Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Pauper Deck Doctor: Sultai Tortured Existence part 3

You can read the first part of this exercise here:

And part two here, including the current deck list:

Choosing the TE support color (s)

There are many ways to build Tortured Existence decks. There is currently only one placing on of any TE deck in the Pauper Metagame. That is really bad for the archetype. The placing deck has four (!) colors. You can see it here:

The supporting color of choice to Black used to be Red in the days of old (i.e. 2012). After the printing of Commune with the Gods and Satyr Wayfinder the honor of being the first choice of support color goes to Green. Some people splash white into their BG Tortured Existence decks making them Abzan.

Here is some highlights of what you get in the different colors:

White: Auramancer, Lone Missionary, Kor Skyfisher
Red:  Faithless Looting, Death Spark, Seal of Fire, Terminate
Green: Satyr Wayfinder, Golgari Brownscale, Commune with the Gods, Arrogant Wurm, Wild Mongrel

Wayfinder, Brownscale and Commune fill the graveyard. Wild Mongrel provides madness outlet 5+ for your Grave Scrabblers. I feel that Green has to be a part of any competetive TE deck today (if there even is such a thing).

I don't think blue is a legitimate support color. You can fill your graveyard quickly with Blue but then you should probably play Angler Delver instead. This list is putting up solid results and has no need of any Tortured Existences:

So I feel strongly that the deck needs to be BG.

Advice: Make the deck GB only for added consistency.

Why play TE today?
The deck is apparently not competetive in the current metagame but I feel that I would step outside my bounds if I advice not to play it. There are many other reasons to play the deck - the #1 reason being that you simply (as Mike does) enjoy playing the grindy TE style.

TE is a midrange deck with a very strong lategame.

I asked Mike what the three best and worst matchups are:

hard to say the 3 best because every game is work. however, i would say...
- elves
- token/swarm based
- angler delver

3 worst
- tron
- kuldotho boros
- red burn (i can and have beat burn it. but, it takes a good hand on the draw)

So we lose to ultra fast in Mono Red Burn. Burn is not a huge part of the metagame. We can live with that and probably take emergency sideboard measures if that becomes a huge problem.

It is more problematic that we lose to two other grindy midrange decks. Tron and Kuldotha Boros (BorosKitty) has the same gameplan as we do but they just execute it better. Very discouraging for TE.

I think the key to defeat them is massive card advantage and the best way to get that if we dump blue is Grave Scrabbler. I feel that Grave Scrabbler is better than Mulldrifter anyway in a deck like this. Grave Scrabbles is slower than Mulldrifter but that is fine. Lets just sideboard out a couple of them if we run into faster decks.

Changes to the deck list

-1 Dimir Aqueduct, +1 Golgari Rot Farm. I like two Karoo lands in the deck and we are getting rid of blue so this makes sense.

-1 Island, +1 Swamp
-1 Dismal Backwater, +1 Jungle Hollow
-1 Terramorphic, +1 Swamp (we have less colors to fetch)

-2 Vessel of Nascency, +2 Commune with the Gods
-2 Mulldrifter, +2 Grave Scrabblers
-1 Caustic Caterpillar, +1 Commune with the Gods. Two caterpillars main deck feels excessive and can be dead way too often.

-3 Basking Rootwalla, +3 Wild Mongrel. I feel Basking Rootwallas are very weak in the current metagame. I will play Wild Mongrel over them instead. The Rootwallas are too small and too mana intensive to matter.

-2 Werebear, +1 Grave Scrabbler, +1 Commune with the Gods. Werebear feels like it is in the wrong deck. I will get the final Commune and Grave Scrabbler in over two of them.

-1 Golgari Brownscale, +1 Stinkweed. I have seen different opinions on Stinkweed so I am just going to run two of them. If you want more remove some of the singleton creatures. The deck probably still has too many singleton cards but I did not want to change too much. You do quite a bit of searching so 1-ofs are kind of motivated.

