A Penny's player Diary: Decklists of the Season's Start

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A Penny's player Diary: Decklists of the Season's Start

We have started a new season in Penny Dreadful. How is it being developed? Which decks are dominating the metagame? Which bombs are coming into this new season?

By Hudson, 10/16/20, translated by Exylem, with help from our readers

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We have entered season number 18 after the launch of Zendikar Rising on this format which grows more and more every day. Yes, in this article, we will talk about Penny Dreadful, a really interesting format created on Magic Online (MTGO) and which has been attracting many Brazilians. We will showcase here a brief analysis about how the format has started after the last rotation, how the meta is being developed and what should we expect for the 18th season.

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Why start mentioning Brazilians? Well well, on this Monday we had a final between two "BRs" in the PDM tournament between a Jeskai Ascendency vs. a Boros Cycling, after 5 rounds of swiss followed by 4 eliminatory rounds (with 32 players).
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In this final Boros Cycling was the champion through the hands of a player already known by the Pauper community: Torres6. We also had in this event a diversified Top8, with an Esper Control and an UW Affinity completing the Top4 and an UB Storm, an Izzet Drake, a second Boros Cycling and a Goblins RDW on the Top8. This season was started on Monday, October 2, withPD FNM, followed by other 4 events: PD Saturday, APAC Sunday, PD Sunday and PD Monday. (If you are interested in checking out the decklists for each tournament, you just need to click the links above! I'll discuss other lists below) In the 5 events, considering the 40 decks that have made it to the Top8 lists, we had 6 RDW (2 managing to obtain Top1 and 2 in second place), followed by Boros Cycling with just one Top1 but 5 Top8, 4 Greenposts, 3 Izzet Dragons, 3 UB Artifacts, 2 Jeskai Ascendency, 2 Mindcrank Control and 2 UB Storm, this last one conquering the Top1 on Sunday, besides other decks that made just a single appearance on the Top lists.
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Something that draws my attention, in addition to the massive presence of Blue in the decks (I'll talk more in this article about some key cards that justify this) was the absence of green decks in general. When we look at the average distribution of the color pie used on the 5 tournament days, only 19% of the decks used Green, while other colors were more or less evenly distributed:
Image content of the Website
Image content of the Website
Without leaving aside the numbers, let's imagine the opportunities we have now. A total of 1582 cards became legal in this season, and almost half of this number, 702 cards, ceased to be valid from the last season to this one. Since the first bot checks on the week before the rotation, we felt that the power level of the cards would be increased in this season, and this really happened with the entrance of strong cards into Penny Dreadful, including options that were reinforced by the launch of Double Masters some weeks ago (supply and demand, more reprinted cards available coming into the market cause prices to drop). In each color we had some highlights, which I present below, in addition to some archetypes that may see increased value: Without possessing just one color but worth to be mentioned in this list is Dream Trawler, which entered Penny Dreadful and has seen increased play in UW Control decks.

Red

The good ol' "all or nothing", a color which had its RDWs and Ponzas always presenting good results on the previous season was reinforced by the arrival of Ash Zealot, Rakdos Cackler and Scab-Clan Berserker, which hadn't been in the format since season 14, the return f Earthshaker Khenra, which was a key piece in some decks and that had been removed in season 17, and Insult // Injury, which was part of some interesting sideboards. Without ceasing to be a RDW, another archetype which became stronger in Red was Goblins with the return of Goblin Chieftain, Quest for the Goblin Lord and Krenko's Command, in addition to stars like Mogg War Marshal, which had been valid just once before this season. We also had a known Pauper debut: Goblin Cohort, which had never been valid on Penny before and which has been reinforcing the goblins' arsenal.

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Blue

The elevated number of decks with this color has a clear reason. Many cards that weren't valid before were added to the Blue pool, including Treasure Cruise, which is back after 3 seasons away and which helps a lot with the consistence of UB Storm which sometimes allowed for a turn 3 or 4 combo. Gitaxian Probe, which had been valid only in 2 previous seasons is also back, being a good addition which allows for a quick glance at the opponent's hand in addition to a draw for the cheap deal of just 2 life points in any deck. Vapor Snag is another card which had been valid in just 1 other season. Between the cards in this color which had never been played Penny Dreadful before is a famous Pauper creature which names an entire archetype: Delver of Secrets, besides Spell pierce, Brainstorm, Ponder and Deprive, which are some of the new "bombs" in the format which the players will need to deal with (In addition to Mystic Sanctuary, which was already valid and remained legal in this season, hahaha). For the Affinity lovers, the no less important Ensoul Artifact is back to Penny with some Artifact Lands (spoiler for the Lands section). And, if you need an unblockable creature, we have now Looter il-Kor, Blighted Agent and Invisible Stalker.

