All six weeks of the Pauper Premiere League, sponsored by CoolStuffInc.com and Wizards of the Coast, Swiss rounds are finished! The last three weeks saw a shuffle of players battling out against each other once again. Now we have our final players, and on Thursday the playoffs will begin! But first, let's catch up on the last couple of weeks that have led to this point.
In case you missed the games, you can find replays for all three weeks here:
At this point I'll be discussing what happened each week, including player match results. As such, I'm providing a spoiler warning for you all once more for those who may not yet wish to know the outcome of the above videos.
- Brian DeMars: Stompy
- Brian Coval: Skyfisher Tron
- Alex Ullman: Golgari Aristocrats
- Andreas Petersen: Bogles
With week four, I was actually absent for the majority of it, as I was attending GenCon. Because of this, I was only able to catch a few small bits, but checked out the above replays for a bit more insight into some of the matches.
The biggest takeaway was that Brian DeMars utterly shredded his competition here. His Stompy deck breezed through Brian Coval's Skyfisher Tron list like it was nothing to start off the week's matches. While Alex put up a strong fight against Stompy, it wasn't enough and he too succumbed to the onslaught of DeMars' aggression. And while normally Bogles might be able to outmatch Stompy's power, the cards weren't in it for Andreas this match, causing him to draw very little gas and ultimately lose his last game of the night.
They didn't look that much better when facing Alex, sadly, and despite an evasive Silhana Ledgewalker suited with an Armadillo Cloak, Alex was able to get there cleanly. While Andreas' hands looked much better in his match with Coval's Tron list, Coval also found all the right answers at the same time. This included everything from Faultgrinder to Patrician's Scorn to Prismatic Strands, showing how an awesome deck with a great strategy can crumble to the right cards.
Week four results:
- Brian DeMars: 3-0
- Brian Coval: 2-1
- Alex Ullman: 1-2
- Andreas Petersen: 0-3
- Me (as Emma Partlow): Bogles
- Chris VanMeter: Burn
- Evan Erwin: Four-Color Control
- Joseph Hourani: Bant Ephemerate
Right before our fifth week began, we received an unfortunate curveball with regards to our schedule: Emma Partlow had come down with a sudden unfortunate illness. This news came to us mere hours before we were set to begin and decklists were already submitted. We decided that it would cause too many potential issues to change to a whole new person with a whole new list, especially since lists had already gone public. The show must go on, however, so a compromise was made: I would play Emma's rounds with her exact chosen list and the results wouldn't count toward my results.
We jumped right in and I was able to take a quick match against Evan's Four-Color Control. We ended up finding ourselves going into Game 3. Evan's greed got the better of him as I found not one but two Ancestral Masks to win the match. Soon after, however, Evan was able to battle back Joseph's Bant Ephemerate list by controlling it into the ground.
Joseph, a favorite of the Pauper community, was unable to beat back the onslaught of Burn and Bogles alike later in the evening, sadly. Evan also succumbed to the wrath of an endless swath of burn spells. My, or should I say Emma's, Bogles were able to quell the flames of Chris' mighty Burn list, giving Bogles the night's 3-0 finish.
Week five results:
- Me (as Emma Partlow): 3-0
- Chris VanMeter: 2-1
- Evan Erwin: 1-2
- Joseph Hourani: 0-3
- Adam Yurchick: en-Kor Combo
- Ricardo Mattana: Stompy
- Michael Bonde: Four-Color Control
- Me: Temur Tron
This last week certainly was a doozy with all kinds of crazy decks! Temur Tron never really panned out for me, with creatures dying too fast or else getting poor draws like Andreas the week prior. All of this led me to a quick 0-3 but it's hard to complain too much when you get to have fun showing off one of the earliest decks that got me playing the format in the first place.
The big surprise this week was easily Adam's en-Kor Combo, a fresh riff on the older Inside Out Combo decks that were before predominantly focused on Tireless Tribe. With Gush out of the picture, Tireless Tribe stopped being as good, but thankfully a similar combo works, involving Nomads en-Kor and Daru Spiritualist. Here's how it works: the current wording of Nomads en-Kor says that it targets a creature. Because of this, you can target Daru Spiritualist endlessly and it ends up with infinite toughness, both becoming nigh impossible to break up the combo through conventional means as well as providing a kill method with Inside Out.
The deck bested myself and Ricardo pretty handily, but got controlled out by Michael's deck in the end. It turns out that while the combo creatures can be difficult to take out when they're together, getting them off the board before they can be together works wonders. Michael wasn't able to get the sweet 3-0 finish for the day, however, and instead ended up losing to Ricardo's Stompy list for a great 2-1 ending that has him firmly in the playoffs starting this week.
Week six results:
- Adam Yurchick: 2-1
- Ricardo Mattana: 2-1
- Michael Bonde: 2-1
- Me: 0-3
Now that we're entering the playoffs, allow me to introduce our top players for the first ever Pauper Premiere League:
- Adam Yurchick (5-1)
- Brian DeMars (4-2)
- Chris VanMeter (4-2)
- Ricardo Mattana (4-2)
- Michael Bonde (4-2)
- Brian Coval (4-2)
The bracket with the matches will go live tomorrow afternoon as well as complete decklists for each and every player. Don't forget to check out the CoolStuffInc.com Twitch Channel and follow so you can see when the stream goes live and join in on the fun! It all starts tomorrow night at 9PM EST/6PM PST!