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The Power of Pauper: Murder on the Common Express

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 the new Standard set, Murders at Karlov Manor, and how things from that set might impact Pauper! In addition to that we've got two Challenges to discuss.

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

Common Murders

Another Standard set is coming our way very soon with Murders at Karlov Manor! There's a lot going on in this set with both new and old mechanics and even some new takes on old mechanics. The big returning mechanic here is Investigate, which has always had a strong presence in Pauper. We've also got new takes on Morph/Manifest with Disguise/Cloak and also new stuff like Suspected and Cases.

Let's take a look at the cards that could see play in Pauper!


$ 0.00 $ 0.00

An instant speed draw that also creates a Clue token is really not too bad on rate for two mana, at Instant speed no less. I like this card quite a bit.

Demand Answers

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This card is quite strong. Being able to discard a card OR sacrifice an artifact (something that happens quite a bit in Pauper as is) and get to draw two cards off of that is very good. This also seems quite neat with Madness spells, converting your draw spell into a Fiery Temper or something.

Escape Tunnel

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

The madmen, they finally did it. They POWER CREPT EVOLVING WILDS!

Extract Confession

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Another sacrifice effect, this one has some additional upside if you collect evidence 6 by exiling total mana value 6 or greater of cards from your graveyard. You can hit the biggest creature in play instead of just a token or etc.

Make Your Move

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

We technically already have Generous Gift but this hits a wide array of cards at Instant speed with pretty much zero downside other than needing to have power 4 or greater to hit a creature. Being able to hit Enchantments/Artifacts is nice enough.

Novice Inspector

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Oh right, this card already exists in Pauper. Thraben Inspector, what happened to you?! Now that we've got two of these, it might be time to INVESTIG-EIGHT!

All puns aside, having two of these effects is pretty good. I expect this to see play.

Pick Your Poison

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This card seems quite strong. Being able to hit multiple things flexibly is always nice, but having it at one mana is incredibly good for sure. This being able to hit a single All That Glitters on a board is pretty cool. If this were Instant speed it would be quite insane, but Sorcery speed is reasonable.

Slice from the Shadows

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This effect is really nice. Having a way to handle creatures as a mana sink that can't be countered is solid. The big upside here is the minor mana needed to deal with things like Faeries/Ninjas where you're not getting blown out by Spellstutter Sprite. I like it a lot.

Slime Against Humanity

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Look. Someone has to make a deck with this. Just... do it... please?

Pauper Challenge 1/27

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.

Orzhov Midrange was the most popular deck metagame-wise, and it had two top finishes despite having an overall low win rate. Turbo Fog did incredibly well here as did Burn. Terror decks and Faeries seemed to suffer.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Grixis Affinity 1st LuffyDoChapeuDePalha
Boros Synthesizer 2nd yahakara
Turbo Fog 3rd RitualSinkhole
Burn 4th Gravetrayal
Turbo Fog 5th kasa
Burn 6th ecobaronen
Orzhov Midrange 7th billster47
Orzhov Midrange 8th Czacza

Definitely an interesting Top 8 here. At the end of the event, it was Grixis Affinity that won.

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Solid looking list here. Not surprised to see Tithing Blade and Mephitic Draught find its way into this shell as well. Ixalan boasted a good amount of power for these midrange-esque archetypes.

In Second Place we had Boros Synthesizer.

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I always enjoy seeing Bitter Reunion in decks. Card is so cool and interesting. Same with Flaring Pain.

Further into this Top 8 we had two Turbo Fog in the Top 8, so let's look at the higher placing one.

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This deck seems to be creeping back into the forefront of things as of late. It's a sweet deck so hopefully that means it's here to stay for a bit.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we had some Orzhov Midrange.

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Speaking of Tithing Blade, I'm continually impressed with how powerful that card is and how it has enabled more of these different midrange shells to exist. Very cool deck here.

Pauper Challenge 1/28

The second Challenge event of the weekend was the Sunday event. This is a bit of a change as this is a return to the 64-player minimum events after the holidays. This event had 64 players thanks to the data provided by Daybreak Games.

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

Burn was incredibly popular, but it's win rate was dragged down despite having a top finish. Golgari, Jeskai, and Familiars all did super well here.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Golgari Gardens 1st NickNorman
Golgari Gardens 2nd IAB_Magic
Jeskai Affinity 3rd Hamuda
Mono White Aggro 4th jwaves
Burn 5th LikeAFerro
Dimir Terror 6th TopLeitche
Dimir Faeries 7th Misplacedginger
Azorius Familiars 8th Gn42

Pretty cool Top 8 here. At the end of the event it was a finals of Golgari vs Golgari, so let's look at the winner first.

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Fairly standard-looking list overall here. The amount of card draw this deck has access to is pretty bonkers, so it's redundancy is quite good.

Now let's look at the Second Place Golgari Gardens list.

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Much of the major differences here center on the sideboard, where this list is splashing into white specifically for Circle of Protection effects. Kind of a neat idea and it seems easy enough to splash.

Further into the Top 8 we had Mono White Aggro.

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I really like these lists. They're clean and powerful and they have a strong game plan.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we had Familiars.

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Highly interesting list here with no copies of things like Murmuring Mystic. Really sometimes just gaining a million life with the Ghostly Flicker loop is enough to win the game off of for sure.

Around the Web

  • StompyMTG has a video on their Top 5 MKM Pauper cards. Check it out here.
  • Kalikaiz has a video on Glitter Affinity. Check it out here.
  • Andrea Mengucci has a Pauper Veedeo! Check out the link here.

The Spice Corner

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

Turbo Initiative with "Name Sticker" Goblin is pretty spicy for sure.

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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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