Arctic_Ghost's picture
By: Arctic_Ghost, Arctic_Ghost
Apr 25 2022 11:05am

I am sure plenty of you are aware of the classic “rock” style of midrange in magic. However, historically in Pauper, straight up Golgari type rock decks haven’t been a very popular choice. While both colors have plenty of powerful cards, most of the time, they don’t go very well together. An aggro Golgari deck can often be too slow, a control version will often not have enough stuff to keep the gas flowing and I am sure there are other reasons if we were to go down the list.

Although today, I want to take a look at a list from the 5-0 dump that was posted on 4/13/2022 and was piloted by the player hashtagbadboyswag. This deck is quite interesting because it has a lot of enter the battlefield effects and plays some very interesting cards you don’t see often. Am I peaking your interest? Alright then, lets rock!


Llanowar Visionary – If you are a midrange deck that is playing green in the Pauper format these days, it seems pretty clear you should be playing 3 or 4 copies of this card.

Crypt Rats – Board wipes are always a good thing to have access to. In this deck, you have lots of ways to gain a healthy amount of life and you have a few ways to return Crypt Rats from your graveyard. I am not surprised to see a couple of copies in this list.

Fleshbag Marauder – While I do think Marauder is a decent card, I am going to be honest and say that in my opinion, it seems out of place in this deck. I will go into why I feel that way later.

Trufflesnout – This can either be a 3 power creature for 3 mana or it gains 4 life which is great against aggro or burn based strategies. This is quite the interesting card to be playing but I am not sure its powerful enough. Don’t get me wrong, I love having cards in my deck that do multiple things so you have options. I just think this one is a bit under powered.

Thorn of the Black Rose – You are a midrange deck with a number of ways to stop creatures from hitting you. Does not surprise me to see a couple copies of this.

Bannerblade Krushok – This one is interesting. I didn’t even know it existed to be honest. This creature has very good stats for the mana cost, but what is most interesting is its abilities. Reinforce can be done at instant speed and puts counters on the creature you target and that means you can slowly build your creatures into big threats. Then we have scavenge as an option if the game goes late enough. I am not exactly sure what matchup this card would shine in particularly, but it does seem like a powerful card in certain situations.

Sarulf’s Packmate – One of my favorite creatures in the format. It is a Hill Giant that draws a card when it enters the battlefield and it can come down on turn 3 thanks to the Foretell ability. I love this creature and there is a good reason we see it in a lot of green midrange decks.

Gurmag Angler – A classic win condition for any midrange or control deck. I am somewhat surprised we don’t see more Anglers these days.

Duress – I am sure by now we all know how powerful Duress is and in midrange decks like this we sometimes see it make a main deck appearance. It is a great way to attack your opponent from multiple angles and get some information along the way. You have plenty of ways to deal with board states and Duress is a good way to help you deal with problem spells before they get a chance to resolve.

Tragic Slip – This is as close to Swords to Plowshares as you are going to get in Pauper and it isn’t a bad one of to have in certain builds that can trigger Morbid regularly.

Abundant Growth – It makes me happy to see this card as I like it a lot. The problem is that for most decks that play green this is less powerful than other options. While it does get you a land or a spell for only 1 mana, it doesn’t actually do all that much. It is certainty less powerful than Lead the Stampede or Winding Way in Elves or Slivers. It is certainly not as powerful as Ancient Stirrings in Tron because you get to actually choose a card instead of playing the lottery and there are other examples. If you could choose what spell you get or land you’d get, that would be something, but since the card you get is random, in Pauper and in my opinion I don’t think it is good enough.

Cast Down and Chainer’s Verdict – Staples of any midrange or control deck playing black.

Reckoner’s Bargain – A decent way to draw cards and it can gain a ton of life in the process. I am not a huge fan of it here as you don’t have any combos with it like you would in Affinity, but it is definitely a good spell.

Grim Harvest – I am highly confused as to why you only have 1 copy of this card in the deck. This list, to me, lacks a reusable engine of bringing creatures back from the graveyard. This is a great engine, but you only have 1 copy and I think that is wrong. I would add a second copy or maybe even a third personally.

Pulse of Murasa – It gains life, gets a creature back and does all of this at instant speed. Pulse is just a good card in Pauper period.

Snuff Out – You have a lot of ways to gain life and so having access to free spells like this is always a good thing to have.

The Manabase

Ash Barrens – A staple of any deck that plays more than 1 color in Pauper.

Bojuka Bog – Having ways to deal with graveyard shenanigans is always a good thing.

Golgari Rot Farm – This helps you with mana light hands and can return your Bog back to your hand for a second use. I am a little surprised to not see a third copy.

Woodland Chasm – I am unsure as to why this is here instead of Jungle Hollow and I am still convinced I am missing something while writing this.

Witherbloom Campus – I love this cycle of lands and really hope wizards prints the allied ones in the future.

The rest of the manabase are basic lands for a total of 22. I think the manabase is fine as is but you could tweak a couple of the numbers here and there if you wanted.

The Sideboard

Duress – For control decks or decks that have a lot of powerful spells you can’t necessarily deal with, Duress is here to save your day.

Evincar's Justice – With all the ways to gain life, this can also be a win condition late in the game and as a board wipe it is a very powerful spell.

Faerie Macabre – A form of graveyard hate that can be reused or it can attack in the air if need be.

Natural StateDisenchant effects are a great thing to have access to these days and this one is cheap at only 1 mana. If you are unsure of what you are going to face, having a flexible spell like this is a good option.

Penumbra Spider – A great card against aggro decks or heavy removal decks as it takes 2 removal spells to deal with.

Suffocating Fumes – More board wipes is never a bad thing.

Weather the Storm – Burn decks beware. We will not go down without a fight!

Verdict and Conclusion

Well, this deck is certainty different from the usual archetypes we see. It is definitely playing some different cards from the Pauper norm and honestly that is pretty wicked cool to me. I love seeing cards that rarely get played put up a good result and it shows that brewers do get rewarded in Pauper.

However though, I still do not understand only 1 copy of Grim Harvest. I am also not convinced that Bannerhide Krushok is really all that playable, Trufflesnout is an interesting card but I think it might be a bit slow, especially when unlike decks that play Lone Missionary, you don’t have something like Ephemerate to reuse it over and over.

Overall, I feel like you are trying to mix MBC with green Midrange cards and I think the power level of this deck falls short to whatever else you could be playing. However that is just from looking at it on paper.

Do I think you should play this deck? For leagues I think this deck is fun to toy around with if you are itching to play a Golgari Rock type of strategy but for challenges I would personally stay way because while I do feel this deck is playing some cool cards you almost never see such as Trufflesnout, in the long run I do not think this deck is going to take you very far.

Don’t get me wrong, I do not think this deck is unplayable. You are playing plenty of powerful cards such as Gurmag Angler and Snuff Out. Those cards can carry you a long way and I love seeing Abundant Harvest see play. It is just that I don’t think this deck overall will preform well against the stock decks we see in the meta game overall.

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!