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By: gwyned, gwyned
Aug 29 2013 6:45am
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I. Introduction

Over the next couple months or so (leading up to the online release of Theros), I will be providing ongoing coverage of the "league-style" Standard Pauper event being held by Hipsters of the Coast. Last week, I introduced my readers to the event and gave a quick run-down of the current state of the Standard Pauper metagame. In this week's article, I will update you on the metagame, reveal who walked away with prizes this week, and highlight my own list and match from Week One. And just to be clear, I am grateful to Zachary Barash for providing some of the source material for this article. So, with that said, let's dive right in!

II. Quick Metagame Update

Of the original 152 players, 134 are still active going in to Round 2, of which 73 won their match in Round 1. This event is scheduled to run through 8 rounds of Swiss followed by a cut to Top 8, so there still are a lot of matches to be played!

Not surprisingly, Blue decks seem to be at the top of their game, with winning lists including Flickermancer, Mono Blue, and Izzetclops, which just happen to be three of the decklists I highlighted in my article last week. Similarly, good results were produced with Mono Red, Orzhov, and Boros. From my own experiences this week, I can tell you that a Rakdos burn deck and an Azorious Weenie deck also came away with wins. Additionally, there are several rogue brews making the rounds, keeping players on their toes. Here's what the tournament host had to say:

If you’re looking to make top eight, you’re going to need a plan.  Saruli Gatekeepers means that aggro has to be blisteringly fast and/or have big creatures and burn to go over the top.  You’ll want removal or One-Eyed Scarecrow to deal with all the blue creatures flying around. As for the Ghostly Flicker/Archaeomancer lock, if you want to play the long game, you’ll want some sort of answer;  Mind RotCremate, and Beckon Apparition can all interrupt the combo. Of course, you could be employing one of these strategies, but you’ll still need to worry about the mirror match and the other popular decks (not to mention the rogue decks!).

III. Prizes This Week

As I mentioned last week, just for participating in this event, you have the chance to walk away with a booster pack each week, given out to two random participants regardless of their success. Additionally, the Hipsters of the Coast team are all playing in this event, and special prizes can be won by defeating them in matches. So here's who walked away with what this week:

  • Pauper Mage wins a booster of Shadowmoor!
  • Ben H wins a booster of Innistrad!
  • Kevin Roman wins a Foil Shadowmoor Torture for beating Hipster’s own Tim Akpinar!
  • MattP81 wins a Foil Vivisection for beating Hipster’s own Hunter Slaton!
  • James Bathurst wins a Foil Gruul Ragebeast for beating Hipster's own Zachary Barash!

IV. My Decklist

So here is my current build for this event. Note that, according to the tournament rules, players are allowed to switch up deck's each week, provided they don't use this rule to "pre-Sideboard" against a known opponent's decklist.

While this is probably not the best deck in the format right now, it is my current favorite. Unlike similar builds, I have foregone playing Goblin Electromancer, replacing it instead with Scroll Thief, who seems to slot right into what this deck is trying to do. It also provides extra utility for Artful Dodge for those games when you don't draw the Nivix Cyclops. The fact that the deck is running 22 Sorceries and/or Instants makes this the perfect deck for Delver of Secrets, and flipping a Turn 1 Delver on Turn 2 is still probably the strongest play in the format. They also enable the deck to fully abuse the Cyclops, allowing it to not only swing in for damage but also turn into a surprise blocker on defense!

For the Sideboard, I have included specific options against the metagame forerunners. First, Curse of the Pierced Heart is surprisingly good against Flickermancer or any slow deck like Dimir Mill, essentially keeping the game from ever going long enough for them to win. One-Eyed Scarecrow should be in every Sideboard, as it is quite strong against the favored MonoBlue fliers and also has decent utility against White Weenie. Electrickery can be quite good against certain MonoRed builds, while Disperse not only provides a way of slowing down an aggressive deck but can also be used to disarm a Hexproof creature and then smack it down during combat. Paralyzing Grasp is a decent way of taking down large creatures, but probably should be replaced with Claustrophobia despite the latter's more difficult casting cost.

But enough about that. Let's take a look at how I did this week!

I must admit I was fairly disappointed with how Game 3 turned out, especially since I should have used my Searing Spear on the Court Street Denizen as the Attended Knight was entering the battlefield, allowing me to keep one blocker untapped and only drop down to 2. It was a heart-breaking loss, but full props to my opponent rbernardinello who played a great game with an interesting Azorious variation on a more typical White Weenie build. Hopefully this week will prove better for me.

IV. Conclusion

That wraps things up for this week. Stay tuned for my updates from all the action of Week 2! Until then, let me remind you that you can check out all of my previous articles here on PureMTGO by clicking here. I also publish over on my blog on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and encourage you to keep up with all my projects there. Also, you can get a sneak peek at my matches from this event before they go live here at over on Simply search for "gwyned42," select one of my videocasts, and click the Subscribe button. Finally, you can keep up with everything I'm doing for this event on Twitter at the username gwyned42; check out my profile here and click on Follow.

Thanks for reading. See you next time!