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By: DimeCollectoR, Jason Moore
Aug 07 2017 12:00pm
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Hi folks! 

Same deck, different day!

Last week I shared with you my ideas for UW Control in Pauper, a strategy which utilizes the new cards (Tragic Lesson) and (God-Pharaoh's Faithful). Today I'll be supplementing what I discussed in that article with some video content of the deck in action. 

Thanks to @BrandonSuperhero on Twitter for requesting the gameplay videos! 

Due to time restrictions I didn't end up putting together the best videos ever, but I hope they will give you a sense of how the deck operates in a practical setting. 

Because these videos aren't exactly extensive, there will be some additional analysis of the deck's sideboard choices afterward. 

But first, the gameplay. 

Sideboard Revisited

I mentioned before that the sideboard could do with some further scrutiny and tweaking. It still could. To really magnify matters I'm going to take a closer look at each of the current sideboard choices. 

1 Circle of Protection: Green 

I like the idea of Circle of Protection: Green. In other words, I'm delighted at the prospect of a single card completely locking out Stompy (which is perhaps the format's most successful pure aggro deck). 

We end up running into an issue, however. Stompy pilots are likely going to board into Gleeful Sabotage to remove our Journey to Nowheres, Oblivion Ring and Spontaneous Mutation. This means we're adding a card in Games 2 and 3 that is inherently weak to our opponent's Game 2 and 3 deck. 

An alternate perspective reveals to us that if the opponent does not draw their Sabotage at the right time, he will almost certainly lose the game. This alone might make Circle worth the slot it takes up. 

Are there superior options? What about something that comes in against a higher number of decks? Circle is in essence an anti-Stompy, anti-Hexproof card only. What if we replace it with a broader anti-aggro piece? Perhaps we can find something that also combats Delver, Izzet Fiend, Burn and RDW. 

Ultimately we've reached a dilemma. Do we opt for the narrower, high-impact inclusion or a broader, low-impact one? I don't have an immediate answer, but I think it will hinge upon how favorable our Stompy matchup winds up being both before and after sideboarding. It will similarly hinge upon how our other aggro matchups end up looking. 

1 Curse of Chains 

Moving on to Curse of Chains, I think we've identified a spell that should likely be replaced by something else. 

Despite being a flexible piece of removal, Curse gets one-upped by quite a few relevant antagonist cards. Creatures out of Affinity can still be used to Fling us. Stompy's Nettle Sentinel and (Qurion Ranger) both work around it. Capsize and Ghostly Flicker in Tron both get it to fall off. So do Snap and Vapor Snag from Delver Blue. Then there's Apostle's Blessing from Izzet Fiend, Kor Skyfisher in Boros, and on and on. We deserve better. 

My hope with Curse was to have a 2 mana or less spell that could be slotted in against Affinity's big guns. Crystallization looks to be slightly better on paper, though we may end up compromising by going up to 3 mana for a second Oblivion Ring. I don't love this idea. I like cheaper interaction. 

1 Dispel 

A second copy of Dispel is useful against many top performing decks. In fact, it could be argued that a big reason those very decks garner the success they do is that they make excellent use of instant speed tricks or synergies. 

Whether it's Delver, Stompy, Izzet Fiend, a control mirror or Burn, Dispel is a tool I want waiting securely in my box. I don't see this slot budging any time soon. 

2 God-Pharaoh's Faithful 

And now onto the new tech. God-Pharaoh's Faithful. This is an anti-aggro card with a caveat: the aggro in question must be ground-based. That means Stompy, Red Deck Wins and Burn tangentially. 

So far I feel like the new recruit certainly comes in handy against these opponents. What we need to ask ourselves, however, is whether or not these matchups even require the presence of this human 0/4. 

Since getting to play God-Pharaoh's Faithful is one of the central perks of sleeving up this deck in the first place, I'm going to take the blissfully ignorant route and not actually look for an answer to this question! 

1 Holy Light 

Holy Light isn't a perfect sweeper, but it does offer us the chance to wipe out Delver's Delver of Secrets, Faerie Miscreant and Spellstutter Sprite, Stompy's Quirion Ranger, River Boa and Vault Skirge and the creatures in Hexproof not wearing auras. I'm fine with using up one slot in the sideboard for this instant at present. 

2 Hydroblast 

It's hard to argue against Hydroblast. The perennial Pauper favorite kills Atog, Kiln Fiend and Nivix Cyclops while dealing with any card Burn and Red Deck Wins has to offer. 

Decks that play red are highly likely to bring in Pyroblast against us, and that antagonist card can obviously be countered by Hydroblast. I feel like two copies is the right call, though if red decks become more successful we can always up the ante. 

1 Leave No Trace 

At the moment this is (along with Circle of Protection: Green a “don't lose to Hexproof” card. Is that something we need? Should we just concede the Hexproof matchup altogether? I'd prefer not to, especially when we're in colors that can actually deal with enchantments. 

Leave No Trace does occasionally deal splash damage to our own Journeys and Oblivion Ring, but I don't foresee that damage being all too profound. Additionally, we can opt to nuke all of Hexproof's green enchantments rather than their white ones. 

1 Nihil Spellbomb/1 Relic of Progenitus 

I'm thinking Relic of Progenitus needs to go. We care about our own graveyard enough (due to cards like Mortuary Mire, Oona's Grace and Spontaneous Mutation) to favor the one-sided Spellbomb in most circumstances. It's usually a worse Tormod's Crypt, yes, but every once in a while our single black source will allow us to cycle it. 

I can either replace the Relic with a second Spellbomb or use that slot for something else, thus opting for one Spellbomb only. Not sure which course I'll take yet. 

2 Spreading Seas 

We are probably not favored to beat Tron for a number of reasons. That being said, Spreading Seas can possibly slow them down for a time and give us more of a fighting chance. 

The card also comes in against Hexproof, since it can knock off Utopia Sprawls and perhaps keep them off of a color. What's more, I like siding in Seas against (Burn), because it slows down their clock (each R they have available equates roughly to 3 damage per turn) and every once in a while beats them outright. 

I think these slots will stay for now. 

2 Stormbound Geist 

Geist serves as aerial defense against Delver and supplemental offense against Tron and control mirrors. It soaks up removal in those matchups also, which can be a plus. I think Geist is worth keeping around for the time being. 

Dime's Up 

I hope you enjoyed the videos and sideboard discussion! What can be learned about the deck from the video content? If you get some ideas, let me know! 

You can also follow me on Twitter (@DimecollectorSC) for MTG-related updates and info! 

Bye for now!