Arctic_Ghost's picture
By: Arctic_Ghost, Arctic_Ghost
Aug 06 2020 12:00pm

Many years ago in Standard and to a fair extent, in the now extinct Extended format, the Madness mechanic was used quite often. Back then you had Psychatog decks using Circular Logic, in Standard you had UG Madness and there were some others. However in the Pauper format, while you don’t see dedicated Madness decks to often, you have seen Wild Mongrel and Basking Rootwalla show up in various lists. One of the best parts of Madness is that cards such as Arrogant Wurm and Basking Rootwalla can be cast at instant speed when being cast from Madness.

While looking at results and deck lists this week, I found a cool looking RG Madness deck in the 5-0 dump for Pauper. Madness isn’t something you see often, but I will talk about that later.

The list I will be showing you today is kind of a Gruul Stompy/Madness hybrid. It isn’t just all Madness cards and it can be quite aggressive. It has burn spells, aggressive creatures and can flood the board fairly quickly to overwhelm the opponent. I am going to stomp rambling now and just show you what you came here to see!

Kird ApeKird Ape was once one of the best 1 drop creatures in the game. A 2 power creature for 1 mana with no downside was quite rare in magic at one point in time (this is of course before they printed Wild Nacatl and then all hell broke loose). In the pauper format Kird Ape can be quite strong since it his 3 toughness, but do remember that you need a Forest in play for it to be beefed up and other than being a good attacking creature, it doesn’t do much. These days in magic, you usually need creatures with power 2 or less to do other things to be good.

Basking Rootwalla, Reckless Wurm and Bloodmad Vampire – Here are your madness creatures of the deck. Of course we see Basking Rootwalla being played since with Madness it can be cast for 0, or it only costs 1 mana to play and you can make it a 3 power creature for a tiny little investment.

Reckless Wurm makes the appearance here over Arrogant Wurm because (I am speculating here) that it is a red creature and should be easier to cast, however I think you can cast Arrogant Wurm just as easy and it doesn’t get hit by Hydroblast which is huge. Then again you could always play both as well, not 4 of each, but maybe a 3/2 or a 4/1 split.

Last up, we see Bloodmad Vampire. This creature is interesting because it only has 1 toughness, making it die to just about anything. However it does have 4 power and against creature light decks such as Teachings control or Tron, an early copy of this creature can usually end the game super quickly because it gets bigger every time it clocks in.

*Before we go on, do remember you can cast Madness cards at instant speed, as long as you are casting them as a Madness card.

Burning-Tree Emissary – The reason this is in the deck is because it is just an insane card. Since you are a red and green deck, you can usually take advantage of both colors being added and put tons of pressure on your opponent very quickly.

Wild Mongrel and Gathan Raiders – We all know who Wild Mongrel is and how powerful it can be, so I won’t go to in depth on why it is important to have 4 copies in this deck. It is an aggressive 2 drop creature that also helps enable Madness and can win the game very quickly.

Gathan Raiders is quite interesting because it isn’t actually all that amazing. However it is a fairly good creature and you are a bit limited when it comes to the Madness archetype. You usually don’t cast this creature for its mana cost, but you Morph it instead and for the mana cost, Gathan Raiders is the most aggressive option you have for your curve. The best part is to flip it face up, you get to discard a card, enabling Madness most of the time. Also if you are Hellbent (meaning no cards in hand) it is a huge 5/5 creature. However in this deck, you aren’t Hellbent all the time, so you have to keep that in mind.

Another creature you could play to enable Madness is Merchant of the Vale, although this isn’t really an aggressive card and could slow you down. While it does help filter through your deck, you don’t want the game going for very long, so in this spot you would rather have more aggressive cards.

Lightning Bolt – Best burn spell ever, play 4 copies. Now we will move on.

Fiery Temper – These are your extra copies of Lightning Bolt. Although you need to cast it for its madness cost to only be 1 mana, casting it for 3 from time to time isn’t all that terrible either.

Lightning Axe – This is actually a good removal spell. The problem is while not an instant, Flame Slash does the same job just as good if not better because you don’t need to discard a card. However in this archetype, having the discard outlet is good, so there is no reason to not play Lightning Axe.

Savage Swipe – I am not quite convinced of this spell as I would personally rather have burn. But sometimes because able to have a 6 power wurm and or a high power mongrel fight a creature and get in a lot of damage can really help end the game quickly.

Faithless Looting – This is the best draw spell red has and you get to take full advantage of it in this archetype. Being able to draw cards and take advantage of discarding cards because of Madness is insanely powerful.

The mana base is straight forward with 6 copies of each basic. Evolving Wilds for mana fixing and then Thriving Bluff as your dual land. Not much else to say here.

The Sideboard

2 Electrickery – One of the best sideboard cards in the format for all your purposes of blowing up 1 toughness creatures in glorious fashion.

3 Gorilla Shaman – Need the Affinity hate and this is the best card at doing it.

3 Pyroblast – Blue decks are a pain in the butt. Here is a good way of fighting them.

2 Savage Swipe – Some extra removal if you need. Pretty good against other creature heavy matchups such as Stompy or White Weenie.

1 Shenanigans – Need more artifact hate? This is another good option and it is reusable thanks to the Dredge mechanic.

2 Stone Rain – I know everyone loves Urza Tron!

2 Weather the Storm – For those pesky burn decks that like to ruin your day!

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

I do love me a good Madness deck. I fell in love with cards such as Wild Mongrel and Circular Logic years ago and that love has not gone away.

In Pauper, in my opinion, when it comes to playing aggro decks, sticking to mono color is usually the best way to go. The reason I say that is because sometimes stumbling for one turn, or your mana causing you trouble for one turn when you are aggro, can usually mean the game. This is why I usually favor archetypes such as Stompy or Red Deck Wins over archetypes such as this Madness deck.

Now before I answer the big question, I want to say I do not think this deck is bad by any means. However, do I think you should play this deck? I will never tell anyone not to try an archetype out, unless I really believe they shouldn’t (perfect example is 1 land spy, I don’t take that deck seriously at all).

I think this archetype is extremely fun and is doing some powerful things, it also did 5-0 a league. That being said, I always say Magic is a game of skill and luck. The day this deck 5-0d, it could of just ran hot, ran into very good matchups (of which it could have a lot or very little) and/or the pilot of the deck could be an extremely good pilot with this archetype.

Every Madness deck I have ever tried, I always felt like I was a few turns slower than the other established aggro decks and that I was working much harder for wins than I should have been, while I could have had an easier time with playing Stompy. Does that mean you shouldn’t play this deck? Not at all, I am just saying that your expectations will vary. In the end, I encourage you to try this archetype out as it can be a blast to play and let me know what changes you would make in the comments!

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 all so much for reading. I will catch you all next time!