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By: jcf, Jose Freitas
Apr 27 2022 12:40pm
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Hello my friends! 

At the time I am writing this article, Streets of New Capenna is on the verge of arriving to your favorite way of playing Magic.

While I don't believe Streets of New Capenna is going to have a huge impact on Pauper, one card certainly stands out from the crowd: Inspiring Overseer.

Not only it is a strictly better version of Priest of Ancient Lore, it adds up to a plethora of cantrip creatures white has been receiving lately. In a way, we can say these creatures are providing the tools for a new archetype in Pauper, or at least a revamp on an old strategy: formely known as monowhite tokens or white weenie. This particular version I would call Monowhite Cantrip.

The List:

I wanted to try something on that sort of new path, so I started with something like this: 

 

The way this deck operates is quite simple: flood the board with a bunch of cantrip creatures, keep your life total safe with life gaining lands and Lunarch Veterans. Dig for the finishers in Battle Screech, Guardians' Pledge and (Celestial Unicorn). A pinch of removal in Journey to Nowhere is there to deal with problematic creatures from the opposing side. 

The deck is absolutely budget friendly. At the time I was writing this, I managed to build it for less than two bucks on MTGOTraders. Even if you don't want to take your chances playing leagues, it is a fine option for casual play in tournament practice. Easy to build, easy and fun to play, and offers reasonable results.


Matches:

I actually played a couple leagues with this deck, and had solid results. This time I won't write a league report, like I used to: rather I will write about matches I faced in general, cards I believe are important, which pairings I believe to be favorable or not and the best aproach to increase our chances.

Burn:

This is where this list really shines. I faced a lot of burn decks in leagues and that is part of the reason it performed so well. Either monored, black or Rakdos burn all felt strongly favorable. Not only can we gain a considerable amount of life with our manabase, Lunarch Veteran can be a thorn in  their side and even the flip side: Luminous Phantom, is capable of gaining considerable life combined with Kor Skyfisher. Remember you can bounce Kor Skyfisher to itself, creating a continuous life gaining engine with both Lunarch or Luminous. 

After sideboard, things get even better, Last Breath can be used both as a tool to recoup our life if needed or as a removal spell against their key creatures. Giving life to the opponent isn't extremely relevant in those matchups.


Jeskai Flicker:

I did face this once and it didn't feel favorable at all. I managed to win the match, but that felt more like a lucky shot. Against flicker decks, we have a small window of opportunity early in the game to stomp then with Battle Screech plus Guardians' Pledge before they can stabilize. If the game goes long, I don't think we have the tools in monowhite to add enough pressure.

After sideboard we could try to use Last Breath as a tool to exile Archaeomancer and similar cards for good. Breaking the flickering loops would give us a solid chance to keep up. That is certainly not an easy task, opponents should have a lot of interaction for our removal and giving life to the opponent isn't the best plan if we are trying to stomp then. I would keep Journeys on the play and switch to Breaths on the draw probably, or maybe just stick with the stomping plan even if it is a longshot.  


Tron Eggs:

I faced this one just once and again: managed to win but felt more lucky than anything else. If they manage to assemble tron early and do their thing, we simply cannot put pressure fast enough to threat taking over before they stabilize. Once they stabilize there is nothing we can do. We have that window early game as sometimes they take a while to set up and fizzle for a couple turns. Both games I managed to win against then were on those terms.

Fortunate Win 
A fortunate win against Tron Eggs: after opponent gaining a bunch of life, they fizzle for a while and double Guardians' Pledge grant us the victory.


Monoblue Faeries:

This deck doesn't perform terribly against Faeries. I did face a couple in leagues and the match felt slightly favorable. Battle Screech really helps stabilize the skies while the cantrip creatures can hold the ground against ninjas. They usually cannot counter all the cantrip creatures and if they start to hit the battlefield we start to overcome. (Search Party Captain) gives us an alternative to play around Spellstutter Sprite early. Usually I side in more interaction like: Last Breath, Sunlance and Serrated Arrows, while removing some of the more aggressive cards in Guardians' Pledge and Unicorns.

Against Faeries 
Battle Screech, Kor Skyfisher and Holy Light. Everything to make Faeries' life difficult
...


Dimir Faeries/Dimir Control:

Those didn't feel terrible either. Again: Battle Screech offers a great tool to take monarchy and/or stabilize the skies against faeries. Journey to Nowhere can help us dealing with problematic creatures, like Gurmag Angler and Thorn of The Black Rose. Felt slightly Favorable.


