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Humberto

The Fiery Cannonade’s Effect In Pauper

Analyzing Fiery Cannonade's impact to Pauper.

With the full release of the Commander Legends card gallery, the Pauper community caught fire with one of the cards in the new set: [cardinfo](Fiery Cannonade) In 2017 I mentioned on the Pauper Masters blog that, among the things that Pauper needed, a CMC 3 Sweeper was one of the things that the format could have to deal with a possible predominance of Faeries and [card](Burning-Tree Emissary) decks. I used as an example [card](Infest), where the mana cost was limiting as to which decks would be able to use its effect efficiently, and that a deck like Mono Black Devotion, for example, would not benefit as much from a sweeper that took your own creatures as well. I also mentioned [card](Steam Blast), whose effect on Sorcery-speed allowed other decks to prepare and whose drawback was relevant against Aggro decks, where you would naturally use this type of effect. [card](Fiery Cannonade) is superior to both on almost every way. But before we talk about the card itself, let's talk about False Tempo: [center](False Tempo) To talk about False Tempo, I'll have to go back to Modern's past and rescue a deck that everyone either loves or hates: [deck](67088) The Splinter Twin is the best False Tempo reference that a deck can provide. In a game against Twin, it was very common for the player to have to play around the combo almost every turn because, with one piece being able to be played at Instant-Speed ​​and the other piece being played the next turn, you lost regardless of the position in which you were in the game. Therefore, many decks were forced to stay in a cycle where they needed to hold mana and make less effective moves, even without any certainty if the opponent had the combo in hand, just by chance. Having a removal meant having to hold on to your mana every turn. Not having a removal meant having to make the difficult decision of playing All-In and hoping not to die on the next turn, or bluffing and risking putting yourself back in the game for nothing. As the opponent's hand is usually an unfamiliar area for players, it was difficult for players who did not have access to discards to guess, in fact, if the opponent was making a [card](Pestermite) at the end step just to try to attack from the air or because you are threatening the combo on the next turn. In other words, during the game, the Twin player basically had a pseudo- [card](Stone Rain) for the mere fact that the opponent had to respect the combo every turn from turn 3 onwards, and the effect turned into a snowball every turn where the opponent played in a more conservative way and gave himself a pseudo [card](Time Walk)s This made it very difficult for the opponent to tapout, make better use of his resources and make the best possible plays that turn, opting instead for sub-optimal plays. And how did the Twin player react to that? Playing fair and taking advantage of [card](Time Walk)s that the fear of the combo caused the opponent to give it to him. [card](Snapcaster Mage) with [card](Lightning Bolt) and [card](Vendillion Clique) were cards that interacted perfectly with what the deck needed to do to respond to opposing threats or protect its combo, while also operating with a beatdown plan that punished the opponent for not spending his resources. Some lists have started splashaing for cards like [card](Tarmogoyf) or [card](Tasigur, the Golden Fang) to take even more advantage of it. In summary, False Tempo is a term used when a player makes sub-optimized moves, holds his resources and makes bad decisions during the game for fear that his opponent will have a play that could simply destroy his game plan or win the game the next turn. You can see this happen, for example, when you are playing Faeries against Burn and hold the [card](Counterspell) mana on your turn with 3 mana standing, even though you can make a [card](Ninja of the Deep Hours) on an empty board because you have 7 life, the opponent has two cards in hand and you consider whether it could be any combination of burn spells between those two cards plus the draw that he will give in the next turn that will lead him to win the game. You avoided putting yourself in an advantageous position at the table that would most likely cause you to get so much Card Advantage that your opponent would not be able to return to the game in 2 or 3 turns, for fear of losing on the next turn by a combination of [card](Lightning Bolt) with [card](Fireblast) or 2 burns of 3 damage with [card](Needle Drop), etc. You gave yourself a [card](Time Walk) so you don't lose the game. And provoking your opponent's False Tempo in the game is by far one of the greatest moves you can make. *But why am I talking about False Tempo in this article?