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  • posted a message on Local tourney reports (paper w MTGO rules)
    Black Cat Bar Pauper tourney, 19.03:

    1: Goblins 12 (Me)
    2: Boros Metalcraft 10
    3: Bogles 9
    4: Boros Tokens 7 (other finalist)
    5: Dimir Flicker 7
    6: Mono B Devotion 6
    7: Mono B Ponza 6
    8: Infect 6
    9: Stonehorn Tron 4
    10: Naya Landfall 3
    11: Dreadmaw Stompy 3 (drop)
    12: Griffin Tribal 3
    13: GB Dredge 3
    14: Mono W Rebels 0 (drop)

    Well, this time I took it. People have been buying up the store's Lightning Bolts, Fireblasts and the goblins that go into that RDW aggro list lately, so it took me forever to actually get the cards I need for a tradish Goblins list. Whoever's been reading this might have noticed me talking about Goblins terrorizing my local meta, and there you have it, the little s****s are horrifying.

    It was a no-nonsense build made with redundancy in mind - 8 2/2 for R, Foundry Street Denizen, Kruin Striker, Mogg Raider, Goblin Sledder, Mogg War Marshal, Goblin Bushwacker, Lightning Bolt, Fireblast , nothing at all above 2 mana, 19 lands to be sure I can cast two things at once (might have been 1 too many), all mountains so I can always use up all the mana. Flaring Pain won me a game in the finals vs Boros Tokens, Sparksmith won me a game vs Infect and I got very lucky and barely won the first two rounds vs. Mono Black Devotion and Mono Black Ponza 2 - 1.

    The deck is very, very simmilar to Tooth & Scale - you use Mogg Raider and Goblin Sledder to screw with combat match and stats on your dudes, much like you use Tooth of Chiss-Goria and Scale of Chiss-Goria. You have stronger pump, but smaller dudes for the (low) cost, but they have larger dudes for the same cost and their pump doesn't need fuel.

    Also, I find Goblins to work the best the less fancy you try to make them. They never ever look like anything on paper, so everyone goes and tries to put in goblins that do something, while in truth you just need practice and some game experience to realize how brutal they actually are. You do, of course, always run the risk of running out of gas, and you do go into topdeck mode, but the deck does seem to be able to put opponents into a position where you have a lot of outs and they can't turn the tables fast enough.

    Top 4 featured 2 Boros variants, one was a go-wide tokens / flashback, and one was the default grindy "metalcraft" variant. They both did well, as did Bogles. Bogles lost to a Flagbearer sideboard and barely beat Rebels, but otherwise had good matchups because it managed to evade the sideboard minefield.

    Mono Black guys both barely lost to me, and both of them due to one crucial greedy play (a different one for each). They did both get handled by Boros, though.

    Not that much to say otherwise. Infect had mulligan disasters vs. me, Dimir Flicker did well, Stonehorn Tron managed to pull a draw with Boros Metalcraft but didn't do very well, Griffin Tribal lost it's matches 1 - 2 in very close games - the pilot lost a match to Tron due to inexperience with the matchup, and the deck isn't great vs mono Black (it's not hopeless, but the pilot decided to mainboard some counterspells next time).

    The Stompy and Rebel players had to drop after round 2, so their results aren't indicative of much, and Rebels take a bit of expert handling while the guy had never played them before.

    Delvers were nowhere to be seen. There was a Delver for rent, and at least two people had a Delver deck with them but opted not to play it. The general conclusion is that it's a bit of a Timmy deck. The kind of person who builds it thinks that since they've got the most broken stuff that they have the best deck, and then get severely disappointed when they don't 2-0 everything and win every tourney, while everybody else just preys on the deck mercilessly due to it's low threat density. I see this a lot - get interested in Pauper, look for stuff that's obviously broken, make a Delver deck, come to a tourney, lose more than 0 matches, lose all interest in the format when it turns out it's not free wins. About 1 in 5 people actually shelve the Delver and get interested in a different deck. Too few people seem to be interested in a format where you can't google a decklist for free boosters.

    There's a tourney coming up on Sunday where there might be many people for whom Tuesday evening is not the ideal time, and there might be people who don't usually play Pauper at all, and they all have Delver decks, so there might be half the field worth of Delvers there. My prediction is that either Boros Metalcraft takes them, or some Sliver or other Delver killer who gets lucky and plays nothing but their matchup of choice all tourney long. Or some Delver plays nothing but mirrors and ends up taking it.
    Posted in: MTGO Pauper
  • posted a message on Modern Horizons (Updated)
    I agree with the assessment of anyone who's more informed of the current modern metagame than me that FTK doesn't look very threatening. It's just that a lot of people are used to etb-kill-stuff, and since it doesn't have much of an impact, they think it can't. This isn't true, in large part because FTK had such a huge impact that they never actually made a guy as good at it as he was. And yes, there are matchups where he's a dead card, sure, there were such even in his heyday. He's still one of the cards with the biggest long lasting impact on MtG in general.

