Commander Corner: Borborygmos Enraged

Welcome back,

For this week’s article, I decided to play a deck that is a bit outside my comfort zone. I decided to play a deck with green in it. And not just a tad bit of green for some utility, like in [c]Roon of the Hidden Realm[/c]; this deck has a huge focus on green.

It focuses all around lands, whether it be pulling them into your hand, playing extra lands a turn, or sacrificing them. This type of strategy isn’t something I normally do, but I will have to admit, I had a lot of fun doing it. This build has an engine built into it. It constantly recycles the same lands so that our angry general can throw them at your opponent or their creatures, and it was very amusing indeed. It plays like no other deck I’ve ever played before, and it was an interesting experience. Let’s take a look at what [c]Borborygmos Enraged[/c] can throw at our opponent this week.


Arguably the biggest general that will ever be featured here, he gets your opponent dead and fast. You just have to put in the effort to get there.

[d title= “Borborygmos, the Land Chucker (EDH)”]


1 Borborygmos Enraged


1 Centaur Garden

1 Dormant Volcano

1 Dryad Arbor

1 Dust Bowl

1 Dwarven Ruins

1 Evolving Wilds

10 Forest

1 Ghost Quarter

1 Gruul Turf

1 Hall of the Bandit Lord

1 Havenwood Battleground

1 Jungle Basin

1 Lotus Vale

7 Mountain

1 Myriad Landscape

1 Naya Panorama

1 Petrified Field

1 Strip Mine

1 Tectonic Edge

1 Terramorphic Expanse

1 Thawing Glaciers

1 Wooded Foothills[/d]



1 Avenger of Zendikar

1 Azusa, Lost but Seeking

1 Balefire Dragon

1 Bloom Tender

1 Borderland Ranger

1 Budoka Gardener

1 Cartographer

1 Civic Wayfinder

1 Dragonmaster Outcast

1 Gatecreeper Vine

1 Greenseeker

1 Groundskeeper

1 Hornet Queen

1 Inferno Titan

1 Liege of the Tangle

1 Lotus Cobra[/d]


Creatures (Cont.)

1 Mana-Charged Dragon

1 Oracle of Mul Daya

1 Rampaging Baloths

1 Realm Seekers

1 Sakura-Tribe Elder

1 Sakura-Tribe Scout

1 Satyr Wayfinder

1 Scute Mob

1 Solemn Simulacrum

1 Steel Hellkite

1 Sylvan Ranger

1 Tilling Treefolk

1 Titania, Protector of Argoth

1 Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger

1 Xenagos, God of Revels

1 Yavimaya Elder[/d]



1 Beast Within

1 Destructive Revelry

1 Lightning Bolt

1 Lightning Storm

1 Realms Uncharted

1 Searing Blaze

1 Sprouting Vines


1 Cultivate

1 Explore

1 Green Sun’s Zenith

1 Journey of Discovery

1 Kodama’s Reach

1 Land Grant

1 Life from the Loam

1 Mizzium Mortars

1 Rampant Growth

1 Seek the Horizon

1 Summer Bloom

1 Sylvan Scrying[/d]



1 Abundance

1 Elfhame Sanctuary

1 Exploration

1 Lignify

1 Song of the Dryads


1 Crucible of Worlds

1 Firewild Borderpost

1 Gilded Lotus

1 Khalni Gem

1 Lightning Greaves

1 Sol Ring


I think that it’s plain to see what this deck does best. It ramps you out and fills your hand with lands for later when you get [c]Borborygmos Enraged[/c] out. At that point, the deck goes into overdrive as you’re able to make use of the lands you have been stockpiling in your hand for the entire game. Then you get to recycle those lands and start flinging them at your opponents or their creatures. Once you get this engine going, it’s gonna be hard for your opponent to turn the game back around.

