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By: Arctic_Ghost, Arctic_Ghost
Nov 20 2017 12:00pm
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Way back when Pauper was very young and Frantic Search was not yet banned, there were a good number of combo decks trying to milk Frantic Search for all it was worth. One of those decks was a really cool Temur deck that used cards such as Utopia Sprawl and Overgrowth to generate tons of mana and then with the combination of Snap and Mnemonic Wall, you could get infinite mana and win with a big Kaervek's Torch. Let's see what one of these lists used to look like.

While looking for an old list as an example, this is one of the only ones I could find, but it is very much what was played back in the old days. This deck was also able to use Temporal Fissure to beat your opponent by bouncing all of their permanents back, among other strategies this archetype had access to. It was a great archetype for it's time and it was a ton of fun to play as well.


This archetype wasn't all that powerful however and the strategy of having to use cards like Utopia Sprawl to combo off, was fairly week when you consider that the Esper Familiars decks from back in that era, were much faster and much more consistent as well.


These days, Frantic Search has long been banned, Temporal Fissure has also been banned and both of these cards will most likely will remain that way for the foreseeable future (I personally wish Frantic Search was taken off the ban list, but that is a totally different article altogether for another time). But this strategy is not dead (all things considered), it is just taking another form. Today I bring you Temur Torch, let's check out the list!


First and foremost, the way that this archetype wins is by having a few walls out and having one of those walls be Axebane Guardian. You then attach Freed from the Real to said creature and begin to go infinite with your mana. With Infinite mana you can either draw your whole deck using Train of Thought and get 1 of your win conditions, or you can just have one of them in your hand and throw a big burn spell to your opponents head. I would also like to add that this archetype is not new and decks using the same combo have been seen before.


After some testing off camera and on my stream, I slowly came to this build of the archetype. When I was originally sent the list by Sayo, it was missing a good pieces of card draw. The usual Ponder and Preordain could be found, but it just wasn't ever enough and so I added Train of Thought to the list. I started out with 2 copies and very quickly went to 3 and it did not take long for me to make it 4 copies and I never felt like I ever wanted less than 4. You are very good at generating lots of mana without the combo and Train of Thought is a great way to use all that mana to draw a ton of cards and sculpt the perfect hand so you can go off. The best part about this spell is that you are Replicating Train of Thought, which means you are putting many individual copies onto the stack and they each need to be countered one by one, which will make it tough for blue opponent to stop you. The cuts I made to make room for the Train of Thoughts, was I cut down from 23 lands to just 20 and I cut a copy of Rolling Thunder which I will discuss later on.


I still wanted some more card draw and after testing a few different things, Compulsive Research was what I settled on. The runner up was Impulse and although looking at 4 cards is great, you need multiple cards to win with this deck and so Compulsive Research putting 3 cards into my hand won out. To make room I cut a few copies of Ponder and Preordain down from 4 copies to just a few of each. In this archetype I feel Preordain is better because you will benefit from pushing dead cards to the bottom of the deck, not to be drawn again.


The 2 win conditions of this archetype are Rolling Thunder or Kaervek's Torch. Kaervek's Torch is the better win condition because it costs 1 less Red mana to cast and it is harder to counter, but Rolling Thunder can be tutored for with the use of Transmuting Muddle the Mixture and that interaction does come in handy when facing any aggro archetype and you need to buy some more time. Originally the deck had 4 of each of these win conditions, but that was way to much of each because I would draw them too early and have dead cards in my hand and so I quickly went down to 2 copies of each. It also helps that Muddle the Mixture can win a small counter war and push your win conditions through for the win.


The creatures of the deck are perfect in their numbers and quite good at keeping you alive from aggro decks as well. Axebane Guardian is your best creature because it makes it easier for you to off with Freed from the Real, however it is more vulnerable then Overgrown Battlement because it dies easily to Lightning Bolt. The reason I say Axebane Guardian is better and easier to go off with is because it adds any color to your mana pool, which takes much less clicking and less time and also it can be fetched off a Transmuted Drift of Phantasms. However Overgrown Battlement can also be used to go off with the help of Orochi Leafcaller, which allows you to filter your green mana into other colors, it just takes more clicks and more time.


Gatecreeper Vine has also preformed quite well, but it is not the best card in the deck and I have been trying to find a replacement. The reason it is better than something like Sakura-Tribe Elder is because it is a Defender and also can fetch dual lands, which does help. However the reason I don't like it all that much is because I don't feel like it does enough and it doesn't block well either because it only has 2 toughness, which these days barely survives anything in combat in the Pauper format. Drift of Phantasms has shown to be very good, as it either gets you your combo pieces by using the Transmute ability (it can help you tutor for your Axebane Guardian or your Freed from the Real or you can just play it as an 5 toughness blocker and hold down the fort. I would say that in this archetype, Drift of Phantasms does it all.


The manabase is pretty straightforward and not much to talk about honestly. Only thing I will say is your Guildgates matter more than your fetchlands, but that is only because of Gatecreeper Vine. If you chose to play cards like Brainstorm, I would play more fetchlands.


The sideboard isn't really anything special as you basically have maxed out very specific cards for certain situations or archetypes. Moment's Peace is for the aggro matchups and that is all there is to it. The best part of Moment's Peace is that you can tutor for it with Muddle the Mixture. Dispel is there to help stop removal or win counter wars, but I will be adding Gigadrowse into the sideboard as well for helping against the blue decks and the rest of the sideboard is just generic answers for all around flexibility in the format. I might also add Vines of Vastwood to the sideboard or maybe even the main deck to help further counter removal such as burn spells or Doom Blade and the fact that it costs 1 green mana means you can cast your blue spells much easier and not worry about needing to leave blue mana open.


So what do I think of this deck? I think this deck is a lot of fun and I personally have a ton of fun playing it as well. This list is not set in stone and will change the more I test and play with it but I do think you might be able to get at least 3 wins in the leagues or even maybe squeeze out a 5 and 0 record in one of them with tight play and a little bit of luck.


The big thing about this archetype is that you can grind your opponent, sculpt the perfect board state and sculpt the perfect hand so you can go off in one big turn. Against any type of blue control deck, be it UB Teachings or UR Delver, you can take your time and set up your hand to counter almost anything your opponent does, you will need to play around their counterspells, removal and you will also have to try to bait them into playing their spells when you want them to, but that is the same for any combo deck in the Pauper format these days. Against aggro, you just play a game of solitaire and try to go off before they defeat you, you do have to watch out for removal or Vines of Vastwood from the green decks, but you should be fine at the end of the day.


Am I saying you for sure will do well in the leagues or even the challenges? You might or you might not, I can't guarantee you will have great success, but I do think this archetype is powerful and could lead to good things for you. Let me know if you try this deck out and any changes you would make!


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Thanks for reading. See you guys next time.