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Humberto

There's no Omelet without Breaking the Eggs

Double Masters brings a new archetype for Pauper

Ah... Master sets! Master sets have a special value for Pauper players: The special sets always bring new good additions to the format which tends to impact the metagame in a significative manner, adding new options to already existing decks like when [card](Augur of Bolas) and [card](Burning-Tree Emissary) entered Pauper, or when allowing and creating new archetypes which become part of the metagame, which was the case with [card](Seeker of the Way) giving the little push forward that Mono White Heroic needed to become a deck. There also exist those unhappy although recurrent cases when the printing of a card creates a new archetype or allows an archetype in an unbalanced way in comparison to the rest of the format, leading to bans. The best example is still [card](Peregrine Drake). Master Sets are also the perfect opportunity to reprint cards that need a higher availability on the format. And, speaking of reprints, Double Masters is the magical Christmas lands for Pauper when it brings back Urza's lands, [card](Thraben Inspector), [card](Chromatic Star) and, that's right, [card](Oubliette). However, today's article discusses an specific cards from Double Masters which will be introduced to the format, and how it has a long history with a certain archetype: [image](https://cdn.cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/mrd-mirrodin/myr-retriever-215.jpeg?9859) Have you ever heard of Eggs? Maybe... KCI? Eggs and KCI were known decks (and now, banned) of Modern for being combos which demanded constant and relatively complicated processes of repetition in it's actions in order to win the game. Both archetypes were great dividers of public opinion and, in general, created a negative experience when watching a stream or playing against them because of the excessive time used to repeat the same actions to finally win the game, besides the speed and consistence of the combo. The archetype was also known in the community for being a divider between good and average players, as it's results weren't too extensive even when the deck was recognized as the best of the format, because of the complexity of it's playing startegy and how a slight missplay was extremely punitive and could end the game on the exact moment it happened. An essential part of this combo was always how consistent you can return artifacts from the graveyard back to the game, or the possibility of creating a repetition process which would lead to a victory. And, usually, this is the part where [card](Myr Retriever) was really important before [card](Scrap Trawler) was released in Aether Revolt. However, being now received through open doors on Pauper, Myr Retriever finds it's own version of [card](Krark-Clan Ironworks) on the format: [image](https://cdn.cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/chr-chronicles/ashnods-altar-92.jpeg?3168) While having two Myr Retriever, even if one is on the graveyard and the other in your hard, and one [card](Ashnod's Altar), you may sacrifice Myr Retriever to generate two colorless mana. When Myr Retrievers dies this way, it returns an artifact from the graveyard to your hand: You may choose another Myr Retriever in your graveyard (or another artifact, if you have the second Myr Retriever on the battlefield or in your hand). Using the two mana generated by the Altar, you can cast another Myr Retriever and and, when you sacrifice it, you can target the other Myr Retriever you just sacrificed which is now on your graveyard. Profit: We now have an infinite loop of ETB/Death Trigger. The question is how can we make use of such interaction in a format like Pauper? Well, maybe this list is a good start: [deck](53396) "One can't expect to make an omelet without breaking eggs" is probably the most famous phrase attributed to Max Robespierre. But the omelet we are now making here is based on mana, golems and infinite damage. To explain how this list works and the complexity of it's plays, I believe it's better to organize it in 3 parts: The Engine, the Eggs and the Interactions. 1- The Engine [image](https://cdn.cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/ala-shards-of-alara/etherium-sculptor-42.jpeg?1300) [image](https://cdn.cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/mrd-mirrodin/disciple-of-the-vault-62.jpeg?5363) [image](https://cdn.cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/som-scars-of-mirrodin/golem-foundry-160.jpeg?8255) Using 4 of each one of these cards, we have a sufficient number of cards which receive advantage from this new interaction of Myr Retriever and Ashnod's Altar. With [card](Disciple of the Vault), you have damage, or even better, infinite loss of life through the Death Triggers. With [card](Golem Foundry), you can generate an infinite number of 3/3 tokens because you are casting artifacts in a loop. And with [card](Etherium Sculptor), you are capable of generating infinite mana. I don't usually