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 Post subject: Sol'kanar the Pauper King
AgePosted: 2012-Feb-29 8:27 pm 

Joined: 2010-Oct-10 12:03 pm
Age: Dragon
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Inspired by obsidiandice's Pauper Sivitri Scarzam thread, which I drew incredibly heavily from, I have created the following list for a colour combination I didn't previously run - Grixis. Unfortunately there are no common Grixis legends, so I ran with Sol'kanar - an old favourite.

The basic idea behind the list is to get ahead with card advantage while targeting specific threats. This deck doesn't have any board-wipe, so it needs to survive with pinpoint removal and judicious use of counters. I've only played one game yesterday but managed to beat Child of Alara simply by making it too hard to cast him. Child's friend was playing Kresh, and at one point asked "are you going to make an impact on the board or are you going to let the Pauper player make all the plays?"

Without further ado, here is the deck. Obviously many of the cards fit into more than one category, but I've tried to make some sense of them. Recommendations most welcome, and massive thanks to obsidiandice for posting the original decklist, which I have shamelessly drawn most of this from.

General
1 Sol'kanar the Swamp King

Creatures 11


Counterspells
- 10


Answers - 17


Artifacts - 10


Card filter/advantage - 10


Enchantments - 2


Lands - 39


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 Post subject: Re: Sol'kanar the Pauper King
AgePosted: 2012-Mar-01 8:09 am 
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Joined: 2010-Mar-15 2:19 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Denver, CO
First off, thanks for the complements to my Scarzam build. I'm glad to see someone else trying out pauper commander decks against the field.

I like a lot of what you'e done here, and Sol'Kanar is a classy dude. Looking over your list, here are a few thoughts:

I love Aftershock, and had absolutely no idea it was common. Sweet.

I recently cut Ninja of the Deep hours from my Scarzam build, and it seems even weaker in your deck. You've got very few creatures, and several of them can't attack or are usually being cycled/transmuted. I'd much rather run Scroll Thief or Ophidian in that slot. Similarly, I eventually found Aethersnipe an little overcosted to be useful.

Dimir Infiltrator is worth considering. Creatures with transmute are great because you can get them back with Death Denied or Grim Recovery for very little cost to transmute them again.

I'm not a big fan of Recoil. It's great if your opponent goes hellbent, but most of the time the discard just isn't enough upside to justify the card. I'd probably replace it with Echoing Truth, which is a tutorable option for taking out token swarms at instant speed. Grip of Amnesia isn't as good as it looks - the card never does what you want.

Crypt Rats may look silly, but it's a sweeper you can recur repeatedly. I would definitely find room for it. Forbidden Alchemy is another card that's too good to pass up.

Good luck with the deck!

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 Post subject: Re: Sol'kanar the Pauper King
AgePosted: 2012-Mar-01 11:42 am 

Joined: 2010-Oct-10 12:03 pm
Age: Dragon
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Hey, thanks for the reply. The first Pauper deck that got me interested was based on Child of Alara, but running a full-on Mythic as a commander seemed a bit gimped. Sol-kanar was probably one of the most efficient old-school rares, I'll admit, but compared to some of the powercreep that has happened in the last couple of years...

First, I'd just like to say that when I was costing up the deck online, three cards immediately stood out as being a bit expensive for what they are - clearly, they're used quite heavily in competitive pauper, and being from old sets they attract a bit of a premium.

1) Crypt Rats - I considered Pestilence instead, but decided enchantments were too hard to recur
2) Deep Analysis - mostly just covered with other draw. A pity, because this card is awesome.
3) Echoing Truth - no real replacement for this. Into the Roil has more replaced Repeal (which I kept far too much mana open for, just in case.)

As for Forbidden Alchemy - I honestly don't know how I missed it. I'm sure it was on the original list during planning, but believe I swapped it for Impulse which I cut due to $$$, and never replaced the Alchemy. I'll have a look at it and see what I can swap out.

I was looking at the ninja in the game I mentioned above, and you're right - the only time I could see myself using Ninjitsu would be to try and get Izzet Chronarch/Mulldrifter back in hand, but the chances of them going unblocked at any stage aren't good enough to rely on. I'm not sure Scroll Thief is the right answer though - it really does need more testing.

Recoil/Grip of Amnesia are both cards that appear great in the cornercase that doesn't really crop up, I'll admit. Again, more playtesting is required. My impression with Grip is that it is a hard-counter for spells that target the casters GY (of which there are many) and also commanders like Karador etc. It seems to be on par with Perplex, but doesn't have transmute. I'll keep it in for a bit, and see how it goes.


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 Post subject: Re: Sol'kanar the Pauper King
AgePosted: 2012-Mar-03 8:38 pm 

Joined: 2010-Oct-10 12:03 pm
Age: Dragon
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
OK, seeking some advice.

Does anyone have any experience using the Familiars (mostly thinking of Nightscape Familiar at this stage) at all? I like the fact that he can regenerate etc.

I've also got a copy of Icefall, but it requires a slightly heavier commitment to red in order to recover it. Does anyone have any thoughts? Given my low creature count I can imagine that it would be *reasonably* easy to manage this. If I add it, what should I cut?

I am probably going to put in Forbidden Alchemy for the Ninja. Ia

I'm also looking at Lost in the Mist as hard-counter/bounce instead of the Aethersnipe. It accomplishes the same, but I lose a hefty body. Of course, Sol'kanar is the only hefty body I *really* need.

