[Primer] Blue-Red 8-Post

  • #1
    Blue-Red 8-Post



    Last updated: August 6th, 2013

    What in the hell is UR Post?

    Blue-red 8-post, Izzet Post, or just UR 8Post, is more or less one of the premier control decks in the format. It leverages the mana ramping engine of Cloudpost and Glimmerpost, along with the "good enough" mana fixing provided by Prophetic Prism, to be one of the few multi-color decks in Pauper, a format with very weak mana fixing. Since it's a control deck, it can afford to be a bit slower, although unlike many control decks it runs relatively few lands - Prophetic Prism makes it possible to play "only" 23 lands, 8 of which are colorless. This means that 8-post topdecks almost as well as an aggro deck, and it plays a lot of strong card draw, meaning it out-cards almost every other deck in the format. When played well and tuned to the right metagame, it can draw cards faster than Rats can discard them, play enough removal to frustrate aggro, and out-manoeuvre combo, although usually not all at once. It has almost every Control tool in its toolbox: Permission, removal, tempo, tutoring, and life gain. Prophetic Prism also lets us splash Green and Black for Ancient Grudge and Mystical Teachings, and, indeed, for almost any flashback you might need.

    It's the closest thing Pauper has to four-color control, for fans of that. Unlike mono-green Post, it's not a ramp deck, but rather a control deck that ramps. It can, however, play very well even if it never draws Cloudpost at all; it doesn't rely too much on high-CMC spells, and it plays a lot of strong card draw.

    Why play post? You might enjoy this deck if:

    • You are Luis Scott-Vargas.
    • You want to be Luis Scott-Vargas when you grow up.
    • Flashing back Mystical Teachings to tutor for Mystical Teachings is your favorite thing to do.
    • You enjoy long games. You're a control player. You like playing the best control deck in a format.
    • You like having a bunch of different win conditions.
    • You want to play a Pauper deck that is totally different from all your other, non-Pauper decks.
    • You prefer decks that can play fair... but don't always.
    • You enjoy making terrible puns and/or apologizing to your opponent about how broken your cards are.
    • You enjoy casting Ulamog's Crusher with counterspell mana open.
    • You like casting Fireball for the full amount.

    But, how does it work?

    Blue-red post is an old-school, traditional control deck. It aims to disrupt the opponent and grind them down to a nub, then win in the late game either by resolving a late-game finisher like Ulamog's Crusher, by just bashing them to death with its value creatures like Mulldrifter, or simply by casting Rolling Thunder for 20. It combines strong Blue countermagic with efficient Red permanent destruction.

    The namesake of the deck is the big mana engine composed of four Cloudpost and four Glimmerpost. Cloudpost mana grows quadratically with every cloudpost in play. This quickly creates a huge tempo advantage as the Cloudpost player just has access to more mana than the opponent, and it enables tactics which involve extremely high mana costs, starting at casting Mystical Teachings to tutor up silver bullets for whatever the situation, and moving on up to Capsize locks and casting Ulamog's Crusher with counterspell mana up.

    Because of its bizarre mana base, UR Post has many unique card choices. Unlike mono-blue control, for example, it doesn't usually play four Counterspell, and it relies heavily on Prophetic Prism.

    Okay, but what about the cards?

    Exotic card choices are marked in red, while purely sideboard options are marked in yellow.



    Cloudpost - The cloud father. El clouderino. If you don't run four, you're not playing 8-post. This card is, let's be honest here, a destroyer of formats. It's banned in Modern because banning Vesuva just wasn't enough. It's the stone cold nuts even if you have zero ways of tutoring for it in your deck. This enables almost everything you're doing, and it generates so much mana towards the late game, it essentially inevitably moves towards a soft lock.

    Glimmerpost - Cloudpost's younger brother, this is the card that makes it all tick. While it may initially seem lackluster, getting life points essentially for free isn't bad, especially when it powers up your Cloudpost. If you play Glimmerpost with Cloudpost in play, you gain 2 life, and you just ramped, since the land you played essentially makes two mana. Glimmerpost will often save your life against aggro. It makes burn cry. And it makes Cloudpost worthwhile. Play four, no ifs and no buts.

    Island and Mountain - Totally broken cards, especially because you can run any number of them. Most lists run 8-9 islands and 5 mountains, but check your colored mana costs. A typical mana base adds in some number of Izzet Guildgate, 2 to 4, (More than two is pushing it) for a total of about 23 lands.

    Prophetic Prism - So you make a million colorless mana. The prism fixes it. Yes, this card reads like the most lackluster thing in the universe, but if you had been asking yourself how a two-color deck can function while playing eight colorless lands in a format with no good duals, this is the answer. It fixes your mana for zero cards, and it's one of many filthy shenanigans involving Capsize. You might wonder why not play a signet, since signets are ramp in addition to mana fixing. The reason is you have all the ramp you could possibly want already, and fixing your mana with cantrips is just better.

