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By: Doctor Anime, Tomer Abramovici
Jan 20 2010 1:33am
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Aggro Woes:

When I was writing my previous article I was seeking new ways to create a competitive aggro deck in the pauper format. When my attempt at mono-black aggro failed I turned to mono-green, tinkering with Elves(!) and Stompy archetypes. MBC n' Friends still beat it down. Next I turned my attention to mono-blue's faeries, which has a special spot in my heart for combining my love of counters with quick beats. Then Tendrils of Corruption eventually resolved and MBC laughed at me again. Try as I might, I couldn't get an aggro deck to work as well as goblins currently does against the field.

Goblins sets the bar for competitive aggro very high. It's very fast, counters the best removal spells in the format, and runs versatile removal that gives the deck reach. There's not even a definitive goblin list at the moment because there's so many good card choices that people are deciding on whether or not to play, like Jackal Familiar, Intimidator Initiate, Mogg Flunkies, and Mudbrawler Cohort. It even has access to one of the best anti-affinity cards in Gorilla Shaman if that deck ever resurfaces, and from PE results apparently it's got the tools to race combo as well. I think this is overall good for the format, since it's really the only aggro deck these days that can put the heat on MBCu. Though WW is a strong adversary to aggro decks of every color, they really have no hope against control decks (hey pro black X/1's, meet Nausea, play nice ok?). Without the red menace I think we'd be seeing an unhealthy amount of black n' blue.

Then something unexpected happened. I was playtesting the Tortured Existence archetype, trying to break it as a competitive control deck. TE was probably the most hyped up card to ever be recently printed into the pauper format, and for good reason. The card signals endless possibilities for a control setting, dumping the majority of your deck into you graveyard with dredge cards like Stinkweed Imp and then fetching any answer you needed for a single B. You could gain 2hp for every B spent with two Golgari Brownscales, lock down the board (not to mention burn your opponent) with recycled Crypt Rats, fetch the Krosan Tusker you cycled for land and drop it as 6/5 win con... Really, the things you can do with TE is nuts. And that's just staying BG. Add blue in there and suddenly you have access to all the transmute effects. Dizzy Spell to fetch TE? Dimir Infiltrator to grab Thrull Surgeon, Nightscape Familiar, Fathom Seer, or Looter Il-Kor? Drift of Phantasms to grab Crypt Rats, Death's-Head Buzzard, maybe even Chilling Shade win con? The possibilities here are endless. It's like a control player's candy mountain.

One problem with the control route though is "TE hate". Those decks heavily rely on that enchantment in play and a nice fat GY to play with, and when the archetype was just a baby the fear was so high that everyone and their mother started SB'ing in Relic of Progenitus and enchant removal. No one really knew how badly those card would affect TE decks, but it seems no one really cared to find out, and TE faded back into obscurity. Now nobody has relic in their SB and the only enchant removal I see these days in the odd WW deck running Kor Sanctifiers in their SB, but I still pondered this potential problem. What if we had a deck that wasn't reliant on TE at all? What if it just was another (awesome) card in the decklist and not the main focus? My control perspective switched into an aggro one and this is what I came up with:


How it plays: Your creatures are sweet fatties and you're resilient to removal with many ways of grabbing creatures back out of the GY. Play your discard outlets and dump your madness creatures on the board at the most opportune times, either to deal extra damage, have an extra surprise blocker, emergency pump against burn, or even diabolic edict protection (poor rootwallas). Don't pump up your putrid leech when attacking if you think your opponent has a lightning bolt in hand. You generally don't need more than one or two forests, so sac the expanse for swamps if you have one already.

If you have TE on the board, a brownscale, and a decent amount of land (I like 2-3 swamps and 1 forest), then feel free to start dredging away instead of drawing cards, your GY will become an extension of your hand and you'll probably end up winning shortly after with all those madness creatures. 

Vs. MBCu: -4 rancor -4 brownscale +4 duress +1 augur +3 thrull. This is actually a very good matchup, and the majority of my playtesting was against this deck. Their ravenous rats tickle you at worst, at best they even help you out. You're very resilient to removal and they have nothing to deal with a resolved TE. They remove your creatures, you bounce them out of the GY and back into your hand and keep truckin'. Good times.

Vs. Goblins: -4 rancor +4 festercreep. VERY FAVORABLE! All your creatures can successfully block and kill theirs, which makes them attacking you a not so easy prospect. You can dodge their removal pretty easily, and stuff alpha strikes with surprise madness blockers. Brownscale is a beast here, discarding / dredging him each turn to gain yourself 2 life is something very hard for goblins to keep up with. I've beaten even the most over the top goblin hands, even without TE on the board. I've only lost to goblins once so far. I'll get into that more in the examples section.

Vs. WW: -4 rancor -2 putrid leech +4 festercreep +2 stinkweed imp. This is the hardest matchup of the popular archetypes. This deck has access to up to 8 removal spells that exile creatures, prot black creatures, even enchant removal. Shade of Trokair is a house without removal to challenge it, and an unanswered Amrou Scout can quickly lock you down. All is not lost however. You can still win the first game by sheer pressure alone, and post-SB brings in ways to combat flyers and recyclable nausea effect to remove all their prot black creatures and the nasty scout. Stinkweed Imp is a new addition to my list specifically to combat their attempts at racing me with flyers. I have yet to test the card out, and I've only played a whopping 4 WW matches so far and I've been 2-2, so who knows just how bad this match is.

Vs. Burn: -2 gorgon recluse -1 stinkweed imp +3 duress. Do you have the brownscale and a discard outlet? You win. If not, you probably lose.

Vs. Combo: -4 putrid leech -1 stinkweed imp -4 grave scrabbler +1 augur +4 thrull +4 festercreep +4 duress. You lose game one, but postSB they need to get insanely lucky through all the discard you're packing, the life you're gaining, and the festercreep that mops up warrens if they use it. Take away those card draws and they'll just fizzle out. All my combo matches have ended in a 2-1 win.

So that's my take on aggro. The lands feel fine, but I still need to work out a perfect ratio between discard outlets and madness cards. Rancor is a bit of an oddity -- I SB it out for every matchup, yet the card performs well enough as that "buffer" slot for the first game of each match that I don't see myself replacing it for anything soon. I was also recently suggested trying out Nantuko Husk, which I may swap the raiders out for. Imagine vampire hounds and husk on the board and the crazy stuff you could do with madness creatures! Madness discard rootwalla for +2/+2 on hounds, then sac it to the husk for +2/+2? Me likey.


Here's a match illustrating how the deck plays against goblins. I picked this one because of how utterly ridiculous the goblin draw was in the games -- the stuff that scars control players so horribly that they often wake up screaming in the middle of the night and having to switch the bed sheets for. That was the type of hand SDgaza was showing me.

Game 1 I win the dice roll and open this hand:


Slow hand, nothing to do turn one or two, but all the land I need to cast the spells in my hand. I dare not try my luck with the shuffling gods by mulling away "okay" hands, so I keep. Had I known I was facing goblins I might have considered trying to get a faster hand, but at least I'm going first anyhow. SDgaza keeps his hand.

