Kirblinx's MTGO Adventures + Sometimes Cube

I have some players that drag the games hard, even so hard that some people has said they will not come if they are on a schedule when the said drafters are present.
i fixed this issue by using a 50min clock, i'm surprised that people didn't mind it, just the opposite.

Maybe you should try that also to fix dan (. :) )

Eric Chan

Hyalopterous Lemure
Staff member
Yep, it's hard to 'make' people think and play faster, but in order to be respectful to everyone's time, I also implemented a round timer back when I drafted with Lucas's crew, because one player (who shall remain nameless) was about twice as slow as the rest of us. It does feel a little weird to have to time rounds in a super casual environment such as cube draft, but if you have four or five people consistently waiting on the same person, week in, week out, it's the most fair way to enforce a stricter time limit. Also, this way, you don't have to have any awkward or confrontational conversations with the slow player - everyone understands what a round timer is, and it applies to all your drafters equally.


Staff member
The only problem with Doomsday in my list is that it only really does anything with Laboratory Maniac. Since I don't really have anything else that can help you win from that point. Alfonzo also force drafted it and ended up with the same list:

Alfonzo_Bonzo's draft of Kirblinx's Wobbly Cube on 27/03/2016 from

So Doomsday relies a little too much on one other card. If you don't have it, you can't really use it. Lab Man still works with Sidisi and Mesmeric Orb, so it has more to of a reason to stay.
It gets even more nuts when you combine everything together:

tonight Matthew, I will mostly be casting laboratory maniac from

I think it makes for an interesting deck that you could see if the two peices fall into the right place (sort of like Spider Spawning in 3x INN that I am willing to leave it in for now. It only takes up one slot, which I don't really have any other desire to fill at this point anyway.

What people seem to be talking about most when they draft are the red token decks:

cstick's draft of Kirblinx's Wobbly Cube on 15/03/2016 from

CStick mentioned this deck was nuts. Alfonzo drafted one very similar and called it one dimensional. I would love to see how crushing one of these decks would be in practice, as I have yet to see one (I have too many drafters who like red and hate each other out). The deck looks nigh unbeatable in the early game and can even burst through with Bushwackers and Bombardment. I wouldn't even know what to change to neuter these decks, but I'm sure I'll figure it out when I see it in action.

Also, so glad I put CoCo in the cube. It just makes so many more interesting and viable decks. GW Little Humans is pretty sweet.

Thanks for all the drafts guys. I really appreciate it. I'm seeing more and more synergies/decks I didn't know my format was capable of.


Staff member
ANZAC Day Draft

In case you weren't aware, it is ANZAC day long weekend over here in Australia. Time to remember the good men who fought in wars for us. Think of it like Veteran's Day in the US. While we remember all those who had fallen, it is also a great time to get soem sweet cube action in...

So I was playing commander with a new group from FNM and I managed to convince them to do a cube draft the next day. I hastily threw some changes (I needed to take out Ambassador Laquatus, he does nothing :(), used the 20% randomization method I mentioned last time and we were off to the races! Some games took a little time, so I couldn't geteveryone three rounds that I would of liked, but I still got to see some cool decks be built and play with this glorious abomination:

Jamie's 'almost perfect' Sidisi deck

So I started with Laboratory Maniac and decided to go all in on that plan, I saw Doomsday in pack one assuming it would wheel, it didn't. So when Sidisi came around in pack 2 my goal was clear. Deck was awesome. Lotleth Troll and Abyssal Persecutor took down two games each by themselves. I forgot how great the Troll is. Turning it into a 5/4 regen on turn 3 is quite a quick clock.
I also had a great game against the Naya deck where I had to Living End, stack a pile of triggers, mill myself out (12 cards), cast a Man-'o-War to bounce my Abyssal Persecutor then hope he didn't topdeck a removal spell to kill my Lab Man. He didn't which was a big sigh of relief. Deck had so many angles to attack from that it was great to play.

Mitchell's Delverless Delver

This deck was interesting. The number of threats is so small that I am surprised he was able to win any games at all let alone no drop a match. This is the deck that Delver wants to go into, but he didn't get any. In the two games I saw he pretty much won off the back off Shu Yun and Grim Lavamancer. In fact, I think Lavamancer may have done the most damage out of anything else in this deck. Seems strange to be running 17 land in this deck too, could even go down to 15 maybe with all those cantrips. I don't know if there are any more counterspells in this cube, and it was nice for someone to pick some blue cards other than me for a change.

Matthew's Whipping Engine

Now this was a cool deck. Someone else finally decided to play a Tinker deck, although not the usual UR version that one would expect. The ability to Tinker up Whip of Erebos should not be understated. Jace, was pretty good in this deck too, constantly coming back with Whip and flashing back Tinker, he is definitely still a very strong card. Fitting the artifact shell with the aggressive black creatures was quite interesting, but the Bloodsoaked's did manage to apply a lot of pressure early so that Scuttles was pretty much GG when it hit play. Very impressed, would have loved to draft it myself.

Luke's Big Naya

This sort of feels like a naya control deck, just playing things to improve board presence, blowing up stuff until you hit your big drops. It seemed to work pretty well, although I think CoCo should probably be something else, as I don't think he has enough to hit. Maybe add an extra land just so you can hit all those 6+ drops. Nice to see Tajic make an appearance. He could hold the fort until some tokens came down to make him a threat. Still unsure if he has a place in the cube though.

You don't want to make Jayse angry

I've never seen so much ramp in a deck with nothing that costs more than 4. I feel like he would have run out of gas most games having no real sources of card advantage (except Courser of Kruphix). I'm also not sure if this is a deck that wants Ogre Battledriver or Young Pyromancer, but you have to go with what you have I guess. I don't know if I have enough support for this RG aggressive decks. I think RG wants to be midrange or Wildfire ramp. The last RG deck in the draft also did mediocre, so I might have to look into that.

Mariska's Ashiok, the Mindslaver

Two UB decks in one draft? Weird. This is a pretty atypical control list. I suppose when someone is hoovering up all the counterspells you have to find your interaction where you can. It had a decent air presence with removal to back it up, which seemed to be a good enough recipe for success. Lost to the UR deck, where she got mana-screwed and every single thing she cast got countered while Shu Yun beat down. Any single removal spell would have put her in a favourable position but just couldn't get there. Mandslaver as an interesting addition, but she got it off twice which was cool. Won her match against RG this way. Ashiok is still nuts, but allows these control builds to function that I don't think would otherwise if s/he wasn't in the cube.

Jazmin's Double Whack

Poor Jazmin. This was almost the same deck she drafted last time she drafted the cube and still couldn't get a win. She had some terrible luck against me by flooding and never really hitting any of the 1-drops on curve. The Rally the Ancestors was an obvious deck build error, as it doesn't nothing here (although it did get her a goblin from Rabblemaster I guess). The deck looks fine and if you cut the rally for another two drop it looks like it should be able to punch through hard nice and early, but it just never happened. Bad luck? Player error? I don't know. I wish I could draft one of these deck to try it out, but people keep passing me sweet blue cards that I feel obliged to take.

