Top 10 Rogues of the Pauper Gauntlet

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 [c]Exhume[/c] an [c]Ulamog’s Crusher[/c] 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.

[d title=”Mono Red Heroic (Pauper)”]
18 Mountain

4 Akroan Crusader
4 Foundry Street Denizen
3 Goblin Bushwhacker
4 Kiln Fiend
4 Mogg War Marshal
4 Satyr Hoplite

4 Brute Force
2 Fireblast
4 Lightning Bolt
2 Mutagenic Growth

4 Reckless Charge

3 Furor of the Bitten

3 Apostle’s Blessing
2 Flaring Pain
4 Forge Devil
2 Madcap Skills
4 Pyroblast [/d]

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.

[d title=”Rebel Grind (Pauper)”]
16 Plains
3 Quicksand
3 Haunted Fengraf
2 Secluded Steppe

4 Amrou Scout
2 Aven Riftwatcher
2 Defiant Falcon
4 Icatian Javelineers
1 Nightwind Glider
4 Ramosian Lieutenant
4 Ramosian Sergeant
4 Squadron Hawk
1 Thermal Glider
1 Zealot il-Vec

3 Bound in Silence
2 Journey to Nowhere
3 Prismatic Strands
1 Serrated Arrows

1 Aven Riftwatcher
4 Doomed Traveler
2 Journey to Nowhere
2 Kor Sanctifiers
2 Serrated Arrows
3 Sunlance
1 Zealot il-Vec [/d]

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?

The Pauper Gauntlet, Season Two: Top 10

We are almost ready to enter the endgame of the second season of the Pauper Gauntlet. Before we do so, I wanted to share with you the results so far and explain to you what The Top 10 Playoff is.

Without further ado, here are the results of the Pauper Gauntlet.

Decks eliminated before round seven

Only three decks out of 77 lost during double elimination (R1+2): Pox, Deathtouch, Dumb Green Tron

Round three

The early losers were Icy Hot Hottie, Illusory Tricks, Love Train, AzoriusKitty by ShaffaWaffa5, Mono Black Control, 1-Land-Spy, Allies, CawBlade, Cogs, Dimir Cipher Tricks, GruulKitty, GW Beatdown, Hobo Omelette, Glass Cannon Red, Izzet Splice and Burn, Metalcraft, Midnight Presence, Mono Green Devotion, Mono Red Kuldotha Tron, People of the Sun, Pesky Clerics, RG Madness, Rise of the Legionaire, Rot Wolf Control, Shock the Kitty, Slivers, Thunder Trees, Turbo Fog, UB Creatureless Control, WatchRites, White Hot Hottie (31 decks)

Round four

UB Trinket Control, Delver, BeastDown, Tron, Izzet Control, Croca Jund, Crypt Songs, Elf Bomb, Hexproof, Golgari Undead Dredge, Infect, Squawks to Plowshares, Squawk Rites, Thallid Bowel Control, UG Madness, Zoo.

The voteback

You decided that Love Train, TurboFog and Illusory Tricks deserved a second chance at glory.

Round five

Devil Children lost to Affinity 0-2
Dimir Teachings lost to Affinity 1-2
Five Color Green gets its enchanted lands destroyed by RG Land Destruction 0-2
Gray Mercenaries of Asphodel lost to Affinity 1-2
Mana Burn lost to Delver 1-2
Mono Blue Artifacts lost to RUG Tron 0-2
Mono Red Ping lost to Izzet Trinket 0-2
Persistently Undying lost to Izzet Cruise Control 0-2
Project X got run over by DelverFiend 0-2
Turbo Fog lots to Obzens playing AzoriusTron 0-2

Round six

Bant Presence lost to DelverFiend 0-2
Illusory Tricks lost to Burn 0-2
Love Train lost the unlikely mirror match 1-2
Mono Black Land Destruction lost to Affinity 0-2
MUC lost to Affinity 0-2
Tortured Toolbox lost to Winter Zoo 0-2


Round seven turned into a bloodbath. Only half the decks survived! That was unexpected, to say the least.

AzoriusKitty lost to Affinity 0-2. Yes, it was Eredion again. That guy is a Gauntlet killer!
BorosKitty lost to Burn 0-2. The champion has fallen!
DelverFiend lost to Boros Metalcraft 0-2
Goblins lost to Surucucu playing RG Aggro 1-2
Green Grifters lost to Affinity 0-2
Green One was defeated by Izzet Tron 0-2
Rebel Grind lost to Izzet Tron 0-2

The winners that are about to enter round 8

Only seven decks remain. That means that these seven decks are in the top 10! Why is that important? Well, the top 10 decks are automatically qualified for the third season of the Pauper Gauntlet (if there is such a thing)

But these decks are winners! They are all champions already! Let me show you their great triumph!

Affinity beats Esper Control 2-1

BUGs & Pigs defeats BUG Slivers 2-0

Burn defeats DelverFiend 2-1

Exhume Control defeats … another ShaffaWaffa deck you know and love!

Familiars beats Zoo Hexproof 2-1 despite 7 mulligans!

Mono Red Heroic beats Hexproof 2-1

Stompy defeats 1-land-spy 2-0

These seven decks will start to play round 1 on the first day of 2015.

Wait? That’s a whole week from now! What about the weekly rounds? Well, we have some other business to attend to.

The top 10 Playoff

The seven decks that lost in round 7 will now have to play a whole mini-gauntlet with three winners to determine which three decks belong in the top 10 with the winners. This mini-guantlet can be several rounds of action until three clear winners remain, but be not afraid – I promise you it will all be done by New Year and that by December 31st we will konw which three decks take the 8th, 9th and 10th place in this season of the Pauper Gauntlet.

So, to remind you, the competitors for the last three spots in the top 10 are

Green Grifters
Green One
Rebel Grind

Other stuff

I have a secret. When I write this TWO of the top 7 decks are still unclaimed in the competition! That is pretty strange IMHO. Maybe you all placed your bets a bit early.

What is the Pauper Gauntlet and what are the rules?

Full list of the 77 Pauper Gauntlet decks for the second season.

The Standard Pauper Show, Ep 19

Brennon and Sam talk about the changing meta. Dan joins us to discuss the pauper gauntlet and the end of round 2!

Pauper Gauntlet, Season 2: The First Round is Over!

WARNING! This blog post contains spoilers if you have not watched all of the videos of the first round of the Pauper Gauntlet S02.

The first round of the Pauper Gauntlet has finished! The first two rounds are double elimination so a deck needs to lose both round 1 and round 2 to get eliminated. After that, it gets more serious.

But some decks lost in the first round. Actually, I was very close to the 70% win percentage I estimated. Now I want to do that again at which point only nine decks will be eliminated. That is my goal for the second round.

Basic facts

What is the Pauper Gauntlet?

Full list of the 77 Pauper Gauntlet decks for the second season:

The above link also contains information about how you can win free prizes (including an Elspeth, Sun’s Champion and two foil Shocklands).

What happened in the first round of the second season of the Pauper Gauntlet?

I played 77 matches. I won 44. I lost 23.

That means that all the decks that lost face the threat of elimination in round two. The other decks will still be played for practice.

Here is a complete list of the decks that are threatened by elimination.

Feature matches

Some of the matches were a lot more interesting than others. I present my five of my favorites here for your enjoyment.

Five Color Green vs Hexproof
Five Color Green is a weird deck and it will constantly surprise me and my opponent.


Trinket vs Delver
Does all my practice with Trinket means I can play it without making errors?


GW Beatdown vs Classic Sligh
I ran into jphsnake testing a new Sligh brew. Is Auroch’s Herd the solution to fast red aggro decks?


WatchRites vs Delver
This match includes the biggest tilt in the Pauper Gauntlet so far.


Thunder Trees vs UG Madness
Those trees! Those trees!!!


Its on to round two! I estimate that will take 2-3 weeks to finish this round.

Community Participation League #2: Week Two

Hello ladies and gentlenerds! Welcome to week two of the league.

Week one was a great success, thanks to everyone for being flexible for not only the communication issues but also the change in the week set up. Wednesday to Monday is a little shorter but it really helps with getting the next week ready.

