Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Week of September 18th in Standard Pauper

While all eyes are on  Kaladesh and how that will affect the format once it is released on Magic Online, we've still got one more week of tournaments to go, plus the capstone event for both SPDC and MPDC exactly one week before the set comes out.

This was a somewhat unique week for me, as I ended up hosting both SPDC and MPDC. I finished in the Top 4 in SPDC, but didn't have the time or energy to play the next day. But it was great to be part of both of these events and get to interact with so many of the great people in our community that makes these events what they are. Anyway, we've got 12 decks that made it into the playoffs between the two events, so let's dive in to this week's metagame update.

First, Izzet Spells continued its reign as the top contender this week, accounting for 33% of the winning decklists. We're not really seeing much if any variation in the list from week to week. Interestingly enough though, for the first time the deck failed to earn either first or second place in either event, which may indicate that it's time in the spotlight is drawing to a close.

Second, Storm_blade's Simic Eldrazi deck also continues to do well, taking both a Top 4 and Top 8 spot in MPDC this week. If you're interested in what makes this deck work, I published a Standard Pauper Deck Tech on his list this week over at PureMTGO, which I encourage you to check out.

Third, bibbob once again performed very well with his Impact Tremors build, narrowly losing out in the finals of MPDC to take 2nd place this week following his trophy-winning result last week. His decklist has continued to evolve recently, and now includes a few copies of Sprinting Warbrute, Tajuru Beastmaster, and Rolling Thunder, as well as Snapping Gnarlid out of the Sideboard. Once again, I am surprised how few people are playing this archetype right now given how strong it is in the current metagame.

Fourth, olstyn and I both chose to play a 4 color Pulse Control deck this week. Despite the fact that he splashed for White and I splashed for Red, the deck are remarkably similar, playing the same core of cards but supporting them with different removal options. For whatever it's worth, my version is the exact list that cRUMMYdUMMY took to first place back in MPDC 34.04. Olstyn's version manages to incorporate the Aura package with Ironclad Slayer recurring Choking Restraints and Dead Weight, and definitely looks like a deck worth paying attention to in the last few weeks of this season.

Fifth, br_laern took 2nd place in SPDC with a typical Orzhov Allies deck. Despite being virtually unchanged from last season, I think this is still a viable choice, and one that more people should probably be playing.

However, I definitely saved the most interesting for last. The first place trophy for both events was earned by two new entries into the metagame. First, Ravager1 brought an Azorius Midrange deck that combines permission and card draw with strong sacrifice outlets for Wretched Gryff and Aura-based removal in Pacifism and Spontaneous Mutation, once again recurred with Ironclad Slayer. Second, Cl3m brought a UB Control build that includes the unique mix of  Elusive Spellfist, Monastery Loremaster, Vampire Envoy, and Ruin Processor to augment a mix of card draw and removal spells. Definitely take the time to look at both these decklists!

All in all, this remains a very diverse metagame, and one that I think continues to be very interesting and fun. If you've never done so, let me encourage you to check out our weekly events. Browse over to for all the information and then come join us at 2:00pm EST / 6:00pm GMT in the #MPDC channel. See you next time!

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