* Because [card](Fiery Cannonade) is a perfect example of a card that can trigger a lot of False Tempo in a format like Pauper. Consider most Aggro decks of the format and tell me which best play made from your turn 3 ownard wouldn't it just be awful if your opponent plays a [card](Fiery Cannonade) on the following turn ? What play can you make that doesn't put you in an extremely unfavorable position against a board wipe in response to the end of the turn, or in the next turn ? And how much will this move delay your game plan and favor your opponent by giving him a few turns? How willing are you to play "safe" and delay your game plan? And what does the possibility of giving one or two [card](Time Walk)s to prevent one play that a boardwipe spoils your game means for your opponent? [card](Fiery Cannonade) alone creates for more than half of the decks of the format a constant threat in the main turns of aggressive decks, from which you can force those decks to play around him, or take the chances and play on the risk of suffer disastrous consequences that can actually cost the game. The card is the absolute interaction for Pauper, the play to be respected and that you must acknowledge that may be on your opponent's deck. And for the Cannonade player, this means giving the opponent the constant weight of doubt and trying to capitalize on his fear or courage to create the best openings for plays that will put him ahead of the game in an irreversible way. This is not the "End of Pauper" as some have claimed, but it does create a dividing line that has the potential to change the way the format behaves, rewarding the grindy game more and less the All-In game. In that way, Wizards might achieve with Pauper the same "forced rotation" effect that it managed to do with all other eternal formats between the years 2019 and 2020. [center](Why is there so much talk about a mass removal?) The main reason is that Pauper is a format composed of creatures, mostly of low cost and only a few go beyond 2/2, and the decks are composed of combinations of cards that work as engines that allow decks to operate efficiently. Using as an example some of the main decks of the format: The skeleton of any variant of Faeries is composed by the interaction of cards like [card](Faerie Seer) and [card](Spellstutter Sprite) with Ninjas in order to be able to get ahead in the game while interacting with the opponent using counters and removal . Stompy aims to fill the table with creatures, punish the 1-for-1 trades and use cards like [card](Rancor) and [card](Savage Swipe) to put themselves ahead in the table. Boros Monarch works like a classic Midrange and uses the interaction of [card](Glint Hawk) and [card](Kor Skyfisher) with ETB effects to generate card advantage while responding to threats from the opponent with removal. Boros Bully is betting on a more aggressive strategy with cards like [card] (Seeker of the Way) and [card](Battle Screech), leaving the card advantage only for the interaction of cards with flashback and [card](Faithless Looting) or using Monarch mechanic with [card](Palace Sentinels). Elves is a deck that works based on filling the table with small creatures, having plenty of mana and being able to finish the game in a few turns by having somany creatures on the table that makes it impossible to make 1-for-1 exchanges. RDW, or Goblins, plans to fill the table with creatures in the first turns to deal as much damage as possible and end the game with burn like [card](Lightning Bolt), [card](Goblin Grenade) or [card](Fireblast) Creatures are the main skeleton of many decks in Pauper, and unlike most formats, creatures of the format do not usually have such an immediate impact when you are the beatdown, so you need to favor the classic "Quantity over Quality" "to win games. To that kind of format, [card](Fiery Cannonade) is as efficient as a [card](Languish) was for Standard because it affects the vast majority of creatures and is, by far, the best X-for-1 effect that Pauper has already seen. Its presence in the format has the possibility of creating a break line that can reshape the format in a few weeks or months. The decks that are mostly affected by the card will continue to exist, but will have to adapt, While other decks will benefit from it to try to climb or affix themselves to the metagame as one of the main decks, possibly replacing decks that today can be considered pillars of the format. And of course, the effects of[card](Fiery Cannonade), along with the other cards that will be released in Commander Legends, can create totally new decks to compete in a field that seems to be gaining a strange, but welcome, air of renewal. . And where exactly does each deck of the format fit into this line today? [center](Which Decks Benefit?) [deck](67089) Tron continues to benefit from every good card that comes to Pauper. No matter how good the card is, it will be better on Tron. [card](Fiery Cannonade) costs just one colored mana, it's Instant, which means it can be tutored with [card](Mystical Teachings), destroys only [card] (Mulldrifter) and is of great help in two of the worst matchups that Tron has: Faeries and Aggro Cannonade essentially reduces the time Aggros can capitalize on Tron's low speed in 1 or 2 turns. And some of the other decks that might benefit from the new card are the