Dimir Faeries Pauper Deck Tech & Sideboard Guide


Dimir Faeries is one of the oldest decks in Pauper, and while in the past it lost some popularity while Monastery Swiftspear was around, nowadays it is back with a vengeance. Today, I will cover my preferred build, each deck card, and what has worked for me with the deck.

Dimir Faeries Pauper Deck List

How to Play it

Dimir Faeries is a Tempo Pauper deck that relies on cheap creatures to gradually generate a card advantage to disrupt and outvalue your opponents to win you the game eventually. In the next bit, we will discuss the key creatures and their role on the deck.

The Creatures

While the deck has a few creatures, each has its unique role.



In Faerie Seer’s case, its primary role is to be a cheap flier with an excellent enter-the-battlefield ability to let you manipulate the top of your library. Most of the time, especially with hands with tight mana, it can help you dig further to find lands. It also has some good synergies with other cards like Brainstorm that can help you smooth out your draws and essentially always have the correct answer in your hand when needed.

While all that’s cute and all, the most deadly thing about this Faerie is that it lines up perfectly with the Ninja of the Deep Hours, as for only two mana, you can put it into play on turn two if your creature is not blocked, and from there is just a matter of protecting it with counter magic or keep the board clean with removal to seal the deal.

That said, Faerie Seer is not the only creature that plays well with the ninja, as Spellstutter Sprite is another key one in this deck for its ability to counter a spell with a mana value equal to or less than the number of faeries that you control.

Remember that Pauper is a format where cheap spells like Lightning Bolt, Thraben Inspector, and cantrips such as Preordain are some of the most common spells that your opponents may cast and are easy prey for Spellstutter Sprite to counter.

One thing that you may take into account, though, is that opponents can fizzle the faeries ability if they remove it or any other faeries from play, reducing the number you control to less than the spell mana value that you are trying to counter, so be aware of that when playing with, or against the card.

Another helpful thing about it, as you may already have realized, is that you can use ninjutsu on it to return it to hand, and this by itself is a considerable value, one, because you threaten to draw a card, and two, because you essentially return a counterspell to your hand to protect your ninja or just, simply make your opponents scratch their head by countering their next plays.

As a bonus tip, ninjutsu can be stacked as long as the ninja is still in hand, meaning that you can return more than one creature to hand with a single ninjutsu ability. This comes in handy when you want to, let's say, return two Spellstutter Sprite to hand or any mix of other creatures that can provide you an excellent enter-the-battlefield effect.

Sometimes, you can even use ninjutsu at the end of the combat. It is not common, but it's something that may come up from time to time in very narrow scenarios.

Moving on from the shenanigan creatures, the deck runs other powerful ETB effects with cards like Augur of Bolas or Thorn of the Black Rose.

Augur of Bolas is tricky, as its value is reduced the more creatures you add to the deck, leading you to miss your targets frequently. As such, I avoid adding more than your base amount of creatures post-sideboard. Some people want to use cards like Faerie Seer, Brainstorm, or Preordain first to ensure that the Merfolk won’t miss, but there are some key scenarios, especially against aggro decks, where you won’t have time to set up, so please keep that in mind. Of course, it goes without saying that it pairs excellently with Ninja of the Deep Hours for the extra card advantage.

The other card, Thorn of the Black Rose, is a bit different from the rest, as it can give you the Monarch when it enters the battlefield, enabling you to have insane amounts of card advantage if you manage to protect it.

There are a few ways I like to play my monarch:

  • Play it on turn four with no creatures on my opponents' side but me having removal in hand.

  • Play it later in the game with counter or removal backup.

  • Played it after my opponent had resolved their own monarch creature, and I managed to kill it to regain it for myself.

There may be more scenarios where you can also use your monarch, but, for example, playing it with a creature on the other side of the field is very risky if you don’t have removal ready, as they can use one of their own, attack you and steal the monarch.

It Goes without saying that losing the monarch is almost the same as losing the game, and that's why I like to side it out against some aggressive decks like Mono Red, as killing creatures with a Lightning Bolt and resolving a creature with haste is pretty much what the deck does.

On the other hand, resolving the monarch against some other decks, like Familiars or Golgari Gardens, often leads to winning games on the spot, as they may have trouble keeping up with the raw card advantage you may have.

One card may not seem like much, but the compound effect throughout the game is devastating and shouldn't be overlooked.

Last but not least, there are some times when you need a big creature to block your opponent's smaller creatures or just to, you guessed it, win the game, and that is where Gurmag Angler comes at, being a one mana 5/5 most of the time.

