Arctic_Ghost's picture
By: Arctic_Ghost, Arctic_Ghost
Oct 07 2021 12:45pm

Flicker effects are the bane of existence for a lot of Pauper players. The reason for this is because of Stonehorn Dignitary or because of the Tron archetype in general. I understand your pain, but today I have a deck that uses Ephemerate that is fair and pretty sweet.

While in the Mardu deck, you had a lot of value creatures such as Mournwhelk and Soul of Migration, the deck I will be talking about today has big green creatures and ramp. It doesn’t care so much about value as it does beating your opponent quickly, but also being able to fight a later game.

The list we will be looking at today was part of the 5-0 dump from 9/15/2021 and was piloted by the player kokoko098. It has big monsters, ramp and flicker effects. Honestly what more could you want? Well to be fair, a million dollars would be nice, but for now we will have to settle for this deck.

Just a note before we continue. At the time this 5-0 dump was posted, the lists were from a league before Chatterstorm and Sojourner's Companion was banned, so the sideboard will have some cards that you might not necessarily need anymore.

Sarulf’s Packmate – This has been a part of the Gruul Cascade decks for quite some time now and it is a great creature overall. 4 mana for a 3/3 that draws a card is definitely decent for both stats and mana cost. However, thanks to the Foretell ability, you can resolve this on turn 3 and that is a good amount of pressure early in the game.

Llanowar Visionary – A really good ramp creature for a deck like this. Although it costs 3 mana, you are ramping into 5 and 6 mana cards, so the curve works out. It also draws a card when it enters the battlefield, making it a decent target for Ephemerate.

Elvish Visionary – Not the most impressive creature in the world, but it is a cheap creature that draws a card when it enters the battlefield and can draw you a couple of extra cards early with Ephemerate. I am not a big fan of this card here, but it does its job.

Owlbear – A 4 power creature with 4 toughness and Trample that draws a card when it enters the battlefield. This is a great creature for the green midrange decks that I expect to see a lot more play as time goes on. It hits hard, can’t be killed by 1 copy of Lightning Bolt and attacks passed most creatures you will come across. Overall I love this card.

Boarding Party – Ah yes, Boarding Party of course makes an appearance here. A 6 power creature with Haste and Cascade. It pretty much does everything you could want. Just remember, Cascade is a cast trigger. This means Ephemerate does not work with it.

Crimson Fleet Commodore – Becoming the Monarch is a huge game in the Pauper format and that is especially true for a deck like this. This is the best option for this archetype in my opinion because it has 5 power and Trample. This means it hits hard and has a good chance to take the Crown back if you lose it.

Revolutionist – Here is how you loop your Ephemerates. I want a second copy of this card in the deck. I am not sure if it is needed, but I think having only 1 copy lowers the power a tiny bit. That being said, I am not sure you want to make the deck any slower.

Cleansing Wildfire and Geomancer’s Gambit – You are a deck that wants to ramp into big spells and you have a good number of Bridges in your deck. It does not surprise me in the least to see these in this deck.

Galvanic Blast – You have a lot of artifact lands and so this should have Metalcraft turned on most of the time. Blast is both a great removal spell and a lot of damage to your opponents face.

Ephemerate – Almost all of your creatures have enter the battlefield abilities you can take advantage of. You don’t have any cool looping combos you can do like in the Mardu deck, but you can draw a ton of cards and protect your creatures from removal.

Settle Beyond Reality – This one is interesting. Although it is very expensive at 5 mana, you can choose both effects. For 5 mana, you get to deal with a problematic creature in play and you get to flicker one of your creatures to draw a card. I am not too convinced of this card because it is 5 mana, but at this time I am not ready to just give up on it.

Late to Dinner – We see Late to Dinner again as you have plenty of big threats to return you it helps you keep bringing back Revolutionist to play a grindy game.

Pulse of Murasa – I am sure by now, everyone knows how good Pulse can be. It gains you 6 life, which is back breaking against any aggro deck and especially burn and it returns a creature from your graveyard back to your hand (or a land I suppose). All of this at instant speed. I am surprised to not see a second copy somewhere.

The Manabase

Rustvale Bridge, Slagwoods Bridge and Thornglint Bridge – Here are your dual lands of the deck. You don’t max out on them because you don’t want the deck being slower than it already is.

Darksteel Citadel – Extra artifact lands that combo well with you mana ramp spells.

Tree of Tales and Great Furnace – Extra artifact lands to help turn Metalcraft on. I am unsure if these are needed however, but they do help.

The rest of the manabase are 7 basics made up 3 Forest, 2 Plains and 2 Mountains for a total of 22 lands. You don’t need any fancy lands like Evolving Wilds because you have your 7 mana ramp spells that also help fix your mana.

The Sideboard

Ancient Grudge – At the time this deck 5-0d a league, Affinity was still a powerhouse and extremely popular. Moving forward I would rather have Leave No Trace or Ray of Revelation instead.

Dawnbringer Cleric – This is an interesting card as all of it’s choices are good and can be relevant in a good amount of matchups. However, it is fairly slow and might be better served as something better. Possibly extra copies of Pulse of Murasa’s to help against control and burn or Journey to Nowhere if you need more hard removal against big creatures.

Dust to Dust – Assuming Affinity is still as popular as ever, this is might be the best hate available for this deck.

Fiery Cannonade – Having access to a board wipe is always a good thing.

Red Elemental Blast – For those pesky blue mages. However the problem here is that you have cards with Cascade and this isn’t the best Cascade target.

Relic of Progenitus and Tormod's Crypt – Graveyard hate is always a good thing to have access to these days as well. Tormod’s Crypt can actually be good here because you are a tap out deck and you can still play this while tapping out.

Weather the Storm – Burn hurts. This will help with that!

Verdict and Conclusion

I do love my midrange and ramp decks. This one definitely fits my criteria of fun and I think this is one of the coolest lists I have seen in a while. Although I do have a few issues with this list.

While Elvish Visionary can draw you cards, it isn’t all that powerful and as the game goes late, it might not be enough. Sure it is a turn 2 play, but you have enough come into play tapped lands and other things to do on turn 2 that it might not be played on turn 2 all that much anyway. I would rather have a few copies Bonder's Ornament to ramp and draw cards in the late game and then maybe another piece of removal or another value creature like Soul of Migration.

Settle Beyond Reality is a cool card and can get a good amount of value, but it is expensive at 5 mana and very slow. If you need more removal, I would rather see Flame Slash or Journey to Nowhere. I also want to see another copy of Revolutionist to really drive home everything in the late game. I would also change up the sideboard as the meta changes moving forward from when you read this article.

Other than those few little personal changes, I think this list is fine to begin with. Do I think you should play this deck? Just like the Mardu deck, for leagues I think this deck is a lot of fun and can bring you some success with a proper sideboard. For the challenges however I would be cautious.

Against Faeries, they can and will go under you with their creatures, while countering whatever they need to. You have a lot of land destruction, but Tron has ways to take you into the late game and rebuild their manabase, then once they get Tron online, they will go over the top of you. The aggro decks could end up being too quick and Affinity is always going to be tough. These are of course just theories so I am willing to eat my words.

Do I think this deck is better than the Mardu deck? I don’t think one is better than the other, I think both of these archetypes have 2 somewhat different game plans. The Mardu deck is more of a control deck, where this list is more of a ramp/beatdown deck. I think decks are fine, it is really more of a pick your path type of deal.

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!