Tuesday Night Takeover

Oni of Wild Places ETB’s Pauper EDH

“Cut them from this world.”

Art:Oni of Wild Places by Mark Tedin

Oni of Wild Places is a wacky and weird mono-red deck even by mono-red standards, its not very often that we run a deck with a commander that’s this expensive, but hey with only one other Oni of Wild Places deck on the internet, you know we had to make a second, I won’t sit here and tell you all how this is the best new deck in Pauper EDH and how awesome it is, but I will say this deck is a ton of fun to play and a great deck to bring out for some good old casual fun. This deck is pretty strong, about as strong as any other casual mono-red decks. Who doesn’t love a mono-red deck focusing on ETB’s! We have quite a few cards in the deck that stop our opponents from blocking with some creatures which allows us to take the best of the best out of combat. This deck is a little less aggressive than a lot of other mono-red decks and is definitely way more midrange than anything else. I love exploring weird and interesting Pauper EDH commanders so I hope you all enjoy this deck. Without further adieu, let’s get it!

The Deck:

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Oni of Wild Places ETB's!

Commander (1)
Oni of Wild Places

Creatures (32)
Discerning Peddler
Fissure Wizard
Heartlash Cinder
Iron Myr
Kruin Striker
Ornithopter of Paradise
Rimrock Knight
Daybreak Combatants
Exhibition Magician
Manic Vandal
Minotaur Skullcleaver
Molten Gatekeeper
Patron of the Arts
Plundering Barbarian
Storm Caller
Viashino Racketeer
Witty Roastmaster
Ardent Elementalist
Coal Stoker
Crimson Fleet Commodore
Keldon Raider
Stirring Bard
Turret Ogre
Young Red Dragon
Bellowing Bruiser
Emrakul’s Hatcher
Pharagax Giant
Quakefoot Cyclops
Rapacious Dragon

Instants (11)
Balduvian Rage
Big Score
Crimson Wisps
Dangerous Wager
Demand Answers
Shattering Pulse
Thrill of Possibility
Unexpected Windfall

Sorceries (11)
Abandon the Post
Act of Treason
Assault Strobe
Coronation of Chaos
Crash Through
Flame Slash
Go for Blood
Nightbird’s Clutches
Renegade Tactics
Warlord’s Fury

Artifacts (3)
Arcane Signet
Fire Diamond
Spare Supplies

Enchantments (7)
Cartouche of Zeal
Crown of Flames
Ghitu Firebreathing
Impact Tremors
Claws of Valakut
Battle Plan
Lands (35)
Desert of the Fervent
Forgotten Cave
Hidden Volcano
29 Mountain
Smoldering Crater
Smoldering Spires
The Autonomous Furnace

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Why Oni of Wild Places?

Oni of Wild Places is a card we are entirely built around. They are expensive, but luckily, we are able to ramp a little bit with the help of cards like Fire Diamond and Arcane Signet. Oni of Wild Places can bounce anything on our upkeep, and there is no real correct thing to bounce; we have a lot of ETB card draw, so if cards are needed, we do that, and we have some mana production as well. This whole deck is very situation-dependent, and analyzing your needs is pretty easy. Oni of Wild Places is also quite a formidable attacker/blocker, and hey, they should be. They do cost six mana. Oni of Wild Places is a big card for our deck and a card you should cast as quickly as we possibly can.


The game plan for the deck is not too dissimilar from most mono-red decks. Based on how the deck is built it is completely correct to play all of our creatures and anything with an ETB on curve. Playing our commander on curve is definitely huge for the deck as they enable us to do a lot of broken things. A good starting hand for this deck is early-game creatures, a couple of lands, and some form of draw. We are mono-red so a better six is much better than an ok or bad seven. Beyond that, the main part of our gameplan is to just swing, keep on swinging, and take advantage of the ETBs when we can get our commander out.

