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By: Arctic_Ghost, Arctic_Ghost
Jul 17 2017 12:00pm
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There are many different ways to build a UB deck in the Pauper format. You can use a Mystical Teachings package with powerful instant cards to search for and defeat your opponent. You can use cards like Mental Note and Thought Scour to fill your own graveyard quickly so you can cast Gurmag Angler as quickly as possible. You can also use Archaeomancer and Ghostly Flicker to combo with Chittering Rats to lock your opponent out of the game.

This week I bring you a deck that Tarkanmag took to a 6th place finish in the Pauper challenge that took place on June 25th. It is a more tempo version of Dimir Control that uses Augur of Bolas to hold down the early game on the ground and give you some card selection in the process. Gurmag Angler is used as your win condition and you can find yourself casting it very early, putting a lot of pressure on your opponent. You can also find yourself digging through your deck very quickly with the help of not only Augur of Bolas, but with Forbidden Alchemy as well and you will have an easy time finding the spells you will need to win the game. Let's break the deck down piece by piece and see what we are working with.



The Creatures

Augur of Bolas – This is one of the best creatures to be added to Pauper. It costs only 2 mana to cast and has a good toughness of 3, making it a very good blocker against any aggro deck in the format, such as Red Deck Wins, Stompy and White Weenie to name a few. On top of that, it also has the potential to give you a spell you may need. It can whiff but it rarely happens.


Gurmag Angler – This is your win condition. You have cards such as Forbidden Alchemy and Probe to fill your graveyard quickly. It is also good to mention that most of your spells are very cheap and you can play quite a few spells in 1 turn, making it easy to fill your graveyard quickly and play the big Zombie Fish very early.


Mulldrifter – You only play a couple of them, but you never want to leave home with out them either. Mulldrifter is without a doubt the best creature in Pauper (in my opinion). For 5 mana, you get a 2 power flier that draws you 2 cards and can win the game in the air, or for 3 mana you can evoke it and draw 2 cards to try and find what you need. However, in this archetype, you don't have many ways to combo with Mulldrifter, (you don't play Ghostly Flicker and you do not play a lot of return from the graveyard effects) and 5 mana is quite expensive for a deck like this that wants to be casting multiple spells in a turn, you do not want to tap out often, if ever at all. It is however, still a good creature that draws cards and attacks well in the air and I personally have found that I would like a third copy after more testing.


The Spells

Counterspell – If you are a blue deck and can afford to play this card, you should. This spell serves a much more important role in this archetype however, you need Counterspell to protect your Gurmag Angler from being killed and keep it untouched, so that you can ride it to victory 4 turns later.


Soul Manipulation – I like this card a lot and it is quite good in this deck. Being able to return a dead Gurmag Angler from the graveyard to your hand is very important because it is really your main way of winning. It can also be used to counter troublesome creatures with good come into play effects (Mulldrifter for example) and if you find yourself in the right situation, you can use both effects of countering a creature and returning one of yours, which will be a huge tempo swing against any opponent.


Chainer's Edict – Edict effects are always a good idea in this format for killing big creatures like Gurmag Angler or especially for creatures with the Hexproof ability. Chainer's Edict is particularly good in this deck because it combos well with Forbidden Alchemy and that is thanks to the Flashback ability it has.


Doom Blade – It is always good to have a strong removal spell to defeat any creature you come across. Doom Blade is the best that these 2 colors have to offer.


Echoing Decay – It is always good to have an Echoing Decay in your deck these days because being able to clear a large portion of the battlefield can help you win the game easily. When facing a deck like Stompy, Elves or RDW for example, you will notice they play 4 of a lot of their creatures, so they will have multiple copies of a creature on the battlefield, ready for you to take advantage. There are also a lot of archetypes using tokens to win as well, which Echoing Decay thrives on.


Disfigure and Tragic Slip – These are your removal spells for 1 mana. While Disfigure is better at killing more creatures you will run into, Tragic Slip can remove anything that pauper throws at you (except if the creature has Hexproof or Shroud), so long as you have turned on its Morbid ability.


