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By: PiDave, Dave
Oct 06 2011 12:25am
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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, welcome back to this continuing series! MPDC attendance is declining a little due to the usual pre-rotation Limbo in which MTGO is left lagging behind while the new set is already out on the streets; last Monday I was ready to play one last time with a good old deck I love but real life got in the way once more and so my last spin with Boros Landfall (I know, it's not a good metagame call but I just love the landfall mechanic and I really need to play with it once more before it fades away) will have to wait at least another week. Anyway, 26 players battled it out during the seventh event of MPDC Season 14 so here we go with this week's results:

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

Congratulations to Cleomar and his trademark 4 Color Control! The deck's been around for so long and it won so much that I think it feels just right to see it win again a few weeks before its final goodbye. In 2nd place there's Mace_Windu with his version of this season's breakthrough decklist, BW Midrange. In the Top4 we have another 4CC, piloted by pk23, and a Teetering Infect piloted by Bellamanno. The Top8 has four different decks: an interesting White Weenie build with levelup creatures by FabioS, one MetalHawk piloted by pelao28, another BW Midrange run by ono and the deck that's going to be featured in this week's spotlight: UW Tempo, piloted by Astray_penguin.



The deck has a strong "bounce" theme going on in both creatures and spells; the deck's strategy focuses on gaining an early tempo advantage and then proceed to beat down an empty board with a horde of 2/x bears. Aether Adept is probably the main star of the list, being able to bounce both the player's and the opponent's creatures; anyway, the deck's fall-back strategy is actually to abuse the ETB effects of Kor Skyfisher, Sea Gate Oracle and the unusual but powerful Kor Hookmaster by directing the bounce effects on them when the opponent's threats are not worthy of being bounced (or when bouncing them would be worse than having them stick around). The strategy is brought on in the spells section with the extremely underplayed Aether Tradewinds which actually fits this strategy very well. With so many effects being able to return a creature to the player's hand - there are a grand total of 12 of them in the maindeck, not counting the double effect of Aether Tradewinds - the deck should be able to gain a large tempo advantage and effectively Time Walk the opponent multiple times. The deck also runs the usual UW Skyfisher/Oracle Card Advantage engine with the additional benefit of being able to return an Oracle to hand in eight additional ways. A full set of Squadron Hawks make its appearance as expected; the deck also has a nice lifegain subtheme courtesy of Lone Missionary and Suture Priest, whose life-loss effect on the opponent should be amplified by the multiple bounce effects. The Priest's inclusion in actually brilliant, since its side effect remarkably brings forward the deck's aggressive strategy. The spell list, Tradewinds aside, has the best White creature removal currently available, three Preordains to smooth out draws and enhance mulligan chances and a singleton Necrogen Censer for added reach and some more bounce shenanigans.

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

The manacurve is quite aggressive even though is not smooth as most aggro builds; anyway, the most of the deck is out of its early game with just three lands; the land count should be high enough to ensure that the third land hits the table on turn 3 with a good deal of consistency; the mana source balance, anyway, correctly reflects the higher Blue mana requirements for Aether Adept in spite of the higher White card count. The sideboard has 4 more bounce effects in a full set of Vapor Snag, presumably to instantly answer a pumped Infect creature, some Dispel to help prevent removal, three Calcite Snappers to stall the game against more aggressive decks, more lifegain in form of two additional Lone Missionaries and a singleton Sylvok Lifestaff and another Necrogen Censer for additional reach against Control. All in all it seems like a very interesting concept deck that, in my humble opinion, could be a very good base for further development.