I'm also considering cards like Rush of Knowledge and Anarchist, but I really need to playtest some more to see where the deck is weakest.

If anyone has any further suggestions or has some experience with some of these cards I'd love to hear from you.


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 Post subject: Re: Sol'kanar the Pauper King
AgePosted: 2012-Mar-07 8:30 pm 

Joined: 2010-Oct-10 12:03 pm
Age: Dragon
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Still looking for suggestions.

I cut one island for Library of Leng after having a couple of games with 1) way too much land and 2) so much draw that I was discarding down to 7 turn after turn. Another Trinket Mage target can't hurt.

Lost in the Mist is fantastic. In conjunction with Reality Acid it is a complete blowout, otherwise it is just a very useful counter that can take away an opponents tempo.

I'm enjoying Grip of Amnesia, but not than Recoil at this point - at least once I've been able to cast Perplex on a game-changer, only to follow up with Grip of Amnesia when they discard their hand. Are there any suitable replacements for Recoil? I might have to find an Echoing Truth, although I'd also consider Snap. Thoughts?

What I really, really need is a way to reshuffle my GY. The best I have is Put Away which does a single card, and it's not really practical to keep bouncing Mnemonic Wall to do my whole GY... if Elixir of Immortality was common it'd be in here in a flash. Is there anything out there that I've missed seeing?


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 Post subject: Re: Sol'kanar the Pauper King
AgePosted: 2012-Mar-08 12:22 pm 

Joined: 2012-Feb-09 11:15 am
Age: Hatchling
Feldon's Cane is the best option I can think of for graveyard shuffling in this style of deck. You might also consider using Quest for Ancient Secrets for the same purpose Albeit a slightly weaker card, as it requires buildup rather than just play -> use, and you can't Trinket Mage for it like you can the Cane.

As for the bounce options... I personally would go for Echoing Truth over Snap, just because of the ability to take out token swarms. Yes, Snap can be played essentially for free, but it's not quite as effective at keeping you alive against things like saprolings or goblins.


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 Post subject: Re: Sol'kanar the Pauper King
AgePosted: 2012-Mar-10 12:21 pm 
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Joined: 2011-Jul-10 6:57 am
Age: Wyvern
I run a Dakkon Blackblade pauper deck and in my experience Echoing Truth is an amazing card, especially since 3 of the people in my group run Storm Herd. I've also had great success with Wizard Mentor.

I'm also little surprised there is no Negate on your list, since it's probably one of the greatest common counters out there.

And as far as the familiars go, I like to include them in a deck if I can, and Nightscape Familiar is an amazing card. Probably the best of all the familiars.

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 Post subject: Re: Sol'kanar the Pauper King
AgePosted: 2012-Mar-10 4:47 pm 
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Joined: 2010-Mar-15 2:19 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Denver, CO
I like Rush of Knowledge much better than Train of Thought. ToT is at best 3-4 cards for 6-8 mana, and Rush can often draw that many or more cards for less cost with less color issues.

I had no idea those random commons were so expensive online. Amusing. I Seventh Edition and Visions probably weren't big sellers. Echoing Truth is sweet, but ultimately replaceable if you don't play against a lot of tokens. Crypt Rats are pretty important, though - your CMC 3 transmuters can find them instead of capsize, and they're one of your few outs to large numbers of creatures.

Negate is a fine counterspell. I'd easily run it over Grip of Amnesia, but there are other hard counters I might run first.

I could see the familiars if you were playing against other pauper decks, but against real decks I hate mana dorks. I don't want my mana sources to die every time there's a stiff Winds of Rath.

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 Post subject: Re: Sol'kanar the Pauper King
AgePosted: 2012-Mar-12 1:05 am 

Joined: 2010-Oct-10 12:03 pm
Age: Dragon
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
I take the point about Rush of Knowledge, so I've swapped it in for Train of Thought.

Echoing Truth has halved in price, so I picked one up and slotted it in. Can't remember what came out exactly, but I'll update my list fully in a day or two.

I do really want the Crypt Rats in there - I can see how useful it would be. Unfortunately, it costs about $3 online, and I'm trying not to spend any money on this game at the moment. Life from the Loam has shot up in price and mine isn't getting any use so I might trade it in. It should drop again once the latest Modern fad drops off.

Edit: I like Wizard Mentor - re-buying Chronarch or Mnemonic Wall sounds like a good deal. Likewise if I pick up a Crypt Rats - put damage on the stack, bounce... profit!

Feldon's Cane was indeed printed at common in Chronicles - good spotting. Playing pauper online has a slightly different cardpool (the cards have to have been released as common online to count for pauper), but I think I can be unfussy enough to get away with it. As a bonus, it tutors with Trinket Mage. Score!

Honestly, if Nightscape Familiar didn't have regenerate I wouldn't even consider it. Also, it betters most mana dorks in that it can work for multiple spells per round. Turning Cancel into Counterspell ain't too shabby. For a deck that needs all the mana it can get, I quite like it. The jury is still out as to whether 1) I want to spend a buck on or and 2) I can find a slot for it in the deck. Hmmm.

Edit: Echoing Truth just helped me blow out a Kemba deck, allowing Capzise/Shattering Pulse to do their job and keep me alive on 3 life for the win. It kinda helped that they topdecked land 8 turns in a row there...


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