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By: gwyned, gwyned
Aug 22 2016 11:00am
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I. Introduction

It's been a long time coming, but I am happy to announce the return of my weekly Standard Pauper Deck Tech. This series, which originally ran during Season 9 of Monday Pauper Deck Challenge, will take the winning decklist from the Monday Standard Pauper tournament on Magic Online and offer 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 currently in our 34th season of this event (which ends with the release of each new set), and today I want to highlight the list that JogandoPelado used to take home the trophy from MPDC 34.01.

This build is all about the two best creatures to enter the format from Eldritch Moon: It of the Horrid Swarm and Wretched Gryff. It relies upon Eldrazi Spawn and other sources of mana ramp to generate a ton of mana, and then dump these mighty Eldrazi onto the battlefield turn after turn, backed up with some Graveyard recursion, Lifegain, and pump spells. Green based decks have been dominating the metagame as of late, and this deck is well-situated to continue that trend. Let's take a look at the decklist.

II. The Decklist

GU Emerge
1st place in MPDC 34.01 by JogandoPelado
4 Eldrazi Skyspawner
4 Elvish Visionary
4 Eyeless Watcher
4 It of the Horrid Swarm
4 Scion Summoner
4 Ulvenwald Captive
4 Wretched Gryff
1 Monastery Loremaster
29 cards

Other Spells
4 Pulse of Murasa
4 Might of the Masses
8 cards
10 Forest
9 Island
4 Evolving Wilds
23 cards


III. Deck Strategy

At least prior to Sideboarding, this deck has no card draw, no removal spells, and no permission spells. It's tightly focused on its primary strategy: generate a ton of tokens, get your Emerge creatures onto the virtual battlefield, and repeatedly smash your opponent before he or she can take control of the board. In this it plays out like a perfect midrange archetype, in that it can go bigger and more controlling than an Aggro deck, but is also capable of winning fast enough to prevent a more Control build from taking hold. It also has the advantage of generating multiple creatures with its spells, whether that be with the Eldrazi Spawn from Eldrazi Skyspawner, Eyeless Watcher, or Scion Summoner, or the replacement cards drawn by Elvish Visionary and Wretched Gryff. In a format where cheap and effective removal spells are the norm, this advantage shouldn't be overlooked. And like almost every Green deck right now, this list also includes Pulse of Murasa, allowing you to recur these creatures while also creating a healthy Life total buffer. In fact, the one-off Monastery Loremaster is included just for this reason, often acting as a fifth copy of this cornerstone spell, with another one in the Sideboard for when you really need to draw it.

In addition to giving you the mana to cast your Emerge creatures early on, all these tokens also combo perfectly with Might of the Masses, which often ends up being your best win condition against a variety of other decks. Ulvenwald Captive can also perform a similar role, giving you some much-needed mana ramp in the early turns, then flipping it into its Abomination form, which is large enough to tangle with most of the creatures in the format. However, even when neither of these are sufficient to win the game, simply turning all your creatures sideways over multiple turns, sacrificing them in reckless abandon in the process, can sometimes be enough to finish off a weakened opponent.

For the Sideboard, the deck can bring in some additional options, sacrificing its laser focus to help shore itself up against particular archetypes. The new Take Inventory can be a helpful way to keep up with Control decks, giving the deck more reach into the long game. Sigiled Starfish can also serve in this role, but can be doubly useful against more Aggro strategies, since its three Toughness is big enough to protect your Life total while also allowing you to search for answers. Speaking of answers, Negate continues its reign as one of the best permission spells at Common, dealing with all sorts of powerful cards that your opponent might throw at you, or even just keeping a creature alive for one more turn. Finally, Epic Confrontation gives the deck some much-needed removal

IV. The Match

This match is taken from Round 2 of MPDC 34.02, where I was paired against emerald000 playing a variant of Sultai Control, which was last season's most dominant deck. This is obviously an important matchup to feel comfortable with, as Eldritch Moon brought with it several solid options for this deck, potentially allowing it to continue to thrive in the current metagame. So let's take a look at the match:

V. Post Game Thoughts

Overall I think this list is pretty solid. Its biggest weakness is its reliance on tokens, which can be a huge liability if Red based decks become popular in the metagame, thanks to their access to cards like Boiling Earth and Twin Bolt. Probably the card I found the weakest was Ulvenwald Captive. While its flip side can be a potent threat, as a 1/2 Defender that doesn't come down until Turn 2 at the earliest, its effect on the board state is pretty mediocre most of the time. I also find that the deck is slow enough that it can probably manage three colors, allowing you to splash for Impact Tremors, which would be a huge asset to the deck assuming you can get it into play early enough. I would also swap out the four copies of Epic Confrontation for Claustrophobia, as this deck really wants unconditional removal to help deal with other massive creatures being cast in the current metagame.

VI. Conclusion

And with that I conclude this first entry in this new Standard Pauper Deck Tech column. 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 /join MPDC room.