Anything But: Tron-a-Thon

Great news, Pauper fans! We’ve had an update that new bans will go into place at the beginning of October. There are a lot of great things about this change, but I’m sure if you’re like me, you’re already tired of hearing about it. Granted, it is a huge change and for the better, but every single person is talking about it, and I for one am ready to move on. This did, as expected, throw a wrench into the cogs that comprised my three-part Building Posts series. So I was left with a decision to make: finish the series as planned and having the information be irrelevant, or improvise. It only seems to make sense that instead of wasting a week of time to talk about two-colored 8-Post decks when the information is no longer relevant that we instead jump to the end where we talk about what, if any, future these decks have without their beloved Cloudposts.

We’re at kind of an odd point in time where we know the end of the current metagame is near. Once that time hits we’ll be in a metagame that will be unrefined until about a month in. This means a few things for our Competitive Corner: tournament results from here until the ban are only mildly effective for predicting the metagame, and once the ban hits, data on the metagame will fluctuate significantly until about five weeks in. If we take a look at the time table here, the next article you’ll see from me will have a meta timeline that is halfway between the new metagame and the old one. Because of this, we’re going to skip it for next week’s article as the information would be too irrelevant. When you see it again, the Competitive Corner will be restarting our data from zero including our undefeated table. Instead of the usual breakdown for next week, we’re just going to take a quick look at what we’ve seen since the ban and highlight any new decks that may have shown on the competitive scene. So let’s take a look at this week’s meta report in a farewell to FissurePost.

Daily Event Results 9/5 – 9/18

In a fitting farewell, the top deck of the week is, of course, FissurePost. I have to admit that I thought once the announcement came down about the new bans, we’d see more people jumping at the chance to grind out the easy wins that FissurePost can provide while they still could. While the deck had a strong week, we have actually seen it do better in some past weeks. What was impressive was the showing from Stompy, which easily edged out DelverBlue for number two. I’ve been talking a lot about how my prediction for the top deck over the next few weeks of the new metagame is DelverBlue because it has decent matchups against a number of currently strong decks, but with these big showings from Stompy each week, I may find myself proven wrong. There were also some great increases here, as both MUC and MBC made it past our rogue line while Elves and Goblins continue to work hard.

Here’s this week’s rogues…

1. FamiliarStorm – 6
2. Slivers – 5
3. DimirTrinket – 3
4. RealityAcid – 3
5. Infect – 3
6. Burn – 2
7. Orz Aggro – 2
8. RebelPost – 2
9. Boros Kitty – 2
10. UB Control – 2
11. Az Control – 2
12. MWA – 1
13. DimirPost – 1
14. EnchantStorm – 1
15. IzzetControl – 1

I’m sorry, but is that three showings by Infect? Awesome. We also saw some of my favorites in Reality Acid and Boros Kitty. I’m a little surprised we haven’t seen more out of the Slivers deck, but after the bans go into place maybe that will change. Beyond these regulars, there were a few “new” decks, which took known ideas and just randomly happened to show. Things like IzzetControl and Orz Aggro have been shrugged off as fringe decks, although some people are openly wondering whether or not IzzetControl can become a regular contender in some form in the void that IzzetPost will leave behind.

Here’s how the undefeated odds are looking…

We really have no changes to talk about on the undefeated chart. At this point we’ve tracked this for twelve articles, which equates to approximately 24 weeks or six months. Things are really settled out and there has been little change beyond the inclusion of Eye Candy, which still needed a few weeks to stabilize. As I mentioned earlier, when we come back to the Competitive Corner, we’re going to start with the undefeated chart right away, but I want everyone to know that the numbers will be misleading for probably four weeks when everything settles out. I mean, consider the first week we come back where every non-rogue deck that makes an undefeated showing will be on the chart, so it’ll probably be a long list until things start falling off due to inactivity.

Last week I talked about the reduction of our Spotlight section. This week we’re looking at new bans. Ultimately, as I said earlier, the effectiveness of this section of my series is incredibly limited now that everything is going to be reset. That being said, we’re going to save some time and skip our Daily Event breakdown, but know that I’m still fixing some of the bugs on my tracking that should make it much faster on my end.

