So many of you have asked for me to feature Pauper decks, I haven’t yet ventured into the format since I haven’t actually played it before. That said, I’ve been perusing the successful decks, and there are some cool things going on in the format. Today I’m going to spotlight a deck that has a lot in common with a deck that many people, namely my girl Maria Bartholdi, love in Modern—Bogles!
All of the Bogle creatures are commons, so it’s got a great starting point in Pauper. Slippery Bogle is a pretty simple creature on the surface. The blue-green hybrid mana tends to always just be a single green in these decks, and you’re getting a 1/1 creature for 1 mana. Hexproof lets you build massive threats while opposing removal spells won’t be able to target them. Gladecover Scout doesn’t have the hybrid cost of Slippery Bogle, but it’s functionally the exact same card in all of these decks.
Silhana Ledgewalker isn’t commonly played in Modern, at least in larger numbers, but that’s only because 2 mana is so much more than 1. The added evasion is relevant, but getting started on turn 1 matters more against decks packing Thoughtseize or Liliana of the Veil. In Pauper, these cards aren’t legal, and without any rares, the format is already slower without. The fact that you can’t play Kor Spiritdancers either means that Ledgewalker is an easy inclusion as a 4-of, as you need a hexproof creature to get going.
The only other creature to make the cut beyond these 12 hexproof menaces are Heliod’s Pilgrims. This is an expensive way to get a 1/2 creature, but being able to tutor for any Aura is powerful in a deck that’s looking to build the biggest, baddest single creature it can. It even adds protection against cards like Chainer’s Edict.
Auras that enchant lands don’t do much on the surface, and yet they are prevalent pieces here. Utopia Sprawl is an excellent ramp option in a deck with a ton of Forests. Abundant Growth will help add white mana when needed while drawing a card. Neither can enchant your Bogles, but they’re cheap Auras that provide a bit of value.
The real payoff comes from Ethereal Armor. Armor grows your hexproof creatures by leaps and bounds. You’re guaranteed a nice +1/+1 bonus as well as first strike just from the Armor itself, but each of these cheap Auras will enhance your creatures as your opponents will quickly be forced into chump block mode.
Ancestral Mask is the other way to really go big thanks to all of the enchantments you’re dumping onto the battlefield. Unlike Ethereal Armor, Mask won’t count itself, so it will need assistance, but you’re getting a bigger bonus for each enchantment. Keep in mind that this counts all enchantments on the battlefield, not just your own, so watch your opponent’s board as well.
Rancor won’t boost toughness, but with any other Aura it will turn a hexproof creature into a massive threat. It keeps coming back for more, so don’t expect Rancor to ever stop delivering beats. In combination with either Ethereal Armor or Ancestral Mask, we’re talking about the biggest of tramplers.
Armadillo Cloak tends to put the nail in the coffin. You’re getting a massive amount of stats in pumping your creature +2/+2, and the trample and lifelink means that chump blocking or racing are no longer possible.
With some Mutagenic Growths to add surprise factor and Commune with the Gods to help find a creature or Aura based on what you need, Pauper Bogles takes the Modern deck into a less powered format and replicates it well.