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Tithe Weenie in Pauper


Jason Moore

Jason Moore

About Jason Moore

Jason Moore is 25 years old, and a resident of Los Angeles California. He began playing Magic seriously in 2010, and has developed a strong interest in MTGO and the Pauper format. He is one of the hosts of the podcast Pauper's Cage, and has covered Pauper on other websites and his YouTube page. His other interests include acting, writing and playing guitar.

Tithe Weenie in Pauper

Hello boys and girls!

I’m sure most of you have heard enough ranting about Oona's Grace from me for one season. It’s about time for us to switch gears and look at something a bit more straightforward, and certainly more aggressive. 

Today we’re going to look at the color white, and examine some cards that might be seeing an increase in Pauper “stock value” soon! This discussion will culminate with some video coverage of a new White Weenie brew, “Tithe Weenie!” 

White’s presence in Pauper is felt primarily through synergistic cards, namely things like Ethereal Armor, Kor Skyfisher and Sunscape Familiar. This means that Pauper decks utilizing white are typically two colors or more, for example Azorius and Boros Kitty, Esper Familiar Combo, Pauper Domain and Selesnya Hexproof. The at times elusive Mono White strategy does appear, however, namely in the form of White Weenie or some variation of Mono White Rebels (which tends to be quite obscure). 

With Journey Into Nyx just around the MTGO corner, I thought it would be a good idea to see if white can ostensibly gain or lose any of its appeal in the arena of Classic Pauper. Let’s begin by taking a look at our “Exhibit A” card!

Exhibit A: Auramancer

Auramancer is a card that already has strong applications within the realm of a format like Standard Pauper. This should surprise no one, as Archaeomancer and Gravedigger produce similar effects and have previously been (more or less) format-defining. With the game-changing Ethereal Armor and Hopeful Eidolon as critical targets and various other bestow options as value generators (they’re often a “card and a half”), this Core Set Grey Ogre is nearly ready for a Classic Pauper breakthrough. 

The full block’s worth of bestow and heroic bolsterers could easily provide a Classic Pauper home for our topical 2/2, but what perhaps interests me the most is her synergy with the Journey Into Nyx Font cycle. 

Now that is spicy! Have a look at this strategy, which I’m not sure whether to call “Esper Auramancer” or simply “Espermancer!” 

Jason Moore Esper Auramancer (05/07/2014)

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I’m not expecting this to have much game against the “go biggest” decks like UrzaTron, or difficult to disrupt combo like Esper Familiar, but there is a lot of potential value in this kind of a deck. Firstly, we’ve got Auramancers to get back pieces of removal like Dead Weight and Seal of Cleansing, which is already a robust means of playing an attrition game. 

Next we have Kor Skyfisher to not only re-buy Auramancer, but also to gain us life with Aven Riftwatcher and draw us additional cards thanks to Fate Foretold and Spreading Seas. I’m a little unsure of how powerful Fate Foretold will actually be, but I like that we can put it on Aven Riftwatchers that will inevitably hit the bin, and even Turn 2 Fate on their guy into Turn 3 Skyfisher bouncing Fate seems fine. 

The “big” portion of our endgame is Font of Return, which attritions nicely and gets us that (oh so satisfying) sense of inevitability. Font returning Auramancer, Aven Riftwatcher and Kor Skyfisher (Magical Christmasland?) is probably going to be tough for people to deal with! 

Patrician's Scorn
Future Sight (Foil)

Going back to the problematic UrzaTron decks, a sideboard plan involving the 3rd and 4th copy of Spreading Seas along with Contaminated Ground or Convincing Mirage might actually go a long way. Tron sideboard cards like Pyroblast and Ray of Revelation could easily put a damper on that approach, however. 

Exhibit B: Kor Sanctifiers and Patrician's Scorn

These guys might become more popular for some of the same reasons listed above, and it certainly doesn’t hurt that they help combat the Selesnya Hexproof deck. Another card that may prove worthy of testing out is Devout Witness, though I think it would require a graveyard-interactive shell to be at its best. Witness could very well become a sideboard option in the aforementioned Esper Auramancer list!

The value gained by playing Sanctifiers along with a card like Kor Skyfisher can be immense. Scorn, while alternately narrower, can be an unmitigated blowout if the timing is right. Because of Scorn’s “if you played a white spell this turn” clause, we’ll often be casting it on our turn despite it being an instant. This is okay though, since its effect is still considerably powerful. 