Turn 1: I drop a swamp. He drops a mountain and plays Goblin Cohort.

Turn 2: I draw Gorgon Recluse and drop my second swamp. He drops his second mountain, plays Mudbrawler Cohort, and swings for 4.

Turn 3:  I draw Wild Mongrel, drop my third swamp, and play Vampire Hounds. He plays his second Goblin Cohort and swings for 4 again, I block the mudbrawler and discard the Vampire Hounds in my hand to keep my doggie alive. He then plays (Mogg Conscript).

Turn 4: I draw a forest and drop a forest, playing Wild Mongrel. He drops a third mountain, plays Mudbutton Clanger followed up with a kicked Goblin Bushwhacker, and swings for 13. I discard and play Gorgon Recluse with my hounds making them 4/4, discard a forest with mongrel making him 3/3, and kill both his Goblin Cohorts and Mudbutton Clanger.

Turn 5: I draw Golgari Brownscale. At this point I'm confident I've won the game -- he only has 2 cards left in hand, I'm at 9 life still, superior board presence, and a way to gain 2 life each turn. I play a morphed Gathan Raiders and attack only with Wild Mongrel since there's no reason to rush. SDgaza plays another Mudbrawler Cohort, doesn't attack, and I discard the brownscale to flip my raiders at his EOT.

Turn 6: I decide for some reason to dredge the brownscale and attack with my hounds. I guess my thought process at the time was to slowly regain my life total into a better comfort zone and wittle down his board by attacking with a 4/4. This is an alright route, but looking back I think I should've just drew normally. I swing with my hounds, which is blocked by a cohort, and when I discard the brownscale to pump my hounds it's answered with a Lightning Bolt that kills the dog. On his turn, he plays Mogg War Marshal and passes.

Turn 7: I topdeck a Tortured Existence. Okay, now I've won. I play the enchantment and pass, knowing that next turn I start dredging the brownscale, gaining 2 life, and fetching whatever nice creature shows up in my graveyard. His turn he plays Mogg Conscripts and another Goblin Bushwhacker, swinging for 17. I'm at 11 life, so unfortunately I have to trade my Wild Mongrel for something or I lose. I end up blocking all the cohorts, sending them and my dog to the grave and going down to 3 life.

Turn 8: I dredge the brownscale, gain 2 life, and use it to fetch my Vampire Hounds from the graveyard, which I play. His turn, he draws his fourth mountain and drops it.

At this point there was no more goblin shenanigans and I went on to win the game. 

SB: -4 rancor, +4 festercreep

Game 2 he keeps while I open this hand:


This is terrible. All lands and a Gathan Raiders. You know what's worse? I KEEP IT! You know what my thought process was at the time? "Well, I'm on the draw, and I can potentially spend the first two turns thinning my deck of land, I'm sure I'll topdeck some good stuff." Bad, bad logic. It's like I completely forgot that I was playing goblins. I desperately need early blockers to stop the pain train or else I won't stabilize in time. Granted, this deck really doesn't have any turn 1 blockers, but turn 2 I have mongrels and leeches. Heck, even more than one turn 3 creature would've been alright. But no, I kept 1 creature, 6 land hand. For shame, Tom! For shame.

Turn 1: He drops a mountain and plays Mudbutton Clanger. I draw a Gorgon Recluse, drop a Terramorphic Expanse, and pop it for a swamp in his next EOT ('cause I'm a good player who keeps good hands!).

Turn 2: His clanger reveals his next card to be a Goblin Bushwhacker. Hoo boy. He drops a mountain, plays Mogg Flunkies, and swings for 2. I draw another Gorgon Recluse, drop my second expanse.

Turn 3: His clanger reveals a Mogg Raider and he plays the bushwhacker, swinging for 9. I'm feeling as helpless as MBCu at this point as I go down to 9 life. I draw a swamp (sweet!), drop a swamp, and play a morphed Gathan Raiders

Turn 4: His clanger doesn't reveal a creature, but that's okay, because he plays his second bushwhacker! I block the flunkies with my raider, flip it by discarding one of my many forests so we trade, and I go down to 3 life. I lucksack a Festercreep, drop a forest, and tap out to wipe the board with the little bugger.

Turn 5: His response to the board wipe? Two Mogg Raiders. Dang. I draw Tortured Existence, which lets my fetch my festercreep while playing a Gorgon Recluse.

Turn 6: He drops his third mountain and plays his third Goblin Bushwhacker. And that's a wrap folks!

Game 3 I open with this:

Yeah, definitely a thing of beauty right here. Two 1drops, a 2drop, a 3drop, and enough land for me to start dredging as soon as I draw into a brownscale. This is the good stuff. I keep, and so does SDgaza.

Turn 1: I drop a swamp and play Tortured Existence. He drops a mountain and plays Intimidator Initiate.

Turn 2: I draw a forest, drop a forest, and play Putrid Leech. He drops his second mountain, plays Mogg Raider, makes my leech unable to block, and swings for 1.

Turn 3: I draw a swamp, drop my second swamp, and play a morphed Gathan Raiders. He drops his third mountain and plays Mogg Conscripts and Mogg Flunkies and doesn't attack. I flip my raiders, getting a free Basking Rootwalla into play.

Turn 4: I draw a Wild Mongrel, drop my second swamp, and play the doggie. He plays another Mogg Flunkies and passes.

Turn 5: I draw another Golgari Rot Farm. I drop one and bounce a forest back to my hand. He plays yet another Mogg Flunkies before passing.

Turn 6: I draw Golgari Brownscale. Ding! It's business time. I drop my other rot farm, bounce a forest, and pass. The waiting game is always in my favor. He plays Goblin Cohort and passes, and I discard the brownscale at his EOT.

Turn 7: Dredge the brownscale (netting me another brownscale and a recluse in the yard), drop a forest, pass. His turn, a second Goblin Cohort, followed by Goblin Bushwhacker and swings for 27. In response, I spent my four untapped black mana to fetch one brownscale with the other, gaining 8 life in the process, using the extra mana to pump my rootwalla. I then discarded my hand with mongrel so he could block a 3/2 conscript, which also made my raiders 5/5 letting them block the 4/3 flunkies. What I wanted to do was gain life with the brownscale once, then fetch the recluse in my graveyard, and then cast it as an extra blocker with my mongrel. Instead I did the brownscale thing one more time than I should've and messed it up. Ah well. SDgaza decide to sacrifice a goblin to pump the flunkies I blocked so they'd trade, and in the end my rootwalla and raiders hit the GY along with two of his flunkies and one conscript, and I went down to 13.

Turn 8: I dredge a brownscale, netting me another rootwalla and a leech in the GY, and pass. He drops his fourth mountain, Lightning Bolts my mongrel, and makes my leech unable to block. In response, I fetch a rootwalla with the brownscale, fetch the recluse with my rootwalla (casting it for free), discard / play the recluse, and use the remaining mana to pump my rootwalla. He swings for 6 with all but his cohort, I block his raider with my rootwalla and the initiate with my recluse. The pesky ones must die first. At that point he conceded.

