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By: DimeCollectoR, Jason Moore
Sep 18 2017 11:00am
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Hi folks!

We have some big Pauper-relevant spoilers coming out these days.

 

Most of the exciting ones are by way of Iconic Masters, which I'm getting very giddy about brewing with and discussing.

 

But that will have to wait until next week!

 

Today we're going to focus on the commons arriving via Ixalan, WOTC's most imminent expansion set. At the time of this writing, only about half of the set has been revealed. I hope, however, that what follows will still be of use to you.

 

 

I want to address both of these briefly, because I have similar feelings about each.

 

These two don't currently do enough in my eyes to warrant serious consideration. Each requires the cards they work in conjuction with to be awesome, which is not usually a great sign. Furthermore, those hypothetically awesome “buddy” cards do not even exist at the moment.

 

With Commune in particular, spending one mana and a card to possibly nab a Mortuary Mire or Nameless Inversion is only mildly enticing (especially when having to settle for a Forest or Swamp will be an equally likely outcome).

 

However, if stronger dinosaurs end up getting revealed later, these newbies may merit a second look.

 

 

I've seen a bit of debate on forums like reddit regarding whether or not this Grey Ogre-meets-Squadron Hawk is playable in the realm of commons only.

 

Personally I don't see why not.

 

The extra colorless mana requirement and lack of flying are by no means insignificant downgrades, but the bigger body and soldier creature type do an alright job of compensating.

 

Think of this creature as one that plays a supporting role in strategies where the community is more important than the individual.

 

An aggressive strategy like White Weenie can make use of these Legion of Dusk affiliates by packing equipment and/or Guardians' Pledge effects alongside them.

 

One of the main reasons that the deck disappeared in the first place is that it fell far behind in the Pauper “arms race.” Other strategies have gotten much better at playing a drawn out value game, which was something White Weenie excelled at once upon a time.

 

The format has since received value and attrition cards like Augur of Bolas, Chainer's Edict, Dinrova Horror, Gray Merchant of Asphodel, Perilous Research, Pulse of Murasa and Stormbound Geist.

 

On the beatdown side of the spectrum, fast aggro (and aggro-combo) decks have become meaner thanks to Burning-Tree Emissary, Cartouche of Solidarity, Elvish Vanguard Firebrand Archer, Temur Battle Rage and Thermo-Alchemist.

 

A card like (Legion Conquistador) could very well end up being necessary in White Weenie just for the sake of keeping up with the Joneses!

 

Let's halt the theory-craft for a moment and see what an actual list might look like.

White Weenie
by Jason Moore - 71 Cards Total
Creature
4 Doomed Traveler
4 Kor Skyfisher
4 Loyal Cathar
4 Squadron Hawk
4 Thraben Inspector
4 War Falcon
4 (Legion Conquistador)
24 cards

Instant
1 Guardians' Pledge
1 cards
Sorcery
1 Battle Screech
1 cards

Artifact
4 Bonesplitter
4 cards
Enchantment
2 Journey to Nowhere
2 Lumithread Field
4 cards

Land
21 Plains
1 Secluded Steppe
22 cards
 

Sideboard
1 Battle Screech
1 Guardians' Pledge
2 Journey to Nowhere
2 Lumithread Field
1 Patrician's Scorn
2 Prismatic Strands
1 Relic of Progenitus
2 Rune of Protection: Red
2 Standard Bearer
1 Sunlance
15 cards

 

This is a deck that supports War Falcon with 20 soldiers, including the new guy. Many of our threats replace themselves, and thanks to Lumithread Field can get out of Electrickery or Evincar's Justice range. Battle Screech-into-Guardians' Pledge is our nuclear option.

 

Additional removal in our sideboard for Affinity, Izzet Fiend and Stompy (A.K.A. degenerate creatures that must be managed), a second Pledge for decks that need to die (Tron and other behemoths), more Fields against sweepers, and Strands for Burn, Fiend, Hexproof and aggro. You can figure out the rest.

