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By: DimeCollectoR, Jason Moore
Oct 02 2017 11:00am
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Hi folks!

There is more of Masters to meditate on!

 

I spent most of last time gushing about Lead the Stampede, so today I'll be sure to spread the love quite a bit more. No need to waste further time. Let's get moving!

 

Seeker of the Way

 

Seeker of the Way appears to be the card that the majority of Pauper fans are most excited about.

 

My excitement level is only moderately high, actually. I'll be perfectly happy to be wrong about this, but I don't think that Seeker will prove to be the best card in the set for Pauper. The monk can be dealt with by a cavalcade of mana-efficient answers, a ton of which he trades down with. This worries me.

 

It's my opinion that over time (though probably not right away) Lead the Stampede will prove to be the more powerful card when applied to the Pauper landscape. Let's see what happens!

 

I think that one of the best creatures to compare Seeker of the Way to is Thermo-Alchemist. A two-drop that does nothing when it lands, but can potentially put in some real work on the following turn.

 

Alchemist, however, comes with an additional point of toughness, hence surviving a lot of combats and a number of black and red removal spells. It also slots precisely into a deck that maximizes its triggered ability by playing almost all instants and sorceries. As far as I can tell, Seeker doesn't currently have this same luxury.

 

This is not to say that I think the card isn't good or playable. Prowess is considerably effective in our format because of all the cheap, powerful spells present in our card pool.

 

Here are a couple of ideas I have when it comes to Seeker decks in Pauper.

 

WR Seeker Tokens
by Jason Moore - 60 Cards Total
Creature
4 Seeker of the Way
4 Thraben Inspector
8 cards

Instant
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Raise the Alarm
4 Rally the Peasants
12 cards
Sorcery
4 Battle Screech
4 Dragon Fodder
1 Flame Jab
4 Gather the Townsfolk
1 Triplicate Spirits
14 cards

Enchantment
4 Lumithread Field
4 cards
Land
1 Ash Barrens
1 Boros Garrison
4 Boros Guildgate
4 Mountain
7 Plains
1 Secluded Steppe
4 Wind-Scarred Crag
22 cards
 


This is a fairly straightforward swarm strategy that can subsequently trigger prowess several times over. Battle Screech, Flame Jab and Rally the Peasants all have the potential to be very effective when there are Seekers on the table.

 

When it comes to decks that get the most out of their Seekers, I think this could end up being just what the doctor ordered.

 

The door may also be opening for a UW deck in Pauper with a prowess theme. See below.

 

UW Prowess
by Jason Moore - 60 Cards Total
Creature
4 Jeskai Sage
4 Jeskai Student
4 Seeker of the Way
1 Stormbound Geist
13 cards

Instant
2 Dispel
3 Emerge Unscathed
3 Feeling of Dread
1 Mutagenic Growth
2 Piracy Charm
3 Think Twice
14 cards
Sorcery
3 Gitaxian Probe
4 Ponder
2 Sunlance
9 cards

Planeswalker
4 Delver of Secrets
4 cards
Land
3 Ash Barrens
2 Evolving Wilds
6 Island
4 Plains
1 Terramorphic Expanse
4 Tranquil Cove
20 cards
 


Tempo is the name of the game here. Hence cards like Emerge Unscathed and Feeling of Dread buffing our guys and allowing them to get in for damage across multiple turns.

 

Some want to incorporate Seeker of the Way into preexisting strategies like Boros and White Weenie. I don't currently have any great ideas about how that should be done, so I'll leave that in the hands of more capable brewers.

 

***

Guardian Idol

 

 

This card just makes me happy for some reason. It functions like a universal keyrune, sort of.

 

The fact that it ramps, is an artifact, and can be enlisted as an attacker or blocker are all relevant details that can be capitalized on in a given deck design.

 

Naturally I'm looking for ways to work this into various Pauper control decks, and I think it should prove to be a decent fit there. Here's one of my early ideas.

