Paupers and Kings, Ep. 6: Combo Elves

nettle sentinel Though Shadowmoor’s monster-haunted wilds beckon, she never leaves her post.

Hi everyone, and welcome to the sixth episode of Paupers & Kings, my series on porting Pauper decks into the Modern format while staying on a budget. Today we’re not only talking about Elves, a tribal theme that works in every format (except Standard, I suppose), we’re going to talk specifically about Combo Elves.

I’m excited because it’s one of my favorite archetypes and, were it more powerful, I’d play Elves in every format I could. From the first printing of [c]Llanowar Elves[/c] in Alpha, there have been more and cooler elves added to the toolbox in nearly every expansion.

I’ll be clear from the get-go, though. While Elves can win games, and even matches, and maybe even an event or two, they are not powerful or consistent enough to be “tier 1” in either Pauper or Modern.

They’re pretty darn fun, though, so if you like to swarm the board and hit giant combos, tutor out Emrakul, gain tons of life, and make things miserable for your opponent, then by all means, read on.

Let’s take a look at Pauper first this week.

Elves in Pauper

There are more straightforward lists in Pauper. Their goal is to swarm the board with elves and win with [c]Timberwatch Elf[/c] activations. They may or may not be better than this list, but the combo player in me loves the idea of “going off”, so here you go.

We hit our combo in this list by getting a [c]Lys Alana Huntmaster[/c] (or two or three) and maybe some [c]Nettle Sentinel[/c]s (or two or three) and at least one [c]Birchlore Ranger[/c] (one is enough) and then chaining a bunch of elves into a [c]Distant Melody[/c] into a bunch MORE elves into, finally, a singleton [c]Mob Justice[/c].

Yes, a lot of cards are involved. But since everything we are doing along the way serves our purpose anyway (nothing is there solely for the combo, save the 1x Mob Justice) we can still never hit the combo and play a great Elf game. Here is the full list, courtesy of Deluxeicoff.

[d title=”Combo Elves by Deluxeicoff (Pauper)”]
Mana Stuff
8 Forest
4 Land Grant
4 Springleaf Drum
2 Abundant Growth

Creatures
4 Nettle Sentinel
4 Quirion Ranger
4 Scattershot Archer
4 Priest of Titania
4 Wellwisher
4 Timberwatch Elf
4 Lys Alana Huntmaster
4 Birchlore Rangers

Elf Magicks
1 Viridian Longbow
1 Mob Justice
4 Distant Melody
4 Gitaxian Probe

Sideboard
4 Thermokarst
4 Hydroblast
3 Flame Slash
1 Disturbed Burial
3 Spidersilk Armor [/d]

Running a list with only 8 lands is fun and helps not stall out in the mid-game via flood. Wellwisher and Timberwatch provide a lot of resilience and threat, respectively, and Quirion Ranger, the deck’s allstar, backs up anything that taps to do something cool (Wellwisher, Timberwatch, Scattershot, Priest, or anything holding a Longbow).

Oh yeah, and that Longbow is a valid win condition, too. If you’re playing Bant Fog, or the board is stalled and you can’t get through, a combination of Longbow and Quirion Ranger and a boatload of both creatures and mana can equal quite a few activations per turn. You can use that to hit your opponent in the face (ideal) or clear the board to get through with combat damage (also acceptable but less cool).

Good match-ups include Mono Blue Delver, any creature list, and anything else that isn’t concentrated on blowing your elves up all the time. UR Control can be tough, as can MBC and any other “true” control list, while Burn and Goblins both run more or less even.

There’s nothing too spendy here, in Pauper terms, but with [c]Gitaxian Probe[/c] seeing play in a number of formats, it has risen in price to $2-3 each, so you could consider [c]Manamorphose[/c] as a cantripping alternative, though it doesn’t have the benefit of allowing you a glimpse into your opponent’s game plan. It can help you hit {U} for Melody and {R} for Justice, though, so it’s not without benefits.

Nettle Sentinel is slightly spendy but indespensible, so don’t skimp there. She also does double-duty in our Modern list, so if you’re building both, you definitely can’t skip picking up a playset.

Speaking of Modern, let’s check out that list.

