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By: Doctor Anime, Tomer Abramovici
Jul 26 2010 1:29am
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Basic Information:

To find out when the next Pauper Premier Event is held, check out the calender.

PDCMagic is one of the best sites out there for your Pauper needs. The community has active forums where you can find all the information you want about decks in all the formats. It’s also where you can find out all information about upcoming free admission player-run events (PREs).

TPDC is a Classic Pauper PRE held every Tuesday with registration at 7:30pm EST and the tournament begins at 8:00pm EST. Event coordination is done in /join tpdc and you may register by typing “reg” in /join tpdccom. Admission is free and the event is sponsored by MTGO Traders.

EPDC is a Classic Pauper PRE held every Thursday with registration at 2:30pm EST and the tournament begins at 3:00pm EST. Event coordination is done in /join epdc and you may register by typing “reg” in /join epdccom. Admission is free and the event is sponsored by MTGO Academy.

Go to PDCMagic for even more PREs and if you want more excellent information on the PEs and PREs, check out kalandine's articles covering these event.

Looking for a Pauper guild? Message me on MTGO to get an invite to A Common Cause.

Archetypes:

Deck Current Representation Past Representation Movement
MUC/Faeries

16

15

+

Goblins

9

8

+

MBC/MBCu

9

3

+

Storm

6

6

=

Affinity

4

8

-

Stompy

4

6

-

Teachings

4

6

-

Burn

3

2

+

Pestilence

2

4

-

WW

2

2

=

UW Blink

2

1

+

URW Control

1

3

-

Cloak

1

0

+

GW Slivers

1

1

=

Rogue

7

 7  

MBC(u) has been enjoying a recent upsurge in deck representation recently and the past two PEs has seen it climb up from obscurity to become a serious contender once again. The other archetypes aren't changing in numbers too drastically. MUC Fae continues to dominate at the top of the food chain.

Speaking of which, I've been reading some complaints about MUC's dominance in the forums. It was bound to happen. For those that are complaining about the deck, remember that only two months ago, MUC wasn't even mentioned in the top 8 while Storm and Goblins continued to dominate. Change is good!

 

Top 8:

  Quarterfinals   Semifinals   Finals   Champion
1 thekid (MUC)   thekid (MUC), 2-0        
8 Dev (Goblins)    thekid (MUC), 2-0
       
4 lookacard (MUC)   lookacard (MUC), 2-1   thekid (MUC), 2-0*
5 speks (Stompy)    
       
2 Lundstrom (MUC)
  Lundstrom (MUC),  2-0
7 ksh (Goblins)   Lundstrom (MUC),  2-1
       
3 brian e (Teachings)   brian e (Teachings),  2-1
6 YouJustGotStrunked (MBCu)    

*Finals were a draw, no matches were played.

Top 8 deck lists can be viewed here.

MUC controls the top 8 once again, with a sprinkling of Goblins, MBCu, and Teachings in the mix to keep things fresh. Both Goblins got 2-0'd by MUC, which says something about how the matchup has evolved. 

Repeal

There are some card choices in the deck builds that struck me as interesting. Thekid is running 2 copies of Repeal instead of Repulse. Repeal is more powerful against Stompy and Goblins due to their 1cc creatures, but is worse against nearly any other deck and at protecting MUC's own creatures. They are equal when protecting one of the best bouncable creatures though, Spellstutter Sprite. It seems that he wanted more help against potential aggro.

Soul Manipulation shows up in brian e's Teachings build instead of Exclude and I'm really not sure why. Manipulation is stronger when you have a creature to fetch, but with a mere 8 creatures in the deck total, I would think that Exclude would be the more consistent option.

spek's Stompy list runs a set of Nest Invader, something that I don't often see. It's a solid card in it's own right and brings a unique set of advantages and drawbacks. Ideally, you can consider this a slow 2/2 for "G" if you use the spawn token to accelerate a different card. Unfortunately, most cards in Stompy (at least his build) don't want colorless mana. Another benefit of the token is that it can offer sac removal protection like from Diabolic Edict, or you could slap on an equipment and start swinging with it. Is it worth the slot?


As far as Goblins lists go, ksh's list is one that trades consistency for potential for more power. A full set of Jackal Familiar and three Fireblasts maindecked means there will be less keepable hands and more awkward situations/draws, but if the shuffling gods are smiling upon him then games will end faster than most Goblin builds can. It seems that things worked out favorably this time.