Luke's WB Humans

This is where the Rally should have ended up. It seems like the typical WB Human Aristocrat deck that seems to pop up now and again, which i like to see. I can't see anything wrong with the build and I didn't get to see any of his matches, so i don't know why he didn't win a match (lost to UR and RG) feel like the deck maybe wants a couple more one drops and I don't know if the Mind Stone is really needed either (and an Overgrown Tomb?). Same questions as before; Bad luck? Player error? Don't know. The deck Shane built last time seemed more wonky than this and he did pretty well. I like this archetype and don't want to touch it yet.

The Quick Hits:
  • Chandra, Pyromaster ultimated against me and only hit Collect Company. He went through his library 1.5 times to find his only two CMC <=3 creatures, which was moot at that point anyway, but was cool to watch.
  • Tinker -> Scuttling Doom Engine is still awesome, but flashbacking Tinker with Jace to kill your own Doom Engine for 6 damage to the dome, get Whip of Erebos out to bring it back next turn is pretty brutal.
  • Darkblast did so much work for me. I never thought much for the card until tonight. One game it kept Phyrexian Revoker off the field (it kept coming back with Academy Ruins) so that my Lotleth Troll could keep getting through (allowing it to regen). The other time was just dredging cards until I hit Scourge of Nel Toth so I could sacrifice Abyssal Persecutor to win the game.
  • Don't try and combo off with Laboratory Manic when you have Abyssal Persecutor on the field. I almost killed myself :oops:
  • I have never seen so many base blue decks, usually my playgroups avoid the colour like the plague. Red was the underdrafted colour this time, which I never thought I would see the day.
  • It was nice to see planeswalkers actually go around the table for a change. Kiora, the Crashing Wave was a second last pick, Ob Nixilis Reignited went past 6 people in the second pack. I also didn't get Tamiyo, which I only just noticed I had gotten EVERY draft previous to this one.
  • Obligatory Mesmeric Orb mention. I drafted the card (it wheeled) but wanted to be really creature heavy, so I left it in the board. Card is still sweet.


Staff member
Phil's B'Day Draft
So one of the LGS regulars decided to have a birthday shindig at his place. I brought my cube in case we had no idea what games to play. I decided to shuffle it up while a commander game was playing and people were arriving and everyone seemed keen to give it a whirl so I go an 8-man in. I felt a bit bad that the host didn't get to play. He decided to be Dave's offsider, helping with the draft and games as he hadn't played a game of magic in 5 years (apparently). Thanks for the hosting and feeding us all Phil. You the real MVP.

Shane Must Always Whip Onwards

Shane was our winner from last night, which is probably the first time he has ever won a draft. He has been playing GB Season's Past in standard recently which explains this grindy monstrosity. I feel it is a Nekrataal away from being perfect, but he did a good enough job anyway. He apparently never used pod which is interesting. Whip of Erebos was obscene as per usual, which makes me a little concerned, but it can live to draft another day as it is such a fun card to use, and create interesting game states but can be just so back breaking against the aggro decks.

Story of the night was in the finals against Chris he went all in on a turn 2 Lotleth Troll (discarding 4 creatures) and won two turns later. Such an underrated card.

Chris's You Will Do What I Want

Chris made it to the finals with this rage inducing deck (according to the people who played him). It looks like a typical Delver deck that really wanted a Young Pyromancer as it had way more permission than threats. The threats he did have beat down pretty hard though, he just had to hope that they survived. I think this is the first time that UR spells has actually come together and am happy it has the support to do well. Maybe I should cut down on the 2-mana counterspells so people don't get too frustrated :\

Matthew's Extremely Variable Tinker

So from Matthew's last draft where he went UB Tinker he was too enamored with the card and tried to do it again but this time picking up the white control cards. The problem was that someone was on the Goblin Welder plan and was stealing all the decent Tinker targets. He still had Sharding Sphinx and Phyrexian Metamorph, which were good enough targets. He managed to beat me twice by Tinkering turn 3 into the Sphinx :\
He lost to Shane, who out valued him with Master of the Wild Hunt and Whisperwood Elemental and his spot removal came too late.
A fun looking deck, one which could only really come from this cube :)

Jamie's Bloody Bombardment

I finally didn't have to draft blue! I even drafted Jeskai Ascendency, but everyone was taking the blue fixing so I couldn't play it. I did get a pile of fixing for this deck, which was awesome, although a tad problematic as an aggro deck doesn't want that many CIPT lands, but I managed. Not really much to say other than the deck was sweet, getting all the things you would want for a go wide strategy. I decided to eschew removal, which ended up being my downfall as I couldn't stop the turn 3 Sharding Sphinx. I thought I could outrace it but Lone Missionary + Restoration Angel really blunts aggressive decks. This was a deck that wanted Rally the Ancestors, but it was going around in the first pack before I figures out what game plan I was on. Also, I should mention that Mikaeus, the Lunarch + Abzan Falconer was nuts.

Dave's Big Reckoner Act

So Dave had Phil helping him with the draft, but he looked like he ended up in the newer player's 'big chunky creature' deck. I like seeing these decks, as while they may just seem goodstuffy, they play the honest creature game that some decks just can't deal with. He managed to get over the top of Jazmin, and had some close games against me and Chris. Having that many levelers in his deck made him have so much late game and was hard to know when he was out of gas. He never got the Reckoner Act combo off which was a little sad, but it was nice to see it show up in a deck. I feel if he was a more seasoned player, he probably could have beaten all of us with this deck.

Andrew's Welder Spy Network

Here is the Welder deck, that stole all the goodies from Mr. UW Tinker. It looks pretty solid he just played against the UR and UB control decks that stopped anything big he had. Which didn't leave him with much else to clean up. He even had the Mesmeric Orb in his SB, which made me both happy that the artifact deck got it, but sad that it didn't see play :(
I can't believe that there was 4 solidly blue decks and they all had decent curves and all the cards went to the right people. I feel this deck just wants more early creatures (Perilous Myr mostly) for it to help push it to the upper echelon. Deck and archetype are fine (even being partially hated out!), but variance and bad matchups happen.

Jazmin's Angry Feeder

Jazmin decided to go off the WR Human train for a second to go down the RB aggro path instead. This archetype is generally pretty good in the cube, but she had mana issues all night, and only learnt part way through the night that you can sacrifice your creatures after they block for value. She still beat me one game (Falkenrath Aristocrat is nuts) and had me on the ropes in the last game which I pulled myself out of thanks to Blood Artist. I think that she needed to pick up some of the RB fixing that would have alleviated half of the problems she had all night. Also this deck looks like it wants Cutthroat and Artist more than mine, but there was no way they were getting past me that draft.

Annie's Delve Delve Delve

Annie is still fairly new, but she likes playing control decks. The only problem with that is that when you are new, you never know the right times to counter or remove problems. She is also a little slow, which explains why there were two people who only played 2 rounds. This deck looks perfect. A lot of early drops, Thought Scours, all the delve cards, heck it even has Ashiok. I feel that if let's say Chris had the deck, he would have went undefeated. I guess that is just experience for you and you can't get any unless you keep playing and trying and learning from your mistakes.