Deck Matchups:

Since this is Pauper EDH, there are an absolute ton of things that can tip a game in your favor or out of it. While an archetype may seem favorable, there are absolutely good and bad commanders for our deck to go up against; I have included both these, which were all played among my testing groups using various decks, and I have included the sample size for clarity purposes. This is just meant to be a guide after testing a bunch of games with this deck!

The information below is notes about specific decks that were featured in our testing pods and how we fared against them. Naturally, Pauper EDH is a multiplayer game, so these are just a summary of my notes against different commanders and strategies. When we test these decks we try to test to its strengths and weaknesses to give a full spectrum of what the deck has to offer. Various commanders and archetypes/strategies are used to get the most accurate information.

Commanders, we have a good matchup against:

Sumala Rumblers Record against Sumala Rumblers 4-0

This is a favorable matchup for us; we are able to block a lot of their early-game threats and get in a lot of early damage; once we get our commander out, we have a creature that can contend with their commander. This is a good matchup for us, Golgari doesn’t play a ton of removal, and unless they have a crazy fast start, we are in good shape with this one.

Guardian of the Forgotten Record Guardian of the Forgotten against 5-2

Mono-White is a good matchup for us; we can out-advantage them, especially because we have a lot of cards draw within our deck, and the majority of their board is 2/2’s a lot of the time, and we can easily overwhelm them in combat. They do have a little bit of removal, so when I play this matchup, I think it’s quite important to be wary of when you cast your commander and try to wait till they are low on cards, which in mono-white can happen quite quickly. While we are often better than them in combat since they have manifested cards we do need to be careful if they have a lot of mana up. Just be mindful of their attacks and you should be all good in this one.

Bear's Companion Record gainst Bear’s Companion 3-0

Being quick and getting some damage is the name of the game in this matchup, being able to get an early start is great, and when they start getting their huge creatures and tokens that’s when we use cards like Act of Treason and Coronation of Chaos to take the best of the best they have out of combat.

Commanders, we have a tough matchup against:

Fire Servant Record against Fire Servant 0-3

Fire Servant is a mono-red deck but one that we struggle to beat, Spelling decks in general are pretty hard for us; we are not playing many ways to remove opponents’ creatures without engaging in combat, and this deck almost never does. Spell slinging and non-combat damage are very hard for us.

Burrenton Forge-Tender Record against Burrenton Forge-Tender 0-6

Please note: Even though this deck is meant to beat us in the way it’s constructed, we still like to test the best and worst possible matchups to get an accurate reading about the deck.

Well, this is arguably the worst matchup we can have ever. A deck that is full to the brim of protection from various colors and a commander that is set up entirely to beat us, we don’t have much of a chance against this deck. While this is an extremely hard matchup, if we combine with our other opponents, we can certainly knock them off. Make another friend at the table is pretty much the only way we can win this one, and I didn’t have much success.

Honest Rutstein Record against Honest Rutstein 2-6

This is a winnable but tough matchup. They have a lot of creatures, and since they are in Golgari they have an absolute ton of removal so it can be quite hard to keep our commander on the board, I typically like to keep more aggressive hands against decks like this because much of their removal isn’t used in the early-game so being able to get in some early-damage is a great way to hurt their overall gameplan. They do have a lot of bombs in this deck so this is a tough matchup but one that is winnable.

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!


Since we are a mono-red deck you know we had to include an absolutely crazy amount of creatures! Let’s go over some of my favorites to return and re-ETB. We have a lot of card draw within our deck, so being able to re-ETB Ardent Elementalist and continue to recur instants and sorceries is a great source of combat damage, and we can even get some of our cards back that stop our opponents from blocking allowing us to maximize our damage. Coal Stoker is some nice extra mana for the deck and is a great big attacker/blocker. Since we are only technically paying one for it, it feels pretty good to cast, and getting some of the extra mana cost back is awesome. If we stop our opponents creature from blocking, there isn’t a better card to have than Heartlash Cinder, which is a huge damage dealer and can allow us to hit like an absolute truck. This is definitely one of my favorite cards in the deck, and I love bouncing this with our commander. We can’t talk about stopping our opponents from blocking without mentioning Quakefoot Cyclops which is a great big body and a great way to take the best of the best out of combat. The one-creature we almost never want off of the board is Witty Roastmaster which is basically a second copy of Impact Tremors for us.