    It looks dopey, and you've seen a lot of cards vaguely similar to him not be very impactful, but a large part of that was because there wasn't ever really a dude that did etb-kills-something with only one colored mana or his clocking power. And most modern players, or magic players for that matter, at this point haven't actually played against FTK and their assessment of how strong that effect can be with just the right stupid combination of numbers is likely to be off. WOTC made sure not to repeat those numbers ever, but FTK is less Chupacabra or Dark-Dwellers territory, and more Bloodbraid Elf territory, except as opposed to the elf FTK takes less deckbuilding considerations and if a format allows him to be a playable card he starts cropping up literally everywhere. Like in hard control decks of all things.

    Still, FTK has it's downsides, and it wouldn't wtfpwn everything even if it was everywhere because there's always decks that have no targets for him at all - he IS more of a sideboard card - it's just that I'd be careful around that card.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Help me with my Pauper Goblins land base
    Saccing gobbos is actually how the deck beats 1/3 roadblocks which are important in the format. This means that Mogg Raider and Goblin Sledder are both core and the main reason to even attempt running goblins at all. It makes the deck very capable of getting past Augur of Bolas and such. Also, being able to sac half your goblins to save others from Electrickery and Nausea means you have a chance where other decks would not. I'd play no less than 6 of those guys, and probably 7 or 8.

    Otherwise, yeah, everything WarMachine said, except I'm not sure I'd run anything that costs 3 mana in a Goblin Deck (including Goblin Matron - there are combo/toolbox lists but we were much happier with redundancy lists with a lower curve). Goblin Caves are worth it, though. If you want an enchantment, Impact Tremors ought to do the trick. Mogg War Marshal is key to always having sac fodder for Raiders/Sledders or EtB Triggers for Tremors, Denizens or Kruin Strikers.

    Goblins are a terrifying deck, with their only real problem being that Sparksmith is actually worse in a Goblin deck than a random RDW build, because you can't just hose down dude strats with him due to having too many Goblins on board. And remember to keep your non-dude stuff to a minimum.
    Posted in: Paper Pauper and Peasant
  • posted a message on Modern Horizons (Updated)
    Quote from Lemonbuster »
    Magic was a lot different when FTK was seeing competitive play. I think it’s generally worse than Bloodbraid Elf which doesn’t play outside of one deck. It’s hard to justify spending four mana on anything in this format, and as a person who only plays with red based removal in modern, 4 damage just ain’t doing it on turn 4. The number of matchups where FTK wouldn’t even have a target aside from your own creatures is pretty large.


    Sure, as I said, that card is either unplayable or completely evil, depending on the metagame. I played it in extended formats when it was also supposed to not be playable, but then it just messed up certain matchups. It's generally not played on turn 4, but accelerated into play earlier (this was also the case in it's own standard). And Extended was likely faster and nastier than Modern, although from what I gather modern caught up with the design mistake quota at some point and is about as silly. Either way I wouldn't reprint it - it'll either do nothing, or be as evil as ever, and I certainly wouldn't want it downshifted for Pauper as it would just be a nail in the coffin for every creature that's not Gurmag Angler (who's already opressive enough).

    The difference between Chupacabra and FTK, and really, all other FTK's and FTK is that FTK clocks you faster. They're quite different cards in this respect, and FTK's likely to pressure people and trade with another reasonably large thing, where Chupacabra is just an overcosted kill spell that requires 2 mana of the same color to cast. FTK is a kill spell that rebounds for 4 damage every turn unless dealt with, they're not on the same plane in terms of power level. FTK was a design mistake on multiple levels, so much so that they're still really, really careful to not print anything like it, even if they print suff that on paper reminds people of it. Still not saying that being a faster clock means FTK would have an impact, but he does clock in 5 swings solo, whereas Bloodbraid clocks in 7 and Chupacabra in 10. Those are huge differences. It might not make a difference in the current Modern, but I'd not be in a rush to ever see it legal anywhere outside of commander and such. Just in case.

    Still, Fluctuator is just a no. Nothing good ever comes off that card.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Modern Horizons (Updated)
    I remember the end days of old Extended and how I took a longish break from magic when there was no format legal for Pernicious Deed. If that comes back I might actually look to get into Modern for the first time since the format existed. That is if they actually make Chainer's Edict legal, too. Getting Chainer's Edict, Recoup and Pernicious Deed would be a blast, and I could get over losing Evasive Action, maybe. But downshifting that one would mean all the good stuff you need to make Domain work in Pauper, and that would be really good.

    Some advice from a guy who actually played with Fluctuator and Flametongue Kavu. Don't reprint Fluctuator. Just don't. Flametongue Kavu is sneakily much stronger than all the later Flametongues we've been getting for years and either does noting if a fomat is resistant to it (namely, usual threats are too big for him to take them out if you cast him on curve), or it completely wtfpwns dude decks and acts as a power-level gatekeeper even if no deck actually plays him. Meaning he either does nothing, or he really affects the format just by existing. I'd be very careful about that card, unless the format is already opressively dominated by some other gatekeeper with even higher busted-quota requirement for any creature to be playable.