The big thing on everyone’s mind is where does the metagame go from here? Click on any website that provides regular Pauper content and that is the only thing that people are talking about. What deck is the next big thing? What changes? What fills the gap? We’re not going to talk about that particularly, but instead keep an eye specific to Cloudpost. We were discussing how important the mana base was to these particular decks. Could the generation of a large amount of mana, although colorless, make decks better? Was the deck better for the mana base or did the spell choice really make the deck? The conclusion we were leading towards was somewhere along the lines that you can’t make ridiculous things like ColorlessPost and LevelPost work out, but that Cloudposts did bring some key benefits.

To me, the next logical step in determining the strength of the Cloudpost + Glimmerpost mana base is to see if the decks have legs without them. While all the focus has been on the mana generated by the Locus lands there is another land combination available to us in Pauper that generates heavy mana as well…

When these three powers combine, each is able to tap for additional mana. Alone these lands may not seem that great; a single land that can tap for 2 mana, but together you’re looking at a mana base that can tap out for 7 mana as early as Turn 3. As you get more copies on the battlefield, the amount you can produce continues to increase (7 mana per set * 4 sets = 28 mana max). If you’re wondering, this is worse than you get with an 8-Post mana base. First of all, 8-Post fully taps for 36 and gains you a possible maximum of 26 life. The second thing to remember is that while providing you with more mana and life, it is doing so while only occupying eight land slots, whereas a full tron mana base requires 12. This is an important point that I’ll keep coming back to because as we continue on in our attempt to convert 8-Post decks as accommodating that extra four lands will mean reducing your basic land count and limiting your ability to play colored spells.

So let’s get into the meat of things. The idea is this: We’re going to take some 8-Post decks, remove the current mana base, and replace it with the tron mana base to see if the change can be made. This is a rough idea, but allow me to explain my reasoning for those who may not hear it in the videos. Whenever I’m working on a deck idea, there is a progression of stages that I go through before getting it to a point where I think it becomes competitive. It starts with the idea; here we’re working on the idea that current 8-Post decks could still function by switching mana bases to the slower tron mana base. From there we take that initial step and just throw in the mana base to see how it runs. If it can’t keep it together in any form, as I suspect will be the case with some of these decks, then you can stop and move on. However, on the off-chance the mana base does hold up and you do see potential, then you can move on from there and work to keep tinkering with spell choices in order to get the deck to the point you want. So we’re going to focus on those early steps by just throwing in the lands, making perhaps a few small changes to accommodate that mana base, and seeing how it goes. This would include things like Expedition Map and Prophetic Prism, which help you find your tron pieces and fix your colors, respectively.

We’re going to start off by taking a look at a tron deck that had managed to show up in competitive play well before any talk on banning Cloudpost became a thing. I’m going to refer to the deck as GruulTron, but it only runs a single red spell outside of the sideboard. Let’s take a look…

Now we aren’t going to spend much time on the sideboards of these decks, but needless to say, any land destruction will probably be removed as we will no longer be in a metagame with 8-post decks (unless, of course, tron becomes a ‘thing’). This particular tron deck does some really cool things. The win condition here is going to be focused mostly on Ulamog’s Crusher, which can be returned once killed thanks to the use of Haunted Fengraf. The deck also combos the Fangren Marauders with the Chromatic Sphere and Chromatic Star to generate life in a similar way to what we used to see from Glimmerpost. In this particular case the deck really embraces the colorless mana base, even though it is technically running three colors, by running so many colorless spells including ones that allow it to change the color of mana produced. I think the deck provides a good starting point to start to get a feel for what a tron deck is trying to do.

As expected, the deck works to prove a few of the assumptions I had made about a tron deck. The heavily colorless mana base does really rely upon a solid use of artifact spells. This means that there is added value to cards like Expedition Map and Prophetic Prism that can allow all colors to venture out into ramp that they might not have had access to otherwise. The value of Ulamog’s Crusher, which is already a strong win condition, goes up since again you’re relying more on colorless mana generation. In most tron decks, you’re going to be looking at a Turn 4 Ulamog’s Crusher at the earliest, which is the same we saw with 8-Post. However, this particular deck also showcases the fact that you can manage to get it into play on Turn 3 with the help of a Turn 2 Gruul Signet.

The first conversion I want to attempt is going to be BluePost. Before FissurePost became the deck it is today, there was a blue control deck that used the 8-Post mana base. Imagine, if you will, IzzetPost, but remove the burn spells and red mana in exchange for a stronger focus on the countermagic package. Let’s take a look at what we have to work with…

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Beyond switching out the lands, the first things I’m going to want to target are the spells that require that double-blue mana cost since it’ll be harder to find with more lands focusing on producing colorless mana. This also leads me to wanting a bit more focus on the Ulamog’s Crushers as the win condition. I’m also going to be looking to bring in those crucial maps and prisms, but maintaining a balance between the draw the deck provides.

