Arctic_Ghost's picture
By: Arctic_Ghost, Arctic_Ghost
May 25 2023 2:12pm

Mono Blue Control in Pauper has had many different iterations over the years. From Spire Blue, to Delver Blue, Faeries and some more. The main one you see in today’s meta is the Faerie version, which is more of a tempo-aggro deck. It can be fast while also being very proficient at controlling the game. I am sure I have peaked someones interest to lets hop in.

The list we will be looking today got second place in the Pauper challenge that took place on 4 30 2023 and was piloted by the player Ixidor29. Alright it is time to scare some people that Mono Blue is back to being the dominant deck. Let’s rock!


Brinebarrow Intruder – At first glance this creature might not seem all that great, but it is a fantastic blocker for the Kuldotha Red decks. It also helps with combat in matchups like the mirror as well and it has Flash which makes the Intruder a fantastic combat trick.

Faerie Miscreant, Faerie Seer and Spellstutter Sprite – The trinity of the archetype. Pretty standard.

Moon-Circuit Hacker and Ninja of the Deep Hours – Here are the power creatures of the deck. They hit fairly hard and draw you cards. I have seen lists in the past play only 3 Ninja, but these days it is usually 4.

Spire Golem – Back in the day before Delver was printed, Spire Golem was the namesake of the deck. It is still a good creature into today’s meta, it just isn’t as impressive as it used to be. I like having 2 copies as drawing 2 of them a little too early in certain matchups can leave you with a clunky draw and if you fall behind it could mean you lose right there.

Counterspell – One of the format defining cards of Pauper.

Snap – A fantastic bounce spell because you get to untap 2 lands. Keep in mind, you can also return your own creatures as well, making this a great trick with Spellstutter Sprite.

Mutagenic Growth – Being Mono Blue, you don’t have any removal. Growth is basically a free pump spell to help you get ahead in combat, save a Ninja of the Deep Hours from something like a Lightning Bolt and I am sure there are other possibilities.

Of One Mind – This is often a draw 2 for 1. Affinity isn’t the only deck with good card draw.

Spell Pierce – This can put in work in a deck like this where you are trying to tempo your opponent out.

The manabase is the usual 18 Island. No gimmick or tech lands because you don’t need them. I have seen Desert in the passed and I personally have never been a fan of it. One of the strengths of Faeries is that you play so little land and you are able to function just fine. This means you should rarely get flooded, but you want to make sure you can cast your spells reliably.

The Sideboard

Annul – A fairly good flexible counter spell against different archetypes.

Blue Elemental Blast – Beware the red menace and all of their power.

Dispel – A good silver bullet for counter wars and good against Burn.

Gut Shot – This is a free spell (free when it comes to paying mana) that can be good against a lot of different archetypes. The mirror, Elves, Goblins and many more.

Mantle of Tides – Faerie decks have used different equipment over the years in Pauper. We have seen Bonesplitter and Vulshock Morningstar, but Mantle of Tides has also seen play in the passed and for good reason. It pumps the toughness of the creature by 2, making combat much more annoying for the opponent and it can be equipped for no mana. This means during combat, you can equip it to one of your Ninjas and when you draw your second card, you equip to a creature left back on defense. The good part about this equipment is that it only costs 1 to cast, but it does have an expensive equip cost at 3 mana. I am not a huge fan of Mantle because of the expensive equip cost, but I see the merit in playing it.

Moonblade Shinobi - Shinobi is an interesting card because it can actually win the game on its own. In matchups where you are the pure control deck, this can be a great win condition.

Serrated ArrowsSerrated Arrows used to be one of the best cards in Pauper years ago, but over time as the format has changed, it became too slow. These days, with Kuldotha Red and the mirror, while still a somewhat slow card, it can be quite powerful give you a lot of advantage.

Spire Golem – There are matchups where you will want a third.

Sunken City – I will be honest I didn’t even know this was on mtgo and completely forgot it was a common. Sunken City can be pretty good in the matchups where you are the aggro deck and need to end the game quickly. It does cost a bit with having to pay 2 mana on your upkeep to keep it around, but if you are winning the game before your opponent can do anything, it should be fine.

Do be careful as this card isn’t good in the mirror because it says all blue creatures, not just yours. Another thing that is kind of bad is that while it does save your creatures from Electrickery and Suffocating Fumes, it won’t help against Breath Weapon. I am not convinced of this card, but it should be fun to try out.

Verdict and Conclusion

Mono Blue maybe not be a Delver based deck anymore, but the Faeries version does just fine. Mono Blue is as old school as it gets and looking at the results of previous tournaments, it seems to be a fine choice.

One of the advantages of playing Mono Blue over its Izzet or Dimir brethren, is that you have an easier time using Spire Golem and all of your lands come into play untapped, not to mention being only 1 color makes everything easier to cast so you get to keep your speed up. In a format where aggro or aggro-midrange isn’t so prevalent and speed matters more, Mono Blue might be the best choice.

As for the list from today, it is fairly stock and that is a good thing, it means the main innovation comes from the sideboard which rewards proper testing and game plans. The main deck being so stock means that it is solid and will reward proper effort put into preparation. I don’t like a couple of card choices, but I am not exactly an expert by any means so take what I have said with a grain of salt.

Do I think you should play this deck? Yes I do. I think whatever meta you are going into, whether it is a challenge, a league, a local tournament or whatever you playing it for, Mono Blue Faeries is definitely a good deck choice. Just make sure you practice and prepare correctly for the meta you expect.

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!