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.

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