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By: PiDave, Dave
Dec 23 2011 1:07am
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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 to this week's Pauper Standard Metagame Update! Holiday season is coming and MPDC is going on a well deserved (at least for our relentless host and fellow writer gwyned) holiday break so this week we'll have a Christmas Special Double Spotlight! Anyway, let's start from the beginning with MPDC 15.08 results:

Gatherling Entry -- Tier 1 decks thread on

Click on trophy to open decklist in another window

Congratulations to zippy75 for his victory with Safe Delver (a.k.a. Delver Blue, for clarity's and trophy's sake); the deck is basically the same as FlxEx's NextDelverBlue but it has a slightly higher land count so I guess this difference is what makes it "Safe". Anyway, zippy75 is a long-time-no-see fellow Pauper and his comeback had a warm a fuzzy nostalgia-like effect on me. After all, it will soon be six years since I joined the Pauper fellowship coming back to Magic after a ten-year long hiatus; when I look at how the community was back in the day I'm really impressed by how much things have changed and how much they're still the same...Alright, moving on! Thinkmeats, the first of the MonoRed Burn pilots, is in 2nd place; the deck made a good show but its wide adoption kinda limited its overall performance: the three players had to share the total six points awarded so the deck just stands in third place with just 2 Performance Points. In the Top4 we have ChronicHeaves with the second MonoRed Burn and FallenCherub with the very interesting RW Griffins. The Top8 sees once again a MonoRed Burn deck, the third one of the week, this time piloted by Froggery; our relentless host gwyned is here as well with his favourite BlackWhite Midrange and the other two spots are taken by Nebr0th with the Infect variant of the GW Preparations deck and Preswylfa with a nice UB Control brew.

As I mentioned a few moments ago this week we're going to have a Christmas Special Double Spotlight, covering the full spectrum of this Holiday's colors! Let's start with the almost mono-Green Infect Preparations:


Infect Preparations
Top 8 by Nebr0th in MPDC 15.08 (5-1)
4 Blight Mamba
4 Cystbearer
4 Ichorclaw Myr
3 Blightwidow
2 Corpse Cur
2 Glistener Elf
2 Rot Wolf
21 cards

Other Spells
4 Ranger's Guile
4 Travel Preparations
3 Apostle's Blessing
2 Mutagenic Growth
2 Titanic Growth
1 Leeching Bite
1 Mighty Leap
17 cards
15 Forest
4 Shimmering Grotto
3 Plains
22 cards



Nebr0th's deck dares to follow the currently oh-so-underpowered Infect linear; the strategy is always the same: deal 10 poison damage as fast as possible exploiting pump spells on nimble creatures while protecting them from the opponent's removals. This was a very powerful strategy before the rotation as the UG Infect of a few months ago demonstrated; anyway, there's still some untapped potential in the White/Green color pair. This particular list focuses on the Green side of things with just a splash of maindeck Snow...*cough*, I mean, White...mainly because of the awesome (and long-forgotten) Apostle's Blessing and the very powerful Mighty Leap; the Blessing is especially useful in this deck as it serves the double purpose of forbidding an opponent's interaction with one of the player's creatures and/or making the very same creature unblockable. Continuing on the "protection" path we encounter the spell that replaced Vines of Vastwood: Ranger's Guile. First of all, look at the picture:(she lacks just a touch of green to look like a proper Santa Claus elf. Well, maybe she should also lose the spear...Unless you like playing with pointy sticks! Anyway, the spell does protect a targeted creature and also pumps it a little. Speaking of which, the deck has plenty of pump spells, starting from the namesake Travel Preparations - which by the way is double as excellent as it was in the GW Aggro deck we analyzed a couple weeks ago - and continuing with the massive Titanic Growth, the free-to-cast Mutagenic Growth and the subtle Leeching Bite, a card I deeply love since it serve the double purpose of screwing up combat math or removing any opposing x/1 from the field while pumping one of the player's own guys. Oh, yeah, I almost skipped entirely on the creature list! The mean and Green Infect all-star is here; in CMC order: Glistener Elf and Ichorclaw Myr enable some wicked-fast starts, Blight Mamba acts more like a safety blocker since there are almost no "put a -1/-1 counter on target creature" effects in the current meta (with the notable exception of Fume Spitter), Cystbearer is the reliable powerhouse it always has been and Rot Wolf can provide some much-needed hand-refilling effect; Blightwidow is perhaps the optimal blocker for flying creatures and Corpse Cur is just a Card Advantage machine when played in multiple copies.

ColorPie: Spells inside, lands outside.

