Dime a Dozen #53: A Screeching Halt

It’s been a while since I’ve been this excited about a Pauper deck.

Commenter Ahniwa got the whole thing started with his remark from my previous article:

“If you’re going to play in some events on video, I’d love to see the WW Tokens deck in action!”

Despite my proclivity for playing Mono-White, I was very skeptical about sleeving up a tokens deck. I mean, Battle Screech? Triplicate Spirits? Both cards seemed downright slow. As it turns out, they’re actually just analogous to Lingering Souls and Spectral Procession, respectively, which is absurd.

In fact, all fourteen (pre-Daily Event) matches I played to familiarize myself with the archetype, in which I suffered just a single match loss, seemed to indicate that “absurd” was the most appropriate adjective for describing Mono-White Tokens. The deck’s performance was getting so ridiculous that I’m not sure I’ve ever been more surprised by a Pauper deck…at least one that on paper might look like a pile.

In response to Ahniwa: the deck is real. Battle Screech is a card that I foolishly underestimated since it was printed at common in Vintage Masters. Token strategies have a generally high power level in other formats, and that’s now translating to Pauper quite well.

Show »

Why am I telling you this? Because I have to. I’m telling you (rather than showing you) because the videos you’re about to see are an absolute nightmare.

Doomed Traveler, Rootborn Defenses, and Squadron Hawk have all been featured in Pro Tour-winning decks (courtesy of Tom Martell, Craig Wescoe, and Ben Stark, respectively). Guardians’ Pledge was a big reason that White Weenie held the throne in Standard Pauper for so long, and it allows us to one-shot opponents from something ridiculous like 19 life. Triplicate Spirits is widely considered the best common in limited at the moment, and Order of Leitbur is currently the format’s most popular white option for quelling Mono-Black Control. What I’m trying to say is this deck plays good cards.

Some of my choices might seem quirky (Lumithread Field, Sunlance, Teetering Peaks), but they’re far from arbitrary. Field adds much-needed redundancy to our toughness-boosting. This mitigates any potential blowout from cards like Electrickery and Wail of the Nim. Sunlance removes a lot of creatures, perhaps most important among them Cuombajj Witches. Peaks is only moderately clunky in hands with Order of Leitbur, and does enough as a “spell” land for me to want four.

I’ll leave you now to the Daily Event videos…

Show »

…which will thoroughly discredit everything I’ve just written.

End Step

The Daily Event leaves me (nearly) speechless. Is this deck even good? Were the 14 matches I played beforehand some kind of illusion? Have I gone insane? Is star rats spelled backwards still star rats? Can somebody please help me?!

Until next time, my fellow commoners!

  1. Esper Familiars, MBC, MUC, MBC – That’s a tough field.

    So here’s the thing. Okay, a couple things.

    First off, I’m not sure your build is optimal. Guardians Pledge is nice, but expensive, and it requires you to have creatures on board. It can be a blowout, but if you have enough creatures on board to make it great, it might be a little bit of a “win more” card. I’d make it 2x, or consider. Maybe a Ramosian Rally to fill double-duty (protect from sweeps, get a big hit in); I like that card and it can easily be free in this deck.

    I’d also focus more on flyers + Armorer. Leitbur seems good from the side, though I’d rather see the pro-black / pro-red acolytes ready to come in from the bench if needed.

    I also think the meta shifted on you somewhat. People saw tokens and started adjusting, so cards like Echoing Decay are around now to screw tokens.

    Finally, thanks to Delver, people have always been ready to hose 1/1 flyers, which means everyone has at least part of a SB plan for tokens as well. This doesn’t make it a bad choice, but I think really focusing on the “overwhelm” with flyers methodology is worth a go (3x more Triplicate Spirits, maybe) – and try and make it so that as much of their 1-for-1 removal is just bad.

    I’ve played 2 of the DEs now and gone 1-3 and 2-2. It is definitely tough competition, so I wouldn’t feel too awful. Hope you get back in there and try again, with this deck or another!

  2. Well, it seems to me that the first two matchups you encountered were simply extremely unfavorable (resilient combo and MBC with crypt rats and unearth). Triple and quadruple AK are always a challenging to beat…but the matchup seems to be even or slightly in your favor if your opponent has an average draw. Token strategies in pauper (as in every other format) seem to be good against beatdown strategies and bad against mass removal and combo. Taking your matchups into consideration 0:4 is still in the realm of expectation. By the way I really like your pauper video content. Please excuse my poor English.

  3. Ahniwa – Glad you could check it out and chime in.

    TheSPC – Your English is just fine! I appreciate you watching my content and showing your support!

  4. I think you’re running too much defense/removal/utility in the deck – the decks showing in the dailies seem to be pretty much all-in combo – more raise the alarm, less sunlance, deal with your opponent by running him over.

  5. @slug360 people have done well in daily events with battle screech, triplicate spirits, and guardians pledge. I’m not saying white tokens is the greatest deck, but it’s not terrible and has put up some results. Though I agree with Tom the Scud, Jason’s deck is too defensive. Building a deck is trial and error though.

    Also, MTG is game, this is just for fun. I can’t believe the the amount of vitriol dripping from your comment.

    Also, how was Bebe’s kids racist? Do you even live in America?

  6. Tom the Scud – I considered Raise the Alarm, but dropped the idea because it doesn’t seem to stack up well against a lot of cards. I feel like evasion/flying is more important than 1/1s on the ground. It could be a solid performer with convoke cards and Pledge, though.

    Big picture, I like your idea about focusing more on the proactive game plan.

  7. First, didn’t watch the video. My only internet connection is through my phone. Meaning I haven’t played MtGO in a while. But I plan on changing that soon, and just wanted to say that I look forward to reading/watching in the future, and am glad to see Pauper content. Thanks for championing the little guy!