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By: JustSin, Dave
May 09 2012 10:25am
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If I may divulge a bit into my off MTGO life for a second... I'm in a Masters program that requires a very heavy focus on paper writing.  Anyone familiar with this level of schooling understands that we're not talking one to two pages per, instead we're talking very wordy adventures.  Now by telling you this I hope you'll understand and bear with as I find myself sitting down to yet another article that may end up quite wordy (and I have other wordy adventures in the works too!).  I guess there is also a similar chance that I'm so burnt out on words that this will be short!.. Most of this length will be deck lists... oh well either way I want to get right into it and not waste any more time!

The Competitive Corner

This marks the first week where I have broken down the MonoBlue Control deck-type into two sub-types, introducing DelverBlue.  If you were with us last week then you'll remember that I was also working on putting up the postings for two weeks instead of one and this lead to my removing the total list of Daily Event showings from the article.  Well I have decided that this is going to become a regular thing for The Competitive Corner as well.  While I like having all that information available for readers who are interested I also realized it takes up a lot of room and can be one of the least interesting elements as well.  So by clicking here you'll find the past week's Daily Event results.  In its place I'm going to be making some new additions in the form of data tracking graphs! *Graphical nerds everywhere rejoice!* Here are the direct results from last week...

Prior to splitting up MUC I had argued that even if I did make a split between the two, you would still see a significant dominance by Delver Blue and this table shows you that this was, in fact, truth.  As usual Delver Blue was the dominate deck and it managed to not only double the second place deck, but go beyond that as well.  With a total of 70 showings, the second place deck was blown away at only 31.  It is interesting to see that in addition to these 70 showings by Delver Blue there were also 8 showings by MonoBlue Control (MUC), all of which were the classic version of the deck.  Most of the names on the list remain where they usually find themselves and we still have E. Hustle bringing Tortured Reanimator into existence with 7 showings this week (I think only one of those was not run by E. Hustle).  We also had a strong showing by Fissure Storm, which had found itself reduced to "rogue" status the past few weeks.  The one thing I want to really point out, however, is that Infect dropped down into fifth place after two weeks on a strong rise.  I'm going to bet that this is due to the fact that since it has been so strong in the past few weeks, people are starting to side against it heavily.  More importantly this leads me into the first of two new charts I'm going to be adding to this section...

During my month in review article I had put together a trending chart that depicted how the top decks performed over a period of weeks in order to see if there has been a steady rise or decline with the showings.  This new chart will be a similar depiction, but will track decks back over a period inclusive of only the past 6 weeks.  I took a total of the decks over these six weeks and created an average.  In order to appear on this chart decks must maintain an average of at least 14 showings.  The one exception to this list currently is Delver Blue/MUC... when I originally did this chart I had left MUC off because it was so far above the remaining deck types.  This time around I will be adding it to the chart, but since this was the first week that I had split Delver from MUC this creates an issue with determining the average.  After we reach six weeks of Delver being separate I will add it back to this list.  Here's how the chart looks...

The second new addition to the competitive section is inspired by Pure's own BlippyTheSlugg.  I had intended to keep track of the number of undefeated showings of the decks, but this kept getting pushed around and I never actually took the time to compile the data.  This week, however, that all changes and you can now see the undefeated showings against the total for each deck type.  This graph is a representative of the average showings from the point where I started keeping track of the data (the week of March 5th through March 11th).

I debated the pros and cons of creating this chart as a showing of the past week or as a showing of the format as an average.  I decided that using the numbers as an average would give a better picture at the strength of decks, but feel free to let me know in the comments if you're interested in seeing the chart on a week by week basis as well.

Getting back to our regularly scheduled program here are the "rogue" results from the past week...  I have made a slight change here as well as I've add a designation for how many undefeated showings we had from a rogue deck as seen in parentheses after the total...