    Folks who are nostalgic about FTK often don't really understand how much impact that card can have.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Help me with my Pauper Goblins land base
    There was a great goblin writeup somewhere on the net, with three decklists that all sport the same solid core, then diverge in what the unallocated cards are, but remain focused on what that particular iteration of the deck is trying to achieve. Alas, I can't find it anymore, but I remember it being a helpful read and folks who tried one of the builds - there was one which used Kruin Striker as Foundry Street Denizen 5-8 - had great sucess with it. It was the terror of the local meta for a while, and the only reason it's not anymore was that I sold it to a random newbie who had stopped showing up regularly after that. And I can't put another list together because people keep buying up my Lightning Bolts and Fireblasts for other decks.

    You list seems a bit unfocused in this regard. It doesn't fully sport what that article listed as core, and it also mixes up several of the possible strategies in a way that probably dilutes them. I can't remember what the core was, exactly, but if you manage to find the article, give it a read, it's pretty spot on.

    And as for your question - after a bunch of time trying those lists out, my crew has come to the conclusion that the correct number of non-mountain lands in a goblins list is - zero. You really, really, really want to curve out, and since so much of your stuff costs 1, or at most 2 mana, anything that comes into play tapped will end up costing you way more games than being able to occasionally cycle a land will win you games. You also never want to not be able to sac a land for Fireblast. And your deck will often enough keep one-land hands, that either starting with a cycling land or drawing a cycling land will mean all it does is come into play tapped. The benefits of just about any other land you could put in seem pretty marginal, too.

    This is different than with Burn lists where cycling a land can (and often will) lead to immediately dealing damage to your opponent with the card you drew.
    Posted in: Paper Pauper and Peasant
  • posted a message on Local tourney reports (paper w MTGO rules)
    Small 8-man pod during a multievent at the Black Cat (16.03.2019.)

    1: 9 Rakdos Monarch
    2: 6 UR Ponza (me, also other finalist)
    3: 6 Griffin Tribal
    4: 6 Inside Out
    5: 3 Mono G Infect
    6: 3 Tooth & Scale
    7: 3 Burn
    8: 0 Inside Out

    So, we had a small chill tourney today just to playtest some stuff and that's how it turned out.

    Rakdos Monarch is quite strong it seems - it's more-or-less the discard part of mono black lists, Chainer's Edict, Black carddraw, some quality burn and a strong red sideboard. It discards the other guy's threats, kills what it doesn't discard and ride Angler or Monarch to victory. I've been hearing that Blue-Black control is quietly really strong online lately, but this thing can feel downright unfair to play against. It didn't clear the thing with 2 - 0 's, so I could not worry and write it off as a good day for RB control, but I'm getting a bit worried as it seems to be improving in performance all the time and this is the second time it won a tourney lately.

    I played a rogue deck which I put together for rent simply because I wanted a deck for Fade Away, Seismic Spike and Flailing Soldier to be in. It was meant to be a fun and different deck for someone to pick up for rent when they don't want the pressuer that comes with playing a tier 1 deck, but still be able to randomly mess up some spike's day for the lols. It ended up beating Inside Out, which has a reputation as a strong deck in our local meta, and then it beat Tooth & Scale, which has an ever more notorious reputation in our meta. The fun thing about the deck is that it's a ponza which is exceptionally good vs. go-wide due to Fade Away, can lock people out of games strangely fast with Goblin Electromancer and Capsize, and it's quite punishing to low-curve / low-land count decks due to Flailing Soldier. In our experience black ponza does much better vs. control, and doesn't do very well vs. the things I just listed, so playing the UR one feels quite novel and refreshing. It's not top-tier or anything, and the build was completely untested and will take a ton of work to get properly serious, but it turned out to be strangely good against some local boogeyman decks.

    The problem was that it's nowhere nearly as good vs. control as black Ponza is and my opponent in the finals was a discard-based control with cheap, efficient black card-draw and enough removal to take out all my threats with ease. It's a bit hard to tell, though, because I had awful, awful luck with mulligans, and my opponent was pretty much horribly flooded (good vs. the deck) AND instead of drawing dead cards against the deck, they drew only cards which were relevant in the matchup.

    And Griffin Tribal came in third! So, good day for meme decks, I suppose, but on the other hand it's a deck full fliers which has access to Journey to Nowhere and enough room for random tech to have something that works really well against whoever they're playing either main or side. The staples it uses are quite strong, and the creature base, although not tier 0 for either of their colors, is not far enough below top tier to cause the deck to not work. It just seems to be rock-solid. Who'd have thought?

    Inside Out is a bit of a boogeyman among the crowd here because it won a few tourneys, but as you can see, one completely crashed and burned, and the other one lost game one vs. me on UR Ponza, and barely won 2 - 1 against Tooth & Scale. My deck was indeed something the Inside Out pilot didn't expect - Flailing Soldier really put pressure on it to try to go off as fast as possible, and the deck needs to assemeble several combo pieces to go off. The one who did better at least managed to beat Burn, while the other one didn't, and that matchup is bizzare. Last time I played Inside Out vs. Burn we went to time and it's one of the strangest things I've seen in pauper. It's a matchup that's bad for both sides! The Inside Out player who did worse ran into Griffin Tribal, and that deck seems to be a random bad matchup for anybody, then ran into Infect which is just faster and simpler when it comes to doing basically the same thing, and then ran into Burn and that time it went the way of Burn.

