Arctic_Ghost's picture
By: Arctic_Ghost, Arctic_Ghost
Apr 24 2017 12:00pm
Login or register to post comments

You are all familiar with Mono Black Control in the pauper format, I am very sure of that, but some have decided to try and add red to the deck to try and see if it can compete in the current format by doing so.

Where this deck does not get Grey Merchant of Asphodel, you instead get Thermo-Alchemist and while you sacrifice some removal spells, you make up for it by playing burn spells like Lightning Bolt and Firebolt. You also get access to cards like Blightning and the sweet sideboard cards of Pyroblast and Gorilla Shaman.


There is a big question here though and that is, is this deck better than the traditional Mono Black Control? Do the red cards make a big difference or do they do nothing at all? Let's go ahead and break the deck down piece by piece and see what we are working with.

The Creatures


Thermo-Alchemist – I love this card and think it needs to find more decks to be a part of. You have more than enough spells to win the game with a couple of these guys alone over the course of the game and you have more than enough burn to finish the game quickly. I sideboard into a Rakdos style Thermo-Alchemist control deck very often and it does the job well.


Phyrexian Rager – For only 3 mana, you get a decent blocker or attacking creature that replaces itself. Although you lose 1 life to be able to draw a card, it is quite a small price to pay in the grand scheme of things.


Chittering Rats – You know this card well and you probably know why it's here. Being able to stop your opponent from drawing a new card for a turn, can sometimes mean the entire game itself.


Beetleback Chief – For the price of 4 mana, you get 4 power worth of 3 creatures. They are mostly used as blockers, but they can finish the game quickly when you need them to as well. The best part of this creature is how much time he can buy you and that is mostly why he is here in my opinion.


Gurmag Angler – A win condition in its own right, you can easily cast this creature on turn 3 or 4 and easily ride it to victory just a few turns later. It also helps that not many removal spells kill this big guy, so is also very difficult to remove.


The Spells

Lightning Bolt – While also being a very good removal spell, it can also finish your opponent off. Either way, you should play this card.


Firebolt – At its worst, this card is 6 mana (it cost 1 red, but the flashback costs 4 generic and a red) for 4 damage to your opponents face, but at its best, it kills 2 different creatures and you only need to use 1 card and you can save your other spells. Seems pretty good to me.


Flame Slash – Although it does not kill Gurmag Angler, for only 1 red mana, it still kills just about everything else.


Magma Jet – It might be 2 mana for 2 damage and yes I agree that is not very impressive, but the fact that it lets you Scry is extremely helpful in the long run.


Blightning – I love this card personally. For 3 mana, you get to make your opponent discard 2 cards, which by itself is a huge tempo swing and you make them take 3 damage as a bonus.


Raven's Crime – I am not very impressed with this card because although yes, it lets you discard your unneeded lands to make your opponent discard cards, but the fact is, you are still drawing useless lands and bricking off, while the cards that your opponents are discarding are usually lands they are keeping to bluff with or they are playing out whatever they draw anyway. It's fine against counter spells when your opponent is empty handed and living off the top, but I still feel it could be something better. Also it is true it combos well with Thermo-Alchemist, but again I feel it could be something better.


Chainer's Edict – It is always good to have edict effects if you can afford them. You never know when you might run into a threat with Hexproof you need to get around protection spells such as Vines of Vastwood.


Night's Whisper – It draws you cards, really don't have much else to add beyond that. Do be careful though as you should remember that you lose 2 life to do so.


Read the Bones – At 3 mana, it can prove to be a little expensive and annoying on the curve, but still it lets you Scry and draw a couple of cards which can be a huge help at any point in the game.


Grim Harvest – This helps you further your long game plan by helping you bring back your dead Chittering Rats or just about anything really. I like the fact that it is an instant and it can come back so you can use it multiple times.



The Manabase

Barren Moor and Forgotten Cave – You get to play 1 of each cycle land just so that you get to play a 58 card deck and get closer to your good cards. It helps to play 1 of each in-case you actually need them for mana.


Rakdos Carnarium – The bounce land is very good for helping mana and being able to pick a cycle land later in the game or a Bojuka Bog is very helpful against any graveyard strategy.


Bojuka Bog – Graveyard strategies have really picked up in this format and so you want a free answer to said strategies. Also being able to pick this land up with a bounce land to be able to use it again can help a ton.


The basic lands are self-explanatory and you play 4 copies of Bloodfell Caves because it gains you a life and it is a dual land that helps your mana so you can cast your spells.


 The Videos





                                                                       Conclusion and Verdict

I will get right to the point and say that I am very conflicted on how I feel about this deck. I do think this deck is good and has potential, but I won't lie to any of you, because I truly feel like I had to get extra lucky to win my games at any point.


When you use burn spells to kill creatures, you run out of burn to kill your opponent, I feel like you don't have enough reanimation to keep going in the long game. Your creatures are quite fragile and small and it is hard to ride them to victory and I feel all in all, you just don't have enough stuff.


It suffers from the same problem that Mono Black Control does. It is easy for most of the best decks in the format to either draw more cards and bury you in card advantage that you can't match up with, or they go over the top of MBC or even just go wide enough that MBC can't handle it. I definitely feel that having the red splash helps in some aspects like giving you more reach, but in the end I feel like it is not enough.


Do not take my word for it, I am no expert and I would never claim to be and please do not let me discourage you either. Go out and try this deck, you may get a lot of good results with it and show me what I am doing wrong and I am perfectly willing to believe I am wrong.


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 and watching. See you guys next time!