Arctic_Ghost's picture
By: Arctic_Ghost, Arctic_Ghost
Jun 03 2019 12:00pm

A big ban list changed happened recently in Pauper. With Gush, Daze and Gitaxian Probe (I personally feel the Probe ban was unnecessary, but that is a conversation for another day) getting the axe and going onto the ban list. It is no secret that Delver of Secrets type of strategies got hit hard, which may open the door for other archetypes to finally prosper again.


A long time ago in Pauper, I loved playing Cloudpost strategies and UR Cloudpost control was definitely one of them. Having a ton of mana at your disposal, casting Ulamog's Crusher as your big win condition and just burying your opponent in card advantage was just a great way to spend time on the game!


Today I want to discuss a UR Tron list that does much of the same, if not more than UR Cloudpost tried to do in the past. You have burn spells for removal, some counter spells and some card draw mixed in as well. What more could you possibly want? Let's check out what we are working with!



At first glance you will notice that there are no copies of Mnemonic Wall or Ghostly Flicker. That is because this a control version of Tron that does not want to waste spots on combo pieces, but instead would rather play more counter spells, removal and 4 copies of Ulamog's Crusher as the win condition. Having access to the Urza Tron pieces is a luxury that this deck takes advantage of.


Looking at the creatures of the deck, we see only 8 of them. They are 4 copies of Mulldrifter and 4 copies of Ulamog's Crusher. Normally in Urza Tron archetypes, we will see copies of Mnemonic Wall and Ghostly Flicker to have the sort of “infinite” combo where you flicker your Mnemonic Wall and a card such as Mulldrifter to draw cards or your Swiftwater Cliffs to gain large amounts of life.


This particular version of Urza Tron doesn't care about using combos to beat the opponent. Instead you want to play a hardcore control game with removal, counter magic, card draw and then a big win condition to close out the game. We see the typical Tron creature in Mulldrifter, which is at worst a copy of Divination, or it is a decent flying creature that also digs 2 cards deep.


The real win condition of the deck is Ulamog's Crusher, which is arguably the biggest and most powerful creature in the format. It has a 8 power and 8 toughness, making it hard to kill and it ends games quickly, not to mention it has the ability Annihilator 2, which when it attacks (it must if able every turn), your opponent also has to lose 2 permanents. Typically you will play a copy of Ulamog's Crusher when you think the cost is clear, or you have tons of mana in play and can protect it with a counter spell such as Prohibit or Condescend. It isn't a fool proof plan though, as it can easily be killed by a single copy of Doom Blade, Journey to Nowhere or it can be countered by anyone playing blue. This means you have to play smart and realize when it is the right time to go for it. If you manage to stick a Crusher and untap, winning the game shouldn't be too hard from there.


For the counter magic of the deck we see 2 copies of Mana Leak, which is basically just your “catch all” counter spell for 2 mana. It isn't the best because later in the game your opponent should easily be able to pay the 3 mana, but cutting your opponent off of 3 mana so they can't cast another spell can also help you. Next up we see Prohibit which is another good counter spell in this archetype because it only costs one blue to cast and it can counter just about anything you will come across that needs to be taken care of. You won't find Counterspell in this archetype because leaving up double blue can be very constraining on your mana and prevent you from doing multiple things in a turn. Last up we see Condescend which at the worse can be pay 1 blue, target a spell on the stack and scry 2, or it can counter your opponents best spell and also scry 2, giving you a lot of card manipulation to help you find anything you may need at the time.


For the removal in the deck you will find 2 copies of good old Lightning Bolt because it can go to the face if need be, while also dealing with most of the creatures Pauper has to offer at instant speed. 2 Copies of Flame Slash because it is 4 damage to a creature for 1 mana, which kills almost any creature you will come across in the format. Finally 2 copies of Firebolt, which has the ability to kill 2 creatures because of the Flashback ability on the card, making it one of the better removal spells that red can offer a control or midrange strategy. You also have a couple copies of Rolling Thunder as well, which can act as a board wipe or can hit your opponent for 20 or more damage in 1 turn to just win the game.


