures. What do you think? Did I throw away a win here, or was there no chance?

Sideboard: IN 3x [c]Gleeful Sabotage[/c] | OUT 3x [c]Ancestral Mask[/c]. Yes, I sideboard here different than my last Affinity match-up. I’m not sure why. I like my prior SB plan better because Ancestral Mask can be a huge back-breaker in this match-up and it feels wrong to bring it out.

Game 2: We keep *another* one-lander and cross our fingers, dropping the t1 Bogle. By t4 that Bogle has Rancor + Ethereal Armor + Armadillo Cloak, and our opponent scoops.

Game 3: We keep a three-lander with some guys and a Rancor and a Gleeful Sabotage, and pick up another Sabotage on our first draw. He manages to stick [c]Carapace Forger[/c] and Atog before we blow up his {R} and {G} mana sources and our remaining 2x Gleefuls stare balefully at his [c]Darksteel Citadels[/c]. We make some trades to protect our life total, and on t7 play a Bogle with a Rancor and Armor staring down an Atog and Darksteel Citadel on our opponent’s side. The only problem is that, at 9 life, I am dead to any two artifacts he plays and feeds to his Atog, so I can’t afford to swing in. He still has 17 life and I’m out of gas. We take a chance, swinging once to get him to 10. He cracks back for 1 and plays a Sunchaser, representing both lethal and an unblockable threat that will close the game quickly if I can’t win. After drawing land after land, we finally are forced to block the lethal Atog and lose our board, dying next turn to the Sunchaser and a [c]Myr Enforcer[/c].

Match score: 2-2 | Game score: 6-4

Wrap-Up and Videos

Nothing worse than going 2-0 into a 2-2 finish. Except, I guess, when you probably could have won those last two matches if you hadn’t made dumb mistakes. Not bringing in the right cards vs RUG Tron in game 2 was a back-breaker, and I have only myself to blame. The Affinity match in r4 was a closer thing; I’m not sure making different decisions would have won me that one, but I do feel like it was possible. Hexproof handled itself well, as it almost always does. We avoided MBC, which is the toughest match-up, and even Delver, for the second week in a row. Are we sure people are still playing those decks?

I know that they are but, hey, I’m happy to avoid them for now.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed the write-up. Here are videos of the matches.

See you next week!

/bava

 

 

Paupers and Kings, Ep. 1: GW Bogles

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

Today we’re looking at everyone’s favorite list to hate, Bogles / Hexproof.

Why Hexproof?

We’re starting with Hexproof, in particular, because the list plays very similarly across formats. In both Pauper and Modern you are playing a near solitaire-esque game of Magic; building a Voltron with Auras and busting through for massive damage and life gain.

Strengths of Hexproof / Bogles

  1. Life gain against other aggro decks makes it very hard for them to race you
  2. Null your opponent’s targeted removal
  3. Good early game and late game, can be aggressive and grindy

Weaknesses of Hexproof / Bogles

  1. Weak to specific hate from sideboard (aura sweepers are a mean thing)
  2. Clunky hands require aggressive mulligans
  3. Weak to discard and sacrifice effects

Hexproof in Pauper

For whatever reason, we tend to call this deck “Hexproof” in Pauper but “Bogles” in Modern. That’s the nomenclature I’ll use from here on it, but it’s the same deck. The Hexproof list we’re favoring today is from Dain5, who has been placing in recent Pauper Daily Events with it.

I like this list because the mana base is incredibly consistent; gone are the tap lands, instead we’re rocking 17 green sources and 12 spells that can help us get white when we need it.

Here is the list:

[d title=”Hexproof by Dain5 (Pauper)”]
Land
16 Snow-Covered Forest
1 Khalni Garden

Creatures
4 Aura Gnarlid
4 Gladecover Scout
4 Silhana Ledgewalker
4 Slippery Bogle

Spells
4 Abundant Growth
3 Ancestral Mask
4 Ethereal Armor
4 Rancor
4 Utopia Sprawl
4 Armadillo Cloak
4 Manamorphose

Sideboard
1 Flaring Pain
3 Gleeful Sabotage
2 Hornet Sting
3 Scattershot Archer
3 Young Wolf
3 Moment’s Peace [/d]

It’s a cheap list even by Pauper standards, except for one troublemaker. [c]Ancestral Mask[/c] run at $4 each right now, so you’re blowing some cash if you want those. Replacing them with Umbras (Hyena, Spider, Snake as you prefer) would be fine if you wanted to save some cash. Running regular forests is fine too; I added the snow-covered but they honestly don’t do anything.