Pro-tip: Giving it Lifelink usually means lights out for red decks, but we will discuss that briefly.

Counters and Removal

As it's expected, your plans will not always run smoothly. Your opponents won’t make it easy for you, so often you will have to resort to brute force to assert dominance with your deck, and the way this deck does it is by removing pesky treats with their removal or just stopping your opponent's plans with counter magic.

Aside from Spellstutter Sprite, this deck runs a mix of Counterspell and Spell Pierce.

The first is your straight no against cards that can’t be dealt with removal, such as opposing removal spells or, in some cases, cards with difficult keywords like Protection or Hexproof.

Along the same lines is Spell Pierce, which narrows to only non-creature spells, and your opponents may pay two mana to let their spell happen. Despite these slight disadvantages, the spell itself is powerful, as it can help you win counterwars in tight mana situations and prevent you from getting overrun by other decks, especially if you are on the draw. 

The primary advice I can give you with this one is to play it whenever it feels right early in the game. As the longer games go, the more useless it becomes. For example, against Golgari Gardens, try to use it to counter key setup spells like Ichor Wellspring, as if it takes too long, they will have enough mana to pay the tax.

In contrast, you can bait your opponents into tapping out by casting it. That way, you swing the tempo to your side, and while they are tapped out, you can resolve spells accordingly to get a better board position.

In terms of removals, this deck runs a good mix of them, with Cast Down and Snuff Out being the main ones against most decks. The latter protects you even if you are tapped out against non-black creatures.

The other ones, like Chainer’s Edict and Agony Warp, are meta calls against some creatures like the ones with Hexproof or Ward, in the former’s case, and the latter as a flexible removal that can deal with Guardian of the Guildpact and some random Indestructible creatures that you may eventually find.

Other Key Cards

Lórien Revealed is the newest and most powerful addition to this deck, as it excels when playing along cards like Brainstorm, but more importantly, it can fix your mana for just one mana.

In later portions of the game, it's also strong at giving you a huge boost in card advantage, something that improves grindy matchups like Boros Synthesizer or Golgari Gardens.

The Mana Base

There is not much to be said about this manabase, as there aren’t many options, but the most notable cards are Contaminated Aquifer and Obscura Storefront.

Contaminated Aquifer plays somewhat of a critical role as it's a dual land with both swamp and island types, meaning that it can be searched with Lórien Revealed to fix your mana in a pinch.

Obscura Storefront, on the other hand, is an upgrade to Evolving Wilds as it gives you a life point, with the minor drawback that you can’t crack it at will, so you will have to time it right when paired with cards like Faerie Seer, Preordain, and, you guess it right, Brainstorm.

How to Mulligan with Dimir Faeries

Some hands are no-brainers, like one with no lands or where you have one land and no way to search for a second way other than praying.

Here are some hand examples and my thoughts on them.

It's not the perfect hand, as I would have loved to have a removal, but either on the play or on the draw, this card is very good at crafting the initial turns of the game.

This is a hand I would keep on the play and on the draw against an unknown opponent.

However, against the likes of Burn, I consider mulligan as it may be too slow to set up. Still, against the rest of the meta, it's a reasonable keep.

This, I would keep on the play and mull on the draw. The problem is that it's too slow, and you are somewhat flooded with only three spells to cast. However, against slower decks like Tron, is a fine keep. 

This is a hard hand to keep, but what saves it is both the dual land and the faerie seer. I say the dual land plays a huge role as it enables Snuff Out. If I were on the draw, chances of keeping this hand would rise.

Now, this is a hand I will 100% mull most of the time, as it virtually has five lands and only two narrow weak spells.

On this hand, I would keep either on the play or the draw. Any land makes it exponentially better, but it has the tool to craft your game and board position even without it.

How to Sideboard with Dimir Faeries

The sideboard, as always, is expected to be used depending on how your meta looks and how you feel about playing certain cards. Here is MY thought process and what has worked for me.

Blue Elemental Blast / Hydroblast

At this point, it is pretty much intuitive against which deck these cards come in: Burn.

However, a couple of copies can be sided in and out against other decks using red, such as Boros Synthesizer, Grixis Affinity (getting rid of Makeshift Munitions is key), and Jeskai Ephemerate against others.

Chainer's Edict

Some decks like Boggles and Dimir Terror may prove to be difficult if you don't add some copies of this card to the deck; otherwise, their creatures can’t get killed. Plus, you need options to remove dead removal from your main deck.