For card draw you have Compulsive Research in addition to the 4 copies of Mulldrifter in the deck. Compulsive Research may be sorcery speed, but it is a cheap way to draw 3 cards deep and you can easily discard a land card you don't need later on the game. To help find your Urza Tron pieces, you have 4 copies of Expedition Map. Lastly you will find 4 copies of Prophetic Prism to help you cast your spells as well.


The manabase is pretty much what you would expect. You have 4 copies of each Urza land available, those being Urza's Tower, Urza's Power Plan and Urza's Mine. You have 5 basic lands being 4 Island and 1 Mountain. 1 copy of Shimmering Grotto to help cast your color required spells. 1 copy Haunted Fengraf to get off of Expedition Map, which can then get back one of your 2 powerful creatures from the graveyard. 1 copy of Lonely Sandbar to get a redraw later on in the game and then 4 copies of Swiftwater Cliffs as your dual lands.


The sideboard is usually subjective to whatever you believe you need to prepare for. In this list we see 3 Pyroblast for the blue matchups and 2 Hydroblast for the red aggro matchups. A copy of Annul to fight against Bogles and Affinity with 2 copies of Gorilla Shaman to also help fight Affinity.


2 Swirling Sandstorm for any aggro matchup such as Stompy, White Weenie or Affinity to name a few of them. You can fill your graveyard rather easily, so getting Threshold isn't usually a problem and Swirling Sandstorm in this format can be just a straight up Wrath of God most of the time. 1 copy of Earth Rift to fight the mirror match. 2 copies of Electrickery for the Mono Blue Delver matchup or any aggro matchup with a lot of 1 toughness creatures such as Elves. Finally 2 copies of Relic of Progenitus for any graveyard heavy archetypes you may come across. Unlike most Tron archetypes, you only use your graveyard to a small degree, so Relic of Progenitus doesn't hurt you all that much if you need to pop both graveyards and draw a card.


Final Thoughts on the archetype

I always love me some big mana decks. I miss Cloudpost a lot, but Tron makes up some of the loss for me. There are different versions of Tron and which one you decide to pick up and play, totally depends on you and your own play style.


I personally like this deck but I think that is because I am biased to this style of Urza Tron. Do I think this version of Tron can consistently do well over time? Well, the only way I personally feel I can answer that is by saying, yes and no.


I feel Pauper has too many strong strategies that can easily overwhelm this version of Urza Tron. When I look at the list, I like the counter magic, I like the removal, but what I don't like is the lack of raw power the other versions of Tron have. Overall I feel like the deck just doesn't have enough “stuff”.


You don't have the Ghostly flicker combo to get you out of a sticky situation and get you a bunch of cards out of nowhere. You can't buy a bunch of turns with Moment's Peace. Condescend is a good card don't get me wrong, but because you have to sink a good amount of mana into it and might be low on color resources, your opponent can easily bait it out and then do other things. Ulamog's Crusher is a great card, but almost every deck in Pauper can either win before it comes down, or has removal to deal with it. Compared to Fangren Marauder being big and gaining you tons of life to buy turns, or compared too Dinrova Horror, you can't just bounce the opponents best threat, make them lose a card in hand and then combo with Ghostly Flicker and well, you get the point.


What you do have is a nice curve that doesn't require Tron to be effective, you have good removal to help in the early game and the counter magic you have available is pretty good, but I just personally feel like it might not be enough. I also feel like the deck might be too slow to get started and keep the water flowing down hill.


With that being said, is the deck bad? No I that is not what I am saying, I just don't think it is the best version of Tron you could be playing, but it wouldn't of made the top 8 of a challenge if it wasn't good deck capable of winning and I don't claim to be the best player in the world, by all means try the deck out for yourself, you will have a lot of fun and I am sure it will be good in the leagues. Let me know in the comments how the deck preforms for you!


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