Standard Pauper – Red/Black Blightening Deck Discussion
Much of Power 9 Pro’s focus in our articles is on tournament-level play but we also play casually when we can find the time. One of our teammate’s Zak participates in a “Standard Pauper” tournament from time to time. Zak thought he would bring up the decklist with our team to see if we couldn’t help with tweaks. Here’s the discussion that ensued.
Please remember that standard pauper means cards that are type 2 legal, and are common. No uncommons, rares, or mythics allowed.
Here’s the list that I’ve played thus far.
Pauper Blightning: 60 Cards (Pre-M10)
Now, post M10, I need to make some changes, but I want some input from the team.
note: An abundance of Borderposts makes smash to smithereens an absolute beating, especially on decks that are 3 colors, Flame Jab is absolutely amazing, my favorite card in the list. Goblin Deathraiders[provides] simply amazing pressure.
Problem # 1 – Shock Rotates Out
Solution – Add Lightning Bolt (This is obvious)
Problem # 2 – Incinerate Rotates Out
Solution – I’ve temporarily added Sparkmage Apprentice, but this is definitely able to be changed. Definitely want some input here, because this deck really wants as many burn spells as possible, and the bigger the better.
Problem # 3 – Duergar Assailant becomes worse without damage on the stack
Solution – I think the right move might be to just leave it in here, but his slot could be open to something else.
First thought: if you love flame jab, are you certain 2 is the right number?
The only card I am skeptical of is terminate… seems like even that might be better as a burn spell… spot removal is traditionally avoided in burn decks. I’d recommend at least re-evaluating terminate with skepticism, and if you come to the same conclusion about it, so be it.
If you’re set on removal, there are other more greedy options out there too… soul reap for example… easier to cast, slightly more narrow, but with the chance of incinerate on top… just saying, there’s other stuff out there. Personally I’d avoid terminate and similar spells entirely… burn all the way. I’d experiment with using no creatures whatsoever. You can gain subtle edges with that… using sweepers and such.
Maybe Give it a Try?:
As fireball variants, breath of malfegor, giant’s ire, lava axe, and quenchable fire all do bargain damage, but can’t double as removal.
Joe had similar feedback to what I was thinking. Absorb Vis was also on my list. Swamp cycle or 8 life swing. I would personally keep removal to SB. Tendrils would be good.
Quench fire seems good. If you can throw a fattie or two in, maybe soul’s fire? I would definitely consider/focus on that a burn deck doesn’t run much spot removal. Basically, if you’re focused on spot removal, you’re probably losing. Lava axe may actually work. Seems like flame jab works against shard volley. It’s also very under powered in my opinion. Raven’s crime is one up on power and reinforces your partial control theme through blightening.
Bloodspyre Elemental and Resounding Thunder come to mind. Flame Jab is a card I have always thought could break standard at one point.
Balefire Liege and that seem pretty good together.
1. Bloodpyre Elemental is too slow. Not only does it cost 5 in a deck that curves out at 3, it only hits creatures at sorcery speed, and seems extremely fragile as a 1 toughness dude.
2. Resounding Thunder seems good as another burn spell. The only problem that I have with using Jund Panorama’s instead with a forest or two is that it decreases the effectiveness of Flame Jab. I only want 3 lands, maybe 4, but the rest I want to either sacrifice to Shard Volley or use to retrace Flame Jab. If I cycle the thunder, I’m going to have a lot of mostly wasted land sitting on the board. This is the same with cards like absorb vis, they just don’t help me speed up the kill. If I have 2 lands to cycle Vis, I’ve got 2/3rds of my mana set, and most likely am pretty well off.
3. Breath of Malfegor is nice, but again the cost factor comes up. This deck needs to be as fast as it possibly can, which it is. If I start casting 5 mana spells, I’ll need to increase the land count, which will decrease the overall burn count.
4. A HUGE (read 80% of the meta) part of Type 2 Pauper is the Mimics from Eventide. These are often fueled by cards like Nyp Gwyllion and Steam Hopper, and I see the Sparkmages being a kill spell over 60% of the time based on experience.
5. I believe that Flame Jab will lose potential if I start drawing multiples. Sure, they’re amazing in the late game and get rid of so many things, but I only want to get 1 in the graveyard, and then I can machine-gun my opponent. Think about this situation:
I have a Flame Jab in the graveyard, with a few cards in hand. This situation is relatively common in the late game. The worst-case scenario is that I draw a land, which, thanks to Jab will become 1 damage, and my odds of drawing superior burn increase. The best case scenario is that I draw a piece of burn, which is exclusively better than a Jab. However, with any more jabs you run the risk of a third option. That is, drawing a spell, which turns out to be a Jab. You get the same effect as if you had a land, yet your odds of drawing superior burn have actually decreased, as you have the same amount of lands in your library with a smaller amount of spells.
6. Tendrils is not good in a deck that really only wants one swamp out. It’s like 4 mana for 1 damage and one life most of the time, and if terminate doesn’t belong (which I’m starting to think it doesn’t), than neither does Tendrils.
7. Raven’s Crime and Duress both have a minimal effect on the game as far as my plans are concerned. Duress could go in the board though against any decks packing lifegain. I;d much rather get a threat/burn spell on turn one than taking away something that probably wouldn’t have hurt me all that much in the first place.
8. The mana in this deck takes a fair bit of practice to get right. The only reason I can get away with both Shard Volley and Flame Jab is because I need so few lands for my plans to work properly.
9. I considered Soul’s Fire, but the combination of so few creatures and the abundance of highly played spot removal, I don’t see it pulling its weight.
10. Regarding Lava Axe + Breath of Malfegor again. I think that maybe a 1 or 2 of could help me pull some games out of my ass. Will consider it.
11. One of the things I like about having creatures in the deck is it doubles the efficiency of burn spells. If I have a goblin deathraiders on the battlefield, a burn spell that kills my opponent’s only dude might as well also deal 3 damage to them. Thus, the decreased burn rate that comes with using burn on creatures is mitigated. Again, Goblin Deathraiders is the cheap, high-power card that allows this to work with maximum effectiveness.
Good analysis. I think you’re right about keeping the curve low. This is historically the pattern for winning burn decks.
I figured it out, and the answer is a card nobody actually mentioned. Dragon Fodder has always given me trouble, as it provides pressure, but it also makes your opponents reluctant to use their removal spells. I just cut the sparkmages entirely, thinking that the Vithian Stingers and Hurly-Burlys in the board can do their job better. Also, I kept Terminates in, because they are my only out to anything with toughness greater than 4. However, I often will board them out.
why terminate over doomblade? you can cast doomblade with a panorama and a swamp. seems like that is pretty important. also the sparkmage has to be better. direct damage as well as killing something or perhaps finishing off a creature post-combat. i think a white weenie deck would be good in pauper with no viable board sweeper.
Here’s The Final List:
Pauper Blightning: 60 Cards (Post-M10)
Subscribe to the P9P Newsletter for special offers
and a FREE Ben Lundquist Workshop video clip!