Time has come for some test games, my halfdeck project against ordinary pauper...
I basically use pauper cards legal in premodern, so in theory, if the meta is healthy, my project will fail.
There are some additional problems that my deck must overcome.
In order for my opponent to play decks that he usually doesn't play he gets to be omniscient, which means that I must play with an open hand. My opponent will know exactly what I have of resources which will make decisions much easier.
10 games where I start the game:
Despite knowing my hand my opponent overreacted to me having mana problems in order to push through before I got things set. He used up too many mountains at casting fireblast, and when I drew two swamps in a row I was suddenly able to landdestruct unexpectedly. During the early game I took out a monastery swiftspear and started bouncing his dwarven forge-chanter with Man-o'-War and repulse. The timing couldn't be more perfect as I managed to destroy a mountain, trapping the creature in his hand and I kill him slowly. My opponent promise to be more carefull with the lands now. I win.
I destroy any creature put into play and start to beat on my opponent. This time he plays a lot more careful, gambles on burning my face rather than my attackers, and despite that I gain some life through vicious hunger and brush with death I lose.
A bit boring. I destroy creatures, my opponent destroys my face. Sure there are nuances, but you won't need those. I lose.
Same thing again. I lose.
The game drags out thanks to counterspells, so 2 mesmeric fiend becomes containers for burn and starts a slow beatdown. I win.
Atypical game. My opponent has to use 2 chain lightning to break through a veiled serpent because he has 2 monastery swiftspear that wants to hit me. I lose.
Lots of burn to the face. I lose.
Really close game. I manage to get an ophidian in play an draw three cards from it, one was brush with death, prolonging the game for a turn. I was 1 turn from killing the opponent, but I lose.
I start out with duress and follow up with a veiled serpent. It takes my opponent a lot of resources to whittle me down and I start buy backing brush with death. The opponent topdecks. It was a matter of 1 life more or him drawing a land. I lose.
Early mesmeric fiend followed up by veiled serpent buys me some time. I get a foil and a viscous hunger in play and get betrayal on a creature of the opponents. But opponent topdecks a fireblast while having a second in the hand and 4 mountains in play. I lose.
I win 2 of these 10 games, but don't forget that I played with my hand revealed all of the time. At least 2 of the games were close enough that they could have gone my way.
Now we switch a little around. My opponent will still be omniscient, but he has to start which will give me a certain edge. You see my decks are designed by evolution under conditions where the opponent always start, but I never get to draw the 8th card. During the next 10 games I will have the advantage of drawing that card. My deck is evolved under conditions where I don't get to do that, so I'm getting 1 more card than I usually do.
10 games where the opponent start.
Things get complex, but I'm always 1 black mana from taking total control of the game, so I lose.
Again the game gets long and complex, but I lose.
Both of us get caught with a 1 land hand for a while, but my opponent gets the lucky draw first, so I lose.
Longest game so far. Ophidian served a more defensive role and I managed to wall up and draw three times with deep analysis, but in the end it only took one burn spell to get through. I lose.
During this game I draw 5 swamps but only one island before the turn that I die. I play with 11 islands. Anyways I lose.
I last a little longer this time due to an early mesmeric fiend and the threat of having a fade away in hand. It's rather annoying that burn is so good at playing around that when my opponent knows I have it. Oh, yeah and I lose.
Opponent mulligans twice, I foil turn 1 voldaren epicure, then mesmeric fiend a searing blaze and on my third turn I rancid earth a land away. My opponent gets totally trashed for that mulligan. I win.
Defeat. I lose.
I was constantly on the edge of turning the game around, needing just one more mana to start hoarding life via brush with death. I lose.
It certainly looks bleak on the scoreboard. I only won 3 out of 20 games, but I'd like to point out that the omniscience rule does give my friend the ability to know when to play around fade away in most cases. That said I still think that needleburn beats this couple on average, so I'm certainly counting it as a defeat rather than a success. That's one couple down and 4 more to play against.
A number of details during the game hinted that if evolution had possibly had a chance to develop the blue half into generation 3, it might have been just a little more resilient, but not enough for me to believe in an all out victory. Maybe when I hit generation 4.
On the opponent side both fireblast and searing blaze worked eminently, but skewer the critics and needle drop both encountered gaps where they were unplayable for a while, but there were part of the win in the end. Voldaren epicure was a lot better than I expected and my opponent reported that it sometimes got rid of excess lands most of the time.
Chainer's edict, diabolic edict and innocent blood all worked perfectly.
Duress and ostracize worked most of the time and each time they grabbed a card they prolonged the game a lot because I got time to set up defences.
The counterspells worked very well, and also bought me more time, and foil was perhaps the most efficient.
Deep analysis was not exactly in its ace because burn is really punishing when you flashback it, but in a number of games it got hardcast and drew the right stuff.
Fade away actually managed to wipe the board a couple of times when I drew it unexpectedly. In games where it started in my hand, the opponent just played around it.
Merchant scroll was nice even though I mostly fetched a foil, but three times I actually went with repulse.
Mesmeric fiend slowed the burn a lot, except the games where it drew into searing blaze, which gives me the impression that I did the right thing when choosing this particular burn. I have no doubt that my deck would have won a lot more if I'd faced a version without it, so I think I'll try that after I've played against needleburn with the other couples.
Veiled serpent was certainly of use as a defensive card, and the deck could have gained a second. I really missed having killer whale too.
based on these 20 games I think that the black/red couple will eat burn for breakfast. Combined they have much more removal and even more lifegain, and will be able to aggro more than the blue/black couple can which means the time bought by discard will not be wasted.
If you want a look at the blue/black deck or the black/red just go to my mainpage and click on the decktag: compleated
I've also updated the blue/red couple because it is the next to be tested against. I hope it is more successful than the blue/black couple.
For those who are interested in the needleburn above, the player was kilde, playing at pauper league 01/03/2023 getting a 5-0 result with it.