Combo Elves in Modern

I looked at a lot of lists to try and put something together that was competitive but didn’t use any of the spendier cards. [c]Craterhoof Behemoth[/c] is the main finisher in most Elf lists, and for good reason. I had the idea, though, that if you’re really “going off”, then he’s an excessive use of $20. I put in [c]Purphoros, God of the Forge[/c] instead, who I had from last week’s Boros Soul Sisters list, and who finished the opponent off quickly if you get the [c]Cloudstone Curio[/c] engine going.

Here is the list I came up with. Adding more $ could definitely make it better, but it still works pretty well as it stands AND is super-budget in this form.

[d title=”Cloudstone Elves (Modern)”]
Land
4 Cavern of Souls
8 Forest
4 Rootbound Crag

Creatures
4 Elvish Mystic
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Nettle Sentinel
4 Elvish Visionary
4 Elvish Archdruid
4 Heritage Druid
1 Vigor
2 Joraga Warcaller
2 Joraga Treespeaker
1 Eternal Witness
3 Wren’s Run Packmaster
1 Purphoros, God of the Forge
1 Wild Cantor

Spells and Artifacts
3 Cloudstone Curio
3 Lead the Stampede
3 Chord of Calling

Sideboard
3 Viridian Shaman
2 Beast Within
3 Essence Warden
2 Choke
2 Dismember
3 Back to Nature [/d]

The classic combo with Cloudstone Curio is Nettle Sentinel and Heritage Druid. Add any other one mana elf and you are bouncing guys and netting 2 mana every bounce. Add in Elvish Visionary and you are (eventually) drawing through your entire deck.

And if you’re playing online it is truly the clunkiest, least short-cuttable combo in the history of history. You’re gonna get carpal tunnel doing this thing, all to gain one mana and one card per rotation, until (eventually) you hit something interesting.

Interesting cards include a [c]Chord of Calling[/c] (to hit [c]Purphoros, God of the Forge[/c]), or the super-awesome (and cheap) [c]Wren’s Run Packmaster[/c], who can put Splinter Twin to shame by creating endless 2/2 wolf tokens with Deathtouch, but only if you’re willing to click until your hand falls off. Some lists run [c]Emrakul, the Aeons Torn[/c] which is another legit way to end a game off an endless mana combo into a big Chord. Emrakul is only $10 and fits in a number of interesting lists, so if you have a little scratch, it’s a worthy investment.

I had a hard time figuring out the right number of Chord and Lead the Stampede. Most games I preferred coming up with Lead, mainly because I wasn’t running the big guys I needed to Chord into a big win, but I just wanted to draw a bunch more Elves and keep my board (and combo) moving along progressively. Running 6x of the two may be too much, though, so cutting some for other choices could work.

I picked up Cavern of Souls because it fits into so many tribal strategies (the natural budget strategies for most formats), but they could easily be forests here. If you get a couple, you can name “God” with one to make sure Purphoros doesn’t get disrupted; otherwise they’re not doing a whole lot except helping you work around countermagic and (I only learned this from comments on my soul sisters videos) [c]Chalice of the Void[/c] if your opponent brings it in to mess with you.

The key pieces here are the combo slots: Nettle Sentinel, Heritage Druid, and Cloudstone Curio. None of them are really “cheap”, but after you spend that $20 or so, you can really build any kind of elf list you want. Find a mana sink or a good target for Chord and the rest of the list kind of puts itself together. There are plenty of good ideas in this thread at Salvation, and various others on Reddit.

If you come up with any cool strategies on the cheap, be sure to let me know in the comments. I like the list I made, but keep feeling like I’m missing something that would make it better.

But hey, we’ve talked the talk, now let’s walk the walk. Here are the gameplay videos for Elves this week.

On the Play with Combo Elves

We had some good match-ups in Pauper, which may make it seem like we’re unstoppable. Hey, sometimes that’s true. Modern is a bit less forgiving, but we do get to combo off and show the unstoppable power of a good Elf engine once it gets going.

Do you have your own favorite elves lists, in any format? Let me know. As I mentioned, I love Elves and would play them all the time if I could get away with it.

Next Week on Paupers & Kings

Next week we’ll be blitzing our opponents with aggressive Izzet lists. As always, if you have recommendations for Modern / Pauper lists that crossover formats, let me know in the comments.

Until next time, may your Melodies ever be Distant.

