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!

I’ve talked a bit about Goblins before in the Flophouse but it’s not the only mono-red deck in town. Along with mono-Goblins and mono-Burn, we can also play the mono-2/2 deck.

In my opinion, this is one of the scariest decks to play against while on the draw. I’ve certainly been on the receiving end of enough savage beatings by this deck to know how unbeatable some of their draws are, especially if your first land enters the battlefield tapped.

There are a few upsides to playing this deck over the other red decks:

– Unlike burn, this deck is able to beat pure lifegain. If the opponent does nothing but play lifegain lands, or board in cards like Nourish, your creatures are still there to deal more damage. Permanent sources of damage are also great against counterspells.
Electrickery is not a good sideboard card against you. This doesn’t sound like much, but when so many decks have a handy sweeper against 1-toughness creatures, only having 6 things it can possibly kill is actually pretty great. I like it when my opponent’s sideboard options are limited.
– Playing a full squad of Goblin Heelcutter is excellent against decks that have Sorcery speed removal and/or individually large blockers. It’s basically the cheapest, biggest buyback burn spell all these low land count decks can afford.

It's so good, even though drawing multiples is a bit weak.

It’s so good, even though drawing multiples is a bit weak.

Here is the decklist I battled with for this league. It is mostly stock, but as per usual I have a few cards in there that are different from the typical lists.

Reasons for the atypical cards are mentioned in the deck tech video, but in short:

  • Porcelain LegionnaireRakdos Shred-Freak is commonly played in the 2 drop slot as haste creatures 9-to-11 at that cost, but in my experience it mostly just seemed good while already winning. Being 1 toughness meant it kept failing to bash past Young Wolf or Flayer Husk Germs or whatever random 1/1 creatures were lying around. Porcelain Legionnaire doesn’t have haste but a 3/1 first striker attacks past Sea Gate Oracle and friends pretty well, meaning it’s better when you aren’t able to goldfish the opponent.
  • Renegade Freighter: As is now mandatory in all cheap creature Pauper lists, I simply had to include ol’ Thomas here. Again, not hasty, but attacks for a ton, so I figured it had to be worth a try.
  • Searing Blaze: It’s just so efficient when you are in a creature match up. I wanted to play more, but sheer cowardice stopped me. It is a little awkward to play early, because you need to keep casting creatures in order to attack most of the time so I was happy to jam one in.

The League

That went alright. 3-2, isn’t too bad considering how close the match against Drake was, and losing to another red deck with more burn spells and Mogg War Marshal seems about right. I do have some thoughts on how I would build the deck moving forward however!

  • Fireblast might be worth cutting. I know, I know, it’s iconic, and very powerful. But in a deck with so many creatures that want to attrack, burn spells that are terrible at clearing out blockers are somewhat undesirable. I know ‘no mana’ is less than 1 and ‘4 damage’ is greater than 3 but honestly I think I would have been happier with Chain Lightnings 3 and 4 most of the time.
  • The train is powerful but slightly clunky in this deck. Not triggering your 1 drops to let them attack is a big downside, and you can’t play too many 3 drops. It’s kind of cute to evoke Inner-Flame Acolyte to crew the train and pump another creature, but not really important. I think 1 or 2 is fine (especially if you see many Gurmag Anglers in your area) but I feel like it’s better in other decks.
  • The burn match up consists of more or less 2 coin flips to determine who wins: the literal coin flip to determine who goes first, and whether or not you have a curve that lets you Bolt their Thermo-Alchemist or Keldon Marauder without slowing you down. Both decks will reliably kill each other on turn 4, so going first is massive. The times where they fail to do that are when Bolts are cast on creatures. If you don’t kill Alchemist you will definitely lose, since it will deal 5 and probably gain 4-6 life by blocking.
  • The Sylvok Lifestaff in the board were uninspiring to me. They aren’t actually good against burn since you can’t reliably kill your own creatures, and Goblins can out-attrition (and out-Lifestaff!) you. They are good in the literal RDW mirror, but that’s fairly rare, thus should probably be something more useful.
  • I feel like land destruction like Molten Rain would hedge a lot of bets in the sideboard department. LD is always best when accompanied by early pressure, and this deck can handle that. Raze might be better for this deck in particular since you need to keep casting creatures.
  • Mogg War Marshal is so good in attrition matches that I could also see playing a couple in the sideboard too, even with very few synergies with it in the rest of the deck.
  • Oxidda Golem is worth considering if opponents are regularly killing your 1 and 2 drops or playing Circle of Protection: Red out of sideboards in your area. It’s less flexible than the Acolyte, but it does attack for more if you need to hit them 3 or more times with it, which has certainly sometimes been the case for me with Inner-Flame.

Okay, that’s RDW. It’s not quite the 20 land/20 creatures/20 burn spells construction of classic RDW, but you gotta adapt to the one drops we have, you know?

What decks do you want to see covered? Whether known decks or spicy meatballs, let me know in the comments somewhere, anything can be fair game!

Stephen ‘Jecht’ Murray, over and out.