appreciate infinite mana combos if we don't have the means of gaining advantage from it, but Etherium Sculptor and the other pieces of this combo have another essential function on this list: 2- The Eggs [image](https://cdn.cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/2xm-double-masters/chromatic-star-239.jpeg?3742) [image](https://cdn.cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/jmp-jumpstart/chromatic-sphere-462.jpeg?7000) [image](https://cdn.cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/5dn-fifth-dawn/conjurers-bauble-112.jpeg?729) [image](https://cdn.cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/eld-throne-of-eldraine/golden-egg-220.jpeg?9246) And here are the omelet's eggs. Etherium Sculptor interacts very well with cards known as "eggs": Artifacts you use to generate mana and/or draw cards when you sacrifice them. That's because, when you reduce the cost of these artifacts by one mana, the majority of them start costing 0 and started being playable for free, creating a draw engine which may work for a good amount of time, allowing you to find any pieces you need to complete the combo. In addition, all Eggs interact well with the other pieces of the engine and help in fixing the manabase in the best possible way. Although it doesn't cost one mana, I highlight [card](Golden Egg) as an important card for this archetype as, in addition to drawing a card, it is also capable of being sacrificed in order to survive one more turn against aggressive decks. And on this deck, each turn counts in an essential manner. 3 - The Interactions [image](https://cdn.cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/me4-masters-edition-iv/atog-109.jpeg?4248) [image](https://cdn.cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/pz2-treasure-chest/drafnas-restoration-65827.jpeg?4026) [image](https://cdn.cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/mm2-modern-masters-2015/thoughtcast-64.jpeg?3099) It is essential that the decks don't focus only on the combo, because it is easily disrupted. Thus, it is necessary to think about other types of interactions which fits the deck's objectives. [card](Atog) and [card](Drafna's Restoration) are on the list because of their interactions with [card](Disciple of the Vault) and [card](Golem Foundry). [card](Drafna's Restoration) allows for any number of artifacts to be fetch from your graveyard to the top of your library, in any order. This card, if combined with [card](Etherium Sculptor), allows you to, on the next turn after casting it and with just one mana, draw and re-cast all artifacts you had already sacrificed and used during the game, allowing for many triggers of Golem Foundry and Disciple of the Vault in a single turn. [card](Atog) and the inclusion of artifact lands to the deck are related to another interaction: Sacrificing artifacts on the battlefield to do damage with one or multiple Disciples of the Vault. And, of course, Atog may attack and win the game by itself when sacrificing a lot of artifacts, although it is very hard for it not to be blocked or removed before the lethal damage happens. However, it's exactly because of this possiblity that Atog also collaborates in a context known in Magic as "False Tempo": A situation where the opponent tends to hold his/her more efficient tools and plays in a more conservative way as to not lose the game for a determined combination of cards, like Atog + [card](Temur Battle Rage), on the next turn. It's worth remembering that, if you opponent knows what he/she is playing against, the matchup against Eggs tends to be dictated in a context of False Tempo if the opponent doesn't have an immediate answer to Etherium Sculptor. In a deck with this many artifacts, it makes sense to use [card](Thoughtcast) as an additional cantrip which helps to find more pieces to continue the looping process. In my initial tests with the list I could realize that the combo is real, and it is relatively complicated to deal with everything the deck does, but it simply doesn't interact with the opponent. It has potential to win on turn 4 or 5, but it is very vulnerable to counters, removal or simply the beatdown from an aggro deck like Stompy or RDW. In addition, this is a deck that is very vulnerable to hate, and it has serious difficulties to get back to the game if it becomes target of a removal on an specific piece or a [card](Relic of Progenitus) during the process. The deck has behaved very well against other decks which don't interact much or that take a long time to gather pieces to control the game: For instance, in 5 matches against Tron, 3 being without a Sideboard and 2 with a Sideboard, I lost just one of them. Especially because it's necessary to be patient with this list and complete the combo on the right moment. On the other hand, although it looks like an All-In Combo, Eggs can operate in a fair way and win games without needing the infinite loops thanks to the tokens created by Golem Foundry, which is much more hard to answer, or the interactions with Disciple of the Vault, where the opponent