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By: PiDave, Dave
Nov 10 2011 12:39pm
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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 15 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 the Pauper Standard topic you should find them all here. Have a nice read!

Welcome back once again to the Weekly MPDC Metagame Update! The second event of Innistrad Season is behind our shoulders and the metagame is beginning to shape up nicely; while the Paupers are still tuning their own brews it's already clear that this time it will be all about artifacts and whether the deck will revolve around them or be their bane. Or both, actually! In the current Standard artifacts provide the best Card Advantage and mana fixing engines, the first one being Ichor Wellspring coupled with bounce or sacrifice effects and the latter with Mycosynth Wellspring and Traveler's Amulet. Red and White seems to be the best colors to make this engines work with the bounce that Glint Hawk provides and the additional sacrifice cost that Kuldotha Rebirth and Artillerize require. Add to this the currently most powerful creature of the format - Perilous Myr - and you already have the skeleton of a certain deck. But let's get to this week's results:

Gatherling Entry -- Tier 1 decks thread on

Click on trophy to open decklist in another window

Congratulations to Mace_Windu and his victory with Redomatic v1.1, alias a franken-deck monster with MetalHawk and Kuldotha Red parts grafted together with some interesting twists: the list accounts for almost every big threat we saw during last week's article and takes advantage of various "dies" effects to get the most out of its cards. The only thing this deck doesn't account for is maybe some kind of U/B Infect deck that however still doesn't exists. Anyway, as I was saying before, artifacts are so powerful right now that every deck that wants to win has to respect them and this one does as well: there are six dedicated answer in the sideboard and three of them are Flashback-enabled Ancient Grudges. This list seems very promising to me and I think it will be a force to be reckoned with for the remaining part of the Season. The 2nd place goes to pk23 and his UBeR Control, a fine tri-colored control decklist. Wait, what?! I thought we were done with this kind of multicolored control lists! It seems like Shimmering Grotto and Traveler's Amulet are good enough to fix the mana for such decks, but my guess is that Forbidden Alchemy also plays a key role in finding the right card at the right moment. After all this list is literally packed with almost every Flashback spell in format. Anyway, the Amulet still seems a little suboptimal to me since it takes up spell slots just to do the fixing; it also needs two mana or a turn delay to work its thing...but the first part it's also true for Mycosynth Wellspring. My guess is that the skill of the player plays a major role in running the deck and this week's results are just proof of that. Also, this deck lacks just the one thing that every other control decks are missing right now: a sweeper.

Moving on! At Top4 level there are two different aggressive decks: hyku's Rakdos Midrange and kaifeiyu's Skybears; hyku's list basically swaps out White for Red from last week's winning deck to add Kuldotha Rebirth and Geistflame for greater value and, quoting from the player's comments, "(Manic Vandals) (a full set in the sideboard - Dave) punished a ton of decks that relied on artifacts". The other deck, Skybears, had an impressive perfect record until it faded out from the race, apparently mainly because of a laggy internet connection. Anyway the strategy seems indeed reliable as there are just a few flying creatures in the format and most of them are actually White. Guardians' Pledge also provide a massive boost to this deck's attacks and Village Bell-Ringer enables the player to quickly recover after a failed alpha-strike. The deck also sports the Hawk-Wellspring engine I mentioned in the opening to refill the player's hand. The sideboard accounts for the opponent's artifacts with eight slots of dedicated hate.

On to the Top8: arcbounddaylabor is here in the top positions once again with his Deep Purple (U/R) list as well as Brooky_Djinn with his R/B aggressive Vampire-based deck, SuckFace. Both players went 3-3 and while their decks rely almost on the same Red base the secondary color makes all the difference in how these lists play: the first one digs into the grimoire for answers with the power of Ponder and Think Twice while the second tries to recur its threats with Morbid Plunder and to make up for the lack of sweepers with a timely Vampiric Fury.
Last week Owain's missing deck was actually MetalHawk (by the way, thanks for filling in the info!) but this week we have a missing deck as well, this time from Renato_Gaara. There is just one more deck to account for, and that's the deck that got my weekly spotlight. Here is FlxEx's Next Delver Blue:


Next Delver Blue
Top 8 by FlxEx in MPDC 15.02 (4-2)
4 Perilous Myr
4 Phantasmal Bear
4 Delver of Secrets
4 Stitched Drake
3 Aether Adept
19 cards

Other Spells
4 Gitaxian Probe
4 Mana Leak
4 Ponder
4 Psychic Barrier
4 Think Twice
4 Vapor Snag
2 Negate
2 Sylvok Lifestaff
28 cards
14 Island
14 cards