*: The original name of the deck is Oingo Boingo, a pop-culture reference to the American New-Wave band. Also, it fits the deck's theme quite nicely with all that bounce effects. :-)

This week, as promised, we're going to take a quick look at what will happen to Black and Red in the upcoming rotation. Let's start with the "main" Innistrad color, Black:

Going out:

Cadaver Imp Shrivel Disfigure Sign In Blood

Coming in:

Bump in the Night is just awesome: flavorful, cheap and very powerful in the late game thanks to its Flashback ability. I bet it'll turn out to be the best reach-enabling card for RB aggressive decks if not THE card that makes those decks a possibility. There are a lot of aggressive options in Scars block that just got a little more interesting. Altar's Reap is another card that could enable such strategy: Mortis Dogs looks like the best target possible for this drawing spell. Did you notice that it's also an instant? Seriously, M12 took away sign in Blood but Altar's Reap will be even better in the proper deck. Corpse Lunge has that slightly "Meh" effect on me as it's basically a Black removal-only Fling for dead creatures, but I guess that with the departure of many pieces of the old graveyard recursion engine (Cadaver Imp and Kor Skyfisher, mainly) a "Recycle & Remove" approach could be actually nice. Too bad is not possible to sling the target creature to the opponent's face. Nothing else caught my attention in the Black visual spoiler; I guess WotC did end up focusing on Black's higher rarity level. Or maybe I'm just too narrow-minded to see the Black power that fills Innistrad's commons. Shrivel is the card that Control will probably miss the most, since it is as far as mass removal can go in Pauper; the loss of Disfigure is another hit, but its role should be filled more easily by Scars block spells such as Grasp of Darkness and Grim Affliction. They both are more expensive though.

On to Red:

Saying goodbye to:

Lightning Bolt Staggershock Searing Blaze Plated Geopede



I don't care too much for the Red double-faced cards (they're rather unexciting especially when compared to the Blue ones and even to the White ones) but Brimstone Volley is just fantastic. Five damage to the face with such an easy to meet condition are going to make an instant staple out of this card in every Red and R/x deck of the future Standard. Is nice to have back Ancient Grudge in the format as it will enable interesting interactions with Red and Green, a color pair that has been neglected for too long a time. Bloodcrazed Neonate is nothing spectacular but it's my currently favorite Red creature of the set; she can decently push forward an aggro strategy and I think she could have a spot in that RB deck I was talking about a few moments ago. Granted, she's no Sengir Vampire but I such an effect should not be overlooked. Anyway, Red is losing many powerful cards: the landfall mechanic will bring Searing Blaze and Plated Geopede with itself, while Staggershock will leave a pretty big hole in terms of Card Advantage. Unfortunately even something as powerful as Incinerate pales in comparison to Staggershock's built-in 2-for-1.

A quick look at the Top 10 cards:

It seems like the usual Skyfisher/Hawks dominated standings. It's interesting to note that Prophetic Prism is becoming almost important in mana fixing as good old Terramorphic Expanse. Too bad they're both going away soon...But that's another story: next week we're going to talk about the rotation from a Green and Colorless point of view, lands included.

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


You forgot Victim of Night as by WShadow at Thu, 10/06/2011 - 10:44
WShadow's picture

You forgot Victim of Night as a nice black removal spell... Even if the meta will probably abuse a tribe or two.

I'm sincerely happy that we're going to lose Skyfisher, Sea Gate Oracle, Squadron Hawk and all the mana-fixing lands and artifacts: I do not like control decks such as the winner of this MPDC, they are boring to play against once they starts their card advantage engine.

Great article as always and congrats to the Top8 players.

I don't know...Victim of by PiDave at Fri, 10/07/2011 - 00:38
PiDave's picture

I don't know...Victim of Night seems a bit too narrow to me and its casting cost (BB) is kinda locking you into Black.

Thanks for your feedback! :)

Dead Weight by Bugsy at Thu, 10/06/2011 - 14:36
Bugsy's picture

Granted its at sorcery speed, but Dead Weight looks like it could be a replacement for Dissmember. And it can be used on bigger buys as it doesn't go away at the end of the turn.

Sweepers by apaulogy at Fri, 10/07/2011 - 20:22
apaulogy's picture

Are there any in the format, barring any prints in the upcoming block sets?

I am talking about after Shrivel rotates of course...