Poison Storm is a refreshing and amazing way to play Pauper. This deck has been developed by the Storm Discord and many Content Creators and Grinders. Saiden.Raken or Kalikaiz on Youtube has been a big contributor to this development.
RENAAR used Poison Storm to a 16th place in the Pauper Showcase Challenge. We will be looking at that list seeing the card choices they chose, the game plan of the deck and the sideboard plan I've been using whilst playing this list.
About Poison Storm
Alongside those cards are spells that give your opponent Poison Counters like Prologue to Phyresis. You can proliferate your opponent to lethal Poison Counters without ever needing to attack them.
The deck utilizes Counters on lands and mana producing artifacts to produce an incredible amount of mana very quickly.
Looking at the card choices lets us see how we can survive in a Mono Red and Mono Blue Mine Field.
These Depletion Lands with the amount of Proliferation in this deck can once all online give you access to City of Traitors like mana every turn. So even though you start off slow with lands coming into play tapped, this seems to grow exponentially as the game progresses.
Pentad Prism is the best mana producer in the deck. Being able to get the mana back and use it immediately is huge. If you can get multiple down and start proliferating, it is basically game over. A good way of looking at it is, if you have two Pentad Prisms in play. Every Two Mana Value proliferate spell is "free" because when they resolve you get that back immediately. The One Mana Value spells gives you more mana. This card is strong in this list.
Everflowing Chalice is the card we wish was prism 5-8. However, it is still strong in its own way. Being able to get to a point where all of the colorless requirements of the spells you are casting have been paid for is still a good position. The amount of mana this can produce just after 1 or two turns of being in play is wild.
The basics are to provide untapped colored sources when needed, mainly blue as you can see by how blue heavy the deck is. However, having access to one Forest and one Swamp allows you to search for them with Thirsting Roots if needed.
Prologue to Phyresis is the quickest way to give the opponent a poison counter. Being blue is also a lot easier on the mana with already having so many Blue sources.
Infectious Inquiry is a Night's Whisper that costs one more to give your opponent a Poison Counter. Getting Card advantage is important in a combo deck like this. You need the best chance to draw through your deck.
With this particular build, there isn't a lot of pressure to play one of these early. Developing your mana is much more important. This is because you have access to so many proliferate spells, that if you need to deploy 3-4 of these to develop your mana, there is still plenty more in the deck to follow after you have poisoned your opponent.
Contentious Plan is a simple but much needed card. A blind redraw that proliferates is sometimes just what you need. The card is a simple yet needed redundancy for the deck.
Experimental Augury is one of the best proliferate spells we have access to. Impulse that gives you proliferation great. Being actual card selection compared to blind redraw allows you to control your next few turns/sequences.
Vivisurgeon's Insight is another strong proliferation spell which is surprisingly easy to cast early. There will be many times with this deck where you cast one of these and then the game is basically over. The sheer amount of cards you get from Vivisurgeon's Insight and mana back from the proliferation is what makes this card so strong.
Thirsting Roots has surprised me when playing this deck. It looks pretty underwhelming on face value. You have that much raw card draw with Vivisurgeon's Insight, Deep Analysis and Infectious Inquiry, that allows you to save or keep a lot of your lands and prisms because it is only one mana.
Weather the Storm is a necessary evil for this deck. You can have turns where you are casting 5-8 spells and ending on a Weather the Storm, so it is easy to gain 24+ life from it.
This allows you to survive against various archetypes in the metagame. As you have no real removal mainboard, your opponent can put a lot of pressure surprisingly quickly. Having access to Weather the Storm to buy you 2 - 3 turns are necessary.
Deep Analysis is Vivisurgeon's Insight 5-8. There are certain matches where this is better than Vivisurgeon. Those matches are usually where Counterspell or Spellstutter Sprite is involved. Card is still strong at providing cards in hand.
Serrated Arrows the only non-basic one of in the Mainboard. The card is pretty strong as a way to deal with your opponent's threats and pressure, whilst executing your game plan. This deck gets a surprising amount of mana quickly, and finding a space to have 4 spare mana is quite easy, especially colorless. Arrows work because you proliferate both the arrowhead counters on it and the -1/-1 Counters on the creatures.
Bring the Ending is an easier to cast Counterspell for winning counter wars to resolve your important spells. The Corrupted effect will generally happen by playing your game plan. Being easier to cast is actually quite important for the deck. Due to the way you are trying to maximize on Blue with Saprazzan Skerry it is very common to have only access to One Blue mana and One of another color.
Anoint with Affliction is basically a better Cast Down for this deck. In matches where it is important to kill creatures, it is also important to exile them. For example, Walls Combo along with other combo decks are particularly problematic for this deck, due to Weather the Storm not being a way to save you and them being much quicker than we are. So Anoint allows you to disrupt them whilst also exiling it, so they can't get their Axebane Guardian back with Reaping the Graves.