The goal of this list is to land a Hexproof guy (of which there are 12), load on some auras (of which there are 16) and beat face. Ledgewalker has the added bonus of being difficult to block, and Gnarlid comes down later in the game, often as a large, unblockable beater.

Bogles in Modern

The list works about the same way in Modern, but has a few all-stars that raise the power level, provide consistency, and (unfortunately) require a more complicated mana base. The list we’re looking at today is adapted from Dust_’s winning list. Let’s take a look.

[d title=”Bogles (Modern)”]
Land
4 Brushland
4 Sunpetal Grove
4 Wooded Bastion
3 Forest
4 Plains
1 Dryad Arbor

Creatures
4 Gladecover Scout
4 Kor Spiritdancer
4 Slippery Bogle

Spells
3 Path to Exile
4 Daybreak Coronet
4 Ethereal Armor
4 Hyena Umbra
1 Keen Sense
4 Rancor
4 Spider Umbra
2 Spirit Mantle
2 Spirit Link

Sideboard
3 Burrenton Forge-Tender
2 Choke
2 Gaddock Teeg
2 Nature’s Claim
2 Stony Silence
4 Rest in Peace [/d]

This budget list still has a few cards that break the bank, especially compared to Pauper. [c]Daybreak Coronet[/c] is the biggest transgressor. Unfortunately, you really can’t play Bogles in Modern without that card, it is simply way too strong.

[c]Kor Spiritdancer[/c] can be replaced by another Hexproof creature, even [c]Silhana Ledgewalker[/c] could come in. You lose some consistency because the card draw you can get off her is really helpful especially in stalled out games, but can save almost $15.

[c]Path to Exile[/c] can be [c]Condemn[/c] or even [c]Journey to Nowhere[/c] though neither card is as good as Path.

The mana base is about as good and cheap as I can get it. We’re saving about $100 with this base, mainly by omitted [c]Windswept Heath[/c], a card that is amazing but also awfully expensive. Let’s take a look at how we’re getting mana.

[c]Brushland[/c] is an amazing dual land in a list like Bogles. It is always untapped and it always provides either {G} or {W}. The one life lost is (usually) easily made up with the lifegain we have going. If there’s a list to run this land, it’s Bogles.

With 7 basics in the list, [c]Sunpetal Grove[/c] has a decent chance to come into play untapped and give you whatever color mana you may need. On the other hand, half the time it’s a guildgate, which isn’t always awesome.

[c]Wooded Bastion[/c] is an allstar. It allows you to play [c]Forest[/c] on turn 1 and then rock {W}{W} on turn 2. This let’s you hit a 1-drop Hexproof guy and then rock any two of your 1-mana enchantments on turn 2, swinging in with a 6/4 first-striking trampler, for instance, or something else ridiculous.

[c]Dryad Arbor[/c] eats sacrifice effects. You can, alternately, buff it up and swing in, assuming no one else is around to wear all those auras.

Some of our sideboard choices are expensive. [c]Choke[/c] can hose big blue lists, but since they’re not always our biggest concern, you could omit it. [c]Gaddock Teeg[/c] is amazing against certain lists, though. My board includes [c]Rest in Peace[/c] which is actually my favorite sideboard card of all time and a great answer to anyone testing out Dredge decks. [c]Stony Silence[/c] hoses a lot of lists including Affinity, and it’s also cheap. Forge-Tender can come in as Hexproof guy #9-12 with the added bonus that they are immune to red sweepers; they can also save your face from damage in a pinch.

On the Play

So how do these look in play? I took them both our for three matches, and the results speak for themselves. Check out the playlist.

 

For those counting along at home, that’s 6-0 in the tournament practice room. 3-0 in each format. Hard to do much better than that!

Next Week on Paupers & Kings

I’m going to try and do this as a weekly series. Is that cool with you all? We have lots more great crossover potential, including Goblins, Burn, Mono-Green Stompy, Delver, Tron, and others. Which lists do you want to see me try out? Let me know down in the comments.