    Mystical Teachings - I shouldn't have to teach you why this is good, unless you only started playing after Time Spiral block. Mystical Teachings basically feels unfair and tends to make the game impossible to lose once you reach seven mana or so (Which often happens around turn five!). It can tutor for a counterspell. It can tutor for Capsize. It can tutor for Repeal to kill a token. It can tutor for Lightning Bolt to end the game. It can tutor for a sneaky Spellstutter Sprite, for one-ofs, for whatever sneaky, techy things you slip into the deck - as long as they're instants. And if they're not instants, something is wrong! It can even tutor for itself, from the graveyard, which basically means that your opponent is forced to play things into your counters, lest you just start pulling card advantage and victories, well, out of your behind. It just steadily generates card advantage, and it makes your hands so unimaginably better. When you hit the midgame, you go from slowing your opponent down to grinding him to a halt, and Teachings finds whatever you need to stabilise. This is the only card in this section that is arguable; some builds of Izzet Post don't play it. I firmly believe that it is correct to play at least one, however.



    No blue control deck would be complete without card advantage engines. This deck is fully capable of getting to where decking yourself is a concern (A major reason to have finishers!) given its unparalleled ability to stall and its frequent, almost degenerate, card drawing.

    Mulldrifter - I don't have to mull over whether to play this guy. Mulldrifter is still the poster boy for value; you can cast it as a Divination if you absolutely need to, but a hard-cast Mulldrifter tends to end games. He's a nice flying clock that draws you into the counters to protect him, and better yet, if your opponent actually feels forced to spend a removal spell on it, it's a three-for-one that helps protect your eventual finisher.

    Compulsive Research - Every time you draw this, you almost always want to cast it immediately, rather... obsessively. Compulsive Research helps you find posts, it helps you dig for answers, and it just increases your hand quality every time.

    Sea Gate Oracle - Sleight of Hand on a stick. Fights with Compulsive Research for a slot. Wins when the format is choking on aggro, loses when it's rat-infested. Some go for the 2-2 split between the two.

    Deep Analysis - Deep Analysis can't really say anything about Masticore, can it? Usually played as a sweet one-of, Deep Analysis is an overcosted Divination with an undercosted flashback ability. It just refills your hand like nothing else.

    Think Twice" target="blank">Think Twice - Kind of sketchy in 8-post. Usually fairly good thanks to its cheapness and instant speed, 8-post just has some fairly early access to extreme quantities of mana; so it just draws cards during its main phase and still keeps a counter up regardless. So Think Twice doesn't show up in lists; the major reasons to run it are Teachings and Alchemy, both which combine very sweetly with it. Exotic.

    Accumulated Knowledge" target="blank">Accumulated Knowledge - Think Twice's older relative, it makes up in power what it lacks in flexibility. You have to play four if you play any at all, but those four work overtime for you, drawing increasing amounts of cards. Like Think Twice, this loves Forbidden Alchemy and Mystical Teachings. Exotic.

    Oona's Grace" target="blank">Oona's Grace - Extremely useful as a one-of, Oona's Grace gives every land card in your hand "Cycling 2U" after you cast it, which is in fact very useful in long matches that reach the late game. If you run lots of lands, this is definitely worth considering as a helper against mana flood, especially in the late game, as it makes your topdecks much better. Casting it from your hand is bad enough that you don't want more than one, especially when this can be tutored with Mystical Teachings (Or dumped unceremoniously into the graveyard with Forbidden Alchemy). Exotic.

    Mysteries of the Deep - No mystery about why you'd want to include one. A nice one-of instant card draw spell that you can play as a sorcery for extra value. Mainly useful because of, wait for it, Mystical Teachings.

    Ponder" target="blank">Ponder, Preordain and Brainstorm" target="blank">Brainstorm - Although Brainstorm might seem the undisputed best card here, these three are actually pretty close. Brainstorm is a lot worse than in Legacy since the format doesn't have a lot of shuffle effects, but it is a Teachings target. Ponder and Brainstorm are exotic choices over Preordain, which is superior in control decks.

    Gitaxian Probe" target="blank">Gitaxian Probe - Sometimes played as a one-of to essentially shrink the deck by one card, as well as having good synergy with Mnemonic Wall. The actual effect can sometimes be helpful against combo decks. Somewhat exotic.

    Gush" target="blank">Gush - I don't mean to gush about the power of this card, but you know a spell is good when it's banned in Legacy. Gush is an instant-speed card drawing spell that combines very well with Mystical Teachings, although bouncing two islands is kind of onerous given that we only play nine of them. Regardless, Gush is borderline broken, and worth trying. Exotic.

    Forbidden Alchemy - If you can get enough flashback sweetness going, this is an Impulse with a bonus. It does, however, fight for space with teachings, although splitting the difference between the two helps you smooth out your mana curve.

