Hello ladies and gentlenerds!

This is Sam, aka Vaultboyhunter, and this week I am going to do kind of an introduction article. Why? Well I am just getting in the swing of things at writing articles, but I also want to introduce myself a little. I’ve made a handful of videos for the YouTube channel and one of them I made was kind of a video diary of my favorite decks of all time. I like looking back at a players favorite decks as they have worked through learning the game, and the years after. So join me in a look back through time and space to some of my favorite decks of all time.

Here is the video of me rambling for an hour about my decks!

I thought I would give the deck lists, the time frame I would have played them, and why I liked the deck so much!

WURG Zoo

Creatures (19)
Erhnam Djinn
Serendib Efreet
Kird Ape
Birds of Paradise
Savannah Lions

Instants (16)
Counterspell
Force of Will
Swords to Plowshares
Lightning Bolt

Artifact (5)
Sol Ring
Lotus Petal

Sorcery (1)
Wheel of Fortune
Lands (20)
Savannah
Tropical Island
Plateau
Volcanic Island
Tundra

I played this WURG Zoo deck during 1997. The deck it was designed to beat was a Necro Deck being piloted expertly by the owner of my then local game shop. To get around the power that was Necro in its prime I played fast effective creatures and all the low casting cost spells I could. I crammed the deck full of the best instant spells I could find, including Swords to Plowshares, Counterspell, Lightning Bolt, and Force of Will. I love Zoo to this day, and this is by far my favorite build of it. A fun play was to drop land, Sol Ring, Lotus Petal, and then Wheel of Fortune all in my first turn. Refill my hand, and assist my opponent in taking a mulligan.

Red Green Strip Vise

Creatures (8)
Orcish Lumberjack
Birds of Paradise

Instants (10)
Sudden Impact
Lightning Bolt
Incinerate

Artifact (9)
Lotus Petal
Sol Ring
Black Vise

Sorcery (13)
Stone Rain
Thermokarst
Pillage
Wheel of Fortune
Lands (20)
Taiga
Karplusan Forest
Strip Mine
Wasteland
Forest

This deck was all about evil things. Kill all the lands. Drop a Black Vise. Win. Lots of cheap ramp spells to fuel the evil things. Wizards actually killed this deck when they restricted Strip Mine. Which was just mean. But necessary. This would have been during 1997, after Tempest was released.

Flagpole Sitter

Creatures (16)
Wall of Blossoms
Tradewind Rider
Man-o’-War
Birds of Paradise

Instant (19)
Counterspell
Swords to Plowshares
Whispers of the Muse
Force of Will
Dismiss
Capsize

Sorcery (3)
Armageddon

Artifact (4)
Lotus Petal
Lands (20)
Strip Mine
Wasteland
Tundra
Tropical Island
Savannah

So this deck was also during 1997. Wow, I played a lot of different decks this year. This deck is all about the hard lock between Tradewind Rider and Armageddon. This was about the time I started to understand the joy and beauty of card advantage, and Tempest Block was full of great card advantage cards like Wall of Blossoms, or as I called it, Wall of Awesome. This deck was a thing of beauty, and it was named after a song by the one-hit wonders Harvey Danger.

Nether Go

Creatures (3)
Nether Spirit

Instants (29)
Counterspell
Absorb
Undermine
Fact or Fiction
Accumulated Knowledge
Recoil
Dromar’s Charm
Cremate

Sorcery (7)
Vindicate
Wrath of God

Land (22)
Underground River
Caves of Koilos
Adarkar Wastes
Plains
Island
Swamp

First off you may notice a big gap in the time frame of the last two decks. I had quit playing during the broken mess of Urza’s Block. It was a total mess. Maro himself described Urza’s block as being early-game shuffling, mid-game drawing, and end-game turn one. No thank you, sir. My break was a short one though. I got back into Magic near the end of Masques Block, and right before Invasion. Invasion block is to this day my favorite Magic block. It really hit on all notes for me. ‘Nether Go’ is probably my all time favorite control deck. Mostly rares, lots of counters, kill, bounce, and board wipes, and Nether Spirit is so hard to get rid of. To this day Wizards hasn’t printed such an easy-to-get-back creature, and I bet they never will. This deck includes my two favorite card drawing engines: Accumulated Knowledge and Fact or Fiction. I met my then-girlfriend / now-wife while playing this deck in October of 2001, and sold all my cards to buy her a bulldog.

Never buy a bulldog.

Dromar Control

Creatures (16)
Dromar, the Banisher
Shadowmage Infiltrator
Meddling Mage
Vodalian Zombie
Galina’s Knight

Instant (16)
Counterspell
Absorb
Undermine
Fact Or Fiction

Sorcery (4)
Vindicate
Lands (24)
Underground River
Island
Plains
Caves of Koilos
Adarkar Wastes
Swamp

A portion of the cards I sold to get the mistake that was Fergie the Bulldog included this deck. Masques Block rotated out, and Odds Block rotated in. This deck kept my love alive for my three favorite colors, Blue, White, and Black. Shadowmage Infiltrator is a great card to this day, and the protection creatures were great at just getting there. The Invasion support spells are an amazing set of spells, powering both ‘Nether Go’, and ‘Dromar Control.’

Pre Ban Affinity

Creature (24)
Arcbound Ravager
Ornithopter
Atog
Frogmite
Myr Enforcer
Disciple of the Vault

Instants (4)
Shrapnel Blast

Sorcery (4)
Thoughtcast

Artifact (8)
Cranial Plating
Chromatic Sphere
Lands (20)
Great Furnace
Vault of Whispers
Ancient Den
Darksteel Citadel
Seat of the Synod

The Ban Hammer fell on this over-powered, crazy deck, and it fell hard. This is the only deck I have ever played that lost so many cards at once. 28 cards. Dead from one day to the next. But before the Ban Hammer this deck was so stupid fast it could just kill and kill and kill. It would have destroyed the game much faster then Urza’s block ever could. Thankfully, Cranial Plating is banned in Pauper. As it is, Affinity is still a super strong deck. This deck proves I can be the King of Spikes when I have an unlimited budget for Magic cards.