The following decklist contains not only Kor Sanctifiers, but also Kor Skyfisher and Patrician's Scorn. On top of all that, it just so happens to be the titular deck of our article!

Jason Moore Tithe Weenie (05/07/2014)

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I’ll admit it, it’s perfectly fine to just call this deck “White Weenie” if you like. I felt like the deliberate incorporation of Mana Tithe (for sniping the opponent’s plan of resolving a Counterspell, Gray Merchant of Asphodel or Mulldrifter), and Syndic of Tithes (for added reach and the potential to race attacking decks) warranted an honorary alternate deck name. This is a more experimental take on the White Weenie archetype, which features a rather controversial omission of Icatian Javelineers. I’ve been toying with Icatian-less lists for a while now, simply because I feel the matchups where he shines are perhaps already so favorable that we won’t need him anyway. Ultimately this could be a mistake, but you really never know until you try! 

You will hear quite a bit about this deck in the introductory video (located at the bottom of this article), but for now I’ll just say that this is one of many ways to currently build a White Weenie deck. 

The main differences between any White Weenie variants will naturally come about depending on what your goals are. What decks are you planning to face, and how are you planning to beat them? In the case of Tithe Weenie, there is a lot of added value and resiliency to removal (which can be a powerful way to go “over the top” of aggressive strategies, and potential outmuscle the permission and creature elimination spells of various controlling decks). This is apparent even in the land base, which utilizes a full set of Secluded Steppes and a singleton Haunted Fengraf. Four Guardian of the Guildpact is a pretty bold statement, and is a concession to many games going long (as opposed to us making an attempt to decisively end games early). 

Here are a couple of other routes I’ve been considering when it comes to White Weenie. 

As a blitz strategy meant to race some of the less interactive decks in the format, we have: 

Jason Moore Mono White Soldiers (05/07/2014)

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In this deck Veteran Armorer operates as a pretty important contingency against mass removal and large blockers. This is because so many of our threats naturally possess 1 toughness. I am a fan of Guardians’ Pledge, as it can lead to faster kills or combat blowouts. It could certainly be correct to play Squadron Hawk somewhere in the 75, but I like the other 2-drops for now (since even Unhallowed Cathar gets pumped by Veteran Swordsmith and keeps War Falcon attacking, and Raise the Alarm is going to put more power on the board that turn for the same cost as Hawk).

If you’d like to attempt a more evasion-centric plan (with creatures that can deal a lot of damage), perhaps this next decklist is the way to go. 

Jason Moore White Landfall (05/07/2014)

Converted Mana Cost
Basic Land15
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Steppe Lynx
Zendikar (Foil)

The goal with White Landfall is to pressure early with single and double Steppe Lynx draws, and use Boros Garrison (which can bounce itself every single turn if needed) and Kor Skyfisher to abuse landfall. This will power up Lynxes and our equipped fliers. I’m even playing Leonin Skyhunter here to beef up our evasive threat count (other potential options include Aven Riftwatcher and Soltari Trooper). Caravan Escort and Shade of Trokair each give us flexibility (both can be played on Turn 1) and something to do later on in the game, and it’s nice that they are mana sinks that can deal a lot of damage even without equipment. Holding everything together (hopefully) is Benevolent Bodyguard, who gets a big threat through blockers or keeps the enemy removal at bay. If that’s not enough, we also have six spot removal spells of our own to get pesky blockers off of the table. 

The last concept I’ve been toying with does not have a coherent list yet, but basically pigs out on undercosted beaters. It juggles both an artifact and soldiers theme, which allows us to play a creature suite that looks something like this:

Court Homunculus

Daring Skyjek

Doomed Traveler

Porcelain Legionnaire

War Falcon 

And about 8-12 more debatable creature slots (though I'd like to have 20 knights or soldiers present to be sure). Note how most of the creatures deal 2 damage for 1 mana or 3 damage for two mana. The manabase would probably hover around 20 lands, I'm guessing the following:

4x Ancient Den

4x Darksteel Citadel

12x Plains

Supporting artifacts would include Bonesplitter and a couple Origin Spellbomb.

White Washed

I hope you’ve enjoyed my musings on a very dynamic Classic Pauper color. Let me know what you think of the decks, particularly Tithe Weenie! As always, thanks for reading, and enjoy the videos!

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