MTG – Mono Black Ponza, The $20 Pauper Land Destruction Deck for Magic: The Gathering


Are you looking for a deck that’s cruel mean-spirited and rotten to the core Are you a sick individual who only has fun playing magic if you can make your opponent miserable? Do you have a cold black heart that only pumps out a slick Pestilent bile? Well then have I got a deck for you: mono-black Ponza the pauper land destruction tech that lets you wreck the heck out of your opponent’s deck! Mono-black Ponza takes one of if not the most unfun things in Magic: the ability to destroy your opponent’s lands; and runs wild with it, throwing in cruel removal and chittering rats to essentially lock your opponent out from, well, doing anything the deck is super competitive, highly versatile, and best of all it only costs about twenty dollars to build. Its pauper So no card here will ever rotate out! That twenty dollars gets you a deck for life Although, fair warning: once your friends realize you’re on land destruction They may just tell you to get a life or a new set of friends… fun! Let’s take a look; watch out because this deck runs a horrifying common land destruction package Icequake, Choking Sands, Rancid Earth and Befoul! Ice quake will make your opponents shake and quake in both fear and anger; a black stone rain for two black and one of any color, ice quake is a sorcery that destroys target land. If that land is a snow land, it deals one damage to that lands controller. We run a full play set and wow at only 40 cents each, evil is cheap. Rancid earth is truly rancid, as this card is another for two black and one of any color that destroys target land But if you have threshold (i.e. 7 or more cards in your graveyard) then rancid earth also deals one damage to each creature in each player as you’ll see in a moment we dump a lot of spells into our graveyard fast So having threshold online early is highly likely and hey, this card is a mere 18 cents each. But first choking sands will make your friends want to choke you… where for, you guessed it, two black in one of any color You destroy target non- Swamp land if that land was non-basic Choking sands deals two damage to that lands controller. Given how many non basics are running pauper these days It’s highly likely you’ll be able to shock your opponents with this. Great value, although it doesn’t come cheap. choking sands is one the more expensive cards in this deck at a full $1 each. Next up in our land destruction package is Befoul a truly foul sorcery for two black and two of any color Befoul destroys target land or target non-black creature it can’t be regenerated a little more costly than our other land destruction but worth it for the creature removal option and Thankfully the card itself is only 11 cents each. On top of all of this We run a full playset of dark rituals Which lets us cast Icequake, Rancid Earth, Choking Sands all on turn 1 if we have it. We also get some early acceleration from the playset of Peat Bogs that the deck runs. Thanks to its reprint and masters 25 dark ritual’s only a quarter and Peat Bog, though never reprinted, is a mere 30 cents each. This deck is also a mini card draw engine It’s black being black: trading life for spells in the form of both Sign in Blood and Night’s Whisper. Night’s Whisper’s a bit more costly at 79 cents each, but Sign in Blood makes up for it by only costing 15 cents. Love those pauper prices on pauper power! We also run two Dusk Legion Zealots, a pair of 10-cent cards that draws a card, costs us a life, and gives us a chump blocker, but our real card draw power lies in pauper Dark Confidant. Oh, yeah It’s pauper Bob! Pauper Bob! Pauper Bob! Thorn of the Black Rose a 1/3 deathtouch for one black and three of any color that makes us the Monarch meaning that at the beginning of your end step you draw a card. Yeah, they can take the crown from you… But I’d like to see them try with no mana and our creature removal package- namely Diabolic Edict and Snuff Out. Snuff Out is a fun one, sure, costs three and a black but if you want you can pay four life and cast it without paying its mana cost, destroying target non-black creatures at instant speed- a fantastic trick if you really want to. The one and only place in this entire deck an upgrade is possible is on these Edicts as they can be upgraded for Chainer’s Edict, but considering that Chainer’s Edicts are $10 each right now -Holy wow!- and all you really gain from them is an extremely high costed flashback, something that proper mono black control needs but not necessarily our deck. In fact, I doubt you’d use that flashback often or at all and thus you can stick with the more affordable Diabolic Edicts at 25 cents each. The deck wins one of two ways: Most likely your opponents will flip the table, concede, and quit magic forever. But in some cases you need to delve deep for Gurmag Angler, the 5/5 beat stick for six and one black we often get to delve deep enough to get this out for very, very little, mana. In addition to the Peat Bogs the deck runs a pair of Radiant Fountains for a little life game bump, a Barren Moor, and lucky evil number thirteen of Swamps. Our sideboard is as always flexible depending on meta, but some must-includes are the other pair of Befoul, for when you need to swap out for more land destruction, as well as our remaining Diabolic Edicts and a pair of Doom Blades for when you really need to lean hard into removal. A playset of the Qu-Quambaj buh-qumba… Th-those witches! You know, the witches… makes for great blockers and the ability to pick off pesky one toughness creatures from Delver to elves. For tokens and other creature-heavy decks a Nausea comes in handy as does Pestilence for keeping that board clean and clear. Finally, I always like to include a Tendrils of Corruption, which for three and one black of any color deals X damage to target creature And you gain X life, where X is the number of swamps you control. Hey, it’s true that little agonies pave the way to greater power. *EXPLOSIONS* That’s when your opponents, while the Earth shakes and their animals are swallowed up by the ground, perhaps they will think twice before attacking again. Shut them up and shut them out forever with mono-black Ponza for pauper. $20 to have a deck this evil forever shouldn’t be so easy to acquire but if there’s such a thing as too much power I have not discovered it – now neither have you! I hope very much this video has been of some help to you. What deck would you like to see a tech on next? Let me know in the comments below. And this video is brought to you by my and many other people’s local game store: Card Kingdom, a brick and mortar pillar of this community as well as the Patreon support of Viewers such as you. These are the people that keep Tolarian Community College going and growing strong. So, thank you!