/bava

A Pauper in the Fog

You and a friend are walking in the woods. The day is clear and bright, there is a slight breeze, and not a Lhurgoyf to be seen for miles. You notice, suddenly, that a subtle fog has begun to rise, coming up from the earth itself. The fog is cold and wet. It chills your legs as you walk and seems to rob you of the will to keep going.

You look around only to realize that your friend, who you thought was right by your side, is no longer in sight. As you stumble off in search of them, you hear a massive crash of wood splintering from off to your left, and then the pounding of something large, something very large, starting to move in your direction. Do you hide? Do you run? Or do you stand and fight? As you are trying to make up your mind, the fog rises as if like a curtain, up past your head, over the treetops, covering everything. You have only a moment to look around before the numbing cold seeps into your skull, and then there is only darkness.

You dream of squirrels.

A Massive Crash of Wood

Inspired by Alex Ullman’s excellent article at SCG, our friend Deluxeicoff picked up the Eldrazi Green list and ran with it. I haven’t played with it enough to figure out which version I might like better, so I recommend taking a look at both. Alex’s list is in the article, and the Deluxe version is below.

[d title=”Eldrazi Green (Pauper)”]
Land
15 Forest
3 Haunted Fengraf

Creatures
4 Voyaging Satyr
4 Arbor Elf
2 Fierce Empath
3 Wickerbough Elder
4 Nylea’s Disciple
4 Aurochs Herd
1 Fangren Marauder
2 Krosan Tusker
2 Ulamog’s Crusher

Spells
4 Utopia Sprawl
4 Wild Growth
4 Land Grant
4 Moment’s Peace

Sideboard
4 Thermokarst
3 Reap and Sow
4 Mwonvuli Acid-Moss
4 Hidden Spider [/d]

I took this list out for a spin and ran into the current bogie man of Pauper, UR Control. What did I learn? [c]Hidden Spider[/c] is a horrible card against [c]Delver of Secrets[/c]. Here is the video.

The Fog Rises like a Curtain

Props again to Deluxe for mentioning this list on his Facebook page, else I might not have seen it. Pierakor has piloted this list in previous Pauper tourneys with less spectacular results, but in Pauper Classic Tuesdays 6.35 he took it to an undefeated 6-0 victory.

Turbo Fog is an interesting archetype that works well in certain metas and falls hard in others. In his winning week, Pierakor played against Burn, then Affinity, then Green One, Green One, Affinity, and Burn. This is a good list of decks to run up against with your Bant Fog list. All the same, congratulations to Pierakor for his win. Here is the list:

[d title=”Bant Fog (Pauper)”]
Land
4 Terramorphic Expanse
4 Evolving Wilds
3 Forest
7 Island
4 Plains

Fog Effects
4 Dawn Charm
4 Moment’s Peace
4 Riot Control

Draw Spells
4 Brainstorm
3 Muddle the Mixture
2 See Beyond
4 Treasure Cruise
1 Vision Skeins
4 Words of Wisdom

Other Spells
2 Arcane Denial
4 Jace’s Erasure
2 Pristine Talisman

Sideboard
1 Arcane Denial
2 Circle of Protection: Red
4 Dispel
1 Keep Watch
1 Muddle the Mixture
3 Negate
2 Pristine Talisman
1 Rest for the Weary [/d]

If it’s not obvious, the deck stalls out with fog effects, and wins by milling the opponent with [c]Jace’s Erasure[/c]. It’s entirely composed of fogs, draw cards, a little bit of lifegain and countermagic, and the wincon.

[c]Muddle the Mixture[/c] is an excellent tutor, and can pick up the Erasure when needed; it can also grab the [c]Circle of Protection: Red[/c] out of the sideboard. This is fantastic against Burn and Kiln Fiend, in theory, but you need {U}{U} to Muddle and {W} to cast the COP. It will never happen before turn 3 and even then only if you have the right mana, which can be tough considering it’s a three-color list.

Pierakor recorded the entire tourney on Twitch and it is up on his YouTube channel.

When the Fog Clears

You come out of the blackness slowly. You become aware of light seeping in through your closed eyelids, the feel of damp moss beneath your body, the gentle rise and fall of your breath, soft as autumn leaves falling into a limpid pool. You open your eyes slowly.