In the sideboard I would prefer the power of Nihil Spellbomb over the precision of Faerie Macabre. That is a matter of personal opinion though.

We also need to get rid of 3 Negates. Instead of those three we add back the second caustic catterpillar, another edict effect for Hexproof and 1 Fume Spitter for Delver.

This is my recommendation. What is yours? Lets discuss in the comments below

Main deck
2 Fume Spitters
2 Arrogant Wurm
3 Wild Mongrel
1 Caustic Caterpillar

1 Spore Frog
4 Grave Scrabbler
1 Werebear
3 Crypt Rats
2 Stinkweed Imp
1 Tilling Treefolk
2 Golgari Brownscale
1 Krosan Tusker
1 Gurmag Angler
4 Tortured Existence
1 Gnaw to the Bone
4 Chainer's Edict
4 Commune with the Gods

3 Barren Moor
2 Bojuka Bog
4 Evolving Wilds
3 Forest
2 Golgari Rot Farm
3 Jungle Hollow
6 Swamp

1 Disfigure
1 Ghastly Demise
2 Diabolic Edict
1 Fume Spitter
1 Caustic Catterpillar
1 Crypt Rats
2 Nihil Spellbomb
1 Snuff Out
1 Raven's Crime
1 Spore Frog
1 Gnaw to the Bone
2 Doom Blade

Thanks, Mike, for an interesting exercise.

Sunday, June 26, 2016


Most of students know the feeling 'if I had one day more to study I would make it'. Usually with playtesting is no different. The lack of time is probably problem numer one that you will face. Hence, you need to maximize your time. No matter, if you are playtesting it with your teammates or online. Playtesting with person you know is prefered, because you know if he or she is skilled or not. There is nothing worse than online playtesting with random person and finding out after 10 minutes, that your opponent is doing basic mistakes so your playtesting is not reliable. Take a look at some tips I've prepared specially for you:

The aim of playtesting is to learn. It is more important to understand the flow, dynamics and interactions of the matchup rather than focusing solely on winning and losing. If you perceive playtesting as a record for example 70% winrate, change your way of thinking. You are not doing it for excellent results, but mostly to get know with key elements and familiarize how the game could possibly play out and adjusting to this state. Magic is a game full of variance. You need to adapt to different scenarios, while remembering that two different players can pilot the same deck very differently. Testing 10 games is not representative, but testing 10 games can still be enough to understand a matchup. However, do not neglect sideboarding process. Of course, it makes sense only in established metagame or when you may foresee others players deck choice.

WG Flyers - a tournament winning Standard Pauper deck

Standard Pauper, is as you may know, the ultimate budget format. It is Standard but only commons are allowed. The format is surprisingly deep and competetive.

Every week there are two free tournaments with real prizes on the site

Please check out my introduction to the Standard Pauper format here:

Last week both these tournaments were won by the same player: amnaremotoas. Yes, he won both tournaments playing an innovative WG Flyers list.

The deck list can be found here:

Main deck
3 Pacifism
12 Plains
7 Forest
3 Evolving Wilds
3 Servant of the Scale
4 Territorial Roc
3 Stalwart Aven
4 Topan Freeblade
4 Makindi Aeronaut
4 Shoulder to Shoulder
2 Lead by Example
3 Saddleback Lagac
4 Thraben Inspector
2 Rabid Bite
2 True-Faith Censer

2 Celestial Flare
2 Netcaster Spider
2 Enshrouding Mist
2 Aerial Volley
2 Felidar Cub
1 Natural State
2 Angelic Purge
2 Rabid Bite

I do a Standard Pauper video once a week for the MagicGatheringStrat YouTube channel and this deck will be featured by me and VaultBoyHunter in the upcoming two weeks (it will become obvious that I had not received the deck strategy notes given below when I played those matches). We discussed this list on the MagicGatheringStrat podcast this week.

Amnaremotoas was kind enough to share some insight about the deck with us.

