Thursday, February 21, 2013

Gatecrashing into Standard Pauper

As I sit down to write this blog post, the first Standard Pauper Player Run Event where Gatecrash is legal is about to open registration. I personally always look forward to these first events following the release of a new card set. Unlike Standard and Limited, where there is a great deal of discussion about what players can expect, Standard Pauper is still enough of a fringe format that most players have no definitive view of exactly how the new format will shake out. Lots of new decks, or at least significant variations of old favorites, will be tested, and several strong contenders will rise to the top. While I personally haven't done enough testing to make any predictions about what I believe will be the best decks of the new metagame, I thought I would use this blog post to briefly examine some of the archetypes I expect to see in action over the next couple weeks.

 One of the strongest decks going into the new season is Izzet, which captured the trophy for the Worlds event for MPDC Season 17.  Two new cards that will impact this deck include Madcap Skills and Hands of Binding. Enchanting one of the deck's creatures with Madcap Skills, protecting it with countermagic, removing opposing creatures with burn spells, and using Hands of Binding to force through the last few points of damage seems like a very strong strategy to enhance an already powerful deck.

White Weenie:
 Another recent contender and perennial favorite is White Weenie. White gained a host of new creatures, including one Court Street Denizen, which has the potential to get multiple blockers out of the way, particularly in combination with Gather the Townsfolk. Combine this with the Extort ability from Syndic of Tithes, and this archetype has the potential to be quite strong coming out of the gate.

But what White Weenie has done well for so long, Boros may now be able to do better. Skyknight Legionnaire, Wojek Halberdiers, Daring Skyjek, and Warmind Infantry seem tailor made for an aggressive human strategy. Such creatures pair very strongly with other recent creatures such as War Falcon or even Riot Ringleader. Supplement with a nice mix of White protection and Red destruction spells, and you have quite a potent deck archetype.

In my previous blog post, I mentioned that I thought Extort was probably the strongest of the new guild mechanics. It doesn't take too much imagination to combine the aforementioned Syndic of Tithes, Kingpin's Pet, Basilica Screecher, and Basilica Guards to arrive at a potent Extort deck. Once upon a time Black/White was a powerful color pair in Standard Pauper, and at this point it would seem all the tools are in place for this archetype to make another run as a serious contender in the emerging metagame.

So what's your favorite deck archetype to emerge from Gatecrash? What will you be running over the next few weeks in your favorite Standard Pauper event? And what do you think will emerge as the strongest archetype in the metagame? As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts and comment. Thanks for reading.

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