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My Favorite Decks in Pauper and Pioneer


I’ve been busy with the Mythic Championship and Standard, but today I want to focus on two other formats that I love to play and my favorite decks in each.

Pauper

Let’s kick things off with Pauper, a format recently shaken up with the banning of Arcum’s Astrolabe. I’m personally in favor of the ban, as the card was played in every deck and made the format look very similar with a plethora of Kor Skyfisher decks.

Back when Astrolabe was legal, I was finding a lot of success with 5-Color Tron. I found the deck very good at grinding out Jeskai and thanks and thanks to Astrolabe the deck could play a wide sideboard.

Now that Astrolabe is gone, I don’t know if Tron will be able to adjust its matchup against aggro decks, but I’m sure it will still be a strong player in the metagame, even if not as big as before.

Izzet Skred is the deck I was always in love with before Modern Horizons shook things up, particularly the version with 4 Accumulated Knowledge. Faerie Seer could see play in that deck now, but I’m skeptical on how that would play out against Electrickery and I personally wouldn’t add any copies.

But the deck I’ve always wanted to try was Boros Monarch. Recently I purchased the missing cards and I was ready to rock it! In my area, there’s a very fervent community and a few weeks ago I attended a 23-player event where I finished 4-1 with the deck.

Boros Monarch

Andrea Mengucci – 2nd Place Lega Pauper Marche

3 Ancient Den
2 Bojuka Bog
3 Great Furnace
3 Boros Garrison
1 Mountain (343)
1 Plains (331)
2 Radiant Fountain
2 Secluded Steppe
4 Wind-Scarred Crag
4 Glint Hawk
4 Kor Skyfisher
2 Okiba-Gang Shinobi
3 Palace Sentinels
4 Thraben Inspector
2 Alchemist's Vial
2 Battle Screech
4 Galvanic Blast
1 Golden Egg
3 Journey to Nowhere
4 Lightning Bolt
2 Prismatic Strands
4 Prophetic Prism

Sideboard
2 Electrickery
2 Gorilla Shaman
2 Lone Missionary
1 Prismatic Strands
3 Red Elemental Blast
2 Relic of Progenitus
2 Standard Bearer
1 Shenanigans

Boros Monarch was one of the best decks in the format before Modern Horizons, and with the ban of Astrolabe I thought Jeskai Snow (Boros’ primary enemy) would fade from the meta.

I started with the list that Francesco Tarricone used in a local tournament some months ago, which was great! I did try a new card (Golden Egg) in place of the third Alchemist’s Vial. It was probably a bad call since the Vial is sometimes crucial to steal the monarchy with a flier and protect it.

Okiba-Gang Shinobi isn’t easy to cast, nor easy to protect from Lightning Bolt, but it’s a necessary evil against Tron.

The deck was then used by Phizzle to win a Pauper PTQ, which makes me quite happy since he basically used 74 out of 75 of my local list (which I posted on Twitter and Instagram)–seeing someone having success off of one of my tweet definitely does make me a happy content producer!

Going forward, I’ll definitely play more of this deck, which I find challenging and fun to play, which most Pauper games are!

Pioneer

Pioneer is the cool format right now, if Standard is on the downswing, Magic players found a way to entertain themselves with the new kid on the block, and it seems fun!

I made three Pioneer Veedeos already and the deck that I worked on the most was Mono-Blue Devotion.

My first video had Curious Obsession, which I immediately replaced with Smuggler’s Copter and loved.

I still had plenty of one-drops, but those performed quite badly–in fact, FANAttIC cut them almost entirely in his MTGO PTQ Top 8 list, and this list is indeed very good.

Mono-Blue Devotion

FANAttIC – 8-0 MTGO PTQ

20 Island (335)
4 Mutavault
4 Brazen Borrower/Petty Theft
4 Harbinger of the Tides
4 Master of Waves
4 Siren Stormtamer
4 Smuggler's Copter
4 Tempest Djinn
4 Thassa, God of the Sea
4 Merfolk Trickster
4 Quench

Sideboard
4 Negate
3 Sorcerous Spyglass
4 Spell Pierce
4 Tidebinder Mage
20 Island (335)
4 Mutavault
4 Brazen Borrower/Petty Theft
4 Harbinger of the Tides
4 Master of Waves
4 Siren Stormtamer
4 Smuggler's Copter
4 Tempest Djinn
4 Thassa, God of the Sea
4 Merfolk Trickster
4 Quenchable Fire

Sideboard
4 Negate
3 Sorcerous Spyglass
4 Spell Pierce
4 Tidebinder Mage

A lot of people are afraid to bring Mono-Blue Devotion to the tables because they are afraid the deck is too fair in a world of turn 4 combo kills, but blue is the color with the best interaction in the game, so I’m pretty sure you can easily adjust your 75 to whatever deck is dominating and still have a very good aggro deck, capable of turn 5 kills or grinding the lategame with cards like Thassa, God of the Sea and Master of Waves.

I can’t wait to play some Pioneer in paper, I know some PTQ / WPN qualifiers will be this format and I can’t wait to dust off my Mono-Blue Devotion cards that have been laying in the ‘Old Standard Box’ for over 5 years now!

Discussion

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