The light is soft and hesitant, new to the day. Somewhere the sun is just starting to approach the horizon. You see your friend lying by your side, breathing slowly and apparently unharmed. You wake them gently and together you wonder at the strange events of the last day and, even more so, the import of the dreams you both had: dreams of magic, dreams of fog, and dreams of squirrels.

Faithless Looting #12: Stab Wound Jr.

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

Lots of things are happening in MagicGatheringStrat world and the Magic world in general. Hymn-gate is about to wrap up, and cards like [c]Hymn to Tourach[/c] and [c]Sinkhole[/c] will, once again, be banned in Pauper. Should they be? When we have broken commons like [c]Cloud of Faeries[/c] and [c]Treasure Cruise[/c], I wonder how much we really need to worry. On the other hand, Black decks don’t need any kind of boost, so I’m happy to see these cards go. I’ll be doing a post-Hymn meta review, probably on Friday, so keep an eye out for that. In the meantime, I’ll just say this.

If you were playing in any money event and lost to a deck playing the broken cards, SUBMIT A REIMBURSEMENT REQUEST.

I won’t criticize the people choosing to play these cards and I honestly hope that they won’t get in trouble with WotC (though it seems like a silly risk to take). But the fact is that they are not actually legal in Pauper and so if you play against them and lose you are entitled to reimbursement. It’s as simple as that.

For our contest last week – and really, over the last two weeks – our task was to build a list centered around Khans of Tarkir, either a post-rotation Standard or Standard Pauper list, or a list in any other format built around a KTK card or cards. While I did get some submissions for Pauper, by far the most submissions were in Standard Pauper, so in the interest of comparing apples to apples, that is mostly what I looked at. I also said last week that I would dole out multiple prizes, and that we’ll be taking a bit of a break from the contests after this. I’ve been falling behind on sending stuff out but I WILL be getting prizes to everyone who won; thanks everyone for hanging in there.

Faithless Contest #10-11: Winners!

I was excited to get some great lists from the Standard Pauper community, and I played matches with six of them. Honestly I wish I’d had time to play more. Still, I played enough to get a sense of what Standard Pauper might look like in the current meta, and I think there is a lot of room for interesting (and different) lists to shine. It’s always a bit surprising how many decks there are to put together from such a small pool, but there is a lot of variety even in the competitive scene. Speaking of, we have results from SPDC and MPDC to look at now, so if you want to see more cool Standard Pauper lists, go check those out.

For my money, the strongest color in Standard Pauper right now is White. For a mono-colored deck, it’s a top choice. That’s nothing new, though. White has been dominating Standard Pauper lists for quite awhile now; I expect that to continue. Wisker’s mono-white list(s) are a great example, and he got 1st and 2nd with them over the weekend.

Outside of weenie and heroic strategies, Green still has a strong representation in ramp and fattie builds, and shouldn’t be ignored. [c]Longshot Squad[/c] is an amazing card against Flyer match-ups, and [c]Nessian Asp[/c] is the format’s Crusher. Is there anything bigger than an 8/9 with Reach in the format? Maybe not, but [c]Humbler of Mortals[/c] seems neat, alongside [c]Hooting Mandrills[c] and [c]Siege Wurm[/c] and [c]Vulpine Goliath[/c]. There are plenty of big green dudes to beat face with and I imagine we’ll see more ramp and devotion lists emerge in the color.

There may or may not be a control deck out there that can stop these strong strategies. A lot of the removal cards in the format currently only kill creatures with 2 or less toughness, and that’s a big issue in my opinion since Khans gave us a lot of 3-toughness creatures. I think [c]Kill Shot[/c] is the best piece of removal in the format right now, though [c]Feast of Dreams[/c] and [c]Pillar of Light[/c] are both interesting as well. That said, [c]Debilitating Injury[/c] seems like the most popular piece of removal and for one good reason: it’s fetchable with [c]Heliod’s Pilgrim[/c]. Expect “Stab Wound Jr.” to do a lot of work, but without inducing quite as much rage as its predecessor.

Why am I highlighting all this in the winner’s section? Because these comments define the winners this week. In no particular order, I’d like to congratulate the following brewers for their winning lists:

  • Wisker for White Stompy
  • jphsnake for Putin’s Dream
  • Rremedio for Esper Annoyance
  • Brennon for BW Auras

You guys will all win fabulous stuff from my Loot Crate stash!

