Tuesday Night Takeover

Coral Colony Defenders Pauper EDH

“Imprisoned no longer!”

Art:Coral Colony by Campbell White

Coral Colony is another one of the commanders in the format that just doesn’t get enough love, and they should; there is no doubt that this is not the best deck in the format or anything like that, but it is fun, flavorful and a different take on Pauper EDH, showing up to a table full of high-block defenders is quite fun, and if you never played a deck focusing on defenders it certainly alters your perception of how magic is, and it’s just overall a ton of fun, while my win percentage isn’t extremely high this deck is quite cheap to put together and is a blast to play, if you are playing at a table full of creature decks I think you will love this one. Without further adieu, let’s get it!

The Deck:

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Coral Colony Defenders!

Commander (1)
Coral Colony

Creatures (34)
Shield Sphere
Drowner Initiate
Excavated Wall
Jace’s Phantasm
Secret Door
Steel Wall
Backstreet Bruiser
Coastal Bulwark
Consulate Skygate
Crashing Drawbridge
Gleaming Barrier
Minamo Scrollkeeper
Moat Piranhas
Murmuring Phantasm
Riptide Turtle
Academy Wall
Coral Barrier
Drift of Phantasms
Glacial Wall
Guardians of Meletis
Monastery Flock
One-Eyed Scarecrow
Reinforced Bulwark
Sage’s Row Denizen
Skyclave Sentinel
Vizier of Tumbling Sands
Clinging Anemones
Nivix Barrier
Shield-Wall Sentinel
Mnemonic Wall
Tidewater Minion
Dirgur Nemesis

Instant (12)
Arcane Denial
Behold the Multiverse
Dampen Thought
Didn’t Say Please
Dive Down
Dream’s Grip
Shore Up
Thought Collapse
Tidal Bore

Sorceries (8)
Compelling Argument
Lórien Revealed
Mind Sculpt
Stream of Thought
Tome Scour

Artifacts (3)
Arcane Signet
Mind Stone
Sky Diamond

Enchantments (7)
Witness Protection
Alexi’s Cloak
Jace’s Erasure
Kasmina’s Transmutation
Stasis Field
Deep Freeze
Freed from the Real
Lands (35)
Desert of the Mindful
Evolving Wilds
Halimar Depths
26 Island
Lonely Sandbar
Mystic Sanctuary
Remote Isle
Skyline Cascade
Terramorphic Expanse
The Surgical Bay

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Why Coral Colony?

Coral Colony is a huge part of our deck and is the most important card by far. It allows our deck to function beyond blocking and is the primary way we win the game. If we have leftover mana or any opportunity to activate Coral Colony, we absolutely should. I typically use all of our counterspells to protect Coral Colony; it is the core of our game plan.

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!


While our creature package focuses nearly entirely on walls, we do actually have a couple of non-wall creatures like Mulldrifter, which is a great source of card draw and is quite strong whether we evoke it or hard-cast it. Jace's Phantasm is by far the best non-wall we have, and it is quite aggressive, but we still mostly use it to block. Drift of Phantasms is a pretty strong blocker for the deck, and we can transmute it for a three-mana wall, or typically, we use it to grab a counterspell. Doorkeeper is the best card in our deck. It is essentially a second copy of our commander, and hey, More Mill is always amazing; speaking of More Mill, we also have Drowner Initiate, which is an absolute machine in the late-game and can provide a ton of extra mill and help a ton to accelerate our gameplan. Excavated Wall is technically an additional source of mill for us but we almost never activate this as there are better places to spend our mana. One of my favorite creatures in the deck is One-Eyed Scarecrow which is very good against decks with flying, overall we are not great at blocking flying creatures so getting the debuff on them certainly helps. A lot of our defenders are nothing more than a pile of defensive stats and just aren’t that impressive, but they all have the benefit of being very strong blockers and allows us to be quite well-positioned against creature decks.


