Mid-Week Pauper Meta Report: Return to the End

About this article: This is a weekly report on the online pauper meta. The data it uses are from last week Wednesday to this past Wednesday. It looks at the data that I collect from a selection of dailies. I watch 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 this data, 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 8-1 evening (using this one in order to increase the sample size as I have not look at the data for a few weeks in order to catch up), 8-9 evening, and the 8-11 dailies.

Since I last wrote, Magic Origins has been released and it appears to have not had a very significant effect on the format. The card that looked the best was [c]Aerial Volley[/c], but it has not been utilized that much so far, which is interesting as Delver is dominating the format. I certainly look for it to start making more appearances in the upcoming future. The main card that has showed up is [c]Faerie Miscreant[/c] in a small amount of Delver decks. Now Delver is already the best deck in the format, and the most popular, as evidenced by the graphs below.

As seen, Delver has by far the most decks, and it is doing well with those entries. If you want to win in today’s metagame, you have to beat Delver. This is presumably one of the reasons why MBC had a decent week as it has a strong matchup versus Delver. In addition, Stompy had a fantastic week and that was also in part to its strong matchup versus Delver. Delver can change to be a bit more creature heavy, with the addition of a card mentioned earlier, [c]Faerie Miscreant[/c]. The card allows the deck to have more cantrips and turns [c]Spellstutter Sprite[/c] into a much less conditional counter, all while pecking away in the air.

[d title=”Delver by Brivenix”]
2 Spire Golem
4 Cloud of Faeries
4 Spellstutter Sprite
4 Ninja of the Deep Hours
4 Faerie Miscreant
4 Delver of Secrets

2 Snap
2 Gush
4 Counterspell
2 Vapor Snag
2 Mutagenic Growth

4 Ponder
4 Preordain
2 Gitaxian Probe

16 Island

2 Serrated Arrows
3 Stormbound Geist
3 Coral Net
2 Dispel
2 Annul
1 Steel Sabotage
2 Hydroblast [/d]

This version relies more on the counter potential of Spellstutter and it allows for a much quicker gameplan with more aggressive starts. In addition, it is able to buy it back with [c]Vapor Snag[/c] and [c]Snap[/c] for more counters. This version of the deck is still not the most popular, although it is new, but it does look to be promising enough to be worthy of consideration. When Delver needs to shift to be more aggressive, this is one way the deck can do it. On the other hand, it gives up a lot of late game power without the full set of [c]Spire Golem[/c] and no additional counters past [c]Counterspell[/c]/Spellstutter Sprite. Interesting deck to watch develop.

In terms of the future, I’m not sure how often I’ll be able to get to the dailies and how much will be released by Wizards (if any data at all), so that all remains to be seen. The era of the dailies are over for now though, and I’m sure Pauper will be fine moving on.

Enjoy, and thanks for reading! –Najay1


1. Delver – Stats: 18.06% Prominence; 46.34% Cash Rate; 56.20% Win Rate. Before leaving, Delver was running the show as the best deck. It has only grown more dominant. Even though I would say Stompy had the better results, Delver was able to do it with about 3 times the pilots! Even as public enemy number 1, Delver was still running over the competition. The main thing that needs to happen is that you need to be ready to face, and beat, Delver. The deck doesn’t look to be going anywhere. Very strong deck.

2. Stompy – Stats: 6.61% Prominence; 46.67% Cash Rate; 60.38% Win Rate. This is the deck with some of the best hate to the deck above. Not only that, it didn’t have a bad matchup against Delver to start with. Not only all of that, but it also has a great matchup with the deck below. Overall, the deck is just very strong against some of the other top contenders in the field and is able to do quite well especially at the top tables. This is certainly a deck I would look to as a strong contender and one that could gain the most coming out of Origins.

3. Esper Fae Combo – Stats: 5.29% Prominence; 41.67% Cash Rate; 58.54% Win Rate. Even though Delver is the most popular deck in the format, this is the deck generally gets a lot of buzz. Part of that is that it is not an easy deck to just beat with silver bullet cards, but it not a very popular deck and you do not see it too often when testing in the tournament practice room. Despite all of that, the way to beat the deck is simple, be faster than them. Simple as that. Yet, for many decks that isn’t possible to sideboard into. This deck still looks like a strong choice with enough practice, but it probably will not gain too many followers.


1. Burn – Stats: 4.85% Prominence; 9.09% Cash Rate; 44.74% Win Rate. This deck has not done too well for a while. Still it gets a decent amount of play, although it did not hit 5% this week and I would not be surprised to see the deck drop even further. Quite simply it is a metagame deck for when it has strong matchups versus the top decks, and that is not currently the case. Not sold on this deck at all right now.

2. UB Angler – Stats: 8.81% Prominence; 15.00% Cash Rate; 38.33% Win Rate. One of the more interesting decks as of late, it has been a lot more turbulent than some other decks. I think people are really attracted to playing the deck because the like the style and how different the deck is from many others. Despite all of that, it has not put up the best results in a while. I would be surprised to see this deck really break out any time soon, yet it is still one to look at as people mess with the deck.

3. UR Fiend – Stats: 7.49% Prominence; 17.65% Cash Rate; 48.28% Win Rate. I think this was mainly a bad deck for UR Fiend. The deck put up a decent win rate, about average, but it was not able to put up too many decks into the winners circle. Luckily, as the dailies change to 3 rounds, I would expect it to have to face less strong competition at the top which could mean that it is able to put up more top results.

Deck to Watch For

RW Rebels – This is a deck that has floated around for a while. It really popped up as a meta deck to counter the influx of Burn, but now it has established itself as a strong way to get things on the battlefield around counters. Luckily, counters are in right now with so much Delver and this deck could see another strong wave of success. As a toolbox, it can also adjust a bit more than other decks to changes in the meta. Really interesting deck right now.

Brew of the Week

Temur Freed Combo – This is a very different type of combo deck that I really didn’t give too much credit to at the start. These types of decks have been around for a while and they have never really gained any traction. This one has not only been more successful, but it has done it a decent amount of times to be considered legitimate. I am definitely looking for more people to be pick up this deck in the near future.


PCT Results – The PCT is a weekly tournament hosted on Gatherling.com by LongTimeGone. It occurs Tuesday at 8 pm est.

Mid-Week Pauper Meta Report: Delver Dominance

About this article: This is a weekly report on the online pauper meta. The data it uses are from last week Wednesday to this past Wednesday. It looks at the data that I collect from a selection of dailies. I watch 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 this data, 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.

These results are from the 7-10 afternoon, 7-12 evening, and 7-13 dailies.

The transfer is complete. I am ready to call Delver as the current king of the metagame. Taking home a whopping 16.96% of the meta, Delver is the new king. Interestingly enough, Delver did not do well this week at all. It brings up an interesting comparison to MBC just a few weeks ago where the deck dominates a large portion of the meta, but it just doesn’t put up the results to justify it. As Delver has gained more and more popularity, it has not seen as strong of results as before, which is potentially to be expected. I think there are 3 main theories as to why this happen and they are all probably right to some extent for each case.

