Pauper Dimir Faeries Decktech and Sideboard Guide

Magic: the Gathering

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Pauper Dimir Faeries Decktech and Sideboard Guide

This guide covers game techniques for Dimir Faeries, from posture tips in each match, as well as a sideboard guide for the main archetypes of the current Pauper metagame.

By carlos roger, 05/15/21, translated by Romeu, with help from our readers

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Greetings! First, let's make a brief introduction of who we are:

Samuel, known in Magic Online as barff. I am 25 years old, and I have been playing on MTGO as a Grinder. I play Pauper for at least 1 year and my first league season was in October 2020, where I achieved a total of 24 Trophies, playing for two more seasons with great results, currently with over 50 trophies, playing Dimir Faeries on most times.

Carlos Roger Gomes, 31 years old, most known as Beicodegeia, I am an MTGO grinder for the past three years. I've had great results on leagues and challenges with Pauper, being a trophy leader with 42 trophies, and I've also been the Royale Supercup MVP.

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Together, we decided to bring a complete guide for Dimir Faeries, using the list we've been playing for great results (on the last week, we earned, together, 9 trophies with it), and guaranteeing a Challenge victory on May 2, 2021, for Beicodegeia. We are bringing not only a complete Sideboard guide but also an explanation of the attitude to be adopted in each matchup. So let's take a look at the list:
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Dimir Faeries is a Midrange deck that, despite containing a reasonable number of creatures, does not necessarily have an aggressive stance, as it usually seeks to interact with the opponent's threats and stabilize the board, and then finish the game. However, in some matches there is a need to adopt a more aggressive stance (against Tron, for example), seeking as soon as possible to impose a clock on the opponent. The choice of Dimir Faeries compared to the others, is due to the fact that it has a balanced match against most of the format's decks, and even though there are bad matches, there are no absurd disadvantages that the deck cannot deal with. And last but not least, the choice of UB over UR is mainly due to 2 factors: 1 - We have access to the current best free spell of the format: Snuff Out. 2 - From an overall point of view, the black-based removals are better against most decks of the format. That said, let's take a look at the sideboard guide!

Fog Tron

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A difficult match for Dimir Faeries, which will be summed up mainly in the opponent closing Tron quickly or not. In Game 1, our best plan is to fit a Ninja of the Deep Hours in the early game and get card advantage, to generate a value that the opponent cannot revert before he stabilizes in the game, since once he gets it our victory is very difficult. Save the effective counters for the most important spells (Mnemonic Wall, Mulldrifter, Bonder's Ornament), but if you notice that the opponent is digging for the last piece of Tron, it is worth countering an Impulse / Compulsive Research to delay it (remember that it is always crucial to have some pressure on the board, as there is no point in delaying it without putting a clock on it, as eventually, it will find what it needs). In Game 2 we have new tools (more counters and discards), while we cut practically useless cards in the match. The plan remains the same, trying to generate value early with Ninja or Monarch and avoiding the long game, where he has the advantage, fitting in a Gurmag Angler early and protecting it is also a good way to win the game, as usually, Tron doesn't have as many ways to remove it quickly. The bad news is that the opponent can tutor responses with Mystical Teachings.

Stompy

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Here we can highlight the 2 variants of Stompy: the one with Bayou Groff or the old version. This is a very close match, but with a slight advantage for Faeries. Snuff Out is a card that shines a lot in this match because the opponent cannot always afford to play around it and risks taking some 2 for 1 that can be crucial. In Game 1, your priority is not to let your opponent accumulate too many creatures on the board, get rid of them both through counters and removals, and don't be greedy to wait for removal when your opponent has a chance to protect with Vines of Vastwood. Whenever the opponent is tapped out, choose the most problematic creature from the board and remove it.

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Gurmag Angler is another absurd card in this match, as it can sometimes prevent attacks from up to 3 creatures all by himself, and meanwhile, we have the advantage of hitting in the air with the faeries. We must be very careful with a Silhana Ledgewalker or a Vault Skirge pumped with Elephant Guide or Hunger of the Howlpack for 3 counters because they will be very difficult to get off the board. In Game 2 we will have an extra concern, which is Gutshot. Sometimes we make a play with Spellstutter Sprite that can go down the drain with a Gutshot, so always keep in mind that your Spellstutter can be answered. As for the difference between the two versions of Stompy, undying can be a problem because of the Chainer's Edict, but generally, this will be compensated, since when we remove Bayou Groff we will be doing a 2 for 1 as well.

