EDH Pauper Deck Time: Bloodbraid Elf

To keep our EDH games fresh, we decided to take a break from the normal games and go for Pauper next week, maybe for longer, you never know (as we don’t really plan these out). Some of the players are very excited about this and I find it hard to contain myself with my deck ideas.

The rules are simple: You can choose any uncommon creature to be your general and the deck is the normal EDH singleton deck, except that each card has to a common (or has been printed as common at some point, such as Doom Blade, which used to be common, but was moved into uncommon in M14). The number of potential generals is huge compared to the number of legendary creatures, so this is going to bring some diversity, but on the other hand, most uncommon creatures are still pretty simple and don’t necessarily have that flashy abilities or stats.

After contemplating most of the guildmages (from both Ravnicas), Centaur Battlemaster, Shipwreck Singer, Krosan Warchief and many others, I went with Bloodbraid Elf.

My decision was based on many factors. Partly doing something different, as I don’t play red in my usual EDH decks, but partly different use resources.

MtG is a game of resource management. You have different resources and you need to get most out of them. Now, in pauper you have to take a different viewpoint. You can draw cards with cards like Divination, but these cards aren’t as powerful as you would get in normal MtG (like most other cards, for that matter). My biggest concern is that I won’t have use for my mana as I do in normal EDH.

This is where the guildmages would have come in. They would have guaranteed me manaoutlets all the time. Each has interesting abilities, which can be built around. However, as we are only beginning this experiment, I think I would like to play a “wackier” deck now when the metagame hasn’t settled anywhere yet.

Therefore, Bloodbraid Elf (although Sharless Agent would probably have worked as well, but with a slimmer number of cards). I searched the net for an example and found this, which I used as a basis for my deck. I did change maybe a dozen or so cards, but that is what I went with.

I took out the Fireballs because they don’t work very well with my general and I put in some newer cards from newer sets, because I had more of those hanging around and I know them better because I’ve been very active drafter lately.

In general, what I’m worried about is that the games will devolve into standstills as most players will have pretty good blockers, but there won’t be much removal. I did see people using very different kinds of generals, so I’m hoping it doesn’t have to go that way.

Green seems to be pretty strong in common. Quite a few of the cards I use in my usual EDH decks from green are actually common, including the best ramp spells, fight cards and Wickerbough Elder among others. Red seems strong too, but only if the field is what I expect it to be as red in common generally just does damage. Red usually has the best reach, but not EDH where your opponents generally start with 120 or 160 life.

Hopefully I’ll learn something. I already have plans for some of the other generals I mentioned above, as well as some ideas for many others. Most of these decks can be bought for about 10 euros, so why wouldn’t I have a couple of these in my cabinet where I keep all my MtG-related stuff.

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