Sunscape Control

by Michael Bonde on 07 January 2019, Monday

Michael Bonde

Welcome back to the 2nd part of my favorite Pauper decks. I left you all with a sweet Tron deck that grinds like a madman and purrs like a kitten. If that doesn’t kick it for you because you want a more controlling shell for the grind to be real, real I present to you this monster:

How Sunscape Control works

Where Tron cheats on big mana, this deck tries to cheat on good Blue cards that get cheaper when you have Sunscape Familiar in play. For example with 4 Sunscape Familiar in play you get to cast a Mulldrifter for one Blue mana!

What the deck wants to do is quite similar to the Tron deck since it wants to lock the opponent out of the game. To do that you bounce all their creatures and recur Snap and Ghostly Flicker with Mnemonic Wall. Sometimes this isn’t enough. That’s where Sage's Row Denizen comes in to mill the opponent out quite quickly.

This deck is a grindy control deck at its best. We get to play loads of spells, gain life with God-Pharaoh's Faithful and then either mill our opponents out with the Denizen or beat them with bad creatures.

The Core of the Deck - Critters and Flickers

The most important cards in this deck are the creatures, and how they get exploited.

Mnemonic WallMulldrifterSage's Row DenizenSea Gate OracleStonehorn DignitarySunscape FamiliarGod-Pharaoh's FaithfulAven Riftwatcher

These creatures all do their part when we target them with a Ghostly Flicker which we can also use to set up any of the following loops.

To get to a game state where we can do all of these things we play Sunscape Familiar which blocks well and allows us to cheat on mana. We run God-Pharaoh's Faithful to the same end as it gains us a ton of life.

I think that in this shell all of the creatures are essential but there might be some wiggle room with some of the 4-ofs.

Like the Tron deck, this deck really needs focus to pilot it if you don’t want to lose to the clock on MTGO. In paper Magic, you can demonstrate a loop. But when you have to click through all the actions it can fatigue you. Trust me, this comes from a veteran MTGO grinder.

Some Cool Interactions

If you have a Sunscape Familiar in play and you cast Snap you net one mana. If you have any Karoo lands (Azorius Chancery or Izzet Boilerworks) you net even more.

Ghostly Flicker is good with almost every card in the deck. With two copies of Sunscape Familiar, a Sage's Row Denizen, a Mnemonic Wall and an Island in play, we can mill our opponent out immediately. Flicker will cost one Blue mana and we can target the Wall and the Island. So we mill two cards, untap the land and get back the Flicker to do it again. 

Flicker can also save a creature that would get hit by a removal. It can flicker the Mortuary Mire to put a creature on top of the deck at end of turn. Flicker resets the counters on Serrated Arrows. And lastly, probably the most corner case scenario, it can flicker a Chancery or Boilerworks and bounce an Ash Barrens to fix a color or thin out the deck.

The snow-covered basics have no other purpose in the deck than to try and mindgame our opponent into thinking that we play Skred or that we are a Delver deck – I like to convince myself that it gives me an edge.

This article was written by Michael Bonde in a media collaboration with

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