Arctic_Ghost's picture
By: Arctic_Ghost, Arctic_Ghost
Apr 25 2023 12:53pm

No matter what the current meta is, there will always be loyal Pauper players who try their best to make Golgari work. Whether it is Token based, aggro or midrange, you can bet it will pop up at some point. I haven’t looked at the archetype in a while and today I’d like to see what players are cooking up.

The list we will be looking at today was part of the 5-0 dump from 4/05/2023 and was piloted by the player Leobertucci. Normally I would have a joke to put here, but today is serious business and the many millions will only follow if taken super seriously. Let’s Rock!


Guildsworn Prowler – A decent blocker and it combos well with Deadly Dispute. Since it has Deathtouch it can also attack profitably if you are in the position to do so.

Crypt Rats – If you are playing Golgari, it is rare to not see Crypt Rats. As always, be careful using its ability as it also hurts your life total. Also, make sure to remember if you want to use the ability 1 point at a time, you need to hold down your ctrl key on mtgo before using the ability.

Llanowar Visionary – Easily one of the best midrange creatures in Pauper. I am a little surprised to only see 3 copies and not 4 but you can’t fit everything.

Avenging Hunter – One of the best win conditions that green has for midrange.

Disfigure – There are only 2 copies but that is fine because Disfigure shines best in your opening hand. The later the game goes it isn’t all the impressive usually. I like 2 copies.

Cast Down – One of the best removal spells in the format period.

Chainer’s Edict – Edict effects are always a good thing to have access to and this is the best one in my opinion.

Deadly Dispute and Reckoner’s Bargain – I am sure no one is surprised to see these cards here. My only issue is that I personally would like to see a second copy of Bargain, but I know full and well that might not be the best idea in the long run.

Suffocating Fumes and Arms of Hadar – Board wipes are a pain for almost any deck to face off against. I am not surprised to see them in this archetype.

Snuff Out and Spinning Darkness – Free spells are always a good thing to have. You should have more than enough fodder for Spinning Darkness to be cast for free regularly and of course, Snuff out is one of the best removal spells in MTG history in my opinion. Spinning Darkness is interesting here as I am sure plenty of players are not familiar with it. In a midrange deck like this, the 3 life you gain can mean an extra 1 or maybe even 2 turns and that is huge because it means you get to see 2 extra cards and give yourself a chance to win the game.

Ichor Wellspring – Good fodder for your draw spells.

Blood Fountain – One of the best card advantage spells in Pauper. It also creates a Blood Token, which is fantastic for either digging a bit deeper or being fodder for your draw spells.

The Manabase

Barren Moor – Either it is mana or it draws a card deeper late in the game. I like this as a 1 of.

Bojuka Bog – Graveyard shenanigans beware.

Crystal Grotto – While I understand this land comes into play tapped. I must admit I would rather have a second copy of Witherbloom Campus because I feel like adding 1 more tap land wouldn’t slow you down all that much and I highly doubt you would lose so many games to not having that 1 extra tap land and you would win more games if you had a slightly better chance of getting a Campus early.

Golgari Rot Farm – Allows you to pick up your tech lands and is a dual land itself. I want to ask you be cautious however, this can be a mana hungry deck so keeping land light hands might not always be the best idea instead of taking a mulligan.

Khalni Garden – A green land that gives you a token to either block with or be fodder for your draw spells. This is quite a good land for this deck.

Vault of Whispers – A black land that can be fodder for your draw spells.

Witherbloom Campus – I love the campus lands. I hope we get to see more of them in the future.

That is it for the mana base. The rest of it is just 8 Swamps and I don’t think you need any Forests passed having the 4 copies of Khalni Garden because green is just literally a splash color. I wouldn’t change this manabase personally except for maybe changing the Grotto for a second copy of Witherbloom Campus.

The Sideboard

Crypt Rats – I don’t think you have enough life gain to support a 4th copy of Crypt Rats against an aggro deck. However, against control I do think having that extra copy for burn can be quite good.

Duress – One of the best sideboard cards in MTG history.

Fangren Marauder and Gorilla Shaman – Shaman should need no introduction. Marauder has always been a nightmare for Affinity. There are plenty of Affinity lists that have a hard time removing a Marauder that resolves so I am not surprised to see it here as a win condition. It sucks you don’t have many ways to get it out quickly, but still it can just win the game.

Raven's Crime – This one is a little surprising. I only say that because I have not seen it in quite some time. I am personally not a big fan of this card because you can’t necessarily stop what your opponent draws off the top. However, against control decks or even combo, it can do work. Especially against counter magic. While yes you can be a mana hungry deck, I am sure you can discard some excess lands against certain archetypes.

Relic of Progenitus – More graveyard hate.

Weather the Storm – Hey Burn! Not today!

Wrench Mind – It isn’t Hymn to Tourach, (thank all things holy) but is close. My issue is that artifacts are quite popular in Pauper so you may not always get your opponent to discard 2 cards. However when you do, it does feel good.

Verdict and Conclusion

Before I say anything, I will say this. This is my favorite build of Golgari Midrange I have seen in quite some time and I like what is going on here. It has a lot of card draw, I think the creature suite is good and I like the numbers on the removal spell choices. It is straight to the point on what it is trying to achieve and I like that. This particular list seems very geared towards beating creature heavy or decks with creature based win conditions and the pilot of this deck seems to do fairly well with Golgari from their mtggoldfish history.

For this list in particular I don’t have much to critique honestly. I can tell you I do not like Raven’s Crime. I think it is a little too slow and I would rather have a 4th copy of Duress or something like Grim Harvest to fight the late game. I understand the idea behind Raven’s Crime, but I don’t think you have the threat density to support it. I also think Duress is much better at helping resolve an Avenging Hunter.

Do I think you should play this deck? For leagues I think it will scratch that itch. Leagues can be fairly random and this list seems to be geared towards being prepared for anything. For local tournaments it should also be fine, but you will need to adjust a little for your local meta depending on what you think you will see.

For the challenges however, I do not think this archetype is good enough. Golgari Midrange in my opinion doesn’t have enough stuff to handle the major archetypes and decks like Affinity, Terror, Faeries and the like can easily out card advantage you. I am sure the pilot has beaten all the major archetypes, but I am unsure how consistent this archetype can do that over time. This does not mean this deck is bad, I just wouldn’t be willing to risk 30 tickets on it.

I also do think this deck could win a challenge, but any deck can win a challenge with the right meta calls and enough luck. The trick is will it do it consistently and I do not think this deck will do that. Looking at this pilots challenge history, they have 2 top 16 finishes with Golgari, what this means is that I am either right in my prediction or I will eat my words eventually. I perfectly fine with either and hope the ladder happens because I think it would be pretty cool to see Golgari finally have its day in the sun.

I’d like to explain what I mean about consistent. When you walk into a tournament with Affinity, I believe you always have a chance of getting to the top 8 and I don’t think you need a little bit of extra luck or hard work to do it. Affinity is just a good deck and in the hands of the right pilots can do well almost all the time.

When I say a deck like the one we talked about today isn’t consistent in my opinion is that when you go play a tournament, you might have to do a little bit of extra work to win games you otherwise wouldn’t have to with Affinity or Kuldotha Red for example. I also feel like you need luck to be on your side a little more than usual.

You could also say that the Golgari Midrange deck we talked about today was built to beat those decks, which throws my extra work and little extra luck out the window. What I am saying is that while the deck may have been built to beat those decks, just because that is the case does not mean it is very good at doing it. These are just my opinions.

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!