Hello again friends! Here at my Pauper Flophouse of fun I bring you a variety of sweet Pauper decks and give them some quick and dirty brawls in the leagues. Hopefully showing what the decks can do, have some sweet games and make suggestions on how to make things even better. Let’s go!

Last week,  I appeared on your computer screens with a general overview of how Pauper is. The basic takeaway is that durdling isn’t a great idea right now, and that the format is simply crawling with linear decks focused on their own plans at the expense of trying to interact with our opponents. Well then, if people are turning up to Pauper fights brandishing increasingly large weaponry, perhaps it would it prudent to turn up with a bazooka.

After spotting this sweet decklist 5-0ing a league in the hands of TMan85, I realised that the best draws out of this deck (turn 2 Ulamog’s Crusher wearing a Dragon Breath) trump basically all the draws possible from the other decks. Sure, it might be weak to graveyard hate and other such interaction, but those decks are thin on the ground right now, as we discovered last week.

Does it work? Well, I went ahead and recorded some videos to demonstrate the deck in action, with only small changes to the mana base and everything else remaining the same. There’s even a small deck tech in case you haven’t seen a deck casting Exhume before or for people who skip right over the written text and just want sweet, sweet video content.

Decklist played

Creatures (12)

4 Ulamog’s Crusher
Insolent Neonate
Stinkweed Imp

Spells and stuff (27)

Faithless Looting
Tormenting Voice
Lightning Axe

Shred Memory

Dragon Breath

Lands (21)

Bloodfell Caves
Evolving Wilds
Rakdos Carnarium
Sandstone Needle
2 Peat Bog

Deck Tech

Match 1

Match 2

Match 3

Phew! That’s a fair amount of crushing. Time to go over our notes!

(Yes, I did indeed just learn how to outline text, and managed to use red-on-purple, thanks for asking.)

The deck is very powerful indeed, and surprisingly difficult to play. With all the various looting effects doing slightly different things, incomplete information from Dredging and looting and so on, optimal sequencing takes a while to get down. Fortunately, even though I am quite sure I was doing things incorrectly on multiple occasions, the deck is quite forgiving as long as you managed to get your Crusher out in time.

The deck has a ton of redundancy and needs few lands to operate. This means the deck mulligans pretty well, so don’t be afraid to mulligan if you need multiple things to go right in your opening hands.

Exhume is a tricky Magic card! People who play regular Legacy or Cube might know this already, but the card doesn’t actually target anything, thus can’t get countered on resolution if the Crusher you intended to bring back leaves somehow. For example, take this plausible sequence of events:

Player A casts Exhume with a Crusher in the graveyard. Player B responds by sacrificing Nihil Spellbomb to exile Player A’s graveyard. Player A can let that resolve, but with Exhume still on the stack, they cast Lightning Axe or activate Insolent Neonate, putting another Ulamog’s Crusher into the graveyard. Exhume now resolves, returning the new Crusher.

I would put this deck as mildly favorable overall against most of the linear decks, as long as they don’t start packing tons of graveyard hate any time soon. I was happy to fight against every deck I saw.

Where this deck struggles is the nightmare match of UB control. While that deck isn’t incredibly common in terms of 5-0 decks, it still pops up every so often and oh boy is that a sad time. Not only do they regularly have maindeck Bojuka Bog, they also have many cheap counterspells, sometimes Duress, instant speed removal that can kill a reanimated Crusher before it can even attack, they can also have main deck tutorable Crypt Incursion. Even if you turn 2 Crusher them, they can still play Innocent Blood and recover!

Then they sideboard in more things that are good against you, removing blanks like Disfigure and replacing them with Nihil Spellbomb and Hydroblast and Duresses if they aren’t maindeck already.

So yeah, try and avoid that match up, and if you face it, don’t worry, you can always outplay them. Kappa

Potential improvements: try things at home!

  1. I did keep wanting to draw basic swamp. Perhaps an extra few swamps is the mana base I actually wanted after all.
  2. Gurmag Angler seems like a fine card to have a couple-of maindeck. I don’t like sideboarding it in so much, since it is still punished by people doing bad things to our graveyard, but the occasional 1 mana 5/5 can help out when a lone Crusher might not get the job done.
  3. It is much worse than Ulamog’s Crusher, but it might be worth considering playing a Hand of Emrakul as a 5th, very bad Crusher. Hey, redundancy!
  4. More Dragon parts! Adding one Dragon Scales or Dragon Shadow might help us survive/kill the opponent through swarms of creatures more easily.
  5. Sideboard: if you don’t want to shell out for Pyroblasts, consider sideboarding tons (like 10+) of cards into some kind of Madness beatdown deck to sidestep hate out of the blue control decks. Nice Relics, have some vampires!?

That’s my look at Reanimator, what deck shall be next?

Stephen ‘Jecht’ Murray out.