Arctic_Ghost's picture
By: Arctic_Ghost, Arctic_Ghost
Jun 23 2021 12:00pm

Boarding Party and Annoyed Altisaur made a big splash in the Pauper format and still continue to put up good results to this day. I won’t lie, I have a lot of fun playing with both cards, but I will also admit that I myself have gotten a little bored with the same old lists all the time.

This brings me to the deck I want to talk about today. This is a Gruul Cascade list that features a heavy artifact theme and also features one of my favorite cards in the format, Galvanic Blast. The list we will talk about today was part of the 5-0 dump from 5/26/2021 and was piloted by the player Kirblinxy. As of writing this, Kirblinxy also made it to the top 8 of the Pauper challenge that took place on 6/5/2021 (lists posted on the 6th) and played a really sweet list with new cards, make sure to check it out! Alright I won’t waste any more time, let’s get right into it!

Boarding Party and Annoyed Altisaur – The big bad Cascade creatures. I am very sad to only see 2 copies of Altisaur in the deck instead of 3 copies, but I do understand there isn’t a ton of ramp and it does cost 7 mana. Not only are they good win conditions by themselves, Cascade is one heck of an ability.

Sarulf’s Packmate – Not only does this creature have good stats, but it also draws a card when it enters play. That is pretty good for 4 mana already, but thanks to the Foretell ability, it can come down on turn 3 and you can leave a mana up for a bolt, which helps you curve out extremely well. Honestly I expect Packmate to see a ton more play as time goes on.

Llanowar Visionary – A ramp creature that draws a card when it enters play. Honestly, it doesn’t get much better than this one.

Crimson Fleet Commodore – Being the Monarch is very powerful in this format. It might not seem like much, but drawing 2 cards can be huge game for any deck. Although it only has 2 toughness, which means it can be dealt with by simple Shock, it does have Trample and 5 attack, which means not only does it hit hard, but it can also be good at taking the Monarch back if you lose it.

Lightning Bolt  – We all know about Lightning Bolt and it should be no surprise it makes an appearance here.

Galvanic Blast – If you have access to red and have a lot of artifacts, Galvanic Blast is an extremely powerful card to have access to. With Metalcraft, not only can it deal 4 to a creature, but it can also deal 4 to your opponent and it can be done at instant speed. I am not saying every red deck should have a ton of artifacts just so you can run this card, but if you are playing an archetype that can support it, Galvanic Blast is quite the powerhouse.

Abrade – There are a ton of artifacts in the format to target and dealing 3 damage can deal with a lot of creatures you will come across. Abrade isn’t the most powerful spell of all time, but it is a very good one to have access to.

Cleansing Wildfire – A big thing to note about this card, it does not say you have to actually destroy the land it is targeting get a land and draw a card. You play 4 copies of Darksteel Citadel, which means you can target your Citadel and so long as Wildfire resolves, you will ramp and draw a card. Also Tron hate because, well you get the point.

Pulse Murasa - The 6 life is relevant against any aggro deck and if you Wildfire a land that isn't Darksteel Citadel, you can get it back. Of course, the best part is that this card retturns one of your Cascade creatures from the graveyard back to your hand so that it can be cast again. Never can go wrong with Pulse of Murasa.

Spare Supplies – Not the most impressive card in the world, but it can draw 2 cards for the price of one and it is an artifact to help turn on Metalcraft.

Bonder's Ornament – Ornament ramps you, draws you cards and helps fix your mana. I am honestly not sure what more you could ask for in a card. I am a little surprised not to see 4 copies here, but you have to make room for other spells somehow.

The Manabase

Darksteel Citadel – It doesn’t produce Green or Red mana, but it does combo with Cleaning Wildfire and it is an artifact for Metalcraft. It has its place in the deck.

Great Furnace and Tree of Tales – The artifact lands of the archetype. I am not sure you need 8 of them because I personally don’t like turning my opponents artifact removal into land destruction and randomly losing the game, but they do help a lot with turning on Metalcraft.

Ash Barrens – If you are more than 1 color, it’s always a good idea to have at least a couple of these in your deck.

Gruul Turf – This helps you keep land light hands and mulligan less often. However, do be careful as you don’t want to keep hands that are unplayable.

The rest of the manabase is just basic lands. I think the manabase is correct, but I might shave some copies of Furnace and Tree of Tales for some more basics. Not a requirement, but something to think about. You do have Krark-Clan Shaman in the sideboard against aggro decks though, so 8 artifact lands might be the correct way to go.

The Sideboard

Branching Bolt – I haven’t seen this one played in years, so it put a smile on my face when I saw the sideboard. It isn’t the most impressive spell, but it can easily get a good 2 for 1 against a lot of archetypes. It is sort of like an Agony Warp for Gruul colors.

Fiery Cannonade – A board wipe spell is always a good thing to have access to and this is definitely one of the best ones to play.

Gorilla Shaman – Affinity hate. Let’s move on.

Krark-Clan Shaman – You have access to a lot of artifacts and aggro decks can be a pain. This should help a lot with that. However, please remember to hold the control key before and during the use of this creatures ability or else it won’t work correctly.

Relic of Progenitus – You need some sort of graveyard hate these days and this one draws a card when you use it, making it quite useful at any point in the game.

Return to Nature – A really good flexible card. I am not sure it is better than a second copy of Serene Heart or even an Ancient Grudge, but it does have its uses in a lot of matchups.

Serene Heart – No one likes losing to Bogles period.

Shenanigans - One of the best artifact hate cards in the format. If you play red and you aren’t Burn, this is one of the best sideboard cards you can have.

Weather the Storm – For those pesky red mages who love giving you a hard time.

As of writing this, this archetype also made the top 4 of the challenge that took place on 6/6/2021 and was piloted by the player Aarong. While it is quite close to the list I have spoken about today, it has some key differences to look at.

Verdict and Conclusion

It is no secret that the Cascade decks are among some of the most powerful in the format. Whether you are playing a Walls build, a Gruul Ramp build, Jund and so on, you are going to have a fun time and get wins along the way.

I particularly like this over the usual Gruul build because of how hyper aggro it can go thanks to the addition of Galvanic Blast. I also think the Darksteel Citadel and Cleansing Wildfire combo is quite good for ramping and getting some card advantage. At the end of the day, I just think this deck is really cool. I will say however I hope to find room for a 3rd Altisaur in the near future.

One thing you will notice is the absence of Pyroblast and Red Elemental Blast. The reason is because you don’t want to Cascade into them. However, if you do feel you are having trouble with blue decks, adding 3 copies of them to the sideboard might be a good idea.

Do I think you should play this deck? I think it is fine. Gruul Cascade has shown to be a good deck in the format and has put up results before. I think this is a good deck for league play and I also think it can do well in the challenges. Whichever one you play, you might need to change the list around a little to prepare for the correct meta, but I think overall you should get some good results.

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!