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By: Arctic_Ghost, Arctic_Ghost
Dec 30 2020 12:55pm
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While at first glance, this looks like a typical Ephemarate control deck with Jeskai colors, it plays some unconventional cards. However with that being said, the power of the archetype from what I have personally seen is very powerful and keeps impressing me.

This list has been piloted by a Pauper Classic Tuesday’s participate named Maeyama. The particular list I will be showing you is the one they piloted for PCT 7.38, but I will also show you their most recent list at the end as well. Alright I’ll stop rambling now, let’s check out the list!

 

Spellstutter Sprite – Simply one of the most powerful creatures in Pauper history, period.

Faerie Seer – This is a great 1 drop for any archetype that runs Spellstutter Sprite because it allows the Sprite to counter spells that have a converted mana cost of 2. It also Scrys when it enters the battlefield to help smooth out your draws and it is a Wizard, which I will point out why that matters a bit later.

Mulldrifter – This isn’t a fast aggro deck, it is a control deck that wants the game to go a little long. Mulldrifter is one of the best long game creatures in the format.

Sea Gate Oracle – Not only is this creature a Wizard, but it also lets you Sleight of Hand and it is a great blocker vs any aggro deck.

Court Hussar – I honestly always forget this is a Pauper legal card. It does need white mana to actually stick and it isn’t a Wizard, but it does provide a good blocker vs any aggro deck and it also provides card advantage. The reason not to play Augur of Bolas in this spot is because Court Hussar gets you any card including your creatures.

Counterspell – I don’t think this card should surprise anyone. Let’s just move on.

Logic Knot – This serves as Counterspell 5 and 6. The reason I like it over Prohibit, is because it has the potential to counter cards such as Mulldrifter and Gurmag Angler. Thanks to the Delve ability, it also has the potential to only cost you 2 mana to counter said spells.

Preordain – Again we see Preordain over Ponder for really the same reason as usual. Putting dead cards to the bottom so you don’t have to re-draw them is huge when trying to fight a battle in the late game.

Brainstorm – You have 6 fetch lands, 4 copies of Preordain, 4 copies of Sea Gate Oracle and 2 copies of Court Hussar. This all should be enough effects to help Brainstorm be an extremely effective draw spell. 

Ephemerate – Although there is no looping combos in this archetype, it every creature in your deck combos very well with it. There isn’t much of a reason to not play Ephemerate in this archetype.

Journey to Nowhere – One of the best removal spells in the format. If you have access to white, there is little reason to not run some number of these in your deck.

Lavamancer's Skill – Ah yes, I am sure most you don’t really know this card. It isn’t an amazing card by any means, but in this archetype, where most creatures you have are Wizards, being able to ping a creature for 2 damage is a house against just about any aggro deck. It is unfortunate that it does not hit players, but no card is perfect. 

The Manabase

You have 10 basic lands, mostly consisting of Islands because red and white are really just splash colors. We see 4 copies of Thriving Heath, which I believe is because this way, you always have white to cast Ephemerate and Journey to Nowhere, while still being able to have access to red or more blue at the time you need it. Finally 6 fetches in the form of 4 Evolving Wilds and 2 copies of Ash Barrens. I would personally switch them around, as I don’t see a reason that Evolving Wilds is better, but I could easily be missing something. If anyone has any insight, please let me know in the comments!

The Sideboard 

1 Ancient Grudge – A good sideboard card against Affinity and Tron, among other archetypes you will run into.

1 Electrickery – We all know what this card is. Electrickery is better than Fiery Cannonade because you don’t want to kill your own creatures here.

3 God-Pharaoh's Faithful – This is an extremely powerful card against any aggro deck and especially helpful against the Burn archetype.

1 Gorilla Shaman – Affinity is a strong archetype!

2 Leave No Trace – Not only is Bogles an annoying deck, but this can be good against other archetypes with problem enchantments.

3 Pyroblast – Do you hate playing against blue decks? This helps a ton!

1 Ray of Revelation – I like the flexibility of this card, being able to deal with 1 enchantment early and then use it much later. However I wouldn’t blame anyone if they decided to run Standard Bearer in this spot.

2 Relic of Progenitus – Tron is a difficult deck to place against, but this helps against a lot of different archetypes.

Here is the most recent list that Maeyama has played. It isn’t all that different from the above list, but Maeyama is trying some different cards out and trying to make certain matchups better. A big part of Pauper is that, since there are so many viable decks, you need to be prepared for what you think you will face. You unfortunately can not prepare for everything.



Verdict and Conclusion
 
I do love my midrange decks. Especially the ones that contain a ton of value and this deck just oozes value. I know most of you are saying it is just a Blue deck splashing White and Red cards, but each card does something powerful and that makes a big difference.

A big advantage I see in this deck is that it is be able to grind very well. It also has seemed to have very good matchups against other midrange and aggro decks. Are these lists I show you today the perfect versions? No, but that just means more testing and fine tuning is needed.

Do I think you should play this archetype? I think this archetype, like the 5 Color Good Stuff archetype, will take a lot of practice. You don’t win the game quickly and need to pick your spots where you play your cards because the game will go long and your opponent will have a lot of draw steps. I also don’t think either of these lists are perfect, but I know Maeyama is a good player and I think their lists are where you want to start.

I think that this is a great deck to try out and get some results with in the leagues or PCT. As far as the Pauper challenges go however, I am unsure of. At the end of the day, I will tell you the same thing I always do, do not take my words as gospel and try the archetype out for yourself. With enough practice and tuning, who knows? Maybe the next Pauper challenge will be yours for the taking!

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, see you next time!