MTG Pauper Tournament Top 4 Decklists (Manaleak Birmingham Pauper Tournament 18/09/16)

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MTG Pauper Tournament Top 4 Decklists (Manaleak Birmingham Pauper Tournament 18/09/16)

This past weekend, we held our second Pauper event at Manaleak in Birmingham and with 16 players in attendance and a huge variety of different decks on show! Pauper has been my favourite constructed format for as long as I’ve been playing it. You get to play with modern-style decks in their purest forms and just because the format doesn’t have access to uncommons, rares or mythics, doesn’t mean that the decks lack power level. The following 4 decks made it to the Top 4 of our event, so if you’re looking to give this awesome format a try, any one of these would be a perfect starting point.

Finalist – Jin Ming Huang, 4-colour Tron

Creatures (15):
4 Fangren Marauder
1 Maul Splicer
4 Mulldrifter
4 Sea Gate Oracle
2 Ulamog’s Crusher

Spells (26):
4 Ancient Stirrings
4 Chromatic Sphere
4 Chromatic Star
4 Expedition Map
2 Firebolt
2 Flame Slash
3 Prismatic Lens
1 Prophetic Prism
2 Rolling Thunder

Lands (19):
1 Forest
3 Haunted Fengraf
1 Island
2 Shimmering Grotto
4 Urza’s Mine
4 Urza’s Power Plant
4 Urza’s Tower

Sideboard (15):
2 Ancient Grudge
1 Circle of Protection: Green
2 Circle of Protection: Red
2 Electrickery
2 Lightning Bolt
2 Negate
2 Relic of Progenitus
1 Serene Heart

If you’ve played or followed Modern in any way, shape or form, you are undoubtedly aware of the inherent power level of the Urza lands. Although they were uncommons in 8th/9th edition, they were printed as commons in Masters Edition 3 on Magic Online, making them fair game for Pauper. This variation on a classic deck type utilises Shimmering Grottos and a wide array of colour-making Artifacts to turn your vast amounts of colourless mana into useful colours to cast any big spell available.

Topping the curve of the deck is of course, 4 copies of Mulldrifter. I’d be confident in saying that Mulldrifter is the single best card in the Pauper format and I often base my choice of deck on whether or not I can play this card. Drawing extra cards early and then later on being able to put a threat on the board as well makes Mulldrifter an incredible mainstay of any blue deck in this format. Fangren Marauder is also a fantastic 6-drop that really makes this deck tick. The synergy between this innocuous 6-drop and the 1 mana artifacts that you were going to play anyway gives this deck a way to fight the fast aggro decks that are usually fantastic at beating Tron-based decks.

With access to tons of mana and the ability to play any spell they wish, Tron decks are a powerhouse of Modern Pauper and a great way to start out in the format.

Finalist – Andrew Quinn, Sultai Teachings

Creatures (8):
2 Archaeomancer
3 Mulldrifter
1 Peregrine Drake
2 Wretched Gryff

Spells (28):
1 Agony Warp
1 Capsize
4 Chainer’s Edict
4 Counterspell
1 Devour Flesh
1 Disfigure
1 Dispel
2 Doom Blade
1 Echoing Decay
1 Grim Harvest
3 Mystical Teachings
2 Pristine Talisman
1 Pulse of Murasa
1 Soul Manipulation
4 Think Twice

Lands (24):
3 Dimir Aqueduct
4 Dismal Backwater
3 Evolving Wilds
1 Forest
1 Jungle Hollow
6 Island
2 Radiant Fountain
3 Swamp
1 Thornwood Falls

Sideboard (15):
1 Deep Analysis
1 Devour Flesh
1 Disfigure
1 Doom Blade
2 Duress
2 Hydroblast
1 Natural State
2 Nausea
2 Negate
1 Soul Manipulation
1 Sprout Swarm

Do you enjoy hearing the groans of people watching your games as you execute a bunch of infinite loops, whilst always being able to control your opponent’s actions? Well, that’s what I love too and that’s the whole reason I chose to play this deck. This started out as a straight forward Blue/Black control deck with Mystical Teachings being able to find singleton copies of narrow answers to combat all sorts of different threats that you might be presented with. However, the deck was missing something. Often, against aggressive decks, you would find yourself unable to claw back into a game where you’ve started out behind. That all changed when I discovered Pulse of Murasa, a wonderful little card from Oath of the Gatewatch. Pulse gives this deck a way to fix that exact problem. Pulse to get back Archaeomancer, followed by Archaeomancer to rebuy the Pulse. Throw a chump block with the Archaeomancer and then repeat the loop and you have a way of not dying, whilst keeping your life total high.