Affinity

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We consider this an even matchup, with a slight advantage for Dimir Faeries since we have plenty of removals against their creatures. The ways to lose this game are when the opponent fills the board with threats too early and we have no way to answer them quickly; making a chain of Thoughtcast and Of One Mind and burying us in card advantage or finding a window to close the game with Atog + Fling. With that in mind, our main plan in Game 1 is to try to prevent the opponent's initial onslaught, leaving the board clean and countering his draw spells whenever possible, as the creatures we can try to neutralize with removals. Sometimes the opponent will have to play around Spellstutter Sprite and this will somewhat slow him down, and it will give us the time to stabilize and control the game. Gurmag Angler will also be a good way to defend yourself while your opponent has threats and will be a great finisher when we have the board under control. In Game 2 we have to play around Pyroblast and even Dispel, but our sideboard is prepared for that, the Hydroblast shines a lot (especially against the Grixis version, which uses Makeshift Munitions) and gives us extra protection against Atog. On the post side, most Affinity lists are using Reaping the Graves, which is a card that often wins the game, but as an answer, we have Duress, in addition to the help of including a Relic of Progenitus, which can also be useful. [center ](Walls) Side in:
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In this game, the more removals you draw, the better. It is not a difficult match, the problem is when the opponent starts to fill the board with several creatures, and without being able to attack, you end up giving him too much time to draw the bigger creatures (cascade version) or the combo itself. Remove the key creatures at the beginning of the game (Axebane Guardian and Overgrown Battlement), which give the opponent the greatest chance of casting several things in the same turn or larger creatures, pay special attention to Axebane, which generates mana of any color, because taking him off the board sometimes whiffs [Mulldrifter]], Boarding Party and Tuktuk Invokers in the opponent's hand, giving us a huge advantage. Whenever possible, counter Lead the Stampede and Winding Way, which are the real Card Advantage of walls. Normally in Game, 1 we stabilize the board and finish most of the time by attacking with our fliers.

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Post-side we now have to be careful with Scattershot Archer, which is another creature that cannot stay alive for too long; but give priority to removing the Walls that ramp up his game very fast first, and then remove the Archers. Like affinity, walls can also use Reaping the Graves post side, so adding a relic is valid.

Moggwarts

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This game has been very favorable for our list, we play this game with caution, taking care, so they do not combo off as we have several resources to prevent this. Whenever possible, save counters to deal with First Day of Class, which is the main card of the combo. Even if the opponent tries its aggro plan, we have Augur to block and the removals to delay the opponent's board. The fact that we do not have to face removals normally in Game 1 is good because to deal with the ninja the opponent will have to lose creatures by blocking, or else our card advantage and the ways to respond to the combo will only grow, increasing our odds of victory. In Game 2 we have more useful responses coming in, but we have to play even more carefully due to Pyroblast and Duress, but following the Game 1 plan is usually enough to win. Spellstutter Sprite is an incredibly relevant card in this matchup, since it cannot be Duress'ed, is a Ninja enabler and counters your opponent's most relevant spells easily.

Bogles

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Game 1 tends to be a bit tough because we have plenty of dead cards, but this matchup gets a lot better post-sideboard when we add more effective spells such as Suffocating Fumes and Chainer's Edict. In this game, we usually try to follow a conservative gameplan by trying to leave mana up for Counterspell or Spellstutter every turn, since a single Aura can lead us to defeat. When there is the possibility of a favorable exchange between creatures, it is usually worth it, as the opponent does not have enough filters on his deck to find another creature easily. We should pay attention to Gut shot and Dispel post-side and always play around it if possible (but never avoid trying that stutter in the aura at turn 2). We leave a Snuff Out on the deck in case your opponent has any non-hexproof creature (like Young Wolf and Heliod's pilgrim) to make room for a successful Chainer's Edict.

Orzhov Pestilence

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This is a very difficult match, especially in Game 1 where we have several useless cards. In Game 2 the tendency is to improve, but we still have a small disadvantage, since the opponent has several impactful cards that we have to deal with in addition to the discard spells. We adopt an aggressive, yet conscious stance, which, from turn 3 onwards, we avoid passing the turn tapped out since we want to prevent the opponent from resolving cards like Bonder's Ornament, Guardian of the Guildpact and Pestilence, but, for example, if I have a Stormbound Geist turn 3 I will choose to cast it, to have good pressure on the table.

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The main ways to win this match are: populating the board of creatures without the opponent resolving a pestilence, casting a monarch early and winning the card advantage, or playing a Ninja of the Deep Hours in the Early game with some backups to protect it.

Boros Bully

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This is definitely a bad match, but we have some cards that work very well, which is the case with Suffocating Fumes and Echoing Decay. The secret is to play around him and exhaust the opponent's resources, always trying to generate value in the X to 1 removals (Suffocating Fumes and Echoing Decay, and post-side Echoing Truth that can play as a removal of the tokens from the Battle Screech), always play around the opponent's mistake such as him casting as many Screeches as possible and then being disrupted by end-step fumes. It is hardly worth it to fit Monarch early without a backup of Counterspell + at least one removal, as Bully is the best deck of the format to defend Monarch, and if you end up handing over the crown, 90% of the time it will cost you the game. Do not lose the value of your Spellstutter Sprite simply by playing them, even though you know that the chance of taking a removal or Pyroblast is very high; always try to take value from it and as soon as possible fit a Ninja. Avoid letting Guardian of the Guildpact fall on the board, as it can be a huge problem, and even having some removal options, it may not be so easy to remove and might cost the game. Squadron Hawk is definitely a card that should be countered, as it creates a lot of value for the opponent. And last and not least, use your life as a resource, use the removals at the right time and whenever possible, do not tap out on turn 4, as your opponent can take advantage of it to cast the Monarch.

