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Browse > Home / Strategy / Articles / The Power of Pauper: The Magic Online Creator Showdown 5K - Pauper!

The Power of Pauper: The Magic Online Creator Showdown 5K - Pauper!


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 talking about the first big event for Pauper with Modern Horizons 3 in the form of the MTGO Creator Showdown 5K!

I will note, I was off last week prepping for this tournament, so I did not have an article devoted to talking about the Cranial Ram ban. While I'm generally not a huge fan of pre-bans, I think in this case it was warranted, and I appreciated the utter transparency from the PFP on this card.

We've also got the first week of Challenges with MH3 legal.

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

MTGO Creator Showdown 5K - Pauper!

This past weekend was the very first MTGO Creator Showdown 5K event for the MTGO Content Creator Program! The first event was chosen to spotlight Pauper, a mere four days after the release of Modern Horizons 3 on MTGO. At the end of when all was said and done, 48 creators battled it out for supremacy in a six-round double elimination tournament. This means if you racked up two losses you were out of the event.

I was fortunate enough as part of this program to take part in it. With only a short week to really prepare and coming off vacation, I ended up choosing Grixis Affinity to play, a decision that I still believe was correct, but I would have made some alternative deckbuilding choices for it overall. I ended the event in Round 4 at 2-2, taking my second loss in the mirror to fellow friend and creator John Ryan Hamilton (xJCloud).

As part of this event, all Creators were required to stream the event, so you can find my spliced together VOD of my four rounds below:

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Primarily I think I should have landed on Sneaky Snacker as an option over Frogmite in my list, due in part to the fact that Snacker looked really good when I saw it in play versus xJCloud. I also would have liked to have had a main deck Nihil Spellbomb (that will become more apparent as we look upon the metagame below). I also do think that while it was cool to try out new cards like Eviscerator's Insight, having a better option like Reckoner's Bargain simply made more sense for the mirrors.

My event was pretty fun though and went as such:

  • Round 1 vs Golgari Gardens (1-2 LOSS) - Gardens is a rough matchup and built to punish Affinity
  • Round 2 vs Affinity (2-1 WIN) - Long games and some really nailbiting things going on here, but I managed to pull through.
  • Round 3 vs Bogles (2-1 WIN) - Game 1 and Game 3 are very much worth watching. Game 3 especially is back-breakingly brutal
  • Round 4 vs Affinity (1-2 LOSS) - All very close games here, and I misplayed a miss on lethal with a Galvanic Blast, but they were all super complicated games with a ton of back and forth.

Now let's talk a bit about the metagame for this event.

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

As was expected, despite the ban of Cranial Ram, the allure of cards like Refurbished Familiar (an all-star in my opinion) and Sneaky Snacker was too hard for people to ignore, so Grixis Affinity was a solid 29.17% of the metagame. Its overall win rate was pretty good, and it even ended as the lone 6-0 of the event. Bogles and Gruul Ponza were also very popular.

The event was won by Thierry Ramboa (El_Gran_Boa) on Grixis Affinity!

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This is certainly a powerful list. Cast into the Fire is another card I'd considered that likely would have been quite good.

I am very thankful to have been included in this inaugural event and even more thrilled that it was Pauper so I could write about it this week. It was quite fun getting to see all the excitement from other creators in the program, even those who don't generally play Pauper and how excited they were to try the format. Thanks again to Daybreak Games for this incredible program!

Pauper Challenge 32 6/14

The first Challenge event of the week was the Friday event. This event had 61 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.

Grixis Affinity was the most played deck here, but it's overall win rate was pretty low. Madness did very well as did Goblins Combo.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Bogles 1st PedraStone
Cycle Storm 2nd Tyerube1618
Goblins Combo 3rd BokyFloky
Izzet Terror 4th DobleP
Madness 5th Niederschatten
Mono White Heroric 6th G-Monteiro
Poison Storm 7th saidin.raken
Rakdos Midrange 8th LuffyDoChapeuDePalha

Fairly interesting Top 8 actually for the first Challenge event with MH3 legal. At the end of the event it was Bogles that won.

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Malevolent Rumble is a very intriguing card because it's a two-mana "get any permanent" card from the top four of your library. Great for Bogles because it plays mostly permanents anyways and wants all of them.

In Second Place we had Cycle Storm.

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The most interesting additions here are Seething Landscape which can nab any of the colors you need, and Siege Smash out of the sideboard. Otherwise this is a relatively stock looking list.

Also in this Top 8 we had Goblins Combo.

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Eviscerator's Insight makes a showing here, which is pretty cool. I think it's a neat card for sure.

Pauper Challenge 32 6/15

The second Challenge of the weekend was the Saturday event. This event had 52 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.

Bogles was super popular here, and it's win rate was quite good. Affinity had a good showing too. Orzhov Midrange piles did exceedingly well, while Dimir Terror fell short.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Azorius Gates 1st msskinbolic
Mono Blue Terror 2nd Brivenix
Orzhov Midrange 3rd pepeteam
Goblins Combo 4th BokyFloky
Grixis Affinity 5th boom_bust
Madness 6th outZEROo
Orzhov Midrange 7th onebigpin_
Bogles 8th Hampuse1

Pretty solid Top 8 here. At the end of the event it was Azorius Gates that won.

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Fairly solid stock list here, even without an Outlaw Medic to patch up some life totals. I don't know that it really matters what this shell plays as long as the threats are good.

In Second Place we had Mono Blue Terror.

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Very straightforward and clean list to the last here. This deck has had its ups and downs, but it looks good in the current burgeoning metagame.

Also in this Top 8 we had Orzhov Midrange. Let's look at the highest placing one.

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Refurbished Familiar seems quite at home in this deck as well, given that it can be enabled well. Bouncing it with Ninjutsu seems incredibly dirty or bouncing it with Kor Skyfisher/Glint Hawk.

Pauper Challenge 64 6/16

The final Challenge of the weekend was the Sunday event. This event had 66 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.

Both Grixis and Gruul Ponza were super popular, but while Grixis had a meh event, Ponza had a strong-looking win rate. Madness and Mono Blue Terror also looked good.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Walls Combo 1st Terminus0
Azorius Familiars 2nd Gn42
Orzhov Midrange 3rd pepeteam
Mono White Aggro 4th jwaves
Gruul Ponza 5th HughC
Dimir Faeries 6th kaikas
Bogles 7th Hampuse1
Gruul Ponza 8th Gobern

Wildly interesting Top 8 here. At the end of the event, it was Walls that won.

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Solid looking list here. I like Mirrorshell Crab out of the sideboard. Seems like a sweet card.

In Second Place we had Familiars.

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Not much newness here except for a copy of Contaminated Landscape. The cycling mini-fetches definitely seem quite interesting for Pauper.

As noted, Gruul Ponza did well, so let's look at the highest-placing one.

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Writhing Chrysalis and Eldrazi Repurposer seem like absolutely insane cards for this archetype. They both make bodies but then Chrysalis just gets bigger and has Reach! Wildly powerful.

Around the Web

  • Some of the MTGO Creators posted their runs from the Creator Showdown! Check them out below!
  • Alex Ullman has an article on last weekend's events. Check it out here.
  • Kalikaiz has a video on the impact of MH3. 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!

Basking Broodscale + Sadistic Glee Combo! NICE.

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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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