The main cards that will keep you going throughout the game are [c]Life from the Loam[/c] and to a lesser extent [c]Groundskeeper[/c]. These cards will let you keep going through the entire game and provide an engine on their own. [c]Life from the Loam[/c] in particular is an all-star in this deck. In tandem with [c]Strip Mine[/c], [c]Dust Bowl[/c], and other various lands that sacrifice themselves, [c]Life from the Loam[/c] is fantastic. It pretty much is its own engine. [c]Groundskeeper[/c] is a great card, but only if you have [c]Borborygmos Enraged[/c] out for it to work at its best. It’s solid with [c]Dust Bowl[/c], though, which is very good at keeping your opponent from stabilizing and developing their resources.

While keeping your hand filled with lands, this deck also will ramp you out as fast as possible. Cards like [c]Lotus Cobra[/c], [c]Azusa, Lost but Seeking[/c], [c]Exploration[/c], and [c]Summer Bloom[/c] will make sure that you get out as much lands as possible. The faster you can get out Borborygmos or any of the other huge threats such as [c]Balefire Dragon[/c] or [c]Avenger of Zendikar[/c] the better. This deck sometimes will stumble around sometimes, as it can take a bit to ramp up into your end game. [c]Strip Mine[/c] and [c]Dust Bowl[/c] should help you keep your opponent from developing a higher amount of resources while you develop yours. Once you can get into the late game and cast Borborygmos, the game is pretty much over.

This deck is an interesting one. [c]Borborygmos Enraged[/c] lends himself to a different style of deck, which is why I think I liked this build as much as I did. This engine style deck that throws land after land at your opponent is fun and interesting. Having a deck that is actually looking to flood out a bit is something that not a lot of decks are looking to do. It’s a cool feeling when you throw down a hand full of lands at your opponent and deal them twenty one points of damage to win the game. If you’re looking for a unique deck or like to utilize your lands to their fullest potential, then this is the deck for you.

Thank you for checking out this weeks Commander Corner. If you have any recommendations for a commander that you want me to take a look at in the future, let me know in the comments below.

Next week, we bring back the dead. See you soon my friends.

– Steven Gulsby

The Standard Pauper Show, Issue 31

Section 1: This week in Standard Pauper

Let’s give a big round of applesauce to Jack! Thanks for bringing your own brand of mad brew science to the show!

Section 2: Player run events

A quick note from Gwyned: “Yes MPDC will be off next week, with the first event of the new season on Monday, February 16th.”


2 February 2015
Standard · 16 Players
11 Decks · ~69% Reported
4 rounds Swiss
Top 8 playoff
Hosted by gwyned

1st MyGalaxy’s WW by bigbee
2nd RDW by Carnuz
T4 Rats Cats Garys and Cruises by JorgeJacoh
T4 Once More With Feeling by Trompinha
T8 BU Hexproof by beatnik bobby
T8 Golden Army by DoutorTyr
T8 WR Heroic by goomy1
T8 Looses to itself* by MyGalaxy

Cruise Watch: 2015
1st Place: 0 Cruise
2nd Place: 0 Cruise
3rd Place: 4 Cruise
4th Place: 4 Cruise
5th – 8th Place: 0 Cruise

See kids, you don’t have to go cruisin’ to have a good time.

As Gwyned pointed out on his twitter feed, Bigbee did this whole season without catching cruise fever. Well done, Bigbee!

4 Loyal Pegasus
4 Mardu Hordechief
4 Selfless Cathar
4 Sungrace Pegasus
3 Akroan Skyguard
3 Jeskai Student

4 Raise the Alarm
4 Triplicate Spirits
3 Inspired Charge
2 Ajani’s Presence
2 Gods Willing
2 Pillar of Light

19 Plains
2 Radiant Fountain

4 Divine Favor
3 Smite the Monstrous
3 Erase
2 Pillar of Light
1 Ajani’s Presence
1 Gods Willing

This deck is a bliznado of white fury. I like how he references My Galaxy in the title but makes 1st place. Yet MyGalaxy hilariously names a very similar deck “Loses to itself” and finishes a distant Top 8. (Yes I am guessing the name was done after the fact, but come on. Pretend the joke was a confluence of cosmic hilarity and not pre-planned schtick. )

We have seen this archetype several times over the course of the season. So, I will not be showcasing this deck. Instead, I give you the runner up!.

