Saturday, February 15, 2014

Standard Pauper Singleton Thoughts

Don't forget that this coming Monday we will have a special edition of Monday Pauper Deck Challenge, where our format will be Standard Pauper Singleton. You can get all the details here.

Today, I want to briefly discuss some thoughts I had while contemplating what to play for this upcoming event.

So what is it that makes this format different? Obviously, the difference is that you only have one of any given card, including any non-basic lands. This has several implications:
  1. Color-fixing will be more difficult than normal. Currently, Gates have been by far the most popular way to fix your mana. But for this event, you will only be able to play one of each type of Gate. Even for a two-color deck, you probably want to consider cards like Unknown Shores, Transguild Promenade, or Prophetic Prism.
  2. Removal will be reduced. The best removal in the set are cards like Pacifism, Lightning Strike, or Devour Flesh. With the restriction of only being able to play one of each card, players will need a diversity of different removal options, rather than relying only on the best ones. Overall this should lessen the effect of removal in general.
  3. Powerful combos are much less reliable. Any combination that requires an exact combination of two or more specific cards will be highly unlikely to happen in the game, especially since no tutor effects are in the cardpool. Basing your strategy around a particular set of interactions is probably a bad idea.
  4. Creature combat will be king. Given the above factors, almost every game will come down to which player is able to gain the most advantage through combat. While this is generally true in Standard Pauper already, it should be even more pronounced in Singleton.
  5. Mana curve should be your top priority. Since you can't rely nearly as much on the quality of your cards, you  need to maximize the quantity of your cards. Drawing expensive cards early, or cheap cards late, could be the difference between winning and losing. While you obviously can't control this, you can minimize variance by having a balanced distribution of mana costs in your deck.
Factor in these five considerations, and you'll have the best chance to finish well in the upcoming event.

What about you, readers? Any major considerations that I missed? What archetypes might fit best, given these factors? If you have some thoughts, I'd love to hear about it.

Hope to see you Monday!

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