When I say "favorable matchup," I mean it!

Off to the queues!

I decided to take Dead Dog to the queues, for you, my loyal readers. I ended up playing two queues (for now). Unfortunately, when I check my replays I notice that the games haven’t been saved. When I inquired about it, an Orc told me that if an opponent concedes or times out then sometimes the replays do not save. This pretty much sucks because how often in a tournament do people actually let you knock them down to 0 instead of pressing the concede button? So here's my recollection of things, which will highlight something about Dead Dog.

No 8-player pauper queues were firing so I had to settle with the 2-mans with 1 player waiting for a game. I entered, hoping to avoid WW if possible and play some combo / goblins / MBCu, the deck's strong matchups. Of course, I'm immediately treated to bobjackson's WW list. 

Game one I mull to 6 and keep a nice three land hand with leech, mongrel, and gathan raiders. I play them while my opponent suspends a Shade of Trokair, plays a Kor Skyfisher, and three Razor Golems. I draw into rancor, another leech, some lands, and a grave scrabbler. I’m on offense from start to finish, stomping through his roadblocks until eventually concedes. Game two wasn't really much of a game. I keep a decent hand, he drops two Veteran Armorers, a Razor Golem, and exiles one of my Vampire Hounds before conceding on turn 6, showing me a hand with 3 lands. Bad luck for him. I did nab a victory picture though:

The second time I entered queue I played against superdank's UWcontrol deck. This deck was clearly tuned to a very specific meta: Order of Leitbur, Vedalken Outlander, (Icatian Javelineer), and Aven Riftwatcher maindecked clearly showed some obvious goblin hate. The deck rounded out with other obviously good UW inclusions like Mulldrifter, Kor Skyfisher, Momentary Blink, and Mana Leak. I ended up winning game one with very strong and consistent pressure.

Game two and three revealed a hole in the deck: being raced by flyers. Both games he'd fill the sky with mulldrifters, riftwatchers, and skyfishers, gaining a bunch of life, chump blocking + blinking the creature as a pseudo fog that usually granted him two more cards, and just simply racing my deck through the air. Although I'd have TE on the board, I didn't see the brownscale, and had to resort to topdecks. Land draws made me run out of steam and I lost 1-2.

That match was the reason for adding stinkweed imps in the deck. Perhaps not a perfect solution, but could I have won with them? Maybe. Does anyone else have suggestions to beat this flyer problem?

You Make the Play:

Before moving to the other decks I'd like to discuss, I thought you guys would enjoy this little scenerio. It's turn 5. Win this turn:



The Middle Ground: 

I turned my attention to midrange after playing against an interesting deck piloted by drs_guru in tournament practice. It was a BGtempo deck of sorts, running a whole bunch of 2for1 creatures -- cantrips in Phyrexian Rager and Elvish Visionary, hand disruption in Ravenous Rats and Chittering Rats, and fatties in Wickerbough Elder and Penumbra Spider. These creatures slowly fill the board, gaining enough card advantage until it eventually starts swinging in for a kill, usually sped up with a kicked Vines of Vastwood. Even some of its removal, Snakeform, helped the deck keep drawing more cards. The deck ended up beating my Teachings 2-1 and left me quite impressed, so I set about building it myself.

My own version cut down on snakeforms and put the wickerboughs into the SB, instead placing Warren Pilferers and Citanul Woodreaders in the MD. The woodreaders are green's answer to Mulldrifter and the pilferers have some great choice creatures to pick up, like chittering rats or penumbra spider. After talking to SpikeBoy briefly about the deck, he encouraged me to cut the snakeforms for better black removal in Nameless Inversion and to add Sakura-Tribe Elder to help fix the deck's mana, which ended up taking the visionary's spot. Here's my current list:


How it plays: I already covered this in the intro of the deck, but the real nice thing about this deck is it takes a very long time for you to fall into topdeck mode, if ever. This gives you alot more options than your opponent, and eventually you should have so much going on your side of the board that you overwhelm defenses and go in swinging.

Vs. Goblins: -3 warren -3 woodreaders -2 spider +4 nausea +4 nourish. Tough, but winnable. You play defensively until the little green men are in topdeck mode, then you go in for the win. Most losses was from the opponent dropping an early sparksmith or intimidator initiate and rolling over my defenses. This was while I was still running snakeform though, which is completely useless in this match. With 8 removals MD it should go smoother.

Vs. WW: -4 ravenous +4 nausea. I'd say 50/50. Pro black hurts here since it helps them dodge many of your creatures and stops your removal as well (nausea post-SB takes care of them though). Things can get nasty if they exile away your penumbra spiders and go in swinging with aven riftwatchers and kor skyfishers. Funnily enough, snakeform was very good here, since it de-winged their flyers and removed pro black from their knights. You can cast Vines not only to stop any of their removal, but to even stop a benevolent bodyguard's protection ability, offering nice surprise trades.

Vs. MBCu: -4 inversion -3 disfigure +1 warren +4 duresss +2 okiba. Favorable. All your creatures either do something when they come into play or need to die twice, so you're effectively 2for1'ing his answers to your threats. You're the one on the offense with a higher creature count. I usually save vines for tendrils of agony, robbing him of lifegain and putting pressure on his clock. If you draw into your discard and disrupt his hand, you win quite easily. If you don't see much discard and he hits alot of draw, he has a good shot of winning. I'll also note here that while I'm not a fan of blue ninjas (as you'll soon find out) against heavy removal decks, the removal spells are useless here that you might as well throw the okiba in. Not to mention if it does hit even once it's probably game over for MBCu. Making control discard 2 cards > drawing 1 card.

Vs. Burn: -4 disfigure -4 inversion +4 duress +4 nourish. Needs testing, but I doubt it'll be too good. Hopefully the hand disruption will rob him of burn spells which will be enough time to race, and hopefully the nourish post-SB will show up.

Vs. Combo: -4 disfigure -4 nameless inversion -4 citanul -2 penumbra +4 nausea +4 duress +2 okiba +4 nourish. Favorable. Game one depends how much hand disruption you start off with, but I'd say it's still in the combo player's favor. Post-SB match gives you a huge amount of hand disruption, some extra life, and an answer to warrens. Things look grim for combo.

Of the decks I'm testing right now, I'd say this one's the least competitive. It's still quite fun though, and I feel it has potential.


Into the Deep End:

I've always been a control player at heart. My very first deck in the pauper format was MUC and the deck I've clocked the most play time with. I've tinkered with a large array of different control decks, though they usually have some amount of blue due to my love of card draw and counters. I've been working on two specific control decks for a while now. Like all my current decks, they are tuned with the goal of beating goblins, MBCu, combo, and burn (in that order). If those goals are met, I'm confident everything else will just fall into place.

