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.

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