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The Power of Pauper: All That Doesn't Glitter

Howdy folks! It's time yet again for another edition of The Power of Pauper! I'm your host, Joe Dyer, and this week we've got a rather short article as our only major topic of discussion is the recent Banned and Restricted Announcement in which both All That Glitters and any card referencing Stickers has been banned in Pauper. Because of the big change here, we won't be covering last weekend's events.

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

Banned and Restricted Announcement 5/13/2024 - The Death of Glitters

This was sort of a big week for Pauper, as we got a big set of bannings for the format. I'm going to section out what these bannings mean here and talk about the impact they might have on the format overall. You can find the main announcement for this banned and restricted announcement here, as well as the full Pauper explanation here. In addition, Gavin Verhey, the head of the Pauper Format Panel posted a video explaining their thoughts on the format as well. You can find that in the embed below.

All That Glitters is Banned

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As Gavin explains in the video and the associated article, the look at this card started at the banning of Monastery Swiftspear as the PFP noted they were keeping an eye on All That Glitters and what it might do with red being brought back in line. Since that time, the card has jumped around different versions of Affinity (Jeskai, UW) and variants of Boros Synthesizer. All of these decks have done very well in the format, and the addition of Novice Inspector ramped up the deck's ability to double up on its artifact count quickly.

What All That Glitters does here is that it makes it very much like a Splinter Twin situation, where if you tap out or don't have the ability to hold up removal or countermagic in a late game scenario, that the deck may just blow you out of the water with a Glitters turn that they've been holding up.

The PFP definitely discussed alternatives, first looking at the price of having artifact lands like the Bridges and the original artifact lands available. As these are very large enablers of artifact shenanigans in the format, they're a constant source of discussion. One of the things that Gavin mentions here is that these lands, especially the original ones, are generally well loved by Pauper players as a staple of the format. This discussion continued to lead back to All That Glitters being the problematic card and needing to be banned.

They also discussed some various possible bans for Red decks, as those decks continue to have a strong presence, but the tension there was that decks could pack spot removal for Glitters, but not have wide removal for red, and removing Glitters may remove some of that tension.

It is noted that no other archetype in Pauper exhibited any problematic win rates or anything, meaning nothing else could have needed to be banned from those decks.

The PFP also discussed unbanning cards like Prophetic Prism, a card that has been on the back and forth for some time.

I believe this change is a good one, as many players were clamoring for a change to the format. Some of the decks that I do believe we will see benefit from this are things like Golgari Gardens and I do think decks like Gates, Familiars, will continue to see success in the format. Boros Synthesizer itself reverts back to its more value oriented gameplay, while UW/Jeskai Affinity are likely stone cold dead and players move back to Grixis Affinity with Deadly Dispute and friends. It will be interesting to see how this adjusts because we have Modern Horizons 3 coming soon. Regardless, I'm pretty happy to see this change.

Stickers and Attractions are Banned

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Another big thing that was announced was that all cards that utilize Stickers and Attractions are banned in all non-Commander formats (Legacy, Vintage, Pauper). Attractions were already not a fully legal mechanic because you can't make an Attractions deck with enough legal Attractions in the format (you need 10, and only 9 exist), but stickers in general were a big part of the format especially with the advent of "Name Sticker" Goblin.

With that being said, all of the cards that make stickers have indeed been banned, primarily this issue is related to competitive tournament logistics and how clunky and unwieldy stickers are in those environments. In addition, the mechanic also creates a further divide between paper and Magic Online due to the fact that the mechanic itself will never exist on MTGO outside of the repurposed "Name Sticker" Goblin that is one of the bigger catalysts of this issue in the formats. Due to this, the card has also been banned on Magic Online so as to keep parity with the paper bannings.

I'm a big fan of this change myself. I've never been fully happy with Stickers as an eternal legal mechanic, and they definitely have proven quite clunky to work with. While I absolutely expected some form of a rules change to how it works in paper to accommodate competitive environments, getting rid of it entirely is a fine way to address this.

Finally, a Look Ahead to Modern Horizons 3

One of the other things Gavin has noted in the article and the video is as a designer who has looked at all the commons in Modern Horizons 3. He expressed that he believes there is one common in the set that will need to be banned, as it is like a card already on the existing Pauper banned list. There's several interesting things this could be for sure, so I'm curious to see what this looks like when the set spoiler season begins.

That being said, Gavin also noted that they don't want to wait too long to check in on Pauper after Modern Horizons 3 because of this, as the PFP doesn't want the format to sit like it did with the card Chatterstorm after Modern Horizons 2 (a situation that sort of directly led to the creation of the Pauper Format Panel), so they will definitely not be waiting to ensure that action is taken appropriately.

To the Future!

It's going to be interesting to see how things look in the few weeks until Modern Horizons 3. Again as always I really appreciate the transparency and discussion promoted by the Pauper Format Panel. They really are giving us a lot of solid information into their thought processes and how they work on this format.

What are your thoughts on the bannings? Sound off below!

Around the Web

  • Casting Commons has a new episode talking about the ban announcement. Check it out here.

Wrapping Up

That's all the time we have this week folks! Thanks for continuing to support the column and join us next week as we continue our journey into Pauper!

As always you can reach me at all my associated links via my Link Tree! In addition I'm always around the MTGGoldfish Discord Server and the MTGPauper Discord Server.

Until next time!

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