Pauper Meta Report - New Year, Same Meta ?

Table of Contents

 

First Impressions of 2024 meta

First and foremost, I hope you had a fantastic end of the year and that joy and success await you in 2024.

Last year was a crazy one regarding Pauper, thanks to the flux of many sets and downshifts that joined the format. While some will miss Monastery Swiftspear this year, it was a justified Ban that was very obvious after a couple of months of playing with the card, so if anything, it lasted a bit more than it should.

Regardless, what does the meta look like now? Well, in two words: The Same.

You see, the problem is that Pauper, being an Eternal format (meaning cards never rotate), will only change if new cards get added or downshifted or if bans happen. On top of that, the main archetypes are already defined, with blue being a dominant color overall among the others, as it opens the doors to many strategies that are significantly different from each other.

From faeries to Caw Gates to Terror, these decks have a different playstyle and have been there regardless of the latest Pauper Ban. In fact, its usage hasn’t dropped but instead increased as they can now stop running eight Hydroblast in their sideboards and run a broader number of answers for other decks in the meta.

This obviously means that their popularity will rise, and in contrast, the rest of the meta will struggle to win against them. If slow decks were punished by red decks first, now, they will get punished by the rise of blue decks expanding their arsenal against the field.

Still, time will tell on whether the format is balanced, and since that is something it's true depending on the viewer's eyes, all we can do is play with what we have available, and if blue is the new meta, it's worth dusting off our trusty Pyroblasts from the binder.

Leagues and Data

At the end of last year, the Daybreak team updated the server, allowing data to parse faster. This affects us because instead of a consolidated amount of league results, we now have access to daily lists that went undefeated through a league.

To a data nerd like me, this is excellent news, so weekly, I will try to give a consolidation of decks that have gone 5-0 on leagues, according to WotC, and the players that are the runners-up for the first Pauper Player of the Year League Champion Award (yeah, I will revisit that name in the future).

Currently, the standings are as follows.

Players Trophies
carvs 6
DenisevichAlexey 5
Niederschatten 4
Boquinha 3
Beicodegeia 3
Forgerred 2
JakeHelms 2
galeogiao 2
alfonso_666666 2
NoneOfYourBusiness 2

Decks Trophies
Dimir Faeries 10
Golgari Gardens 9
Caw-Gates 9
Jeskai Affinity 9
Burn 7
Jeskai Ephemerate 7
Mono-Red Synthesizer 6
W 6
Elves 5
UR 5

Interestingly, despite the ban, red decks still add up to 14 trophies between different versions of the deck. Even though it might mean that players just take the fastest deck of the format to amass wins, it's a sign that the archetype still lives among players' hearts despite the Monastery Swiftspear ban.

One last note is that these are from leagues since 1/1/2024, which may vary according to the current trophy table on mtgo.

Top Decks of the Week

ezocratto - Saturday Challenge Winner

Regarding Challenges, last Saturday's winner was Caw Gates, one of my favorite decks in the format. If you want to try it, I already covered it in depth in another blog post.

It has remained one of the most solid options in the meta post-bans, and it has a strong niche now since it's one of the few blue decks that can run Pyroblast due to its mana base.

_against_ - Sunday Challenge Winner

On the other hand, Sunday was won by none other than Grixis Affinity. Despite All that Glitters being popular in the format, the Grixis version is as strong as its play relies on dominating the board with removal spells and refilling their hand with card advantage in the form of Deadly Dispute or Thoughtcast.

These two results alone may seem like little, but when paired with league data, you will see the tendency of blue decks dominating the format I previously mentioned.

Deck of the Week Award

5-0 MonoWhite Affinity

Sometimes, simplicity can exceed expectations. In this deck's case, that's precisely what happens when you stick to one color while playing the format's best cards. Blacksmith's Skill is the card I am particularly excited about, as it serves both as protection and a pump spell for artifact creatures. It grants Hexproof and Indestructible, two of the best keywords in Magic.

Of course, the sideboard is crafted to beat the other popular meta decks. So, if you enjoy playing off-meta brews, this is one to try.

Wrap Up

It's too early to make predictions, and despite Ravnica Remastered bringing cards like Judge’s Familiar to the format, we need something better to see the meta shift and new archetypes emerge.

Thanks for reading up until now. As always, it's a pleasure writing for you. If you enjoy the content and want to see more, check out the other deck guides and past reports!

Take care, and we will meet again in the next article!

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.


*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.

My Latest Pauper Brews

Merch

If you would like to support me differently, I have compiled a list of designs that can be customized in different products such as T-shirts, Hoodies, and even Mugs!

Ko-FI

Another way to support me is via Ko-FI, where you can also find FREE sideboard guides for my pauper brews and exclusive content for members.

Schedule your First Free Coach Session

If you are looking to improve your limited or Pauper gameplay, a second opinion is often valuable. Let me help you achieve your goals and level up your gameplay.

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