Until then, may you opponent always be holding useless Doom Blades.

/bava

Daily Event Report: Modern Bogles

Hi all,

I wanted to share with you a Daily experience I had and some of the insights I have gleaned from it.

kor-spiritdancerBefore leaving for a two-week vacation, I wanted to enter one last Event. The decks I had sleeved up were Mono-Green Infect, Ad Nauseam, Storm, and Mono-White Death and Taxes. I dared not enter Infect while B/G/x is such a popular archetype, and I don’t care for its Twin match-up either. Similarly, I dare not use Ad Nauseam or Storm while V4 is so laborious and unfriendly to big turn strategies. Finally, I was weary of the Death and Taxes plan. I did not want to prevent opponents from winning; I wanted to win. More than that, I wanted to win quickly. After all, I had clothes and toiletries to pack.

So I did some research of prices and decks to play, and I noticed that [c]Goblin Guide[/c] has skyrocketed in value the past few months (those of you that tried Goblins: congratulations to you!). So there went my idea of spending very little time and tickets jamming Burn through four rounds. In the past week, a number of days have posted Burn as the number one deck to cash at 10%. What’s more, a lot of players are probably running Burn without cashing. In fact, I suspect that the number of players running Mountains is not proportionate to the amount of players winning, though I wouldn’t say it is only placing because so many are buying in. Anyway, if Burn is the latest trend, then what is a good idea to play?

Well, Death and Taxes tempted me. I’ve never lost a match to Burn in testing and in 2-man queues. It doesn’t seem like it would win, but it has just enough disruption and life-gain to get there consistently. But what happens if I face the other 90% of decks in Modern? Well, I was disappointed with my testing against Scapeshift, Ad Nauseam, and Storm combo, the very three lists I thought D&T would be well-equipped (pardon the double meaning) to face.

I ended up deciding to play Bogles, selling some packs I had been holding onto in the hopes that they would increase in value, to buy 4 [c]Daybreak Coronet[/c]. I owned the rest of the cards in the arguably sub-optimal build featuring [c]Suppression Field[/c] maindeck. I thought this would be a bye against the Burn lists and put enough pressure and mild hate against Twin and Pod, and with a lowly 2 [c]Leyline of Sanctity[/c] in the board, I could get there against [c]Liliana of the Veil[/c].

Here is the list I had thrown together with a few minutes and 17 tickets to spare. I overcompensated a bit on selling the packs I’d been squirreling away.

[d title=”Modern Bogles”]
Land
4 Brushland
4 Forest
4 Plains
4 Razorverge Thicket
2 Sunpetal Grove
2 Temple Garden

Creatures
4 Gladecover Scout
4 Kor Spiritdancer
4 Slippery Bogle

Spells
4 Daybreak Coronet
4 Ethereal Armor
4 Hyena Umbra
2 Path to Exile
4 Rancor
3 Spider Umbra
1 Spirit Link
2 Spirit Mantle
4 Suppression Field

Sideboard
2 Burenton Forge-Tender
1 Ethersworn Canonist
2 Leyline of Sanctity
4 Nature’s Claim
1 Path to Exile
2 Rest In Peace
1 Spirit Link
2 Stony Silence[/d]

Let me stress this here: This is not an optimal Bogles list. This is not a list I suggest you buying into. I just looked at the trends of Modern the past few days and thought that the Bogles strategy, regardless of list optimization, was going to be favorable.

That being said, the things I missed in the deck are [c]Keen Sense[/c], the 4th [c]Spider Umbra[/c], and one or two more [c]Spirit Mantle[/c]. The former gives me a draw engine (even if it favors second main phase) even when removal takes care of [c]Kor Spiritdancer[/c], and the latter gives me the safe feeling that the game is nearly over.

The sideboard was thrown together and could have used one more Leyline, one more [c]Stony Silence[/c] (particularly in hindsight), and perhaps one more [c]Rest in Peace[/c].

The main-deck [c]Suppression Field[/c] were inconsequential here and may be removed in the future for the Auras I miss, but it is way too soon for me to state that this is the optimal move. For the time being, I will happily use them as an excuse not to dish out for [c]Horizon Canopy[/c] and fetches.

As far as the 2 [c]Temple Garden[/c] and 8 basics go, that was just an oversight.