As we take out the countermagic that requires double-blue, we can look to other spells like Exclude to fill that void while still giving us a bit of extra draw. We are losing a bit of control, but we’re going to try and get a little more aggressive by bringing in that extra Ulamog’s Crusher. There was also some debate over keeping the Ghostly Flickers, but while the card loses some power since it cannot force life gain, it does provide you with a solid amount of extra card draw and gives you the opportunity to dodge targeted removal spells. Ultimately here is what I came up with…

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BlueTron is one of the few decks that I feel has some potential to be able to survive post-Post if taken back to its control roots. The deck becomes a much different beast as it’ll find it harder to find double-blue to get most of the better countermagic spells that are available, but I think it can make up for that based on heavy draw and some Ghostly Flicker shenanigans.

Ultimately the deck played out about as well as I had expected. I think with the focus on Ghostly Flicker, the deck does have some possibility to get more benefit out of Serrated Arrows as permanent removal. I also felt like it really did have really heavy draw that could be cut back a little bit. Maybe doing something like trying Oona’s Grace to throw away lands when flooded and a single Rolling Thunder or something to have another win condition to dig for. I realize this approached the realm of IzzetPost/Tron, but with the heavy draw these blue-focused decks can achieve, you really need something to win the game as soon as possible to prevent decking out.

While I am already feeling pretty good about the possibility of some of these decks, there are some more extreme circumstances to be considered. I am, of course, referring to RebelPost. As we discussed during last week’s article, the deck tends to be based around a weenie, aggro strategy that looks to put out a number of little utility creatures that can overwhelm an opponent. Let’s take a look at that deck once again…

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Transforming this deck seems like a hit-or-miss kind of thing. While the deck can easily capitalize on heavy amounts of colorless mana thanks to the cost requirement for the rebel ability, you’re also looking at playing small creatures that don’t really seem to fit in this type of mana base. We already discussed how the addition of the tron mana base does slow down our ability to put basic lands into play, and that means our creatures may not see play until Turns 3 or 4, which is unimpressive at best. Consideration will have to be made for balancing the deck idea/theme with its ability to close out a game…

The locus behind this particular conversion is going to be that balance between keeping the rebels strategy in place and creating a competitive tron deck. Perhaps this time around, the switch is a bit of a cop out because I just have so little faith in its ability to perform in even casual play. In trying to keep as true to the rebel concept as I could, I tried to make room for the tron mana base by removing non-rebels, but I may have weakened the deck in doing so. Take a look at what we have now…

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If you can’t tell from the videos, the expectations with a deck like this aren’t very high. The deck is clunky to say the least and is very weak against board-clearing spells. While there are few of these in our format, the recent ban may open up the way for more Crypt Rats and other spells that would be great against a swarm of 1-toughness creatures. Oddly enough, the strongest win condition for the deck is going to be the Ulamog’s Crushers, but with no solid ability to draw cards, the deck will struggle to find them when it needs them. Winning these games may come down to the strategic ability to slowly work away at an opponent’s life with rebels.

I think that the deck played out kind of how I expected it to. I saw that awkward mid-game rebel drop that would just be terrible against removal. A 1/1 creature on Turn 4 that is in for its ability, which isn’t then usable until Turn 5, is something that most decks shouldn’t have much trouble beating. That being said, the deck won. In the first two games I played with this deck, it managed to win. Sure, the first match was against an opponent that was a bit behind in mana, but a win against DelverBlue in the second game was solid. I will say that the deck does get a minor advantage against the countermagic-centered decks because as soon as you land a rebel, they will have trouble killing it, and the rebel ability provides you a chance to dodge that countermagic.

