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The Power of Pauper: Ha-Ha, Gary!


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 taking a look at Mono Black Devotion as part of our continued journey through various decks within the Pauper format. In addition to that we've got two Challenges from last weekend to look at.

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

Devotion to the One We Call Gary

One of the things I love about Pauper is how in all reality the format is a lot wider than it seems. There are always new decks to explore and find. Sometimes these decks are old decks coming back out of the woodwork. The subject of this week's deck is one that used to be a strong powerhouse in Pauper for a long time, and that is, of course, Mono Black Control (or Mono Black Devotion).

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Mono Black is primarily a control deck that utilizes removal to keep the board clear, while it deploys permanents that add to the devotion count before finally slamming cards like Gray Merchant of Asphodel to win the game. One of the best things this deck has going for it is the staggering amount of removal the deck has. Cards like Defile, Chainer's Edict, and now Tithing Blade being added to this deck as a removal effect that also adds Devotion make this deck incredibly good at controlling the board. This is very important in Pauper where a good majority of the format is centered on creatures on the battlefield.

This is always a super cool deck to see and while it had disappeared from the metagame for a while, it's great to see people continuing to play this once stalwart of the format.

Pauper Challenge 1/6

The first Challenge event of the weekend was the Saturday event. This event had 55 players in it thanks to the data provided by Daybreak Games.

You can find all of the decklists for this event here and the datasheet here. The template for this data sheet comes from the Castle of Commons Discord's aggregate sheet located here.

Jeskai Affinity was the most popular deck of the event, but it's win rate wasn't that great. Mono Blue Terror had a top finish but it's win rate got dragged down a bit too. Azorius Gates did exceptionally well overall here.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Azorius Gates 1st ezocratto
Grixis Affinity 2nd DenisevichAlexey
Azorius Gates 3rd immvp
Dimir Faeries 4th Niederschatten
Izzet Terror 5th BrunoGuerra
Izzet Faeries 6th Brivenix
Burn 7th Gazmon48
Mono Blue Terror 8th Fermtg

Fair spread of fair blue decks here with a Burn and Affinity in the mix. At the end of the event, it was Azorius Gates that won.

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I think this deck is one of the bigger winners of the Swiftspear ban overall. It was already in a good place pre-ban and I think it capitalizes on the current metagame very well.

In Second Place we had Grixis Affinity.

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Very solid-looking list here. No frills really to speak of. Envelop is kind of a cool sideboard option for a one mana counterspell that only counters sorceries.

Further down the Top 8 we had Dimir Faeries.

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Clean list overall here. I do like the sideboard options here, especially the inclusion of Tithing Blade.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we had Izzet Faeries.

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The one thing that really caught my eye here is Ghostfire in the sideboard. Having a reach spell that can't be hit by a blast effect is kind of sweet.

Pauper Challenge 1/7

The second Challenge event of the weekend was the Sunday event. This event had 72 players in it thanks to the data provided by Daybreak Games.

You can find all of the decklists for this event here and the datasheet here. The template for this data sheet comes from the Castle of Commons Discord's aggregate sheet located here.

Both Jeskai Affinity and Burn were popular decks, but Jeskai did very well in terms of win rate while Burn did not. Golgari, Grixis Affinity, and Mono Blue Terror were really strong.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Grixis Affinity 1st _Against_
Mono Blue Terror 2nd 8Salazzar8
Izzet Terror 3rd carrot_eater
Dimir Terror 4th Topleitche
Jeskai Affinity 5th Walker735
Golgari Gardens 6th CrazyMorango
Mono Blue Terror 7th _Batuntinha_
Izzet Terror 8th BrunoGuerra

A lot more fair blue decks here as well. The winner of the event was Grixis Affinity!

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Pretty much the same list that was in Second Place in the Saturday event, even right down to the newer stuff like Envelop. If it isn't broken, don't fix it!

In Second Place we had Mono Blue Terror.

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This is a super clean and straightforward deck. Murmuring Mystic is one of my favorite new cards in Pauper. It's very strong for sure.

Further down the Top 8 we had Golgari Gardens.

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Having access to so many Draw 2's has done so much for this deck, but also cards like Tithing Blade have made this build so powerful.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we had Izzet Terror.

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I dig decks that play Skred. I enjoy this variant of Terror, I think it's by far my favorite of the three main builds of the deck.

Around the Web

  • Bryant Cook is playing some Walls Combo. Check it out here.
  • Kalikaiz has a video on Flicker Tron. Check it out here.
  • Alex Ullman has a wrap-up of last weekend's events. 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!

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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