Monthly Archives: July 2014
Good evening all. Below is a list of commons from M15 that are currently under consideration for the pauper cube.
Generator Servant: I really like this card because of its unique ability. Most of the red creatures in the cube are aggressive beaters and adding a bit more variety to what red creatures can do is great. I like this card in Red/Green stompy decks where the ramp is helpful and the haste may allow you to get a free hit in. I also like this in other aggressive red decks, where after he is no longer useful you can cash him in for a haste creature (or two if they are cheap enough). This creature also help the storm-ish decks in a couple ways. It can allow you to surprise your opponent with a hasty Kiln Fiend/Wee Draconauts/Nivix Cyclops or it can be a saved amount of mana to help you go off. While I want to see this guy in action first, I think he will find a place in the cube.
Aeronaut Tinkerer: This card fits nicely into the White/Blue Artifact deck. It helps give the deck some needed evasion. It is also not an embarrassing creature to main deck even if you can’t take advantage of the flying. The 2/3 body will block most aggressive early creatures. I am on the fence about this creature, but we shall see if he gets a spot.
Carrion Crow: I probably wouldn’t consider this creature if it wasn’t a zombie. Wind Drake isn’t a creature good enough to make it in the cube, so it may seem odd that Carrion Crow is under consideration. Zombie is a great creature type to have and the flying gives the Zombie decks some evasion that it does not really have besides Stitched Drake.
Unmake the Graves: The raise dead effects in the cube are constantly in consideration, since there are many good candidates whose minor differences make it difficult to pick amongst them. What I like about Unmake the Graves is that it is instant speed and the convoke gives your blockers something extra to do. The instant speed is huge for this card, since the decks that really want this type of effect usually want to keep up a counter or some removal during their opponent’s turn.
Heliod’s Pilgrim: I really like this effect to support the G/W Auras deck but also to search up Pacifism like removal. Totem-Guide Hartbeast is included in many people’s pauper cubes, but the 5 mana never impressed me. At 3 mana, this creature is a much better deal. You can usually follow up the pilgrim with a Pacifism and 2 drop on turn 4. Like the Generator Servant, this card is probably an auto-include but I want to see how it performs first.
Shadowcloak Vampire: There are currently three CMC 5 Mono-Black creatures in the cube (Gray Merchant, Warren Pilferers, and Spitting Sliver). Both this card and the next one are considerations to bring in for another 5 drop black creature. Shadowcloak Vampire has a big body, particularly for a flying creature. 4 power in the air is about as big as it gets in pauper. The life cost will be relevant in the more aggressive black decks that are paying life, but much less of a consideration in the W/B decks that are draining life. I am very on the fence about this card, but it has the potential to be a very good card for the cube.
Rotfeaster Maggot: This 5 CMC black creature fills the opposite role of Shadowcloak Vampire. Instead of finishing the game like the vampire, the Rotfeaster Maggot helps keep you in the game. A 3/5 blocker is a great body that blocks all but the biggest creatures on the ground. The life gain may be relevant, though I can imagine situations where you have set up chump blocks and don’t want to remove a creature from your graveyard. Whether I chose the Maggot or the Vampire will be determined by whether Black needs some better defense or offense.
Necromancer’s Assistant: Whether I include this card or not will be a good indicator of how hard I am trying to push a graveyard theme. A 3/1 body is good to attack with and it is a zombie.
Coral Barrier: My love of a squid token is probably clouding my judgement a bit here. It is not the best defender but you could also do worse for 3 mana. If I decide to push a American colored defender deck, I could see this getting included.
Tyrant’s Machine: Tyrant’s machine is a maybe because it is the closest pauper gets to Icy Manipulator. Having said that, it is a far cry from the power level of Icy Manipulator. Giving access to psuedo-removal to all colors it not as important in the cube as it is in a regular limited format, since all colors do have access to some of their best removal at common. Of the cards on the list, this is least likely to make it.
Radiant Fountain: I love the ETB effect lands at common, since they provide small spell like effects without taking up a card slot in your deck. Radiant Fountain is best used in a White/Blue bounce deck that I have been considering. So if you see this brought into the cube, it is because I am trying harder to support such an archetype.