1. Soldiers - 3
2. RebelPost - 3 (1)
3. Teachings Control - 2
4. Damn Rats - 2
5. DimirPost - 1 (1)
6. Orzhov Deck Wins - 1
7. RDW - 1
8. GreenPost - 1
9. MonoBlack Aggro - 1
10. RedPost - 1
11. DimirAggro - 1
12. Trinketstein - 1
13. EnchantStorm - 1 (1)

Now this is one reason for the added length to this article, but one that I love!  One of my favorite things about the Pauper format is the fact that so many rogue decks get the opportunity to end up in the money in constructed Pauper events.  This week we had a very big showing of rogue decks and more importantly there were several new names on the list.  We did see a few odd names show once again who haven't been seen in a while such as MonoBlack Aggro.  We also got a few showings from Teachings Control including this deck from rc6311, which added white to the typical shell.

There were three new decks on this list, one of which (RedPost) I will be talking about in the rest of this article.  EnchantStorm is the name I've come up with for this deck here as piloted by DoGBiscuit, but please feel free to let me know if this should be changed.  This deck is incredibly cool, using land enchantments to generate extra mana through Cloud of Faeries and Arbor Elf.  This blue-green list also brings in both Temporal Fissure as well as Grapeshot for a win condition, but definitely go check it out to get the full picture.  The third deck is the one here listed as Trinketstein, which I am exceptionally glad to be showing you.  This is a deck I talked about in my "The Little Things" article as created by Taoh.  After more tinkering with the deck (get it?!) he has finally gotten it more on point of where he was expecting the deck to be (you can see the updated list in this Daily Event).  Going back to our discussion from last week regarding the MUC sub-types it is obvious to see why the two decks had to be separated.  Taoh's deck sticks to a more creature and recursion based strategy, which helps to ensure better performance in matches like DelverBlue.


Around the time of the most recent Banned and Restricted changes for Magic I had written an article with my thoughts on the BnR for Pauper.  In this article I took a look at the most popular and perhaps most complained about decks within the format; MUC, Storm, IzzetPost, and Infect.  Before you start to click away this is not going to be more rantings about that!  Instead I wanted to take a look at something I talked about during my discussion with regards to IzzetPost...

"Completely killing off 8-post decks would not just eliminate IzzetPost, but you also will see the death of DimirPost, RebelPost, GreenPost, and BigMana Blue.  To make this choice you have to sit and consider... well is this such a bad thing?  Is the existence of these decks an argument for or against the locus lands?  These decks could be seen as hideous mutations of nature that just shouldn't exist.  However, this is another subject for another time..."     -JustSin

Well my dear readers that time has finally come!  During my usual browsing through the Daily Event showings I came across a new "post" deck that brought me right back to this quote I had said in an earlier article... RedPost!

Everyone familiar with Pauper is familiar with the use of Cloudpost and Glimmerpost in order to generate heavy mana with few lands.  This strategy has been most popular with a deck I've been calling IzzetPost and for a while it was strong as DimirPost as well... take a look...

As you can see these decks use the heavy mana generated off of the post lands in order to play blue control spells with high mana costs, spells with the buyback ability, or even spells with an X cost.  Things like Capsize have become overpowered control elements and Condescend is their basic Counterspell.  These decks also bring in creatures with higher mana costs such as Mulldrifter or the ultimate Pauper fattie - Ulamog's Crusher!  Not to mention the importance of recursion through Mnemonic Wall and the tutor ability of Mystical Teachings.  Anyone who has participated in competitive Pauper is familiar with the ability of these post lands to generate the mana needed for big plays such as the 6cc flashback of Mystical Teachings in addition to other control or draw spells.

However, the strength of these lands goes beyond the mana generation.  With a full set of 4x Cloudpost and 4x Glimmerpost you are able to tap each Cloudpost for 8 mana, but you cannot overlook the fact that when you play that eighth Glimmerpost you are gaining 8 life.  This is just one reason why the use of Capsize has become so overpowered in these decks.  With so much mana generated it is easy for a post player to continue to bounce Glimmerposts so that they gain X life each turn.  This can be seen in the BluePost deck as well...

