When it comes to Pauper, I focus on blue decks. How could I not with cards like Brainstorm, Counterspell, Preordain, and Ponder being legal? What could be more fun than that!? How about getting to wear the crown as the Monarch and draw extra cards every turn for free?

Palace Sentinels says that you become the Monarch, and it’s good to be the king. During each end step that you remain the Monarch, you get to draw an extra card. Those additional resources then help you to protect your Monarch status, from blockers, to evasive creatures with which to steal back the crown, to a fistful of burn spells to end the game.

Boros Monarch also revolves around Glint Hawk and Kor Skyfisher. Skyfisher is a big time MVP as it can bounce anything you control, and you have lots of things to bounce for value. Glint Hawk limits that to artifacts only, but with 8 artifact lands and some additional artifacts that give you card advantage, that’s not a tough ask and often a big bonus.

Prophetic Prism and Alchemist’s Vial both have decent abilities, but that’s not the reason they’re here. Cheap artifacts that draw you an extra card are perfect for bouncing with your Hawks and Skyfishers. The Prism can continue to fix your mana, but Vial needs to be sacrificed to get its effect. Luckily, that effect will often put the game away by turning off an attacker or blocker. Buying this extra turn or forcing through extra damage are both great, and you can always cash in additional copies for small value.

Thraben Inspector does it all. It’s an early creature to get in damage, it’s the perfect 1-drop to bounce with Skyfisher to get the value of an extra Clue, the Clue can be bounced to Glint Hawk in a pinch, and it can block or swing back to protect or steal Monarch status. That’s a lot of value for a single mana.

This deck is also filled with burn spells. Lightning Bolt is, as we all know, completely busted. Galvanic Blast has the potential to be an even more broken Lightning Bolt if you’re able to get some artifacts into play. With 8 artifacts that draw cards, 8 artifact lands, and 4 Thraben Inspectors to make Clues, that’s not a pipe dream. You also have an additional Firebolt to give you a 9th burn spell to go upstairs.

Battle Screech isn’t a card you want to get flooded on, but the first copy is usually great. It’s expensive, especially if you have to bounce any lands, but getting 4 flying creatures gives you a large army and a great way of stealing and protecting the Monarch.

Journey to Nowhere is your unconditional removal spell of choice. It’s cheap and scales up to kill the biggest threats, and you can even bounce it with Skyfisher to hit a better target later if need be.

Even the lands in this deck have synergy with your bounce plan. Secluded Steppe and Forgotten Cave can be returned later to be cycled, while Wind-Scarred Crag and Radiant Fountain can provide valuable life. You even have a playset of Boros Garrisons to return all of these value lands for future use!

Boros Monarch may not have quite the card drawing power of the blue Pauper decks, but it’s shockingly close and incredibly sweet.

Boros Monarch

ODERUS URUNGUS, Top 8 in an MTGO Pauper Challenge