Hey, with the Holiday Pauper event having launched today I decided to make a quick deck for it. This isn’t janky like my normal decks, but an easy to construct, consistent, high-performing deck for grinding out those Firemind’s Researches. As of this post it’s early Monday afternoon and I already have two copies of the 5-win reward. I’ll keep it brief since it’s a deck for a temporary event.
Deck revolves around auras. Think of it as Bogles but instead of having one hexproof creature, you just hope they don’t draw their removal. The deck revolves around landing a 1 or 2 drop creature – hopefully with Lifelink – and stacking it with auras then attacking until you win. This is effective because basically all of the premium removal in Standard is at rarities higher than common. Most removal at common is either burn or -X/-X and once the creature is big enough it’s tough to remove. Simple enough.
We run playsets of 3 creatures in the deck: Healer’s Hawk, Rustwing Falcon and Bishop’s Soldier. Our ideal creature is Healer’s Hawk, since it flies and has lifelink, but games have been won with all three. Bishop’s Soldier is next, since it has lifelink and a single aura puts it out of range of most burn. Finally, Rustwing Falcon is there because we needed a 3rd creature and it trades well with opposing Healer’s Hawks.
The deck needs to get a creature huge in order to win. It’s an aggro deck at heart so we’re hoping to get two or three auras on one creature by turn 4 or so, and just make huge life swings with our 5/5 or bigger lifelinker. The auras we run are full playsets of Knight’s Pledge, Dub, and Candlelight Vigil.
The deck occasionally runs into other decks trying to do similar things, or ramp decks that are just trying to run us over with big stuff. To deal with those, we have a suite of the best removal available to white at common. We have full playsets of Luminous Bonds and Take Vengeance, as well as a single copy of Pious Interdiction.
The Rest of the Deck
We have 4 more open slots in the deck, since we run just 23 lands. These slots were dedicated to a full playset of Revitalize. Against burn this is effectively a 2-for-1 and it helps us be a little more consistent.
So here’s the decklist:
Or you can find it by clicking here.
So how’s it play?
Quickly. You’re very much an aggro deck and very often, even against mono-R or other all-in aggro strategies, you are “the beatdown” (Click here if you don’t know what that means. It’s a quintessential Magic strategy article that I highly recommend). Since most of your threats have lifelink all-in aggro strategies absolutely have to kill them or else they simply lose. This means that you can afford to go on the offensive. Only slow down a little against White or Black decks that may have removal that can 2 or 3-for-1 your enchanted creature.
Above all else, if you have more than one creature in hand, prioritize the auras on the Lifelink creatures. Most people on the Holiday Pauper ladder are playing aggro strategies to grind out their rewards and this is exactly the kind of deck we’re looking to take advantage of.
The last thing this deck does really well is be consistent. Pauper has bad mana, using only taplands for dual colors. This means that mono-colored decks have a distinct advantage. Running all white, mostly 1 and 2 drops, and 23 lands means that this deck mulligans very well. I haven’t yet had to drop below 6 cards in 13 games.
So how well does it perform?
Very. The matches are quick and often times as soon as you have 35+ life your aggro opponents will just scoop to you to get to another game. Before writing this I played 13 matches and won 11. Twice in a row I went 5-1 and the deck is currently 1-0 in my third run. If you want copies of that alt-art Firemind’s Research I highly recommend trying this one out.