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By: JXClaytor, Joshua Claytor
Feb 08 2016 1:00pm
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Cloud of Faeries may be gone, but if my Twitter account is any indication, Mono Blue Delver is still doing really well in the Pauper format.  I have gotten lucky I reckon, and have not had to face off against the Mono Blue version of the Delver deck, but I have had to play the UB version, and wow that's a really robust deck! 

Library manipulation, counters, card draw, and cheap threats are huge game in Pauper.  Delving a cheap Gurmag Angler into play is outstanding in Standard and Modern, but in Pauper I see it as a backbreaking play.  In the other formats you have great answers to it.  You have Oblivion Ring, Path to Exile, Condemn, Go for the Throat, and a host of others in Modern, while Standard has Crackling Doom and Murderous Cut as commonly played answers.  In Pauper you have Chainer's Edict or Diabolic Edict, and those are only good if a Delver of Secrets is not in play.  Doom Blade is like the googles in Radioactive Man, as they do nothing (at least against Angler!) 

So yeah, Cloud is gone, but it's not like it took away the Delver deck, it's still a thing (and goldfish says it's about 11 percent of the metagame, and as the second most played deck behind for some reason, Jeskai Rebirth, it's a pretty big thing).  While it did pretty much kill the Esper combo, and I guess that's an unfortunate bit to the banning, (and one that I am ok with after hitting F6 against them way too many times) it has freshened up the Pauper scene, and I guess it's a small sample size, but over the course of two leagues I have played against the same deck twice.  Over the course of ten matches I have played against eight unique decks, and have only repeated a match against Temur Tron and Bogles.  I think that is rather refreshing, considering the leagues I was playing in before the ban was for me, more often than not, a festival of Clouds!

I'm still looking for a Pauper deck to play, Affinity was fine, but it was not as enjoyable as I wanted it to be.  I guess I am used to Arcbound Ravager and Mox Opal too much? 

I wanted to play something with big mana this week, and that pretty much means Tron.  I've played Temur Tron before, and it has been a while I will admit, I did not remember having a blast playing it then.  It might have been because of Cloud, but I am not sure, I was just unwilling to play it this week.  Izzet Tron on the other hand, was something I had yet to play, and that is what I decided to take in to battle. 

Let's take a look at the list:

Well this deck pretty much as everything I like to do in a game.  Counters?  Check!  Creature control?  Yep has that in Arc Lightning, Rolling Thunder and Flame Slash.  Card Draw?  Mulldrifter is one of the creatures, so yeah there is some card draw!  Answers to non-creature based threats?  Have you Capsize locked someone?  It's pretty great!  I guess this deck is a reanimation spell and a land destruction spell (no, Ulamog's Crusher does not count as land destruction, though I guess Stone Rain could be included in the deck!) away from being my most favorite thing ever on paper. 

So how does it play?  I'll cut to the chase, as this league may not have been the best one to showcase the power of Izzet Tron.  We got paired against Goblins and Bogles, both of which are hyper linear aggro decks, and went 1-2 against the matches played.  Arc Lightning is gross against Bogles, and it's not great against Goblins, but there are precious few answers to those two decks in the format.  I also played against a UW Tron and Temur Tron, beating both, even if I tried to give the match away to the Temur Tron deck.  A 3-2 record is not the best, but it does allow me to roll it in to the next league!

I loved playing the deck, and so far in my short experiment of what to play in Pauper, it has been my favorite, by far.  Though I guess that is a little unfair, since I have only really played Affinity since the bannings! 

Let's watch the deck in action!  

Round one

Round two

Round three

Round four

Round five

While playing the deck, I was really taken aback by how mediocre Arc Lightning had been.  I understand the need for the card in the deck, and it is solid removal, but maybe Electrickery would be the way to go there? 

In the end this deck was amazing fun!  8/8 monsters on turn four?  Sign me up!  I hope you give Izzet Tron a chance, because I felt it was one of the better Pauper decks I have played in years. 

Thanks for stopping by, and next week we'll go on a trip!