tends to refuse to waste removal spells on a seemingly inoffensive 1/1 creature. Another point to consider is that, literally, there are too many cards that need to be answered by the opponent. Of course, killing an Etherium Sculptor greatly delays the game plan, but if the game drags on to the point that I can play another Etherium Sculptor and/or not needing it anymore because I have an engine ready with the other cards, the opponent will still be in a very disfavorable position. I would like to mention that my sideboard version bizarrely generalized probably is far from being the best option for the deck, as I could only think about cards to protect my permanents and/or keep me alive long enough to win the game. In addition, it's extremely hard to sideboard with this deck, because you don't want to remove too many pieces of the combo or you run the risk of not being able to make the combo work in the desired way. Most of the time I removed some egg artifacts and/or some number of Altars/Myr or Drafna's Restoration/Atog so I could allocate some protections to the deck. My final consideration is that the success of Eggs depends a lot on how interactive the format is towards it and, if it becomes popular, the rise of cards like [card](Gorilla Shaman) on the sideboards tends to put it on check and lowers it's popularity. Thus, I end my introduction to the newer potential combo deck for Pauper. I would like to close this article by making a short analysis of other cards which have entered the format through Double Masters and which have potential to see play: [image](https://cdn.cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/2xm-double-masters/bone-picker-78.jpeg?7316) The famous "black Delver" is among us. And in a format based on creatures and on the color which has the most removal spells on the format, it's still very likely that you will cast it for only one mana. Bone Picker is a card with potential, but one that I still can't elaborate on where or how it may be played. See, it is an aggressive drop on black decks which may literally block and kill any creature for just one mana. Decks like Aristocrats will surely try to make use of Bone Picker and it may be a great addition to the archetype. However, black is the color with the most number of removals in the format and we shouldn't discard the possibility of the card existing in decks like Suicide Black or even UB Delver. I don't believe, however, that Mono Black Devotion will want to trade it's sequential plays for this card. I also don't believe UB Delver wants this creature or has interest in swapping Delver for Bone Picker. On the other hand, as we are talking about removal... [image](https://cdn.cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/2xm-double-masters/cast-down-79.jpeg?6759) In my private point of view, this is the greatest addition from Double Masters to the format. [card](Cast Down) in Pauper is essentially a monocolor splashable [card](Terminate). This is the card every midrange black deck will start using, and even other decks which splash black may see use of this card between maindeck and sideboard. Although this addition is extremely beneficial to black midrange decks, it also damages the archetype or, more specifically, the [card](Gurmag Angler). The greatest potential of Gurmag Angler, besides being a 5/5 that can be cast for just one mana, always has been it's capacity of dodging the vast majority of removal spells and forcing a 2 for 1 to kill it. Cast Down finishes this problem on black and joins [card](Journey to Nowhere) and [card](Oblivion Ring) as commonly used removal which solve the big fish without forcing a 2 for 1. [image](https://cdn.cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/2xm-double-masters/abrade-114.jpeg?3509) Abrade is the recognition of a significant increase of Pauper's power level. And, initially, I considered it the greatest addition to the format. However, Abrade's impact on the formats it is played on are formats where artifacts which need to be destroyed are very specific and are worth the 2 mana cost for it to be casted. On Pauper, things are a little different: Since there are few cards like [card](Bonder's Ornament) or [card](Prophetic Prism) which justifies the inclusion of Abrade to the sideboard or even to the maindeck. The main artifact decks on the current metagame are much more threatened by cards like [card](Shenanigans) and [card](Gorilla Shaman). And, although Abrade's versatility may serve both as an artifact hate or as a removal spell, I don't know if any of these effects is worth two mana without any other kind of benefit. However, I make it clear that this card is very important against Boros Monarch and Tron, and will likely see play on the maindeck or sideboard of both archetypes as a way to deal with [card](Kor Skyfisher) and [card](Bonder's Ornament) with the same slot. Double Masters is coming, and the cards are already valid to be played on MTGO. On the next weeks, we will see the results of the impact of the new set on the metagame. Until then. Stay Safe, Stay Home.