First up, the deck I previewed last article, Teachings:


How it plays: Dominate the board with removal and counters, fetch more answers to your opponent's threats with teachings or the brainstorm + shuffle trick which I talked about last article. Keep dropping lands and answers. Eventually you'll be able to drop mulldrifter / twisted abomination on the board with the opponent not able to do anything about it. Brainstorm is a star here with 11 shuffle effects, and it usually lets me keep 1-land-but-awesome hands that I really have no business keeping. That, plus the karoos counting as 2 lands and the abominations swampcycling, lets me run only 22 lands as control very comfortably.

Vs. MBCu: -1 wail -4 blood -2 warp -1 edict -2 disfigure +4 duress +3 probe +3 deep analysis. This is why I love counterspells. Casting a 2cc spell to stop all their spells, from a 3cc chittering rats to a 5cc mulldrifter, it's just a sweet trade any way you slice it. I usually don't counter their straight draw spells, grim harvest, or removal spells on my creatures (since I'll grim them back anyway). Unfortunately, big factor in this matchup ends up being card draw. While my Teachings runs a fair amount of it, some MBCu decks go the full mile with a full set of Deep Analysis, Probe, Mulldrifter, and even Sign in Blood -- this is pretty tough to beat. But then again, such a large amount of draw has absolutely no hope in beating Goblins. You can't have your cake and eat it too. So how difficult this matchup is largely depends on how much card draw they have shoved MD, but my advantage is running counters that can stop the spells that count.

Vs. Goblins: -1 exclude -3 counterspell +4 hydroblast. Strong matchup! Eight 1cc removals (12 post SB) are a big factor for this, since taking out their t1 2/2 drop is huge in the effort to stabilize. Ravenous rats are great here as well since they're very likely to 2for1 the red menace. As the goblin hand dwindles, inevitably so does your own, but brainstorms help you keep digging for answers and once you hit a teachings or mulldrifter you stabilize and it's game over. The counterspells are quite nice in the matchup as well, since they cost just as much as a Diabolic Edict but have the extra benefit of stopping bushwhacker alpha strikes dead in their tracks.

Vs. WW: (no change). Very favorable. Essentially they're a much slower goblins deck with useless lifegain. 

Vs. Burn: -4 blood -2 remove soul -2 warp -1 exclude -1 edict +4 hydroblast +4 duress +1 negate +1 probe. You'd think I'd run into Burn every once in a while in my extensive testing of this deck, but not really. Maybe because there's not much to "practice" about the deck? Anyway, I need more testing to have a conclusive statement. The removal spells are dead weight which hurts, but post-SB they get taken out for more discard and more counters, and unlike burn, once we're in topdeck mode I can fetch more answers than his threats with card draw and teachings.

Vs. Combo: -4 blood -4 disfigure -2 warp -2 remove soul -1 exclude -1 edict -1 grim harvest, all of the SB goes in. Not much testing on this one either. I think I played 3 or 4 games in a row with a friend piloting storm, and I do recall winning each one. I was called out for "lucksacking" wail in my hand in two matches, but then again, isn't combo the definition of lucksack? Yes, I may hate combo a little too much.


One more decklist I'd like to share is this URcontrol list developed by kehmesis, an active pauper community member with more 1st place finishes in TPDC tournaments than I even knew existed. If I recall correctly, the name of the deck is Steamworks (or was it Izzetworks?), and kehm ported the deck to pauper from an extended list. I made some changes to the list and SB, but the vast majority of it remains true to kehm's list. This is my current favorite deck, employing my favorite color combination and standing out of the sea of MBCu.


How It Plays: Dominate the board with removal and counters and keep dropping lands. You only want to play your draw or chronarchs once you have the mana to do so while still countering, or if you ran out of counters. Muddle works fine as a Negate but has the extra benefit of fetching train of thought, rolling thunder, or hurly-burly. You eventually win by whittling away the opponent with your creatures and finishing him off with burn.

Vs. MBCu: -1 skred -3 martyr of ashes -1 seismic shudder +3 deep analysis +2 exclude. Difficulty depends on the opponent's list (see my teachings matchup description). You win by gaining card advantage and whittling him down with burn and creatures backed up by more counters. If he's teachings don't panic, you're likely to make him run out of worthwhile spells to fetch entirely. If he has corrupt and tendrils, both are very important to counter since if multiples resolve it will cost you the game. Lategame you refill your entire hand with a blowout train of thought, or just burn away his remaining health with a large rolling thunder. This type of matchup can really show player skill on both ends. "A fool and his counterspells are soon parted."

Vs. Goblins: -2 muddle the mixture -1 train of thought -2 counterspell +4 hydroblast +1 martyr. Favorable. This is a very straightforward matchup, just throw as much removal as you can as quickly as you can. Do NOT hold a martyr in hand waiting for "more" goblins, you can't afford taking more damage, treat it as just another (very good) removal. 

Funny story about this deck; I took a similar list to my first PE recently, expecting a large amount of goblins and WW. My first match was against a GW cloak deck running MD pro red creatures that I ended up losing 1-2 due to a sweet mull to 3 (which I almost came back from!). Second match was against Deep Dog which I beat 2-0, and third match was UWcontrol which I also beat. Finally, fourth match I run up against goblins, and I'm incredibly excited... I end up losing 0-2 to the craziest draw I've ever seen goblins ever pull out, an army of 2/2's both games with bushwhacker wins, even pyroblasting my steamcore. Moral of the story? Shuffler has the final say. Make sure to prepare your goat sacrifices before queue'ing up.

Vs. WW: -2 muddle the mixture -1 train of thought +1 martyr of ashes +2 exclude . Very easy. Slower goblins, their lifegain doesn't help them.

Vs. Burn: -3 remove soul -1 seismic shudder -1 skred -1 martyr +2 negate +4 hydroblast. Favorable. Counter their stuff, burn them right back!

Vs. Combo: -1 skred -3 remove soul -4 steamcore weird -1 train +2 negate +3 hydroblast +1 martyr +3 hindering touch . Favorable. The hindering touch is a new inclusion due to recent rise in popularity of storm decks in the PEs. I'm not sure if it's necessary, but something I should test out regardless, and I felt the SB had room. You've got counters for their key spells, multiple board wipes for warrens, and if you delay until Hindering Touch is online there's no way you can lose.

This deck is the first one I reach out for when entering a competitive match, and hopefully I can post some bigger results in the near future with it. Stay tuned! 


Sneaky Blue Men:


Ninja of the Deep Hours 

Last week I was shocked to find out that "Rats Teachings" made an impressive entrance with the deck taking 2nd, 3rd, and 4th spots in the pauper PE. Though each deck had their own variations, I noticed that each one was running at least two Ninja of the Deep Hours. At first I was quite happy to see this, but then I had a nagging feeling in my heart telling me that I should let the world in on a little secret:

It's a bad card here.