Midranges, naturally predated by Tron in a format that still doesn't have a good enough response against the archetype. Over the years, we have seen Tron steadily becoming more and more the closer to be the best deck of the format, getting stronger with new cards like [card](Ephemerate) and [card](Bonder's Ornament), and constantly climbing positions on the metagame, even with its natural predators on its tail. Now with a low cost and splashable Sweeper that responds to the vast majority of threats to the deck in the metagame and with a probable slowing down of the format, it is possible that Tron will finally assume its place as the best deck of the format. I emphasize that perhaps this predominance of Tron will not be easily noticeable because the deck has another natural predator that is very efficient and as inevitable as Thanos: The Clock. Less experienced players with usually take time to make all the necessary clicks for Flicker's locks or to make their decisions, which consumes the clock on MTGO (which is individual) and ends up losing by timeout. But if Tron becomes an oppressive deck in the format and this is demonstrated by the results in Challanges where more experienced players tend to reach the Top 8, the clock factor should not be taken into account when deciding whether a ban is necessary, as this factor is nonexistent in a real Magic match and did not prevent a deck like Izzet Drake from being banned in 2016. I fear that this reformulation in the format will put Tron in a position where the hammering of Banhammer will have to be on his land, because no other option seems to solve the problem that the deck has become since the end of last year. [deck](67091) [deck](67092) I believe that the Orzhov Monarch will benefit from the card far more than Boros Monarch himself, as he has more creatures that survive the sweeper and the deck doesn’t care so much if they die, as he can operate in the combination of [card](Guardian of the Guildpact) and [card](Pestilence) to win the game. The deck also has more efficient ways of using your creatures and more disruptive effects than the red version, giving a better game against removals from other Midranges and more elements that can be used to try to "combat" Tron. Boros Monarch, on the other hand, is more grounded in a beatdown plan to win the game, and having one of its main attackers killed may prove to be detrimental in some matches. On the other hand, the deck probably benefits more than it harms from the card, since [card](Glint Hawk) usually generates value as soon as it comes into play, and there are very few matches where the deck needs to quickly assume the role of beatdown. However, the success of Monarch Decks also depends a lot on the success of decks like Faeries that they usually prey on, and Tron that is their natural predator. [deck](67094) The sweeper works against very few Walls Combo cards, and the deck doesn't mind being aggressive at all. The combo remains naturally untouched and can benefit if the format is more focused on Midranges. [deck](67093) Delver Decks less focused on Faeries mechanics may prove to be the best answer of Tempo Decks for the sweeper. In the list above, Cannonade kills only [card](Delver of Secrets) while leaving most of the other cards untouched, and if you don't have an answer for the card, you don't care so much about exchanging 1 for 1 with your opponent, where he spent 3 mana to deal with your 3/2 for one mana. It is worth noting that the blue will be receiving two new Monarchs in Commander Legends, which can contribute even more to the structure of decks like UB Delver or Faeries. [deck](66916) Burn cares very little for a mass removal that does not interact in any way with almost any card outside [card](Ghitu Lavarunner) and [card](Firebrand Archer), which is not usually present on the lists. Burn is also a deck that benefits if there is a reduction in the number of Faeries in the format. [deck](67096) [card](Fiery Cannonade) needs to be used in a very specific timing to affect the Familiar Combo, as it becomes useful only if it hits a [card](Archaeomancer), preferably in response to a Flicker effect. And in that case, the deck may consider using [card](Mnemonic Wall), if it looks like a more favorable option in the metagame. You can also use the sweeper to deal with the deck's [card](Mulldrifter) beatdown plan, which is usually his main way of winning the game without being punished by the clock. [deck](67097) [deck](67098) Affinity cares too little about the effects of [card](Fiery Cannonade) at most times, being universally useful only for killing [card](Frogmite) or a [card](Atog) if the player doesn't want to sacrifice anything to keep it alive. It is likely that, as the format adapts, Affinity will become the best Aggro deck in the metagame. A version of Affinity that I have my doubts about the impact of the sweeper is the Brute Squad, commonly piloted by the player Deluixeicoff, as this is more dependent on artifact creatures to make Metalcraft work and, if used in good timing, [card](Fiery Cannonade) can simply clear the