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By: Arctic_Ghost, Arctic_Ghost
Oct 03 2022 10:08am
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Dimir Control has gone through many different versions over the years in Pauper. Faeries, Teachings variants with various win conditions and many more. One of the more popular win conditions is Gurmag Angler, but Angler has always been hoping for a good friend to win the game with and with Dominaria United, we have found one.

The list we will be looking at today got 1st place in the Pauper Challenge that was posted on 9/18/2022 and was piloted by the player cristorisorto. It is time to see what is lurking in the deep of the Tolarian waters. Let’s rock this!


Augur of Bolas – Although I am not a huge fan of this card, it does block well in the early game which is what you really want in a deck like this. Obviously it has the chance to get a spell as well. If it finds you a card, it is a great creature, if it does not, then it is mediocre, but it still does the blocking job well.

Gurmag Angler – It is no secret that Angler is one of the best creatures in Pauper because it is very big and easy to cast. I am happy to see 4 here. You can easily turbo it out in this version as well. We will discuss that more a bit later.

Tolarian Terror – This is one of my favorite creatures in limited and I love it just as much here. You will regularly end up casting this for 1 or 2 mana and being able to leave up counter magic ore removal is devastating for any opponent. It has Ward 2, making it extremely annoying to deal with, but the big thing is that since its ability is not Delve, you can chain a few of these together in 1 turn. This is an amazing win condition for this deck and I wish you could play 5.

Counterspell – If you are a blue control deck that can cast this card easily, you should always be packing 4 of them.

Dispel – Although there is only 1 copy in the main deck, it is always nice to have the silver bullet and it keeps opponents guessing if they have to play around more of them.

Thought Scour, Mental Note and Consider – These cantrips are crucial to the deck. You are a control deck, but you are also a tempo deck. You want to turbo out your win conditions creatures quickly and then back them up with counter spells while using removal to clear the way so you can end the game quickly. In my opinion, moving forward I think trimming a few copies of Mental Note is just fine.

Deep Analysis – A fantastic draw spell for this archetype because it has Flashback. However, keep in mind the Flashback costs 3 life and that isn’t a cheap cost.

Brainstorm – Easily the best of the 1 mana cantrips for this archetype. You have a ton of ways to get rid of the 2 cards you put back and keep the gasoline flowing.

Snuff Out and Cast DownCast Down is all around the best removal spell in the format in my opinion. Snuff Out is a classic for a deck like this. It allows you tap out early and still leave up removal to keep up the defenses or clear the way for your creatures. Just be careful with paying 4 life.

The Manabase isn’t too special. We see 4 Ash Barrens to help fix your mana and to help with Brainstorm. We see 11 basics made up of Swamps and Islands. Then we see Ice Tunnel as the dual land of choice. The reason for this, is because it counts as a swamp so it helps you cast Snuff Out for its alternative cost. This brings us to a total of 19 lands and that should be fine as we don’t need much mana to work with. If you feel a little land light, I can understand going up to 20.

The Sideboard

Arms of Hadar and Suffocating Fumes – Everyone can benefit from board wipes these days.

Blue Elemental Blast and Hydroblast – Beware red spells, we are coming for ya!

Chainer's Edict – Edict effects are always a good thing to have access to in your back pocket.

Dispel – An extra copy just in case you need it.

 Unexpected Fangs – Hey red decks, wouldn’t it be a shame if you had to face down a 6 power creature with lifelink?

Verdict and Final Thoughts

Archetypes like this one aren’t anything new or revolutionary, but with the printing of Tolarian Terror, I expect to see this archetype pop up and be innovated on a lot more.

The reason this deck is so powerful is because it is a control deck that draws a ton of cards, has a good chance of not bricking and is capable of winning the game very quickly. Graveyard hate like Relic of Progentius can hurt this deck, but with 4 copies each of Mental Note and Thought Scour it isn’t hard to refill the graveyard immediately and cast a big threat. In the end, this deck is just very resilient.

I just want to say, I am not usually a big fan of self mill decks like this as you are usually at the mercy of your luck in terms of you possibly milling all of your good spells. However, with the addition of Terror and Brainstorm, I think you can easily manipulate how much of that luck is bad.

Do I think you should play this deck? Yes I do. I think this deck should have a reasonable shot at beating the Burn decks and the Affinity boogeyman. Faeries might be a bit tricky because they too have counter magic and can get under you quickly, but you should be able to keep up the tempo game with them as well.

For the big mana/midrange archetypes, I think you are ahead in percentage points, you just need to be quick as well as being controlling. At the end of the day, this should easily scratch the control itch for anyone, but you will have to practice so you know how to approach each matchup.

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!