Tuesday Night Takeover

Ana Battlemage Bounce Control Pauper EDH

“Better a few perish than the entire world.”

Art:Ana Battlemage by Jim Nelson

Ana Battlemage is a very fun Sultai that lets us play a bizarre hybrid control deck that focuses on bouncing creatures on our side and our opponent’s side, as well as the common control elements you can find in any control deck. Sultai also leans itself into being some of the best colors for control because all three colors provide a strong and unique element that makes the deck work. I have been having an absolute blast with this one and am very excited to share this one with you all today. Without further adieu, let’s get it!

The Deck:

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Ana Battlemage Bounce Control Pauper EDH!

Commander (1)
Ana Battlemage

Creatures (17)
Spore Frog
Burglar Rat
Cavern Harpy
Elderfang Disciple
Seeker of Skybreak
Aether Adept
Crypt Rats
Invasive Species
Azure Fleet Admiral
Keymaster Rogue
Storm Sculptor
Entourage of Trest
Ambush Krotiq
Eldrazi Devastator
Ulamog’s Crusher
Walker of the Grove

Instants (16)
Applied Biomancy
Banishing Knack
Cast Down
Crypt Incursion
Doom Blade
Essence Scatter
Eureka Moment
Go for the Throat
Moment’s Peace
Run Away Together
Snuff Out
Spell Pierce

Sorceries (18)
Atraxa’s Fall
Broken Bond
Chainer’s Edict
Deep Analysis
Evincar’s Justice
Gaze of Pain
Gleeful Sabotage
Hymn to Tourach
Hypnotic Cloud
Join the Maestros
Kodama’s Reach
Mind Rot
Secrets of the Golden City

Artifacts (7)
Necrogen Spellbomb
Arcane Signet
Dimir Signet
Golgari Signet
Bonder’s Ornament
Dimir Locket
Golgari Locket

Enchantments (6)
Abundant Growth
Utopia Sprawl
Wild Growth
Banewasp Affliction
Trespasser’s Curse
Lands (35)
Bojuka Bog
Command Tower
Contaminated Aquifer
Evolving Wilds
Mortuary Mire
Mystic Sanctuary
Tangled Islet
Terramorphic Expanse
The Dross Pits
The Hunter Maze
The Surgical Bay

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Why Ana Battlemage?

Ana Battlemage is a huge part of our deck as they have key abilities that may be a little expensive but can be used heavily in the late game. Ana Battlemage’s first ability allows us to force our opponent to discard three, which can be devastating against any strategy, but especially decks like aggro that don’t draw cards very well. Ana Battlemage’s second ability is a damage machine that allows us to tap down a creature and do a ton of damage. Combine this with mana ramp and a game that we force to go long and bounce effects, and we can cast and kick Ana Battlemage an absolute ton.

Deck Overview:

This section contains information about cards in the deck and how they function within the deck! I also highlighted some of my favorite cards in the deck!


A lot of our creatures are used to bounce Ana Battlemage, with some of the best being Invasive Species, Man-o'-War, and Storm Sculptor which is also a great attacker. Keymaster Rogue, is another great unblockable creature that can help us chip in some damage every turn. We also have some strong creatures that make our opponents discard, like Burglar Rat and Elderfang Disciple. We also have some great late-game creatures like Ulamog's Crusher, Eldrazi Devastator, and Walker of the Grove, which is great with all of the bounce effects in the deck. Crypt Rats can be a great board wipe for the deck, or if an opponent is low enough can even be a kill spell.


Let’s get into the bounce part of our control deck with sweet cards like Banishing Knack, Run Away Together, and Applied Biomancy which are all great ways to bounce our own stuff if needed and more importantly bounce our opponent’s stuff. We also have some good counterspells like the namesake Counterspell, Essence Scatter and Foil which are all great ways to stop opponents threats. If our opponent’s threats resolve, we also have some great removal like Snuff Out, Cast Down, and Doom Blade, which are all cheap and can take down a variety of threats.


To start off, we have one of the only board wipes in the format in Evincar's Justice, which, depending on how much mana we have, we can keep buying it back. We have some strong sorcery speed discard like Hymn to Tourach and Hypnotic Cloud, which are great ways to empty our opponent’s hands. We are in Sultai, so we have access to some strong ramp spells like Cultivate, Kodama's Reach, and Farseek, which help us get ahead on mana and establish all of our colors. We also have some strong supplemental card draw like Ponder, Preordain, and Secrets of the Golden City, which are great ways to refill our hand and keep the control going.


Necrogen Spellbomb is a very cheap artifact that gives us discard and card draw for only a couple of mana. Beyond that, our artifact package is solely mana rocks which gives us an easy way to get ahead on mana and cast our commander early or keep on casting and controlling the board. Some of my favorites are Bonder's Ornament and both lockets since they give us easy card draw.


To start off, we have Abundant Growth, Utopia Sprawl, and Wild Growth, which are all cheap great ways to ramp a ton, and they also help with getting all of our colors established. Trespasser's Curse is a great card to passively damage any creature deck at the table and can be bounced and put on another player as needed. Oubliette is one of the best removal spells in the pauper format, and the same is true in this deck. Banewasp Affliction is another great way to deal damage to opponents, especially when they pull out a huge threat. This also works great in conjunction with the removal spells we run in the deck.

Land Base:

We have a pretty simple landbase even though we are a three-color deck, we have some strong utility lands like Mortuary Mire, which can be great for recursion as well as Mystic Sanctuary which can be great to get some bounce effects back. We also have some strong supplemental card draw, which can be great at any stage of the game and is just strong overall; my two personal favorites are The Surgical Bay and The Dross Pits. We also have some strong dual lands like Tangled Islet and Contaminated Aquifer. I have been having a lot of success with this landbase and found it to be strong, efficient, and easy to establish all of our colors.

Strengths of the Deck:

  • We have a ton of bounce effects, which are a great way to re-do our commander’s ability; in addition, we can bounce opponents’ creatures and subsequently force them to discard, which can be a strong way to remove opponents’ threats.
  • While we may be weak in the early game, we typically dominate and control the mid-late game, which, against many strategies, can be very effective.
  • We have a low number of creatures, but all of them further the gameplan, like unblockable creatures for chip damage, some cards that force opponents to discard, and some huge end-game finishers; even with a low creature count, they can all have a major impact on the game.

Weaknesses of the Deck:

  • We can be a little slow in the early game, which leads us to take some extra damage from aggressive or any creature-based strategy.
  • We are decently weak to creature hate, especially exile effects. This is because we only have a limited amount of endgame finishers, especially if we are trying to win through combat.
  • Our commander is strong but extremely expensive so we may not see a huge impact from them until the late game.

Deck Stats:

Sample Hands:

Main Win Conditions:

There are no infinite combos or loops within the deck. We typically win by using the damage off of Ana Battlemages ability, or in the end-game, we have strong creatures like Ulamog's Crusher and Eldrazi Devastator which can end the game in just a few turns. We don’t attack a ton of until we have our bigger and badder creatures out but we do have a few cards within the deck that can passively damage our opponents as well as our commander can be a strong but expensive source of damage.


Control is not an archetype I typically play, but I have been having a blast with this one because it feels more like a fun Sultai deck instead of the typical control gameplay, even though it does maintain some of those elements. This one is a little bizarre and unorthodox but still a ton of fun and, for me, just speaks to the wide range of awesome strategies available in PDH! Thanks for reading to the end and for all of your support!