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By: NextLevelMTGCoaching, DJ Mayer
Oct 17 2011 11:34pm
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A Pauper Primer 

My name is DJ and I used to play MtG professionally and grind the PT. Nowadays I spend my free time making coaching videos, writing articles, and blogging about MtG. I always enjoyed sharing my knowledge of the game with local players and helping them improve. Now I am here to help you take your game to the next level; I want to give back to the game that gave so much to me.

Today we are going to talk about pauper, how the format breaks down, and what you can do to exploit the metagame.

First lets talk about the real decks that make up the pauper meta-game. They break down into 3 categories, aggro, control, and combo.
Aggro Decks
Affinity
White Weenie
Goblins

Control Decks
UR Cloudpost
Mono Blue
Mono Black

Combo Decks
Storm (invasion lands version)
Storm (basic land version)
Temporal Fissure Storm
Infect
Mono Red Burn

These are the decks that are putting up 3-1s or 4-0s in the Daily Events. These are the decks you need to be prepared to beat if you hope to win a pauper tournament.

The Aggro decks aim to beat down and rely on attacking for the win. Most are too slow to beat the combo decks of the format game 1.

The Control decks interact with their opponents, hoping to survive the early game and stabilize so that their powerful late game spells will quickly bury the opponent.  These are the worst decks to play since the threats in pauper are so diverse, you don't know what you need to answer, and will often show up with the wrong answers. Its like showing up with a knife to a gunfight. No one wants to be THAT guy.


The Combo decks have their own game plan, they do not care about what the opponent is doing, therefore they are the ideal decks to play in a multiple deck meta-game.  There are hate cards to play around post sideboard, but there's also answers to them.

Now I am going to break down each deck and how it wins.

Affinity

Affinity floods the board with 2 mana 4/4s and buries you in Thoughtcast fueled card advantage. It has galvanic blast and sometimes fling for reach. It crushes other aggro decks and has game vs Cloudpost. It has ways to fight storm, and access to both Hydro & Pyroblast post sideboard. It has a rough time beating Ancient Grudge, Gorilla Shaman, and cheap, efficient artifact removal in general.

White Weenie

White Weenie aims to win with cheap, efficient flyers. A squadron of hawks is tough for a control deck to deal with. The only real thing WW has going for it is it has access to a lot of very powerful sideboard options vs the top decks. You can play Dust to Dust for affinity, CoP's for the black and red match-ups, and Holy Light for the Empty the Warrens storm match-up.

Goblins

Goblins wins with 1 mana 2/2s and 2 mana 3/3s. They leverage their tempo to beat control decks before control gets set up, and race combo with their blisteringly fast speed. Goblins hates cards like Seismic Shudder, Nausea, and Holy Light. You beat goblins with efficient removal spells.


UR Cloudpost

UR Cloudpost aims to stabilize the early game and make it to the late game where its powerful spells mop up any opponent still standing. The decks weakness is its mana base, and quick starts from aggro decks are tough to beat. The major problem with this deck, as with all control decks in this format, is that the threats are too diverse, making it impossible to prepare a deck list that deals with all of them. (This is why you see control decks in general in the 3-1 bracket but rarely in the 4-0 bracket of a daily)

Mono Blue Control

Same as above except with a better mana base, and infinite counterspells. The way you beat this deck is by playing a 1 drop, and getting spells to resolve through their wall of counters. You lose to this deck by playing exactly 1 spell a turn.

Mono Black

Mono Black Control is very interesting. It has a solid game vs the non Affinity aggro decks, and has the discard tools to fight control and combo. The big problem with mono black is that their creatures are all 2/2s and easily trumped. MBC can't put much of a clock on any deck after it rips their hand apart. MBC does have a rough time post board vs WW because of the pro black creatures and CoP black.


The Storm decks are going to be grouped together because they all do basically the same thing, and have the same weaknesses and strengths. They are good in this meta-game because you're basically goldfishing and don't care what your opponent is doing. They are both weak to Seismic Shudder and Martyr of Ashes, as well as Holy Light, and discard effects. Another bonus is you can pilot these decks quite sub-optimally and still turn a nice profit in 2 mans and Daily Events.

Storm (invasion lands version)

See above. 

Storm (basic land version)

See above.

Temporal Fissure Storm

This deck is not a real deck in my humble opinion. Its the only storm deck that can go off and still take multiple turns to win. Its weak to land destruction, and creature removal. Discard hits it hard, but it does have a lot of draw power. It fights hate better than the other storm decks, but its prone to timing out if you don't play it fast, and has to kill the opponent with mediocre 1/1s and 2/2s.
There are numerous other problems with this deck, but I don't have the time to write about them in this article, maybe my next one will be dedicated to the different storm variants.


Infect

The only combo deck that interacts with its opponents a little bit. You actually have to play around removal spells with Infect, but if you do, you should be golden. Infect has a hard time beating 1 mana removal spells, and is virtually stone dead to Standard Bearer.

Mono Red Burn

Mono Red Burn aims to just cast burn spells till you are dead, and then play a Lightning Bolt for good measure. Burn has a hard time beating life gain, like Glimmerpost, Lone Missionary, and Life Burst.

 

The deck I would be playing right now if I were to play a Pauper Daily would be the invasion land Storm variant. It has good match-ups across the board game 1 because it doesn't really care what your opponent is doing. Then game 2 and 3 it has the tools to beat the hate.

If you are looking for a more interactive deck, I would suggest UR Cloudpost, as I feel it is the best of the control decks because it has the best match-up %s vs aggro and has the tools to fight with storm. I've played with this deck a lot, and have also recorded this deck a lot. There are literally infinite configurations, and finding an optimal one is difficult, to say the least.

Well thats all I've got for now, if you like what you read let me know. Also guys let me know what you would like to read about in my next article.


 

 

I appreciate all comments and criticism, but please be respectful. Leave them in the comment section below or on my channel/blog.


If you liked what you read, be sure to check out my channel/blog for more.


Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it,
DJ


 

 

3 Comments

I think the biggest problem by protocol_7 at Wed, 10/19/2011 - 01:27
protocol_7's picture

I think the biggest problem is that there is no meat in this article. You don't have decklists and didn't link a single card for reference.

http://puremtgo.com/articles/pauper-people-second-pe

is an old article that does the same thing you did but actually explained each archetype via examples.

Ah yes, one of my pet peeves, by grandpoobah at Thu, 10/20/2011 - 05:22
grandpoobah's picture
1

Ah yes, one of my pet peeves, the practically worthless article about Pauper. Anybody that wants serious information about Pauper, go to a site dedicated to Pauper. An article like this helps no-one, except the author I guess.

Thank you for the kind words, by NextLevelMTGCoaching at Thu, 10/20/2011 - 16:36
NextLevelMTGCoaching's picture

Thank you for the kind words, I appreciate your support.