Last week I wrote about an older lower tier Pauper deck making some moves and getting some traction. That deck was, of course, White Weenies, which showed back up on the map thanks in part to the new Theros Beyond Death common Daybreak Chimera. Today I'm back to talk about another less played deck generally referred to as Walls Combo or Wonderwalls.
The deck is often based around, as you may guess, walls. Well, in a way at least. The deck actually utilizes a number of creatures with defender and not necessarily outright walls. Let's check out a list:
Walls Combo | Pauper | Diego_Brando, 11th Place Pauper Challenge
- Creatures (39)
- 1 Bloodrite Invoker
- 1 Vent Sentinel
- 2 Galvanic Alchemist
- 2 Llanowar Elves
- 2 Vivien's Grizzly
- 3 Drift of Phantasms
- 4 Axebane Guardian
- 4 Crashing Drawbridge
- 4 Overgrown Battlement
- 4 Quirion Ranger
- 4 Saruli Caretaker
- 4 Wall of Roots
- 4 Shield Sphere
- Instants (1)
- 1 Pulse of Murasa
- Lands (12)
- 12 Forest
Much like something like Elves, there's a lot of moving pieces to this deck. In this build, our main win-conditions are the cards Vent Sentinel and Bloodrite Invoker. With lots of defenders on the battlefield, we can generate tons of mana with the likes of Overgrown Battlement and Axebane Guardian. This gets even more shenanigan-y with cards like Galvanic Alchemist, which allows for tons of untapping and goes infinite with Axebane Guardian and four total defenders on the field. You can also use Quirion Ranger for smaller untaps. Both cards don't just work with your mana generators, but can even be used alongside Vent Sentinel to win the game.
The deck is able to function on the back of a couple cards. Over the last few years, we received some sweet new deck filtration cards in Green in the form of Lead the Stampede, Winding Way, and Vivien's Grizzly. All three cards show up here, allowing us to find more walls than ever before. And boy how players have tried. There was even a notable Rags to Riches events held at Mox Boarding House in Seattle within the last year or so that had more copies of Wonderwalls in the event than any other deck. Now though we have more tools than before to find creatures and it allows us to put together our combo pieces with more ease than ever before.
While each of these spells is great, Vivien's Grizzly is the one that can let us run away with the game once we get going. By generating tons of - if not infinite - mana, we can flip through a large chunk of our deck, or even the whole thing. This will allow us the opportunity to find exactly what we need no matter what. The deck also runs copies of Drift of Phantasms to transmute and find some key parts to our combo. It can notably find Axebane Guardian, Galvanic Alchemist, Bloodrite Invoker, Vivien's Grizzly, or even extra copies of Lead the Stampede or Pulse of Murasa should we need them.
In short, the deck has a lot more consistency than it's enjoyed in the past. It does struggle a little in one area, however: the landbase. Yes, you're reading that correctly: there are, in fact, only twelve basic Forests in this list. However, we have a number of ways to easily cast cards on just one land. Heck, we can even cast copies of Shield Sphere for a whole zero mana. From there we have two Llanowar Elves, four Quirion Ranger, and four Saruli Caretaker - all of which can generate us early mana in a similar way to Elves. Once you hit two mana, you can easily run away with things by dropping additional mana sources like Overgrown Battlement and Wall of Roots.
Last but not least is the glue that holds it all together and allows the deck to function better than it has in quite some time: Crashing Drawbridge. When Throne of Eldraine was spoiled, Drawbridge was a card that caught the attention of a lot of players. Never before had we seen a card that could just give everything haste. It seemed very close to being good for something like Elves, but not quite close enough as it requires more setup than Elves usually wants. A number of players pointed to this deck, however. After all, it's a wall itself and best of all it gives everything of yours haste. This means we can go deep into our deck with Lead the Stampede and Winding Way, play everything we drew, and immediately get to use them. That means all our mana creatures go online instantly, as do some of our win-cons like Vent Sentinel.
Speaking of win conditions, there are often times more than just Bloodrite Invoker or Vent Sentinel. It's not uncommon to also see lists drop a bunch of Ulamog's Crushers and the like. Some lists I've seen have also run Mulldrifters and Ulvenwald Captive to not only further the way the deck functions, but also be a way to kill the opposing player.
Some lists have also run Valakut Invoker in the past, much like Elves has, because it seems like a more recent and easily accessible win condition. The difference here is that Bloodrite Invoker is actually better, as it causes a loss of life rather than just dealing damage. Sure you can use the damage Valakut Invoker causes to wipe out problem creatures, but let's be real here: if you're playing either of these, you're playing them to win the game. Bloodrite lets us get around Prismatic Strands, so let's run away with that. It's so good, in fact, that I have to wonder why it was never tried over Valakut Invoker in Elves. Both die to almost every amount of removal in existence, so what's the difference?
The pilot of the list above, Diego_Brando, has also been playing the deck a lot on stream and uploading replays to YouTube. You can find his YouTube videos here, where he's posted a number of pretty great records with the deck, as well as his Twitch where he streams off the wall decks frequently.
It's really cool to see this deck back in action, and it's always fun to see some fresh combo oriented lists popping up once more. I hope this gives you another sweet deck for all those battle boxes out there. Because maybe, this deck's gonna be the one that saves you. At your next event, play these Wonderwalls!
YouTube: Kendra Smith