Closing Thoughts
  • Experience seems to matter a lot. All the newer players ended up with losing records, which I guess is to be expected, even if they are picking archetypes they are used to playing.
  • The only exception was Shane, who has never won a draft in his life. I still don't understand how a deck with 2 pods in it never used them once and still win can happen, but cube is a magical place I guess.
  • Matthew suffered from fancy play syndrome (FPS) which allowed Shane to beat him in the first game and ultimately take the match. Don't succumb to FPS people, unless you are in a losing position. :p
  • All decks looked really solid. Super happy about that. Cube seems to be taking shape. No CoCo decks was intersting, as with double ups you expect them to show up somewhere, but with the two green decks being pod and ramp, I guess there was no room for them.
  • Worm Harvest and even Deathrite Shaman should probably be cut, mostly due to me not having fetches these cards are either never played or extremely mediocre. It feels weird giving new tools to GB after it won a draft (Lotleth Troll OP!) but the time has come.
  • Is Abbot of Keral Keep cheap yet? All these red spell decks make me so want to try him out.
  • People seem to really love the splicers. I think they are a tad below the power level of the cube, but if people keep wanting them and keep picking them, then who am I to argue? Maybe add more?


Ecstatic Orb
Closing Thoughts
  • Experience seems to matter a lot. All the newer players ended up with losing records, which I guess is to be expected, even if they are picking archetypes they are used to playing.
  • The only exception was Shane, who has never won a draft in his life. I still don't understand how a deck with 2 pods in it never used them once and still win can happen, but cube is a magical place I guess.
  • Matthew suffered from fancy play syndrome (FPS) which allowed Shane to beat him in the first game and ultimately take the match. Don't succumb to FPS people, unless you are in a losing position. :p
  • All decks looked really solid. Super happy about that. Cube seems to be taking shape. No CoCo decks was intersting, as with double ups you expect them to show up somewhere, but with the two green decks being pod and ramp, I guess there was no room for them.
  • Worm Harvest and even Deathrite Shaman should probably be cut, mostly due to me not having fetches these cards are either never played or extremely mediocre. It feels weird giving new tools to GB after it won a draft (Lotleth Troll OP!) but the time has come.
  • Is Abbot of Keral Keep cheap yet? All these red spell decks make me so want to try him out.
  • People seem to really love the splicers. I think they are a tad below the power level of the cube, but if people keep wanting them and keep picking them, then who am I to argue? Maybe add more?
Sweet report! Abbot is like $2,50 on CFB, that's cheap enough to try it out, right?


Staff member
Sweet report! Abbot is like $2,50 on CFB, that's cheap enough to try it out, right?

Yeah, that seems reasonable. Must be plummeting due to rotation. I'll throw a couple on my Pucatrade wants and if they haven't come by the time I want to do another big order for commander/standard I will remember to throw them in.

Question about the potential change in GB cards. Would The Gitrog Monster be alright in a cube without fetchlands? I suppose I have a self mill theme so it could fit. Just a shame I would have to swap Worm Harvest out for it. They could be the bestest of buds.


Ecstatic Orb
Yeah, that seems reasonable. Must be plummeting due to rotation. I'll throw a couple on my Pucatrade wants and if they haven't come by the time I want to do another big order for commander/standard I will remember to throw them in.

Question about the potential change in GB cards. Would The Gitrog Monster be alright in a cube without fetchlands? I suppose I have a self mill theme so it could fit. Just a shame I would have to swap Worm Harvest out for it. They could be the bestest of buds.

Do you have cycle lands somewhere, main, basic land pile, or ULD? It's still a big monster for little mana, whereas Worm Harvest does nothing on its own.


Staff member
Long time no draft. Got to fire up one in preparation for Kaladesh and things seems to turn out alright. Control was the winner tonight. Took long enough to write up the deck lists that I will touch on them later.

Phil's Control for Daze

Daniel's Disco Inferno

The two undefeated decks of the night. Shows that control is solid if not good in this cube. I lost against both of these decks and they just seemed to have answers for everything I had. The UB one is the epitome of what control wants to be. The RB one was a bit more all over the place but still had the right pieces of speedbumps and removal to get to the big game ending threats. Crater Hellion and Dragonlord Silumgar were shutting down games all night.

Matthew's Rally that Scuttles

Matthew has gone tinker the past two times and while he was going into a WB Rally deck the pieces went by him and he couldn't help himself. Played like an aggro deck with a combo finish. One game were I played against him we hit a board stall and Scuttling Doom Engine got sacrificed to an Aristocrat and rallied back to be sacced again for the 12 points needed to kill me :\
Still not entirely sure if Rally has a place in the cube, but the deck managed to put it to an alright use.

Jamie's GR Aggro Pod deck

I went with something a bit different. My draft went a bit weird drafting green midrangey things until I saw the bonesplitters coming around then tried to go aggro, but still ended up with too high of a top end. Should have played my Domri Rade instead of a 7-drop but oh well. Deck was solid enough, just suffered from flooding out and having little to no sources of card advantage. Delve creatures and pod make for some exciting early 7-drops I must admit.

Jake likes the big red

Jazmin's Abundant 2-Drops

These two decks tried to go aggro and impulsed on specific CMCs. The RB deck has an abnormal amount of 4 drops, which is interesting. It was pretty much mono red splashing some fancy big black cards. Probably would have been better going more mono red. The other deck was a cool looking Return From the Ranks deck. I've never seen so many 2 drops. I got to play with this deck once and it was pretty fun and had some cool lines. The fixing could have been better and another sac outlet would have been sweet but the esper rally deck stole some of those value cards. Nice to see that two of the same sort of deck can exist (WB 2-drop recursion) and not be completely hating each other out.

Micheal's 4C No Lab-Man

Now this looks like the kind of pile I would usually draft. A self-mill deck filled with Mesmeric Orb, value dudes and combo finish (Living Death). Pretty much every game he lost was to milling himself out. This deck desperately wanted Laboratory Maniac (I even think he drafted the Doomsday) and could have been perfect if it had it. As it was it was just a glorious midrange pile that produced some great laughs and stories throughout the night.

Chris's 'Where's the Second Company?'

Kristie Can't Tempo

These two were too busy watching the football on in the background to pay too much attention to what was going on. Chris's deck looks pretty strong,just that he only played against the UB control deck, which was heavily favoured anyway. If he played the other decks he would have done better.
Kristie was here for a laugh and to enjoy herself, so she didn't take anything too seriously. Looks like a UW tempo deck, but with all the control finishers. I feel like it wanted a wrath or two to stabilise then the Walkers and 6 drops would have been able to take over the game. This was just a new person picking the best cards they saw rather than building a cohesive gameplan. A few more drafts and I think she'll start making some sweet decks.

Quick Hits
  • Drafting with 9 people was weird (didn't want to leave anyone out). Decided to to a pack of 14 then two packs of 13. Seemed to work out alright, will hope for an even number of people next time.
  • Made a couple of quick changes to the cube before the draft, going back to double Champion of the Parish and cutting Worm Harvest for The Gitrog Monster. Champion seems to be the right move. Gitrog didn't show up, see if he gets picked next time.
  • When using Jazmin's deck (after she left), I decided to go all-in on a Lotleth Troll, only to be Path to Exiled straight away. I have now learnt my lesson :oops:
  • Black was the colour of the night, where I required more swamps than I had in the BLB. I think that is the second draft in a row where that has happened. Not sure what to take from that.
  • The amount of 2-drops present in everyones decks was quite obscene. I don't know if that is how I designed my cube to be, but I sort of like it that way. Things at 2 can do so many things and support nearly every archetype. I'll try not to shift the CMC's around too much, as they add for interesting tension with tap and bounce lands.
  • Mesmeric Orb appears (and not in my deck!) and produces a pile of memorable games (not winning games though). By the end of the night Michael the best way to use it is on turns 5+ when the opponent has tapped out. Getting that large mill that they weren't expecting then holding on is what makes it a win condition. All cubes need more orb.
  • After building that 540 contest cube entry I have seen the plus side of bigger cubes and will probably bloat this cube out a bit. Probably just up to 400 first then maybe up to 450 if I feel up to it.
Thanks for the read if you got to this point. After reading RBM's post about Splendid Reclamation in their blog (if you haven't seen it check it out, it is worth the read). I have been playing that card in standard and just loving it, and would love to put it in my new potentially bloated cube. I'll think of some sweet interactions for it and maybe post them here when I get some time.


