mtgo

Pauper: stomping around with Stompy

rancor magic the gathering

Since the day I held my first Magic cards in my tiny, pre-pubescent hands, I had a weakness for the color green and big, bad creatures. Wait, let me correct the latter one: I had a love for seemingly tiny critters who would turn into unstoppable powerhouses at my command. Back then, I had assembled a Spike deck, revolving around the +1/+1 counters being moved from one Spike to another, creating some massive slug-like creatures. It was awesome when I stomped my brother with 8/8 monstrosities. Rancor helped making that possible and for that, it will forever have a special place in my heart.

Pauper allows me to give Rancor another go with the oh so popular Stompy deck. Playing Stompy revolves around playing tiny creatures and injecting them with stuff like the aforementionedĀ Rancor or Shield of the Oversoul, turning them into formidable foes. However, it doesn’t stop there. Instants like Groundswell and Gather Courage give your servants that final boost, overrunning your enemy’s creatures with all the force green commons can muster.

When I put it like that, it sounds like playing Stompy doesn’t require much finesse. Nothing could be further from the truth. In a format where decks like Delver have ways to ignore your creatures completely, simply rushing for another way of winning, leading your mob to victory is tricky. The cards in your deck allow you only limited immunity against creature removal. Sure, you can pump up your creatures to survive removal like Lightning Bolt, but hexproofing them against anything else is hard. That’s why tactical use of Vines of Vastwood and your ever so handy Silhana Ledgewalker is so important. Buff up that Ledgewalker, annul your opponent’s removal and sweep in for some killing blows.

I’m still rounding out the deck, but so far, I’m satisfied with it. Granted, my lack of skill and control of this deck has resulted in quite some losses, but every game teaches me something new. Soon, I’ll stomp them. I’ll stomp them all.

Chin out!

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Pauper: playing Magic without going broke

pauper magic vincent van gogh

“The Pauper, reimagined” by Vincent van Gogh and yours truly.

Some time ago, I wrote about my return to the hobby of Magic: the Gathering. Sadly, since my posts, the amount of games played has crashed to zero. The reasons? A lack of players and other financial priorities. Yep, guys and gals, Magic: the Gathering is a pretty expensive hobby if you want to keep up with other players, and I’d rather spend my money on things like food instead of cardboard. Though a few cards of Magic would probably fill my stomach as well, they are a pain to eat and not really nutritious.

Anyway, I still have the urge to throw down cards and pretend I’m a badass planeswalker, and so I found an outlet in Magic: the Gathering Online (or just MtGO). While that game allows me to play with a truckload of other players from all over the world any time I want to, I still have to pay money for the cards. This time, they aren’t even made of cardboard, but of bits and bytes! I can’t eat bits and bytes!

Luckily, a friend of mine introduced me to the funky format known as Pauper. In Pauper, you build a normal deck, but you can only use common cards. In other words: you can only use the cheap cards nobody wants (alright, that’s an exaggeration). Even better, the format has been recognized by Wizards of the Coast and boasts an active and ever-growing community of players. Playing Magic without going bankrupt? Can this be true?

Yes, it can be true. Over the past weeks, I’ve been test-driving my first version of a green Stompy deck, and I’m surprised by how cool games with only commons can be. I’m getting my butt handed to me by some wicked awesome decks, and it’s good to see that Pauper recquires the same fine-tuning and tactical thinking as other, more famous formats. Also, playing this format saves my bankroll and allows me to take the lady out for dinner more ocassionally.

Thank you, Pauper, for not making me eat cardboard.