Day 1 Sealed Pool: http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/gp-dc-day-1-sealed-pool/
Determining that I was going to be Black/Red was the easy part here. There wasn’t a whole lot of hemming and hawwing about what other colors or color combo I should play. There were playable cards in other colors, but I felt that no other color combination was as deep as Black/Red. Having the trio of Underworld Cerberus, Agent of the Fates, and King Macar was a create focus for my deck. The Akroan Conscripter and two Line Breakers made me lean more towards heroic. This caused me to play Cruel Feeding and Nyxborn Rollicker main deck when I would usually just take them out for a strong piece of removal (Spiteful Blow).
The most interesting decisions I had to make about the deck were which pieces of removal to play. I mained Sip of Hemlock over Spiteful Blow because I felt that getting the two extra damage in was more important than destroying the land. Magma Jet was an easy decision. Starfall was chosen because it is instant speed and the occasional upside of three damage to your opponent is great when I am trying to kill them fast. There were many games where I would take out Starfall for Spark Jolt (which has the side use of a heroic activator) or Nyx Infusion against the red/white/blue decks with early vulnerable creatures that I want dead before my fifth land. I think my biggest mistake with this deck was not maindecking Spireful Blow. By the end of the day I was usually taking out Bronze Sable for Spiteful blow and I think I should have had that since registration. At the very least I think taking out Starfall for Spiteful Blow maindeck would have been a good choice. I already had 5 drops to play and the hard removal (and occasional upside of screwing them out of a color) would have been much appreciated.
All in all I was pretty happy with the deck. Underworld Cerebus is a rough creature to deal with, even more so when you can back it up with removal. I stole a couple games from multiple activations of Line Breaker in a single turn. Every game where I got to untap my King Macar I won.
Day 2, Draft 1: http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/gp-dc-day-2-1st-draft/
This deck was easily my favorite deck of the tournament. The draft started and I look at my rare. Skyblind. I must resist all my terrible urges to pass it up for a Pin to the Earth. The pack was not particularly strong so I took a safe pick. Pick 2 was the Doomwake Giant and pick 3 was a second Pin to the Earth. Even though I was 3 cards in, I started seeing a deck come together. Pick 4 was the Sigiled Starfish. I have played against it plenty of times and have heard great things about it, but this was my first time actually getting to play with the Starfish and man was I impressed. I took a middle-to-late end of the pack Rise of the Eagles based on recommendations (mainly Jason’s) more than anything. The double constellation trigger was very relevant in my deck. The turn where I got to curve Doomwake Giant into Rise of the Eagles was pretty unbelievable. Coming out of Journey into Nyx I felt like I had a good start on a blue/black control deck and I was getting some good elements late enough that I felt I was in the right color for it.
Born of the Gods was a much rougher pack for me. Servant of Tymaret was the first pick, which I was happy to include. The late (6th or 7th) pick Siren of the Silent Song help reinforce my confidence in my color pair. The first Vortex Elemental was a second pick. As a one drop, I really love this card. If you play it turn one and don’t have a followup play for a turn or two, he provider early protection against ordeal starts or other early aggressive creatures. Later in the game he can be excellent removal. The second one (8th pick) was probably the best think to happen to me in the Born of the Gods pack. I was really hoping to get a Retraction Helix or Sudden Storm out of the pack, but the only time I saw either (in the same pack!) I picked the Siren of the Silent Song. Flitterstep Eidolon is not a card I like very much. As a 2 drop it is miserable. I maindecked it because it activated constellation and as a late draw it could bestow onto one of my fatties to get through a stalled board state. Having said that, I found myself taking it out in many games.
Theros, like in most of the THS block drafts I have done, was really the saving grace of my deck. My rare in the pack was Bident of Thassa, which was in contention for the pick until I saw the Shipwreck Singer. The entire draft all I am envisioning is a Shipwreck Singer in the Theros pack. That card is truly unbeatable in the late game. Pick 2 was a Shipbreaker Kraken. Shipbreaker Kraken filled the role of a strong finisher or stabilizer in the late game. Few cards can do it as good as him. About a third of the way through THS I realized that my deck was pretty light on removal. I proceeded to prioritize the Lash of the Whips. Not the ideal removal, but it was what I had at my disposal. When I got the second Shipwreck Singer 7th pick, I was feeling pretty good about my deck.
Round 1 was against a Red/White deck (probably the single most popular archetype all weekend). He had a Iroas, but his creatures were mostly 3 drop minotaurs instead of 2 drop humans, which gave me a much greater chance against his deck. The highlight of the match was Lashing his Iroas after attackers were declared to set up a very favorable combat.
