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By: PiDave, Dave
Nov 25 2011 3:02am
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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 everyone! Last week's winning deck has warped the metagame quite a bit, with everyone now ready to deal with Lifelink as the main win condition of the Hexproof deck! The Paupers followed different paths to do this, and it seems like they were successful enough to blow the tri-colored menace out of the Top8. Let's take a look at this week's results:

Gatherling Entry -- Tier 1 decks thread on

Click on trophy to open decklist in another window

Congratulations to FabioS and his 1st place with Kuldotha Hawk! The deck resembles Redomatic a lot but it also adds Doomed Traveler to the creature pool for additional card advantage, as well as a singleton Remember the Fallen to recur its threats quite efficiently. Kuldotha Rebirth plays a key role once again as the format is still lacking a way to deal with multiple threats at once, while Card Advantage is taken care by the usual Glint Hawk+Ichor Wellspring engine and by self-replacing creatures like Myr Sire and Doomed Traveler. FabioS plan against Lifelink is made of full sets of Silverchase Foxes and Revoke Existences, just to be on the safe side. In 2nd place there's a new RedDeckWins version by MadTricks; I'll talk about that later, so stay tuned! Moving on to Top4: DonFluso2 and Renato_Gaara are there, the first one with BlueDelver and the latter with a RedBlue deck cryptically called "av" by its pilot. BlueDelver is a very exciting Control deck which relies on a second turn transformation of Delver of Secrets, a feat this deck is quite capable of; its main strategy against Lifelink is permission and four Disperses in the sideboard. The RedBlue deck is also based on the Delver but it relies on burn and an overall aggressive strategy to deal with the opponent as it lacks any counterspell. In the Top8 we have chuckinho with Blue Tchongaa, a mono-Blue aggro-control deck that use Stitched Drake and Makeshift Mauler as its top-end threats and cheap creatures to quickly fill the graveyard in a way that resembles the MonoBlue Aggro we talked about some weeks ago but adding some permission spells to the mix; we then have our dear host gwyned with a slightly tuned BW Midrange with additional anti-Hexproof cards like Geth's Verdict and Silverchase Fox, Wildcat612 with another BW Control deck that fared really well in the swiss rounds with a perfect 5-0 score but went out in the Top8 against MadTricks' RDW, and a still-unspecified-as-I-write deck by ChronicHeaves.

This week's spotlight, as we said a little while ago, is focused on the new incarnation of a classic, Red Deck Wins:


2nd place by MadTricks in MPDC 15.04 (5-3)
4 Blood Ogre
4 Goblin Arsonist
4 Goblin Fireslinger
4 Perilous Myr
3 Blisterstick Shaman
3 Gorehorn Minotaurs
2 Furnace Scamp
24 cards

Other Spells
4 Curse of the Pierced Heart
4 Incinerate
3 Brimstone Volley
3 Geistflame
2 Artillerize
16 cards
20 Mountain
20 cards

Blood Ogre


MadTricks' list is extremely aggressive: there's not a single card, lands aside, that isn't capable of dealing damage to the opponent. Furthermore, almost every card can deal at least as much damage as its CMC, making each of the player's mana count somehow toward the ultimate goal of bringing the opponent's life total to zero in the least time possible. The cards of the deck also have very good synergies between them, ranging from the Bloodthirst abilities and their enablers to the Morbid triggers and the "dying" effects of some of the creatures. At 1 CMC this deck has Goblin Fireslinger and Goblin Arsonist as first choices for the Bloodthirst and the "dying" linear respectively with Furnace Scamp acting as a powerful second line, since it's capable of dealing four points worth of damage with a single successful attack and the cheap investment of a single Red mana. Geistflame is the only 1CMC spell and there's not even a full set of them: three should be the correct number in this deck since its efficiency ratio is not the best available and its Flashback ability, while expensive, can effectively double up the actual number of copies. At 2 CMC there's just one creature: good old Perilous Myr, probably the one creature that can really go into any deck with beneficial effects for the player; Incinerate stands here with a full set because of its efficient three damage for two mana power ratio. It's no Lightning Bolt, but it gets there almost as good. Curse of the Pierced Heart is the first "odd" card we bump into, especially considering that there's a full set of them. The Curse is clearly there to harass the opponent and it just needs to stick onto the battlefield for a couple of turns to reach the 1:1 ratio for damage and mana. I don't know how good it was in this deck but I guess that having multiple copies out prevents the board from becoming stalled; it should be also easily sided out in the second game, considering the opponents might bring in their enchantment hate just to deal with it. The 3CMC slots are occupied by Blood Ogre, Blisterstick Shaman and Brimstone Volley; the first one is a good creature on its own but in this deck it's just stellar. For comparison's sake: it's just as good as Ballynock Cohort was in a White Weenie deck of the Lorwyn era. 'Nuff said. The Shaman is a very versatile creature, acting as removal in the best-case scenario, bloodthirst enabler in the second best and just as one more point of damage at its very worst. Brimstone Volley is indeed one of the most powerful spells of the current format, being capable of tearing away a quarter of the opponent's life for just 3 mana when the Morbid trigger is active - and in this deck it should not be too difficult to activate it. The 4CMC is the actual top end of the mana curve: a grand total of 5 slots are divided unevenly between the monstrous (Gorehorn Minotaur) and the very powerful Artillerize, both clocking in as 5-damage threats. I don't even consider playing the Minotaurs without the Bloodthirst activation: in this kind of deck it would only mean that the player's losing the game and is resorting to desperate measures.

ColorPie: Spells inside, lands outside.

We already see which spells compose the curve, but it's nice to see a proper Sligh-style graph once in a while. The land count reflects this very aggressive approach with just 20 Mountains; anyway, it would probably not be too much of a risk to keep an opening hand like this:

MountainGoblin ArsonistGeistflameGoblin ArsonistPerilous MyrIncinerateBlood Ogre
Probability to draw a land in the first three turns: 45%. Shall we keep it or send it back?

The deck really needs all the card it can use in its opening seven since it completely lacks a way to get more cards in hand throughout the game; it has to finish the opponent quickly before he/she reaches its late game and the player runs out of steam. The sideboard though is whole different story and the main reason I choose this list for the spotlight: it contains two Plains and two Shimmering Grottoes! It's a splash-white semi-transformational sideboard, one that can turn around the deck enough for it to be capable of dealing with the dreaded Lifelink that is haunting the dreams of so many MPDC players. The cards of choice, lands aside, are (Demistify) (the most efficient) and Urgent Exorcism (which can also turn out to be a powerful enough removal against a Spirit-based deck). The other actual sideboard spells are a full set of Crush to deal with the opponent's Sylvok Lifestaffs and two Galvanic Blast to push the damage capabilities of the deck just a little further. It's a bold plan to sacrifice most of the sideboard just for one matchup but I guess in the end it paid off since MadTricks made it to the finals after barely qualifying for the Top8. It also beat Mace_Windu's Lifelink deck in the first round, so I guess the sideboard strategy actually works very well.

A personal note before I say goodbye: I'm currently facing a very high workload in the last weeks of 2011, so maybe I'll be a little late in submitting the articles or, even worse, I'll be forced to completely skip a week or two. I'll just try to do my best as always and hope everything goes well; I just don't want to rush articles out without being able to reach (at the very least) my usual standard.

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