Staff member
I wanted to write up something for my trip to GP Brisbane, but I have tried twice and lost it, so I just gave up. This is going to be a short little recap of what I want to remember from that trip.

I am always a fan of combo and tier 2-3 strategies, and while I have been playing Ad Nauseum in modern a lot I decided it was too well known for that GP and wanted to take something that would be less expected. That is what I did:

Nahiri Balance

The deck seemed like a decent meta choice, as I was expecting a lot of Tron, and with this many land denial sources it would work pretty well, as well as being good against GBx midrange strategies. Just hoping to not go up against tempo/control decks or quicker combo decks.

Played in a swiss trial to get some games in with the deck and try and get some byes.

Last Chance Trail
Round 1: vs BRW Madness (0-2)
This was a pretty cool brew, think of it like BR madness with lingering souls.
I lost due to an unkillable Bloodghast in game 1 and game 2 I got Lost Legacy'd on turn 3 making most of my hand useless and die to a pile of spirit tokens.

Round 2: vs Naya Landfall (2-0)
When you can sweep the board at instant speed it doesn't matter how many triggers your Steppe Lynx gets. Easy 2-0.

Round 3: vs Thopter Foundry (2-1)
These were pretty grindy games. It was hard when your sweeper doesn't hit artifacts. I lost the first game after he got his thopter + sword combo game 1. Game 2 + 3 I hit Leyline of the Void at the start both games and while it wasn't an easy victory, him not being able to combo off made it easier to grind out with Nahiri.

Round 4: vs Rw Burn (2-1)
Game 1 I get run over with a terrible hand. Game 2 I start with double leyline of sanctity and sweep away any creatures he plays. Game 3 I cast an early balance then hard cast Leyline to grind out the win with Nahiri.

So was feeling happy enough with my deck choice. It seemed to have a decent game against a variety of decks even though I didn't really play any T1 type decks.

GP Brisbane

Round 1: vs Affinity (2-1)
Game 1 there were too many ravagers and I couldn't sweep the nexus's away. Game 2 I balanced 3 times to stabilise everytime things got dicey and Nahiri won it for me.
Game 3: Turn 1 swamp, turn 2 border post, turn 3 2x spirit guide + borderpost + Cascade Spell = wrath + geddon + 2 discarded cards. He doesn't hit another land for quite some time and I draw Nahiri to win.

Round 2: vs Grixis Delver (2-0)
Game 1 turn 3 Blood Moon locks him out of doing pretty much anything.
Game 2 I turn 3 Balance after he taps out for Tasigur and the Gargadon take it from there 4 turns later.

Round 3: vs Gw Tron (0-2)
Game 1 I hit a turn 3 Blood Moon, to slow him down. I balance with one counter left on Gargadon then decide to unsuspend to hit him in, except he Path to Exiles it, so what I should have done it unsuspend it in declare attackers to empty his pool. I then get Karn'ed a couple of turns later since I had used up all my gas.
Game 2 I do another early balance, but I should have cracked my fetch and failed to find to leave him with one less land, because the turn after he gets tron online to Karn me and I am gone.

Round 4: vs Abzan (2-0)
Game 1 play a balance, and he just rolls over.
Game 2 I mull to 5, get hit by Kataki, War's Wage, make the border posts keep paying for themselves until I can get a balance off with a gargadon and he scoops soon after.
I also managed to get a GRV in game 2 for trying to fetch with Blood Moon out :p

Round 5: vs Gb Tron (0-2)
I can't remember these games except for the fact I lost to Karn again both games :(

Round 6: vs Martyr Proc (1-2)
G1 I mull to 4 and see nothing relevent, he sees a marsh flats and sideboards incorrectly not knowing what I was on.
G2 I balance with Gargadon and learn to play around path this time.
G3 I get Surgical Extractioned after one balance and I keep trying to play threats while he is trying to play lands. Nahiri's get Celestial Purged Gargadon's get Pathed but I draw a couple of lingering souls in a row and beat him down to 9 before he wraths the board. I get another lingering souls and choose not to flash it back in case of another wrath but in doing so lose the game, as I draw a second Violent Outburst the next turn, and I could have used both to pump my spirits to lethal, instead he gets a Sun Titan and a Martyr and gets out of reach for me to deal with.

Round 7: vs Gb Tron (1-2)
I don't remember much of this one either. I won game 2 due to him having a bad draw but otherwise, Karn just beats me :(

At this point I am 3-4 and not really feeling it anymore due to pretty much every loss being Tron (which I was hoping with deck construction would be a good matchup) so I decide to drop and join the bounceback Modern and try and get some prize points.
I didn't write much of these matches, but I got to beat Death's Shadow Aggro but lost to Krark-Clan Ironworks, GR Ponza and Goryo's Vengeance.

That was the end of my modern games that weekend going a total of 7-8, which is pretty average to be honest, but the deck was fun to pilot and I had a lot of people scratching their heads, which is all I really wanted to do. Lingering Souls was surprisingly the MVP a lot of the time and should just put all 4 in main and put the Anger's in the SB. I don't really know how else to improve the deck. Could be interesting with As Foretold, but that would require a completely different build. Nahiri is a great win condition.

So I did a couple of single elim drafts waiting for the Chaos Sealed. I met a guy called Arthur that I was talking to on Friday at the trials. We kept making jabs at each other throughout the draft, and we met each other in the second round. I drafted a sweet 4 colour revolt deck and he had a RW vehicle deck. He kept bringing back his Consulate Dreadnaught and using sweet combat tricks to blow me out. It was quite the enjoyable game.
The next draft he appeared again (he lost in the finals) and more jabs were had. He lost in the first round to his son (who wasn't in the previous draft) so I had to get paired up against him and lose in the second round again.

Chaos Sealed

Chaos sealed is like the best format behind cube. The specs for this format were: 1 x MM2, 1 x EMA, 1 x standard pack, 3 x random packs. My unknowns ended up being: Eldritch Moon, Odyssey, Coldsnap and Conspiracy 2.
I felt I had a decent pile, my green was strong enough to partner with either white or black to get some removal. I decided to splash for both. The first round I lose game 1 due to flood then game 2 to Dimir Signet, Turn 3 Juggernaut, Turn 4 Flowstone Crusher, Turn 5 Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind, followed by 2 Deep Analysis.

I was set aback, my deck was alright, but nothing that spectacular. So I decide to see if I can change my deck to something better (it was just a casual format anyway) and found there was a card I dismissed at first as I thought it couldn't be played. I asked a judge and knew what I had to do:

Chaos Realm

As you can see, this deck is absolutely nuts. Just jam every piece of removal I have into a deck with any other decent card and go to town. I had a trick of losing the die roll and letting the opponent go first, then revealing my conspiracy, as you REALLY want to be on the draw with this conspiracy. This deck just landed one threat and rode it to victory behind a mass of removal.