First theory is as popularity increases, more people with less experience (with that deck) are playing the deck and that means worse results. Second theory is that as a deck becomes popular, more new players with less experience overall pick up the deck (whereas they are less likely to pick up some T2 non-budget deck). Third theory is that as popularity increases, more people play hate against the deck/pick decks to beat it which will hurt its results.

In this case, I think it is some combination of the 3. The deck is generally regarded well by the community which causes people to play it, new players may be brought in by the popularity or also by the professor’s latest video, and people are looking to hate on Delver more (but really waiting for [c]Aerial Volley[/c] in order for great hate). Either way here is how much it dominated the meta this week.

After all that about Delver doing badly, it isn’t even shown too well here. Because there is an important distinction. Delver did bad, for Delver. Usually it grows, this week it just didn’t at all. Other than that Affinity put up a dismal showing and everything else was pretty standard. Affinity is one of the best anti-Delver decks. In fact, I tracked Delver’s matchups for the last 2 dailies and the PCT and here are the results.

Affinity is the biggest standout with a -4 difference and a 25% win rate. That much is to be expected, as is the weakness to UB Teachings. Yet, based on past data, one would expect the matchup with Esper Fae to be much better. Overall, it just doesn’t get the job done against enough of the top matchups like UB Angler, Burn, MBC, and Affinity. Delver did not win in each of those matchups and that is one of the main problems. This is a stat I’ll continue to track. But, enough about Delver. Let’s have a look at how the rest of the decks did last week.

UB Teachings and Affinity are clearly the best and worst performing of the top decks, respectively. Other than that, almost every deck was within a few points of what is expected. Honestly, other than the two main outliers, nothing is too surprising here other than the success of Burn/MBC and failure of Delver.

Enjoy, and thanks for reading! –Najay1


1. Esper Fae Combo – Stats: 4.46% Prominence; 60.00% Cash Rate; 67.50% Win Rate. After a few weeks where it got bad results, Esper Fae is back on top. Now, it must be considered that the deck only had 10 pilots so variance is a factor, but the deck did very strong. One of the reasons that this may have happened was that because there were so few pilots, only the strong ones continued to play the deck. At that same point, I could just be variance. The deck continues to be one to watch.

2. UB Teachings – Stats: 7.59% Prominence; 41.18% Cash Rate; 57.38% Win Rate. This is one of the bigger surprises, but it is here to stay. This was a fringe deck until just recently where it has now exploded in popularity and still put up respectable results. This is really the first week where it put up really strong results and this was very strong results. Part of that is because it is decently positioned versus Delver. Another part of this is because the deck has swung to being very control heavy with Delver, UB Angler, and MBC being the most popular decks. I expect this deck to continue being good, but I don’t expect results as strong as this week.


1. Affinity – Stats: 7.59% Prominence; 11.76% Cash Rate; 38.46% Win Rate. This is one of the surprises of the week for sure. Affinity has been putting up good results and this week is a full step away from that mold. IT was even able to play Delver 8 times, and did well, but it just couldn’t play with the other decks. One of the reasons it could have done badly is the matchup with UB Angler. The matchup isn’t great – unless you play [c]Flayer Husk[/c]. That card is amazing in the matchup and makes it so that your 8+ 4/4s trade with their Anglers and your 3/3 flyers eat their flyers. Really the matchup shouldn’t be too bad, but it can be turned into a great matchup with that one little card. Overall, I don’t expect this deck to put up such a bad result again and I actually expect it to be back around average.

2. UB Angler – Stats: 8.93% Prominence; 25.00% Cash Rate; 46.03% Win Rate. Affinity was the #1 winner last week and UB Angler was #2. They are still #1 and #2, just on the other side. So what caused such a bad result from a deck that had done so well? Well, I’m not sure to be honest. Part of that is probably due to weakness to MBC (of which was actually playing for the top spots), and the fact that Affinity wasn’t playing in the top spots. Now, last week was more of an outlier and there is a strong chance that the losing will continue. We’ll have to watch to see where it goes from here.

3. Delver – Stats: 16.96% Prominence; 28.95% Cash Rate; 46.67% Win Rate. The last loser of the week has already been discussed quite in length, so I won’t go too far into depth here. Overall, I like Delver going forward as a deck, but it doesn’t appear to be as well positioned as it once was.

Deck to Watch For

Goblins – Stats: 6.25% Prominence; 35.71% Cash Rate; 52.17% Win Rate. I just talked about this deck last week and it bounced up to being a very popular deck. Not only did it have a lot of pilots, it also put up very respectable results. I think the meta is in a place where Goblins really can do well. Look out for the tiny monster, with the addition of [c]Subterranean Scout[/c] the deck can even get better.

Brew of the Week

[d title=”Jund Songs Combo by Wonderman225 – July 10, 2015″]
Creatures (29)
4 Deadshot Minotaur
4 Fume Spitter
4 Monstrous Carabid
3 Crypt Rats
3 Gurmag Angler
3 Pit Keeper
3 Satyr Wayfinder
3 Street Wraith
2 Krosan Tusker

Spells (11)
4 Songs of the Damned
3 Gnaw to the Bone
2 Consume Spirit
2 Grisly Salvage

Lands (20)
5 Swamp
4 Forest
4 Jungle Hollow
2 Evolving Wilds
2 Mountain
1 Barren Moor
1 Bloodfell Caves
1 Rugged Highlands

Sideboard (15)
2 Ancient Grudge
2 Choking Sands
2 Duress
2 Hush
2 Lightning Bolt
1 Gnaw to the Bone
1 Death Spark
1 Electrickery
1 Faerie Macabre
1 Scattershot Archer

This is a very interesting deck similar to Ad Nauseum in Modern. It cycles through cards and fills up the graveyard until it is able to cast [c]Songs of the Damned[/c] for lots and use [c]Crypt Rats[/c] or [c]Consume Spirit[/c] or just cast big creatures (although that is rarer). Usually I would look at results and dismiss them as a lucky day, but not only did the deck do well here, it also got a 4-0 recently and it doesn’t usually have too many bad results. Not sure that is necessarily indicative of anything, but it certainly is an interesting deck to look into.


PCT Results

The PCT is a weekly tournament hosted on Gatherling.com by LongTimeGone. It occurs Tuesday at 8 pm est.

Magic Origins Set Review for Pauper

Magic Origins is about to be upon us! Granted, I do not think the set is going to do a whole lot for the format, but it does provide a lot more punch than previous core sets. With one really good card and then a bunch of interesting, but not great cards, I am interested to see what this does for the format, mainly in focusing in on one of Pauper’s biggest threats – Delver. But, no need for a long intro, lets get into the action!