This deck removes the additional colors and just focuses on the heavy control element of blue.  As you can see it still brings in the same strong blue control elements that we saw in both IzzetPost and DimirPost.    I'm not going to waste a lot of space here discussing this deck since I covered it here in last week's article.  However, this is just the beginning!  As I said earlier the power of the posts have created a number of decks that didn't even need the control that blue gives us!  In fact one of the most popular of these decks isn't a control deck at all, but instead brings about a fantastic aggro element...

With the release of Mercadian Masques online we were introduced to the original Rebels that inspired the rebirth of a similar mechanic during Time Spiral block.  These common creatures may not have size on their side, but what they lack in size they can make up in numbers.  RebelPost uses these tutor creatures in combination with the heavy mana generation of the post lands in order to not only swarm the field with rebels, but they have the ability to tutor up answers as well such as Children of Korlis or Aven Riftwatcher.  RebelPost has managed two undefeated showings in the past two weeks and have been an almost regular name on our weekly list of rogue decks as well.  There is a lot of power to this deck because the Rebel ability allows for implied card advantage and you'll need to be running heavy creature kill in order to keep them under control.  Here's another post deck that relies heavily on its creature base...

As a color, green has always been known for giant creatures with big casting costs.  Thanks to the post lands, Pauper can use these fatties in order to dominate an opponent and GreenPost brings in some great ones!  There are some nice utility creatures in Fangren Marauder and Krosan Tusker as well as Ulamog's Crusher, but the best creature in this deck?  Aurochs Herd!  Okay so this may be a biased opinion, but I am a huge Aurochs fan and you have to love the fact that Aurochs Herd works like the rebels by creating card advantage.  It is always important to aggro decks that they keep the creatures coming and an ability like this is perfect.  The deck can get some big plays off, but the real thing that holds it back from being a constant contender is the low creature base.  When you ignore things like the walls and Fierce Empath, which aren't going to win you games, you have only 10 fatties.  If you can't keep these in play then you'll be facing issues since green has no real non-creature utility options.

So we covered blue, green, and white post decks, but this week we were introduced to a red version!

All we need now is someone to create a black version of post and we're in business!  This deck, as piolted (and created?) by omg its kobe, went 3-1 in Daily Event #3785995.  The deck makes some fantastic moves in keeping a full set of the iconic post creature, Ulamog's Crusher as well as bringing in a full set of Martyr of Ashes, which I always thought was under-used in Pauper.  The deck also keeps in line with IzzetPost by using two copies of Kaervek's Torch and Rolling Thunder as a burn finisher, which is something I talked about as a necessity during discussions on DimirPost.  The deck also takes a page from GreenPost with the addition of maindeck land destruction, which gives it an edge in other post matches and even storm.  Big props go out to this deck, I think it's a fantastic abuse of the post lands and a great combination of some of the best elements of other post decks!

However, not all random post decks have to be mono-colored.  Izzet and Dimir have been the dominate guilds when it comes to post decks, but you can't forget that we have a Simic version of the post deck as well...

I'm a big fan of this deck and was very glad to see it make a showing the other day as it was something I had put together for one of my articles as bonus content.  If you're interested in checking out a more detailed discussion on this deck check out the video I posted for it.  The basic idea of the deck was to stall for time (a popular idea with IzzetPost) until you draw into Rolling Thunder for the win.  The deck does a strong job of keeping things under control with heavy bounce as well as Moment's Peace.  My favorite part of the deck was all of the card draw that it has available to it.  The deck runs Deep Analysis along with other advantage in the form of Coiling Oracle and Mulldrifter in order to keep digging for those Rolling Thunders.

