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By: gwyned, gwyned
Jul 25 2011 1:55am
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I. Introduction

Several months ago, during Season 9 of Monday Pauper Deck Challenge, I did a weekly article on the winning decklist from each week's event entitled "Standard Pauper Deck Tech." While my current commitments no longer afford me the time to submit that frequently, I do miss the opportunity to provide relevant information from each week's MPDC tournament. After a bit of reflection, I thought of a similar format of article that would still allow me to provide timely feedback from each week while also requiring much less time to write and videocast. So today I want to test out this new format of article which I have tentatively titled "Standard Pauper Matchups." My goal will be to analyze the two decklists that make the Finals of the event as well as provide commentary from the Final match itself. Please feel free to comment and let me know what you think of this format and whether you would like to see more articles of this type in the future.

As always in my articles, let me remind you that the goal of this series is to highlight relevant information about the Standard Pauper format from the results of Monday Pauper Deck Challenge, commonly referred to as MPDC. MPDC is a weekly PRE featuring a Swiss tournament in the Standard Pauper format, with prizes awarded for the Top 8 finishers thanks to the sponsorship of MTGOTraders. As always, if you've never checked out MPDC, I encourage you to browse over to for all the information and then come join us at 2:00pm EST / 6:00pm GMT in the /join MPDC room. With the upcoming release of Magic 2012, a brand new season will soon be underway, which would be a perfect opportunity for newcomers to get their first taste of Standard Pauper.

This week I bring you the Final matchup of MPDC 13.06, where ImSoHawt's Bant Tokens deck faced DarkestNight's Kuldotha Red deck. The Token decklist has been a strong contender ever since the release of Rise of the Eldrazi, while Kuldotha Red is one of the few new archetypes to emerge from the Scars of Mirrodin expansion. Let's take a look at the two decklists and then briefly analyze what each deck is trying to accomplish.

II. The Decklists
A. Bant Tokens

Bant Tokens
as played by ImSoHawt in MPDC 13.06
4 Kor Skyfisher
4 Kozilek's Predator
4 Nest Invader
4 Sea Gate Oracle
4 Squadron Hawk
3 Suture Priest
2 Sylvan Ranger
25 cards

Other Spells
4 Inspired Charge
4 Journey to Nowhere
3 Shared Discovery
1 Sylvok Lifestaff
12 cards
7 Plains
4 Evolving Wilds
4 Forest
4 Island
4 Terramorphic Expanse
23 cards

4 Kor Sanctifiers
4 Plummet
3 Soul Parry
2 Sylvok Lifestaff
2 Negate
15 cards
Kozilek's Predator

Bant Tokens, as its name implies, relies heavily on the synergy from producing a horde of small creatures, whether they be 0/1 Eldrazi Spawn from Nest Invader and Kozilek's Predator or the 1/1 Hawk variety from Squadron Hawk. Other options include 0/1 Plants from Khalni Garden, 2/1 Elves in Viridian Emissary, 1/1 Elves in Sylvan Ranger or even 1/1 Myr from Master's Call. These swarms fuel either an aggressive stance using Inspired Charge or, more often than not, a more controlling stance utilizing Sea Gate Oracle and Shared Discovery. As in almost any successful deck in the current metagame, Kor Skyfisher greatly enhances these options, allowing the player to get squeeze additional card advantage out of each card. Suture Priest is a recent addition to the decklist, replacing Soul's Attendant as a way of converting the mass of creatures into Life Gain. The deck's only real weakness is its lack of removal, which usually is little more than Journey to Nowhere, backed up with more conditional removal out of the Sideboard like Soul Parry or Plummet.

One of my favorite tricks with this archetype revolves around Eldrazi Spawn tokens and Sylvok Lifestaff. For the small investment of a single mana, one can equip the Lifestaff to the Spawn, sacrifice it to generate an additional mana, use this mana to requip the Lifestaff to another Spawn, and repeat as desired. This can generate a ton of Life very quickly, allowing the player to keep a very healthy Life Total and thus survive into the long-game where the synergy of deck can reach its full potential. This defense alone is typically enough to defeat most aggressive archetypes.

Other options with this decklist include Might of the Masses as an excellent Combat Trick to win the game out of nowhere and Ulamog's Crusher as a powerful late-game finisher enabled by all of the mana that the player has at his or her disposal.

B. Kuldotha Red

Kuldotha Red
as played by DarkestNight in MPDC 13.06
4 Goblin Bushwhacker
4 Perilous Myr
4 Porcelain Legionnaire
12 cards

Other Spells
4 Flayer Husk
4 Ichor Wellspring
4 Kuldotha Rebirth
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Panic Spellbomb
4 Searing Blaze
3 Staggershock
2 Artillerize
29 cards
17 Mountain
2 Teetering Peaks
19 cards

Kuldotha Rebirth

As I mentioned earlier, Kuldotha Red is a fairly new addition to the Standard Pauper metagame, based off the interaction between Kuldotha Rebirth and artifacts that include beneficial effects when they are placed in the Graveyard. Typical options include Ichor Wellspring, Mycosynth Wellspring, Panic Spellbomb, and Perilous Myr. The resulting Goblin tokens can then be used to fuel a well-timed Artillerize, to be powered up with Flayer Husk, or to swing in for massive damage off the back of a kicked Goblin Bushwhacker. Couple this with an aggressive mix of creatures and burn spells, and this archetype is quite capable of rapidly reducing an opponent to zero Life. Not surprisingly, the number of choices one has to make with this list is usually small. Although there are a few decisions to be made, one will rarely go wrong by simply swinging in each round for as much damage as possible!

That said, Kuldotha Red has struggled to make Top 8 during the season, and as of yet no single build has been recognized as standard. A Metalcraft theme has been tested to fuel Galvanic Blast through adding a few additional artifacts such as Myr Sire. Goblin Arsonist and Blisterstick Shaman have also seen play, giving the deck the ability to trade up against more powerful creatures. Teetering Peaks seems an obvious addition, although the limited number of Lands in the decklist increases its drawback of coming into the battlefield tapped. Porcelain Legionnaire is likewise a fairly new addition, but seems to fit the list very well, creating a cheap and aggressive creature that will kill or trade with just about any other creature in the metagame.

The biggest drawback to Kuldotha Red is its lack of reach. Once the player has used up most of his resources, it is very difficult to keep up with the card advantage that most other decks generate. Control has long been the dominant strategy in Standard Pauper, and it remains to be seen whether or not Kuldotha Red can compete against such decks over the long term.

III. The Match

IV. Conclusion

And with that, I conclude this inaugural edition of Standard Pauper Matchups. Just a reminder, if you would like a sneak peak at my content before it goes live here at, you can always browse over to, search for "gwyned42," select one of my video-casts, and click the Subscribe button. You can also now follow me on Twitter at the username gwyned42; check out my profile here and click on Follow. Let me also extend a special thanks to all my fellow Standard Pauper players who have taken the time to thank me for these articles. I truly believe that Standard Pauper is an important format, at least for Magic Online, and I also enjoy the opportunity to meet new Standard Pauper players and help them jump into this format. Thanks so much for taking the time to read my thoughts, watch the videos, and comment on my articles. See you next time!


This is awesome! I especialy by PiDave at Mon, 07/25/2011 - 03:23
PiDave's picture

This is awesome! I especialy like the game commentary, it's great to be able to see that without having to pull an all-nighter. :-)