One of my opponents had one of the sickest GB graveyard decks, had so many funky interactions between threshold, delirium and flashback being in so many of those random sets. Just couldn't out power my 100% gas deck. It shows that if you take out the randomness of drawing lands you can almost guarantee your win percentage will be faultless. I did not drop a game after switching to this build and going 3-1 gave me a substantial amount of prize points to accumulate a box of boosters (which I still have not opened).

Overall it was a good weekend, and while I am not too fond of constructed GPs, modern was fun. It was also showing that in Austral people just played what we wanted to play and the diversity was insane. Unlike the Death's Shadow decks pillaging the format like it is now.

Writing this has pumped me up for GP Sydney, which will be Team Sealed, which I don't believe we have gotten in Australia before. I am totally looking forward to it (and Chaos Sealed again :p), here's to hoping I can finally make day 2 one day!


Staff member
So I haven't really been around much, as my love for cube has waned. But that is with everything I guess, it will come back when one my locals build their own cube or just someone wants to play a lot of limited. But at this point my cube(s) are all partially disassembled to make commander decks, as that is what everyone at my LGS wants to seem to play. I am enjoying it (Ruhan is my man) and everyone seems to be having a great time, and that is what magic is all about.

But my real obsession (and Grillo's old folly) is pauper. I sort of dabbled in it when I started here to get an idea of what Grillo was going on about, and never really thought too much of it. I started playing it again a couple of months ago and finally found my niche:

Monarch Pestilence

I've been mucking around with deck for a while and am pretty happy as to where it is by now. I also seem to be the only one have success with this such variant, as I have 3 different league 5-0's to my name (with another 3 that wizards didn't post). It plays a nice grindy game of dropping terrible creatures to stall out until I can hit a Pestilence to clean up the board then drop a Palace Sentinels to get free card advantage until it drowns the opponent out.

It has a decent matchup across the board except against Tron, because you just can't beat their late game, and when these two decks play each other, you will always be going to the late game. I have only ever managed to beat tron twice, and that was due to timeouts due to inexperience :p

I am wondering if there is a low power cube format where the monarch mechanic could shine. It is quite a fun little subgame of trying to keep the crown in each match, making sure they have no creatures to attack in with, fogging at the right time, playing sentinel into next turn sentinel after they lose a creature to get the crown. At least in cube there are more monarch cards to choose from than the two we are stuck with in pauper (both of which are seeing play and are pretty sweet).

Hope whomever reads this got something interesting out of it. I'm not dead, just taking a riptide hiatus to take the pauper world by storm (or something...).


Staff member
What's monarch? I thought that was some kind of multiplayer thing.


While it is more of a multiplayer thing, to try and make people initiate combat, the fact they decided to unleash the following beauties on MtGO helped make some new archetypes for pauper:

So both of these guys allow you to have our own personal Howling Mine. You just need to mitigate the downside of not being hit. Because losing the crown without a backup plan is hard to come back from. I have lost many a crown (and game) to a flashed in Spellstutter Sprite I was hoping wouldn't exist.
There are several ways of making sure you can keep the crown for as long as possible to get the game out of the villians reach:
  • Make sure they have no creatures when you make the crown
  • Have a Prismatic Stands in hand or 'yard to stop the hit
  • Have another Palace Sentinels in hand to play the turn after you lose the crown
If you can be monarch for about ~4 turns you have generally drawn enough removal to lock them out of stealing the crown and from there it is just hoping you don't lose to a flurry of burn spells (Kuldotha Boros) or a Fling Atog (Affinity).
Guardian of the Guildpact + Pestilence is another cool lock that doesn't get the respect it deserves in pauper either. If they don't have an edict and you have a comfortable life total, none of their creatures will be able to live for very long.
One of the other tech plays I like is using a bounceland on the draw to discard a Prismatic Strands as being free there is much more useful than holding up 3 mana. You can do the same thing if you keep a full hand and play the Palace Sentinels to discard it with the monarch draw.


Staff member
Three Man Penny Fair
So I built my own version of the Penny Pincher 2.0 with the cards I had available.
I brought it to my LGS on a day they were trying new things and only two others showed. I decided to do a pancake draft between the two of them and it was a moderate success. They enjoyed it, but one of the decks was pretty mediocre.
One of them was a sweet GW Reanimator/Counter deck, while the other was a Grixis Madness control deck. It had the makings of a decent matchup, except for the fact that the grixis deck only drafted 2 madness enablers. They played 3 games and they all devolved intoShrine of Loyal Legions + Juniper Order Ranger pretty much running over the other player once their spot removal ran out.

The next week I decided to show up and try again. This time another different two showed up. I got a little tired just watching last time so I decided to make it a 3-man free for all draft. Here was the setup:
  • 5 packs of 15 cards each
  • Pick a card, burn a card
  • 7 cards per pack makes 35 cards total to build your deck
This seemed to work out. It did take a little while and every pack there was always an extra card someone had forgot to burn. Everyone enjoyed the tension and it made it really hard to figure out what everyone was on.
Here were the decks we ended up with:

Elvis's Braids Dredge

Elvis first picked Braids and somehow ended up in this dredge engine. I gifted him a last pick Lab Man as I wanted to see if it would be played and ended up being the whole focus of his deck. It was a nice and grindy deck for a multiplayer game and it was fun to see it in action. I have never seen someone draft more non-basics than myself. Was a bit light on creatures and the Voyager Staff seems a bit out of place, but I liked the look of it.

Sam's RG Madness Ramp

A couple of out of place cards; Inventor's Apprentice, Reckless Bushwhacker but I guess he wanted some ground fodder to survive for the late game, which isn't really needed in multiplayer. Since you can just politics of "I'm not doing anything, why are you hitting me!". Had the big things to be able to take over the multiplayer game, so I was expecting it to be a threat. I can't remember what his first pick was. I don't believe he played it.

Jamie's BWr Artifact Aggro

I first picked Ink-Eyes, picked a lot of red creatures afterwards, then shifted to blue, then finally moved to white since no one else was in it. I think the Oblivion Ring was the card that made me shift. I knew when I was done, that this was a decent deck, but as with most aggro decks, they aren't fantastic in multiplayer since trying to attack 2 people is much harder than 1. Would have been sweet to play in 1v1.

So that is what we drafted and we are all pretty happy with the draft and the decks we ended up with. Now it is a bit hard to do a play by play, as I can't remember all of it. I'll just give some dot points of things I remember.
Final turn of the game. Elvis is on 3, I am on 14. He has a 12/12 Swarm of Bloodflies, and casts Lab Man, Loaming Shaman and Borderland Ranger in one turn to try and have enough guys to survive my board of: Sin Prodder, Solemn Recruit, Bloodhall Priest, Glory-Bound Initiate. He decides to pass to hope I don't draw anything. I reveal land with the sin prodder (he bins it) and I get a Pyrite Spellbomb (my first artifact of the game) to kill the lab man and swing for lethal. He was dead even without the spellbomb due to the menace of Sin Prodder. But what we learnt after was that Elvis had missed lethal. He had a Dread Return in the 'yard and could have sacced all of his other creatures to give the Swarm enough power to finish me off.
It was a great game and it seems to be a decent cube to do multiplayer with. I will post any other games I get in the future.


