The Best One Mana Spell in MTG Pauper? These results will Surprise YOU

A few months ago, I was determined to find the best ONE mana spell in MTGPauper, but since my opinion alone would not be very objective, I recurred to YouTube viewers to help me with that feat.

This is why, today, I will show you which is the BEST one drop in the format, the criteria for selecting it, and how that card faced to get the precious title.

I am a man who is very data-driven and passionate about it, so if this resonates with you as well, you will like this without a doubt!

The Rules

The rules were straightforward: I picked four of the best one-mana spells on each color by hand, and the community could vote to determine which they liked the most or considered the best. I honestly would have loved to go with five for each color pair, but YT only allowed me to do four. Still, some colors could have been more well-supported, so it all comes up very well at the end of the day.

In the first round, I chose two cards for each color, and the one with the most votes, moved into the winner's bracket, while the one with the second most votes moved to the loser's bracket.

If one of the cards that moved to the winner's bracket lost and came in second place, it moved to the losers bracket directly. This was to, in my mind, give them more opportunity to compete despite being eliminated relatively early.

The Contenders

Now I will present to you the contenders for each round per color.







Multi Colored

The Results

Round 1 - Green

The first-round winner was Llanowar Elves, and Quirion Ranger moved to the loser's brackets. Honestly, this result shocked me as Basking Rootwalla has been the face of Pauper and some discord groups, but ignoring that, the ones the community chose make sense. I wonder if Arbor Elf would have done better than the poor lizard.

Round 2 - Red

Second round was a devastating win for Lightning Bolt, with almost 60% of votes in its favor. Still, most notably, the recently introduced Monastery Swiftspear got better acceptance to Galvanic Blast and Pyroblast. These two red cards have been part and staples of decks for a very long time.

Round 3 - Blue

This was another surprising result for me. If you ask me, all the cantrips are about the same power level and have their own role on each deck. That being said, Brainstorm stood up among the others out of over 700 votes. Not sure if the results were biased, thanks to how good it is in Legacy, but one thing I can say is that now with the recently introduced Cycle cards from LOTR, Brainstorm just got better.

Round 4 - White

The results don't cease to surprise me. I know Ephemerate is good, but nowhere in my mind was 80% against, let's say, Glint Hawk, one of the most Iconic Pauper cards of the fan-favorite Boros midrange deck. And not only that, but Thraben Inspector ended up with more votes, wild.

Round 5 - Black

On the other hand, Dark Ritual has been the cornerstone on which all the broken pauper strategies rely. What did Chatterstorm decks and Turbo Initiative decks have in common before they got nerfed?  Dark Ritual, so it's not surprising to me that it's the best among the other competitors, and between Unearth and Tortex, I like Tortex the most, but we are a democracy.

Round 6 - Colorless

I think it was obvious to me that Relic of Progenitus was going to win, and since Chromatic Star is better than Chromatic Sphere, I decided to go with the first, and it came in second for this round.

Round 7 - Multi colored

Not very exciting cards to choose from, so this result was expected, and the second card out of them is almost irrelevant.

Round 8 - Losers Bracket 1

From the first losers bracket, it was notorious that Monastery Swiftspear was going to come on top. However, it's still amazing how a newcomer can put aside multiple cards that have been staples on numerous decks for a long time.

Round 9 - Winners Bracket 1

The winner's bracket followed the same path, as Lightning Bolt came on top easily above everyone else. Ephemerate got the most votes, even over Brainstorm, surprisingly, so Ephemerate will move to the losers bracket, while Lightning Bolt will advance to the winner's bracket. 

Round 10 - Winners Bracket 2

This came closer than I expected, as Relic of Progenitus got a decent amount of votes. Still, more was needed to compete against Dark Ritual in this round, so they will move accordingly to their respective brackets.

Round 11- Losers Bracket 2

On the other hand, Chromatic Star crushed the other competitors in the losers bracket, getting another chance to shine one more time in this Pauper voting.

Semi-Finals - Winners Bracket

The semi-final of the winner's bracket was between Lightning Bolt and Dark Ritual. They both share some similarities, like being staples of multiple formats. Still, it was a devastating victory from what it is, for now, the best one mana removal spell, and it skyrocketed to the finals.

Semi-Finals - Losers Bracket

Losers bracket was a tough one between Ephemerate and Monastery Swiftspear. The latter came on top by a mere 6%, equivalent to approximately 39 votes, which was not much, all things considered. Because of this, Ephemerate was automatically placed on fourth place, and the next round will decide who will battle against Lightning Bolt in the finals.

Losers Bracket Finals

The losers bracket finals were not even close. Almost 80% of the people choose Monastery Swiftspear against Lightning Bolt. Do you think Taylor Swift can get revenge against Lightning Bolt in the last round? A newcomer vs. a solid format staple? David vs Goliath? Let's find out!


Yup, not even close. Lightning Bolt was the best, regardless of where people wanted to look.

As such, the final standings ended up like this.

Wrap Up

I want to shout out to the Youtube Community who was willing to help bring these results to you! This fun dynamic happened a couple of months ago, but I wanted to share the results with everyone else.

Now, I have a question for everyone reading this: Is it ok that the two best one-mana spells in all Pauper are red and belong in the same deck?

Let me know in the comments! Take care, and I will see you in my next post.


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