I want to try some new things with this here blog. My plan is to look at a decklist that catches my interest once a week. The deck can be from either Challenge or the League results. Today’s deck is from the 5-0 deck dump.
I wanted to talk about Oscar_Franco’s deck for a few reasons. First up, this is not anything new. If you adjust the mana base and cut Crop Rotation/Preordain for Expedition Map you get the same old Flicker Tron deck that had been at the top of Pauper for months. Trading Map for Preordain makes the deck less likely to know it will have Tron in its opening hand but gives Tron ample opportunity to dig towards the correct pieces. This is aided by Prophetic Prism (still really good!) and Bonder’s Ornament (a card that left Matt Nass dumbstruck).
Is this version of Tron slower than previous iterations? Yes, by about a turn. While it is capable of getting a powerful draw on par with the Expedition Map versions, the new models take more time, on average. I have had the chance to play against similar builds with an aggressive Goblin deck and came within one misplay of winning the match (I missed my chance to Fireblast a Stonehorn Dignitary with Ephemerate on the stack). That being said, Tron is still very powerful and will remain a check on the format’s long game.
That brings me to my second point. When the bans were announced, many Pauper players felt that taking Expedition Map away from Tron was not enough. Rather it would just force the deck to run cards that are better in the mid-to-late game (like Preordain), trading early game consistency for more late game power. On top of that, the ban did nothing to break up some of the more repetitive elements of playing against Tron – namely rebuying Stonehorn Dignitary.
I talk more about my views of the ban here but the general consensus is that banning Map is a half measure. Rather than taking out the problematic elements of the deck (whether that is the Tron mana engine itself or Stonehorn Dignitary or the various Blink elements), the ban was designed to give the rest of the format in-game time to win. The question remains whether or not this goes far enough. While my early results indicate that this is the case, I want to see if this is borne out over the coming weeks.