I enjoyed playing Bogles. It reminded me of playing Mains and Toys in Decipher’s Star Wars card game (RIP) and assembling Artoo in Red 5 plus Luke piloting with Han in the Millenium Falcon, adding many battle destiny. I digress.

I went into the Event with little practice but the plan that if I had the option of turn 2 auras or [c]Kor Spiritdancer[/c] on the play, I was going to play the latter. On the draw, I was going to play the 2 auras. Having this solidified plan (which I will maintain) at least gave me the data to know which decisions are stronger in the future, and it will be a long time before I change the plan. This daily, it proved favorable to stick with this strategy.

Without further rambling, let’s get into the rounds.

Round 1 – Win against Dega Burn, 2-0

Game 1

Keep hand with 3 lands, Bogle, Umbra, Daybreak Coronet, Spiritdancer
I lose the die roll and see an [c]Arid Mesa[/c] fetching [c]Mountain[/c], [c]Lava Spike[/c]. Ok, so far so good. My die roll with the format seems to pay off for a free round.

A [c]Slippery Bogle[/c] with [c]Hyena Umbra[/c], [c]Daybreak Coronet[/c], and [c]Ethereal Armor[/c] seals the game handily.

Game 2

I open with Leyline of Sanctity, Gladecover Scout, Spirit Mantle, and Rancor.

There is some jostling for position in the early turns where I am unsure whether I should hold back my creature with protection from his guys or to apply pressure. I decide on the latter and later topdeck into [c]Spirit Link[/c].

It is interesting that Dega Burn is specifically chosen over Mono Red for the purposes of dealing with [c]Leyline of Sanctity[/c], but my defeat over this list was much handier than what you’ll read in round 2.

Sideboarding: -4 Suppression Field, -2 Path to Exile, +2 Leyline of Sanctity, +2 Burenton Forge-Tender, +1 Nature’s Claim, +1 Spirit Link

MTGO V4 Crash count: 1 (after sideboarding)

Round 2 – Win against Mono-Red Burn 2-1

Game 1

I mulligan down to five to see a creature, but he gets equipped with [c]Spirit Mantle[/c] and [c]Ethereal Armor[/c], easily able to put away the game. I played [c]Kor Spiritdancer[/c] here over two auras, and he was immediately targeted by [c]Magma Jet[/c]. Having experience with Mono Green Infect against Burn, I’m always happy to see my opponent targeting my creatures.

Game 2

My opening seven shows me both [c]Leyline of Sanctity[/c] and… five lands. I mull it to six, which has [c]Burenton Forge-Tender[/c] and some auras plus one land. Unfortunately I never see another land, and my opponent targets the first with [c]Molten Rain[/c] before I can assemble the win.

I was tempted to keep the 2 Leyline hand, but what would have happened if I never drew a creature?

Game 3

After his fourth turn, I am at 7 life, and my opponent is at 10. He has four Mountains in play, tapped, a [c]Rift Bolt[/c] suspended, and a [c]Hellspark Elemental[/c] in his graveyard. His hand is three cards. My [c]Slippery Bogle[/c] is enchanted with [c]Hyena Umbra[/c], [c]Spirit Mantle[/c], and [c]Ethereal Armor[/c]. My hand is [c]Nature’s Claim[/c] and [c]Sunpetal Grove[/c], and I topdeck a [c]Brushland[/c]. If any of his three cards can deal me one damage, I lose. Do you see the play? Comment with what you would do. Maybe it’s obvious, but this is the only moment where a game was close, and I actually had to think with Bogles.

Once again, Mono Red Burn was so much closer to getting there against me than the multi-colored version.

Crash count: still 1.

Round 3 – Win against Naya Pod 2-0

I just don’t respect this deck. I hear it mulligans well, but I never felt any pressure against him, and the opening hands can be so top-heavy with multiple Pod targets and Angels.

Game 1

We’re busy swinging away, ignoring each other, and he has 2 Noble Hierarchs and one Restoration Angel with me at 5 life when I topdeck Daybreak Coronet. It’s not for the win, but it buys me the turn I need.

Game 2

He mulls down to 5 and keeps a one lander. He plays a mana dork and concedes on turn 4 with those two permanents remaining on his board doing nothing.

