Defenders Assemble

Despite the format being comprised of only commons, Pauper has quite a few combo decks. Most people who have some familiarity with the format will have seen decks that rely on cards like Inside Out, Temur Battle Rage, and Ghostly Flicker to generate huge amounts of damage or value early on in the game. However, there’s another combo card that lends itself to winning outside of combat. Let’s take a look at how JaniceStone has built this combo deck:


Axebane Guardian
The idea here is relatively straightforward. Your combo is dependent on having a critical mass of defenders in play so that you can out-mana your opponent with Axebane Guardian and Overgrown Battlement. These two cards can allow you to cast early Mulldrifters and start chaining together card draw spells so that you can keep a high density of defenders on the board even through opposing removal spells.

One of the key cards in the deck is Drift of Phantasms, which can allow you to find all manner of silver bullets. Pulse of Murasa is one of the most important of these, since it allows you to keep your life total high against aggressive decks. You can rebuy Mulldrifters to keep churning through your deck and trading off with opposing creatures, or you can loop Mnemonic Walls if your opponent is trying to keep your board empty. You can also find Capsize to start denying your opponent key permanents or lands.

The last tutor targets for Drift of Phantasms are the combo: Axebane Guardian and Freed from the Real. These two cards team up to generate infinite mana of whatever colors you want. The trick is finding an opening to target your creature with an expensive aura. That opening will typically come when your opponent is over-aggressive because they don’t know what you’re trying to do or because you’ve Capsized away their untapped lands on their end step. Once you’ve generated infinite mana, you can win by capsizing your opponent’s board and getting in with Ulvenwald Captives or by finding Valakut Invoker.


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