    Yes, you still have to have a mana curve. Having cheaty quadratic lands doesn't excuse you from that.



    This deck plays islands, so of course it says no. It says no often, and in a lot of different funny voices. It is not, however, a permission deck or a draw-go deck, and so it plays relatively few counters, around three to five split between different cards.

    Counterspell and Deprive" target="blank">Deprive - Actually not always played, or played as one-ofs. Double blue is just very awkward in the 8-post mana base. Deprive is notable mostly because you can get extra value out of it by bouncing your Glimmerposts. Though this sounds insane, it's yet another way of trolling aggro. Deprive is quite exotic.

    Mana Leak, Rune Snag" target="blank">Rune Snag and Prohibit - Those are the better counterspells for 1U. They're important because your access to colored mana is limited; keeping hands with only a Glimmerpost, a Cloudpost and a Prism for mana, on the play, is neither unusual nor incorrect, after all. Mana Leak and Rune Snag are fairly close. Rune Snag is a card that you almost always want to run as a four-of, and it does make you run out the first one aggressively, but once that first Snag is in the bin, subsequent ones are much better than Mana Leak. Choosing between the two is a meta call, though nowadays it is a very strange metagame indeed that requires four such counterspells. Prohibit is good against almost all decks in the format, and it doesn't lose its late-game utility like Mana Leak does. Since you tend to be ahead on mana, you don't have to worry too much about the kicker cost. Rune Snag is an exotic option.

    Condescend - Since we are trying to always be ahead on mana, Condescend is actually pretty solid, and everybody loves a counterspell that gets you some value. This edges out all the other XU counterspells in the format because of the Scry ability, though Power Sink is also worth considering. Sadly, we do not have Spell Burst in Pauper.

    Pyroblast" target="blank">Pyroblast and Hydroblast" target="blank">Hydroblast - Sideboard cards, but important ones, that make match-ups against monoblue and monored much better. Hydroblast is also key to thwarting the Atog plan in Affinity, and of course both are valuable in the mirror. Being able to bring in all eight also vastly increases the likelyhood of being able to kill or survive a Nivix Cyclops, which is key; pyroblast is also all-important disruption against the degenerate Temporal Fissure decks. Against certain decks, a blast is obviously the absolute best card you can have, a combination Vindicate/Counterspell for 1 mana. Sideboard Cards.

    Hindering Touch - A bit of super secret tech against Storm decks, which counters every copy of a Temporal Fissure. Funny how that works out. Since our meta is deranged, this might be worth playing maindeck as a 1-of, sadly, especially given that it's the only way to answer Temporal Storm directly.

    Force Spike" target="blank">Force Spike - A very early game counter that is useful against decks with "virtual" mana bases (Affinity) and aggro in general. Paying two mana to counter a one-mana guy is, of course, bad juju. Paying one mana is fair. Paying one mana to counter a six-mana spell, or a "free" Myr Enforcer is even better. Exotic.

    Daze" target="blank">Daze - This is basically Force of Will for Pauper. Just making your opponents play around Daze can slow them down very significantly, and playing this means you can afford to tap out early on for things like Prophetic Prism. It also pairs very nicely with Mystical Teachings; if you have only Teachings in hand and four mana open, you still have a Force Spike you can pull out of your behind if your opponent taps out for something. If they don't, you can teachings for something else sweet. If they're playing around Daze, you gain tempo from denying them full use of their main phase, so win-win. Very exotic; most versions can't reliably cast this.

    Muddle the Mixture - Though this is sometimes a dispel, it's most often played for its tutoring ability, which goes find any other two-drop in the deck.

    Dispel" target="blank">Dispel - Almost always a sideboard card. This is difficult to justify in a world where Pyroblast exists, however. Sideboard card.

    Spell Pierce" target="blank">Spell Pierce - Pauper just doesn't have the metagame to make this work, but it's a very powerful card that exists in the margins; one day, the meta will shift to make this good. But not just yet.




    Steamcore Weird - There's sure something weird about a blue Nekrataal, but no blue-red deck should be without a representative from the Izzet, and this guy represents. He is, basically, Firemaw Kavu, in a less aggressive, toned down shell.

    Lightning Bolt and Flame Slash - Not much to say about these two. They kill guys dead and are super efficient. Lightning Bolt can also be used to dome opponents, of course, which can sometimes shorten a game by one turn or two. You probably want Flame Slash more, however, largely because it kills Nivix Cyclops and Spire Golem, as well as Affinity's random 4/4s. However, being an instant is an enormous boon against the Delver decks.

    Electrostatic Bolt - Instant speed is nice; notably it kills two of the more important Flame Slash targets, Myr Enforcer and Spire Golem. Very nice Teachings target, though the rise of Carapace Forger has rendered it a bit less stellar.

