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By: khirareq, Jack Rose
Jun 12 2008 11:01pm
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PDC stands for Pauper Deck Challenge, a format where only commons are allowed. This popular format hosts to several PRE’s each week with numerous subformats to choose from. To find a game of pauper in the MTGO client, go to the /join pdc room. To learn more about our beloved format, check out
Format: Standard Constructed
Registration: Thursday June 5th 2008,  8:30pm EST
Structure: 3 Rounds of Swiss followed by Single Elimination Top 4

After pushing back the Championship of SPDC last week, those paupers who qualified to compete in Thursday night’s big event were eager to start slinging spells. The event’s host Icarodx allowed a little extra time to start and adjudicated some technical issues with the Season Points, and they were off! Spells were flying fast and furious, so fast and so furious in fact that…they crashed the client. Well, Thursday night’s crash probably can’t be blamed entirely on SPDC. The Shadowmoor patch on Wednesday seems to have introduced a lot of interesting new bugs to the system, such as Okiba-Gang Shinobis only forcing one discard instead of two, and Ravnica color enhanced spells like Steamcore Weird not being enhanced. It seems likely to me that something in that update also caused the instability that led to the crash.  As a result standard paupers will have to wait one more week to crown a champion for Season 5. Here’s hoping the third time’s a charm!

Format: Classic Constructed
Registration Begins: Saturday June 7th, 2008, 10:30am EST
Structure: 6 Rounds of Swiss followed by Single Elimination Top 4


Next up on the list of tournaments to be cancelled due to Wednesday’s update was Classic PDC. The cards which were bugged with the latest patch are popular in several classic decks, and so rather than playing the tournament in a buggy state, the hosts of Saturday morning’s event decided to postpone it, in hopes that a better card pool might be available to them at a later date. 


Format: Future Extended Constructed
Registration Begins: Sunday June 8th 2008, 2:00pm EST
Structure: 4 Rounds of Swiss followed by Single Elimination Top 8
Winner: yogev_ezraElves!


The bugs had a bigger effect on the card pool for the Future Extended format than any other. Several of the most popular and successful decks in Future Extended were affected by them. Decks like Orzhov Blink and Cogs ‘n Stripes which use the Shinobis and enhanced creatures tend to be strong decks against aggro. Without these decks to thwart them, aggressive strategies became a stronger tournament choice. So in a way, the release of Shadowmoor had an effect on the FutEx metagame before it even came out! Of the seven invited players who participated only four posted decklists, so it is hard to tell how much effect the bugs had on UPDC’s outcome, but it was an aggro deck that took home the crown. Yogev_ezra had more success this week with his Elves! deck than last week at MPDC’s finale, defeating Belette’s ironically named Needs Steamcore Weird deck and winning his first PDC world championship!
A Word about Trophies
Authors such as myself can use a variety of phrases to express the idea of “so and so won this event.” For example, I could say that a person “was crowned” or “took the gold medal”. These are commonly accepted figures of speech, as there are no actual crowns or medals changing hands. When I say that a person “won the trophy” at a PDC event though, I am being literal. The good folks at PDCMagic actually create trophies for the winners of most PDC sanctioned events in the form of a deck tag with the winner’s name, event name, deck name, and some card art related to the deck. This gives players a colorful adornment for their profile page, as well as a place in the history of PDC in one of the format’s trophy rooms. Polyjak started this practice at the original Princes of Pauper blog. In the beginning he created trophies exclusively for the winners of SPDC events. After the creation of PDCMagic the practice spread to other events, and now a team of artists led by LostSymphonies creates trophies for PDC champions on a regular basis. If you have a spare moment and an appreciation of art or history, check out the trophy rooms for the Classic, Standard, Future Extended and Block formats. You’ll be glad you did!
Format: LLM All Commons Draft
Registration Begins: Monday June 9th, 2008, 1:30pm EST
Structure: 3 Rounds Single Elimination draft
Many moons ago when PDCMagic was just starting, site admin WoCoNation had the brilliant vision that pauper could support an all-commons draft. And thus Draftling was born! The program randomly distributes “packs” of 15 common cards (with no lands!), which the players draft normally. At the end of the draft, the program allows players to build decks with the cards they drafted, and then distributes a text file of that deck to each player to upload into MTGO. I’ve personally found Draftling to be as different from normal drafting as PDC is from normal constructed. A lack of mass removal coupled a low number of bombs in the format rewards the player who can draft high value cards the most consistently. The program is still in Beta form, so there are still some kinks to be worked out with the program (gosh, that sounds familiar!)  Plus, there are some issues with the format – MTGO lacks a utility to “deck check” outside of Premiere Events (which would be really handy, if anyone on the MTGO development team is reading), and a player must own all the cards that he or she drafts in order to play them, which is not a problem in a normal draft. On the plus side you can play a free draft outside of the normal shark pool with a minimum investment and have a load of fun doing it!
As a between-season “special event,” MPDC’s host stiffdiddypinky ran a casual Draftling event. The finals pitted stiffdiddypinky's removal heavy RBU deck against Hokusai’s GW beaters. It was a tense back and forth battle that went to three rounds, and was only decided when…MTGO crashed. 
Well, that’s three out of four PDC events the troubled client has claimed so far this week. With BPDC’s Season Finale scheduled for later that night, will system instability cancel the fourth?
Format: Lorwyn Block Constructed
Registration Begins: Monday June 9th, 2008 8:30pm EST
Structure: 3 Rounds of Swiss followed by Single Elimination Top 4
Tensions were high before the event even began, as MTGO crashed right before registration was about to begin. Polyjak, the event’s host, waited 30 minutes after the beginning of registration to see if the client would come back up. The client used every second of it, finally restarting at exactly 9:00. For all the trouble before the tournament, the event itself ran smoothly. Lorwyn block had a widely varied metagame during season two, with several archetypes showing up consistently but no deck taking more than one trophy. Tonight it was Aetherbraider's turn, as Skeletoy77 used the impressive tempo-based aggro deck to avenge his loss in the finals last week by defeating squirrelrevolution's Block Elves and taking home his first World Championship trophy!
Name: TPDC 8.10
Format: Classic Constructed
Registration Begins: Tuesday June 10th, 2008, 8:30pm EST
Structure: 3 Rounds of Swiss followed by Single Elimination Top 8
Winner: EvuGrand Entrance
Tuesday night’s event featured a good blend of control, aggro-control, combo decks and one aggro deck. TPDC players showed off their innovative spirit with a handful of Rogue decks like GW Sliver/Saps, GR Arcane and GBuw Teachings Control. Of these only GBuw Teachings Control made the quarterfinals, with Classic stalwarts MUC, Grand Entrance and RG Beats filling up the other slots. That aggro deck I mentioned earlier was the RG Beats, which was piloted into the finals by PureMTGO’s own walkerdogGrand Entrance’s combination of lifegain, card advantage and evasion proved to be too much for the aggressive strategy, making Evu the winner of TPDC 8.10!
Even though troubles with clients and bugs disrupted half of the scheduled events last week intrepid paupers still managed to crown a pair of World Champs. Next week will bring the answer to many questions. Will SPDC finally finish its finale? Will Classic PDC fire? Will the newly created card bugs be fixed? Will any Shadowmoor cards find their way into trophy winning decklists? Join me again next week for the answers to these questions and more!