table. [deck](67099) Heroic is in a favorable position because although a well applied Cannonade can be a problem, any single spell is enough for most of your creatures to get out of the removal damage range. Therefore, Heroic only needs to behave as if the sweeper is just another removal spells, thus it doesn't affect its gameplan anyway. [deck](67100) Despite the similarities in terms of game plan, Bogles suffers more from [card](Fiery Cannonade) than Heroic. The main reason is that the enchantment package used by the deck currently requires at least 2 enchantments on the creature before the sweeper, one of which must be [card](Ethereal Armor) or [card](Ancestral Mask). On the other hand, Bogles also only needs an enchantment between [card](Armadillo Cloak) or [card](Hyena Umbra) and you can also add [card](Spider Umbra) to your lists as another way to keep your creature alive. Therefore, I consider that Bogles can also benefit and grow in this metagame according to the other changes that might happen. [deck](67101) Tortured Existence cares very little for a board wipe as it can simply reccur to any creature that will be destroyed in the course of the game and benefits greatly from a slower metagame. [deck](67102) A deck that uses no creatures and wins with Mill simply has no reason to care about the sweeper. The deck still benefits from the fact that one of the biggest losers is one of its natural predators: Faeries. On the other hand, both Burn and Affinity are not two of the best matchs for the deck and this can significantly reduce your advantage. *(- CONTROL DECKS -)* I wish I could say that [card](Fiery Cannonade) gives the opportunity for control decks to have real chances in a format as composed of creatures as Pauper. The problem is that their main predator today is the Tron, which is just the best control by an absurd margin. The deck's excess mana allows it to have a better late-game than any other deck of the format and has inevitability in soft-lock and [card](Rolling Thunder). So it becomes unproductive to speculate Control decks at the moment, because Tron will simply be a better Control than any list I can imagine right now. *(- COMBO DECKS -)* Combo decks that try to win in the most diverse ways can benefit if the format is slower and more open to longer games. Even decks like UR Fiend or Inside Out (if someone can get a good way to assemble it again) can benefit, as they often change their position and become the False Tempo deck against decks that would normally use the board wipe. [center](And Which Decks Will Be Hurt?) [deck](67103) [card](Fiery Cannonade) basically kills all the Elves that matter in the format. Unlike other decks, there is not much Elves can do on the maindeck to improve this situation. Your best bet is to hope that your opponent doesn't have it at the right time and win the game before your elves are burned since not even [card](Spidersilk Armor) saves most of them. [deck](67104) This applies more necessarily to the current Faeries + Ninja engine. Unlike what people say, this does not symbolize an end to Faeries, because the "value" of the new sweeper against the deck is very similar to that of [card](Suffocating Fumes) except that in compensation of taking [card](Hydroblast), Cannonade also kills the Ninjas. This small difference may force the Faeries to respect the card more and play around it mainly in the first turns of the game since their game plan exists around the interaction between their creatures. I believe that, among all decks, Faeries is the one that will have one of the biggest challenges of adaptation in terms of decklist until it finds a list that fits the possible new format, at the same time that it gets the best answers because it has access to good cancellations like [card](Dispel) or [card](Counterspell) itself. Blue also gained major additions with Commander Legends with cards like [card](Fall From Favor) and [card](Azure Fleet Admiral), and it will be interesting to see how this and other blue decks will transform from the end of November onward. It is far from the end for Faeries and blue decks, but surely the current version as we know it is less efficient if [card](Fiery Cannonade) becomes the format limiter. [deck](67105) Stompy as we know him today has only one proactive play against [card](Fiery Cannonade): [card](Elephant Guide). All other moves on the deck are made around filling the table and then pummeling your creature so that the opponent does not have time to react and is punished for using targeted removal. Therefore, the deck would be one of the perfect examples of having to risk taking a sweeper that would probably delay your game a lot, or play more conservatively in order to avoid a complete blowout. Stompy, on the other hand, has a good adaptation potential compared to other decks because it has good cards that naturally serve the deck's strategy and will probably continue to exist and be among the format's main competitors. [deck](67106) The play that allows Boros Bully to put himself in a "safe" position regarding the new sweeper is [card](Prismatic