Moment's Peace lets you play a Turbo Fog style gameplay. Allows you to gain life with Weather the Storm and Fog the mass amount of combat damage, whilst executing your gameplan. It is useful against match ups that can produce a large amount of damage/ threats very quickly.
Hydroblast is for two types of strategies. Great tool to fight the Mono Red Decks. Lets you answer a Monastery Swiftspear or counter a Fireblast. Also, it is reasonably well positioned for Red-based decks that would likely bring in Pyroblast. This is because it is a cheap way to interact when trying to resolve your Vivisurgeon's Insight.
Ideal Hand & Mulligans
This strategy is very linear. Its gameplan is very simple but executing that plan can be difficult at times. For the most part, playing the non-blue depletion land first is generally correct, as is allows you to cast Everflowing Chalice and maximizes Pentad Prism with the amount of Islands in the deck.
However, this can change based on your hand. I do advise analyzing your next three turns and what they look like. Hitting your lands and your blue sources is important. Identifying your matchup and their gameplan quickly is crucial.
This allows you to dig for the correct spell and how far you attempt to reach that, I.e. If you are against a Midrange Deck compared to Mono Red really dictates how fast you need to attempt to kill your opponent. This can be the difference between losing the last counter on your Peat Bog to dig for Weather the Storm
An ideal hand is generally 2 depletion lands of different colors, a proliferate spell and a Pentad Prism. The rest of the cards can be just more of the above. Ideally, those would be an early poison enabler and a Big Card Advantage spell like Deep Analysis or Vivisurgeon's Insight.
An early poison enabler is great, but it's not the end of the world not to have it. A Weather the Storm in the opener allows you to not stress about finding it if you are against Mono Red or against an Unknown opponent, but not essential to your gameplan other than to not die. Vivisurgeon's Insight is a card that can be cast as easy as turn 3 or 4 and really lets you churn through your deck.
VS Mono Red
This matchup isn't great, but it is not awful. Dealing with their first initial wave is key, whilst also always considering Raze. Usually, I keep Depletion heavy lands that allow you to explode when they have slowed down a turn to cast Raze.
VS Mono Blue Faeries
This is probably one of the worst matchups we could have. They have the right amount of disruption and pressure.
The most success I've had is removing the "bad" artifacts like Everflowing Chalice and Serrated Arrows. This may seem counterintuitive, as Serrated Arrows has been used for a long time as a way to deal with Spellstutter Sprite.
Anoint with Affliction helps deal with early Faeries and slow down their Ninjaing Gameplan.
I believe this is a fairly free match up. However, as most people know, Affinity is the best deck to play Midrange and Control role. So boarding in Moment's Peace acts like other copies of Weather the Storm and Bring the Ending allows you to deal with Pyroblast.
VS Dimir Terror
My expertise in this matchup is very limited, I could see bringing in the Serrated Arrows in larger numbers, but unsure on how it tackles the match.
However, I am certain that Deep Analysis will shine in this matchup much more than Vivisurgeon's Insight. This is because being two separate spells to get a large amount of card draw, helps you get it through the small amount of counters they will have. Bring the Ending will help you resolve the more crucial spells like Vivisurgeon’s Insight and the Poison Enablers.
VS BW Midrange
I wouldn't change the configuration. The flexible slot in the maindeck Serrated Arrows, you could swap for an Anoint with Affliction if you'd like, but in the grand scheme of things I doubt it really changes much.
Alternative Card Choices
These are some of the cards that players have been using and playing prior to Renaar's success with the deck. All have various positives and negatives. Additionally, some of these are sideboard strategies and others have integrated into various maindecks.
Swirling Sandstorm is a card that has sneaked its way in and out of the list, from maindeck copies to the sideboard. Card is great at helping one of your weakest Match ups, Walls. Also having access to a big Wrath effect helps alleviate the pressure from creature decks.
Energy Refractor helps filter the mana you have access to. Especially converting Everflowing Chalice colorless mana to colored is rather useful. However, you don't make as much mana as tron, so overall I'm not a big fan of this inclusion.
Steady Progress is another Proliferate spell you have access to. Costing 3 mana is really awkward for the deck as you may have seen with Infectious Inquiry. However, the upside of Inquiry being a poison enabler is worth a lot more than a more expensive Contentious Plan.
Virulent Wound seems like a really solid sideboard choice. It is great as another poison enabler against Faeries and other decks like Elves.
Mystical Teachings is another way to gain card advantage similar to Deep Analysis, but it allows you to get specific cards like Experimental Augury and Prologue to Phyresis. So gives you access to extra proliferate and poison enablers. A solid card choice and if the metagame slows down is definitely worth considering.
As you can see by the gameplay of the deck and the article, the Decklist is very unique and a fun way to play the game!
I really hope you all give this a try, especially if the metagame you are versing is full of midrange, as those matches are just so free!
Until next time. Happy Poisoning!