Arctic_Ghost's picture
By: Arctic_Ghost, Arctic_Ghost
Jan 12 2021 1:00pm

I am sure by now, almost all of you know what the card Pestilence is. Archetypes built around the card have come in many forms. We see it in MBC, Orzhov Control and forms of Rakdos Control just to name a few, but there are plenty of ways to build around the card.

Today we will take a look at a Sultai variant that splashes a tiny bit of red. It was piloted by the player Chocotone and was posted on 12/23/2020 as part of that days 5-0 dump. This list is very interesting and plays old favorites, such as Krosan Tusker. Let’s go ahead and get into the list!

Blastoderm – Right off the bat, we see a good creature that combos well with Pestilence. With 5 toughness and the Shroud keyword attached, you can easily deal up to 4 damage a turn and gain some serious ground against any deck in the format. Remember as well that Blastoderm also hits hard, as it has 5 power, creating a quick clock for any archetype to deal with, however it does only stay in play for 3 turns because of the Fading ability, so do keep that in mind.

Crypt Rats – When Pestilence isn’t enough to get the job done, good old Crypt Rats is here to help save the day.

Mulldrifter – This deck does contain blue in it and being able to play Mulldrifter is very good reason. I am sad to see only 2 copies in the deck, but I suppose slots are a little tight and you need to make cuts somewhere.

Krosan Tusker – It has been while since I have seen a list that contains this card, but it never disappointing. You can either cast it as a big 6 power creature that not only wins the game on its own, but also synergies with Pestilence, or you can use it to fix your mana and dig a card deeper into your deck if need be, either way it is a win/win.

Pestilence – To start off the spells of the deck, we have the card that makes the archetype itself. There isn’t much really else to say here other than use the power this card gives you wisely.

Evincar's Justice – I find this to be the 4th copy of Pestilence. It is a reusable board wipe that, if you are able to pay the Buyback cost, doesn’t go away if no creatures are on the battlefield.

Chainer's Edict and Diabolic Edict – Edict effects can be extremely useful. With archetypes like Bogles and cards such as Guardian of the Guildpact running around, you are probably gonna need them. I like the 2-2 split here because it keeps your opponent guessing on which one you may have in hand.

Cast Down – Hands down the best removal spell in Pauper in my opinion. I am not surprised to see 4 copies in the deck.

Snuff Out – This is great to have in an archetype like this where you may be tapping out a lot and still need to be able to cast a removal spell.

Suffocating Fumes – This has been a great addition to Pauper and it keeps on getting better the more I see it played. Being able to play a Nausea type of effect at instant speed is extremely good, being able to find it with Mystical Teachings is even better and it also has Cycling so it can replace itself if you can’t use it.

Mystical Teachings – You have a lot of powerful instants to go get and so you might as well take advantage of, in my opinion, one of the top 10 best cards in Pauper.

Dispel – You have access to Mystical Teachings, so being able to have a silver bullet counter spell can help greatly against almost any archetype you will face today.

Night's Whisper – Being able to draw cards is always a good thing. Since you are fairly heavy on 3 colors, I find Night's Whisper costing only 1 black source better than playing Sign in Blood.

Weather the Storm – Between Pestilence, Crypt Rats Night's Whisper and being a slow control deck, you will be using your life as a resource a lot. This means you will constantly need to manage your life total and dip low to win the game. Weather the Storm is a great way to help you keep a healthy life total so you can keep playing the game.

Pulse of Murasa – It gets back one of your powerful creatures, gains you a huge 6 life and best of all, it is an instant. This means not only can you use it whenever you may need, but it can be fetched with Mystical Teachings.

Bonder's Ornament – Ah yes, the Ornament makes an appearance again and it is not surprising as to why. For any midrange or control deck, this is literally the perfect card for you as it pretty much does it all.

The Manabase

3 copies of Bojuka Bog – The graveyard is a big part of the format these days, so having access to graveyard hate can be very crucial. I like 3 copies here as it is a source of black mana and you don’t have a way to bounce it back to your hand from play out side of your 2 bounce lands and you don’t have a way to tutor for it.


4 Ash Barrens and 1 Terramorphic Expanse – You can either use this as a land to help cast spells or fix your mana, honestly if this deck could play 5 copies, it probably would. Terramorphic Expanse is the 5th copy of (Ash Barrens) and although it isn’t as good, it helps.

1 Jungle Hollow, 1 Thriving Grove and 2 Thriving Moor – Here are the dual lands of the deck. You mostly need black and green mana, so being able to have different options when you may need them can help. The Jump Start lands are particularly helpful because they can add blue or red, depending on the situation.

2 Golgari Rot Farm – I like the bounce lands in midrange or control decks because they help with your mulligan decisions. It is also quite nice that they return Bojuka Bog so you can use it again and it combos well with (Ash Barrens). You can play Barrens turn 1, then turn 2, float a mana, return it and cycle it for a basic land.

The rest of the manabase are basic lands. You have 4 copies of Swamp and 3 copies of Forest as they are your main colors, Then you have 1 copy of Island and 1 copy of Mountain. Although you have no red cards in the main, you have red cards in the sideboard and you don’t want a Mountain in your sideboard taking up a slot.

The Sideboard

2 Ancient Grudge – One of the red cards you splash for. Ancient Grudge has gone up in value for me recently because of it being good against Affinity, Tron and killing opposing copies of Bonder's Ornament. I don’t believe however that it should come in just because your opponent plays Ornament, but if you think it will help, it is here.

1 Evincar's Justice – For when you need to go full control against whatever aggro matchup you are up against.

2 Gorilla Shaman – Do you hate Affinity? Well here ya go!

2 Relic of Progenitus – Do you hate graveyard shenanigans? Especially from Tron? This should help you.

3 Serene Heart – One of the best answers to the Bogles archetype, which will give anyone trouble.

2 Thorn of the Black Rose – Thorn can be good against control decks where them attacking you doesn’t happen often enough for you to be caught without a response or blocker. It can also be decent against aggro decks if you believe they aren’t going to go wide and your removal will heavily help you keep the board clear.

1 Weather the Storm – For any red matchup or if you believe you need the extra life.

2 Wickerbough Elder – I like the fact that not only this can attack, but it is Naturalize on a stick for a 1 time use. After you remove the counter, it has 4 toughness, which is a good amount to help with Pestilence and it can be returned from the grave with Pulse of Murasa.

Final thoughts and Conclusion

I do love my slow midrange decks and I think this one has a lot of potential. It has a ton of removal to handle just about any aggro deck in the format and with access to Blastoderm, you should have a decent shot at beating control decks as well. Unless they edict you, just gotta accept that.

I like the deck list as a good starting point. However, I would personally like to see 2 or 3 copies of Pyroblast in the sideboard to help out with the blue matchups a little bit. I also am sad that there aren’t any copies of Gurmag Angler in the list and I would like to find room for 2 of them. These are just my personal preferences, so they might not be the best additions.

Do I think you should play this deck? I think with a bit more fine tuning and some practice, this list can do solid in the leagues and it might put up some results in the challenges. So the answer in basic terms is yes, I think you should try this deck out. Keep in mind though that results will vary and you will need to practice!

Would you like to compete in a free Pauper tournament with some great prizes? Head on over to on Tuesday nights at 8pm EDT and play in our weekly Pauper Classic Tuesday's event! Join the chat #PCT to chat with us and feel free to find most of the competitors on Discord!

Thank you so much for reading. I will see you all next time!