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By: Arctic_Ghost, Arctic_Ghost
Jun 11 2018 11:00am
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If you love combo as much as I do, then you have a lot of reasons to love Pauper. In this multi-part series, I will discussing and showing you many different combo decks you could be playing in Pauper today.

Years ago Pauper had many different combo decks. You had Storm combo which came in the form of many different builds, but they all pretty much used either Empty the Warrens or Grapeshot as the win condition. Some lists even played Goblin Bushwhacker so that you could win the same turn you give yourself a battlefield full of Goblins. You also had decks that used Temporal Fissure to bounce back all of your opponents permanents and then lock them out with Mnemonic Wall or you had archetypes that could take advantage of Frantic Search and generate tons of mana and end the game in just a few turns. I am also sure we all remember Peregrine Drake combo, which I won't lie, I do miss it.


In today's Pauper meta, you still have a good selection of combo decks to choose from, however they are a bit more challenging and not as powerful as combo once was. Instead of boring you by going down memory lane, let's go ahead and look at the first list. Most of you will know this archetype very well from other formats, it's good old Bogles.



Bogles is a deck that uses either Slippery Bogle, Gladecover Scout or Silhana Ledgewalker as your creature of choice. You then attach as many enchant creature cards as you can to said creature and swing for big chunks of damage every turn.


The best part of using either of these creatures is that they have a very powerful ability known as Hexproof. This allows you to not worry about your creature dying to cards such as Doom Blade or Lightning Bolt and you can work on making them as big and as bad as possible.


Your creature enchantments of choice include Rancor to give a little bit of extra power, but more importantly, it gives Trample. You also have Armadillo Cloak to not only give Trample, but now you give +2 power and toughness, making it easier for your creature to compete in combat. You also get the added bonus text of “Whenever this creature deals damage, you gain that much life”. Since this isn't considered Lifelink, if you attach 2 Armadillo Cloaks to the same creature, you will gain double the life. Then you have Ethereal Armor to grow your creature and give it First Strike, making combat easier and finally you have Ancestral Mask to make your creature really massive. To finish off the creature enchantments, you have Cartouche of Solidarity to not only buff your creature, but to also give you a token creature to play around edict effects such as Chainer's Edict and you have Cartouche of Strength to have another way to give Trample.


In Bogles you also have a Utopia Sprawl to help you accelerate your game plan and to also help you fix your colors as well. To further help with color fixing, you have Abundant Growth, which also draws you an extra card when it enters play and finally you have Heliod's Pilgrim to tutor for whatever enchantment you need to attach to a creature, which is great because it is almost like playing a few extra copies of your best enchantments such as Ancestral Mask.


The manabase isn't anything special and is pretty typical no matter what build of this archetype you go with. The sideboard is very interesting as you have access to whatever colors you may need, so the options are almost endless at your disposal.


In the sideboard of this build, you will find some red cards to play with. You have Gorilla Shaman to help against Affinity, you have Flaring Pain to help against Moment's Peace type of spells, which I personally find is a must in today's meta and you have Electrickery to help against Delver decks, the mirror, Elves or any strategy with a lot of 1 toughness creatures. You will also find Young Wolf because a common way to beat this archetype is Edict effects such as Diabolic Edict or Chainer's Edict and so you want creatures to sacrifice so your Bogles are able to keep attacking and stay on the battlefield. Some Bogles lists will run Manamorphos so that they can use blue and red cards in the sideboard to help be prepared for anything you come across (for example, I believe Flaring Pain is a must in this archetypes sideboard), as to what you should be playing in your sideboard, that depends on what you think you may need to prepare for or what you might run into that day.


The next archetype we will take a look at is another old favorite, Izzet Blitz.

Izzet Blitz has been around for a long time and has gone through quite a few different transitions over the years. The way the archetype wins is by playing a Kiln Fiend, playing 3 spells so they it has 10 power and then giving it double strike so you can swing for 20 damage and win the game. Most builds of the deck used to run Delver of Secrets as another win condition and it gave you the chance to play as a Izzet colored tempo deck. Some lists ran Thermo-Alchemist so as to not be quite an all-in combo deck, you could instead chip away at your opponent chunk by chunk.


In today's Pauper meta, you will see configurations closer to the list I am showing you today. The creature base is always the same just about, with 4 copies of your main win conditions in the form of Kiln Fiend and Nivix Cyclops, but now a days you have 4 Augur of Bolas to not only be a good early blocker against the aggro decks, but you get to look at 3 cards and get the best Instant of Sorcery spell of the bunch to further help you win the game. Be careful however as just like Bogles, Edict effects are the bane of your existence.