Alright, time for a little history lesson. In the beginning there was a little faerie deck that could. Unlike its big brother MUC, this flamboyant little pecker liked going on the offensive, and instead of slowly dominating the other deck with an endless stream of counters, it opted to stall the opponent just long enough for its army of evasive 1/1's to do their thing. Included in this package was a certain 2/2 card-drawing bear that liked coming out on t2 after a t1 Cloud Sprite attacked unblocked. This would usually make MUC concede because the ninja was almost impossible to deal with that early. Even decks with removal would need it in their hand right away or else turn3 faeries would untap and proceed to counter any attempt at bringing a creature on the board to block or any removal spell aimed at the ninja. It also liked swapping spots with Spellstutter Sprite to recycle a counter, which helped the deck stall a bit longer for the win. And the pauper community saw this, and it was good. Sure, MBC laughed at the deck by eventually resolving crypt rats / nausea / tendrils / corrupt and faeries would never recover, but the deck as a whole was tight against other matchups at the time.

After that, the sneaky blue men were running everywhere. Parlor Tricks and every variant of Blink decks LOVED running this dude, almost always for dubious results. Let's look at the reasons why it's bad in other places:

1) You need to have an unblocked attacker to sneak him in. That's okay though, I mean, not many creatures can block Steamcore Weird or Ravenous Rats, right?

2) Control decks have changed from MUC's heavy counters to MBC's heavy removal. Odds of the ninja living? Slim to none.

3) Crappy topdeck when you need an answer. Face it, when you're in a tight spot, topdecking a bear you need to hardcast for 4 is pretty awful.

4) Dead weight versus the current aggro king. Goblins runs over 30 creatures, many of them able to trade with the ninja or whatever you're aiming to attack with, and all of them if one of their eight sledders are on the board. Chances are they're going to be consistently playing a creature each turn for at least the first five turns, so there's no way he's showing up early. On the chance that you do manage to get him in there, it'll look like this, "Oh, you're attacking with your rats? Okay. My turn, I drop bushwhacker, swing for 10, lightning bolt your remaining hp. GG"

The last point is something I really want emphasize. This card is an AWFUL inclusion for MBCu, especially in a meta dominated by goblins. MBCu loses because it can't stabilize in time, it's fumbling with its mana, and struggling to keep up with cheap answers to goblin's cheap threats. The ninja is nothing but detrimental in this matchup, because like other (better) card draw, it's not in itself an answer, it's just another way to dig for one. And in this case, it's a bad dig.

There's almost always better cards out there than Mr. Ninja. You want card draw? Deep Analysis draws 4 and Compulsive Research draws 3, both more than the ninja ever gets. You want bounce? Momentary Blink is instant speed, not situational, doesn't require you to recast the creature (tempo!), can be used twice, and can be used to dodge all of red's removal, WW's journeys and unmakes, and black's disfigures and tendrils. Kor Skyfisher isn't situational either, and is a stronger creature itself as a 2/3 flyer.

There is a mystical allure to the ninja of the deep hours, I know. I think it's the "ninja" part. The popularized concept of ninjas is something that the human psyche immediately identifies as inherently awesome. Who doesn't think ninjas are badass, seriously? I dare you to name someone you know that has heard of ninjas but doesn't like them. And we're not talking Ninja Assassin here, which I'm still unsure how they managed to mess up. Maybe combo players don't like them. After all, their sole purpose in life is to kill ninja kittens by successfully going off with land, a manamorphose, a rite of flame, and a thumbtack in their hand. Man I hate those lucksacks... Ahem. Point remains, take a step back and ask yourself, "Do I like this card or do I like the idea of it?" 

The ninja has its niche. It fits nicely in Blue/Dark Skies when the meta has counter-heavy decks. You could even make a case for playing it in UWcontrol with spellstutter sprites and aven riftwatchers if for some reason you need more copies of kor skyfisher and momentary blink in your list. But come on, 1/1 non-evasion creatures? Really? 


That's it for now, folks. Next articles can be a bunch of things but the question is, what would YOU like to read about? Card evaluations? The best competitive, but currently not popular deck archetypes from the pauper community? Me putting my money where my mouth is and taking my decks to the queues and reporting the results? Juicy drama on your favorite pro players? Mulldrifter sex tapes?! Leave requests in the comments section below and I'll try my best to address them next article, same pauper time, same pauper channel! 


A silly comment, but in your by Anonymous (not verified) at Mon, 01/18/2010 - 11:06
Anonymous's picture

A silly comment, but in your Madness deck list Vampire Hounds is a creature, not an "other spell". Also - noticed that you sideboard out Rancor for all of the top that an indication that it may be a better sideboard card than a maindeck card?

Madness deck list by kensiky (not verified) at Mon, 01/18/2010 - 11:31
kensiky's picture

Your deck only have 58 cards in it. Did you leave out 2x Stinkweed Imp?

"Make sure to prepare your by Anonymous (not verified) at Mon, 01/18/2010 - 11:38
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"Make sure to prepare your goat sacrifices before queue'ing up."

I have seen a few versions of by kalandine at Mon, 01/18/2010 - 14:31
kalandine's picture

I have seen a few versions of that Madness! deck in the casual room lately. Playing my GRw deck against it was fair and fun, facing it with a more casual deck (i.e., my Forestfall deck) was not fun.

But, the Steamworks deck seems even more popular these days. That deck is annoying. I'm not sure it is as good as other pauper decks out there right now, but it is annoying.

Good article.

Some Responses by Doctor Anime at Tue, 01/19/2010 - 14:28
Doctor Anime's picture

I was actually hoping to update the article before it got published. I'll try to fix up those mistakes though.

Anon #1 - I do sideboard out rancor in most of my matchups. I've sometimes been keeping it against combo, WW, and burn lately however. The thing is, like Putrid Leech, it's an incredibly powerful standalone card and is never "bad" in any matchup. Post-SB I usually have more relevant card hate to bring instead, like Nausea (which is actually Festercreep now) to kill WW's prot black creatures.

Kensiky - The two missing cards are "Gorgon Recluse." It's a solid 2/4 creature with an ability that can kill prot black creatures, all for a mere BB madness cost. I also cut a Gathen Raiders for a stinkweed imp and added two imps in the sideboard to deal with flyers trying to race me, which I will also hopefully update.

Kalandine - My decks are intended to be competitive. I'll admit though, the BGTempo one should probably stay in the casual room for now. But my madness deck is hopefully competitive and I've gone 2-1 in 2man queues so far (which I'll also talk about).

I'm surprised Steamworks is being played. I didn't know anyone else was playing it -- good that it's catching on!

EDIT: Article has been updated with playtest results. It also made the article insanely long. Sorry about that! Next article will be less all over the place, promise.

Puzzle by rogueeffect- (not verified) at Wed, 01/20/2010 - 08:41
rogueeffect-'s picture

1. Discard TE to Raiders
2. Discard Mongrel to Hounds
3. Discard Scrambler to Hounds - pay Madness - fetch Mongrel
4. Discard Mongrel to Hounds
5. Pump Rootwalla.

