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The Power of Pauper: I Haven't the Foggiest!

Howdy folks! It's time yet again for another edition of The Power of Pauper! I'm your host, Joe Dyer, and this week we're continuing to showcase various decks in the Pauper format, with this article turning an eye towards an amusing deck that wins without ever attacking with a creature in Turbo Fog! In addition to that we have a slew of events to talk about including a Showcase Challenge and two regular Challenges.

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

Fog Ahead!

We're continuing our journey across the Pauper format and showcasing a lot of the various strategies that are available in the format. This week's is super interesting because well... it's unique in that it's a deck that doesn't necessarily win with creature combat. In fact it mostly wants to do all it can to prevent creature combat entirely.

That's right... it's Turbo Fog.

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At first glance this is a weird deck to grok. How does this even win? What are all these cards even doing? What is life and what am I even doing here? It's a lot to take in at first.

Turbo Fog functions primarily on the back of just seeking to tell its opponent "No, you can't do that." Through the use of countermagic, drawing more countermagic, fogs, and drawing more fogs, the deck eventually wins on the back of the opponent decking themselves. Now, it may look like at first that the deck may end up decking itself first. It has a lot of card draw and a lot of cards that search for cards. This is where the card Stream of Thought comes in.

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Stream of Thought is a weird card. It can mill the opponent, but then it can shuffle four cards from your graveyard back into the library. Ideally, you are doing this with cards that you can use to rebuy your fogs or your draw spells. The big kicker here with Stream of Thought is that it has Replicate. This means that you can make multiple copies of this card, mill the opponent a bunch and put more cards back in. You can then use this to rebuy your other copies of Stream of Thought from the graveyard to keep going. Eventually you can just loop Stream of Thought every turn and fog the opponent until they are out of cards.

It's definitely a pretty wild strategy, having a deck that generally wins entirely outside of using combat and creatures. There are some version that may play a copy here or there of Tolarian Terror but primarily the deck is generally creatureless. This might be a deck to look into if you're looking for something entirely unique and different that requires careful management of the board state (when to use Fogs, etc.) and prioritizing threats.

Pauper Showcase Challenge 5/13

The big event of the weekend was the Pauper Showcase Challenge, the first one of this current season of Premier Play on MTGO. These events require Qualification Points (QPs) to enter and the Top 8 of the event gets qualified for the Showcase Qualifier at the end of the season. From what I know there was roughly 212 players in this event.

You can find the Top 32 decklists for this event here. There was no full data for this event just yet (as I understand it, it was being worked through).

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Bogles 1st Slatorade
Bogles 2nd J0SE
Golgari Gardens 3rd Leobertucci
Mono Blue Faeries 4th Backoff
Dimir Terror 5th _Falcon_
Ephemerate Tron 6th hoku-hawkman
Dimir Terror 7th WErN8ZumHhedL0rp
Dimir Terror 8th ecobaronen

Quite a lot of Dimir Terror and blue decks in general in this Top 8. We also saw some decks like Golgari Gardens and Tron. At the end of the event it was a Bogle v Bogle match with the winner being.... Burn! (No wait, it was Bogles).

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The exact same list makes it pretty easy to analyze here. There are no cute frills here and there doesn't need to be. I always love seeing Flaring Pain in these decks. It's absolutely a favorite card of mine for sure.

As noted before we had Golgari Gardens in this Top 8.

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This deck seems really strong. It has a lot of powerful removal and a strong midrange game plan. I dig it for sure.

Down near the bottom of the Top 8 we have Ephemerate Tron.

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This version is leaning on the Dinrova Horror lockout game plan, but it has the ability to board into the Stonehorn Dignitary lock as well. Definitely an incredibly solid deck.

Pauper Challenge 5/13

There was a regular Pauper Challenge the same day as the Showcase Challenge was. This event had 48 players in it thanks to the data collected by the Castle of Commons Discord.

You can find the Top 32 decklists for this event here. You can find the data sheet for this event here. No fancy graphs unfortunately for this one. It does look like that the most popular deck of the event was Mono Blue Faeries with a really solid win rate, while Burn and Affinity both had very poor win rates.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Mono Blue Faeries 1st Oceansoul92
Gruul Ponza 2nd Dreddybajs
Mono White Heroic 3rd Casanova_13
Gruul Ponza 4th _Shatun_
Affinity 5th _against_
Familiars 6th SenpaiBlank
Naya Gates 7th Alvatar
Dimir Teror 8th cicciogire

Very interesting Top 8 here. Good variety of decks all around. At the end of the event, it was Mono Blue Faeries that won the event.

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This list is super clean and very straightforward. It's got a strong game plan and it can close games out really quickly by burying the opponent in cards.

In Second Place we've got Gruul Ponza.

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This deck puts a lot of pressure and ramp on the board and then just explodes onto the battlefield while putting the opponent behind on mana with its land destruction spells. Very strong indeed.

Also in this Top 8 we had Mono White Heroic.

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This deck has some strong stuff in it. It can really push a lot of power in play very quickly and kill the opponent. Also, just the best pro-black creature ever in Death Speakers.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we have Naya Gates.

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I love how powerful this deck is. It's pretty cool to see a Naya based deck doing well in this format for sure.

Pauper Challenge 5/14

The second event of the weekend was the Sunday event. No data was collected for this event it seems, so we do not know the number of players.

You can find the Top 32 decklists for this event here. There was no full data for this event.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Affinity 1st Hamuda
Mono Blue Faeries 2nd Yugi_Muto
Orzhov Ephemerate 3rd Cheiffireball
Orzhov Ephemerate 4th roter_Erzengel
Mono Blue Faeries 5th _DissonancE_
Bogles 6th ShikiXYZ
Ephemerate Tron 7th RClint21
Affinity 8th LuffyDoChapeuDePalha

Quite a lot of Ephemerate and Mono Blue here as well as Affinity. In fact it was Affinity that won the overall event here.

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These builds with Gearseeker Serpent over Frogmite are pretty interesting really. I can dig it for sure. The sideboard here just being stocked full of Red Elemental Blast and Blue Elemental Blast though. Wild.

In Second Place we've got Mono Blue Faeries.

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Saiba Cryptomancer definitely seems like a sweet card for protecting your creatures. Bouncing it with Ninjutus seems pretty awesome too.

As noted we had some Orzhov Ephemerate in this Top 8. Let's look at the higher-placing list.

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Omen of the Dead is a pretty cool card here. Flash speed Raise Dead that also scries is pretty sweet.

Around the Web

  • Card Market has an article on the Golgari Gardens deck! Check it out here.
  • We've got a video on Poison Storm that we looked at last week. Check it out here.
  • Our good friend Alex Ullman has some recaps on last weekend's events. Check them out here.
  • StompyMTG has a video on Mono Blue Faeries. Check it out here.
  • The Pauper Leagues' Project released a new article on their data collection project. Check it out here.

The Spice Corner

You can find this past week's 5-0 deck lists over here.

Bant Ephemerate is pretty sweet. Coiling Oracle!

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Wrapping Up

That's all the time we have this week folks! Thanks for continuing to support the column and join us next week as we continue our journey into Pauper!

As always you can reach me at all my associated links via my Link Tree! In addition, I'm always around the MTGGoldfish Discord Server and the MTGPauper Discord Server.

Until next time!

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