Thursday, November 24, 2016

The Week of November 20th in Standard Pauper

Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers in the United States. Even though it's Turkey Day, after falling way behind last week, I wanted to make sure I got my weekly Standard Pauper metagame update out in a timely fashion this week, so here we are. Attendance continues to be on a slow decline, and it's hard not to think that the growing frustration with Self-Assembler isn't somehow too blame. More about that in a bit. Anyway, neither SPDC nor MPDC had enough players this week to cut to a Top 8, so there are only eight deck that survived into the playoffs. Let's take a look.

Esper Artifacts was the big winner this week, accounting for half of the decks in consideration. Moromete's build took 2nd place in both events this week, with both Storm_blade and JackSlagel finishing in the Top 4 with similar builds. Interestingly enough, Storm_blade's build tried to have it all, splashing into Green for a lone Pulse of Murasa, with two more in the Sideboard as well as three copies of Root Out. But in all four decks, it's the recursion value generated by Aviary Mechanic and Ironclad Slayer that makes these decks so good.

First place in SPDC this week was won once again by DrChrisBaker playing MonoRed, which utilizes its aggressive creatures and Madness cards like Fiery Temper to push through for damage while quickly refueling with both Cathartic Reunion and Tormenting Voice. But the deck also includes the controversial Flame Lash, a card that is very difficult to get online unless one is willing to invest in the Planeswalker deck for Kaladesh.

Meanwhile, first place in MPDC went to AlwaysFace's Sultai Control, which adds Black to the mix of the more typical Simic Big Stuff deck popularized by littlefield and Storm_blade to give the deck not only a significant removal suite but also some potential for sacrifice synergies as well. This newest iteration included Prophetic Prism, a card that is increasingly popular thanks to its ability to cycle, turn on Artifact synergies, and fix for colors all at a very reasonable cost.

The other two entries completing the eight decks in the playoffs was littlefield's aforementioned Simic Big Stuff and an Izzet Spells deck piloted by frycek.

Not surprisingly, all these decks included a full playset of Self-Assembler. While I personally am still unconvinced that this card deserves to be banned, I do think its presence is discouraging a lot of players from participating. To that end, as I announced at MPDC this week, I think we should implement a one-week ban on the card and see what difference that makes in the metagame. I will be reaching out to DrChrisBaker and rremedio1 to coordinate our efforts so we can get data from both tournaments. More on that as soon as I have confirmation on the temporary ban.

Special thanks to this great community that keeps this format alive! You guys are the reason that I'm still playing this game!

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