Rebel Rebel

Pauper is a format that alternates between being about tempo and card advantage depending on what decks are represented in a given week. Sometimes you have to get on the board early so that you can get blockers in the way of Tireless Tribe and Kiln Fiend. Other times, you need to grind your way through multiple copies of Chainer’s Edict. There’s one deck that’s not particularly popular that walks the line between these two poles of the format in an interesting way. Let’s take a look:

Bound in Silence
The strength of this deck is its flexibility. You’re resilient against removal so long as you can get one of your Rebel searchers to stick. If you manage to untap with one, you can always find another in response to removal spells so that you can keep grinding away. If you’re not worried about your engine getting cut off, you can start tutoring up bullets that swing matchups.

Aven Riftwatcher lets you grind out aggressive decks while keeping your life total out of the red zone. Against decks that lean on spot removal, you can find Thermal Glider and Nightwind Glider. If your opponent is playing a deck like Elves or Stompy, you can use Zealot il-Vec to tear apart their board. Thanks to Modern Masters, you even have the ability to tutor for Bound in Silence to fight large threats like Gurmag Angler and Ulamog’s Crusher.

While the core of the deck is relatively straightforward, there are lots of options for how to fill the deck out. Brainstorm is an option to give you even more selection, particularly in conjunction with Ash Barrens to help splash it and provide more shuffle effects. You could also opt to play some number of Sylvok Lifestaff in addition to Bonesplitters to provide lifegain as well as the ability to trade up. You could even go much deeper and play Urza lands to help you activate multiple rebel searchers per turn and go much bigger than opposing creature decks.

This deck is certainly not what you want if the format has shifted toward Evincar’s Justice or Pestilence. That said, if people are relying too heavily on trading one-for-one or attacking with one big threat, then the value inherent in playing with a Rebels engine could be exactly what you’re looking for.

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