Jund Cascade

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This is another tough matchup because the opponent has a lot of value and 2-for-1 creatures, alongside Cascade. The sideboard is also complicated because there are many cards we want to use but too few cards we want to remove. Thus, it is a matchup where, post-sideboard, I run 61 cards. There are cards that prove to be good, such as Stormbound Geist or Relic of Progenitus that I add only 1 copy to instead of 2 post side, precisely because there are no more slots. It is a match that is basically won in 2 ways: play Monarch early or attacking the opponent with Ninja and some protections and removals, and the first option is easier to perform. In this match we cannot waste resources, each card must always be used in the best way. Try to spend your Counterspell on cards that really generate value and that will draw a card for your opponent, especially in the Early game, such as Llanowar Visionary and Sarulf's Packmate, as well as Bonders Ornament, and always keep an eye on Pulse of Murasa. The creatures with Cascade (Annoyed Altissaur and Boarding Party) should preferably be resolved with removals (you really have to filter what you should spend your Counterspells on, as the opponent has a lot of impactful cards). Always play cautiously, if you are dominating the monarch, don't forget that your opponent has Boarding Party and always play around it, as giving a few more draws to this deck can really cost the game.

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Izzet Faeries

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A very difficult match-up, especially post-side, as our opponent can remove Gurmag Angle with just one mana and still have Pyroblast. The tip to this match is very similar to the strategy against Boros Bully: don't give your resources to your opponent, wait for him to make some misplay, always try to have more cards in hand. Perform plays that you know will be successful, and use Snuff Out to do so, as the opponent in most situations will not know whether or not you have it in your hand. Don't lose the value of your Spellstutter Sprite knowing that it might take removal, and more importantly, don't value your opponent's Spellstutter, always play around the best possible scenario that he can have at that moment, and try to fit good ninjas. Augur of Bolas is an excellent card here and whenever you have the opportunity to guarantee the draw with him, whether with a Faerie Seer or Brainstorm, it is worth guaranteeing. A well-timed Monarch will lead you to victory most times. However, don't forget about the possibility of your opponent casting a Spellstutter on the pass. It is a well-summarized game in card advantage. An observation to be made is that, in case you find that your opponent does not use Accumulated Knowledge, Frantic Inventory or Stormbound Geist, remove Relic of Progenitus if there is a game 3, and you can return with Suffocating Fumes or Preordain.

Dimir Faeries

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Another match in which I choose to play with 61 post-sideboard. The stance in this match is very similar to the strategy against Izzet Faeries: farm your opponent's resources, let him spend his cards, use your Spellstutter Sprite intelligently, try to use your Dispel and [ [Snuff Out]], use Ninjas with backup; giving more draws and holding more cards than your opponent is extremely important, so Augur of Balls becomes a very strong card. Seek to master the game so that you can play a monarch safe, with removal or backup of Counterspell. Three or four turns holding the monarch and your opponent is unlikely to win. Always be very careful with the Ninja in the opponent's Augur, as it generates a lot of value, so when in doubt whether or not to kill the Augur, as the opponent may have ninja, do not hesitate and kill him! And be always very careful to not tap-out in turn 4, because a resolved Monarch on the opponent's board might cost the game.

Burn

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It's a fairly good matchup for Dimir Faeries, specially post-sideboard where we'll have 3 Hydroblasts. I usually say that Burn is really troublesome for Faeries in turn 2, where he casts problematic spells, which we will often not have answers at the moment, which is the case of Thermo-Alchemist, Curse of the Pierced Heart and Ghitu Lavarunner. If you are in the situation of having only 1 removal and the opponent casts Ghitu turn 1, do not rush when using this removal and wait for the turn 2 play, since Thermo-Alchemist is a much more problematic threat. There is not much secret for this match, it is simply avoiding cards that will deal a huge amount of damage, and generating value with Spellstutter + Ninja when you have a relatively controlled game, avoiding tapping out whenever possible so that the opponent does not feel comfortable in chaining multiple spells.

