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The Power of Pauper: EMBIGGEN!

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're going to be diving into some of the new cards from Unfinity that have been added to Magic Online. In addition to that we've got two Challenges to discuss from this past weekend.

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

Unfinity Cards on MTGO for Pauper

While Wilds of Eldraine has been unleashed upon Magic Online this week, another interesting bit of development occurred with this set release. A scant few cards from Unfinity were released to the client, with only two of those cards being for Pauper. We'll talk about both here and what effects these will have on the Pauper MTGO metagame, however, the second of these is a very interesting thing for sure.

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Embiggen is exceptionally interesting given that many of the more powerful pump spells for a deck wanting to play Infect as a mechanic are banned in Pauper (such as Invigorate which is insane), but Embiggen allows for some possible space for an Infect deck to exist as it gives cards like Glistener Elf +4/+4 for G (primarily due in part to the Phyrexian creature type update). This means we could potentially see Infect in the metagame outside of the Poison Storm deck which is interesting.

The Sticker Goblin on the other hand, is an odd duck considering that Stickers don't actually exist on MTGO. Unfortunately, due to some of the implementations of this workaround that Daybreak is using to implement this card has made it so that the card is actually banned at the moment in all formats until 9/13 when the final update goes into place.

The actual card text for this card on MTGO is different than the paper version, making this basically the first custom implementation like this on the client. On MTGO this card actually reads as follows:

 "When "Name-Sticker" Goblin enters the battlefield from anywhere other than a graveyard or exile, if it's on the battlefield and you control 9 or fewer creatures named "Name-Sticker" Goblin, roll a 20-sided die. Add red mana based on the roll's result."

The way that this pans out is as follows:

Roll Result Red Mana
1-6 4
7-14 5
15-20 6

This is definitely different and Daybreak has been tweaking this since the release of this and continues to do so with community feedback, which is awesome. It will be interesting to see how this card is implemented into the overall metagame and whether it stands to be good or not there.

Pauper Challenge 9/2

The first Challenge event of the weekend was the Saturday event. This event had 57 players in it thanks to the data collected by the Castle of Commons Discord.

You can find the Top 32 decklists for this event here and the data sheet here.

Burn and Gates were the most popular decks, with both having a reasonable win rate overall. Mono Blue did very well as did Golgari Gardens and Affinity. Dimir Terror did poorly here.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Golgari Gardens 1st ezocratto
Mono Blue Terror 2nd _DissonancE_
Gruul Ponza 3rd Wizard_2002
Burn 4th Foresterf
Boros Bully 5th Kirblinxy
Bant Gates 6th WeTakeThose2023
Golgari Gardens 7th TopGrinder
Azorius Affinity 8th Captain_Tsubasa

Nice spread of decks here for sure. At the end of the event it was Golgari Gardens that won.

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This deck has a lot of action and removal spells that can take out a number of creatures. Once it has the board under control it can deploy its own threats to win the game.

In Second Place we had Mono Blue Terror.

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I think the biggest reason we are seeing this deck do well is that there's finally a solid critical mass of cards that make Delver a good card, and Delver being a good clock is very powerful.

Further into the Top 8 we had Boros Bully.

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This deck does some sweet stuff. It's got a life gain angle and an aggressive slant to it that makes it fun.

In the bottom half of the Top 8 we had Bant Gates.

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Planar Disruption as an Arrest effect in this deck is pretty interesting. Don't typically see Bant with this shell, but it gets access to Open the Gates which always ensures you're finding Basilisk Gate.

Pauper Challenge 9/3

The second Challenge event of the weekend was the Sunday event.

You can find the Top 32 decklists for this event here. There was no data for this event, so let's look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Elves 1st QueMario
Burn 2nd Foreserf
Azorius Affinity 3rd SuperCow12653
Azorius Affinity 4th MtendaLion
Burn 5th lokes123
Walls 6th Gn42
Azorius Affinity 7th Beicodegeia

Lot of Affinity in this Top 8 as well as a ton of Burn. At the end of the event as I understand it was possibly a split finals, with the recorded winner being Elves.

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I like this list a lot. Distant Melody is a sweet little card.

In Second Place we had Burn.

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Very interesting that the deck is down to one copy of Wrenn's Resolve here instead of the full four in addition to Reckless Impulse. Implement of Combustion is kind of a cool card though.

Further down the Top 8 we had Azorius Affinity.

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This deck continues to be quite powerful and has so much aggressive strategy to it. Moon-Circuit Hacker seems to have found a new home too which is super interesting.

Down at the bottom half of the Top 8 we had Walls.

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Generous Ent seems insane in this deck given how few lands it actually runs. Being able to ensure a land drop is very powerful and the Ent does that quite well.

Around the Web

  • RIW posted a tournament report on Dimir Terror in Pauper. Check it out here.
  • Pauperganda has a video on Rakdos Tokens. Check it out here.
  • Bryant Cook goes Inside Out! Check it out here.
  • The Card Market Deck of the Week focuses on new Eldraine cards. Check it out here.

The Spice Corner

You can find this past week's 5-0 deck lists over here.

Selesnya Ephemerate seems sweet.

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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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