Adam_the_Mentat's picture
Oct 22 2015 11:00am
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CJB: Cheapo decks

Greetings! This week's article is a little something different. Sometimes I like to make silly theme articles. Sometimes I make genuine Johnny combo-imbued fun decks. Sometimes I make spikey decks or Timmy decks. But every now and then, like with my Rainbow Stairwell article, I talk about fringe formats.

Legends was the first set to introduce Gold/Multicolored cards. Back then, spells were overpowered and creatures were weak as heck. For some reason, WOTC, at the time, felt making something gold (and special) meant these things cost a ton and did very little. I'm not sure the reasoning behind making something harder to cast so lukewarm, but thankfully those days are long past (I'm looking at you Spiritmonger. *high fives Spiritmonger*).

When MTGO started releasing Masters Editions, some of these legends of old popped up as potential includes, and WOTC included 'em in the ME sets. This lead to MTGO having 10 common-rarity Legendary creatures. Broken down, there are actually two common-level Legends, which can be used as Commanders for each of the ally-aligned guilds.

That means we have the option, online, to make either an Azorius, Selesnya, Rakdos, Dimir or Gruul Pauper style Commander deck.

You can buy this whole lot for ten cents.

So how do we Pauper up commander? Well we take the Commander and Pauper Banned lists and combine 'em. It essentially means we add Treasure Cruise to Commander's banned list.

From there, we just set the V4's collection screen to the format pauper, and build a Commander deck, and then we cajole one of our friends into doing the same, and we have a fairly unique experience. It ensures a Commander deck with the limitations of Pauper, which means you are not investing heavily, fiscally speaking, to make one of these decks. Pauper players! This is how to get your Commander friends into Pauper. Commander Players! This is how you get your Pauper friends into Commander! Everyone! Raise the Roof! I mean, uh, this is fun for you too! 

Let's check out some decks!

Barkhide Mauler 
Hunting Cheetah 
Silverglade Elemental 
Orchard Spirit 
Zhur-Taa Druid 
Valley Rannet 
Yavimaya Elder 
Krosan Tusker 
Civic Wayfinder 
Sakura-Tribe Elder 
Dawntreader Elk 
Farhaven Elf 
Thundering Tanadon 
Mogg War Marshal 
Wood Elves 
Sentinel Spider 
Matsu-Tribe Sniper 
Essence Warden 
Citanul Woodreaders 
Goblin Fireslinger 
Hooting Mandrills 
Ivy Lane Denizen 
Keldon Marauders 
Emrakul's Hatcher 
Cosi's Ravager 
Grazing Gladehart  
Brindle Shoat 
Beetleback Chief 
1 Caustic Caterpillar
1 Broodhunter Wurm
1 Eyeless Watcher

Other Spells 
Commander's Sphere 
Crop Rotation 
Gruul Signet 
Explorer's Scope 
Mycosynth Wellspring 
Relic of Progenitus 
Whispersilk Cloak 
Wayfarer's Bauble 
Wanderer's Twig 
Serrated Arrows 
Chandra's Outrage 
Branching Bolt 
Reckless Charge 
Brute Force 
Bolt of Keranos 
Growth Spasm 
Lightning Bolt 
Titanic Growth 
1 Lightning Javelin
Flame Slash 
1 Rancor 
Giant Growth 
1 Unnatural Aggression
1 Wild Instincts
Spidersilk Armor 

Gruul Guildgate 
Tranquil Thicket 
1 Looming Spires
Turntimber Grove 
12 Forest 
Khalni Garden 
12 Mountain 
Opal Palace 
Terramorphic Expanse 
Teetering Peaks 
Gruul Turf 
Slippery Karst 
Command Tower 
Evolving Wilds 
Haunted Fengraf 

So we are gonna start out with Gruul.

You can choose either of the aforementioned Gruul Pauper Commanders for this one. I went with (Lady of the Mountain), but, legit, it doesn't really matter who you pick here. There's no theme around the Commander. This deck is just good red and green commons.

It's probably the most Timmy of the three Pauper Commander decks showcased in this article, but it has its merits, and themes. Red, in this deck, is all about dat burn doe. I packed as much Lightning Bolt and Bolt-esque cards I could. Green handles what it does best: namely, ramping. There's everything from Farhaven Elf to Yavimaya Elder to Explorer's Scope & Gruul Signet.

I like my creatures in Pauper Commander to be Two-for-ones, in that they usually have an EtB or leaves-the-battlefield trigger, netting me a body and a spell effect. For example, the already-been-mentioned Yavimaya Elder is a 2/1 body, a potential card draw, and fishes out two basics. Beetleback Chief drops two extra gobbos. Eyeless Watcher drops Eldrazi Scions. Sporemound has landfall for Saprolings, and Citanul Woodreaders can be kicked for some card draw. You get the idea.

Since so many of the creatures in this deck drop tokens, I figured we'd be doing a lot of swarming, and hence, attacking. This led me to include things like Brute ForceGiant Growth/Reckless Charge/Titanic Growth/Rancor to pump my attacking pile of weenies.  I've also got some big floppy vanillas, like Hooting Mandrills, Kindercatch and Thundering Tanadon.

This deck is all about ramping, burn/removal/burn, tokens, and attacking. This is very much a creature-heavy deck that wants to win by attacking and combat tricks.