MUC Fae lists are finally solidifying, likely due to people netdecking Lundstrom's continued success with the deck. How many times has has he been in the top 8 the past two months, like half of them? Pretty amazing stuff to be that consistent, congrats! Anyway, the streamlined list is leaps and bounds ahead of the older, more varied builds that we were seeing. No more silly things like singleton Trinket Mage running around maindeck.

I'm also a big fan of the ratio of Mulldrifter MD/SB. I was a long time antagonist of Mulldrifter maindeck playsets for two reasons: it conflicts with the draw-go mentality of the deck and it's awful against aggro decks, a problem which is further amplified when you add it in a deck with almost zero removal to handle the creatures that slip in when you tap out.

Fathom Seer

For this reason I have advocated Fathom Seer instead, which can easily be cast with a counterspell ready two turns earlier than Mulldrifter, or three turns if you miss a land drop and play the land that you bounced immediately, causing the Seer to cost "2cc" to play. The land bounce isn't much of an issue either because the deck doesn't ever need more than 6 lands in play and synergizes well with Oona's Grace. Speaking of which, why have these MUC lists taken out the singleton Grace? It's been a phenomenal staple to the deck for such a long time. I really don't agree with it being taken out, but I'm going off tangent now. Point is, a full set of Mulldrifter maindecked in MUC just doesn't work.

On the other hand, Mulldrifter is unquestionably one of the best cards in Pauper and good decks run good cards. It's a Money Card, like Jace, the Mind Sculptor is in Standard -- except not obscenely priced like the latter. It feels weird not to run it in a blue deck. Though it's poor against aggro, it's still a bomb against control. Think of it this way: the board is even and stable but your hand is getting pretty light. You have the option of playing Mulldrifter but it means that your opponent will be able to push a card through once you tap out. The thing is, assuming he can't counter it, what can the opposing control player do to match your Mulldrifter? Likely the only card that can match it is, well, his own Mulldrifter. This is a worthy trade-off.

So that's why I like the idea of one Mulldrifter maindecked and three in the sideboard. It doesn't hinder your match against aggro, but you don't lose out on bomb-potential against other control decks. Neat idea.

 

Matchups:

The "No Mirror" column has now been fixed, thanks for pointing it out everybody.

Something worth noting is that MUC Fae and Stompy have been posting the best win ratios so far. In the battle between the two decks, MUC Fae holds a 64% win ratio out of 25 matches.

Deck Spotlight: BR Husk

BR Husk
 
Creatures
3 Mesmeric Fiend
3 Inner-Flame Acolyte
4 Mogg War Marshal
4 Keldon Marauders
4 Bloodthrone Vampire
4 Carrion Feeder
24 cards

Other Spells
4 Blightning
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Firebolt
4 Unearth
4 Veinfire Borderpost
18 cards
Lands
2 Terramorphic Expanse
8 Swamp
8 Mountain
18 cards

Sideboard
2 Hurly-Burly
4 Pyroblast
4 Duress
4 Terminate
1 Mesmeric Fiend
15 cards
Bloodthrone Vampire

 

Overview:
BR Husk is an aggro deck that combines pumpable cannibals like Nantuko Husk with strong creatures that yield further benefits when sacrificed. The color combination allows the deck to run the best burn spells for removal and reach, and the option for hand disruption to gain an edge against control and combo.

Key Cards:
Bloodthrone VampireCarrion FeederNantuko HuskBlightningLightning BoltKeldon MaraudersMogg War Marshal

Keldon Marauders

While there's variety in the types of sacrificial creatures run, BR Husk lists almost always have varied amounts of the same three cannibals.

Nantuko Husk lends its name to the archetype and has been a staple of the deck for a long time, but the more aggressively costed Bloodthrone Vampire may be a more solid choice these days. Carrion Feeder functions differently than the other cannibals, unable to bust out as explosive attacks as the others, though it is more consistent. Being 1cc is a huge boon, as you can drop it on turn 1 and then on turn 2 play a lamb for its maximum potential.

Of the sacrificial lambs, Keldon Marauders and Mogg War Marshal stand out the most. Both are great standalone cards made better with sac outlets. Keldon Marauders guarantees a Shock to the face even if dealt with, is large enough to kill most anything that blocks it, or ends up dealing 5 damage to the face if unblocked. Mogg War Marshal generates three tokens for 2cc and you can play around the echo cost by sacrificing it.

