Archive for the ‘Classic’ Category

Mikey K’s Pauper Testing Session 32 Delver Blue

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

I missed playing with islands and so I chose to do, what I think is the best deck in the format right now.

Note: I do not have daze’s because I don’t have 40 bucks to shell out for them and I don’t have gush because every time I tried to buy them, the bot or person was sold out.

Let’s ROCK

Mikey K’s Testing Session 31 With Mono Green Cloudpost

Monday, November 21st, 2011

This week I decided to take an old favorite of mine into the battlefield of the 2 man ques… Care to see how I did?

Let’s ROCK!

NextLevelMTGCoaching’s Pauper Gauntlet URb Cloudpost vs Goblins

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

Hello Everyone,

My name is DJ and I used to play MtG professionally and grind the PT. Nowadays I spend my free time making coaching videos, writing articles, and blogging about MtG. I always enjoyed sharing my knowledge of the game with local players and helping them improve. Now I am here to help you take your game to the next level; I want to give back to the game that gave so much to me.

Today we play some matches vs goblins.

Click HERE for matches

 

As you can see this matchup is no cake walk.     Mogg War Marshal & Goblin bushwacker are key cards for the Goblin deck in this matchup.  I wanted more 1 mana removal vs Goblins, and would have liked more Serrated Arrows as well.   You can’t really add more to the main deck though, because you will weaken your matchups vs non aggro decks.  If you want to improve your Goblin matchup, I would suggest adding more Seismic Shudders into the sideboard. They clear up all the 1/1′s that your Firebolts and Flame Slashes miss.

If you liked what you watched, you can find more at my BLOG and on my CHANNEL

Mikey K’s Pauper Testing Session 28 With Mono Black Control

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

Well I’m going on vacation for a little while… But instead of talking about that, I have a newish take on mbc I would love to show you guys..

Care to see what it is? Lets ROCK!

Cheap & Dirty – WW Primer

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

I saved all the fluff for part 1 of my post, so let’s get straight down to business.

Instead of just throwing a list out there, I’ll just talk about each card individually and help you tailor your own WW for your own meta.

The core of WW is:

21 Plains
4 Squadron Hawk
4 Bonesplitter
2 Guardian of the Guildpact (GotG)

These 31 cards represent %70 of the games you win. Rest of the deck is literally composed of annoyances for opponent and getting in enough damage for Hawks and GotG to finish it up.

When I picked up the deck, there were lists without Squadron Hawks. I’d like to think that it’s my biggest contribution to proove that Squadron Hawk is the real deal. Really -in an aggro deck, it’s a straight up Ancestral Recall. There’s no discussion.

There are people who run less than 4 Bonesplitters. You don’t want to be one of them. For once, it’s what keeps you racing in the mirror and in affinity. Second, it turns the dorkiest of the dorks into threats that MUC and Cloud has to deal with.

Guardian is what keeps Infect’s dudes at bay forever, it’s what makes Atog look like a sad Squire, it’s what makes MBC want to cast Geth’s Verdict to get rid of your Squadron Hawks, etc, etc. I believe 2 is mandatory, and 3rd one is up to debate. I think 4 is too much, because as much as he’s a Progenitus, he still costs 4 mana which is a lot in a deck that probably plays 4 Kor Skyfishers, and all said and done, without an equipment, he doesn’t really beat that hard.

Leonin Skyhunter

The simple bear that flies does a lot of legwork in this deck. He’s the card you want to see against Affinity, an efficient, flying beater that races their ground 4/4s. He’s in an awkward situation in the mirror, because he looks bad once your opponent’s Hawks carry some equipment. Still, all said and done, he’s just the basic card that represents everything your deck does.

4-of? I believe so. There are no matchups that you don’t want to see this guy.

Kor Skyfisher

Depending on the matchup, sometimes it’s a worse Skyhunter (Against Storm, Cloud etc) or a much, much better one. There are 2 pitfalls to this guy:

1. Vulnerable to removal. Agaisnt Cloud and MBC, this is a real drawback. Basically, everything from MBC or Cloud kills this guy (Barring Firebolt and Staggershock) and then it becomes an awful 2v1.

