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By: Arctic_Ghost, Arctic_Ghost
Feb 06 2017 1:50pm
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UB Flicker is a blue and black control deck with a combo attached to it consisting of Ghostly Flicker, Chittering Rats, and Archaeomancer. With this combo, you can basically stop your opponent from ever getting to draw another card or play any spells, by doing this combo in their draw step and catching them while they hold a land or a sorcery spell. 

When it isn't using its combo, the deck plays like a traditional control deck and spends its time trying to answer everything your opponent does. You don't have many creatures to work with, but you don't mind spending 5 or so turns killing your opponent with Sea Gate Oracle and Mulldrifter attacks. You also get a cool card called Reaping the Graves to return your creatures that have died and because it has the Storm ability, it will be hard for your opponent to combat this spell with counter spells. You also get many chances to return your Archaeomancer back to your hand because of the multiple instances of the spell that storm gives you. Let us see what makes this deck whole and break it down piece by piece. 

The Creatures 

Mulldrifter – I should not have to explain this card. It is without a doubt in my mind, the best blue creature and possibly the best creature in pauper. At worst, it plays like a Divination that can combo with Ghostly Flicker for extra cards, or it is a 2 power flier that can with the game on its own and it draws you a couple of cards.

Chittering Rats – I love this card and I love it even more in this deck. Not only is it your combo piece, but it also sets your opponent back a turn and gives you a turn to get ahead by making your opponent lose a draw step. It effectively draws you a card because while your opponent does not get a new card for their turn, you still do.

Archaeomancer – This is a very important card to your deck. It isn't just because of your combo with Ghostly Flicker, but also because it allows you to get back a key removal spell like Echoing Decay or a Counterspell and it allows you to buy more time and build up a better defense so you can take over the game. A problem you will find with this deck is running out of “stuff” to use, but Archaeomancer allows you to reload whatever you need at the time, whether it be a removal spell or a piece of counter magic. 

Sea Gate Oracle – I love this card right now because it comes down fast, has a big toughness, draws you a card and it blocks all the aggro decks running around right now (Stompy, Elves, Goblins, RDW and White Weenie to name a few). It is also still good against control because although it only has 1 power, it still chips away every turn. 

The Spells 

Disfigure – I think that this card should see more play these days. A removal spell for 1 mana can go a long way in the Pauper format we play today and since we don't have access to Lightning Bolt, this is the next best thing. 

Dead Weight – Although Disfigure is very good, I like that this can lower the threat of a card like Carapace Forger or even Gurmag Angler and so I like the 1 of Dead Weight. I is not an instant, but it gets the job done when it needs to. 

Unearth – It either cycles and replaces itself, or it returns Sea Gate Oracle, or it returns a Chittering Rats to get you back some presence on the battlefield.

Preordain – In this deck, I believe this card is better. I like being able to push dead lands or dead removal spells to the bottom of the deck and not having to deal with them again. This deck cannot afford many bad or dead draws, or else it will fall behind very quickly. 

Counterspell – Do I really need to explain this card? No? Alright then let us move on! 

Chainer's Edict – I am not a huge fan of this card in the current state of pauper. Most of the control strategies use a wide variety of creatures to beat you and almost all the aggro decks you run into these days (White Weenie, Affinity, Goblins, Elves, and Stompy to name a few) are very conscious of this card in particular and know to play around it. You will find that Chainer's Edict is often too slow and underwhelming, but that is just my opinion. 

Doom Blade – For 2 mana, you pretty much get to kill anything at instant speed and that is a good enough reason for me to include this. 

Agony WarpDoom Blade does have 1 draw back and that is it doesn't kill black creatures (but it does kill artifacts) and that is why I like Agony Warp, but in addition to killing a creature, it also can stop another creature from dealing damage and this allows for a good number of 2 for 1 scenarios. 

Echoing Decay – A good way to clear the board of tokens or if your opponent happens to have multiple copies of the same creature, you can clear the battlefield. 

Reaping the Graves – Because this card has Storm, it allows you to always have a big swing by returning your creatures back and take advantage of their come in to play abilities and you can be assured that because of Storm, counter spells will never be enough to stop you. 

Murder – This kills anything for only 3 mana. It is a little slow, but it is good enough to get the job done. 

Soul Manipulation – I like this better than Remove Soul because you also get to return a creature form the graveyard to your hand and allow you to rebuild. It goes a long way when your deck is trying to buy a bunch of a time and take the long game. 

