Welcome to the eleventh episode of “Science of Pauper”! In today’s episode, I want to provide another deck: White Weenie. White Weenie is an archetype which has been represented in the metagame for a long time. This deck tries to win with cheap, effective creatures; effective in the sense of them having evasion, protection, and/or some kind of card advantage. Based on this description, White Weenie sounds similar to other aggressive swarm decks like Goblins or Stompy. However, it is played quite differently which I will illustrate when explaining the card choices of my build.
4 Flayer Husk
4 Kitesail Apprentice
4 Kor Skyfisher
2 Loyal Cathar
1 Journey to Nowhere
3 Judge Unworthy
4 Squadron Hawk
1 Vulshok Morningstar
1 Cenn’s Enlistment
3 Guardian of the Guildpact
4 Razor Golem
Guardian of the Guildpact. This creature is one of the best in the whole Pauper format. It is effectively the common Progenitus as it has virtually protection from everything. Pretty much every White Weenie build plays three to four of them, which reflects the power of Guardian of the Guildpact. However, people have started to search for answers and included them even in the main deck, namely Curse of Chains, Silkbind Faerie, and Unmake. There are other – in my opinion – stronger cards (Agony Warp and Terminate) that have not seen much play yet due to inferiority of decks in that color combination. Diabolic Edict effects will still kill Guardian of the Guildpact nevertheless if it is the only creature. So keep that in mind when playing against MBC. Its protection ability not only makes it hard to be removed, it also represents a potent blocker and – more importantly – attacker. Its protection includes being unblockable by monocolored creatures. However, keep in mind that artifacts are colorless and therefore are unaffected by the protection ability. On the other hand, it allows you to equip your Guardian of the Guildpact to have an even scarier threat.
Razor Golem. Having a 3/4 body makes this creature one of your most effective threats. Additionally, it will cost three mana at most due to its Affinity to Plains, resulting in early pressure. In aggro match-ups it can turn the race in your favor as Vigilance allows it to double as a blocker. Keep in mind that your opponent may block with multiple creature leaving you in an awkward spot. Since Razor Golem has only a power of three, it may only trade with one of the blockers. Luckily, we play sufficient power (and toughness) boosting equipment to prevent that from happening.
Squadron Hawk. At first sight, four 1/1 flying creatures for two mana each does not seem too impressive, but this little flyer fills up your hand with action. If four points of damage a turn are not sufficiently pressuring, feel free to combine with power increasing Equipment.
Kor Skyfisher. A common version of Emancipation Angel? Definitively. A 2/3 flyer for only two mana is really a beating. Its drawback of having to return a permanent can be easily turned into an upside when combined with the right cards. Fortunately, our deck offers several permanents that want to be bounced. Bouncing a Germ token off Flayer Husk is not the desired play, but it does not hurt either. Sometimes returning a Plains can kind of compensate the land drop you missed. A transformed Loyal Cathar or a Flayer Husk without Germ token provide some extra value when bounced with Kor Skyfisher. Even replaying Journey to Nowhere in order to get rid of another, more annoying creature might win you some games.
Bonesplitter. This Equipment represents so much pressure. It turns each creature into a threat that has to be taken seriously. I do not think there is more to say about it.
Flayer Husk. With Bonesplitter being that incredibly strong, I wanted to add more Equipment to the deck. However, you do not want to play too many non-creature spells in an (semi-) aggressive deck. Therefore, I chose to include a full playset of Flayer Husk which doubles as a creature due to its Living Weapon ability and thereby keeping my threat density high. I really like this card and I do think that it is undervalued and hence underplayed. It is a 1/1 creature in the early game and a +1/+1 pumping Equipment later on for one single mana. It applies pressure on its own, especially when the Germ token wields Bonesplitter, too. You can attack or block with it without hesitation or fear of bad trades. The little free 0/0 creature will almost always create some kind of card advantage. The one point increase of toughness proved to be very valuable against several cards/match ups. It saves your Razor Golem from Flame Slash or it can give your Squadron Hawks quite an advantage over little Faeries or the mirror flock.
