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Primer/Info is a WiP as the deck develops. Splitting time between tappedout and MTGSalvation. Will try to keep current list up to date regardless of outdated card information.

This is an extremely grindy midrange deck that can fall into more aggressive or controlling roles depending on the game. It plays mostly at instant speed, despite its nature. It's black base abuses old favorites like Tortured Existence and Stinkweed Imp , dipping into red for newcomer Reckless Wurm , and its removal package. It leans on Lightning Axe to create huge swing plays with madness blockers and dispose of powerful opposing creatures like [card]Gurmag Angler[/card]/[card]Myr Enforcer[/card], and [card]Firebolt[/card] to grind out smaller bodies and utility creatures (see [card]Delver of Secrets[/card]). Utility creatures like [card]Insolent Neonate[/card] and [card]Kris Mage[/card]/[card]Plague Witch[/card] thrive in their natural habitat, fueling repeatable value plays and becoming so much more than 1 drops. The graveyard is an incredible resource for this build, munching spent lands with [card]Gurmag Angler[/card] and functioning as an additional portion of your hand most of the time, allowing you to toolbox for and play answers, generate card advantage with Madness and utility creatures, and consistently play and replay sideboard cards.

The [card]Stinkweed Imp[/card] + [card]Tortured Existence[/card] Engine is an absolute powerhouse, allowing us to fuel the graveyard for repeated [card]Gurmag Angler[/card]s and dig 5 deep every turn for nonland cards. With this combo we can turn any madness creature into a super-[card]Ambush Viper[/card] that can be played every turn while churning through your deck. We play at instant speed using our madness effects, and gain huge amounts of psuedo card advantage to win via attrition. Defensively, the deck can drop [card]Stinkweed Imp[/card] and friends early to gum up the board, strike down threats with burn, control the game, and hopefully pull the boardstate into a grindy topdeck situation, where we have an incredible advantage in most matchups. Some of the deck struggles against hate in games 2/3, and we can fall onto a backup beatdown plan with our efficient 4 power creatures.

This deck spends an absolute ton of time boardstalling its way to victory. Like, a ton. It's the main source of our wins, and the portion of the deck you have to get good at maneuvering around if you want to see success. I'd like to add that the list feels super fun and skill intensive, leading to a replayable rewarding grind. A lot of the time it plays out like a control deck against aggro plans, slowly stabilizing as it brings the gamestate to a standstill and allows your engine to do its thing until you overwhelm them. Against control, you can play the aggressor, and [card]Mournwhelk[/card] puts in work from the board, fighting card advantage from enemy [card]Mulldrifters[/card] and demanding an answer, But I find its better positioned against creature based decks.

I also think these colors and the shell allow us some awesome sideboard plans that create post board configurations that feel like intuitive functioning decks with better matchups, rather than a pile of silver bullets you have to make space for that don't fit into the plan. There's potential for a lot of synergy, and interesting cards like [card]Ingot Chewer[/card], [card]Mournwhelk[/card], and [card]Faerie Macabre[/card] combine with [card]Tortured Existence[/card] to give us repeatable "spells" that provide supreme value when slotted into the engine against many common meta decks. Cards like [card]Golgari Brownscale[/card] come in against aggressive decks to sustain you, but again, don't dilute your plan when drawn.

[center][i][b]Justifications: [/b][/i][/center] [b]Red Madness Creatures -[/b] [card]Bloodmad Vampire[/card] and [card]Reckless Wurm[/card] are secret all stars. They can be played at instant speed with all of your enablers, and are an [card]Ambush Viper[/card] worthy of pauper's powerlevel. They are disposable, reccurrable, and never ending. Wurm is an amazing blocker, and he spearheads the beatdown plan that the deck executes to win, plowing through smaller creatures with trample. Using the resilience provided by the deck's engine, a few copies can clear away any defense given time, or boardstall opponents for multiple turns with a wall of 4/4's. Bloodmad can come down as early as turn 2 against more controlling decks with weaker board presence, and punch in for a lot of damage. It draws a ton of attention, removal, and cards, really wearing on your opponent's resources. The vampire spends much more time dying than Wurm on ambush duty, but can also be reasonably played without it's madness cost in the earlygame, and is less mana intensive to loop, making it an effective removal spell against some creature decks.

