Black/red vs needleburn

by wickeddarkman on 14 March 2023

Main Deck (60 cards)

Sideboard (0 cards)

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The owner of this deck hasn't added a sideboard, they probably should...

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Deck Description

The deck listed in the maindeck is a pauperdeck that, piloted by someone named kilde, got a 5-0 at pauperleague 01/03/2023.

If you look at it and feel a sense of deja vu, there are two possible causes. First it's an older list which has been modified a bit through the 11 creatures and it has gone 5-0 a number of times by different pilots.

The second cause is because it's the fourth time that I list it. This is done in connection with several builds of halfdecks (think of them as pro versions of jumpstart)

I got 4 halfdecks that can be combined in 5 ways and one prospect of the project is that they are being evolved by evolution and I use pauper cards that are legal in premodern.

The time has come to see how far evolution has taken the project which is why I'm starting to test against actual pauper decks.

In the first post I reported how the two halfdecks "blue" and "black" works together, and the answer is "not really well"

Part of the whole process is that I always face my testdeck opponent with my hand revealed all the time, so he knows exactly what I'm holding, which makes games extremely tough. This is done because some players out there are extraordinary good at reading you and thus know when you're holding on to something. Testing against such an opponent all of the time breeds extra resilience into the project.

So far two of the halves are generation 3 (black and red) while the two others (green and blue are generation 2)

So when blue and black got coupled together and only won 3 out of 20 games part of the reasons for the low result is the "omniscience" of the opponent as well as the whole thing being tested prematurely.

Blue and red had much longer games, but worse results as it only won 2 out of 20 games.

Blue and green were the third couple and have been having the worst score so far, winning just 1 out 20 games. This is likely because both halves are generation 2.

Red and gruul got played a little premature to help me work faster. The results were that it won 2 out of 20 games which places it in the middle range of all these bleak results.

The best has been saved for last. The red and black halfdecks are the most evolved (each is generation 3) and were coevolved so they are complimenting each other a lot more than the other halves. Will I win a lot? Go ahead and read...

10 games where I start playing first.

Game 1:
My opening hand contains brush with death, so I decide to take things as slow as possible to get to 7 mana and stall the game. A few turns later I draw into fountain of youth, and by gaining life from that, I manage to get to 7 mana. Slowly I get to 9 mana and gain 3 life each turn from there. I win.

Game 2:
My opening hand looks nice, burn and discard. Unfortunately there is no swamp and the rest of this game I don't draw any. I lose.

Game 3:
The game drags out thanks to two mesmeric fiend. I never get to 2 swamps so I'm stuck with a vicious hunger in the hand. I lose.

Game 4:
I start with a brush with death in the opening hand and try to take it slow. This time my removal fails and I die too fast to even cast the damn spell in panic mode. I lose.

Game 5:
I mulligan twice and despite getting 5 good cards my opponents card advantage is too great. I lose.

Game 6:
A good start. Duress and innocent blood in the opening hand. From there I only draw swamps and die to the burn. I lose.

Game 7:
Really long game due to rancid earth and befoul. This couple is even better at land destruction than the gruul/red couple. I lose.

Game 8:
I get that sweet fountain of youth on my first turn, but get no black mana so I don't get to cast enough removal. I lose.

Game 9:
Defences too slow. I lose.

Game 10:
Overwhelmed by bolts. I lose.

despite having 3 different cards that give life, and 3 landdestruction spells that can mess with a 1 land hand I've had no luck at starting the game except for that first game. I'll place my hope in letting the opponent start the game.

10 games where the opponent starts.

Game 1:
Short. Hectic. I lose.

Game 2:
Stalls the game a bit, but I lose.

Game 3:
Good amount of stall, so I draw into fountain of youth. I get to the point where if the opponent bolts I lose and if they don't I'll get too much ahead in life. I lose.

Game 4:
Fountain of youth and brush with death in the opening hand, but I never get to having three mana so I can't get ahead enough in life. I lose.

Game 5:
Up until now carrion feeder has been a card that my opponent has basically ignored, but in this game when our omniscience rule revealed an opening hand with it and both ghitu slinger and faceless butcher in my hand he considered killing it later. But when I also drew into a mesmeric fiend, he decided to just kill it. And in the last moment too as I was about to hit his only land with rancid earth. The game drags out but I lose.

Game 6:
I only get a swamp. I got lots of bolts. I lose.

Game 7:
Brush with death in opening hand. During the course of this game I also draw vicious hunger, and rancid earth but lack a second swamp to cast them. I lose.

Game 8:
Frustratingly close. I needed one lifegaining card to lock down burn for a secure win. Or for burn to not draw a land. I lose.

Game 9:
Fast paced game. I lose.

Game 10:
I only draw red mana. I draw into brush with death but got no use for it.

As depressing as it is to admit, the flagship among my halfdeck couple is currently ill equipped to deal with burn.

Winning 2 out of 10 games is a slightly worse rate than my complete average against my 51 testdecks from the 2018 modern meta.

While I knew from the start that it was a bit early to test out the current product, part of this test had some other purposes.

I've frequently mentioned the fickleness of singletons, and within this experiment I've recorded a number of things related to that, but with a focus on fountain of youth.

I've basically run a 100 games, 50 on the draw and in the cases where the red halfdeck was part of the couple I've taking great care at mentioning if it was drawn during each of these games. That's a total of 60 games, so I've got a relatively good measure of how often fountain of youth was drawn as a singleton.

While writing this post I've discovered that we've overlooked a couple. We need to play against the black/blue couple too. That makes it a total of 120 games once were done. Quite a blunder.

Next up:
Will the blue/black couple tear burn apart???
Traditionally discard and counterspells are the bane of burn, but with the results we've gotten so far, it might be just as bad as all the other games. Place your bets people...

Deck at a Glance

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Mana Curve

Mana Symbol Occurrence


Card Legality

  • Not Legal in Standard
  • Not Legal in Modern
  • Legal in Vintage
  • Legal in Legacy

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