This article courtesy Najay1 and is reprinted with his permission.
About this article
This is a weekly report on the online pauper meta. The data it uses are from last Wednesday to this Wednesday. It looks at the data that Tom the Scud collects from a selection of dailies. He watches the replays on MTGO to figure out how each person did, not just the 3-1s and 4-0s that Wizards publishes. This allows us to see the whole iceberg and figure out how well each deck did in total. Now, this data is just for this week and just from the data Tom collects, so it does ignore the other 3-1/4-0 results which means it is not perfect. Additionally, the conclusions in this article are just based on this week, and as the meta is fluid, the top decks shift. This is intended to see what decks are performing well this week and is not necessarily a reflection of the deck’s overall strength.
The meta continued to develop this week, with the big story being W Tokens. The deck exploded onto the scene 2 weeks ago, and put up strong results in those weeks, but did not have quite as good of a week. Also, many of the top decks continued to put up middle of the road results. The tier two players came out to fight this week, and did very strong in the process. It’ll be interesting to see how these successful, yet less popular, strategies develop in the coming weeks.
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1. Stompy – Stompy put up one of its strongest weeks of late with a 69.2% cash rate and a 66.6% win rate. It was the 5th most popular deck, making up 7.1% of the meta. This is one of the decks that I expected to be strong going in, but has only really put up modest results. This week was a strong exception as not only did the 13 pilots put up 6 3-1s, they also put up 3 4-0s. Just absolutely insane numbers, and something that can be expected not to happen frequently. I would expect this deck to continue to put up strong results, but not close to as strong as this weeks result.
These decks all put up very strong results, but were at or under 5% of the meta, with 9 or less pilots, which means that their results are able to be more influenced by variance. All of these decks are known quantities, and many have been doing better recently, so it is interesting to see how strong they were, but the small sample size means they should be taken with a grain of salt.
1. UB Teachings / UB Angler – There again is two main flavors of UB Angler, but the Delver version seems to be getting slightly more results recently. The deck had 9 pilots for a prominence of 5.0%. The Delver version had 3 3-1s and 1 4-0 whereas the Teachings version had a lonely one 3-1. This makes for a cash rate of 55.6% and a win rate of 55.4%, both quite strong. This deck has consistently put up results and has continually grown. Based on the success of the deck, I wouldn’t expect that to stop.
2. Esper Fae Combo – One of the bogymen of the last format, this deck has slumped back into the shadows recently. Never one to have too many decks, it was just 3.9% of the meta last week with 7 pilots. They put up a cash rate of 57.1% and win rate of 58.3%. As there is only 7 decks, this could obviously be variance, but it is a bit of a departure from some recent bad results. At this point, I’m pretty confident that it will not increase in popularity too much (as it never did when it was one of the best decks) so maybe don’t watch out for this one too much.
3. UR Control – Another deck that was a lot more popular in the previous meta, UR Control has made a slow comeback to be a deck to look out for. Combined with UR Fiend Control, it could make up a decent force in the meta, but the decks do end up playing out differently. This week it had 6 results (3.3% of the meta) for a 66.7% cash rate and 68.0% win rate. Now this could be variance, but 4 out of 6 decks in the cash is still very strong. Also, it appears the decks are making some new card choices which could be a factor in their success as seen just a bit below.
1. Affinity – This was the top performer last week, and is now the worst performing deck. It had a 18.8% cash rate and a 35.3% win rate. Now, a lot of this seems to be from a bad record against non-top decks, 6-10. As Affinity is a very high variance deck, I’m not too surprised at the difference from one week to another. Sometimes Affinity can just get lucky and get strong results, this was the opposite of that. Part of this week to me says it was bad luck, but that is one of the downsides to playing a deck like Affinity. At that same point, I wouldn’t be too surprised to see the deck continue to do below average.
2. UR Fiend – UR Fiend has been very much average as of late. Even with the addition of Temur Battle Rage, the deck has not been able to get into solid tier one status. This week it had a lot less pilots than it has averaged, with a 6.1% prominence (compared to about 9% usually). Out of the 11 decks, 6 went 0-X. Looking at its matchups, the majority of that came from a 6-13 against those less popular decks talked about above. Usually, UR Fiend is strong against these decks as it can come out of nowhere to win and a deck that cannot deal with that very quickly will lose. I would expect this to change next week as it faces different rogue matchups.
3. W Tokens – The token machine jumped up to being the 2nd most popular deck with 9.4% of the meta in really just its 3rd week on the scene. One of the defining characteristics of this deck is how much it can fold to silver bullet cards. These were at least partially used as W Tokens fell to a cash rate of 29.4% and a win rate of 28.9%. A lot of that came from the fact that over half the decks went 0-X. This was at least a bit from the fact it went 4-4 vs. MBC, down from 6-0 last week. Most of the MBC decks were packing at least 4 hate cards between Shrivel, Crypt Rats, and Pestilence. Yet, the real culprit was probably the 4-17 record against those pesky rogue decks. This means it went 15-13 against the top tier decks which is actually really strong. As the rogue matchups change more rapidly than top decks, I would expect this to still be a viable option for the near future, even if not the best. I would expect the hate to grow which means that eventually the deck will probably have to go back into tier 2/3 status. I would expect this deck to be strong next week, but it will find too much hate at some point in the future.
Deck to Watch For
Elves – Not always the strongest deck, Elves is one of the combo decks that exists in pauper. With 4 pilots this week (at a total of 2.2% of the meta), they had 2 3-1s and 2 2-Xs for a cash rate of 50% and a win rate of 62.5%. As a combo deck, it is relatively resilient and puts out a ton of creatures (which gives it reasonable protection from sacrifice effects). The real interesting this to me was how each pilot did very well with the deck. Not sure how well it is positioned in the meta, but it seems to have done quite well for a rogue deck up to this point.
Brew of the Week
UR Control by carthaginians – There wasn’t too many brews that had success this week, but this UR Control deck seemed very interesting in the card choices it has. It plays 4 Beetleback Chief as one of its main threats. The Chief is a fantastic value in a format filled with lots of 1-for-1 removal. Additionally, he plays 1 Vulshok Morningstar to get more value out of the tokens and his 8 other creatures. Another one of the more interesting choices is 2 Harvest Pyre, not an option in the Treasure Cruise days, this allows the deck to take out things such as Gurmag Anglers in a deck that would previously have to spend 2+ cards to get it off the board. Really interesting choices for a deck that has seen some more success (as referenced above). Carthaginians was able to 4-0 one daily and 3-1 two others (over the whole week, not just from Tom’s dailies) and it looks like an innovative list.
The PCT is a weekly tournament hosted on Gatherling.com by LongTimeGone. It occurs Tuesday at 8 pm est.