Standard · Unclassified
2nd by Carnuz in MPDC 27 WORLDS (3-2)

4 Akroan Crusader
4 Foundry Street Denizen
4 Nyxborn Rollicker
4 Satyr Hoplite
3 Bloodfire Expert
3 Borderland Marauder
3 Minotaur Skullcleaver
3 Valley Dasher

4 Lightning Strike
3 Dragon Mantle
3 Hammerhand
3 Titan’s Strength
2 Barrage of Boulders

17 Mountain

3 Scouring Sands
3 Magma Spray
3 Font of Ire
3 Fall of the Hammer
3 Act of Treason

JPHSnake would be proud! RDW is a classic. It will always be around. However, the last 2 times this deck was entered, it didn’t even make Top 8. It always amazes me out varied this meta is yet it has the smallest pool of cards.

Now, lets look at an opening hand:

Not bad. I think you have to expect a lot of hands like this.

The slope of power!:

Now let’s look at the next six cards:

My ultimate fear when playing a crazy aggro style deck, the flood. Like the old testament, when I flood is significant, it can destroy your whole world. That may be too dramatic, but with no way of dealing with extra cards, you are stuck with what you have.

Section 3: Fate Reforged

Lets look at a potential brew regarding the newest release:

2 Benthic Giant
4 Monastery Flock
3 Vaporkin
3 Welkin Tern
4 Write into being

3 Nullify
4 Voyage’s End
3 Whisk Away
2 Divination
3 Rise of Eagles
4 Treasure Cruise

4 Evolving Wilds
17 Island
4 Radiant Fountain

1 Benthic Giant
4 Disdainful Stroke
3 Griptide
4 Negate
1 Rise of Eagles
2 Weave Fate

This deck is stuck between being aggro and control. Is that what they call midrange? I have never understood that term. I just hear people call a deck midrange and I go with it.

Now, lets look at an opening hand:

Here is the curve (not a curve):

Now let’s look at the next six cards:

Is it good enough? Let me know what you think in the comments!

Fan of History, Episode 5: Events of the 960s BC King Mu vs The Dog People

Dan and Kevin talk about King Mu of Zhou China’s attack on the Dog People and the first use of the title “Pharaoh”. Check out the YouTube channel here:

Support the Fan of History on Patreon here:

World Politics 800BC global overview:

About Greece in the early 9th Century BC:

The beginning of the Neo-Assyrian Empire in 911 BC:

History of Assyria 3000-1000 BC:

The early Neo-Assyrian army (to 745 BC):

Discuss Ancient History and ask questions to real historians here:

World Map:

A music video tribute to Ashurnasirpal II, king of Assyria:

Contact information:

youtube: (Fan of History)

The Standard Pauper Show, Ep 34

Worlds! Special guests! The end of the Gauntlet. Mono Red. Nerds! Brennon Sam and Dan welcome Jphsnake to the show to discuss Pauper of all types, Treasure Cruises, Pauper bans and more. Plus a review of the end of the Gauntlet, and the rise of Mono White in Standard Pauper. This is The Jam Treasure Cruise into Everything Show, thanks for listening.

google +:

Picking Up The Pieces: Chord of Calling

[c]Demonic Tutor[/c]. [c]Tinker[/c]. These two effects, searching for a card from your library and putting it into your hand, and placing a permanent directly into the battlefield, are two of the most powerful effects in the game. These cards are archetypal of the effects, and any card with a similar ability is held to their standard. “To tutor” is Magic jargon for finding a card in your library, and all cards such as [c]Natural Order[/c] and [c]Polymorph[/c] are measured against [c]Tinker[/c] and ultimately to be found wanting.

Recently we saw Modern’s world get rocked (if you dig rather deeply, this is a pun). In my humble opinion, the most notable change we saw was the banning of [c]Birthing Pod[/c]. After its longstanding reign over Modern, a number of its cohorts saw gradual price increases, and Wizards admitted upon the abuse of [c]Archangel of Thune[/c] that their design space was limited because of the artifact that tutored and tinkered. As a result of this ban, the price increases have gone in the opposite direction while players sell off their collections.

