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By: Arctic_Ghost, Arctic_Ghost
May 15 2017 12:00pm
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I know a lot of you must love the UB Teachings control archetype that has no creatures and uses Curse of the Bloody Tome to actually win the game. This archetype has the same concept, but it plays the color red instead of black.

Your win condition in the main deck is Flurry of Horns and you use counter spells and red removal spells to buy you time until you have drawn through basically your whole deck, sculpt the perfect hand and win the game by casting 2 or 3 copies of Flurry of Horns. Before we go into any further depth on what this archetype is all about, let's check out what we are working with first.



The Creatures (Kinda)

Flurry of Horns – This is your main win condition and it is a lot better than you think. They are 3 toughness creatures and so yes they do die to even the most basic of removal in the form of Lightning Bolt, but you get 2 copies of the tokens and they have haste, so they immediately get to deal 2 or 4 damage to your opponent. The trick is you don't play this card until your opponent is in top deck mode and you have counter spells in your hand, or you have more than 10 mana in play so you can cast multiple copies of this card in one big turn and overwhelm your opponent. It isn't a full proof plan, but it does get the job done.


The Spells

Counterspell – You should know why this is here. It is the best of the best and nothing comes close and you should always have 4.


Lightning Bolt – See what I said above about Counterspell and we will move on.


Firebolt – This card is never really a bad spell. For 1 red mana you get to kill a creature and for 5 more, you can use its Flashback ability to use it again and kill another creature, while also getting to save removal spells in your hand. Sometimes this spell can even play as a Fireblast, because you're paying 6 mana (casting it for 1 red and 5 for the Flashback) and you can end up killing your opponent with it.


Flame Slash – This is your big kill spell of the deck and it's great because you can kill just about anything in this format. The reason why Skred isn't used here is because your deck is not all about getting basics in play, sometimes you don't end up with 3-4 basics on the battlefield until turn 7 or later, so having a spell that always deals 4 damage helps a ton.


Electrickery – This is so you have a way to wrath the board against Delver Blue's faeries, Elves and Token strategies are just some of the reasons this card is so good.


Dual Shot – It only costs 1 mana to hit 2 different target creatures and I like it because of that. With Electrickery, you need to pay 2 mana to hit everything and sometimes you're only hitting a couple of creatures, but with Dual Shot, you only have to pay 1 mana to do the same thing. It is worth noting that both can be countered by Spellstutter Sprite for a 1 mana cost spell because Electrickery's mana cost is still 1 mana.


Swirling Sandstorm – With all the aggro decks that are flooding the pauper format, we are all in serious need of a Wrath of God or board wipe type of spell. You are going to fill your graveyard quickly and get Threshold online, so you will be able to use this spell very frequently. Dealing 5 damage to all creatures in this format is usually just a clear the board play with no questions asked and it has saved me a lot of games as of recent.


Preordain – You will get to a point in the game where you will be drawing dead spells and with Preordain, you get to push those dead cards to the bottom, which can be a huge reason you win the game.


Deep Analysis – I think this is one of the best cards in the deck. It combo's with Pieces of the Puzzle because you can put it in the graveyard and still use the Flashback ability to draw 2 cards. It also can draw you 4 cards total over time, which is huge when you are late in the game and have 10 mana in play to use it.


Pieces of the Puzzle – This card is actually quite amazing in this deck. You are all spells so you will always hit a couple of good cards and you have a number of cards that you still get value by putting them in the graveyard (Deep Analysis and Accumulated Knowledge to name a few). The fact that it digs 5 cards deep also means you should find whatever you need in a very quick amount of time. It is amazing in the late game when you don't need lands anymore and it helps get them off the top of your deck.


Accumulated Knowledge – Not only does it combo with Pieces of the Puzzle in some ways, but it also can draw you a lot of cards at instant speed, making it quite good in this archetype.


Logic Knot – This is your 5th copy of Counterspell and because you're going to be putting so many cards in your graveyard so quickly, it can be good early in the game. I don't find Deprive to be a good option because you don't want to return lands and fall behind on mana.


Dispel – This helps fight a counter spell war and also can be a cheap way to counter any good instant speed spell, so that you can save your Counterspells for better things.


Exclude – A Remove Soul that also draws you a card, seems very good to me in a deck like this because you want to draw through your deck as much as possible.


The Sideboard

2 Gorilla Shaman – Affinity isn't the easiest matchup, this helps sure it up.


3 Pyroblast – This is for the blue matchups.


3 Hydroblast – This is for the red matchups.


1 Electrickery, 2 Swirling Sandstorm and 1 Firebolt – These are just in case you need more removal and less counter spells. On the draw, counterspells like Exclude are a little slow and you need answers for threats that come down under your counter spells.


Curse of the Bloody Tome – This is your alternate win condition and Flurry of Horns isn't going to cut it. It comes in against decks that would have cards like Circle of Protection: Red or even just decks that have too much removal (MBC is the perfect example because they have no way to actually remove this card).


*I mentioned in my decktech that UB Teachings can't deal with a Curse once it hits the board and this is not true, I forgot about Capsize.



The Manabase

I find the manabase to be pretty straightforward and so the only thing that is really worth mentioning is that Radiant Fountain hasn't really impressed me all that much. The 2 life is good and can help, but it only producing colorless is a big deal breaker for me.


The Videos




Verdict and Conclusion

I really do love this deck and if you are a hardcore control fan, I am very certain you will love this deck to. This deck is built to take the game as late as possible and win after your opponent has exhausted all of their resources and has just about nothing left, while you have 6 or 7 cards in hand, are fully stocked on gas and have everything you need.


Do I think you should play this deck? Yes I do and I am surprised more people don't try this archetype out. It does take quite a bit of practice and is very hard to play. You need to make the most out of every spell you have and use your life as a resource (remember, you are not dead unless you go below 1) and you need to be able to think 2-3 turns ahead. If you can cover all of that, I see no reason you shouldn't play this archetype.


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 all for reading and watching. See you guys next time!


Testing this deck by SirFabius at Mon, 10/23/2017 - 06:47
SirFabius's picture

Hi there!

I used this deck last saturday in a IRL Pauper Championship. After 4 rounds my score was 2-2-0.

In my opinion I think this deck suffers against Controls decks. I lost to both UB Dinrova and Rackdos Midrange.

Using Curse of the Blood Tome as an alternative win condition against controls deck seems to be the unique option but I felt it is was not too effective. What do you think?