Solar Flare

Creatures (17)
Angel of Despair
Thought Courier
Ninja of the Deep Hours
Grand Arbiter Augustin IV
Nekrataal

Sorcery (8)
Compulsive Research
Zombify

Artifact (9)
Dimir Signet
Orzhov Signet
Azorius Signet

Enchantment (2)
Debtors’ Knell
Lands (24)
Island
Watery Grave
Plains
Swamp
Hallowed Fountain
Godless Shrine

I clearly remember playing this build of Solar Flare during 2006 as a tribal deck. I had just started playing MTGO (as opposed to just paper Magic), and I loved the freedom that being able to play and draft at any hour of the day or night gave me. I am pretty sure I am 4 humans short in the list, and I have looked through Gatherer to find the 4, but I am just not sure what they could be. I love Reanimator decks, and look, Esper is back! Not that it ever really left me.

Eminent Domain

Creatures (6)
Yosei, the Morning Star
Kokusho, the Evening Star

Instant (4)
Remand

Sorcery (4)
Wildfire

Artifacts (12)
Icy Manipulator
Izzet Signet
Rakdos Signet
Spectral Searchlight

Enchantments (10)
Annex
Dream Leash
Copy Enchantment
Lands (24)
Watery Grave
Dimir Aqueduct
Blood Crypt
Hallowed Fountain
Steam Vents
Izzet Boilerworks
Godless Shrine

Adrian Sullivan designed this deck during the Ravnica / Kamigawa Standard season. It was the most rough of all rogue decks. Steal lands with Annex and Dream Leash and ramp with the Izzet Signet and Rakdos Signet and Spectral Searchlight then drop a Legendary Dragon into play and blow up the world with Wildfire. Spectral Searchlight was also a sneaky win condition, as you could give your opponent a mana of a color they can’t use, and just watch them choke on the burn. Oh mana burn, how I miss you.

For all you foreign peoples out there here is a link about what the term Eminent Domain means in the USA.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eminent_domain

Pauper Delver

Creatures (20)
Delver of Secrets
Cloud of Faeries
Spire Golem
Phantasmal Bear
Spellstutter Sprite

Instant (12)
Counterspell
Gush
Daze

Sorcery (12)
Preordain
Ponder
Gitaxian Probe
Lands (16)
16 Island

When Time Spiral hit, I quit Magic. I hated the set. I also just wanted to focus on other things in life. I was gone for a long time this time and I missed 6 blocks. I became a big video gamer and comic book nerd. I watched a lot of Let’s Plays on YouTube, and one day on a whim I YouTube searched for Magic, and found a lot of nerds putting up videos. I found Mikey K and Pauper and fell back in love. With Innistrad came Delver, and a deep love was born. I love that Insect Aberration so much. This is the deck that brought me back to Magic, and to one of my favorite formats of all time, Pauper! Thanks for the videos, Mikey, without you I may have never came back to Magic!

Silverblack RUG Tron

Creatures (17)
Artisan of Kozilek
Mulldrifter
Brutalizer Exarch
Acidic Slime
Eternal Witness

Sorcery (10)
Reap and Sow
Sylvan Scrying
Firespout

Artifacts (11)
Chromatic Star
Prophetic Prism
Gruul Signet
Crystal Shard
Lands (22)
Forest
Urza’s Power Plant
Shimmering Grotto
Urza’s Factory
Urza’s Tower
Vivid Crag
Vivid Creek
Urza’s Mine

One of the coolest things that happened during my long break was Wizards started to support Player Run Events. I tried a ton of the different PRE events out there and Silverblack became just one of my all time favorite all time formats ever. If you ever come back, Niabock, know that I will be the first guy to get people back to Silverblack on Wednesday nights. I love Tron. So much, and this is a Tron deck with so much value. It drips value like a coffee maker drips Folgers. Am I going to play this in the League? Is it going to be super shiny foiled out? Maybe!

Boros Kitty

Creatures (18)
Kor Skyfisher
Glint Hawk
Sanctum Gargoyle
Kor Sanctifiers
Perilous Myr

Instants (8)
Galvanic Blast
Lightning Bolt

Sorcery (3)
Kuldotha Rebirth

Artifacts (8)
Prophetic Prism
Ichor Wellspring

Enchantments (3)
Journey to Nowhere
Lands (20)
Mountain
Plains
Kabira Crossroads
Great Furnace
Ancient Den

Oh, Boros Kitty. I love you so much I am going to defend you forever. Your ability to be the aggro deck against control. The slow grind control against aggro. You have game against so many decks. I am your champion for the Pauper Gauntlet: Season Two, and I promise you that we can make it to the end together. Dan can get us there, and we can claim the championship two years in a row, Boros Kitty. I know we can.

This is a build I have been playing around with. It’s not the build I am submitting to the Gauntlet. But that leads us to the end of this article and a segue to my next article. Next week is going to be all about the Boros Kitty. We are really going to get inside the deck, and the sideboard, and talk about what 75 we are going to see Dan running this year.

Thank you all for joining me for this fun trip down memory lane, I would love to hear about all of your favorite decks in the comments or on MTGO.

Until next week may your land ratio be right, and may you never have the flood or the screw

Sam Olliso
Vaultboyhunter on MTGO

Share This