Even if you're not planning on doing any writing yourself, it's well worth a read. One of the points that stuck out to me is the value he finds in articles about Magic theory. Rare indeed is the writer who can articulate theory on this great game in a way that is clear, compelling, and accurate. And while I would hesitate to present myself as being worthy of such a task, I do believe that, at least when it comes to Standard Pauper, I have at the least a good understanding of what makes that particular format tick.
While I was still thinking about PV's article, I came across this post on the PDCMagic.com Standard forum. Let's take a look at the opening post:
If you're interested, you can read the responses his post generated here.
Vandergus' analysis is a nice piece of theory regarding Standard Pauper. While he doesn't deal with much in the way of examples, he accurately portrays some of the flow of a typical Standard Pauper match. Nonetheless, I think his analysis is somewhat flawed. Here's why:
- While the distribution of power is more even compared to Uncommons and Rares, there is certainly still a big difference between good and bad cards in Standard Pauper. For every Delver of Secrets or Seraph of Dawn, there are corresponding Bellows Lizard and Battleflight Eagle.
- Different archetypes rely on distinct strategies to win, some of which go beyond simple removal and creature combat. Infect, Flicker-mancer, Mill, and Hexproof are all recent examples of strategies that go beyond simple creature-based attacks. Additionally, most Standard Pauper decks can be measured along the axis of Aggro vs Control, much like decks in other formats.
- The best players win more consistently than lesser skilled players, even when playing equally strong decks. When the same players make Top 8 or better in event after event, one cannot conclude that winning is simply a means of whoever top-decks first.
So what do you think of vandergus' argument? Do you agree with my analysis? Or perhaps you have a different take on Standard Pauper theory altogether? As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for reading!