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Playing Pauper: Rebels

Hello, Playing Pauper fans, and welcome to another tribal installment in the series! This week, we're looking at Rebels, a tribe that can flood the board and generate virtual card advantage by repeatedly tutoring fellow Rebels from the library to the battlefield.

Check out the matches, and 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.

Rebels Intro

Rebels vs. Burn

Rebels vs. Affinity

Rebels vs. Temur Tron

Rebels vs. Elves

Rebels vs. Dimir Teachings

The Deck

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The deck is based on these four Rebels that each have a search ability to find more Rebels and play them for free.

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The other Rebels in the deck include Aven Riftwatcher for life gain, Nightwind Glider and Thermal Glider as good threats against mono-colored decks, Zealot il-Vec for taking down one-toughness creatures, and Bound in Silence as a fetchable Pacifism effect.

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Icatian Javelineers and Squadron Hawk are not Rebels but fill out the curve and provide additional removal and attackers in the sky, respectively.

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Journey to Nowhere and Serrated Arrows provide additional removal to supplement the copies of Bound in Silence.

Prismatic Strands can work as a double Fog or be used as protection from a large combat step or from a spell like Electrickery or Evincar's Justice.

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In addition to basic Plains, this deck plays some utility lands. Quicksand discourages attacks on the ground, while Haunted Fengraf and Secluded Steppe can be traded in for new cards if we get flooded.

The Sideboard

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Out of the sideboard, Doomed Traveler provides a solution to edict effects such as Chainer's Edict.

Sunlance provides additional removal against non-White decks such as Mono-Black Control and Elves.

Circle of Protection: Red stops Burn in their tracks and is almost always correct to have in your sideboard when you're playing White.

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The extra copies of Journey to Nowhere help when Bound in Silence won't do the job, and the additional Aven Riftwatcher provides additional insurance against aggressive decks.

Kor Sanctifiers does work against Affinity and Bogles, and has marginal utility against other decks in the format as well.

The Matchups

Against aggressive decks, Rebels has the benefit of many blockers, and Prismatic Strands can leads to some blowouts. The downside is that our creatures are small and things like Skarrgan Pit-Skulk and Myr Enforcer can overwhelm us somewhat quickly.

Against control decks, Rebel searchers are invaluable. Having a constant source of creatures and virtual card advantage usually causes your opponent to run out of kill spells eventually, although something like Evincar's Justice can certainly ruin our day.

Beating Rebels


This deck feels very consistent due to the nature of the Rebel searchers. The problem is that there is a cap on the power level of the deck, since each individual Rebel is not very impressive. Additionally, you may not always have time to flood the board if your opponent is getting closer to drawing ElectrickeryShrivel, or similar.

I was tempted to switch up this deck and splash Black for the Rebel Blightspeaker as an unblockable threat and may investigate this version in the future. For now, I'd rate this mono-White version as being a solid Tier 2 choice, but not likely to shake up the meta anytime soon.


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 composed of cards from new sets such as Eternal Masters)
  • 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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