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By: Arctic_Ghost, Arctic_Ghost
Sep 12 2016 12:00pm
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Infect is a combo deck that wins by playing a creature with Infect (for example, Glistener Elf is the creature everyone thinks of) and dealing damage in the form of poison counters instead of regular damage. Since you are dealing damage in Poison, you only need to count to 10, instead of 20, because once a player gets 10 of these counters, they lose the game. The combo is using pump spells (Groundswell and Vines of the Vastwood for example) on a creature with Infect and killing your opponent all in one turn.


As always, if the video isn't good for you, or if you just prefer a deck list, here is the list for your pleasure.

- 75 Cards Total
4 Glistener Elf
4 Blight Mamba
4 Ichorclaw Myr
12 cards

4 Vines of Vastwood
4 Mutagenic Growth
4 Groundswell
4 Predator's Strike
4 Apostle's Blessing
20 cards
4 Rancor
4 Seal of Strength
8 cards

3 Gitaxian Probe
17 Forest
17 cards

4 Young Wolf
4 Gut Shot
4 Nature's Claim
3 Rot Wolf
15 cards


 In all honesty, this deck is pretty straightforward. You play out a creature with the Infect ability, turn it sideways and use a bunch of green pump spells to give your opponent 10 poison counters and win the game. The problem is, it isn't that simple because the removal in pauper is very cheap and very powerful, so you have to use your spells wisely and make the most out of all of them. Do not be afraid to use Vines of the Vastwood as a counter spell to your opponents removal and also remember, you can target your opponents creature as well and this could come up if you play the mirror match or you play against a deck like Stompy. I could go on and on, but let's check out the games instead.


Match 1 vs Delver Blue



Game 1 I had to mulligan to 6, but my hand was very good and I had high hopes after I saw a Forest on the top of my deck. My opponent took a mulligan to 5 and didn't have a very good hand, so I was able to capitalize and do what I wanted. I decided to play the game a little slow because I was drawing multiple creatures and my opponent still did not have much going on. My opponent played a Spellstutter Sprite at the end of my 4th turn and also returned both of their Islands to cast Gush and then played a Delver of Secrets on their next turn. I attacked with all of my creatures and only one of them were blocked, I used my pump spells and got the victory.


Game 2 my opening hand was again, very good, with 2 Glistener Elf, 2 lands, a Gut Shot and some pump spells, I quickly decided to keep. I decided to kill my opponents Faerie Miscreant when they played another copy so that they could not draw a card, they then attached a Coral Net to my creature. I decided the creature was worth keeping around and discarded my Predator's Strike because I felt it was going to be a little slow and I then drew a third copy of Glistener Elf.  I was quickly on the beat down plan. The next few turns were spent with me playing some creatures and getting them countered, then my opponent resolved a Delver of Secrets, blocked my creature and my first Groundswell was met with a Counterspell, but the second copy got to resolve and both myself and my opponent had no cards in hand. I drew Vines of the Vastwood, but I was 1 damage off from killing my opponent and the next turn my opponent played a Ninja of the Deep Hours. I drew another pump spell and my opponent blocked my creature, I played the pump spell and it resolved, at this point I was far ahead. The next turn I decided to just go for it and my opponent didn't draw anything and I got the win.


This matchup is a bit of a coin toss honestly. Before sideboard, the Delver deck is slightly ahead because of counterspells (Spellstutter Sprite is insane against you because, not only is it a blocker, but it is also a counter spell, which is very backbreaking) and because they are constantly drawing cards. You have to use your pump spells wisely and bait them into using their counter magic on what you don't care about resolving and you have to make correct attacks, not to mention the longer the game goes, the less it favors you. After sideboard it is basically the same, but now you have Gut Shot to remove blockers and clear the way. In the end, you need to play very smart, so I suggest testing this matchup very thoroughly.


Round 2 vs UB Angler Delver



Game 1 I had to take a mulligan to 6 and it only contained one land, but I had everything I needed to win the game quickly and I decided to keep. I forgot to cast my Seal of Strength on my first turn because I am still getting used to playing the card and as embarrassing as that is, I tried to forget about it. I got lucky and drew a second land and I was able to cast my Ichorclaw Myr and my opponent played Brainstorm on their main phase, they then cracked an Evolving Wilds and due to me being dumb and not playing my Seal of Strength on turn 1, I was not able to win the game then and there. Luckily for me, my opponent played a couple of Mental Notes and when they tried to kill my creature, I used Vines of the Vastwood to save it and won the next turn.


