Sunday, June 26, 2016

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

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