Arctic_Ghost's picture
By: Arctic_Ghost, Arctic_Ghost
Mar 03 2021 1:00pm

Last time I talked about a “Good Stuff” control deck, I brought you a 5 color version. This time around, we are cutting the green cards and only playing 4 colors.

The list we will be looking at today, was piloted by the player Leobertucci to a 3rd place finish in a Pauper challenge that took place on 1/31/2021. They basically took the Boros Midrange shell, then added blue and black cards to it to make a really sweet list. Instead of rambling on, we are gonna get right into the list.

Thraben Inspector – One of the best 1 drops in Pauper. Although it isn’t a big creature, it can compete in combat for the defensive and it does bring along a Clue Token, allowing you to dig a tiny bit deeper into your deck. It also combos very well with Kor Skyfisher.

Kor Skyfisher and Glint Hawk – I am sure many of you know what Kor Skyfisher is and in no way am I surprised to see 4 copies of them in this archetype. This list however also has Glint Hawk to function as Kor Skyfisher 5 and 6. It doesn’t combo with Thraben Inspector, but it does pick up cards such as Prophetic Prism and Spare Supplies to draw more cards. It also does a good amount of damage in the air.

Spellstutter Sprite – Although this is the only Faerie in the deck, it still counters all the powerful 1 casting cost spells the format has to offer. It can also be picked back up by Kor Skyfisher to be used again.

Ninja of the Deep Hours – Ah yes, Ninja of the Deep Hours. In this archetype it is extremely powerful. Getting to pick up a Spellstutter Sprite or a Thraben Inspector for Ninjutsu can put you so far ahead, it will be a steep uphill battle for your opponent.

Palace Sentinels and Azure Fleet Admiral – Becoming the Monarch is a very powerful thing in Pauper today and here are your Monarch creatures. Palace Sentinels is of course a great creature because it has 4 toughness, making it somewhat hard to kill or attack through. Then you have Azure Fleet Admiral who becomes unblockable if your opponent is the Monarch, making it easy to get it back.

Lightning Bolt – It’s Lightning Bolt. You know all about it, let’s move right along.

Galvanic Blast – With access to a good number of artifacts, having Metalcraft turned on shouldn’t be a problem. With Metalcraft turned on, being able to deal 4 damage to any target for only 1 mana is huge.

Journey to Nowhere – One of the best removal spells in the format. It costs only 2 mana and deals with any creature, especially Gurmag Angler and that is quite helpful.

Unmake – Although it can be a bit difficult to cast, it is still a very powerful removal spell that deals with just about anything. The best part is that it exiles, which is actually quite a good effect these days when you consider how many decks in the format have some type of graveyard recursion. If you find the mana being problematic, a 3rd Journey to Nowhere is fine as well.

Prismatic Strands – One of the best Pauper cards period in my opinion. It can be a Fog effect, it can counter a damage based removal spell or it can help you a ton in combat. The best part is that it can be used twice, thanks to having Flashback. It doesn’t get much better than that. The reason not to play more than 2 is that you don’t want to draw multiples early because they don’t do much in the early game and will just clog up your hand, and since they have Flashback, you shouldn’t need more than 2 copies in the main deck.

Reaping the Graves – You have a good number of cheap spells, so being able to cast with a storm counter of 2 or more should be easy and quite good. It is also an instant, so you can take advantage of your opponent casting spells as well. Casting this spell at the end of your opponents turn and returning 2 or more creatures from your graveyard can be game winning by itself.

Suffocating Fumes – Having access to a board wipe is always a good thing. The best part of this spell is that it has cycling. If you don’t need it and need something better, for 2 mana you can replace it.

Prophetic Prism – Not only are you a 4 color deck, but you also have Glint Hawk and Kor Skyfisher to return it so that you can draw another card. Also keep in mind it helps with Metalcraft.

Spare Supplies – This one is interesting. It combos well with your Skyfisher and Hawk, which is already great. Also, unlike Ichor Wellspring, you don’t need a separate sacrifice effect like Kuldotha Rebirth to draw a second card off of it. Instead, for 2 mana, you can sacrifice it and draw a card. I think this card is great in this type of deck.

Bonder's Ornament – Unsurprisingly, we see Bonder’s Ornament in this archetype. This card pretty much does it all for any archetype it is in. Although I hate the fact that there is only 1 copy in the deck, you just don’t have room for everything and you only need 1 copy of this on the battlefield anyway because unlike Tron and Cascade, you aren’t trying to ramp.

