Interview with the Champion of the Pauper Super Qualifier: Pedro Paulo

Magic: the Gathering

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Interview with the Champion of the Pauper Super Qualifier: Pedro Paulo

The Pauper Super Qualifier happened and the winner was the brazilian Pedro Paulo! Today, we gonna interview the champion of this event

By Álvaro, 01/26/21, translated by Álvaro, with help from our readers

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Greetings players! This is Álvaro debuting at Card Realm! This weekend, on january 23, the Pauper Super Qualifier happened at Magic Online. The top two in this event won a spot to compete in the Kaldheim Championship, an event part of the Players Tour of the 2020-2021 season, which will take place from March 26 to 28 on Magic Arena. This is a major event in the 2020-2021 season and participating in it is not something for anyone!

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Today, we bring a brief interview with the champion, Pedro Paulo, who piloted a list of BW Pestilence!
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First of all, I would like to congratulate you on your achievement! It is certainly not any achievement and having it in the hands of a player from our country only shows how strong our format is here! Can you please tell us your name, age and nickname on Magic Online?

My name is Pedro Paulo, I'm 25 years old, and on MTGO I play as PyotrPavel.

This nickname of yours, seems to me something in Russian. Do you have an explanation?

It's Pedro Paulo in Russian. There's nothing particularly special, I just like the name Pyotr/Piotr. If I'm not mistaken, the name had already been registered on MTGO, so I went after what Paulo was like in Russian and then the nickname came up.

And how long have you been playing Magic?

I started playing at the end of 2013. I wish I started earlier, but I didn't know anyone who played and I couldn't even convince my friends to play. Until I met people playing Magic, then I found out it was Modern and started playing it too. They were more serious about the game and I was starting, and then it was pretty "kitchen table". I remember it was just before the Birthing Pod ban. But I stopped and came back again a few times since then.

What about the Pauper format? How long has you played our beloved format of commons only?

I've started playing Pauper around that time too (2013), but nobody took the format seriously. And as little as I remember the meta, the format was really boring. I remember playing with a friend's Blitz deck and then I made an Elves deck. I think our meta had Elves, Gond Combo, Blitz, and the tiers were a MonoU and Mono Black Discard... Maybe the format could offer more, but the group's focus was Modern and we played Pauper more because we like Magic. Then we went to EDH and T2, and Modern and Pauper were left out. Although I spent that (brief) time at Pauper, I didn't like the format and found it limited. Until that in 2017, the Pauper community reorganized itself, and I went to review the status of the format and saw that many cards had taken downshift or added to Pauper. I realized that the format was interesting at that time. I think it was in 2018 that Rodolpho (RuodWolf on MTGO) returned to playing Magic and brought with him Felipe (Toggen) and Raiff (who is not on MTGO) and with that the community grew and since then the scenario here is very competitive.

And playing in Magic Online, is it a long time ago or did you start in this period of pandemic like many of us?

I started at MTGO now in the same pandemic times. From our community, there was Rostand (VIVAZ no MTGO) who played Modern back then. According to him, MOL had an appointment time for leagues (or something like that) and he tried to call people to play. Only nobody was excited. I don't know who called everyone now, whether it was Rodolpho, Felipe, Val (ValPersonal on MTGO) or Augusto (AugustoCerberus on MTGO), but some of them started and called the rest, and it worked. Of those who play I was one of the last to enter Magic Online, but some people are still missing it.

And currently, do you play other formats or just Pauper?

I played a lot of EDH and stopped. I also played a lot of Legacy and Vintage (we used proxy), but after War of the Spark I think the format started to go wrong and I got discouraged. I never thought I would just play Pauper, I always thought it would be the format to play when I got bored of others, but in the end Pauper surpassed everyone else. But the community here tries to get together to play Cube Draft whenever they can. We have a Vintage Cube that is half in proxies (printed in colored A4) and half with the real cards from the Modern Pool of a friend of ours. But now with the pandemic, things have stopped. We have plans to make the Peasant Cube from Amaz. Of those we played online it was the most fun.

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Tell us, please, how was the choice of deck for this event. Why did you decide to play BW Pestilence?

