Magic: the Gathering
1 - Hello Lucas! To start, tell us a little bit about when you started playing Magic, Pauper, where are you from... in other words, who are you? :)Lucas: I'm from a town of Rio de Janeiro called Itaperuna, a relatively small city, where the nearest Magic store is 50 km away. I started playing Magic in my high school and soon fell in love with the game, but due to stores being so far away, I only started participating in events about 2 years ago. I got to discover my competitive path in Hearthstone. At the time I started playing it in 2014 it was much more accessible and it was there that I improved my abilities and knowledge about card games (my greatest pride of that time was to take the 16th place in the Americas server).
2 - Do you play more MTGO, due to Pauper, or more MTGA?Lucas: I started playing pauper physically since it was sanctioned formally, and it is my favorite format because it is accessible and very competitive (in my view, even more than the other formats, because as the power level is lower, your mistakes are less reversible). However, I only started playing MTGO during this quarantine and I'm enjoying it a lot more than I expected.
3– You seem to be in love with the Pauper Red Deck Wins, which is a deck which, although it isn't completely unknown, it isn't as popular as other decks like UB Fairies, Affinity and Boros. Why do you like this deck?Lucas: Well, I have never played RDW before I created a MTGO account, but I like being a free-to-play player and from what I studied RDW and Heroic were the best cost-benefit decks of the format (the ones that have the most results while costing less TIX than more popular decks) and as I like to play with aggressive deck I built a RDW. With more playing time I realized that the deck has a lot of potential for reasons like: 1- The deck curves very well; 2-
Goblin Bushwhackeris really OP; 3- The deck has a plan B with the burn spells; 4- The deck is mono color which is super relevant for aggro and red has good cards for the sideboard. And the most important thing is that the deck fits my aggressive playstyle, and along with that I had some good results, thus I'm getting more and more intimate with RDW.
4 - Which decklist do you prefer in the current Pauper scenario? Could you tell us a little about it?Lucas: That was the question I wanted to answer, because I really believe that my list is strong and I would like to share it so that more people may play and make good results with it. Well, I see that many players that try to play with RDW/Goblins search for decklists on the internet and obtain certain results, but then they see that the decks have a lot of bad matches and stop playing them. In my opinion, against the tier 1 decks in the format, the aggressiveness of the RDW, even giving up the 4
Goblin Grenade, is essential. However, against decks more focused on creatures,
Goblin Sledderare great choice, the latter being even better against decks with lots of removal spells. With that in mind, I reduced the number of Goblin Grenades in the main deck and added a
Reckless Abandonto the list to use a set of
Burning-Tree Emissarywithout fear. Even doing this I thought it was important to keep 2 Goblin Sledders on the main deck in order to be more versatile and I left 3 Sparksmiths on the sideboard as less goblins on the main deck also causes you less damage throughout the matches.
5 - How does RDW handle Tier 1 decks, like the ones already mentioned and, of course, the beloved/hated Tron?Lucas: About the tier decks, I would like to mention one by one as I believe this will be a more detailed answer. But first of all, to achieve these results, you must dominate the RDW. It is an apparently simple deck but the order in that the creatures are cast makes a total difference and until you manage to maximize your damage with your spells you will lose many games, mainly for UX decks.
-Tron-The tron is a really strong deck, but it is also a slow deck and thanks to
Goblin BushwhackerI am safe to say that RDW is the fastest deck of the format and even after
Stonehorn Dignitaryit has a chance to end the game with burn spells, so RDW has the upper hand.
-UX-These are difficult matches because UX has a lot of 2 to 1 cards and if you give them time the RDW loses the game. However, as a two-color deck, UX ends up being a slower deck and cards like
Evolving Wildsprove it. To sum up, keeping open hands numerically smaller than UX gives him the advantage, and by keeping good hands the advantage is yours. *NOTE: in addition to the obvious sideboard with
Red Elemental Blastand
Otherworldly Outburst, which are great cards to bring into the deck.
-Stompy-During game one, stompy has a small advantage because it dominates the table, using its bigger creatures with their auras as its main victory condition. Besides an explosive hand, our best technique is to answer the auras on the pile by killing the creatures. On the other hand,
Sparksmithwins the game by itself after the sideboard.
-Boros-This is a bad match, but there is a chance of victory if we don't commit mistakes and your opponent has just an average hand. In those cases, we can win the game with some frequency, especially if you manage to draw the
Flaring Pain, from the sideboard.
-Affinity-without "god hands" from the opponents we have the advantage during game 1 because RDW can be a little faster and even if they have
Frogmiteearly in the game we can trade well with our cost one creatures. After the sideboard Affinity has its known "problems", so it will win most games.
6 - Have you played leagues in MTGO with RDW? Do you believe that the deck has the potential to make results in competitive/ professional scenarios?Lucas: I haven't played leagues with RDW yet, as I intend to play leagues using the prize money from the free tournaments I participate in and after playing Magic Online for just 2 months I haven't got that far yet. But, I do believe that the deck will do well. I believe that in the leagues more tier 1 decks appear than the quantity I am used to in free tournaments, which means less Heroic decks which are the main bad matches for RDW.
7 - How do you see Pauper's evolution in recent years, in general?Lucas: I'm really enjoying the evolution of the format. I believe that Wizards has done a good job with the bans over time. Despite Pauper having some more dominant decks they didn't kill any decks because of banning something specific as they did in other formats.
8 - Thank you so much for your time and for sharing more about your deck with us! :)Lucas: Thank you very much for the space Gabriel. "Tmj" my friend! [Note: "Tmj means "tamo junto" in Portuguese, a slang which means "We stand together!"] -- That's it for today my friends! RDW is a deck with an affordable price and which can make interesting results in Pauper, being a great option for beginners or for those who would like to try a different deck. You can practically rent the entire deck for free with the free loan of up to 5 TIX offered by Cardhoarder. A big hug for all of you and until the next article! Don't forget to brush your teeth!