The last competitive, mono-colored deck to make a regular appearance in Daily Events is going to be GreenPost. The deck also takes an aggro-based approach to games, but looks to capitalize on the large size associated with green creatures. One of the best things about the GreenPost deck is that it manages to create alternative card advantage in a variety of different ways. Consider direct card advantage in the form of card draw and discard. When you’re in Green you don’t have access to this specifically, so you have to get a bit creative. Here the deck can create land advantage thanks to a variety of ramp/destruction spells and keep the creatures coming thanks to the tutor abilities of Aurochs Herd and Fierce Empath. Here’s a basic example of what GreenPost looks like…

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The transition from green with 8-Post to green with tron will probably be the most frequently attempted change. The characteristics of green are directly associated with accelerating your mana base and therefore finding specific land pieces is hardly an issue. There are so many different ways to find tron pieces that wouldn’t require the addition of Expedition Map, and some of those can already be found in the deck so you’re not diluting the deck any more then you have to by bringing in the tron lands. If the deck ever had a chance in this new metagame with 8-Post, then we can probably expect that it will hold up with tron.

While the deck really doesn’t need a lot to switch in the tron mana base, there are changes that can be made with some of the other spells. One of the benefits the deck had was the maindeck land destruction in an environment that was heavily filled by other 8-Post decks. Unless the tron decks become popular in the new metagame, there is really little extra value to be had out of land destruction like Thermokarst, which doesn’t do anything beyond destroying a land. Other additions, which I would have considered standard in tron, such as the use of Prophetic Prism, are probably not necessary thanks to the extra colored mana generation from our mana walls. Consideration was also made to working in a few changes in the creature base to keep the deck aggressive whenever possible. Here’s what we’re working with now…

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Since the deck is so similar to the original, I don’t expect much issue with how games will play out. Obviously getting the mana base together is going to require a bit more effort, but you should quickly see the deck works the same as the original or perhaps better. Keeping in mind we have cleaned up some of the space wasted for Thermokarst, it is expected that draws should be a bit cleaner and really keep focus more along the lines of bomb creature after bomb creature, generally creating more threats than an opponent has answers for. Even some of the changes made are probably overreacting to the need to get tron online, but it seems like a good starting point.

It is sometimes very interesting how games ultimately play out. Where you may think you have a significant advantage against aggro-based strategies due to your slew of walls, you’re still working on a slower tempo. Wins and losses aside, I think the deck still felt pretty solid. When making these changes I really expected to feel the difference between the mana bases, but in this deck it really isn’t the case. The deck can really get away with this type of mana base because it has that ramp capability with or without the tron mana. Perhaps the tron and even 8-Post mana bases in this particular deck are cases of win-more, or maybe it just needs to be so greedy to get things going, but you do find potential for incredibly early Ulamog’s Crushers. With this particular deck you do also find that feeling that it can possibly survive in a control metagame because it has so many threats that it will be putting down. The fact that a Aurochs Herd keeps finding more means that the black player will need to find kill after kill in order to keep up.

Despite whatever reservations I had about the RebelTron deck, I think it is safe to say that the expectations for pulling off a tron deck in competitive Pauper play are focused on a single color. We’ve touched on the fact that the use of the tron mana base requires the use of 12 land slots in your deck and if you consider the fact that most run a max of 24 then you’re hitting 50% of your mana base being devoted to this heavy colorless engine. With the use of Prophetic Prism, this seems pretty doable, but when you start adding more colors into the mix it feels harder and harder. You really have to start focusing on some of those lessons from earlier and include those Expedition Maps and Prophetic Prisms in order to compensate. While these spells work effectively to shore up your mana base, by bringing those in you’re wasting more and more card slots just to make use of the tron mana base, and in most cases it won’t be worth it. Keeping that in mind, you’ll understand why I don’t have high expectations for the outcome of these guild tron decks.

The first we’re going to look at will be IzzetPost because oddly enough it has gotten a lot of focus for a tron mana base as well. I say this is odd because to me it seems like you’re really watering down the mana, and the deck actually managed to capitalize greatly off of the life gain and not just the heavy mana. In most cases the game plan was to use a few countermagic spells and the life gain of Glimmerpost to stall the game until a point where you drew your win condition, which was Ulamog’s Crusher and Rolling Thunder (although more recent lists even opted to drop Ulamog’s Crusher and just focus on that single burn spell as a primary win condition). If you take a look at most of the IzzetPost decks that we’re seeing right now in the Daily Event results, you’ll see that most are taking a singular approach and bringing in an entire array of different burn and control spells. I’ve never been a fan of this and instead always opt to concentrate spells a bit more and run more of a single card instead of a variety of singletons. Here’s an example of what I’m talking about…

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I think if you’re looking to convert an IzzetPost deck to tron, then you’d be better off taking an older list that didn’t use this toolbox. Consider all of those great early-game, 1-casting cost spells that IzzetPost runs that will be less effective now that you’re diluting your mana base even more. I think this fact is why I’d want to focus more of some of the old approaches to the deck and bring back cards like Ulamog’s Crusher so we can shift focus away from that Turn 1 Preordain, for example. We’re also going to look to target down those double-colored mana spells as we’re probably already going to be struggling to generate the 1-colored mana needed for most spells.

