Beginner’s Deck Doctor #1

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  1. You don’t improve this decklist, you replace it with another one. Only swamp and Duress is shared. It’s another fine idea: beginners send you a decklist, and then you say “why don’t you use this one instead?” And give them another decklist. Really, the only connection between the original and the new decklist is that the new one plays black too.

    The idea of NoxNoctis is a monoblack deck which starts as as a suicide deck but is capable to survive long games since it gains back the life. It is probably weaker than a strict suicide black deck, as it has less chance to kill the opponent fast, and weaker than a strict monoblack control, as it contains plenty of cards which are awful in the late game. You should either try to balance these better, to give the best deck based on his ideas (which probably would still be weak), or at least move to one of the two extremities, with either more cheap creatures, or more Consume of Spirits.

  2. I was also thinking while reading “This is a nice way to say the deck isn’t playable”. Plejades, I feel you were a bit over-enthousiastic on this one; I’m sure you will take this into account next time.

  3. I realize the issue. It is kind of hard to balance the fine line between changing an existing deck and making it much better and tweaking it but being left with the sour taste that it is not the best it could be for the budget provided. I appreciate the feedback and would really like to hear how NoxNoctis feels about it. Is it very important to stay as close as possible to the initial idea even if it is not optimal or is it ok to make radical changes and take the original idea and the budget into account but ignore the rest?

    My team mentioned similar concerns regarding the decklist and I think I just wanted to hear a few opinions from beginners on how they would feel about it.

    I would like to add that I did keep his initial idea in mind even though that wasn’t reflected in keeping his original cards. He mentioned:”.. capable to survive long games since it gains back the life” which is accomplished with lifelink instead of the sorceries. His concern regarding artifacts is also solved with the addition of white and the sideboard.

    Another possibility would be to change the approach by simply saying:”Let me know how you would like your deck to work and what your budget is” instead of asking for decklists which is often a first attempt of the beginner and goes in a direction that is less optimal.

    Having said all that I understand and appreciate the voiced concern and will adjust my approach if the feedback guides me in that direction. Thanks for your comments!

  4. I like the original list better …. it has 6 less 1/1′s. I realize the point is to enchant them, but you can’t really afford to run creatures that are only good if you draw one specific card.

  5. While I can see you have essentially said “play this deck instead” – I think it’s a great and useful article to read… and I’d be chuffed with the advice if I were NoxNoctis.

    The emphasis on this series, is “beginner”. It’s quite realistic that a beginner won’t be aware of a lot of these cards, while the spirit and idea of the submitted deck is consistent and at the same time dealing with the main issues NoxNoctis has been experiencing.

    I’d be curious to know if you were actually able to test out the decks to compare? I’ve often had a great idea for a deck, put the cards together and in all theory it should work great but somehow it just doesn’t gel or falls flat.

    Thanks – I look forward to more in this series, and may even consider submitting my own decks too :)

  6. Just bought this deck for just under 2 tix using my existing library.. nice so far and fun to play. needs a little more power it seems.. though i don’t yet have crypt rats

  7. @Ron: This deck is very close to one of the top performing Pauper decks in the past and the power level is much higher then it looks. You have to play it for a while to see the full potential.

    @Phroggie: As indicated in the intro I am not necessarily trying to be creative but rather use the submitted requirement and budget to find and tune existing deck ideas or even established concepts the beginner often isn’t even aware of. In this case the decklist is close to well tested Pauper tournament decks that performed very well in the past. While the metagame is constantly changing and archetypes are gaining and losing popularity I am trying to get power and flexibility into the build.

    @Manhandle: I agree that the deck is fun to play due to the nice interaction between the singles and the possibility to handle nearly all threats. Crypt Rats are a nice sideboard card but if you are handling a smaller budget not really a must have.

    Thanks for the comments!

  8. I’m still playing around with the deck so give me a bit more time to form an opinion.

    I changed my original deck though (the one I emailed in) to this which works better but still has issues. I’d say I win about 9/10 games in the “casual play” area.

    I’m definitely going to be looking more into mixing in another color though and I like some of these others cards suggested especially nightsky mimic.

    Anyways the revised version of my original deck is this, thoughts?:

    4x Carnophage
    4x Vampire Lacerator
    4x Guul Draz Vampire
    4x Skittering Skirge
    4x Blind Creeper

    4x Sign in Blood
    2x Soul Reap
    4x Dark Ritual
    4x Geth’s Verdict
    2x Vampire Link

    4x Piranha Marsh
    14x Swamp


    4x Augur of Skulls
    3x Dash Hopes
    2x Distress
    2x Doom Blade
    4x Talara’s Bane

    (A lot of those sideboard cards are supposed to be anti-storm deck which was causing me grief but the sideboard is still pretty terrible…)

    Anyways basically I put in geth’s verdict and piranha marsh to help with getting my guul draz vampires the 3/2+evade even faster and vampire link to deal with nasty big green or artifact creatures… or if I need to plunk it on one of my own (usually skittering skirge) to get a bit of extra life back. So I like that card because it can be both offense/defense.

    I realize I have even fewer lands now but honestly in practice it hasn’t been an issue. I’m almost never “mana screwed” because 3/5 of my creature cards only require one mana and the rest only 2, and I got rid of the more expensive sorceries.

    Anyways I’m going to be trying to meld the white elements in with the above deck and see what happens. Suggestions welcome on the above deck though!


  9. I’ve put this deck together and taken it for a run in casual. Only single games so far, but have gone 2-2 with my first attempts. As a beginner myself I really appreciated the simplicity of play, it’s pretty straightforward what to do with what’s in hand, although I think I could have won one of my games by making my opponent sign in blood rather than myself.

    The losses were to a red/blue control/burn deck and to a very aggressive aggro red deck with lots of burn. The biggest problem with the mimic is it’s extremely vulnerable to burn before it becomes a 4/4. However my opponent spent several burn spells to take it out in 7/7 form on more than one occasion which was a very good sign.

    There was a close win in there which was brilliant, dropped a hag, hit with the mimic (with edge) taking the opponent down to 8, then next turn played blind hunter, swung with the mimic for game. He’d just played an 8/8 with annihilator so it was very fortuitous as I didn’t have that much life to lose!

    Do you have a link to that top performing pauper deck?

  10. Hello Kheltar,

    thanks for giving the deck a try. It is certainly a deck that performs better over time as the pilot gets used to the various possibilities the deck offers during the games. It is certainly not the most straightforward deck to play but I believe it is much more interesting then a simple burn to the face deck. If you are interested in Pauper I highly recommend
    Good luck in the queues!

    @NoxNoctis: I like your second decklist – it is much more focused and even more aggressive then your first one. How are you doing in the queues with it? Generally discard is good against storm as sometimes one missing card can ruin the game plan.