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Sprout Swarm

Green, at common, gets the lion’s share of awesome creatures. While every color has its stellar standout critters, when you want the best baddies for the cost at common green is where you need to go.

Want some proof?

These critters are good. Depending upon the circumstances their individual value does fluctuate quite a bit but, generally speaking, the roles these guys play is about as good as it gets. However, spells of the type ‘Creature’ aren’t really all this is restricted to.

Anyone who drafted during the Future Sight part of Time Spiral Block knows there is a card of the type ‘Instant’ that is one of the most powerful common creatures of all time.

Sprout Swarm, a common from Future Sight

Sprout Swarm is, at a glance, a pretty innocuous card: as an instant, for two mana, put a 1/1 Saproling creature token into play, and for three more mana you can pay buyback. What’s so good about an ability that produces a Saproling for five mana?


Convoke, in conjunction with it being an Instant, takes what was an homage to Lab Rats and transforms it into a bastion of pauper inevitability, surprise combat trick, and resource acceleration.

  • You can use mana up at the end of your opponent’s turn, including by tapping untapped creatures.
  • Each incremental Saproling increases your ability to create even more Saprolings at a faster rate.
  • Tapping your creatures in combat – before or after blockers are declared – and maximizing the resources available there.
  • Provides the only card needed to build to a swarm win (pure inevitability).

What makes it stand out so much here are three factors that impact pauper cube design:

  • There are no true board sweepers available (although several effects will deal one or two damage to all creatures).
  • Limited, especially the environment I’ve created, is driven by creature-heavy decks where green shines.
  • Since blue is the weakest in creatures at pauper, Counterspell cards are often spend as “removal” upfront.

By the time Sprout Swarm matters most, in the later game, hands are reduced to almost nothing. Leveraging open resources to build an army of Saprolings is a highly effective way to bring the game to a close. It worked in Time Spiral Draft; it often works even better here.

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