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Free and Clear

Pauper is all about explosive potential right now. You’ve got Delver of Secrets coming out of the gates quickly and backed it up with disruption. You’ve got Tireless Tribe with the potential to win as early as the second turn of the game or sculpt a draw to assemble a ton of protection. You’ve got decks like Bogles and various flavors of Kiln Fiend and Temur Battle Rage. One of the downsides to these strategies is that, as they become more inbred, people can start hating on them with cards like Chainer's Edict, Curfew, and Prismatic Strands. Given that, it’s only sensible that players might start looking for combo decks that sidestep the splash hate:


Freed from the Real
This deck looks like a ton of fun to play in paper. You’ve got the engine of Arbor Elf plus mana auras like Utopia Sprawl and Fertile Ground. Quick acceleration makes it easy for you to start casting a bunch of cantrips and using transmute spells to assemble your combo. The raw acceleration of the Arbor Elf plus mana enchantment engine is what lets your combo keep pace with the combat-based linear decks of the format.

So what is the actual combo? You need to find a Wind Zendikon or Lifespark Spellbomb with help from Trinket Mage and Dizzy Spell. Then you need a Freed from the Real and a mana enchantment. Once your land is a creature that generate more than 1 mana, you can generate infinite mana and win the game from there.

Your win condition involves drawing a bunch of cards with Train of Thought and then using Drift of Phantasms to find Capsize to bounce your opponent’s board. Then you can win any way you’d like. This particular build opts for Viridian Longbow as a colorless option that can be found via Trinket Mage, though cards like Kaervek's Torch are also an option.

If you’re looking for a linear combo deck that doesn’t care about the combat step, this is a good way to do it. Unfortunately, you’re still vulnerable to cards like Lightning Bolt, as your land needs to be a creature and you need to resolve an aura. As a consequence, it’s possible that this deck really wants cards like Dispel and even Vines of Vastwood in the maindeck now that it’s more of a known quantity so that you’re better able to combat cheap removal spells.


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