Sideboard plan: +1 Path to Exile, +2 Rest in Peace, -1 Spirit Link, -2 Hyena Umbra. Well, this was the plan, but…

Crash count: 3. Once at the beginning of the round, and once in place of sideboarding.

Round 4 Loss against Affinity 1-2

Game 1

He casts turn 2 [c]Thoughtseize[/c] against me to remove [c]Daybreak Coronet[/c]. I think it was inconsequential because he beats me with poison counters from [c]Inkmoth Nexus[/c]. Still, maindeck [c]Thoughtseize[/c] in Affinity is interesting.

Game 2

This one was more of a grinder; he didn’t see an early [c]Inkmoth Nexus[/c] so lifelink mattered. He made a misplay attacking with a [c]Cranial Plating[/c]-equipped [c]Vault Skirge[/c] when my Voltron had [c]Spider Umbra[/c]. So I ended up winning the life race and had the [c]Nature’s Claim[/c] for his last ditch effort with [c]Arcbound Ravager[/c], targeting [c]Inkmoth Nexus[/c] with his trigger before his last turn.

Game 3

I keep a shaky 5 with 2 lands, [c]Path to Exile[/c], a Bogle, and [c]Daybreak Coronet[/c]. I hate to pass it for a random 4, though (one of the consistent problems with the deck). His [c]Thoughtseize[/c] takes the Coronet and nearly puts me out of the game. I make a misplay not casting [c]Path to Exile[/c] during his upkeep on his [c]Signal Pest[/c] which would have saved me four life. The turn that he won, I had Bogle with [c]Rancor[/c] and a second [c]Daybreak Coronet[/c] and could have dug myself out of the hole with the right top-decks and lifelink. When the game was over, I discovered by drawing a few cards that it wouldn’t have mattered, but tight play still should be the goal regardless.

Crash Count: 6, Once during game 1, once in between rounds (after sideboarding), and once again in game 3.

I love going into round 4 in the 3-0 bracket. The pressure is totally off, and I never perform optimally in the 2-1 bracket. That’s something I need to work on. I’m certainly better here in the MTGO environment that in real life.

Closing Thoughts

In my closing thoughts, I will start with apologizing for not going with the video series route on this. I’d like to hear whether you all want a weekly Daily Event video, but as long as my computer system is so low and the V4 requirements are so high, it is very unlikely that I can provide it.

So why am I sharing this wall of text with you?

Possibly to brag about my victory? Certainly not. Boggles does have some decision trees, particularly on turn 2, but for the most part, I rode free wins to 6 Theros-block packs. I am glad, though, that finally mtgo-stats and mtggoldfish turns up a result on my username, as typically the 7pm EST daily (my wheelhouse) does not publish.

To tell you to use this deck? Good gracious no. As I said before, this is not an optimal Boggles list. Boggles may not even prove to be a good idea for long (although the deck is trending upward in daily results).

Instead, guys, my take away is this: Metagaming is hard. And I say this to lead into my next article about Burn to encourage you, as you look at Modern, to set the bar high with what deck you invest in and play. I picked this deck specifically for the easy Burn match-up, noting its prevalence, and still I was one single turn or one bad choice away from losing to Burn and going 2-2 instead of cashing. I’m going to elaborate on these concepts more as an introduction to my next article, but remember this key piece of advice from this article: Play good decks. Be the problem, and not the pest.

Hope you enjoyed. If you have an answer to any of the questions I had in this article or any questions for me to answer, please comment below.

-drinkard

Threat Evaluation, Part Four: Forest, Go

After excluding arguably three of the most powerful colors in Magic, we aren’t left with more than a handful of decks. Still, some of these are near to my heart. I have won more packs in ticketed MTGO events with basic [c]Forest[/c] than any other land, period. First, there was Stompy in Pauper. Later, there was a beautiful, if very brief, period where the 2013 and 2014 core sets were legal together, and [c]Rancor[/c] and [c]Kalonian Tusker[/c] were available to a Standard Stompy player. Finally, there was my beloved Mono-Green Infect in Modern.

Forests really make the opponent prove your deck is bad because you are really good at applying early pressure. Not only that, but also the pressure is difficult to remove, whether it is because of Hexproof, instant-speed buffs, or /5 in the bottom right corner of the card. Let’s take a look at some of the mono-green lists available in Modern:

Greener Pastures

These lists are simple: drop Fangorn, and beat.

