The deck is a standard Pauper MBC with an emphasis on recursion in order to win games of attrition.

Inspiration (main deck): 5-0 Pauper MBC by pistillone in a 28 March 2017 Pauper League

Inspiration (Thorn of the Black Rose): A Thorn in My Side BY Alex Ullman, April 11, 2017

Card Choices and their Reasons:

Card Draw [15]:

4 Barren Moor / 4 Sign in Blood / 4 Phyrexian Rager / 3 Unearth

Reason: MBC needs to compete with the likes of UB, and UR for relative card advantage. The removal spells you draw that in turn lure out counterspells remove one counterspell and help you push through value beaters and finishers. Attrition! Attrition! Attrition!

Removal Package (Best Removal Package in Pauper) [17]:

4 Chainer's Edict **counting this 1.5x because of late game flashback / 4 Disfigure / 2 Oubliette / 2 Tendrils of Corruption / 2 Victim of Night / 1 card:Deadweight

Reason: The removal package is a mix of removal that comes in many shapes and sizes. The removal can ignore hex proof and shroud by an edict effect, kill small P/T creatures, Kill creatures regardless of P/T, and kill some very large P/T creatures based on how many swamps.

Long Game Value Beaters [x]:

4 Cuombajj Witches

Reason: This is a great card for whittling away the opponents life, and getting them low enough to spike the Gary ETB.

4 Gray Merchant of Asphodel

Reason: Play a couple ETB drains on an opponent for 5 and 7 in the mid game and you have yourself a monster of an effect.

2 Gurmag Angler

Reason: A pair of 5/5 beaters for a single per creature in the middle and late game can clog up any board, and when paired with removal spells can crash in for five and close out games real quick.

The Sideboard:

2 Thorn of the Black Rose

Reason: This card replaces Liliana's Specter against removal heavy decks will not be able to survive a MBC deck being monarch for 2+ turns

3 Ostracize

Reason: This is a concession to Burning-Tree Emissary, and many other super aggressive creatures low on the mana curve in pauper. Playing a turn 1 Ostracize can be effective as messing up the curve of an aggro deck. Knowledge is always nice also.

Achievement Unlocked:

30 April 2017: MBC 100% Foiled (**EXCEPTIONS: There is no foil for Cuombajj Witches, but there is the OG version which I am running; There is no foil for Oubliette)


Current Top Dogs:

Stompy 19% [Alex Ullman, Challenge Accepted]

UR Delver 12% [Alex Ullman, Challenge Accepted]

Affinity 12% [Alex Ullman, Challenge Accepted]

Deck Change:

[Mainboard into Sideboard]

1 Disfigure 1 Dead Weight

[Sideboard into Mainboard]

2 Thorn of the Black Rose

Reasons: Being monarch will combat all the other monarch decks. If I can draw even two extra cards I can ease the turning the corner. Deathtouch is great any meta, especially this one. Disfigure and Dead Weight can be sided back in if more removal is needed, and -2/-2 is not always relevant (especially with affinity and their 4/4s tromping around).


  1. Alex Ullman, Challenge Accepted


BerylLasko says... #1

Hi! I like that you're taking another look at a well established deck. Following the current meta, I ask the question: Is attrition something that MBC needs more of?

From personal experience, very few decks will go the distance longer than MBC, namely Teachings, Snow-Go, and of course Tron. The strength of MBC, or other midrange decks, perhaps lies in its ability to not only extend the game, but close out games as well. An unanswered Gurmag Angler is in many cases GG. This is very true when paired against aggro heavy decks, like Stompy, Affinity, or even Delver Blue (which are more dominate in the current meta). Replacing Gurmag with a card like Unearth MAY help against high attrition decks, but even then, it's important to look for ways to close out the game.

In a nut shell:

Gurmag = 5/5 most of the time for one mana if you simply have enough in your graveyard. Can come out as early as turn 3-4. Difficult for many decks to deal with.