Still, just as so many are ready to shelve the cards and go bananas with things like [c]Tasigur, the Golden Fang[/c], I can’t help but cast a second glance at [c]Chord of Calling[/c]. After all, this card tutors. It tinkers. Conley Woods even suggested here that the 4:3 split of [c]Birthing Pod[/c]: [c]Chord of Calling[/c] should be reversed. Since we never saw the card in any other Modern decks, we have to ask ourselves where to put it.

Here are my offerings.

Defender Ramp

[d title=”Drinkard Defender (Modern)”]
1 Eye of Ugin
12 Forest
4 Urza’s Mine
4 Urza’s Power Plant
4 Urza’s Tower

1 Avenger of Zendikar
4 Axebane Guardian
1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
1 Kozilek, Butcher of Truth
3 Obstinate Baloth
1 Oracle of Mul Daya
4 Overgrown Battlement
4 Primeval Titan
2 Steel Wall
3 Thragtusk
1 Ulamog the Infinite Gyre
2 Wall of Tanglecord

Other Spells
4 Chord of Calling
4 Summoning Trap [/d]

There are some times where you may be mistaken for Tron. Some games may play out similarly. On the one hand, you will certainly be less consistent with turn three Tron into something big. On the other, you aren’t as helpless leading up to turn three, and you aren’t as dependent on [c]Ghost Quarter[/c]’s activated ability and [c]Sowing Salt[/c] not resolving.

Hopefully you are able to play a fatty on turns three and four. Against Zoo and Burn, we have a lot of life gain and blockers to try and minimize the inherent risk of inactivity to that point. Against blue control, [c]Summoning Trap[/c] and some good-old Eldrazi-inevitability are on our side. I haven’t finished running the numbers in my head against a deck like Junk, but having solid threats that can’t be targeted by [c]Abrupt Decay[/c] has to be a good thing.

Here, [c]Chord of Calling[/c] simply keeps the car running, as it were, and functions as a toolbox win condition by playing the right creature we need at that time. Let’s try and build a deck where it serves a more critical role.


(*Note – I had crafted a theory around [c]Summoner’s Pact[/c] and [c]Chord of Calling[/c] for use here, but then I found the below deck on John Ostrem piloted it to a 9th place finish as the SCG Modern Premier IQ in Indianapolis on February 1. I’ll show the list I had come up with below, but I want to highlight this one because it is quite clever and much better than my own.)

[d title=”Ostrem Elves (Modern)”]
14 Forest
4 Nykthos, Shrine to Nix

4 Arbor Elf
1 Craterhoof Behemoth
4 Devoted Druid
4 Elvish Archdruid
3 Elvish Mystic
4 Ezuri, Renegade Leader
4 Heritage Druid
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Nettle Sentinel
1 Reclamation Sage
1 Regal Force

Other Spells
4 Chord of Calling [/d]

Here are the interactions I’ve found to be rather sweet:

[c]Devoted Druid[/c] functions as a new copy of [c]Nettle Sentinel[/c] when [c]Craterhoof Behemoth[/c] comes out to play. He can generate mana to play the [c]Chord of Calling[/c] or [c]Craterhoof Behemoth[/c] and untap himself (a lot of times, as needed) to attack. Additionally, lord effects allow him to function as extra ramp.

[c]Ezuri, Renegade Leader[/c] protects against sweepers, [c]Abrupt Decay[/c], and other pieces of spot removal that aren’t [c]Path to Exile[/c] or [c]Dismember[/c]. Just remember that the [c]Chord of Calling[/c] in your hand can act as this blowout.

Together, the above two read “2: Creatures you control other than [c]Devoted Druid[/c] get +3/+3 until end of turn.” So for every two mana, you get an [c]Overrun[/c]. And if you get two of the Druids together with Ezuri, well, GG. I will say that although this is a win, the online version of the game makes this quite labor-intensive.

Other than Affinity, I don’t think any deck is like Elves in that by turn 2, the cards in your hand are on the table, and your actual hand is accepting the concession handshake by your opponent. Well, ok, that may be a bit of a stretch in Modern, but it is certainly true in other formats. Here, certainly by turn 3, our threats are on the board, allowing one another to attack with more power and generate more mana. The [c]Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx[/c] is a nice pseudo-[c]Gaea’s Cradle[/c] to close the game once you get ahead.