I thought I would give your readers and you a break down/deck tech for Air Support. The deck started off as a mono W human deck. I moved to W/G because of W/G humans in SoI draft. I also love True-Faith Censer in draft so I wanted an aggro deck to utilize it. On a human it's a bonesplitter with vigilance. 4x Makindi Aeronaut/Territorial Roc - Bread and butter for the deck. Evasion, good blocker and cheap. 4x Thraben Inspector - Pure value. Almost all white decks run it. Good early and good late. Also human synergy. 4x Topan Freeblade - Call him the punisher. Miss a land drop against a turn 2 Freeblade and you will hurt. More human synergy. 3x Saddleback Lagac - Love this guy. Fun to play and fun to say.Can cause some really nice mana curves and you don't mind chump blocking with it since the real value is the Support. You never want 2 in the opening hand. You can support on one, two, or zero creatures if you desperately need to cast a Lagac. 3x Servant of the Scale - Modular! Against non-Black decks this guy does work! He can double the value of your supports. Against Black removal, the always try to use an exile spell to get rid of this one. It helps you keep an eye on opposing removal and plan your supports. You have 26 white and only 10 green spells, that's why you don't run 4. Also human synergy. 3x Stalwart Aven - The 3 drop spot has always changed. I still haven't settled on a permanent resident. This guy usually draws removal, but with renown and only one other buff he can attack thru any other flyer in the format. Sometimes I run Dauntless Cathar, sometimes more removal. 4x Shoulder to Shoulder - The namesake of the deck (Fun-fact: I wanted to call it "Bear Force One," but I couldn't count a 1/3 as a bear.) This and Lagac help you avoid removal. Red and Black removal is usually situational. With this and Inspector you have 8 card draw spells. More like cantrips. 2x Lead by Example - Used to run 4 of. I think 0-2 is the correct number. It is instant speed, which allows for some interesting combat tricks. ALWAYS REMEMBER, you don't have to choose a creature to Support. The mechanic says put two +1 counters on UP TO two guys. Pacifism/Rabid Bite - The removal is all 2 cost for more speed and the ability to cast 2 things a turn. Don't run too much removal. I run 2 to 5 removal. Because of all the removal other decks are running you want around 24 creatures in the deck. Any less and you run the risk of only drawing removal and buff spells. You need to draw more creatures then they have removal. 2x True-Faith Censer - I love this card. I don't think there are enough good humans to make a tribal deck. Vigilance stops Murderous Compulsion from hitting your guys. I usually put it on a human over non-human, just for extra damage. Put this on a Servant of the Scale and he become a 3 power that gives another creature +1/+1. 22 Lands - I normally look at a deck list and the first thing I do is add a land. I hate losing games to mana screw. I started this deck with 23 lands. You want to play Turn 1: Inquisitor Turn 2: Aeronaut Turn 3: Shoulder Turn 4: Lagac. It's hard to get a turn 4 lagac with less lands. I built this deck to fill the aggro void this PDC season. White weenie was close to being a strong deck, but lacked a way to punch through the late game or just deal those last few points of damage. After being defeated by Sandcrafter Mage in the mirror match I thought maybe Bolster was the answer. Turns out Support is better. All black removal is either kill power 3 or less, destroy tapped creature, -4/-4 or Red direct damage for 3 or less. If you can make a creature a 4 power it dodges Complete Disregard. Censer helps stop Disregard and vigilance stops Complusion. Most GB decks only run 2 Grasp of Darkness. Play a Topan Freeblade first so they use a removal spell on that, leaving your turn 3 flyer safe. GB usually has 2/2 or less for blockers. They take many turns to set up a Nantuko Husk or Ruin Processor. If you can get out a 2/3 on the ground you can constantly apply pressure. The only fliers people run are Vulturous Aven and Pilgrim's Eye. Try to space out your Supports. If you put all the counters on one guy you can be swept away by Oblivion Strike. A 3 toughness and block a lot of the format and a 3 power can kill most Std Pauper creatures. The sideboard is pretty easy, but I know how Dan loves his SB guides! My belief is that play style, card preferance, and metagame knowledge should be used to make your own SB. 2x Netcaster Spider - These swat Avens out of the sky. Side them in versus other flyers. 2x Rabid Bite - With support and equipment you can take out most creatures. Draw a slow hand or face a ton of removal and these are worthless. Side these in vs. non-Black decks, usually white based ones. Black decks have too much recursion. These replace Pacifism 2x Felidar Cub - These are for opposing Pacifism or if you need more creatures against removal heavy decks. 2x Enshrouding Mist - Bring in against Red burn. 2x Celestial Flare - For any deck that attacks with only one creature. Used most on Husks and Ruin processors. These replace Rabid bite since that card can rarely kill a Processor. 2x Aerial Volley - For controlling the skies. Kills tokens and stops Avens. If they have more then one blocking creature with flying it's hard for you to close out the game. 2x Angelic Purge - Sometimes you need hard removal. In a pinch this can get rid of opposing Pacifism. GB only runs 2 Husks, so you can Purge something annoying and it usually stays gone. Can replace Pacifism or Rabid Bite. 1x Natural State - The mirror breaker. Duels vs white weenie decks can be decided by equipment. This can hit a Censer or a Pacifism. MATCHUPS vs. GB control - Keep and eye on their removal. Once a creature has 4 toughness Support something else. You want to negate as much removal as possible. A 2/3 Inspector can attack thru and block most of the GB deck. The only flyers they run are Aven and EYE. Mulligan a hand that can't play 2 creatures before turn 4. It's ok to keep most 2 land hands. Keep applying pressure. Your Servants are terrible when exiled. -3 Servant -2 Bite -1 Pacifism, +2 Purge +2 Spider +2 Flare vs BW Allies - They have a lot of abilities that still work whille Pacified. Try to control the air and watch out for Spawnbinder Mage. After SB you have removal that can take out annoying Cohort creatures. They can play a lot of ground blockers. - 3 Pacifism -1 Freeblade -1 Servant, +2 Rabid Bite +1 Angelic Purge +2 Felidar Cub vs RB Madness - Things can get hairy if they run Zada's Commando. Pacifism is bad versus Cohort cards but good against the version that runs Twins of Maurer Estates and Sanitarium Skeleton. -3 Pacifism, +2 Mist +1 Purge vs Control - Bring out your removal and replace it with more creatures. If they run Ruin Processor keep Pacifism or use Purge or Celestial Flare. If they use Ojutai's Summons don't bring in Volley. -3 Pacifism -2 Bite, +2 Felidar Cub +2 Spider +1 Purge

