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By: JustSin, Dave
Mar 09 2012 11:19am
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Simic Aggro

Now before I get to this week's article I wanted to take a quick second to address a few great comments made by "Vic Jenny" since I don't use the Facebook comment system.  First off, burn was intended as a separate deck list, but over the week I tracked the numbers it didn't have a single showing.  The second note is that while I understand the argument for separating Fissure Storm, it would have been lumped into Rogue decks had I done so (it had a very slow week).  They are very different decks, but the basic concept was similar enough that I thought it important to keep it there instead of in Rogue.  The more important thing I think that was pointed out is that yes, I do believe that Pauper has a very well balanced meta.  If you look at a single week it may seem one sided, but the bigger picture really is quite balanced, which is one of the things that has really kept me playing this format that I underestimated.

If you've read through my past two articles you're probably aware that I found myself in a bit of a creative funk.  I was still messing around with casual Pauper ideas, but was having trouble finding something not only successful, but fun as well.  I finally had settled into writing an article about RG Aggro/Burn, which is a deck in Pauper I had no real knowledge about.  While putting this together, however, Pure's own Mikey K put up a great article taking a look at the deck here.  Beat me to it!  Oh well, so I had to find a new starting point.

I found myself looking over the RG Aggro/Burn deck and what I had learned about how the deck worked.  There were two things that really stuck out to me about that deck.  The first was the importance of shroud on creatures, especially on creatures with the added power that we find in Blastoderm and Jolrael's Centaur.  The second was the importance of the burn spells, especially when facing competitive decks as you'll find that you're so close to finishing your opponent, but.. just... can't... swing through!  And its frustrating let me tell you!  But I really fell in love with these two guys...

Blastoderm Jolrael's Centaur

There are a handful of creatures in Pauper that have shroud, but some of them are very generic.  Jolrael's Centaur is my favorite of the two if only for the simple fact that it has flanking, which is so cool.  It really works great in Pauper because it keeps almost all creatures in check.  Blastoderm's benefit comes in his size, though the fact that he kills himself does work to balance his impact on the game.  I knew the next deck I put together was going to run a full set of each and took a few queues from the RG Aggro/Burn list as well.

Now I will admit that there was an alternative motivation for this and that was to find a home for Stormbound Geist!  I have a problem, I know...

With green I brought in not only the shroud creatures, but Civic Wayfinder and Coiling Oracle for the land ramp.  Now blue doesn't bring the direct damage that you find in the Aggro/Burn deck, but I'm never one to turn away from a good Counterspell and Vapor Snare is a fast favorite in blue as well.  Along with the evasion that is provided through shroud I wanted to bring in some fliers as well.  Let's take a look at what I had...



Another thing I have grown to love and stole from the RG list was the use of Wickerbough Elder main deck.  One of the most common tournament decks that you will run into in the "Just for Fun" room is going to be affinity.  Having the elder will allow you to not only trade off with the many 4 toughness creatures they bring, but also works great with handling some of the odd things you will run into like Jace's Erasure.  I also used three copies of Serrated Arrows in order to help deal with creatures that make it to the table and keep all creatures on the field within killing range.

As always feel free to watch the DechTech video first:

Game 1
Deck Type: MonoWhite Aggro
Video Link: Click Here!

Opening Hand:
Mana LeakRune SnagVapor SnagCoiling OracleStitched DrakeForestIsland

A great starting hand with the opportunity for an early Rune Snag and the ability to hit a turn 2 Coiling Oracle.  As expected with MonoWhite Aggro my opponent comes out of the gate flying with a turn 1 Doomed Traveler and turn 2 Loyal Cathar.  Hitting that Loyal Cathar on turn 2 means that I did not get the chance to hit the early Rune Snag on a creature that I feel is a fantastic addition for MWA.  Being on the defensive early I get down Coiling Oracle and trade it for the Doomed Traveler, but it gives me the opportunity to put out a turn 3 Stitched Drake.  The fliers keep coming as I face down two Leonin Skyhunters on turn 4, but things continue to stall out with my turn five Wickerbough Elder to destroy a Sylvok Lifestaff.  I really gain an advantage as my opponent is reluctant to attack into my Stitched Drake.  Things stall more through three Stormbound Geists and a Jolrael's Centaur, but I start to thin through his creatures through the air.  With a hand full of Counterspells I first keep off a Loyal Cathar and then a new Sylvok Lifestaff.  The game changes when Assault Zeppelid comes down and I can keep swinging through with the Stormbound Geists to eventually bring my opponent down.

