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By: gwyned, gwyned
May 04 2015 12:00pm
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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. We are currently in our 29th season of MPDC (which ends with the release of each new set), and today I want to highlight a list that I piloted to a 2nd place finish in MPDC 29.03 that I have been calling Wintergreen.

My build was based upon a Mono-Green decklist that Standard Pauper enthusiast Gq1rf7 took to a back-to-back 1st place finish in both MPDC and SPDC the week before. In addition to streamlining the different Green creatures in the deck, my biggest change was to splash Blue so as to have access to both Anticipate and Treasure Cruise to help the deck find its answers and survive a longer game. However, the core strategy of the deck is still the same - quickly throw down an army of Green beaters and smash your opponent down, with the powerful Stampeding Elk Herd leading the charge! Let's take a look at my list.

II. The Decklist

III. Deck Strategy

In an ideal opener, Elvish Mystic helps you ramp up to an Alpine Grizzly or Nessian Courser on Turn 2, followed up with a swell of Life from Nylea's Disciple on the next turn, and dropping the Stampeding Elk Herd or Nessian Asp soon thereafter. Just swinging in with three or four creatures, enhanced with Trample thanks to the Formidable ability from the Elk Herd and backed up with a powerful surge from Aspect of Hydra, can easily be enough to finish off your opponent quite quickly. Alternatively, the pump spell can instead be used to sidestep most forms of removal, or even go toe-to-toe with a beefy Heroic creature. Swordwise Centaur is useful for those games in which you aren't able to ramp from 1 to 3 mana in the early game, or even to drop a couple on turn 4 rather than one of your bigger threats.

As I mentioned in my previous article, the two best cards in the format right now are almost certainly Gray Merchant of Asphodel and Treasure Cruise, so it makes sense to include one or both if you can. In this case, Treasure Cruise helps you refill on cards and takes advantage of your early aggression, which is likely to drop creatures into your Graveyard at a fairly good rate.  And although the mana base only includes 7 sources of Blue mana, most of the time you don't need access to either Treasure Cruise or Anticipate until you've moved into the midgame, giving you plenty of time to find a single source. Finally, Epic Confrontation gives you some nice spot-removal against your opponent's key creatures, and in the right spot can also help pump the creature up prior to swinging in for damage.

For the Sideboard, I chose to fight back primarily against Heroic and Red Deck Wins archetypes. Sedge Scorpion makes a great early defender, with Plummet and Naturalize helping to deal with pesky Flyers and annoying Auras respectively. Against more controlling archetypes, Ranger's Guile can help sidestep a heavy removal opponent, while the lone Vulpine Goliath gives you an additional late-game beater. Finally, Disdainful Stroke gives you the potential to deal with a particularly back-breaking and expensive spell, such as the double token spells in Izzet Control or the big swing from Gray Merchant of Asphodel.

IV. The Match

After a 2-1 showing in Swiss rounds (narrowly losing to an excellent Izzet Control build piloted by beatnik bobby in Round 3), I was paired against a new player by the name of Michelle Wong in the Top 8, who was also running a variant of Izzet Control, primarily substituting Ojutai's Summons for Flurry of Horns and including both Coral Barrier and Bloodfire Mentor maindeck. As of this writing Michelle's decklist has not been entered for the event, so I am otherwise unable to comment of her build. Anyway, here's the match:


V. Post-Game Thoughts on the Build

While I was relatively pleased with my list, after this event I am definitely considering a few changes. First, the deck needs more spot removal. Epic Confrontation was easily a MVP in the list, and including a full set should be a no-brainer. In fact, it might even be worth including a few copies of Savage Punch. Second, while seven Blue sources is probably sufficient, Evolving Wilds has such good synergy with Treasure Cruise that it might be worth trying to work a full playset of them into the mix. Third, Negate should definitely be substituted in for Disdainful Stroke. While you give up the ability to counter creatures, you gain the ability to make use of it against the Heroic decks, where countering Gods Willing or its variants can make all the difference in that matchup. Finally, I would like to find room for a playset of Leafcrown Dryad, as the deck is currently quite soft against Flyers.

V. Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed this look at this 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 #MPDC channel.

Finally, I have been gathering data regarding the time and day for our weekly Standard Pauper Player Run Events. If you're reading this article and haven't taken the time to make your opinion heard, I would strongly encourage you to do that. Just click here, make your selection, and submit. It takes just a minute, but the information collected will be a big consideration for future decisions regarding our events. And thanks so much to everyone who has already voted!

See you next time.