    Burst Lightning - Another reasonable alternative to Bolt, this is the instant that kills the most things, though the kicked version is very slow against certain decks, notably Affinity. At this point, I don't recommend playing this as it just doesn't have enough upside.

    Magma Spray - Kills Young Wolf and Safehold Elite dead. Occasionally hoses other graveyard synergies, Unearth and Undying Evil.

    Staggershock - Another sweet Teachings target, and of course a natural two-for-one, both things this deck likes. Usually played as a one-of.

    Firebolt - So this doesn't kill some of the bigger guns in the format (Spire Golem comes to mind), but you gotta love a two-for-one. Currently, the large numbers of oversized creatures in the format are making this bad.

    Geistflame - Firebolt's instant-speed cousin. Again, this is currently nowhere to be seen due to a format dominated by oversized durdles.

    Electrickery - A largely-maindeckable hate card against the weenie decks (Which is to say, Stompy) and 1/1s in general, including all sorts of faeries. One in the main is advisable; one in the sideboard too, perhaps.

    Yamabushi's Flame - Electrickery, basically, only laser-focused against Stompy, where it slays Young Wolf whilst still dealing with Sihana Ledgewalker.

    Stone Rain" target="blank">Stone Rain and Earth Rift" target="blank">Earth Rift - The very first UR Post list that LSV tried out was actually very heavy on land destruction, meant to beat Familiar Storm decks. This turned out to be very bad against the mono-colored, low-curve aggro decks in the format, even though that list still went 3-1 on a daily. Most LD in 8-post now lives in the sideboard, where it waits patiently to spring into action in the mirror match and against decks like Storm and Affinity which have greedy mana bases. Sideboard cards.

    Shattering Pulse" target="blank">Shattering Pulse and Ancient Grudge" target="blank">Ancient Grudge - Another reason Mystical Teachings is so good: You only need one Shatttering Pulse in the sideboard to beat Affinity (Sort of). If you can get to enough mana with a pulse in your hand, you can actually actively start to turn back the tide on Affinity, leaving them with a bunch of overcosted dorks in hand and no land. An active Pulse soft lock is game against Affinity, of course. Do watch out for Atog; it can cause Shattering Pulse to fizzle. Ancient Grudge is a more common option, however, just because you can get your two-for-one much more quickly. Sideboard cards.

    Gorilla Shaman" target="blank">Gorilla Shaman - Another anti-affinity card. The biggest weakness is the need to deploy this early - it's not very good later in the game after they've already flooded the board, though it does slow down the Fling plan. The other downside is that this costs a bloody fortune. Sideboard card.

    Skred - Skred is useful when you absolutely, positively need some creature dead, but it does have the pitfall that it takes a while to get going. Flame Slash will kill very early Myr Enforcers, whereas Skred won't kill one any sooner than turn four, and usually, some of the lands you play by then are non-snow. It also forces you to run snow lands, which is usually totally irrelevant (But increases the cost of your deck by a few tickets) except against the occasional land destruction deck running cheap LD in the form of Thermokarst and Icequake.

    Serrated Arrows - Serrated Arrows helps you squeeze value out of your creatures, gives fits to any swarm/weenie deck, kills faeries very reliably, and can even deal with Atog in a pinch. It's a solid inclusion in addition to the regular red removal, though it's not universally good enough to play in large numbers.



    Capsize - You definitely want one of these. Being able to Capsize with buyback just puts immense pressure on opponents to do something, and when you get to the point of being able to capsize twice in a turn (Not that hard given Cloudposts and Prisms) you can actually reverse your opponent's mana development, at which point you absolutely should win. At times, it's even correct to spend all your mana to capsize once a turn to keep your opponent off three or two mana while you get to keep making land drops. More than one isn't so advisable, however, for obvious reasons.




    Mnemonic Wall, Archaeomancer, and Izzet Chronarch - Basically the same card and Mnemonic Wall wins out due to being easier to cast. By the time you cast it, this is essentially a decent body with a tutor joined at the hip. It's also yet another unfair Capsize/Ghostly Flicker target, and a way of getting back a fizzled Capsize or a countered Rolling Thunder - letting either of those hit the yard is usually bad news bears.

    Trinket Mage - Throw in some artifact lands, maybe a spellbomb, Expedition Map, and you get yourself a nice little package for this guy, which is generally solid. In blue/red there aren't really enough good cards for him to fetch, which is why he shows up in small numbers, but the trinket mage is still a really solid card as a one-of; many of the cards he gets you to play are basically free to have in your deck.




    Ulamog's Crusher - What do you do with a ton of colorless mana? The Crusher is simply the biggest gun in the format. If you resolve this, your opponent is going to need a bigger kill spell. Not a lot kills it, besides black removal spells and Unmake. It only blocks once, of course, but it also only has to hit three times or so; you have to love a finisher that helps you stabilize. Given its answer-me-or-die nature, and its ability to generate card advantage and tempo turn after turn, this is pretty much the Consecrated Sphinx of Pauper. Also, you only need two cloudposts and two glimmerposts in play to cast him and still have mana up to protect him.