So I applaud you guys for doing what you do, and that’s shining like diamonds as you rock at playing this amazing game of Magic.

So first off, the standings!

Here they are. Check them out and make sure your standings have been put in correctly!

Week one is the most divided week, half on top, half on bottom. I expect things to mix up as the weeks go on! Congrats to the winners, I am sure all the games were amazing. I know I got to watch about a half dozen myself and it was awesome to watch all the decks and all the amazing plays.

A few reminders, remember to email you opponent as soon as you can in the week. I know the weekend is the best time to play the matches, but try not to wait to the weekend to set up the match.

Also remember the winner should come back here and post the win/loss record for the match. It just works best that way.

With the new pairing program we are using, Challonge, it doesn’t allow for repairing. We are going to compensate for a few different things. If your opponent drops from the League after pairings you get the win. If you are trying to reach your opponent and they don’t respond back to you, then you get the win. These aren’t free wins, but wins that are just and fair to give.

We have had 3 drops from the league, Rahrahrah, Honorbound84, and Thephatty500. We welcome you all to try again next week. That means there will be one player randomly selected for a BYE each week until we get back down to an even number. But a BYE counts as a win. So that’s the upside.

Thanks guys!

Khans of Tarkir

So I thought I would look into the Khans of Tarkir spoiler and see if anything pops out to me as being a good fit for Pauper. Most modern sets don’t have a bunch of cards at the power level as Pauper. Pauper is the format of Rare power level commons, and that’s why we love playing it.

These are of course all wild speculation on my part, and I will probably wrong on 99% of them. Proudly wrong!

Of course I am only going to talk about new cards, no reprints or functional reprints.

These are in no order besides what pops out at me.

[c]Ainok Bond-Kin[/c] I think this guy could slot on curve into White Weenie style decks. There are a lot of cards that give away free +1/+1 counters, and First Strike is a pretty decent ability in combat. Plus the ability to grow as the game goes on is pretty good past the midrange.

[c]Disdainful Stroke[/c] There are less restrictive counters in Pauper, but cheap counters are pretty much always good counters. I don’t know if MUC wants this card in its 75, but it’s a card that deserves a good looking at.

[c]Embodiment of Spring[/c] Early game blocker, and land searching. I like the card. Would like it more if it didn’t have the basic land restriction, or that the new common lands in the set had a Gate like subtype but that’s Magic design for you, wish and wish and wish, and play the cards they deal you.

[c]Force Away[/c] Bounce with the chance at Looting. I like that combo. Instant. 1U and it awards you for having a good sized creature on board, which in the right deck you have that anyways. Seems like a tight little package.

[c]Jeskai Windscout[/c] It’s the Kiln Fiend effect but for any noncreature spell you cast. I think this slots into Delver Fiend, and maybe into just Delver. I think for Pauper this may very well be the one card I can say will have an impact. I like this card a lot.

[c] Mardu Hordechief[/c] Again slots pretty good into White Weenie style decks. 3 power 4 toughness for 3 mana seems good. I quite like this guy as well.

[c]Mardu Warshrieker[/c] I feel like there is some sort of infinite mana combo with this guy. It would have to be second main phase, and I can’t quite figure it out, but I am sure some intrepid brewer out there can do what my brain can’t.

[c]Taigam’s Scheming[/c] I don’t know. I just don’t. Digging 5 deep for two mana feels so strong. Dumping a whole bunch of junk into the yard feels great. I love this card with Brainstorm. I am not sure. But I like it.

[c]Treasure Cruise[/c] Thoughtcast tells us that 1 casting cost draw spells rock the format. The Cruise has a lot more set up. But in a control deck that is burning draw spells and counters you may find a way to draw 3 to 12 cards off of these bad boys for just 4 mana and some dead cards.

[c]Bloodfell Caves[/c] [c]Blossoming Sands[/c] [c]Dismal Backwater[/c] [c]Jungle Hollow[/c] [c]Rugged Highlands[/c] [c]Scoured Barrens[/c] [c]Swiftwater Cliffs[/c] [c]Thornwood Falls[/c] [c]Tranquil Cove[/c] [c] Wind-Scarred Crag[/c]

The sexy lands as I call them. I think these are pretty much an instant replacement for the Guildates for every deck that doesn’t care about the Gate subtype. Which is pretty much every deck in Pauper. The Gatekeeper flicker deck is far too slow for the format. Don’t think the one life gain is marginal either. Against aggro or burn it helps you out pace them a little bit, in a control deck it helps you get to late game. It’s a great cycle of lands, and probably the cards that will have the biggest impact on the Pauper Format.

And that’s it folks my highly over reaching prediction on what cards from Khans that may see play in good old Classic Pauper.

Plugs Links and other odds and ends!

So Dan has started the Pauper Gauntlet, and its going like gang busters. He is still looking for people to claim decks and win prizes, and there are a bunch of really really good decks left. Just comment in the comments and profess your love for one of the decks that are left. You know you want to. I got Boros Kitty!!! Makes me happy!

Brennon and I are having Dan on The Standard Pauper show for the months and years the Gauntlet is going to take, so tune in for that hot Swedish talking. And regular American talking.

There is also a super exciting announcement about The Standard Pauper show coming up, but I will let Brennon tell you guys all the bells and whistles during his next article. It’s pretty sweet folks.

Pairings for Week #2

One important note BEFORE pairings. Some people missed our emails, and we sent quite a few in the first week just to make sure everyone saw them. Moving ahead, we will be very conscious of sending too many emails. So please make sure to check your spam folders for our emails, and to whitelist email addresses so that they get through.


Get out there and do battle guys. It’s going to be awesome.

And that’s it. If you need any help have any questions or just want to talk about the weather feel free to email me at any point.

And may you always Teachings for Teachings for Teachings,

Sam AKA Vaultboyhunter

Pauper Gauntlet, Season 2: Which Decks Should Make It In?

Pauper Gauntlet deck submissions have now ended. I received 100+ submissions. Thank you so much for your hard work. You brewers did great SB plans and sometimes full articles on the decks. The discussion has been great.

See the full conversation and the main Pauper Gauntlet article here.

72 decks are approved for the Pauper Gauntlet. They will be presented on Sunday, September 14th, on MTGOLibrary. That will also be the day that gameplay starts.

But I have nine decks I have not yet made up my mind about. I want your help with this.

Please tell me THREE of these decks that you want to see in the Pauper Gauntlet. Please no more than three. I have not yet decided how many to let in, but I want each of you to support up to three decks in the comments below. The most popular of these decks is guaranteed to get in.

You can be as elaborate as you wish.

pauper gauntlet

These are the nine decks.

Blazing Spellbomb

Exalted Flyers

Green Grifters

Grixis LD Control

Hobo Omelette

Mono Red Kuldotha Tron

Mono Blue Artifacts

Sac Attack

The Vermin Deck

Let me know which three you like.

I will have to make a decision late on Saturday , September 13th, so please reply no later than Saturday 3 pm EST

Pauper Gauntet Competitor #17: Mono Blue Control

The Pauper Gauntlet deck submissions start on August 31st on Be prepared!

The first ten Pauper Gauntlet competitors will be presented on The next ten Pauper Gauntlet competitors will be presented here on The decks will play the first two rounds in the order they are given by their numbers, so MUC will be the 17th deck played.

Mono Blue Control did really well last year. This year I have decided to go with a list by someoldguy, who was the #1 player in the Premier Events earlier this year before they died out. It was the sheer amount of card draw that convinced me. I like drawing cards with my control lists.

I have replaced his Remove Souls with Nullifys.

accumulated knowledge

I will need help with the sideboard plan. See the end of the article.

This is the deck list:

[d title=”Mono Blue Control by someoldguy”]
19 Island
4 Quicksand

4 Delver of Secrets
4 Spire Golem

4 Accumulated Knowledge
4 Counterspell
4 Exclude
4 Nullify
4 Snap
3 Oona’s Grace
3 Miscalculation
2 Piracy Charm
2 Muddle the Mixture

4 Hydroblast
3 Dispel
3 Relic of Progenitus
2 Coral net
2 Repeal
1 Echoing Truth


Yes, that is 61 cards. Someoldguy often does this for some reason unknown to me. Maybe it is just to challenge himself.