For posterity’s sake, here is my Elves deck. Please don’t misread this: I would not make any changes to the above deck. I just had this article in mind and built this deck below, inspired primarily by the [c]Temur Ascendancy[/c] combo decks of Standard.

[d title=”Drinkard Elves (Modern)”]
1 Breeding Pool
3 Cavern of Souls
1 Dryad Arbor
4 Forest
4 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
4 Windswept Heath
1 Wooded Foothills

1 Ant Queen
1 Craterhoof Behemoth
4 Elvish Archdruid
4 Elvish Mystic
1 Ezuri, Renegade Leader
4 Heritage Druid
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Nettle Sentinel
1 Reclamation Sage
1 Regal Force
3 Temur Sabertooth
2 Voyaging Satyr

Other Spells
3 Intruder Alarm
3 Chord of Calling
2 Lightning Greaves
4 Summoner’s Pact
1 Thousand-Year Elixir[/d]

So, what all can this deck do for infinite?

[c]Ant Queen[/c] + [c]Intruder Alarm[/c] + anything that creates 2 mana ([c]Voyaging Satyr[/c] or [c]Elvish Archdruid[/c]).

[c]Temur Sabertooth[/c] + [c]Thousand-Year Elixir[/c]/[c]Lightning Greaves[/c] + Anything that generates more mana than it takes to cast it and activate Sabertooth.

There really are a lot of ways that come up to do it. [c]Chord of Calling[/c] acts as extra copies of whatever combo element you are missing.


[c]Chord of Calling[/c] can find its home in any number of combo decks or stay exactly where it was in [c]Melira, Sylvok Outcast[/c] combo.

Whether you’re going to need [c]Harmonic Sliver[/c] or [c]Darkheart Sliver[/c] depending on the matchup, a good old-fashioned [c]Tarmogoyf[/c] to block, or an [c]Essence Warden[/c] to counter your opponent’s infinite number of [c]Deceiver Exarch[/c]s, it will always be useful.

Does it have what it takes to measure up to [c]Demonic Tutor[/c] or [c]Tinker[/c]? Absolutely not. But can it still be competitive in Modern? Without a doubt. In fact, I predict that within the next year, more decks than just one will regularly receive packs in exchange for winning events using [c]Chord of Calling[/c]. In that regard, the [c]Birthing Pod[/c] ban will have resulted in more format diversity.


Paupers and Kings, Ep. 2: Mono-Green Stompy

Hi everyone, and welcome to the second episode of Paupers & Kings, my series on porting Pauper decks into the Modern format while staying on a budget.

Today we’re looking at the winner of Season 2 of the Pauper Gauntlet, Mono-Green Stompy.

Why Stompy?

Since it is a mono-colored list, we immediately get some bang out of our buck in Modern by skipping on Fetch lands and other expensive mana sources. It also makes the list very consistent. Play a forest, play a dude, beat face. Stompy is a real contender in Pauper, but doesn’t really make events in Modern right now. We’ll take a look at why that might be a little further down the page.

Strengths of Stompy

  • Like Zoo, Stompy aims to have creatures with great stats for the cost
  • Unlike Zoo, Stompy never has to worry about having the wrong land to play or buff its creatures. It’s very consistent.
  • Stompy is great at delivering early pressure, getting the opponent low on life in the early game

Weaknesses of Stompy

  • Works on a single axis, attack with creatures; if that doesn’t work, you’re out of luck
  • Weak against life gain
  • Prone to clogged board states, has no way to punch through effectively in the end-game

Stompy in Pauper

After 13 grueling rounds, Dan just called Season 2 of the Pauper Gauntlet to a close, and guess who won?

That’s right, with only Burn and Stompy left going into the 2-man rounds, Stompy emerged victorious. This is the list that Dan played, which is from Chris Weaver and detailed in another article on our site.

[c]Hunger of the Howlpack[/c] is one of my favorite cards in green creature strategies, and I’m happy to see some in this list. Otherwise it’s got all your favorite green dudes and rocking pump spells.