    Rolling Thunder - Nothing beats a giant ball of fire for expediency. Rolling thunder is just the strictest, most unstoppable win condition against any nonblue deck: Once your Cloudpost mana beats their life total, you win. Your opponent might not realise it because it sits in your hand, but against anything other than blue or rats, this is pretty much inevitability: Sooner or later, you'll have more mana than your opponent has a life total, and sooner or later you'll draw this. Rolling Thunder can win you the game even if it's the last card in your deck. Just don't forget to play around Mana Tithe and Prismatic Strands if you're up against White Weenie. In an emergency, you can use it as a one-sided wrath, too.




    Ghostly Flicker - It's not hard to play as many as 16 value targets for this in the maindeck, at which point it becomes very close to an instant-speed divination with options and very high upside. The major problem is that it takes up spell slots that are very tight in this kind of deck, and it'll often just not get you enough value. But by now, a singleton Flicker in the main is about standard.

    Expedition Map - A nice one-of that makes post hits easier to hit. Very nice to have in the mirror. Some people go as high as four of these, which I personally think is too much durdling against aggro and leads to ugly hands, especially if you cut lands for it.


    And how do I play it?

    Because of its focus on tempo, its late-game access to some life gain and a lot of mana, and its ability to kill most kinds of permanent outright, UR Post can afford to tap out in the early game, usually for Prophetic Prism and sometimes for evoked Mulldrifters. It doesn't focus so much on stopping the opponent as being able to reverse his development later in the game; once you resolve a capsize with buyback, you're usually well on the way to stabilising.

    You have removal to back up your permission, and you don't have to obsess over falling behind. Like with any permission deck, you need to learn the intricacies of each match-up and know what the linchpin cards are that you should hope to always counter, like Kiln Fiend and Sihana Ledgewalker. UR post is the reactive deck and pretty much never the beatdown, so each match-up is different. Spells like Mana Leak and Force Spike for example, have very different uses in different match-ups: against some decks, you want to use them aggressively early on, because they "go bad" in your hand pretty quickly; against others, they're a key stumbling block that you can use to keep opponents from comboing off.



    The Good

    Rats: You can foil the rats deck pretty handily, especially if you go deep with flashback spells. Depending on what you and your opponent draw, you can out-card him, just drawing cards faster than he can make you discard them, especially if you're pitching Think Twice to Ravenous Rats. His offence is never fast enough to mount a real threat, so you can just let both of you get to topdeck mode, at which point you just draw better than he does, and you have so much extra card draw in your deck you can quickly start recovering from having your hand emptied, especially as you accumulate extra mana.

    White Weenie: There's really only two cards you fear out of White Weenie: Guardian of the Guildpact and Squadron Hawk. Hawks can grab a bonesplitter and just swarm you, whereas guardian can only be dealt with a handful of narrow answers. Make sure not to get too behind on life and plan for the contingency of Guardian coming down; you can survive it by abusing Capsize to re-play a Glimmerpost every turn, or by playing Ulamog's Crusher (Which can block it). If you can hold a counter for it, great. Other than those cards, White Weenie just plays a bunch of creatures that die to removal; many of them generate card advantage or have to be killed twice, but it's a pretty reasonable match-up, given that WW is on the slower end of aggro decks.

    Goblins: The Goblins match-up revolves around Goblin Sledder and Goblin Bushwacker, and their tutoring mother Goblin Matron. Most of their guys are, let's be honest, durdles, and you can really ruin the day for Mogg Flunkies and their ilk by shooting their buddies with cheap burn. If your build is heavy on removal or walls, you should expect to do well unless they have the actual nut draw. Staggershock is an all-star, as is Sea Gate Oracle and Mnemonic Wall. Then you start playing Glimmerposts. Your ability to undo the grinding work of trying to chip away at your life total with their puny 1/1 guys should lead to the point where you resolve something like Ulamog's Crusher, which Goblins is usually outright incapable of dealing with. Game two, you have Hydroblast, which is like a Lightning Bolt and a Counterspell rolled into one; but they probably have Pyroblast and land destruction.

    Stompy: Your whole deck is answers to everything they're doing, especially if you play some number of Sea Gate Oracles. The biggest thing is being conscious about turning on Morbid when they have an opportunity to play Hunger of the Howlpack, and knowing how to use your removal for maximum effect. You generally can't beat a 5/5 Sihana Ledgewalker, so keep that in mind. Don't be afraid to throw your creatures in front of them; getting pump spells out of their hand is about as good as trading with an actual creature. Pay attention to whether or not their Growndswell is kicked before making blocks. Understand that letting a Young Wolf through because it's just a 1/1 anyway may result in being nugged by a pump spell.