Swing for

5+4+8 = 17

nice by 4321 (not verified) at Wed, 01/20/2010 - 09:11
4321's picture

And i was wondering all that time if someone would make a more aggressive TE deck.I play pauper magic and i have an aggro TE deck with some major differences i could say.No Gathan Raiders but Werebears because your hand rarely empties,so 4/4 i think is better than 3/3 especially for one less mana.No rancors because i believe it is not needed,your creatures will have the job done by themselves,and probably you see that too.I would suggest 2 Ravens' Crime MD to be able to avoid combo or control first game,or even aggro,discard is always appreciated,even though you are facing madness.Mulch does great work it feeds the graveyard with creatures,Tortured Existence :P,or it gives you land to discard to mongrel and Gathan or lets you reuse the Ravens' Crime.Also i would like to say that i completely agree with your last paragraph before the dead dog list.

Good suggestions by Doctor Anime at Wed, 01/20/2010 - 11:43
Doctor Anime's picture

I'll have to try out the werebears. I like the idea of another 2cc creature, and the slight ramp wouldn't hurt either. My main concern with that card is I don't really attain threshold at a quick pace. I only start dredging once I have TE on the board and a handful of lands in play. In fact, I probably attain threshold a little slower than most decks because of the scrabblers. The raiders is also a discard outlet and can become a 5/5. Through testing however I found they remain 3/3's for longer than I'd like, so I wouldn't mind replacing them.

Rancor is another card I don't mind replacing, but I do enjoy it. It's quite significant in any matchup where I need to race and the opponent doesn't employ heavy removal. I also really like trample. Slapping it on a hound means you can pump him up to his maximum potential without any problems about being chumped.

I used to have a solitary raven's crime MD that I cut because it never felt significant. I also didn't like throwing away extra lands -- more lands meant more ridiculous plays if TE hit the table.

Mulch is something I love running in my control TE decks. Does it have a place in aggro though? Is it even a card you want to play when you haven't seen a TE yet? It will need some testing. Clearly there's slots still available, might as well swap and see.

Thanks for the suggestions! I'll be trying out the bears and mulch and get back to you.

Ninja by Amar at Wed, 01/20/2010 - 14:24
Amar's picture

For me the key to loving ninja is enjoying it's card return feature and treading the Ophidian feature as a bonus. I don't get to play as much as I'd like, and I deckbuild even less. But I have been enamored for months with the appeal of just recasting the efficient 2-for-1 creatures. And that's what T2 Rats-> T3 Ninja does, gaining some nice fast card advantage.

The risk is that this isn't a super-consistent play. Not in Teachings, being light on creatures and non-beatdown focused. However, the ability to demolish midrange by landing T3 Ninja and clearing the way with removal or counters ... that's strong enough to justify the risk.

good article. my comments/critiques by x_force_of_will_x (not verified) at Wed, 01/20/2010 - 16:10
x_force_of_will_x's picture

I posted the same on PDC forums, but I thought I'd post here as well.

Well this was certainly a vast improvement, from my perspective and in my opinion, than your last article. On the whole, I have to say that I rather liked it.

Before I get started on what it was that I liked, I thought I would sandwich in some of the things that I didn’t like or disagreed with.

First and this is just to nitpick here, when you select a screen shot, it would probably be best to include one that doesn’t have your entire side of the field blocked. In your third screen shot, the one where you are playing in your first 2-man tourney with dead dog, you have a screen shot where WW scooped to you, and I can’t see any reason why he would, from the screen shot that is. The screen shot that you posted doesn’t help display anything or help make your point because you can’t see anything. But that is just a nitpick.

Next, I disagree on sideboarding form. and as I say this I have to make clear that I am saying this from a strictly theoretical perspective, because I have no way to test any of this, but when you describe your match up with Storm, you make the decision, without little explanation, on taking out 2 putrid leeches from the MD. This is something that I don’t understand, because it would be in this match up where I feel that they would shine the brightest. In the classic forum, you made the argument that the whole purpose of the leeches in the deck was to provide an effectively early beater, especially when paired with rancor. Well in a match up where an effective early beater is perhaps needed most, in order to get storm on an effective clock, you board him out. While I do not argue the need for the discard you bring in, I would think that the 2 gorgon recluse that and perhaps 2 brownscales would be a better formula in order to maximize results.

From my experience playing/playing against storm, if they go off and have the time and resources to kill you, it really won’t matter what your life total is, or how many blockers you can produce. They could easily drop 60 goblin tokens or deal 40+ damage with 2 grapeshots, if they have it; gaining 8-10 life during the game will not help you much. Granted it isn’t bad to do as a last result but I feel that you would yield better results is you let your life lapse and try and put them on a quicker clock, a clock that would vastly improve with leech in the deck. Your plan for playing against storm should be, and I believe is, hit them hard and make them discard, and force them into a position where they are more likely to fizzle then reach critical mass, and I believe that leech fits into that theme far more than brownscale or gorgon.

The argument over gorgon over leech should be a short and quick one. Leech come out quicker, can hit harder, and really has no down side against storm. Gorgon’s ability is rather pointless, and if you are trying to abuse his madness with TE, then you more than likely have the game in hand anyway. If your discard spells run thin for whatever reason, you will be far gladder for the clock that leech can provide rather than holding either a brownscale, gorgon in your hand hoping for a TE.

Finally, I strongly disagree with your premise that mono color aggro deck, in particular that of Blue aggro, namely Dark Skies, would roll over in the face of heavy control. I can provide case and point in the form of a deck that I personally ran, and provided below.

Classic • Aggro
1st by x_Force_of_Will_x in Classic PDC 8.15 (5-1)


4 Faerie Squadron
4 Latchkey Faerie
4 Pestermite
3 Briarberry Cohort
3 Cloud Sprite
3 Looter il-Kor
3 Ninja of the Deep Hours
2 Spire Golem
2 Wormfang Drake

4 Counterspell
4 Memory Lapse
4 Unsummon

15 Island
3 Dimir Aqueduct
2 Lonely Sandbar

4 Probe
4 Echoing Truth
4 Rootwater Commando
3 Faerie Trickery

R1: Win vs. White Feather MBC
R2: Win vs. walkerdog Burn Range
R3: Win vs. Boin MBC
R4: Loss vs. Grozathia MUC
T4: Win vs. kehmesis Angelic Evocation
T2: Win vs. Grozathia MUC

:u: 38
Total: 38
:1: 11
:2: 14
:3: 6
:4: 7
:6: 2
Avg CMC: 2.42
No comments have been recorded for this deck.

This deck not only beat went up against 5 control decks in the 6 rounds that were played and lost once, to a bad draw game three if I recall correctly. and these were not scrub players either, but some of the game's best at the time, and I would argue present. boin, kehm, walker and grozathia were all experienced skillful pilots of their control decks but the combination of beats, counters and card advantage was simply too much for them. when played correctly, the deck posted overwhelming results against both MBC and MUC and even beat the tricky decks, like parlor tricks and angelic evocation, which were floating around at the time. Although I am unsure how a skillful pilot would place dark skies today, if the deck had one weakness, it was that of red based decks, at the time decks like goblins burn range, and goblin storm gave the deck some matchup problems. I would further say that it would require some tweaking in order to defeat storm in both main deck and board. but in an age that was dominated by MBC, Dark Skies flew above it. the list above was brilliantly designed by spike, and slightly modified by me, but would be, most likely till this day, my go to deck against a field of MBC/x

The final clarification I would like to point out that kehm's deck was name "steam machine", not "steamworks".

