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 off what the decks can do, having some sweet games and making suggestions on how to make things even better. Let’s go!
Ah, Stompy. Stompy is a classic Magic: the Gathering deck. Mono-green beatdown has existed in many forms over the years. From making top 4 at Worlds in 1997 with an old-school mixture of busted cards and terrible ones, to 10 land versions with Land Grant and even spiritual successors that weren’t allowed free spells or brutal mana denial.
If I had to describe the current Pauper version in a word, I would use ‘scrappy’. I mean, you don’t set out with the goal of defeating opponents using Young Wolf for explosive power. Behold, a full 5 match league!
Not too bad right? I feel like these videos were a good showcase of the strengths of the deck, seemingly taking traits from other seemingly similar aggressive decks. Such as?
- The deck can steal wins from a seemingly losing position with the best of them. From chump blocking and casting Hunger of the Howlpack to double Groundswell, it’s the same kind of all-in kills you can do with Affinity.
- The deck can also weather removal storms very well. Much like Goblins laugh at Chainer’s Edict, Young Wolf and Nest Invader do a similar job.
- Stompy occasionally goes into Voltron mode similarly to Bogles. If the opponent doesn’t have access to good removal, dumping all your pump effects onto one now-giant creature can work great, see the game where I have Rancor, Elephant Guide and +1/+1 counters on a Vault Skirge for reference.
- You can even flood the board and go wide off of only 1 land in draws featuring Quirion Ranger like the actual Elf deck can!
Sure, the deck might not be the best at any one aspect compared to the others. But if say, the respective mentioned decks are A students at their own disciplines, Stompy manages a solid B at everything. In a format as varied in extremes as Pauper, that versatility is extremely valuable, giving you plenty of options and chances to re-position yourself in match-ups.
I also mentioned in the deck tech that one of the things I like about this deck is the lack of great sideboard cards against you. There’s no anti-green ‘Blast. There’s no Gorilla Shaman that eats Forest. Electrickery is annoying but you can largely play around it. (that double Electrickery blowout though) Your lasting pump effects are Rancor and Hunger, which can’t be Disenchanted. The various types of creatures in the deck all cover some bases when it comes to removal too.
Sure, sometimes there are some Coral Nets knocking about, but that’s almost it.
Almost. A big card to watch out for is Standard Bearer. It single-handedly bricks all of your pump spells, so if the opponent follows it up with say, a 3/3, you can’t really win unless you deal with the Bearer. So get your Epic Confrontation ready, or pretend the card doesn’t exist and hope they don’t draw it, either is fine.
There are a few other options for the deck that you might want for various reasons though! Let’s talk about them.
- Brindle Shoat: If Edicts and other removal become more popular, this is a pain in the behind. Not great in a metagame with evasion/bounce since they can ignore it mostly.
- Garruk’s Companion: Conversely, this is ‘expensive’ (at a whole 2 mana!) to be weak to removal, but it has a good power-to-cost ratio and a kind of evasion. Better than Ledgewalker if no one is trying to target your things too often anyway.
- Bonesplitter: Mostly worse than Rancor, but Rancor is still great and you might want extra ones.
- Maindeck Epic Confrontation: you can’t go too wrong with one in the maindeck, maybe even more if people at your store love Elves or something.
- Mire Boa: I know a store that has *several* mono-back enthusiasts. If that’s the case, then River and Mire Boas can switch places.
- Tranquil Thicket: The low land count hopefully covers you for flooding, and not working with Quirion Ranger is kind of a disaster. You really need to play things on turn 1 and keep 1 landers, so that’s why these don’t turn up here.
- Aerial Volley: Scattershot Archer often gets the job done against Faeries and attacks for 1, but this kills Delver + a Faerie without Ranger assists. Consider this especially if the Delver decks are cutting Faerie Miscreant post board and going all in on Delvers.
- Basking Rootwalla: doesn’t really fit with the evasion-or-endurance plan of creatures at the moment, but if you want even more 1 drops this is still decent even if you don’t have room for Wild Mongrel.
- Hidden Spider: Oh man if Delver of Secrets had flying naturally, this would be a whole different avenue to take. As it is, bear it in mind if flyer-based WW ever picks up.
- Uktabi Drake: I was killed by one of these once. I thought I was safe, killed all their creatures and cast some Deep Analysis. One Drake, a Groundswell and a Rancor later… This can be surprisingly effective if Sorcery-speed removal is the most prevalent kind, no one expects green to have much reach!
- Leafcrown Dryad: a bit too expensive in either mode, seems like it should be a good fit but too clunky in reality.
- Serene Heart: do you hate losing to Hexproof creatures with Auras on them? This card is unreal against them, even screwing up their mana in the process most likely. A good Bogles draw is very difficult for this deck to beat – even if you draw 1 Gleeful Sabotage – so the instant speed nature of this lets you eat their attacking or blocking creature for free too!
- Somberwald Dryad: Stompy is performing so well, lately, maybe you want Forestwalk in the 2 drop slot? Honestly I think you’d be better off with an extra Vault Skirge, but maybe you already maxed out on them?
- Night Soil: Did you know this card existed? Seems like a sweet card to have 1 copy of in your sideboard against extremely removal-heavy decks and if creature-recursion decks using Tortured Existence or Sanitarium Skeleton make a comeback.
- Simian Grunts: 3 mana is a ton for a 16 land deck, but a 3/4 is about the biggest you can get and the Flash gives you some extra surprise value. I wouldn’t play more than 2 (even 2 is ambitious) but it is a classic Stompy card.
That’s basically it as far as I can see. Being mono-green and limited to 1-2 mana spells certainly limits your options, but as long as you have Rancors and cheap creatures you can’t go too wrong. Playing with this deck also sometimes feels like playing limited, there’s something innately fun about figuring out how to sneak through damage using only some pump spells and your wits.
So that’s Stompy. Come back next time for another deck, and tell me in the comments (here or on youtube!) what decks you’d like to see, or what questions you have about Pauper decks that you’d like to see answered!
Stephen ‘Jecht’ Murray, over and out.