Mono-Green Infect

As I have already written about this and spreading it across formats, I’ll be brief: this can win on turns two and three when needed, or it can sit back on Exalted triggers and pump spells for protection and reach for the win on turns six through ten.

Tell-tale signs: Turn one [c]Inkmoth Nexus[/c] that isn’t followed by [c]Mox Opal[/c], [c]Springleaf Drum[/c] or [c]Signal Pest[/c] is a good sign. [c]Cathedral of War[/c] and [c]Sylvan Scrying[/c] are definite heads-up. Also, if your opponent drops Forest, Forest, and still does nothing, they’re most likely playing an [c]Ichorclaw Myr[/c] with backup.

Stompy

With creatures like [c]Leatherback Baloth[/c] and [c]Thrun, the Last Troll[/c], planeswalkers, and removal such as [c]Pit Fight[/c] and [c]Beast Within[/c], this isn’t your [c]Winter Orb[/c] Stompy list of the 90’s. Its only similarity to the Pauper lists is the name, also, as the curve and resiliency is much higher. In fact, it’s closer compared to Jund or Rock. Sergi has done a good write-up on this deck archetype on this page.

Tell-tale signs: Forest, [c]Experiment One[/c] is a common play, but this list shares that with other beat variants. If you keep seeing more Forests and cards like [c]Strangleroot Geist[/c] and [c]Kalonian Tusker[/c], you know this is your match.

Elves

It is difficult to search for decks based on price on mtgo-stats and mtggoldfish, so whenever I come across one that is low, I always bookmark it in my mind. The lowest that I have ever seen in Modern was a list that only cost $9.58 at the time that it placed 3-1 in a Daily. And its components were Elves. With only 38 creatures and 4 [c]Lead the Stampede[/c], I’m sure the pressure was on for his opponents. There are more lords in here than in Merfolk, and the [c]Aether Vial[/c] are replaced by mana-producing creatures, maximizing the synergy.

Obviously there are combo lists available as well, whether the combo be [c]Cloudstone Curio[/c] and [c]Elvish Visionary[/c] with [c]Nettle Sentinel[/c] and [c]Heritage Druid[/c], [c]Intruder Alarm[/c] with [c]Joraga Treespeaker[/c] and [c]Ant Queen[/c], or [c]Hive Mind[/c] and [c]Summoner’s Pact[/c], the options are quite open.

Tell-tale signs: [c]Wren’s Run Vanquisher[/c] and [c]Bramblewood Paragon[/c] are only seen here. Obviously [c]Nettle Sentinel[/c] and [c]Heritage Druid[/c] are strong hints.

Wielding The Green Dragon*

Here are lists that are predominantly green but do not have a basic land other than [c]Plains[/c] (as white is the last color to be covered) in their mana-bases.

*- Can we talk about how one WIELDS a dragon for a second? Imagine Samuel L. Jackson in the famous Pulp Fiction “What?!” scene with a green dragon in place of the gun. I can only imagine how wildly the artist’s mind ran with upon receipt of the card’s name.

Hexproof Auras/Bogles

Equally difficult to respect and not respect at the same time, the Bogles player typically forgoes all interaction with the opponent in favor of a [c]Slippery Bogle[/c] or [c]Gladecover Scout[/c] souped up with four to ten enchantments. Some lists at least have the decency to play [c]Suppression Field[/c] and [c]Path to Exile[/c] for interaction, and some realize there is often little point.

Tell-tale signs: The deck simply can’t function without a mulligan into a creature, so you should see [c]Slippery Bogle[/c], [c]Gladecover Scout[/c], and/or [c]Kor Spiritdancer[/c] within the first two turns.

Green Devotion

This list uses some of the old standbys seen in mono-green beats, but here they are taken advantage of for their mana costs. Once enough cards like [c]Wistful Selkie[/c] and [c]Burning-Tree Emissary[/c] are in place, the player generates enough mana to win with [c]Genesis Wave[/c], [c]Tooth and Nail[/c] for [c]Emrakul, the Aeons Torn[/c] and [c]Xenagos, God of Revels[/c], or [c]Eternal Witness[/c] and [c]Primal Command[/c] recursion, whichever. Take your pick, no big deal.

