Long live Pauper!
It’s time, boys and girls. Time to jump headlong into this refreshing and fluctuating new format. This will be my first foray into a Daily Event since the Classic Pauper bans of Cloudpost and Temporal Fissure, and I’m quite excited to see how things pan out.
While I may be mistaken, it seems like attendance of Pauper Daily Events has increased notably since the removal of these one-time format staples. I must say that I’m quite happy about this and hope that participation will continue to flourish as the format ebbs, flows, and ultimately settles down.
Today I’ll be piloting something very close to the Mono-Blue Tron list I wrote about in our last article. I’ve made a few distinct changes to both the maindeck and the sideboard, which I’ll be discussing a little more in depth. Before I do that, however, have a gander at this updated decklist!
- 3 Counterspell
- 1 Capsize
- 3 Serrated Arrows
- 1 Echoing Truth
- 2 Prohibit
- 3 Compulsive Research
- 1 Mystical Teachings
- 1 Faerie Trickery
- 2 Curse of Chains
- 4 Expedition Map
- 4 Prophetic Prism
- 1 Ghostly Flicker
Mono-Blue Tron: Maindeck Changes
All in all, the changes I’ve made to the deck are minor. The general concept of prolonging games to a point where our voluminous amounts of mana and card advantage can take over is still intact. Ultimately we’re looking at a three-card difference in the maindeck and a two-card difference in the sideboard, with the core tenets of the deck wholly untouched.
As I noted previously, Train of Thought was my most questionable card choice. In testing, the card did manage to save my skin once or twice—but at a rather hefty mana cost. It was brought to my attention that a third copy of Compulsive Research would (in many cases) provide the same degree of damage control at a significantly reduced cost. It also tends to be a more viable option in the earlier stages of the game. That logic works for me!
While Repeal works quite well as a cycling catchall answer, it is similarly costly when dealing with Affinity creatures, friendly Mnemonic Walls, Mulldrifters, and Ulamog’s Crushers. In particularly tight spots, Echoing Truth seems handy in buying time against numerous identical aggressors.
It can also serve as our saving grace against multiple Kuldotha Rebirth tokens, Presence of Gond shenanigans, and the like. At the end of the day I’m thinking that Echoing Truth’s usefulness ceiling is higher than Repeal’s despite the latter’s ability to replace itself.
I’ve decided to cut the fourth copy of Counterspell and try out Faerie Trickery in its place. Doing so (hopefully) kills two birds with one stone—preventing pesky graveyard recursion while not skimping on our countermagic suite of six. Call me crazy, but I have a feeling that we’ll be boarding this out against at least one high-profile Pauper deck.
Mono-Blue Tron: Sideboard Changes
I’m really not seeing a prevalent Tron influence in the most recent Daily Events. For this reason I’ve opted to cut a couple of our Spreading Seas from the sideboard. In their place I’ve added a second copy of Relic of Progenitus and a singleton Outwit.
The inherently annoying Mnemonic Wall, Rancor, Sanctum Gargoyle, and Undying Evil have made me realize that the format incorporates too many graveyard synergies to ignore. That said, Relic of Progenitus could be replaced with something else. Nihil Spellbomb comes to mind, as it doesn’t inhibit our flashing back of Mystical Teachings (or the prospect of garnering value with Mnemonic Wall). Relic does have the benefit of consistently drawing us a card, so I think I’ll keep it for now.
Outwit is a strange one, as it’s more or less obscure and seemingly very narrow. However, I’ve noticed that black has been creeping into the format more and more, vying for influence along with a host of other metagame players. Against black decks Outwit has a number of applications.
The most beneficial application is against haymaker Corrupts, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Outwit also counters Duress, Geth’s Verdict, and Sign in Blood, making it for all intents and purposes Negate with a tag that reads 50% off.
It’s merely a one-of, and I have yet to decide if it’s worth its weight in cardboard. Time will tell!
Well, I think I’ve blabbed on long enough. Let’s get into the Daily Event videos!
Well That Sucked
Ouch. 0-2 drop does not bode well for the first of our Tron experiments, but I’m not quite ready to give up completely. My piloting skills were not ideal, but I don’t think they were horrible either. I’d like to make a few small adjustments before trying our hand at a two-man queue.
And the adjustments are:
-1 Sea Gate Oracle
-1 Serrated Arrows
+1 Curse of Chains
I’m hoping that these changes will allow us to better deal with large imminent threats in a quicker and more effective manner. Serrated Arrows is a great tool against some decks, but I’m not sure that this format is comprised of a high enough number of them. As much as I hate to say this, Serrated Arrows is sometimes just too little too late. While Curse isn’t perfect, I think that swapping Arrows out for a third copy will be for the best.
Following similar logic is the addition of a third Man-o’-War over Sea Gate Oracle. Oracle does block various Grizzly Bears, but Man-o’-War offsets the opponent’s tempo and gives us another shot at countering big fat fatties.
Let’s give this deck another go. Click below to enjoy some two-man queue action!
This is what I like to call a clue. We haven’t been able to take a single match down with the deck, so I’m beginning to deduce that something is very wrong. It could be my decision-making, it could be our card choices, or it could be this deck’s positioning in the metagame. With a small sample size of just three matches, it’s a little hard to say.
Before recording the videos, I did some testing with the deck and couldn’t help feeling like it might currently have some dirt-poor matchups. Moreover, I think the most glaring “problem” with the deck is that we’re not set up well enough to predict (and subsequently counteract) the unforgiving proactive game plans that currently comprise our Pauper rogues gallery. Additionally, we were simply too slow in most of these games, dying a turn or two before we had a reasonable enough chance of stabilizing.
I think our best course of action at the moment is to put the brakes on. No more matches for now because something just isn’t working. We need to step back, reflect, and evaluate our next move.
What are your general thoughts on the deck, my piloting abilities, and the Classic Pauper field as a whole? What are the “takeaways” from this unfortunate experience? A loss only becomes a failure when we learn nothing from it. With that said, how can we prevent this experience from becoming a failure? I’m reaching out to you guys for advice and for guidance, and I hope you won’t hesitate to provide me with some.
You Tell Me
Before I conclude, I’d like to apologize to Jorge Diaz and Invisibou Stalker for forgetting about your votes from last article’s comments section. I will be taking White Weenie into a Daily Event very soon, and I’ll be sure not to overlook your input in the future. Sorry about that!
I’m going to leave the fate of Mono-Blue Tron up to you guys. Should we abandon it completely? Tweak it and conduct some further tests? Experiment with other Tron variants? The ball’s in your court. As stated above, I do plan on sleeving up White Weenie for an event of two, so keep your eyes peeled for that in a couple weeks!
Until next time . . .