The Sideboard Plan

I defintely need help here. How would you sideboard with this deck against the top decks of Pauper?

Pauper Gauntlet Competitor #16: AzoriusKitty by Power_T

The first ten Pauper Gauntlet competitors will be presented on They will play the first two rounds in the order they are given by their numbers, so AzoriusKitty by Power_T will be the 15th deck played. AzoriusKitty was created by David Shaffer but modified by Power_T. That means there are two versions of this deck. Both created by favorite pauper players of mine. Both excellent. Both with great documentation and sideboard plans. So what should I do? Well, I decided to play BOTH lists in the Pauper Gauntlet this time. Here is David’s list.

When playing this deck, the same principles apply as when playing David’s list.


This is the deck list:

[d title=”AzoriusKitty by Power_T (Pauper)”]
2 Plains
4 Kabira Crossroads
3 Azorius Chancery
2 Evolving Wilds
9 Island

4 Sunscape Familiar
4 Kor Skyfisher
4 Lone Missionary
4 Dream Stalker
1 Drake Familiar
4 Mulldrifter

4 Preordain
4 Spreading Seas
4 Journey to Nowhere
4 Reality Acid
1 Oona’s Grace
1 Deep Analysis
1 Momentary Blink

3 Hydroblast
2 Train of Thought
2 Reprisal
3 Holy Light
1 Kor Sanctifiers
1 Deep Analysis
3 Last Breath

David and Power_T discuss the deck and their different builds on this episode of CPC

The Sideboard Plan

Affinity: +3 [c]Hydroblast[/c], +1 [c]Kor Sanctifiers[/c], +2 [c]Reprisal[/c], -1 [c]Drake Familiar[/c], -1 [c]Momentary Blink[/c], -1 [c]Reality Acid[/c], -1 [c]Deep Analysis[/c], -2 [c]Sunscape Familiar[/c]

Boroskitty: +3 [c]Hydroblast[/c], +1 [c]Kor Sanctifiers[/c], +3 [c]Last Breath[/c], +2 [c]Train of Thought[/c], -4 [c]Journey to Nowhere[/c], -1 [c]Reality Acid[/c], -1 [c]Deep Analysis[/c], -1 [c]Drake Familiar[/c], -1 [c]Momentary Blink[/c], -1 [c]Oona’s Grace[/c]

Burn: +3 [c]Hydroblast[/c], +1 [c]Last Breath[/c], -1 [c]Drake Familiar[/c], -1 [c]Deep Analysis[/c], -2 [c]Reality Acid[/c]

Delver: +3 holy light, +3 [c]Last Breath[/c], +1 [c]Train of Thought[/c], -1 [c]Drake Familiar[/c], -1 [c]Momentary Blink[/c], -2 [c]Lone Missionary[/c], -2 [c]Reality Acid[/c], -1 [c]Deep Analysis[/c]

Delverfiend: +3 [c]Hydroblast[/c], +3 [c]Last Breath[/c], +2 [c]Reprisal[/c], -1 [c]Drake Familiar[/c],-1 [c]Momentary Blink[/c], -1 [c]Reality Acid[/c], -1 [c]Deep Analysis[/c], -4 [c]Lone Missionary[/c]

Elves: +3 [c]Holy Light[/c], +3 [c]Last Breath[/c], -3 [c]Lone Missionary[/c], -1 [c]Deep Analysis[/c], -1 [c]Drake Familiar[/c], -1 [c]Momentary Blink[/c]

Goblins: +3 [c]Holy Light[/c], +3 [c]Hydroblast[/c], +3 [c]Last Breath[/c], -1 [c]Drake Familiar[/c], -1 [c]Momentary Blink[/c], -2 [c]Reality Acid[/c], -1 [c]Deep Analysis[/c], -4 [c]Sunscape Familiar[/c]

Hexproof: +3 [c]Holy Light[/c], +1 [c]Kor Sanctifiers[/c], +1 [c]Reprisal[/c], -4 [c]Journey to Nowhere[/c], -1 [c]Deep Analysis[/c]

MBC: +1 [c]Deep Analysis[/c], +3 [c]Last Breath[/c], +2 [c]Train of Thought[/c], -1 [c]Momentary Blink[/c], -1 [c]Reality Acid[/c], -4 [c]Sunscape Familiar[/c]

MUC: +3 [c]Last Breath[/c], +2 [c]Train of Thought[/c], +1 [c]Deep Analysis[/c], -3 [c]Lone Missionary[/c], -1 [c]Reality Acid[/c], -1 [c]Momentary Blink[/c], -1 [c]Drake Familiar[/c]

MWC: +3 [c]Last Breath[/c], +1 [c]Kor Sanctifiers[/c], +2 [c]Train of Thought[/c], -4 [c]Journey to Nowhere[/c], -1 [c]Lone Missionary[/c], -1 [c]Deep Analysis[/c]

Slivers: +2 [c]Reprisal[/c], +3 [c]Last Breath[/c], -4 [c]Lone Missionary[/c], -1 [c]Deep Analysis[/c]

Songs of the damned/Balustrade: +2 [c]Train of Thought[/c], -2 [c]Lone Missionary[/c]

Stompy: +3 [c]Last Breath[/c], +2 [c]Reprisal[/c], -1 [c]Drake Familiar[/c], -1 [c]Momentary Blink[/c], -1 [c]Deep Analysis[/c], -1 [c]Reality Acid[/c], -1 [c]Sunscape Familiar[/c]

Tron, RUG: +2 [c]Reprisal[/c], +3 [c]Hydroblast[/c], +2 [c]Train of Thought[/c], -4 [c]Lone Missionary[/c], -2 [c]Journey to Nowhere[/c], -1 [c]Deep Analysis[/c]

UB Ratninja/teachings/flicker: +2 [c]Train of Thought[/c], +3 [c]Last Breath[/c], +1 [c]Deep Analysis[/c], -3 [c]Lone Missionary[/c], -1 [c]Drake Familiar[/c], -1 [c]Momentary Blink[/c], -1 [c]Reality Acid[/c]

WW: +3 [c]Last Breath[/c], +1 [c]Kor Sanctifiers[/c], +1 [c]Train of Thought[/c], -1 [c]Deep Analysis[/c], -4 journey/lone (Depends. Do they bring in anti-enchantment or no?)

Zoo (5c Domain aggro): +2 [c]Hydroblast[/c], +1 [c]Reprisal[/c], -1 [c]Reality Acid[/c], -1 [c]Drake Familiar[/c], -1 [c]Deep Analysis[/c]

Pauper Gauntlet Competitor #14: AzoriusKitty by ShaffaWaffa5

by David Shaffer (ShaffaWaffa5)

Editor’s Note: David wrote this some time ago for MTGOStrat but it was never published. Since David is such an excellent deck-builder, author, and Magic player, once we got permission to do so we jumped at the chance to publish it. Keep in mind that some parts of the article may be out of date.

I. Introduction

AzoriusKitty is a midrange deck inspired by Boroskitty’s [mtg_card]Ichor Wellspring[/mtg_card] manipulation engine. The deck was an attempt to make the midrange manipulation engine more effective against Fissurepost decks. The deck, however, plays more like a tap out control deck.

The objective is to get out a permanent, like [mtg_card]Spreading Seas[/mtg_card], or [mtg_card]Reality Acid[/mtg_card] and return it to your hand via a “bounce” creature like [mtg_card]Kor Skyfisher[/mtg_card], or [mtg_card]Dream Stalker[/mtg_card]. The deck wins in a grindy fashion, slowly accumulating card advantage over the opponent. The deck also gains inordinate amounts of life, which allows it to weather aggro decks designed to deal a quick 20 damage.