2. It hurts your mana development. This might be crucial against, again, MBC and Cloud. Against both decks, you really wanna just slam a GotG as soon as possible. Casting an early Kor Skyfisher prevents you from doing that.

Against both decks, I’ve found myself siding out 2-3 copies of Skyfisher for the reasons above.

4-of? It’s tough. When it’s good, it’s awesome, and you don’t want to get caught without a full suit in the mirror, and the matchups where it’s weakest at are either good matchups anyway (Cloud and MBC) or are straight up terrible (Storm, Familiar Storm). I’ve enjoyed running a full suit but 3 Skyfishers wouldn’t raise an eyebrow from me, given the meta is WW light.

Razor Golem

This is one of the most efficient beaters you have access to. Casting it for free / almost free is very relevant in permission matchups, which allows you to deploy a suspended Shade, Razor Golem into GotG, hopefully the last one resolving.

It’s weak against Affinity because Disciple gets outclassed by anything anyway and Razor only trumps Frogmites. Sure, Razor Golem with an axe kills other 4/4s, then again, a ham sandwhich with an axe kills 4/4s. I generally side them out in Affinity, because your plan agaisnt them is to fly over their fatties and race them with life gain effects from Divine Offering, Lone Missionary and Aven Riftwatcher.

It’s one of the very few tools you have against opposing GotGs as well.

4-of? Resoundingly yes. It’s only mediocre in Affinity and it’s golden just about anywhere else.

Benevolent Bodyguard

One of the best cards in the deck. It will serve to protect your best beater against control decks and mess up the combat math in WW mirror.

In WW, it’s often very awkward to attack, because it usually means you’ll be trading your best offensive creature against their worst creature at best. Bodyguard lets your Razor Golem with his axe to just slam without fear, either providing a fast clock or giving you some sweet 2v1 action (Remember, mirror is pure CA and attrition).

It also serves to protect your Suture Priests and Benevolent Unicorns against combo decks, which is very relevant. Combo decks often can deal with 1 hate from WW, but once you start having multiple Bodyguards around with Prismatic Strands to add insult to injury, you can turn an awful matchup into something hopeful.

4-of? Eh. I’m erring on the side of value, being able to take full benefit of Bodyguard whenever you end up drawing one. Alone, it doesn’t really do much, and drawing multiples of it is not always beneficial. Unlike Bonesplitter + Random creature, Bodyguard + Random Creature is not necessarily a faster clock and thus doesn’t win games by its own. But the effect is too good to cut it down to 2. 3 I think is the best number, but I can see arguments for 4.

Icatian Javelineers

This card was a resounding 4-of when I first picked up WW. Honestly, this card doesn’t quite kill a lot of things. What it does kill is often negligable (Crypt Rats, for example. Rats is on a suicide mission anyway, and Javelineers will only delay its summoning). Nightscape Familiar has regeneration. Goblin Shredder can sac anything else to save its butt.

What it does do is give the deck another 1 drop, that is very relevant in most aggro matchups due to how it messes with combat math. Even letting your Squadron Hawks attack into Mulldrifters is a job done for 1 mana.

It’s also very relevant in WW mirrors due to shooting down caws with blades and/or getting rid of opposing Bodyguards that are saving that Razor Golem from your Journey to Nowhere.

It’s final application is countering Spellstutter Sprites. The more reason to play your spells before combat.

4-of? Again, like Bodyguard, alone, it doesn’t quite do a lot by itself. I’m erring on the side of “get full value once you draw” rather than drawing it reliably, because it’s not crucial to my game plan most of the time, but it always complements it well when it comes in small numbers.

Lone Missionary / Aven Riftwatcher

Surprisingly, one of the reasons that WW is so good is its life gain. Pauper games are often decided on attrition and a bear with incidental life gain is just very good.

Lone Missionary is often the better of the life gainers, because it costs one less mana, it sticks around, the 4 life gain happens instantly and is easier to replay with Kor Skyfisher. It trades with Frogmites, chumps Atogs, trades with everything when you slap an axe on it. It’s very easy to get value on Lone Missionary if you’re looking for ways to do it.

