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By: Pujols_Teh_Destroyer, Christopher Oliver
Jun 03 2015 12:00pm
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MBCu...and YOU

Corrupt Mulldrifter Innocent Blood

 

 


When looking at the metagame, we must identify the top players, not only by pure results, but by popularity.  Pauper’s metagame always shifting, but the major players consistently show up and put up results.  Mono Black Devotion, Stompy, Izzet Fiend, Delver, Burn, Esper Fae Combo, Affinity and White Weenie Tokens have all been consistent players in the metagame for the past month.  Knowing this, we can tune decks to beat the expected field, but we must always respect what we know will be there.  Obviously variance has its place and we cannot always draw the proper hate for a matchup, but if we play a deck that packs enough raw power coupled with knowledge of the matchups, we can come out successful.     

With Tom Scud and Alex Ullman smashing the numbers each and every week, as well as metagaming reports done by others, we can try to hedge against certain decks more, but the format shifts and it is important to simply be prepared for the field. 

Today I’d like to present a deck that I believe tackles the field quite well. 

 

MBCu
Played by PujolsTheDestroyer in Pauper Classic Tuesdays 6.54
Creatures
4 Mulldrifter
4 Chittering Rats
2 Crypt Rats
2 Phyrexian Rager
12 cards

Other Spells
4 Chainer's Edict
2 Corrupt
3 Distress
1 Grim Harvest
4 Innocent Blood
4 Probe
2 Read the Bones
4 Tendrils of Corruption
24 cards
Lands
2 Dismal Backwater
3 Dimir Aqueduct
3 Evolving Wilds
2 Island
14 Swamp
24 cards

Probe

 

This deck takes a lot of the solid elements offered by MBC , couples it with better card draw and a more inevitable late game strategy that makes for a list that can handle the field.  Splashing a few blue sources allows us to play Mulldrifter and Probe, as well as a number of sideboard cards that help in various matchups.   The biggest things Mulldrifter and Probe provide us with are advantages in grindy matchups like the MBC mirror.  Instead of relying on top-decks and Sign in Blood, our deck will draw a 2/2 Flyer that draws two.  Additionally, Probe is great at breaking through games when they’ve reached the mid-game, allowing you to pull ahead in cards when kicked. 

I played the list above Tuesday evening in the Pauper Classic Tuesday event.  Unfortunately, I ended with a rather lousy 2-2 record, missing Top Eight, but without being results-based, I can say the deck was extremely good all four rounds.  I’ll briefly go through the rounds of Tuesday’s tournament.

Round 1 vs. Affinity

The only real memorable thing about this match was the amount of removal I drew Game 2.  I wound up drawing three copies of Tendrils of Corruption which completely wrecked any sort of aggressive plan my opponent was on.  They cast Thoughtcast numerous times, but the removal suite in this list is very difficult to break through. 

Round 2 vs. Delver

Game 1 I had removal spells for each of his threats before grinding him out with a Mulldrifter. 

Game 2 showcased the Delver nut-draw of Delver of Secrets into Cloud of Faeries into Spellstutter Sprite.  I recall him having enough faeries to effectively use a Sprite to counter my Tendrils, which was unfortunate.

Game 3 was a bit closer, but again, he had every answer and I was eventually beat down by an army of flying 1/1s.

 

Round 3 vs. UR Nivix Fiend

Games 1 and 2 were very uneventful.  I drew more removal than he had creatures.  With most of our removal being of the edict variety, the protection spells he may have had did little.  Game 2, he was stuck on all blue mana with a hand full of red while I kept a two-swamp, triple Innocent Blood into (Chainer’s Edict) hand.

Round 4 vs. RUG Tron

Game 1 was grindy, with him eventually dying with six cards remaining in his library, both of his Haunted Fengraf gone and both copies of Rolling Thunder stripped from his hand.  Game 2, he had turn three Tron and a turn four (Ulamog’s Crusher) that I had no answer for.  Game 3 again turned into a grindy affair.  I had taken one Rolling Thunder with Duress and had him at 12 with two 2/2 beatsticks, six cards in hand and him topdecking when he drew his second Rolling Thunder and killed me from 16. 

 

The last round was sad, but I could have done things differently.  If I would have held off on flashbacking Deep Analysis I would have lived.  If I would have hit him with a Corrupt for six, I would have lived.  We live. We lose. We learn. 

 


Card Choices:

Creatures:

4 Mulldrifter: Pretty easy to see why this is a four-of.  It’s one of the top creatures in the format.  In the current MBC-infested metagame, it’s also backbreaking to resolve one.

4 Chittering Rats:  A mainstay of MBC powered by Gray Merchant of Asphodel, these little guys are mostly here to disrupt our opponents’ game plan.  Sometimes it’s just a 2/2 for three that blocks.  Sometimes it time walks them.   

2 Phyrexian Rager: Like Chittering Rats, this guy does some great work for three mana.  The 2/2 body is fine as a beater and sometimes as a blocker. 