II. The Deck

[mtg_deck title=”AzoriusKitty (Pauper)”]
4 Azorius Chancery
2 Azorius Guildgate
4 Kabira Crossroads
8 Island
3 Plains
1 Lonely Sandbar
4 Kor Skyfisher
4 Dream Stalker
4 Mulldrifter
2 Sea Gate Oracle
3 Lone Missionary
2 Reality Acid
4 Journey to Nowhere
2 Momentary Blink
4 Preordain
2 Serrated Arrows
4 Spreading Seas
3 Piracy Charm
1 Reality Acid
1 Piracy Charm
3 Kor Sanctifiers
2 Train of Thought
2 Holy Light
2 Circle of Protection: Black
2 Circle of Protection: Red
2 Hydroblast

III. Core

Ideal Bounce Targets

[mtg_card]Spreading Seas[/mtg_card] – This card is the backbone of the AzoriusKitty engine. The card is more important for its ability to draw cards over and over again via bouncing, than to impact the board state. But, [mtg_card]Spreading Seas[/mtg_card] does have the ability to cripple the greedy manabases in the format, and often wins matches single-seasidly. If used properly, it is the best card in the deck.

[mtg_card]Reality Acid[/mtg_card] – Although some people refer to this deck as Acid Trip, [mtg_card]Reality Acid[/mtg_card] is one of the weaker cards in the deck. The card allows the bounce creatures to become pseudo vindicates. Originally included to interact with [mtg_card]Cloudpost[/mtg_card] laden manabases, the card is still a catchall for the diversity of permanents in the Pauper metagame. Do not be surprised to see the card exit from the deck list as the format’s emphasis is placed more on creatures. If Tron didn’t exist, it wouldn’t be in the 75.

[mtg_card]Lone Missionary[/mtg_card] – One of the surprising elements about the Azoriuskitty deck is its ability to gain lots of life. [mtg_card]Lone Missionary[/mtg_card] is the primary life gain source. Often the deck needs a two drop permanent so that the bounce creatures aren’t forced to return lands to its owner’s hand. Missionary provides an additional early bounce target, and trades well in creature based match-ups.

[mtg_card]Sea Gate Oracle[/mtg_card] – A two-of bounce target that also blocks opposing cheap threats. The three mana casting cost makes it difficult to resolve in time against some decks. So they are limited to two copies.

[mtg_card]Mulldrifter[/mtg_card] – A perennial card drawing powerhouse is made even better through additional rebuys.

[mtg_card]Lonely Sandbar[/mtg_card] – This land allows you to mitigate some mana flooding, by playing it early, then picking it up to cycle it late.

[mtg_card]Kabira Crossroads[/mtg_card] – This bounce target is one that your bounce creatures will very rarely target. The “bounce lands” however are how you maximize your value from the Crossroads. In a pinch, AND ONLY IN A PINCH, you can use your bounce creatures on this land to gain a little bit of value.

[mtg_card]Plains[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Island[/mtg_card] – A basic land in this deck is sometimes – but rarely – the optimal bounce target. With so many “comes into play tapped” lands, you sometimes will need to bounce a land that comes into play untapped. Usually this happens if you’re a bit mana constrained, but you also need to get a board presence to prevent falling behind. Try to plan ahead. Once you get good at this, you’ll realize that [mtg_card]Azorius Chancery[/mtg_card] doesn’t always bounce a [mtg_card]Kabira Crossroads[/mtg_card].

The Bouncers

[mtg_card]Kor Skyfisher[/mtg_card] – The chief bouncer in this deck. This card is very aggressively costed, and the draw back is almost always a benefit for this deck.

[mtg_card]Dream Stalker[/mtg_card] – X/5s are very good in this format. This guy blocks [mtg_card]Myr Enforcer[/mtg_card] for days, and its 1 power is surprisingly effective at holding back armies of goblins and elves. Look to gum up the ground with this guy before taking over the air.

[mtg_card]Azorius Chancery[/mtg_card] – This “bounce land” helps you get additional value out of your [mtg_card]Kabira Crossroads[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Lonely Sandbar[/mtg_card].


[mtg_card]Momentary Blink[/mtg_card] – This “flicker effect” works as a way to protect your creatures, while accruing more value. In match-ups where it is good, it is very good. But you really only want one at a time, so there are only two in the deck.

[mtg_card]Journey to Nowhere[/mtg_card] – This removal spell is an all-star in this deck. You can use it to take out any problem creature. But you can also use it to reduce the mana costs on Bounce targets (i.e. Journey your own tapped Mulldrifter, then Dream Stalker, bouncing Journey, and returning your Drifter to play. This nets 3 mana). You can also do the old cast Journey, target their guy and with the target on the stack you Blink your bounce guy to return your Journey and permanently exile their creature.

[mtg_card]Piracy Charm[/mtg_card] – A nod to the power of [mtg_card]Delver of Secrets[/mtg_card] decks, this 1 mana kill spell is never a dead draw. Use it to take our a Turn 1 Delver, to mess up Spellstutter math, or to make your opponent discard their last [mtg_card]Gray Merchant of Asphodel[/mtg_card]. Also, all the modes are relevant. With big 1/5 [mtg_card]Dream Stalker[/mtg_card] Charm is a legitimate pump spell, and with main deck [mtg_card]Spreading Seas[/mtg_card] you can make a creature unblockable against any deck.

[mtg_card]Azorius Guildgate[/mtg_card] – The last land in the deck is not one that you want to bounce. But I’ve found the added bit of mana flexibility is important for complicated turns where there is a lot of casting and recasting of spells. Arguably this land should be a [mtg_card]Terramorphic Expanse[/mtg_card], and I wouldn’t fault you if you went that direction.

The match-ups

Affinity: +3 [mtg_card]Kor Sanctifiers[/mtg_card], 2 [mtg_card]Hydroblast[/mtg_card] 2 [mtg_card]Circle of Protection: Red[/mtg_card]/ – 1 [mtg_card]Reality Acid[/mtg_card], -3 [mtg_card]Piracy Charm[/mtg_card], -2 [mtg_card]Serrated Arrows[/mtg_card], -1 [mtg_card]Lone Missionary[/mtg_card]

Affinity is one of the better match-ups if you know how to play it properly. Game one is a little difficult, but you have the edge after sideboard. Post board, you really want to recur your [mtg_card]Kor Sanctifiers[/mtg_card] to continuously blow up your opponent’s lands and [mtg_card]Myr Enforcer[/mtg_card]. You need to always keep in mind the presence of [mtg_card]Atog[/mtg_card] + [mtg_card]Disciple of the Vault[/mtg_card] or [mtg_card]Fling[/mtg_card]. If they have one of the combo pieces and you are in danger of getting blown out if they draw the other piece, then your first priority becomes getting rid of the combo piece.

Burn: +2 [mtg_card]Hydroblast[/mtg_card] +2 [mtg_card]Circle of Protection: Red[/mtg_card]/ -2 [mtg_card]Serrated Arrows[/mtg_card], -2 [mtg_card]Reality Acid[/mtg_card]

This IS the easiest match-up. If you can bounce a [mtg_card]Lone Missionary[/mtg_card] twice it is nearly impossible to lose. Games 2 and 3, when you can land a COP: Red, their best plan is to try and mill you out by killing your threats.

Delver: +2 [mtg_card]Holy Light[/mtg_card], +1 [mtg_card]Piracy Charm[/mtg_card] +2 [mtg_card]Kor Santifiers[/mtg_card] / -2 [mtg_card]Reality Acid[/mtg_card], -1 [mtg_card]Lone Missionary[/mtg_card], -2 [mtg_card]Spreading Seas[/mtg_card]

This match-up is about 45/55 in Delver’s favor. Delver needs to counter a lot of stuff in this match-up, and life gain is surprisingly good for them. Post board look to land an arrows, and use [mtg_card]Holy Light[/mtg_card] to take out a Spellstutter at a crucial time. If you don’t lose quickly, you’re in a great position. Make sure you [mtg_card]Spreading Seas[/mtg_card] your own lands in this game, because [mtg_card]Daze[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Gush[/mtg_card] can counter them or knock them off at inconvenient times.

DelverFiend: +2 [mtg_card]Hydroblast[/mtg_card], +2 [mtg_card]Circle of Protection: Red[/mtg_card]/ -1 [mtg_card]Reality Acid[/mtg_card], -2 [mtg_card]Momentary Blink[/mtg_card], -1 [mtg_card]Mulldrifter[/mtg_card]

This match-up is slightly favorable, but they can still get the God draw on you. So I’d put it at 55/45. Landing a COP: Red usually ends the game, but they sometimes do have [mtg_card]Flaring Pain[/mtg_card] to get around it.