However I agree with your deck list that you posted, I feel that they provide a great cross section of flavor and competitiveness. As someone who enjoys large articles, I found it was on target, in most parts, and informative. your insights to in game situations, in particular with dead dog, where very helpful. I didn’t feel talked down to, as I did the first article, although I understand your reasoning for doing it last article, was a big concern for me, and you effectively remedied that.

Although you leaked the answer in the board ahead of time, I enjoyed the "you make the play" section and look forward to more of the same in the future, especially those where I don’t know the answer already.

All in all, good work. Impressive article.

I've been playing around with by PDXOR (not verified) at Wed, 01/20/2010 - 22:36
PDXOR's picture

I've been playing around with a similar Madness deck for a little over a week now. My current list:

10 Swamp
4 Forest
4 Golgari Rot Farm

4 Vampire Hounds
4 Wild Mongrel
4 Basking Rootwalla
4 Grave Scrabblers
4 Brain Gorgers
4 Golgari Brownscale
4 Viscera Dragger
2 Wickerbough Elder

4 Tortured Existence
4 Echoing Decay
4 Ichor Slick

I've found the Draggers to be quite useful. They can be pitched and unearthed for an alpha strike, or cycled then returned with something later, etc. Another possibility in this vein are Rotting Rats. Pitch it, unearth, force your opponent to discard and use it as a madness outlet yourself.

Likewise, the Gorgers serve a couple of purposes. They have a beefy front end. At worst, they work as a Diabolic Edict and forces your opponent to sac a creature. I've found most people will sac once, maybe twice until they figure out they'll keep coming back.

If you're thinking of using Mulch, you might consider using Rite of Spring in its stead. It has more synergy with the concept of the deck, and you can choose what goes to the graveyard. I'm not sure about the strength of either, as I haven't tested them yet, but Rite would appear to be the better fit.

Amar - My beef with the ninja by Doctor Anime at Wed, 01/20/2010 - 23:54
Doctor Anime's picture

Amar - My beef with the ninja is you're jumping through so many hoops to just make him playable. If you want him to hit T3 from an unblocked 1/1 you're basically planning to remove every creature that can block it -- which is every creature. Against goblins this is simply not an option, so already he's immediately a poor meta choice. Then if you want to make the card actually worth the effort, he has to stay in play and keep hitting. Now inevitably you need counters to keep him alive and additional removal to keep to board clear for him. This is an unrealistic expectation. Sure, sometimes you'll be able to have a ninja on the board pinging away and you'll win off it, but it's far more likely to just fall flat. Instead of all that, you could simply play far more powerful draw spells and save your counters / removals for the spells that really effect the game state.

I will say however that your trick with blastoderm and the ninja is a unique twist and actually the first of its kind that cannot be done better by simply using momentary blink. A 5/5 shroud creature is likely to get hits in, and refreshing his fade counters isn't half bad.

Force - Well we've been discussing in the forums so I won't repeat what I said here.

PDXOR - Interesting list. The draggers are good, I liked running them in my TE control decks. I'll try them out, maybe in a raider / leech spot. I've actually been testing a monoB list with a full set of gorgon recluse (which I love), gorgers, 3 rotting rats, putrid imp as my mongrel replacement, more dredge and more GY fetch with 3of call to the netherworld. I really like brain gorgers, but my only beef is they're a bit lackluster against goblins. They work fine in all the other matchups however.

Rites does look good too. You'll be getting usually one, maybe two (free rootwallas) madness creatures in play and extra lands.

I think the golgari rot farm by Doomhed (not verified) at Thu, 01/21/2010 - 00:00
Doomhed's picture

I think the golgari rot farm is really a waste in this deck, you might be better off with some cycling lands, at least they can help by adding more dredge opportunities. I was also surprised that not even 1-2 tuskers made it in the deck, the card advantage can really tip the scales in your favor- not to mention the ability to dredge from cycling it.

If you have additional by PDXOR (not verified) at Thu, 01/21/2010 - 00:25
PDXOR's picture

If you have additional methods to pull cards from the GY, more dredge works. I was using Stinkweed Imps for a while, but found their utility to be somewhat lacking unless Tortured Existence was on the field. I usually found myself going for Brownscales, anyways, since they bring life and can be used for the same purpse as the imp.

The elders in my list are currently my flex spots. I haven't really tried Gorgons too extensively, so perhaps I'll give them a try.

If you go mono black, you might also consider Trespasser il-Vec as an outlet. They have same fragility as the imps, have evasion if you need it, but do more damage and have the bonus of being able to block once you're past threshold.

Cool article man, I like the by Superdank (not verified) at Thu, 01/21/2010 - 01:46
Superdank's picture

Cool article man, I like the TE deck but I'm having a very hard time believing it's as good against Goblins as you say it is. Where were the Sparksmiths and Lightning Bolts/Chain Lightnings?

Steamworks is sweet too but why 3x Remove Soul when there are so many better counterspells? The 1x Skred seems out of place too since you have no way to fetch it.

Hope to see more of this.

Really enjoyed the article. by Lightbulb (not verified) at Thu, 01/21/2010 - 03:16
Lightbulb's picture

Really enjoyed the article. Would love to read more of the same... Play test results were a worthy inclusion...

Doomhed - I've been enjoying by Doctor Anime at Thu, 01/21/2010 - 13:45
Doctor Anime's picture

Doomhed - I've been enjoying the rot farm for that little extra land and the mana fixing. The deck likes more land to pull off all its tricks, but it's aggro so I had to keep the land count relatively low (though 22 is still pretty high for aggro). It's been working nicely so far. Dredging doesn't even always happen, I need a reason to do it.

I really like tuskers in TE control decks, but not here. I tried them out but the problem is each time it's in my hand there's tons of other threats I'd like to be dropping on the board instead.

Keep in mind this deck is aggro, not your traditional TE deck. It doesn't need TE to succeed and I don't want my gameplan to revolve around "getting better" once the enchantment lands on the board, because I really have no way of fetching the card and have to resort to topdecking without deck trimming or card draw. That's why cards like Rancor and Putrid Leech make the cut. They have no real synergy with TE, but they're just such strong beats that it would be weird not to include them.

If I was going for a TE deck then it would be control, I'd have a ton of deck trimming and land fixing with cards like greenseeker, sakura-tribe elder, and krosan tusker. If I was UB then I'd go with looters, deep analysis, mulldrifters and twisted abominations.

PDX0R - I like stinkweed for combating WW's flyers but ya, otherwise they're not very good. Brownscale actually serves a purpose against burn, goblins, and aggro in general so it's a much better choice. I'm leaving 2 in my SB.

