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By: khirareq, Jack Rose
Jul 05 2008 10:03pm
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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

Name: SPDC 6.02
Format: Standard Constructed
Registration: Thursday June 26th 2008,  8:30pm EST
Structure: 3 Rounds of Swiss followed by Single Elimination Top 8

Thursday night’s top eight showed a great deal of diversity, as paupers came out to try the new toys from Shadowmoor. This innovation leads to a lot of second guessing, even among top qualifiers. It is this give and take that turns untested ideas into powerful decks! Dark Evocation continues to make a strong showing in Standard events. It was joined at the top tables this week by UW Kithkin, Blue Beats, RDW and UW Blink, but it was The Great Dweamhebe.PVDDR who took home the trophy with his Grimdrifter build. Grimdrifter was one of the many decks that were proclaimed “the best deck in standard” last season, but never seemed to catch on with the pauper community as a whole. The basic premise of the deck is to abuse the card advantage that comes from Grim Harvest and the Evoke creatures (specifically Mulldrifter and Mournwhelk) to create a card advantage machine. Grimdrifter backs that up with removal and life gain to stay ahead of aggro. The Great Dweamhebe.PVDDR expanded on that philosophy by adding counterspells, which was probably inevitable. There are so many cards in pauper that you don’t ever want to see resolved, especially in conjunction with Momentary Blink and Grim Harvest, that counterspell strategies are critical in winning attrition wars against decks like Dark Evocation

Format: Classic Constructed
Registration Begins: Saturday June 28th, 2008, 10:30am EST
Structure: 4 Rounds of Swiss followed by Single Elimination Top 4

The swamp craze did not catch on in Classic this week, as the top four decks showed a wide diversity of colors but no black. Also missing was anything like a control deck. Instead, aggro-combo and aggro-control ruled the day, with Cloak with Burn facing off against Mono-blue Fish, and Thresher facing down the Blue Zoo. Having an Armadillo Cloak on your side once again proved to be a substantial advantage, as the little lifegainer that could helped push Calathan’s deck past the competition to earn him his second Classic trophy this season. Don’t laugh, it works! 

Name:  UPDC 4.03
Format: Future Extended Constructed
Registration Begins: Sunday June 29th 2008, 2:00pm EST
Structure: 4 Rounds of Swiss followed by Single Elimination Top 8
Winner: StilliRiseMUTC
The Future Extended aggro craze continued this week at UPDC. There was very little control present in the swiss, but it was definitely overrepresented at the top tables. When the dust cleared, the newest clan in Pauper, PDC Deck Lab, had the finals all to themselves, as Boin’s Streetbreakers faced off against StilliRise’s MUTC. This is the second week in a row we’ve seen G/R land control at the top table in spite of a paltry presence in the metagame. The deck style was popular at the beginning of last season, but its popularity faded as the season went on. Hide your bouncelands, because it looks like land destruction is back! Popularity alone could not put down StilliRise’s shield of counters however as his MUTC control deck defeated the Streetbreakers in three close games in the finals.
Name: MPDC 3.03
Format: Standard Contructed
Registration Begins: Monday June 30th, 2008, 1:30pm EST
Structure: 3 Rounds Swiss followed by Single Elimination Top 8
Winner:  Boin  – Grimdrifter

Paupers were Back in Black on Monday night, as the top tables were loaded down with swamps from Elves, Dark Evocation, and everyone’s favorite Grimdrifter. It was Boin’s counterspell-free version of Grimdrifter that wound up take home the trophy by defeating walkerdog’s Dark Evocation at the final table.

Name: BPDC 3.02
Format: Lorwyn Block Constructed
Registration Begins: Monday June 30th, 2008 8:30pm EST
Structure: 3 Rounds of Swiss followed by Single Elimination Top 4
Last week the question was – how will paupers solve the speedy burn machine that is Warrior Sligh? We’re still waiting for the answer. On Monday night Hokusai22 brandished Boin’s brand of burn and beaters to follow the first trophy for Warrior Sligh with the second. Last season there were no repeat trophies, but we already have our first repeater in the second week of the Shadowmoor season of Block! The deck is highly consistent like Steel Kithkins, but has the reach that is needed to push through the last points of damage that the Kithkin lack. So the question remains – will paupers be able to unseat the champ next week?
Name: TPDC 8.13
Format: Classic Constructed
Registration Begins: Tuesday July 1st, 2008, 8:30pm EST
Structure: 3 Rounds of Swiss followed by Single Elimination Top 8
Winner: BoinMBC


Boin was absolutely on fire this week! He’s mentioned eight times in this article, see if you can count them all! On Tuesday night he notched yet another victory in TPDC. This time he used a creature-based MBC deck similar to the one Grozathia won with last week. His opponent in the finals was kehemsis, who brought a very clever classic take on Dark Evocation called Angelic Evocation. The deck uses Angelic Renewal as a preemptive Blink, allowing creatures that are evoked to double their 187 effect and stay in play in the very early turns, leading to some absolutely backbreaking early game plays.