    The Bad

    Affinity: Blindingly fast, blatantly unfair, with access to card advantage in the form of Thoughtcast, affinity is a pain. Bring in your artifact hate and load up on hydroblasts. Their deck isn't the most consistent, but you do need to be aggressive with mulliganing hands that don't do anything

    Cyclops: Blindingly fast, blatantly unfair... stop me if this sounds familiar. You can bring in all eight blasts and have a pretty good chance, but it does still come down to having some discipline when mulliganing - it's the same for them, though; they need to keep hands that can stick a threat, and you have to keep hands that can kill every threat they play. It's often not worth it to shoot down a Delver, especially if your hand is light on removal and it might mean you don't get to kill a Kiln Fiend or Cyclops later.

    The Ugly

    Delver: Always kill the turn-1 delver, then just draw-go until you can resolve something. The key to the Delver match-up is that your spells are better than theirs; being able to actually resolve one of your spells is quite good. This is a fairly tense match most of the time.

    Mirror: This is all about drawing posts and/or land destruction. It's mostly a matter of good mulliganing, luck, and not being foolish enough to try and do something. Generally, the first one to play a cloudpost wins; if not, the first one to resolve Stone Rain wins; if not, the first one to resolve Mulldrifter wins. The post mirror is one of the most abominable match-ups in the history of Magic, and it will make you hate yourself, hate Magic, and hate your opponent.

    Temporal Post: ...I spoke too soon. This is the most abominable match-up in the history of Magic. If you don't hate your opponent for playing Fissure, believe me, you will. Board in all of the hate, try to keep them off the combo, play aggressively, mulligan well, and keep the clock in mind as it might be your win condition in the end.


    Decklists

    As an example, here's an extremely typical 4-0 decklist from the August 3, 2013 Pauper Daily Event, piloted by msyymgt:

    BonSequitur's DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Lands
    4 Cloudpost
    4 Glimmerpost
    8 Island
    2 Izzet Guildgate
    5 Mountain

    Creatures
    4 Mulldrifter
    1 Ulamog's Crusher
    1 Mnemonic Wall

    Instants
    2 Mystical Teachings
    2 Prohibit
    1 Burst Lightning
    1 Capsize
    1 Condescend
    1 Counterspell
    1 Electrickery
    1 Ghostly Flicker
    1 Lightning Bolt
    1 Magma Spray
    1 Mana Leak

    Sorceries
    4 Flame Slash
    4 Preordain
    2 Compulsive Research
    1 Deep Analysis
    1 Rolling Thunder

    Artifacts
    4 Prophetic Prism
    1 Serrated Arrows
    1 Izzet Signet

    Last edited by BonSequitur: 8/6/2013 6:35:38 PM
    On average, Magic players are worse at new card evaluation than almost every other skill, except perhaps sideboarding.
  • #2
    Damn, good job! Primer was concise enough that I didn't get tired of it, yet funny enough that I never got bored. <Insert humble brag about my original Illusions Primer here>

    Anyway, very good job. For aesthetic purposes, I advise you [center] the 3 cards at the top.


    Join the Poetry Running Contest!

    Quote from BlippyTheSlug
    Poetry is the tampon for my mental menstruation.
  • #3
    Other good destruction options are Dead//Gone and Burst Lightning. Burst Lightning seems to be really good right now because of all the Spire and Razor Golems, as well as Affinity's 4/4's. There's very little difference between 2 and 3 damage, with Cystbearer and Auriok Sunchaser being the notable exceptions. Thus, I would play BL over Lightning Bolt, but definitely max out on Flame Slash before anything else.
  • #4
    Great job! This deck rules.

    Broken Ambitions is a common though.
  • #5
    Oops, thanks for pointing it out. I meant to write Spell Burst there, which would be completely unfair in this deck (It's essentially a hard lock when you get enough mana, even more so than Capsize). Broken Ambitions is just bad, unless you're playing some weird monoblue Post mill variant.
    On average, Magic players are worse at new card evaluation than almost every other skill, except perhaps sideboarding.
  • #6
    Two cards of note -- accumulated knowledge as a card draw -- played a game against someone with 4 in a u/b postdeck with teachings and it was just wrong -- and geistflame as removal, basically to fight delver decks but it did a pretty good number on my landfall deck.

    Edit: I could have sworn the accumulated knowledge section wasn't in there when I posted this.
    Last edited by Tom the Scud: 12/26/2011 3:58:36 PM
  • #7
    Quote from Tom the Scud
    Two cards of note -- accumulated knowledge as a card draw -- played a game against someone with 4 in a u/b postdeck with teachings and it was just wrong -- and geistflame as removal, basically to fight delver decks but it did a pretty good number on my landfall deck.

