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By: JustSin, Dave
Aug 28 2012 1:07pm
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Fan Fixes

Well I'm back and slightly better rested after a week-long vacation, but I know there are some of you out there who are chomping at the bit to get your Pauper information.  If you'll remember from last time around I had altered my article schedule slightly in order to make up for the missed week.  Had I not been on vacation then you would have gotten my bi-weekly meta article last week, however I did decide to push it back and now you'll receive our look at competitive Pauper two weeks in a row!  So let's get right to it!


The Competitive Corner

If you remember a few weeks ago (the last time that we visited the Competitive Corner) we were at that point where M13 had just been released and the prize pool had been updated.  At this point we have now had M13 packs as our prizes for a few weeks now and the prices of these packs on the secondary market has dropped to a pretty steady area, but we are still seeing a large quantity of people showing up to Pauper Dailies.  The Daily Events with the fewest number of showings sat around 14, which was still significantly higher than it has been in the past and we even managed two Daily Events that had 28 people ending "in the money".  If you remember the last Competitive Corner then you'll remember me talking about a Daily Event that had 24 people ending "in the money" and how this was a record for the weeks that I had been tracking the meta... well I'd say that we've pretty well blown that out of the water!  I just want you to keep this in mind as you look at this past week's numbers and understand why the numbers are so much higher than they have been...

Daily Events for 8/6 - 8/19

First I apologize for the look of that pie chart there, but because there are so many decks that showed this week it meant there were a lot more non-rogue decks, which of course cramped the chart.  Even the totals from this are quite high as we had two decks break the 100 mark.  You can tell just from this table here that we're going to have quite a few shake ups as a result of the high numbers.  IzzetPost remains on top for the second time in a row, but I still feel this is simply the result of a bit of relaxed sideboarding.  We ran into a time not too long ago where decks would run up to 6 land destruction spells in their 15 card sideboard simply for this match.  IzzetPost is a very popular deck because it is relatively easy to play and the list is widely open to customization.  Rarely will you find two IzzetPost decks that are exactly the same, which allows players to build one out of their pre-existing collection instead of spending extra money to track down specific cards.  MonoWhite Aggro also pulled up into third, which drops DelverBlue out of its long held spot as a top three deck.  We also managed some relatively big showings from odd things like GW Tokens and RDW, which haven't even been seen on our rogue list in perhaps months.

Here's a look at our (now fixed) trends chart...

Last time around there was a bit of discussion with regards to my including MUC on this chart when it and Goblins had been so weak.  It was suggested that they get replaced with a deck that had stepped up and become more popular.  What this led to was me going back to the article where I first added this chart and found that I actually had requirements in place at the time of creation that said a deck must average a certain number of showings to maintain its status on this chart/list.  With the revision to percentages I have reestablished this limit as a 5% average.  This has resulted in the dropping off of both MUC and Goblins, which no longer meet that requirement.  Surprisingly, nothing has officially reached that mark that would bring it on the chart, but I am tracking them all and as soon as they do I will add them!

With that in mind we take a look at this week's numbers and see that we're almost past the odd spike in Storm and things, while still up over the past few weeks, are leveling off (despite an event with four Storm decks going 4 - 0).  IzzetPost continues a steady rise, though I would honestly be surprised to see similar results in the upcoming week.  We've also seen DelverBlue continue its decline, much to my surprise!  Perhaps the cost of the deck is finally catching up to people or it could be the fact that the deck can run into some struggles against the more popular IzzetPost list.  Now I'm quite eager to take a look at my trend predictions for the past week...

Ok so it doesn't look so great at first, but stick with me on this one.  This week was a bit of an unusual circumstance seeing as we had a significant increase in total number of decks that I did not expect and would be considered an outlier.  I managed to predict correctly the trends of both Storm and MonoWhite Aggro, however the accuracy of the percents were a bit off.  At the very least I had an average +/- 2% scale on my predictions, which is not unusual.  I'm going to keep throwing these up and doing a bit of predicting and if it sucks or people aren't happy with it then we'll move on.

Here's the undefeated standings...

Quite a few big changes this week, again as a result of the high number of total showings on the week.  For the first time since I started tracking decks in order to find the one, which had the best chance of an undefeated showing, DelverBlue has been knocked down.  The drop was rather significant as Storm is now +3 over DelverBlue, a direct result of the recent decline in DelverBlue showings overall.  We also were able to add three decks thanks to recent showings; WeeFiend Aggro, GW Tokens, and RDW.  Other decks have had slight increases on the week in overall numbers thanks to big showings this week altering their averages.  We had a big leap for FissureStorm, which managed five 4 - 0 showings this past week when last week there was only 1.

This week's rogue decks...

