Report: Playing Kuldotha Burn into the Brazilian Pauper Nationals' Top 8

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Report: Playing Kuldotha Burn into the Brazilian Pauper Nationals' Top 8

11/15/22 Comment regular icon0 comments

Ricardo Mattana presents his Brazilian Pauper Nationals Top 8 Report in 2022. Here you will find information on deck choice, Metagame, a sideboard guide and much more!

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Introduction

For those who still don't know me, my name is Ricardo Mattana, I'm 36 years old, I'm a Magic: the Gathering content creator, and today I'm going to tell you how my Brazilian Pauper Nationals choice changed from “Between fish and snakes” to “Disco Inferno ”.

Tournament and Metagame Preparation

My preparation for Nationals started in mid-September, right after Dominaria Unitedlink outside website and the consequent arrival of Tolarian Terror to the format. It may sound corny, but it was love at first sight. Tolarian Terror has everything I like in a Magic card, and would help me revive one of the archetypes I'm most comfortable with: Blue Tempo decks.

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It didn't take long for me to try to build an updated version of the late Dimir Delver, betting on cantrips, removals, counters, Delver, Gurmag and now Tolarian Terror. Test from here, test from there, take a card, put a card... here I come across a version of the deck created by the Italians with 17 lands, running 8 duals, without Swamps, without Ash Barrens and counting on only 8 creatures: 4 Gurmag Angler and 4 Tolarian Terror. This version took the deck to another level. The manabase, at first strange, worked perfectly, as it prevented you from unintentionally milling the swamps of the deck and at the same time considerably decreased the odds of missing black mana. The use of more cantrips and especially the full set of Thought Scour and Mental Note allowed for a more aggressive stance and very explosive turns where at least three 5/5s came into play on the same turn. I quickly migrated to this version and started fine-tuning the list as the Metagame evolved. There were more than 100 matches with

Dimir Terror

in MTGO Pauper Leagues and use of the most varied cards in the main deck and sideboard. Those who follow me on Twitter can watch these tests closely and have come across cards like Rotten Reunion, Forbidden Alchemy, Cuombajj Witches, Evil Presence, Rancid Earth, Augur of Bolas, Stormbound Geist… I didn't want to miss anything. If it made any sense on the deck, I needed to test it out and draw my own conclusions. But as not everything is flowers, throughout these tests, I realized that the Metagame was increasingly learning to play

against the deck

and the lists became more than ready to face Dimir Terror. There were basically two types of answer against the archetype: lists that focused on serious hate, betting on cards like Relic of Progenitus, Nihil Spellbomb and Bojuka Bog, and lists that focused on effective removals against Gurmag and Tolarian Terror like Chainer's Edict, Diabolic Edict, Cast Down, Unholy Heat, Journey to Nowhere, Pyroblast and Destroy Evil.
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Even though I adapted the list and changed some game postures, I didn't feel 100% comfortable with it and I realized that I was not the only one, since the deck, after achieving excellent results, was declining, failing to achieve good results in tournaments such as the weekly MTGO Challenges and Paupergeddon, a tabletop tournament held in Italy, which was attended by more than 400 players. This situation sparked a red flag and made me start considering new options. It was at that moment that I started playing some Pauper Leagues from Mono Blue Faeries, Mono Blue Terror, until I came across

Kuldotha Burn

, a deck on the rise and which quickly reached the nickname of the best aggro in the format. For those who are used to seeing me playing with blue decks, it may seem strange to see me considering playing such an important aggro tournament. But my Magic story began long before Pauper, and aggro is one of the archetypes I'm most familiar with and that seemed to be a great option for a long and exhausting tournament like the Nationals.

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As difficult as it is to get out of your comfort zone, knowing when to switch decks is critical for anyone looking to achieve great results in competitive Magic. Playing with a pet deck is super fun, but big tournaments are meant to be won, and I would spare no effort to achieve this result.
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Unlike the traditional version, Kuldotha Burn is a deck capable of dealing very well with hates such as Hydroblast, Blue Elemental Blast and cards that gain life due to the presence of Experimental Synthesizer and Reckless Impulse, cards that generate value and are very efficient in making it keep the gas running. In addition, cards such as Kuldotha Rebirth, Goblin Bushwhacker and Kessig Flamebreather give new layers to Burn, making opponents have to adapt and, in addition to using traditional hates, they have to worrying about having sweepers and spot removals in post-side games making the opponent's sideboard decisions harder and giving greater consistency to the deck. From the moment I started to seriously consider playing the Nationals with Kuldotha Burn, I started to absorb all the existing content about it, I decided to play some Pauper Leagues to feel the list and understand some game postures and finally, I approached players who were grinding with the same deck to ask questions, define the sideboard plan and refine the last slots of the list that should be sent to the organizers on 11/09.