There were a lot of interesting cuts in the deck. I think when I’m talking about this being the first stage and how you would need to keep tinkering things down in order to find the right decisions on what to keep/cut, that this is the very definition of that debate. There are so many things here, probably as a result of the deck being such a toolbox, that I was torn between keeping and cutting. Clearly some changes had to be made over things like the main deck Countspells, but other things like the use of Mystical Teachings or Lightning Bolt vs. Flame Slash would need to really be ironed out through a lot more play testing than I’m going to be able to do in two games. Here’s what I ultimately decided upon…

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When it comes to games with this particular deck, I’m expecting it to go a bit like things went with BlueTron. Both are running a similar idea although I think that BlueTron was more solid because it’s a bit more focused on that blink combo with Ghostly Flicker. Definitely still have worries about the significant number of single cost spells that require a basic land in order to make the play before turn three. Basically I have serious questions on the effectiveness of one cost burn spells in a deck that may not be able to play them until turn three or four. It all comes down to metagaming and what we start to really see after a few weeks have passed. If we start to see a much slower metagame then maybe it won’t be so terrible to see that turn four Lightning Bolt as long as it continues to do its job, but only time will tell there…

I have to admit that playing out the games went a bit better than I had expected when splitting the mana base this way. I still have reservations about some of the slower plays when you cast those 1-cost spells, but really felt the benefits of Serrated Arrows as colorless control. I also felt that going with this type of IzzetPost list was a good idea because the use of the Sea Gate Oracles, a creature that really has been left out of most recent lists, helps you dig through your deck very effectively and the more cards you draw the more likely it is you’ll find what you’re looking for. The only other consideration I made during these games was that I felt there were times that I wanted more of the Ghostly Flicker combo, but at the same time I’m not sure just yet where I’d be able to find room for it.

After IzzetPost, the next most common guild deck was DimirPost. Since the beginning of my time writing, I’ve been trying to emphasize the strength of the deck. Imagine, if you will, your typical IzzetPost deck that simply trades red for black. What you’re gaining is better board control and possibly better utility out of your kill spells, which won’t be restricted to a damage number in most cases. The biggest loss in the conversion was going to be the burn finishers of Rolling Thunder and/or Kaervek’s Torch, but you could make up for it thanks to additional copies of Ulamog’s Crusher. Here’s the list we’re going to be working with today…

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Now this particular list suffers from that toolbox issue that I complained about earlier. There are small differences, however, as this particular list runs more instants, so you feel a bit friendlier towards the Mystical Teachings. I think no one will be surprised if we start seeing more blue/black control decks in the metagame thanks to their ability to board wipe, which is something this deck is already trying to do. There are quite a few double-cost spells that we’ll need to consider for removal, as cards such as Chittering Rats were mediocre in the original list anyway.

So I went through and tried to clean things up a little bit by removing all of those double-colored spells except for Capsize and Evincar’s Justice, which I think are powerful spells even with that cost thanks to the buyback ability. I also worked in those Ulamog’s Crushers that I love so much, but I do still wonder over the necessity of a full set of Sea Gate Oracles. I get why they are there (the deck doesn’t draw nearly as many cards as IzzetPost), but it seems a bit much even if it does provide a decent body for blocking. Here’s what we’re looking at now…

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Expectations for this deck run along the same lines as our IzzetTron deck. We have some of those 1-cost spells that may not actually be played until the mid-game, but we did learn that when it comes to Preordain, there really isn’t a point where you’re too far into the game to play it. There are quite a few hazy areas in this particular list where spells like Disfigure may not provide the same utility as a kill that doesn’t have the restriction. Additionally, the effectiveness of Evincar’s Justice is up for evaluation without the life gain we’ve been spoiled by thanks to Glimmerpost.

There were a few questionable plays by me in these games. Honestly I think mindset is everything, and I was going into these assuming a bad run with two colors, but again it still worked better than I had expected. I do still feel the Disfigures were underwhelming and definitely think that I was right in feeling there was some worry with Evincar’s Justice. I love that 8-Post manages to make this card playable, and I had high hopes because we were expecting an aggro based metagame, that it would still hold up post-ban, but the stability that Glimmerpost brought to the card is missed.

