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My opinion on Drake in Pauper



On Monday, September 26th of 2016, WOTC announced the Ban and Restricted list changes. To my surprise, no changes were announced. I have some pretty strong opinions for Pauper and Drake is a problem in my mind. First of all, the lead developer of Eternal Masters, Adam Prosak, is on the record saying that he would've been "much less likely" to include Peregrine Drake in Eternal Masters if he knew that Cloud of Faeries was going to be banned. He also says that he believes that "Peregrine Drake is weaker than Cloud of Faeries" which is a statement that I actually disagree in the context of the combo with Ghostly Flicker. With Cloud of Faeries you needed either two bouncelands, 2 Familiars, or 1 and 1 in combination to get mana with Ghostly Flicker. With Peregrine Drake, you only need 4 or 5 lands in play and no Familiars or other cost reductions needed. This allows the deck to exist in only 2 colors instead of 3 and red is viable with Peregrine Drake when it wasn't with Cloud of Faeries. The familiars pushed the deck into Esper and much less relevant interaction or removal was available in the deck.

Secondly, Drake has fostered much less format diversity by pushing out former beloved staples such as Mono Black Control and Kuldotha Jeskai from the format virtually entirely. From MTGGoldfish, Mono Black Control has dropped all the way down to  0.5% metagame share and Kuldotha Jeskai isn't even listed in the meta game. For as long as I have been around or playing Pauper, Mono Black and Kuldotha Jeskai were always staples of the format. That's not to say that they don't deserve to be in the metagame, it's just deeply concerning that they are suddenly pushed out entirely. I thought they were great arbitrators of the format, for lack of a better word. They weren't oppressive, but they were a good gauge to test decks against. Now with Drake, you have to absolutely have a plan to beat it or your deck can't realistically can't compete. Of course, it can be argued that concept will always exist, but Drake takes that to a whole different level at roughly 25% of the metagame. That means on average, every four games, Drake will be one of the decks.

Thirdly, Drake stomps out all new innovation of newly released sets. Emerge strategies can't possibly compete with Drake unless you devote an unreasonable amount of sideboard space for it. I doubt if we see anything from Kaladesh spur a new archetype or bring back one that fallen out of favor. The only smash hit thing in my mind is Gearseeker Serpent in Affinity because it beats a Gurmag Angler in combat, but Angler has fallen all the way down to 21st place on the most played creatures list at only 11% of the metagame. Energy doesn't seem to have any relevant payoffs and vehicles, with the possible exception of Sky Skiff, just doesn't hit any spots for me.

There obviously are ways to defend against Peregrine Drake, it dies to Lightning Bolt of all things, but it has been very clear that it is oppressive and has pushed out at least two decks from the metagame virtually entirely. That is a huge problem in my opinion.


Abaddon, Lasraik and JesGolbez like this


2 hours ago, Lasraik said:

Would be curious to read their reasons to not ban Drake.

This is another thing I would love for WOTC to do. Not only explain when the B/R list changes, but also explain it when it doesn't change.

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2 hours ago, dylan said:

This is another thing I would love for WOTC to do. Not only explain when the B/R list changes, but also explain it when it doesn't change.

Asking for way too much lol but nice read!

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