Unearth = will bring back one of 12 creatures that it can target, only 8 have ETB effects. Assuming you have played one of them, and your opponent has removed them, or milled them into the graveyard (Turbo Fog?), only then can Unearth be cast. Basically, Unearth here is simply a conditional 3 more copies of Cuombajj, Rager, or Rats.

IMHO, removing Gurmag is taking away another win condition and replacing it with something that the deck does well anyways. Just a few thoughts, Thanks for sharing!

April 3, 2017 4:14 p.m.


The meta I am expecting:

  1. Situation: Uptick in aggro decks BTE Green, BTE Red, and other aggro decks

  2. Response: More answers, and then brutally turn the corner with more card draw (12 effects / 15 with unearth)

  3. Situation: Control decks are going to lean down to face aggro decks

  4. Response: You need to be just as disruptive as control decks. Instead of counter spells I have removal, discard (7 in SB), land hate and disruptive elements that work well with drawing cards and spiking Gary against a control opponent with no answers to the ETB

  5. Situation: MBC is on the rise

  6. Response: In order to beat the mirror or the pseudo-mirror (BR Rakdos control) the 3 unearth allow you to stress their removal package and recharge the GARY.

  7. Situation: Style of Play preference. My current build (game 1) has the best top decks. The idea is to be proactive. Draw cards, play disruptive elements ... BUY TIME ... spike a GARY or TWO.

  8. Response: I build the deck to consistently find and play GARY by turn 5 and make sure the GARY is a really good drain / gain. The game 2 build with discard and cards to rip up the format. This build eschews Liliana's Specter because it is a slow flyer and not always a good top deck. 2 Liliana's Specter is a maybe for the SB.

April 3, 2017 4:34 p.m.


Main Point:

I am leaning heavily on the combination of Cuombajj Witches and Gray Merchant of Asphodel to maximize both of their life draining capabilities. I hope the first sentence helps establish the identity of the deck. I am leaning heavily on both because the 1 life ping is not attacking ability (and it is repeatable) and the drain / gain of GARY is an ETB and will hurt opponents with removal and non-counterspell interaction. The other card choices are used to make the removal, card draw, and interaction leaner than most MBC decks.

I do realize Gurmag Angler is essentially a for a 5/5 beater. At most Gurmag Angler was a 1-of in most 5-0 MBC lists. Thank you for identifying my unique approach the MBC archetype. Fellow brewers have to recognize how to change the focus of an established archetype.

April 3, 2017 5:02 p.m.


Thank you for your advise. I recently made a change to the main deck by cutting 2 Swamp and then adding 2 Gurmag Angler. The deck is using them as creature 17 & 18. The deck is also not a turbo angler deck. Gurmag Angler is simply a late game B costed 5/5 beater.

Secondary Effect:

Gurmag Angler improves as a threat to use against flicker decks when some number 3-4 Duress, and 2-3 Ostracize come in against the Flicker decks. The Flicker decks and other defensive combo decks run walls that are generally 4 toughness.

April 5, 2017 10:46 p.m.

cornonjacob says... #5

I'm wondering how you've felt running just 20 lands. I have a slightly outdated MBC list that I used to 5-0 a paper pauper tournament and I ran 23 lands (19 swamp, 3 Barren Moor, and 1 Bojuka Bog). As the control deck in the vast majority of matchups, is 20 lands enough?

May 23, 2017 9:21 p.m.

cornonjacob 20 Lands is a perfect number (from my experience). With your 15 card draw effects (17 if you count being the monarch) the deck does not struggle to hit the land drops. Sometimes you fire off a sub-optimal Sign in Blood to ensure you hit a land drop, but most of the time it pays off. I found that I have a decision point with Barren Moor, [1] cycle and look for interaction or [2] play it as a land, and the decision is about 50/50 (IT JUST DEPENDS ON THE DECK I AM FACING).

May 24, 2017 6:43 p.m.

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Compare to inventory
Date added 3 months
Last updated 1 month

This deck is Pauper legal.

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 2.85
Tokens Monarch
Folders Pauper: Interesting Ideas, Pauper, Ideas, Pauper, Pauper
Top rank #75 on 2017-04-03
Views 1908