PiDave's picture
By: PiDave, Dave
Sep 29 2011 12:50am
Login or register to post comments

This article is about MPDC, a Player Run Event organized by the PDC Community for the MTGO Community at large. The format is Pauper Standard, one of the most rapidly changing formats around. It has a very lively metagame and lots of incredibly talented players and deckbuilders. You can find all the info you need to participate to this series of events in the MPDC Season 14 Master Document and in the MPDC Player Primer, the latter being an incredibly thorough guide written by the event host himself, gwyned. MPDC is sponsored by players themselves and, which also brings you this very article. If you're interested in past articles on this topic you should find them all here. Have a nice read!

Hi everyone, and welcome back to this continuing series! This week's results are just in and they look awfully similar to the ones from the last two events; let's check them out:

Gatherling Entry -- Tier 1 decks thread on -- Buy winning deck on

My congratulations go once more to Yantos and his superb BW Midranger deck! The deck has a 3-event winning streak and two of those are from the same player; this shows once again that one of the decisive factors in making the right play at the right time is a thorough knowledge of one's own deck. In 2nd place we have pk23 with good old 4 Color Control and in the Top4 there is stickynote with another BW Midrange that includes a singleton Bala Ged Scorpion in the maindeck and Froggery with a long-time-no-see deck, Crushing Tokens, that will be the subject of this week's spotlight. In the Top8 we have gwyned with his own BW Midrange version (less creatures, more removal!), littledanmartin with a 21-lands UG Infect list, Xan21 with Esper Control and Owain with an unfortunately missing deck. It's a pity to have missing data at the moment I submit this but I'm going to fill in the blanks in the comments as soon as I get the information.

As I was writing a moment ago this week's spotlight is pointed on the almost-RoE-block RUG deck:


Crushing Tokens
Top 4 by Froggery in MPDC 14.06 (4-2)
4 Emrakul's Hatcher
4 Kozilek's Predator
4 Nest Invader
3 Goblin Bushwhacker
3 Ulamog's Crusher
18 cards

Other Spells
4 Burst Lightning
4 Foresee
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Raid Bombardment
3 Growth Spasm
19 cards
6 Forest
6 Mountain
4 Evolving Wilds
4 Khalni Garden
2 Terramorphic Expanse
1 Island
23 cards

Kozilek's Predator


It's been a while since Tokens swarmed in the Pauper Standard metagame and this aggressive version in not even the most popular one since Bant Tokens have posted better overall results. Anyway, the RUG version has it's own merit and can quickly overwhelm an unprepared opponent: Nest Invader, Kozilek's Predator and Emrakul's Hatcher provide an almost continuous stream of Eldrazi Spawn tokens onto the battlefield. These can be used as mana ramp to cast an early Ulamog's Crusher or be able to quickly consume the opponent's life points when paired with Raid Bombardment and a kicked Goblin Bushwhacker. The spell list features Red's removal (Burst Lightning and Lightning Bolt), Blue's refill (Foresee) and Green's mana-fixing (Growth Spasm). Burst Lightning can also act as finisher thanks to its alternative casting cost; casting it for the full 4 damage should not be a problem with the insane amount of mana-producing tokens that this deck can generate.

ColorPie: Spells inside, lands outside, taplands in lighter colors.

The mana curve looks pretty unusual, with a spike in the 1CMC slot followed by what seems like a midrange bell-shaped curve starting at 2CMC and ending with the 3 Ulamog's Crusher. The deck is really mana intensive but almost each spell provides some steam to be used in case of emergency; it's very interesting to note that the deck can actually switch between its two embedded strategies (token-mass/crusher-ramp) as the board status evolves. The mana base seems a little too small and slow with just 23 lands, ten of which enter the battlefield tapped, but I guess it worked out well in the end; it also seems well balanced between colors: it's true that there are more Red symbols than Green ones in the list but Green is more important since it's used for land fetching and mana ramping; furthermore, most of the deck's lower-CMC creatures are Green.

The sideboard provides some all-around hate (Nihil Spellbomb, Naturalize and even a way to Negate the opponent's key spells), a way to overcome creature stalls with Volcanic Strength and the counter-intuitive inclusion of Seismic Shudder, to be used presumably in case of a mirror match.

On to this week's Top10 cards:

Nothing too new here, and the current surge in BW Midrange usage strengthens the presence of the usual White suspects; however thanks to UG Infect and RUG Tokens the standings are a little more varied.

As I wrote last time this week's "bonus" content is a quick analysis of what's going to happen to each color when the rotation will become effective in a couple of weeks. This will be a three-part series that will accompany us until MPDC 14.08; let's start with the currently most powerful color:

Out with the old...
Kor Skyfisher Squadron Hawk Journey to Nowhere Kor Sanctifiers with the new!

