The 16th April's B&R List is passed without changes in the pool of legal cards in the format. Dominaria, the Set with the same name of the most visited dimensional plane in game's history, is released and now it doesn't bring anything (however check out Affinity with Navigator's Compass, here the link for the dedicated Mel's article (in Italian language), and there the link of Magnamon's translation in English language.)
If we talk about the online meta we can't say anything: the situation appears stable (like the last month). However, we have a pair of annotation about it.
April's Pauper Challenge
You should notice "Teachings Tron archetypes" that contains together Murasa Tron and Dinrova Tron. It is a necessary choice: the two archetypes have a lot of things in common, even if one of them is a Control Draw-Go and the other is a Control Lock with very different lists. There are a lot of cards in common, like Dinrova Horror due to Dinrova Red Tron (and sometimes appears in Murasa Tron), the Temur version of Dinrova Tron that play a "removal pack" (2-3 Lightning Bolt, 3-4 Flame Slash and one Rolling Thunder is the standard configuration)
Let's add the Teachings Tron's version of the user Hellsau that has done some results in the league and in the challenge of MTGO (a.k.a. Stonehorn Torn in chats and in forums where the English language is talked). It is a Dinrova Tron due to its Lock strategy and due to the deck's core that is ascribable at the classic version of Dinrova Tron (so I call the list Dinrova White Tron).
Dinrova Tron by Hellsau, 9° Pauper Challenge 29/04/2018
3 Mnemonic Wall
4 Sea Gate Oracle
4 Stonehorn Dignitary
1 Crop Rotation
2 Ghostly Flicker
2 Moment's Peace
2 Mystical Teachings
1 Pulse of Murasa
2 Compulsive Research
1 Serrated Arrows
2 Expedition Map
4 Prophetic Prism
1 Haunted Fengraf
1 Remote Isle
2 Thornwood Falls
3 Tranquil Cove
4 Shimmering Grotto
4 Urza's Mine
4 Urza's Power Plant
4 Urza's Tower
2 Moment's Peace
1 Serrated Arrows
1 Ancient Grudge
1 Deep Analysis
1 Gut Shot
It is very easy to discern Murasa Tron and Dinrova Tron.
Murasa Tron has a structure of deckbuilding set on a deck toolbox – a lot of monocopy cards and tutor/draw cards – in order to have a large spectrum of answers (Capsize, Lightning Axe, etc). Its gameplan is based only to resolve the opponent's strategy and not in order to create a Lock (a Lock is for example 2 Moment's Peace + 2 Mnemonic Wall + Ghostly Flicker).
Murasa Tron tend to play few creatures, in order to parry and/or create card advantage (2-3 Mnemonic Wall, from 0 to 4 Sea Gate Oracle, 4 Mulldrifter).
Murasa Tron by jsiri84, 1° posto Pauper Challenge 08/04/2018
The Dinrova Tron's gameplan is focused only in order to create a game's situation where the opponent is unable to play (o even only slowed down) due to a Lock create by Moment's Peace or Stonehorn Dignitary or Dinrova Horror.
In order to do this, the deck needs a great manipulation or the ability to gid in the deck (to create the Urzalands' trio or to search the pieces for the Lock), so every Dinrova Tron plays 2 Forbidden Alchemy.
If you check if a list is a Dinrova Tron, you should search:
- 2 copies of Forbidden Alchemy
- fog effect (Moment's Peace or Stonehorn Dignitary)
- mana rocks (Simis Signet, Dimir Signet and Prismatic Lens)
- 1-2 copies of Crop Rotation
We have Dinrova Tron, or one of its variants, if there are at least 3 of these points (or if there is even only 2 Forbidden Alchemy, the peculiar card of this deck). Beware: mana rocks, Crop Rotation and fog are played in Murasa Tron too in these days!
Dinrova Tron plays also Rolling Thunder, despite no one have played it in the beginning. It is a mass removal that resolves hard situations, it is a freewin if there aren't opponent' answers and it permits to finish games
in impasse but there is a lack of creatures or time (I, for example, I play 1x in my UG version).
Dinrova Red Tron by frigley, 15° posto Pauper Challenge 29/04/2018
The Delver question and the blue colour
Let's come back to talk about the 16th April's B&R List.
Some player wanted to reduce the blue's power level with, for example, the ban of one of the cantrips (Preordain above all).
We should notice that in the Pauper, like other Eternal formats like the Legacy, there is a clear and strong presence of the colour. The first four archetype's categories (Ux Delver, Boros Meltacraft decks, the Tron's Control versions with Teachings and UW Tribe) that we see in this month, three of them are blue based.
Personally, I am not so surprised by the great presence of Delver and by the wish of a format with a minor power of the colour. I'm surprised by Boros Monarch because it is played a few at a competitive level. Let's explain my words.
We can consider Boros Monarch as the second Midrange in the format (let's put in the first position UR Delver and Mono U Delver, they are similar to Aggro-Control. one of the 4 macro-archetypes of Midrange). Like UR Delver, it succeeds in order to have a great flyers' race and he can do direct damages with 8 Burn Spell. It also has a good card vantage thank mana rocks, birds and the Monarch mechanism that despite its potential of infinite draw it will not always necessary (or useful) to play.
Boros Monarch by Pascal3000, 4° posto Pauper Challenge 08/04/2018
This list shows us some of the new (and old) trends about the archetypes. They are Faithless Looting and Reaping the Graves, cards from Kuldotha Rally and Kuldotha Jeskay (and Grixis Metalcraft) and we mention also Serrated Arrows that is very played in these times due to the big presence of UW Tribe.