Thursday, June 23, 2016

MTGO Library Bot 11.15

We just released ML Bot 11.15, fixing a major Mtgo bug introduced last Friday with the .615 hotfix. On some accounts the trade chat does not appear properly and does not dock on the right. The bot was unable to detect the problem and was not able to act properly.
To make things worse, if you dock the chat manually you will crash mtgo forever and you will have to reinstall it.

ML Bot 11.15 fixes the problem, it is able to detect the issue and to reset mtgo properly.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Pauper deck doctor: Sultai Tortured Existence part 2

Last week I took on the mission to deck doctor a Sultai Tortured Existence deck in Pauper.

You can read the first part of this exercise here:

This week I played a very educational match vs GW Hexproof, also known as "Bogles"

After some discussion the brewer decided to delve ever further into Blue, resulting in the following deck list for the final week (next week):

Main deck
2 Fume Spitters
2 Arrogant Wurm
3 Basking Rootwalla
2 Caustic Caterpillar
1 Spore Frog
1 Grave Scrabbler
3 Werebear
3 Crypt Rats
1 Stinkweed Imp
1 Tilling Treefolk
3 Golgari Brownscale
2 Mulldrifter
1 Krosan Tusker
1 Gurmag Angler
4 Tortured Existence
1 Gnaw to the Bone
4 Chainer's Edict
2 Vessel of Nascency

