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By: Arctic_Ghost, Arctic_Ghost
Dec 16 2020 2:44pm
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I have always been a fan of the 5 Color Zoo archetype. I’ve loved the archetype since before and after the ban of Arcum’s Astrolabe. Something about being able to play powerful creatures and spells from among all 5 colors, gives me a warm feeling. That being said, I also really enjoyed playing the Jeskai Flicker archetype before Astrolabe got banned as well. 

As you can tell by what I have said so far, Arcum’s Astrolabe has long been banned, but that doesn’t stop people from playing powerful decks with a ton of color requirements in it. 

The deck list I will be talking about today is from the 12-02-2020 5-0 dump. It was pilot by the player Saidin.Raken, who got another 5-0 with a Jeskai Flicker deck in the same day as well. I have decided to call their list 5 Color Good Stuff. The reason being is that, well… That is what you are doing, jamming all the best cards across all 5 colors of Magic. I am done rambling, let’s see what you all came here for.


Kor Skyfisher
, Mulldrifter and Mnemonic Wall – Here are your creatures for the deck. Kor Skyfisher makes an appearance here, not just because it has very good stats that can win the game on its own, but also because it returns a permanent you control to your hand, which combos very well with cards like Mulldrifter, Abundant Growth and Bojuka Bog, among others. 

Next up we see Mulldrifter, which is no surprise since Mulldrifter is one of the best creatures in Pauper history for any blue deck. Finally we see Mnemonic Wall. Although you don’t have access to Urza Tron or ramp in general, you are a very grindy deck. This means most games will go long enough that when you have access to a good amount of mana, you can start looping Ephemerate with Mnemonic Wall to take over the game. You can keep returning Counterspell, removal spells or draw tons of cards with Mulldrifter. Mnemonic Wall, although slow, is usually good on its own as well, as it can’t be killed by a single Lightning Bolt and blocks just about everything. Overall, in my opinion, you are playing 3 of the best creatures in the format. 

Lightning Bolt and Counterspell – 2 of the most powerful cards in Pauper period. It is no surprise that they make there appearance here. Your manabase is heavily geared towards being able to cast Counterspell, so that shouldn’t be a problem. Lightning Bolt is not only is a good removal spell, it can be looped with the Mnemonic Wall and Ephemenrate combo to slowly burn your opponent out. 

2 Cast Down – In my opinion, the best removal spell in the format period. For 2 mana, you can deal with anything. Having said that, why is there only 2 copies? 

When looking at this archetype, you will notice that there are only 2 copies of a lot of cards. That is because you have different cards for different situations. Lightning Bolt for example serves 2 purposes. It can kill a creature or go to the face for the win. It is true that it can’t deal with Myr Enforcer or Gurmag Angler, but that is what Cast Down is for. 

When playing a deck like this, you use your life as a resource. You don’t lose the game unless you go below 1. When you are being attacked by a smaller creature that Lightning Bolt could deal with or a Kor Skyfisher can block, but you only have a Cast Down, you can probably take some damage for a few turns to try and draw a better answer so you can save the Cast Down for something bigger. 

Every spell in this archetype has a specific purpose and you need to get the most out of your cards. You don’t need to Cast Down a 2 power creature if you are at 20 and you don’t need to Counterspell the first thing you see either. I can already tell you this archetype will take practice to play correctly. 

Abrade – A really great removal spell that I expect to see more of as time goes on. Not only does it deal a decent amount of damage to a creature, dealing with almost anything, but it also destroys artifacts. It deals with many things in Affinity, destroys Bonder’s Ornament and still deals with Spire Golem. Abrade is one of my favorite removal spells in the format today. 

Skred – You can look at Skred as the third version of Cast Down. In some games, you might have trouble having 5 Snow permanents in play sometimes, but it costs 1 mana less to cast. In an archetype like this where you are, usually, always using all of your mana for something, the difference between 1 and 2 casting cost can be huge and allow you to cast more spells in a turn. 

Fiery Cannonade – A new addition to Pauper thanks to a rarity downgrade. While this does kill your own Mulldrifter, the 2 damage it deals can be huge against archetypes such as RDW, Elves (especially after sideboard because of Spidersilk Armor) and plenty of other strategies. I like it a bit better than Electrickery

Fall from Favor – Ah yes, this new card. I don’t personally like that it was printed at common, but that is a whole different discussion. Just like all the other decks you see it in, it is great here. It deals with a big creature and gives you the Monarch on top of it, what is there not to love? Do be careful though, as you need to remember you need to deal Combat damage to take the Monarch back if you lose it. You only have 8 creatures that deal Combat damage, so again, be careful when becoming the Monarch and make sure you can stay the Monarch. 

Epehemrate – I think by now, we all know how good this card is. The reason to only play 2 is because you don’t want them making your hand clunky. 

