In the ReCycling Bin, I take a look at theorycrafted decks that never got their time to shine. This time we’re looking at an all-Common commodity I’ve dubbed In Sickness And In Health, a Pauper deck designed to frustrate opponents and slam as many enchantments as possible.
Why’d I Build It?: I really wanted to abuse Protective Sphere.
Pauper is a deep format that contains a lot of silly cards. Back in the day, Wizards printed nearly all effects at Common, including stuff like Protective Sphere and Pestilence.
I mention those two cards specifically not only because they’re in this deck, but because old enchantments often had the best chance of being silly. Enchantments are typically hard to remove, and they provide potent, lasting effects on the game. For example, back in the day Wizards was much more apt to print enchantments that hated on one specific color or style of play. In most decks, Protective Sphere would protect you from one, maybe two colors. But if your opponent wasn’t playing those colors, you’d lose.
But what if we created a deck that could easily make mana of any color? That might take this silly Sphere of ours and turn it into something serious…
What Was the Deck Supposed to Do?: In Sickness And In Health is an enchantment control deck, designed to lock the opponent out of the game by removing their creatures and preventing any other attempts at damaging us. Journey to Nowhere, Pestilence, and Recumbent Bliss stop opponents’ creatures, while Protective Sphere shields us against burn spells or any other funny business thrown our way.
But how do we actually make the correct colors to stop our opponents? Enter the color-fixers:
Thanks to these Green enchantments, we can not only make any color of mana for Protective Sphere, but we can also play a mana base that’s almost entirely Forests! Late in the game, you can even stick an Abundant Growth on a Terramorphic Expanse or Evolving Wilds to turn the Common fetchlands into rainbow lands.
Now that we know how to cast our spells and actually use our Protective Spheres and Pestilences to lock the opponent out, how do we plan to win? There are a couple options. The first is to cast the deck’s only creature, Grim Guardian, and use his Constellation ability to drain your opponent from 20 life to 0.
If that’s too slow for you, you can also just use Pestilence to finish your opponent off. Just remember to activate Protective Sphere first and name your own Pestilence, so you can fire off the plague at your opponent with impunity.
Why’d It Never See Play?: As I’ve said before, no one plays paper Pauper. I built this deck hoping my playgroup would get together for a second paper Pauper tournament, but we never did. And since I’ve now moved to the distant land of California, my Pauper days seem even further behind me.
But hopefully you’ll find a reason to bust out this sweet deck, so that someone will have actually played a match with it. If you do, drop me a comment below, including any suggestions you have! I’d love to hear how In Sickness And In Health performed for you.