Elves: +2 [mtg_card]Holy Light[/mtg_card] +2 [mtg_card]Circle of Protection: Green[/mtg_card] +1 [mtg_card]Piracy Charm[/mtg_card] / -2 [mtg_card]Reality Acid[/mtg_card], -2 [mtg_card]Momentary Blink[/mtg_card], -1 [mtg_card]Mulldrifter[/mtg_card]

This match-up is bad. It is like 40/60 bad. The entire match-up revolves around their [mtg_card]Distant Melody[/mtg_card]. If they can resolve one of those, you will lose. Try to keep them off of blue mana as much as possible. If the meta fills up with elves look to add Negate to the sideboard.

Familiar Denizen: +2 [mtg_card]Holy Light[/mtg_card], +1 [mtg_card]Piracy Charm[/mtg_card] +1 [mtg_card]Reality Acid[/mtg_card] / -2 [mtg_card]Momentary Blink[/mtg_card], -2 [mtg_card]Lone Missionary[/mtg_card]

Again this is another terrible match-up, about 20/80. This match-up is basically as bad as familiar storm was a few month ago because we don’t have enough instant speed removal, or ways to interact with their combo. You are the aggressive deck here, and look to [mtg_card]Reality Acid[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Spreading Seas[/mtg_card] their mana while you fly over the top.

Goblins: +2 [mtg_card]Holy light[/mtg_card], +2 [mtg_card]Circle of Protection: Red[/mtg_card] / -2 [mtg_card]Reality Acid[/mtg_card], -1[mtg_card]Mulldrifter[/mtg_card], -1 [mtg_card]Momentary Blink[/mtg_card]

This match-up is a favorable one, but Goblins can get there with a double Bushwhacker draw. We want to get guys out as quickly as possible, and [mtg_card]Holy Light[/mtg_card] when they have an odd number of X/1s out, to increase our value. Look to [mtg_card]Spreading Seas[/mtg_card] here for help because Goblins players tend to keep one landers on the draw.

Hexproof: +2 [mtg_card]Holy Light[/mtg_card] +3 [mtg_card]Kor Sanctifiers[/mtg_card] +1 [mtg_card]Reality Acid[/mtg_card]/ -2 [mtg_card]Serrated Arrows[/mtg_card], -3 [mtg_card]Piracy Charm[/mtg_card], -1 [mtg_card]Journey to Nowhere[/mtg_card]

This match-up is another difficult one, but if you expect a lot of hexproof there are easy steps to make it better. [mtg_card]Patrician’s Scorn[/mtg_card] can do work here. The trick is to try and [mtg_card]Spreading Seas[/mtg_card] them off white. Remember if you Seas a [mtg_card]Forest[/mtg_card] that has a [mtg_card]Utopia Sprawl[/mtg_card] you’ll knock the Sprawl off. Aside from that we’re using [mtg_card]Reality Acid[/mtg_card] to bump off [mtg_card]Ethereal Armor[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Ancestral Mask[/mtg_card].

Out of the sideboard remember COP: Green doesn’t target so that card tends to auto win the game, and you can recur [mtg_card]Kor Sanctifiers[/mtg_card] to blow up [mtg_card]Ethereal Armor[/mtg_card] after [mtg_card]Ethereal Armor[/mtg_card].

MBC: +2 [mtg_card]Circle of Protection: Black[/mtg_card], +2 [mtg_card]Kor Sanctifiers[/mtg_card], +1 [mtg_card]Train of Thought[/mtg_card]/ -1 [mtg_card]Reality Acid[/mtg_card], -3 [mtg_card]Piracy Charm[/mtg_card], -1 [mtg_card]Lone Missionary[/mtg_card]

Before [mtg_card]Gray Merchant of Asphodel[/mtg_card] this match-up was a cake walk. Now our game plan is to keep them off pips as much as possible and to out attrition them. When we land a COP: Black, they can only Gary us to death. Sometimes they can do it, and other times they can’t. This match-up is 55/45 in our favor. But it is also build dependent. We’re much more likely to win if they run X/1s.

Stompy: +2 [mtg_card]Holy Light[/mtg_card], +1 [mtg_card]Piracy Charm[/mtg_card] / -2 [mtg_card]Reality Acid[/mtg_card], -1 [mtg_card]Momentary Blink[/mtg_card]

You get to attack this match-up from multiple directions. By Seasing their land you get to limit their ability to cast creatures; by gaining life, you mitigate their ability to play the burn game plan; and by playing solid blockers and cheap removal you drag the game out until they are in top deck mode. Keep hands that can interact early and you’ll be fine.

Make sure you [mtg_card]Piracy Charm[/mtg_card] their [mtg_card]Quirion Ranger[/mtg_card] so your [mtg_card]Spreading Seas[/mtg_card] can hit safely, and use your [mtg_card]Holy Light[/mtg_card] on [mtg_card]Silhana Ledgewalker[/mtg_card].

MUC: -2 [mtg_card]Reality Acid[/mtg_card]/ +2 [mtg_card]Train of Thought[/mtg_card]

This match-up was abysmal and will be game one. But [mtg_card]Train of Thought[/mtg_card] makes all the difference. If you can force them to play 1-for-1 until you get off a big Train, you’ll win this game more often than not. They only have 8 threats usually, so a big part of our game plan is to kill their threats and let them mill themselves.

UR Control: +2 [mtg_card]Train of Thought[/mtg_card], +2 [mtg_card]Hydroblast[/mtg_card] +1 [mtg_card]Piracy Charm[/mtg_card]/ -2 [mtg_card]Reality Acid[/mtg_card], -1 [mtg_card]Lone Missionary[/mtg_card], -2 [mtg_card]Momentary Blink[/mtg_card]

This is a very tactical match-up, but I’ve found it favorable. The way you win is to follow this pattern. First, play aggressively. You want to put pressure on your opponent and make them draw as many cards as possible and to expend as much energy as they can to deal with your threats. Our goal in this phase is to force them to use a lot of [mtg_card]Counterspell[/mtg_card]s, [mtg_card]Compulsive Research[/mtg_card] and [mtg_card]Firebolt[/mtg_card]s. Sometimes you can mise a win with the aggression, but that isn’t our primary goal.

Instead, our objective is to mill them out. The second phase, the “mill phase” begins once the tide starts to swing in their favor. In the mill phase you start killing their threats as soon as they present them. We applied pressure in phase one because we want to force our opponents to use [mtg_card]Counterspell[/mtg_card]s early so they can’t protect their creatures later. We also wanted to pressure our opponents because we want them to [mtg_card]Compulsive Research[/mtg_card] themselves. That way they can’t point them at us later to foil our mill strategy. They will draw more cards than us, but with Arrows, Charms, and Journeys we have more than enough fodder to deal with their 11 creatures and residual [mtg_card]Counterspell[/mtg_card]s.

Also remember, try to stay above 16 life so that you don’t get burned to death. Don’t forget to bounce your Crossroads with your Chanceries. And each [mtg_card]Firebolt[/mtg_card] they aim at an early creature is another 2 life you have access to in the second phase of the game.

White Weenie: +3 [c]Kor Sanctifiers[/c], +1 [c]Piracy Charm[/c] / -2 [mtg_card]Momentary Blink[/mtg_card], -1 [mtg_card]Reality Acid[/mtg_card], -1 [mtg_card]Sea Gate Oracle[/mtg_card]

This match-up plays out a lot like Stompy. But this Weenie is more favorable match-up since they are slower and tend to rely more on the permanent types that our Sanctifiers can blow up. They have resilient creatures, but our Journeys dodge all their multi-use creatures. Look to clog the ground up with [mtg_card]Dream Stalker[/mtg_card]s and clear the skies with your removal. Their only problem card is [mtg_card]Guardian of the Guildpact[/mtg_card] if you can avoid or race him, you’ll win.

