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

brewerscup01-wide

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

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

The Pauper Brewer’s Cup

Here are some rules and stuff.

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

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

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

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

Week Five Winner

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

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

Voting for Week Six

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

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

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

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

[d title=”Artificial Sweetener by Icepick23″]

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

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

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

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

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

Vote Here!

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

Week Seven: Apprehension Engine

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

tl;dr build me an awesome Pauper combo deck.

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

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

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

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

This is a brewing contest, so creativity is paramount.

Submit your brews and ideas

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy brewing!

/bava

 

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

brewerscup01-wide

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

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

The Pauper Brewer’s Cup

Here are some rules and stuff.

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

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

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

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

Week Four Winner

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

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

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

Voting for Week Five

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

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

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

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

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

[d title=”Grixis-Go by obZen”]

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

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

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

Vote Here!

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

Week Six: A Tron of One’s Own

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

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

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

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

This is a brewing contest, so creativity is paramount.

Submit your brews and ideas

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy brewing!

/bava

 

Paupers and Kings, Ep. 9: Hypermana

Voyaging Satyr

Hi everyone, and welcome to the ninth episode of Paupers & Kings, my series on porting Pauper decks into the Modern format while staying on a budget. Today we’re ramping up to talk about … well, ramp. We’ve got Tooth and Nail to look at in Modern and Eldrazi Green to check out in Pauper. Let’s take a look!

Hypermana in Pauper

Partially inspired by Alex Ullman’s article on SCG last year, I wanted to take a look at the hypermana concept in both formats. Below we have Alex’s list from the article, and his write-up is more detailed than I will get here.

[d title=”Eldrazi Green by Alex Ullman (Pauper)”]
Land
18 Snow-Covered Forest
2 Haunted Fengraf

Ramp
4 Voyaging Satyr
4 Arbor Elf
4 Utopia Sprawl
4 Wild Growth

Creatures
4 Nylea’s Disciple
1 Fangren Marauder
4 Nest Invader
3 Ulamog’s Crusher
4 Aurochs Herd
4 Llanowar Sentinel
2 Fierce Empath
2 Krosan Tusker

Sideboard
1 Fangren Marauder
4 Scattershot Archer
3 Wickerbough Elder
1 Calming Verse
4 Thermokarst
2 Moment’s Peace [/d]

The plan in brief is to get a lot of mana early and play things like [c]Ulamog’s Crusher[/c] by turn 3. Nest Invader provides ramp and early blockers when necessary, while Krosan Tusker can help ramp or come down late game as a big body.

As I was playing it, I found the list to be vulnerable to flyers, so I would add some Spidersilk Armor into the sideboard I think to shore up those matches.

Hypermana in Modern

Tooth and Nail could also be called Eldrazi Green, by rights, since it is a mono-green shell that ramps up and (often) wins by getting Emrakul on the board. The key players are Emrakul, Xenagos, and Tooth and Nail. Everything else serves to ramp into the combo or protect you while you get there.

[d title=”Tooth and Nail (Modern)”]
Land
22 Forest

Ramp
4 Arbor Elf
4 Voyaging Satyr
4 Overgrowth
4 Utopia Sprawl
1 Garruk Wildspeaker
1 Garruk, Primal Hunter

Creatures
3 Acidic Slime
2 Eternal Witness
1 Xenagos, God of Revels
1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
1 Wurmcoil Engine

Spells
4 Harmonize
2 Primal Command
4 Tooth and Nail
2 Beast Within

Sideboard
1 Beast Within
4 Creeping Corrosion
4 Creeping Mold
2 Eyes of the Wisent
4 Naturalize [/d]

The deck is surprisingly resilient for a combo deck. While your opponent may counter your Tooth and Nails, you will eventually be able to hard-cast Emrakul if they take too long, and there often isn’t much that can be done after that. Wurmcoil is a key player against aggressive lists like burn and the deck can often get him down early enough to actually make a difference.

Xenagos is a key enabler here and the component that makes it so your wincon happens the same turn (not the next turn). Attacking with Emrakul is always fun, but even better when she is 30/30 and has haste. Getting in with a 12/12 lifelink wurm is also quite strong and, if it won’t win you the game outright, will often do so in a turn or two.

Cost-wise you’re looking at just 45 tix or so online to put the list together, or about $155 in paper. If you’ve picked up some of the spendier staples already (Emrakul, Wurmcoil, Primal Command) then the list costs almost nothing to try out. Make sure you find the inexpensive [c]Garruk Wildspeaker[/c] so you can save a couple tix. I got mine off Cardhoarder as MTGOTraders didn’t have any in stock at the time, though it appears they do have one now.

Hypermana on the Play

We definitely ramped, but did we crush? I played three matches with Eldrazi Green and lots and lots (and lots) of matches with Tooth and Nail. I’ve rotated them in the playlist by format for your viewing pleasure.

 

In a way, Eldrazi Green seems a bit “fair” in the current Pauper format. People have answers to Crusher and other big threats, and countermagic is a big component of the game right now, which stymies our plan somewhat. Tooth and Nail, on the other hand, was surprisingly resilient (it only needs to get one fatty out and that’s the game, usually), though it did have an issue on occasion with faster aggressive decks.

Next week on Paupers and Kings

Next week will be the 10th and last episode of Paupers and Kings, where we will look at Affinity in both formats. Thanks for tuning in and I hope you’ve enjoyed the series!

Until then, may your utopias always be sprawling.

/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.