Mono-Black is definitely the best deck in Standard Pauper right now. When I know this to be true, rather than continue to dominate with the deck like the previous week, I have a strong desire to create the antidote. From what I have found, Mono-Black is an incurable disease for which no vaccine or potion can absolve.
I knew I wanted to beat Mono-Black this week in MPDC, so I brought Izzet Razor-Burn to the table. They can’t touch Razortip Whip and all I need to do is stay on par with them card advantage-wise and kill all of their creatures like a true control deck.
Here’s the problem. Servant of Tymaret is really tough for red removal to torch. You have a window the turn they cast it and maybe a few more if they tap out on curve, but after that, good players like my man Mundsiv like to play with shields up all day! So the whip can’t race him ever. But that’s not what killed me. Enter Perilous Shadow. The only way I managed to kill one in the mid/late game was to force him to tap out to regen his Servant and then finish the Shadow off with Chandra’s Outrage.
Overall, my plan of Blue with Red removal is bad at dealing with Mono-Black. If I had to pick a deck that already exists to compete with it I would choose Dimir Control – that’s what I’ll be practicing with to deal with it next week.
Then again, here are 2 decks that I have made after the Standard Pauper Gauntlet started. While I feel that these cannot quite compete with the consistency and power of Mono-Black – you can’t blame me for trying to go all ‘I am Legend’ on it and brew up the antidote.
I had some sweet games against Anomulus0 (@TruthandNot) with this the night I brewed it. I must have dealt him nearly 100 damage in one of the games, accounting for multiple Garys, extorts, and double Crypt Incursion. This deck is ultra mid-range and should be the reason why they finally include that category in the MPDC deck Gatherling thing. Seriously, how does that option not exist? The deck hopes to play against Mono-White all day since anything they Voltron will eventually betray them with Smelt-Ward Gatekeepers and then be Sacrificed to Blood Bairn or Altar’s Reap. For value of course.
This has been my favorite aggro deck lately for 2 reasons. First, it can blank Devour Flesh with so many one-drops, especially Akroan Crusader. Second, it is explosive and resilient thanks to the Etheral Armor, Bestow Creatures, and Auramancer package. Here’s an example of a brutal turn 4 kill.
That’s a big duder.
On MPDC Controversy
I overstated the case – there was no ‘real’ controversy. I just wanted people to read about the situation and discuss it. I’m pleased with the responses and would like to add that I have no beef with Mr. Brazil. I admit that he made a valid point regarding time commitments during tournaments, but hopefully if we meet again in late rounds we can figure out a way to actually play it out like adults. He is a skilled player and his “back-to-back 1st place” finishes with the same deck shows that he is a formidable opponent.
One point of time in particular stands out while watching his finals match against Torreth. The early game brought a lot of creatures and removal spells to the table and subsequently to the bin. As both of their cards in hand dwindled, a lone Basilica Screecher was all that remained in play for each player. Both bats were content to sonar dodge past each other to connect to each opponent’s dome rather than sit back and block. With one card in hand Torreth passed the turn. Brazil drew and played Disciple of Phenax. Did he draw it that turn or did he wait for Torreth to hold one card in hand? I don’t know. The revealed card from Torreth? Quag Sickness. Maybe Torreth feared a Perilous Shadow topdeck more than a Disciple of Phenax, but from my perspective I would have snap-killed that evil Basilica Screecher. Brazil went on to get the edge with multiple extort activations from the bat that could have been given the plague. Seemingly small decisions have a huge impact in Standard Pauper games.
BONUS SECTION – #PTBNG Shout-Outs and VIP High Roller Services
Start the video from the below link at 10:07:20
Rich and BDM ask Luis about me in regards to the physical stress of a magic tournament. They remember meeting me at Pro Tour Dark Ascension in Hawaii in February of 2012 when we all went out to dinner. They were going to interview me to learn about what I was doing for the CFB team but they didn’t have enough time. I still haven’t gotten my interview. Hopefully we can link up at the next event we cross paths.
Getting some street cred with 15K live viewers was sweet. I got a lot of messages from people that were excited for me. I didn’t even get to watch that part of the broadcast live. I tried to watch the Top 8 start to finish but I passed out and woke up to my phone buzzing.
I have ideas to create more educational content on physical preparation and recovery from travel and tournaments in article/video formats. I currently have plans to provide what I have coined “VIP High Roller” services at Grand Prix tournaments. VIP upgrades are pretty sweet, but my services are what separates the player that wants to have the convenience of water, extra seating room, and a guaranteed playmat from the player who is looking for the best chance to be physically prepared to take down the tournament.
ChannelFireball pros have been utilizing my services since Worlds 2011 – it’s about time that I open up my services to the community at large. The goal is provide manual, hands-on therapies to fix movement dysfunctions in joints and soft tissues and to then teach corrective exercises so people can move uninhibited and break the chains of physical stress that world travel, excessive sitting, flick/shuffling cards, and mental exertion produce. Once you get better movement habits engrained you can use RockTape to act as a 24/7 postural feedback reminder. IntelliSkin even makes a compression shirt that assists back muscles in order to obtain upright posture more easily. I could go on about this stuff ad nauseum… but I’ll save it for later.
I will definitely be at GP Philadelphia in 2 weeks, but have not been given the green light yet on GP Phoenix. I hope it ends up working out so I can spread the love.
Follow me on Twitter @DrChrisBakerDC