Patriot Games

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Evil BUG and the common cold

So I get into the office this morning ready to post the blog first thing to find that my PC has malware on it and wont do anything.  Our IT support has to come into the office and system restore the thing to like last week.  When I finally get onto my PC I have a billion things to do and have only now got to the point where I can put the blog up.  Karma's a bitch - if you write a blog about Evil BUGs expect to catch a cold!

Well folks seem pretty interested in Monday’s blog – that might have more to do with the location of the Sheffield PTQ on November 17th than the content of my article though.  This weekend is GenCon in the states and the Magic world cup will be taking place.  Good luck from Patriot to the England team of Richard Bland, Marco Orsini Jones, Carrie Oliver and Manveer Samra, we are rooting for you guys!  The World Cup has standard, modern and block constructed as its formats and will no doubt highlight new decks and new ideas in this format with the release of M13.

Pick me, Pick me, Oh, Oh, Pick me!

No doubt standard will continue to be dominated by Delver of secrets, I find myself yawning just writing about it!  With the banning of Intangible Virtue and Lingering Souls the field should be more interesting there.  Modern seems pretty dynamic at the moment but modern Merfolk could well be a powerhouse with the new Master of the Pearl Trident.

Forward my minions, forward, kill the air breathers!

However this blog is not about the Magic World Cup but about my pauper deck list for Modern Pauper at FNM Relax on Friday 24th August 2012.  I have nicknamed this deck “Evil Bugs” as it is based around the evil Phyrexian infect mechanic and uses the colours Black-Blue-Green which is commonly known as BUG.  Without further ado here is the list:

Evil Bugs – Modern Pauper

4 Evolving wilds
2 Teramorphic expanse
7 Forests
5 Swamps
5 Islands
23 Lands

4 Rot Wolf
4 Glistner Elf
4 Blighted Agent
4 Blight widow
4 Ichorclaw Myr
20 Creatures

4 Virulent wound
4 Rancor
2 Doom blade
2 Distortion Strike
3 Ground Swell
2 Mutagenic Growth
17 Spells


4 Spell Pierce
2 Mutagenic Growth
2 Unsummon
4 Plague Stinger
2 Naturalise
1 Doom Blade

Magic is a game about resources and using them to their greatest efficiency.  Everything in the game is a resource be it your cards in play, cards in hand or even your life.  Infect has an instant effect on one of these resources – your life, as it effectively reduces your life total to 10.  Doing 10 damage quickly is easier than doing 20, while mill strategies try to do 60 damage in the same amount of time.

So I kill stuff and draw you cards, what more could you want?

Infect and Rancor is just wrong, your only chance against a fast infect deck is to block its creatures and give yourself enough time to build up board presence that your opponent cannot deal with as there creatures are over costed for their base stats.  Rancor means that your opponents can block but they are still taking those points of poison damage.

Be thankful that you only have 3 months of Rancor and infect in standard!

Virulent wound is a great removal spell early game as it not only kills your opponents small creatures it gives them a poison counter as well all for 1 black mana. 

My favourite infect card other than Phyrexian Crusader.

I played Glen Goldsworthy at GP London in 2011 and he attacked me with a 0/1 Blight Widow.  I had the win on the table the next turn and elected not to block only to find he had a mass of instant buff spells to play on his seemingly harmless spider and poisoned me to death.  The combination of distortion strike and Blighted agent both take away your opponents chance to block anyway.  The sideboard allows me to go a bit more control and deal with my opponents answers to my deadly horde.

Scared of spiders?  You will be...

The worst thing about this deck is its mana base.  Running 3 colours in this format is not easy, multi lands tend to be uncommon or rare cards, and the bounce lands from Ravnica come into play tapped which sets you back by a turn anyway.  Running 6 fetch lands should hopefully answer this and allow me to both maximise my mana base and trigger the landfall ability on Ground Swell at just the right moment.

Landfall - letting you get cool stuff just for playing lands.

So that’s it for this week, next week we will have a look at the action at the World Magic Cup, more details on the Sheffield PTQ in November and a look at my deck list for the pairing of myself and Mark Smith as we take on two headed giant.  This Friday it is standard at FNM Relax, look forward to seeing you there.


  1. Hey Richard, do you allow artifact lands in pauper? I realise maybe sets of them may be overpowered but would I be able to run 1 darksteel citadel?

    1. Hi Michael, legality wise we stick to the modern banned list so Vault of Whispers, Seat of the Synod, Tree of Tales and Ancient Den are all banned but darksteel citadel is fine. One of the guys played pauper affinity and did really well despite not having cranial plating in his deck.

    2. Oh and great furnace is also banned sorry missed that one...

  2. okay thanks, I'm making an artifact/equipment deck if I go next month. Though I think if I used cranial plating it would be overkill

    1. That's cool. Cranial Plating is fine, I think people may be packing a bit more artifact hate next time pauper comes round and if they don't its a win for you :-)