Here is the list:

[d title=”Stompy by cweaver (Pauper)”]
17 Forest

4 Quirion Ranger
4 Nettle Sentinel
4 Young Wolf
4 Skarrgan Pit-Skulk
4 Garruk’s Companion
2 Shinen of Life’s Roar
3 Wild Mongrel

4 Rancor
4 Vines of Vastwood
4 Groundswell
3 Gather Courage
3 Hunger of the Howlpack

3 Nourish
1 Bonesplitter
3 Gleeful Sabotage
1 Viridian Longbow
4 Scattershot Archer
3 Spore Frog [/d]

Chris was one of the few people to run [c]Garruk’s Companion[/c] at the time, but more lists have picked it up since then. Getting a 3/2 beater for {G}{G} is already pretty good; getting trample in the mix is a bonus. Stompy can have issues getting around / over blocks after the first few turns; guys like this, and Pit-Skulk, and Shinen, help make sure that the list doesn’t stall out.

One of my favorite plays is sticking a Hunger on Pit-Skulk, delivering an unblockable 5/5 in most match-ups, and GG from your opponent unless they’re packing non-damage-based removal.

The only price sticking point in Stompy, from a Pauper perspective, is [c]Nettle Sentinel[/c], who is currently running at $1.41. Honestly, though, just buy him. That elf is a rockstar and he will make your Stompy deck that much better. You won’t find a better 1-CMC 2/2 in the format.

Stompy in Modern

Alright, so we know that Stompy is good in Pauper. But can we brew up a good Modern port that doesn’t break the bank? We can certainly achieve the latter part; whether or not the list is any good, though, is up for debate. Here is what I came up with.

[d title=”Budget Stompy by bava (Modern)”]
2 Treetop Village
4 Rootbound Crag
16 Forest

4 Dryad Militant
4 Experiment One
4 Kalonian Tusker
4 Leatherback Baloth
4 Strangleroot Geist
2 Predator Ooze
2 Kitchen Finks
2 Garruk’s Companion

2 Aspect of Hydra
4 Rancor
4 Vines of Vastwood
2 Prey Upon

3 Choke
3 Back to Nature
3 Ancient Grudge
2 Prey Upon
2 Nylea’s Disciple
1 Gut Shot
1 Dismember [/d]

If there’s an expensive card in this list, it’s because I already owned copies. Otherwise I started with the primer over on Salvation and took out anything that cost too much. The result may be that I went too budget to remain competitive.

The list above is very nearly a Silverblack list. We lost [c]Thrun[/c] and [c]Scavenging Ooze[/c] from the main, and [c]Creeping Corrosion[/c] from the board. I’ve seen [c]Dungrove Elder[/c] in lists as well, and think he would be a good addition at least as a 2x. We have 6x creature slots to work with if we take out Predator Ooze, Finks, and Companion.

Even then, though, the main weakness of this list remains. It only attacks on one axis, and if your opponent is prepared to deal with a creature strategy, at all, you may be completely out of luck. There’s aren’t any tricks up Stompy’s sleeves in Modern and, for whatever reason, it lacks some of that punch-through that Pauper Stompy gets with Pit-Skulk and Shinen.

My recommendation?

If you want to play Stompy in Modern, keep the list cheap and play for funsies. Otherwise, I suggest one of two alternatives that remain Stompy-esque.

Mono-Green Devotion

Kind of looks like Stompy, but works much, much differently. Here is a list from Michael Jacob’s excellent article at SCG.

[d title=”Mono-Green Devotion by Michael Jacob (Modern)”]
4 Arbor Elf
2 Birds of Paradise
4 Burning-Tree Emissary
1 Craterhoof Behemoth
4 Eternal Witness
2 Joraga Treespeaker
3 Primeval Titan
3 Wistful Selkie
1 Wolfbriar Elemental

4 Garruk Wildspeaker

8 Forest
1 Kessig Wolf Run
2 Misty Rainforest
2 Stomping Ground
4 Verdant Catacombs
4 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx

2 Abundant Growth
4 Utopia Sprawl
3 Genesis Wave
2 Primal Command

2 Spellskite
1 Scavenging Ooze
2 Ancient Grudge
1 Beast Within
1 Combust
1 Dismember
1 Nature’s Claim
2 Creeping Corrosion
1 Primal Command
2 Ghost Quarter
1 Boseiju, Who Shelters All [/d]

We lose anything that resembles “budget” in this list, but if you want to go Mono Green in Modern, I think this is your best bet. If you want to stay cheap and don’t mind mixing your colors, slightly, then I think Gruul Aggro is another excellent alternative to mono-green Stompy.