I’ve played Aven Riftwatcher for a while, and my first ever list had a 3/3 split. But it’s very, very hard to get value out of Avenriftwatcher, and it’s often just a Sunspring Expedition most of the time. Life gain is good, but pure, dump life gain is NOT that good.

4-of? This is one of the few value cards that I think can be correct to play 4 of in a specific meta, one with a lot of Burn and/or Storm. Otherwise, having 3 in the MD is never a waste.

Order of Leitbur

I like mana sinks a lot in aggro decks. However, the problems I’ve had with Order is that, often the ground is clogged anyway so even your Razor Golems can’t get through profitably, or, if your opponent just really wants to get rid of it, he can simmply double block, forcing you to spend your entire mana to just to make that trade a 1v1.

I also found it rather irrelevant against MBC. MBC is one of your best matchups anyway, and even though it’s a cheaper GotG with better highs, do you want to spend precious MD/SB slots to just to spit on one of your best matchups? If so, you might wanna play 2 in the sideboard, though even against MBC, I’d rather have Obsidian Acolytes.

4-of? More like none-of.

Suspend Creatures (Shade of Trokair, Knight of Sursi)

When evaluating suspend creatures, you have to ask yourself “Would I be content to spend 4 mana for this creature anyway?” There will be times you may not be able to play these on T1, and since WW runs light on lands and has a rigid curve, you’ll often have other stuff to do with your mana that immediately impact the board, so you will often end up having to pay full 4 mana for these creatures and you have to ask if it’s worth it.

For Shade of Trokair, the answer is yes for the matchups where you need it the most -permission. Against MUC, it slips under the radar and it’s a gound creature that doesn’t die to Quicksand easily. Against Cloud, it’s a creature that can play around their removal while beating face for lots of damages. There are few things as good as trading resources with your opponent, going to topdeck mode, and ripping a Shade. Right then, it’s all worth its premium cost.

Knight is a different story. It can’t ever be killed by Squadron Hawks, which is a nice bonus for it. But past that, it’s just a Skyhunter. Paying 4 mana for a Skyhunter is not exactly a great deal and isn’t an impressive topdeck. When you don’t want to play it T1 (Because you might wannna play Javelineers to get it online for example) its value rapidly diminishes.

I like Shade in small numbers in MD and some in SB, and I’ve played a 1/3 split before as well. I think this card is really that good in a permission heavy meta, because honestly, there isn’t much else for you to bring. Knight however is a card I’ve really wanted to like but never had our stars aligned.

Standard Bearer

The bane of Infect, Cloak and Stompy decks alike. Alright, who am I kidding -this is a strict Infect hate that just makes those two other matchups a joke as well.

A few notes about it: Please don’t side it against Grixis Storm decks. We all know that copied Grapeshots can be redirected to face. When I’m facing a Ww deck and they play this, I feel slightly humiliated. Really -you can side in all sorts of stuff, and yes, Storm deck does sometimes lose to WW, so you just better maximize your chances rather than maybe your opponent thinking he can’t win? Yeah.

I’ve had 4 Standard Bearers in my SB for infect all the time I played WW, but that was when Infect was the second most popular deck that I was facing, so full 4 sb slots for such a strong deck was justifiable. Right now, a lot of good infect players like Nerney9 and Tetris23 are away from the game, which in turn results in less finishes by them which in turn results in decrease in popularity. You’d still want at least 2 in SB I think, and 3 if you think you can make room for it.

Obsidian / Crimson Acolyte

The lovely duo. I love Crimson Acolyte a lot more because unlike Obsidian Acolyte, it’s useful in two matchups (Goblins and UR Cloud) and Obsidian Acolyte is not entirely unmanagable by MBC decks (Geth’s Verdict and Diabolic Edicts, etc).

The problem with these two is again, the Bodyguard problem -alone, they kind of suck. Crimson Acolyte still can just punch goblins when he’s on the defense, but against MBC, you’ll rarely if ever be on defense.

Also note that Crimson Acolyte can always die to Steamcore Weird from Cloud so use your Bodyguards smartly.