Tell-tale signs: This is the only list to play land Auras other than [c]Spreading Seas[/c].

Hate-Bears

How frequently this term is thrown around, yet no one can fully appreciate it until they’re on the wrong end of a 7/7 [c]Scavening Ooze[/c], [c]Leonin Arbiter[/c], and [c]Thalia, Guardian of Thraben[/c] with no lands in play.

Tell-tale signs: [c]Noble Hierarch[/c] turn one is rather typical in Modern. [c]Loxodon Smiter[/c] following it on turn two is slightly less so. The real giveaway is when they are combined with tempo elements such as [c]Aven Mindcensor[/c] or [c]Linvala, Keeper of Silence[/c].

A variant on Hate-bears excludes all of the durdly enter-the-battlefield effects and “tax” cards (of Legacy and Modern Death and Taxes lists) for more cards like [c]Wilt-Leaf Liege[/c] and [c]Voice of Resurgence[/c]. Call it Care-Bears? Still, a [c]Kitchen Finks[/c] with the stats of [c]Juggernaut[/c] and a 4/3 1-drop in [c]Dryad Militant[/c] are quite severe.

Last March of the Ents

Hey, wait, that’s not a Magic card.

This concludes the look at lists heavy enough into Green to contain basic Forests but not containing Islands, Swamps, or Mountains. Next week we’ll look at the last few Modern lists: those that are heavy, heavy white and without any splashes. I’ll conclude the series in two weeks with the ones I’ve missed along the way.

In the meantime, enjoy the SilverBlack list I’ve run for all my league games into the Juggernaut stat of 5/3. How did he manage to make two references in here?

[d title=”Modern SilverBlack Stompy”]

Land

20 Forest

Creatures

2 Dryad Militant

4 Elvish Mystic

4 Experiment One

4 Kalonian Tusker

4 Leatherback Baloth

4 Strangleroot Geist

Other Spells

2 Beast Within

2 Giant Growth

3 Loxodon Warhammer

1 Pit Fight

4 Prey Upon

2 Triumph of Ferocity

4 Vines of Vastwood

Sideboard

2 Acidic Slime

1 Back To Nature

1 Deglamer

1 Pit Fight

2 Ranger’s Guile

1 Reknit

2 Tormod’s Crypt

1 Trophy Hunter

1 Unravel the Aether

3 Windstorm[/d]

This deck is obviously a port of the Modern “Stompy” list. I really think the similarity is closer to Rock; you won’t find a closer card to [c]Dark Confidant[/c] than [c]Triumph of Ferocity[/c]. I haven’t lost a game where it has triggered twice and drawn me a card. Maybe I haven’t where it’s triggered once and drawn me a card, but I’m trying to be conservative here.

You also haven’t lived until you equip a beater with [c]Loxodon Warhammer[/c], fight with it, then attack with it.

My match loss is to flyers. [c]Lingering Souls[/c] is quite a card in this format. Unfortunately, it is always accompanied by [c]Inquisition of Kozilek[/c], and often it travels with anthem effects. It’s quite a bear to defeat. You have access to [c]Scattershot Archer[/c] and the cards I already have in the sideboard. Maybe [c]Scryb Ranger[/c] belongs in the maindeck, and the archer in the side.

I hope this series is benefiting your Modern play. It is such a great thing, over time, to track your results and watch the meta shift once you’re knowledgeable of all the archetypes.

-drinkard

A Pauper Chat with Deluxeicoff (and some info on Hexproof)

Talking Pauper in general and Hexproof in detail with Deluxeicoff, one of the best pauper players on MTGO.

His Hexchant Hexproof deck –

[d title=”Hexchant by Deluxeicoff (Pauper)”]
Land
13 Forest
4 Selesnya Guildgate

Creatures
4 Slippery Bogle
4 Gladecover Scout
4 Aura Gnarlid
4 Silhana Ledgewalker
4 Bond Beetle

Enchantments
4 Abundant Growth
4 Ehtereal Armor
3 Ancestral Mask
4 Armadillo Cloak
4 Rancor
4 Utopia Sprawl

Sideboard
3 Asha’s Favor
4 Moment’s Peace
4 Standard Bearer
4 Thermokarst [/d]