ALL the lists were great, guys, and I wish I didn’t have to pick winners. If you’re looking for cool Standard Pauper lists, check out the comments on BOTH articles from the last two weeks. Denofbears snuck in a comment on #11 with two strong lists, and there were many, many more lists to play with in FL #10.

Here are videos of me playing the winning lists:

 

 

 

 

Faithless Decks #12: Some Old Bullshit

If you follow Deluxeicoff on Facebook you’ll know that he’s got a new obsession, and it’s a Zero Creature control list similar to Johnny Lai’s 0C-BuC list (and previous FL winner) and moreso to someoldguy’s iterations of that list. Deluxe has added his own flavor to it, and the result is a rage-inducing piece of Magic mayhem. His name for it? Someoldbull..it.dek. And since I’m a complete juvenile, that totally cracks me up. Me, though, I’m gonna call it 0C-BuC Deluxe.

Not being able to resist, I made my own changes to the list. I added a [c]Bojuka Bog[/c] in place of a basic Swamp, and then turned the other Swamps into [c]Vault of Whispers[/c]. Since this made [c]Snuff Out[/c] bad out of the SB, I replaced those with [c]Ghastly Demise[/c]. Otherwise the list is as Deluxeicoff presented it. Here are a couple matches I played, sped up (since the deck is very grindy). Here is the list:

[d title=”0C-BuC Deluxe (Pauper)”]
Land
2 Bojuka Bog
4 Dimir Aqueduct
4 Dismal Backwater
1 Dimir Guildgate
1 Island
4 Seat of the Synod
3 Vault of Whispers
4 Radiant Fountain

Spells
4 Preordain
4 Innocent Blood
4 Counterspell
4 Chainer’s Edict
3 Diabolic Edict
4 Pristine Talisman
2 Curse of the Bloody Tome
4 Exclude
3 Deep Analysis
4 Evincar’s Justice
1 Treasure Cruise

Sideboard
4 Hydroblast
1 Raven’s Crime
2 Crypt Incursion
4 Faerie Macabre
1 Child of Night
3 Ghastly Demise [/d]

We get to see the deck in action against Boroskitty first, and then the mirror match against Deluxeicoff himself.

 

That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading! I’ll be getting in touch and sending out prizes to everyone who hasn’t gotten one yet. Faithless Looting contests will be on hiatus for awhile, but I’ll try and find the time to write about other stuff on Tuesdays until the contests start back up again.

Until next time, keep the faith!

/bava

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:

 

 

Pauper Gauntlet Competitor #13: Stompy

The first ten Pauper Gauntlet competitors will be presented on mtgolibrary.blogspot.com. They will play the first two rounds in the order they are given by their numbers, so Stompy will be the 13th deck played.

Some other competitors

#1 Illusory Tricks: http://mtgolibrary.blogspot.se/2014/06/pauper-gauntlet-competitor-1-illusory.html

#2 Love Train: http://mtgolibrary.blogspot.se/2014/06/pauper-gauntlet-competitor-2-love-train.html

Deck #3: Exhume Control http://mtgolibrary.blogspot.se/2014/07/pauper-gauntlet-competitor-3-exhume.html

Deck #4: Izzet Control. http://mtgolibrary.blogspot.se/2014/07/pauper-gauntlet-competitor-4-izzet.html

Stompy was one of the top 10 decks last year and is thus automatically qualified for the second season of the Pauper Gauntlet.

I was thinking hard about which list to use but eventually decided to go with Chris Weaver’s list as published this year before he quit Magic Online. I still miss him as an online buddy and video maker and feels that this is a way to honor his contribution to MagicGatheringStrat – oh, that, and the fact that it is a very strong list.

I will need help with the sideboard plan. See the end of the article.

Here is Chris’s Deck Tech Video for the list. It explains the basic strategy of the deck.

This is the deck list:

[d title=”Stompy by cweaver”]
Land
17 Forest

Creatures

4 Quirion Ranger
4 Nettle Sentinel
4 Young Wolf
4 Skarrgan Pit-Skulk
4 Garruk’s Companion
2 Shinen of Life’s Roar
3 Wild Mongrel

Spells
4 Rancor
4 Vines of Vastwood
4 Groundswell
3 Gather Courage
3 Hunger of the Howlpack

Sideboard
3 Nourish
1 Bonesplitter
3 Gleeful Sabotage
1 Viridian Longbow
4 Scattershot Archer
3 Spore Frog

[/d]

The Sideboard Plan

This is a work in progress. I have two old sideboard plans for other lists to work from, but I am going to need your help as well.