Strands), which may even be the best response it in White, but it is a reactive play. In order to be effective and not delay the deck's gameplan, [card](Prismatic Strands) must have already been used or discarded with [card](Faithless Looting). And, on many occasions, you will still be giving your opponent a [card](Time Walk) when leaving mana untapped or a creature standing in an attack that could perhaps define lethal damage the next turn. Cannonade also passes through generic protections that this deck usually uses like [card](Ramosian Rally) and [card](Lumithread Field), and the deck's life would already be very difficult if many decks decided to use [card](Electrickery). The advantage of Boros Bully in contrast to its artifacts version is its speed and more proactive game plan. If you take that away from it by needing to protect itest from a sweeper, Boros Bully becomes just a worse version of the other deck. On the other hand, perhaps including more low-cost interactions or even the use of [card](Kor Skyfisher) and the already used [card](Guardian of the Guildpact) to the list can give the deck a survival while still managing to maintain the aggressive gameplan. [deck](67107) [deck](67108) Both Red Aggro and White Aggro in their current versions are * destroyed * by a [card](Fiery Cannonade) in almost every moment of the game and will have to be the first to adapt to the new metagame. While white has some good options for getting around the sweeper, red will probably have to bet on more damage and more creatures with haste to get around the board wipe. [center](Finally, there are two decks that seems to be in the halfterms) [deck](67109) Slivers is in a similar situation to Bogles, as it needs a specific combination of 2 or 3 cards to be able to survive the Cannonade. The situation is, however, unfavorable as targeted removals are more efficient in the case of Slivers, so it is possible to use a [card](Lightning Bolt) on a [card](Sinew Sliver) and use a [card](Fiery Cannonade) on the turn next to clean the table, etc. On the other hand, Slivers have a greater recovery potential than Bogles or Elves because their creatures are more impactful together against a sweeper than Elves and the deck has access to card advantage with [card](Lead the Stampede) and [card](Winding Way), in addition to being able to adapt better with cards like [card](Watcher Sliver) and [card](Spidersilk Armor). [deck](67110) Mono Black Devotion has as its main sources of 2-for-1 made bt creatures with 2 toughness without any means of protection, but it does not usually care much if these creatures die since they have already fulfilled their role in the game and can be replayed in the future. However, a reduction in the number of aggressive decks makes the deck itself worse, as it naturally preys on creature decks. And of course, if Tron becomes the best deck of the format, Mono Black and all the other Midranges will be bad choices for dealing with the best deck. It is likely that Mono Black will also have to adapt and adopt a plan even more focused on Monarch mechanics to keep up with changes in the metagame. - This is my personal prediction for what I call the "The Cannonade Effect". It is not the end of the world: Sweepers are a fundamental part of Magic as a whole, and now that the format has such an effect at a reasonable cost, it will be necessary to learn from the other formats and understand how it is possible to deal with it and get around situations related to the card . [center](And How Can We Handle Cannonade?) Playing Magic, especially in a competitive scenario, means adapting to changes and learning to play with and against cards that are released over the years. It will be no different in Pauper, and if [card] (Fiery Cannonade) becomes the limiting element of the format, it will be necessary to reformulate the whole format to deal with it. There are lessons that Standard teaches better than most other formats: Adapting to the metagame sometimes means using cards that would normally be off the radar to fight certain cards and strategies. For example, with the predominance of green decks and the red decks of the format during a good part of the season this year, cards like [card](Aether Gust) saw maindeck play in many lists. In 2010, when Jund was the best deck, some decks started using [card](Spreading Seas) to attack the deck's manabase, which was very fragile and color hungry. There are several examples, as Standard has always been an adaptation laboratory where almost every week a new idea or method of dealing with a specific strategy appears. And the definition of oppressive deck in the format usually comes, precisely, from the absence of efficient means to respond to certain cards, or when the answers are simply not good enough It is a matter of time before we find out if this is the case for Cannonade. Until then, the best option is to adapt, and there are a few options for that: *1) Playing with decks that are not harmed by it* This is the most obvious option, and there is a reasonable selection among the decks that you can choose from