Tron: +2 [mtg_card]Hydroblast[/mtg_card], +2 [mtg_card]Circle of Protection: Red[/mtg_card], +1 [mtg_card]Reality Acid[/mtg_card]/ -2 [mtg_card]Serrated Arrows[/mtg_card], -3 [mtg_card]Piracy Charm[/mtg_card]

This is a favorable and fun match-up. The objective here is to keep them off Tron as long as possible by [mtg_card]Reality Acid[/mtg_card]ing or [mtg_card]Spreading Seas[/mtg_card]ing the same tron piece over and over. Sometimes it is unclear what piece is necessary to attack, but a common situation that occurs is you Seas the third Tron piece, then they fetch out a duplicate piece. You then need to bounce the Seas and place it on a different Tron piece. While doing this, you simultaneously creature them to death.

Save your Journeys for their [mtg_card]Ulamog’s Crusher[/mtg_card]s and [mtg_card]Fangren Marauder[/mtg_card]s.

Tron usually has access to a bit of post-board land destruction and enchantment removal, so be aware of that. Use your Blasts on the LD, and make sure you have a way to deal with having your COP: Red attacked. Their best win-con against us is [mtg_card]Rolling Thunder[/mtg_card].

If you’re having trouble with this match-up, I previously had [mtg_card]Curse of the Bloody Tome[/mtg_card] in my sideboard. I have brought that in against them to great success. It allows you to mitigate their removal. You might also want to try [mtg_card]Train of Thought[/mtg_card] if you find yourself getting out carded.

Pauper Gauntlet Competitor #15: Mono Black Control

The first ten Pauper Gauntlet competitors will be presented on They will play the first two rounds in the order they are given by their numbers, so MBC will be the 15th deck played.

The decks that will start first on August 31st are

#1 Illusory Tricks:

#2 Love Train:

#3: Exhume Control

#4: Izzet Control.


Mono Black Control is one of the strongest deck in the Pauper format today. The idea is just to gain life, card advantage and value by playing ETB creatures combined with powerful removal spells. It is a tap-out control deck more than it is a midrange deck. The printing of Gray Merchant of Asphodel brought this already powerful deck to the very top tier of Pauper.

I sent out a request for a captain for MBC on the YouTube channel and WitchKingx5 stepped up to the challenge. This is his list. As the captain of the deck, he has all the responsibilities of a brewer but less of the glory of inventing a totally orginal deck.

WitchKingx5 has promised to deliver a sideboard plan before actual gameplay in the Gauntlet starts on September 14th.

This is the deck list:

[d title=”Mono Black Control by WitchKingx5″]
23 Swamp

4 Chittering Rats
4 Phyrexian Rager
4 Gray Merchant of Asphodel
3 Cuombajj Witches
2 Crypt Rats
2 Liliana’s Specter

4 Corrupt
4 Geth’s Verdict
4 Sign in Blood
3 Tendrils of Corruption
2 Dead Weight
1 Death Denied

4 Duress
4 Wrench Mind
2 Rancid Earth
2 Nihil Spellbomb
1 Echoing Decay
1 Diabolic Edict
1 Unearth


The captain has a few words to say about the deck: This version is very oldschool-grindy, but it’s still a beast. [c]Death Denied[/c] is the ultimate late-game card in Pauper, if you top-deck or draw it on Turn 10+ you’re pretty much guaranteed to win if it resolves. This version has a lot more Lifegain, and the Corrupts go pretty much always to the face. We are playing only Swamps, as we don’t want to loose out on any tempo and we have a total of 10 cards that get better with more lands.

This version is much more solid, it usually doesn’t disappoint. Our Sideboard let’s us change the style of the Deck completely, depending on what we need, against Combo and Control, we have 8 Hand disruption pieces which is really nice. This Deck is made to beat creature Decks, but still has a decent shot against the rest of the field.

Sideboard plan

Affinity: +1 Edict, +1 Unearth, +1 Echoing Decay, -3 Cuombajj Witches

BorosKitty: +1 Edict, +1 Unearth, -2 Cuombajj Witches

Burn: +2 Nihil Spellbomb, +4 Duress, +4 Wrench Mind, -3 Cuombajj Witches, -4 Geth’s Verdict, -2 Dead Weight, -1 Death Denied

Delver: +1 Echoing Decay, +1 Diabolic Edict, -2 Corrupt

Elves: +1 Unearth, +1 Echoing Decay, – 2 Verdict

Familiars: +4 Duress, +4 Wrench Mind, +2 Rancid Earth, not sure what to take out or if so much is really necessary ;)

Freed from the real combo/Love Train: +4 Duress,

Goblins: +1 Edict, +1 Unearth, +1 Echoing Decay, -2 Specter, -1 Chittering Rats

GW Tokens: +1 Echoing Decay, +2 Rancid Earth, +1 Unearth, -4 Geth’s Verdict

Hexproof: +1 Unearth, +1 Diabolic Edict, +4 Duress, +4 Wrench Mind, -3 Tendrils of Corruption, -2 Dead Weight, -3 Cuombajj Witches, -2 Corrupt

Infect: +1 Diabolic Edict, +4 Duress, +1 Echoing Decay, +1 Unearth, -4 Corrupt, -3 Tendrils

Izzet Control: +4 Duress, +4 Wrench Mind, -3 Cuombajj Witches, -3 Tendrils of Corruption, -2 Dead Weight

MBC : +4 Wrench Mind, +1 Unearth,

MUC: +4 Duress, +4 Wrench Mind, -3 Cuombajj Witches, -3 Tendrils of Corruption, -2 Dead Weight

RG Aggro: +1 Unearth, -1 Crypt Rats

Slivers: +1 Echoing Decay, +1 Diabolic Edict, -2 Specter

Songs of the Damned: +2 Nihil Spellbomb, -2 Dead Weight

Stompy/Green One: +1 Edict, +1 Unearth, +1 Echoing Decay, -3 Corrupt

Tron: +4 Duress, +4 Wrench Mind, +2 Rancid Earth, -3 Cuombajj Witches, -4 Geth’s Verdict, -2 Dead Weight, -1 Corrupt

Tortured Existence : +2 Nihil Spellbomb

The rest of the Deck goes pretty much the same, you win against most aggro Decks like 70% of the time, and against Control/Combo, you have a huge hand disruption suite to your desposal.


Here are two videos of me playing the deck.

vs Saprolings (!)

vs Burn



What is the Pauper Gauntlet?

A large number of decks will run the Gauntlet starting September 14th, 2014.

We will be using two YouTube channels for the second season. Please subscribe to “sngprop” and “MagicGatheringStrat”.

Here is a link to sngprop:

Deck submission start on on August 31st

The list of decks will be published on on September 14th.

Pauper Gauntlet Competitor #13: Stompy

The first ten Pauper Gauntlet competitors will be presented on They will play the first two rounds in the order they are given by their numbers, so Stompy will be the 13th deck played.

Some other competitors

#1 Illusory Tricks:

#2 Love Train:

Deck #3: Exhume Control

Deck #4: Izzet Control.

Stompy was one of the top 10 decks last year and is thus automatically qualified for the second season of the Pauper Gauntlet.

I was thinking hard about which list to use but eventually decided to go with Chris Weaver’s list as published this year before he quit Magic Online. I still miss him as an online buddy and video maker and feels that this is a way to honor his contribution to MagicGatheringStrat – oh, that, and the fact that it is a very strong list.

I will need help with the sideboard plan. See the end of the article.

Here is Chris’s Deck Tech Video for the list. It explains the basic strategy of the deck.

This is the deck list:

[d title=”Stompy by cweaver”]
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


The Sideboard Plan

This is a work in progress. I have two old sideboard plans for other lists to work from, but I am going to need your help as well.

Let me know if any common deck is missing from this list.

Affinity: +1 Bonesplitter, +3 Gleeful, -1 Skarrgan, -3 Groundswell (Mamurphy, one old Stompy legend, felt that it was correct to take out one Skarrgan here)

Affinity is always close, if they come out strong AND have the shaman, it’s pretty hard to win, but it’s also hard for them to recover many times as they have to sac SO many so early. Just need to not overextend, which isn’t a problem with stompy, as the instants make the attack, not the volume as seen in goblins. Shinen and ranger make them have to trigger the shaman/disciples asap. Usually a skargaan or ledgewalker takes the game for me. You swing for 8, they do, repeat, and fog. Even if they ‘play around’ fog, you still get the fog benefit of buying you time for your unblockables to go to the dome.