Enjoy, and thanks for reading! – Najay1


These are cards that have a high enough power level to see play right now. They either slot into existing decks or are powerful enough to spawn a new archetype. (Ex. [mtg_card]Delver[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Lightning Bolt[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Gray Merchant of Asphodel[/mtg_card])

Aerial Volley – This is one of the more interesting cards in the set. It does some things that other cards cannot do at all, namely get a 3 for 1 for one green mana. Granted there has to be 3 1/1 flyers, but that actually happens in Pauper. The main reason to play this card is because of [c]Delver of Secrets[/c]. It can deal with the [c]Cloud of Faeries[/c] into [c]Spellstutter Sprite[/c] very well, getting both (or even another of them) off of the table. It can also deal with a flipper Delver and another flyer very easily. In addition to being great against Delver, the card has game in other matchups. It can deal with [c]Auriok Sunchaser[/c], [c]Stormbound Geist[/c], [c]Mulldrifter[/c], [c]Sultai Scavenger[/c], multiple [c]Squadron Hawk[/c]s/[c]Triplicate Spirits[/c] and so on. The most obvious comparisons are to [c]Gut Shot[/c] and [c]Scattershot Archer[/c]. Gut Shot is really not great in too many other matchups than Delver and I think that Volley may actually be better. It deals with a flipped Delver, can 3 for 1 their fae, and so on. Despite that, it cannot be cast for free meaning that you will often have to cast this into open mana, unless they took some bait. Overall, I think I prefer this card (it has so much potential for card advantage) over Gut Shot. On the other hand, Scattershot Archer is a strong card. It shuts down their fae unless you can take it off the table and can come down before counter mana is up. Despite that upside, it cannot deal with bigger threats. This card can take down a flipped delver. That is huge and I think it pushes the card over the top. I like this card and for now I like it more than Scattershot. Expect this to be played.


These are cards that have enough power or synergy to potentially see play. They may never find the right deck, but if they do a spot could be made for these cards. Solid role players in the right deck. (Ex. [mtg_card]Essence Warden[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Nivix Cyclops[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Impulse[/mtg_card])

Subterranean Scout – The more I think about this card, the more I like it. The card has serious game simply because of the Goblins deck. Now, most decks do not want something that can only slip in 2 damage, but Goblins is an Aristocrats deck with 8 sac outlets that can make the unblockable creature huge. This means that it can often just mean a win if they are leaving up multiple blockers. The main card that this competes with in the deck is [c]Goblin Heelcutter[/c] which is also an extremely strong card. Goblin Heelcutter is slightly bigger, can have haste, and doesn’t need the sac goblins to go off, but has 2 major downsides. First off, it can only stop one creature from attacking. Secondly, it costs 3 mana and you basically have to spend that every single turn (you almost never just want to pay 4 for the card). Scout is much better versus other aggressive decks and decks that play multiple blockers. Heelcutter is better versus Angler lists and control lists.

In addition, this card could see play in some kitty lists as a way to make multiple creatures unblockable and swing in. I don’t think that this is the best card for the job, or will be played, but it is something to think about. Overall, I think time and the meta will determine how much this Scout is played, but I really like its chances.


These are cards that are unlikely to see play, either because they aren’t high enough power or they need to many cards to work, but they do have some potential in the right circumstances. (Ex. [mtg_card]Sidisi’s Familiar[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Cavern Harpy[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Zephyr Sprite[/mtg_card])

Alchemist’s Vial – I see potential for this card in Boros Kitty and other kitty variants. They already have 4-of [c]Prophetic Prism[/c] and [c]Ichor Wellspring[/c], but this card provides potential that is not seen in these 2 mana artifacts. It can close out a game. Boros Kitty does not always have a ton of threats, and often relies on burn to end the game, so this provides another way to sneak in damage. Now the deck already has a ton of evasion, so the second effect may not be necessary in most games, but it has the ability to win games. I have seen [c]Elsewhere Flask[/c] be played before and this card is way better. It won’t be played much, but I can see this card having minor potential in those kitty decks.

Bonded Construct – I do see some potential in this card, and I’m glad that it was one of Pauper’s first preview cards, but I wish it would have been something with a bit more potential. It certainly has some upside, but I like [c]Flayer Husk[/c] a lot more than this. It is repeatable and much more resiliant. At that same point, I think this is a very interesting card in 1-2 color builds like W Metal. Cards like [c]Court Homunculus[/c] are already played and most of them need one color open on T1, whereas this is colorless. At that same point, cards like Court Homunculus and [c]Jackal Pup are not great[/c], and I don’t see this being significantly better, but an interesting card to look out for none the less.

Enlightened Ascetic – There are a significant amount of strong enchantment kill spells, but this does come with a creature. In a deck with [c]Kor Skyfisher[/c] and other bounce effects (like a kitty deck), this is a really interesting option. It can repeatedly go after enchantments. Boros Kitty already utilizes [c]Kor Sanctifiers[/c] in this way and this is more efficient for enchantments. Interesting sideboard choice.

Faerie Miscreant – I do not think [c]Cloud of Faeries[/c] will be banned. Yet, it was a major point of discussion for a while in the community. If that happens, I think this card has really good potential. I have seen [c]Zephyr Sprite[/c] played in these types of decks and this is basically strictly better except for those pesky anti-rogue cards. Actually, I could see this being playing in some Fae brew (which have popped up). Definitely a card with potential.

Infectious Bloodlust – I am really interested in this card for Mono Red Heroic and Aggro decks. [c]Furor of the Bitten[/c] is a great card in those decks and this provides a way to get that effect repetitively. One of the main problems in that deck is running out of gas and this allows you to keep the gas going later in the game along with giving potential for late game bursts. At that same point, if they kill the creature you try to attach it to, you get nothing! I like this card, but it really depends on how often you can land it.

Kytheon’s Tactics – This is an interesting card, but if [c]Righteous Charge[/c] doesn’t see much play, than I cannot see this making a big splash. One more toughness is not that much different than vigilance. Vigilance is very different in that it is not worth anything against most decks, but it does shore up one main weakness. If you cast [c]Righteous Charge[/c] (or any mass pump), and they are able to not take lethal, than they could swing back. Vigilance is good in that regard as you can cast this without needing to do lethal and leave yourself open. This can be more of a tempo swing versus aggro decks than a finishing blow. At that same point, instant speed is just so important that I cannot see this being played all too much, but it has a home.

Mage-Ring Bully – This is one of the most interesting cards in the set. I think there is 2 decks that it definitely has a chance at going in. The first is Burn. I do not think that Burn really wants creatures, but this card represents 4-5 damage on turn 3. It becomes a must kill creature that can deal a ton of damage very quickly. In addition, I really like this card in a Mono-Red Heroic or Aggro deck. The downside isn’t really a downside (as if you aren’t attacking, you aren’t winning). Plus, it just grows with each spell that is played and gives you a massive creature that you do not have to target to make work. It lessens the all-in nature of the heroic deck and gives you another strong threat. In addition, I am sure that there are other possibilities for this card as it is in the right colors. Now, the card may actually be better than [c]Kiln Fiend[/c] just because it survives combat. With more than 2 toughness, this can be a beater that stays. Despite that, Kiln Fiend just takes away a lot of the potential of this card. 3 damage is just so much.