We have some classic counterspells like Counterspell and Arcane Denial but we also have some more gameplan-focused counterspells like Countermand and Didn't Say Please which are a little more expensive but the value of the mill we get with them cannot be understated. By the time we are beginning to counter our opponent’s spells and permanents, we typically have more than enough mana to cast these spells. On the opposite side, we also have some cheap protection for ourselves like Shore Up and Dive Down, which are both very cheap and amazing ways to protect our commander from all of the single-target removals they almost always get targeted with. Speaking of our commander, they are naturally a huge part of our deck, so being able to untap them for free or cheap can help us activate them multiple times in a turn and keep the mill plan going. Tidal Bore is one of my favorites because we can untap our commander for free; I have also had situations where I used it to tap down an opponent’s huge creature before they went to combat. Dream's Grip and Twitch do cost mana but are decently cheap, and Twitch even gives us a card!


Compelling Argument is a very strong mill spell, and as needed, we can cycle it for cheap and get some additional card draw, which is always quite strong. Dreadwaters is a card that gets better and better as the game goes on, and in the late-game, we can easily make our opponents mill ten to twelve cards, and in my testing, I was able to close out games with this amazing card, while four mana is kind of a lot when we end up casting this it is next to nothing. Stream of Thought is another card that we love to cast in the late-game; being able to replicate it two or three times is quite strong and can put quite a dent in our opponents libraries. We are in mono-blue, so we, of course, have some supplemental card draws like Ponder, Preordain, and Lórien Revealed, which help us keep our hand stocked-up and ready to protect ourselves or stop our opponents.


We play almost no artifacts within the deck; while we do have a few, they are all mana rocks and mostly serve the purpose of having extra mana to keep up counterspells or get an additional activation on our opponents.


Alexi's Cloak is the premier way that we protect Coral Colony and is one of the best ways to keep our commander on the board throughout the game. Having flash on this is super nice because we can go into our opponent’s turns ready to protect if they try to take out our commander. Another enchantment we love to put on our commander is Freed from the Real. While your opponents may think you are doing some combo shenanigans when they see this, in reality, we are just using it as a cheap way to untap our commander and mill out our opponents even quicker. Our enchantment package also has quite a few ways to take out key creatures or commanders from our opponents, there is nothing better than using a Witness Protection or Stasis Field on something like a Ulamog's Crusher or Ley Weaver or Lore Weaver into nothing but a small creature with no abilities. We are quite heavy on these effects as they are one of the best ways to slow down our opponents. Jace's Erasure is an absolute auto-include in this deck, additional mill is always nice, and Jace’s Erasure provides that quite consistently while we don’t have mass draw spells even casting something like a Ponder or Preordain can be quite strong with this out, more mill is always amazing.

Land Base:

Being in mono-blue allows us to have a very simple landbase that really doesn’t do to much. We have some decently impactful lands like Mystic Sanctuary, which is an amazing way to recur a counterspell or a mill spell. I always like to include card draw within our landbase. Being able to turn an unneeded late-game land into a source of card draw is always great and helps us limit turns where we have a dead draw. Some of the best lands to do this with are Remote Isle and Lonely Sandbar. I like our landbase a lot and think it is strong and effective for the deck. Being a mono-color landbase allows us to build it on an extremely low budget as well, mostly consisting of islands

Strengths of the Deck:

  • We are pretty great at blocking and can stonewall aggressive strategies pretty well.
  • Since there isn’t a ton of recursion within the format, with the exception of mono-black, we can be pretty strong at taking away the best of the best from an opponent.
  • We can fill an opponent’s graveyard pretty quickly from both our commander and some of our other ramp spells.

Weaknesses of the Deck:

  • It’s pretty weak to graveyard-based decks because we either help them or they just don’t really care what we do.
  • We do have some counterspells but it can be tough to protect all of our walls from removal.
  • Our commander is how our deck works, and while we do have some protection for them they are a removal magnet and constantly get targeted.

Deck Stats:

Sample Hands:

Main Win Conditions:

There are no infinite combos or loops within the deck. We are not a combat deck at all, we are mostly a blocking deck aiming to keep our life total high and block with our defenders, and use our commander to mill out our opponent. We are pretty much entirely reliant on our commander but we do have a few other sources of milling out our opponents.


Decks with weird and quirky commanders who do interesting things are right up my alley, so when I saw the opportunity to do Coral Colony, I instantly fell in love with the quirky and weird commander and have been having an absolute blast with this one! If you like playing a deck where you almost never attack, then I am sure this will interest you an absolute ton. Thanks for reading to the end and for all of your support!