I am hurt.
A plague o'both your houses! I am sped.
Is he gone and hath nothing?
- Mercutio, Romeo and Juliet.
Introduction Orzhov Guildmage will be my fourth guildmage pauper deck, which means I'm well and truly on the way to getting them all done. This has been the most fun to make so far as I always loved the Orzhov Guild, to the degree I played the Hand in Hand deck for as long as it was viable and played Teysa, Orzhov Scion for a lot of standard. Without a doubt this was the hardest guildmage to make as his abilities were just so bad in a vacuum. This means, as always with my black decks I turned to the best kill I know of for Pauper - Pestilence.
The entire goal of this deck is to get a Pestilence or Crypt Rats down and try ride them victory. To facilitate this there are many recursion spells and even ways to return enchantments, as well as searching them out. Evincar's Justice is also an allstar in this regard, which can be tutored for instead of Pestilence with Dimir House Guard. It provides a reusable way to win that this deck is built to survive. Gangenous Zombies is a one-use Evincar's Justice a lot of time, but it offers a secondary creature to recur should Crypt Rats somehow be exiled. To this end, there is a a major enchantment theme. some of which can prevent damage, and many creatures that have protection from black. Given the absence of enchantment removal I'm hoping to abuse black damage as much as I can. The general and some minor lifegain are intended to counteract this life loss.
To anyone who plays this I hope you have fun!
What is Pauper Commander?
1. Same rules as Commander.
2. Commander is an uncommon. It can be any uncommon, not just a legend.
3. Rest of deck must be common in a non-Magic Online(Masters Editions come to mind) printing!
To be strong a Pauper Commander deck must use or have an answer to the 'Four Pillars':
1. Fireball and variants - Red and black have them, be able to survive it.
2. Capsize- Banned in some places, you need to be able to disrupt the buyback.
3. Pestilence and its variants - Board sweepers, be ready for them.
4. Alabaster Potion and variants - Lifegain, the opposite of Fireball.
I love this idea! In my experience, you really need to up the aggressiveness in pauper edh, before you get overwhelmed by a combo deck (I play a mean freed from the real combo bant deck) or one where there is a lot of scalable synergy between the deck and general (izzet guildmage with lightning bolt and flame rift come to mind).
These are some cards where I'm concerned about the utility of, and some suggested alternatives:
Some things I'd personally make room for: tortured existence: you have so much of the "tortured auramancer" package already that this enchantment would be a brilliant inclusion. It's recurrable by the mancer, and fetchable by the hartebeest. driver of the dead: with all of your sac outlets, this guy can resurrect some of your creatures, when and if it's been castrated by your opponents. 3/2 can definitely carry a weapon too. stonehorn dignitary: delays opponents' aggressive strategies, and is an interesting target for a sac~resurrection engine. ashnod's altar: one of my preferred sac outlets. liliana's specter: an inexpensive, scalable win con and tempting reanimation target.
PS: I'm sig-ing your seraph misspelling for the time being; I laughed hard when I saw that.
Is your name Dan? I didn't notice that, although to be fair only 1/3 instances was wrong!
Driver is very good and I forgot it was only common, however I have very few targets for it currently, even if it can get general back.
I know CG is a terrible card, except with this deck it is trying to control board and almost always get to a Pestilence end game.
Ulamog's Crusher may be too much and I'll consider that idea, he is mind you, the most powerful common creature for its cost.
The others are interesting ideas and will be considered, however Hartebeest can only get auras, so its not completely comby. TE is certainly valid, and could be enhanced with even more raise dead effects (there are one or two more I'm not playing).
All your ideas are great The idea is to gain card advantage without blue in a format where the cards are designed to give it less often. With Graveborn Zombie Tortured may work, but I do like some opportunity to get other options once I have control until I sweep. I don't have issue typically, but I run other removal to compensate. Murder is needed in list too, when I update.
I know you are making this series for the guild mages. As an alternative I think agent of masks would be a better commander for the deck.
This is way delayed, but thank you posting Korhal.
Sludge Strider might work and three colour definitely has better card options and likely near flawless mana fixing.
You are right, Gangrenous Zombies is quite the gem if using snow-covered lands, I'll try squish it in. Suture Priest won't survive too many pestilence activations and my play group loves their removal, but it is very strong. Lately I'm considering extort cards which function similarly.
The synergy you described is very nice and should be capitalised on if used with other artifacts that sacrifice for an effect. It still isn't as strong as auras in pauper, but it is powerful.
Blood Tithe I have seen in action and it is very good, I wouldn't fault someone for running it, but I wouldn't know what to cut right now, although some auras may go.
I don't like the discard plan in this type of deck as you operate on poor card advantage as it is and blue recovers too easily.
Agent of Masks, Sin Collector and many others are great generals, likely better than this one, but it is for a project. Even the new Orzhov guildmage, Vizkopa is better, but it is a challenge to make the worse version succeed I find.
I currently have a zombie tribal pauper EDH deck. I feel like I'm not in one of the pillars that you have described in the OP. I think I am closest to the drain life big nuke strategy using gempalm polluter, and shepherd of rot for killing players (it's primarily for 1v1). Do you think my deck has what it takes to work? I honestly didn't know pestilence was legal in pauper so that is hilarious and may go into my list.
For the record, my commander is still up in the air. My friend kind of raged at me for choosing noxious ghoul at first because he seems to want to play it more casually. Would noxious ghoul be a good commander? I switched it out for soulless one for now since there are not many people who play pauper EDH with me, and there's no point in trying to shut down my only opponents' deck through hard counters. What are your thoughts on corpse harvester as a commander? He looks like he'd be fun, and can easily set me up for a win (always getting my main win zombie into play).