Monday, April 4, 2016

Exploring Pauper

I get to cross yet another deck off my idea board today. Pauper is something I really don't have experience with (other than designing a Pauper Cube, but that's going to take a little while longer to work out the details), but this is a deck I've had my eye on for a while and wanted to design as my first Pauper deck.

Since we're returning to Innistrad, I figured it might as well be time to show this deck off considering the primary mechanic, Soulbond, was in Avacyn Restored, the third set of the original Innistrad block. So let's go ahead and take a look!

Green/Blue Soulbond


x4 Wingcrafter
x4 Coiling Oracle
x4 Nightshade Peddler
x4 Trusted Forcemage
x3 Elgaud Shieldmate
x3 Flowering Lumberknot
x2 Pathbreaker Wurm


x4 Thornwood Falls
x3 Bant Panorama
x5 Island
x8 Forest

Other Spells

x2 Hunger of the Howlpack
x4 Joint Assault
x4 Vines of Vastwood
x4 Rampant Growth
x2 Ghostly Flicker

As far as the creatures go, they're pretty simple.

Wingcrafter  Nightshade Peddler  Trusted Forcemage

Wingcrafter is our one mana 1/1 flyer, but requires another creature of course... Nightshade Peddler might have been my favorite card from Avacyn Restored solely because of how cool it was to use in the Avacyn Restored prerelease (my first prerelease, of course) by giving other creatures deathtouch and having this 1/1 deathtouch guy able to take down anything. Trusted Forcemage boosts creatures. So we'd either have two flyers, two creatures with deathtouch, or two 4/4 creatures.

Elgaud Shieldmate  Flowering Lumberknot  Pathbreaker Wurm

The other two creatures with Soulbond we're using here give hexproof or trample. Imagine a 6/4 trample with deathtouch. That's the beauty, we have creatures that seem like reasonably costed by themselves, but by playing them, they connect with another creature you already have and they both get so much better.

Flowering Lumberknot is here because why not have a 5/5 that connects with another creature. It's a shame it can't attack or block by itself, but a common four mana 5/5 is a bit much if it didn't have a limitation.

Coiling Oracle

It's not great, but when trying to figure out what else I wanted to add to the deck, I saw this was a good card for G/U pauper decks, and a creature that either puts a land in play for you or draws you a card is pretty good.

Thornwood Falls  Bant Panorama

As far as lands go, outside of the basic forests and islands, I wanted to throw in a couple other lands. First and foremost, I'm not a fan of guildgates outside of their usefulness within the Return to Ravnica block. Instead, we have a better common land cycle from Khans of Tarkir/Fate Reforged where yes it comes in tapped, but you gain a life. Our other alternative is Simic Growth Chamber, but using a bounce land doesn't seem right. Plus the more lands that enter tapped or make you return another land to your hand, the slower you play.

Bant Panorama could honestly be Evolving Wilds or Terramorphic Expanse. It's better than Warped Landscape, and I just figured having a fetchland that could tap for mana in case you needed it (I mean, we do have a bunch of creatures that cost four or more mana), so I dropped that in here. I just wanted a bit of fun.

Hunger of the Howlpack  Joint Assault  Vines of Vastwood

These are cheap boosting spells. A simple +1/+1 or maybe +3/+3 permanently, +2/+2 to two creatures that are soulbound, and then two mana giving +4/+4 and hexproof. Seems very good. Got to toss those in there.

Rampant Growth  Ghostly Flicker

I put in Rampant Growth because we do need to find some lands. A six mana Pathbreaker Wurm isn't going to cast itself without six lands and Rampant Growth finds us some lands. It's simple.

Ghostly Flicker is a bit odd, but you have the capability or changing which creatures are attached to other creatures. Now I didn't want four because it's not a majorly important thing to have, but if you ever wanted to change a Wingcrafter from being soulbound to a Nightshade Peddler to instead attach the Wingcrafter to a Flowering Lumberknot and attach the Nightshade Peddler to a Pathbreaker Wurm, now you can! It's only here to change your pairings if you need it to. Sicne you are flickering two creatures, you can take one from each pair in order to end both soulbonds and reset.

Well that's it for this week, see you next week when I can cross another article off my list.

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