Pauper's Top 5 Decks

I've played A LOT of pauper tournaments over the last 4 months, and the below are the decks you WILL see in always, be prepared to beat them or lose to them...

Our first deck is Combo/Grapeshot:

4  Ancient Spring
4  Irrigation Ditch
1  Island
4  Sulfur Vent
13 lands

0 creatures
4  Cabal Ritual
2  Chromatic Sphere
4  Chromatic Star
1  Compulsive Research
4  Dark Ritual
3  Empty the Warrens
4  Grapeshot
4  Ideas Unbound
4  Lotus Petal
4  Manamorphose
4  Ponder
4  Rite of Flame
1  Seething Song
4  Sign in Blood
47 other spells



3  Deep Analysis
3  Duress
2  Echoing Truth
1  Empty the Warrens
2  Flaring Pain
4  Goblin Bushwhacker
15 sideboard cards

If your new to this deck, it can go off as early as turn two by a skilled player, and generate a ton of damage via Grapeshot, then as if to rub sulfer in your wounds...drops about a kazillion goblin tokens down via Empty the Warrens.

Black discard is the nemesis to this deck type, as the disruption is often too much for it to work.  Counterspells are good too, but require a lot of experience in playing against it.


Our second deck is Black/Blue control:

Main Deck

60 cards

4  Dimir Aqueduct
8  Island
7  Swamp
4  Terramorphic Expanse
23 lands

4  Chittering Rats
4  Mulldrifter
3  Ninja of the Deep Hours
4  Ravenous Rats
15 creatures
4  Agony Warp
4  Brainstorm
4  Counterspell
2  Echoing Decay
1  Faerie Trickery
1  Grim Harvest
4  Mystical Teachings
1  Piracy Charm
1  Soul Manipulation
22 other spells



1  Coffin Purge
4  Duress
4  Hydroblast
1  Into the Roil
3  Nausea
1  Orzhov Basilica
1  Soul Manipulation
15 sideboard cards

This is a midrange deck with a lot of staying power and a nice big toolbox search engine.  This deck plays pretty strong against most...but suffers against anything "Pro Black."  The 4xDuress is great vs the popular Combo/Grapeshot...and the Nausea is great too, as well as an answer to some of those pro-black/weenie strategies.

Or third deck is White/Blue control:

Main Deck

60 cards

3  Azorius Chancery
12  Island
4  Kabira Crossroads
3  Plains
2  Terramorphic Expanse
24 lands

4  Aven Riftwatcher
3  Kor Skyfisher
4  Mulldrifter
3  Ninja of the Deep Hours
4  Pestermite
4  Spellstutter Sprite
22 creatures
4  Counterspell
3  Exclude
4  Journey to Nowhere
3  Momentary Blink
14 other spells



4  Deep Analysis
4  Holy Light
4  Hydroblast
3  Relic of Progenitus
15 sideboard cards

This deck is like a mirror to the black/blue...depends on what you like, lifegain/blink...or disruption and more removal.  Many versions of this use up to 4 Deft Duelists, which depending on your nuts.  This midrange deck has all the answers, but can sometimes get rolled if the opponent is going first and has a fast/aggressive deck.

Our Fourth deck is White Weenie:

Main Deck

60 cards

20  Plains
20 lands

2  Amrou Scout
4  Aven Riftwatcher
4  Benevolent Bodyguard
4  Icatian Javelineers
4  Kor Skyfisher
4  Razor Golem
4  Shade of Trokair
4  Soul Warden

30 creatures
4  Journey to Nowhere
4  Unmake
2  Ward of Lights
10 other spells



4  Benevolent Unicorn
4  Holy Light
3  Prismatic Strands
4  Standard Bearer
15 sideboard cards

This is a personal favorite of mine.  It can crush any black strategy and has a lot of answers to most threats.  The nemesis to this is Combo/ simply MUST draw the unicorn in game two/three...  The deck's protection base is the best there is, and causes many stalled games to be won via bodyguard and/or ward of lights.  Holy Light is an mvp vs many other strategies, goblins...elves etc..,  The Standard Bearer is also a magnet for strange Armadillo Cloak/Rancor strategies...also funny with Mogg Raider - as they have to give your Standard Bearer the +1/+1.  The Wardens put the deck out of range quickly for anything with mountains.

Our fifth and last deck is Goblins:

Main Deck

60 cards

18  Mountain
18 lands

4  Goblin Bushwhacker
4  Goblin Cohort
4  Goblin Sledder
4  Mogg Conscripts
3  Mogg Fanatic
4  Mogg Raider
4  Mogg War Marshal
4  Mudbrawler Cohort
3  Sparksmith
34 creatures
4  Chain Lightning
4  Lightning Bolt
8 other spells



4  Flame Jab
2  Flaring Pain
4  Molten Rain
2  Rites of Initiation
3  Smash to Smithereens
15 sideboard cards

This deck goes for the throat and never stops.  Very good vs Blue/Black control and Blue/White control.  Don't let the simplicity fool need to practice this deck and/or watch someone good play it to understand the correct in's/outs it offers.  Flaring pain is an MVP for most sideboard answers your opponents will have, namely Prismatic Strands...allowing you to push through that last bit of damage.  White weenie will be your nemesis, due to lifegain and a similar creature count..but creatures with higher quality staying power/abilities.


So there you have it.  The top 5.  Of course Elves and Angry red, mono-black and Affinity have a place too.

Additionally, I've lost many times to strange Blue/Red hybrids...using control/damage to hold the board till the endgame, where they'll smash you with one big "X" spell...or use all the mana to capsize you into a womb of despondency ;)

Until next time, I hope to see you across from me for a game or three~


Four of the decks are still there, but whatever happened to blue-white control? Hard to imagine that was ever an option more common than affinity or MBC
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