Gruul Aggro

We were seeing Gruul Aggro lists make events for awhile. Then Wild Nacatl was unbanned, and people who were playing Gruul mostly switched over to Zoo as the aggro list of choice. And hey, Zoo is a fine choice, but the competitive lists aren’t budget at all, running all the fetch lands and shock lands and [c]Tarmogoyf[/c] to boot.

Even so, Gruul remains the strong core of Zoo. Kird Ape is a 1-CMC 2/3. Wild Nacatl is a 2/2 even without a Plains in our list. Something like this list is a good place to start.

[d title=”Gruul Aggro (Modern)”]
4 Burning-Tree Emissary
4 Experiment One
4 Flinthoof Boar
4 Ghor-Clan Rampager
4 Goblin Guide
2 Grim Lavamancer
4 Kird Ape
4 Stormblood Berserker

1 Dismember
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Rancor
2 Vines of Vastwood

4 Arid Mesa
4 Copperline Gorge
1 Forest
4 Misty Rainforest
2 Mountain
4 Stomping Ground

2 Arc Trail
2 Burning-Tree Shaman
2 Dismember
2 Molten Rain
3 Skullcrack
2 Smash to Smithereens
2 Vines of Vastwood [/d]

Gruul tends to have more reach than just running green on its own. [c]Ghor-Clan Rampager[/c] adds +4/+4 and trample and can’t be countered, and 4x [c]Lightning Bolt[/c] can clear a blocker or go for the face. If we’re off budget here it’s because of the mana base, which becomes even more important because you not only need your land to cast spells, but cards like Flinthoof Boar and Kird Ape also care what kind of land you have in play.

[c]Stomping Ground[/c] beats our budget lands in that it comes into play untapped, gives us both colors of mana, and counts as a Forest and a Mountain. It’s also $4 a pop.

My recommendation is just to run mostly basics and 4x [c]Evolving Wilds[/c] to help ensure a little more consistency. If you want to take out Goblin Guide, run 1x Plains and 4x [c]Wild Nacatl[/c]. You lose your turn one Shock and mess with your mana a bit, but a potential 1-CMC 3/3 is strong and the cat warrior remains just 15 cents.

If you don’t want [c]Dismember[/c] then you could run the much worse [c]Flame Slash[/c] or the slightly more CMC-expensive [c]Pit Fight[/c].

On the Play

So how do these look in play? I took them both out for three matches, and the results speak for themselves. Check out the playlist.


As expected, Pauper Stompy rocked. Modern Stompy? Not as much. There are a couple matches in there with an old Gruul Aggro list I had together at the end, so check those out if you want to see how Gruul compares, even in an older meta.

Next Week on Paupers & Kings

Two weeks in, what’s next? We have lots more great crossover potential, including Goblins, Burn, Delver, Tron, and others. Which lists do you want to see me try out? Let me know down in the comments.

Until then, may your Hungers always resolve for +3/+3.


Legacy on Mondays: A New Way to Punish

Welcome Back!

Sorry about the lack of an article last week. My girlfriend broke up with me, then work got crazy, and life decided to pour buckets on my parade. Rather than start the “Ho bashing,” as Bava calls it, I am writing this article to introduce some new Legacy bashings! I just recently brewed this deck around the new bannings and unbannings in Legacy. In case you have been living under a rock, look here for the announcement. I have yet to test this deck at all, and I wanted to see what the community would think, as well as explain my reasoning for this brew.

Dan, this one goes out to you. It’s time to bring back the Gruul Aggro deck!