Game 2
Deck Type: RDW
Video Link: Click Here!

Opening Hand:
Serrated ArrowsIslandEvolving WildsCoiling OracleCivic WayfinderIslandEvolving Wilds

The opening hand was very land heavy, but Evolving Wilds gives me the opportunity to play Coiling Oracle on turn 2 and thin some land out.  My opponent starts fast with Goblin Fireslinger and Blazing Torch to start the burning.  Coiling Oracle hits an Evolving Wilds and I get more land thinned out.  Turn four comes and I choose to play Serrated Arrows over Blastoderm to clear the field and then get the Blastoderm into play the turn after.  My Blastoderm causes issues thanks to shroud and I use a Mana Leak to slow more burn.  On turn 6 I get into play a second Blastoderm and my opponent drops a land with 1 card in hand and concedes in the face of two Blastoderms, which would attack next turn for the win.

Now I did want to take a chance to showcase a few matches against tournament lists just to show that the deck can contend, even if not constantly being a winner.  This deck is built for casual so it doesn't intend to always take on tournament lists, but it is important to know that it can lock horns and give them a run for their money.  So I took the deck into the tournament practice room and played a couple games to show.

Game 1 - MUC

Game 2 - Fissure Storm

Now I did take awhile to gather my final thoughts on this deck and I want to say that I found it to be a lot of fun.  Now that being said, I realize that my idea of fun may not be the same as someone else's.  This is the appeal of casual decks, as they can be switched around, and altered to fit one's play style.  You can keep some of the ideas or creature base and still be fun.  I like to offer people some of the other ideas that have come across my mind during the playing of the deck and there are two ways to change up the deck.  The first is to stay in blue and the second would be to move beyond it.

Now if you want to stay in blue I know the first thing people will complain about and that is probably Stormbound Geist.  Totally understandable, you may be sitting there thinking, "dude you're too attached!" and I just may be.  What can be worked in could be something like a fourth copy of Civic Wayfinder, which I've found to be a very troublesome creature for opponent's to deal with.  Another thing I had considered, if trying to stay with the air route, was to work in Mulldrifters as a draw option.  There were the occasions when I was dying for a bit of draw even beyond Coiling Oracle and the cycling lands.  Another area of occasional issue was in the Counterspell choices.  Rune Snag may be another card that I like too much as a personal favorite and let cloud my judgment.  These can be switched around for something like Prohibit, which keeps away from the double blue mana cost and still counters more spells within the format.  Thanks to Civic Wayfinders you can get heavy on mana and finding double blue shouldn't be too bad.  Because of all the land I do understand the awesomeness that is retrace better.

Now if the Counterspell route isn't for you then definitely look towards changing color.  Clearly red has quality choices, but then you might as well run the tournament list.  I prefer being a bit more creative and that's why I would suggest black.  In black you get several kill spells, which mimic the occasional use of burn spells in RG Aggro/Burn.  There are lots of popular choices of which Echoing Decay is a must for facing storm.  Black also allows you to bring in some hand control with Chittering Rats or Liliana's Specter.  I would also throw in two copies of Undying Evil because Undying Evil on Chittering Rats is awesome!  I considered the use of Putrid Leech in the deck as well, but there is no life gain to balance it out.  Going black would also allow you to bring in Raven's Crime as the retrace option.

Bonus Content!!!

So while writing the article I realized that I really liked the idea of running this as green and black.  I often fight myself between blue and black when it comes to my favorite color and this was a great opportunity to see how it held up.  So take a look below see what I came up with and an example of it in action.

Well there you have it, I hope you got some enjoyment out of this deck and I do apologize up front for any errors as I've been quite sick.  I'm off now to indulge in the beauty that is Nyquil!  Until next week!

- JustSin


Simic sounds Eastern European by sandra_me123 at Mon, 06/03/2013 - 19:55
sandra_me123's picture

Simic sounds Eastern European to me. I think it is interesting to have this kind of stack in our arsenal. - David Slone

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