    Edit: I could have sworn the accumulated knowledge section wasn't in there when I posted this.


    It's been there, I assure you. Are you sure about that though? After you cast all 4, you're averaging +1.5 draws per card. That barely stands up to Think Twice tbh. I would rather run Mulldrifter, Think Twice, and deep analysis, since you can cast them all at about the same time, but those 3 allow you more flexibility. Having to rely on drawing at least 3 copies of a given card to get value out of it...well...not wise.

    tl;dr: I think Accumulated Knowledge is too slow and inconsistent, I would rather get comparable effects with more consistency. For reference: with 3 copies of Knowledge, you've drawn 6 cards, and lost 3, for a total of +3 CA. For the same cost (6), one copy of Deep Analysis will draw you 4 cards, at the cost of 1, for +3 CA.
    Double tl;Dr: Every copy of Deep Analysis does just as much work as your entire playset of Accumulated Knowledge.

    But I think the problem with Geistflame is that it's worse than Firebolt. The only advantage of the Flame is that it's instant.
    Last edited by Zelderex: 12/26/2011 4:40:43 PM


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  • #8
    Quote from Zelderex
    But I think the problem with Geistflame is that it's worse than Firebolt. The only advantage of the Flame is that it's instant.


    Hopefully, you aren't forgetting that you can Teachings for Geistflame but not for Firebolt. It's almost assuredly worth 1 slot as long as there's aggro is in the metagame.
  • #9
    Quote from Gix
    Hopefully, you aren't forgetting that you can Teachings for Geistflame but not for Firebolt. It's almost assuredly worth 1 slot as long as there's aggro is in the metagame.


    Totally forgot that only instants can be grabbed. Yeah, it's probably a great investment in this meta, where 1 toughness dudes are all over.


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  • #10
    Hoping to get started on some match-up writing. Anybody care to help me do some controlled testing?
    On average, Magic players are worse at new card evaluation than almost every other skill, except perhaps sideboarding.
  • #11
    Quote from BonSequitur
    Hoping to get started on some match-up writing. Anybody care to help me do some controlled testing?


    I have Mono Black Control if you need it. Shoot me a PM, I'll try to be on MODO most of the day.


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  • #12
    And first batch of match-up notes are posted.
    On average, Magic players are worse at new card evaluation than almost every other skill, except perhaps sideboarding.
  • #13
    An excellent start at a primer, and some good progress so far. Kudos!

    I'm not sure I agree with your characterization of the burn matchup. Basically I find that they can nut-draw you, but if you have the right answers (a mix of counter and burn, usually) you can reach the point of Capsizing a Glimmerpost, which puts the game so far out of reach that it feels uncharitable.
    I would put a flashing red note in the goblins matchup notes to watch out for Sledders/Raiders. The deck has 7 or 8; they counter Staggershock or Echoing Truth on tokens; they make your Seismic Shudders half as good; they pile up to kill your fat-bottomed blockers--they're just a headache all around. I kill them basically on sight unless something else is killing me (in which case I usually have to have a Hydroblast, because the Sledder will negate a Bolt or even a Flame Slash).

    I'll also put in a word for Mnemonic Wall. I've cut this in the past, swayed by input from other lists without it, but I always find myself missing it and putting it back in. It lets you use your Rolling Thunder as an early board-wipe against aggro without having to worry that you won't have it as a finisher. The abundance of cheap removal that Post plays also makes it an excellent value play at around 6 mana. The thing I love most about it, though, is the engine that it forms with Capsize. It becomes another soft lock, as bouncing your Wall even every other turn in the late game gets you back whatever answer you might need. The best part is that even if your Capsize was countered or Duressed earlier on, you can start off the fun by getting it back. I'll play one Wall in every Post deck ever (UR, mono-blue, UB), for all time.
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  • #14
    Burn is certainly beatable, and maybe I should tone down the language not to give the impression that it's a monstrous bogeyman. But it is a very rough match-up - game one, so much of it rests on you drawing certain specific cards (Cheap counters, removal for Kiln Fiend, Glimmerpost) and you don't really have the time to dig for them, as tapping out at the end of their turn for a tutor/filter/draw spell usually means opening up to take two bolts to the face. Basically, every spell in their deck is a live draw for them, while you have a lot of dead draws; it's the opposite in Rats, for example, where you draw exceedingly well and they really don't.

    And yeah, the Goblins match-up definitely revolves around Sledder, as it does for everyone. Sledder is by far the best card in that deck, and it should be killed with extreme prejudice or better yet, countered. Smart Goblins players will, in fact, respond to you Firebolting a lone Sledder by sacrificing two goblins to save him; that's how valuable the card is to their strategy.

    And I do mention Mnemonic Wall! It's under "value guys."
    On average, Magic players are worse at new card evaluation than almost every other skill, except perhaps sideboarding.
  • #15
    Island and Mountain - Totally broken cards, especially because you can run any number of them.