How did you feel about the ink-eyes?

The multi-player games for this cube tend to be much longer than the other one. There is a lot of board complexity, and ways to recoup time/cards, so games tend to get very involved. That can be both a good thing and a bad thing, depending on the players, and how long they want to spend on each turn making decisions.


Staff member
How did you feel about the ink-eyes?

The multi-player games for this cube tend to be much longer than the other one. There is a lot of board complexity, and ways to recoup time/cards, so games tend to get very involved. That can be both a good thing and a bad thing, depending on the players, and how long they want to spend on each turn making decisions.

I really like Ink-Eyes. Was left over from the trasition of the old Penny cube and I couldn't cut her just yet. She always get's you value when you first Ninjustu, which mitigates the tempo loss of returning a creature. Then is a decently aggressive threat that is a little annoying thanks to the regen shields. I'm not actually entirely sure what card from your list I didn't include to leave her in (maybe Archfiend of Ifnir). I was pretty happy with what she did this game and will probably keep her around for a while.

Yeah, I was amazed at the amount of cards that had multiple uses and it seemed like everyone always had something they could do. Looking forward to doing more.


Staff member
Back on the Pauper trail again. I wanted to show what I have been up to over in those far away lands. I like to think I am making some headway and becoming a somewhat useful part of their community.

So first of all, they released some new cards when Iconic Masters was released (as well as the cards from Iconic Masters I guess), and this little beauty finally joined the online fray:

I really like this card, as it can return almost anything and is a decent clock in the air. So, instead of trying it in my favoured WB Monarch build, I decided to bring back an old favourite:

Acid Trip

Managed to go 5-0 with this slow grindy garbage pile. People used to make fun of this deck because it did nothing and took forever doing it. I wasn't aware of this, and it still does go really slow but the Squires did help increase the clock. In case you don't know how the deck works, you play a value game where once you hit 5 mana and have a Reality Acid you can start doing 5-mana vindicates per turn, while putting pressure on the field. I just had favourable matchups to get the 5-0. I tried another one later and went 3-2, then gave up, as I just wasn't enjoying the playstyle (I am all up for value but this deck just does nothing else but value).

I also forgot to mention that the main change in pauper since Iconic Masters was the introduction of Lead the Stampede. It has given elves the buff it needed to be even more of a pain than it was before. I was sick of losing to silly little green men. You know what stops elves? Sweepers. So I decided to go back to my favourite screaming fly-eaten face-man in Pestilence:

Orzhov Auramancer

This deck was way more in my wheelhouse. Complex decision trees. Recursive engines. Board sweepers. This is what I was after. I mainly built it with the Auramancer + Dead Weight engine idea in mind as the Squire is just like a bigger Auramancer. Font of Return is a given then, as it plus Auramancer leads to a great recursive engine that other midrange decks have issues with. Then threw in some Heliod's Pilgrims to find the Dead Weights. Then I threw in some tech 1-of aura's to search up along with some other 1-of enchantments to test out and off to the races I went.

I managed to 5-0 my first league with it, due to favourable matchups (burn, elves, etc.) and was really impressed. I also decided to play it in my first Pauper Challenge event. As it usually starts at 4am Monday for me, so I never can play due to sleep then work at 7am that morning. Since this one fell on New Years Day, I could finally give one a spin. I had a great run beating:
Round 1 Burn 2-1 - Lone Missionary does a lot of work here SB Strands, Duress and Standard Bearer make it much better than the 50/50 in game 1.
Round 2 UR Delver 2-0 - Pestilence gives them fits. If you can land Guardian of the Guildpact + Pestilence they are pretty much locked out (if you are ahead on life)
Round 3 UB Alchemy 2-0 - They don't have enough threats. Easy to grind them out. Just watch out for GY hate in game 2 + 3.
Round 4 Jeskai Familiars 2-1 - They don't interact, so you just need to get pestilence online and keep the familiars off the board. Graveyard hate helps a lot in this matchup. In this round in game 1 he spent 7 minutes combo killing me with Compulsive Research after he had the infinite mana combo. I did win the next two games, but I don't know how much of it was due to mistakes of rushing in those later games.
Round 5 Golgari Existence 0-2 - This matchup hurt, as he got his single Faerie Macabre in game 1 and made my Squire's and Auramancer's useless. Since he could keep bringing it back with Tortured Existence. The Stinkweed Imps mean I couldn't attack in the air either and I died to a Wild Mongrel. Game 2 I do nothing until turn 4 and get stuck on 4 lands for 3 turns only making medocre plays while everything he does just puts me further behind.
Round 6 Mono White Aggro 2-0 - Pretty straightforward, just stall until Pestilence, then sweep it all away. Got a bit tricky with Test of Faith and Cho-Manno's Blessing but managed to manouver around it. Guardian of the Guildpact another all star here. Blocks for days.
Round 7 UR Delver 1-2 - Mull no lands to a slow hand and turn 1 delver into ninja just put me too far behind. Game two I manage to resolve the Guardian + Pestilence lock. Game 3 I wobble around an early counterspell too long and get behind, I can pestilence, but he is the one with creatures, so I am just helping him race. A late Lone Missionary gets countered that was going to help me sweep a bit more, and I die to a lightning bolt and an Auger of Bolas that had been beating me down for 7 turns.

So at 5-2 I wasn't expecting to make top 8, but I managed to creep into 8th off of good breakers (mainly thanks to the Familiars guy, also going 5-2)
Top 8 Teachings Tron 2-0 - This guy went 7-0 and Tron is my worst matchup (by far) so when I saw him drop a tron piece turn 1 I was not very hopeful. After countering all my early plays, I managed to resolve a Palace Sentinels and the monarchy managed to give me enough fuel through all of his removal. He still hadn't gotten tron by turn 9 and was struggling for cards. I had resolved a Pestilence and my T1 Thraben Inspector had been chipping in enough that he conceded on 9 life when I could pestilence for 5 on both turns.

Game 2 I got an early Relic of Progenitus out and it stopped him from getting any sort of value going. I also managed to churn out Skyfishers on turns 3 and 4 and he was on a quick clock. Managed to get tron this time, but didn't manage to chain mulldrifters or teachings and just rolled over.
Top 4 Mono Black Control 1-2 - Game 1 I got mana screwed. Game 2 he got mana screwed. Game 3 came down to the grind, but I didn't manage to get my Font of Return while he was trying to dig for a lethal Grey Merchant. We just either drew land or removal, so nothing was staying on the board. My Pillory of the Sleepless almost got there on a Gurmag Angler, until he edicted himself on 5 life to make sure he didn't die. Two turns later he hits the merchant, while I only get lands. Was a great game though.

So I ended up with 50 Treasure Chests and 400 Play Points, which made it feel worth waking up at 4am. I am really happy with the deck, and will probably change some of the tuturable auras. The cartouche was pretty average whenever I drew it, and I never searched for it. The rest all have their application. Also, quick shout-out to this random card:

For when you need a Journey to Nowhere, tutorable with Heliod's Pilgrim and recurrable with Auramancer. There is still a little pause everytime I search for or cast the card, as no one seems to have ever seen it before. May even put in another for the Cartouche.

So I hope you enjoyed my little rant about pauper. It's a great format and it's a great detox after all those silly vintage cube matches where you lose out of nowhere :\

As a little bonus to Grillo, here is the deck I am currently playing/brewing as a bit of fun when I don't feel like the grind of Pestilence. Have gone 4-1 and 3-2 in leagues so far. Hoping to get a 5-0 one day.