Beyond these two decks, there really wasn’t a lot of room for guild-post decks beyond Temporal Fissure storm. In the rogue category, we did see a few SimicPost lists, but they didn’t show up very often. It was a deck type that I had attempted a while back that did make a single Daily Event showing, but it was made more popular by newplan whose version of the deck made several showings at the early stages of the FissurePost invasion. I did debate a little bit over whether my approach or newplan’s approach to the deck was better to fit the tron mana base and ultimately decided that I’d go with what I believe to be newplan’s most recent version of the deck…

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This deck, much like our GreenPost deck, is already fairly well set up to accept the tron mana base. You already have some of those colorless cards that I’ve found to be effective as well as our green ramp and even Prophetic Prisms. Not to mention newplan chose to focus on Kaervek’s Torch over Rolling Thunder for that added edge. At first glance, I believe that there is a lot of potential for the deck to transfer to tron, but a number of possible switches could be made…

While there wasn’t much that needed to be changed, I did take a bit of a chance in using Expedition Maps over Crop Rotations. While it does require more mana to make Expedition Map work, you are able to use the colorless mana to do so, which may help with the heavy generation of the tron lands. Beyond that the deck, as I said, is really set up well to do what I want it to. The only remaining question I had, had to do with the effectiveness of Fade Away. I know the card really shines in aggro matches, but I’m concerned that our new metagame will be a step slower as people try to move midrange and control decks in. Perhaps some benefit could be had in making a trade out here and keeping it in the sideboard. Other card choices are just minor discussions, but ultimately here is what we’re going to be working with…

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The slow nature of this deck is to be expected. We’ve talked about it before with the other tron decks, but it has to be understood that you’re losing the life gain and still facing down a variety of faster aggro decks. The difference between this deck and GreenPost, despite several similarities, is that GreenPost has access to those cheap wall creatures. My hope is that the stack of Serrated Arrows will provide us with the added tempo control that we need in the early game.

I have some thoughts. I mentioned earlier that I felt the deck fit tron really well, but it also had a lot of cards that are seemingly interchangeable such as my debate over Crop Rotation versus Expedition Map. In most cases I like more copies of Mnemonic Wall over Ghostly Flickers in these decks, but we let it slide here because you had Glimmerpost. There is still some benefit to more copies of Ghostly Flicker even if it is just being used to recharge your Serrated Arrows, but still something worth considering. To be honest this deck I think would require the most testing to understand card choices than any of the others. There are so many things that I’d worry over like the single Bojuka Bog holding back our mana base and the effectiveness of Preordain in comparison to other draw spells.

I think after running through all of these tron conversions, I’m fairly certain that we’ll see one become a regular deck. I don’t think it will be anything more than a rogue strategy, but there is a chance that someone might find a solid combo to make it stick or that we’ll have a newly printed card make the impact to push it over the edge. What I’ll continue to offer is that in my opinion, there is a solid shell of cards to consider when playing around with tron decks. Consideration should be made to a number of Ulamog’s Crushers and definitely liked the Prophetic Prisms, but ultimately I think that the colors that are best-suited for making it work will be green and blue without question (with a possible yet small splash for an X-burn finisher).

Ultimately all I can offer is that I’m very excited about a new playing field. I don’t think anyone can argue against it. As always we’re going to do a bit of shameless promotion as I suggest following me on Twitter @MTGOJustSin as I’ll of course be commenting, as we go, on new decks and on what we see in the metagame post-ban. Also by the time you’re going to be reading this, information should be out with details on my Pauper Team League, which you’ll find more about by following my Twitter where I’ll have links and I’ll be talking about it more in upcoming articles.

  1. Wow, super thorough and very well reasoned. I think Ub is the way to go, basically the same deck you ended up with after converting but adding teachings to fetch flicker or capsize. I have been experimenting with Errant Ephemeron in there, too.

  2. I have been absent from pauper for at least 6 months, but this banning has me stoked to pick up the format again. Amazing work here on possible Urzatron builds. I don’t think any will survive against either dedicated aggro and control lists, but they should easily beat midrange. Very curious to see how the format will really pan out!

  3. glad you guys all enjoyed it, there is so much more to be explored when it comes to Tron and I hope this at least provides people with a good starting point to do so!