What's a green creature doing there?! The simple explanation: I cheated. I know that Avacyn's Pilgrim is not white but he will have the most impact in Green/White decks, so I just put him here. As for the cards we're losing, well, they are a lot. These are the most significant that comes to mind, but there are also many specialized role-players that will be gone for good. The new cards coming in don't look as powerful but I bet those three will see a lot of play. Thraben Sentry // Thraben Militia is going to be quite a good beater in Aggro/Control BW lists, since it just needs a dead Fume Spitter to transform into a good beater with a relevant body; I like Voiceless Spirit a lot since small, evasive first-strikers are quite rare to find at common level. The Spirit is almost a functional reprint of Pegasus Charger but the new card's creature type will be more relevant in the upcoming block. The loss of Kor Skyfisher , Squadron Hawk, Journey to Nowhere and Kor Sanctifiers will definitely impact both Aggro and Control decks but the Skyfisher's ability is the one that will be missed the most since ETB effects are one of the pillars on which Pauper stands. The upcoming rotation will shape a very different metagame from the one that accompanied us for the last three season and I'll be honest: I just can't wait to see what the future will bring.

The second color we're going to analyze is Blue:

We're losing these...
Sea Gate Oracle Foresee Distortion Strike Deprive

...but we're getting these!

Blue loses a lot of key spells both in Aggro and Control archetypes but also gains some sick all-rounder cards. The transforming wizards is the wet dream of any Control deck: a turn 2 3/2 flyer is a very possible threat that can quickly put a dent in the opponent's life total when effectively protected by counterspells; Forbidden Alchemy is an even more impressive card that would already be very good without its Flashback ability but that can just be the key enabler for a strong Blue/Black Control deck. Stitched Drake can be used in both Aggro and Draw-Go Control decks since it's basically an underpriced flying monster and the aforementioned Fume Spitter could very easily enable a third turn Drake. Control is going to especially feel the absence of Sea Gate Oracle and Foresee, as they are two cornerstones of the most efficient Card Advantage engine currently available. Distortion Strike will be missed primarily by UG Infect decks and Deprive's departure will make a little more difficult to play with Draw-Go style since its replacement (Lost in the Mist) is far from impressive.

Next week we're going to take a look to Red and Black and the renewed love for the Vampire tribe.

Folks, this is all for this week!
See you next time!
-- Dave


Update! by PiDave at Thu, 09/29/2011 - 01:28
PiDave's picture

Turns out that the missing deck was a 4 Color Control version.

Here are the updated graphs:

Just a little more shifted towards control.

The performance standings are quite different though, with 4CC going down from 1st place to 3rd place while BW Midrange confirms its awesome run.

Black presence is increased as Doom Blade and Gravedigger are tied for the 3rd most used card in the Top8.

And this is really all for this week. ;)
See ya! :)

Great article as always. by WShadow at Thu, 09/29/2011 - 01:41
WShadow's picture

Great article as always. Amazing job!

I imagine the loss of Sea by Paul Leicht at Thu, 09/29/2011 - 08:53
Paul Leicht's picture

I imagine the loss of Sea Gate Oracle, Caw, and Kor Skyfisher will start some new brewing as the meta won't have them to lean on.

So excited for the commons in INN by apaulogy at Thu, 09/29/2011 - 11:36
apaulogy's picture

Do I really need to pat your back again and say that EVERY writer (yes, me too) here could benefit from using your articles as a standard? (Not an insult to anyone, rather a compliment for Dave)

I like the INN highlight section.

Forbidden Alchemy...Delver of Secrets!!!! I am so excited.

Not to disagree with your by Paul Leicht at Thu, 09/29/2011 - 12:09
Paul Leicht's picture

Not to disagree with your statement but...Id rather you said guideline.

sry by apaulogy at Thu, 09/29/2011 - 12:35
apaulogy's picture

I agree. I like that better.

Thanks Andrew but I think by PiDave at Thu, 09/29/2011 - 14:24
PiDave's picture

Thanks Andrew but I think you're overvaluing my writings. :-) Don't misunderstand me though: I'm really glad you like my articles but there are a lot better writers than me on this site. Even just because my English is far from perfect...I still stumble too many times upon intricated syntax constructs. I guess I just have to read more english novels and watch more tv the way, did anyone see Alphas this summer? ;-)

purely format evaluation by apaulogy at Thu, 09/29/2011 - 14:33
apaulogy's picture

I am not making the argument that you are the "Homer" or "Chaucer" of the site...merely stating the cleanliness and structure of your article format is what we all should be striving for. Like, you are a decent benchmark. Guess I should be more clear about that too...

I have 2 children > 5, meaning I never get to see any movies....

This is even more by PiDave at Thu, 09/29/2011 - 14:38
PiDave's picture

This is even more appreciated. Thanks! :-)

I saw the first episode on by Paul Leicht at Thu, 09/29/2011 - 17:06
Paul Leicht's picture

I saw the first episode on hulu and then they didn't show the others before episode 7 so I skipped it and moved on. Your English is fine. Everyone makes mistakes in writing. If something seems too complex syntactically brake it down into simpler ideas.