Game 2 my opening hand was decent, but I felt that it was too slow and I didn't want to take the chance of having to draw a second land and so I took a mulligan and was able to keep. My opponent played a Ponder early and then did not do much for the first few turns of the game, I however drew into double Vines of the Vastwood and had a good amount of protection for removal spells for my creature. When I made my third land drop, I decided to try and get value out of my Groundswell and it was met with a Dispel and I then tried to play another pump spell, which was met with a Rune Snag and I felt like my opponent was a little desperate after not seeing any removal or an edict effect (Chainer's Edict for example).  On my next turn when my opponent only had 2 mana up, I decided to go for it, I drew another forest and cast a Vines of the Vastwood with kicker and I figured, if my opponent counters it, I need to get the counter spells out of their hand and if they try to use any removal that targets a creature (these decks usually play Ghastly Demise as their main removal of choice), I had the second Vines of the Vastwood to put the final nail in the coffin. Luckily my opponent only had 1 removal spell and I was able to win the game.


This match is kind of bad for you, but it isn't terrible. Before sideboard they don't have much to stop you and because the removal spell they rely on is Ghastly Demise, your pump spells can easily counter it and you can swing for the win, but if they get down a Gurmag Angler early or flip a Delver of Secrets early and back it up with constant counter magic, things can be very difficult. After sideboard they will usually have Chainer's Edict or Diabolic Edict to really mess your day up, but you get to bring in your 4 copies of Young Wolf to get around them.


Round 3 vs Burn



Game 1 I had an opening hand of 5 lands and 2 creatures and I decided to keep because I figured it wouldn't take much for me to get there, I have 2 creatures and I only need a few pump spells, I felt it was reasonable. My opponent was on burn and I knew I needed to act fast, but it seemed that my opponent didn't have much going on. I drew a couple of pump spells and won the game in just a few turns.


Game 2 I felt my opening hand was fine with a couple of creatures, couple of pump spells and 3 land to help me cast them. My opponent however, not only had enough burn to deal with my threats and slow me down, but I died very quickly as well.


Game 3 showed that I am of the firm belief that if you don't have a creature in your opening hand, you should mulligan. I mulled what was a decent opening hand but the 6 cards I got were even better because I had a creature on turn 1, but sadly, my opponent played a Martyr of Ashes, which was going to make the game difficult for me to navigate through. I attacked and my opponent felt it was fine to trade and I played another creature, I also had 2 Seal of Strength in my hand, so another 3 power pump spell would do the trick. Sadly my Ichorclaw Myr was met with a Searing Blaze and my opponent started playing Keldon Marauders to block my creatures from winning the game. I wasn't able to find one of my spells that give trample and I lost.


Burn is pretty bad for you because they can win almost as fast as you can and they usually have enough burn to deal with your creatures and still kill you. Martyr of Ashes makes life miserable for you because it is basically a gigantic burn spell that effects all your creatures in one turn and it blocks. Searing Blaze is just horrible for you because now your creature dies and you still take 3 damage, all around this matchup is what it is and you just deal with it when you face it. You want cards like Nourish or Pulse of Murasa to help you gain life and personally I like Pulse because it also gets your creature back.


Where we go from here? Updates to the deck list, aftermath thoughts and possibly more!


I find Infect to be a powerful force in the pauper format, but I do feel like it is missing some cards to truly make it great again. It isn't incredibly weak to anything and it can certainly over power some plenty of the strategies you will find in the pauper format. I haven't made any changes to the list, but I do have some suggestions for certain matchups.


Nourish is a good way to fight Burn and Goblins when you are trying to stay alive and combo them out, but personally I find Pulse of Murasa to be better because, although it costs 1 more to cast, the fact that you get a creature back can be huge.


An alternative to Young Wolf is Vitality Charm because it is an instant, so it could be better against Diabolic Edict or Devour Flesh, but because Young Wolf makes it so your opponent needs 2-3 edict effects to take care of it and then remove your threat with infect, I find the little wolf to be the better option.


I can also see adding something like Relic of Progenitus or Faerie Macabre for some graveyard removal or just for Peregrine Drake hate and also to have ways around Moment's Peace and if I were to add those, I would take out Nature's Claim for that spot. I would most likely take them out of the sideboard for Serene Heart for the Bogles matchup as well.


As far as Gitaxian Probe and Lotus Petal are concerned. I am sticking with the Gitaxian Probe for now because I value the perfect information of knowing what is in my opponents hand, more than I value the speed that Lotus Petal could give me. Both have their reasons to be included and I can find room for only one of them, so I pick information against speed.


My verdict on this deck is that it is underrated. I wouldn't be surprised if more people were playing this deck, but it wasn't 5-0ing leagues consistently and so we don't know about it. I would recommend this deck, as I do think it is fun and can be a contender. Let me know how you do and what changes you would make if you were to play with it. In the end, I went 3-2 in the league, losing to a buddy playing tokens and getting unlucky, but it happens.


Pauper Classic Tuesdays happens every Tuesday on at 8:00pm, always Eastern Standard Time. It's free to enter a lot of fun. I also stream it as well every Tuesday! I will be looking to stream more during the week when I have time, I hope to see you all there!


Thank you so much for reading and for watching and I will see you all next time.