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100 thoughts on “MTG – Mono Black Ponza, The $20 Pauper Land Destruction Deck for Magic: The Gathering

  1. Love the deck! But I think you're gonna have a bad time against other Black decks as all the kill spells are against nonblacks!

  2. I think the better upgrade to Diabolic Edict would be Geth's Verdict. You basically get the exact same effect as Edict (At instant speed still) while also pinging for 1. The price of 1 Chainers would get you an entire playset easy (Though it is nothing close to being as cheap as Diabolic).

  3. Love LD. Its better than getting blue white controled. The brutality of just out right stoping them from playing spells is better than the illusion of letting them attempt to play spells and fail.

  4. Don't you mean a pair of Chainer's Edicts rather than Diabolic Edicts in the SB since there's already a full playset in the main? Also, a full playset of Doom Blades in the SB?

  5. interesting idea, but seems like this deck would get stomped by a lot that's already in the meta. Imagine spending 2 cards (dark ritual + one of the 3 mana destroy land sorceries) only to have any blue deck simply counterspell you. Thorn of the Black Rose seems pretty bad at 4 mana because it dies to lightning bolt which is a 4 of in a large percentage of the decks you'll encounter in pauper tournaments

  6. imagine paying 4 life for snuff out (or even worse, using 4 mana to cast it) only to have it dispelled. i just feel like this deck will get stomped by non-urza tron decks

  7. If it is a Mono Black why don't to add Geth's Verdict instead of Diabolic Edict? Same efect plus dealing 1 damage to our opponent with same CMC.

  8. I first played against this deck on MTGO a few months ago and my opponent was consistently able to rip off a land destruction spell every turn for the first eight turns. After that point I stopped being able to hit land drops every turn and it was all over. I was playing kuldotha boros and didn't even get a chance to cast a single spell. I think that was the last pauper league I played in, so this deck (along with delver being 40% of the meta) really did a good job of keeping me away from the format.