Izzet Faeries:

I didn't face any of those in the leagues I played, I would guess they play somewhat similarly to Dimir Faeries.


Bogles:

I faced Bogles only once and lost the match. But I honestly think the match is moderately favorable. Game one is almost a free win for then, since we cannot interact with their board at all. After sideboard we have eight very strong cards against then in: Leave No Trace and Celestial Flare. Combined with a lot of cantrip creatures which helps us drawing those cards. On theory this should work!


Affinity:

I didn't face Affinity on the leagues but I met it on practice. Felt ok. Since there is no more Atog, our lifegain can keep us out of range from a direct burn death.

We can deal with some of the big undercosted threats with Journey to Nowhere which they don't interact very well with, we can chump a bit to preserve our life total and even take a couple hits. Overall, they don't deal very well with flyers, so Battle Screeches can offer a path to take over the game.

We currently have no sideboard against Affinity, honestly I am not even sure it is necessary, if you expect to see a lot of Affinity decks, you could break the budget barrier and add a couple Dust to Dust to the sideboard.


Mono Black Control:

Again, I just faced this one in practice. Felt very even. If they manage to stick Cuombajj Witches that becomes a huge problem for us, since it can kill almost everything we deploy. Also, since we don't use a huge amount of removal, Gray Merchant of Asphodel sometimes can also hit hard, since they will have considerable devotion on the battlefield quite often. On the other hand, if we manage to exile Cuombajj Witches, we can deploy more threats than then most games. Also, Battle Screech can be hard for then to deal with. 


Cycle Storm:

I didn't face this one but I would guess the match is terrible. Overall we cannot deploy fast enough pressure to rely on winning before they do their thing. Our life gain hardly matters and we cannot interact at all. If I expected to see a lot of those, I would add a couple Relic of Progenitus to the sideboard at least.


Walls/Elves:

I didn't face many of those, but overall I would guess they are unfavorable. We don't have enough removal to keep them in check and we aren't fast enough to race them. Sideboard might help a bit but still an uphill battle.


Boros Midrange:

This matchup is simply terrible for our monowhite list. Early on they can hold defense really well with burn spells. As the game develops, we manage to gain a lot of life but that slowly becomes irrelevant as they draw more cards and deploy more threats than us. Makeshift Munitions deals with a lot of our soldiers and eventually they take over the skies.

MakeMuni
 A nightmare for us...

I played against Boros a couple times and lost all matches against it. If you are expecting a lot of Boros in your tournaments or casual games, in that case I don't think this list will give you the best results.


Improvements:

One card that felt a bit suspicious for me sometimes was: Celestial Unicorn. Pauper metagame is cluttered with removal right now. Often you just spend three mana casting it to have it killed by an one mana spell.

Sure, the few games it actually stick it basically takes over but that rarely happens and every time it gets killed by a cheaper spell and you get nothing back, that is actually a setback.

One thing I did try is to replace (Celestial Unicorn) with Guardian of the Guildpact. I even added a couple (Cave of Temptation) to the land base, so I could make it a 4/5.

Guardian, while slow, did perform better than (Celestial Unicorn) in some aspects, specially against Dimir Control, where it stopped opposing Gurmag Anglers and also offered a very hard to deal with threath.

Guardian 
Bring those Gurmags! I am not afraid
!

Against Boros it didn't seem to help that much. They were able to simply fly over it and kill us before Guardian would become relevant. I am still looking for something to make the match against Boros a bit better.

Another card I been considering is Desert. Since we are monocolor and have use for colorless lands, we can carry those without a huge drawback. Life gain also makes Desert a nice fit, since we can take some hits and survive. Desert might possibly take Faeries matches from even or slightly favored to moderately or even heavily favored. That is not something to overlook, Faeries is one of the strongest decks in the meta and regularly present in any type of event.

If we try Deserts, we have to add all four, they stack up really well, we probably should slightly increase land count to make sure we have enough white mana.

Custodi Squire is another very interesting option if we move out of the super budget range. A solid 3/3 flyer that generates value and can recur might be what this deck needs to dominate the skies. I am interested in testing this one out also.

Wrap up:

That's it for today, my friends. If you want to crush burn and have no fear to be crushed by Boros, you should play this one, either at competitive or casual level. It is so easy to build anyway.

So, try it out and have fun! Please let me know if you find any improvement to this list! 

See you next time!