blue/red vs needleburn

by wickeddarkman on 10 March 2023

Main Deck (60 cards)

Sideboard (0 cards)

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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 third 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.

This time the two halves tested are blue and gruul.
I'm not sure what to expect of it. There is no lifegain and both halves are the least developed and should theoretically be the worst couple.

10 games where I start playing first.

Game 1:
I get an early tinder wall and have veiled serpent in hand. The opponent gets no creatures so the serpent was used to cycle in the end of the game
I manage to counter 1 spell. I lose.

Game 2:
2 voldaren epicure smashes me too early. I counter 1 spell, burn the epicures but I lose.

Game 3:
Was forced to choose between casting howling wolf or to dig for counterspells several times. I lose.

Game 4:
Halted a voldaren epicure with betrayal, but a second starts hitting and there's too many bolts. I lose.

Game 5:
Long game where the opponent mostly draws creatures and lands, and because of this I manage to smash through with an army of howling wolf. I win.

Game 6:
Crappy game. I lose.

Game 7:
Good start, bad ending. I lose.

Game 8:
I got a lot of bounce and creatures in my opening hand, so when my opponent plays voldaren epicure I decided to try and see if it would be possible to bounce through, and the answer is yes, but still not fast enough when they got a ton of bolts. I lose.

Game 9:
Really close. Smashed the board with a new drawn fade away, played ophidian and then started building an army of wolves with squirrels as defence. Got the opponent down to 6 life before the final bolt got topped. I lose.

Game 10:
I draw into a fade away again and get veiled serpent in play as a defence. My opponent can only bolt me to death and does so at a glacial pace while I only draw defensive spells from there. I lose.

1 out of 10 games won. I've had an worse average than that against my 51 modern testdecks. It seems like this couple is good at handling the board defence, and that the deck gets close to winning when the opponent draws few bolts. More counterspells could be the easy solution.

10 games where the opponent starts.

Game 1:
Too many lands and too many high cost spells. I can't get an early defence. I lose.

Game 2:
Burn performs a turn 3 kill (3 monastery, 3 lands and 3 bolts) I got no blockers so I lose.

Game 3:
I defend early with choking tethers and repulse, but my howling wolf gets hit by searing blaze so the opponent wades through with pumped critters. I lose.

Game 4:
I bolt some aggression, counterspells twice, get cathodion as defence and draw with deep analysis. Lots of action but I lose.

Game 5:
I manage to counterspell twice and build up a massive army. The turn before I would kill my opponent I lose.

Game 6:
Complex game that I lose.

Game 7:
I play 2 lotus peta a forest and river boa as an early defence. This buys me more time but the opponent plays around my mana leak. I lose.

Game 8:
Manages to foil when the opponent tries to take out an ophidian, but the opponent has an extra bolt for it. I lose.

Game 9:
Turn 1 foil and an early ophidian makes this a long game where I manage to counterspell again. The turn before I would win, I lose.

Game 10:
Manages to counterspell lategame with a foil, but has problems setting up a defence. Too mana high cost spells. I lose.

The total becomes 1 win out of 20 games. Despite having a decent defense on the ground which can be used aggressively, the deck is sometimes too slow to have a real impact. It has the worst score which does fit my predictions as the two halves are the least evolved halfdecks, both being generation one where the other halfdecks are generation 3. All of the generation 3 have lifegain among their adaptations, which the two generation 2 halves lack.

The next set of 20 test games will be featuring the two generation 3 decks and it will be really interesting to see how far the black/red couple will get against needleburn.

One odd detail that bothers me...
When I evolve these decks, a part of the process is that the opponent always starts the game and that I never draw on my first turn. Logically when I play test games like these where I do get to draw on my first turn, I should be having an advantage that I don't have otherwise. However during the 60 games I've had this far, the games where my opponent starts haven't been the best of scores. I wonder why that draw doesn't seem to be giving me more wins. It's a little mystery...

In many ways I'm trying to breed aggro-control with as much synergy between all halves as possible. A lot of the games my responses are often depending on the first turn that my opponent makes, which should mean that my designs should be evolving towards a reactive playstyle, so when I lose most battles when I'm having the best chances of being reactive, then there is something odd going on.

I've known for a while that the project is developing goals of its own, and I'm trying to offer cards that support that hidden life evolution seems to be breeding, but this also means that I sometimes discover something weird once in a while. I wonder what it is this time?

I haven't had a major discovery since I concluded that "survival comes first" in terms of how evolution designs the decks.

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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