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By: JXClaytor, Joshua Claytor
Sep 23 2007 9:17pm
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PDC is an all player run format on Magic Online.  It consists of competitive games using exclusively commons cards.  Games can be found in the "/join pdc" room and events can be found on the Magic Online official message boards.  For more information please visit paupermagic.com!

When I last left you, I had finished up reviewing what I feel is the weakest color for Classic Pauper, Black.  I still stand my thoughts on the color, because it seems really weak.  I do not mean to slight Thrull Retainer, but come on, there are just better cards in the format than most of the randomly printed stuff from the color. 

Enough of the talk about the last article though, I'm sure you all are looking forward to what I have to say about the remaining commons from Master's Edition, I'll share my thoughts on what I think is playable.  This of course is an exercise in creating discussion in the community.  I'm trying to break in with the Pauper crowd, so I hope that what I have to say is accepted, and if it is not accepted, I hope we can have a discussion as to why it was not. 

Remember, I'm going to be wrong.  I am going to miss a card that breaks the format wide open.  I am not going to discuss your favorite card, and that may upset you, and I apologize for that in advance.  I am going to use the same rating system as I did in the previous article. 

Red

Artifact Blast:  I'm not sure why I like this card as much as I do.  However, I see this is a reactive answer to Affinity.  Will it take the place of Electrostatic Bolt?  More than likely it will not replace Bolt, or Shatter for that matter.  However, it does give you another tool in order to beat the Artifact menace. 

Artifact Blast

Sideboard MVP

Lightning Bolt
Constructed All Star. 
Lightning Bolt:  Hands down the best common burn spell ever printed.  It's simple, effective, and has one of the highest Damage to Mana Spent ratios in the game.  Lightning Bolt will see the most play out of this set, and it is the most important addition in my mind to the Classic format. 
Pyroblast:  It's not pretty, and it's really out of flavor, but Red gets a much needed card for the Mono Blue matchups.  I can not imagine how many Ninja of the Deep Hours are going to get destroyed by this spell, but I would guess it will end up being more than one. 
Pyroblast
Sideboard MVP

Green

Fyndhorn Elves
Constructed Playable. 
Fyndhorn Elves:  It's another Llanowar Elves, which will allow some aggro decks to play with eight one mana acceleration creatures.  Can you imagine what kind of giant idiots the color can spew out now?  Craw Wurm is not even remotely playable, and this guy can make him happen on turn four now.  Speed kills, and the addition of this fine young gentleman may be overkill. 
Thorn Thallid
Constructed Playable.
Thorn Thallid:  He's not very impressive all by himself, however I do not want to point out one key thing.  He's direct damage in green.  This means he can deal with this annoying Protection from Red creatures that seem to be in the format.  Since the ones that I am thinking of off the top of my head have a one toughness, I think this guy could see some play. 
Nature's Lore:  Deck thinning, mana acceleration and a shuffle mechanic all wrapped up into one tight little package.  Noting that this guy puts the forest into play, which could be good if you need to make a creature as well. 
Nature
Constructed Playable.

Ghazban Ogre:  I keep flip flopping on this guy.  Is he going to be good?  He should be as he was a center peice in a classic Magic deck, Ten Land Stompy.  However, can this guy be as good in this format as he was in the real world with out some of the cheap pump that we were able to use?  When Rancor finally comes on to MTGO, I suspect this guy is going to be a beast in the format, right now though, I just do not see enough of the solid fast creatures that one would need to take advantage of him. 

 

 

Artifacts

Shield Sphere
Constructed Playable. 
Shield Sphere:  This guy is going to be great in Grand Enterance, other than that, I can not see where else he would fit in the format. 
Onulet:  Here is my theory on this guy.  Most of the White decks run Aven Riftwatcher, because he gains them some much needed life.  Other decks will need life against Burn Range, so why not give this guy a try out in the sideboard? 
Onulet
Sideboard MVP

Top Five Commons for Classic Pauper From Master's Edition:

1.  Lightning Bolt:  This should not be a surprise, this spell is the A Number One Duke of New York! 

2.  Arcane Denial:  Going to have a huge impact on Mono Blue and slots will have to be opened for this important cheap counterspell. 

