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By: SpikeBoyM, Alex Ullman
Mar 26 2009 12:13pm
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Scene: g-chat, shortly after the first Pauper Premier Event

Alex: Tom, I have a great idea now that Teachings is doing so well?

Tom: Hey, I'm studying for History...

Alex: It's like Angel Stompy, only without the Cloaks.

Tom: Go on...

Alex: Well, I've come around on Bonesplitter, and thought that a deck featuring great Green one and two drops and the Axe could really attack the format.

Tom: Sounds interesting...but doesn't it lose to MBC?

Alex: Well, not if I'm fast enough...and this deck goldfishes fast.

Tom: How?

Alex: Pit Skulk, Nettle Sentinel, Ghazban Ogre, Wild Mongrel. Hell, even Uktabi Drake gets in there. Also, Jolrael's Centaur in the board.

Tom: Seems exciting, but I'm working on these essays. Later dude.

Alex: Later.


Scene: g-chat, the next day

Sam: How's it going?

Alex: Not too well. My latest brew is a pile.

Sam: What is it?

Alex: Mono-Green Bonesplitter aggro.

Sam: Interesting, sounds like it should at least do well against Teachings.

Alex: You would think...

Sam: What do you mean?

Alex: You need to have the game locked up before turn five. If you do, you're golden and it should be easy. Problem is that even in the later turns, you're producing at most two threats a turn.

Sam: So?

Alex: Well, by turn three or four, Teachings can start answering those threats easily, and the fact that they have a regenerating blocker does not help. Also, Spellstutter Sprite.

Sam: Oh yeah, that's pretty savage.

Alex: And I can't even amass enough threats late to make it worth while.

Sam: And MBC?

Alex: Um, I'm all creatures and they are MBC.

Sam: Slivers?

Alex: Pure race. It's not a bad deck, but it just doesn't have the tools right now.

Sam: Yeah, I can see that. But you came around on Splitter?

Alex: Yeah, it looks that way.

Sam: What did you have against it?

Alex: I just think that in certain decks, you really don't want it. Like, this deck can handle it since it's all creatures. Any top deck with this deck is going to be a creature or pump, which makes all equipment better. But in a deck like RG, you want to top deck burn most of the time, and Splitter usually takes a damage spell slot.

Sam: I follow, but isn't that investment of one and one worth it, even in Red aggro?

Alex: Mana wise, sure...but I just can't ever see myself wanting to top deck it, or even have it in my opening hand. I'd want to draw it at a very specific point during a dead turn...and how often is that going to happen?

Sam: Yeah, I see what you're saying. So, what else are you working on?

Alex: Nothing right now, more later.


Scene: MTGO, before the lag

Alex: So Mind Stone is great in Pauper.

JXC: It is.

Alex: It gives all those midrange decks a way to accelerate to their good drops and refuel late. I cannot believe it has not caught on more. You saw my Blue deck, right?

JXC: Yeah, it looked decent. But I love Stone in there.

Alex: It solves that silly Mulldrifter problem in MBC. Now, you can just speed up one turn and reach your back breakers that much quicker, and still filter for a new card late. It's absolutely fantastic.

JXC: Fixes the mana problem.

Alex: But midrange- Stone opens up every non-Blue midrange deck now. Like, Boros Midrange is an actual possibility.

JXC: Huh?

Alex: Red-White- it has the burn to survive early and some great end game threats, but they all cost five. With Stone, not only do you get to cast them, but you get to draw a card too!

JXC: This...is exciting.

Alex: It's a ton of fun running out Stone Rain and Lapse of Certainty.

JXC: Mana Tithe?

Alex: You know it.

JXC: What's the kill?

Alex: Fomori Nomad.


Scene: facebook chat, a few days later

BDM: Is that the 4/4 from Future Sight?

Alex: Durkwood Boars for the win. It's great since that four butt dodges a ton of the removal in Pauper.

BDM: Same reason Ashenmoor Gouger was run out there.


Scene: Alex' s living room during GP Chicago.

Alex: (aloud) I wonder if I can take this RG aggro list and port it to Pauper?


Scene: facebook chat, later that day

Alex: Mate, good news!

Tom: Hey, I'm knackered; now's not a great time.

Alex: I'm rebuilding RG from the ground up, again. More burn...

Tom: History essays, I gotta go.


Scene: g-chat, the next day

Alex: I think I have the deck for the next PE.

Sam: Really?

Alex: Yeah, RG aggro?

Sam: How do you expect to beat MBC? You do know MBC just destroys RG, right?

Alex: I know, but I'm looking at a more burn oriented version, like Naya Zoo from Extended.

Sam: You just have to win fast, otherwise they're just going to Corrupt you out.

Alex: I know, but I have a good feeling about this.

Scene: MTGO, that evening

Alex: Hey boss.

JXC: Hey.

Alex: So, I'm thinking, Naya Zoo in Pauper.

JXC: Go on.

Alex: Like from the GP: Chicago top 8- a RG deck with a focus on burn more than creatures. Complete with the White splash for Nacatl.

