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By: ScionOfJustice, Evan Anderson
Nov 24 2014 1:00pm
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Prior to the release of Khans I believed that MBC was the best deck in pauper.  Since the release of Khans Treasure Cruise has been seeing play in every format, pauper included. Mono-Black Control is an attrition based deck; thus it does not perform well against draw threes. At first I tried running a MBC deck with blue to splash for Treasure Cruise, I entered a daily event with it and during the entire event I only cast it in one game. I found myself siding it out because MBC doesn't fill up the graveyard as much as other decks like delver, delver fiend, and Izzet control do to make use of delve.

So in the new Cruise meta, there are two types of decks that can compete, decks with Cruise and decks that are explosive enough that your opponent can't take full advantage of cruise. Enter the most explosive deck in the format; Stompy.  I really noticed the power of stompy when my MBC deck would lose to it by turn four, but not only was it explosive, it was resilient.  It has creatures that you have to kill twice, it has protection for its creatures, and it has invasion.  All of these factors combine to form a deck that when it draws well, is extremely hard to deal with.  One of the best current stompy players is PatrickJ, I talked with him and he said he took an old list that he found and played it for a while and made a few changes to suite his liking, here is the list he runs:

 

 

So I decided to play his main deck list but since there are still a decent amount of black or Dimir decks running around, I swapped out one River Boa for a Mire Boa and I changed up the sideboard a bit. Here is the list I ran: 

Stompy
ScionOfJustice's version of PatrickJ's Stompy list
Creatures
4 Young Wolf
4 Nettle Sentinel
4 Quirion Ranger
4 Skarrgan Pit-Skulk
3 River Boa
1 Mire Boa
2 Vault Skirge
2 Safehold Elite
1 Garruk's Companion
25 cards

Other Spells
4 Rancor
4 Vines of Vastwood
3 Groundswell
3 Mutagenic Growth
2 Hunger of the Howlpack
1 Bonesplitter
1 Prey Upon
18 cards
Lands
17 Forest
17 cards

Quirion Ranger

 

Let's run through the list and explain what value each card brings to the deck. 

Land

Forest

Use this to cast all of the spells in your deck, well except for Mutagenic Growth.  

Creatures

young wolf

You really get a lot here for one mana. When you want the same card in black you have to play twice the mana cost as seen in Butcher Ghoul. This one drop is fantastic against any deck running edict effects for removal as it will take two to remove it, and after the first one he comes back a 2/2. This guy is also a great chump blocker. Effectively you have a two for one here but for one mana, take that Divination.

Nettle Sentinel

Since when do elves have horns? Anyways, a 2/2 for one mana, what more needs to be said? You have a ton of spells and Quirion Ranger in the deck to untap him so the drawback shouldn't be too costly.

Quirion Ranger

This is the most important card in the deck.  The ability to untap a creature very useful if you don't have any spells to untap Nettle Sentinel but more importantly is her ability to bounce a forest to you hand.  This allows you to play two mana worth of spells when you have only drawn one land.  It also turns on landfall for Groundswell.  The untap ability is also great for post board games against delver decks with Scattershot Archer to shoot down annoying 3/2 insects.  This is the only deck I've played where I win the games I only draw one land, largely due to this card.  Never side this card out.

Skarrgan Pit-Skulk

Another great one drop which will often be a 2/2 for one mana. His evasion ability combined with Rancor, Bonesplitter, or any of the instant pump will make this guy virtually unblockable in the format.

River BoaMire Boa

Even against decks where their land-walk ability is irrelevant, a 2/1 regenerator is hard to deal with. Throw in a Rancor or Bonesplitter and you have yourself a real threat. Throw in an Island or Swamp on your opponents board and they need to go into top-deck mode.

Vault Skirge

A one mana black two drop in a "mono" green deck.  He has flying so he can fly over your opponents ground guys and with your pump spells can make you win most races.  Since he is black he is able to get around both Circle of Protection: Green and Prismatic Strands for green.  You do have to pay two life to play it, but if you get to untap with him you'll find it well worth it.  

Safehold Elite

A worse version of Young Wolf.  This guy is kind of a reverse of young wolf, he comes in at two mana for a 2/2 and after he dies you get a 1/1.  It still is another creature that must be killed twice and is still great against edict effects.  

Garruk's Companion

A three powered creature for two mana with a very relevant ability for what we are trying to do here, which is use creatures and pump to get damage through.  He is only a one of because he is two mana and this deck operates on an extremely low curve, and your opponent can gain value and tempo with a lot of red removal, namely Lightning Bolt or worse Firebolt.

Pump

 Rancor

This is an amazing enchantment.  When it was originally designed it was supposed to cost two colorless and a green, but got changed last minute.  For one mana you get +2/+0 and trample, if your creature dies you get it back to play on another threat which is one of the reasons this deck is so resilient.  The better targets are Vault Skirge for the lifelink, Skarrgan Pit-Skulk because it will become almost unblockable, or one of your snakes because 4/1 trample regenerating creatures are a really difficult to deal with, and if their land-walk ability is active, it is almost direct damage.  