Black

My favorite color received more strength for one of the most hated techs in the format: The Discard. [Smallpox]] and Hymn to tourach cause more rage, especially while allied to Liliana's Caress and Shrieking Affliction. Ritual of Soot, which hasn't been legal before, enters the format like a great global removal while Go for the Throat returns as a good option of removal in Black and BX decks, as it costs 1B. Reanimate and Cabal ritual are also back to Penny Dreadful, the Ritual returning after a long time away. Two new cards are also adding more possibilities to the Dredge archetype: Darkblast and Stinkweed Imp, in addition to the return of Haunted Dead (Grave Hate Sideboard:โœ…).

White

I believe that White is not being completely explored with new cards. Although it has a considerable participation in many decks, for now it has its potential focused on supporting the dominant color of the deck (which also happens in other formats) or in the composition of the Auras archetype with Gryff's Boon and Ethereal Armor, which had been legal just once before this season, and Hyena Umbra, never valid in Penny before. We also had Glory and Day of Judgment returning, this last one as the best global removal in the format considering the cost/benefit.

Green

The most underestimated color until now, Green also received some support cards, like Satyr Wayfinder, Sylvan Caryatid, Might of Old Krosa and Invigorate, which return to the format with Gladecover Scout, Gatherer of Graces and Spider Umbra, which reinforce Auras. Golgari Grave-Troll enters the format for the first time to support Dredge in some lists as the card with the highest Dredge value (Dredge 6). For the Elves tribal we have Wolf-Skull Shaman, Elvish Visionary, Dwynen's Elite, End-Raze Forerunners and Bramblewood Paragon back to the format.

Artifacts

Maybe the part that received more interference with Double Masters, some artifacts never seen before in the format were added in this rotation, opening a wide range of possibilities. Expedition Map, Cranial Plating, Chromatic Star, Springleaf Drum, Tormod Crypt and Nihil Spellbomb, never legal before, are now available in Penny, in addition to cards that are returning in this season, like Shriekhorn, Mindcrank, Ornithopter, Lodestone Golem, God-Pharaoh's Gift, Necropede, Ichorclaw Myr and Cursed Scroll. These cards certainly are a new force to be reckoned with (Side against artifacts:โœ…... hahaha).

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Land

In the same way that we were surprised to have Lake of the Dead as an option in the last season (it isn't available anymore), we were also surprised by the possibility of using Filter Lands, as the launch of Double Masters reduced their price considerably, allowing most of them to join Penny Dreadful's 18th season: Mystic Gate, Sunken Ruins, Wooded Bastion, Graven Cairns, Fire-Lit Thicket, Fetid Heath and Rugged Prairie. Never valid before and now legal to give more room to Affinity decks that maybe couldn't see more play for not having lands that helped with their ability, we now have Darksteel Citadel, Vault of Whispers and Mishra's Factory, this last one not being an artifact land, but it has the ability of tapping one for just 1 uncolored mana, like our own Penny "Mutavault", hahaha. For the happiness to those who play with UB and UW Control, we also have River of Tears and Nimbus Maze in this season. To end this article, I'll leave you with some decklists of the Top1 which I haven't posted before and some decks that I consider being interesting and/or haven't yet showed their full potential: Top 1 on Friday, RDW, played by Duckoforegon:
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Top 1 on Saturday, Azorius Delver, played by Armoredkappa:
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TOP 1 on Sunday, RDW, played by -DiamondDust-:
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Top 1, also on Sunday, UB Storm, played by Crazybaloth:
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For those who like tribal lists: Merfolks may be really annoying to play against in the near future:
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But, if your objective is to play with the graveyard instead with your library, Dredge is on fire and promises to be consistent:
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Infect received many reinforcements and has already conquered a Top4. Who knows what else it may achieve?
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For the lovers of Affinity:
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So, what do you think? Are you ready to enter the format, come back to it or create new decks for Penny Dreadful? I'll see you in the next one and, if you have any ideas to add to the discussion, feel free to leave them in the comments section below!
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Hudson

Player of the best colors of Magic (Jund) and passionate about data analysis, present me an alternative format that will have a new friend!

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