those I mentioned, or others that I didn't think of or that I don't know how to consider well how they would behave in this new metagame. If the deck is not negatively affected by the new card, it is probably well positioned in the field, especially in the first few weeks where everyone is adapting. Speaking of the first few weeks, I would easily play Affinity or Burn after the release of Commander Legends, as they are decks that can easily prey on slower decks and decks that will be adapting to new ways of building lists. *2) Accepting that there will be times when you will be taking a sweeper* Sweepers are part of Magic and have existed in the format before in the form of [card](Crypt Rats), [card](Evincar's Justice) and [card](Pestilence) which, I know, are slower and worse than the new one board wipe. It is not the end of the world, and you can still recover. And we are still talking about a maximum of 4 cards of 60. It is not because he has it on the deck that he will always have it on hand. Regardless of how many cantrips, draws and removals the opponent plays, you can still simply crush it, protect yourself or control the game before taking a mass removal. And the longer the game goes on without the opponent using a sweeper, the more likely you can have answers for that occasion and / or the more resources you can accumulate to get back in the game or the opponent is so far behind it doesn't matter anymore. Likewise, there will be times when playing more conservatively to protect yourself from [card](Fiery Cannonade) will be the best option. It will be up to the players to learn to evaluate these moments in the best way. *3) Adapt your 75 with cards that are good against him* This can be done with: A) Using cards that bypass sweepers or are good Maindeck responses: [cardinfo](Doomed Traveler) [cardinfo](Hunted Witness) [cardinfo](Garrison Cat) [cardinfo](Loyal Cathar) [cardinfo](Veteran Armorsmith) [cardinfo](Guardians' Pledge) [cardinfo](Dispel) [cardinfo](Spell Pierce) [cardinfo](Stormbound Geist) [cardinfo](Fanatical Firebrand) [cardinfo](Keldon Marauders) [cardinfo](Orcish Hellraiser) [cardinfo](Wild Mongrel) [cardinfo](Young Wolf) [cardinfo](River Boa) [cardinfo](Brindle Shoat) [cardinfo](Spider Umbra) [cardinfo](Elephant Guide) [cardinfo](Horned Kavu) [cardinfo](Sky Skiff) B) Using cards in the sideboard that serve as a good answer: [cardinfo](Shields of Velis Vel) [cardinfo](Hallow) [cardinfo](Crimson Acolyte) [cardinfo](Blades of Velis Vel) [cardinfo](Otherworldly Outburst) [cardinfo](Wrap in Vigor) * 4) Play Pirates! * [link](https://www.channelfireball.com/articles/popeye-stompy/) (Pirates has already dominated the Legacy at some point), of course you can do the same at Pauper! : D [image](https://cdn.cardsrealm.com/images/uploads/1604681898.jpeg) Okay, don't do that. And Popeye Stompy has been one of the most interesting social experiments in the Magic community in recent years. - [card](Fiery Cannonade) will arrive in the format at the end of November and its impact will most likely exist on Pauper. Maybe not as expressively as we are speculating, maybe it will just become a good card on the sideboard of some decks and on Tron's maindeck. Or perhaps the card itself changes the entire format's metagame, possibly making it slower and value-oriented. And a major concern of the community, if the format actually becomes slower, is that the pendulum swings too much for Monarch and Tron's Grind-Game and there is little room for other strategies. If it reaches that point, it would be important for Wizards to consider turning the pendulumto the otherside and printing higher impact threats into the format for Aggro decks, as the impacting threats from decks like Monarch and Tron are already guaranteed and have just received new additions. Either that, or admit that you made another mistake in a competitive format that, honestly, I don't see the evil being the sweeper, but Tron having access to all the best cards of the format without almost any restrictions. Anyway, a story for another article! I particularly consider that the format metagame has been stagnating for too long, and that we have been dealing with and facing the same decks for a long time, with significant changes appearing just before the [card](Arcum's Astrolabe)'s ban. [card](Fiery Cannonade) seems to bring Pauper a similar or even greater impact than Astrolabe, and however its inclusion might create a change where the format becomes polarized by a dominant deck, and if that's the case I hope that both short and long-term changes are positive and, with the necessary adjustments by the players and Wizards, we can see a reformulation in the format similar to that seen in the other eternal formats. I know that, as soon as Commander Legends comes out, I will be looking for the most efficient way to capitalize on the False Tempo effect that the card can provide. But today, we can only wait and observe what the future holds for our favorite format.

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Humberto

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