Tuesday, January 6, 2015

"Modern Pauper: Orzhov Panda"

"Modern Pauper: Orzhov Panda"
Virgilio F. De leon Jr.

Pandas are probably one of the most adorable creatures on the planet and so we assume that whenever we come near one they would just let us pat their heads like docile dogs. The surprise that people get when the big beasts are irritated should not be all that surprising , things called giant pandas are capable of gigantic violence.

Orzhov Panda is one such deck , it starts out little and then makes things really interesting when a certain enchantment comes into the battlefield. Read on and get to know the beast that is the Orzhov Panda in Modern Pauper.

4 x Orzhov guildgate
4 x Scoured Barrens
7 x Plains
7 x Swamps
22 Lands

4 x Nip Gwyllion
4 x Tithe Drinker 
4 x Heliods Pilgrim
4 x Nightsky Mimic
4 x Kingpins pet
20 Creatures

4 x Sign in Blood
4 x Devour Flesh
4 x Edge of The Divinity
4 x Unmake
2 x Beckon Apparition
18 Spells

The printing of Scoured Barrens in Khans of Tarkir has greatly affected the construction of dual colored decks because it gives access to easily accessible recent dual land cards.As you can see in the card list about 7 Swamps and 7 Plains all make up the core of basic lands of the deck. Take note of that number because it will come up again and again in this deck.

This deck is another Aura/Enchantment deck that revolves around the black/white color combination known as the Orzhov. The main creatures on the deck start out small but become gigantic monsters with the addition of the Aura Edge of The Divinity. Granted that the creature it enchants is both black and white it is an instantaneous +3/+3 pump. The Best benefactor of this Aura which could be cast on turn one is the Nip Gwyllion. A lifelink creature. Things get interesting on turn 2 because with 2 Edge of The Divinity's on it it becomes a gigantic 7/7 Lifelinking creature that creates all sorts of advantages for you.

Doing the math all it takes is a good 3 turns to kill your opponent. And even if your opponent manages to take care of this early attacker  , you could be ahead by at least 7 or 14 life points. A big buffer so that you could wait out and draw the other winning pieces of the deck.

Nightsky Mimic is another great target for the Edge of The Divinity. Both of them care about the colors that they play with and compliment each other very well. Nightsky Mimic starts out as a 2/1 creature but turns into a 4/4 flyer whenever you cast a spell that is both black and white. Edge of The Divinity is one such card. Now imagine attaching one to a 4/4 Flyer. You get a 7/7 for a one mana expenditure. God forbid you have 2 of these cards in your hand. A 7/7 becomes a 10/10 creature! 10 represents half of an opponents normal life points. All things considered , a Flying 10/10 that could swoop in at will is probably one of the scariest things your opponents would have to face here. After you attack and the Nightsky Mimic turns back into its basic 2/1 self , the two auras are still attached to it and it is still an 8/7 that is all set to do your bidding.

To round up the creatures in the deck Tithe Drinker and Kingpins Pet from the Return to Ravnica block also makes an appearance. Both fit the Orzhov theme , could trigger the Nightsky Mimic and both offer an alternative win condition in the form of the Extort Mechanic. Don't disregard that 1 life loss per one mana , in close matches those points are everything. Tithe Drinker is also a life linker while Kingpins pet is another flyer. These guys give so much in the common slot don't they?

Now one of the common problems that the deck will face is that it might not have the Aura in your opening hand for that killer opening that you want.So how do you make sure that you would get an Edge of The Divinity if one is not in your opening hand(and ideally you should have one or two)? Well you rely on one of my most favorite cards of all time. Heliod's Pilgrim! If you think she is great in EDH when she fetches an Eldrazi Conscription for you , she is great in Pauper as well because she could get things in your deck like the nifty Edge of The Divinity.

Sign in Blood is here as well so you could increase your chances of drawing creatures , removal or empowering auras. The loss of 2 life is just ok. Sign in blood also counts as direct damage when your opponent is also close to his or her death. Letting them draw two cards when they would have no chance of using them is just cruel but heck it gets the job done.

Devour Flesh and Unmake make up the Removal Suite of this deck. Unmake in particular is another trigger for Nightsky Mimic that it makes it a must have.These cards could take care of blockers and attackers at instant speed. 

Beckon Apparition is the last of the additions of the deck. This grave removal spell gives you a 1/1 Black/White Flying Spirit token while also removing recurring creatures from your opponents graveyards. It is actually a 2 for 1 kind of card.When you need a blocker or when your creatures are killed on the early turns. A single Edge of The Divinity makes it a 4/4 flyer. A second makes it a 7/7! Not a bad creature to have at the latter turns as well when your opponent has all but lost steam.

I was happy that I got to write about the Orzhov Panda. These critters may look harmless but with the right power boost they all could become something more than they are. A powerful punching force toward your opponents face. 

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