4 Great Pauper Decks To Try Out For Under £30, by Brad Pearce

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4 Great Pauper Decks To Try Out For Under £30

So let’s talk about Pauper. Pauper, for those who are not familiar, is an official Magic Online constructed format; in which, cards released at common rarity, from any set, can be played. There is a short banned list, and arguably the most diverse metagame around. For example, take the metagame breakdown of top 8 decks from July-August 2016 below.

UR Drake Control (21%)
Green Stompy (19%)
Mono Blue Delver (13%)
Bogles (9%)
UB Delve (9%)
Affinity (6%)
Elves (4%)
UR Delver Fiend (4%)
UG Drake Combo (4%)
UB Teachings (2%)
Haste Goblins (2%)
Tron (2%)
Bg Control (2%)
UR Control (no Drake) (<1%)
Burn (<1%)
Esper Familiar (<1%)
Mono Black Control (<1%)
Other (2%)

Even greater, is that nearly every deck in this list can be built for around £30. More excitingly, nearly every deck in this list is very competitive; for example, I went 4-1-1 (4 wins, 1 loss, 1 draw) at the first paper Pauper tournament at Manaleak in Birmingham, with a Mono Black control list, which was savage. Most devastating was the addition of Spinning Darkness and Faerie Macabre, which meant I was able to crush the “Bad-Guy” Drake combo deck, and keep the very over represented Infect lists at bay. My loss was to Izzet Blitz, which was masterfully piloted by my opponent.

One of the great things about Pauper is that if you are a skillful player, your budget will not hold you back. It was great to see a good mix of competitive and casual players doing really well in Manaleak Birmingham the other weekend.

So, if you are interested in Pauper, what deck should you play?

Well… currently the Drake combo deck is performing very well, this is because it beats creature based strategies very well, and that is nearly (I think possibly all) of the current metagame. What I’ve done is included below a few of my favourite creature decks, along with two lists that I think are an annoyance for the Drake deck, should your mates turn up with it expecting to win. My lists will not cost you more than £30 at current prices.


4 Great Pauper Decks To Try Out For Under £30

1. Bison’s Drake Deck

Bison’s deck is a typical Drake list, it want’s to get to infinite mana by casting Ghostly Flicker to flicker the Peregrine Drake and the Archaeomancer, getting back the Archaeomancer and netting 2 mana from the Peregrine Drake. It then casts the Rolling Thunder to kill you. The reason I have put this list here is that Archaeomancer is one less mana than Mnemonic Wall, so this list beats other Drake lists on average.


3 Archaeomancer
4 Mulldrifter
4 Peregrine Drake
4 Sea Gate Oracle
3 Compulsive Research
1 Deep Analysis
2 Firebolt
2 Flame Slash
4 Preordain
1 Rolling Thunder
4 Counterspell
3 Ghostly Flicker
4 Lightning Bolt
8 Island
4 Izzet Boilerworks
5 Mountain
4 Swiftwater Cliffs


1 Dispel
4 Electrickery
4 Hydroblast
4 Pyroblast
2 Relic of Progenitus

2. Absal0m’s Elvish Melody

Elves are one of the most consistent control decks in Pauper. You can stall many aggro decks with cheap creatures and lifegain, generate a load of elves, cast Distant Melody to draw your deck, and then kill with your Timberwatch Elf or Elvish Vanguard.


4 Birchlore Rangers
2 Elvish Mystic
3 Elvish Vanguard
4 Elvish Visionary
3 Fyndhorn Elves
3 Llanowar Elves
4 Lys Alana Huntmaster
4 Nettle Sentinel
3 Priest of Titania
4 Quirion Ranger
2 Sylvan Ranger
4 Timberwatch Elf
3 Wellwisher
4 Distant Melody
12 Forest
1 Island


2 Essence Warden
3 Gleeful Sabotage
3 Scattershot Archer
2 Spidersilk Armor
4 Thermokarst
1 Viridian Longbow

3. Brad’s Zombie Domination

This deck is suicidal, it jams Carnophage and Sangrophage early for pressure, then follows up with Gary (Gray Merchant of Asphodel) for some support, and eventually finishes the opponent off with a cycled Gempalm Polluter. This deck applies real pressure on your opponent and is a well-rounded deck. I have played a bunch of games against Drake with this deck, and despite having absolutely no way to interact with them in game 1 the cycling usually gets you there. This deck is unbelievable fun to play, and the artwork on most of the cards is great which is a wonderful bonus!


4 Butcher Ghoul
4 Carnophage
4 Carrion Feeder
4 Gempalm Polluter
4 Ghoulraiser
4 Gray Merchant of Asphodel
4 Sangrophage
4 Shepherd of Rot
3 Ghoulcaller’s Chant
4 Altar’s Reap

3 Barren Moor
18 Swamp


2 Corrupt
4 Cuombajj Witches
1 Ghoulcaller’s Chant
2 Okiba-Gang Shinobi
2 Spinning Darkness
2 Faerie Macabre
2 Darkness

4. TMan85’s Reanimator

This deck aims to get out an early Crusher and stop the festivities. However the Duress, Shred Memory and Lightning Axe make it very hard for Drake to establish itself. Sadly, this deck does not do so well against elves and goblins, but if your mates play a lot of control then you’re winning.


4 Bloodfell Caves
3 Dragon Breath
3 Duress
3 Evolving Wilds
4 Exhume
4 Faithless Looting
4 Insolent Neonate
3 Lightning Axe
4 Manamorphose
5 Mountain
2 Rakdos Carnarium
4 Sandstone Needle
2 Shred Memory
4 Stinkweed Imp
3 Swamp
4 Tormenting Voice
4 Ulamog’s Crusher


1 Chainer’s Edict
1 Duress
2 Electrickery
4 Faultgrinder
3 Martyr of Ashes
4 Pyroblast


Well that’s it for this week, if you’d like to know more about Pauper Magic then please do let me know in the comments especially if you have any specific questions or requests.

Thanks for reading,


4 Great Pauper Decks To Try Out For Under £30, by Brad Pearce
I have put below a few of my favourite creature decks, along with two lists that I think are an annoyance for the Drake deck, should your mates turn up with it expecting to win. My lists will not cost you more than about £30 at current prices.

Please let us know what you think below...

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