 

I'm pretty sure we struggle against Affinity (their boards outsize ours and they can go the degenerate route), and auto-lose to anybody with multiples of Moment's Peace. So be it.

 

But Conquistador doesn't only benefit a deck like the one above.

 

We also have the shuffle effect provided by him, which helps to optimize spells like Brainstorm and Ponder.

 

A Pauper equivalent of “Caw Blade” has failed to see competitive success, largely because it's conceptually based around synergies rather than kill conditions or raw power. Nevertheless, additional Squadron Hawk effects by way of (Legion Conquistador) could help boost that deck's consistency and overall power level.

 

I don't have a list at the moment, but if there is enough clamor for one I can create and post it later.

 

 

Don't get me wrong, this is not an objectively good card.

 

It does, however, survive three Pestilence activations. These same three activations would cause the opponent to take a total of 12 damage per turn! Is your opponent at 16? Go for the full four activations and win on the spot.

 

Might, just might, be something to look into.

 

 

I have no idea who Tishana is or where she's going, but (Tishana's Wayfinder) is a creature I can get behind.

 

Cards with variable abilities like this can often be underwhelming, since they inevitably fail to yield the “best case” result we're hoping for. However, like Coiling Oracle this new creature provides upside no matter what turns up on the top of our deck.

 

Let's not forget that we can preemptively stack the top of our library with scry effects or by being mature about things and playing blue.

 

Assuming we don't do either of those things, there are roughly three “versions” of (Tishana's Wayfinder) that we might be getting.

 

The first is a Phyrexian Rager, which green has never had access to. I'm cool with that.

 

The second is a 3/3 for 3 that scries a card to the top, helps us sculpt our next plays, and carries a +1/+1 counter that can be proliferated or what have you.

 

Some cards like being on the top of our deck, especially Thunderous Wrath or an instant or sorcery for Delver of Secrets. Again, there is a decent amount of utility here and I'm not dissatisfied.

 

Thirdly we have a 3/3 for 3 that puts our top card into our graveyard.

 

Even if this is your first week playing Pauper you know that the graveyard is where a lot of cool things happen. Delve, flashback and retrace all care about the realm of the dead. So does Archaeomancer, Haunted Fengraf, Mnemonic Wall, Mortuary Mire, Reaping the Graves and Tortured Existence.

 

So yes, I like this card. It's not quite Satyr Wayfinder in Golgari Tortured Existence, but for the beefier body we might be interested.

 

I think there's also the possibility of running (Tishana's Wayfinder) in a few different Simic builds. Tron, however, would play Fierce Empath before going near this.

 

Dime's Up

 

I hope you've enjoyed my initial thoughts on Ixalan! Let me know if you think I missed anything, or if I made any incorrect evaluations.

 

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

 

Bye for now!

4 Comments

Deck by bocco1 at Tue, 09/19/2017 - 06:13
bocco1's picture

Hi Jason always a good read. What are the 4 missing cards from the deck?

It's Legion Conquistador. I by JXClaytor at Fri, 09/22/2017 - 00:38
JXClaytor's picture

It's Legion Conquistador. I added it to the list, but the tool does not update the card count automatically and I neglected to change it, I was more concerned with getting the list right.

To me Conquistador reminds by Fragoel2 at Tue, 09/19/2017 - 07:35
Fragoel2's picture

To me Conquistador reminds of Phyrexian Rager, except it draws three copies of itself rather than a random card. Is it playable? Probably but currently Phyrexian Rager is not a card that really shines in Pauper. And it seems more fit to a midrange shell than an aggressive one.

bocco1 - I believe it's the by DimeCollectoR at Thu, 09/21/2017 - 21:28
DimeCollectoR's picture

bocco1 - I believe it's the new guy, Legion Conquistador.

Fragoel2 - Good to hear from you! Been a long time. Nice observations, I will keep these in mind as my thoughts on the card evolve.