I've basically given up on monoB. You get consistency but lose alot of powerful beatsticks. Trespasser isn't close to Wild Mongrel. I'm sure someone else can get better results than me with it, but for now I'm a bit stumped.

superdank - That was really the best goblin hand I could find. He never needed to mull. I'd say a great goblin hand is no mull, two lands, bushwhackers, as many 1cc 2/2's as possible, and 1of's for the utility creatures. He did that each game. First game he brings out an army of 2/2's and two bushwhackers with the right amount of land. Second game he has good land again and three bushwhackers. Third game he swung for 27 with a bushwhacker. He had lightning bolts in games one and three. There's really not much more insanity you can expect.

I've had a bunch of games where the goblin player was drawing sparksmiths and alot of burn (instead of an army of 2/2's). All that happens is he picks off more of my creatures until he goes down to a life total where he can no longer use the smith, I keep bringing my creatures back to the board, and the opponent concedes. They were far less scary than the match I wrote about. If you want more convincing though, feel free to hit me up online if you got a goblin deck. I always like more playtesting.

Generally I advocate Exclude over Remove Soul. My initial builds ran excludes instead of the souls, but the meta is currently fast and I want to raise the chances that I have a counter ready for turn 2. This also helps me stop a turn3 chittering rats when I'm on the draw. If the meta shifts back to midrange / control then I'll switch back to excludes.

Skred used to be 4x, then 2x, and now 1x. It was 4x until I realized that firebolt was much stronger against goblins and MBCu, so it went down to 2 (mostly to kill razor golems and shades). Then I added an extra land to the deck and cut another skred. It's an oddball, but solid lategame removal. I dunno, should I cut it?

RE: seems like a by Paul Leicht at Thu, 01/21/2010 - 14:07
Paul Leicht's picture

RE: seems like a sign that you cut it to one of. One ofs are great fun but usually pretty terrible unless you can guarantee their timely use. I don't know the format very well so I could be way off about Skred in general but you might be better off cutting it for consistency.

It looks like Skred is there by First_Strike at Fri, 01/22/2010 - 10:45
First_Strike's picture

It looks like Skred is there as the 9th 1-cost removal.

I'd be happy to test with you by Superdank (not verified) at Fri, 01/22/2010 - 06:23
Superdank's picture

I'd be happy to test with you next time we are both online.
Couldn't Rune Snag or Mana Leak fill the same roll while not being dead cards vs. non aggro match ups?

I'd be happy to test with you by Superdank (not verified) at Fri, 01/22/2010 - 06:23
Superdank's picture

I'd be happy to test with you next time we are both online.
Couldn't Rune Snag or Mana Leak fill the same roll while not being dead cards vs. non aggro match ups?

I'd be happy to test with you by Superdank (not verified) at Fri, 01/22/2010 - 06:23
Superdank's picture

I'd be happy to test with you next time we are both online.
Couldn't Rune Snag or Mana Leak fill the same roll while not being dead cards vs. non aggro match ups?

First_Strike's picture

Nice article btw. Lots of follow-up conversation.

Yeah, the skred is my 9th by Doctor Anime at Fri, 01/22/2010 - 15:00
Doctor Anime's picture

Yeah, the skred is my 9th removal and it also raises the red count for martyr. An additional counter would be definitely stronger against control. Skred is terrible against MBCu, I usually just hold on to it as a weak "counter" to their tendrils in the first game. I believe it depends on the meta. Right now I think there's more WW / goblins out there than MBCu, so it stays skred. If there's more control then it should become a counter and the martyrs would leave the MD.

Your Article by Anonymous (not verified) at Sun, 01/24/2010 - 14:12
Anonymous's picture

This article, like all the articles on this site, needs more proofreading. Proofreading is tech. There are too many misspelled words and grammatical errors. If you're going to write an article and put it out there for the public to read, then you need to polish it. Don't rely on spellcheck alone to catch mistakes. A word can be spelled correctly and be the wrong word for the meaning that you intended.

The Editor by TopBossUltra (not verified) at Fri, 01/29/2010 - 12:52
TopBossUltra's picture

I agree with "anonymous" to an extent; however, I feel he focused too strongly on your article. As he does briefly mention, this is an issue with all articles on PureMTGO. Whether the problem is grammar, misspelled words, or redundancy, it's the editor's fault. I assume he likes the content of the articles, and that's why he posts them. That doesn't mean he gets to shirk on his duties.

I top 8'ed last sundays PE by onlyrunverynoob (not verified) at Wed, 02/03/2010 - 04:09
onlyrunverynoob's picture

I top 8'ed last sundays PE using a slightly modified version of your second deck. the g/b card advantage deck. My changes were -1 citanul woodreader -1 warren pilferer -4 sakura tribe elder +2 okiba gang shinobi +4 putrid leech main and +1 pilferer -1 okiba gang also -1 swamp +1 forest as in testing it came up more often then needed the swamp for some reason.

I lost only to UW blink. (a deck which I also beat twice) The time I lost was the first time playing vs it and I sideboarded very improperly. I misevaluated the roles and sided out removal, when in this matchup you want to side out your late game drops, side in duress, and be the beatdown.

Sakura tribe elder does nothing, putrid leech does everything. It gives you game vs WW, it lets you be the beatdown. Sakura tribe elder didnt ever do anything impressive for me in testing, getting stuck at 3 mana is hardly a problem as you have rats (of both kinds) and rager to draw you out of it.

I really like the deck, I beat storm the 2 time I played it thanks to nourish and rats+okiba gang.

Thanks for the decklist!


Wow, Dead Dog AND BGTempo by Doctor Anime at Wed, 02/03/2010 - 18:19
Doctor Anime's picture

Wow, Dead Dog AND BGTempo both made it to the top8 last PE! That's insane. Grats, orvn! Honestly I haven't put as much playtesting with that deck as I should've. STE was just there as a 2drop to chump + Rampant Growth, making sure chittering / penumbra be cast on time. I totally agree that Putrid Leech is a house, and you're probably right about the swap. I'll keep testing it. I'm very happy that the meta is shaking up and new decks are proving their worth!

Oh, and about the editor: I think it's a misleading title. He approves articles, I don't think he actually edits anything. That responsibility rests on the writers. However, since I'm terrible at editing, I've got a friend to edit my stuff from now on. Quality will go up!

Yeah I actually beat the dead by onlyrunverynoob (not verified) at Wed, 02/03/2010 - 21:29
onlyrunverynoob's picture

Yeah I actually beat the dead dog player that top 8ed in the 2nd or 3rd round, I forget. Dead dog is a hard matchup for BG tempo, if they get TE and start making 3 guys a turn thanks to rootwalla and grave scrabblers BG just cannot keep up. I won 2-1 and the 2 wins were both very close, I grinded out those last few points of damage, and the time I lost i got absolutely demolished.

Goblins is the easy matchup, WW is difficult without nausea and a complete blowout with it. Storm can beat you, you have to mull aggresivly to get the rats going. Post side you can duress grapeshot and gain a bunch with nourish (they usually need 2 grapeshot to kill you through that)

Bu control seems like a good matchup too as thier 1 for 1 removal just doesnt cut it vs a deck full of cantripping beasts, and even if they gain a bunch of life, they actually have to KILL you, as you always will have a superior board presense.

I really like the deck and I wish I could play more chittering rats as I feel its the MVP.