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The Power of Pauper: Qualifier Time!


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 the results from this past weekend's Pauper Qualifier event on Magic Online! This was a huge event, so it's worth taking notice of. In addition, we've got Challenges to discuss as well, three of them like we are now getting every week.

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

Pauper Qualifier 3/2

This past weekend was a large Pauper Qualifier event on Magic Online. These events are functionally RCQ style events on the platform, costing solely MTGO Qualification Points (QPs) to enter. The top two finalists of the event receive a Regional Championship invitation to a tabletop event. This particular event had 219 players overall thanks to the data provided by Daybreak Games. This is a lot of players and quite frankly is the largest Pauper event I've seen in some time on Magic Online, so congrats to the Pauper community for really showing up for this event!

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

The most popular deck of the overall event here was Burn, but despite having some top finishes in the event, it's overall win rate was dragged down below 48%. This happens generally often in these larger events primarily due in part because Burn is the kind of deck to attract players newer to the format as one of the established "best decks.". This leads to a lot of saturation of the deck but also inevitably drags down the overall win rate. In addition, lots of players are simply prepared for the deck as its post-board games are often way worse than Game 1. Of the decks above the cutoff, Azorius Afifnity did the best, and it had one of the strongest overall performances of the entire event (and of the weekend as we will see).

With that said, let's look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Azorius Affinity 1st LasVegasChaos
Burn 2nd TopLeitche
Azorius Gates 3rd MCScards
Ephemerate Tron 4th Hampuse1
Bogles 5th Make_it_Right
Grixis Affinity 6th LuffyDoChapeuDePalha
Ephemerate Tron 7th RClint21
Dimir Terror 8th ecobaronen

As indicated, we had a good showing by Azorius Affinity, but the Top 8 here is pretty diverse. At the end of the event though it was Azorius that won.

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Murders at Karlov Manor definitely did have a major impact on Pauper as a format and really most of that impact is centered in the fact that we got a second Thraben Inspector. This seems truly innocuous to some, but in Pauper having those extra cards that just make artifact tokens is incredibly powerful. Having access to countermagic like Metallic Rebuke and aggressive threats like Gingerbrute is very good.

In Second Place we had Burn.

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Multiple copies of End the Festivities here is very interesting, but the card is quite good in the Burn mirror but also against a good number of other decks. As always, I enjoy seeing Flaring Pain in the sideboard as a way to hedge against damage prevention effects like Prismatic Strands.

Also in this Top 8 we had Ephemerate Tron.

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This deck is very cool, but I will point out that there's a copy of Runaway Boulder from Lost Caverns of Ixalan here. Reading that card definitely explains why it's here, since it's a card you can Ghostly Flicker or Ephemerate and it will do some work to getting rid of opposing creatures. In addition, it has Flash, so having an active Tron is just representing 6 damage to an opponent's creature at instant speed.

Further down the Top 8 we had Bogles.

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Very solid straightforward list here and just about the cleanest manabase overall. This deck has a strong active game plan and it's pushing that plan in the best way.

Pauper Challenge 32 3/2

The first Challenge event of the weekend was the Saturday event, which 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 datasheet here.

Azorius Affinity was the most popular deck and it's win rate was insanely good. Azorius Gates also did very well as did Dimir Terror and Izzet Terror. Burn suffered as did Jeskai Ephemerate.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Azorius Affinity 1st PauloCabral_Br
Azorius Affinity 2nd SorryImSoTilted
Azorius Affinity 3rd bernardocssa
Azorius Affinity 4th Jose Guillermo
Poison Storm 5th pat0presidente
Dimir Faeries 6th ZAAAAMU
Dimir Terror 7th bombaj
Izzet Terror 8th Kampo

Azorius Affinity's conversion rate here being 4/7 of its copies in the entire event being the entire TOP FOUR is insane. At the end of the event, it was Burn that won! (wait, no that's not right; it was Azorius).

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Very much the same decklist for the winner and Second Place lists. Very much insane that this deck had this kind of conversion rate into this event.

Also in this Top 8 we had Poison Storm.

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I really like this deck a lot. It's incredibly interesting and fun looking to play.

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

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It's great to see Izzet Terror being a thing. I am digging the fact that Campfire is a card in the sideboard. It's amusing because it just either gains you life or shuffles your graveyard into your library. Very wild.

Pauper Challenge 32 3/3

The second Challenge event of the weekend was the 32 player minimum Sunday event. This event had 50 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 again on a huge tear this weekend with a massive metagame presence and its win rate was also continued to be insane. Golgari Gardens also did very well here.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Azorius Affinity 1st Beicodegeia
Burn 2nd TopLeitche
Golgari Gardens 3rd Forgerred
Golgari Gardens 4th NickNorman
Azorius Affinity 5th discoverN
Azorius Affinity 6th rasvd
Golgari Gardens 7th Lollopollo2001
Azorius Affinity 8th Dreddybajs

Azorius and Golgari Gardens made up the brunt of this entire Top 8. Wow. At the end of the event it was Azorius Affinity that won.

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Very continued straightforward build here of these lists. Pretty similar to what we've seen across the rest of the weekend with some slight sideboard changes.

In Second Place we had Burn.

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Same list that this player played earlier in the weekend for the Qualifier event. Definitely a strong-looking list. I like the shift off of Seal of Fire.

Also in this Top 8 we had Golgari Gardens.

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This is a super strong and straightforward list. Spinning Darkness is such a cool card for sure.

Pauper Challenge 64 3/3

The final Challenge event of the weekend was the 64 player minimum Sunday event. This event had 70 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.

Three very popular decks here in Affinity, Burn, and Dimir Terror. Of these, Azorius Affinity continued its tear and did very well. The rest above the cutoff performed very medium overall.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Orzhov Midrange 1st totemsilence
Azorius Affinity 2nd PauloCabral_Br
Turbo Fog 3rd RitualSinkhole
Golgari Gardens 4th PedraStone
Azorius Affinity 5th Capoeira02
Dimir Terror 6th termidor
Dimir Faeries 7th PieGonti
Dimir Terror 8th O_danielakos

Quite an interesting Top 8 here. At the end of the event it was Orzhov Midrange that won.

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This list is fun. I like that Tithing Blade allowed for these kinds of decks to exist for sure, and in addition Novice Inspector existing also is very good here.

In Second Place we had Azorius Affinity.

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Again a pretty similar list to what we've seen this weekend. It's a very interesting thing that this deck took the stage this weekend as opposed to Jeskai Affinity, which was for a while there trending upwards.

Also in this Top 8 we had Turbo Fog.

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Keep Watch is such a sick sideboard tech. Draw a bunch of cards, hit your Fog then untap and do more with those cards you just drew? Seems great.

Around the Web

  • Pondering Pauper has a new episode on Familiars. Check it out here.
  • Kalikaiz has a video on the Pauper League metagame. Check it out here.
  • Alex Ullman has a great article on the Magic Con Chicago Pauper Cup. 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!

Kind of a neat take on Gardens with Bone Picker and friends.

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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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