Extended Pauper League – My Tournament Video Replay Analysis

community league 6 banner web

Big thanks to all who helped put on this event and especially Bava for running it!  The format was very diverse from my experience, which sparked a lot of creativity in deck construction.  I heard Roberto made something around 43 decks, which is beyond sweet. I came up with seven – Wb Auras, BUG FlickerGate, 4-Color FlickerGate, Mono-Red Blitz, Mono-Black Devotion, Dimir Delver/Angler, and Selesnya Hexproof/Heroic.  I was most impressed by the 5-Color Hexproof deck from Pierakor.  I loved the power level of the format and would enjoy exploring the meta-game more, but alas we must move on to a different league, which likely means a different format.

Welp, I hope you guys enjoy my video replays (click on the graphic above to go to the YouTube videos). Feedback, criticism, thoughts on lines of play, and ideas for improving my deck construction are all welcome 😀

Follow me on Twitter @DrChrisBakerDC

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M-Core Set All-Stars League *Top 4*

Now that the M-Core Set All-Stars League has come to a conclusion, I’d like to post the replay analysis of all my matches.  I found the format to be surprisingly diverse and interesting despite the limitations of simple, dumb ol’ core-set commons.  The design of M core-sets definitely had limited in mind compared to the pre-M predecessors and this league format highlights that difference quite well.

The first video is a deck tech for what I chose to play – Esper Control.  In my testing I originally thought that mono-white would be THE dominant deck.  A few short head-to-head games later and I found out that mono-black blasted the weenies to shreds.  I liked Mono-Black a ton:  card advantage, ETB creatures to get back with Gravedigger, removal for the early and late game, life gain tacked on to creatures/spells, and discard spells to strip our opponent of resources.  It felt perfect, that is, until I threw deck with all hexproof creatures at it.

Aven Fleetwing, Primal Huntbeast, Sacred Wolf, and Gladecover Scout combined with Mark of the Vampire, Tricks of the Trade, and Marked by Honor created some nasty, resilient voltrons.  Heliod’s Pilgrim was there to find Verdant Haven to fix our Bant shard deck with a speculative manabase plus whatever aura we needed buff our troops.  There were many options to round out the deck with removal, counters, card draw, or recursion or even splashing another color.

Mono-black could only deal with a souped up duder with their own creatures on board without an edict to lean on for removal. Deathtouch is a good ability to interact since none of the creatures would have first strike from Ethereal Armor, but Deathgaze Cockatrice was so much worse than Bloodhunter Bat that I couldn’t bring myself to run it.  The unblockable-granting enchantment laughs at the deathtouch plan, too.

I almost chose the hexproof deck but it felt too untuned compared to the Esper Control deck I had been working on.  Dimir ended up being the best in testing but I didn’t want to be cold to hexproof decks, so that’s why I added the white.

I’ll let the videos do the rest of the talking (click on the Esper Charm to be charmed by my Esper videos)

Quick Hits:  Top 4 Written Recap

The Top 4 video replay is on a computer different than my usual laptop that I play from and it  does not have recording software functioning on it right now. If I get it working I’ll eventually update the playlist to include that match.  Spoiler alert – I got destroyed by JMason playing a very consistent GR Aggro/Hexproof Deck.  It was a better brew than my hexproof deck because it was faster and had a better manabase.  He chose to round out the deck with burn spells, which is a perfect balance of removal or reach to close out the game.

In the finals Beatnik_Bobby got the best of JMason to take down the event.  I beat Bobby in the swiss but I believe I got much better draws than him to do so.  The matchup felt close but slightly worse for me since he had more threats than I could answer and some of them had hexproof, which would strain my manabase and Celestial Flares.  Anyway, congrats to Bobby – he wins a lot of events these days!

Thanks for watching and remember to sound off in the comments about your opinion regarding the conclusion of our top 8 match –  I appreciate the help in cultivating the balance between competitive spirit and sporting conduct for our community.

Follow me on Twitter @DrChrisBakerDC

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“M” Core Set All-Stars League

Concentration.  Game-time.

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“M” Core Set All-Stars League

With its release on magic online a few weeks ago and IRL prereleases 2 weeks before that, M15 has turned out to be a pretty fun set to play.  I had a blast playing Team Sealed at #GPPortland last weekend and now it’s time for the new set make its impact on a new league!

After the success of the Multicolor Mayhem League hosted by Gwyned, I wanted to create a similar (awesome) format.  You know, a completely free league with a completely unexplored pauper format that will (hopefully) be incredibly fun to play.

I have already brewed a bunch of lists which I will share in this article to give you all a launch pad to brew on your own.

The format will include 6 Core Sets:  M10 through M15

Cards in each set

M10 – 229

M11 – 229

M12 – 229

M13 – 229

M14 – 229

M15 – 264 (random cards not in booster packs added to the pool for constructed formats)

That is the whole set numbers, not just the commons.  Small sets have ~150 cards, so with 6 large sets you better believe there will be a plethora of options.

Multicolor Mayhem was 2 blocks, which is was 3 large sets (RTR, GTC, ALA) and 3 small sets (DRG, CFX, ARB).  The card pools between these leagues are comparable, where the “M” Core Set All-Star League should have more total cards, but many of the cards in these core sets were reprinted in a later core set, so even though there are more overall cards in the entire pool, many of them have shown up in a previous “M” set.

Enough chit chat.  Let’s see what this format is capable of producing.  Here are my top 10 brews, in no particular order.

1) UR TempoBurn

UR TempoBurn

2) UB Control

UB Control

3) RW Aggro Auras

RW Aggro Auras

4) Mono White Aggro

Mono White Aggro

5) Mono Red Aggro

Mono Red Aggro

6) Mono Blue Tempo

Mono Blue Tempo

7) Mono Black Discard

Mono Black Discard

8) GU 187

GU 187

9) Dimir Mill

Dimir Mill

10) Bw Aura Control

Bw Aura Control

As you can see, the variety in this format is refreshing.  And the best part is, no one knows what decks are actually good, let alone how the match-ups play out.

I hope people brew some decks and practice some games (with me) in the next 2 weeks.  The deadline for deck submission will be Wednesday AUG 27rd PST at MIDNIGHT (24:00). Go to pdcmagic.com and registration is NOW OPEN.  JOIN UP AND LET YOUR BREW BREATH!

From there I will run it exactly like Gwyned ran the Multicolor Mayhem League – all through Gatherling.  Check your pairings, report your results, and check the standings all in one simple location.  No changing your decklist once it is submitted.  It doesn’t take much skill to create a reactionary deck based on what every other player has brought to the table.  I like to think of the league as a single tournament on a week delay.  Without the delay it would be considered a regular tournament, and you only ever get one decklist in those.  When we all have to make decisions without knowing the actual metagame it allows those with the best prep and theoretical knowledge of the format to do well.  I think that deserves to be rewarded.

Oh, and I’m sure I’m missing a sweet 5-color brew in my lists.  Don’t worry, that’s what I’ll be working on in the near future so hopefully by the time the league starts I’ll have a sweet one ready.

Thanks and please retweet and tell your standard pauper and pauper playing friends about this.  It’s free to enter and has straight money (tickets) as prize support (20 tickets in the prize pool).  Pure gravy-train value.  Drip, drip, dripping with all dat value!

Follow me on Twitter @DrChrisBakerDC

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