Over the next few weeks, I will be starting a little mini-series that goes into detail about the different archetypes played in Pauper—aggro, control, and combo, based off of Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa’s definitions of each of the three. This week, I am going to start with my personal favorite, Aggro.

Aggro Decks with Reach

Before we talk about the different decks that are considered aggro decks with reach, we first need to know the answer to a certain question—what is reach?

Reach is defined as a way to close the game after your opponent has dealt with your early threats. In most cases, those early threats are creatures and the reach is some sort assortment of burn spells that can go to the dome.

There are a lot of positives with this type of aggro deck. One of the big ones is that it has more than it’s fair share of “free wins”, meaning that you top deck the Lightning Bolt when they are at three. Another cool advantage these decks have is the fact that not only can the burn spells go to the dome, but they can be creature removal as well.

In pauper, there are a few decks that are like this and they represent a fair amount of the metagame. According to MTGGoldfish, Burn has about nine percent share of the metagame and Affinity has almost seven percent.


Creatures (8)
Goblin Fireslinger
Keldon Marauders

Spells (34)
Chain Lightning
Lava Spike
Rift Bolt
Lightning Bolt
Needle Drop
Searing Blaze
Shard Volley
Curse of the Pierced Heart
Lands (18)
Forgotten Cave
16 Mountain

Sideboard (15)
Searing Blaze
Flaring Pain
Golden Urn
Molten Rain
Relic of Progenitus
Smash to Smithereens


Creatures (15)
Carapace Forger
Myr Enforcer

Spells (27)
Apostle’s Blessing
Galvanic Blast
Temur Battle Rage
Chromatic Sphere
Chromatic Star
Glasses of Urza
Ichor Wellspring
Prophetic Prism
Springleaf Drum
Lands (18)
Ancient Den
Great Furnace
Seat of the Synod
Tree of Tales
Vault of Whispers

Sideboard (15)
Temur Battle Rage
Circle of Protection: Red
Journey to Nowhere
Mana Leak
Sundering Growth

Obviously, both the Affinity deck and the Burn deck have different amounts of reach. The Burn deck is almost all in on, well, burn spells while Affinity only has a few like Galvanic Blast and Fling. On average, you will want at least six to eight burn spells in an aggro deck like these so you can be able to reach for the dome.

Aggro Decks without Reach

The next group of aggro decks seen in pauper is the aggro decks without reach. These decks don’t have the ability to go to the dome with burn spells because they are usually based in other colors, namely green and white. While they can’t initiate the burn plan, they have other ways to kill their opponents as fast as possible.

Most of the white decks take to the skies with cards like Squadron Hawk and Battle Screech while the green decks go big or go wide. A deck like Elves tends to create an overwhelming board state with creatures like Lys Alana Huntmaster and making them huge with Ivy Lane Denizen. GW Hexproof, on the other hand, goes big. They get one creature like Slippery Bogle and suit it up with cards like Rancor and Armadillo Cloak.

Mono White Tokens

Creatures (13)
Icatian Javelineers
Squadron Hawk
Suture Priest
Veteran Armorer

Spells (26)
Battle Screech
Gather the Townsfolk
Triplicate Spirits
Guardians’ Pledge
Raise the Alarm
Ramosian Rally
Journey to Nowhere
Lumithread Field
Lands (21)
19 Plains

Sideboard (15)
Dust to Dust
Holy Light
Obsidian Acolyte
Patrician’s Scorn
Prismatic Strands
Relic of Progenitus
Standard Bearer


Creatures (41)
Birchlore Rangers
Elvish Mystic
Elvish Visionary
Fyndhorn Elves
Ivy Lane Denizen
Llanowar Elves
Lys Alana Huntmaster
Nettle Sentinel
Priest of Titania
Quirion Ranger
Sylvan Ranger
Timberwatch Elf

Spells (6)
Distant Melody
Viridian Longbow
Spidersilk Armor
Lands (13)
12 Forest

Sideboard (15)
Spidersilk Armor
Essence Warden
Gleeful Sabotage
Lys Alana Bowmaster
Scattershot Archer

GW Hexproof

Creatures (15)
Aura Gnarlid
Gladecover Scout
Silhana Ledgewalker
Slippery Bogle

Spells (28)
Commune with Nature
Kruphix’s Insight
Abundant Growth
Ancestral Mask
Armadillo Cloak
Ethereal Armor
Utopia Sprawl
Lands (17)
Blossoming Sands
14 Forest
Khalni Garden

Sideboard (15)
Gleeful Sabotage
Prey Upon
Scattershot Archer
Standard Bearer
Young Wolf


Aggro Decks with Disruption

The last type of aggro decks we are going to talk about are the aggro decks with disruption. What is disruption, you ask? Well, disruption is a form of answers to have for your opponent. Mostly, these answers are counterspells in blue, and discard/removal in black. In pauper, we can see this a lot in the Delver style decks.

These decks utilize cheap, aggressive threats like Delver of Secrets or delve creatures like Gurmag Angler to close out the game while they disrupt whatever you do by using cards like CounterspellDuress, and Disfigure.

Mono Blue Delver

Creatures (20)
Cloud of Faeries
Delver of Secrets
Ninja of the Deep Hours
Spellstutter Sprite
Spire Golem

Spells (24)
Mana Leak
Lands (16)
16 Island

Sideboard (15)
Curse of Chains
Piracy Charm
Relic of Progenitus
Stormbound Geist

UB Angler Delver

Creatures (11)
Delver of Secrets
Gurmag Angler
Stormbound Geist
Sultai Scavenger

Spells (31)
Agony Warp
Ghastly Demise
Mental Note
Thought Scour
Lands (18)
Dismal Backwater
Evolving Wilds

Sideboard (15)
Stormbound Geist
Chainer’s Edict
Nihil Spellbomb


The aggro archetype is very broad and has a lot of different ways to play. Hopefully, this article helps you decide if an aggro deck is for you, and if it does hopefully you find a deck you’d like to try in Pauper leagues on MTGO!


  • Red is Aggro with Reach,
  • White and Green are Aggro without Reach,
  • Blue and Black are Aggro with Disruption.

To read more about aggro macro-archetype, you can check out Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa’s article.

If you ever have any questions or comments, go ahead and throw a tweet my way, @kintreesprit!

Thanks for reading!

Lexie Mettler is a Level 2 judge from Fort Wayne, Indiana. By day she is a student, by night she streams MTGO and practices for tournaments all over the Midwest.

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