Recently, Ive begun playing Pauper. For those of you unaware, Pauper is a popular format on Magic Online, where you create a deck with only commons that have been printed over all the sets of magic. This format is budget friendly and very fun to play. Most games are highly interactive as well as slower paced. A 2/2 creature in Pauper is formidable, 3/3 is large and 5/5 is godly.
Seeing many of the more popular decks online, I chose to run my own deck. Some of you may know that I’m a big fan of the Orzhov Syndicate in Ravnica and have even created multiple decks with their cards over the years. My Pauper experience would be no different as extorting opponents would be my key to winning.
Flatline is fun to play, highly interactive as well as control based. All spells played by your opponent will be scrutinized and targeted if the need arises. The longer the game lasts, the better your survival. Let’s take a look at the deck’s contents…
4x Fume Spitter
This turn one creature can kill Delver of Secrets as well as many other early threats. It’s also the trigger for the Morbid spell Tragic Slip, which will kill any creature you will face in Pauper. Fume Spitter also makes a good chump blocker while sacrificing himself to lower other attacking creatures power. This type of play can bring a 2/2 down to a manageable range for other potential blockers you may have. Fume Spitter is a great utility creature.
This creature can ping a a target for a single damage as well s play chump blocker. It’s great for bringing down Delver of Secrets, Spirit tokens, as well as the many faeries you will see in Pauper.
This is one of the earliest extort creatures you can play. Not only can it extort, it can also attack with it’s evasive flying as well as defend against the 1/1 faeries you see from time to time.
This extort creature is typically one of the last ones to hit the field. It’s a great defender for ground attacks as well as finishes off any smaller foolhardy goblins. this guy will usually push you to the end with extort damage and stall out games.
Another extort flyer, this thrull can push damage from time to time against slower decks. Don’t be afraid to hold him back for defense if the time is right.
This creature is found in many sideboards in Pauper but here it’s in the main deck. In order to keep the deck running, extort creatures must be given time to do their dirty work. This cannot be done while creatures are taking damage and targeted with removal spells. Standard Bearer takes the role of lightning rod, taking one for the team. If removal spells are being used to kill it, then extort creatures and Suture Priests can keep on sucking the life from the opponent.
This Phyrexian cleric is quite the secret to this deck’s success. When played early, it seems like a minor annoyance but mid game or if two are in play, the real threat from it begins to emerge. In Pauper, most offense comes in the form of creatures and if the opponent is losing life from trying to mount an offense, opponents begin to feel threatened, but usually by then it’s too late. Late game this small creature is a beast as players are unable to play creatures while facing the risk of death while at lowered life. A true predicament.
This extort ground creature is surprisingly good. His two defense can keep him alive against the small attackers as well as minor damage or -1 effects.
I’ve been asked before why I only take two of this creature. I’ve experienced this creature being frail with just one defense as well as difficult to keep alive when it comes to attacking and defending. The life gain from the lifelink ability is great but not if the creature is sitting in the graveyard. As a result, Tithe Drinker is just a two of.
This card is great in Pauper. I’ve tried to use other discard spells but Castigate allows you to go after what matters, the opponent’s creatures in hand. it also removes them from the game, which is essential against decks with graveyard shenanigans.
This spell is priced just right to allow for a stream of repeatable casts when you draw useless lands late in the game. These casts trigger extort which can net you potentially 3+ life swing a turn. This spell has been my kill card in many long grinding games.
Tragic Slip brings down even the largest Pauper Eldrazi creatures. It kills everything. Granted, a little setting up is involved but with all the creatures Pauper has to offer, when is something not dying off to trigger it’s Morbid ability? Try to target only Ulamog’s Crusher or other large creatures. Don’t waste it on smaller less game swinging pests.
This land was put in this deck for one reason only, Delve creatures. Since the Khans of Tarkir block, delve creatures have taken the Pauper scene by force. Bojuka Bog slows these decks a turn or two because of it’s graveyard removal abilities. Save it for as long as you comfortably can and drop it only when necessary.
Typical games last upward of 15 turns. You will play your extort creatures as fast as possible and get their abilities rolling mid game. Attacking early is also favorable if at all possible but keep in mind, you won’t be winning this fight with attacking. Eventually, as you kill or nullify all threats, the life swing will begin to favor you as you finish them off with small incremental life theft. Board control is key and don’t let the opponent’s creatures get out of hand. Not having extort creatures online by mid game is typically bad although I’ve pulled a game or two out from their before with a few key draws. if you get overrun with creatures late game you likely won’t be surviving.
One thing must always be kept in mind while playing this deck: If you are being hit for 2 damage and you return with 2 damage in extort from casting a spell, you are winning. Most decks in Pauper don’t focus on lide gain so don’t be afraid to take damage in order to leech more off later.
Your sideboard can be whatever your meta seems to be. I’ve added Crypt Rats for better swarm control, Rune of Protection: Red against burn, goblins and Affinity decks with Fling.
This deck won’t let you down and it’s currently only 18 tickets on MTGO. The whole decklist can be found here.
Got an original Pauper deck? Let’s hear about it! You can contact Aiokii in the comments below, Twitter or Facebook. Aiokii can also be found on MTGO, hit him up for a game sometime. Also, take the time to check out Reddit Budgetdecks for cheap discussion and deck ideas.