    Infect can't really beat Rakdos Control. It has way more removal than Infect has dudes, and that's that. Then Infect played against Inside Out, and they're kinda simmilar except Infect does it's thing with less hassle. And then it was a tossup vs. Griffins, and Griffins both have ways to screw with the combat step and don't have "the Infect problem" of drawing the wrong sort of thing (anywhere near as much as Infect does). Not a good day.

    It also wasn't a good day for Tooth & Scale. The first mistake vs. Ponza was keeping a one-lander (as it's usually fine against other things), and it also ate a Fade Away into Capsize lock in the other game it lost in that match. It beat Burn 2 - 1, but it lost 1 - 2 to Inside Out due to what the pilot said was a greedy play on his part.

    So, that's that, a small, fun tourney, two meme decks in top 3, and more of a playtest for everybody involved. We'll be having our usual Tuesday tourney where we expect better attendance, and there'll be a tourney at a different venue folks are kinda hyped up about as they don't usually hold them but they invited me to run the thing as the guys who run that place enjoy the reports and would like to introduce their crowd to Pauper.
    Posted in: MTGO Pauper
  • posted a message on Local tourney reports (paper w MTGO rules)
    Yeah, those treasure chest things completely slipped past us dinosaurs who still check legality via gatherer Laughing

    Energy Tap in particular is a card that fascinated me since I was a kid, but it was never really legal in a format where you could get actual mileage out of it. But now it is Smile There's got to be a workable Deep Hours Aggro build where you use it with Ninja of Deep Hours or Spire Golem into Rush of Knowledge (with counter mana open), and an affinity build where you tap a Myr Enforcer to flood the board with Self-Assembler.

    The later seems to also be a cool place to go multiple 4/4 guys (Carapace Forger, Myr Enforcer and Self-Assebler) and mess Gurmag Angler up with Tooth of Chiss-Goria. We haven't started brewing it up propely, but Sultai Tooth & Scale (except with Welding Jar in place of the Scale of Chiss-Goria) seems like it could be exactly what Affinity was looking for to get back into tier 1 terrioty ^^ Mono W Tooth & Scale is very notorious in our meta (I hope it catches on), it'd be hilarious to see a Sultai Version (black for Dhund Operative , Duress , Night's Whisper and one of those things which bring an artifact and a dude back from the dead - the only red card the deck would really miss would be Krark-Clan Shaman).

    There's no way one or both of those don't work out and turn out to be competitive, but getting the components and numbers right to prevent uneven hands is likely to end up being tricky.

    Now that we're aware that Drafna's Restoration is actually legal Pauper Eggs seems more and more doable. And Flood + Ninja of the Deep Hours seems like it should be filthy in some matchups. Shame it doesn't change a whole lot about the problematic matchups for Delver/Faeries/Deep Hours Aggro/Blue Skies, as you can't tap down Bogles or white fliers, and it's not at it's peak power vs. go-wide in general, but there'll be games won off of that for sure.

    And Abzan Bandwagon seems sillier and sillier every day. Every day someone comes up with a screwier thing to redirect enemy damage to, from that Ravnica Allegiance Granny to Young Wolf with Serrated Arrows on board.

    Pauper - gotta love it. We might put together an 8-man tourney side-event tomorrow as there's a multievent at the Black cat, but none of these brews will be operational in time. At least one of them might get played next Tuesday, as the Brewery is on Monday and the lists are on fire Grin
    Posted in: MTGO Pauper
  • posted a message on Local tourney reports (paper w MTGO rules)
    The thing with Bogles in our meta is that every deck is armed to the teeth against them - Serene Heart , Reverent Slience , Patrician's Scorn , Tranquility , Fogs , Aura Flux , you name it. What they do really well around here is beat up burn and mono-black guys , everybody else packs half a sideboard against them. It's like Dredge in other formats, either folks pack so much hate for the deck that it's impossible for it to do anything at all, ever, or there's no point to coming to the tourney at all because Bogles will win. It's a bit different online where you could end up in a pod with anything at all and never see any Bogles, but when you know for a fact there'll be 1-3 of them in the tourney depending on who shows up, you know you can end up in a situation where your chances at winning will hinge on not getting beat up by Bogles. We kinda like having them around because they mess burn up, which is nice, but we're also kinda annoyed at them because they really kill anyone's desire to play black. And it doesn't take any ammount of care for Bogles to beat any black deck, from what we've seen - there's always an unpantsed Bogle to sack to edicts. The only reliable way to actively make that deck lose seems to be killing all their enchantments or fogging them to death (or a quick enough hand from a specific Rebel build), nothing else seems to work. Sideboards murder them, but you do need enough stuff that does them in in the sideboard to up your chances of actually drawing it - just a playset of one thing won't do it, it takes 7-8 cards which say "Boggles lose this game" on them to be sure. But they do reliably fold to that.

