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The Power of Pauper: Glitter in Revue

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 taking a look at Azorius Affinity and what has happened with the deck since the printing of Novice Inspector in Murders at Karlov Manor. In addition to that we've only got two Challenges to look at from this past weekend.

Without further ado, let's dive right in.

Azorius Affinity - Did Murders at Karlov Manor Break this Deck?

We've been in the metagame of Murders at Karlov Manor for a few weeks now, and things are quickly becoming rather clear that Azorius Affinity is one of the best decks in the entire format, and not just that, it's actually supplanting Burn in events as the most popular deck in those events as well. Let's go back a bit and look at why Azorius Affinity is suddenly trending this way instead of Jeskai Affinity like the deck seemed to be doing. What changed?

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The addition of Novice Inspector to the format was a bit of a slow burn as players figured out the card and its role in the format, but that tinkering has caught up to the Affinity shells, where it's now identified just how powerful having the redundancy of creating a Clue token for a single white mana is to a deck that wants to have multiple artifacts in play for the effect of cards like All That Glitters. In addition, the extra tokens make it easier for the deck to play out its Affinity threats in a much quicker fashion.

But why Azorius? Well, the addition of more Inspectors eats into the deck's space a little bit which reduces the space for cards like Galvanic Blast. The deck gains more artifacts in general with this tradeoff, making cards like Metallic Rebuke much better. The red cards don't very easily fit into this specific setup and also stretch the manabase more by forcing you to have to play more Bridge lands to have the mana available, which is a huge point in favor for Azorius because it has a cleaner mostly comes into play untapped manabase.

This deck is very powerful and it's quickly becoming quite overpowering for the format. While we did have a BnR Announcement this week that addressed other formats, we do not yet have a "State of the Format" from the Pauper Format Panel, and it's been stated there wouldn't be one for this past week's announcement. I'm perfectly okay with this at the moment, and I'm always more than willing to let the metagame try to sort itself out, but if the metagame can't, having some thoughts from the Panel would be great to hear at that point.

We'll be continuing to make our way through the metagame and will have a full metagame update in a few weeks here so we can see where things are at. Until then, keep on casting All That Glitters you crazy diamonds!

Pauper Challenge 32 3/9

The first Challenge event of the weekend was the Saturday event. This event had 56 players in it thanks to the data provided by Daybreak Games.

You can find all of the decklists for this event here and the data sheet here.

Azorius Affinity was easily the most popular deck, supplanting Burn, the previous most popular deck. First time in a while really. The win rate behind the deck was quite good as well. Izzet Terror also showed up in force, but it's win rate was just below 50%. Azorius Gates also had a solid performance.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Dimir Faeries 1st Mogged
Azorius Gates 2nd BERNASTORRES
Azorius Affinity 3rd mojitodfd
Azorius Affinity 4th Purgatory_01
Azorius Gates 5th twister66
Dimir Terror 6th bombaj
Bogles 7th DenisevichAlexey
Jund Midrange 8th Alvatar

At least two Azorius Affinity decks in this Top 8. At the end of the event though it was Dimir Faeries that won.

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Very straightforward and powerful deck here. Escape Tunnel is a cool card here, since it's an Evolving Wilds that is also a Rogue's Passage for this deck specifically since so many of its creatures it wants to push through for Ninjutsu are Power 2 or less.

In Second Place we had Azorius Gates.

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This deck is still just incredibly cool and powerful. It has the hallmarks of a control shell with a big finisher.

Further down the Top 8 we had Bogles.

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Fling as a sideboard option is super cool. I love it.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we had Jund Midrange.

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A Jund Gates deck is super fun really. I am also enjoying seeing new card Toxin Analysis show up. Seems like a fun card for this kind of deck.

Pauper Challenge 32 3/10

The second and final Challenge of the weekend was the Sunday event which was 32 player minimum. This event had 73 players in it thanks to the data provided by Daybreak.

You can find all of the decklists for this event here and the data sheet here.

Azorius Affinity was the most represented deck of the event again by a huge margin, with a strong win rate too. Azorius Gates again did very well as did Familiars and Gardens.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Azorius Affinity 1st Jose Guillermo
Cycle Storm 2nd Tyerube1618
Azorius Familiars 3rd Gn43
Azorius Affinity 4th djbmppwns
Azorius Affinity 5th GALL
Azorius Gates 6th Arukasnobnes
Azorius Affinity 7th marito9911
Golgari Gardens 8th PedraStone

Lot of Affinity in this Top 8. In fact it was the winner of the event.

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The light red splash is interesting and primarily on the basis of Flaring Pain, which is a card I do love to see show up.

In Second Place we had Cycle Storm.

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This deck is always pretty cool to see in play. It does a lot of a really strong things and it can close games out nicely with it's pinging or big creatures like Horror of the Broken Lands.

Also in this Top 8 we had Azorius Familiars.

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It's always nice to see Familiars floating about. It is absolutely one of my favorite Pauper decks for sure. This is a fun list.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we had Golgari Gardens.

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This is a fun list. I've long enjoyed these very midrange-esque piles like this. Piles of removal and good creatures is the name of the game here.

Around the Web

  • Alex Ullman does a recap of this past weekend's Pauper events. Check it out here.
  • Kalikaiz has a videon Glitter Affinity. Check it out here.
  • Heartyshow has a videon Hounds vs Cascade. Check it out here.

The Spice Corner

As League results are now spread out across the week, let's dig in and find something spicy!

Mono Black Control is pretty cool!

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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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