Vulshok Morningstar. This is probably the loosest card of the deck. I really like the power of Equipment in a deck with a high threat density, especially when it includes Guardian of the Guildpact. I wanted an aggressive Equipment that simultaneously puts the Spirit out of Flame Slash reach. Vulshok Morningstar fulfilled those requirements. However, it is only a one-of as both mana and equip cost do stress the mana base quite a bit. Furthermore, I did not want to dilute my threat density with the potential danger of having no one to carry all the fancy weapons that deck offers.
Kitesail Apprentice. This is one of the prime targets for our Equipment. Any Equipment will make it better than a flipped Delver of Secrets resulting in some ridiculous openers with Kitesail Apprentice and Bonesplitter.
Loyal Cathar. A 2/2 body with Vigilance for only two mana is already pretty decent, if not overwhelming. A 2/2 vigilant creature that rises from the grave as a 2/1 Zombie Soldier is exceptional. True, it cannot block and therefore only serves offense purposes but White Weenie likes to be on the attacking side anyways.
Journey to Nowhere. This is the universal removal spell in white. Although in theory the exiled creature could be returned by destroying the Enchantment, there are not a lot of Demystify effects to be afraid of. Be careful when trying to remove the only creature your opponent controls when facing a deck that plays protection spells, as Infect decks usually contain Vines of Vastwood. If the opposing creature cannot be targeted before the trigger of Journey to Nowhere is put onto the stack, you will have to exile one of your own creatures.
Judge Unworthy. In theory, this is a variable removal spell and there seems to be no reason to play it over Journey to Nowhere. In fact, I included Judge Unworthy primarily not for removal purposes. I wanted to have some card selection and having a conditional removal is just perfect. Especially when many players do not know how this card exactly works. If one wants to save their creature, they have to do it before Scrying and subsequently revealing the top card of your library. Most of your spells cost two or more, which should be sufficient to deal with most common creatures. For larger creatures, you could also hit one of your four drops or Razor Golems. Since Judge Unworthy can only target attacking or blocking creatures, I consider it a combat trick rather than actual removal.
Embolden. This is another combat trick I decided to replace Prismatic Strands with, thereby differing from most other White Weenie builds. On first sight, it seems worse to prevent just four damage instead of any amount. However, I have reasoned that in most cases, it has a very similar effect. However, the advantage over Prismatic Strands is its use against decks playing more than one color and in the mirror or colorless sources, such as artifacts. Moreover, it can be Flashbacked even without you controlling a white creature, i.e. with only Razor Golem or a Germ token on your side. The biggest disadvantage of Embolden though, is it being useless against Storm decks.
Cenn’s Enlistment. I usually try to dedicate at least one slot of the maindeck for turning excess lands into live draws either by mana sinks (e.g. Shade creatures) or Retrace spells. This will not only increase your consistency but also increase your late game. Cenn’s Enlistment is an incredibly powerful card which is very underplayed in my opinion. True enough it is pretty expensive to cast for an Raise the Alarm effect at sorcery speed. But it has several huge advantages over other token generators. Its Retrace ability makes it less painful to be discarded to an early Ravenous Rats. Furthermore, it renders Pauper’s Wrath of God Crypt Rats less effective. Cenn’s Enlistment is also a very valuable card against any deck that relies on counters. Due to Retrace, you basically trade an excess land for a counterspell. Moreover, the nine Equipment cards in this deck turns the 1/1 Kithkins in real threats rather than a mere whacky ten turn clock.
Plains. This deck really wants to play Plains only in its mana base to reliably cast Razor Golem for a maximum of three mana. Furthermore, any land that enters the battlefield tapped slows you down significantly on your aggro plan. I decided to play 22 lands which is generally one more than the average White Weenie list. My reasoning behind that is threefold: first, I really, really want to make sure I can cast my Guardian of the Guildpact on turn four. Second, I can turn excess lands into Soldier tokens with Cenn’s Enlistment, so they are not dead draws. Third, by playing that many Equipment cards, this deck has always a use for that is not spend for spells.
In the next episode, I will explain the sideboard and discuss a couple of match ups while doing it.
That’s it. Stay clean!