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By: Plainswalker83, Marcus Brunstetter
Dec 10 2018 1:00pm
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I usually gravitate to low to the ground aggressive decks. I prefer to turn them sideways and lower my opponent’s life total as quickly as possible. Pauper has a few decks like that and I did enjoy playing them. However, Pauper also has access to a lot of good control cards. 

Counterspell Preordain Mulldrifter

Preordain is such a fine card that is banned in Modern along with another powerful blue card, Ponder. In fact, Pauper has some of the best card selection available, especially when you add in Brainstorm.

Blue is very strong in Pauper. Besides the great card draw and card selection. It has some of the best creatures: Delver of Secrets, Ninja of the Deep Hours, and Mulldrifter. Strong permission spells like Counterspell and Daze. Once you decide to play blue that is where the other choices come into play.  There are a few different Delver decks, and they are all very good. I will cover them at another time. I chose to go a different route.

I learned long ago that if you had a firm grasp on the meta, and you knew what decks you had to beat, control was a great option to play.  In looking through Pauper there are two types of Control decks. There is the Tron type deck. They have access to large amounts of mana and multiple colors. They slowly gain an advantage and then bury you with their large plays. Then there is the blue based control deck. Blue Black has been the most popular choice but I have seen a Blue Red version.

I mentioned Blue Black in my last article but now I have put more time into it and have a different list.

Here is my current list:


There are so many different options available when building this deck, so I am going to talk about why I built it this way and what ways you can change it to adapt moving forward.

I will start with the creatures.

Augur of Bolas- When I used to play this card in Standard, I affectionately called him Brickwall Bolas. Mainly because he was a great blocker but there were times you failed to find a spell. In this deck he rarely misses and is still a great blocker.

Mulldrifter- I always love casting this card. A 5 mana 2/2 flier isn’t usually the best value but when it brings you 2 cards, it makes things a lot better. It is also not terrible to evoke as a Divination.

Gurmag Angler- This zombie fish is one of the best creatures in the format. Very hard to kill and great at closing out a game.

Next, I want to talk about the spells. There are a ton of choices to be made in a control deck and this deck is no exception. When you play control, you need to have answers. Most times you are a reactionary deck and respond to what your opponent does.

The tough part is knowing what answers to have in your deck. The better you know the metagame the more effective your answers can be.

Counterspell- A catch all to stop your opponent from doing what they need. A classic answer and one that must be a 4 of.

Exclude- Only counters a creature but lets your draw a card as well.

Soul Manipulation- Also only counters a creature but allows you to bring one back to your hand as well. Great for when you evoke a Mulldrifter early on. I will test further and maybe cut down to only one creature counter but for now, I have been enjoying both.

What if you can’t counter their creature? This deck has a ton of options for different removal spells.  The fun part is picking the right one and the right numbers of them. I will go over the choices I made and what I will consider in the future.

Disfigure- A great one mana removal spell that eliminates plenty of key creatures in the format. Delver being one of the favorite targets. It also hits almost every creature in the elves deck and the mono green stompy deck.

Tragic Slip- Not bad on its own to kill the various 1 toughness creatures in the format. It really shines as a way to kill off the bigger creatures that you don’t normally have a clean answer for.

Doom Blade- Most times it is an answer to anything. Though very useless against the mono black decks and against Gurmag Angler. If there is an increase of 3 or more toughness creatures, then you might want a third copy of Doom Blade.

Echoing Decay- The better Red White Tokens and Elves do, the better this card gets. It is also great against the lesser played goblins and zombie decks.

Chainer's Edict- Another way to get rid of bigger creatures, providing you eliminated the other threats first. Having flashback is an added bonus, and this deck will have plenty of mana to cast it.

Diabolic Edict- Another Edict effect but instant speed. Sometimes you just want to be able to respond to them playing another creature or cast it at the end of turn to clean up their board.

Evincar's Justice- A main deck sweeper that can even serve as a win condition. A lot of decks over extend and with all the card draw and selection it is not hard to find Justice and wipe their board. Please just remember that it deals 2 damage to all players as well. You need to keep your life total high enough.

Lastly, I want to discuss the card draw and card selection. I covered Preordain in the beginning but there are 2 other spells that really shine in this deck.

Forbidden Alchemy- This card is fantastic in this deck. Digs deep for useful spells and filters away others. I do feel that you “waste” a lot of spells by putting them in the graveyard. Though that has never been an issue.

Probe- A great one of that helps you and hurts your opponent. I do not think I ever cast it without the kicker but sometimes you may really need to dig for a card.

That is the deck. It has plenty of options and you can change out removal or even counterspells depending on how the meta shifts. As of now 3 of the top played decks are Delver decks. There are 2 Boros decks. One is the go wide token style and the other traditional Kuldotha or Monarch Boros. Lastly, there is Rainbow Tron and Mono green Stompy.

I feel the deck has good matchups against all of the decks and you can mess with the sideboard if you want to feel more prepared. If Affinity gains popularity, maybe toss in an Annul or 2. The board is already pretty set to deal with Burn, so that shouldn’t be a problem either. As I said before there are a lot of choices, so do not get overwhelmed. You cannot prepare for everything. Blue Black has a tough time with Enchantments so that is something you just have to know and deal with.

The best advice I have for this deck is practice. Learn the metagame. Learn what you need to counter or what you need deal with. There are plenty of answers available to you, you just need to know what you need.

I will be spending more time practicing with this deck and trying to get more competitive with it. Thank you for reading and until next time!