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By: gwyned, gwyned
Sep 12 2016 11:00am
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I. Introduction

Welcome back to another edition of my Standard Pauper Deck Tech column. This series, which originally ran during Season 9 of Monday Pauper Deck Challenge, takes the winning decklist from previous week's Monday Standard Pauper tournament (known as MPDC) on Magic Online and offer an analysis of the components, a quick run-down of the deck's strategy and Sideboard, and a video-cast of a sample match showcasing the deck. We are currently about half way through our 34th season of this event (which ends with the release of each new set). Today, I am excited to bring you a brand new build piloted by cRUMMYdUMMY that finished 5-1 to take home the trophy for MPDC 34.04.

This is a special build by cRUMMYdUMMY designed to specifically counter what the RG Tremors deck was doing in the previous week's tournament. It utilizes some of the same synergies that made the GB Control deck so dominant last season while splashing for both Red and Blue in order to have access to Rolling Thunder and Wretched Gryff, as well as Boiling Earth and Negate in the Sideboard. As such, it's playing lots of removal spells, creatures that help fix mana, and cards that generate card advantage through sacrifice effects. It's a lot to squeeze into a single deck, but the payoff is quite strong. Let's take a look at the decklist.

II. The Decklist (Click here to download or purchase from MTGOTraders)

4C Pulse Control
1st place in MPDC 34.04 by cRUMMYdUMMY
4 Elvish Visionary
4 Primal Druid
4 Vulturous Aven
4 Wretched Gryff
3 Bloodbriar
3 Eyeless Watcher
3 Pilgrim's Eye
25 cards

Other Spells
4 Complete Disregard
3 Pulse of Murasa
2 Dead Weight
2 Grasp of Darkness
2 Rolling Thunder
13 cards
7 Forest
5 Swamp
4 Evolving Wilds
2 Island
2 Mortuary Mire
2 Mountain
22 cards


III. Deck Strategy

Let me start off by saying that this is not an easy deck to play. The deck's color requirements are double Black, Green, double Red, and Blue. Both Pilgrim's Eye and Primal Druid give you the ability to search your Library for whatever mana you're missing, and it's important to prioritize the latter when you're sacrificing creatures for Vulturous Aven or Wretched Gryff. Obviously Evolving Wilds is also a key part of that strategy, but remember that since activating its ability is also a sacrifice effect, it does trigger Bloodbriar as well, which means you want to save them for that interaction if possible. Depending on what you're facing, it may be more important to get access to Blue before double Black (which you only need for Grasp of Darkness and Murder from the Sideboard), while you only need double Red for Rolling Thunder (and Boiling Earth, again out of the Sideboard). The deck is also only running 22 Lands total, so you can't afford to waste the mana generated from the Eldrazi Scions created by Eyeless Watcher.

So given all that complexity, what is the deck's game plan? This is definitely a Control archetype, where you want to keep your opponent in check as much as possible with your defensive creatures, saving your removal spells for creatures that you otherwise have no answers for. Elvish Visionary is an important early play, digging you deeper into your deck while providing another potential sacrifice target. Eyeless Watcher works in a similar way, but provides additional mana rather than card draw. The 3 Toughness on both Primal Druid and Vulturous Aven can definitely help slow down aggressive draws from your opponent until you can get a bigger threat like Wretched Gryff or Bloodbriar online. Pulse of Murasa obviously helps with this as well, allowing you to recycle your important creatures and keep your Life total at a respectable level. And once you have stabilized against your opponent, you need only amass enough mana to finish off your opponent with Rolling Thunder, which can also serve to remove multiple creatures at once in a pinch.

The Sideboard primarily provides lots of additional removal for decks that are creature heavy, with two additional copies of Dead Weight for smaller creatures and six more unconditional removal in the form of four Murder and two additional Grasp of Darkness. Boiling Earth is a silver-bullet against token builds, and since this deck wants to push things into the late game, it's not unreasonable that you could actually utilize the Awaken mechanic here. You also have access to three copies of Negate, giving you answers against a variety of high-impact spells or protecting your own creatures from removal. Finally, the Sideboard also includes one more copy of Pulse of Murasa, which is good either against aggressive decks where you need the Lifegain as soon as possible or when you expect the game to go long enough that you'll get value out of having a whole playset of this important card.

IV. The Match

This week's match is a little bit different from what I've down in previous weeks. It's taken from the Finals of the event where this deck took first place. I was running the RG Tremors build from last week, and you will be able to see very clearly how this deck is designed to counter what the tokens build is trying to do. Enjoy the match!

V. Post-Game Thoughts

As I mentioned above, this is not an easy deck to play. cRUMMYdUMMY has been playing and iterating on his build since the start of this season, starting with a Sultai build and eventually expanding to include Red for Rolling Thunder as another win condition. Originally the deck also included Gavony Unhallowed and Sanitarium Skeleton for additional sacrifice synergies, but these were later cut to make room for the Blue and Red splashes. Previous versions have placed in both Top 8 and Top 4, so it's clear that the power level is definitely there. But given its complexity, there is a pretty large learning curve, so this isn't a deck you can just pick up and expect to do well with. It's also not a great matchup against the very popular Izzet Burn decks, which may also limit its long term effect in the metagame.

VI. Conclusion

And with that I conclude this Standard Pauper Deck Tech on the 4 Color Pulse Control deck. In closing, let me remind you that you can check out all of my previous articles here on PureMTGO by clicking here. I also publish over on my blog on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and encourage you to keep up with all my projects there. You can get a sneak peek at any of my videos before they go live here at over on Simply search for "gwyned42," select one of my videocasts, and click the Subscribe button. You can keep up with everything I'm doing on Twitter at the username gwyned42; check out my profile here and click on Follow. Finally, I am the host of Monday Pauper Deck Challenge, which is a weekly PRE featuring a Swiss tournament in the Standard Pauper format, with prizes awarded for the Top 8 finishers thanks to the sponsorship of MTGOTraders. As always, if you've never checked out MPDC, I encourage you to browse over to for all the information and then come join us at 2:00pm EST / 6:00pm GMT in the #MPDC channel.