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    Last edited by Korsakovia: 12/31/2011 12:33:44 PM
  • #16
    Awesome write up! This is a deck I've really been thinking about playing, seeing as it has just manhandled my WW deck every time I've gone up against it. However, I do get jovial when I'm playing against it with goblins, unless they get serrated arrows on the board. Honestly, I think this might be one of the better decks in the environment right now.

    BTW, how do you get to do Primers? I'd really like to do one for Goblins or White Weenie.
  • #17
    I recently picked up playing 8-post, but I seem to be having lots of trouble with early defense and pressure. The list I run is:
    SyntaxError's DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Lands
    4 Cloudpost
    4 Glimmerpost
    8 Island
    5 Mountain
    2 Terramorphic Expanse

    Creatures
    1 Mnemonic Wall
    4 Mulldrifter
    1 Ulamog's Crusher

    Other Spells:
    1 Capsize
    4 Compulsive Research
    1 Counterspell
    1 Deep Analysis
    1 Echoing Truth
    3 Firebolt
    2 Flame Slash
    1 Kaervek's Torch
    2 Lightning Bolt
    2 Mana Leak
    2 Mystical Teachings
    2 Power Sink
    4 Preordain
    4 Prophetic Prism
    1 Staggershock



    I've seen people run Steamcore Weird and Sea Gate Oracle, but I already have quite a bit a of removal and drawing. Any suggestions?

    EDIT: Would running Delver of Secrets be viable with the large bulk of sorceries and instants?


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  • #18
    Quote from SyntaxError
    I recently picked up playing 8-post, but I seem to be having lots of trouble with early defense and pressure.
    [...]
    I've seen people run Steamcore Weird and Sea Gate Oracle, but I already have quite a bit a of removal and drawing. Any suggestions?


    The thing is, Weird and Oracle are removal/drawing that come with a 1/3 blocker. If you're having trouble with Goblins, for example, that can be huge; I would switch Compulsive Research for Sea Gate in that case (not as good a draw spell, but blocks 2/2s or holds off 1/1s). If you're having problems with Delver/WW's fliers obviously this change doesn't help as much.
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  • #19
    The thing is, Weird and Oracle are removal/drawing that come with a 1/3 blocker. If you're having trouble with Goblins, for example, that can be huge; I would switch Compulsive Research for Sea Gate in that case (not as good a draw spell, but blocks 2/2s or holds off 1/1s). If you're having problems with Delver/WW's fliers obviously this change doesn't help as much.


    The thing is, I play paper pauper as casual decks with my friends, and they run kitchen table variants of elves and pure illusions. Illusions I don't have so much trouble with, but the elves really start to become a problem. I can take out early threats, but after he starts dropping archdruids and spamming nissa's chosens, I just flat out can't handle it. By the way, has anyone tried Delver of Secrets in 8-post?


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  • #20
    Seismic Shudder makes elf decks sad. And is teachings-able.
  • #21
    Delver just isn't at its best in 8-post decks, for lots of reasons. You don't consistently have untapped blue on turn 1, you don't play equipment, you don't play a bunch of other flying threats like Delver decks do. Essentially, your delvers aren't going to be as good as the delvers in a delver deck; and simultaneously, using four slots for them makes your deck worse at controlling the game, especially because delver is such an aggressive creature.
    On average, Magic players are worse at new card evaluation than almost every other skill, except perhaps sideboarding.
  • #22
    What should I take out for shudders and oracles/weirds?


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  • #23
  • #24
    Swapping the torch for a rolling thunder seems like a big improvement; a bit harder to cast, but it gives you the option of a defensive board-wipe if you need it in addition to a finisher.
  • #25
    Since I use pauper decks for casual paper magic play, would using red sun's zenith as an alternate be viable? What are your views on rolling thunder and devil's play as well?

    EDIT: I came up with a non-pauper list, tell me what you guys think

    SyntaxError's DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
    Creatures
    1 Mnemonic Wall
    4 Mulldrifter
    2 Steamcore Weird
    1 Ulamog's Crusher

    Instants
    1 Capsize
    1 Echoing Truth
    2 Lightning Bolt
    2 Mystical Teachings
    2 Prohibit
    2 Spell Burst
    1 Staggershock

    Sorceries
    4 Compulsive Research
    3 Firebolt
    2 Flame Slash
    4 Preordain
    1 Rolling Thunder / Devil's Play / Red Sun's Zenith

    Artifacts
    4 Prophetic Prism

    Land
    4 Cloudpost
    4 Glimmerpost
    8 Island
    5 Mountain
    2 Terramorphic Expanse



    Do you guys think I can fit in a deep analysis anywhere? I was thinking about cutting a firebolt for it.
    Last edited by SyntaxError: 1/16/2012 2:14:49 PM


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