Round 2 was against a Jund deck that never really took off against me. He seemed to be trying to build a Market Festival deck, but got lost along the way.
Round 3 was against B/W aggro, which I would normally be happy against. A couple poor mulligan choices on my part and a couple double Loyal Pegasus into Dictate of Heliod starts for my opponent cost me the round.
Day 2, Draft 2: http://tappedout.net/mtg-decks/day-2-gp-dc-draft-deck-2/
I started this draft off with a controversial choice. My rare was Launch the Fleets which was an immediate front runner for the pick. There was also an Oreskos Swiftclaw, Phalanx Formation, and Akroan Mastiff in the pack. This made me a bit apprehensive to take a white card and would rather have my opponents fight it out. I shifted my attention to the more reliable Ravenous Leucrocota. It was the only good green card in the pack and this card is just a work horse. It defends well, attacks well, and wears bestow like a boss. So after a bit of thinking my pick was the green card. Pick 2 was another controversial pick, the Swarmborn Giant. Sometimes he is unplayable, sometimes he is a 4 mana 6/6. Picking him up early allowed me to consider that in my later draft picks and built a deck better at keeping the giant alive. The most important pick of the pack was pick 5. I had the choice between Nyx Weaver or the Fleetfeather Cockatrice. Both are excellent cards and cards I could even splash for with my first four picks being in green. I took the Nyx Weaver because I felt that passing a Feast of Dreams 2nd may be interpreted as a signal to the player to my left. I also think that Green/Blue is the stronger deck and ultimately one I am much more comfortable in. Triton Cavalry is a card that I was very glad I picked. Like the Leucrocota it wears bestow nicely with the upside of possibly bouncing an opponent’s blocker the turn you bestow it. The 4 toughness means it wore my Spirespine really well and a Triton Cavalry into Spirespine curve occurred multiple times.
Born of the Gods was a really rough pack for me. A first pick Aerie Worshippers, a second pick Kiora’s Follower, and a third pick Graverobber Spider gave me high hopes for the pack. Little did I know that the player to my left changed colors into Blue/Green at this point, taking a Kiora and a second Kiora’s Follower that I would have loved to have had. Crypsis was a card that over performed for me in this deck. Again, a card frequently cast against me and rarely cast by me, I learn some valuable lessons much too late.
Going into Theros all I want are the trio of Green commons, Nessian Asp, Voyaging Satyr, and Leafcrown Dryad. My first pack has a Master of Waves which I briefly consider, before picking the Voyaging Satyr. The second pick is another Voyaging Satyr. The third pick is a Nessian Asp (which I picked over Leafcrown Dryad, start debate now). The other big pick-up for me was a sixth pick Sea God’s Revenge. Already a huge fan of this card, my deck is the type of deck that can take most advantage of bouncing my opponents creatures. Usually not as a defensive move, but as a way to remove all their blocks for a game winning attack. While not as confident in this deck as I was my first draft deck, I still felt like I had a good shot.
Round 1 was against Red/White. He played out strong cards (Wingsteed Rider, Dawnbringer Chariotiers, Supply Line Cranes) but my reach creatures and fliers of my own could tussle with them. Highlights of the game include 2-for-1ing him with a Savage Surge on an Aerie Worshippers and activating to kill an attacking Cyclops and Wingsteed Rider. Later in the game I killed his Dawnbringer Charioteers by flashing in the Cockatrice and Crypsising it when he tried to keep it from blocking with a Fearsome Temper activation. Game 2 I Sea God’s him for the win.
Round 2 was against another Red/White deck. Both of the R/W decks in this draft (that I saw) were too slow to deal with my fatties. My 2/4s on turn 3 held off his attacks and from there it was a matter of mopping them up.
Round 3 was against another Blue/Green deck. This was the player to my left who shifted into Blue/Green into Born of the Gods. Our decks played similar and he was a good player no doubt. The final game was determined by him being able to Retraction Helix away my asp and attacking in the air for the win. If I had drawn a land the turn before I could have Sea God’s for the win, so it was a nail-bitter all the way through.
I was happy with both of my draft decks. I had some performance anxiety going into the draft, fearing I would end up in some terrible three color gimmick or that I wouldn’t be able to overcome my urge to take the build-around-me-uncommon early. I was happy with my drafts, I should have valued removal a bit higher I think. Either way, let me know what you think.