3 Barren Moor
2 Bojuka Bog
1 Dimir Aqueduct
1 Dismal Backwater
4 Evolving Wilds
3 Forest
1 Golgari Rot Farm
1 Island
2 Jungle Hollow
4 Swamp
1 Terramorphic Expanse

1 Disfigure
1 Ghastly Demise
1 Diabolic Edict
3 Negate
1 Crypt Rats
2 Faerie Macabre
1 Snuff Out
1 Raven's Crime
1 Spore Frog
1 Gnaw to the Bone
2 Doom Blade

I still strongly feel that the deck needs to be GB and remove Blue. I disagree with the brewer there and I am still thinking about whether I have to stick to Sultai for the final deck analysis. Maybe there will be two.

If you have any suggestions for improvements for the deck, please let me know.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Eternal Masters token mystery solved

Every Eternal Masters booster pack has a token with some seemingly random and mysterious lines of text on the back frame (take a look at photo). Someone opened a lot of boosters and soon it turned out that these tokens are part of a jigsaw. It was matter of time, when the puzzle will be solved. Well, it is a teaser of the upcoming Conspiracy: Take the Crown set. Nice move Wizards!

Here is what the lines of text once lined up correctly will say (top and bottom)
People of the high city! It is my solemn duty to inform you that Brago, King of Paliano, is no more. His death shocked the city all those years ago; his spiritual continuance brought joy and relief to us all. Now, he has at last passed truly and forever beyond the veil. His long reign has come to an end, and his spirit is finally granted the eternal rest it deserves.In his beneficent wisdom, our late king appointed a successor with the will and the strength to bring peace to his beloved city. As his designated heir, recognized by the sacred order of custodi as his one and true successor, I vow to uphold the laws of Paliano, to maintain order in the city, to see that justice is served swiftly and even-handedly. Though I know that I will never be a worthy heir to a man whose commitment to his city transcended life itself, I must hope that with the blessings of the custodi, I am able to guide our fair city to a new age of prosperity.The transfer of power is always difficult, and all the more so when the end of a monarch’s reign comes unexpectedly. Even loyal and steadfast servants of the crown may find themselves ill-equipped to serve a new monarch in the same capacity as the old. As of now, the post of captain of the guard is disbanded. The soldiers of this city will now report directly to me. The former captain has retired with thanks from our fair city and a generous pension from the throne that will support her for the rest of her life, however long that life may be.In the absence of any natural heir, Brago made his intentions for the disposition of his throne quite clear. Lamentably, not all of the king’s former vassals respect his final wishes. Those who might use this transition as an excuse for rebellion should know that treason will be answered, as it always has been, with the harshest punishment, while loyalty will be rewarded lavishly. May fortune smile upon Paliano! – As proclaimed by her majesty Queen Marchesa, the Black Rose, first of her name; head of the council, guarantor of lawful governance, sole sovereign of the high city, true heir to the throne of Paliano and all the rights and privileges thereof.

