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The Power of Pauper: The War for Every Plane

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 continuing our journey into Pauper with a look at our very first Pauper set review in March of the Machine! We've also got some results from a Magic Online event as well as both Challenges from the past weekend!

Without further ado, let's dive right in!

Powerful Commons from Across the Multiverse!

Oh hey, it's our very first ever set review! Right on time for this column to start, almost like I planned it that way. Of course I did. Reviewing sets for Pauper can be quite interesting because there are a ton of Commons in every set, and not every Common is Pauper playable to the power level of the format so we won't be going through every Common in the set because we'd be here for forever. March of the Machine however, does have quite a bit of interesting stuff in it, so let's first talk about the mechanics of this set.

One of the big returning mechanics here is Convoke. Convoke lets you tap your creatures to help pay for the cost of a spell, either by paying for one generic mana cost or a mana of that creature's color. Since Pauper is very creature-centric as a format, Convoke spells are always interesting to look at.

In addition to that we've got some new mechanics, such as Backup and Incubate. Backup is a mechanic that lets a creature give another creature its abilities until end of turn in addition to a +1/+1 counter. In a vacuum, the creature can give itself the +1/+1 counter, but does not grant any additional abilities. Incubate on the other hand, is a token-making mechanic that makes a new artifact token type called Incubator that can be transformed into a creature for two generic mana later on.

With that out of the way, let's look at some of the cards that piqued my interest out of this set.

Akki Scrapchomper

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

There's quite a bit of sacrifice fodder in Pauper right now when it comes to Artifacts especially, with so many cards creating tokens or sacrificing cards like Ichor Wellspring and Chromatic Star. Would not be surprised to see this show up somewhere for sure.

Alabaster Host Intercessor

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Reanimator-style decks often hinge on cards like Exhume or Late to Dinner in Pauper, and a creature that has the ability to discard itself for a relevant effect plus also has a strong ETB ability is worth the look here. Being a Banisher Priest type effect is pretty cool and having Plainscycling is ultra helpful to getting it into the graveyard.

Converter Beast

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This card looks very interesting from a standpoint of cards like Ephemerate, as you can just keep blinking this and then have a stream of 5/5s available later on for two mana a piece. Definitely an interesting card.

Cut Short

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Typically this kind of removal is a little slow, but having Convoke is interesting because it can turn your creatures into the mana needed to cast it. Might seem interesting in something somewhere that wants this form of removal, but otherwise is probably on the cutting room floor.

Final Flourish

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Sacrificing artifacts or creatures has never been better in the format, so this is yet another card that can do this, and since it can sacrifice either you can get some good value out of it. This could see play in Affinity for the mirror match given that it can usually kill any Bridges that have been animated by Kenku Artificer.

Flywheel Racer

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Crew 1 makes this a really aggressive card and can convert mana dorks in fast ramp decks into a 3/2 with Vigilance that can also pay for cards after combat. Pretty reasonable on rate for a 2 MV Vehicle.

Halo Hopper

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

A 3/2 for three that can be cast functionally for free with Convoke is pretty cool. Plus it's a Frog, and Frogs are cool.

Hangar Scrounger

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

There is a very unique combo here with this card and Seeker of Skybreak that is pretty cool. Seeker has an ability of "T: Untap target creature" and giving it the ability from Hangar Scrounger allows it to continually untap itself and and draw through the deck. The combo here is that the deck can then possibly win by casting Haunting Misery to kill the opponent. Pretty cool stuff!

Ichor Drinker

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

A one mana card that converts itself into a creature is pretty reasonable enough. It's sort of like a Sacred Cat but it converts itself into a 2/2 without Lifelink on the flip side. Could see play maybe.

Meeting of Minds

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Convoke is again a very interesting mechanic, and this being an Instant could make it maybe playable in decks like Familiars or Caw-Gates where there is a cost reduction effect in play as well. Drawing two cards for free is powerful.

Saiba Cryptomancer

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

A hexproof granting creature that has flash speed capability is pretty cool, and I could see this seeing play in either Bogles-style decks or in the Faeries-style decks. Definitely a really powerful card for sure.

Seed of Hope

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This effect at instant speed is really powerful for one green. I don't know what deck wants this but the effect is really good.

Sunder the Gateway

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This is a pretty interesting Disenchant effect because it comes with a creature attached to it, and then even if there isn't a target it's a two-mana 2/2. This could definitely see play somewhere.

Unseal the Necropolis

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This is a pretty unique effect in that it's one of the best of these effects that isn't conditional in nature. I don't know what deck wants this, but it's a pretty solid effect.

Urn of Godfire

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Oh right, Tron exists. This is a mana filter when you need it but it's also a destruction effect. Seems quite strong.

Wrenn's Resolve

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

This is the card that's caused a lot of the hubbub discussion lately. As a card, this is functionally a second copy of Reckless Impulse, which also is seeing a lot of play in Pauper already. Will having two versions of this effect (making for effectively 8 copies of it) be very good? I am not sure, but I think there are some strong ways to build around this as a card. This is definitely one of the predominantly playable cards of the entire set, so I won't be surprised to see this show up in many many places.

Sprint Wheel Event - MTGO 4/4

This past week was the second of a series of events on Magic Online events put on by the organizers of Paupergeddon. These are simple three-round events with chances to win prizes and to win possible byes into the Paupergeddon event. The next of these events takes place on Tuesday May 9th. There is no Top 8 to these events, as they are only three rounds of play.