When the Commander Legends cards came out I started to see strange things in the meta, like people using Cannonade main deck and the freak that is the Gruul Cascade LD. But those choices seemed to make sense because of the power that Fall From Favor gave to Ux decks.
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I already knew that the more Control version of BW Pestilence was very good against Ux; In addition, the Ux were able to beat Tron on behalf of Monarch in T3, and were in the format tiers, and BW seemed to be a good choice. Then I started playing with BW in the leagues (I also have the IRL deck). And I started to see that the deck was really well positioned in the meta and I just had to avoid Tron to have reasonable (or favorable) matches against almost any archetype in the format. At the time, I already planned to play BW in Super Qualifier. But then Fall From Favor was banned, and that only improved BW! Ux lost power and in my league runs I basically lost to UW of BW, either because of the variance inherent in Magic or because Monarch gave Ux a lot of advantage and I didn't have enough discard. Even though Fall From Favor was banned, Cascade-based decks, whether LD or Jund/Sultai, etc. were more popular, and LD in particular seemed to be a great response to Tron, which is The Deck of the format. I assumed that we would have few Trons or they would be punished and I would have a good chance of avoiding this match. But I also had to be careful because Cascade LD is an unfavorable match for BW, but unlike Tron, you can fight and try to win.

Can you give us a summary of the experience of participating in this important event, and the feeling of having won the event as a whole?

It was a very good experience, better than I imagined. Mainly because the team that I am part of (AsA Branca) was playing, or cheering and following the matches. The team had Lindoso01 with Elves (who made 7-2 but was out of the Top8) and Riuuk1 with MonoBlack, that came with too many or too few lands more times than we can count. Toggen, RuodWolf, Uspdudes and Kampo were in the crowd and then we played and talked a lot, so it was really exciting. I was not as impressed with the victory as I should have been. I opened 6-0 and lost to a Stompy after a mull to 5 and then to Sinkhole's BW (he used the creature version) and I thought I would lose the next one and be out of the Top 8. Then I had practically given up . But the crowd started to cheer on whatsapp and I have endured to the end. It worked! Only after it was over and Felipe called me, did I really understand what happened and then it was just happiness inside me!

Do you intend to play the Kaldheim Championship now that you have a spot?

I didn't mean to. I thought Uro was still legal in Standard! This is how I am updated. My last experience at T2 was with that rhino from Khans and I really didn't put faith in the format. But I'm updating myself and it seems that the format is very interesting now. So I will definitely play!

Here in Cards Realm we have a robust circuit of independent events, mainly in the Pauper format. Do you usually play them?

As I only played on paper, I had no idea how the community was structured online. Rodolpho asked me to play a Cards Realm event, I was playing BW too, but the version with more Creatures. I think it was the Cards Realm Pauper Series 1.5, maybe my memory is betraying me. But it was a good event. But it was the only one I played. Since then I only play the MTGO leagues.

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You commented that you are part of the AsA Branca Team, which is composed of some players from the northeast of Brazil. How is the experience of playing Magic in your region?

The card shopping part has always been a challenge, delivery complicates everything! We have to plan events in advance so that no one will be without the complete deck because the order has not arrived. And staying away from major events also diminishes the potential of the community, but some players have already gone to the capital (João Pessoa), which is a few hours drive away, to play the events there. But we are still very competitive locally. And, apart from tournaments and events with prizes, we don't have many problems, and there are few who care if you use proxies until the order arrives. As I said, part of the community that plays EDH and Limited plays has a Vintage Cube half proxy and half real cards, and the proxies are printed at home. We also play Legacy with decks like that, half cards, half paper, and everyone is having fun. The important thing is to play Magic!

We also saw that AsA Branca is registered for the Royale Super Cup that will take place next month. What are your expectations for the event?

In terms of deck? Well, the Kaldheim cards will be available and the time interval between the registration of the lists and the release of the set is very short. Also,we will have some impactful cards like the Snow Dual Lands or even that blue Sorcery that exiles artifact and creature. So you may have some surprises and even creative changes. I'm excited to see what everyone will be preparing with so little time to test, but part of the fun of Magic is this discovery!

Last question! Overall, how is your training routine for bigger events? Do you have a lonely routine, a routine with your team or a mix of the two?

Before the pandemic, we always met and discussed the meta, decks and matchups. It also helps that people always borrow decks, so you could see and learn a lot from all sides of the matches without having to invest so much on your own. But with the pandemic and this migration to MTGO, it ends up being a more lonely routine. But I live close to Toggen and we play there a few times. AsA Branca is something new and we don't play as much together as we would like, but there is always a discussion on whatsapp. I am also in some Discord rooms and there are always people willing to talk. In the case of BW Pestilence, I started playing with the deck around mid-2019 and before purchasing the paper deck I went to ask some tips at Pauper's Discord (Castle of Commens Pauper), and HeWhoIsInTheWater explained a lot about the deck and the variations (creatures or hard control). So even if the online part is a little lonely, you can interact well with the community.

Thank you very much for participating, and I wish you all the best at the Kaldheim Championship and at upcoming events!

And see you in the next article!
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