Amphin Pathmage 
Augury Owl 
Blood Seeker 
Bloodhunter Bat 
Child of Night 
Cloud of Faeries 
Cloudfin Raptor 
Crypt Rats 
Deathgaze Cockatrice 
Descendant of Soramaro 
Dimir Infiltrator 
Dreamscape Artist 
Dutiful Attendant 
1 Æther Adept
Mist Raven 
Sea Gate Oracle 
Sidisi's Faithful 
Fog of Gnats 
Frost Lynx 
Heartstabber Mosquito 
Headless Skaab 
Impaler Shrike 
Jhessian Zombies 
Kami of Twisted Reflection
Killer Whale 
Mortus Strider 
Neurok Invisimancer 
Scroll Thief 
Twisted Abomination 
Sigiled Starfish 
Tidehollow Strix 

Other Spells 
Commander's Sphere 
Darksteel Ingot 
Dimir Signet 
Explorer's Scope 
Mycosynth Wellspring 
Relic of Progenitus 
Whispersilk Cloak 
Wayfarer's Bauble 
Wanderer's Twig 
Serrated Arrows 
Aqueous Form 
Voyage's End 
Rhystic Study 
Serum Visions 
See Beyond 
Doom Blade 
Read the Bones 
Chill to the Bone 
Rend Flesh 
1 Sign in Blood

Lonely Sandbar 
Barren Moor 
Bojuka Bog 
Command Tower 
Dimir Aqueduct 
Dimir Guildgate 
Evolving Wilds 
Halimar Depths 
Haunted Fengraf 
Soaring Seacliff 
Terramorphic Expanse 
10  Swamp 
11 Island 
Polluted Mire 
Remote Isle 
Dismal Backwater 
1 Mortuary Mire
1 Skyline Cascade

How could I not go with (Ramirez de Pietro)? His Foglio flair, his pirate subtype, and his infamy (he was just represented in the Community Cup) all called to me.

Since this deck is blue, you'll notice a lot of card draw, but specifically, card draw with a lot of added Scry or Scry-like stuff added in. This whole deck is based around sifting through it to find the thing you need at that precise moment to control the board state. Read the Bones, draw into a Preordain, draw into an Omenspeaker, and fish out that Murder you need to hose an opposing threat. 

You'll also note that a lot of the blue creatures are also bounce spells so as to, again, control the board state.

This deck makes it fairly possible to win with Commander damage. Equipping a Whispersilk Cloak may mean the end for your opponent, as there are very narrow board sweepers in Pauper.

This deck has some of the best black and blue commons in the game, with Mulldrifter and Crypt Rats leading the way, with some fliers for backup: Killer Whale, Deathgaze Cockatrice, Impaler Shrike.

Revered Dead 
Palace Guard 
Elf Replica 
Ainok Bond-Kin 
Heavy Ballista 
Daru Stinger 
Frontline Strategist 
Lost Leonin 
Rhox Bodyguard 
Basilica Guards 
Benalish Trapper 
Cavalry Pegasus 
Noble Templar 
Loxodon Partisan 
Veteran Swordsmith 
Nyxborn Shieldmate 
Shu General 
Shu Cavalry 
Veteran Armorer 
Thraben Sentry 
Soltari Trooper 
Veteran Armorsmith 
Selesnya Evangel 
1 Rhox Maulers
1 Shadow Glider
Servant of the Scale 


Other Spells 
Commander's Sphere 
Darksteel Ingot 
Selesnya Signet 
Explorer's Scope 
Mycosynth Wellspring 
Relic of Progenitus 
Whispersilk Cloak 
Wayfarer's Bauble 
Wanderer's Twig 
Angelic Blessing 
Serrated Arrows 
Faith's Fetters 
Moment of Heroism 
Arachnus Web 
Spring Cleaning 
Bonds of Faith  
Giant Growth 
Titanic Growth 
Shield of the Oversoul 
Chorus of Might 
1 Wild Instincts
Mighty Leap 
Radiant's Judgment 
Evolution Charm 
Feat of Resistance 
Cenn's Enlistment 
Horizon Spellbomb 
Piety Charm 
Raise the Alarm 
Unified Strike 
Captain's Call 

10 Forest 
1 Fertile Thicket
Drifting Meadow 
Tranquil Thicket 
Secluded Steppe 
10 Plains 
Khalni Garden 
Kabira Crossroads 
Slippery Karst 
1 Sandstone Bridge
Blossoming Sands
Selesnya Sanctuary 
Command Tower 
Evolving Wilds 
Haunted Fengraf 
Selesnya Guildgate 
Terramorphic Expanse 

So this time, we got ourselves a theme! Torsten is a soldier, and his machiavellian flavor text notwithstanding, we can exploit all the common green and white soldier themed cards. I'm looking at you (Veteran Armosmith), Piety Charm, and Frontline Strategist (and also the rest).

Soldiers are meant for warfare. So, we've got even more pump spells in this deck than we did in the first deck.

White also has a lot of common removal too, like Faith's Fetters, Arrest, and its ilk. Plus Green has common Fight spells. 

In this deck, Moment of Heroism is an MVP, and has turned the tides for me many times.

None of these spells are overly expensive. Serrated Arrows, a Pauper staple, is a little over two bucks. Rhystic Study is a buck or two, and so is Crypt Rats. But, really, all the rest are cheap.

In a world dominated by Mana Crypts, Gaea's Cradles and more. Sometimes it's nice to eschew the money cards and try something different.

I hope you'll give it a shot. 

Thanks for joining me again. Did I miss anything you would've included? 

Lemme know in the comments below, or maybe shoot me a message in Twitter: @CmdrJohnnyBoosh.

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I built a de Pietro deck a by Paul Leicht at Sat, 10/24/2015 - 18:34
Paul Leicht's picture

I built a de Pietro deck a few years ago to compete in the sunday Edh chaos tourney. It was pretty meh but I think I still did OK with it. As I remember one pod was me with the pirate, vs Scion of Justice, the TO (whose name escapes me now) +1. It was a fairly hairy contest full of blunders on my part. I just remember Scion's deck was full of Shadowmage Infiltrator type of cards and combos. Attack and draw and the TO's deck had a Naya theme full of cheap powerful creatures.