If you’ve been watching season 2 of the Pauper Gauntlet at all, you know that the number of decks is rapidly decreasing, and that just the other week Dan was able to determine a top 10. This is interesting for a couple reasons. First off, having started with 77 decks at the beginning of the season, getting down to 10 is a major accomplishment and should be celebrated. Nicely done, Dan! Secondly, that means 10 Pauper lists have fought through hell and high water (and Delver, MBC, Familiars, and Burn) and deserve some time in the spotlight, regardless of how much further they manage to get in the Gauntlet. Last, the top 10 lists from season 2 are automatically qualified to participate in season 3 (if there is such a thing), so these are decks we will likely be seeing more of and should look at more closely.

The Top 10

These are the lists that made it into the top 10 of season 2 and will return in season 3.

  • Stompy
  • Bugs & Pigs
  • Burn
  • Familiars
  • Exhume Control
  • Mono Red Heroic
  • Affinity
  • Goblins
  • Green One
  • Rebel Grind

Some of these are very familiar and we won’t spend a lot of time on them.

Rogues of the Top 10

Let’s check out some of the less familiar lists and see what they are made of.

Bugs & Pigs

Dan has a write-up on this list over on MTGO Library, where he says:

GalacticPresident submitted this grindy midrange control deck and I did not take it very seriously. But it did make it to the top 10! The idea is to abuse Grim Harvest to out-value anything.

He includes the list and videos in his article, so I won’t reinvent the wheel. Go check it out! If you want to see the list in action, here it is against Stompy in round 6.


Exhume Control

This David Shaffer control list is one of the few lists that wants to Exhume an Ulamog’s Crusher yet still deserves to be taken seriously. The list was originally introduced over on MTGOStrat and we published a more recent primer by David himself on our site back in July.

Here is the deck in action vs Hexproof.


Mono Red Heroic

A mono red deck that isn’t Burn or Goblins? I wouldn’t take it seriously, either, except that it’s a jphsnake brew, and his lists all deserve to be taken seriously. CDavis also deserves credit for the list, as his list was the basis for jphsnake’s version. Here it is.

Mono Red Heroic (Pauper)

Land (18)
18 Mountain

Creatures (23)
Akroan Crusader
Foundry Street Denizen
Goblin Bushwhacker
Kiln Fiend
Mogg War Marshal
Satyr Hoplite

Instants (12)
Brute Force
Lightning Bolt
Mutagenic Growth

Sorceries (4)
Reckless Charge

Enchantments (3)
Furor of the Bitten
Sideboard (15)
Apostle’s Blessing
Flaring Pain
Forge Devil
Madcap Skills

And a match against Delver in round 5.


Green One

I’ve talked about Green One here before, and I even played it out in a Pauper Daily Event back in September. Deluxeicoff and David Shaffer have both put up Green One lists in the past, and it is, in my opinion, a very strong deck. Here is my playlist from playing in the DE.


Rebel Grind

Last but not least for the rogue lists, we have Rebel Grind. This list was contributed by Aught3, one of my favorite brewers from my Faithless Looting contests.

Rebel Grind (Pauper)

Land (24)
16 Plains
Haunted Fengraf
Secluded Steppe

Creatures (27)
Amrou Scout
Aven Riftwatcher
Defiant Falcon
Icatian Javelineers
Nightwind Glider
Ramosian Lieutenant
Ramosian Sergeant
Squadron Hawk
Thermal Glider
Zealot il-Vec

Spells (9)
Bound in Silence
Journey to Nowhere
Prismatic Strands
Serrated Arrows
Sideboard (15)
Aven Riftwatcher
Doomed Traveler
Journey to Nowhere
Kor Sanctifiers
Serrated Arrows
Zealot il-Vec

And here is the deck’s final rebellious charge in season 2 of the Gauntlet, fighting it out vs Stompy.


More surprises in store?

Season 2 of the Pauper Gauntlet has been pretty wild. My money was on UB Teachings, but it went under to Affinity in round 5. Illusory Tricks, Delver, and all the Kitty decks are gone as well. So which deck is going to win the whole thing? Tough question. I have to admit, though, so long as it isn’t Familiars, I’ll be happy. I really hate that deck. With Green One out, though, I think I’ll put my money on Stompy to go all the way. As an archetype that has lasted through every Pauper meta we’ve had, it’s hard to argue with the power of little green guys beating face.

Who do you think will win?

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