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Playing Pauper: Golgari Aristocrats

Welcome to a grisly installment of Playing Pauper in which we sacrifice our own creatures for value. This week's deck churns through its creatures and uses the power of cheap morbid triggers to keep control of the board and keep attacking the enemy.

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.

Golgari Aristocrats Intro

Golgari Aristocrats vs Mono Blue Delver

Golgari Aristocrats vs Burn

Golgari Aristocrats vs Burn

Golgari Aristocrats vs Kuldotha Boros

Golgari Aristocrats vs Turbo Fog

The Deck

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2-for-1 creatures are the backbone of this deck. They provide two bodies for sacrificing and are excellent carriers of Rancor and Bonesplitter since you never run out of them.

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If you can't get creatures to die in combat, you can force the issue with these sacrifice outlets. Carrion Feeder and Bloodthrone Vampire turn on morbid easily and at no mana cost, and can also win the game when combined with Rite of Consumption.

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The deck has many ways to power up its measly 0/1 and 1/1 creatures and turn them into threats that have to be answered. The power of these cards makes the deck into more of an aggressive deck with sacrifice synergies than a full on Aristocrats deck that is only winning when getting tons of creatures onto the board then sacrificing most of them.

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Unearth can recur any our creatures for a single mana, Tragic Slip is Murder for a single mana, and Read the Bones rounds out the deck as a way to find the cards we need.

The Sideboard

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Duress is an anti-control card, Scattershot Archer shoots down creatures from Mono Blue Delver and Mono White Tokens, Contaminated Ground disrupts the Tron combo, and Feed the Clan is a 2-for-1 or better against Burn.

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Gleeful Sabotage is the most versatile of the sideboard cards, being used mainly against Bogles and Affinity but having uses against other deck types as well (as we saw in Match 5 of this current episode).


Golgari Aristocrats is an interesting take on an aggressive deck, sacrificing some of the consistency of a deck like Stompy, for a bit more late game reach and some combo-like potential. I'm pretty sure the deck isn't 100% perfect yet. I personally feel like it could use another land, maybe lose 1-2 of Read the Bones and who knows what else. I'm not much of a brewer, but for those of you who are, this deck could be a fun one to tinker with.

Thanks for joining me for another episode, and tune in next time for more Playing Pauper goodness.


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

  • Decks submitted by viewers
  • Decks created from viewer challenges (e.g. build a deck around Horned Kavu)
  • Decks created by Jake (especially ones comprised of cards from new sets such as Aether Revolt)

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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