Mid-Week Pauper Meta Report: June 18, 2015 – The Beauties and the Beast

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.

This article uses data from the 6/11, 6-14 evening, and 6-15 dailies

I doubt most of you are huge fans of Disney’s 1991 classic Beauty and the Beast, or the fairy tale that it originated from, but I think we have a very similar story this week. Well, more accurately we have beauties and a beast. For those that don’t know the story, it basically goes like this: A young beautiful bookworm has to go to a castle to find her father. In the castle she finds the most feared beast in all of the land. After some tribulations, they both start to develop feelings for each other and fall in love. Then, a broad and buff hunter, who loves the girl, kills the beast out of jealousy. The beast is revived as a prince and they live happily ever after.

The beauties in the case are Mono-Black Control and Burn. Both decks look appealing (the beauty part), they appear to be smart choices, and they love the beast in the metagame. So who is the beast? Esper Fae Combo, the seemingly unstoppable and mysterious threat that kills you out of nowhere. Now, more so than ever, the deck is running up the numbers and unlike past days there is a large amount of pilots for this deck. In fact, all 3 decks were about as popular this week. On the surface, it would appear that both of the beauties would hate the beast. It’s a scary deck that can come out of nowhere. But, with time, it becomes clear that they actually love the deck. This is because Esper Fae Combo is not a bad matchup for either deck. MBC has its choice of how to stop the deck – discard, disruption, land destruction, and/or removal. Burn has the ability to race the deck, or it can just kill one of the key creatures to stop it from going off. Neither are amazing against the deck, but both have serious game. They both like the deck in the format, which is why they fall in love with the beast.

The beast is significantly more tormented than the beauties. MBC and Burn are some of its worst matchups (even if they are 50/50). But the beast still loves the beauty. This is because of what that beauties do to the metagame. They let decks in that are bad against Esper Fae. Decks such as UG/Bant Turbofog, W Tokens, RB Control, and UB Angler (most of these are most a response to MBC). Not only does it let these decks into the meta, it allows them to get to the higher tables as both MBC and Burn were not well represented in the beast’s hunting fields (The 3-1 and 4-0 decks). In addition to all of that, these decks take up more sideboard space (Burn as the main culprit) which could have been allocated to fight Esper Fae (although it could be argued that this would happen no matter the top decks). Overall, it seems that both the beauties and the beast want the others presence, a rare happening in a metagame.

So how do we kill the beast and turn it into a much less dangerous prince (or a less threatening deck)? The key to that lies in the hands of the beauties. They either need to focus on getting rid of the beast themselves, or like in the story, have the men that are pursuing them start to hunt the beast instead. Simply, if the beauties stop glimmering in the eye of the deckbuilders, and decline in popularity, then the beast can take the spot of public enemy number one, and be hated into a much less dominant prince.


As always, I look at all the decks that had more than 5% prominence in the last week. The main highlight from these graphs is the lead that the beauties and the beast have in the first graph and the drop-off the beauties have in the second graph. In addition, UB Control has a bad day whereas the rest all do quite well. Another important note are the decks that are missing, UR Fiend and Stompy. I think Stompy will be back and this was just a product of variance whereas UR Fiend may be indicative of something more. Lastly, for another week in a row the “other” decks did better than the top decks, certainly something to be aware of.


The dismal results of Burn, MBC, and UB Control are very evident in this graph. On the flip side, Affinity, Delver, and Esper Fae all put up decent above average finishes, but nobody on the winning side really puts up insane numbers. The real crazy thing is just how bad Burn and MBC did in the past week. I am surprised that it is as bad as it is, but it clearly shows that these decks are not what you want to be playing right now.

So the intro was just a bit different this week, I’d love to hear what you thought about it!


1. Esper Fae Combo – Stats: 10.42% Prominence; 40.00% Cash Rate; 58.57% Win Rate. This may be one of the first weeks ever that Esper Fae Combo was one of the most popular decks. In order to get there, the amount of players picking up the deck also had to be quite large. For a deck that is as skill intensive as this, I am not surprised to see the results dip this week likely as a result of more people playing the deck. If these players stick with the deck, I would not be surprised to see Esper Fae’s results grow alongside an increase in prominence as people figure out how to beat it.