Text on the sides of tokens reads:
Free Citizens of Paliano: When you fell asleep last night, you were loyal. You laid down your heads as steadfast servants of the one true king of Paliano, Brago the Eternal. Perhaps you did not love him. It is not the role of a ruler to be loved, but you obeyed him, and you respected him, as any citizen should.You awakened as unwitting traitors beneath the bloodstained banner of a usurper queen: Marchesa, the Black Rose, a known assassin and plotter, a criminal of the highest order whose veiled threats and hidden thorns have allowed her for far too long to flaunt the law of Paliano. She has made you traitors by raising her flag above the palace and placing the crown upon her treacherous brow. She has forced you to choose between loyalty to the crown and loyalty to your city.Somehow, this vile deceiver murdered King Brago, ending his immortal existence and dispersing the essence of his spirit. Somehow, she inserted herself into the sovereign’s will and testament – a document forged, no doubt, from whole cloth for why would the King eternal have a will at all? And if he did why would he name the murderous daughter of a fallen house to rule in his place? Somehow, she commands the loyalty of the custodi priests who once made the king’s word manifest in the world. Alongside them stands numerous servants of the throne who cannot or dare not question her right to rule, and in the shadows lurks her own existing network of thieves, spies, saboteurs, informants and assassins.Already, the false queen raises her own sigil, the emblem of the black rose, above Paliano. She would quietly ignore the symbol of our city, the symbol Brago carried with him on the pommel of his own sword, an image so enduring, so emblematic of our city and its lawful ruler that the custodi consider it a religious icon in its own right. Oh, the custodi wave it even now, and it means as little from them as it ever did. But the banners of the city troops have already changed. You will not see that symbol in the halls of Marchesa’s palace or the shields of her defenders. She claims to rule legitimately, to have the interests of the city at heart, but the flag that has flown above us all these years is absent at her own command.And why? The reason is simple. Marchesa has no right to that sign of our city’s history and she knows it. She wears the crown and sits upon the throne, but she does not carry the sword of Brago – The blade that bears the symbol of our city. I know this because I now carry that sword and with it the burden of upholding law and order in Paliano. I have been stripped of my title by the traitor queen, but I do not relinquish it. I hold this sword, this symbol, this duty to defend our city from all its enemies – even and especially an enemy who sits upon the throne. I have no wish to rule, only to unseat the usurper so that we may determine our rightful sovereign in the wake of King Brago’s tragic end.Marchesa would have you stand with her, in service to a true crown that rests upon a false head, and thereby she would make you a traitor. I offer thee a different path: stand with me, and with Brago, and show your loyalty to your city through your disobedience to the pretender.If her flag is not your flag, then do not bow to it. If her rule is legitimate, then so too are her laws. If she is not truly queen, then the servants of the throne are no better than her spies and assassins, and should be treated accordingly.What say you, citizens of Paliano? Do you stand with the city or with its self-proclaimed queen? Are you loyal rebels or obedient traitors? Every day as long as Marchesa sits upon the throne, you are one or the other. Make your choice!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Mtgo Wikiprice now lists Eternal Masters

A few hours ago we updated wikiprice to list Eternal Masters (EMA). 
You can find the whole card list here:

Happy drafts!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

ML Bot 11.13 brings Eternal Masters!

We have just released ML Bot 11.13, supporting Eternal Masters (EMA). To trade EMA cards, you have to update the bot client to 11.13 and to download an uptodate pricelist ("CardsMTGO.txt") containing the EMA cards. As usual the pricelist is available for free during the update process and in the bot client installer. LITE bots should update as well.

Enjoy the events and the new set, it is gonna be big!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Pauper deck doctor: Sultai Tortured Existence part 1

As a part of the MagicGatheringStrat project I do deck doctor exercises for Pauper decks with my buddy Bava. We also look for help from the readers.

If you want to get your deck doctored, check out

This is a deck doctor exercise for a Sultai Tortured Existence deck submitted by Mike Kangas. Thank you, Mike.

Mike says:  am not a tournament or even a Daily Event player (although, i intend to play in the Daily's eventually. four kids is very time consuming :). at this point in time, i am simply looking to improve my deck or get ideas for possible new directions to take with TE. TE is one of my all-time favorite cards and I am simply trying to make it to be the best i can. i know TE is not a Tier 1 type of deck but i am happy with the fact that i feel that i have a fair shot at winning and at a minimum, my opponent usually has to work for the win.

I have tried several styles of TE decks. I have made the 4x TE and 4x Commune with the Gods and simply dig for TE and fill up the graveyard as fast as possible. I have also tried a 2x TE's esper version with TE being more of a late game strategy. No matter what I have tried, the only deck I consistently have a problem with and that I feel I don't have a shot of winning is Tron. (Kuldotha also gives me problems)

Here is a link to my deck list and my game log. v1.2 is currently what i am running and you will be able to see the decklist in the tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheet. with version 1.2. my game 1 win rate is still awful (30%). but after a sideboard, things feel like they are starting to improve (80%).