Send to Sleep – I don’t know if this card is as much good as it is interesting. This is a great tempo hit early on in the game which can stall out some of the more aggressive threats. For a blue deck, being able to tap down multiple creatures and keep them tapped is huge. I can see this being played in slower control decks like a Rhystic Tron which really just needs time. At that same point, it probably won’t be powerful enough to make the cut.

Topan Freeblade – This card has a lot of things going its way. It already a decent creature at a 2/2 for 2 with vigilance (in the color that wants that), but it can also grow to a 3/3 after one hit. This has some potential although I don’t know that it is going to be high enough power to make it in the deck that has a wide variety of strong creatures. One of the other major things is that it is a soldier. That means [c]Veteran Armorsmith[/c] and [c]Veteran Swordsmith[/c] can make this bigger than just a 3/3. A soldiers deck is really where I see this having potential as it is reasonable to see this as a 4/4 or bigger in that deck, that you can cast for 2 mana. And has vigilance. Interesting card for sure.

Undead Servant – This is a very strange card. I do think that it has potential in graveyard (and probably [c]Tortured Existence[/c]) lists. In those lists, I think it is almost always going to be a 5/4 for 4 (on turn 4) which is not fantastic, but is still decent. To have that over 2 creatures is even better. Where it really gets good is when you have 2 in the yard, which is very nice as it is a 7/6 for 4 across 3 bodies, very hard to deal with. I don’t think anybody doubts that this is a very strong late game plan. Yet, I do think there are 2 main problems with this. First, those decks really were not looking for a very strong late game plan, going late is what they exceled in already. What those decks need is a better early game which this really doesn’t provide too much of (other than being an OK stop to aggro). The other problem is that you have to devote 4 spots to a lategame plan that I am not sure they needed. Granted, I still think that it will get played, but I do not know if it actually solves any of the decks weaknesses. Interesting card though.


I do not like these cards and do not think they will get played, but they are still interesting enough to warrant discussion. ([mtg_card]Ethereal Ambush[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Titanic Bulvox[/mtg_card])

Ampryn Tactician – There is already a ton of mass pump effects in white and they are usually cheaper and can be used as a combat trick. Despite the fact that it comes with a creature, giving away the pump really is not how the decks want to do this. GW Tokens has [c]Leonin Armorguard[/c] which is never played anyways and I do not see this card being much better.

Cleric of the Forward Order – This is an interesting card to me for White Weenie. It needs to be better than [c]Lone Missionary[/c], which it isn’t, but it can be in a deck that is concerned about [c]Electrickery[/c] or other sweepers. While interesting, I don’t see this having a place.

Dark Dabbling – This card is interesting for a future where there is a mass kill/target spell. I don’t think that will ever happen, but this is a potential playable card in that case, albeit not great.

Ghirapur Gearcrafter – A very similar card to [c]Sandcrafter Mage[/c] which does not see much play, I do think that the card has some potential, but in general this looks like a card much more suited for white than red. In order to be playable in Pauper at 3 mana, you have to provide a large advantage. Whether that is a 2 for 1 like [c]Chittering Rats[/c] or [c]Sea Gate Oracle[/c] or some other advantage, it is very difficult to see play. I just do not think that 1 1/1 flyer is enough. Just not seeing it.

Ringwarden Owl – This may actually be one of the bigger creatures you can play in blue, with it being a 3/3 at minimum and with potential to grow up to a 5/5 or 6/6 regularly. At that same point, I do not know of any deck that wants to tap out for a killable threat on turn 5.

Shambling Ghoul – At first this card looks to be good as one of the bigger threats at 2 mana, but really the stats are on the wrong side of the creature. This is 2 power for 2 mana with a downside and I just do not think any potential black aggressive decks want something that packs so little punch at 2 mana. You can get some strong evasive threats with 2 power and evasion is way more important than 3 toughness. I do not see this card doing work.

Thornbow Archer – An interesting card for elves, but as the deck is a combo deck and not black, this certainly won’t be played there. On the other hand, it really can do just 2 damage without needing any other elf shenanigans. A card to look at in mono black as a “2 power” card for 1 mana that doesn’t die to [c]Electrickery[/c]


Unplayable. ([mtg_card]Fugitive Wizard[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Siege Mastodon[/mtg_card], [mtg_card]Lion’s Eye Diamond[/mtg_card])

Continue reading Magic Origins Set Review for Pauper

Mid-Week Pauper Meta Report: Mediocrity

About this series: This is a weekly report on the online pauper meta. The data it uses are from last week Wednesday to this past Wednesday. It looks at the data that I collect from a selection of dailies. I watch 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 this data, 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 just the 7-5 afternoon and 7-6 daily results. Sadly MTGO crashed in the 2 other dailies I tried to get, so we are running off a data deficit this week.

I didn’t get as much data as I would have liked this week, but surprisingly the data is not that swayed at all. For example, look at the graphs below.

Almost every single deck is about where we would expect, with the exception of a resurgent Burn, and no did gained or lost more than 4% prominence. Most decks simply did average, not too great and not too bad, which is heavily demonstrated in the graph below.

Look at that consistency. With the exception of MBC, most decks are simply in the expected average range. Affinity, Stompy, and UB Angler all did better, but they were not something exceptional. Most of them are just better than you would normally expect. I mainly attribute this to variance, but it does show something about the meta. It could signify a balancing out of the meta where more deck choices are viable. Now Pauper is usually this way where there are at least a few decks that are viable choices of different types of decks. UB Angler is one of the more interesting of these decks as recently it has had much more success. I think a lot of that would be attributed to less Burn and MBC in the meta, but both were still very popular this week. UB Angler is the deck I am most interested to watch over the next few weeks. The deck that I have been watching closely is Esper Fae. Here are its results from last week:

It didn’t do close to as bad against Delver this week, but it did do something that surprised me at least a bit. A 7-0 record against MBC. Now, I have stated in the past that I believed the deck was closer to 50-50 (with maybe a bigger edge for Esper), but this was not the case at all. Last week it went 3-3, so maybe a fluke, but this definitely gives an edge to Esper, for as long as it is in the meta. With the exclusion of MBC, it had a 43.3% win rate, not great. It did have a terrible record against Affinity, as expected, and it did badly against other aggro decks. More proof of being weak to aggro comes in the next graphs.