Izzet Delver by reddybear, 1° posto Pauper Challenge 29/04/2018
4 Augur of Bolas
4 Delver of Secrets
4 Faerie Miscreant
4 Ninja of the Deep Hours
4 Spellstutter Sprite
4 Lightning Bolt
2 Snow-Covered Mountain
4 Ash Barrens
4 Evolving Wilds
8 Snow-Covered Island
1 Gorilla Shaman
2 Relic of Progenitus
2 Stormbound Geist
2 Swirling Sandstorm
Izzet Delver has not received changes in the last period of time. The only valuations that we can do it if we want build a list of this archetypes if play 3-4 Augur of Bolas (in the beginning it was played in 2x, now in 4x), in play 2 or 3 Gush (often 3), if play 7 or 8 bolts (Skred is a 4x staple) and if insert 1-2 "bouncing cards" (Vapor Snag or Snap) in order to avoid the death of creature with a big body in early game (Atog, Gurmag Angler, etc).
At the end we can say that Ur Delver is the most explosive and adaptable Midrange, that can get back better in mid and late game in an attrition match, thank the draws guaranteed by cards like Gush and Ninja of the Depp Hours.
Unlike it, Boros Monarch permit to have a major stability at the beginning thank a more stable manabase and a number of magic that we can consider in a great number as compared to the effective number (8 mana rocks and 4 Thraben Inspector) thank Kor and Hawk
ok, here translate isn't easy at all… sorry 🙂 . The last ones are evasive creatures with a sufficiently big body in order to guarantee a more aggressive midgame compared to UR Delver and at the same time they permit some Burn deck's finisher thanks they eight instant removals recyclables as direct damage (Lightning Bolt and Galvanic Blast).
Win or die
As long as winning will be the goal of Magic's matches, searching a deck or a winning shell will be the strategy to adopt in order to improve in this game. This is the reason under my will to vision the archetypes that reach a big number of top, despite their great or less presence in the format.
We can take these statistics with prudence: 4-5 top8 every month means that we based our analysis on 32-40 decks (in short words the 10% of lists that do at least a 4-0-2).
If you remember, until a pair of months ago UW Tribe was an archetype not so played. Despite this fact, it used to do a huge number of results and it was officially the most performing combo in the format (shame on you, Vinestorm, I'm still waiting for you).
Now Tribe is the strongest Combo (or better, the Combo with the highest number of results) in the percent, and it is one of the 3 archetypes most played (in April).
If we should base our analysis on this model and on the typology of decks that are coming back among the most played (the Delver decks), in the next month Stompy and Affinity will be the archetypes with the highest probability to win in comparison with their results in the last months.
Mono Green Stompy is the classic Aggro Swarm, but it has versatile magics like Vines of Vastwood that permit to do additional damages or to save a creature.
It has a good MU against UR Delver od Mono U Delver, so its return and its number of top8 are not surprised us, despite it is played by the half of UW Tribe's players.
Affinity is a particular archetype. First of all, it is one of the most played archetypes in the game's history, even for is nature of linear Aggro that often conducted to be one of the first choices of beginning players. The big problem is its tremendous instability due to be a deck with only 16 lands and a necessity, in 70% of situations, of 2 lands in initial hands.
The archetype could not return on the battlefield despite it is a very difficult opponent for Delver decks, that despite a start with Delver of Secrets is always very difficult to manage. However, cards like Navigator's Compass could return it (even in a not so distant future).
I don't see interesting and/or innovative options in the online lists and in the challenges, so I begin to use a part of the report in order talk about the potential lists in the actual meta.
First of all, I'd bet on Affinity (is a great archetypes and I'd create a list like this):
Affinity versione per il meta di maggio 2018
4 Seat of the Synod
4 Great Furnace
4 Tree of Tales
4 Darksteel Citadel
2 Vault of Whispers
4 Carapace Forger
4 Myr Enforcer
3 Gearseeker Serpent
4 Springleaf Drum
4 Galvanic Blast
3 Flayer Husk
3 Prophetic Prism
4 Navigator's Compass
This list is structured only to have a major number of creatures and the possibility to play them in a rapid way, thank the possibility to have 7 useful creature for Springleaf Drum (Frogmite and Flayer Husk) in the very first turns.
Navigator's Compass is a permanent multicolour mana's source, so we are not worried to play a major number of Gearseeker Serpent, that is the most insidious creature of the format after Ulamog' Crasher.
The other choice is an archetype that maybe some people could not know about it:
Izzet Flicker by billster47, 17° posto pauper Challenge 22/04/2018
3 Sea Gate Oracle
4 Augur of Bolas
2 Ghostly Flicker
3 Lightning Bolt
1 Swiftwater Cliffs
2 Evolving Wilds
3 Ash Barrens
3 Snow-Covered Mountain
4 Izzet Boilerworks
9 Snow-Covered Island
1 Aura Flux
1 Gorilla Shaman
1 Relic of Progenitus
1 Serrated Arrows
1 Stone Rain
Ur Flicker is a Midrange blue based that has a structure think to go overvalue on the opponent in mid/late game, like its dead brother Dimir Flicker, in order to have more answers for the opponent strategy
Compared to Dimir Flicker, this version with the Red has better answers against Delver and it doesn't have bizarre mana costs like the double blacks of Chittering Rats, so it is a bit less clunky.
It misses the Lock with Chittering Rats, but it want to beat with flyings fished and it flicks the Lighting Bolt like an acceptable solution because the format is a bit less stagnant compared to the times of UB Flicker.
Suggestion: put in at least 1 Mortuary Mire.
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