  4. I was the altered Reality Acid deck in the last video. Sorry for not playing something more competitive. I was messing around with different alters when I saw you in the queue for a game and I jumped in without thinking about what deck I had up :P

  5. First of all, good job on exploring all the different possibilities. I think Dimir and Izzet are good colours for Tron, Rebels probably not so much because most of their cards are good when dropped early and uncastable off “just” Tron.

    In the green lists, I probably wouldn’t even play Mvonvuli Acid Moss since it searches for Forests only and requires 2 green in play already. That seems really poor. Maybe the land destruction is okay in the mirror, so that makes it a sideboard card I guess.
    To be fair, I find the future sight of Tron matchups extremely grueling. It’s a very boring deck in Modern to play with or against and I expect this to be no different in Pauper. “Hope they don’t draw their Tron” is just the stupidest thing ever and Pauper lacks the tools to beat it.

  6. @ hyper: hope I wasn’t too harsh in that assessment, I always love seeing people try new things and probably shouldn’t be so critical when they do and it doesn’t work out

    @blood: I think I agree with you on the acid moss, it is kind of nice to have the extra search, but there are probably better things to do with those card slots… as for tron’s future I love the deck and hope something at least rogue comes of it, I think Pauper does have ways to deal with it in simple LD and speed because I think this proved that while viable, the deck is much weaker with tron over 8-post

  7. A very nice and thorough article about how the tron engine can replace cloudpost engine. However, I feel that your cloudpost to tron conversions were trying to keep the decks as similar as possible after the mana engine change while refraining from asking the simple question: are these tron decks better than their non tron variants? With 8-post it was obvious that those decks were better, with tron I feel they simply aren’t, because losing the health of glimmerpost, requiring 12 colorless lands rather than 8 and shrinking the amount of colorless mana generated are simply too harsh penalties to still give the tron decks any advantages over non tron variants of the same concepts.

    For example, lets take a look at the mono blue tron deck. The mono blue 8-post control deck had some distinct advantages over its non 8-post variant: MUC, having more resilience to aggro with the Glimmerposts as well as superior finishers in Ulamog’s Crusher and the red burn spells while not making sacrifices to the control aspect of the deck. The mono blue tron deck already loses 1 of those advantages, and while the better finishers are still there, you are making sacrifices to the control aspect with. It just feels that the tron version doesn’t offer enough advantages to use that instead of MUC.

    Likewise with the Izzet and Dimir conversions. Izzet control never really had non 8-post versions so it was certainly worth the testing, though I feel that Izzet tron lost just enough speed and control to make it a weak control deck compared to the alternatives. Dimir control on the other hand already had non post alternatives as you’ve shown in a previous article of yours with Dimir Trinket, Teaching Control and another version that I forgot its name. Those non 8-post alternatives were competitive in the 8-post+fissure era, albeit not top dogs, so they’ll obviously still be competitive now, and even stronger since they all had bad fissure matchups. 1 idea I have is perhaps to mimic the thought process behind the original Dimir Post deck, which was to take the Izzet Post deck and replace the red cards with black ones, and do it now for Dimir Trinket and Teaching Control, removing the black cards and replacing them with red ones and see if these decks can function as Izzet decks rather than Dimir.

    Rebel post was never truly competitive to begin with, but didn’t really have a non 8-post alternative either, so the tron experiment here was at least warranted, though the deck couldn’t get better without 8-post, only slightly worse, which for an already questionable deck from a competitive viewpoint means that the deck is pretty much dead in the water.

    Which leaves us with Green Post. This deck too didn’t really have a non 8-post alternative, so the experiment here was very warranted and the results relatively satisfying. However, there is an alternative that wasn’t really used until now, which I think is somewhere in the middle between the 8-post engine and the tron engine, and that’s the Elves engine. Rather than use extreme number of Elves to win with the likes of Lys Alana Huntmaster and Timberwatch Elf you can use Elves to ramp into the usual Ulamog’s Crushers and Fangren Marauders, replacing Aurochs Herd with Llanowar Sentinels for some more Elves and enjoying that Fierce Empaths were already Elves as well. So in essence this Elves Ramp deck, for no better name for now, replaces the walls with mana Elves and the 8-post engine with normal green mana and Priests of Titania to generate multiple mana in the same way that cloudpost did. Not sure whether this variant will be better than the old 8-post version, but I think it should be better than any tron conversion.