Generally, playing against a competent Affinity player is a nightmare, even though the Perilous Affinity lists are a little bit easier to win against.

Banishing Knack Combo:

BorosKitty: +3 Gleeful

Burn: +3 Nourish

Delver: +4 Scattershot, +1 Bonesplitter, +1 Viridian Longbow, -3 Hunger, -3 Groundswell

DELVERFIEND: +3 Spore Frog, -3 Hunger


Elves: +1 Longbow, -1 Groundswell. This is extremely hard.


Freed from the real combo/Love Train:

Goblins: +3 Spore Frog, -3 Vines of Vastwood

Grey Ghost/Extort:

GW Tokens:

Hexproof: I am sorry, you are just dead. This is the #1 matchup Hexproof wants to face.
Deluxeicoff in early 2013: It is simply unwinnable vs. hexchant – I’ve lost 3 games in 100…all of those have been to really bad draws, and my opponents having a great hand.

Icy Hot Hottie:

Illusory Tricks:

Infect: +3 Spore Frog, -1 Gather Courage, -1 Hunger, -1 Groundswell

Izzet Control: Nothing is sideboarded in this matchup.

Keep Watch:

MBC : Nothing is sideboarded in this matchup.

MUC: Not sure what to do here.


Random aggro lek: No sideboard.

Random control (UW Blink etc):

RG Aggro: No sideboard.

Slivers: No sideboard.

Songs of the Damned:

Stompy/Green One: My traditional jeffdmk list just never sideboarded in the mirror, but I am not sure how to handle this list.

Tron: Here I need a lot of help.

Tortured Existence :

Turbo Fog:

UB control/Teachings:

UB Ninja Teachings:

Unearth/Woo Zombies:

White Weenie: +4 Scattershot if many fliers, -4 Groundswell. +3 Gleeful if many artifacts, -3 Groundswell/Hunger


Final note

You can not write an article about Stompy without mentioning the best piece ever written on the deck. Read this before you try to play the deck:

I wish you wrote more articles, Deluxeicoff! :)

Boros Kitty: A Primer in Two Parts, Part 2

Boros Kitty Primer Part 2: The Deck.

Sorry about the delay to the Article everyone. Writing a Primer is serious business. Putting the changes you make to a deck into words becomes a long process, breaking down the meta, the new cards, the leave outs, and the put ins.

In the last article we took a look over four different deck lists, to get an idea of what cards unify Boros Kitty into the strong deck that it is. Cards like [c]Kor Skyfisher[/c] and [c]Ichor Wellspring[/c] live at the core of the deck. The deck has also been a part of the Meta game for long enough that sideboards have evolved over time, and sometimes maybe not as fast as they could as cards have been banned or fallen out of favor, [c]Stone Rain[/c] being a good answer for the one for one style of Post decks, but a poor answer for the many, many land style of Tron.

I have been a busy guy in the last week launching the League, working out the bugs, making things work as smoothly as possible, but all the while I have had Boros Kitty living in my brain. Is the deck as good in the Meta as it was when it won the Gauntlet Season 1? What decks are at the top of the format now, what decks are stronger, what decks are weaker. Are the main deck cards strong enough? Are the side board cards? What is the sideboard plan?

First thing I did was take a look around at the most successful decks currently in Pauper. I used as a good base for decks as they move up and down in players and popularity. A rogue deck will often come into popularity and fade, while the main decks in the format are constantly good.

The top three decks in the format in my eyes, and backed by many days of results are:

  1. Mono Blue Delver
  2. Mono Black Control
  3. Affinity.

The main decks in the format, heads and shoulders. Quite often a tier list can be created in any Meta game. Tier One being the best, Two being solid but not great, Three being a deck with a great pilot and good draws able to beat One and Two. Right now the three main decks are so strong there is a feeling of a huge gap between Tier One and Two, and Tier Three decks must have such a strong game to take out Tier One.

What that told me is I must really prepare the main deck, and Sideboard for such powerful decks. You can tune a sideboard as much as you want, but 15 cards will only get you so far, and swapping out 15 cards from game 1-2 match after match leads me, long term, to question why some of the cards that seem to leave the main for the side over and over again still live in the main deck at any time.

I also wanted to take a Grindy deck and focus down to a goal of creating more pressure at all point of the game. Boros Kitty is great, but like all decks it can run out of gas without a good draw, or in the face of a lot of removal. The deck actually runs a very small amount of creatures, and token generation overall, and a deck packing a ton of removal like MBC or one that can power out quick power and protect it with counters like Delver, or Affinity’s big dumb free creatures/card draw/burn. These are the biggest threats to the type of deck Boros Kitty is.

Some cards caught my eye as I looked the deck over, in a good way and bad way, and gave me something to think about. Keeping in mind that making too many changes to any deck can really dilute the core of the deck. Boros Kitty, like any deck, has a small amount of changeable cards.

First set of cards I looked at was [c]Journey to Nowhere[/c] This is normally a rock solid card in almost every format it sees play. Right now in the meta it has two disadvantages. First sorcery speed removal isn’t as strong as it once was, even a card that is a Pauper all-star like [c]Flame Slash[/c] sees far less play right now, and when you Slash a creature you don’t have Slash sitting on the board waiting to get removed at the worst time, like as you bash in, or at the end of your turn. Second Hexproof is a deck that has a crazy explosiveness and power, and is a deck that Journey just amounts to being totally dead against. In my mental sideboard plan I find that I am planning on side boarding 1-4 copies out against most decks. So I know an adjustment must be made there.

Other cards that caught my eye for consideration were [c]Perilous Myr[/c], [c]Myr Sire[/c] and [c]Flayer Husk[/c]. Both of the Myrs are 1/1s for two, but produce an extra effect when they die. Both Myr produce an added effect when they die Two points of damage with the Perilous, and a replacement 1/1 with the Sire. The problem with those two cards is simply the 2cc attached to both of them. The Husk is simply a 1/1 for 1, that leaves behind a piece of equipment when the Germ token dies. These cards all increase Metalcraft, and give utility to Rebirth. None of them really come close to the utility that the Wellspring gives.

[c]Squadron Hawk[/c] to me is the one card that every white based Aggro deck should try its hardest to run. Pay 2, draw 3, flying 4/4 in power and toughness. What’s no to love. Nothing that’s what. It holds a piece of equipment as good as anything in the entire game of magic. A birdy with a [c]Bonesplitter[/c] is a dangerous birdy.

Speaking of [c]Bonesplitter[/c] it is my single most favorite piece of equipment to date. The design is perfect, and not really replicated at this point. 2 damage attached to a 1/1 goblin token makes that token a real threat, a “deal with me” not a let through. And the little axe just keeps on dealing damage. Pressure and damage in one balanced pretty little package.

I realize I can talk about card choice and meta game analysis all day. Without any limit.

Here is the deck

[d title=”Boros Kitty Gauntlet 2″]
4 Glint Hawk
4 Kor Skyfisher
4 Squadron Hawk

4 Lightning Bolt
4 Galvanic Blast
1 Electrostatic Bolt

4 Ichor Wellspring
4 Prophetic Prism
3 Origin Spellbomb
2 Bonesplitter

3 Kuldotha Rebirth

3 Journey to Nowhere

4 Ancient Den
4 Great Furnace
4 Kabria Crossroads
4 Plains
4 Mountains

3 Gorilla Shaman
3 Pyroblast
2 Children of Korlis
2 Electrostatic Bolt
3 Circle of Protection: Green
2 Obsidian Acolyte

There is the deck, and for the most part the changes are subtle. Nothing insane, no dilution of the core of the deck. I didn’t cut Wellspring and Skyfishers from the deck or anything insane like that. I added Value and pressure cards.

The new cards I added were:

[c]Squadron Hawk[/c] As I have stated if you are running white, and you have creatures in your deck, you should probably be running the Squad. An air force in your hand for 2 mana. 4/4 flying on board. So much power.

[c]Bonesplitter[/c] This is truly a Swiss Army Knife style cards in this deck. It does one thing, +2/+0, but it does it so well. Makes Better Blockers, makes attacks count more. Makes 1/1 tokens or Hawks into “Must Deal With” instead of “Let Through”. And it even adds to Metalcraft, this on board equipped to a token with a Galvanic Blast in hand to wrap things up makes you feel like a king amongst insects.