    It all kinda evens out because they tie up half of everyone's sideboard so people can't really afford to pack as many match-killers for different matches as they could otherwise, which is appreciated by anyone packing/renting a deck which isn't that degenerate but folds to sideboards. They also have a bit of what we call "the Infect problem" or "Dreadmaw problem" - they also have games where they draw too many Bogles, or games where they draw too many auras, just like Infect can draw too many dudes and too little pump and vice/versa or Big Green can draw all ramp and no big dudes, or the other way around.

    And that's a weird perspective on Slivers. For us they're the next most stable and dependable deck after Rebels (who're by their nature prone to always playing the exact same match over and over again). It's all lords, and there's more of them than the other guy has counters/removal/dudes. And there's always some sliver who's a must-deal-with in any matchup. So what happens most often isn't nut draws, it's that the other guy can deal with the lord pileup, or they can deal with the problem sliver, but they can't deal with both. They got their problems and bad matchups, sure, but, as I've said, the only thing that seems to beat them for consistency is Rebels, except Rebels don't beat them for raw power.

    Kuldotha Boros would be the close third. Yeah, that deck is really annoying and some folks hate playing against it, but despite all the good stuff red brings to the table, mono-white metalcraft seems to beat it for performance. Folks have begun brewing with mainboard Tin Street Hooligan in RG combiantions as it can break their engine or mess with their lands, but I guess we'll figure out how to make Kuldotha Spammers miserable eventually. Right now we're still on the "let's make Delver/Bogles/Tron people regret their choice of deck" bandwagon. Kuldotha Boros is kind of off the hook in terms of concentrated hate ATM as folks are really glad whoever's playing it isn't playing Metalcraft. If someone actually manages to win a tourney or two with Boros the general attention might turn to them.

    However, we've just recently figured out that certain things we thought weren't online-legal are in fact online legal due to some obscure set which gatherer doesn't list (some of us old farts got introduced to scryfall by the newbies just last week). There'll be brewing with Flood and Energy Tap in the coming weeks, and it'll take us a short while to pick the cards up once we're happy with the builds, but we expect a local metagame shift soon enough if it turns out we can break some of the stuff that we haven't even considered due to thinking it was not legal. There's got to be some game in either Spire Golem or Myr Enforcer + Energy Tap, Flood will make mono blue sideboards for sure, Cemetery Gate gives a whole new dimension to mono-black, and Abzan Banding needs to be plumbed in depth to find the exact most silly thing about it to lean on. That's on top of some brews that were in the making before all this came to attention which bring their own stuff to the table and some folks / us at the bar finally putting together some more widely known decks. So, interesting times ahead.
    Posted in: MTGO Pauper
  • posted a message on Local tourney reports (paper w MTGO rules)
    I wouldn't necessarily be against a Gush ban myself, but thanks a lot for support. Pauper is insanely deep and there's not nearly enough discussison about it around the net. What it actually plays like, that is.

    So 12.03.2019, 16 man tourney at The Black Cat Bar:

    1: 12 (GB Aristocrats)
    2: 9 (GW Slivers) - other finalist
    3: 9 (Mono G Infect - rent)
    4: 9 (Kuldotha Boros / Monarch)
    5: 7 (Rakdos Control) - last tourney winner
    6: 6 (UG Madness - rent) - Me
    7: 6 (Burn)
    8: 6 (UW Griffin Tribal)
    9: 6 (Boggles)
    10: 5 (Boros Tokens)
    11: 4 (UB Delver)
    12: 4 (Zombies)
    13: 3 (Mono B Ponza)
    14: 3 (RG Madness)
    15: 3 (Dimir Flicker)
    16: 1 (Mono B Orzhov)

    Alrighty, here's how it panned out:

    1) GB Aristocrats won. It was a Carrion Feeder and Bloodthrone Vampire thing with Rancor to let him punch through, and Blisterpod , Brindle Shoat , Young Wolf , Nest Invader and other nasty sac fodder along with Unearth sort of thing. It can get out of hand pretty quickly and is very punishing to midrange, while its key dudes are rather resistant to conditional removal and burn. The Rakdos Control pilot analyzed the list (found it on the net) and said it's pretty much a more robust Stompy.

    The problem was, though, that the guy playing it got VERY lucky in his matchups, and that his opponents got impressively bad draws against him. He faced me on UG Madness in the semi finals, and I had the worst hands and draws of the tourney. I couldn't find my bounce for love or money, and I couldn't find either my discard outlets or my lands, too, drawing into Daze after Daze and Arrogant Wurm after my only discard outlet was killed (after being unable to play it on-curve due to lands coming into play tapped). A very similar thing happened to Slivers in the finals - the guy playing them couldn't find any of his 8 removal spells OR his Lead the Stampeede. He lost 0 - 2, but if he saw one Journey to Nowhere at any point he would've won handily. Not to bash the Aristocrats or the guy playing them, but he did make a few severe misplays in both matches and had freakish luck with the games. He also beat Rakdos Control, because the guy playing that was completely unfamiliar with the matchup.