Brazilian Pauper Nationals Top 8 Decklist: Kuldotha Burn

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The list I ran at the Nationals is pretty standard and very close to the lists that have recently achieved good results in the Pauper competitive scenario, so I'm going to go into details only of the most unusual choices I made.
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As I imagined that Kuldotha Burn would be one of the two most played decks at the event, I really wanted access to 4 copies of End the Festivities in the 75. In this way, I kept the 3 traditional copies of the sideboard and changed 1 Chain Lightning from the main deck for the fourth copy of End the Festivities. With this choice, I gained an advantage in the mirror match in pre-sideboard matchups, in addition to having a very useful card against decks that are not so present in MTGO, but that I knew I could face there, like Elves, GW Auras, U/x and Boros Bully.
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On the Sideboard, I decided to keep only a single copy of Unholy Heat, as it is a card that often conflicts with Relic of Progenitus. The idea was for Unholy Heat to function as a fourth Pyroblast, to have more effective removals against Tolarian Terror on Games 2 and 3, as well as being another way to remove a Gurmag Angler or Myr Enforcer.
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The single copy of Smash to Smithereens would serve as a third Gorilla Shaman against Affinity, with the advantage of quickly removing a Blood Fountain or Myr Enforcer from play.

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Also, during training I identified that Smash to Smithereens could be a suitable option in the mirror match, destroying a Great Furnace in a key turn or simply destroying a Synthesizer in turns when the opponent was tapped out. The three damage dealt by Smash to Smithereens means that you can affect your opponent's board without having to be so defensive, as you keep reducing their life.

Sideboard Guide

Kuldotha Burn

IN
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OUT
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UW Caw Gates

IN
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OUT
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Dimir Terror

IN
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OUT
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Gruul Ponza

IN
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OUT
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Affinity

IN
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OUT
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Mono Blue Faeries

IN
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OUT
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Auras

IN
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OUT
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Boros Bully

IN
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OUT
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Dimir Faeries

IN
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OUT
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About the tournament

One of the greatest joys of participating in the Brazilian Nationals is being able to meet and reconnect with friends that we normally only have contact with over the internet. The community is super receptive and even if the result does not come out as expected, participating in the event is a guarantee of good laughs and moments that will remain in the memory forever. For me, as a content creator, it is always an honor and a pleasure to receive positive feedback from other players. Several people came to me to praise the channel's videos, commented that they follow me on Twitter and that they have already obtained positive results in other tournaments based on lists or insights that I shared on one of my social networks. This feedback from the community is very gratifying and motivates me to continue producing more and more. This year, the event was held at the Hokkaido Association of Culture and Assistance in the city of São Paulo. I thought the organization was pleased with the choice of venue, as unlike in recent years, the venue was spacious, airy and allowed players to focus exclusively on their respective matches without being affected by outside interference.

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I won't go into the smallest details of each match because my memory isn't that good. The event was attended by

188 players

, so it was

8 rounds

, making it an extremely long and tiring day. The Swiss couldn't have been better, I won the first six rounds, allowing me to ID in the last two, guaranteeing my presence in the top 8 undefeated.

Decks I faced each round + Info

Round 1 – Izzet Skred – 2x0 Round 2 – Kuldotha Burn – 2x1 Round 3 – Naya Slivers – 2x0 Round 4 – Elves – 2x0 Round 5 – Jeskai Ephemerate – 2x0 Round 6 – GW Auras – 2x0 Round 7 - ID Round 8 - ID The deck was running so well that I only lost a single game in the entire Swiss tournament. I didn't mulligan in any of the matches and managed to get a good read of each game, even though I didn't face most of the main decks in the Metagame. The top 8 was made up of 2 Boros Synthesizer, 2 Bogles, 1 Dimir Terror (who won the tournament), 1 Caw Gates, 1 Jeskai Ephemerate and myself with Kuldotha Burn. I finished in

third place in the Swiss

, knowing that I would face in the top 8 the same opponent of GW Auras, which I faced in round 6. The match against GW Auras is extremely difficult because Kuldotha Burn has no effective answer against Armadillo Cloak, it remains only to hope that the opponent doesn't draw the card or that you are in a very favorable position when he manages to enchant the creature. In the match we had in Swiss, I managed to come up with a pretty explosive hand in Game 1 and fit an End the Festivities on a Gladecover Scout enchanted with Rancor, which sealed the game. In game 2, my opponent started from Bogle on turn 1, and I came back with End the Festivities. Turn 2, he made a second Bogle, who took another End the Festivities. He went a few turns without finding a creature, giving me time to finish the game without major scares. For the top 8 match, I knew my opponent would take a different stance, playing around End the Festivities. In Game 1, he was able to quickly fit an Armadillo Cloak and Ancestral Mask onto a hexproof creature, quickly ending the game. In game 2 because I was on the play, I decided to surprise him and chose to enter with the 2 Molten Rains trying to mine their white mana sources and try to gain a little more time. I managed to place a Molten Rain on their Plains on turn 3, but they had more white sources on hand. They played Lifelink and Ethereal Armor on a Silhana already enchanted with Cartouche and, on the next turn, Ancestral Mask closed the game.

Conclusion

The dream of taking the National trophy was postponed, but I was thrilled with the result and with the choices I've made. Kuldotha Burn is one of the best decks right now, and has everything to continue being a great option with The Brothers' Warlink outside website in the format. I am looking forward to testing Goblin Blast-Runner and Dwarven Forge-Chanter in the list. I want to thank everyone who stayed in the crowd and followed the entire preparatory stage of the tournament, and for also for the numerous messages of affection from the community I've received in these past few days. Again, thank you very much!

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For those who still don't follow my work, you can find me on Twitterlink outside website. Thanks for reading!
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Ricardo Mattana

Ricardo, 34 years old, from Rio de Janeiro, resident in Barueri, graduated in Advertising and Marketing and had his first contact with Magic in 1999. He is currently a great Pauper enthusiast, admirer of historic common cards and passionate about Root Magic!

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