  9. I’m pretty sure I have 99% of this at home! Looks like this is gonna be built for our next FNM Championship Series Pauper event 🙂

    Thanks for being kind enough to take a pic at SCGCON with me sir, keep up the great work/content! Your review led me to the outer sleeves I use for my sleeves

  10. You are truly an awesome person! Thank you for making that personal video, it touched my heart and I bawled like a baby lol hoping to see you at the next event!!!! Stay awesome! <3

  11. I run a BR Ponza, massive fun to pilot. Plus it gives me a way to remove the bane of Pauper, Guardian of the Guildpact.

  12. Prof, I made your BG delver pauper deck, never used it once since there isn't many pauper events in my country. Bought 2 chainer' edict at the time, planing to sell them now and upgrade my Alesha edh deck (thanks to you too)

  13. Hey Prof! I'm a huge Jace fan, could you perhaps make one of your signature review videos, about the upcoming Jace masterpiece boosters?

  14. Hey we're supposed to be attracting people to play Pauper, not creating reasons to chase them away from it.

  15. Professor, Please add "buy it from card kingdom" links to your pauper decks. It would be a great way to support you and the channel.

  16. I think you prefer paper pauper but considering how popular the format is on MTGO, it couldn't hurt to put the TIX price on the cards too when you put the price graphics on there. Even if you don't mention it in your script, it would be useful info to MTGO players who are thinking of buying this deck to know what the cards will cost them as well during the video without pausing it and looking up prices every 15 seconds haha. Thanks for the great content as always Prof, keep it up!

  17. I had enough with delver at SCGCON during classic and challenge…and then there's this. I'm about to flip the table. AGAIN

  18. So I'm a few days late but a suggestion I have to make after some pauper I played between draft rounds tonight: jund reanimator. Probably one of the decks I've been most surprised to run into in the format (and with the diversity of this format that's saying a lot). It was a wonderful deck, super challenging to beat, and I'd love to see your take on it.

  19. Your theme music always reminds me of hitchhikers guide to the galaxy stuff. Classic, nerdy and enjoyable

  20. I may or may not have fished out 11 near identical basic swamps then one full art and two white borders to fit the theme of the deck

  21. I put this deck together, and finally after 4 weeks of being stomped and pushed around by tron, I brutally and mercilessly kicked it’s ass 3/3 games. Tron now holds now chance

  22. Just curious but why do you run edict instead of Geth's verdict. Also not going to mention sinkhole? it was a common in unlimited lol (not budget but funny to say)

  23. Wouldn't you wanna use geths verdict over diabolic edict? They have the same effect and cost but geths also pings the opponent for 1, just figured id mention it.

  24. Hey im sure you probably mentioned it and maybe i didnt see the comment but the describion deck list is different from the video.

  25. Playing this deck gave me a new appreciation for decks like Ponza in terms of what makes land destruction unfun. Ponza is "a land destruction deck", but it's not solely looking to prevent the opponent play Magic – it's a ramp deck which uses mana denial to throw off the opponent's sequencing long enough to cast something big and game-ending for full price. This deck just wants you to sit there and prevent your opponent from playing Magic until either you land a discounted Gurmag Angler or they scoop in frustration.

  26. I´ve been threatened 3-4 times already while playing this deck… if I can put my 2 cents, I´ll shift Thorn of the Black Rose with Giant Scorpion/Deathgaze Cockatrice … cheaper 🙂
    And Peat Bog with Sunscoarched Desert

  27. Thanks for the Awesome list! Went 7-1-1 at GP Stockholm with this list this weekend (side-events). Earning me 800 tx (80 boosters in prizes).
    Only change I made was swap 1 Swamp for another Barren Moor.
    And none of my opponents were smiling! Love it! X-D

  28. No wonder WotC are not supporting paper pauper, there’s no money in it for them. They printed these commons mostly as scrap/junk cards and now they’re their own format.

  29. If anyone is still watching this video, I just made this deck for like $15, prices are pretty low.

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