Counterspell – One of the best Pauper cards of all time. It is no surprise it makes an appearance here. The manabase is very geared towards being able to cast this card reliably, so you should have little trouble. If you are scared, you could play Prohibit, but not being able to counter Myr Enforcer or Gurmag Angler, as well as having to pay 4 mana to counter more expensive things, will hurt you in the long run in my opinion. 

Preordain – I find Preordain better than Ponder here because I want to push cards I know I will not need to the bottom and not have to draw them again. While it is true that Ponder will see an extra card deeper, having to shuffle and possibly drawing the same card you don’t need can be a liability. 

1 copy of Brainstorm – I like one copy in this list. I will always say, I personally think Brainstorm sucks without shuffle effects. You draw 3 and put 2 cards back, but then if you don’t have a shuffle effect, you have to re-draw them. You have 6 shuffle effects in this deck, not really enough to justify a second copy in my opinion. 

Bonder’s Ornament – One of the most powerful cards for any control and/or midrange decks in Pauper. It is great in this deck because not only does it help with your color fixing, it also ramps you, it draws you cards and it stops other opponents from being able to use theirs to draw cards (unless they want to give you one as well). You also have Abrade, so you can destroy opposing Ornaments and get ahead on board. 

Abundant Growth – This is a needed card because at the end of the day, you need access to all 5 colors. The best part is that this draws a card when it comes into play and can combo with Kor Skyfisher

Pulse of Murasa – This is a great card all around. It counters 2 burn spells from the Burn archetype. It can return any of your creatures and you can do it at instant speed. I want a second copy in the sideboard, but I will talk about that later. 

The Manabase 

Ash Barrens – Not only does this help fix your mana, but you can play it as a land and with Abundant Growth, it becomes a rainbow land for you to use. 

 

Evolving Wilds – This is here for much of the same reason that Ash Barrens is. However it does put the land into play tapped, as opposed to putting it in your hand so you can make a land drop. You can use Abundant Growth to make this a rainbow land as well, just be careful not to miss click and sacrifice it! 

Thriving Isle – Here is your dual land for the deck and it is pretty much as good as it gets. It always taps for blue, which is your main color and it can produce whatever other color you need at the time. 

Bojuka Bog – Always good to have graveyard hate. This can also be used again with the help of Kor Skyfisher

The rest of the manabase is just basic lands. You will notice the absence of a Swamp in the deck. I believe that sacrificing being able to fetch a Swamp and getting to play Bojuka Bog helps you more against the meta. Also unlike the other colors, the only card that needs a black source to be cast is Cast Down as well.

The Sideboard 

1 Dispel – For any control matchup. It is also very good against Burn.

2 Gorilla Shaman – Affinity is one hell of a deck, let’s try and not just die to it! 

2 Hydroblast – For any deck with red cards in it. Also very good against Affinity as it deals with Atog and their burn spells. 

2 Lone Missionary – In this archetype, you don’t have a ton of mana to work with, so playing Circle of Protection: Red isn’t going to help as much as you need it to. Lone Missionary is a big help against the red aggro decks of the format, as it gains 4 life, does decent in combat and can combo with Ephemerate

3 Pyroblast – For any blue mage looking to ruin your day. 

1 Ray of Revelation – Ray of just an all around good flex card against many archetypes. If you don’t feel you will need one, you can swap this out for something else in my opinion. 

1 Spell Pierce – I would prefer this is a second copy of Dispel or something else entirely. I understand it can counter things such as opposing Bonder’s Ornaments, however I don’t think doing something like that will get you very far in the long run. 

3 Stonehorn Dignitary – I think we all know what this particular card is for, so I will not waste your time on it. Let’s move on. 

Verdict and Conclusion 

I personally love archetypes like this and I love this list as a whole. It doesn’t really do anything all that special and it isn’t very fast either, but it plays most of the best cards that the format has to offer. The only change I would definitely make is to remove the Spell Pierce for maybe a second copy of Dispel, another removal spell or just something more powerful in general. 

This particular archetype takes a lot of practice to play correctly. Although you play a lot of powerful cards, you are spread very thin, so you have to make sure you play your cards at the right time and make the most out of them. You can’t just throw a Lightning Bolt at any little creature and expect to answer every thing your opponent throws at you afterwords, you have to use your life as a resource. Keep this in mind. 

Do I think you should play this archetype? Yes I do! With testing and practice, I think this type of deck can bring anybody the glorious 5-0 we all long for. I also think it can top 8 a challenge, you just need to tune the list correctly to what you think will show up that weekend. 

With all this being said, I will also say that this deck is not the be all end all. It can and will lose games, but I think overall in the long run, this deck will bring you more wins than losses. But remember, I will always say that my words are not gospel and results will always vary. I do however think you should give this deck a try. 

Would you like to compete in a free Pauper tournament with some great prizes? Head on over to Gatherling.com 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’ll catch you all next time!