by SypherSun (Unregistered) (not verified) at Fri, 06/13/2008 - 18:58
SypherSun (Unregistered)'s picture

Draftling stopped responding twice, figures since it is in beta. We just went to and last picked rares. Last pick Foil Garruk anyone?

Draftling by SypherSun (Unregistered) (not verified) at Fri, 06/13/2008 - 06:55
SypherSun (Unregistered)'s picture

I did not play the finals of MPDC, stiffdiddypinky did. But the crash did decide it :( Also, we switched from Draftling to because Draftling is still in Beta and you can feel that. It crashed on us twice....

Corrected! by khirareq at Fri, 06/13/2008 - 07:25
khirareq's picture

I fixed the name of the finalist.  Thanks for the correction!  See what I mean we I say we are a community? :)

I did not know that about the Draftling crashes or ccgdecks, though.  I didn't even know that program supported all commons drafting.  How did you pull that off?

by SpikeBoyM at Fri, 06/13/2008 - 21:19
SpikeBoyM's picture

Classic has a number of rounds dependant on the number of entrants (either 4 or 5) and a top 4 or top 8, also determined by number of participants.

TPDC metagame by lathspel (Unregistered) (not verified) at Sat, 06/14/2008 - 00:03
lathspel (Unregistered)'s picture

Sorry, I didn't get the TPDC metagame updated until today.  I've changed it from Thresher.

I think I saw Mongrel plus Gathan Raiders, and that to me means Thresher.  I did not watch closely enough at the time to determine that it was a Madness deck but not a Thresh deck.  (In my defense, I was getting my face pounded in for the two games I watched most closely.)

Please by walkerdog at Fri, 06/13/2008 - 00:06
walkerdog's picture

I know you called it Thresher cuz the meta report called it that, but it was RG Beatz (it had no Thresh-related stuff MD).

Oops! by khirareq at Fri, 06/13/2008 - 06:10
khirareq's picture

Thanks for the correction walkderdog!

I somehow missed that in looking at the decklist.  I have gone back and corrected the article.  Any chance I could get you to input that deck into Gatherling?  It's the only top 4 deck that's not there, and that helps the title and archetype really stand out.