Dispel

Against other blue decks, Dispel shines whether or not you are running one or two copies, and in some cases, even replacing the Spell Pierce with these might be a good idea, especially if you know the games are going to get dragged a lot.

Peppersmoke

I like this card as it's cute to get rid of an opposing Faerie and draw a card out of it. Also, it can catch some random one ones that have become popular in recent times, such as Sacred Cat or Gingerbrute.

Relic of Progenitus

By far, this is the best card to have against graveyard decks, and in recent times, is a good idea to not leave the house without at least one in your sideboard.

Suffocating Fumes

Good against Faeries, Kuldotha decks, elves, and even Bogles (before they set up).

Thorn of the Black Rose

While you already have two copies on the deck against some grinder matches like Golgari Gardens, Jeskai Ephemerate, and Boros Synthesizer, running one more of these cards that generate progressive card advantage is always a good idea.


If you want a more in-depth sideboard guide, look at my free sideboard guides on Ko-Fi. 

How to Play vs. Dimir Faeries

Beating Dimir Faeries is a challenging feat but something that can be done when you know your matchup. Red decks with well-timed cards, such as Lava Dart, may prove to give the faeries a challenge, as casting the spell for “free” to disrupt their Spellstutter Sprite triggers is devastating.

The mirror match is complex, and overall it will take a bit to explain it in depth. However, try to play your cards only when necessary, and avoid tapping out when they are about to hit four mana.

Playing Spellstutter Sprites at the end of their turn may bait counter or removal, and trust me, baiting a counter is critical in the mirror.

Other decks that can be difficult are the top tiers, such as Affinity or Caw Gates. The former is because it can have insane aggressive starts leading to multiple Frogmites and Myr Enforcer in a row, and while Faeries is good at handling threats, it's challenging to do so all in the same turn.

Caw Gates may be difficult if Sacred Cats start taking over with the Basilisk Gates, and Prismatic Strands are often annoying, primarily because they prevent the damage, making your Ninjas unable to trigger.

Of course, other decks can beat it, like Golgari Gardens, as it's very easy to outgrind the faeries with your removal, and of course, a resolved Monarch or Initiative is almost lights out.

Other Cards You Should Try

While the list I gave you is solid, there is room for cards to try. Here you will find which other Pauper staples you can add for different metas and matchups.

Bojuka Bog

With the recent rise in popularity of decks that abuse graveyards, particularly Dredge ones using Lotleth Giant, Bojuka Bog can help you more than once to battle those decks. Incidentally, it's also a niche option against Dimir Terror decks to slow them down.

Murmuring Mystic

Some people may want to run a single copy of Murmuring Mystic in their 75, and with excellent reason, as it's a mirror breaker when resolved and protected. 

Stormbound Geist

Speaking about mirror matches, this is another fine addition. In the past, with faeries dominance, this was a must-have card, and since Dimir Faeries is looking strong in the current meta, it only makes sense to run a couple of these.

Okiba-Gang Shinobi

Against some midrange decks and, again, against the mirror, Okiba-Gang Shinobi is a great alternative to punish your opponent. Slower decks may also suffer from this, as the likes of Tron are somewhat slow already, and dealing with their hand is deadly.

Echoing Decay

Echoing Decay can become handy, especially against token decks (as they share the same name), and it's also very good against Squadron Hawks.

Unexpected Fangs

Against aggressive decks, especially Burn, putting lifelink and a counter to a Gurmag Angler is close to sealing the game. However, on many occasions, I’ve also used it on a single Augur of Bolas, to start gaining life early in the game, and the counter makes it survive a Lightning Bolt.

Arms of Hadar

If your meta is filled with aggro decks that tend to run somewhat bigger threats other than 1/1’s (namely Elves or Slivers), you may consider packing at least a copy of this card in your 75.

Gameplay

Also, here are some videos of me playing the deck that can help you understand its basics and feel.

Wrap Up

I know it’s been a lot, but I tried to emphasize what has worked for me, as this may not be a deck I run a lot, but certainly one I can always expect to get good results with If I play it in any tournament environment.

Thanks for reading up until now, and I really hope this deck coverage was helpful for you.

If you liked this content and want to see more, check out my other related blog posts, and follow me on YouTube and social media.

Take care, and I will see you in my next article.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Pauper Meta Report - Pauper is about to Change NOT because of WOE

Pauper Meta Report - TOP Decks of 2024 so Far

Pauper Deck Tech & Sideboard Guide - Caw Gates