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League Season 4
Status: ended
Play Testing
Find play testers and see the play test guantlet here

League of Paupers
Read about the decks that were played in the recent standard format league, and get top tips on how to succeed in the upcoming 100 card singleton league.
by John Mason, 10th September 2009

Hello, and welcome to the articles section of Common Sense clan forum. In case you don't know me, I am John Mason, I'm the captain of the CS2 section, and I am a very competitive Magic the Gathering player. Maybe like me you're short of free time but you don't find casual games a challenge. This is the niche the clan leagues fill, serious matches at a time that is convenient to you. The winner receives a modest prize and bragging rights.

So I have been playing in these leagues for a while now, and I'm doing OK, generally I win my entry fee back, and I thought I should share a few thoughts about my experiences.

My first lesson is to know your format. Take the alphabet league; I set out to win every game, and I built a deck that was based on a tried and tested formula which had good chances to win any matchup. I won 7 out of 8 matches. Result. Except I only finished fifth. What went wrong? I lost my one match to IzzetGuildmage who is a top player, who still only managed third place. So skill and good deck building were only part of what was required. The thing we both missed was the bonus point scheme. Wildman lost more than half his matches while racking up a bonus point on each match to become overall winner.

On to the standard league. This time I picked another strong deck, something that had done well in PDC, you may know it as Dominus deck Wins, and no surprise, it won loads of matches. However I had purchased a lot of the new cards in standard and never used them, and Sign in Blood begs to be paired with Putrid Leech. This deck doesn't seem to have emerged in any PDC tournaments yet, but my little bit of innovation turned up a winner in the CS league! Adding in some goodstuff removal, some reach, and the other best green card in standard, Wickerbough Elder and I had this little beauty.


In fact this deck does have some problems, namely the black version of DDW that makes Doom Blade a dead card, a curve that was too high, and some colour issues. My latest version trades the Juvenile Gloomwidow for Deadly Recluse, and Court Archers for the Borderland Rangers. I also threw in Raven's Crime for all the extra land. My biggest gamble is Scar maindeck instead of Doom Blade, as a very meta choice against all the 1 toughness creatures in black DDW. This deck always puts a smile on my face even when I'm losing.

That's it with the lessons then. Know your format. Innovate. Have fun.

The next league (da da dum)
Now the next league starts on 17th September, the format is 100 card singleton, and you want to get the inside dope to get ahead. First thing to know is you need 100 pauper cards, and everything is restricted to a single copy except basic land. If you never played before having every common card online available might be daunting. The last time we ran this the most successful decks used blue, black and white spells. Abusing bounce and creatures with come-into-play abilities proved to be a winning choice against both aggro and other controlling decks in this slow format.

But you don't want to use old decks, you want to innovate and have fun. You also realise that M10 rules have neutered the old combat trick decks, and furthermore a huge number of new hybrid mana cards have been released since then. Not least the transmute cards have been unbanned. I'm betting that a different kind of deck will prevail, maybe a mana ramp deck that wants to bash through early damage and finish with monster effects like Resounding Thunder and Kaervek's Torch.

Whatever your vision for this league you have a week to playtest, so I want to see you /join cs where Wildman and I will be there to help. Good luck, and enjoy yourself.

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