We have in front of us quite the list of different versions of the 8-post strategy.  Eight post has seen success in four out of the five colors as well as a representation of three different guilds; Izzet, Dimir, and Simic.  So what can be learned from this?  Well I believe the answer to that question is that the use of 8-post can make any deck work.  Now I will again leave the "ethics" of this to the conscience of my readers with regards to whether this is good or bad for the format.  I honestly wish that I had more time to sit down and put together these missing decks... BlackPost, AzoriusPost, BorosPost, GolgariPost, OrzhovPost, RakdosPost, and SelesnyaPost.  While some of these would be awkward and probably non-competitive I think others have some true potential (I'm looking at you RakPost!).

For those of you who are keeping score you'll notice that I left off one of the guilds!  Don't worry folks this was not an error, in fact I've actually decided to put together a GruulPost deck for you, which I'm going to call JunkPost!  The building of this deck is simple... you simply pull in cards based upon the simple framework that has been set out for us with other post decks!

First up are the lands.  This obviously starts with the use of the eight "post" lands.  Since we're not playing blue for Capsize we have to use the bounce dual lands that we got in Ravnica for extra life gain from our Glimmerposts.  At this point you would simply add in your basic lands and that would be that.  I, however, wanted to do something a bit different and added three Evolving Wilds, which you'll understand later.

ForestCloudpostGlimmerpostGruul TurfEvolving WildsMountain

Next on our list is the finishing staples with a few Rolling Thunders, which play really easily in a deck that is already featuring red mana.

Rolling Thunder

After that we bring in the typical mana related artifacts.  First up is Prophetic Prism, which makes up for our small Mountain base.  Alongside the Prophetic Prisms we also are using a full set of Expedition Maps, which has become a staple for several post decks as a way to tutor up their important lands.  Since we're running green we're going to borrow a couple mana base staples from GreenPost with Overgrown Battlement and Reap and Sow, which will also give us an advantage against other post decks thanks to the land destruction element of the spell.

Prophetic PrismExpedition MapOvergrown BattlementReap and Sow

Most of our creature base will be adapted from the ideas put forth by GreenPost as well.  We're going to run three of our post-staple, Ulamog's Crusher, and three Fierce Empaths in order to help tutor up the big creatures.  The remaining creatures start to bring in some of the different elements to the deck.  We're going to bring in Fangren Marauder just like GreenPost, however we're going to use these as a bit more of a focus.  There are only two Fangren Marauders, but you'll see that they are something you will want to search in the early game.  I'm also going to use two copies of Mold Shambler in order to give the deck some utility, even if it is only a small amount.

Ulamog's CrusherFierce EmpathFangren MarauderMold Shambler

All that's left at this point is to fill in the blanks.  I'm bringing in Swirling Sandstorm as my answer to aggro and heavy creature based strategies.  Fueling the threshold ability on this card was the reason for bringing in the Evolving Wilds.  Then I brought in Ichor Wellspring for the card draw that you regularly miss when not running blue mana as well as Kuldotha Rebirths in order to generate the draw from sacrificing the Ichor Wellsprings.

So here's what the deck looks like when you put all of that together...

Looking at this deck as a whole I hope you understand now why I've titled it as "JunkPost".  This deck brings in stuff that doesn't usually see play in an attempt to play with a bit of synergy and have a bit of fun!  Some of these things really don't belong in a post deck (yeah I'm talking to you Kuldotha Rebirth and Swirling Sandstorm), but turn out to be a lot of fun!

Feel free to check out the DechTech video before we get into some example games:

Game 1 - IzzetPost

Game 2 - Stompy

Game 3 - GR Post

We're getting back to the good ol' days of casual Pauper here as I want to present to you some other options for this deck if you decided to make some changes based upon cards you may or may not already own!