Removal (Journey to Nowhere, Unmake, Serrated Arrows)

4 Journeys’ve been the staple in my listst for a while. I don’t like the card, it’s sorcery, it can be bounced back, your opponent can bounce back its sole creature when you cast it -all said and done, it’s still the only card that can deal both with Twisted Abomination and Ulamog’s Crusher.

I never really liked Unmake. It only gets rid of GotG as a bonus, and it costs one more mana. Mirror is not solely about GotG, and there are a ton of ways to stop a GotG before you choose to run a 3 CMC removal that you don’t really want to see anywhere else. Such options include protecting your own Razor Golem, getting rid of Bonesplitters that make GotG the threat he is, destroying the Journeys that trap your Golems, and so on.

Serrated Arrows is a strictly mirror / infect tech, though I was testing it against MUC lately and it gives me funny results. Arrows lets you “counter” Spellstutter Sprites in MUC which is very nice. Its application should be obvious in the mirror – Javelineers is good, Javelineers on a stick is awesome. So let’s talk about Infect. Against infect, there are two stages of game:

Stage 1, “OMG I hope he doesn’t kill me t2 OMG he attacks I block PLEASE GOD NO TRAMPLE YES YES THANK YOU GOD THANK YOU!!!!”.

Stage 2: “Whoa, I’ve a Standard Bearer, I HOPE I CAN WIN BEFORE HE DRAWS HIS HORNET STING OH GOD PLEASE JUST ONE MORE ATTACK YES YES TYTYTY”

Serrated Arrows let’s you wrap up the game in Stage 2 and make a hornet sting less of a beating, if you manage to wipe their board anyway.

If you’re looking to deal with Infect, first make sure you’ve enough resources in your deck to provide you a passage from stage 1 to stage 2 -otherwise, you may never live long enough to cast Serrated Arrows in the first place.

Artifact Removal (Dust to Dust, Disenchant, Divine Offering, Kor Sanctifiers)

I could’ve said “Artifact/Enchantment Removal” but honestly, outside of fringe applications for Disenchant in the mirror (which I’ll mention now), there aren’t any enchantments you want to deal with in Pauper -and for those that you do want to deal with, Standard Bearer works better.

There are 2 decks that you want to side in Artifact Removal – Affinity and WW.

Now, Dust to Dust’s been a staple for as long as I’ve been following Pauper winning lists. I obviously tried it because “TROLLL 2v1!!!”. And everytime I played it, it felt… awkward.

You spend 3 mana to 2v1 them. They spend 1 mana to 2v1. Obviously, there’s something wrong about it.

I will say that this part about Dust to Dust is the most subjective part of this primer -I never reall used it well, or maybe I never learned how to use it properly. Everytime I had one in my hand, it felt like it was going to impact the board minimally and that I was about to get my face smashed by Atog / Carapace Forger / etc.

Divine Offering is one of my favorite cards in NMS limited because what it does is so unfair. It’s already a premium removal, costing agressively, instant, but the life swing is just so huge. Affinity is a matchup where you’re attacking with 2/2 fliers and they’re attacking with 4/4 fatties. With no life gain involved, it’s obvious who’s going to win. Divine Offering breaks this parity, kills one of their best attackers, and nullifies one of their attack phases, maybe even more. This is how you win against Affinity.

The same could be said of the mirror. Mirror is a swingy business, you and your opponent each taking the lead at one point of the game. Divine Offering on a Razor Golem can mean 1/2 additional turns for you to draw a gamebreaking card, such as GotG, another Divine Offering / Journey, Squaron Hawk, Serrated Arrows or Bonesplitter.

Disenchant however fills another nice niche. Odds are, if your opponent bothered to use one of his 4 journeys on a creature of your’s, it’s worth the trouble to get it back. It will never really be a dead card. On the other hand, it will always be a good card. Hey, sometimes you just want a “good card”. But the game can evolve in a wayh that, when it was previously about skies and Kor Skyfishers / Squadron Hawks, after a lot of trades, now it’s come to GotG race, in which case, sure Disenchant bringing your Skyfisher back is good, but might not be enough.