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Thiago

The cEDH Archetypes #09 - Birthing Pod Lines


Hello my friends! How are you? My name is Fogaça and I'm here to talk about Commander. Some time ago, we had the much-cited article about the Hatebears archetype, which showed us the importance that disrupting the opponents’' strategies with creatures have in the format. My initial idea was to comment on decks like Blood Pod and use that as a lead to the Opus Thief build in a following article, but at that moment I felt that something was missing. On that occasion, I said that we would deal with Tymna & Tana's forms of victory at another time. Thinking about it, today will be the day to discuss the lines of [[Birthing Pod]] and we will take the opportunity to compare them with the possibilities that [[Primespeaker Vannifar]] brings us. [cardinfo](birthing pod) * THE COMBO * I thought a lot about how to explain the central idea of our lines here, and came to the conclusion the best way is referring to two extinct classics of Modern: the UR Twin and the Toolbox Birthing Pod. Those who were players at that time must remember that the consistency of a two-piece combo caused problems for the health of the format, as well as the possibilities that a permanent tutor brings us allow us not only to follow linear strategies, but also to use it as a tool in favor of the deck, allowing a much more practical than conventional problem solving. What I mean here is that when we combine this type of combo with a consistent way of looking for it, we have something good, but when that way comes from a card that can serve as a tool in favor of the deck, it becomes powerful enough to build an entire archetype around it (which can be applied both in the case of [[Birthing Pod]] and in the case of [[Demonic Consultation]]). Now, specifically talking about the Commander, we can debate about three main lines of play that became popular for the Pod Lines strategies because they occupy few slots and allow the cards characterized by tutoring our combo pieces to be used to solve eventual problems (even if the rest of the deck also works to stabilize the board, it is interesting to have options). Each line was based on the options that a specific tutor gives us. So, in order to have pieces in common, the best way I found to demonstrate them was through topics. • LINE 1: [[BIRTHING POD]] We have several options for the lines based on the New Phyrexia artifact, but the most popular one integrates the already known Blood Pod deck, allowing us to use [[Tymna the Weaver]] as the starting spark for our combo. The sequence of this is given by: 1. Activate [[Birthing Pod]] by sacrificing Tymna to seek [[Felidar Guardian]]; 2. Exile [[Birthing Pod]] with Felidar's ability to return the artifact to the battlefield untapped; 3. Sacrifice [[Felidar Guardian]] with the Pod to bring [[Karmic Guide]]; 4. Use the [[Karmic Guide]] effect to bring Felidar from the graveyard to the battlefield and again blink [[Birthing Pod]]; 5. Sacrifice Felidar again, and then bring [[Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker]] to the game; 6. From the Kiki-Jiki ability, return [[Felidar Guardian]] to the battlefield by creating a copy of [[Karmic Guide]]; 7. Use the proposed loop between [[Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker]], and [[Felidar Guardian]] to end the game. [cardinfo](PRIMESPEAKER VANNIFAR) • LINE 2: [[PRIMESPEAKER VANNIFAR]] In the case of [[Primespeaker Vannifar]], her use can go up to a high curve to bring in some key creature to combo or to impose board presence lock on the opponents. The most popular line of play that we find here is the one used on the Blue Pod deck, given by the following line: 1. With the ability of [[Primespeaker Vannifar]], sacrifice [[Thrasios, Triton Hero]], to bring [[Pestermite]], [[Deceiver Exarch]] or [[Bounding Krasis]] to the game; 2. Use the previously chosen card's ability to untap Vannifar; 3. Use the Vannifar ability to sacrifice the chosen card and bring [[Breaching Hippocamp]] to the battlefield, untapping her again; 4. Sacrifice the Hippocampus to bring [[Karmic Guide]] guide to the battlefield, with the Hippocamp itself as the target of Karmic's ability; 5. Again, untap Vannifar to sacrifice the Hippocampus, but this time, fetching [[Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker]]; 6. Activate the Kiki-Jiki ability to copy [[Karmic Guide]], thus bringing [[Breaching Hippocamp]] back to the battlefield once again; 7. Use the loop between [[Breaching Hippocamp]] and [[Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker]] to end the game. [cardinfo](YISAN, THE WANDERER BARD) • LINE 3: [[YISAN, THE WANDERER BARD]] Even