3.  Exile:  Life gaining creature removal. 

4.  Pyroblast:  Great tool for a color that often times does not have counter spells. 

5.  Hydroblast:  Another great cheap counterspell for the blue deck that can deal with troubling permenants in play. 

Lightning Bolt

Was there ever any doubt as to what card is the best in the set for Classic? 

Okay you all, I am done with my Pauper review for Master's Edition.  I hope I have presented you all with a very good arguing point, and hope to see a lot of discussion in regards to this.  As for me, I'm going to take a break from Classic, and start working on my Time Spiral Pauper deck, I really want to qualify for UPDC worlds! 

0 Comments

by Grozathia at Tue, 09/25/2007 - 10:11
Grozathia's picture

I'd like to hear the argument for Arcane Denial in MUC.

From my perspective, it's hard to justify it's inclusion. It counters, replaces it's self, then replaces you're opponents spell and gives him or her another card.

Don't get me wrong, I want to like this card as it's another hard counter for two. I'd really like you to convince me that it should be used.

by Grozathia at Tue, 09/25/2007 - 10:38
Grozathia's picture

Guess I really wanted this question answered. Sorry about the quadruple post.

Arcane Denial by Grozathia at Tue, 09/25/2007 - 07:35
Grozathia's picture

I'd like to hear the argument for Arcane Denial in MUC.

From my perspective, it's hard to justify it's inclusion. It counters, replaces it's self, then replaces you're opponents spell and gives him or her another card.

Don't get me wrong, I want to like this card as it's another hard counter for two. I'd really like you to convince me that it should be used.

by Grozathia at Tue, 09/25/2007 - 07:34
Grozathia's picture

I'd like to hear the argument for Arcane Denial in MUC.

From my perspective, it's hard to justify it's inclusion. It counters, replaces it's self, then replaces you're opponents spell and gives him or her another card.

Don't get me wrong, I want to like this card as it's another hard counter for two. I'd really like you to convince me that it should be used.

by Grozathia at Tue, 09/25/2007 - 07:35
Grozathia's picture

I'd like to hear the argument for Arcane Denial in MUC.

From my perspective, it's hard to justify it's inclusion. It counters, replaces it's self, then replaces you're opponents spell and gives him or her another card.

Don't get me wrong, I want to like this card as it's another hard counter for two. I'd really like you to convince me that it should be used.

by JohnnyHardcore at Mon, 09/24/2007 - 19:31
JohnnyHardcore's picture

Shield Sphere only really saw play in Fruity Pebbles (Enduring Renewal/Goblin Bombardment combo) because you wanted more than 4 0 mana artifacts so you could save your E Tutors to find the enchantments, and P Walker + Shield Sphere was better than P Walker + Ornithopter.  Actually, I don't even remember if Thopter was legal then, it's been a while since I played that deck...  But anyways, that's the only reason he saw play then, he was less dead of a draw than the thopter if you drew multiple 0 cc critters.

Blanket response by JXClaytor at Mon, 09/24/2007 - 15:58
JXClaytor's picture

While I was writing this I got all tore into some of the decks from Magic's past.  While I was doing this I was also researching the Classic format, and saw Grand Enterance.  When I got to Shield Sphere, I was like man, that card saw some playing in Enduring Renewal combo decks, maybe it could here.  

GE is not the place for Shield Sphere.  Affinity may be a better home. 

Artifact blast is just another removal spell.  I believe I have overvalued affinity, as I am still you know, making the transition from heavy tournament player to more of a casual tournament player, I remember how much I hated seeing the artifact menance in t2. 

Classic Pauper and T2 are not remotely the same format. 

In regards to the Thallid, I thought he be nice in the board for GR to deal with the guys. 

I still overvalue things, thankfully I said I knew I would be wrong :)

by Evu at Mon, 09/24/2007 - 09:58
Evu's picture

Thanks for writing these articles, Joshua.  It's too bad there wasn't more material in the set for you to write about.  From an editorial perspective, I'd say they could have been combined into one article.

For the most part I think you've correctly identified and assessed the noteworthy cards.  A few comments:

- Artifact Blast is cheap, but you're right that there are better choices for the purpose.  Hard to imagine choosing it over Electrostatic Bolt or Echoing Ruin.  Maybe if there were relevant artifacts with comes-into-play abilities.

