Running the Gauntlet – Puresteel Paladin Day 1

And now for something completely different!

As promised, I took Caleb Durward’s Puresteel Paladin deck out for a spin. I didn’t want to jump right into Gauntlet matches, since I’m not familiar with the deck in the slightest, and instead opted to just try it against the field. I figured that way I would see if I wanted to test it further, and at the very least get some experience. Here is the list I used:

[deck]1 Island
4 Inkmoth Nexus
8 Plains
4 Seachrome Coast
4 Glacial Fortress
2 Celestial Colonnade
4 Puresteel Paladin
3 Trinket Mage
2 Kor Firewalker
1 Glint Hawk
2 Etched Champion
3 Flayer Husk
4 Mortarpod
1 Basilisk Collar
4 Preordain
4 Dispatch
2 Sword of Feast and Famine
1 Sword of Body and Mind
2 Sword of War and Peace
2 Mox Opal
1 Accorder’s Shield
1 Sylvok Lifestaff
2 Kor Firewalker
2 Sword of Feast and Famine
1 Sword of War and Peace
2 Negate
3 Dismember
4 Flashfreeze
1 Spellskite[/deck]

As is probably obvious, this deck is built to maximize the use of Puresteel Paladin, but it also has another path to victory: guy plus Sword. Even if they kill your Paladins, any of the Sword of X and Y probably wins the game in a few hits, and at the very least gets you some value.

Since I had no idea what to expect, let’s just jump to the games:

Note: Due to bandwidth issues, we’ve temporarily switched back to Youtube for Draft and Constructed videos. Enjoy!


Well, how did it go?

Overall, the deck felt decent. Not great, but not terrible. The main weaknesses I can see are as follows:

1) The manabase is surprisingly bad. The biggest drawback is that you need all white lands to cast Paladin and Firewalker, making Preordain not a reliable reason to keep land-light hands. I kept wanting to keep 1-landers with Preordain, which are more than fine in this deck, seeing as how it needs only 3 land to operate, but I just couldn’t if the land didn’t make blue mana. Inkmoth Nexus plus a low overall land count also was problematic, but the deck really can’t make use of extra lands, so I don’t think the quantity needs to change. You could possibly cut Preordain and Trinket Mage, but it makes your Valakut matchup almost unwinnable, as well as making the deck way less consistent overall.

2) Without Paladin, the deck really does have trouble. It isn’t a horrible deck without Paladin, but it certainly isn’t at the same power level as the rest of the field. No other deck has such drastically different draws, based just on one card. Preordain does help fix that, but I don’t like the thought of playing against a deck full of Dismembers, all of which are going to be saved for Paladin. UB in particular has so many ways to kill it, and is rising in popularity.

Still, I kind of liked the deck. When your engine is going, you are doing something very powerful, and some of the draws you are capable of getting are pretty absurd. Attacking with a Sworded guy on turn three is good enough vs. much of the field, and that isn’t a particularly difficult draw to get. I’ve decided to continue playing with the deck, and tomorrow I’ll run it through some more events, this time with some changes!


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