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By: Arctic_Ghost, Arctic_Ghost
Aug 26 2021 1:00pm

As I write this, the current state of the Pauper format is being a little warped around the Storm archetype. The reason I don’t cover the Storm archetype is because I expected it to be banned by now. However, that is not the discussion for today.

One of the best decks in the format currently is Dimir Control. More specifically, the shell with Faerie Seer, Spellstutter Sprite and Ninja of the Deep Hours. Today, the list we will be looking at, won the Pauper challenge that took place on 8/8/2021 and was piloted by the player MisplacedGinger. The list is fairly stock version and without wasting more of anyone’s time, let’s get right into it.

Faerie Seer and Spellstutter Sprite – Here are your Faerie creatures for the deck. I am sure by now, everyone knows how good both of these creatures are. Faerie Seer is a great 1 drop because it allows you to Scry when it enters the battlefield and Spellstutter Sprite is basically a Counterspell with a body attached to it (A ton of staples in the format costs 1 or 2 mana). Both are great with Ninja of the Deep Hours as well.

Augur of Bolas – Augur costs 2 mana and has 3 toughness, making it a great blocker in combat against aggro decks. You play a lot of creatures in the deck and can easily miss with Augur’s enter the battlefield trigger, but I suppose I am biased. The odds of you hitting and with how good it is against aggro, outweighs the downside of possibly missing with it’s ETB effect.

Ninja of the Deep Hours – A premier creature of the Faerie archetypes in pauper. It allows you to pick back up Spellstutter or Seer so that you can use their enter the battlefield effects again and whenever Ninja deals combat damage, you are able to draw a card. Ninja by itself can give you a huge head start early in the game and help snowball out of control quickly. I like having only 3 copies over 4 because the removal in the format is so cheap and it can easily be roadblocked by any creature. You don’t want to draw too many of them early and have them be useless.

Thorn of the Black Rose – Becoming the Monarch in Pauper is very powerful, especially for a control deck. This is a great blocker and since it has Deathtouch, it can easily get in unblocked so that you can get a Ninja attack in. Then if you lose the Monarch, you can take it back by playing Thorn again.

Gurmag Angler – This is your big end game creature. You don’t play cards like Thought Scour to turbo Angler out, so you don’t want to draw multiples early and have them be dead/uncastable in your hand.

Brainstorm and Preordain – Good old Brainstorm and Preordain. You play a decent number of shuffle effects, which helps make Brainstorm quite a good way to draw cards. Preordain helps you push cards you don’t need to the bottom so that you can fight a longer game.

Counterspell – You are a blue control deck. We all know why there are 4 copies of this card here. Lets move on.

Dispel – a 1 mana counter spell is extremely helpful when trying to cast multiple spells in a turn or win a counter war. These days, Dispel is quite a good card to have a copy of in the main deck.

Echoing Truth and Echoing Decay – With storm running around so much, having access to Echoing Truth and Echoing Decay is fairly mandatory. They can also be good against other things since Truth is a bounce spell and Decay has the chance to deal with multiple threats at once.

Snuff Out – A great removal spell that you can cast for almost free. It allows you tap out for your creatures and create a board presence while also still being able to deal with a troublesome threat. Just be careful, as paying 4 life is not a small amount.

Cast Down – One of the best removal spells in the format. Not surprised to see it here.

The manabase isn’t anything to special. You have 2 Ash Barrens and 3 Evolving Wilds to help fix your mana. I like having a 3rd copy of Wilds because while the land comes into play tapped, it doesn’t cost you 1 mana to search for a land and can be used immediately. Then you have 3 copies of Ice Tunnel as your dual land because it also a Swamp, which helps you cast Snuff Out for it’s alternate casting cost. The rest are just basic lands.

You don’t play anything fancy like Bojuka Bog because you only have 20 lands to work with and you can’t afford to be too slow. You can’t afford to have a ton of come into play tapped lands. I would not change the manabase.

The Sideboard

Dispel – Extra counter magic just in case you need it.

Echoing Truth – Extra hate against storm, other token strategies and just all around good if you need a third copy. Against some decks where Echoing Decay might not do enough, you can swap Decay for Truth.

Chainer's Edict – Against Bogles or if you need an Edict effect in general, this is the best one for this archetype because it can be used later thanks to Flashback.

Duress – Fairly good against other control decks and also very good against storm. Against Storm, you want to use Duress to buy time and keep them from going off. Against other control decks, you want to play Duress to get perfect information and force through a threat. Try to hold Duress until you want to resolve something in the same turn.

Hydroblast – For all those pesky red mages. Also quite helpful against the Affinity archetype as it can deal with Atog, Fling and any other red spells they might want to use.

Relic of Progenitus – Always a good thing to have access to graveyard hate.

Stormbound Geist – Very good threat to have against other control/removal heavy decks, as it takes 2 removal spells to deal with and gets bigger after the first removal spell.

Suffocating Fumes – Having access to a board wipe spell is a good thing to have these days in the Pauper format. This one might cost 1 more than Nausea to cast, but it can be cast at instant speed and also can be cycled away if need be. Fumes isn’t good against everything, but it has its place.

Verdict and Conclusion

I am sure by now that everyone knows how good the Faerie archetypes are in the Pauper format. Whether you build it as Mono Blue, Dimir or Izzet, you will most likely have a good win percentage so long as you practice and play your cards well.

For veterans of the format, this is a great deck to grind with. For new players, it will be a little rocky at first to learn because

The package of Faerie Seer, Spellstutter Sprite and Ninja of the Deep Hours create an aggro element for control decks to use, while also drawing cards, counter spells and removing threats off the battlefield. The big reason the Faerie archetypes are so powerful is because they get to run less lands, play more spells and draw tons of cards. Faeries is both an aggro deck that can draw a ton of cards and a control deck that can beat down. It is quite the annoying combination.

Do I think you should play this deck? Yes I absolutely do. I think that goes without question, especially since Dimir Faeries have been shown to be the version that is putting the best results at the moment out of Dimir, Izzet and Mono Blue.

The reason I believe Dimir is the best version right now is that Lightning Bolt is a bit mediocre against the top decks as a removal spell and the potential to burn your opponent doesn’t help, while Skred is slow and doesn’t do enough. Snuff Out allows you to tap out and still be able to cast it, while Cast Down is always 2 mana and kill a creature with almost no questions asked. You could also talk about Flame Slash, but again, the other spells you get by playing black instead of red matter more.

You also get access to better storm hate in the form of Echoing Decay. While yes, red gets access to Electrickery, the Squirrel tokens will have 2 toughness and so Trickery won’t do anything. There is also Fiery Cannonade, but Cannonade hits your own creatures as well, making it far worse than Decay in this spot. Duress is also a good card against storm as well as control, where Pyroblast or Red Elemental Blast does nothing against storm. You also get access to Gurmag Angler which helps end the game quickly and is a just a really good win condition all around.

In the end, the way the format is now, Dimir Faeries is just better positioned in my opinion and the results speak for themselves. Unless Storm gets banned, I doubt that will change any time soon. Is that to say Izzet and Mono Blue are unplayable? Absolutely not, but you will be putting in extra work for not much extra gain in my opinion.

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 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!