Modern Masters 2017 has hit MTGO and it's been a great deal of fun drafting the format. While I have enjoyed the draft environment, I am still much more of a Constructed player at heart, and well, Modern is still more expensive than I can afford, and Standard is a train wreck of a format that I do not find enjoyable at all.
For a housebound MTGO player the options for competitive play leave me with more Limited (I still dislike the draft leagues, and want my play experience to match paper as often as possible), the throwback Standard event (which seems like a lot of fun until you get the Cadaverous Bloom deck), Legacy (if Modern costs a lot, that has to knock out Legacy) and Pauper (is kinda getting expensive, but not a format I have fun with). I could play in Player Run Events, and have before, I just don't like them as much.
This was supposed to be about a Modern deck, because I actually did downsize my paper collection, like why have it if I can't actually play with the cards right? There was a miscommunication between my middle man and the shop that purchased my extra cards, and I was left with enough money to do stuff, but not enough to do what I wanted to.
I really wanted to build a copy of Living End in Modern, because it seems well positioned in a format full of Death's Shadow. With the addition of Blood Moon and Grove of the Burnwillows what was kind of budget deck stopped being a budget deck, and I wanted to build the list I had my heart set on playing, not a version that I would use to maybe build up to what I wanted.
Without a real plan, and with wanting to play Magic, I made what I considered to be a sensible choice.
I bought Persona 5. It's sixty dollars, and offers more than one hundred hours of game play. It's an entertaining game, and I loved the previous Persona games. I paid a couple of bills as well. Figured why not pay them now and have money later with my next check? This left me with just enough for a Pauper deck on MTGO.
If you follow me on Twitter you know by now that I am not a huge fan of the Pauper format. It for the most part is a fine format, but there is something about it that I just do not find enjoyable. Maybe it's that blue has the power of banned in Modern level cards while the other colors struggle to keep up. More likely it is all about Cloud of Faeries and Snap and Peregrine Drake just killing the format for me. WotC thought that a format full of common answers would be able to keep up with those cards, but those cards are incredibly good, while the answers are just good. They lack that reason to play with them instead of the broken cards.
Still I do have things that I enjoy about the format. Kiln Fiend is my Salt Bae for life (is that a thing anymore, the whole Salt Bae, I don't know if it or not). I like casting Nivix Cyclops, and Delver of Secrets was a nice way to protect my creatures necks from edicts while still being able to threaten lethal if they let me untap with a hand full of cards.
It's almost like a storm deck but without Grapeshot or Empty the Warrens and I guess it is not a terrible start to a fringe playable Modern deck if I decided to go that way. Heck Kiln Fiend did show up a TcgPlayer State championship top eight. Maybe there is room in the format for Nivmagus Elemental again.
Augur of Bolas is the new toy that this deck got to play with from Modern Masters 2017. I saw a lot of pauper players talking about how the card would be great in UB, and maybe it is, but it's absurd in Izzet Blitz. Replacing Delver of Secrets, it does slow you down a bit, as you go from turn one creature, turn two Kiln Fiend, turn three set up for a turn four win or just win line of play. The tradeoff of slowing down while also providing edict protection is that you can find so many cards that work well with your creatures.
Let's take a look at the deck.
So why Augur over Delver?
In short, Delver is a one mana do nothing in the deck. While it does turn into a one mana do nothing that also flies, the better stats don't really help you win the game faster. Delver does not help you refill your hand when you run out of gas, and it also does not help you find a spell that will let you kill the opponent.
Augur does what Delver don't.
That worked a lot better when SEGA said that about Nintendo.
Augur fits in this deck incredibly well, and that should be very easy considering that more than half of the deck is a spell. These spells can be broken down by what they do, are they removal, card draw, counters or pump? Which one do you need the most of in your hand? Are you lacking countermagic? Find a Dispel (which spell? Dispel, sighs loudly). Need to get through a blocker? Flame Slash, Lightning Bolt, Piracy Charm, and Apostle's Blessing can get rid of blockers for you. Drawing cards and refilling your hand is easy when you're casting Gush. With Ponder, Preordain and Gitaxian Probe taking up 12 slots in the deck, it would be easy to get this deck confused with a Modern No Ban List deck. Add Great Furnace to the list as well!
I actually have no idea why Great Furnace is in this list, and it's one of the things I dislike about it. There is no reason in this list to play them, so save yourself the six tickets and use basic Mountains.
Back to Augur, it has for sure made its presence felt in the Pauper format, and has been an outstanding addition to not only Izzet Blitz, but to UR Faeries and UB Control as well. It so far, has turned out to be a great downshift in regards to rarity, and not a downshift like Drake which completely ruined the format for months.
With that said, I feel like I said what I wanted to for how great Augur of Bolas is in Pauper, and how nice it is in regards to make sure you don't run out of things to do in Blitz. The deck has always been a lot of fun, now, I feel like it is just a bit more consistent.
Give it a try and have a lot of fun with it!