JXC: Exciting.

Alex: Yeah, it has just the best creatures. Alongside Nacatl, it has Fantastic and Mongrel.

JXC: Burn spells?

Alex: Lightning Bolt, Incinerate, Firebolt, Rift Bolt, and Keldon Marauders

JXC: Seems a little light on creatures.

Alex: There are more. I'm thinking Werebear.

JXC: Interesting, has potential.

Alex: Yeah, but I'm not sure about the Pinger. Do I want Fireslinger or Vithian Stinger?

JXC: Vulshok Sorcerer?

Alex: I would, but I don't want to put that sort of strain on my mana base. The four Expanses help, but not that much.

JXC: Yeah, I can see that. Stinger seems awesome.

Alex: Unearth is just fantastic. It helps to solve the long game problem. I mean, you kill it once, and then it comes back again for another extra point. I even side in an extra against Blue decks. I can get them down really low and then just force one of these bad boys out for that last little bit.

JXC: Good synergy with Mongrel. How do you deal with MBC?

Alex: I'm thinking secret tech, Whitemane Lion in the sideboard.

JXC: I like.


The list:



The concept: After reading the GP: Chicago coverage, I wanted to try my hand at remaking RG. Those of you who have read my work know I touted RG Aggro at the beginning of the Pauper Queues. I underestimated MBC's popularity, which killed the list of RG I had proposed, as well as the more aggressive builds others had been running. What appealed to me about the Chicago list was the “lack” of creatures. The old RG decks I spoke with Tom about were good creature decks with burn. This one, to me, feels like as burn deck with great creatures.

I have since come around on the splash of a Plains, as a 3/3 is just so so much better than a 2/2, and allows for an incredibly strong sideboard plan. This makes the deck much closer to a Naya Burn deck than a traditional Pauper RG aggro.

The creatures: Nacatl and Fantastic make up the tag team of best Pauper one drops. As of now, it is hard to find a pair of one drops that will match pure damage potential in this deck. Nettle Sentinel does not untap nearly often enough and Goblin Cohort is just as unlikely to trigger. As far as Basking Rootwalla, the lizard is much stronger in the late game, but I rarely want enough land in play to be able to burn and pump the former one drop of glory. If not for Stinger, I would have tried to fit in some Granger Guildmages.

Speaking of Stinger, it has been amazing. I have been critical of Pingers in the past, since they are all so fragile. This one, however, comes back for an extra point, no matter what. To me, this is enough to have Zombie Tom make the cut. This card is meant to approximate Grim Lavamancer. While it does an admirable job, if not for the Unearth this card would not make the cut.

Wild Mongrel is the best pure aggro Green Pauper two drop. Period. It also acts as a free Flame Jab, changing each land into an extra point late at no mana cost.

You should notice the lack of Werebear. The Threshold stalwart was supposed to approximate a Tarmogoyf. However, the Bear was often a measly 1/1 and a beefy 4/4 when it did not matter. Additionally, I was having issues with MBC and the new crop of Deft Duelist decks. Simply put, this deck has issues attacking into a Duelist. Jolrael's Centaur combats both of these issues. Shroud is incredibly useful in turning off a Tendrils of Corruption. The Flanking occurs before First Strike damage, meaning that no number of Duelists will be able to stop the Centaur. This switch improved the MBC matchup significantly (although it is still not favorable).

The burn: Here, we have a fairly standard mix of burn spells. I wanted to maximize the number of “deal three,” which I have done. I omitted Fireblast again, because of mana concerns- often I do not want two Mountains in play, and the game would end before I would be able to cast the spell. Firebolt, however, has impressed me. This card is key against Slivers, helping, with the other burn, to keep them from assembling the combo (Stinger helps here as well).

Marauders is a great burn spell in that it often acts as a Skred plus Shock. No matter what, it gets in for two and maybe three more. Otherwise, it just takes out a creature or draws a removal spell. It can also delay the playing of Innocent Blood or Diabolic Edict, as MBC does not want to waste a precious removal spell on a card that will be vanishing shortly.

The sideboard: There are some fairly standard choices in there. Pyroblast for Blue, Ancient Grudge for the Machine, Stinger where ever it seems good, and Cloak for those aggro races. The Ray of Revelation is there in reaction to the surplus of (Oblivion Rings) I have encountered recently. However, the real stars are the Whitemane Lions.

The MBC matchup is not good, but it tends to hinge on turn four and five, where MBC will try to put the game out of reach with a Tendrils before sealing the deal (effectively) with a turn six Corrupt. The Lion, however, counters the Tendrils, buying you the extra turn. Now, MBC has to use that turn six to save themselves rather than spending time on winning the game. Now, the Lion and Centaur plan by no means make MBC a favorable pairing, but having them, plus Stinger (which should also be brought in) can stall MBC just long enough for you to be able to snatch victory. For what it is worth, Lion gets the nod because the other options of Momentary Blink and Turn to Mist do not represent any extra damage. The Lion saves a creature and then swings, which can make a huge difference in this deck.

