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By: gwyned, gwyned
Aug 04 2014 11:00am
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I. Introduction

Welcome to another special edition of Standard Pauper Deck Tech. This series, which originally ran during Season 9 of Monday Pauper Deck Challenge, took the winning decklist from each week's tournament and offered an analysis of the components, a quick run-down of the deck's strategy and Sideboard, and a video-cast of a sample match showcasing the deck. Our 25th season of MPDC just concluded, and I managed to pilot my own unique decklist to a 2nd place finish in our Season 25 Championship. So today I am pleased to present Selesnya Auras.

I actually first conceived the idea for this decklist just after Journey into Nyx was released into the format. The big idea behind this list was to capitalize on the power of Kruphix's Insight to draw the maximum of three cards. This requires a high density of enchantments in the deck, allowing you to average at least three of them among any six cards. This plan also synergizes well with Oakheart Dryads, which gives any creature an additional +1 / +1 counter anytime an Enchantment comes into play. Finally, it squeezes the most value possible out of Ethereal Armor, which is easily one of the most powerful cards in the format right now. Let's take a look at the decklist:

II. The Decklist

III. Deck Strategy

In my early testing, I quickly discovered that going "all-in" on the Enchantment plan wasn't consistent enough, especially since it left the deck so vulnerable to removal. Further testing revealed that the deck was aggressive enough that it didn't want to cast Kruphix's Insight early in a game, particularly since it tended to bury valuable Lands in the Graveyard. Finally, I also saw a need for some more robust creatures than the Bestow creatures that are available at the 1 and 2 drop slot. These factors all played a role in the iteration of the deck I played in the championship. Nonetheless, I would be the first to admit that there is still room to refine these numbers.

The overall strategy is an aggressive one. Drop either Leafcrown Dryad or Nyxborn Shieldmate early, utilize Oakheart Dryads to pump early creatures high enough to profitably attack each turn, and protect them from early removal with Gods Willing. Then, in the midgame, begin to build up a variety of powerful threats using Bestow and Ethereal Armor, getting rid of powerful blockers with Pacifism and taking care of any strong counterattacks with Celestial Flare. Ideally, sometime around Turn 4 or 5, refill my hand with Kruphix's Insight and ride that cascade of Enchantment spells to victory. Additionally, Auramancer allows you to recast nearly all the relevant cards in your deck, and also is a good target for Bestow in order to diversify your threats.

The Sideboard was specifically designed to combat White Weenie, RDW, and Azorius Aggro, utilizing cheap, defensive creatures like Deadly Recluse and Lagonna-Band Trailblazer to survive the early aggression until my more powerful threats could come online. Plummet is also quite strong against some versions of White Weenie, but is at its best against Azorius Aggro, given that it can unconditionally remove Cloudfin Raptor and Akroan Skyguard. Keening Apparition and Naturalize are also useful against all three of those archetypes, giving you another avenue to remove Pacifism and it's like as well as knock aside other Bestow creatures. Finally, Pit Fight is a great source of Instant-speed removal in the deck, but is somewhat conditional, and thus limited to only a single copy. Against any Control archetypes, my plan was simple: deal damage as fast as possible and hope that was enough to win!

IV. The Match

For Top 4 of the event, I was paired against the excellent DrChrisBakerDC, who was piloting a strong Orzhov Control deck. Although our second game proved to be somewhat of a blowout due to mana issues, Game One was one of the most exciting games I played all day. Take a look:


V. Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed this look at my Selesnya Aura deck. In closing, let me remind you that you can check out all of my previous articles here on PureMTGO by clicking here. I also publish over on my blog on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, and encourage you to keep up with all my projects there. You can get a sneak peek at any of my videos before they go live here at over on Simply search for "gwyned42," select one of my videocasts, and click the Subscribe button. You can keep up with everything I'm doing on Twitter at the username gwyned42; check out my profile here and click on Follow. Finally, I am the host of Monday Pauper Deck Challenge, which 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.


How would you port this over by NVOtosReborn at Wed, 08/06/2014 - 18:39
NVOtosReborn's picture

How would you port this over to "Vintage Pauper"? I considered running 1-2 Insights but it can't grab hexproof guys. Was considering maybe running a Hopeful Eidolon as a creature target when I need to refuel after a board wipe of sorts. Not really sure where to go from here, but it doesn't really matter since the format is super dead. Congrats on the finish!