Lightning Bolt and Blightning are auto-includes because they fit the aggro goals of the deck perfectly and they're some of the best cards in their colors. If you have access to the Money Cards, you run them.


Blightning is money, baby!

Options:
Mesmeric FiendInner-Flame AcolyteFireboltTerminateUnearthFaceless ButcherGoblin Arsonist

Mesmeric Fiend

To fill out the roster of sacrificial lambs, there's Mesmeric Fiend, Inner-Flame Acolyte, and Faceless Butcher. Though not quite good enough to be played on their own, all these creatures become far stronger with a sac outlet.

Fiend and Butcher's abilities are powerful but their vulnerable bodies make them unreliable, especially Fiend. By sacrificing them before their abilities resolve, however, the exiled cards are permanently removed from the game. In my opinion, Butcher costs too much to be played and the deck already has plenty of great removal. Fiend's cheap cost and Castigate effect feels more suitable.

Inner-Flame Acolyte's evoke ability also works very well with sac outlets. Pushing damage through fits the goals of the deck. The haste effect combines particularly well with Keldon Marauders, effectively doubling the card's damage output.

Although I've never seen it played in BR Husk, I feel it's worth mentioning that Goblin Arsonist fits the deck's theme as well. I doubt that it's as good as the other lambs, though it may be more powerful in a meta with more X/1 creatures.

Having more removal is always good, and BR offers some of the best in the format. Firebolt is one of the best CA-generating removal spells in the format and is also resilient to countermagic, making it a perfect response to MUC Fae. Terminate is perhaps the strongest targeted removal card in pauper, dealing with practically any creature for 2cc.

Since BR Husk is creature-heavy and none cost more than 3cc, Unearth is an easy fit to the archetype as well. By now you should know that this is a good card so I won't ramble on about it.

Sideboard:
PyroblastDuressGorilla ShamanMartyr of AshesHurly-BurlyDiabolic EdictSmash to Smithereens

Sideboarding is pretty standard and all the commonly used sideboard cards within black and red can show up. There's no Husk-specific cards to speak of and I've already explained the uses of these cards before.

The Good:

Possibly BR Husk's biggest advantage is its resiliency to removal spells due to the sac outlets. It recovers from board wipes better than most aggro decks and can neuter powerful removal spells like Staggershock and Tendrils of Corruption. Removal spells that deal damage, like Lightning Bolt, or reduce the target's toughness, like Disfigure, will have trouble taking out the cannibal threats in the deck, since they can pump themselves out of those card's range.

The black-red combination allows BR Husk to run strong hand disruption against control and combo decks while seamlessly aiding in the deck's goal of burning down the opponent's life total.

Though not the fastest aggro deck around, BR Husk is capable of explosive turns, particularly with Bloodthrone and Nantuko. With one on the board, a single 2cc Mogg War Marshal translates into six damage. Even better, this damage can be divided up whenever and however the pilot chooses. This sort of flexibility gives the deck more options than your basic RDW.

The Bad:

BR Husk's curve is pretty aggressive with a 2cc peak, but other aggro decks, notably Stompy and Goblins, are even faster. It's also a dual-color deck which is bound to make it a little slower and less consistent than it's mono-colored aggro brethren.

Certain removal spells can be problematic for the deck as well. Though BR Husk excels against removal that deal damage or reduce the target's toughness, removal that ignores the target's size will have no issue removing the threats.

Like most aggro decks, BR Husk doesn't have much lategame power. If it runs out of steam against an opponent that isn't within burn range, there's not much the deck can do to recover.

The most problematic decks in particular are white-based decks with heavy lifegain. Lifegain counters burn perfectly and white's choice removal cards like Journey to Nowhere have no trouble removing threats from the board. UWblink, WW, and BW Pestilence are some of the worst matchups for BR Husk.

Overall:

BR Husk is an aggro deck that perfectly blends disruption tactics and removal to clear a path for fat, pumped creatures to deal big damage in a hurry. The color combination offers a great variety of the best hand disruption and removal in the format and is highly customizable depending on the expected meta. Going dual-colored has its drawbacks, however, and the deck's speed and consistency is worse off than a mono-colored aggro deck. While it has many tools to handle control, white lifegain decks can dish out the hurt. It may not be tier 1 currently, but it certainly has potential.

That's All For Now!