2 Crypt Rats: A lot of MBC decks are moving towards more sweepers like Crypt Rats, and for good reason.  WW Tokens has made this card worthy of the maindeck.  I love the utility this card provides.  It’s almost always a sweeper, but when coupled with a ton of mana and a Grim Harvest, it can win the game by itself.  It’s great for the current metagame and great overall.  I love having access to all four in the whole 75. 

 

Removal:

4 Innocent Blood: Perhaps one of the more underused cards in Pauper, Innocent Blood is rarely as symmetrical as it was probably intended to be.  For one mana, we get an answer to any aggressive deck’s turn one play, which is big in a deck that wants to keep its life total high and go long.  Additionally, it helps with the Delver matchup’s powerful turn-one Delver of Secrets draw.

4 (Chainer’s Edict): Downshifted to common with Vintage Masters, this card has given numerous decks access to yet another way to deal with pesky creatures.  The flashback makes it an automatic two for one and in a grindy control deck, seven mana is easily achievable.  One of my favorite removal spells.

4 Tendrils of Corruption: While Tendrils may seem like an odd choice for a two-color deck, the 14 swamps we run makes it a fine removal option.  Rarely are we in a position where Tendrils can’t kill something.  The life gain is extremely relevant when facing an aggressive deck.  It also makes the Burn matchup not completely one-sided in their favor.

2 Corrupt: Like Tendrils, we have enough swamps to make this card worth casting.  Often this serves more as a win-condition, hitting an opponent’s face for as much as eight or nine damage while putting us out of reach. 

 

Card Advantage:

4 Probe: One of the signature cards and primary reasons to splash blue.  Probe gives us a powerful mid-game card that wrecks our opponents’ hands while helping us filter towards whatever answer we need.  Casting it without the kicker can be powerful as well, with the looting allowing us to find exactly what we need.

3 Distress: Maindeck hand-hate isn’t something you see often (although as of this writing, I’ve seen numerous MBC decks maindecking a Duress or two).  I’m fond of this card because it gives us a turn-two play in midrange matchups.  Taking our opponent’s removal spell, or relevant creature can be backbreaking.  

2 Read the Bones: In the paper world, in Standard, I’ve been playing Abzan Control for months.  This card is insane.  Digging four deep for three mana is great and the life loss is made up for it with cards like Tendrils of Corruption and Corrupt. 

1 Grim Harvest: A personal favorite of mine, Grim Harvest allows this deck to go super long against any strategy.  Recurring Crypt Rats leads to winning games, and recurring Mulldrifters is just cake.  The ability to continuously grab what we need is very powerful and the second copy in the board helps in the control matchups. 

 

Sideboard:

3 Disdainful Stroke:  This is probably the one slot I’m torn on.  I’m not overly fond of countermagic in a tap-out style control deck so this can be adjusted as you wish.  I mostly like it for the MBC, UB Teachings, Tron and anything with Gurmag Angler matchups.  It is also the card that has underperformed for me the most.  Great card, but not great for this deck.

3 Duress: A pretty common sight in most black sideboards.  Duress comes in for control matchups and against Tron.  Taking Rolling Thunder away removes Tron’s inevitability. 

2 Relic of Progenitus: Another pretty common piece of sideboard hate, Relic comes in against Teachings, graveyard-based decks such as the Tortured Existence builds, reanimator, etc.

2 Deep Analysis:  Pure card advantage that comes in against slower control decks, MBC, Tron, Teachings.  It’s important to be able to reload and continue to remain up on cards and resources as the game moves into the end-game. 

2 Crypt Rats: I personally bring these in against anything trying to kill me with dudes.  Stompy, Boros Kitty, White Weenie, Tokens, Goblins, etc.  Recurring it with Grim Harvest is insane and the ability to go up to 4 mainboard in some matchups is downright backbreaking.

2 Victim of Night: This is another slot that could be swapped out for something else.  I like having versatile spot removal against certain decks such as Stompy or Delver.  Obviously it isn’t great against Gurmag Angler.  Could easily become a mix of Doom Blade and Diabolic Edict or something else.

1 Grim Harvest: The second harvest comes in against MBC and other grindy control matchups where it is all about trading resources. 

 


Wrapping Up:

Despite a lot of the numbers showing MBC not performing all that well in dailies, the fact that it is a hugely popular deck that makes up a significant portion of the metagame requires us to respect it.  Additionally, having flexible mainboard and sideboard cards is an important factor in tuning decks to fight the field. 

The perks of MBCu is that it has the raw power to beat up on your brews designed to beat certain decks while also having answers to the popular decks in the format.  Being able to crush over half of the pauper metagame (numbers taken from Najay’s mid-week Pauper meta report from 5/28/2015) gives us a good reason to play this deck. 

I’m looking forward to tuning this list a bit more as well as working on other brews designed to fight on the pauper battlefields. Check it out and let me know what you think.  You know you want to kick a Probe and make somebody's life miserable.

Thanks for reading!

-          Chris/PujolsTheDestroyer