by Roberto Bernocco
Here we are again in order to proceed with the display of a new strange archetype. It uses a mechanic not so used but some restamps have increased its potential: the Cycle ability.
With the recent Set of Amonkhet there are a lot of cards available for the Pauper. A new series of spells, with Horror of the Broken Land among them. that have permitted an increase of quality in this archetype.
It is very hard finding a list equal to another one because this deck has a lot of personalization thanks to its peculiarities. So, this short analysis will be based on a version that has done some results recently with a Top 8 at Pauper Championship, organized by Channel Fireball. I'm talking about Corby Waterscheid, with its Golgari version:
Corby Waterscheid, Top 8 at Pauper Champs
4 Golgari Guildgate
4 Jungle Hollow
3 Crypt Rats
2 Pit Keeper
3 Monstrous Carabid
4 Horror of the Broken Lands
4 Lurching Rotbeast
1 Krosan Tusker
2 Fume Spitter
3 Viscera Dragger
2 Deadshot Minotaur
4 Street Wraith
2 Satyr Wayfinder
4 Songs of the Damned
4 Gnaw to the Bone
2 Consume Spirit
1 Snuff Out
2 Grisly Salvage
1 Fume Spitter
1 Crypt Rats
2 Faerie Macabre
1 Serene Heart
2 Life Goes On
3 Wrench Mind
2 Natural State
3 Snuff Out
The concept behind the Cycle ability is simple: our creature must go to the graveyard in the few time possible and enlarge this one. In this way, you can play spells like Songs of the Damned, gain a lot of mana and create lethal hands. In theory is a simple mechanic, that could co-operate with Aggro Plan B if we can use it in the match.
The deck is formed with a percentage of creatures that have the Cycle ability, so they are perfect in order to fill up the graveyard and draw new cards. Someone has also a secondary useful ability to increase the mana (Krosan Tusker), to rapidly return from the cemetery (Viscera Dagger) or to have strengthening (Horror of the Broken Lands)
The "Ciclanti" aren't enough if you want to have a solid deck, so there are some creatures that prop up with perfect ETB effects for the first turns of games, where the deck could not do anything if it will not fill rapidly the cemetery. For example, a possible finisher or a global EOA is Crypt Rats, that is synergic with Song of the Damned and Pit Keeper.
If we don't consider Songs of the Damned and Consume Spirit, Gnaw to the Bone stands out because is perfect in order to take advantage of a cemetery full of creatures. Its secondary ability, Flashback, it's useful to use again the effect (or to bypass counter). It permits to constantly have high Health Points that are lost or with our Street Wraith or due to the opponent' attacks.
This list is concentrated on a few but crucial features, reinforcing the number of cards in the main or inserting precise cards against the enemy number one of the deck: the Grave Hate. Is it not easily imagine that the things could do a Relic of Progenitus if it cast at the right moment against this kind of deck, isn't it? Now you understand why the Natural State could be vital for our archetype.
This archetype has a huge potential that is reducing play it with only the Golgari combination: there are a lot of cards common with the Cycle ability. Online there an enormous quantity of two-colours variations (especially Rakdos) or with more colours, so it is very difficult to talk about the changes for only this version of the deck. This article must be a start point in order to evaluate this kind of archetype and if you'll find it interesting, then I'm sure you'll have a lot of fun with the incredible amount of possibilities.
So I limit myself and I show you some ideas if you want to increase the possible option for this archetype.
Tortured Existence may give a second use of the creatures in the graveyard, in addition to the Cycle ability, and do another card advantage with a simple black mana. It is useful if you want to focus on Horror of the Broken Lands and the aggro potential of the deck.
Exhume might transform your archetype in a Reanimator.deck if you insert in the shell cards like Greater Sandwurm o Striped Riverwinder.
Golgari Brownscale fits perfectly in the deck's synergies: it adds a (moreless) infinite life gain and so it is tremendously good in a plan to maximize the Crypt Rats.
Reaping the Graves doesn't have some particular presentations. It gives us an excellent ability useful to put in hand a lot of creatures that are in the graveyard.
I hope you had enjoyed this mine presentation of a deck, or better of a very different idea. And idea where there is a lot of space for the personalization and, even in the Pauper, you can trigger your will to deck building.
Stay Magic, Stay Pauper!