though [[Yisan, the Wanderer Bard]] has another role as a commander, when he is included on the 99 (or 98, depending on the case), he represents a redundancy for the effects presented here, and, with the help of [[Quirion Ranger]] and [[Scryb Ranger]] to start the line of sequencing from turn 3, we can take advantage of their potential to give us other options for play. His main line also integrates the possibilities of both Blood Pod and Blue Pod, being derived from the following sequencing: 1. After using the Rangers to enable three counters on Yisan, search for [[Village Bell-Ringer]] in order to untap him again, as well as all your mana dorks; 2. Activate Yisan again, this time for four, in order to bring [[Felidar Guardian]] to the battlefield; 3. Blink Bell-Ringer with Felidar's ability, making another untap to Yisan and your mana dorks; 4. After the new untap, activate Yisan to five, bringing [[Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker]] to the battlefield; 5. Use the loop between Kiki-Jiki and Felidar or between Kiki-Jiki and Bell-Ringer to end the game. * COMMANDERS * Basically, my idea for today was to bring the lines of sequence to you and reach a somewhat controversial conclusion, so that we will not have variations, honorable mentions or budget alternatives. However, since I mentioned two specific decks, I will use this session to differentiate them, in order to show the different nuances that derive from the strategy of these Birthing Pod Lines. [image](https://cdn.cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/c16-commander-2016/tymna-the-weaver-48.jpeg?3136) [image](https://cdn.cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/c16-commander-2016/tana-the-bloodsower-45.jpeg?9457) Following the order of citations, let's start with the already known Blood Pod. The build based on Hatebears compensates for the lack of blue in order to be a true toolbox, having a creature for every situation that we may have in the game. In this way, [[Birthing Pod]] ends up being a unique piece of interaction, which can save us from a lock, bring a new lock to the game or allow us to reach win conditions, thus being a means for a disruptive deck to have an accelerator for when there is a need to explode and a brake to regulate the speed of the battlefield. [image](https://cdn.cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/c16-commander-2016/thrasios-triton-hero-46.jpeg?9510) [image](https://cdn.cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/c16-commander-2016/bruse-tarl-boorish-herder-30.jpeg?5562) Moving on to our other quote, we have our dear Blue Pod, newcomer here in our articles. The deck was designed to adapt the disruptive Blood Pod to a more midrange strategy, adding the blue to have more answers and not be so dependent on Hatebears. The result is an interactive deck that protects itself with magic while using [[Birthing Pod]] and [[Primespeaker Vannifar]] as ways to generate a strong board state, always moving forward and compensating for the lack of black tutors in this build. *CONCLUSION* I will confess that it is increasingly difficult to write these articles. The main concepts were already covered in the first publications, so I end up having difficulty to avoid being repetitive and explain new ideas and applications for the cards on our tables. This fact leads me to be a little strange during this conclusion, since what I want to demonstrate here is contrary to some ideas that I proposed earlier: as we have seen, the less slots a combo occupies, the better its acceptance, especially if it can add for other instances of gameplay (as already explained during our [[Demonic Consultation]] talk), but there are times when a specific engine for our interaction serves so well to generate value in the build that the lost slots are compensated by the versatility that kind of interaction gives. That's it for today. I ask you to leave your feedback so that we can always improve. The series aims to address only part of an entire sphere that covers an extremely diverse format, so I invite you to subscribe to my [link](https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyqfJp8MNsmyE89F2ALRYrg)( channel on YouTube), where I talk about Commander, not only competitive, but also in other varieties, as well as about other formats. Until next time, my friends!

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Thiago

Jogador de Magic desde Tarkir, sou apaixonado por interações e sinergias que quebram a curva do jogo. Para mim, o cEDH é o teste máximo para o jogador de Magic, tanto para deck build, quanto para gameplay. Para me acompanhar no YouTube, acessem meu canal.

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