A Look at Neon Dynasty’s Newest Pauper Deck, Crab Flare!

Today I want to talk about the deck I’ve been playing since I got my digital hands on Neon Dynasty. Crab Flare is a blue-white midrange control deck that tries to slow down play in the early stages of the game before sealing the deal with a large threat. The deck was made possible thanks to Mirrorshell Crab and its channel ability. Using the Crab in concert with Late to Dinner, the blue-white Ephemerate Control shell now has a legitimate way to end games in short order. 

The deck draws inspiration from a few different places. First is my love of a Standard deck from over 15 years ago – Solar Flare. Built during Kamigawa-Ravnica Standard, Solar Flare was an Esper control deck that sought to end the game by casting Zombify on one of the original legendary Dragon Spirits. The deck also had some powerful interaction in the form of Remand and was the deck of 2006 US Nationals. The conceit of this deck is one I have tried to replicate in Pauper to no real avail, in part because there are scant few creatures that make prime reanimator targets. 

Pauper lacks true Reanimate or Animate Dead analogs. Instead, it has to rely on white versions of Zombify. This means that the creatures that are brought back not only have to have stats that matter on rate, but need to appreciably impact the board. Ulamog’s Crusher is fine and all, but it does not do anything the turn it enters play. To be fair, Mirrorshell Crab is just a stat monster, but it has a few very important elements. First is that it is large enough to block and kill Myr Enforcer and Gurmag Angler in combat. Second is that thanks to ward 3, it is very hard to remove once it hits play. Most importantly it can get itself into the graveyard with its channel ability. That it doubles as an important piece of interaction allows Crab Flare to play the control role before bringing back Crab to close out the game.




Pauper Crab Flare by Alex Ullman


The remainder of the shell is based on the Azorius Evoke deck from Pauper Streamer SnapBoltGames. Max has put in a ton of work on the archetype and it uses Ephemerate and Angelic Renewal in conjunction with evoke creatures to accrue value. Ephemerate and Archaeomancer is one of the best two-card engines in Pauper and it can support a wide array of archetypes. With an Archaeomancer in play, Ephemerate can rebuy any instant or sorcery from the graveyard and then get back the Ephemerate, turning it into a persistent tutor. Ephemerate also boosts Mulldrifter and Soul of Migration, letting you evoke them and then, with the sacrifice on the stack, blink them to get a second crack and that enters the battlefield ability. 

Spirited Companion

Spirited Companion is another new addition that has impressed. While Augur of Bolas or Sea Gate Oracle might dig deeper, Spirited Companion has the upside of tapping for the flashback on Prismatic Strands. It also allows the deck to more easily run Plains which comes in handy when you need to cast Dust to Dust.

Soul of MigrationDawnbringer Cleric

Crab Flare can struggle against some of the combo decks in the format. Decks like Elves and WonderWalls can be problematic. Crab Flare is good at going one-for-one in the early stages of the game but both of these decks can generate a ton of mana and easily side step countermagic. The new crop of Faerie decks can also be a challenge, but Soul of Migration can blunt the assault. Additionally, Dawnbringer Cleric out of the side does a great job of blocking Ninjas and can even eat Moon-Circuit Hacker, which happens to be an enchantment.

Where Crab Fire shines is against the current crop of other white midrange decks. Your control suite can blunt their assaults and your engine can keep up with their Kor Skyfisher shenanigans.

If you’re looking for something different that can backdoor into a 5/7 on turn four, Crab Flare might be the deck for you. The deck is a lot of fun and can keep up with a wide swath of the decks currently seeing play in Pauper.


3 thoughts on “A Look at Neon Dynasty’s Newest Pauper Deck, Crab Flare!”

  1. Ephemerate should be banned not incentivated, ASAP, It Is clearly unfun in creating loops and hard to interact with, Totally a sick card like mostly of modern Horizon 2.

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