Kor Sanctifier is a card I should like, because I like value, I strive for value, and I go out of my way to get value out of everything I play. Turns out, a 2/3 body in the mirror or against Affinity is hardly worth the extra two mana. In both matchups, it gets outclassed by just about anything, and it costs as much as a GotG does. Sure, slap a Bonesplitter on it and it trades with Myr Enforcers, but again -even your mother trades with a Myr Enforcer once you slap her with a Bonesplitter. Two more mana, sorcery speed -is this worth for a 2/3 body in these matchups? I never really thought to. You might wanna play 1 / 1 split with this and Disenchant, because if you try hard enough, you can find a use for a 2/3 body, but I’d shy away from the second copy.

Prismatic Strands

In best of cases it double fogs your opponent while you beat faces in the air and you know what -that’s absolutely broken. So much that, if I were to play a green aggro, I’d really consider Moment’s Peace in the SB, I don’t know why Infect decks don’t run any but choose Fog instead.

It has fringe applications against Cloud, MBC and it’s one of the few ways to deal with Grixis Storm. It’s not a card that you can throw 4-of in and get good value out of it, but if you play a few here and there, odds are, it’ll be absolutely broken everytime you draw one.

Storm Hate (Holy Light, Suture Priest, Benevolent Unicorn)

I’ll also discuss Prismatic Strands here.

All these card do something broken against your opponent’s plan. Suture Priest nullifies Empty the Warrens, Benevolent Unicorn nullifies Grapeshot, and Holy Light just kills the tokens. None of them are all that exciting against anything else so we’ll just discuss the Storm matchup.

Of all these, Prismatic Strands is the best option and Holy Light is the worst one. Whatever they do, be it goblin tokens or Grapeshot to head, Prismatic Strands answers it. You can side in Holy Day to find out your opponent has removed all the Warrens from his deck. And even if he does have them, odds are he also has Goblin Bushwhacker, so what are you going to do, leave up three mana every turn, while attacking for 3? That doesn’t sound like a winning proposition.

Benevolent Unicorn and Suture Priest are both strongest options against one specific strategy, because they can be protected by Benevolent Bodyguard (And in some cases I’ve found, by Standard Bearers. That’s a LOT of hate, boy). The problem is, do you really want to spend 6 SB slots for a matchup that’s still not going to chance it in your favor?

Against Storm, predicting what your opponents are doing before you register your deck is crucial. You absolutely have to know what they’re doing. Watch their replays, see for yourself.

Final Thoughts

I still think WW is one of the better decks in this format because it can be built to handle anything in the hands of a good pilot. A lot of the work that goes with WW is having a plan, having a good SB, and predicting the meta. You’re not really heavily favored against anything but you can give your money’s worth of fight (A total of 4,32 tix) against everything.

Before Closing

So the videos are getting delayed, because AVI is a retarded format and it takes 2 gigs for a 20 minute material. I’m trying to figure it out and what I can do -I can show my replays and offer commentary on the game, if you think that’s worth watching.

Also, please let me know what you think of these first two posts. I want to bring quality & entertaining blog action to this pauper community, and to expose my awesomeness, you have to tell me where I suck.

Nighthavk
Nighthavk_ on MODO
kedi98ATgmailDOTcom
http://twitter.com/DKSakar

Cheap & Dirty – My 13 Days Affair with WW

Monday, September 12th, 2011

I could talk about Daily Events meta, random decks, latest techs, etc, and give a poor impression of “Pauper’s Random Writer #68″.

Instead, I’m going to talk about how I ended up playing WW and suddenly made tons of tix and never spent a dime on MODO ever since.

(For those of you insterested only in WW tech, you can find all the information you want in the primer which should be posted soon. Buzzkills.)

You see, I’ve lofty amitions for Magic. In order to achieve them, I need some capital. I spent last few days of June and entirety of July playing NMS Limited. I was doing well, but even then, I was barely breaking even. I drafted so much that I memorised NPH common run by accident and I know most of the MBS common run too (SoM is harder, because there are more cards, but it sucks and rarely makes a difference to read signals at that point so WHATEVER).

By the end of June, I ended up spending too much $s, and was owing 50$ to a friend. Suffice to say, things could’ve been better.