As a disclaimer, this counts the turn somebody concedes so the game may have actually gone on a turn or more longer. Over the last week we saw a much higher portion of games end on turn 5. This is in contrast to the past few weeks which have had turn 6 and 7 be the most popular. On the graph with the past 3 weeks, we see the combo really becoming possible on turn 5 and the threat remaining high until the games end. In addition, there is a larger and larger chance that they are just able to win by beating down. On the other hand, the deck loses a ton on turn 4 and 5 and it get harder to beat them the longer the games go on. As more data has been collected, the numbers are starting to show that the wat to win is just to beat down. If your deck can’t win quick, then it probably can’t win against Esper Fae. I think this is one of the main reasons it was so good in the Treasure Cruise meta, the best decks were all slow and people were playing to draw 3, not deal 3. Let me know if you want more analysis on Esper Fae or whether you would like to see the stats on a different deck.

Enjoy, and thanks for reading! –Najay1


1. Affinity – Stats: 8.28% Prominence; 50.00% Cash Rate; 56.52% Win Rate. This is a deck that has consistently done average. Not great, not bad, just average. I think it is going to start doing better as it has great matchups against Delver and Esper Fae whereas it does not have great matchups against Burn and MBC. This is a list that I certainly expect to start doing better as the meta shifts to more and more Delver. Expect strong results if the meta stays more Delver.

2. UB Angler – Stats: 6.51% Prominence; 45.45% Cash Rate; 59.46% Win Rate. One of the decks that has done much better recently after a shaky start. Just a little while ago I was off of this deck, but it has put up very promising results recently. Now it is important to note that this week it did not have a huge amount of pilots – 11 – so that there could be variance in these results. That win rate is quite strong and I am going to be heavily watching this deck going forward and how it plays against other main decks.

3. Stompy – Stats: 6.51% Prominence; 45.45% Cash Rate; 54.05% Win Rate. Stompy is one of the better decks recently, although it has not been played as much as I believe it should. It is fighting for the spot of the best aggro deck in the meta with Affinity. Now I think currently this deck is in a better spot, with MBC and Burn being popular and all, although that may change as Delver (a 50-50 matchup) becomes more popular.


1. MBC – Stats: 11.83% Prominence; 20.00% Cash Rate; 40.00% Win Rate. There was only one deck that was bad enough with a high enough sample size to really be called a loser. That deck is MBC. The deck had a high popularity again, but it did not put up the results that we would expect. Now small sample size is less of a concern here as MBC had lots of pilots, but dailies can vary widely in what decks are there and variance is still a factor, as always. Maybe with more Delver (as this week) the deck could do better, but it doesn’t look promising.

Tribes to Watch

Elves – Stats: 2.96% Prominence; 40.00% Cash Rate; 50.00% Win Rate. This is a very interesting deck to me as it doesn’t seem to be a great deck in a meta that is full of MBC. Still, the deck has done quite decently throughout the past season. I do worry that the deck is not the difficult to hate out (similar to W Tokens) even with Spidersilk Armor. It simply is weak to most of the black sweepers, it is weak to targeted removal, and it can run out of gas without Distant Melody or if it is countered. An interesting deck to look out for.

Goblins – Stats: 2.96% Prominence; 60.00% Cash Rate; 73.68% Win Rate. This is one of my personal favorite decks and I have found it to be quite strong in the recent meta. This week’s results are great and it builds upon a few weeks of promising results. At that same point, I don’t think that the deck is necessarily better than Affinity or Stompy as it is weaker to hate, doesn’t have a great way to regain gas, and can fail to create too much immediate pressure.

Brew of the Week

[d title=”BW Rebels by mebigunot”]
2 Amrou Seekers
4 Aven Riftwatcher
4 Blightspeaker
2 Defiant Falcon
1 Nightwind Glider
3 Ramosian Lieutenant
3 Ramosian Sergeant
3 Rathi Trapper
1 Thermal Glider
1 Zealot il-Vec

2 Doom Blade

3 Bonesplitter
1 Serrated Arrows

4 Bound in Silence
1 Journey to Nowhere

3 Evolving Wilds
1 Haunted Fengraf
4 Orzhov Basilica
9 Plains
4 Scoured Barrens
1 Secluded Steppe
2 Swamp
1 Terramorphic Expanse

1 Nightwind Glider
1 Zealot il-Vec
2 Serrated Arrows
3 Circle of Protection: Red
3 Disenchant
2 Nihil Spellbomb
3 Standard Bearer [/d]

This is a deck that I find very interesting. This list is a highly synergistic deck that can play various roles. It has the semi-potential to play the beatdown role while really wanting to play the long game in a toolbox type strategy. The deck has lots of tools that is able to search up without too much trouble. In addition, it has lots of great value creatures that can be good against a variety of decks with tappers, pro-black and pro-red creatures, white intimidate, and the like. And it can do all of those without having to deal with counters. The one thing I really do not like in this deck is the landbase. It is sporadic without enough coherence to be really great. I would much rather have a more streamlined landbase that doesn’t have the majority of their lands ETB tapped. There is a good chance that you will play a tapland T1, bounce it with the Basilica, and then play it again. You are just losing to aggro decks at that point and it takes away any aggro potential the deck could have.


PCT Results

The PCT is a weekly tournament hosted on Gatherling.com by LongTimeGone. It occurs Tuesday at 8 pm est.

Mid-Week Pauper Meta Report: Esper Explosion

About this article: This is a weekly report on the online pauper meta. The data it uses are from last week Wednesday to this past Wednesday. It looks at the data that I collect from a selection of dailies. I watch 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 this data, 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 6-27 Afternoon, 6-28 Evening, and 6-29 daily results.

Coming out of last week, a few things were expected to happen. First, Burn was expected to drop in popularity. Secondly, Stompy and Delver were expected to rise a bit. Lastly, MBC was expected to go back to bad results. All of those came true, but nobody really predicted everything that was going to happen.

First off, Delver absolutely dominated this week. Even as the top deck (by a growing margin), they still managed to gain 8% prominence from overall to cash. It’s time to bring in the [c]Gut Shot[/c], if that card is ever going to be good, it is this upcoming week. Delver was not the only deck to have a strong week, Stompy and UB Angler also did fantastic and were the top 3 decks in the cash. On the other hand, MBC, Burn, and Esper Fae Combo all had bad weeks. Esper Fae didn’t do terrible, but for the first time in a long time the deck actually didn’t do well. So why didn’t the deck do well? Here is a full list of every match (not individual games) Esper Fae played and why it wasn’t able to achieve success.

Every single one of these matchups are within one game except for UR Fiend (which is within 2) and Delver. Esper Fae went 4-8 versus Delver. You simply cannot have such a bad record against the best deck in the meta! I didn’t actually expect Delver to do this well, but it really was a great deck against Esper Fae. Unlike most other decks in the meta, it was able to play the aggro role (necessary to be truly great against the deck) while keeping up tons of prevention. It seemed like the deck had the most success when it decided what role it wanted to play and stuck with it. Interested to see whether Delver can continue beating Esper Fae this bad. I watched Esper Fae’s games and determined the turn they ended again as well.