Kuldotha Baubles



Staff member
I got the chance to do a 6-man draft with my variation on the Penny fair cube and it turned out pretty good. We did 4 packs of 15 cards and burnt the last 4 cards so we could see the whole cube. I felt this lead to some pretty streamlined decks.
The weirdest part was with the pairings, there wasn't a clear winner...
Here are the decklists:

Stephen's Aggro Mardu Baubles

I felt like this was the best deck of the night. I played against it in round two and it beat me in game 1 with the Salvaging Station/Pyrite Spellbomb lock and then just out aggroed me game 3 with Goblin Trenches. Could shift gears to controlly to aggro pretty easily and generally just played well. Only match lost was due to colour screw (black) which seemed a bit harsh since i think the fixing was decent. That is just how magic goes I guess.

Micheal's Bant Reanimator

Probably the spiciest deck (or maybe the next deck is). I don't know how he managed to do so well with so many 4-drops, but it seemed to work. I beat this deck round 1 as it was just a bit too slow, but he beat some of the grindier decks and I believe there was one game where he brought back a Masticore 3 times, so that was clearly his beat card. There was also some terrible grindy engine with Masticore + Genesis to keep cards in hand. I feel it was the card that held it all together and without it he may not have won a game :p

Rodney's 4-Colour Approach Aggro

This looks like what I would usually do, pick a lot of fixing and some spicy high cost cards and try and last until I get them. Wasn't expecting the aggro twist though. Won most of his games by beating early and using Ribbons to finish them off. Didn't have issues with colour which was cool, the game he lost was due to flooding out, and was 4 turns off the 2nd approach.

Jamie's Grixis Discard Aggro

This was my deck. I almost went RB trinkets until I was getting cut off and just decided to go full ham in the discard theme. The deck was sweet and just lost to Salvaging Station Lock and a surprise Ambush Viper (more on that later). Trade Routes + Drake Haven is just a great engine. MVP of the deck was Key to the City as having instant speed discard at no cost was so great. There was twice where I went Archfiend on turn 5 to sweep a team of x/1's that weren't expecting it.

Anton's Azorius Tempo

The only deck with no fixing. Was also the only 2 colour deck. Deck seemed well built enough. Has early drops to put on pressure and counterspells to stop anything too annoying afterwards. I think he had no real big top end to help push through. Definitely didn't have any issues drawing cards though.

Brad's Big Bant

This looks like the deck that stole the win conditions from Anton. Seems like the nice typical 'little kid' deck. Play beefy dudes and beat down. I don't think he had enough interaction to deal with some of the crazier things other people were doing, which may have been the downfall.

The last round of the night we just decided to have a one game wins the match, since the LGS wanted to shut up shop, so I got to see most of the games end all of which ended due to awkwardness of lands:
Myself v Brad
I played a turn 3 Ashling, the Pilgrim and was just pumping into it on turns 4 and 5, while Brad was developing his board. I ripped the untapped land on turn 6 to be able to blast Ashling off. So I decide to swing with it, since he only had Knight of the Reliquary untapped and the 5/5 Ashling could handle it. He then flashes in the Ambush Viper and I realise what I have done. I didn't play my land. So here I am with my boardsweeper disappearing along with my entire board presence because I didn't think a green deck would have a removal spell in combat. That is what I deserve I guess.

Rodney v Anton
The game had gone on a decent way. Anton had stabilised from Rodney's early pressure and was beating him down in the air. He was still stuck on 5 lands and Rodney was just flooding out. Anton decided to Champion of Wits to try and get another land, but doesn't. Passes turn, Rodney said screw it and tries to Ribbons for leathal and succeeds. Anton reveals his hand of Confirm Suspicions and Rewind which he would have able to cast if not for the champion or hitting a land drop. A little bit rough.

Stephen v Micheal
Stephen had burned through 2 baubles and about 5 draw steps trying to get a continual black source but just couldn't find any, while Micheal was able to stabilise with Pelakka Wurm and finish the game off with Sandwurm Convergence.

Some people said that there didn't seem to be any clear themes, but the fact that discard, reanimator, trinkets are all themes that exist but don't have a fixed two colour identity that people expect make them feel that the cube is all over the place. The fact that all the decks felt reletively focused and had some decent interplay between them is all I really want and it seems to excel in that area. I am thinking a little more interaction with artifacts/enchantments might be required, as being in red and not being able to deal with salvaging station was a bit annoying, but maybe that is the appeal of those cards (being hard to kill).

Also, the Karoo's (the original ones not the ravnica bouncelands) are terrible. No one wants to play them, and there is enough fixing I believe, so I am thinking of changing them to some more coloured cards.

Anyway, that is all I can think of at this time. Until the next draft!


Staff member
Got to do another 6-man draft with 3 of the same people. All the decks were different which was nice to see.
Here are the decklists:

Rodney's BW Artifact Aggro

I got to play against this deck in the finals and it just out aggro'd me. It had a nice clue engine, which made Syndicate Trafficker an absolute nightmare and made it have a nice grind at the end. A nice bit of removal sprinkled throughout made it pivot in many ways from aggro to midrange. Thalia's Lieutenant is a little loose with only what? 4 humans? Still seemed to work out alright. Also rather interesting is that is was the person who took as much fixing as they could last time and this time there is not a non-basic to be seen. Huh.

Jamie's UGb Spider Spawning

I started drafting some sort of aggro blue deck then shifted into this. It was weird, as the person on my right was also in UG. Deck was pretty solid, had a decent late game grind, and if I ever got to that point I would win. Didn't get to Lab Man at any point, as Cagebreakers and Spawning generally beat down before it was an issue. Needed more interaction, but that is where UG always struggles.

Stephen's BW Removal.dec

The second BW list of the night, which explains why Rodney had no BW fixing. Tries to land an early threat, then just remove everything else on sight. Solid game plan, only lost to me and my Algae Gharial. Also flooded a little in some games. Otherwise very solid with lots to do at every point in the curve (so many two for ones).

Dean's BR Control (1-2)

I really don't understand the green splash for a one drop, surely he had other things, but sure... The typical BR control deck that I usually draft, with the sacrifice theme thrown in, because apparently sweepers + death triggers = value. Half of his game wins were through Ribbons, which is a little concerning, but I feel the card needs to stay to give this deck a win condition, otherwise it just grinds and dies.

Aaron's RG Beserker (1-2)

Never seen a beserker deck in this cube before which was cool. He managed to do like 12+ damage in one burst swing a couple of times throughout the night which was cool to see. He played against the two removal heavy decks in the first two rounds and struggled to have any creatures in play to combo off. Maybe needed less of the madness support cards and just more creatures would be the ideal configuration. Interested to see if this appears again.

Nick's UG Wurm Ramp

The guy on my right, who was in the same colours I was. Where I went blue heavy and self-mill theme, he went green heavy ramp theme. It is nice to see that we didn't hurt each other too much. Although, reiterating the fact that UG doesn't have too much interaction so between the both of us we stretched it way too thin. He usually got a bit too far behind by the time he could drop one of his game swinging top end. I also wish I had the Bident, I think it would be better in my deck :p

At the beginning of this session I decided to take out the OG Karoos as they never saw any play. Decided to add some spice to the top end for each colour:

They all saw play except for Magmaw, which wouldn't have been out of place in the BR deck, if he had seen it. The only card that I want something better for is the the Channelers. It is alright, but isn't as splashy enough to grab people's attention. If anyone has any ideas then I would be glad to hear them.