Let me know if any common deck is missing from this list.

Affinity: +1 Bonesplitter, +3 Gleeful, -1 Skarrgan, -3 Groundswell (Mamurphy, one old Stompy legend, felt that it was correct to take out one Skarrgan here)

Affinity is always close, if they come out strong AND have the shaman, it’s pretty hard to win, but it’s also hard for them to recover many times as they have to sac SO many so early. Just need to not overextend, which isn’t a problem with stompy, as the instants make the attack, not the volume as seen in goblins. Shinen and ranger make them have to trigger the shaman/disciples asap. Usually a skargaan or ledgewalker takes the game for me. You swing for 8, they do, repeat, and fog. Even if they ‘play around’ fog, you still get the fog benefit of buying you time for your unblockables to go to the dome.

Generally, playing against a competent Affinity player is a nightmare, even though the Perilous Affinity lists are a little bit easier to win against.

Banishing Knack Combo:

BorosKitty: +3 Gleeful

Burn: +3 Nourish

Delver: +4 Scattershot, +1 Bonesplitter, +1 Viridian Longbow, -3 Hunger, -3 Groundswell

DELVERFIEND: +3 Spore Frog, -3 Hunger

Domain/zoo:

Elves: +1 Longbow, -1 Groundswell. This is extremely hard.

Familiars:

Freed from the real combo/Love Train:

Goblins: +3 Spore Frog, -3 Vines of Vastwood

Grey Ghost/Extort:

GW Tokens:

Hexproof: I am sorry, you are just dead. This is the #1 matchup Hexproof wants to face.
Deluxeicoff in early 2013: It is simply unwinnable vs. hexchant – I’ve lost 3 games in 100…all of those have been to really bad draws, and my opponents having a great hand.

Icy Hot Hottie:

Illusory Tricks:

Infect: +3 Spore Frog, -1 Gather Courage, -1 Hunger, -1 Groundswell

Izzet Control: Nothing is sideboarded in this matchup.

Keep Watch:

MBC : Nothing is sideboarded in this matchup.

MUC: Not sure what to do here.

Pestilence:

Random aggro lek: No sideboard.

Random control (UW Blink etc):

RG Aggro: No sideboard.

Slivers: No sideboard.

Songs of the Damned:

Stompy/Green One: My traditional jeffdmk list just never sideboarded in the mirror, but I am not sure how to handle this list.

Tron: Here I need a lot of help.

Tortured Existence :

Turbo Fog:

UB control/Teachings:

UB Ninja Teachings:

Unearth/Woo Zombies:

White Weenie: +4 Scattershot if many fliers, -4 Groundswell. +3 Gleeful if many artifacts, -3 Groundswell/Hunger

Zombies:

Final note

You can not write an article about Stompy without mentioning the best piece ever written on the deck. Read this before you try to play the deck: http://puremtgo.com/articles/pauper-stompy?page=1

I wish you wrote more articles, Deluxeicoff! :)

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]

Soul Sisters in Pauper

For a short while, Deluxeicoff was tearing up the Pauper Dailys in 2012 with this very different White Weenie deck.

Then he got bored and moved on.

I can’t stop loving it though. It beats any aggro deck in the format, including Stompy and Delver. It dies horribly to combo and was a dog to Storm. Maybe now its time has come again.

Here is a current list:

[d title=”Soul Sisters by Deluxeicoff (Pauper)”]
Lands
22 Plains

Creatures
4 Benevolent Bodyguard
2 Cenn’s Enlistment
4 Doomed Traveller
4 Kor Skyfisher
4 Loyal Cathar
4 Soul Warden
4 Soul’s Attendant
4 Suture Priest
4 Veteran Armorer

Spells
4 Guardian’s Pledge

Sideboard
4 Crimson Acolyte
4 Icatian Javelineers
4 Patrician’s Scorn
3 Prismatic Strands [/d]

There will be more info on this deck posted in the near future.