You have a large plethora of spells at your disposal to work with. You have Ponder and Preordain to filter through your deck, you have Gush to draw cards for just about nothing, you have Brainstorm and you have Gitaxian Probe to draw a card and see what your opponents doing. Gitaxian Probe is one of the best cards in the deck because it allows you to play with perfect information and that is a big deal for any combo deck.


Your combo cards are Temur Battle Rage and for the Double Strike and Trample. Your ways of getting through are either Artful Dodge to make one of your creatures Unblockable and it has Flashback so you have the option of winning over the course of 2 turns if you brick the first time. Then you have Apostle's Blessing to not only give your creature Unblockable, but also to counter a removal spell as well. Mutagenic Growth is also awesome here because it counters a Lightning Bolt that is trying to kill one of your Kiln Fiends and it gives you +5 power to attack with.


In this list you see a couple of Lightning Bolts to act as either removal or to get in the last few points of damage and Dispel helps fight removal and counter spells that your opponents may have. To finish it off you have some fun 1 of cards in the form of Flame Slash for the big creatures, Daze to try and get your opponent when they think you are tapped out and an Electrickery to help against any deck with a lot of small creatures.


The manabase isn't anything to really talk about. Some people decide that more fetchlands are better because they play more copies of Brainstorm or because of deck thinning and others decide that more Swiftwater Cliffs are better because of the life gain. There is no correct mana base in my opinion.


The sideboard options for this deck are great as well with having access to both Hydroblast and Pryoblast. You will notice the inclusion of Eldrazi Skyspawner here because it is a 2 power flying creature that can get in a good amount of damage and it brings along a token to be sacrificed to any Edict effects your opponent maybe use. Flaring Pain makes another appearance here because Moment's Peace and cards of the like can be a very big problem for this deck, also because Circle of Protection: Red can be quite popular as well. The rest of the sideboard is subject to personal preference and whatever you think you may run into that day.


The final list we will talk about is a sort of new kid on the block, UW Tireless Combo.

This archetype revolves around using Tireless Tribe, making the toughness of Tireless Tribe above 20 by using its ability, then you use Shadow Rift to make it unblockable and you use Inside Out to switch its power and toughness, then you swing in for the win.


This deck win as fast as turn 2 and it isn't all that uncommon either, but you do require specific pieces and you can't play a grind game like you can with Izzet Blitz. You do get some neat cards to work with such as Circular Logic, which in this archetype can be counter target spell for just only blue because of Tireless Tribe allowing you to use its madness cost.


The main deck is very straightforward and so there isn't much to discuss about it, you use all the draw spells you can to sculpt the perfect hand, you protect your Tireless Tribe from removal with some counter magic and then you go off in one big turn. You see Augur of Bolas in this archetype again, but be careful because you only have 4 win conditions and you can't draw them off of the Augur. You also see a copy of Dizzy Spell so you can tutor for a copy of Tireless Tribe, which can be quite helpful because it is almost like playing 5 copies and you can pick Dizzy Spell off of Augur of Bolas.


In the sideboard of this build, you see a copy of Piracy Charm and I like it a lot because of how flexible it can be, particularly against Delver archetypes because it can be a removal spell or it can give your Tireless Tribe Islandwalk so you can not be blocked. You also see Gigadrowse which really helps against opposing blue decks to tap down their blue mana so they can't use their counter magic. You can also tutor for this spell with the help of Dizzy Spell. The rest of the sideboard is subjected to personal preference really. Though I would like to say I want to see a few more copies of Apostle's Blessing to combat removal heavy decks.


Verdict and Conclusion

All 3 of these archetypes have proven to be good time and time again. I have played all 3 of these archetypes quite a number of times and I personally like them all. However, which one would I take into the league?


Honestly that is a hard question to answer. Bogles has always been a default deck to fall back on, however it is the most well known and oldest of the bunch, so you can expect it to be well prepared for. Having said that however, Bogles has proven time and time again it can fight through hate and it has all the tools at its disposal to combat anything.


Izzet Blitz is a good choice as well. It is fast and can easily switch from being a combo deck to a tempo deck and go from trying to win fast, to chipping away at your opponents over a few turns and eventually win the game. You also get access to great sideboard cards, but one big problem for this deck is how hard it gets hit by both Pyroblast and Hydroblast, which are 2 of the more popular sideboards that people tend to run. I wouldn't count this deck out though, as it would not have been around for so long if hate cards could beat it so easily.


Tireless Tribe combo is an archetype that I did not think was very powerful and I won't lie to you that I still don't think it is. With that being said it has certainty put up results to prove just how good it is and can be. The best part of this deck is how many counterspells there are for only 1 mana between Dispel and Circular Logic and also how fast this deck can win as well.


I think that any of these 3 archetypes are just fine to choose for your next league run, they all do very powerful things and have plenty of good options available to them as well, it just depends on what you feel like playing with that day, just make sure you practice and test!


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!


Thanks for reading! See you guys next time!