I had around 60 tix in my account. I had two choices before me: I could pay my friend, or I could play and make more tix. Obviously, being the responsible person I am, I chose the latter (Hey, the dude was rarely ever online, and he asked to get it by when Innistrad was released so YEAH).

Since limited games paid out so little, I needed to play a constructed format. Even Standard decks were too expensive for my tastes, and LSV’s (god damn that man) videos made UR Cloud look like a sweet deck to play in a bad format. So I went out on a limb and bought Cloud.

And I lost all the tix I’ve had.

(Side note here: UR Cloud is an awful deck that I won’t ever play again).

So yeah, at that point, I was in square 1, only with no tix and with a deck that served me no good. Once I’d sell all the cards, I’d have something around 20 tix so I could 1) Buy 30 tix online and pay my friend or 2) Buy a new deck and grind away.

I think we all know what option I chose.

Of all the decks (that were cheap), WW seemed like the sweetest. I’ll talk about what makes WW the powerhouse it is in my primer.

This is the first list I came up with after browsing various WW decks:

21 Plains
3 Benevolent Bodyguard
3 Icatian Javelineers
3 Lone Missionary
3 Aven Riftwatcher
4 Kor Skyfisher
4 Leonin Skyhunter
4 Squadron Hawk
2 Guardian of the Guildpact
4 Razor Golem

4 Bonesplitter
4 Journey to Nowhere
1 Prismatic Strands

Sideboard:
2 Circle of Protection: Black
2 Crimson Acolyte
2 Divine Offering
3 Holy Light
2 Prismatic Strands
4 Standard Bearer

A funny thing happened to me after I’ve picked up the deck -I started to win with it. My first Daily Event with the deck was a 3-1 after abour 57 (give or take a few) failures with Cloud, and then a 4-0, and another 3-1, and on, and on. Random people started whispering me in game, asking me for SB advice, telling me why Order of Leitbur was good (My verdict: It’s good, but underwhelming), saying they were rooting for me because I was running their favorite deck, etc, etc.

My level of popularity wasn’t exactly comparable to that of Jon Finkel, but it was close enough.

But it was a whole new world for me. People were running my list in 3-1/4-0 results. People were coming to me for advice. Really, I did know I was good, but this all felt really strange to me. I was new to MODO and expected my skills to be tested harshly, not to become a small-time WW hero. I had to contain myself and don’t let myself be spoiled with all the sudden attention that was coming to me -I was merely welcome to the grinders’ club now, nothing more.

Random insert, 9th of July 2011:
Me: Lol
Me: I’ve 18 qps
Glux: nais
Me: I think I’ll go for 45 qps for mocs :D
Glux: LOOL
Glux: you could maybe get 2 byes
Glux: 3 is impossible
Me: I made 18 in 6 days
Me: CHALLENGE ACCEPTED
Glux: YOU NEED TO GET OUT

So I was going to get 45 qps for MOCS, playing Pauper.

(If you have no idea what qp or MOCS means, google it, geez.)

Once I’d over 100 tix in my account after paying my friend, I started a most retarded project (Aside from aiming for 45 qps, which was retarded enough). My deck was serving me well, so I wanted to foil out my deck entirely to honor its blessings on me (Good job, idiot).

In RL Magic, I never was one for foils, but I guess we all dig them at a level. Since WW non-foil costs something like 2,86 tix, foiling it out would be cheap and it would look cool and make my opponent jelly.

This whole project was a fiasco.

1. Finding foils of some cards is just impossible. People have problems finding Standard Bearers and Prismatic Strands already, good luck finding them in foil.

2. A week later I ended up losing as much as I’d won, so I had to sell my foil deck a lot cheaper than I’d bought it for. Ouch.

And it’s a retard’s job to find full-art Zendikar foils. Sure, you find them at some speciality bots, but they only sell them in batches of 2/4 and then never update. So frogging retarded.

Around 13th/14th, mirror was all the buzz. I would often face 1 and regularly 2 WW decks in a given DE. It was fun in the beginning because there’s a lot of room for error / opportunity to outplay an opponent so I was winning more often than I was losing. But there’s something very annoying about the mirror:  The games go LONG. It’s just a very grindy matchup so games drag on and on. It’s common to find out that the last match of the round that’s keeping everyone waiting is a WW mirror.