Ghostly Flicker – This is the big combo card of the deck. I shouldn't really have to explain why it is here so I will just quickly move on and not waste your time. 

The Mana base is very straightforward for a UB Control archetype and there isn't much to touch on. The only thing that might seem weird is the absence of Radiant Fountain to gain life and instead you have 1 copy of each cycle land (Barren Moor and Lonely Sandbar). Although the Fountain can gain life, you are a very color intensive deck and can't afford lands that only produce colorless mana and so you get the chance to play 2 lands that can replace themselves instead. I find it to be a fine trade off. 

The Sideboard 

2 Dispel – A couple of extra cheap ways to win counter wars and deal with Burn style decks. 

2 Hydroblast – Basically for any type of red deck, but it is also your big way to deal with Affinity Atog and Fling don't get you and win out of nowhere. 

2 Stormbound Geist – Your big anti-control tech. A good beater for a cheap amount of mana and it takes 2 removal spells to kill him. Seems very good to have in my opinion. The best part is that after the first removal spell, he becomes a 3 power flier, so keep that in mind. 

1 Disfigure and 1 Murder – Some extra removal when you need it. The Murder is a bit more useful because of decks with big creatures like Affinity and Tron decks. 

2 Duress – For the control matchups and combo decks like Burn is basically what this is for. 

2 Relic of Progenitus – This is really for the mirror, but it can be useful in other random matchups that use the graveyard as well. I would name some decks, but they are easy to spot and not very popular. 

1 Deep Analysis – For when you need the extra draw and want to play the hardcore control route. It's a great way to draw a quick 4 cards. 

2 Nausea – Your way of dealing with token strategies and decks like Goblins, Elves, Delver, and anything else that uses a ton of 1 toughness guys to win the game. 

The Videos

 

 

 

Conclusion  

I like the idea of this deck and I do like what it is doing. My verdict on this deck is very 50/50 and that is because on one hand, I was winning a lot with it when I first started playing the deck, but lately I have been losing with it a lot. 

I think it's a good deck and has the tools to beat everything the format has to offer. I do think that Teachings control is a better control deck and that Delver Blue is a better tempo deck, but I think I can chalk that up to me emotions, as I have said, I have been losing a lot with this deck and that could be either because I am bad, my list is a bad or just chalk it up to get unlucky. 

I see no reason why you shouldn't give this deck a try and encourage you to do so. I want another Duress in my sideboard, but I am unsure as what to take out. I also know I want another Hydroblast because I think red decks and Affinity can give this deck a real headache and for that I think the Deep Analysis can go because it wasn't helping me as much as I would have hoped. Let me know what you think of the deck and how you would build it.

Thank you all for reading/watching and I will see you all next time! 

 

3 Comments

Bogles by MichelleWong at Sat, 02/11/2017 - 02:05
MichelleWong's picture
5

Nice article, thanks.

The deck looks both potent and fun.

My Bogles deck would love to face a deck like this. Facing a combo control deck which has almost no answers to my threats (and with combo elements which are too slow) is a dream matchup for Bogles.

I have two questions:

1. What is roughly the matchup percentage of UB Flicker vs RDW? I am guessing it is a bad matchup for UB Flicker, but I would like to know your thoughts.

2. As a matter of curiosity, did you ever manage to defeat a Bogles player with this deck?

1. It is honestly hard to say by Arctic_Ghost at Wed, 02/15/2017 - 14:43
Arctic_Ghost's picture

1. It is honestly hard to say because you can lose easily or win just as easily. RDW is fast and strong, but you get cheap answers like Disfigure, Dead Weight and Hydroblast to take care of their guys for cheap and if they do not have a removal spell or a Goblin Heelcutter, Sea Gate Oracle can block all of their guys. It isn't an easy matchup, but I believe it is 50/50 or slightly in your favor, depending on how you construct your 75.

2. Actually I have never faced bogles with the deck. I can't imagine bogles is a good matchup and that is why you will see most lists run some number of Aura Flux in the sideboard. I mean sure, you have Chainer's Edict, but as any seasoned bogles player will know how to play around edict type effects.

Kindly noted by MichelleWong at Wed, 02/15/2017 - 23:57
MichelleWong's picture
5

Kindly noted, makes sense. Thanks for your feedback.