This week was certainly a bit different than last week. Significantly more 5 turn combo wins were seen from Esper Fae, and I think I was wrong in declaring turn 6 as the turn that you can expect them to be able to go off. Turn 5 may be that turn where you need to be ready to stop them going off. Also, the deck was able to go off on turn 7 or earlier in 62.50% games where it went off and on turn 7 or earlier in 49.02% of games it won. Finally it went off that early in 24.27% of games. Now that is low this week simply because it lost so many games. It is also interesting that the games it won were mostly decided pretty quickly or took much more than 10 turns. I’ll continue looking at this to gain some more data and get a better insight into the deck.

Here we see another week with some very strong, and very weak, decks. Stompy has the best week by far, but UB Angler and Delver also did fantastic. Affinity and UR Fiend continue to be simply above average, but not fantastic. Burn and MBC did not do well as usual, but the real kicker is Esper Fae. It had a cash rate of 20% (less than half of its usual) and it had a win rate of 46.94%, not amazing either. But we’ll jump into that later on.

Enjoy, and thanks for reading! –Najay1


1. Stompy – Stats: 5.74% Prominence; 66.67% Cash Rate; 62.79% Win Rate. This is one of the better weeks that we have seen in quite a while. Out of the 12 pilots, 8 of them went 3-1. That is insane! After that, 3 went 1-X and 1 went 0-X. The deck had a fantastic week and it is just quite well positioned in the meta right now. It has quite decent matchups versus the majority of the meta including MBC and Delver, the two top decks. In addition, it is a great [c]Scattershot Archer[/c] deck, a card that is now starting to become strong enough to be played mainboard, as it is in about half of the top Stompy lists. I think this deck will become more popular soon, but it has dipped to unusually low levels for a top deck.

2. UB Angler – Stats: 10.53% Prominence; 40.91% Cash Rate; 62.34% Win Rate. This is one of the bigger surprises this week. It hasn’t been too fantastic recently, but this week it went insane. It had 6 people at 4-0 and 3 people at 3-1. This is one of the stranger results as UB Angler had double the amount of 4-0s as 3-1s. One thing this could suggest is that the deck is well positioned against the top decks, but it also could just be variance. Definitely one to watch as the meta progresses.

3. Delver – Stats: 15.79% Prominence; 45.45% Cash Rate; 58.77% Win Rate. This is the dominant deck over the past few weeks. After a long time where it had strong results, but low prominence, it has finally taken over the top spot as the king of the meta. Now it did not have the best results this week, but it one of the few decks that has had great weeks over and over and over. It has not had a bad week in forever. It is time to start bringing in Delver hate or playing the deck, I wouldn’t be surprised if the meta goes back to Delver v. others.


1. Burn – Stats: 5.74% Prominence; 8.33% Cash Rate; 36.11% Win Rate. Finally Burn has fallen! The meta has been hostile to a deck that needs the right meta to succeed. It seems that its continual failure has caught up to it and people are dropping the deck like hot potatoes. The deck has not done well in a while, but finally it seems like it’s not going to played quite as much. I would expect Burn to lower in the meta and you don’t need to build around it quite as much.

2. MBC – Stats: 12.44% Prominence; 19.23% Cash Rate; 43.37% Win Rate. After a bit of sunshine, MBC is back in its normal place – the losers circle. I still am not a fan of this deck, but as Delver grows more and more popular, it may gain a bit in success. I would be surprised to see MBC get more strong results continually.

3. Esper Fae Combo – Stats: 7.18% Prominence; 20.00% Cash Rate; 46.94% Win Rate. Here is the shocker. It still wasn’t as bad as some other lists, but the deck was not able to place in the winner’s circle close to as much as it wants to. I think a decent bit of that is because Delver was such a force this week. In addition, the deck was not able to combo off as often on Turn 6 or earlier as often. In addition, it faced much faster decks this week as they lost many games before they were able to go off. If you can go off before them, they are forced to try to combo off when they may not have all the pieces in place. I would be surprised if you see the deck do this badly again, but I’m certainly watching and recording.

Deck to Watch For

UB Teachings – Stats: 4.78% Prominence; 30.00% Cash Rate; 41.38% Win Rate. A deck that I thought was mostly gone, but has experienced a resurgence in the past few weeks. Now, it never put up fantastic results, but it has been strong enough that I would not be against playing the deck if you enjoy the style. Also, as this deck and UB Angler are very similar, make sure you know the differences so you know what deck you are playing at the start, as they end up playing out very different.


PCT Results – The PCT is a weekly tournament hosted on Gatherling.com by LongTimeGone. It occurs Tuesday at 8 pm est.

Mid-Week Pauper Meta Report: June 25, 2015 – Esper Nay

grave scrabbler art wide

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 /u/TomScud 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 6-18, 6-21 evening, and 6-23 dailies.

This week it is back to the recent normal in the metagame – MBC and Burn lead the rest of the decks in popularity. Burn continued to have dismal results, and more and more decks are going in with Burn in mind. On the other hand, MBC broke its streak of bad weeks and actually did quite decent. Other than that, Esper Fae Combo dropped a bit in popularity, which is to be expected. Last week was so much higher than normal that variance was expected to be a key factor. At that same point, Esper Fae has grown and is a force in the meta with multiple new players playing the deck. But first, lets look at the meta as a whole.


The biggest take away from this graph is the dominance that Delver and Esper Fae have over the rest of the decks. MBC also did fantastic which is certainly a break from what I’ve come to expect from the deck. In addition, the other category shrunk for the first time in a while, meaning that the top decks did, on average, better than rogues.


This graph shows a lot more variation between the decks than usual. Delver is the best with Esper Fae right on its tail. After that MBC and UR Fiend are close, both a decent bit above average. Affinity did ok and UB Angler and Burn both did terrible. The main mover this week was MBC. It did significantly better than normal. Everything else looks about the same as in weeks past.
With Esper Fae being such a hot topic in the community, I thought it would be interesting to look at how Esper Fae did in each of its games so I took its results from the 2 dailies I recorded and graphed them on the chart below (the 10 is for games with ending turn 10 or more).


Now the turn where the games includes when people concede so some games may have actually taken a bit longer, but they were decided at this point. From the graph, it is clear that Esper Fae is a turn 6 combo deck, or at least that is where there is a strong chance that they are able to go off. If you want to beat the deck, your best chance is to get off to a start strong enough that they either die quickly, or put enough pressure that they have to focus on you and not going off. Affinity seems like a very strong to do this. Not only are they able to often put lethal on the board turn 4 or so, they have a decent bit of disruption and have the Atog/Fling combo that the deck must play around. Lastly, a major thing to note is that the deck only lost 2 matches to time. While that is something, it certainly is not a gameplan versus the deck. The deck timing itself out just did not seem to happen in most matches. Don’t rely on the clock to help you win, it rarely will. I’ll continue doing these for a little while to gain some more data in addition to finding matchup data which will hopefully gain more insight into how to properly attack Esper Fae.

