Tag Archives: decklists

Patrick Chapin’s “Punishing Gifts”-Extended Tournament Report

Over the weekend I had a chance to go play an extended tournament at my local game store.  It ended up being a small (9 people) affair, but I still had a great time.  Earlier in the week, I asked Power 9 Pro’s very own Joe Klesert for some advice on what to play.  He told me about a great deck from Patrick “the Innovator” Chapin that looked to take advantage of the current Dark Depths/Thopter Foundry (DDT) dominated meta-game.  DDT is arguably the best deck in the format right now, punishing other decks based on the Depth’s Vampire Hexmage combo and the Thopter Sword of the Meek combo.  The list that Joe gave me was this:

I did not have access to all of the cards I needed so I had to replace 1 Hallowed Fountain with Adarkar Wastes and the Cranial Extraction with another copy of Extirpate.

First round I played Mark who was running a R/G deck that i liked to think of as 2-color zoo.  It ran the Punishing Fire/Grove of the Burnwillows engine that first appeared in the Ben Rubin Zoo deck now known as Rubin Zoo (great name).  One neat piece of synergy that Mark had was the use of Kavu Predator to go along with his Burnwillows.  Game 1 Mark stomped on my head pretty quickly even after having to mulligan.  Game 2 went a little better, as I had answered all of his threats and he was in top deck mode.  I had the Punishing Fire engine going, but was trying to find either Teferi or my Thopter/Sword combo as I was still in burn range from early beats.  Unfortunately, he top decked Bloodbraid Elf into Punishing Fire and backed them up with Lightning Bolt to finish me off.

Second Round I played against Joseph playing a version of Elves!.  I was really surprised to see this list, when I was doing research on extended there was very little mention of Elves!.  In Game 1, Firespout was the superstar allowing me to blow-up 2 Heritage Druids and buy myself enough time to set up my Thopter/Sword combo to win.  Game 2 was a blowout thanks to Engineered Explosives holding the fort until I could go ultimate with Jace.

Trying to gain some momentum I headed to Round  3 where I was playing against Johnny running U/B Teachings.  His deck is similar to mine but it relies more on setting up Mystical Teachings to find Teferi.  In Game 1, Johnny gets Teferi online quickly and I need to spend a lot of resources to get past the counter wall in order to get rid of him.  It was all for naught as once Path to Exile finally got rid of Teferi, Crovax, Ascendant Hero came down to finish me off.  Crovax is great tech against Thopter tokens, even if the opposing side has an army built up Crovax can still turn that combo “off”.  Game 2 was the most fun I had in the tournament.  Johnny and I were in an all out counter war.  I had my Gargoyle Castle/Crucible of Worlds engine going, attacking with 3/4 tokens, trying to get past his team of Teferi and Sphinx of Jwar Isle.  In the end, I forgot to activate and swing  with my Celestial Colonade which would have put him low enough to burn out with Punishing Fire (in hand).  He got off Pulse of the Fields and my opportunity was gone.

Sitting on my 1-2 record I drew the bye for the fourth and final round and decided to head home early (much to the delight of my wife).  This deck was a blast to play.  There are plenty of amazing interactions in the deck.  I will definitely practice with it and try to bring it out again.  One thing I noticed was that I wanted a way to put more pressure on my opponent, but only through more testing will I figure out what that should be (more Jace perhaps?).If you are looking for a deck to play, I would recommend this one, just make sure you have enough time to practice.

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.

Zak:
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.

Joe:

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.

Card Brainstorm:

Burn:


Maybe Give it a Try?:

SB?

As fireball variants, breath of malfegor, giant’s ire, lava axe, and quenchable fire all do bargain damage, but can’t double as removal.

James:
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.

Dillon:
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.

The spark mage can kill Llanowar elves and Nip Gwyllions, [two cards] I think would be good in pauper. Mosquito Guard would be really good in pauper too.

Zak:
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.

Joe:
Good analysis.  I think you’re right about keeping the curve low.  This is historically the pattern for winning burn decks.

Zak:
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.

Dillon:
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.

Zak:
Terminate kills Putrid Leech

Here’s The Final List:

Pauper Blightning: 60 Cards (Post-M10)