Doing this like 2 weeks after the draft itself, so sick plays are a bit foggy. Just pretty much recording decklists for future reference.
Magmaw definitely seems the weakest of that cycle. It’s not a bad card, but it’s a workhorse level engine card while all of the others are all strong by themselves.


Staff member
2018 - The Year of Silence

So, I have always had trouble just putting pen to paper and even if I do, there is a rigorous amount of editing I do in the meantime because maybe I am a perfectionist? I don't know. I just know that I want to share my experiences but I when I do, the task becomes to arduous and I just leave it by the wayside.

I look back at what I did last year and I can see I posted all of the real life cube drafts I did (yes I only did the two), which is good, but I went to two GP's (one of which was in a different country) but I didn't talk about either of them, or any of my other random exploits on MTGO. Which I feel is a loss, as I would have some place to comeback and look at my own experience as some sort of catharsis to know that last year was a good year and things like that. I mean I could try and do mini write ups of my meanderings now, but I have probably forgotten all the nice little details that won't make it feel worth it.

This year I am going to try and post regularly and significant MTG related thing that happens to me. So pre-release writeups, both Australian GPs, cube drafts and any significant MTGO comps I enter.

They don't have to be long, they don't have to be in-depth. Just a nice overview with some decklists is more than enough. Also, it is the interactions with the people that need mentioning as games come and go but interactions can last forever.

I also want to do more with Type 4. As I just realised when I googled 'Type 4 MTG' by cubetutor list is the fourth result that comes up, so I want to be the most up to date with the format so if anyone wants to get into it, they can see a review of what cards from the newest set they should look out for. I do really like the format as a way to waste time inbetween rounds, and is one of the formats I have stuck with the longest. So I will post some Type 4 stuff here as well as my cubetutor page so it gets around.

But overall, last year was a good year. I did my first travel overseas, which now that I think about it seems to be the only real thing I did. I am not known as the most outgoing person in the world and just like my little corner of the world. Go to work everyday, chill on the weekends, grind FNM on Fridays, which is what I enjoy and while it was fun to experience a different culture I am happy to be back in my same old rut.

But since I got to start work late on Monday (new Year's Eve) I thought I could wake up at 4am and give the Pauper Challenge a crack again and see how well we go this time.

31/12/18 Pauper Challenge

So I went into this challenge assuming that each round would be roughly 40 minutes and be 6 rounds, so that would be 4 hours and I would get to work a bit after 8am (which is when I start) but had a little le-way as I let him leave an hour early last time so I could get in by 9am. Should be sweet as long as I don't top 8 right?

Also, going into this challenge UB Delver was starting to make waves. I think it took out 5 of the top 8 slots last week. This was all due to the new downshift of Foil to common, so what to bring to beat it? Who knows?!?
I just packed up ye old faithful and went to work:

WB Screaming Man

If you have any questions about the deck then fire away. It plays like a midrange deck, that plays efficient 2-for-1's with the only real sweeper in the format in the form of Pestilence for the real x-for-1. Enables you to lock your opponent out of creatures when you have a Guardian of the Guildpact on your side of the table.
The only real change I made to the deck to try and combat UB delver was to shift 1 Okiba-Gang Shinobi to the main, as they don't have many ways to kill it instant speed and can just completely wreck their game plan. I wanted to put a Unmake in the main as well, but I wanted to keep my creature removal to a minimum as I wanted a chance against Tron game 1 in which my only chance is the race them down with creatures.
So yeah, woke up at 4am ready to go, and just as we were about to start a sudden influx of people made it go over the 64 player threshold, so now there will be 7 rounds. Looks like I am going to be late for work...

Round 1: Bogles 2-0
Ah, hexproof. The bane of everyone's existence. I was pretty much dead on board game 1, except he gifted it to me by swinging with everything (15/15 Silhana Ledgewalker, 1/1 Warrior Token and Heliod's Pilgrim) when I was on 18. This let me trade with the token, then Dead Weight the Pilgrim and finally edict away the Ledgewalker. Call that a great escape. Turn 2 Standard Bearer in game 2 lead to a turn 3 concession. This guy also went 0-4 drop :\

Round 2: U Delver 0-2
Guy just had all the answers in both games. My hands were decent, but he just managed to always have the counterspell when it mattered. I think he used up all 4 in the first game when only seeing >20 cards. This matchup is usually decent, but when they draw good, there is nothing you can do.

Round 3: Stompy 1-0
I must have used too much removal the first game and he just didn't want to play anymore. Conceded the whole match after game one. This is the deck my deck preys upon the best, which is a shame that it isn't that prevalent anymore.

Round 4: UB Delver 1-2
I can't remember how I won the one game, but I remember the games I lost were to turn 1 delver flip then just protect it all the way to the end. Sometimes they gush into the foil and there is nothing you can do except sigh and move on.

Round 5: Mono Black Control 2-0
This matchup is all about hoping that they can't Gray Merchant more than once. Castigate was the easy MVP of this round, plucking Gary out of his hand. Also allowed me to see his hand to be able to sequence Guardian the turn before he would play a Thorn of the Black Rose to be able to Pestilence the next turn clearing his entire board and stealing the monarchy to completely lock him out of the game.

By this point it has hit 8:00am, so I was way off with my estimate. I ring work to tell them I will be late and hope to win the next round to get to 4-3 and solidify myself with top 32. The next round didn't start until 8:30 :\

Round 6: Boros Bully 2-0
Matchup is easy if you can find a Pestilence before they Rally the Peasants with a pile of flyers. Which I managed to do game 1. Game 2 was all about turn 2 and 3 Castigate cutting him off any action and just left with a pile of lands. I just piled in a pile of creatures after that and he conceded only a couple of turns later.

So I won that round in about 12 minutes, so I quickly drive off to work and tell my co-worker why I was late and he mentions that nothing has happened in the hour I was gone. So I casually mention if it would be fine if I go back to attempt to win some money and he says fine as long as he can leave early. Fair is fair I guess. So I actually do some work for 15 minutes then head back off.
I drive back to my house with the next round already been going for 2 minutes. Nice timing if I do say so myself.

Round 7: UB Delver 2-0
Ah, a chance for vengeance. Game 1 I rememebr having mana issues for most of the game, but I have managed to keep getting in chip damage and them keep paying life for spells. I then have to slam a pestilence to try and outrace an angler if I can find a untapped black source off the top. Which I manage. Game 2 had a nice board stall where I send in a Aven Riftwatcher with one time counter into a 2/2 Stormbound Geist and flipped Delver. I don't know what trick he was expecting (I was expecting a block from the geist to be able to punch through my Kor Skyfisher on defence) but he lets it through and I ninja him and his hand of delver and daze go to the bin and it gives me the freedom to dump whatever I want from there on and he gets Pestilence locked out.

So with that I ended up in 15th at 5-2, which is pretty respectable and the same record that I took this deck last public holiday (September 30th). I really do like this deck. Barely anyone else plays it and I don't know why. It is a complete dog to tron but puts up a fight against everything else. I will make top 8 again. One day. But for now I will be content with my top 16 finishes.