Thanks for reading! -Najay1


1. Delver – Stats: 9.33% Prominence; 52.38% Cash Rate; 63.51% Win Rate. Again Delver is an amazing deck that put up great results. Interestingly, Delver was able to put up strong results in Wizard’s results as well. It probably helps that Stompy has not been as popular as Stompy is the best Gut Shot deck by far. I would expect Delver to continue to be a strong deck and expect this deck to only continue to be popular.

2. Stompy – Stats: 4.44% Prom; 50.00% Cash; 61.11% Win. Stompy did not have a huge amount of pilots, but those pilots did very well. Only 10 people played the list in the 3 dailies that were recorded (and 0 in one daily). I’ve looked into this a bit and I really do not believe that the list should be as underplayed as it is. It has the name recognition, it has the past success to back it up, it just got a new shiny sideboard card, etc. The deck has game, I would play it, but not plan to see much of it.

3. Esper Fae Combo – Stats: 7.56% Prom; 47.06 Cash; 56.14% Win. This is one of the better decks in the format over the past few weeks although it did not have the prominence that it was able to reach last week. As seen in the data earlier up, this is a turn 6 deck and in a format that is bound with control decks, a consistent combo deck is hard to beat. I do think that these results may not be at their ceiling and can grow as more people get more and more experience with the deck. This is the deck to fight and I think the best way to do that is just to be faster than them. Hate can be effective, but just 4 cards in the sideboard is not enough to stop this deck. You need to prepare throughout the deck. This is why decks that are loaded with disruption, or are just faster, are able to have success. Great deck, be ready to face it.

4. MBC – Stats: 11.11% Prom; 40.00% Cash; 54.76% Win. Lastly is one of the bigger surprises of the week in MBC. MBC has not had a great week in a long while and it needs a few more of these to really prove that it is a strong deck. This is one of the first weeks that has shown that the deck has the chance to be successful. Still, the results were not mind blowing this week with just an above average win rate. Personally, I need at least a few more weeks of strong finishes to believe that MBC deserves to be one of the most prominent decks.


1. Burn – Stats: 11.11% Prom; 12.00% Cash; 39.47% Win. Again the classic red lava wins deck has a pretty bad week. Considering Lone Missionary is the 9th most played creature in the format (in 11.16% of decks as a 4-of) and people are bringing out the hate. I’m not sure how much longer this deck can remain on top as people continue to run into hate and hate and hate. I think this next week will be the week Burn will start to subside. I think it has to at some point and I think this is the week. The deck is just not in the right place for a meta deck. If you want to attack the meta, I suggest doing so in other ways.

2. UB Angler – Stats: 8.44% Prom; 21.05% Cash; 50.75% Win. Again this deck has not performed up to expectations. Actually, the other Angler list – UB Teachings – had a breakout week really out of nowhere. With such a low cash and win rate, I would expect to see this list to start to subside as well. Really just not a huge fan of having less threats than MBC and Delver have answers. In addition, the deck really isn’t that fast which means it loses to most aggro decks. Just not right for the current meta.

Brew of the Week

[d title=”Abzan Torture by Bjornarprytz – June 18, 2015″]
4 Arrogant Wurm
4 Grave Scrabbler
4 Satyr Wayfinder
4 Wild Mongrel
3 Golgari Brownscale
1 Auramancer
1 Carrion Feeder
1 Crypt Rats
1 Mesmeric Fiend
1 Plagued Rusalka
1 Qasali Pridemage
1 Stinkweed Imp
1 Tilling Treefolk
1 Vampire Hounds

4 Commune with the Gods
4 Tortured Existence

8 Swamp
4 Blossoming Sands
4 Jungle Hollow
2 Forest
2 Golgari Guildgate
2 Scoured Barrens
2 Tranquil Thicket

3 Mesmeric Fiend
3 Spore Frog
2 Crypt Rats
2 Qasali Pridemage
2 Faerie Macabre
1 Golgari Brownscale
1 Gnaw to the Bone
1 Okiba-Gang Shinobi [/d]

This is one of the few Tortured Existence lists to have success really in the past few years. Muuchan’s Jund list is really the only TE list to find continual success. The main problem I have with this list is that it seems to be very weak to aggro decks that just get in tons of damage quick (like Burn) if it isn’t able to find its Golgari Brownscales (which is only 2 life). In addition the mana is not great (like any 3 color deck in pauper) and it leaves a lot to be desired. At that same point it seems to have lots of potential lines of play with many different cards and has a decent toolbox to play into different situations. I would look to this deck to be streamlined and maybe have a chance in the future.


Thanks to Tom Scud! Check out his Facebook and his Spreadsheet.


PCT Results

The PCT is a weekly tournament hosted on Gatherling.com by LongTimeGone. It occurs Tuesday at 8 pm est.



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.


PCT Results

The PCT is a weekly tournament hosted on Gatherling.com by LongTimeGone. It occurs Tuesday at 8 pm Eastern.



The Price of Pauper

As with the original Modern Masters, Modern Masters: 2015 Edition was a double edged sword. Some of the cards that were reprinted went down in price, but enough other cards spiked hard to counteract it. The sad reality is that Modern will be an expensive format without dramatic reprints on a level not seen before. To many players, Modern is a format that is just too much of a jump to get into with price levels rising. But there is another format that is competitive, eternal, and fun with a bunch of additional benefits: Pauper.

The mostly online, commons-only format is fantastic and diverse. It allows players to jump between decks as they see fit with minimal cost while still providing a non-rotating competitive format. Although Modern Masters: 2015 Edition may have raised the price of Modern, it brought many Pauper staples to all-time lows, making it the perfect time to buy into the format. The real question now becomes what is the real cost of Pauper?


If we look at recent event results, almost every heavily played deck is somewhere from 5-50 tickets, with the current top list clocking in under 10 tickets. Almost any of these lists can be made cheaply and are significantly less expensive than corresponding decks in other formats. In addition, there is an interesting mix of decks in this top tier from Aggro (Burn, Stompy) to Control (Mono-Black, Delver) to Combo (Familiars). Yet many players don’t get into Pauper just to get one deck, they like to bounce around and play many different styles of decks. There are multiple decks in Pauper that have similar cores to other decks, but play out very differently.

Two of the most popular decks in the format are Delver and UR Fiend. Delver is an Aggro-Control list based around getting down an early [c]Delver of Secrets[/c] and protecting it with counters, bounce, and draw spells. UR Fiend is a combo list centered around going off with [c]Kiln Fiend[/c] and [c]Nivix Cyclops[/c]. Both have the same core of 4-of [c]Ponder[/c], [c]Preordain[/c], and [c]Delver of Secrets[/c]. They both run about 17 lands and are a blue based deck.