Vines of Vastwood

This is the card in the deck that causes blow-outs.  Often you will attack with your creature, use a Groundswell on it to give it +4/+4 and your opponent will respond with removal, instead of you losing your guy, losing tempo and getting two for oned, you save your guy and get an extra four damage through.  This card is so powerful that just by leaving one mana open, your opponents will have to play around this, but the pressure you can put on your opponents makes them play into it.  This allows you to fight through removal and get some draws where your opponent has no winning line and the game is over by turn four.  This does not just act as double duty by protecting your guy from removal and pumping when kicked, but can act as disruption by casting it on your opponents creature when they are targeting it.  If you are playing against familiar storm and they try to Snap their Cloud of Faeries you can counter it by casting this on it, in the mirror you can counter your opponents Rancor.  A very versatile card for one or two mana.  

Groundswell

Assuming you get its landfall ability, +4/+4 is a lot of pump for one mana and you have Quirion Ranger to help activate landfall.  

Mutagenic Growth

Since this is the most explosive deck in the format, the two life to play this card should not be an issue.  This can also act as a counter spell by effectively countering a Disfigure or Firebolt to save your guy and gain tempo since it will cost you no mana.  Other lists play Gather Courage in this slot, this is wrong.  You are playing an explosive aggro deck that turns your creatures sideways to attack, not alternative means of casting spells.  You will often end up in situations where you don't have an untapped creature to pay the convoke cost and paying the two life should not be an issue.

Hunger of the Howlpack

Like Groundswell this is another situational pump spell, except this one has a far bigger impact on the game.  Giving a creature three +1/+1 counters is huge in pauper and doing it for one mana is amazing.  This card has great synergy with Vault Skirge as when you have morbid turned on, you will turn Vault Skirge into a 4/4 flying lifelinker, or with Skarrgan Pit-Skulk and turn them into a 4/4 or 5/5 unblockable threat.  Note this card has both horrible and fantastic synergy with Young Wolf.  Horrible in that if you use it on a 1/1 young wolf you turn off its undying, fantastic in that if you wait until they kill young wolf and it comes back due to its undying you have activating the morbid and can use this to turn your 2/2 young wolf into a 5/5.  Now since there are so many Izzet decks in the format right now that use burn as their source of creature removal, turning on morbid shouldn't be an issue and then using this on one of your creatures will often put it out of burn range.  If your opponent is not killing your guys to activate morbid, you should win anyways.

Bonesplitter

This is the fifth version of Rancor.  It doesn't give trample, but like Rancor, can be used again and again.  It cost one more mana to get it active because at just one mana it does nothing, but unlike Rancor if they kill your creature in response, you don't lose this.  

Other

Prey Upon

I talked to PatrickJ about this card.  He said it was originally in his sideboard instead of Hornet Sting to deal with Standard Bearer but he had so much success with it he started main decking it.  In my mind this is the weakest of the sixty but can be used as removal of your opponents blockers when you use your other pump spells like Groundswell or Vines of Vastwood.

Sideboard

Scattershot Archer

For those of you who have played pauper at all know that these guys come in to fight of Faeries and Insect Aberrations.  Can also be used to kill Squadron Hawks or spirit tokens. Great synergy with Quirion Ranger.

Serene Heart

These are here to turn hexproof into poof.

Fog

Fog can come in for plenty of match-ups.  It is great against Delver-Fiend, Hexproof, Goblins, White Weenie or tokens, Infect if that is still a deck, and the mirror.

Nourish

Comes in versus burn.

Thermokarst

Comes in versus Tron or Ravnica bounce lands.

Relic of Progenitus

If your opponent wants to use any kind of graveyard manipulation this is great.  Really good against Familiar storm.

Gleeful Sabotage

I cut down a lot on these and that was probably a mistake.  There are tons of decks that use enchantments and/or artifacts.  The conspire is also great for either getting a two for one, or when you need to kill a Spire Golem through counter magic. 

Mire Boa

If your opponent is playing swamps, swap in this guy for a River Boa

Off to the Matches!

 Round 1 

Round 2

 

Round 3

 

Round 4 

Ending Thoughts

I like this deck a lot and think it will be a strong contender in the current meta for a while.  It has the lowest curve in the format, which makes it a great explosive tempo deck.  It has no really bad matchups and some great matchups.  The burn matchup is more or less a bye, MBC has a lot of trouble dealing with all of your creatures, especially Young Wolf and Safehold Elite and Delver has trouble dealing with the low curve that lets you get under their counter magic, your River Boas and your four archer in the sideboard.  After playing this deck a while I think the sideboard should have three to four Gleeful Sabotages in it.  I will continue to play this deck and try and figure out the most ideal 75.

The weakness of the deck is that it never wants to draw land number three and it can have inconsistent draws due to it having no card selection like the blue decks in the format have from Preordain, Ponder and Brainstorm so you are at the mercy of the shuffler. If you draw exactly two lands you are heavily favored to win, if you draw five lands, you are heavily favored to lose, almost regardless of what your opponent is playing.