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Elves

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It's a good matchup for Dimir Faeries, where we should avoid our opponent's card advantage sources such as Lead the Stampede, Winding Way or DIstant Melody. Focus your removal on the most problematic elves such as Elvish Vanguard, Timberwatch Elf, Lys Alana Huntmaster, and an early-game Priest of Titania. You can also try an initial strategy of killing your opponent's dorks, but it can be risky to spend a Snuff Out on turn 1 against a Llanowar Elves if the opponent has other mana resources and/or Priest of Titania on turn 2. So try to use your removals efficiently and make the most out of Suffocating Fumes. Try to reduce your opponent's board and cards in hand as much as you can and then apply pressure with Ninja, Gurmag Angler, or a well-timed Monarch! Be careful when casting important removals post-sideboard, such as Suffocating Fumes and try to always have a Counterspell backup because many players run cards like Negate, Prohibit or Vines of Vastwood.

Gruul Cascade

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It's an OK matchup for Dimir Faeries, but one you should play cautiously. Try to play your lands according to the colors you need because your opponent has some Land Destruction. The most important part of this match is to kill Arbor Elf on the first turns because it will force him to choose between casting an LD spell or a 2-for-1 creature like Sarulf's Packmate or Llanowar Visionary. Always try to counter their spells in the early game because this deck tends to empty their hand quickly, which might be an issue if you counter their "draw a card" spells because it forces them to go to the topdeck, where they have very high odds of getting mana flooded. Try to always disrupt your opponent's game by countering his Utopia Sprawl, his Bonder's Ornament or 2-for-1 creatures and, just like against Jund, try to resolve the bigger creatures with removal spells. Meanwhile, try to apply some pressure whenever possible with, for example, an End-Step Spellstutter Sprite followed by a Ninja of the Deep Hours. The best means to win this match is by casting Gurmag Angler as soon as possible while removing their threats since the only way the opponent can deal with it is with chump-blocking + Lightning Bolt, or with an early well-timed Ninja when the opponent doesn't have a good answer against it. And last, but not least, a well-timed early Monarch. Don't forget Gruul runs Fiery Cannonade and try to always play around it post-sideboard since a well-timed sweeper can cost the game!

Mono-White Heroic

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This is usually a favorable matchup where Snuff Out shines. But you cannot just play it randomly, you should always try to play around protection spells by casting removals with a counter backup or when the opponent is tapped out. Spellstutter Sprite has plenty of valid targets against this matchup, since 80% of the deck is composed of CMC 1 cards. Post-sideboard, the game gets a bit fairer because the opponent comes in with more pro-black creatures and we come in with Chainer's Edict, Suffocating Fumes and Echoing Truth. One card that can be troublesome for us is Hyena Umbra, this, always try to counter it especially if cast in a creature with Heroic, which can rapidly avoid the Echoing Decay or Agony Warp range. You should also try to do the best as possible to avoid your opponent from resolving a Benevolent Blessing, because this card can easily lead us to defeat.

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Always play this matchup carefully and use your removals wisely, always trying to avoid tapping out. In this match, we win by emptying our opponent's resources e keeping his board clean, and then drawing more cards with Ninja of the Deep Hours.

Mono-Black Control

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Many consider this a good match, but I think otherwise, especially considering the current build that plays Dusk Legion Zealot. In game 1, Snuff Out is a dead card and we need a Ninja with backup as soon as possible or a well-timed monarch while always keeping in mind when we should cast removals or counterspell. Be careful with Thorn of the Black Rose since your opponent can always cast Defile + Thorn and it starts to get very hard to come back at this point because they have plenty of removals. Be careful with their Suffocating Fumes as well, of which the most recent builds run 3 copies in maindeck, so you should always play around them! Post-side is one more occasion where I run 61 cards because I don't think it's good to remove either a creature or cantrips. At this point, we must double our caution, as the opponent will often side-in with Okiba Gang Shinobi, who can deal absurd damage if he manages to hit, so be very careful with the initial Dusk Legion, which can easily be enabled for this dreaded ninja rat. Also, pay a lot of attention to the discard spells, the lists of MBC usually run Wrench Mind, Divest, Duress and Distress; so it's a time when Brainstorm can be quite useful, since we can "choose" what we don't want our opponent to discard, or what we want to discard. A very powerful card in this match is the Stormbound Geist, so being able to cast it early is very important, and although our opponent proposes to use 2 removals, it is worth it in most cases. Always watch out for Thorn of the Black Rose on turn 4 because it might cost you the game so always avoid tapping out on turn 4 and dig Counterspell as much as possible, plus at least one removal to avoid Okiba. At opportune moments, invest in plays like Spellstutter in the pass with backup and Ninja with Backup, Augur of Bolas plays extremely well, and generates a lot of value with Ninja of The Deep Hours, in addition to protecting him from Edict effects. An early monarch remains one of the best plays you can have and always try to use it with a protection or removal spell as a backup.

Conclusion

We would like to give special thanks to our friend Rodolpho (RuodWolf) which was a great supporter of this project. In case you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments! Thanks for reading!
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