The obvious issue that others will probably have with my JunkPost deck will probably be the use of Ichor Wellspring and Kuldotha Rebirth.  This is a great combo, but I have seen people surprised that such a cheap option was used within a deck with such big mana.  The issue with removing this is that you need to find some way to create card advantage.  When you take a look at GreenPost, the deck uses the Aurochs Herd in order to do this through its ability to fetch additional copies from the deck.  As I mentioned earlier, we're playing a set of colors that is not known for their card draw abilities, which leaves very few options.  Red does have some draw spells, but they often come in the form of discarding the same number you draw.  In Pauper the big-mana draw spells would be along the lines of things like Krosan Tusker and Citanul Woodreaders.  If you do decide to reduce these cards then running a second Fangren Marauder is unnecessary and can be replaced in favor of increasing the count on another creature.

This deck can also take a page from the GreenPost list and you can try brining in the Aurochs Herd, an idea used by my opponent in the third example game video.  While these are some heavily costed cows, the Aurochs Herd does provide with some big attackers that will have the ability to not only trample over your opponent's creatures, but create that card advantage as well.  An increased creature count would probably mean that you'd want to bring in the fourth Fierce Empath as well for its tutor ability.

The final interaction that I'm sure some people will disagree with is going to be Swirling Sandstorm.  These were put in to balance out the aggro matches, but this can be done through Fog effects as well such as Moment's Peace, which creates that implied card advantage as well since it has the flashback ability.  Removing these Swirling Sandstorms would allow you to remove Evolving Wilds as well since they were inserted simply as a way to increase your grave size for threshold.  That would also allow you to speed up some turns since you won't need to wait for the lands to be untapped.

Bonus Content!!!

This week's bonus content is an announcement specific to my YouTube videos in relation to this article.  I've already spent a lot of time "talking" here so I'm going to make you watch the video if you want to know what I'm going on about!

There you have it!  More post decks then you ever would ever care to see or play!  Hopefully you can take a look at all of these post decks and understand the basic strategies that post models itself around.  When you bring in blue the deck can make use of heavily costed Counterspells, red offers you many X-damage burn spells, and we've even seen how it works as aggro in green and white.  By understanding the basic structures of these decks it becomes pretty simple to input your own crazy strategies!  Now as far as next week is concerned, well you'll just have to come back to find out because I'm not even sure!  Don't worry yourself over it though, because I've got several weeks worth of topics already worked up and just need to put pen to paper!

- JustSin


awesome by eldarock at Wed, 05/09/2012 - 14:01
eldarock's picture

was just wondering if these post decks can compete with the delver and infect decks that fill the meta right now. i love to play in tourny room with my own version of post but wasnt sure if they can stand up to some of the delver decks i have played in the practice room and in the tourny room. Again great article keepem coming.

I feel I owe an apology to by JustSin at Wed, 05/09/2012 - 17:56
JustSin's picture

I feel I owe an apology to Tom in the FB comments there because I keep making that typo >< I'm just going to start not using the word at all :D

@eldarock: I'm working on something cool regarding matchups, but I will say this IzzetPost does actually consider DelverBlue a favorable matchup and I think DimirPost could as well.. as for the rest well I really don't know because they don't get played enough to get a feel for that lol

as an FYI, and I'm going to include this note in my next article, but I'm going to start classifying random 8post decks as JunkPost in the competitive review

junkpost by eldarock at Wed, 05/09/2012 - 19:57
eldarock's picture

Awesome man well i will do some play testing against infect and delver blue and let you know how those match ups play out and what its lacking or does good.

I like Krark-Clan Shaman over by bread expert at Sat, 05/12/2012 - 18:01
bread expert's picture

I like Krark-Clan Shaman over Kuldotha Rebirth, very good against aggro.

I had originally tried that by JustSin at Sun, 05/13/2012 - 10:12
JustSin's picture

I had originally tried that over the sandstorms, but found that it was never doing enough damage to clear the entire board so switched in the sandstorms... you can def try it over the rebirths in addition to the sandstorms, but personally I liked the extra aggro since the deck is a bit creature light

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