Pauper Meta Report - Exploring the Lost Caverns of Ixalan

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A new set is coming soon, and here's what you should know about it

Finally, the new MTG set, The Lost Caverns of Ixalan (LCI), is around the corner, and we are already seeing cards that have a lot of potential in our beloved Pauper format.

When is The Lost Caverns of Ixalan's release date?

The Lost Caverns of Ixalan marks the return to Ixalan after we left it behind since its previous release on September 29, 2017.

This new set will be globally released on November 17th, but it will be available digitally starting the 14th.

What are the new Mechanics of The Lost Caverns of Ixalan?

This set will introduce three new mechanics to the game:

  • Craft
  • Descend
  • Discover

Craft is an incredible ability present on artifacts that usually have a decent enter-the-battlefield effect. To activate it, you need to Exile another artifact you control or an artifact card from your graveyard, along with the artifact with craft at sorcery speed. Then you return the card transformed under your control.

Descending is an ability that will only happen if a permanent one is put into your graveyard from anywhere during a turn, making it very a very similar to Morbid and Revolt.

In some cases, this ability also checks the amount of permanetns that are in your graveyard, as its the case of the newly introduced Basking Capybara.

Last but not least, Discover is a new ability, or rather, a keyword action, very reminiscent of Cascade, in the sense that it will let you cast spells for free based on the Discover #, but with some key differences.

  • Discover is not an Activated or Triggered Ability: While some cards may have an activated ability that will enable you to Discover, Discover is a keyword like Scry, Mill, or surveil, which will happen on the activated ability resolution. It may not be very relevant in Pauper, but in legacy, you can't Stifle the discover ability, but rather the activated or triggered ability that will resolve Discover.
  • Most discover cards resolve until the rest of the card effects have already resolved, unlike Cascade, which will go to the stack as soon as the Card with Cascade is cast. So, in short, the resolution orders are different.

What else can we expect?

Aside from the apparent inclusion of Goblin Tom Rider in Mono Red decks, there aren't many other cards from the set that could see play, with the exception of a few like Tithing Blade. I don't think many others would make a higher impact in the format.

This set has pushed a lot in self-mill mechanics, but they are somewhat slow for pauper standards. Still, if you are curious about which other cards made the cut on my top 10 set ranking, here's a video for you.

Top Decks of the Week


It's fun to see the format devolve into what it was before the introduction of Sticker Goblin due to the rise of blue decks as a direct response to battle them. Saturday Challenge winner was a stock affinity with four hydroblast post sideboard and four pyroblast against the other decks that tried to battle the top deck of the format. It seems a bit soft against the mirror, as it doesn't run direct answers to it, but this is what happens when people overlook the second-best deck of the format.


It was a similar story on Sunday's Challenge, as another blue deck won it. I've seen a lot of comments on my videos implying blue decks are overpowered at the momment, and while it's true they are good, we need to keep in mind that the best answers to red decks are under blue colors; therefore, the popularity of blue has risen. I know many people dislike getting their favorite spells countered, but it's the reality of a format that needs more than just new sets and downshifts to level things up.

Deck of the Week Award


It's been a while since we've seen a decent control deck in Pauper, and this Izzet a good one. Ghostfires are there against Guardians of the Guildpact, which is cute, and overall, it does look like a decent shell against the meta, and I might cover it later during the week.

Event Promotion

Wrap Up

Excited for LCI official release in a few days? I think overall it is a good set, but just a few cards will make the playable count. Still, I'm thrilled to see which ones end up overperforming in the next couple of weeks.

Thank you so much for reading up to this point! I'll be bringing more content throughout the rest of the week. Take care, and until we meet again next time!

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.

If you want your Pauper LGS added, send an email with the details to:

davidroyale@pauperbrews.com

*I do receive a lot of requests, so please be patient if it doesn’t get added right away, and don’t hesitate to resend it If I haven’t added them yet.

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