    So as far as GB Aristocrats go - yes, they're nasty, but whether they can consistently be nasty enough is highly doubtful.

    2) Slivers, when you don't put them together as a toolbox but just take them back to the roots of 4 Spinneret Sliver main, a few Benevolent Bodyguard, Sidewinder Sliver for offense, 16 lords (12 and Plated Sliver), several vigilance slivers, Rancor, Journey to Nowhere and Lead the Stampede are likely the strongest dude deck in the format. By a mile. The finals were lost due to the luck of the draw, but otherwise, as long as the pilot knows how to bait counters and removal, and what the key sliver in each matchup is, there's no way not to be impressed.

    Also, the card of the tourney, not just for slivers but in general, was Journey to Nowhere. It won plenty of people plenty of matches, and quite a number of matches that were lost were lost due to someone not being able to find their Journey to Nowhere. It's a reason to play white in Pauper all by itself.

    3) Mono G Infect had a rampage and beat people up left and right but ended up brickwalled by Slivers just as last time. It's nasty, it's consistent, and I suspect that we'd see it winning a lot more tourneys if the guy who's constantly renting it wasn't a newbie. That result there was made by a guy who's only been playing magic for a few months, doesn't understand the rules very well, misplays a lot and is no indicator of the decks actual power. A kid straight out of junior high managed to snag the deck for rent one day and won the tourney easily, but he does have a lot more general MtG experience than the usual pilot. And I'm not entirely sure it's even the best build - we had to take quite a number of powerful cards out because the newbie playing the deck just plain didn't understand them. He wiseing up to the game lately and he's been asking for some to be put back in, but I'm not sure I'd even want to retool it back to glass-cannon land of netlists, as it currently plays like a nasty stompy which has double-strike on all it's dudes, and this is consistently doing good.

    4) I'm not sure if that Kuldotha Boros guy is Kuldotha Boros or Boros Bully or Boros Monarch (which one's which Grin ) but he's not boros tokens. It's the silly white flying package, silly artifact and white draw package, and plenty of quality burn. The guy's an old, experienced player and he consistently does well, but his results on Kuldotha Boros seem to be less impressive than the ones on our rentable W Metalcraft (he won and tied for 1st place on that). He also got lucky against me, because my draw vs. him was even worse than against the Aristocrats guy, while his other matches were quite favorable for his deck.

    5) I was testing out a UG Madness / Delver mashup, and I'm quite happy with how Land Grant and Elephant Ambush flipped my Delver. The idea was to use Land Grant as a way to have "lands" flip my Delver, while also having more threats than delvers usually do while also having access to nasty green sideboard tech. It beat Boggles (3x Moment's Peace and 3x Tranquility in the side, no messing around with that matchup), won a close 2 - 1 vs. Griffin Tribal (banding, my dudes, is a nasty ability, and Madness doesn't like Journey to Nowhere), but had horrendous draws vs. Aristocrats and Kuldotha Boros. The deck has issues with consistency, but I'm working on it. I could've won both those matches had I seen any cards, but a deck that has such lousy hands means the deckbuilder messed something up, and I'm to blame for that.

    6) Rakdos Control pretty much got blindsided by GB Aristocrats, which would not likely happen if they played again, and drew with Boros Tokens. He says Boros is his worst usual matchup, and that he really needs to start just conceding game one if the other guy isn't hopelessly screwed and then mop up games 2 and 3 where his sideboard gives him the edge.

    7) Burn's Burn. The pilot was a first time Pauper tourney player and had never faced infect before, so the infect guy blindsided him with silly shennanigans, and he had to drop after round 3 with 2 - 1. If it wasn't for those two things he'd have probably had a shot at the win (but Slivers would have given him a run for his money if he ran into them).

    8) Griffin Tribal! Nasty little deck, a lot of flies, a lot of threats, several cool tricks, huge Griffin Rider, Journey to Nowhere , Benevolent Bodyguard , Springleaf Drum into Teremko Griffin - lowish curve otherwise. I barely pulled a 2 - 1 vs. it as Banding made it impossible to trade sensibly in combat, and he beat Ponza with Springleaf Drum and Spell Pierce action. It was his first time at a tourney, he had no idea what to expect of the pauper metagame, and he could've had 3 wins if he did me in (and he almost did), and he also got bushwacked by Burn because he didn't know how fast it was and also didn't draw any of his sideboard. I suspect we'll be seeing more of Griffin Man in the future.

    9) And the Boggles guy found out why Boggles don't win everything all the time. When he didn't walk into sideboards, he won. When he did, he lost. It's a really horrible matchup for any color which can't deal with enchantments (and no, edict effects don't work - too many boggles to sac, only one needs to do his thing).

    I won't get into the others in detail as they didn't do so well, but the UB Delver guy ran into Slivers (horrible matchup) and both Boros Guys (also horrible matchups) so it was more of a matchup thing (that guy is one of the only two ever to win Black Cat Bar tourneys with any kind of Delver).