The Manabase

Ancient Den and Great Furnace – You want these lands in your deck to help with Metalcraft and to help with Glint Hawk. However you don’t want too many copies because then artifact removal would be really good against mana screwing you.

Radiant Fountain – You have a decent number of ways to pick this back up and gaining life is a good thing these days against Burn and aggro decks.

Forgotten Cave and Secluded Steppe – You do need a decent number of lands on the battlefield, but at the same time you don’t need a ton. These lands are good because they either function as mana, or they allow you to dig a bit deeper into your deck to find answers if need be.

Bojuka Bog – Graveyard hate is always a good thing to have access to. Since you are splashing for black cards anyway, Bojuka Bog is basically a free land to use.

Azorius Chancery – You do play a decent number of blue cards and you want access to blue to hold up counterspells. With Azorius Chancery, if you have 4 mana out, you have both the blue and white to play a Sprite and Skyfisher in the same turn if need be.

Cave of Temptation – This will help you fix your mana and make one of your creatures a bit bigger in the late game if need be. Your creatures are good, but making them a tiny bit bigger to speed up the clock is always a good thing.

Thriving Heath and 3 basic lands – Your main color is white and so you always want access to it. This a great dual land for the archetype in general. After that you have access to 3 basic lands. That is it for the manabase.

The Sideboard 

Electrickery – Always good to have access to board wipe spells. I like having a copy of this instead of more Cannonades because it only costs 2 mana and that extra mana can be huge. 

Fiery Cannonade – One of the best board wipe spells in the format. However it does cost 3 mana, which in a deck without ramp, can be a lot. Let’s also not forget this deals damage to your own creatures as well, which could easily come up.

Gorilla Shaman – Do you hate losing to Affinity? Here is one of the best solutions to that!

Leave No Trace – Do you hate losing to Bogles? Here is one of the best solutions to that!

Lone Missionary – I like this instead of Hydroblast or Circle of Protection: Red. It is easier to cast since you have access to more white than blue and it doesn’t require you to leave mana up to be effective. 4 life is a lot and being able to buy it back with Kor Skyfisher is a big game against any red deck.

Negate – A good catch all counter spell. I am not sure I like it more than Dispel because of the 1 casting cost compared to 2, but I suppose there are some non creature spells that Dispel doesn’t hit that you may need to counter.

Okiba-Gang Shinobi – An extremely good creature against Tron and the combo decks. It does need to come down somewhat early to be good, but even in the mid game, this will put a lot of pressure on your opponent. It is also really good that it bounces a creature back to your hand with Ninjustu.

Pyroblast and 4 Red Elemental Blast – Blue decks can be a big problem for anyone and we see 5 copies of red blasts to help with that problem. I am honestly just not surprised by this. No one likes getting run over by a good blue draw.

Standard Bearer – A really good answer to multiple decks. This includes Stompy, Bogles and even the Burn deck to a degree since it will counter a burn spell. (However getting hit by a Searing Blaze feels bad)

Verdict and Conclusion

I think I found one of my new favorite lists in the format. Although this particular type of deck is not necessarily new, I do like this particular take on the list and I think this is a very good start if you are interested in something like this.

One card I don’t see in this archetype is Ephemerate. While I do have mixed feelings about whether or not it should be legal in the format at all, it is currently allowed to be played.

While you don’t have Mnemonic Wall or Archaeomancer, you still have access to Spellstutter Sprite, Thraben Inspector and Kor Skyfisher. Non of these sound overly powerful, but you could take out 1 Spare Supplies for a copy of Ephemerate. If you do, adding a copy of Mulldrifter for the other copy of Supplies could also be a good idea. However, you then make Glint Hawk slightly worse. These are just things I’ve been thinking about with this deck.

So, do I think you should play this deck? Absolutely I do. I think this deck is extremely powerful and can be built in multiple ways. Honestly the possibilities are very high. I think this is a good place to start as well, especially when you consider it got third place in a challenge, which is certainly not something easy to do and definitely does prove a point. While there is luck in this game and the pilot could have ran very hot that day, I don’t think luck got them to their finish alone. This archetype is certainly not easy to pilot correctly and definitely rewards good play in my opinion.

In the end, my words are not gospel, but I do encourage all of you to try this deck out. Do remember results may vary, but I think this a good deck and I know you will have fun playing it. Do make sure to practice as well because remember, this is not an easy deck to play and there is a good possibility that at the time of me writing this, the meta has changed and you will need to make changes so you can adapt.

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Thank you so much for reading. Good luck in your next tournament and I will see you next time!