Insecticide Needed: I Have a BUG Problem

Giant Cockroach

I Hate This Deck So Much

As far as I’m concerned, this was the best deck in the standard pauper format pre-M14.   The only niche deck I saw stand a chance against it was Dimir Mill.  I hope that the addition of M14 will make a significant change to the format, but I don’t believe it will, mainly because Archaeofather was reprinted.  I really want to be proven wrong.  You see, I hate this deck because I have never played it, but I played against it – a lot.  It is beatable if you manage to curve out and lay down an aggro beat stick on them, but if you stumble and let them set up, this deck is not remotely beatable with a non-dedicated mill deck.  After losing match after match to this deck, I pretty much quit playing standard pauper events.  The timing of my demise was fine, since my draft group fired off a bunch of MMA drafts at friends’ houses in preparation for #gpvegas instead – more important and infinitely more fun.

archaeomancer

My Version of BUG Gatekeeper Control

Lands (23)
2 Forest
2 Haunted Fengraf
3 Golgari Guildgate
4 Dimir Guildgate
4 Island
4 Simic Guildgate
4 Swamp

Creatures (17)
2 Ravenous Rats
3 Gatecreeper Vine
4 Archaeomancer
4 Saruli Gatekeepers
4 Ubul Sar Gatekeepers

Spells (20)
1 Cremate
1 Forbidden Alchemy
1 Gravepurge
1 Undying Evil
2 Amass the Components
2 Victim of Night
4 Dead Weight
4 Ghostly Flicker
4 Prophetic Prism

Sideboard (15)
1 Cremate
1 Crypt Incursion
1 Dispel
1 Essence Scatter
1 Fog
1 Negate
2 Devour Flesh
2 Ray of Revelation
4 Curse of the Bloody Tome

Why Do I Hate This Deck?

The power of this deck rests with its unbeatable end game.  It can gain near infinite life and kill every creature in play with a recursive engine of never-ending spells.  It can lock other control decks out of their draw step.  The fact that it can do all this is cool and all, but it is so boring to play against that conceding early is often the correct play.  Early meaning, the second they can recur a Ghostly Flicker with added value.  The early game is where you need to take advantage against this deck.  You absolutely need to be all in on the beats and hope that they mulligan, get manascrewed, and never hit a turn 2 Gatekeeper Vine or Prophetic Prism.  Hopefully the presence of Chandra’s Outrage and Fortify will help Boros aggro push past the Gatekeepers.

M14 Additions

doom blade

Doom Blade is the only upgrade this deck gets.  It’s just an easier to cast Victim of Night.  It might not actually be better, because the non-Werewolf/Vampire/Zombie clause is likely less limiting than the non-Black restriction.

Sideboard Tech

curse of the bloody tome

This deck is designed to obliterate aggro with repeatable removal, cheap removal, huge life gain, and multiple X/4 blockers.  My tech with other control decks (like my Grixis Control) was to side in 4 Curse of the Bloody Tome against them, and mill them out while I play a defensive game.  They have a hard time going aggro, and so with all that time I figure we can mill them out and stall them out.  Since other people might think the same way now, I need to come prepared for that.  So the two copies of Ray of Revelation help combat the Curse, since I can cast it if it gets milled or if I have Prophetic Prism.  Another thought is to include 1 Auramancer in the side to bring back my own Curses if they can deal with my curses in the mirror, but that’s likely going too far off the deep end.

ray of revelationauramancer

Let me know if I’m crazy and this deck is easily beatable.  If you have a new post-M14 brew, test it against my BUG list and see if you found the insecticide!

For reference, here’s my GoogleDoc with all my latest brews for post-M14 standard pauper.

http://tinyurl.com/cg58og6

Dr. Chris Baker, D.C. | Sports Chiropractor
Twitter:  @DrChrisBakerDC
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dr-Chris-Baker-DC/342679305855364
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http://www.premierespineandsport.com/about-us.html#about-chris

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5 thoughts on “Insecticide Needed: I Have a BUG Problem

  1. Yeah, this deck kinda killed my interest in Standard Pauper. It’s incredibly consistent at getting set up and locks the game up completely, but takes FOREVER to actually kill them if they don’t concede. Looking forward to Flicker rotating out in a few months.

  2. I’ve been tinkering with a Golgari Morbid brew that is riced out to beat any BUG Flicker variant it’s up against, though it’s still in early testing. Basically, the idea is that Festerhide Boar (with Morbid) can be Ranger’s Guiled to protect from removal spells, meaning that the deck has to deal with a 5/5 trampler coming in every turn, preventing them from simply chump-Flickering safely.

    Cremate and now Outrage are in my opinion the best cards against them, so a kind of Grixis Electromancer build to house those two and include counters to win the war might be handy there. If you can play enough mana dorks, it might also be worth playing Hexproof to run them over – just as long as you can get a trampler, to avoid chump-Flickering.