 

Kuldotha Control
by Jason Moore - 60 Cards Total
Creature
1 Gearseeker Serpent
4 Mulldrifter
4 Self-Assembler
3 Trinket Mage
12 cards

Instant
2 Counterspell
1 Dispel
4 Galvanic Blast
1 Prohibit
8 cards
Sorcery
2 Deep Analysis
4 Preordain
6 cards

Artifact
1 Flayer Husk
4 Guardian Idol
4 Izzet Signet
1 Pyrite Spellbomb
1 Relic of Progenitus
2 Serrated Arrows
13 cards
Land
3 Darksteel Citadel
4 Great Furnace
2 Island
4 Izzet Guildgate
4 Seat of the Synod
4 Swiftwater Cliffs
21 cards
 


A tap-out control deck that wants to ramp into four and five mana early, but also uses artifacts to power up one of the format's best burn spells (Galvanic Blast), and power out Gearseeker Serpent (not sure how many of these to play yet).

 

Because we're going to use mana on our turn frequently I've trimmed some permission, hoping instead to churn out Mulldrifters and Self-Assemblers at a faster rate than many decks can handle.

 

If you're looking for something a little more reactive, then look no further than the deck below.

 

Idol Teachings
by Jason Moore - 60 Cards Total
Creature
3 Gurmag Angler
4 Mulldrifter
7 cards

Instant
4 Counterspell
1 Crypt Incursion
1 Diabolic Edict
2 Disfigure
1 Dispel
1 Dissolve
1 Doom Blade
1 Echoing Decay
3 Mystical Teachings
2 Think Twice
1 Tragic Slip
1 Vendetta
19 cards
Sorcery
2 Chainer's Edict
2 Evincar's Justice
4 Preordain
8 cards

Artifact
3 Guardian Idol
3 cards
Enchantment
1 Dead Weight
1 cards

Land
1 Ash Barrens
1 Dimir Aqueduct
4 Dimir Guildgate
4 Dismal Backwater
8 Island
1 Mortuary Mire
3 Swamp
22 cards
 


Idols should work great here because they accelerate into Turn 3 Evincar's Justice and Mystical Teachings. They also make for faster Gurmag Anglers and Mulldrifters. While we do lose out on the incremental life gain of Pristine Talisman with this list, our curve and card choices should be serviceable against fast attack decks (again I point you to that Turn 3 board wipe). There's also still Crypt Incursion to eventually put our life total way out of burn range.

 

For whatever reason a number of people seem to only look at Teachings as being playable with Curse of the Bloody Tome and next to no creatures. That route can certainly work, and I'm not disputing it. I, however, often prefer to play the most appropriate and powerful cards for a given metagame when running Teachings. Mulldrifter is one of the best creatures the format has and gives more than one popular deck a headache. The same can be said, loudly, about Gurmag Angler. Idol is a potential attacker, so it's not much use to us in a mill strategy.

 

This dovetails us into another new card!

 

Dissolve

 

Is Dissolve efficient enough to see play in the realm of commons only? I'm leaning slightly towards no, especially because I think Faerie Trickery may even be a more appropriate option for the format. I'm of course going to try it anyway in a lot of U/x control lists. Here's one of them, a deck that wants to play a lot of counters.

Idol Teachings
by Jason Moore - 60 Cards Total
Creature
2 Augur of Bolas
4 Mulldrifter
4 Spire Golem
10 cards

Instant
4 Accumulated Knowledge
4 Counterspell
2 Dissolve
2 Dispel
1 Echoing Truth
1 Miscalculation
2 Piracy Charm
1 Repeal
17 cards
Sorcery
4 Ponder
4 cards

Artifact
1 Serrated Arrows
1 cards
Enchantment
1 Curse of Chains
1 Spontaneous Mutation
2 cards

Planeswalker
4 Delver of Secrets
4 cards
Land
20 Island
2 Quicksand
22 cards
 

 

One key to making this deck optimal will be ensuring that the sideboard allows us to swap out a number of counters for cheap removal and blockers against aggro. Managing a swarmed board is not going to be this list's strongest suit, so we'll have to keep that in mind, making adjustments if necessary.

 

***

 

Jaddi Offshoot

 

 

 

Do green decks have a need for this card? Perhaps they might, particularly if Burn is a deck that ails them. My home for Jaddi Offshoot? The Freed from the Real combo deck I had tons of fun with earlier this year.