Last card is [c]Electrostatic Bolt[/c] One Main Deck, two sideboard. I love instant speed removal in the format, and this Shock with an upside against Affinity is a great card. Main deck it replaces one Journey. Running one off main deck gives a 9th Shock effect, at instant, which is great against Delver and Affinity.

Instead of walking through of the sideboard cards I want to go right into the sideboard plan.

Mono Black Control

I feel that this is the deck has the smallest amount of answers available in the format. I also think between being a great control deck with cards like [c]Chittering Rats[/c], [c]Unearth[/c] and swingy cards like [c]Gray Merchant of Asphodel[/c] and untargeted removal like [c]Geth’s Verdict[/c] makes the deck very resilient to early game damage, and hard to reach critical mass of creatures against. I think this will proably be the most troublesome match up for Boros Kitty in the field. Just getting to 5, dropping a Gary, and erasing all the hard work Boros Kitty has put in is a little soul crushing.

Out 3 [c]Origin Spellbomb[/c] 2 [c] Bonesplitter[/c] 1[c]Journey to Nowhere[/c]

The Spellbomb is a little to weak in the match up. Bonesplitter will often end up with nothing to carry it, and the Journey being a sorcery speed effect it just ends up being put on top of your library to a will timed rat.

In 2 [c]Obsidian Acolyte[/c] 2 [c]Children of Korlis[/c] 2 [c]Electrostatic Bolt[/c]

The Acolyte and Children are the anti-black package in the deck. With both you never play them on an empty board. You always play the Acolyte with mana up to give other creatures protection. Playing both after Rebirthing with at least one White mana up is probably the best way to go. The Children are a good answer to Grey Merchant, and the Acolyte gets you around spot removal. The Bolt is instant speed way to keep devotion counts low, it burns Rats, Bats, and all the odd ball x/1 and x/2 creatures that Black gets at common.

Delver/Mono Blue control.

Fast and control this deck is every bit as strong as you think it is. The good part is Boros Kitty is strong against Delver due to it having a much longer Grindy nature.

Out 2 [c]Bonesplitter[/c] 3[c]Journey to Nowhere[/c]

Your creatures are actually good enough to get around Delvers creatures so you don’t need to pump them with the Splitter. Journey is a step to slow at sorcery speed, and having a Journey bounced going into attacks is a kick in the butt.

In 3 [c]Pyroblast[/c] 2[c]Electrostatic Shock[/c]

Pyroblast is no surprise I would think. It’s the best answer you have to Counterspell. Remember of course that the Delver player from Turn Two on to the end of game wants to counter counter counter. The two E Shocks come in to give more instant speed creature kill as you can kill everything from Delver to Spire Golem with it. Cast everything you can on your opponents turn, you want to tax their mana as much as you can.


All in Aggro. Free spells. Combo with Atog and Disciple. This is always a Tough Matchup.

Out 2[c]Bonesplitter[/c] 3 [c]Origin Spellbomb[/c] 3 [c]Ichor Wellspring[/c]

Splitter is not going to help you race. Spellbomb is to slow. Wellspring is to durdley in the face of pure aggression.

In 3 [c]Pyroblast[/c] 2 [c] Electrostatic Shock[/c] 3 [c]Gorilla Shaman[/c]

You must Pyroblast every [c]Thoughtcast[/c] and or [c]Perilous Research[/c] you can. If you can get Affinity out of Gas you are halfway to winning. E shock can burn all the artifact creatures, it can help keep your opponent off Disciple, and make them Sac artifacts to Atog at bad times for them. The Mox Monkeys are in to remove anything and everything that has 0 cost. Artifact lands are its main target. Keeping them from Metalcraft is great. The Monkey is an allstar for sure.


Big mana, big beats. The most Common are the RUG builds. Mono red is a Rouge Vs, which you should have an easier time to race.

Out 3[c] Origin Spellbomb[/c] 1 [c]Electrostatic Bolt[/c] 2 [c]Ichor Wellspring[/c]

Again to slow for the Spellbomb, the Bolt has less attractive targets, and the Wellspring is to do nothing in the matchup.

In 3 [c]Pyroblast[/c] 3 [c]Circle of Protection:Green[/c]

The Pyroblast should be held to blast Mulldrifters, and Sea Gate Oracle, keeping Tron off extra cards is a great way to win. COP Green to shut down Marauder/Aurochs beats. Straight forward sideboard plan. Control the draw, shut down half of the other decks offence and beat down with effective creatures.


Green Based Aggro. Not top tier by any means. Hexproof is strong against targeted removal, but weak against COPs, and flying beats.

Out 3 [c]Origin Spellbomb[/c] or VS Hexproof 3 [c]Journey to Nowhere[/c]

In 3 [c]Circle of Protection:Green[/c]

Again straight forward. Stick a COP and you have shut down so much of what they can do, that they auto scoop a bunch. Flying Creatures with Bonesplitters really help in this match up. Not much you have to do.


Flames to the face.

Out 2 [c] Ichor Wellspring[/c]

In 2 [c] Children of Korlis[/c]

You already have the main deck Crossroads to eek out small amount of life gain, and that’s really the Burn decks worst fear. The Children can give you a little swing if you need it.

White Weenie

Little Dudes coming at you with high velocity.

Out 2 [c]Ichor Wellspring[/c]

In 2 [c]Electrostatic Bolt[/c]

A larger removal suite. The Bolts can take out everything in the deck, and give you just a little more reach. Again the grindy nature of Boros Kitty should be a great help in the matchup.


Esper using Familiars to reduce cost and combo out. Not as good as when [c]Cloudpost[/c] was in the format. One of the few combo light decks in the format.

Out 3 [c]Origin Spellbomb[/c] 2 [c]Bonesplitter[/c]

In 3 [c]Pyroblast[/c] 2 [c]Electrostatic Bolt[/c]

Blast is to disrupt [c]Ghostly Flicker[/c] and [c]Mnemonic Wall[/c] the other two Bolts can help with Familiars and Mulldrifters, and the worst of the worst [c]Cloud of Faeries[/c] Kill on sight. By any means necessary.


Epic Battle awaits you.

Out 2 [c]Ichor Wellspring[/c] 3 [c]Origin Spellbomb[/c]

In 3 [c]Gorilla Shaman[/c] 2 [c]Electrostatic Bolts[/c]

Shamans help slow Metalcraft, and the Bolts add extra removal. In a deck with fairly low threat density just removing 2-3 creatures it can really help. Expect either a short game you are in control of, or long grindy game.

Dimir Control

Slow Black Blue control with discard and counters. No a common deck in the format. Grindy should win out long term

Out 3 [c]Journey to Nowhere[/c]

In 3 [c]Pyroblast[/c]

There is not much you need to do. Instant speed removal is better than sorcery speed, and taxing their mana by casting spells on their turn is the best thing you can do.

Izzet control

A mirrior to Dimir Control but with more Burn.

Out 3 [c]Journey to Nowhere[/c] 2 [c]Bonesplitter[/c]

In 3 [c]Pyroblast[/c] 2[c] Children of Korlis[/c]

Keep them off counters and swing back some life lost with a few Children if you can. This is also a sideboard that would be fine if you run into Eyecandy/Delver Fiend. Against Fiend you will also want to cut 2 [c]Origin Spellbombs[/c] and bring in 2 [c]Electrostatic Bolts[/c]

So ends the sideboard plan. The main deck is typically very strong against rogue durdly decks. Against blue counter based control Spellbombs Wellsprings or Journey are good cuts to bring in Pyroblasts. The format isn’t as Rouge as it once was though, you find you are playing against established decks more often than not, and the most established decks are included in the primer.

And this brings an end to the primer. It’s been fun, and long, and lots of words, but worth it. If anyone has suggestions or thinks I missed any decks that are part of the Meta, but haven’t been showing up on Goldfish let me know and I will add them. Also any further suggestions against Mono Black Control, that would be amazing as well. It’s the deck that I have the most fear about facing.

Till next time may you Empty the Warrens for lethal. Or Rebirth. That’s the ticket!

Sam aka Vaultboyhunter.