I am glad i could help support the site and thank you for any/whatever advice you'll have for me.

Keep up the awesome work people,

For sideboard i simply shoot from the hip in the heat of the moment. but, i back off the TE theme. usually dumping 1-2x TE, Grave Scrabbler and then start with Basking Rootwalla for more slots.

MBC - i make sure to pull in the 2nd Gnaw to the Bone and another Caustic Caterpillar.
Delver - all the destroy creature instants
Stompy - last crypt rats and the destroy creature instants
Affinity - all caustic's and destroy creature instants

I would like to float an idea I had yesterday by ya. After a loss to Izzet Blitz I was disappointed. I had all the creature killing i needed and i couldn't draw any of it. yea, it happens. the randomization gods were not with me that game. however, my thought was Vessel of Nascency. what if i could find enchantments to destroy/control stuff. with the Vessel i could find things like Seal of Doom much faster. i feel like this might be getting slow. but, i want to see if there might be some form of `Enchantress Deck` mentality i could take for the Vessel's to dig for what i need. i'm sure another thought that i will try and fail. but, gotta try.

Here is the deck list in a video:

I took the deck for a spin, captured on video here:

I got the following response from Adam: Deck doctor is a cool idea. My top criticism is the same as Dan's I think, the deck needs 4 Chainer's Edicts at least for main deck removal. I agree on dropping Mulldrifters for a streamlined Golgari mana base and maybe putting in a few Night's Whispers if you really want card advantage once EMA releases would help with reliability a lot. Even 4 Chainer's Edicts would not be enough removal in my opinion for a midrange/control deck like Tortured Existence. Fume Spitters would be great since they are creatures that could be recurred. Dan's point is a good one, Gurmag Anglers have such a significant place in the meta you need many removal spells that can deal with them.
4 Tortured Existence seems like a lot when you can search, many of these decks are Abzan so you can use Auramancer to recur. I think the Vessel allows you to be sure you can dig for the enchantment, and often having more than 1 Tortured Existence makes the 2nd a dead card, so 3 might be a better number if you use the green splash to dig for it to allow for more removal. If constantly blocking with creatures is your main strategy for card advantage, Tragic Slip can do a lot of work to make chump blocks cheap removal. I'll have more detailed notes when I have more time to critique the match.

I have asked Mike if he wants to do any changes to the deck before next week after seeing the first matches (there is another video of matches being published after this article is written) and then I will do another match videos next week and then attempt some final analysis of the deck the week after that.

Wikiprice down for 3 hours

Today we had a 3-hours downtime of our wikiprice service ( As result the webpages were not visible via browser and the wikiprice APIs were unavailable as well.

In details, we had a hardware failure and we had to replace some parts. We replaced the broken parts with redundant hardware in order not to have a similar problem again.

The service is now fully restored and working. We apologize for the issue.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Pauper is everywhere!

I recently finished the six month long Pauper Gauntlet. I have played the all-common Magic Online format since 2012 and I truly enjoy it.

It seems that it is becoming more mainstream now.

These guys even almost steal my brand. Check out the Pauper Gauntlet of Greatness. I guess they run a show called "Gauntlet of Greatness" and just this one time it is Pauper. Includes some brave predictions of the future metagame.

The Pauper Gauntlet of Greatness:

Also my friends at cardhoarder are running a Pauper league as well.

And TCGplayer admits to loving Pauper here:

It seems that the future is bright for slinging some commons.

Next time I will make an attempt at deck doctoring. For which format? Do you even need to ask?

How to draft Eternal Masters?