I'm sorry that this article is really late. I'll make a stronger effort to get these recaps out in a timely fashion without sacrificing content. Thanks for reading!

15 Comments

Keep it going! by Sexy_Commando at Mon, 07/26/2010 - 03:46
Sexy_Commando's picture
5

Thanks a lot, Doc! Your articles are great asset and just great. Good job, keep it going!

Are you saying MUC Fae has an by speks at Mon, 07/26/2010 - 11:56
speks's picture

Are you saying MUC Fae has an advantage over Stompy?
That cannot be right, I smashed MUC Fae over and over, only loss of the day was that extremely close loss in the top 8.

Looking at the stompy column, are you saying that stompy has a 36% win vs MUC Fae, 65% win over goblins? that seems completely reversed from my experience, MUC Fae is an extremely good matchup and goblins is an extremely bad matchup, sparksmith is almost unbeatable since stompy has no removal, i'm really looking forward to bee sting in M11 just so i can get rid of that damn sparksmith lol.
And you have stompy 14% vs UW and 75% vs pestilence?? that is so completely opposite! or am i just looking at the grid incorrectly?

I spent a lot of time looking by kalandine at Mon, 07/26/2010 - 12:15
kalandine's picture

I spent a lot of time looking over that table this morning. I think you read by rows for individual matchups (thus Stompy having 64% win percentage over MUC/Fae and a 25% against Pestilence) and by columns for the overall deck performance at the bottom.

Even rading it that way, there are winning percentages that give me pause, but most are more intuitively consistent with my expectations.

I'm looking at the results by by Doctor Anime at Mon, 07/26/2010 - 15:50
Doctor Anime's picture

I'm looking at the results by columns. So if you look at the Stompy column, vs. MUC it has a 36% win ratio, then if you follow it all the way to the bottom it has a 59.29% win ratio overall (excluding mirror). I could be mistaken however. I'll ask middleman to clarify.

YrdBrd, you might be right about the land count. Blightning is the only real 3drop so maybe 20-21 lands is better. The deck may also want 1-2 Husks in the mix as well, not sure on the cannibal/lamb ratio yet. I'm wondering though, any reason for expanses over borderposts in your build?

If you count up the losses in by kalandine at Mon, 07/26/2010 - 22:25
kalandine's picture

If you count up the losses in the Stompy column, it comes to 86 which is the number of wins Stompy has in the totals. If you count the number of wins on the Stompy row, it comes to 86. I am pretty sure that you read matchups by rows and then the bottom row is a summary of the performance for the deck of that column.

Stompy should have a 64% win rate over MUC and a losing rate vs. Goblins.

Kalandine has it right. by middleman_35 at Wed, 07/28/2010 - 02:40
middleman_35's picture

Kalandine has it right. Reading the rows left to right will give you a decks win/loss ratio vs each other deck, with the row below it giving the win % vs that deck. At the bottom of each column are the overall results for the deck. These might work a little better at the far right of each row, but width has been an issue in keeping everything legible.

I'll make brief guide to reading the table to go with the next article.

Bee Sting sucks by aclog at Wed, 07/28/2010 - 11:54
aclog's picture

Here is the thing about Goblins: Sparksmith *can* hurt you but only if he comes out early and in conjunction with bolts or trades that pare down your number of attackers.

Evasion is key to get your pump through as damage, which then means that Sparksmith becomes dual-edged for Goblins at best, ESPECIALLY because they have to win by swarming which means that they need to commit a bunch of goblins on the board (and them taking 4+ damage from Sparksmith is pretty good from the Stompy perspective)

As for evasion you have options: scryb sprites and silhana ledgewalker or shinen of life's roar or both.

Combine that with Fog for their Buishwhacker turns and you should be winning > 50%. There are still a number of Goblin draws that Stompy can't beat but that works both ways, remember.

I've always kind of felt that the Goblin players who are really good at managing Sparksmith have an advantage, but in general Goblins is not a losing matchup.

And, yeah, Faeries is pretty favorable BUT you don't really want to play Sprites or Ledgewalker vs them. OTOH, I still think that Shinen of Life's Roar puts you into a more controllish role vs Goblins which *can* work but doesn't make much sense to me given that Goblins is clearly the deck that wants to play control and slow the game down.

Why do you like Nest Invader btw? I thought about it once, but there just aren't enough places to spend colorless mana and its a really awkward turn 2 play.

