During my tenure as a regular player and writer of the Standard Pauper format, one of the deck archetypes that rises to the top again and again is White Weenie. For those unfamiliar with this archetype, it utilizes cheap, efficiently costed White creatures and backs them up with removal, pump, and protection spells that are all available within White's slice of the color pie. Since this archetype can be found in almost every format in Magic the Gathering, it should come as no surprise that it has been a pronounced part of the Standard Pauper metagame.
So what is it about this deck archetype that makes it so good? And what is the best way to counteract what this deck is trying to accomplish? Over the next week or so, I hope to have an article published over at PureMTGO.com with a more detailed analysis of these two questions. But for today, I will content myself with a brief answer to the first question.
Let's take a look at a fairly typical White Weenie build for Standard Pauper currently:
Here's why I think White Weenie is so powerful:
- It's fast and efficient. With the exception of the Seraph of Dawn, all these creatures have a converted mana cost of 3 or less. Each of them are also efficient, with excellent abilities beyond their Power and Toughness. The fact that so many of the creatures have Flying makes it much harder for an opponent to keep up.
- It's aggressive. With the ability to create a large number of creatures quickly, the deck can flood the virtual battlefield, overwhelming an opponent's ability to deal with all the threats. The opponent never has the time to react to all the threats, and as a result is quickly defeated. The fact that Attended Knight, Doomed Traveler, and Loyal Cathar all act as pseudo-card advantage contributes to this strength as well.
- It can win out of nowhere. One of the hallmarks of White Weenie are pump-effects, which allows the player to turn an attack into the perfect alpha strike (thus finishing off your opponent), or allows that same player to quickly take out opposing blocking creatures.
- It has good options against most other decks. White is very versatile in Magic, with the ability to bring important effects to bear when they are needed, like lifegain, Artifact/Enchantment removal, cheap creature removal, protection, and even some limited Graveyard recursion.