I'm presenting Eternal Masters archetypes and cards which they consist of. Please note that I generally focused on commons and uncommons. I didn't list down cards that are good for every archetype, such as Sword to Plowshares. Here we go:

U/W Flying:
core: Warden of Evos Isle; Thunderclap Wyvern, Mistral Charger; Squadron Hawk; Serra Angel; Soulcatcher; Wall of Omen; Glacial Wall; Giant Tortoise; Coalition Honor Guard; Gaseous Form; Phantom Monster; Man-o-War; Kor Hookmaster; Memory Lapse; Silent Departure

U/B Reanimator:
core: Animate Dead; Extract from Darkness; Victimize; Merfolk Looter; Phyrexian Ingester; Twisted Abomination; Havoc Demon; Deep Analysis; Giant Tortoise; Gravedigger and fatties like: Sphinx of the Steel Wind

B/R Tokens:
core: Blood Artist; Tragis Slip; Wake Dancer; Gravedigger; Victimize; Tooth and Claw; Mogg War Marshal; Sengir Autocrat; Beetleback Chief; Torrent of Souls; Ghitu Slinger; Keldon Champion; Carion Feeder; Keldon Marauders; Stingcourger.

R/G Aggro:
core: Firebolt; Rancor; Kird Ape; Elephant Guide; Flinthoof Boar; Fervent Cathar; Sylvan Might; Elvish Vanguard; Avarax; Emperor Crocodile; Bloodbraid Elf; Sentinel Spider

W/G Enchantress:
core: Yavimaya Enchantress; Ancestral Mask; Armadillo Cloak; Mesa Enchantress; Argothian Enchantress;Monk Idealist; Abudant Growth; Rancor; Pacifism; Faith's Fetters; Hoden, of the Life's Web; Hoden of Cleasing Fire; Roots; Elephant Guide

W/B Blink:
core: Glimmerpoint Sage; Nekrataal; Phyrexian Rager; Whitemane Lion; Wall of Omens; Aven Riftwatcher; Kor Hookmaster; Gravedigger; Sengir Autocrat; Zealus Persecution, Calciderm; Field of Souls.

core: Flashback: Burning Vengeance; Deep Analysis; Firebolt; Oona's Grace; Flame Jab; Silent Departure; Quiet Speculation; Screeching Scab; Dream Twist; Faithless Looting; Wee Dragonauts; Man-o-War; Stingcourger; Young Pyromancer.

B/G Elves:
core: Timberwatch Elf; Lys Alana Huntmaster; Wirewood Symbiote; Shaman of the Pack; Elvish Vanguard; Imperious Perfect; Lys Alana Scarblade; Blightsoil Druid; Eyeblight's Ending

U/G Threshold:
core: Nimble Moongoose; Werebear, Merfolk Looter; Commune of the Gods; Wonder; Brawn; Cephalid Sage; Roar of the Wurm; Screeching Scab; Fact or Fiction.

W/R Aggro:
core: Rally the Peasants; Raise the Alarm; Mogg War Marshal; Squadron Hawk; Beetleback Chief; Mistral Charger; Ballyknock Cohort; Keldon Champion; Borderland Marauder; Fervent Cather; Glimmerpoint Stag; Keldon Marauders; Whtiemane Lion; Reckless Charge; Flame-Kin Zealot

Sunday, June 5, 2016

How to become a judge?

Becoming a judge is much easier than you might expect. In order to achieve this objective, three preconditions need to be met. First of all, get in touch with a level 2+ judge. This might be your friend at your local store or someone else. Then, you will judge literally any two sanctioned events. It could be even a Friday Night Magic. Finally, once you have done two events, you will need to pass the level one exam.

The passing score is 70+ % on both rules and policy questions. It seems like difficult task, but it is quite opposite if you have been playing Magic for a while. As a competitive player you should be able to answer correctly to the most of questiones. Additionally, there are plenty resources online on the Wizards Judge Center and you may practise any time. If something is still not clear, existing judges will be pleased to resolve your doubts. On the other hand, the policy questiones are not so obvious unless you have a lot of tournament experience. For instance, you must know how to fix the game state when something goes wrong. But again, Wizards provide you all required rulings, just read them. When you are ready to take the exam go and ask level 2+ judge to test you, his presence is obligatory. At the test, you will be shown and asked to abide by the Judge Code of Conduct and have a short interview about your motivation behind becoming a judge. If you pass, you will be congratulated and welcomed into the program!