Offshoot Freed
by Jason Moore - 60 Cards Total

Creature
4 Jaddi Offshoot
4 Axebane Guardian
4 Llanowar Sentinel
4 Mulldrifter
4 Overgrown Battlement
1 Ulamog's Crusher
17 cards

Instant
1 Dispel
1 Negate
2 cards

Sorcery
1 Kaervek's Torch
4 Ponder
4 Preordain
2 See Beyond
1 Train of Thought
12 cards

Enchantment
1 Curse of Chains
3 Freed from the Real
1 Sensory Deprivation
5 cards
Land
3 Evolving Wilds
4 Forest
6 Island
3 Terramorphic Expanse
4 Thornwood Falls
20 cards
 

 

This deck sort of reminds me of the GW Tokens strategy that runs the Midnight Guard-plus-Presence of Gond combo. Both decks have a workable Plan A with a nifty infinite combo on the side. My Freed strat functions like a midrange value deck thanks to Overgrown Battlement ramping into Llanowar Sentinels Mulldrifters and Train of Thought. It also gets to draw its entire deck with that same Train of Thought once the combo is accessed. 

One nice thing about Offshoot here is that it triggers twice off of our fetchlands, which in turn help to optimize our Ponders.

 

That being said, I'm not positive that Jaddi Offshoot adds much to the list. I'm willing to mess around with it and find out, though.

 

***

 

Honorable Mentions

 

Wow. I'm already over my limit and there's still so much to talk about! We're going to grind through these today, but don't be surprised if I have build-around brews for them later!

 

 

This card is not quite there yet. Nevertheless, it is one to keep in the back of your mind. Searing Blaze is one Burn's most powerful effects, and a version with a less harsh casting cost could have promise. If changeling resurfaces, or if more playable dragons get printed one day, this red instant will likely come roaring into the Pauper metagame.

 

Emerge Unscathed 

 

 

This is a spell with a lot of potential. It already pairs nicely with Seeker of the Way and other prowess beaters, but how about creatures with heroic? Or perhaps better yet, Ophidians like the one below?! I figure someone will “break” this card eventually. Hopefully that someone is me.

 

Jhessian Thief
 

 

I want this in an Emerge Unscathed deck! Or maybe as a pseudo-finisher in one of my million variants of UR Control.

 

Prey's Vengeance

 

A few people seem to be expecting big things from this pump spell with rebound. Like Emerge Unscathed it works well with prowess and heroic, and can be used for defensive or offensive purposes. Can it be played in decks like Stompy? Absolutely. I already feel like Aspect of Hydra is an underplayed pump, though, and possibly even better than this one.

 

It gets difficult to compare pump spells for me sometimes, since they often end up being some variant of Giant Growth with marginally distinct qualities. I have a feeling that the lack of front-end oomph on this card will prove disappointing a good deal of the time (Aspect, Groundswell, Vines, etc. can all deal four damage now). Furthermore, it doesn't let Stompy's 2/2s win combat with the creatures from, say, Affinity.

 

Still, the flexible nature of the card might be its biggest selling point. I'm a bit more interested in playing this card in a new deck than I am in playing it in an established one. That said, Stompy will probably be glad to have it around in some number.

 

Survival Cache

 

Did I mention I'm way over my limit? Survival Cache and Seeker of the Way seem to work very well together. If a Pauper take on Soul Sisters or GW tokens needs the ability to replenish its hand, this sorcery might prove serviceable. Also, look for commons to pair with this that trigger upon gaining life...

 

Thrill-Kill Assassin

 

I'm not feeling this one. I know some are, but unleash really hasn't done anything in Pauper and deathtouch has done only a pinch more. If we unleash the thing, then deathtouch is wasted half of the time and we can't stall out boards that don't favor us. I've revisited Suicide Black just about every time something arrives that could provide the deck with a relevant boost. I keep searching for “the one,” if you will. Thrill-Kill Assassin is not “the one.”

 

Dime's Up

 

I said it before, and I'll say it again. Iconic Masters is magnificent! Do you agree? Disagree? Why or why not? What decks do you want to build with these fresh-faced cards? Will I actually be right about Lead the Stampede?

 

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

 

Bye for now! 

1 Comments

In case it wasn't obvious, by DimeCollectoR at Tue, 10/03/2017 - 10:21
DimeCollectoR's picture

In case it wasn't obvious, the second decklist named "Idol Teachings" is actually "Mono Blue Control."