    Looking forward to more tourneys and reports, and also for the board meeting of the Black Cat Brewery - it's a Monday staff meeting between us guys who run the show, we sort cards for sale and trade, spruce up decks for rent and brew for pauper while we're at it. Very interesting developments lately, we need to find what's the best use for the playable Banding critters, see if we can put togheter a Mono B Pestilence with Cemetery Gate (someone informed me that it's actually pauper legal, lol, and I sure hope it is, as I've been itching to see that on a table again for sooooo long - not to mention perma-pestilence and imunity to Gurmag Angler while also being able to block anything that doesn't fly are objectively very good things Grin ), and see about adjusting some netdecks to a serious meta (also finsih up some more widely known decks which are under construction, so that folks can rent them).
    Posted in: MTGO Pauper
  • posted a message on Your Modern Horizons Wish List
    Timber Wolves and Dire Wolves need to find their way into one of these products. Turns out that banding ties a lot of silly Abzan stuff into a nasty package for pauper (Aterlife, Undying, Exalted (leaves you guys to gang-block with banding), Convoke (Hey, you've got all these exalted guys loafing around), Deathtouch (other guy dies, Shield Bearer tanks the damage), Reach + Deathouch)...

    I doubt that they'd actually reprint banding in a non-online set, but we've been playtesting the banding guys which got reprinted online and boy do they ever work...

    Banding + Undying + Serrated Arrows , I don't even...
    Posted in: Paper Pauper and Peasant
  • posted a message on Your Modern Horizons Wish List
    Speaking of that, the only reason Rhystic Study isn't a pauper staple is that it's a 10 E common. Reprinting it even as a rare would still bring the price down (and boost sales of the set as anyone playing blue in Commander wants one, too).

    It's also been vindicated by history and might turn out to actually be playable in Modern on top of everything, too.
    Posted in: Paper Pauper and Peasant
  • posted a message on Local tourney reports (paper w MTGO rules)
    We're having another evening tourney on Tuesday and I'm curious about what happens with one particular deck. A casual player and silly meme enthusiast friend of mine who puts together "rock-bottom-tier tribal decks" as works of art ("Crab Deck - it gives you the crabs!") got interested in Pauper and thought about showing up with one of his silly non-competitive decks for the lols. What ended up happening was him choosing to make a Griffin Tribal deck, and then discovering Griffin Rider who, as it turns out, has rather silly stats. And he also discovered that Teremko Griffin is actually pauper legal.

    So what happened on Saturday during a multi-event open house was that he took the deck for a playtest, which obviously turned into a feature match because everyone loves to see silly decks and all the newbies heard he had a banding creature in his deck and wanted to see what the damned thing actually does. And he won the feature match vs. Domain Zoo. And Banding, it turns out, is as silly as ever. Just picture a poor Arena kid staring in disbelief and asking "Wait, you're not messing with me, he can actually decide how I deal damage?", and you might as well been there to see it.

    Got me thinking about randomly sticking Benalish Hero, Mesa Pegasus or Shield Bearer into decks to mess with people's heads (and their ability to attack with Gurmag Angler 's). It completely slipped my mind those are legal in pauper, and them's nasty ole critters.

    Anyhow, Griffin Man said he was certainly coming to the tourney, and he might crash and burn, but he also might not (that Griffin Rider does indeed have silly stats, and he's got a griffin who's immune to Pestilence and Journey to Nowhere, too). It's going to be hilarious either way and I'm chuckling at the idea of writing a report with Griffin Tribal being at above 0 in a field full of nasty netdecks Grin
    Posted in: MTGO Pauper
  • posted a message on Local tourney reports (paper w MTGO rules)
    Since I've got a cool and somewhat diverse meta at my LGS (It's actually a Local Gaming Caffee "Crni Macak" or "The Black Cat"), and I write reports for our Tuesday Pauper tourneys, I decided to share some here. We kinda seem to be on top of our game and seem to anticipate some shifts in the meta. And it's good to see some reports of tourneys where you've got cutting edge netdecks present, but not necessarily winning or dominating. Crazy aggro meta this week, and Delvers didn't do so hot (they don't actually win all that much over here), so I'm really curious what we see next week.

    For example today, 05.03.2019. we had a 14 man, 4 round evening tourney, and the results were:

    1: 12 Rakdos Control
    2: 9 Gruul Aggro
    3: 9 GW Slivers (Me)
    4: 9 Burn (other finalist)
    5: 6 RDW Goblins
    6: 6 Mono G Infect
    7: 6 Dinrova Tron (Won last week)
    8: 6 Deep Hours Aggro
    9: 5 Stonehorn Tron
    10: 4 UR Delver
    11: 4 RG Madness
    12: 3 Midnight-Gond Combo
    13: 3 Deep Hours Aggro
    14: 0 Zombies

    It was a crazy tourney because the Aggro/Burn/Infect Guys beat up the Trons, Slivers and one of the Trons beat up Delvers (4x Spinneret Sliver main and Grapple with the Past on top of that). So you've got 2 Trons and 3 Delvers (Deep Hours Aggro are mono-blue Delvers), even though none of our UB Delver guys showed up (there were 3 last week), and our Bogles guys were scared of everyone being ready for them after Los Angeles. The guy who played Midnight-Gond placed 2nd last week with Bogles, but this week the RG Madness guy packed Serene Heart , the Infect guy packed Reverent Silence, our for-rent Metalcraft and Rebels both packed Patrician's Scorn (and Aura Flux was highly sought after and passed around) so he tried something else, and it didn't work out.