1. Ubr Post - 3
2. Orzhov Deck Wins - 2
3. JunkPost - 1
4. GreenPost - 1
5. Slivers - 1 (1)
6. EnchantAggro - 1
7. Elves - 1
8. BorosArtifacts - 1
9. UB Control - 1 (1)
10. 5c Teachings - 1

Despite a large total number of decks from this week's results we had a surprisingly small number of rogue decks.  A few old classics returned to us such as Orzhov Deck Wins and most importantly someone brought back the 5c Teachings deck I love so much!  Congrats to them.  Slivers and UB Control each only showed up once this week and went undefeated.  I did decide to break off those Ubr Post decks from last week into their own category because we had three more show up.  The deck balances pretty well between red and black in order to bring in a decent number of control spells.  Our JunkPost for the week is an interesting Gruul deck from natedizzle that sticks relatively close to the GreenPost list, but uses red to bring in the control spells that GreenPost is missing.


Ok with that out of the way let us proceed into our topic for the week.  Now for those of you who care not about YouTube or watching videos, well this won't be the week for you.  For those who do watch YouTube and hopefully follow me there, you'll be familiar with what is to come.  In addition to my weekly Pauper article I try to put out extra videos on my YouTube channel for Pauper fans.  On there I put up such mini-series as Building Posts, where I've been taking a look at the "missing" 8-post decks for Pauper (and I think I'm actually coming to the end of that), but I've started another short mini-series there by request as well, which I call Fan Fixes.

Now there are any number of players and Magic fans/authors out there who have undertaken the typical "Deck Doctor" scenario, where readers send them decks and they tune them up.  Let me start out by saying I am not that person.  I do not consider myself the end all source for Pauper information.  I feel that I best sum up my contribution to the Pauper community by saying that I don't know the intimate details of any one Pauper deck specifically, but instead I have quite a lot of general knowledge about the format as a whole.  Based upon heavy playing of many different decks, extensive reading of other Pauper authors, and an active tracking of Daily Event results, I feel that I can at the very least be deemed a reliable source of information on the format (if I may be so modest).

That being said I did have a few players in game who have sought me out for deck discussion, theory crafting, or general deck suggestions.  As you might have noticed at the bottom of my articles I've added a set of quick links for your convenience.  As of last week I've added a cute little email picture down there and some might be wondering what's up with that.  Well what I started doing is working on this YouTube mini-series of Fan Fixes where players, by their own request, sent me a deck that they wanted my thoughts on.  As you'll note that is thoughts, not "make it pro please!!".  So when I get a deck that is emailed to me (as soon as I get free time), I sit down and play through a ton of games and record them.  Then I will put together a video that has a montage of that footage in the background while I talk about my thoughts on the deck.

Psychobabble has generously allowed me to use a deck that he had sent along for this week's article.  Here's the list he sent...

Exalted Deck Wins
A Deck By: Psychobabble
Creatures
4 Akrasan Squire
4 Aven Squire
4 Ethercaste Knight
2 Gideon's Lawkeeper
4 Guardians of Akrasa
2 Outrider of Jhess
3 Thistledown Duo
4 War Falcon
27 cards

Other Spells
3 Bonesplitter
4 Hindering Light
4 Journey to Nowhere
2 Steel of the Godhead
13 cards
Lands
2 Azorius Chancery
6 Island
12 Plains
20 cards
 
Outrider of Jhess


I was very excited to see this particular list, which has a focus on the exalted mechanic that we saw in great numbers in M13.  I was mostly excited to see it because I had just been talking with a friend of mine as to whether or not a deck could be built with a focus on this mechanic without using such money staples as Rafiq of the Many and a heavy focus on some dual lands.  For those who aren't as familiar with the mechanic, exalted grants a creature +1/+1 when it attacks alone.  When you have multiple instances of exalted they stack and the creature that is attacking gets +1/+1 for each instance of the mechanic.  Now what really holds this back is that the creature has to be attacking alone.  If you stack a number of creatures with exalted onto the battlefield, odds are you would do more damage by attacking with all of them right?  Well not quite.  When it comes to looking at exalted in Pauper it is mostly a collection of small creatures or walls.  There are few creatures that come at the right size and price like Qasali Pridemage, but they are few and far between.

Now as I said, what I usually end up doing for these videos is recording a bunch of games and adding my thoughts to it.  If you want to see what I thought of the deck just watch the video below...

So as you see I offer suggestions for the deck and usually leave it at that.  I tend to be quite a busy person these days so I really don't have the time to make the changes that I suggested and see how they work.  If I started down that path I could be spending hours on each deck as I continue to change things and fine tune the deck over and over until a point where I felt I could take the deck no further.  I have had a few people email me back afterwards and let me know how changes to the deck worked out, which is great because it saves me the time of testing it myself.  However, because this one is a bit different I am going to do one revision to the deck and see how well it works out for you guys.

After debating over changes and issues I decided that the only real change that I thought could have a solid enough impact was a change to use Trinket Mages in an attempt to give the deck a bit of consistency with certain aspects...

Exalted v2.0
 
Creatures
4 Akrasan Squire
4 Aven Squire
4 Ethercaste Knight
2 Gideon's Lawkeeper
3 Thistledown Duo
3 Trinket Mage
4 War Falcon
24 cards

Other Spells
3 Bonesplitter
4 Guardians of Akrasan
3 Hindering Light
4 Journey to Nowhere
2 Steel of the Godhead
12 cards
Lands
2 Ancient Den
2 Azorius Chancery
4 Island
10 Plains
2 Seat of the Synod
20 cards
 
Trinket Mage


As you can see I totally removed the Outrider of Jhess and one copy of Hindering Light in favor of three Trinket Mages.  I feel that the use of the Trinket Mage gives the deck an ability to deal with its mana struggles through the use of a few artifact lands and gives us a chance to find Bonesplitters more often.  As I say in the video, the Bonesplitters give a great opportunity to the deck to turn some of these 1/1 creatures into something your opponent needs to actually worry about.  I wanted to switch up the Gideon's Lawkeepers as well, but really could not justify any particular replacement even though they didn't come up as often.

