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Pauper Food Matters Deck: a possible new archetype with LOTR

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Food Matters Deck is a new deck archetype that focuses on gaining card advantage and board control through food-based cards. It's a unique and powerful strategy for players to use in Pauper.

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revised by Tabata Marques

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With the introduction of the new Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-Earth (LOTR) set, they have given Pauper access to more food matters cards. Currently, I believe all we have access to is Cauldron Familiar. This allows some decks to currently exist, and Magic Symbol bMagic Symbol w Food Gates is a deck that currently exists but hasn’t really seen play for a long time.

However, with the addition of Lembas, Hobbit’s Sting and Eastfarthing Farmer it may get a new lease of life.

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Lembas is incredibly strong and is probably a contender to be in other non-food decks. I can see this replacing Ichor Wellspring in certain builds of Affinity. Especially if the build has more tech cards like Negate, Breath Weapon and Chainer’s Edict like we have seen in the past. However, Lembas card will shine in these new archetypes as we have cards that make the Food aspect of it matter.

Food Payoffs

So before LOTR we only had Cauldron Familiar, now we have Mushroom Watchdogs and Eastfarthing Farmer which all care about Food that we have in play.

From these new payoffs I believe you can now take this in three different ways;

- A generic Food Token deck.

- A Magic Symbol bMagic Symbol w value deck with Cauldron Familiar, Gates and other food payoffs.

- An Abzan Food deck.

Let’s dive right into looking at these lists I have created using the new LOTR food cards and see if we think they can compete in today's metagame.

GW Tokens

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So as you can see, there are two real strategies in this deck. You have a Cloakwood Swarmkeeper and Glimmer Bairn token package. Additionally, you have a Food Token package we have spoken about with the Mushroom Watchdogs and Eastfarthing Farmer.

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The main issue is that Food Tokens aren’t really a useful token to have access to, so making use of these is really important.

So maximising on the payoffs with other token strategies is really useful.

Having a powerhouse haste attacker in Gingerbrute combined with Eastfarthing Farmer gives you a lot of out of burst damage out of nowhere. You could consider the new pump spell Pippin’s Bravery to cast on Gingerbrute to give you some more damage; however, I favored Hobbit’s Sting so we could have some form of removal.

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I don’t generally like the Hobbit’s Sting style of removal spells and maybe it should be moved to the sideboard and have Journey to Nowhere in the mainboard.

However, Hobbit’s Sting gives you a way to deal large amounts of damage fairly quickly whilst you amass Food Token.

Having a low land count is fine as we are basically a Mono green deck splashing a small amount of white cards which we get access to with Many Partings.

Second Breakfast isn’t a Rally the Peasants, but I feel like it is good enough along with the swarm potential you have.

Sprout Swarm isn’t exciting here but it synergizes with your token strategy and also gives you inevitability against any Midrange/Control match ups.

The sideboard is "generic", with okay Green and White Sideboard options. This will be refined in playtesting the deck overall.

Food Gates

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This deck has existed since the release of Basilisk Gate on Magic Online (MTGO). I have played a similar list on my Youtube channel, this is based on MVanni’s original list:


This deck is surprisingly resilient; however, its main issues were a steady supply of Food Tokens. This changes with the inclusion of Lembas and Eastfarthing Farmer. Farmer provides a good Basilisk Gate impression whilst providing a Food Token. Even if it doesn’t have a favorable interaction with Guardian of the Guildpact.

Having Twelve permanents that are classed as Food is great as it really nullifies the removal of the opponent's deck. As you can keep swapping the Cauldron Familiar in and out.

I haven’t really changed the Sideboard from my video because it would need to be tested in the new metagame to see how useful all these slots are.

Makeshift Munitions is great in this list as it provides you inevitability with the Food and the Cauldron Familiar Interactions.

Abzan Food

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So this is utilizing as many natural Food sources as we can in the three colors due to having access to so many permanent Food sources in Gingerbread Cabin, Lembas and Golden Egg.

We can just naturally play these and answer the board with Chainer’s Edict and eventually kill your opponent using Cauldron Familiar and Gingerbrute.

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Deadly Dispute for most decks in the format at the moment is the glue that holds them together. Allowing you to chain through your deck and have access to the cards you need.

Food in existing Decks

There is a Mono Black engine here that has been explored with the original gates package: Cauldron Familiar with a bunch of other Artifacts that are classed as Food already.

Gingerbrute, Golden Egg and now Lembas gives you 12 natural ways to return Cauldron Familiar to play without actually playing a Food Token package.

This has the potential to be included in some already existing decks, that require artifacts in play and are more controlling in nature.

I believe that Golgari Gardens and Mardu Synth could end up adopting this package now you effectively have inevitability with Cauldron Familiar effect and the shuffling in of Lembas.

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Mardu Synth as you can see, is a strong engine that is low to the ground anyways. So giving yourself more inevitability and reach is a strong place to be.

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There is no stock list for Golgari Gardens at the moment and adding the Food package to this is another layer to potentially play around.

These are both decks that already rely on Deadly Dispute or Glint Hawk synergies to draw through your deck. So adding Cauldron Familiar and Food Interactions to these are strong options to consider or at least test.


Overall, I like the new Food producers that have been added into Pauper. Lembas has the potential to be in other non Food decks just because the scry and draw effect is forceful whilst also shuffling back into your deck is nothing to ignore.


However, these decks may not be game breaking. I do think there is a lot to explore here and a lot of potential. These lists here I believe I could have gone overboard on Food payoffs, but the Cauldron Familiar, Gingerbrute and Eastfarthing Farmer interaction are ones not to be ignored.

The Gardens and Synth lists are just another idea on deck building when considering this package. Just some Food for thought, until next time!

Enjoy your Second Breakfast.