The manacurve has quite the big spike at 2 CMC and is otherwise nicely degrading to the top end of 4 CMC. As you can see the colorpie is heavily shifted toward Green with just that White splash. However, the sideboard has quite a lot of White spells with three Revoke Existences, two Rebukes and an additional Apostle's Blessing. The inclusion of four Shimmering Grottoes seems sensible enough, considering that most of the main deck White can actually be cast without any White mana on the board. I wonder how that would play out, but I'm rather confident that the three Plains are enough to manage with sideboard options. A couple more Infect creatures find their way in as well: two Corpse Cur to be sided in against decks which are heavy on removal and one Blightwidow against decks with many flying creatures; the last two SB cards leave me rather unimpressed as the three Golden Urns could probably have been a 2:1 split between the much more impressive (and re-usable!) Gnaw to the Bone and them, while the Nihil Spellbomb could have had the same treatment with, perhaps, a singleton Stave Off that could act as a fifth Apostle's Blessing...but these are just my usual ramblings.

Moving on! We're lacking one more color to complete the Christmas trifecta: Red! I could have gone and talk about the impressive mono-Red lists that are currently storming the metagame and replaced Kuldotha Hawks in the heart of the aggro players but I'd rather go with the Red/White Griffin deck because that feels a little more Christmas-y to me. Just imagine: could a pack of Goblin actually pull a flying sled? Nope. But what about it when you put Griffins in place of reindeers? Yeah! Mighty awesome! ... Alright, here we go:


Top 4 by FallenCherub in MPDC 15.08 (5-2)
4 Assault Griffin
4 Gorehorn Minotaurs
4 Griffin Rider
4 Griffin Sentinel
4 Peregrine Griffin
2 Gideon's Lawkeeper
22 cards

Other Spells
4 Incinerate
4 Pacifism
4 Shock
4 Stave Off
16 cards
12 Plains
10 Mountain
22 cards

Griffin Rider


The griffin linear has seen very little play since the introduction of Griffin Rider and that's quite a shame. I mean: Griffins fly, they're totally awesome creatures with a mythic flavor and they come with a wide array of secondary abilities. This deck obviously runs a lot of them: Griffin Sentinel has the always valuable Vigilance static ability and really helps with early game "opponent containment" thanks to its large enough body. Assault Griffin is the main attacker of the deck and a very good mid-game creature. Peregrine Griffin is a late game awesome offender as it blocks almost every flying threat and survives to tell the tale thanks to its very large body and most importantly its First Strike ability. The other non-griffin creatures stand at the two ends of the manacurve: Gideon's Lawkeeper gives this deck another option for stop the opponent's early game in its tracks (Delver of Secrets, I'm looking at you!) and the Gorehorn Minotaurs are very nice finisher that can easily put the opponent on a four-turn clock, provided that he/she's not already been chewed by the griffin's beaks in the mid game. The spell list is almost made out of removal, both White and Red: Shock, Incinerate and Pacifism should be enough to deal with all of the opponent's threats that can bypass the player's creature. Stave Off acts just like Apostle's Blessing does in the GW Infect deck: it protects the player's creature, makes them unblockable or can also prevent the opponent's from playing buff-spells on his/her creatures as well.

ColorPie: Spells inside, lands outside.

The manacurve is a little bumpy with a big hole at 3CMC but that's just the price that has to be paid to fly with the griffins! The colorpie is heavily shifted toward White but being the deck's most crucial spells Red the land count is almost evenly split between Plains and Mountains. A quick look at the sideboard reveals dedicated hate for the artifact-rich decks in the meta (Manic Vandal), a couple more Gideon's Lawkeepers, the anti-Hexproof Demystify, the surprising Act of Treason and the awesome Pride Guardian. Wait what did I just say?! Yes my dear readers, Pride Guardian is awesome tech against Kuldotha Rebirth: block one of the goblin tokens once and the swarming effect is least until the cat survives! It's probably one of the best way to deal with the matter while we wait for a 1-toughness sweeper to be printed.

Alright, we're done for this week! I just have to wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy New Year! MPDC will be on break until the 9th of January...but I wonder if I can keep myself away from the keyboard for that much time. We'll see how I manage that!

Once again, my best wishes of a wonderful Holiday season to every one of you!
See you next year! ;-)
-- Dave

Told ya! :-D


You might be amused to hear by JMason at Fri, 12/23/2011 - 07:41
JMason's picture

You might be amused to hear that Apostle's Blessing is being used by some as ANTI infect tech! "Countering" a few choice pump spells can buy you a lot of time.

Oh yeah, Blessing (and its by PiDave at Fri, 12/23/2011 - 07:48
PiDave's picture

Oh yeah, Blessing (and its mate Stave Off) are great answers for the opponent's pump spells! Back when UG Infect was all the rage it was very common to Vines In response to a Distortion Strike. I really love versatility in a card! :-)

Not gonna lie, your color pie by Westane at Fri, 12/23/2011 - 15:18
Westane's picture

Not gonna lie, your color pie for Griffins made me go dig up my copy of Pokemon Red and my Gameboy Color...

@ jmason, by arcbounddaylabor at Fri, 12/23/2011 - 19:46
arcbounddaylabor's picture

I would be very surprised to see my opponent even try to use apostles blessing on my creature, since the card says target artifact or creature YOU control.

Yup, it was Stave Off I was by JMason at Sat, 12/24/2011 - 18:59
JMason's picture

Yup, it was Stave Off I was thinking of, good catch.