Back in November 2018, almost a whole year ago, I wrote an article talking about how the longtime Pauper favorite Mono-Green Stompy had fallen out of favor. In the article, titled "Bringing Back Pauper Stompy," I made the argument that Stompy was due for a comeback. The deck felt like it was on a path to handling the best decks of the time and was a sort of underdog. Obviously we now know that this didn't necessarily happen and in fact things got so rough that cards were banned.
Now, though, in the face of a Jeskai dominant (and growing) metagame, Stompy has actually emerged once more as a major contender on the field. Jeskai, while strong and arguably the best deck in the whole format right now, is also very slow. Because of just how fast Stompy can execute its game plan, it can go under the deck in no time at all. We've also seen a bit of a downturn in cards that have been historically problematic for Stompy, such as Augur of Bolas and Prismatic Strands.
The deck also wants to thank this card in particular:
Up until now, Stompy largely relied on the card Epic Confrontation for its removal package. Even then, most lists only ran one in the main deck at most, with more in the sideboard. Instead, lists focused much more heavily on just trying to race your opponent and take them out before they could drop any problematic creatures. When Savage Swipe was printed in June, however, that all changed for the better. Now not only do you have a solid way to effectively take out opponents' creatures for an affordable rate, but you also can pump your creatures in the process as well!
That sweet new piece of tech aside, not much has really changed when it comes to Stompy. Your packages are still quite the same between your creatures and your pump spells. The only real change I feel like I've been seeing is that the lists have completely eschewed the traditional few copies of Silhana Ledgewalker in favor of going up to the full playset of River Boas to help combat decks like Jeskai that much better.
Here's a list from _Dissonance_, one of the best Stompy players in the whole Pauper format:
Stompy | Pauper | _Dissonance_, MTGO Pauper Challenge 9th Place
- Creatures (25)
- 3 Quirion Ranger
- 3 Skarrgan Pit-Skulk
- 4 Burning-Tree Emissary
- 4 Nest Invader
- 4 Nettle Sentinel
- 4 River Boa
- 3 Vault Skirge
- Lands (17)
- 17 Forest
_Dissonance_ is known for being a player who puts up pretty consistent results. If you go and look them up online, you'll notice they regularly reach close to the top during Pauper Challenges on Magic Online and almost always using Stompy. Lately their lists have looked pretty similar to, if not identical to, the list above. Week after week, they still continue to crush it.
If you're unfamiliar with the deck, let me give you a bit of a refresher. On a base level, Stompy is one of Pauper's easiest decks to pick up and play with. I even mentioned it in my article last week for beginners to the format, citing both this as well as the fact that you can grind events quickly with it. Your basic plan is to spit out creatures as quickly as possible, pump them up, and swing. That's it. No real frills or anything like that.
There are a few fancy plays that the deck can make, such as using Vines of Vastwood on an opponent's creature to stop them from getting value. A lot of players might also miss opportunities to untap creatures for blocking with Quirion Ranger. Sometimes it can even come down to which creature is best to enchant with an aura or where you should put Hunger of the Howlpack counters. A lot of these plays actually make Stompy quite a difficult deck to master, despite being easy to pick up, making it an incredibly rewarding choice for those who decide to pick it up.
I played Stompy a bit myself in the past week as I began to stream again. I was mostly running the same list as _Dissonance_ but missed the fact that they had switched to River Boas and was thus running a less effective build. Still, in the first stream (which you can find a VOD of here, along with an Affinity run) I managed a 4-1 finish, with my only loss being to a risky line against Burn. It felt great all the way through, though, so I ran it back the night after and ended up with a not so great finish due largely to running into some much more difficult matchups. You can find that replay here.
It's great to see Stompy as one of the format's best decks once again. No matter what happens as the format and its metagame continues to evolve, I hope that it continues to stay near the top. Stompy's one of my favorite decks in the format and I'm excited to play it more and more in the coming weeks.