Evincar's Justice – It is always good to have a way to clear the battlefield and this spell is one of the best. It can also deal the few final points of damage to your opponent you may need and it has Buyback so you can use it again. You do need to be careful because it does deal you damage and you do not have Pristine Talisman to help you off-set the life loss.


Preordain – You want to be able to push dead draws to the bottom of the deck so that you do not have to draw them anymore. I find this reason makes Preordain much better than Ponder in this archetype.


Forbidden Alchemy – I am not a huge fan of this card in this archetype because you do not have a lot of ways to abuse your graveyard. You do not play Deep Analysis and you do not have any copies of Accumulated Knowledge and so a lot of the time I felt like I was hurting myself because I had to throw good cards in the graveyard more often than not. It does have Flashback, so you can use it to help you later in the game and try to find the right spell and hopefully throw away dead lands you don't need. It also feeds the graveyard quickly so you can play Gurmag Angler as quickly as possible and you do have Chainer's Edict to put in the graveyard and use later. I still find that I wanted this to be something else more often that I wanted to use it.


Probe – I love this card very much. Being able to draw cards, discard some dead cards to feed the graveyard to cast a quick Gurmag Angler and when you have paid the Kicker cost, it makes your opponent discard 2 cards, this spell does just about everything you want. However, it is sorcery speed and can be very slow because it is expensive to cast and often times you will find yourself losing you the game even because of this.


Dimir Signet – I like being able to accelerate in a deck like this so you can cast multiple spells in a turn, in the early stages of the game. I am unsure if I find them to be better than more ways to draw cards however, so that is something to think about.


The Manabase

The mana base is what you would usually expect. You have some dual lands, but not a lot because you want most of your lands to come into play untapped so you can curve out better and then you have some basics. Not much else to add past that to be honest. I am very happy with the Mortuary Mire and I almost want a second copy.


The Sideboard

2 Annul – This is for the Affinity matchup, as well as Bogles. You can bring it in against the Tron decks that play Chromatic Star and Chromatic Sphere as well.


2 Curfew – This is for the Bogles matchup. It can also be good against Izzet Blitz when they only have 1 creature on the board and are going all in.


4 Hydroblast – For any red menace you may face, this will help you out a lot!


2 Prohibit – If you need extra counter spells, this is your best option in my opinion because it only costs 1 blue and 1 generic, it makes it very easy to cast.


2 Stormbound Geist – This is a great win condition against any heavy removal deck because it takes 2 spells to deal with it. It is also good against Delver Blue or Snow Delver because it is a great blocker in the air.


1 Thorn of the Black Rose – Against any archetype with few creatures at their disposal, (Urza Tron and Teachings Control for example) this is a great creature to have because it makes you the Monarch, which draws you a lot of cards over time and will help you get ahead of your opponent. It can be good against some aggro archetypes, it has Deathtouch and 3 toughness, which makes it a good blocker, but the problem is if you get swarmed by an opponent attacking you with more creatures than you can block or remove, you will lose the Monarch emblem very quickly and that is a risk I do not like to take against fast aggro decks.


2 Vodalian Zombie – A great blocker or just a good way to win the game against any green deck you may come across.


The Videos


Conclusion and Verdict

While I am not a big fan of this deck, I do like what this archetype is trying to do. I like the addition of Augur of Bolas instead of Delver of Secrets and I love not playing cards such as Mental Note and Thought Scour.


Do I think you should play this deck? Yes I do, but I think you should make some changes. I personally (this is just my opinion) think that this deck could benefit from a few copies of Deep Analysis, especially since you play Forbidden Alchemy. I think you can also remove the Signets as I never really felt they were needed. I would also like a few more ways to return your creatures from the graveyard back to your hand, maybe a Grim Harvest and something else would help. I advise you to practice with this deck, as you will find that it is not an easy deck to play and I have found that it can be inconsistent with its draws. I wish you the best luck and hope you do will in your tournaments.



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Thank you so much for reading and watching. See you guys next time!