Arctic_Ghost's picture
By: Arctic_Ghost, Arctic_Ghost
Jan 05 2021 1:00pm

One of the first decks I ever built on MTGO was UR Wildfire. This was well over a decade ago (I am old) and I did it because it was cheap and beat Mono Green Stompy back in that Standard format. Land destruction can be extremely un-fun to play against, but if it wins, who am I to argue? However, I am not a fan of land destruction archetypes, but I am sure some of you are. Imagine you go turn 1 land and your opponent goes turn 1 Forest plus Arbor Elf, then turn 2 you play Izzet Boilerworks and your opponent on their turn 2 goes Thermokarst on your bounce land. This poses the question, are we having fun yet?

The archetype I want to talk about today is sort of a hybrid deck. It has big monsters, ramp and some land destruction spells. If you love casting big spells and creatures, I am not really sure what more you could ask for honestly. I myself, love big creature Green decks, so you reading this are not alone.

Years ago, there was a Mono Green Cloudpost archetype that also played cards such as Reap and Sow and Thermokarst. The win conditions of the deck were Ulamog’s Crusher and Aurochs Herd. It was a blast to play and I miss it very much. However, Cloudpost is long dead thanks to the ban hammer, but that hasn’t stopped players from trying to do things like this archetype does.

We are going to look at 2 lists today, but the main one we are going to talk about was piloted by the player Oderus Urungus and they piloted this deck to a 4th place finish in a Pauper challenge and the list was posted on 12/20/2020. Let’s check it out!

Arbor Elf – You play 4 copies of Utopia Sprawl and 4 copies of Wild Growth. This makes Arbor Elf pretty insane in this archetype and playing Elf on turn 1 leads to your most broken draws.

Fierce Empath – This finds you are win condition creatures and so it is very necessary in this archetype.

Entourage of Trest – Becoming the Monarch is quite powerful these days in the format of Pauper. This particular creature is also very good at keeping you as the Monarch, as it can block 2 creatures if you hold the crown. It is also a 4 power creature, which is a pretty quick clock.

Boarding Party – for 6 mana, you get a 6 power creature with Haste that hits very hard, very fast and that also casts another spell for free thanks to Cascade. However it only has 3 toughness, so a simple Lightning Bolt deals with it, but Cascading into a land destruction spell or an Entourage of Trest is very powerful and a lot of pressure for almost any deck to deal with.

Annoyed Altisaur – I still remember the days when Craw Wurm was considered a good creature in limited, now those days seem laughable. This creature only costs 7 mana, which is really not a lot for this particular archetype and you can get 7 mana quite fast. It also has Cascade and it has Trample, as well as Reach. It even has 1 more toughness than Craw Wurm, this monster literally does it all for this archetype.

Utopia Sprawl and Wild Growth – The ramp spells of the archetype. They combo very well with Arbor Elf and only cost 1 mana. The cost of 1 mana and being able to put them on a land, allows you to reap the benefits very quickly, as opposed to playing something like Rampant Growth and being slow to take advantage of the ramp. This archetype also wants to ramp fast and finish the game quickly, not take time putting a bunch of lands into play.

Lightning Bolt – We all knew we would see this card make an appearance and for good reason. Let’s move on.

Thermokarst and Mwanvuli Acid-Moss – Your land destruction spells of the archetype. These allow you to gain a few turns on your opponent and possibly just run away with the game. Acid-Moss is also a ramp spell, while Thermokarst can get the part started on turn 2.

Bonder's Ornament – One of my favorite cards in the format. Not only does it fix your mana, but it also accelerates you and it helps you draw cards. Honestly, what more could you ask for out of a card?

The manabase is extremely straightforward as you only play basic lands and 3 copies of Ash Barrens. You don’t want any of your lands coming into play tapped because you can’t afford to be slow even for 1 turn. You also need to keep in mind that Utopia Sprawl only works with Forests, so duel lands can hurt you even more than usual.

The Sideboard

2 Ancient Grudge – For all your artifact destruction needs.

3 (Fiery Cannonade) – We are going to see even more of this card moving forward in the format and for good reason, it is extremely good.

2 (Natural Reclamation) – This does cost 5 mana to cast and all it does is give you a form of Naturalize, but it has Cascade!

2 Pulse of Murasa – If you need to gain life, this card is great. If you need to return creatures from your graveyard to your hand because your opponent has a lot of removal, this is also the card for you. It is just a good card all around.

4 Red Elemental Blast – For all those pesky blue wizards you come across.

2 Weather the Storm – If you hate losing to burn, here is your solution!

Here is an alternate list to this archetype that plays more land destruction spells. This was piloted by RedEagle1 in PCT 7.85, getting second place to Stompy. I watched it live and I will tell you, Eagle had no chance against Stompy. Just food for thought.


This list is trying to be more controlling and doesn’t mind the game going a bit longer. It plays 4 copies of Stone Rain and 2 copies of Reclaiming Vines for more land destruction. It also has 2 copies of Penumbra Spider to help clog up the ground and it even plays an old favorite in Blastoderm, among other different things.

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

I love ramp decks. Being able to cast big spells and powerful creatures quickly has always been one of my favorite things to do in Magic. I will confess, despite the fact that I think land destruction isn’t fun, I think this archetype looks pretty wicked.

I think this archetype is quite powerful. Cascade is one hell of a Mechanic and it definitely a force to be reckon with. The funny thing is, there isn’t anything too special or overly powerful about this archetype. The combo of land destruction spells and ramping into big creatures that Cascade is quite powerful and both of these finishes show why.

Do I think you should play this archetype? I think it will bring you success in leagues, PCT and I doubt Oderus’s 4th place finish was a fluke and/or 1 time thing. You have good cards to combat just about any archetype and Tron seems to be on the downswing these days, which definitely helps this archetype because I don’t think it has a good Tron matchup, but I am more than willing to be wrong. As always though, take my words with a grain of salt and remember results may vary, so make sure you practice!

As far as which list is better, I personally feel like Oderus’s list is a good starting point because it is straightforward and to the point of what the archetype wants to do. I like RedEagle1’s list as well, but I feel like it is trying to do to much. I am also not a huge fan of cards such as Blastoderm in today’s Pauper meta, but that is just my opinion.

At the end of the day, I will always encourage you to try out any deck I cover. This archetype is quite powerful in my opinion and I believe with a little bit more fine tuning and meta prediction, it can take you far as well.

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! See you next time!