Submitting your cPDH Deck

31 Mar 2022 - 10 min read

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BREAKING NEWS (08/25/2022): The Submission Method for the cPDH Database has changed! While we’ll maintain this article for posterity, we want to include the new way of doing things in this blurb. Firstly, there are no more submission periods, instead we now support rolling submissions all year round! You can check out the full rules/submit here with our new submisison form! https://forms.gle/pUN9xQeAnRqogM5D6 Otherwise, you can expect the rest of this article to still be pretty on point!

The cPDH Database Submission Period is almost upon us! Or CPDHDSP for short (we gotta get better with acronyms). Anyway, for you fine purveyors of Pauper Dragon Highlander this is one of the times during the year when you can submit your competitive pauper commander decklists to the https://budgetbrews.club/ database! Any and all are welcome to apply! Both Julian and I submitted decklists in January, so if you want our breakdown of what the process is like you can always check out the After Dark episode diving deep into the process!

For a more in-depth and behind-the-curtain discussion, we’ve lured Clay here (yes, this Clay) by holding his Crackling Drake hostage! You know we like to go above and beyond for our fans…anyway, here’s Clay totally not under duress!

Hey Clay! It’s great to have you on. How are things in your neck of the woods?

Spring has sprung here on the Northern Great Plains and both IRL and online life has been busy, busy, busy. As a native Floridian, it’s always interesting to me how something as simple as snow can lock everything down for a time. So, it’s absolutely freeing when it’s gone. As for cPDH-related stuff, I’ve been doing a lot more work behind the scenes recently, helping to amplify the voices of other folks in the community.

That’s awesome, as cPDH grows it’s incredibly important to make sure we’re including a diverse set of voices. Plus people could get tired of listening to us all the time. Now, about this cPDH submission period - what’s going on? We’ve got a website now? What happened to the Word Doc of Righteousness?!

It was holding down the fort for as long as it needed to and has since been retired. Timmy, one of the co-owners of Budget Brews, and I have known each other for a few years now and I had approached him about the potential for hosting a cPDH DDB as early as March 2021. He was in the middle of bolstering his own budget cEDH offerings and couldn’t dedicate much time (then) with the assist, so we tabled the discussion for a later time.

I then reached out to some of the folks who host the cEDH Decklist Database (Sickrobot / Natux) and asked them about the early days of their DDB and how they represented the format, prior to creating the website. Based on their recommendations, in June 2021 I created a Google Doc and the cPDH Decklist Database, aka the Word Doc of Righteousness, was born! We maintained and distributed that Google Doc until October, when Timmy messaged me to let me know he was ready to create space for us.

We migrated everything over to the Budget Brews website and never looked back.

That’s fair, it definitely did well as a temporary solution…So anyway, say I’ve got a pretty gnarly competitive-minded PDH deck, what are the first steps for including it in this new Database Of Rightousness?

The very first step is to get visibility on the list; whether by playing games with other members of the community or posting it up in a Discord “Brewery” channel for an AMA session. Think of your deck as a research paper and you are submitting it to a panel of peers for review. Those two options are great practice for the next, more official step of database submission.

The first official step for cPDH Decklist Database submission is to post a link to your Moxfield or Archidekt list on the Budget Brews Discord server under the #pauper-edh-brewing channel. The DDB Selection Committee will pick it up from there.

A DDB Selection Committee? This is sounding official. Are there things I should keep in mind while preparing my submission? Do I need to send a bribe?

We have a baseline of criteria available for players to review prior to their submission. It is the very same criteria the DDB Selection Committee will use to assess each and every submission.

Those criteria are as follows:

1) The deck is intended to be played in a competitive setting with the intention of winning the game.

2) The deck represents a powerful and unique strategy not similarly expressed by other lists in the DDB and its Commander is not easily replaced by a more powerful, in-strategy option. If the Commander IS already represented on the DDB, then the differences in strategy MUST be explained within the Primer - which includes posting a link to the other decklists for the Commander on the DDB within your Primer.

3) The deck MUST have a Primer, which at a minimum, discusses the intricacies of the archetype and/or strategy of the list and how it wins the game. It is also recommended that the Primer minimally include the follow four sections - General Strategy, Combo Lines, Cards Not Played, and Meta Considerations.

4) There are no obvious exclusions of staple cards without specific justification.

5) The deck list MUST be hosted on either Moxfield or Archidekt, with the cards organized by function or category beyond the specific card’s type (with a forced view, if possible). This helps others to quickly identify the critical pieces of combos, interaction, etc.

6) The deck MUST be named using the following nomenclature - Commander - “Nickname” - Strategy (Aggro [e.g. Voltron] / Control / Combo / Midrange / Hybrid).

Okay I’ve submitted my deck, I checked all those boxes - what then? Who does the reviewing?

Once submitted, most of the assessment conversation for any submitted deck will be held publicly in an associated conversation thread within the Discord. Any discussion held behind the scenes by the DDB Selection Committee folks - usually seeking clarity on questions or concerns - will be summarized in the public facing review of the list. Transparency on the review process is paramount and is meant to assist the deck builder in further developing their submission.

With that, the brewer will be questioned regarding specific card choices and also will be provided with options to strengthen the game plan of the submission. This is where the previously recommended playtesting and AMA brewery discussions are most helpful, as they provided early opportunities to “test your deck’s thesis” and further hone your list. The submission process shouldn’t be the first stop in finalizing your submission - it should be the last.

At the end of the day, the new submission will be analytically compared to known cPDH strategies and be assessed on its perceived role within an open meta. If the submission is declined, it will most likely be because it failed to meet this particular threshold.

Please keep in mind, the DDB is not meant to serve as an all inclusive representation of the sum total of cPDH decks in the format. There will be lists that are not listed that can and will take down cPDH tables.

…Alright my deck might not be ready for that level of scrutiny, you said something about a deck “Brewery”? Where can I get the help needed to push my Goblin Snowman build to the next level?

Every Discord which features a Competitive Pauper Commander channel or category has a “deck-help” or associated “brewery” channel. With the growth of the format in the last year, there are dozens of experienced players who are available to assist a brewer in developing their list. For those hardcore cPDH players, brewing new lists is exhilarating and they will provide an abundance of resources and information when asked.

Woohoo! My deck was accepted into the cPDH DDB! Are there complimentary bottles of champagne sent? Confetti?

At the end of each submission period, a member of the Selection Committee will draft up a Discord post which seeks to synthesize all of the evaluation experiences for each of the approved decks. This post not only formally announces the brews that made it, but also cues the server admins to add those lists to the DDB website. Within a day or so of their posting, we’ll create another post to announce the lists on the two Pauper Commander affiliated subreddits.

It is at this point that Robin Leach, Jr. flies in on his G6 private jet to chuck glitter at you, while dowsing you with pink champagne. I’ve had this happen a few times now and it never gets old.

Well this has been great Clay, anything else you want to say before we let you (and Crackling Drake) go?

Yep. New things are being discovered all of the time, so don’t let the vast amount of information out there be discouraging to your efforts. Keep at it and you will know victory.

And that’s all the time we have! Hopefully this answers any questions you may have about the submission process, but if you still have a few lingering - you can always reach out to The Hexdrinkers on Twitter (I’m a part of the Review committee as well) OR The Tryhards! We’re all happy to help. So good luck, good day, and happy brewing!

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