I’ve been playing heaps of Pauper in recent months, and I’d like to think I’ve got a good enough handle on what’s good in the format to start designing non-awful decks. This is the first one I’ve experienced any great success with. Enjoy.
UB Pauper Control
Pauper is a MODO only format, using cards available on MODO, and printed as commons. MODO being what it is, there’s some disparity to the paper game, largely due to the Masters Edition sets, which has allowed some cards to be printed at common that weren’t such in Paper. Also, we’ve not got anything from Masques block to Invasion.
Essentially, the main downside of the Pauper format is that the boosters you win for playing in the 2-man queues are worth very little, meaning that you need to win a lot to make it profitable. Not that this is too big a deal, but it’s something to consider. If you have time, the Daily Events are a much better proposition, though that’s true for pretty much every constructed format.
This deck is nothing particularly revolutionary. Cards that are abstractly powerful, a few useful bullets, plenty of shuffle effects and ways to out-draw out opponents. The nature of the Pauper format is much more tempo oriented than most constructed formats. The card pool lends to very few sudden, game-changing plays, so the vast majority of games are about jockeying for board position, while disrupting your opponent’s attempts to do the same.
There are still combo/control/aggro archetypes, and as an eternal format, it is possible to die pretty early. The Goblin Storm decks can win on T2, as can the Infect Stompy deck.
Decks like that aren’t particularly enticing to me. I’m a control mage at heart, and the option of casting Counterspell is far more up my street than attacking with Goblin tokens or Glistener Elves. Makes for far more exciting games to watch as well, in my opinion.
Let’s run through some of the card choices:-
These are relatively standard counters in the format. Condescend pulls double duty here. It acts as a counter in the early game, while regulating out draws, and in the late game, it can Scry away our bad top-decks, even if we’re not managing to counter anything. It’s the weakest of the 3, for sure, given our mana base (discussed later), but is still a card I’m seldom unhappy to see, given just how good it is in the early game.
Edicts are good. Creatures have shroud, protection and the like a lot in this format, making sac effects really powerful. The incidental burn is fine. I’ve hit people for their last life points with a couple of stock-piled Verdicts before. It’s seldom relevant, but certainly something to be aware of. Doom Blade is powerful, but in reflection the prevalence of the mono-black rats decks mean that at least 2, and probably 3 of these should just be Diabolic Edicts. Diversifying your answers is highly under-rated.
In addition to all of the above, we’ve got the following Teachings Toolbox. Grim Harvest lets us recur Mulldrifters, Capsize is good against awkward mana decks, and single threats like Ulamog’s Crusher. Spire Monitor is the biggest Flash creature available to us. The fact that it’s evasive is just gravy.
Nothing revolutionary, but we know why everything’s here.
Nice and simple.
Mulldrifter draws cards, and is an evasive body.
Twisted Abomination cycles early, and is a pretty big deal in the late game.
The most popular decks in the format are the Storm combo deck, using Ravnica Karoo‘s, and Cloudpost decks. Both of these are vulnerable to land death, meaning a lot of Stone Rains in MD and SB’s. It feels like getting punched in the genitals when your t2 Bounceland gets Stone Rained. Being a man, I’m very focused on not feeling like my genitals have been punched.
Plus, we want to maximise out Brainstorms, so we want to run a lot of shuffles, which in turn necessitates a large number of basics, making the Dimir Acqueducts a luxury/liability that we’re unwilling to take.
I’m not a big fan of sideboarding guides. It’s far better to understand the ‘Why?’ rather than ‘How?’. You should always remain fairly fluid with your sideboarding.
Plus, it’s a waste of space for me to tell you to bring Spellstutter Sprite in against decks like mono-red because they run a lot of Lightning Bolts etc. I’d like to assume that the people reading this (are there any?) aren’t mentally deficient, and are in fact capable of reasonable, rational thought.
Matchup wise, we’re pretty well positioned.
Again, speaking generally, our Combo matchup is good. We have the tools to interact with them g1, and post board, Hindering Touch is really good vs the Temporal Fissure decks, and Wail of the Nim takes care of the Empty the Warrens tokens nicely.
Our Control matchup is brilliant. I don’t think I’ve lost vs UR Post yet. They’re so threat light, and are trying to resolve stuff like Rolling Thunder and Ulamog’s Crusher, making our cheap disruption great. They can’t Prohibit an evoked Mulldrifter, but watch out for Condescend. Mono Black is a cake-walk. Brainstorm/Fetchland limits the usefulness of their Chittering Rats. We’re running Doom Blade, but as I said above, going forwards, I’d add in more Edicts to combat this deck.
Aggro decks are reasonable. Affinity’s our worst matchup by miles, they just overwhelm us with threats. The burn deck is really easy do play against. Play cautiously with Teachings, and don’t leave yourself open to Fireblast blowouts. They play off the top really early, and this is where we shine. Green Stompy decks, specifically infect aren’t hard. They’re all-in on one threat, and we’ve a reasonable amount of removal to combat it. Verdicts are grand against decks leaning on Vines of the Vastwood to counteract the removal of other decks.
I’ve recorded a few matches I played with the deck, to show how it works. This is my first experiences with recording, I’ll hopefully be able to improve the quality soon. Let me know what you think, and indeed, if there’s any other decks you’d like to see me play. Any comments, questions etc, go to the forums, or talk to me on MODO.
VS Dimir Cloudpost – G1.
Game 2 is corrupted. I win. Relatively indicative of how the match plays out. We let their draw spells resolve, and focus on their actual threats. Snipe away at the little things, and try and stick a Mulldrifter/ Spire Monitor/ Twisted Abomination and protect. Piece of piss.
VS Faerie Aggro G1.
VS Faerie Aggro G2.
Another straightforward match. Their creatures are pretty bad, and as pretty much everything we have flies, and they have no spot removal, their evasive creatures are a lot worse here than they usually are.
VS BW Pestilence G1.
Vs BW Pestilence G2.
They’re really reliant on their namesake enchantment, and we’re really strong against threat-light decks…. Seems strong.
Thanks for reading, let me know what you think.
Vaughnswift on MODO.
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