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By: Arctic_Ghost, Arctic_Ghost
Oct 31 2022 1:27pm
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When you think of Tolarian Terror and Gurmag Angler, you usually think of a Dimir Control deck and for good reason, it is one of the best decks in the format currently. However, what if we added rituals and First Day of Class to make a completely new archetype? I am so glad I have your attention.


The list we will be looking at today was part of the 5-0 dump from 10/29/2022 and was piloted by the player ilFritto. Alright it is time to get your pens ready and your books out. We are going back to school today! For once, I am excited to say that.

Tolarian Terror and Gurmag Angler – Here are your win conditions for the deck. The whole point is to turbo one of these out as quickly as possible (turn 1 in a perfect world) with a +1/+1 counter and Haste so that you can go to town and win the game. I suppose in an absolutely perfect world you could use Ulamog's Crusher, but these 2 do the job just fine.

One thing to keep in mind about these 2 creatures is they sort of counter act each other. While having instants and sorceries in your grave help you cast Terror, you need to exile them in order to cast Gurmag Angler. Just be a bit careful when you are doing math for casting your spells. The good thing is you can exile cards like Chromatic Star for Angler and not hurt casting your Terror.

First Day of Class – Here is your combo card of the deck. Do not play less than 4 in my opinion.

Dark Ritual, Cabal Ritual and Rite of Flame – Here are your main rituals for the deck. These are all the rituals you need and I wouldn’t add any more because mana is definitely not what you are lacking, but more on that later.

Manamorphose and Chromatic Star – Some good color fixing and they replace themselves. More importantly, they are (sort of) free spells. This makes it easier for you to turbo out your win cons. I wish you could 6 copies of Manamorphose and I almost want to add a couple copies of Chromatic Sphere.

Experimental Synthesizer – This is such a great card already but it serves a few different purposes in this deck. It looks at 2 cards which is already great, but it is an artifact that can be fed to Deadly Dispute which is important and the token can end up mattering quite a bit if you need another creature to attack with. This is one of the best cards in the deck.

Deadly Dispute and Night's Whisper – Here are your card draw spells for the deck. Whisper is easy to cast, though it does cost you 2 life so be a bit careful. Dispute combos will with Chromatic Star and Synthesizer and it can accelerate you by giving you a Treasure token. At the end of the day it is no surprise to see these here.

Kuldotha Rebirth – This one is interesting as it can also combo with your artifacts well but instead of drawing you cards, it gives you 3 creatures to attack with. Trust me when I say that extra 6 or so power on the battlefield will matter.

The Manabase is fairly straightforward as it has 2 Swamps and Mountains in the deck along with 2 copies of each Mirrodin artifact land to help with Deadly Dispute and Kuldotha Rebirth. We also see 3 copies each of the lands from Mercaidan Masques and I honestly don’t believe this deck is very playable without them. These lands are what allow you to go off as quickly as possible. Just keep that in mind.

The Sideboard

Flaring Pain – Cards like Fog and Prismatic Strands can easily ruin your game plan. This should help with that.

Introduction to Prophecy and Pest Summoning – Here are your lesson cards to get off with First Day of Class. Prophecy can help you dig a bit farther into your deck when you need to and Summoning can give you the last 2 bodies you need to win the game. I find both of these to do a lot of work.

Pyroblast – I am not sure this is necessarily better than Duress, but Pyroblast does work either way so I haven’t been upset with it.

Shrivel – Everyone needs a board wipe.

Tranquility – I honestly don’t think this is necessary and would just consider cutting it. Yes it does help against Bogles, but I doubt it will do enough and with only 1 copy I don’t think you would see it often enough.

Unexpected Fangs – Use this on one of your big creatures and against some matchups the game will just end there.

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

While Storm in just about every form may be dead, it does not stop the Pauper players from trying to keep the idea alive. This deck is really wicked and a ton of fun, but in my opinion, that is mostly where it begins and ends. The deck did 5-0 a league so to some degree it is capable of winning, take what I say with a grain of salt.

Do not get me wrong, this deck is really cool, but it falls under the literal definition of glass cannon in my opinion. One issue is that your creatures do not have Trample so if you are up against a go wide strategy, you can end up getting brick walled very easily.

Another issue is that you end up facing against any deck with a decent early offense, it is very easy for the game to go well passed the point of being able to win very quickly. I feel like the archetype is very decided by opening hands and getting a little lucky with mulligans.

Do I think you should play this deck? I think this deck is a bit like 1 Land Spy. I personally would never play it in the challenges as I feel like the reward in no way outweighs the risk you would be taking. For leagues, if you want to play something fun and different, you can play this deck sure, but in my opinion you should not be surprised if you do not get very far. I will be having more fun with this deck in the future and will revisit it but for now these are my thoughts.

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 Gatherling.com 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!