2. Affinity – Stats: 8.33% Prominence; 37.50% Cash Rate; 56.14% Win Rate. Interesting to see a jump in popularity for the silver bullet. On the other hand, I am also not surprised to see it get better results. Esper Fae Combo is one of Affinity’s best matches (in my experience) and I think that if Esper Fae keeps up a high level of popularity, Affinity can also keep up. Lastly, Burn and MBC are both not great matchups and if those decks peter off, expect Affinity to make a resurgence.

3. Delver – Stats: 10.42% Prominence; 40.00% Cash Rate; 54.17% Win Rate. As always, Delver pops up on the winner’s list. Not good for Delver is that Gut Shot is becoming more and more of an accepted sideboard option. Yet, it is still not played enough to really have a major effect on the deck. I don’t think Delver’s position has changed too much, but I would be wary of a potentially dangerous meta for the aberration.


1. MBC – Stats: 11.98% Prominence; 8.70% Cash Rate; 41.89% Win Rate. Ah, we meet again. At this point I’m pretty confident in my statement that Mono Black Control is not where you want to be as a deck. The deck has consistently kept people out of the cash, even though they seem to often come close. Also, its prominence has steadily dropped for a few weeks in a row and I would not be surprised to see that happen again. Prepare for this deck, but I would not want to be the one playing it.

2. UB Control – Stats: 5.21% Prominence; 10.00% Cash Rate; 38.71% Win Rate. I haven’t touched too much on the UB Control list simply because it has been consistently tier two for a while. Interestingly, this week it got up to a decent size. Not I think that is simply because of variance, the list is usually a bit below 5% and this week it went above that. Yet, as usual, the deck did not do well. With a low cash and win rate, I do not see this deck as a major competitor. I thought the deck was better pre-cruise, but we are quite a bit past that era. Not a fan of this list right now.

3. Burn – Stats: 10.94% Prominence; 14.29% Cash Rate; 44.29% Win Rate. As predicted last week, Burn is stayed with a high prominence, but it did not do well. I think that this may be the last week where Burn is popular. Hate is common among top decks and many are preparing for the deck mainboard. For a deck that really can’t take too much hate, this is certainly a hostile metagame for this beauty.

Deck to Watch For

Hexproof – Stats: 3.65% Prominence; 57.14% Cash Rate; 60.00% Win Rate. Now that MBC is starting to relinquish control of the metagame, this may be the place for Hexproof to strike. It has earned strong results recently and I think that Hexproof will be a serious contender in the next weeks. I would be prepared for this matchup. Hexproof is good against Burn, Esper Fae, Delver, Affinity, etc. Think could be the deck that explodes in popularity, be ready for it.

Brew of the Week

[d title=”RB Control by HopeOf130 – June 13, 2015 (Pauper)”]
4 Chittering Rats
4 Gray Merchant of Asphodel
4 Phyrexian Rager

4 Blightning
4 Chainer’s Edict
4 Firebolt
4 Sign in Blood
3 Diabolic Edict
3 Lightning Bolt
2 Oubliette
1 Faithless Looting
1 Raven’s Crime

5 Swamp
4 Great Furnance
4 Vault of Whispers
4 Bloodfell Caves
2 Mountain
2 Rakdos Carnarium
1 Bojuka Bog

4 Pyroblast
2 Choking Sands
2 Electrickery
2 Gorilla Shaman
1 Evincar’s Justice
1 Nihil Spellbomb
1 Rancid Earth
1 Reaping he Graves
1 Rolling Thunder [/d]

Here is the link to MTGGoldfish . This is one of the more interesting lists to come out of the recent meta. It is really just MBC with burn and Blightning. One of the more interesting choices is 4 Firebolt and only 3 Lightning Bolt. As there is very few 3 toughness creatures in the meta right now. At that same point, instant speed and 3 damage is so valuable that it may be better than the ability to use the spell twice. In fact, most decks think it is. Interesting decklist and it has done quite decently over the past few weeks.


With thanks to Tom the Scud. Check out his Facebook and his Spreadsheet.


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