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By: gwyned, gwyned
Sep 05 2016 12:00pm
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I. Introduction

I don't know about anyone else, but I certainly have been enjoying the return of my Standard Pauper Deck Tech column after its long hiatus. 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 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 four events into our 34th season of this event (which ends with the release of each new set). Since I already covered the Izzet Spells deck that took first place this week, today I will instead highlight the list that Ravager1 piloted to 2nd place in MPDC 34.03.

This week's build is a Gruul Tokens deck built around Impact Tremors, which deals one damage to your opponent every time a creature comes into play under your control. To take full advantage of this interaction, it includes several of the Drones from Battle for Zendikar that create Eldrazi Scions when they enter the battlefield, giving you multiple activations from most of your creature spells. It augments this strategy with a nice mix of card draw and burn, with just enough pump spells to use as a finisher in the right scenario. Let's take a look at the decklist:

II. The Decklist


III. Deck Strategy

Ideally, this deck wants to drop Impact Tremors as early as possible, then start flooding the board with multiple creatures using Dragon Fodder, Scion Summoner, and Eyeless Watcher. That last card also serves as the perfect sacrifice target to get It of the Horrid Swarm, since you get a four mana discount and only lose one of the three creatures that it produces. As the activations off Impact Tremors brings down your opponent's Life total, eventually you're able to swing in for lethal damage with all your tokens, aided by the massive pump from Might of the Masses thanks to all the tokens you've produced. Provided you can play out this sequence, there is very little your opponent can do to stop it save for a well-timed Boiling Earth or its equivalent.

Fortunately, even when this ideal draw doesn't pan out, the deck has the ability to stall and find what it needs. Elvish Visionary is particularly good here, giving you another token while also letting you draw one card deeper, and even its modest two mana reduction is often enough to let you get It of the Horrid Swarm relatively early. Tormenting Voice also provides a reliable source of additional card draw, and is particularly good when you can combo it with a well-timed Fiery Temper on the cheap. But perhaps most important of all, the full playset of Pulse of Murasa provides both the Lifegain and the recursion so that you can survive into the long game and assemble the pieces you need to win.

Ravager1's Sideboard choices included some interesting options. The four copies of Fiery Impulse give the deck some additional removal spells, which is quite important when going up against the popular Izzet Spells deck I featured last week, since one of the best things you can do is simply get rid of all that deck's creatures. Touch of the Void can also help in that instance, but is even better against GB Control or other Graveyard recursion strategies, since this card allow you to permanently remove your opponent's most important creature, even if it's just a humble Sanitarium Skeleton. Further, as I mentioned above, Boiling Earth is devastating against this deck, so it's definitely a spell you want access to in the mirror. Additionally, having access to one more copy of Might of the Masses can be important, since it is fairly easy for your opponent to counter or remove the target when you cast it. This list also included two Caustic Caterpillar to serve both as tokens and as hate against Enchantments and Artifacts, which can also prove very helpful in the mirror. Finally, you also have access to a singleton Magmatic Chasm to break through a board stall for an alpha strike and Revealing Wind as a last ditch stratagem to sidestep a similar move by your opponent.

IV. The Match

This match is taken from Round 1 of MPDC 34.05, where I was paired against Paranoid_Android playing a Rakdos Madness Burn deck. This was the first of 5 match wins in a row for me in this event, prior to finally getting demolished in the Finals. This video does a good job of illustrating both the strengths and resilience of the RG Tremors deck even after I experienced quite a rough start. Enjoy!

V. Post-Game Thoughts

On the whole I was quite pleased with the decklist, and there really isn't anything I would change in the main deck as long as I was limited to just these two colors. But given the overall weakness of the deck to Boiling Earth, I would definitely explore how this deck might splash Blue to give it access to Negate to counter it. Other potential Blue cards might include Claustrophobia to give the deck some way of dealing with large creatures and Wretched Gryff to give the deck another powerful Emerge creature that can also serve as a different win condition. For the Sideboard, I would also want to include a couple copies of Rolling Thunder, as this would give the deck a little bit more reach in the late game once your opponent has stabilized. Given all the Eldrazi Spawn the deck has access to, it would be great to have something to do with all that extra mana. 

VI. Conclusion

And with that I conclude this Standard Pauper Deck Tech on the RG Termors 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 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 PureMTGO.com over on YouTube.com. 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 PDCMagic.com for all the information and then come join us at 2:00pm EST / 6:00pm GMT in the #MPDC channel.