Delver of Secrets


Another MonoBlue deck! You may think I'm obsessed with this color (and you actually wouldn't be wrong) but I choose this deck because it's a great Counterbalance to last week's spotlight. Its strategy is in stark contrast with the aggressive approach that Malum's deck took during last event, making this one a high-Control list. It still has a very similar creature base: FlxEx took on the fast-into-the-graveyard game with Phantasmal Bear to possibly cast a Turn 3 Stitched Drake but he did a complete U-turn about the role that Delver of Secrets plays. The little transformer should be activated pretty easily when cast during first turn with 26 possibilities out of 53 cards (the starting sixty-one - yes, sixty-one - minus the seven in the opening hand and the first draw). Perilous Myr is there to play the roles of chump blocker and removal at once while Aether Adept provides the possibility of tempo-ing out the opponent. Everything else is just permission, card draw and bounce effects; the counterspell pool is appropriately tuned against the meta with early game denial (Mana Leak),dedicated creature hate (Psychic Barrier) and key-spell prohibition (Negate). Since the deck essentially lacks a Card Advantage engine it dedicates twelve slots for draw spells: Gitaxian Probe provides relevant info while thinning the deck without even using mana, Ponder can set up the Delver's activation and Think Twice just draws cards in the best possible way a Control deck could hope for. The bounce effects are provided courtesy of Vapor Snag, Unsummon's Evil Twin (a quick aside: I love the Evil Twin concept and flavor! Good job on that card R&D, it was long overdue!). The list is then closed by two copies of Sylvok Lifestaff that pay the due respect to the Burn-style lists that are populating the current metagame.

ColorPie: Spells inside, lands outside.

The other oddity that made me choose this deck for the spotlight is the land count: 14 lands only. With this setup it is not uncommon to start with an opening hand with just one land so my guess is that this deck should mulligan pretty well with its eight 1-CMC draw & filter spells; one land and a Ponder could be a sufficient condition to keep a hand but I myself would probably chicken out and go for the mulligan if there wasn't also a Gitaxian Probe in it. But that's just my manascrew-phobia talking; Kudos to FlxEx for bringing such a daring setup to the field! Anyway, a quick look at the deck's curve makes it very clear that two mana are what's needed to be right into the mid-game and ready for the draw-go action this list is designed for; the Drakes can wait until five mana are available to come down with counterspell backup and start to chew away at the opponent's life total pretty much unchecked.

The sideboard is a proper extension of the strategy as it takes good measures to deal with a lot of the field with the artifact-hating Steel Sabotage - excellent tech! - additional hard counterspells (Stoic Rebuttal) to out-control other Control decks, Disperses and Flayer Husks to try and stall an aggressive player.

This is all for this week, folks! Next week we'll begin to look at the combined meta of the first three events with the (once) usual trend graphs. Also, the Top10 card list will be back as a combined sum-up, hopefully providing some useful information on the most "perilous" threats.

And on this bombshell, I'm out!
See you next week!
-- Dave



Strange Question by GrandAdmiral at Fri, 11/11/2011 - 08:35
GrandAdmiral's picture

Is there an easy way, maybe through your data, to pull out the tier one decks from past MPDC events? Something that would go back farther than the Tier 1 decks thread at pdcmagic? I was just thinking it would be fun (and inexpensive) to build some of these decks in the real and have them on hand for people to play. By keeping to Standard they should be reasonably balanced against each other and cover the mechanics that were popular at the time. It would also help you avoid the urge to update them over time.

Finally, it might be fun to pit the decks against each other to find out which Standard deck is the best of the bunch.

I did put the concept of by PiDave at Fri, 11/11/2011 - 08:52
PiDave's picture

I did put the concept of Pauper Duel Decks in practice a few months ago when NPH wasn't yet out: thanks to many clanmates we balanced two lists based on powerful then-Standard decks (UG Infect & Boros Landfall) and one of them actually got them in paper. Here's what I posted on the pdcmagic forum: .

Also, if you're looking for good decks to try out you should search the Article Library here on Puremtgo for the MPDC Worlds articles, they contain lots of good lists. :) (Here you go, search-linked: )

Have fun! :)

Duel Decks by GrandAdmiral at Fri, 11/11/2011 - 13:32
GrandAdmiral's picture

I remember seeing that thread, but since it seemed like everyone was focused on themes, I stopped following it. The Landfall/Infect decks are more what I'm after and they look really nice.

Good suggestion on searching the article library. I was still thinking about how I would wade through all of the deck lists that I didn't think about searching articles. The articles would provide context you won't find with just a decklist, so I think I'll start there. I can always search the lists once I have a couple of decks built to see if there is anything fun that I've missed.