Time for another installment for Pauper to Proper. And for this one I actually went backwards in thought pattern as I wanted to pauper out some sort of
Caw-Blade that was the DTB in Standard for the bulk of 2010 up to the time JTMS got banned in Standard for early 2011.
Anyway, obviously I have no mechanism such as Jace, the Mind Sculptor or Stoneforge Mystic to work with; but I can still put together a fairly decent build using the Caw-Gear/Blade engine and some other ways to fetch out some gear/blades as well
as some ways to manipulate my deck or the opponents like JTMS did so well
Anyway, here is where I am at, and after the deck view I will do a run down on the cards and how they are supposed to work, etc.
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I want about 12-16 decent creatures to give me board presence while still leaving me room for other items.
* 4 x Squadron Hawk: He is the name-sake of the deck; evasion with flying, the ability to search out his brethren, and he is a cheap common that casts for a decent
* 3 x Trinket Mage: awesome search effect for 0-1 drop artifacts just like the Stonefroge Mystic does for larger cast artifacts. He does cost a little more than SFM, and has limits; but he is a digger and he should work.
* 3 x Mulldrifter: I always liked this guy in other pauper decks I faced as his card draw (even if only evoked out) give options, and if he actually lands on the board he is not useless by any means.
* 3 x Guardian of the Guildpact: Protection from mono-coloured, WHAT ! I love it. Yes he is tougher to cast at a 4 drop; but this is pauper where there are many fewer hybrid/gold cards in play so he could actually turn into a win condition in his own right.
* 1 x Flayer Husk: not exactly the greatest of creatures, but it is a
drop living weapon which means that I can dig for it with the T-Mage and if it dies it becomes a piece of useful equipment for others to benefit from.Artifacts
were next as the Trinket Mage can dig for them and they would be the gear that helps the creatures achieve their win condition of beating face while also preventing our death.
* 1 x Sylvok Lifestaff: One of the silliest and easiest ways to gain life in the Pauper format, I can dig for it with the T-Mages, and it is a gift that keeps on giving.
* 1 x Viridian Longbow: I can dig for it, it turns any creature into a "Tim" so you can really use it for crowd control when facing smaller enemy dudes, and it can slowly attrition out an enemy that you can't actually attack into.
* 1 x Bonesplitter: I can dig for it, it adds beef to any creatures power, and it is cheap to equip. I was thinking that three pieces of gear might be enough; but then I remembered one other item that I am very fond of.
* 1 x Accorder's Shield: Cast for free, I can dig for it, adds bulk to a creatures toughness but more importantly it grants vigilance and on some of my creatures that could be a bomb in itself. OK, it's not cheap to equip; but this is pauper so you can't always get everything in one package.Control Package
came next for me, as I won't have JTMS holding my back.
* 4 x Counterspell: One of the best control cards ever invented, a little tougher to cast at
; but it can handle almost any card in the game, and I will have to protect against certain cards of doom vs my small army.
* 3 x Mana Leak: A little easier to cast, but it's effect gets tougher to pull off as the game goes on, so I culled it to a 3-off. I also considered a host of other control cards and some will say that I should have at least 11 to get on in my opener; but I simply need some room for other things.
* 2 x Journey to Nowhere: controls some insane creature that gets past the other stuff. It's not fancy, it is cheap to cast, and I have lots of them.
* 3 x Capsize: Ok, it is not exactly control; but it can seal the enemies fate like very few other cards as it can be recurring and eventually it can even turn into a win condition on it's own.Things to help the engine run smoother
Serioulsy I don't have enough recursion to get always get what I need/want, so draw engines are a must.
* 4 x Brainstorm: I have lots of these and I love them, I also have plenty of ways to shuffle my deck if I need to rotate some lesser cards out of the way. For me, this was a no-brainer.
* 4 x Ponder: I could have just as eaily gone with Preordain in this slot, I had these in hand so in they went and you can pick whatever works for you. I do like having one more option to shuffle up the library though.
* 3 x Momentary Blink: I know this one might look weird to some; but blinking a Hawk will get you another, so no need to overfill you hand early. Blinking a Mage will get me more gear. oh, it also has flashback, so need I say more.Finally -- Land
I actually do this part first; but tweek my initial resources at the end of my deck construction. I have plenty of Diggers, Thinners, and ways to find mana, so 20 should be enough.
* 2 x Island and * 3 x Plains: basic lands and you sort of need them.
* 3 x Terramorphic Expanse: mana fixer.
* 2 x Ancient Den * 2 x Seat of the Synod: Artifacts so I can dig for them (blink)
* 4 x Cloudpost * 4 x Glimmerpost: icing on the cake as this is another engine that can be great for lifegain to buy me time to get to a win condition.
* 3 x Blue Elemental Blast -- vs Red and nothing more to say about it. Hydroblast would do the same thing.
* 3 x Benevolent Unicorn -- Helps to keep burn cards from wasting my dudes.
* 4 x Dust to Dust -- Affinity decks.
* 2 x Journey to Nowhere -- for when I need more removal, you know, those can't be countered idots creatures.
* 3 x Kor Sanctifiers -- Affinity and or Enchantments.Part 2
And I could go straight to the Legacy deck part; but I will divert to show how Caw-Blade actually didn't fall right out of the loop after the ban of Jace, the Mind Scuptor and Stoneforge Mystic. It actually remained as one of the top tier Standard decks up to today (12 Aug 2011 at least), and here is one deck to show how it worked (Deck Played by Marcello Calvetta. And Placed 1st in Nationals 2011 - Italy -- Although historically there are plenty of Caw-Blades placing top 8 in major events all over).
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So lets take a quick look at why this deck still works. It's actually pretty simple, Control into Evasion with plenty of Augmentation to get the job done more often.
Spellskite, Mana Leak, Spell Pierce, Into the Roil, and Dismember all offer up control in some way; thus buying the deck time to establish. Jace Beleren, Preordain, and Squardon Hawks all get you some card advantage. Inkmoth Nexus, Squadron Hawks, Mirran Crusader, Spellskite, Celestial Colonade, and Gideon Jura can all beat down, with Swords of Feast and Famine to Augment their attack while resetting the mana base, etc. His mana is super effecient and even the Tectonic Edge can stall an opponent off of particular items. Aside from that, the Sideboard really hits the current meta of Tempered Steel Decks, RDW's Decks, Birthing-Pod decks, etc. All in all I like the concept of this deck for standard play at present; eventhough I am not using it for myself (as I am building to beat it).Part 3
Proper Legacy Caw-Blade.
Again this is not my deck; although I am slowly getting so many of the parts together for other decks that I might as well
build something very close at some point to use for myself. This deck was Played by Tom Strong. And Placed 1st in Grand Prix Providence Trial @ Die Hard Games (May-2011)
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I do like this version of
Caw-Blade although I would tweek it slightly to fit my met a little better.
-2 Preordain +3 Mental Misstep (MB) +3 not +2 because I usually play 61 cards not 60
-1 Sword of Feast and Famine +1 Sword of Body and Mind (SB)
-1 Umezawa's Jitte +1 Llawan, Cephalid Empress (SB)
Anyway, you should have a relitively decent idea on how the
Caw-Balde mechanism works by now, and using whatever budget you have, find a deck that suits your style.
Cheers and thanks for reading this far (Any requests on other decks to cover, as I did this one for a friend).