    My last battle plan is to play a super-aggressive Orzhov deck packed with removal to ‘counter’ their flickers and generate an overwhelming ground force to beat through with Fortify before they can seal up the game, though it really does depend on how fast they set up.

    Still, there’s always Theros Block to look forward to in a couple of months time – I’m already messing around with a Gruul aggro deck using Seismic Stomp to push through, a Jund Ramp/Defender deck that churns out fatties, and a Simic Tempo deck that draw-locks with Time Ebb and beats through with Evolvers.

    Never despair – even when Caw-Blade and UW Delver ruled full Standard, there were always decks that stood a real chance against them.

    • Awesome. What’s your list – I’d like to test it out? Here’s my current BUG list (replace Doom Blade with Victim of Night if you’re playing online).

      BUG Gatekeepers
      Lands (23)
      2 Forests
      2 Haunted Fengraf
      3 Golgari Guildgate
      4 Dimir Guildgate
      4 Islands
      4 Simic Guildgate
      4 Swamps

      Creatures (16)
      1 Ravenous Rats
      3 Gatecreeper Vine
      4 Archaeomancer
      4 Saruli Gatekeepers
      4 Ubul Sar Gatekeepers

      Spells (21)
      1 Cremate
      1 Forbidden Alchemy
      1 Gravepurge
      1 Undying Evil
      2 Amass the Components
      3 Doom Blade
      4 Dead Weight
      4 Ghostly Flicker
      4 Prophetic Prism

      Sideboard (15)
      1 Cremate
      1 Crypt Incursion
      1 Dispel
      1 Essence Scatter
      1 Fog
      1 Negate
      2 Devour Flesh
      2 Ray of Revelation
      4 Curse of the Bloody Tome

      • My list for BG Morbid? Well, I’ve since come to the sad realisation that it’s not as good as I thought it was – it has good game against FlickerMancer, but folds to decks with lots of removal and suffers from the ‘win more’ problem.
        That being said, here’s my current list for you to tinker around with if you want it.

        Lands: 21
        3x Haunted Fengraf
        4x Golgari Guildgate
        7x Forest
        7x Swamp

        Creatures: 23
        4x Elvish Visionary
        3x Ulvenwald Bear
        4x Festerhide Boar
        2x Bloodflow Connoisseur
        4x Young Wolf
        2x Butcher Ghoul
        2x Dawntreader Elk
        1x Ravenous Rats
        1x Undead Executioner

        Instants/Sorceries: 16
        1x Altar’s Reap
        4x Bone Splinters
        1x Wildwood Rebirth
        2x Devour Flesh
        1x Hunger of the Howlpack
        2x Victim of Night
        2x Undying Evil
        3x Tragic Slip

        I haven’t worked on the sideboard quite yet, but it involves Brindle Boars and extra Butcher Ghouls against aggro and discard.dek against control.

        Confession time: I actually turned to the Dark Side (since I’ve been able to motivate my LGS into running a fortnightly Standard Pauper event) and built FlickerMancer. I added White for Centaur Healer to crush aggro’s hopes and dreams and provide a faster clock – the local meta is aggro-heavy. It originally let me board in Armoury Guard because X/5s are pretty much game against aggro, but I make them sad anyway by Flickering Saruli.

        Here’s the list I’m running on the weekend:

        Lands: 21
        3x Swamp
        4x Island
        2x Forest
        3x Haunted Fengraf
        3x Simic Guildgate
        3x Golgari Guildgate
        2x Dimir Guildgate
        1x Orzhov Guildgate

        Creatures: 19
        4x Archaeomancer
        4x Gatecreeper Vine
        4x Saruli Gatekeepers
        4x Ubul Sar Gatekeepers
        2x Bloodhunter Bat
        1x Centaur Healer

        Instants/Sorceries/Enchantments/Artifacts: 20
        4x Prophetic Prism
        4x Ghostly Flicker
        2x Amass the Components
        2x Devour Flesh
        3x Dead Weight
        2x Victim of Night
        1x Undying Evil
        1x Gravepurge
        1x Forbidden Alchemy

        Sideboard: 15
        2x Shrivel
        1x Keening Apparition
        1x Ray of Revelation
        1x Cremate
        1x Negate
        2x Dispel
        1x Amass the Components
        1x Sunspire Gatekeepers
        1x Shambleshark
        1x Duress
        1x Aerial Predation
        1x Thrashing Mossdog
        1x Ravenous Rats

        I also found a funny interaction to keep in mind for RTR-M14-THS: Contaminated Ground on their land, play a Swampwalker and then Cipher Hidden Strings onto the creature to continually tap the enchanted land for life loss. I guess I can put it in my gauntlet to amuse myself.

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