You can find all of the decklists from the event here. The event had 51 players thanks to the information provided off MTGMelee.

Here are the highest placing 3-0 lists from the event.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Mono Blue Faeries 3-0 Luca Michenzi
Orzhov Ephemerate 3-0 Alberto Carrozza
Kuldotha Burn 3-0 Andrea Decarlo
Dimir Control 3-0 AdeptoTerra
Esper Gates 3-0 Alessandro Mazzucchelli
Kuldotha Burn 3-0 Diego Barbagelata

This looked like a super fun event, and of the 3-0s here the one that stuck out at me was the Esper Gates build.

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The splash here is pretty light so it's definitely more "Azorius" than "Esper" because the major black card here is Suffocating Fumes. Definitely a neat deck.

Pauper Challenge 4/8

The first Challenge event of the weekend was the early morning Saturday event! This event had 54 players in it thanks to the data collected by the Castle of Commons Discord.

You can find the Top 32 decklists for this event here and the data sheet here (Thanks to karl191 for his continued work on all of these data projects).

Kuldotha Burn was the most represented deck at 12 copies and while it did have some Top 8 finishes here, it's overall win rate was really low (35.42% non-mirror win rate). Affinity was the next most popular deck and it had a slightly over 50% win rate of 51.28% non-mirror. Of the most popular decks here, Mono Blue Faeries had a solid performance and a solid conversion rate into the top tables of the event.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Mono Blue Faeries 1st Brivenix
Mono White Aggro 2nd saikyoluige
Affinity 3rd mogged
Mono Blue Faeries 4th _Batutinha_
Kuldotha Burn 5th helvetti
Izzet Faeries 6th cicciogire
Kuldotha Burn 7th Mahers
Ephemerate Tron 8th ziofrancone

Bit of Burn, a lot of Faeries and some Tron here. At the end of the event it was Mono Blue Faeries that won the event.

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Definitely a very powerful deck that has a lot of strong and powerful lines to it and a lot of really interesting gameplay with how it balances its game plan and control elements. I love some of the sideboard options here.

In Second Place we've got Mono White Aggro.

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This deck has some really cool stuff it can do, and it has a lot of aggressive elements to it that make it very powerful. Squadron Hawk in general is a really strong element in Pauper these days as a bit of card advantage (since it technically draws three cards for you on the first ETB).

Also in this Top 8 we have Izzet Faeries.

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I like this deck a lot. The power of stuff like Skred and the removal suite here, combined with the powerful cantrip effects like Ponder is just one portion of this deck, the other of being able to bounce stuff like Crimson Fleet Commodore and regain Monarch when needed is great too. Super fun looking deck.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we have Ephemerate Tron.

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This list leans more on the usage of Dinrova Horror as an end game flicker target, quickly bouncing the opponent's tournaments and then making them discard in order to deny them a game plan. It's definitely a solid deck for sure.

Pauper Challenge 4/9

The second Challenge event of the weekend was the mid morning Sunday event! This event had 72 players in it thanks to the data collected by the Castle of Commons Discord .

You can find the Top 32 decklists for this event here and the data sheet here (Thanks to karl191 for his continued work on all of these data projects).

Kuldotha Burn and Affinity were both neck and neck here (14 Burn/13 Affinity) for most popular deck. Kuldotha Burn again had a rather poor win rate, while converting at least one pilot into the Top 8. Affinity did a little better in win rate than the Saturday event. Again, Mono Blue Faeries put up some really reasonable results and it had a solid non-mirror win rate.

Let's take a look at the Top 8.

Deck Name Placing MTGO Username
Affinity 1st Hamuda
Kuldotha Burn 2nd PauloCabral_Br
Jeskai Gates 3rd pepeisra
Ephemerate Tron 4th RClint21
Mono Blue Faeries 5th NimblestMongoose
Mono Blue Faeries 6th pokerswizard
Affinity 7th Walker735
Familiars 8th Kampo

Lot of Faeries here again, some Burn, some Familiars, and at the end of the event the winner was Affinity.

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Definitely a strong list. Metallic Rebuke is a powerful counterspell that can be cost-reduced and that makes it really good. Gurmag Angler as a non-artifact threat that can easily be cast for B is pretty sweet.

In Second Place we have Kuldotha Burn.

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Okay I have not seen a Flaring Pain in a long while, not since I used to play Madness in Legacy (where it could be used there to push through cards like Glacial Chasm). I am digging it for sure. What a way to combat the Pro-Red creatures floating around the format.

Also in this Top 8 we have Jeskai Gates.

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Four copies of each blast in the sideboard is pretty huge, to be honest. Lot of sideboard space there taken up for very specific things. A black splash of Arms of Hadar is kind of cool here though in the sideboard.

At the bottom of the Top 8 we have Familiars.

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I really like this deck. It has some pretty sweet gameplay to it and it does some really strong things. This might be a deck I might build for sure.

Around the Web

  • Pauperganda has a video on their Top Pauper picks of March of the Machine. Check it out here.
  • Great video by Stompy MTG on Kuldotha Burn! Check it out here.
  • Our good friend Alex Ullman has a great article on what kind of graveyard hate you should be running in Pauper. Check it out here.

The Spice Corner

You can find this past week's 5-0 deck lists over here.

Pretty neat Tron list with some big creatures!

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Golgari Control is quite cool.

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What I'm Playing This Week

I might actually be getting out to a Pauper weekly this week near me at local store The Game Haven! I do have both Walls and Combo Goblins built, but I will probably play Combo Goblins for a change this week.

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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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