[d title=”Green Red Smash (Legacy)”]
4 Bloodbraid Elf
4 Skyshroud Elite
4 Goblin Guide
4 Boggart Ram-Gang
1 Vithian Renegades
2 Spellbreaker Behemoth
1 Dryad Arbor
1 Scavenging Ooze
1 Eternal Witness
Instants & Sorceries
4 Punishing Fire
2 Simoon
2 Forked Bolt
4 Lightning Bolt
2 Green Sun’s Zenith
1 Hidetsugu’s Second Rite
3 Rancor
4 Wooded Foothills
4 Taiga
3 Copperline Gorge
2 Forest
2 Mountain
4 Grove of the Burnwillows
2 Simoon
2 Scavenging Ooze
2 Relic of Progenitus
1 Gaddock Teeg
1 Savannah
4 Vexing Shusher
3 Harmonize

[c]Treasure Cruise[/c] is gone. [c]Worldgorger Dragon[/c] is back. The solution? Play a deck that will be good pre-board against the surge of RUG and BUG Delver decks that are soon to follow, and a deck that can hose Reanimator post-board. The goal of this deck is to do just that.

The start was with the [c]Punishing Fire[/c] engine. It is a very powerful one, and is quite effective at dispatching many of Delver’s early plays, such as [c]Deathrite Shaman[/c] and flipped [c]Delver of Secrets[/c]. The combo can also be pointed at the opponent’s face, and gives very precise control over their life total. This warrants the inclusion of a copy of [c]Hidetsugu’s Second Rite[/c], which can end a game very quickly. Most opponents will not see this coming!

Other than the Punishing-Grove engine, the deck wants to come out of the gates fast. [c]Goblin Guide[/c] will pressure the opponent’s life total early, and be a target for quick removal which will protect our later threats. [c]Skyshroud Elite[/c] is another powerful 1-drop that will be a 2/3 very often. I prefer this to [c]Kird Ape[/c] because it is more likely to be a 2/3 on turn 1 (at least in my opinion), and it also puts a small bit of psychological pressure on the opponent. The more they have to think about, the more likely it is that they will make a play mistake.

For the midgame, there are a bunch of powerful creatures that will dominate and plays made by Delver decks at this stage. [c]Bloodbraid Elf[/c] is one helluva card. Almost anything into which she can cascade is beneficial to us. Burn can clear creatures, and other creatures will help to pressure the opponent even more and generate board presence. Other hasters such as [c]Boggart Ram-Gang[/c] and [c]Goblin Guide[/c] are especially potent, as they provide instantaneous action to supplement the Elf.

Normally, I would not run [c]Green Sun’s Zenith[/c] and [c]Bloodbraid Elf[/c] together in the same deck. Cascade + X Spell = a big no-no. But this deck needs a way to beat combo, and [c]Gaddock Teeg[/c] in the sideboard is one of if not the best options to do that. GSZ also offers a few nice utility dudes to gain value, or it can just find a [c]Bloodbraid Elf[/c] to get you back in the game.

[c]Spellbreaker Behemoth[/c] is a creature that needs its own explanation. This is a card that never sees Legacy play, and that is because Gruul Aggro decks are unpopular. But it is so, so good in the [c]Force of Will[/c] format. A 5/5 for 4 that is uncounterable is amazing as a finisher. Against decks without counterspells, it will make most creatures that they play seem tiny. Another card that deserves its own explanation is [c]Simoon[/c]. I predict that Death and Taxes will also see a rise, and [c]Simoon[/c] is a [c]Plague Wind[/c] against that deck. They run a ridiculous number of X/1’s; usually [c]Brimaz, King of Oreskos[/c] and [c]Serra Avenger[/c] are the only relevant cards that [c]Simoon[/c] does not kill. I have gone with four between the main deck and sideboard. This may be excessive, especially the main deck copies, but [c]Simoon[/c] is useful against a such a wide variety of other decks as well that I feel it deserves the spot.

Well, that’s all for this week. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post them below.

Thanks for reading!

Fan of History, Episode 4: Events of the 970s BC Siamun and king Zhao

Dan and Kevin tell you about the sack of Gezer, the betrayal and death of king Zhao of China.

Link to the discussion on settlements on the Palatine Hill in Rome:

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