Pauper Panel Happy With State Of The Format

Good Morning Magic goes over meta, health, and potential changes for Pauper

Tolarian Terror illustrated by Vincent Chritiaens

Gavin Verhey gave a State of Pauper address today in the latest episode of Good Morning Magic, where he covered the health of the format, the meta, potential changes, and more.

Verhey and the rest of the Pauper Format Panel, a group of Pauper players and advocates from around the globe, are relatively happy with the health of the format consisting only of commons. There are many viable decks, including a handful of top tier decks, and even more playable decks just below that level.

Monastery Swiftspear Myr Enforcer Tolarian Terror

The six top decks look to be Mono-Red Aggro, Grixis Affinity, Faeries, Dimir Terror, Azorius Familiars, and Selesnya Hexproof. The second tier of decks includes: Boros Aggro, Wall Combo, Gruul Cascade, Orzhov Ephemerate, Tron, and a new deck called Black Garden, which is a mostly black control deck that splashes Avenging Hunter to leverage the initiative.

Avenging Hunter Boarding Party Axebane Guardian

A large number of decks are doing well and Magic Online Challenges see a good amount of variety in Top 8s. The Pauper Format Panel did look into taking action against Mono-Red Aggro and Grixis Affinity, but chose not to make any changes. While the two aggressive decks are popular and strong, nothing stands out to be overwhelming or requiring of a ban. The meta balance is good, despite Pauper Leagues on Magic Online occasionally being a bit heavier on the two marquee aggressive decks.

With Commander Masters coming this summer, and most likely some new cards getting downshifted to common for the first time, the Pauper Format Panel will let the format evolve and adjust when that set is released. Masters sets tend to impact Pauper as strong uncommons — and sometimes rares — move down to common to help out their respective Limited formats.

Sinkhole Hymn to Tourach High Tide

The Pauper Format Panel did look into potentially unbanning Sinkhole, Hymn to Tourach, and High Tide, but once again decided on no action. The risk seems too high for the reward, especially when cards like Sinkhole and Hymn to Tourach often lead to unfun games. High Tide was the closest to coming off the ban list, but the format doesn’t need shaken up for the sake of doing so. Ultimately, all three of the potential unbans came with too much risk to pull the trigger.