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Playing Pauper: Burning Bush

Welcome to Playing Pauper! If you've been around long enough, you've seen me play Burn, you've seen me play Goblins, and you've even seen me play Izzet Blitz. But today we're piloting a new red aggro deck created by LazZzoO on Magic Online. It's basically Goblins without the Goblin synergies: a deck based on the new Burning-Tree Emissary and getting creatures plus Goblin Bushwhacker to close out the game.

Check out the matches, then read the discussion below. If you enjoy Playing Pauper, subscribe to the MTGGoldfish YouTube channel! It helps us draw more people to the channel, and it helps you to never miss any of our great video content.

Burning Bush Intro

Burning Bush vs Burn

Burning Bush vs Stompy

Burning Bush vs Dimir Flicker

Burning Bush vs Affinity

Burning Bush vs Burn

The Deck

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Aggressive red one-drops aren't the best in Pauper, but these serve their purpose. While the downside on Goblin Cohort and Mogg Conscripts is very real, this deck often wins or loses fast enough that you will very often have a creature in hand to cast. Goblin Bushwhacker isn't really a true 1-drop as it should be played with its kicker cost in all but the most dire situations.

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Burning-Tree Emissary offers explosive potential, especially in multiples and helps the deck's aggressive speed. The other haste creatures help attack along the deck's main axis of keeping the pressure on the opponent.

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Efficient removal that can move creatures out of the way or remove opponents from the game are red's specialty, and it wouldn't be a red deck without a playset of Lightning Bolts.

The Sideboard

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You never want to deviate too much from the maindeck plan of killing the opponent, but these helpful sideboard cards help you do that a little bit faster sometimes. Bring these cards in against Mono Blue Delver, Izzet Blitz, Affinity, any blue deck, and Tron respectively. For a budget option with somewhat less power, substitute Smash to Smithereens and/or Marty of Ashes (which I was recently reminded existed) for some number of Pyroblast or Gorilla Shaman in the sideboard.


I'm not sure whether Mono Red decks or Stompy gain more from the inclusion of Burning-Tree Emissary in the format, but I still hope to see a Red-Greed deck emerge that can utilize it. Unfortunately it seems that the manabase consistency of running just a single color trumps the increased power level of a two color aggressive deck.

As we can see from the 4-1 finish in the league, aggro is here to stay. Good luck casting your Dinrova Horrors as long as the new zero mana 2/2 is in town.


Viewer submissions are open! I'll still be playing known decks occasionally, but I'll mostly be playing:

  • Decks submitted by viewers
  • Interesting decks published from the 5-0 league finishes
  • Decks created by Jake (especially ones comprised of cards from new sets such as Amonkhet)

Email me at or Tweet to me @JakeStilesMTG with your decklist or challenge, and I'll give you a shout-out if I use your submission!

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