Pauper Meta Report - Second week of July 2023


Commander Masters & Downshifts

Commander Masters is approaching, and the expected release date is August 4th. Each new set is a great joy for the Pauper community as there’s always the hope of getting new cards to play with for the format or that cards with a higher rarity get downshifted and become Pauper legal.

In the first week, WotC usually focuses on just releasing a crazy amount of rares and mythics to amass hype for consumers, so we might have to wait a couple of weeks until the full set gets spoiled, but for now, the only notable downshifts are:

Windrider Wizard

Three mana is a little slow for Pauper, but it can be an enabler for infinite combos. Of course, that will require tons of mana, so either you have to slam it on a storm shell or create some sort of loop, and the first thing that comes into my mind is Familiars. In theory, with the Archaeomancer+ Ghostly Flicker loop, you can dig through your library to find your win condition. Other than that, I can't think of another way to use it right now, and since it would require crazy amounts of clicks on MTGO, I will let Kali do the hard work for all of us.

Brass Knuckles

The dream of trying to have a decent equipment deck in Pauper continues. Cards like Barbed Batterfist or Simian Sling are not good enough to fully support the archetype, and I don’t think Brass Knuckles would be the exception, mostly because of its four mana casting cost. Still, it's a fun card to play and toy around with.

Blood Aspirant

Now, this is a card I'm excited about. It's cheap and reminds me a little about Gixian Infiltrator, with the difference that his one has more text on it, but more importantly, it's RED.

Now we can realistically get a mono red sacrifice deck full of Chromatic Stars, Experimental Synthesizers, and Kuldotha Rebirths, that along with Goblin Blast-Runner and Blood Aspirant, will enjoy sacrificing permanents to grow themselves on the battlefield.

My Downshift Wishlist

If you are already a long-time viewer of my Youtube Channel, you may be already familiar with my picks for the cards I would love to see downshifted.

Colorless MultiColored White Green Blue Black Red
Treetop Village Guttural Response Abolish Strangleroot Geist Spell Snare Shriekmaw Anger
Ancient Ziggurat Rakdos Cackler Loam Lion Gnarlwood Dryad Fact or Fiction Gatekeeper of Malakir Flames of the Blood Hand
Buried Ruin Judge’s Familiar Servo Exhibition Reclamation Sage Trophy Mage Cabal Therapy Pyrohemia
Signal Pest Dryad Militant Path to Exile Acidic Slime Hypnotic Sprite Nekrataal Skullcrack
Ghost Quarter Tidehollow Sculler Intangible Virtue Blossoming Defense Cryptic Serpent Gifted Aetherborn Bloodrage Brawler
Meteor Golem Electrolyze Valor Autumn’s Veil Curiosity Filth Flametongue Kavu
God-Pharaoh’s Far/Away Valorous Stance Chainweb Aracnir Wonder Sitcher’s Supplier Reckless Bushwhacker
Krark-Clan Ironworks Lightning Helix Ajani’s Pridemate Become Immense Reality Shift Archfiend's Vessel Fireblade Charger
Artisan of Kozilek Bloodbraid Elf Dispatch Boneyard Wurm Thirst for Knowledge Darkblast Blazing Rootwalla
Dragon's Claw Lingering Souls Swords to Plowshares Brawn Hedron Crab Vampire Nighthawk Dragon’s Rage Channeler
Dread Return

Did you like the list? I must acknowledge that some of these cards are probably too powerful, but also some others are already good enough for the format thanks to the power creep, so let's bear that in mind. If I were to choose only two, those would be Shriekmaw and Blazing Rootwalla. What are your picks?

Pauper Commander is now ONLINE.

As of 7/12/2023, MTGO has released an update where players can submit their Freeform Commander decks and play in the Freeform queue.

This means that aside from Oathbreaker, Duel Commander, and Tiny Leaders, players can now enjoy putting their uncommon creatures as their commanders and play with the commons they have gathered by playing Pauper through the years on the client.

Upset that Atog and Hightide are banned? Then it's your opportunity to play again with those powerful cards!

I haven’t had the time to join or test it thoroughly, but if you decide to give it a go, all you need to do is go to the Freeform Commander Open Play under the Commander TAB.

Also, I had already written an article about Pauper Commander, in case I grabbed your attention and want to know more about the format.

Top Decks of the Week

Here's a brief compilation of the decks and tournament lists from the week that did good and surprisingly well during the second week of July 2023. The most notable by far is Burn.

Saturday Challenge Winner

After weeks of being shy from the Challenge scene, Burn returned with vengeance by placing three top eight results on Saturday. If you break down the burn sideboard plan, you can see why it's the deck to beat in the meta as it has an answer to anything trying to hate on it. In the past, gaining life was enough to buy some time and win the game against red decks in Pauper, but with eight cheap Reckless Impulse effects, trying to out grind them out-grindis very difficult. Even a couple of resolved Weather the Storm's won't help as much since Monastery Swiftspear and Kessig Flamebreather can dim your life points in seconds if not dealt with.

I say shy on the Challenge scene because the deck has been a dominant force in Showcases or Last Chance Qualifiers in previous weeks. It's not definitely unbeatable, as enough Hydroblast effects could do the trick, and the deck loses to itself when it's stuck on lands. Still, variance aside, if you are looking for a solid deck to do well in events, the above version is the one I would highly recommend running.

Sunday Winner, surprising no one, is Burn again. This makes sense based on why I described it from Saturday's experience.

Pauper Challenge 2023-07-16 (Pauper) Decks

Brew of the Week Award

Jund Synthesizer

The Brew of the Week award goes to MTGO user Stampeding_Gnomes who managed to go 5-0 on a Pauper League with this deck. At first, this one seemed like your traditional Jund value deck with the Cleansing Wildfire Package, but they took it a step further ahead and used Experimental Synthesizer to get more value out of it. Now, I wouldn't do that as I would always be afraid to reveal a six drop on turn two when I play my Experimental Synthesizer, but they are bold enough to do it anyway. #RESPECT

Wrap Up

This week came with many announcements, and I hope that in the upcoming ones, Pauper gets some of the most wanted reprints that this format needs to keep flexible. Thanks again for the vast support I'm receiving on these new projects! It's a pleasure to me bring this information to you! Take care, and I will see you in my next post!

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Where to Play Pauper?

I have compiled a list of places to play Pauper, mostly IRL. The address may vary, but it's a helpful place to start and check if some of them are near you. They may not play Pauper every day, so it's always a good idea to ask before traveling.

Where to Play Pauper?

My Latest Pauper Brews


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