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By: DimeCollectoR, Jason Moore
Sep 11 2017 11:00am
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Hi folks!

I tried to warn you.

 

In March I spoke of the prospective potency of Conspiracy: Take the Crown's Thorn of the Black Rose. Here's what I had to say about the card's significance:

 

This is set to become a huge deal in Classic Pauper because it is the closest thing that the format has ever had to a planeswalker. In fact, this might be the closest Pauper ever gets to having a planeswalker!

 

What do I mean? Monarch draws us an extra card on our end step, so it's acting like an extra spell (or an activated planeswalker ability) each turn. It also creates a critical subgame by making attacking and hurting us quickly one of the opponent's highest priorities.”

 

It's safe to say that we are now beginning to see what Thorn is actually capable of in Pauper. Strategies have started appearing with the shadowy 1/3 as their lynchpin. And these strategies are putting up results!

Mono Black Rose
by Deluxeicoff - 75 Cards Total
Creature
4 Thorn of the Black Rose
4 cards

Instant
4 Diabolic Edict
2 Snuff Out
4 Vendetta
10 cards
Sorcery
4 Chainer's Edict
2 Duress
4 Evincar's Justice
1 Raven's Crime
4 Read the Bones
2 Sign in Blood
1 Syphon Life
18 cards

Artifact
4 Pristine Talisman
4 cards
Land
2 Bojuka Bog
4 Quicksand
4 Radiant Fountain
14 Swamp
24 cards
 


Sideboard
4 Cuombajj Witches
2 Duress
4 Faerie Macabre
1 Raven's Crime
4 Relic of Progenitus
15 cards


(Deck went 5-0 at this event)

 

Let's be honest. This deck is awesome.

 

The game plan is roughly as follows: Wipe everything out, refill with draw spells and monarch, finish them off with Justice-plus-Talismans (and/or Syphon Life).

 

I'm a big fan of the redundant pieces seen in this 75. I know these aren't the only four-ofs in the deck, but any list that gets to max out on Pristine Talisman, Quicksand, Radiant Fountain, and Relic of Progenitus in the sideboard is a list that has my attention.

 

There's just something so robust and indulgent about having lots of four-ofs. Merely the idea of nuking our opponent's graveyard repeatedly with four Relics for some reason makes me grin.

 

Is four Faerie Macabre and four Relic of Progenitus overkill in terms of graveyard hate? Yeah, probably. I'm sure Deluxeicoff has a reason for this, though. There must be a prominent matchup out there that can't be overcome otherwise.

 

From a strategic standpoint, this deck wants to kill everyone. No creature gets to survive. It also kinda has to kill everyone, since monarch would otherwise end up being a cruel mistress, one that our opponent's would be able to steal.

 

Good thing the removal suite is as harsh and varied as it is. Snuff Out and Vendetta for mana efficiency, edicts for harder to kill guys, and big daddy Evincar for decks that want to swarm the board.

 

The 4/2 ratio of Read the Bones to Sign in Blood, rather than the other way around, catches my eye. I imagine that the scry 2 ends up being really valuable in this deck. Think of matchups where so much removal ends up being excessive, or games where monarch needs to be retaken as soon as possible.

 

With so many colorless utility lands around, Read the Bones also ends up being a more playable spell than the BB sorcery.

 

I won't be at all surprised if this deck really catches on. It has some very novel and appealing attributes that might draw in a number of players. It's almost entirely creatureless, it's a new take on Mono Black Control, it features an intuitive plan, and it's not terribly expensive at the moment.

 

Looking forward to seeing how this strategy performs in the future!

 

***

 

I'm pleasantly surprised to see someone else try an Orzhov list with Thorn of the Black Rose. I wrote about my version of BW Rose in April, and now we have a fresh list to examine!

 

(Deck went 5-0 at this event)

 

VJT covered a lot of bases here. Like my version of BW, he didn't lean too heavily on Thorn of the Black Rose. His deck still features a number of Kor Skyfisher synergies and attritive components.

 

The list features enough threats to produce pressure, and even some that can directly affect the opponent's life total (Basilica Guards and Crypt Rats). This comes in handy against more controlling strategies, as does the single Okiba-Gang Shinobi and copy of Grim Harvest.

 

There's even a Prismatic Strands to deny “combo” kills like Fling and Temur Battle Rage, or simply to keep the opponent from stealing monarch for a couple of turns.

 

Orzhov is a formidable color combination as far as sideboard options are concerned. I have to imagine that Hexproof struggles immensely against a deck playing five edicts (four with flashback), two copies of Coalition Honor Guard, a Disenchant, three Duresses, two Kor Sanctifiers and two Prismatic Strands.

 

Duress and Wrench Mind serve as additional hand disruption against controlling decks, and since the main deck is already decently situated against aggro, only a handful of cards will end up coming in against the Stompys and RDWs of the world.

 

Here's hoping VJT continues to put up results with this deck!

 

***

 

This final list doesn't include Thorn of the Black Rose, but I had to include it anyway. Besides, this deck is capable of becoming the monarch, so I figure that's close enough!

White Weenie
by nukoron - 75 Cards Total
Creature
3 Guardian of the Guildpact
4 Icatian Javelineers
4 Kor Skyfisher
4 Loyal Cathar
3 Razor Golem
4 Squadron Hawk
4 Thraben Inspector
26 cards

Sorcery
3 Sunlance
3 cards
Artifact
4 Bonesplitter
4 cards

Enchantment
2 Gift of Orzhova
4 Journey to Nowhere
6 cards
Land
21 Plains
21 cards
 


Sideboard
2 Celestial Flare
2 Dust to Dust
2 Kor Sanctifiers
1 Lone Missionary
2 Palace Sentinels
2 Relic of Progenitus
3 Standard Bearer
1 Sunlance
15 cards

 

(Deck went 5-0 at this event)

 

A list quite similar to this crushed me in Tournament Practice while I was playing Value Town.

 

I like some of the things going on here, namely the Palace Sentinels in the board. This makes for a solid trump against very defensive, controlling strategies who want to sit back on a clear board.

 

Another interesting facet of the list is its return to a couple of “old school” White Weenie inclusions. Guardian of the Guildpact and Razor Golem represent the “top end” of this deck's offense.

 

This means if the opponent survives the initial onslaught, there is a Plan B of going “Voltron” on a Guardian by way of Bonesplitters and Gift of Orzhova. While there are a decent number of edicts around, there are also enemies who have no answer at all to this “combo.”

 

I'm not expecting this list to go completely mainstream, but it's hard to envision a world in which I don't sleeve it up myself sometime!

 

Dime's Up

 

Is Thorn of the Black Rose rising to top-tier status in Pauper? Feel free to share your thoughts.

  

You can also follow me on Twitter (@DimecollectorSC) for MTG-related updates and info!

 

Bye for now!