[b]Firebolt > Lightning Bolt -[/b] This deck plays [card]Firebolt[/card]. I was running [card]Lightning Bolt[/card] in earlier versions of this deck, as well as [card]Fiery Temper[/card], because they seemed like obvious fits. After many many games, I could confidently say they were my least favorite cards to draw. The removal spell I was actually having the most success with was far and away [card]Lightning Axe[/card], it was beating the whole format, and felt like an absolute all star. After gaining some experience piloting it, it quickly became clear also that the deck often finds itself in situations where it wants to dredge every single turn, and binning so many Bolts, Tempers, and Axes just felt so bad. I didn't have removal in the mid and lategame for creatures that weren't in combat, and I was losing to utility creatures that I was unable to deal with while also abusing my dredge engine. Part of the way I combated this was by switching over to [card]Firebolt[/card]. This card just gives us so much more for our money in this shell, in my humble opinion. Firstly, I think repeatable grindy removal is very much at home here, that's how this deck wins games, by grinding you out, and just having these dumped into our graveyard so often to have them at our fingertips is a really awesome way to turn the drawbacks of our engine into a positive. Lastly, when you need to make a tough discard in the earlygame (and you will), Firebolt is there for you. It can go to the bin and not be completely wasted when you need that [card]Lightning Axe[/card] or [card]Undertaker[/card] activation, and still come into play later in the game to trade with a huge portion of pauper's roster.

[b]Sanitarium Skeleton -[/b] [card]Sanitarium Skeleton[/card]. He's an enabler that can also come down as an efficient early blocker and gives us another relevant turn 1 play, but he can be used with all our effects for maximum value, and he lets you essentially spend [mana]2b[/mana] to draw a card (in the resource sense) any time he's in the graveyard. He lets you artificially come back from card disadvantage when you have extra mana on a turn and still be traded for any creature card in the graveyard using [card]Tortured Existence[/card]. If you have existence in play, for the low, low price of [mana]2bb[/mana], he allows you to tutor any creature from your graveyard to your hand, even if it's empty. Like [card]Firebolt[/card], he's also a great card to bin if you need to throw out an early [card]Lightning Axe[/card] or [card]Kris Mage[/card] activation that you cant follow with a madness creature.

[b]Faithless Looting, 0 Copies -[/b] I dont particularly enjoy [card]Faithless Looting[/card] as much as it might seem like its an auto-include. It's card disadvantage on first cast, and a hefty 3 mana to flash back, after which we often dont have the mana to cast a madness threat. It also feels awkward to play Madness cards at sorcery speed with this deck, and really restricts your options. I think a big draw of BR is being able to play reactively. Idk. Maybe its good, probably much better in a more aggressive build, but it sucked in testing, and it felt like every time it was getting cast, the deck was being put back.

[b]Undertaker -[/b] My current version is happily running a singleton [card]Undertaker[/card]. This card is functionally very similar to [card]Tortured Existence[/card] and is in many ways our 5th copy, chipping in for consistency. The two drop however has the advantage of being a creature. This allows you to recur him from the graveyard with our [card]Grave Scrabbler[/card]s if you need to get the engine running, and can be grabbed in response to your [card]Tortured Existence[/card] being removed, allowing you to continue your gameplan in dire situations. We pump a lot of creatures into the graveyard, and having him around is often relevant, allowing you to fight through common responses to our strategy. He can even be set up beside a [card]Tortured Existence[/card] to allow us to exchange extra lands or spells for creatures. Well worth the one-of.

[b]Rakdos Carnarium -[/b] I have not built a lot of pauper manabases. I'll be the first to admit it. I think the manabase is probably the weakest portion of the deck, and I'd like to improve it. However, I do think [card]Rakdos Carnarium[/card] is an awesome include here. This is a deck that is very greedy with its mana, and it likes having 5-8 mana every turn in the later stages of the game to really get the most out of the engine. Its also a deck that really wants a lot of effects, cramming outlets/dredgers/value/removal/etc , and happens to pass up on turn 2 plays for the most part, or put another 1 drop into play. Carnarium seems like a no brainer, allowing us to lower the total land count and still see enough sources.

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46% Casual

54% Competitive

Date added 6 months
Last updated 6 months
Exclude colors G
Splash colors G
Legality

This deck is Pauper legal.

Cards 60
Avg. CMC 2.74
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