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By: gwyned, gwyned
Nov 07 2016 11:00am
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I. Introduction

Welcome back to another Standard Pauper Deck Tech. This series, which originally ran during Season 9 of Monday Pauper Deck Challenge, takes the winning decklist from previous week's Monday Standard Pauper tournament (known as MPDC) on Magic Online and offers 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. We are only two weeks into Season 35 of MPDC, so there's still plenty of things to discover in the new metagame. Today, I will be looking at a new Esper Control archetype enabled by Kaladesh that looks to combine removal spells and some of the new Artifact synergies to create a ton of card advantage and us it to eventually overwhelm the opponent.

Standard Pauper player GotThisForSOI showed some cool innovation in this list that he took to first place in MPDC 35.02. Between Aviary Mechanic and Ironclad Slayer, the format has some great ways to recur Enchantments and Artifacts, and that's really at the heart of what this deck is all about. It can reuse its removal spells, draw quite a few cards, and press its advantage by means of what has become one of the most important cards in the format: Self-Assembler. Let's take a look at his decklist.

II. The Decklist

III. Deck Strategy

As I discussed last week, recently Standard Pauper has become all about its powerful creatures. Wretched Gryff is easily one of the most important, since a 3/4 body with Flying that also draws you a card is quite strong, and the fact that you can use Emerge to "cheat" it makes it all the better. But even that can't compare to the major card advantage created by Self-Assembler. While it may only be a vanilla 4/4 Artifact creature, the fact that it allows you to chain them together until you've drawn all four has made this into the card that will probably define the format for some time to come. Supporting these two powerful creatures are Ironclad Slayer and Aviary Mechanic, which allow you to recur your other permanents by either fetching them out of the Graveyard or bouncing them back into your hand. A lone copy of Eldrazi Devastator also gives the deck one other big end-game threat.

The spells in the deck fall into either draw spells or removal. It addition to strong Black removal spells like Murder, Complete Disregard, and Oblivion Strike, the deck also plays almost a full playset of both Dead Weight and Boon of Emrakul, which can be fetched back by Ironclad Slayer once they've killed the creature they enchant. Additionally, the latter removal spell can also be used offensively with any of the larger creature to deal an extra 3 points of damage and finish off your opponent unexpectedly. Additionally, while Take Inventory has become the de facto best draw spell in the format, in this deck Prophetic Prism can also generate multiple activations by bouncing it with the Aviary Mechanic, and the fact that it also helps fix your three colors is certainly a nice bonus.

The Sideboard includes another six removal spells between additional copies of  Oblivion Strike and Complete Disregard alongside Scour from Existence and Grasp of Darkness to give you plenty of solid options depending on what mix of creatures your opponent is playing. Against more Control-oriented matchups, you also have several permissions spells, including both the perennial favorite Negate and the newcomer Revolutionary Rebuff, which is a great spell in that it will sometimes incline your opponent to play around it after they've seen it the first time, even if you never draw it again. Additionally, the fourth copy of Aviary Mechanic can also be a good option if your opponent is playing lots of Aura-based removal. Finally, the three copies of Ruin Processor are also great in prolonged matches in that they not only give you another big threat but often provide enough Life to keep you alive longer than your opponent.

IV. The Match

My opponent for this match was once again AlwaysFace, who was playing a Golgari variant on the Simic Eldrazi he was playing the previous week. Like last week, it was another prolonged battle, with Self-Assembler playing a very important role in our games. Once again we ended up going to three games, with plenty of solid play between us. Hope you enjoy it!

V. Post Game Thoughts

GotThisForSOI went 6-0 with this deck, so it's hard to argue with his results. The only card whose absence I thought was remarkable was Choking Restraints, since this card not only can be returned from the Graveyard with Aviary Mechanic but also allows you to exile the enchanted creature once you get up to five mana, which then synergies well with Ruin Processor post-Sideboard. Gearseeker Serpent would also be a great late-game option for this deck, since it plays enough Artifacts to get it into play early and is a threat that your opponent would have to deal with relatively quickly. Finally, once again I would also consider a singleton copy of Tezzeret's Ambition, as that card can be so devastating in the late game when both players are top-decking.

VI. Conclusion

And with that I conclude this Standard Pauper Deck Tech on Esper Control. 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 and Thursdays, 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 / 7:00pm GMT in the #MPDC channel.