    The finals were Rakdos Control vs. Burn. Rakdos Control is basically mono-black control with a heavy discard emphasis and red bolted on for Firebolts, Lightning Bolts and Terminate + Pyroblast in the sideboard (and Fountain bouncing with Rakdos Carnarium which helped vs. Burn). You could call it RB Monarch, as the plan is to answer all enemy threats, reduce their hand, slam Rose of the Black Thorn down and/or clog the board up with a fat Angler, and ride Monarch to victory. The guy playing it didn't do so well in the previous two weeks, but today the meta really went his way. The Burn guy was playing Pauper for the first time and didn't manage to secure a playset of Curse of the Pierced Heart - he did great in the first three rounds, but the lack of that card lost him the final match vs. control.

    Gruul Aggro was another guy trying out Pauper for the first time, and the deck wasn't his, but it's an interesting take on "how do I get the most out of Burning Tree Emissary", with Naya Hushblade and a lot of Alara block multicolored stuff. You don't see it too often online I suppose, and it's been hit-and-miss in our local meta, but it sure has it's days and this was one of them.

    Oh, and the most sucessful of the Delvers reported that Faerie Duelist does have a niche and seems to be playable as a sideboard card in mirrors, as it messes up enemy Delvers, which got the deck a win in the mirror. The UR Delver had catastrophic luck with matchups - it should've done really well in the aggro heavy meta, but ended up matched vs. two Trons and Burn, and that's not really what it wants to play against. Shame, as it would've certainly done better against some of the other decks.

    The Mono G infect guy beat up a Delver and a Tron handily but he got rushed in the first round by Goblins - they're brutal, but were piloted by a newbie so they didn't do as well as they usually do - and Infect also ran into me with Slivers for a nightmare 1 - 2 match at the end because everything we put on board or had in hand messed with combat math and we both ended up with a headache afterwards. Infect seems to be really good at slapping netdecks around, but doesn't so much fold to random aggro as much as turn from a straightforward no-brainer deck into something that's hugely tricky to pilot. What's cool to notice in those matches is that the Wither part of Infect and using your pump and fight cards to grind the other guy out actually works, and if I didn't draw a Journey to Nowhere to deal with a Rancored up Blight Mamba in game 3 I would've lost that match and Infect would have had 9 out of 12 points. His version is our LGS rent deck and after a lot of community feedback it's got Llanowar Elves and 3-4 Rot Wolf in it as they really help with matches where you can't just rush a guy with huge pump.

    Anyone got reports from their local tourneys? Always interesting to see what metas other than the online one look like.
    Posted in: MTGO Pauper
  • posted a message on Your Modern Horizons Wish List
    Speaking of pauper downshifts, I'd kill for Veteran Brawlers and possibly even Flailing Ogre . Those things are enormously powerful in the right decks, the Brawlers would be another 4/4 for 2 to add to the roster, they'd fit anti-Tron ponza strats and they're one of those cards for whom it's a crime that there's not an appropriate format for them to be legal in. Flailing Ogre plays ball in both anti-tron and tron decks and is another silly looking card from Masques Block which kills people stone dead when you actually try it (I know Flailing Soldier is already there, but I wouldn't mind one more of those Grin ).

    Masques is generally a goldmine of silly good stuff - I'd love to have Ramosian Captain , Cateran Summons , Deepwood Legate , Molting Harpy (tutorable Delver-blocker Grin ) , Rain of Tears (although that's Tempest Block strictly speaking) , Strongarm Thug , Cateran Kidnappers , Kyren Legate , Mercadia's Downfall (bye-bye tron Grin ) , Word of Blasting (I kill your mnemonic wall and you take 5 Grin ) , Rushwood Legate , Vine Dryad , Distorting Lens , Rishadan Pawnshop.

    Those are just form MM. From Nemesis:

    Defiant Vanguard , Jolting Merfolk , Dark Triumph , Mind Slash (probably too strong) , Rathi Fiend , Mogg Salvage , Rupture , Animate Land , Refreshing Rain , Saproling Cluster , Stampede Driver

    And from Prophecy:

    Abolish , Glittering Lion , Reveille Squad , Spiketail Drake , Sunken Field , Endbringer's Revel , Nakaya Shade , Noxious Field (maybe) , Outbreak , Keldon Arsonist , Search for Survivors , Forgotten Harvest , Snag (maybe) , Verdant Field , Flameshot

    I left some notorious stuff out for power level reasons. I mean there's a free spell which taps all dudes and a free spell which puts a dude on top of their owners' library, and they're both blue. It was a silly block. But if Blue get's to play Masques Block Constructed in pauper, the other guys ought to get in on the fun, too Smile

    I'd sure love to have Thran Turbine in pauper but I suppose it might get too ridiculous in Modern...
    Posted in: Paper Pauper and Peasant
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