Pauper Tournament @ Fantasia (24/05/2023)

Last Wednesday night my LGS organised a small Pauper Tournament to let its customers have a nice evening playing with Commons!

I went with my Mono U Faeries deck to learn to play the deck better and to test the changes I made to it. I’m still playing the full playset of Saiba Cryptomancer, like the previous tournament of the Road to Pauypergeddon, and I did a small change to the sideboard, substituting Curse of Chains with Echoing Truth.
You can click here to see the list.

Again we were only six players but it is still nice to be able to test a deck even if the numbers aren’t big.
The tournament was composed of three Swiss rounds.

Match 1 vs Dimir Terror
Game 1
He has a strong start while I get stuck in too few lands to be able to fully respond to him. He casts Tolarian Terror and Gurmag Angler. I try to bounce the Terror with Snap and he answers with Unexpected Fangs on the Gurmag. I don’t have answers to this race and I concede to go to the post-sideboard games.
Game 2
In: 2 Relic of Progenitus, 1 Dispel, 1 Echoing Truth
Out: 4 Brinebarrow Intruder
He gets stuck at two lands and I’m able to start a nice race with my faeries. I don’t see Ninja and so I don’t draw too many cards. Still my race is pretty well set up and so I can freely let him play a Terror and I only need to counter Unexpected Fangs to be able to win.
Game 3
He mulligans down to five and I’m able to get in control of the game pretty early by setting up a race with my faeries and Ninjas. He is able to cast a protected Shrivel and so he ends up slowing down my race but I still have a Ninja of the Deep Hours that hits him and I clean his graveyard with a Relic of Progenitus, preventing him to cast Terrors or Anglers while also being open to protect them. I’m able to cast some more faeries and win the game.

1 win – 0 losses

Match 2 vs Mono U Faeries
Game 1
I entered in control of the game pretty quickly by basically nullifying his first Ninjutsu with Brinebarrow Intruder’s ETB. I set up my own Ninja race while countering his faeries or forcing him to trade them. I’m able to draw three Snap and I use them to continuously send his Ninja back to his hand and I win the race by keeping his board empty.
Game 2
In: 1 Echoing Truth, 1 Dispel
Out: 2 Spell Pierce

I get stuck at two lands and this is what makes me unable to answer his plays correctly. I try to resist but quickly he is able to overwhelm me thanks to the card advantage engine he is able to set up with Ninja and while keeping me from playing thanks to his counters.
Game 3
He tries to do the same trick I did on him during game 1 of nullifying a possible Ninja with Brinebarrow, but I was suspecting he was going to do something like this and so I decided to not use Ninjutsu and instead keep myself open. He still plays the Intruder on my endstep and I go for the counter with a Spellstutter Sprite. I’m then able to set up a race with my Spellstutter by also going over his own faeries by pumping her with the counter of Saiba Cryptomancer. I go wider and I force him to trade/chump block many times, getting ahead due to my better card draw. He isn’t able to stop me and I go exactly lethal with a Ninjutsu on one of my small faeries that gives me that one extra damage that I need.

2 wins – 0 losses

Match 3 vs Affinity
Game 1
I start a race pretty early and I’m able to keep control of the game by trying to keep his affinity count low and by preventing him from drawing more cards. This makes him find his big creatures only later on in the game and while I’m able to still go lethal by using Saiba Cryptomancer’s counters as a way to pump my creatures for the win.
Game 2
In: 4 Annul, 2 Steel Sabotage, 2 Blue Elemental Blast
Out: 4 Brinebarrow Intruders, 2 Spell Pierce, 2 Snap

I’m able to control the early turns of the game thanks to cheap counters like Annul and I’m able to set up a race that brings him quite lower before he is able to actually resolve a Fiery Cannonade that leaves me with only a Ninja of the Deep Hours that I was able to pump earlier with the counter of Saiba Cryptomancer. He tries to play two Myr Oppressors but I’m able to counter at least one. I feel strong with the Snap I have in my hand but I need to go lethal in one shot or else he would be able to replay the oppressor and stop me again. I play some more fairies and when he passes his turn I play a Spellstutter Sprite only to have one more damage on the board, without countering anything. He tries to shoot the Spellstutter with a Galvanic Blast before my turn but luckily he taps out to do it and I still have mana to play a Saiba Cryptomancer that protects my faerie and also gives her a +1/+1 counter.
I only need to snap the Oppressor to his hand to be able to connect with all my creatures and be exactly lethal.

3 wins – 0 losses

With this result, I ended up being first in the rankings, winning the small tournament.

I quite like the Cryptomancers and felt like they helped me so much during these games by protecting my creatures and making them bigger. Mutagenic Growth could have also made them bigger but the hexproof really saved my butt during the second game against affinity and the counter made me also put much more pressure than the one-use +2/+2 in the Faeries mirror.

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