Wednesday, April 29, 2015

MTG - Constructed Pauper and UR Fiend

For the first time in a long time I participated in a paper constructed event.  I usually participate in pre-release tournaments and maybe a draft once in a blue moon but not constructed.  Playing competitive constructed Magic just takes too much time and effort, at least in the Standard format.  I could try an eternal format like Modern but the meta-game is rather large and would require a large initial investment (both time and money) to be competitive.

Thankfully, the friendly local game store (Great White Entertainment) hosted a legacy Pauper tournament.  And fortunately for me I had built a legacy Pauper deck a while back to mirror one I played a lot on MTGO.  It's a ridiculously fun deck and can win out of nowhere while also rewarding skillful play as some match-ups require it.  I wasn't running the most optimal version but I had no idea what the competition would be so didn't think a fully optimized version was necessary.  Unfortunately I was wrong.  Still had fun and now I know what to expect for next time.

The deck I played is as follows and the event only ran 3 rounds due to time constraints and having only 10 people participating.

UR Fiend 1.0
4x Kiln Fiend
4x Nivix Cyclops
3x Elusive Spellfist
1x Wee Dragonauts

4x Lightning Bolt
2x Dispel
3x Temur Battle Rage
2x Mutagenic Growth
4x Apostle's Blessing

4x Ponder
4x Preordain
4x Gitaxian Probe
3x Distortion Strike

3x Evolving Wilds
3x Swiftwater Cliffs
7x Island
5x Mountain

2x Dispel
3x Spell Pierce
2x Seismic Shudder
3x Flame Slash
1x Stormbound Geist
1x Flaring Pain
3x Vapor Snag

The matches were all very close except for the last match which I just kind of stomped.

Match 1 - vs. Mono Black Control
Game 1 - I was able to combo off on turn 3 or 4 I think.  He did not show a lot of removal and tapped out early.
Game 2 - I fully expected a tonne of removal so I sided in Stormbound GeistDispel and Spell Pierce and took out Wee DragonautsMutagenic Growth and Distortion Strike.  Didn't see any counters though and his removal took care of all my threats.
Game 3 - A little closer and I was almost able to fight through almost all the removal and Hymn to Tourach (that card makes paper Mono Black Control pauper so freaking powerful) but a very timely Echoing Decay foiled my plans after I dropped double Kiln Fiend with enough spells to kill the turn after.

Match 2 - vs. Mono Blue Control
Game 1 - Couldn't fight through his counter and bounce suite.  Got to a point where I thought I might be able to fight through his counters but he had a Daze in hand and I wouldn't have enough mana open to counter it because I forgot to activate an Evolving Wilds the turn before.  Gitaxian Probe is really useful in this match up.
Game 2 - Sided in my own counters but didn't see any of them.  Outlasted all his counters and got the combo off late in the match.  Again Gitaxian Probe was king.
Game 3 - He drew a lot of counters and bounce and I couldn't keep a threat on the board.  A Gitaxian Probe revealed a handful of counters but I got beat down by Spire Golems before I could get a chance to draw my own counters and more threats.

Match 3 - vs. RW Heroic
Game 1 - He had no removal and was looking to beat me down with a 5/5 Satyr Hoplite but double Lightning Bolt took care of it and he had no other threats.  He had a lot of Pacifisms but I was eventually able to stick a threat and kill him with it.
Game 2 - He pacified my early Kiln Fiend, but later on I was able to Ponder -> Preordain x2 -> Gitaxian Probe x2 -> Apostle's Blessing -> Lightning Bolt and just stomp him with a 22/2 Kiln Fiend.

After playing in that tournament I now understand some of the card choices in the recent Pauper Daily Events.  I really need to get a set of Delver of Secrets as that is such a powerful turn 1 play against any kind of control deck (only have 1 and it's in my cube).  Elusive Spellfist does make a decent substitute though as you can poke for damage every time a dig card is cast.  I also need more Stormbound Geist especially against removal heavy matchups like MBC.

The deck that ended up going 3-0 was a UG Hexproof Aura deck so I think I'm also going to have to find some Aura Flux and/or Electrickery cards (I used Seismic Shudder simply because I had no idea where I put  my Electrickery cards)

There were 10 people playing so hopefully Pauper magic becomes a thing with the local community.  Excited to play more and continue tuning my UR Fiend (or the more modern name, Izzet Blitz).

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