- Shield Sphere doesn't make sense in Grand Entrance, because it can't attack (Phyrexian Walker can and does).  I thought six toughness for zero mana would be good at first, but then I realized how quickly it dies -- you get three, maybe four blocks out of it if you're lucky.  As a zero-mana artifact I thought there might be a use for it in Affinity, but there are actually enough zero-mana artifacts already, and they all perform more useful functions.

- Even having read the comments on the previous article, I still can't see ever playing Arcane Denial.  The situations in which it can be good are too narrow, and will come up too infrequently, to justify the space it occupies.  And in Classic, there are several other playable counterspells with the same mana cost.  But I agree with the other four cards on your Top Five list.

by Anonymous (Unregistered) 66.111.121.186 (not verified) at Mon, 09/24/2007 - 12:32
Anonymous (Unregistered) 66.111.121.186's picture

Here is my take on Shield Sphere that has no pertaining commentary on how it affects PDC..

 its a free artifact that clogs the ground.. yeah he may not last a while, but who cares when you're goal is to plop down good affinity stuff or sac things to make things work... I used him in an academy deck because he's a cheap blocker.. I would use him in combo decks that needs to have an artifact that can be sac'd and needs to cheap..

 I take this "grand entrance" deck (i have no idea what this deck is..if a deck list or link would have been helpful.. anyways.. I take it its a Ninja deck.. then yeah shield sphere means nothing but a blocker.. I think shield sphere is a very underrated card and should be looked at..

 but as usual enjoyed the article.. the series has singlehandly made me care about a format that i never played much before so kudos.

Some comments by LulThyme (Unregistered) 74.57.111.133 (not verified) at Mon, 09/24/2007 - 13:09
LulThyme (Unregistered) 74.57.111.133's picture

To add to what's been said:

 

Artifact Blast: 

Shatter is not the right metric to compare artifact blast as there are much better options available:

echoing ruin, ancient grudge and fury charm are basically strictly better.

Then you've got things like hearth charm, electrostatic bolt, smash, tin street hooligan, goblin tinkerer, gorilla shaman, builder's bane...

Now Artifact Blast has the advantage of costing one less than most comparable options and going around the usual regen from Welding Jar. It has the huge disadvantage of needing the mana when the spell is cast of course specially in a color that isn't too good at keeping mana for reactive purposes.

The last bit is key, and I'd be surprised to see Artifact Blast see any play.

 

Thorn Thallid:

Not playable, not even close in my opinion.

Sure it's green direct damage but just because something is new to a color doesn't make it playable.

For it's P/T, it's overcosted by more than G (a 2/2 for 1G is under the curve) and you get a damage every third turn.

Your protection from red comment is kind of weird. IF you're REALLY worried about prot red , I'm assuming you're playing either mono-red or close to, as all the prot red creatures are small enough to not be dangerous to other decks. In that case, why would you want to play Thorn Thallid? In any case, red itself has much better solutions already (see Ghostfire for example).

Ghazaban Ogre:

I can see this guy being played in some decks at least in sideboards. (It's not bad at all vs MUC for example).

 

Shield Sphere:

I have no idea why Grand entrance (or any deck I can think of ) would play this. 

 

An addition, Scryb Sprites.

It looks very ordinary  but it's the first flyer for G (not counting Uktabi) and flyers for 1 mana see play here and there in various decks for various reasons.

 

 

Like Evu, I agree with your T5 commons except Arcane Denial, by far. (We had the same conclusions over a month ago :) http://www.paupermagic.com/Forums/tabid/54/forumid/1/threadid/4159/scope...)

Even in MUC it'll be at most a very narrow sideboard card so bad that I'm not even sure there'll be space in it for it.

 To expand on this:

Rare is it that a counter does not land properly (shelter, etc..) for a reason or another.

Even rarer is it that you 2 mana laying around at that point.

Even rarer is it that you have the 2 mana laying around and you'd rather have card that draws 3 (by countering your first counter ) rather than countering whatever is causing the problem (shelter in this case).

 

There are some matchups (specially control, like mirror and Teachings) where I could see it might be good, but not sure if that will warrant inclusion in the sideboard, I'll see.