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Much Abrew: 14 Swamp Black (Pauper)

Hello, everyone! Welcome to the new and improved Much Abrew About Nothing. Last week in our Instant Deck Tech voting, we had a major surprise, with a Pauper deck—14 Swamp Black—coming in as the most popular of the week. As a result, this week we are playing a format that we've never played before on Much Abrew: Pauper! Is 14 lands and infinite one-drops the solution to beating Peregrine Drake? Let's see!

One other thing: since it can be hard to get Pauper matches in the two-player queues, we'll be playing a Pauper League today, and as a result, we have a duplicate matchup (we play Affinity twice). The good news is that our deck is so aggressive the matches go by pretty fast, so hopefully even the duplicate match won't be too boring. 

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14 Swamp Black: Instant Deck Tech

14 Swamp Black vs. Stompy (Match 1)

14 Swamp Black vs. Angler Delver (Match 2)

14 Swamp Black vs. Izzet Blitz (Match 3)

14 Swamp Black vs. Affinity (Match 4)

14 Swamp Black vs. Affinity (Match 5)

14 Swamp Black (Wrap Up)


  • First off, our record wasn't great. We finished 2-3 in our league, beating Angler Delver and Affinity (one of our two matches). 
  • Basically, with this deck, there are four kinds of games, two of which we win and two of which we lose. Unfortunately, the games that we lose seem to happen more often than the games that we win. 
  • Game type one: We have Dark Ritual in our opening hand. In these games, we almost always win by playing three one-drops on Turn 1 and killing our opponent before they can do anything. 
  • Game type two: We have two lands on the first two turns but never go above three lands for the entire game. In these games, we are also highly favored. We typically has six power on the battlefield on Turn 2 and overwhelm our opponent with aggressive black one-drops. 
  • Game type three: We mulligan into oblivion because we have zero lands in our opener. This happens more often than you'd think, and we hardly ever win these games. 
  • Game type four: We end up with four, five, or six lands on the battlefield. While it might not be as obvious, we are just as likely to lose these games as we are to lose a mulligan to five. On occasion, we can win four-land games if we are lucky, but even this is rare, and any more than four and we are almost guaranteed to lose. 
  • Speaking of losing, Electrickery is one of the biggest blowouts in the format, and it's a fairly common sideboard card in Pauper. It's usually somewhere between a three and five for one, which means that it ranges from very good to straight up unbeatable, depending on our draw. 
  • As for the deck itself, I don't have any major suggestions, partly because I'm not a Pauper expert but also because the deck is pretty much playing every good (and even passable) black one-drop available. Plus, many of the pieces are interchangeable, so there really aren't any huge changes to be made. 
  • This said, I'm not a fan of Renegade Freighter because we don't really want to draw three lands, and when we do flood out, the Vehicle usually isn't enough to turn the game around. 
  • So, should you play 14 Swamp Black in Pauper? I don't have a good answer to this question. It felt like most of our losses were from our deck losing to itself—it is maddenly inconsistent thanks to the land count. When it runs well, it feels close to unbeatable, but when things go wrong, it feels like the worst deck in Pauper. Unfortunately, there really isn't a good solution to the problem. Oe the other hand, it's cheap, even for a Pauper deck, so it won't cost you much if you want to take it for a test drive. Basically, I can see how this deck could 5-0 a league—it simply gets good hands for five matches in a row (and dodges Electrickery), which is very possible. On the other hand, I'm guessing that our experience with the deck—either blowing the opponent out or losing to inconsistent draws—is more representative over the long haul. 


Anyway, that's all for today. Don't forget to vote for next week's Much Abrew deck by liking, commenting, and subscribing to Instant Deck Tech videos! As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at

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