Otherwise, this is a fairly typical control shell. 4 copies each of Think Twice, Chainer’s Edict and Counterspell give you plenty of copies of the best draw, removal and counter spells in the format, followed by 3 Mystical Teachings and a variety of 1-ofs to let you answer anything that might come your way. The way the deck wins is typically through attacking with Mulldrifters and Wretched Gryffs, but the common printing of Peregrine Drake in Eternal Masters gave the deck a way to create an infinite mana combo using cards it was already playing, just by adding a single copy of Drake. The Drake mana combo works by casting Ghostly Flicker on a Peregrine Drake and an Archaeomancer. By tapping 5 lands and spending 3 of that mana, when the creatures reenter the battlefield, you can untap your 5 lands, floating 2 mana in your mana pool. Archaeomancer can then return the same Ghostly Flicker to your hand. You can then repeat this an infinite number of times and give yourself infinite mana. From here you can replace Drake with a Mulldrifter to draw your entire deck, use a Capsize with buyback to return every permanent your opponent controls to their hand and a second Archaeomancer to infinitely recur any spell you like. The best that this version can do is Capsize everything to win the game, but moving forward I will likely remove Grim Harvest (as it is now replaced by Pulse of Murasa) to play a single copy of something that can then win the game.

U/B Control is as old as the game itself and this variation is just the best current version of that playstyle in any format available. Give it a try!

Semi-Finalist – Ryan Carter, Midnight Presence

Creatures (24):
4 Essence Warden
4 Midnight Guard
4 Pallid Mycoderm
4 Selesnya Evangel
4 Soul Warden
4 Soul’s Attendant

Spells (14):
3 Journey to Nowhere
4 Presence of Gond
2 Scatter the Seeds
1 Spidersilk Armor
4 Sprout Swarm

Lands (22):
4 Blossoming Sands
6 Forest
8 Plains
4 Selesnya Sanctuary

Sideboard (15):
3 Aerial Volley
2 Circle of Protection: Red
4 Gleeful Sabotage
2 God’s Willing
1 Journey to Nowhere
1 Spidersilk Armor
2 Veteran Armorer

So, we’ve had a ramp deck, a control deck and now a combo deck! Basically, this is a Splinter Twin deck. In completely the wrong colours. Interested?

Splinter Twin was of course the combo that would give you infinite hasty tokens by sticking a Splinter Twin onto a Deceiver Exarch or a Pestermite. Well, this does pretty much the same thing, except the tokens don’t have haste. Midnight Guard, enchanted with Presence of Gond, allows the Guard to tap and put a 1/1 Elf Warrior onto the battlefield, which then untaps the Guard. You then rinse and repeat until you have bajillion tokens and then next turn you attack and win the game.

Beyond Splinter Twin itself, the typical deck would be a Blue/Red control shell whilst this version, being Green/White, is built into a tokens shell. Using its 12 Soul Warden variants, this tokens-based strategy is capable of being aggressive and grindy at the same time whilst gaining insane amounts of life. It’s incredible how just one deck can attack you on so many different levels, making this a great choice for any combo player.

Semi-Finalist – John Greet, Mono-Black Stuff

Creatures (17):
4 Chittering Rats
3 Cuombajj Witches
4 Gray Merchant of Asphodel
2 Gurmag Angler
4 Phyrexian Rager

Spells (21):
4 Chainer’s Edict
1 Dead Weight
2 Diabolic Edict
1 Disfigure
2 Pestilence
4 Sign in Blood
2 Tendrils of Corruption
2 Tragic Slip
1 Unearth
2 Victim of Night

Lands (22):
3 Barren Moor
1 Bojuka Bog
18 Swamp

Sideboard (15):
3 Choking Sands
1 Crypt Rats
2 Duress
1 Font of Return
2 Nihil Spellbomb
2 Rancid Rats
2 Shrivel
2 Wrench Mind

And finally we have the oldest deck in the format. Mono Black good stuff has been around for years. The tried and true combination of good creatures, removal spells and draw power has won many Magic games over the game’s 23-year history and it’s still true today. The deck recently picked up some very nice upgrades in Gray Merchant of Asphodel and Gurmag Angler. There’s not really anything else to say about this deck. It’s very straight forward, very powerful and is probably going to remain a mainstay of the Pauper format until the day it dies.

Our next Pauper tournament is on Sunday 16th October and Kaladesh will be legal! Come join us to see how the format evolves!

Andrew Quinn

MTG Pauper Tournament Top 4 Decklists (Manaleak Birmingham Pauper Tournament 18/09/16)
This past weekend, we held our second Pauper event at Manaleak in Birmingham and with 16 players in attendance and a huge variety of different decks on show!

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