I love it when a new set comes out. Not only do they give us access to new and exciting cards and advance the story of Magic: the Gathering, but more often than not, they give us a chance to play with a new mechanic. Sometimes these new rules are little more than a chance to explore the flavour of the set via card design. Other times, however, they become a powerhouse that shapes the game for years to come. As the latest mechanic to see the light of day, Escape has already put its mark on the game in a big way.
As the poster boy of Escape, Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath has shown us just how good this new graveyard themed mechanic can be, quickly finding a home in Standard, Pioneer, Modern, and even Legacy. It’s not the only Escape card, however, as cards such as Ox of Agonas and Elspeth, Sun’s Nemesis have also seen play in a number of formats. With so many Escape cards seeing play in a variety of formats, I think it’s safe to say the mechanic is on the more successful end of the ‘Stormscale’.
But what if you don’t want to spend a ton of money on these new and effective spells. What if you want to experience the joys of escaping the underworld, but without breaking your bank balance. Well my fellow planeswalkers, that’s where today’s brew comes in. Today we Escape the afterlife and power our way to victory in the best budget format there is. Today, we get to grips with Green/Black Escape for Pauper.
Green/Black Escape is a deck with a very simple game plan. Our goal is to fill our graveyard as quickly as possible and then use said graveyard as a resource to pump out large threats to stomp our way to victory. Similar decks to this have existed in the past, making use of Delve creatures as cheap and effective threats. The only issue with those decks is that if you mill over a Gurmag Angler, or if your opponent has a removal spell, you could find it hard to get back into the game. With Escape however, our threats keep coming back over and over again, turning the match into an attrition bout in which we are the favourite to win.
These Escape threats take the form of Loathsome Chimera and Voracious Typhon. Both are decently-statted creatures that only get more fearsome once they return to the battlefield. We can run them out early and then once our opponent has used up all their removal, simply fetch them back for the killing blow. But to do that effectively we will need to fill up our graveyard.
We do this with playsets of Vessel of Nascency, Commune with the Gods, and Grisly Salvage. All these cards help us dig for useful pieces in our deck, as well as put more cards into our graveyard to fuel our creature’s abilities. But do you know what’s better than paying two mana to fill our graveyard? Paying no mana of course.
A playset of Stinkweed Imp allows us to Dredge more cards into our graveyard once we have it in the bin, which hopefully will be as early as turn three. It can also function as an effective blocker if the need arises, being a 1/2 flyer we can easily get back into our hand. We also have a few other less resilient creatures that also work best when we have a full graveyard.
Nimble Mongoose and Putrid Imp are both 1/1’s for only a single mana that get markedly better once we reach Threshold. We can easily drop one down on turn one and use it to get in a decent amount of damage while we wait to get our Escape creatures out. Just remember not to clear out your graveyard too much or you will lose your Threshold bonus.
The last two non-land cards we run in the mainboard is a playset of removal in the form of Ghastly Demise, and some recurrable direct damage with three copies of Fruit of Tizerus. For our mana base we are running eight Swamps and six Forests, as well as a playset of Jungle Hollow for incidental life gain and fixing. Speaking of fixing, we are also running four copies of Evolving Wilds which have the added benefit of adding to our graveyard (every little helps after all).
4 Nimble Mongoose
3 Putrid Imp
4 Stinkweed Imp
4 Loathsome Chimera
4 Voracious Typhon
4 Ghastly Demise
3 Fruit of Tizerus
4 Vessel of Nascency
4 Commune with the Gods
4 Grisly Salvage
4 Evolving Wilds
4 Jungle Hollow
3 Faerie Macabre
3 Gnaw to the Bone
3 Chainer’s Edict
Moving onto the sideboard we are running three copies of Naturalize to handle any Enchantment or Artifact graveyard hate, as well as three Faerie Macabre to function as our own form of graveyard interaction. Gnaw to the Bone is a great source of life gain against aggressive decks, while Chainer’s Edict gives us some more removal if we need it. Finally, Duress helps us battle against spell heavy control decks or graveyard hate before it hits the table.
And that is Green/Black Escape for Pauper. It’s been a lot of fun jumping back into the Pauper format, given that most of my time has been taken up with Standard and Pioneer as of late. If you’re looking to give Magic’s best budget format a go, then the entire deck will only set you back around $25 or 1.5 tix on Magic Online, so why not give it a try?
But what do you think of the deck? Is it the kind of brew you would want to play? What changes would you make to the deck if you were to run it? Why not let us know about it in the comments below. While you’re there, you could like and subscribe to keep up to date with all we do here at Master of Magics.
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