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Playing Pauper: Acid Trip

It's time for another episode of Playing Pauper! This time we're harnessing the power of Reality Acid and bounce creatures to take out problematic permanents. Acid Trip is one of the few decks in Pauper that can attack an opponent's mana base. It also plays four Mulldrifter, which guarantees I will like the deck.

Check out the matches, then read the discussion below. If you enjoy Playing Pauper and other video content by MTGGoldfish, be sure to subscribe to the MTGGoldfish YouTube channel to keep up on all the latest and greatest.

Acid Trip Intro

Acid Trip vs Tortured Existence

Acid Trip vs Mono Black Control

Acid Trip vs UB Control

Acid Trip vs Izzet Blitz

Acid Trip vs Kuldotha Jeskai

The Deck

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These cards represent the combo the deck was named after. Reality Acid targets any of your opponent's permanents, then return Reality Acid with one of your bounce creatures. The result is that you get an undercosted 1/5 or 2/3 flyer, a Vindicate effect, and the Reality Acid back in your hand, all for the cost of five mana divided over two cards. The rest of the creatures in the deck all have good enter the battlefield effects in case you want to pick up a creature instead of a Reality Acid with one of your bounce creatures. Momentary Blink is another way to reuse enter the battlefield effects repeatedly.

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Besides the Reality Acid combo, the deck packs a few more ways to deal with problematic creatures. Journey to Nowhere is about as efficient as it gets, Faith's Fetters lets us gain life while locking something down, and Serrated Arrows is a great tool.

The Sideboard

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Dispel and Counterspell are good against control decks and are good ways to interact with the opponent at instant speed. 

Relic of Progenitus is good against graveyard-based decks and decks with lots of flashback spells such as Blue-Black Control with Mystical Teachings.

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Kor Sanctifiers is a 2-for-1 against Affinity or Kuldotha Jeskai. 

Stormbound Geist is good versus decks without removal that exiles. It's also a good blocker against Delver of Secrets decks.

Lone Missionary comes in against aggressive decks.

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Circle of Protection: Red helps mitigate our weakness to Burn decks, while also being great against Izzet Blitz and Goblins.

Holy Light and an additional Serrated Arrows are our main tool against Elves decks, while being useful against other aggressive decks as well.

The Matchups

Due to all the main deck life gain and efficient blockers, Acid Trip has a good chance against the aggressive decks in the format. Note, this advantage does not apply to Elves, since they have Distant Melody, which can usually outrace what Acid Trip is doing. Additionally Spreading Seas is almost forced to target our own lands to avoid providing them with Blue mana.

Slower decks such as Mono Black Control and Kuldotha Jeskai can be difficult to beat since they have so much removal. Once all our flyers are dead, we have very few ways to end the game. If at all possible, use Momentary Blink to save your creatures from death.

Overall, Acid Trip doesn't seem to have any incredible matchups and is often fighting an uphill battle against many decks. While the deck has the tools necessary to fight back, it can sometimes be a challenge to draw cards in the right order and in the right mix. For example, Reality Acid is fairly slow when you draw no bounce creatures.

Beating Acid Trip

If you aren't interested in piloting Acid Trip, but want to know how to beat it, here are a few tips:

  • Sometimes you must use a removal spell on your own creature to avoid your opponent putting a Reality Acid back into their hand. It's not pretty, but occasionally it must be done.
  • Note that Acid Trip has very few win conditions. Kill the Kor Skyfishers and Mulldrifters on sight, and you should have plenty of time to dig for answers of your own.
  • Keep Spreading Seas in mind when playing your lands and fetching with Evolving Wilds. You may think you only need one red source, but if gets turned into an Island, you'll wish you had an extra one.
  • If you're playing counterspells, Annul is a pretty good sideboard card. Try to make sure you have a couple.


While I wasn't as impressed by Acid Trip as I was by some of our prior decks, it's still a reasonable option. It can still get some extremely scary starts with Reality Acid and Spreading Seas. If you like disrupting your opponent's mana base, strongly consider Acid Trip. If you want a version of the deck with a little more punch, consider waiting until week when we show off Kuldotha Jeskai, another Kor Skyfisher based deck with burn.

I always read and respond to comments in the comment section below, on the YouTube channel, or on Twitter @JakeStilesMTG. Let me know what you thought of Playing Pauper this week and what you'd like to see next.  

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