(PS and welcome to the club because ghweiss thinks we're both horrible ;))

B/R Husk by YrdBrd420 at Mon, 07/26/2010 - 15:28
YrdBrd420's picture

Ive been working with the Husk list since I played it in TPDC a few weeks ago. My manabase right now is 16 basics + 6 fetches and it has been running much more smoothly than when I had Borderposts and Carnariums in there. With only 6-9 spells costing 3 or more mana, youre on the low end of needing 22 land.

it's worth noting that as by lenney at Mon, 07/26/2010 - 16:41
lenney's picture

it's worth noting that as soon as M11 comes out, that list gets a substantial bonus from -2 Firebolt, +2 Act of Treason

The Mana by YrdBrd420 at Mon, 07/26/2010 - 20:49
YrdBrd420's picture

I think 22 is the right number of lands. I only have 6 3cc cards in my build, 1 Nantuko Husk 1 Phyrexian Ghoul and 4 Blightning. I really like to get to 3 land though. Once you hit that mark, you can start doing multiple things a turn i.e. playing dudes + removal, removal + Unearth, dude + Unearth, etc., etc. This is crucial against MUC Fae. I tested for a long time with 4 Borderpost 2 Carnarium and the mana just never seemed to work consistently. It was very clunky. I played 4 Expanse 2 Carnarium in the TPDC event and things were a little better but still way too inconsistent. 16 basics + 6 fetches seems to be giving the number of lands I need to play stuff while also giving me enough color fixing. Ill be honest, I never tested fetches + Borderposts. That would help the color fixing a bit. I see 2 problems with that setup though. The first and foremost, is MUC Fae. It would make me want to put my fist through my monitor after I watched my Borderpost get Hydroblasted and be stuck with 1 land in hand. Second, the number of hands youre going to have to mull because you drew multiple Borderposts or all Borderposts.
I like what youve done with the removal suite and sideboard. Having access to 8 bolts (12 with flashback) and 4 Terminates is butter smooth against aggro. Way better than boarding in Martyr, which in a 2 color deck can be inconsistent at best. Hurly-Burly is awesome funny tech against Fae. Im sure its primary purpose is mowing down Empty the Warrens tokens, but its awesome to see it somewhere than my sideboard from Standard a few years ago. Going to update my list to include those changes. Since I run the set of Fiends main, Im thinking a Death Denied might be sweet for the 1 of spot in the board, as another way to punish stoopid Faerie players. ;-)

Your reasons for expanse over by Doctor Anime at Tue, 07/27/2010 - 12:55
Doctor Anime's picture

Your reasons for expanse over borderpost makes a lot of sense. I'll switch out the borderposts for expanses in my build. A death denied could be a nice card against Fae if they think they're safe tapping out on your EOT. The fiend was there for more Storm hate, but it's in such a huge decline these days (a mere 3 last PE).

Thanks for the advice!

Burn by YrdBrd420 at Mon, 07/26/2010 - 20:57
YrdBrd420's picture

Looking at the graph, what I find really interesting, is the fact that Burn only has less than a 50% win rate against Teachings. It even has a winning record against Pestilence for crying out loud. Just something folks may want to look at. It has a winning record against all the top decks but Goblins, and thats 50/50.
Just looked at the graph again, I think the win/loss record for Burn is incorrect at the bottom. The way it reads, its 22 wins 35 losses. But if you count things up, its the opposite.

You're reading things a by middleman_35 at Wed, 07/28/2010 - 03:01
middleman_35's picture

You're reading things a little wrong, I'm definately going to need to make a little guide.

The rows left-to-right give you the win/loss record and win % for the deck, in this case Burn is 20% against MUC/Fae, 40% against Affinity, 50% against Goblins, etc. Reading top-to-bottom down a column will actually give you a decks LOSING % against each deck. Because the results at the bottom of each column are the overall results for that deck, the win/loss numbers are the reverse of the column above it. What you're counting in the column are wins AGAINST Burn

I asked Brian E about his by deluxeicoff at Tue, 07/27/2010 - 11:06
deluxeicoff's picture

I asked Brian E about his decklist, he only played it because it was all foil...so my guess is that he doesn't have a foil Exclude :)

Ah, I'm just dumb. Sorry by Doctor Anime at Wed, 07/28/2010 - 17:39
Doctor Anime's picture

Ah, I'm just dumb. Sorry folks! Thank you middleman for clarifying.