So for a change of pace I wanted to add a quick video of me testing the deck out with the change and see if it really made any type of impact on the deck's performance.  Check out the video below to find out what I determined!


A bit of a shorter article this week due to time constraints, but don't forget that next week we're going to have yet another look at the Competitive Corner in order to make up for the week lost prior due to my being away.  As usual feel free to check out my channel on YouTube (I recently put up another Building Posts video set) and if you're interested in being a part of my Fan Fixes segment then click the email link below (or if you're just looking for the address its MTGOJustSin@yahoo.com).  I will add a small disclaimer here, I am busy as I said and while I may not get a full video response to you right away I do always at least let you know I received the email and that you're on the list.  Patience is a virtue that I know I often struggle with too!


34 Comments

Thanks so much for featuring by Psychobabble at Tue, 08/28/2012 - 21:14
Psychobabble's picture
5

Thanks so much for featuring the deck :). I thought you gave it a really good treatment, identifying the same issues that I had and giving it a good shot. I really like the trinket mage idea, it had never even crossed my mind. Definitely helps with both mana fixing and getting the aggro on, it's a good option which I will be sure to try out. Just to answer a few questions that you raised in the vids. Yes, this was intended to be a casual deck, although I have given it a board, I don't intend on taking it to a daily any time soon, it's just for fun. The lawkeepers were there primarily to up my one-drop count to 10 - I really feel that's the minimum number of one drops you want in an agressive deck. It also has some synergy with the exalted plan, of being a guy who doesn't mind staying back while someone else goes out an attacks, and can also remove a pesky blocker. Seismic shudder actually doesn't hurt the deck that much - only hitting the lawkeepers and squires because most of the low-toughness guys are flyers. The hindering light's - although I run into the same mana-related issues with it as you do - I felt were really important given that every exalted attack requires you to go all in with a single creature, making instant speed removal particularly annoying. If I have a few creatures on the ground but want to keep developing my board while I'm stuck on 3 mana or something, what I tend to do is just leave the mana open during the attack phase and then play out a creature post-combat. Sure, they can use removal after that, but I still have the counter if they get more removal - and if they don't, then they're usually in trouble anyway!

Anyway, I do enjoy the deck, it can get some sick draws (falcon - knight, attack for 3, bonesplitter/squire, attack for 6) but the mana issues in particular are really frustrating and I think basically fundamental to the format. It does obviously need the two colours if it's going to go with this theme though (it'd be even better if it could do the full bant!) so basically that's stopping the deck from ever being really competitive.

Thanks for the look over anyway and I'll try that trinket mage out for sure.

My thanks to you for the list by JustSin at Tue, 08/28/2012 - 22:11
JustSin's picture

My thanks to you for the list and letting me share it! At the end I wished I could say more on it, but what it came down to is that same love-hate relationship with the Hindering Lights and I really had no better suggestion :( sometimes it was awesome to have and sometimes it was useless

I have to say you are putting by Paul Leicht at Wed, 08/29/2012 - 00:26
Paul Leicht's picture
5

I have to say you are putting an awful lot of work in to these and even though I do not play Pauper other than an occasional dabble or foray into standard pauper I appreciate it. Valuable service is value. This is how the mothership should show us what's happening each week. Keep it up.

Yeah, that new column there by Psychobabble at Wed, 08/29/2012 - 00:36
Psychobabble's picture

Yeah, that new column there which looks at the MTGO meta is a real disappointment for only tracking the 4-0 lists. That drastically reduces the sample size of decks each week and imo doesn't give a good picture of the overall meta.

tyvm Paul @ Psycho: yea I by JustSin at Wed, 08/29/2012 - 07:10
JustSin's picture

tyvm Paul

@ Psycho: yea I read the first article in that series and right away disliked it... it has zero use for Pauper meta... he had like featured two lists from Pauper that went 4-0 and that was all it said really about Pauper and I don't see how that is helpful at all... while not all of my information may not be valuable (ie predictions) I think its kind of a fun addition.. I'm always willing to modify and add more based on what readers want to see in order to provide the best information possible... I think the problem with that "meta" article series is that it focuses on like all the metas and being so non-specific you can't really obtain any type of read on any specific meta

I gotta say by Mikey K159 at Wed, 08/29/2012 - 12:55
Mikey K159's picture
5

I really do love these articles man. I don't usually read a lot of articles online, but you are one of the people I take time to read content from. Good job man.

thanks much man, btw haven't by JustSin at Thu, 08/30/2012 - 13:53
JustSin's picture

thanks much man, btw haven't forgotten your proposal just been mad swamped :\ sorry about ghosting

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