One of the biggest themes of our instant package is card draw; we have a ton of card draw at instant speed, which can help us refill our hand and keep the gameplan going; one of the biggest weaknesses of mono-red is lack of card draw and running out of cards luckily we are able to keep our hand relatively full for most of the game. Since we draw a lot of cards, we often have a lot of additional mana, so we can use that to cast cards like Balduvian Rage, which can be a great finisher for the deck in the late-game, and funny enough, it also draws a card. Shattering Pulse is another very good use of our extra mana, and since there is a high density of artifacts throughout the format, this almost always has targets.


Pauper EDH has no shortage of awesome creatures, but for us we want to avoid all of those great blockers as much as possible, which is why we are running cards like Coronation of Chaos not only can we take the best of the best out of combat being able to goad them points them directly at our opponents which is truly the best of both worlds for the deck, also works very well with cards like Ardent Elementalist. We have quite a few effects at sorcerer speed that allow us to stop our opponent’s best creatures from blocking, and all of these are quite amazing; being able to attack into a board that is better than ours is one of the best parts of this deck. Another one of my favorites at sorcery speed is Fireball, which is either an amazing finisher or a great way to kill an opponent’s creature. Either way, it is a great piece of removal for the deck.


We have very few interesting artifacts in the deck, but we do have Spare Supplies, which is a great source of extra card draw; while we don’t have a shortage of that, the more the merrier! The rest of our artifact package consists of just mana rocks, but these are great, especially in an opening hand, as the quicker we cast our commander, the more advantage we can get.


Since we are a mono-red deck, I absolutely had to include Claws of Valakut, which only gets better and better as the game goes on and allows us to deal a lot of damage, and the first strike is great, especially against other combat-focused decks. Since we have a lot of creatures in the deck and a lot of re-ETB, we had to include Impact Tremors, which is a cheap and awesome source of non-combat damage that allows us to whittle down our opponents even when going to combat is not the correct move. Since we bounce the best creatures quite a bit, we have included awesome auras that provide buffs and mana-sinks and more importantly can be bounced back to our hands when we want, whether we bounce them for an Oni trigger or to protect the aura from removal Crown of Flames and Ghitu Firebreathing.

Land Base:

Even though we are a mono-red deck, we are not running below the average for lands; we have quite a few expensive cards in the deck, and in testing, I tried thirty-two and thirty-three versions and found them to be quite inconsistent. Even though it is almost all mountains, I like this version of the landbase and find it to be quite strong and most importantly consistent.

Strengths of the Deck:

  • We have quite a bit of supplemental card draw, allowing us to refill our hand and keep on casting continuously.
  • We are quite aggressive and can hit decently hard in the early-game.
  • We transition very nicely to the late-game as our on-curve creatures get a lot bigger.

Weaknesses of the Deck:

  • Weak against Control strategies.
  • We are weak against decks that don’t engage in combat and focus on non-combat damage.
  • Our commander is a huge part of our deck and is sadly a big removal magnet, and since they have a base cost of six, they can be quite difficult to cast.

Deck Stats:

Sample Hands:


Oni of Wild Places is a wacky and spicy deck that is very fun to pilot. This isn’t the new best deck in Pauper EDH, but I have been having so much fun against this, and it has been a great addition to our testing group. If you love wacky decks with weird commanders, this is definitely the one for you. I hope I can inspire you all to build an Oni deck because it is a ton of fun; this deck is also quite well suited for new players as it combines some more advanced concepts with the general simplicity of mono-red. Thanks for reading to the end and for all of your support!