(And then again, every once in a whole, your opponent would play 1st, 2nd Bonesplitter, play a Squadron Hawk, and just win. Literally. And it would piss me off everytime.)

((And no – I never won like that. Whenever I won, it was pure skill. Whenever I lost, it was “OMFG he draws his Squadron Hawk on turn 12, lucky bastard”. Alright?))

I was constantly changing my list with little tweaks almost on a daily basis, but I eventually sat down and remade it like this:

21 Plains
3 Benevolent Bodyguard
3 Icatian Javelineers
3 Lone Missionary
1 Shade of Trokair
4 Kor Skyfisher
4 Leonin Skyhunter
4 Squadron Hawk
3 Guardian of the Guildpact
4 Razor Golem

4 Bonesplitter
4 Journey to Nowhere
2 Prismatic Strands

Sideboard:
2 Circle of Protection: Black
2 Crimson Acolyte
2 Divine Offering
2 Serrated Arrows
3 Shade of Trokair
4 Standard Bearer

That list adressed a few issues: First, I never really sided in Holy Light, so it was eating up SB space. Second, aside from Crimson Acolytes, I had nothing to side in against UR Cloud, and nothing to side against MUC period. Both were gaining strength in WW heavy meta and I needed to do something.

Finally, I was siding in Prismatic Strands in the sb in almost every single matchup so I decided to just MD the second copy.

The list was a success -for 2 whole days, before I started seeings Serrated Arrows in the mirror. And in MBC. And in UR Cloud, maindeck.

It would be an understatement to say that the meta was getting very, very hostile for WW to thrive in. I was still getting some 3-1 results, but had no 4-0s for a few days, and the previously stimulating mirror was getting tedious and brain grinding. I was around sub-100 tix, which was a bad sign, and with the 45 qps as my goal, it was very stressing to feel like time was running out.

I was talking to NecroSavant, who was having problems of his own with Grixis Storm and was losing a lot of tix. We both were desperate, and I knew that if I wanted to have a shot at 45 qps, I needed to switch my deck. Our daily conversations would look something like this:

Me/Him: I hate WW/Storm
Mw:Him: I don’t know what to play anymore
Him/Me: Yeah, same here

On the 15th of July, I tried out Infect. I bought the deck, lost 2-2 in a daily with it, and went 19-12 in 2 mans. Surely, this wasn’t a deck for me. My win % was lower than what I had with WW and the deck was too volatile for my tastes. So for 3 days, I kept on slinging WW, only to not cash a single DE. Everywhere I looked there were Serrated Arrows, Mirror, or both. I was psychologically down. I’d lost hope that I’d get those 45 qps or place in a daily ever again. I could kill a small child for a 3-1 finish.

And I finally made the change:

Me: Yo
Me: I’ve found my deck
NecroSavant: What is it?
Me: Storm. :VV:V
NecroSavant: get out

And the change was great, I went back to winning some pax with it, and eventually came second place on the PE. I’m still playing Storm and it’s serving me well.

So there is it.

I hope you liked my story. Getting to 45 QPs last month was a madman’s quest but it was a lot of fun and I had a great time playing WW and having it fund me a ton of drafts and such to get me prepared for MOCS / Nationals. WW will always have a special place for me, even if I’m unlikely to pick it up again.

APPENDIX: My MOCS Report:

Step 1: Open Flameblast Drag00n, Grave Tits
Step 2: Bye for 3 rounds
Step 3: Mulligan to 4 both games, start with 3-1
Step 4: Derp Derp Grave Tits 4-1
Step 5: Herp Herp Drag00n 5-1
Step 6: Lose connection to internet.

Yeah, I don’t want to talk about it.

Nighthavk
Nighthavk_ on MODO
kedi98ATgmailDOTcom

Pauper is turning Green!

