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By: Arctic_Ghost, Arctic_Ghost
May 02 2022 12:26pm
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Ah yes, good old Hexproof. One of the fairest abilities in all of Magic The Gathering history. I am now remembering that sarcasm doesn’t really come across well in text so we will happily move on from me trying to be funny.

Hexproof, for the most part, is a combo deck much like Burn. In Burn, you assemble 6 or 7 burn spells, aim them at your opponent and win the game. In Hexproof (Also known as Bogles) you play a creature such as Slippery Bogle, put a bunch of Aura’s on it such as Rancor and Ethereal Armor, make the creature huge and swing for the win. Honestly the deck is that straight forward. It is extremely powerful, very new player friendly and overall one of the best decks you can invest in, in my opinion.

Bogles got some new toys to work with and also it has been some time since I looked at so today we will change that. The list we will be looking at today got 8th place in the Pauper Challenge that was posted on 4/17/2022 and was piloted by the mtgo grinder Mogged. Without further wait, lets get right into it.

 

Gladcover Scout and Slippery Bogle – Here are your staple creatures that the archetype is known for. In my opinion you always begin with all 8 of these in your main deck.

Silhana Ledgewalker – One thing your one drops lack is Trample. Yes you do have cards such as Rancor to help with that, but Ledgewalker can be straight up unblockable against some archetypes. I like it as a 1 of, but I can see going up to 2 if the meta calls for it.

Spirited Companion – This is a great addition from the Kamigawa set. Not only does it draw a card when it comes in to replace itself, but the creature itself is an enchantment. This is great because it also adds to your Ethereal Armor and Ancestral Mask count. To a degree if you could play 5 of this card, you might do that. It is also worth mentioning that this can be easy fodder for your opponents Edict effects.

Abundant Growth – I am sure over the years, some players have wondered why you play 4 copies of this card in the archetype. It is because it helps you cast your spells which is very important. However, it is also an enchantment for cheap that draws a card. What this means is that when you are trying to add to your Ancestral Mask or Ethereal Armor count, Growth has the potential to help you play 2 enchantments in the same turn instead of 1.

Utopia Sprawl – This helps you fix your colors and ramp a little which can lead to wins a turn or 2 before you otherwise would. Remember, in a combo deck or aggro deck, giving your opponent the least amount of draw steps is key.

Rancor – Although most lists these days only play 3, trust me, Rancor is still an extremely powerful and a good card for this archetype. To fit everything in the deck, you need to make cuts somewhere and Rancor, while powerful, is technically the lowest power level.

Commune with Spirits – This is a fantastic addition to this archetype. This is as close to a Demonic Tutor like card you are going to get for the amount of mana you are casting it for. At worst it can also get you a land if you are in need of one.

Ethereal Armor and Ancestral Mask – Here are your big Auras for the deck. In my opinion you never play less than 4 of either in the main deck.

Cartouche of Solidarity – This has become a staple since it got printed. Not only does this give a small +1/+1 boost to your creatures stats, but it also gives First Strike, making combat even more of a headache for your opponent. However, the most important thing is that it gives you a token creature. One of this archetypes biggest counters are Edict effects (such as Chainer’s Edict for example) and Cartouche of Solidarity is a fantastic answer to Edict effects.

Armadillo Cloak – This is every aggro decks nightmare card to see you use.

The manabase is nothing special and it should stay that way. In the past, we would see players use lands such as Blossoming Sands and I have always hated it. Nothing feels worse than losing the game because you have a land that is coming into play tapped. In this list we 17 lands, all come into play untapped and no gimmicks. I like it this way.

The Sideboard

Dust to Dust – Say no to our Affinity overlords! Tell Urza and Mishra we will not stand for their constructs of misery and doom! I will move on now.

Freewind Falcon – Against Burn and Red Deck Wins strategies this card is basically another Hexproof creature. I can also see this card being decent against control and midrange decks that primarily use red based removal.

Gut Shot – This can be a great card against a good number of decks. However the biggest thing is that this deals with Standard Bearer.

Lifelink – Against decks such as Burn or other aggro based strategies this a card they will fear as it can easily win you the game on a big creature.

Relic of Progenitus – No one likes losing to graveyard shenanigans. Yes we are looking at you Ghostly Flicker.

Standard Bearer – This is the big mirror breaker. However it can also be decent against archetypes like Mono Green Stompy and Mono White Heroic.

Verdict and Conclusion

Hexproof is an archetype that you see mostly in Pauper, but the archetype itself as a whole has been seen in Modern in the past as well. This goes to show you just how powerful (and probably a mistake) Hexproof is.

I really like this version of Hexproof with Commune and Companion because I feel like it makes the deck much more consistent and give you some extra percentage points against a few matchups. For example, I really love how cheap Commune is to cast and it still digs a whopping 5 cards deep. When you compare it to Kruphix's Insight, it is true that you don’t get 3 cards and you see 1 less card. However, Commune is cheaper, allowing you to cast more spells and win the game faster which is what I personally want to do in a deck like this. After sideboard my plan is still the same, win the game as quickly as possible. One skill to learn with this deck is when and when not to over extend so that you play around Tranquility like effects. Insight is still a great card, but at the time of writing this article, it seems like being faster is currently better. I could easily be wrong.

When it comes to Spirited Companion, my main reasoning for liking it is that it draws a card. It isn’t necessarily better than Transcendent Envoy as Envoy can help you win fast and Envoy has flying so it can also be a way to win as well. However, Envoy can sometimes do nothing as its ability can be irrelevant, it can’t get through even with flying and Companion always does something as it draws a card. Heliod’s Pilgrim is also a consideration, but with Commune you don’t need it in my opinion.

Regardless of how you look at it, the main point is that there are some flex spots in the deck and you can play what you want depending on what meta you believe you will see. However, overall I like this version right now as a good way to try and beat an unknown meta.

Do I think you should play Hexproof? Yes I do because it is still one of the best and friendliest decks for players of any skill level in Pauper. Whether you are new or a veteran, I have no doubt Hexproof will give you some good results in the long run. Will you win every match? Will you become the next Pauper world champion? Will you grow a money tree outside your home (this is me trying to be funny and failing). Hexproof will give you a damn good chance of having a high win percentage but remember, you cannot win all the time.

However, with all this being said, as always, do remember my words are not gospel. I will always encourage you to try a deck that I bring you despite my personal feelings. Remember that results will vary and always remember to practice!

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. Best of luck to you in your next tournament and I’ll catch you all next time!