If you are looking for a pure aggro deck for the PE, this might be the one. Judging from the results of the last PE and the buzz, MBC seems to be on everyone's radar, leading to a rise on Blue control, which in turn has led to a rise in discard in MBC (meaning fewer creatures or less removal, both of which are good for RG). RG also has game against Blue, often slipping under counters. RG has a proven record against the so called “random decks” that show up in Pauper, and has the tools to dismantle Slivers and fight burn (remember those Cloaks). If I were able to play, there is a strong chance I'd be putting my digital sleeves on this bad boy.

Until next time, keep slingin' commons-




I didn't really dig the chat by Blade at Thu, 03/26/2009 - 16:10
Blade's picture

I didn't really dig the chat log format. The text was way better.

"The Flanking occurs before First Strike damage, meaning that no number of Duelists will be able to stop the Centaur."

I dont know, how about 2, 3 or 4 ? Valid numbers in my system. :)

Deft Duelist vs. Flanking by ZeroFusion at Thu, 03/26/2009 - 16:33
ZeroFusion's picture

Flanking ability triggers separately for each creature blocking the attacking creature with Flanking, not only once per attacking creature with Flanking. This means that even if I decide to block Jolrael's Centaur with more than one Deft Duelist, they will all die before dealing any damage.

Valid numbers, indeed. But by Parabola01 at Thu, 03/26/2009 - 16:42
Parabola01's picture

Valid numbers, indeed. But they don't do anything for Deft Duelist. Flanking triggers once for each creature, so if the opponent likes his odds of gang-blocking with a group of first-striking 1/0s...

Blade... by TheMiseDotCom at Thu, 03/26/2009 - 17:50
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It gives -1-1 to all creatures without flanking blocking it.....

You are right by Blade at Thu, 03/26/2009 - 19:15
Blade's picture

I stand corrected. Thought the Duelist was a 2/2 after all.

I like the idea but the deck by Anonymous (not verified) at Thu, 03/26/2009 - 18:05
Anonymous's picture

I like the idea but the deck is hard to make out.

71 cards main deck?

6 lions?
8 pyroblasts?

I must have typed the deck in wrong by SpikeBoyM at Thu, 03/26/2009 - 21:02
SpikeBoyM's picture

The deck should be minus the sideboard cards, in other words, the maindeck has
-1 Stinger
-2 Cloak
-3 Lion
-4 Pyroblast
-3 grudge
-2 Ray

Fixed that deck for you, it by jamuraa at Fri, 03/27/2009 - 12:16
jamuraa's picture
Fixed that deck for you, it should be accurate including these changes now.
i had a similiar pauper deck by Anonymous (not verified) at Thu, 03/26/2009 - 19:46
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i had a similiar pauper deck i was testing before.. when i actually played pauper

it was r-g-w zoo heres what i can remember off the top of my head

4 nacatl
4 fanatic
4 lightning bolt
4 rift bolt
4 incinerate
4 river boa
4 oblivion ring

thats really all i can remember.. i kno i had like 20 or so creatures and the rest was pretty much burn

im on my girls laptop now or i would post my list. it tested pretty good a few months ago.. but i stopped playing pauper a while ago it got boring for me

I'm a huge fan of this deck - by jamuraa at Fri, 03/27/2009 - 12:18
jamuraa's picture
I'm a huge fan of this deck - it's exactly what I'm apt to play, an aggro deck with some reach and not too complex interactions. One of the major sticking points against teachings for me is the amazing amount of choices that you need to make with the deck. It may just be my style of play, but I am a big fan of decks where there are a minimum of choices in a turn. I don't want decks to play themselves or anything, but for me, increasing the complexity of the deck just increases the chance that I will make a play mistake that costs me the game.
NIce Article. by J127T at Sat, 03/28/2009 - 16:53
J127T's picture

Very nice article. I have just gotten into pauper myself within the past week or so and have been doing my best to research/playtest before the PE tomorrow. I plan on joining it as long as I can make the time to attend. I like the deck you have suggested here, as I am normally prone to playing aggro decks. I will definitely give this deck a try in the near future to see for myself how it plays out. Not sure exactly what I'm going to play for the PE, will most likely be a last minute decision. Keep the articles coming.

I've been playing something by chuckles3113 at Sun, 03/29/2009 - 19:18
chuckles3113's picture

I've been playing something similar to this since they sanctioned Pauper. Only difference is werebears, instead of marauders, kindles as opposed to firebolts and no mongrels. The secret tech? Tattermunge duo. +1/+1 for all my bolts, kindles and incinerates is just sick. The bears often hit threshold because of the direct damage and they are very relevant in a format where most creatures are 2/2s. I've had some success in the 2-mans (3-1) the loss was to blinking riftwatchers. Wins were MUC,and MU grand entrance twice. I want to try mongrels as they would help with threshold as well. Just haven't ponied up $4.00 for a set yet.