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Classic Pauper is being ruled by an Elf. I am not talking about some infinite mana combo or an Overrun deck. I am talking about a little sickly, 1/1 dork that mages all over the MTGO landscape are beefing up and going over the top for 10 plus poison, on turn two. If you have played a Pauper Tournament on MTGO, it has probably happened to you. It goes something like this: Your opponenet wins the dice roll and chooses to play first. Your heart thuds as you wait for the first land to be played. The land drops and it’s a Forest. The sight of it makes the bile rise in your throat a little bit. It taps and you see turn 1 Glistener Elf. You are looking at 7 cards, the only one that is going to hit the board? A land. You draw your card, feeling sorry for yourself, look at nothing that can save you and pass the turn. Your oppenent untaps, you are certain he is grinning ear to ear, drops a Forest, and swings and with a puny 1/1, that makes you quiver in fear. That’s when it happens, he taps a Forest, casting Groundswell. You are now staring at a 5/5 infecter. Next you see your life total jump by 4, and suddenly this guy is a 9/9. Then the Mutagenic Growth goes off and your life flashes before your eyes and that quick, its on to game 2.

Now I am not going give you a whole page of my opinion and whether or not I think that Invigorate and Groundswell are fair. What I am going to talk about is how you can win vs the Sickly Green Menace. First, you have to understand that you are very likely going to see this deck in every Daily or Premier event that you participate in on MTGO. The deck is fast. The deck is consistent. More importantly, the deck is FRAGILE.

The first step in winning vs Infect is playing first. If you don’t play first, there is a possibility that you will never play a second land. So, in MTGO Tournaments where I don’t know what my opponent is playing, I always choose to play to first. This is purely a metagame choice. I play a classic storm deck often and against most people I would draw for the extra card, but without knowing what someone is playing, I always choose to play. That way, I get to at least untap one of my CIPT lands before I die.

The second thing you must do is get something on the board turn one with a removal spell to back it up. Infect only has 4 Rancor’s in the deck, if you can get a blocker, you had better do it, and quick. The removal back up is key as well. Try your best to save instant removal for when they cast Rancor. If you succeed in killing the guy, Rancor goes to the graveyard and not back into their hand.

The third thing that you must do is never under any circumstances let a dude through if you don’t have to. If you haven’t seen their hand with a Gitaxian Probe or a Duress, then you just assume that they have lethal. because more often than not, they do. If they have two cards in hand, they can likely do between 7 and 9 poison.

Infect has no form of card advantage. If you can survive until turn 4 or 5 your chances are good that you can win the game. Every turn you untap, brings you closer and closer to a winning advantage. By turn 7 or 8, you are almost certain to beat the Sickly Green Menace. But don’t get complacent. You can still die suddenly and out of nowhere.
Finally, I would like to mention the best and worst match-ups for infect. Infects best match-up, hands down, is Cloudpost. Cloudpost is almost a free win for the Infect player. There are a lot of reasons why, but mostly because Cloudpost is a late game deck and infect likes to win early. Cloudpost just can’t handle the early game well enough. The very worst match-up for Infect is probably either White Weenie or Mono Rat Control. Both of these decks have early drops that can stall out the Infect player and build up a huge advantage every turn that goes by. After Side Board, both decks have tons of options and should be favorites VS infect. Neither of these decks are simple to play and each needs practice to be successful. MUC or Mono Blue Control also has a good game vs Infect, if the player is experienced at playing crontrol and plays to tempo out the Infect player. Just keep in mind that infect plays both Vines of the Vastwood and Apostle’s Blessing and each one can effectively be a counterspell.

Good luck in your Tournaments. Come back later this week, when I talk about Gitaxian Probe and why you should be playing it!

PureMTGO: Pauper – Stompy

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

deluxeicoff has a good overview of Stompy, a pretty consistent Classic deck over at PureMTGO

Read Pauper – Stompy at PureMTGO.

PureMTGO: From Boredom to Pauper: A Goblin’s Beginning

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Josh Salske tries standard, extended, and settles on pauper in this story of how a player came to be playing (and winning) in the pauper queues with a classic goblin deck.

Read this article on PureMTGO.

PureMTGO: Pauper Madness and the Rise of MBC!

Friday, February 4th, 2011

Andrea Fonseca has a short article discussing the rise (re-rise?) of MBC in Classic Pauper.

Read this article at PureMTGO.