Name: XPDC 3.01
Format: Future Extended Constructed
Registration Begins: Monday July 2nd, 2008 8:30pm EST
Structure: 3 Rounds of Swiss followed by Single Elimination Top 4

Wednesday night XPDC returned from a long hiatus. XPDC was the tournament that started the Future Extended craze. Back a couple of seasons ago, Polyjak had the idea to create a format with a smaller card pool than classic, but a larger one than Standard. Extended online is much the same as classic, so he decided instead that the format would be a version of what Extended would look like after the next rotation. And thus Future Extended was born. XPDC made it through Season One very successfully, and the format grew in popularity. However, XPDC did not continue into Season Two due to hosting issues. That meant no Future Extended tournaments were being played on weeknights in American friendly time zones. I love the FutEx format, and the only way to be able to play it competitively was to host it myself, so host it I did.

Whereas European tournaments tend towards aggro, American time zone tournaments have a much heavier control environment. It was no different last night - the vast majority of decks that showed up were actually combo decks, followed by control and finally a smattering of aggro-combo This was not the aggressive metagame we are used to seeing in Future Extended! Several Goblin Ritual decks showed up that night. This deck takes the powerful Empty the Warrens + acceleration strategy and augments it with insane card drawing in the form of Distant MelodyChronicHeaves took this deck all the way to the finals, we he wound up against what could only be described as a nightmare matchup: the
Steam Machine. I go into great detail about this tournament and that match here on the event thread; it’s highly recommended reading!
The Clan Cup
There big event in the Clan Cup this week was the formation of PDC Deck Lab. The clan was formed by Kingritz, Boin and StilliRise. You’ll recognize those names from the top tables of the events that we had this week. These paupers immediately made a name for themselves and the brand new clan found itself on the leader board at the end of the first week. 
So after the dust settled, who was leading the Race for the Clan Cup?

1) PDC planeswalkers
2) Stonecutters
3) Everything in Common
4) PDC Deck Lab

1) Common Cause
2) Everything in Common
3) PDC Deck Lab
4) Greenwich Mean Tightwads

1) CerealKillaz
2) PDC Deck lab
3) Dragon Quest
4) League Warriors
Overall Championship

1) PDC Deck Lab
2) Common Cause
3) Everything in Common
4) Cerealkillaz

There was a great deal of movement from last week to this one, with new leaders in each of the four areas. In each of the formats except standard, the leader is separated from the pack by 2 points or less. CerealKillaz is really rocking standard however, racking up almost twice as many points as the next competitor.

Top 3 Players by Points:

Player Name
Points per Event

When you make the finals of every event you play in for a week, it does good things for your score. Boin discovered that this week as he went from the highest ranked free agent to the most winning player this season. As you can see, he is far out ahead of the pack. The Clan Cup is only in its second week, however, which gives the rest of you paupers plenty of time to catch up!
Solid metagame trends are emerging early in the Shadowmoor season. Those trends largely seem to involve putting Swamps in your deck if you want the win! Grimdrifter currently has a lock on Standard, while MBC controls the TPDC circuit, Warrior Sligh beats down on Block, and Future Extended…well, Future Extended is a very diverse format. Next week should bring a number of exciting innovations, as paupers continue to plumb the depths of decks available to them in pursuit of the next metagame breaker. Join me again next week to see what they come up with!


Angelic Evocation by lathspel (Unregistered) (not verified) at Tue, 07/08/2008 - 10:41
lathspel (Unregistered)'s picture

That turn 4 "discard 4 and I get a 3/3" is a definite backbreaker.

Thanks, hamtastic! by khirareq at Mon, 07/07/2008 - 12:31
khirareq's picture

I appreciate your support!

by hamtastic at Mon, 07/07/2008 - 09:15
hamtastic's picture

I love this article series!

I don't have time to really play much as it's summer but I'll always have a soft spot for PDC in all its variations.  Keep up the good work with this series!