Arctic_Ghost's picture
By: Arctic_Ghost, Arctic_Ghost
Apr 01 2020 11:00am

I think that by now, most of you are going to be familiar with cards such as Pestilence, Reality Acid and Castigate. While all 3 of these cards don't usually see play in the same archetype, my question to you is, what if they did?

That is what we are going to discuss today. The list we are going to look at today was recently brought up to me this past week and I instantly thought it was so awesome when looking at it, I knew I wanted to bring it to the attention of many more people.


This archetype takes the BW Pestilence control shell and has innovated on it, adding some new cards from the most recent Theros set and adding in Kor Skyfisher and Dream Stalker to take advantage of said cards. Let's just go ahead and get right into the list instead of me trying to make this intro longer.



The usual BW Pestilence control archetype is usually straightforward. It has a small amount of card draw, a lot of removal and plays very few creatures, but they are very good with Pestilence. One of the creatures you rely on is Guardian of the Guildpact to combo with Pestilence and slowly drain your opponent to death.


However this deck list doesn't have Guardian of the Guildpact and although does use Pestilence, it doesn't rely on it as hard as the typical BW control archetype does. In this list, you use the black and white Omens and ways to bounce them to slowly grind your opponent out instead.


Kor Skyfisher and Dream Stalker – These are your bounce creatures that you use to return cards, such as the Omens or Prophetic Prism to gain little bits of card advantage slowly overtime. While Kor Skyfisher is an extremely good creature with flying that can be a win condition by itself, Dream Stalker is a great blocker against any aggro archetype because it has a whopping 5 toughness to get through.


Thraben Inspector – A great 1 drop creature that can block fairly well and brings along a Clue token, which allows you to draw an extra card for a small price.


Thorn of the Black Rose – This is your Monarch creature of choice because it has Deathtouch and is a better creature to block with in combat. If you don't own them and instead have Palace Sentinels, they are a fine replacement or could end up being better in certain matchups.


Custodi Squire – You don't see this creature too often in the Pauper format, but BW Pestilence because it is a 3 power creature with flying that can return either a good creature from the graveyard or it can return Pestilence itself. Personally I'd like to find room for a second copy.


Now of course, just a little reminder. Every creature in this deck is good to return with both Kor Skyfisher or Dream Stalker. This includes Thorn of the Black Rose because worse case scenario, it resets you into being the Monarch again.


Omen of the Dead and Omen of the Sun – A couple of new toys from Theros Beyond Death to work with. The white Omen can gain you a couple points of life and creatures 2 different blockers, making it a great defense against aggro or a decent offense against control.


The black Omen is quite good because every creature you have to return from your graveyard is just great. It is also a good combo with Kor Skyfisher or Dream Stalker because you return one of these 2 creatures, bounce the Omen back with their enter the battlefield trigger and then if they die again, you rinse and repeat. Another great thing is that the Omen cards have Flash.


Prophetic Prism – Draws a card when it enters the battlefield, making it good with your bounce effects and it helps you cast your cards. Doesn't get much better than that.


Castigate – Probably the most powerful discard spell in Pauper. Not only does it take any non land card, but it also removes the card so your opponent can never get it back later.


Pestilence – One of the most powerful cards in the Pauper format period. It can drain your opponent slowly, it can wipe the board against almost all the aggro decks of the format repeatedly and with Dream Stalker it is quite likely to remain in play for a long time to be used over and over again.


Reality Acid – A great card to use with Dream Stalker or Kor Skyfisher. The reason their isn't more than 1 copy is because while it is a good card, you don't have cards such as Ephemerate to flicker your creatures constantly and use Reality Acid to it's fullest effect. Drawing more than 1 copy is just wasting space for better cards in my opinion.


Doom Blade and Chainer's Edict – These are your removal spells of choice. Doom Blade can deal with almost anything in the format and it is always good to have an edict effect if you have access to it.


Prismatic Strands – Another one of the most powerful cards in Pauper. It can counter a burn spell, it can Fog for a turn and you could find yourself making profitable blocks during combat as well. Prismatic Strands literally does it all.


For the Manabase, you have a couple copies of Bojuka Bog for the graveyard decks. 2 copies each of Dismal Backwater and Scoured Barrens. Both of your dual lands produce the color black, which is your deepest color.


2 copies of Radiant Fountain to help against aggro, though I don't think they are needed, but that is just my opinion. 4 copies of Ash Barrens to help fix your colors. 3 copies of Orzhov Basilica for your bounce land of choice and finally 6 basic lands. Snow-Covered lands are required in this archetype, they just look cool.



1 Coalition Honor Guard – Always a good effect to have in the sideboard against archetypes such as Bogles, Stompy etc. Although this one cost 4 mana, it doesn't die to simply Lightning Bolt or Gut Shot.


1 Crypt Rats – Just in the case you need another board wipe, here is one that comes down turn 3 and can be used turn 4.


1 Diabolic Edict – When you need a 5th edict effect.


2 Disenchant – There are always artifacts and enchantments that can be a lot of trouble for you. Always good to have a way of taking care of them. If you feel you are playing against more Bogles than decks with artifacts, you can use cards such as Leave no Trace. Same goes for if you find more problem artifacts but less enchantments being played, etc.


1 Doom Blade – Extra removal when you need it. You could also instead play cards such as Journey to Nowhere or Oblivion Ring in this spot, just any good removal spell for when you need it.


2 Duress – I think we are all familiar with Duress by now, so we are gonna move on. Just in case though, it's really good against any control deck or archetype that relies a lot on spells.


1 Faerie Macabre – Graveyard removal at instant speed that can be reused with Omen of the Dead. Can also be a 2 power creature with flying as well when you need it to be.


2 Lone Missionary – A classic staple of archetypes with Kor Skyfisher like effects.


2 Negate – A counter spell just in case you have the need for it. Prohibit can also be good because it also counters creatures and Dispel is also an option for being 1 mana and helping fight a counter war. It honestly depends on what you expect to face. Negate for 2 mana is just a good catch all for problem Instant and Sorcery type spells.


2 Relic of Progenitus – Classic graveyard removal, just need to be careful not to hurt your own graveyard in the process.


Verdict and Conclusion

I love a good deck like this where you have tons of things going on every turn. I also love the use of both the black and white omens and the amount of use you can get out of them thanks to Kor Skyfisher and Dream Stalker.


Most of the time, archetypes like this can sometimes feel like they are trying to do “too much”. What I mean by that is, instead of your deck being a straight up aggro or control archetype, you are just too mixed and you can set yourself up for situations where you constantly draw the wrong half of your deck.


However with this particular list, I feel like this archetype knows what it wants to do, it is just that almost all the cards in this deck serve multiple purposes for any situation. I don't feel like this is the final list and I do think it is worth trying out.


Do I think this will bring you much success in your next challenge or league? I think with enough practice and optimization, it can. I look forward to seeing how everyone tunes this archetype (if you decided to play) and let me know any changes you would make.


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!


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That is it for now. See you all next time!