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Pauper to Prince

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One of the most interesting things about Magic is which styles of deck can be ported from one format to another. Sometimes it’s more of a philosophical port. For example, Mono-Red aggro decks and Blue Control decks are always built on the same principles and many of them will look similar across formats even if the actual cards are slightly different. However, every now and then we see more explicit copies of decks make the jump from one format to another, like this Modern deck that takes a lot of inspiration from Pauper:


Ninja of the Deep Hours
A full third of this deck is something that you wouldn’t be surprised to see in a Pauper event. The creature base here is a cohesive, powerful engine. Delver of Secrets helps to apply early pressure while Faerie Miscreant is a low-cost way to power up Spellstutter Sprite, potentially net some cards, and enable your Ninja of the Deep Hours. Ninja is one of the most interesting cards in this deck. If you can afford the tempo, Ninja lets you re-buy Snapcaster Mage and Spellstutter Sprite while dodging Abrupt Decay and Fatal Push. Once you get a hit or two in with Ninja, you’ll be hard pressed to lose most games.

The strength of this deck is in the rise of Death's Shadow. Death's Shadow is built around efficient cards which play into Spellstutter Sprite, and it’s not especially well-positioned to fight against other counterspell decks or Snapcaster Mage plus Lightning Bolt. Disrupting Shoal in particular allows you to leverage your mana to develop your board while preventing them from getting off the ground. Even Eldrazi Tron is going to struggle somewhat against multiple copies of Remand, Vapor Snag, and Cryptic Command.

One of the strengths of this deck is its flexibility. You can always tweak the numbers of Spell Snares or Spell Pierces in the maindeck or include the likes of Burst Lightning, Flame Slash, Deprive, or Logic Knot. As long as you expect Ninja of the Deep Hours and Disrupting Shoal to be good, you should be able to build a reasonable version of this deck. If you’re looking for a deck that replicates some of the feeling of Delver decks in larger Eternal formats, then this seems like a fantastic choice.

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