Jan 8, 2013
Well folks, it has been all but calm in the Pauper world as of late. I think that it is safe to say that the Force of Will MOCS promo card is driving people to play in a lot more events than usual. Pauper Daily events have gone from 50-60 players to well into the triple digits. This is just insane. I’m hoping the trend continues because it is an amazing format. I love that people are jumping into it, I love seeing the chat in the scheduled events window being dominated by Pauper talk, and I love all the banter on twitter about it as well. The impact that this MOCS is having on Pauper is amazing, actually, the impact its having on MTGO in general is amazing. I don’t have any numbers (I’m not that special) but I can guarantee that they are seeing a record amount of players online. I, for one, have upped the amount of time I’ve been playing in events greatly, even though it has been in Standard for the most part. I usually needed to look at five or so daily event results to get a good grip on what is being played, this time I stopped at three. Why you ask? Well I had a bigger list with the three than I have had yet to date. I hope this is what the New Year is bringing in for Pauper, and not just a MOCS chasing hoax.
State of the Meta:
Now before I start on the numbers and decks, I want to pause to say this: This is the most diverse 4-0 record I’ve seen since I started doing these. I again thank the new players for this, either them being inexperienced with their deck allowing other decks to win, or they are ringers and just never played pauper before. Either way, you can play literally any deck and have a shot at a 4-0 nowadays.
Fae and Post tied up for first place leaving Affinity(fling) in second, tied with mono green. This makes me smile pretty big, I’ve said before my perverse love for Affinity and I get pumped when it’s doing well. I’m actually making the switch back to Affinity for my next event, but I’ll get back to that in a little bit. The next notable decks are Infect, and UG Temporal Fissure. UG Temporal has been gaining some ground lately, much to my chagrin. I hate that deck with a passion, but there it is. Fill in the rest with a myriad of decks and you have the 4-0 bracket. I love the diversity here, id like a little bit more honestly, but I’ll take what I can get.
With the 3-1 bracket you always get a bigger picture of the Meta. I usually look at this with a more watchful eye than the 4-0 bracket. These are the decks you can hedge bets on running into, and should be prepared to have that happen.
Coincidentally both the 4-0 and the 3-1 are preaching the same thing. Fae and UR Post are running wild. You REALLY need to be able to beat these matchups. They have replaced both Storm and Infect as the decks to beat in my opinion, even if the aforementioned decks are the next two in line win wise. This is where I’m going to suggest Affinity. I know, I know, I say that all the time, but really, it’s in a good position. It beats the tar out of Fae because it blanks the Spellstutter Sprite with its outrageous converted mana cost. Sure the deck has 4-6 hard counters you need to worry about, but once you get those out of their hand its smooth sailing. And it should go without saying that Electrickery is a “win more” card for all those pesky 1/1 flyers. My intentions are to run affinity in my next event, no question.
Deck of the Week:
This was a hard thing for me to choose. I’ve showcased most of the popular winning decks already. And as I’m sitting here it dawned on me… I could do UR Post. Wow, nice whiff on not featuring that before, it is only THE control deck of the format. So without any further a due, here she is.
This deck has two different win conditions. One is to stick an Ulamog’s Crusher, and beat you into oblivion while you sacrifice your stuff. Two is to build up the mana to Rolling Thunder you to death. The lifegain from Glimmerpost here is not insubstantial, it can often be just enough to keep you in the game to hit your win cons. Capsize is another tool for keeping you alive in a pinch, bouncing and buying back infinite times can be a real headache on your opponent. The rest of the deck is just filled with ways to counter or kill any threats you might run into, and ways to draw cards, like Mulldrifter or Preordain. And Mystical Teachings is there to make sure you hit said answers when you need them. I have honestly never piloted this deck before, but I can tell you that I’ve faced it countless times. It’s a knock down drag out fight that was never once easy. This deck is resilient to say the least. It has a decent matchup versus the entire field, so it is a solid choice, if you can stand going the long game that is. This deck takes the most amount of time in the format to win. Most wins will be concessions from opponent once they realize that they are all but dead. But I myself never do that, I make them win and eat up the clock. Though I have only ever beaten a Post player once by the clock, but still, it’s an option. If you like to play controlling decks you need look no further, this is the real deal.
My Week in Magic:
My week has been pretty lackluster. I’ve told you that I’m making a run at the MOCS last week. I had hoped to tell you I was nearing my goal at this point, but I am not. And it’s not from a lack of trying mind you, just can’t seem to get there. I earned one point last week, one. I played in 3 dailies, and like 15 eight man standard events. I get that this is pretty much a day’s worth of gaming for some people, but not for me. This was a lot! I took the Jund list from last week to a 3-1 to get the singleton point I spoke of. I also managed to bomb out of a Standard daily AND a Pauper daily. The Pauper loss was brutal, going 2-0 to 2-2 sucks, always has, always will. Match three was against Affinity, my likely worst matchup as I mentioned before. I lost game one, won game two, then we had a game three…did we ever. I keep a hand that has Delver of Secrets X 2, Ponder X 2, Preordain, Spellstutter Sprite, and Island. My plan was turn one Delver, and then a turn two Ponder to get a second island. Then use the other cards to set up a flip for the Delver, and play a second Delver. What actually happened here was playing Ponder and bricking on a land, so I chose to shuffle yielding a Preordain. Ok ill try again next turn, same play. Cast Ponder reveal no land, shuffle and receive a card that didn’t matter (I can’t remember because this put me on tilt). My third try at this with a Preordain this time, neither card was an Island, oh, and neither was the third card I chose to see. WHAT THE ACTUAL F@#$!. Let’s do the math shall we.
Turn two started with a draw and a Ponder, leading to another draw. Let’s call that 5 cards (ignoring that the draw after shuffle has a slightly different probability to it) repeating this next turn, turn three, makes the number of cards seen 10. The turn four Preordain adds 4 to the mixture making it 14 cards seen without a single land. My deck was running 16 lands, admittedly light, but really not considering all of the draw effects. After my hand of seven cards I have 53 cards left in the deck, 15 of them land (one was in play) you’re looking at 28.3% of my deck was an island. So I think my line of play was correct, it’s just that I hit bad luck. Had I cast my second Delver turn 2 in lieu of the correct line of play, I would have won. So that’s what I get for playing the game correctly I suppose. I later that week bombed out of Standard 1-2, not quite as bad as the Pauper sting though. As for the eight mans I ran, well those were pretty decent. I obviously didn’t get any points, but I only lost my round one once. If you were not aware, an eight man costs six tix, and winning round one gives you 2 RtR packs if you bomb out immediately following, so I broke even in the majority of the events, making it to the finals a few times, finding nobody interested in splitting (go figure) and then subsequently losing. I’m not mad about this or anything, but I am running out of steam. I need a couple 4-0′s to pick me back up and put the 15 in reality. I’m not quitting yet, so wish me luck friends. And as always, good luck to you!