After that, there starts to grow a divergence in the lists. UR Fiend adds red to get the combo creatures, Delver adds counters to protect its creatures, and so on. By growing a collection, it can become quite easy to jump from one list to another such as with Delver and UR Fiend.

But how to price a collection is not a simple task. The simplest way to tabulate the cost is to look at the price of the most played cards in the format, such as the 50 most played cards from MTGGoldfish. I took this list early June 14th and added in the prices MTGOTraders.com was selling them for. The vast majority of the cards were 5 cents or less a piece with only 7 over a dollar. If you bought a playset of each of the top 50 most played cards, the price is only $99.20.

$99.20 for all of the most played cards in the format!

Unlike any other competitive format, you can buy into Pauper for about $100. While I doubt anyone is going to just buy the top cards and not a deck, it demonstrates how cheap the format is and how having multiple decks is not very expensive at all. Relative to Modern where all of the top lists are over $200, Pauper is a dream for your wallet. Also, the majority of the expensive cards are sideboard cards which are not vital in making the decks run. If you just remove [c]Pyroblast[/c] and [c]Hydroblast[/c], 2 strong and common sideboard cards that you do not need to be competitive, the price falls to $55.56. Yet, that list does not look at the most expensive lands in the format. Thankfully, lands are not expensive at all in Pauper, as the only ones worth money are the Artifact lands and Urza lands. The format is very cheap, so let’s go over some of the best places to start.


One of the most consistently successful decks in the format is Stompy, a mono-green beat down deck with lots of pump to back up the punch. The deck relies on getting down a few cheap threats and using one of the many pump spells to deal damage fast. In addition, this version of the deck is a steal at only $19.72.

[d title=”Stompy by DromarX – June 12, 2015″]
4 Nettle Sentinel
4 Quirion Ranger
4 Skarrgan Pit-Skulk
4 Young Wolf
3 Safehold Elite
3 Wild Mongrel
2 Basking Rootwalla
2 Garruk’s Companion
2 River Boa

4 Groundswell
4 Vines of Vastwood
4 Rancor
2 Gather Courage
1 Bonesplitter

17 Forest

4 Scattershot Archer
3 Gleeful Sabotage
3 Gut Shot
3 Nourish
1 Bonesplitter
1 Viridian Longbow [/d]

Another classic, and a deck relatively unique to Pauper, is Mono-Black Control (or MBC). The deck utilizes a disruption package including [c]Chittering Rats[/c] and removal to control the opponent while it uses its many creatures to control the board. The heavy hitter finishers include [c]Gray Merchant of Asphodel[/c] and [c]Gurmag Angler[/c]. This deck has proven to be extremely popular and is a blast to play, making it one of the most common decks out there. In addition, the deck is only an Andrew Jackson away at $19.99.

[d title=”Mono-Black Control by Claudiocruz – June 13, 2015″]
4 Chittering Rats
4 Cuombajj Witches
4 Gray Merchant of Asphodel
4 Phyrexian Rager
2 Gurmag Angler

4 Sign in Blood
3 Geth’s Verdict
3 Victim of Night
2 Chainer’s Edict
2 Unearth
2 Disfigure
2 Oubliette
1 Corrupt

19 Swamp
4 Barren Moor

4 Duress
3 Choking Sands
3 Shrivel
2 Relic of Progenitus
2 Wrench Mind
1 Tendrils of Corruption [/d]

If you just want to test out the format with basically no monetary investment, Pauper has its share of dirt cheap decks, such as this 4-0 Burn list that costs a total of 2.99 tix. There are other decks that can come this cheap as well, such as W Tokens, but Burn is the most successful of these recently. This list is not too complicated, just throw fire at their face!

[d title=”Burn by Gommasd – June 9, 2015″]

4 Keldon Marauders

4 Chain Lightning
4 Lava Spike
4 Rift Bolt
4 Fireblast
4 Incinerate
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Needle Drop
4 Searing Blaze
4 Curse of the Pierced Heart
2 Searing Spear

16 Mountain
2 Forgotten Cave

4 Electrickery
4 Smash to Smithereens
4 Stone Rain
3 Lightning Strike [/d]

This is not all the decks. Pauper is an open format and new brews pop up all the time. The nice thing is once you have a collection, almost any brew that pops up is almost no investment at all. You can play what you want to play and don’t have to be bothered by continual spikes.

One of the best ways to get into the format is to play the free, prize-supported, Pauper Classic Tuesdays Tournament on Gatherling. They start at 8 pm Eastern and tend to run for a few hours. If those are below your pay grade you can always play in the Pauper Daily Events that run once a day on weekdays and twice everyday on weekends. Also, visit the hub of the Pauper community at /r/Pauper on Reddit.

Thanks for reading!


Mid-Week Pauper Meta Report: June 11, 2015

boros garrison art

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 Scudder and I collect from a selection of dailies. We watch 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 picture and figure out how well each deck did in total. Now, this data is just for this week and just from the data we 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 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 what to expect in the future.

This uses the data from the 6/4, 6/7 afternoon, and 6/7 evening dailies.

Burn? Burn. The deck has jumped up to be the king of the hill, knocking off MBC from its throne for the first time since Treasure Cruise was banned. In addition, it has become such a large part of the meta that it made MBC fall to only 12.18% of the meta. The red menace has been a real threat, but to what extent can it maintain its spot on top with slightly below average results? As long as MBC is a major deck, I expect Burn to stay as MBC cannot deal with the deck as it was able to handle W Tokens. Be ready for burn, in deck selection and especially in the board.

One of the biggest responses to Burn was a WR Tokens deck by MadarmeBK that did fantastic over the week. It used Conclave Phalanx, tokens, and burn to outrace Burn. The deck will be covered more in depth downwards on the page.


There is a big deck missing from these graphs – Affinity. The deck has slowly decreased in prominence, and it actually went below the 5% mark. This is one of the first times one of the 5 biggest decks – Affinity, Delver, MBC, Stompy, and UR Fiend – went below the 5% mark in over a month. Another interesting bit is how the “Other” group again grew in prominence. This means that it is very viable to play a smaller deck and get results. This is the second week in a row that this happened and I’m watching to see if it continues.


Through this graph, the decks with the best weeks are quite clear – Delver, Stompy, and UR Fiend. Esper Fae Combo had the most mediocre week it has had in a while, but still not too bad. The decks that did the worst are MBC and UB Angler. Burn had a week that is slightly below average, but not terrible. Nothing is too shocking here, but it is always an interesting graph to look at.

Thanks for reading! – Najay1


1. Stompy – After a down week, Stompy came back in force. Again the deck was not super popular at 5.88% of the meta, but it did great from those pilots. With a 57.14% cash rate and a 62.75% win rate, Stompy ran over a lot of the competition this week. At least part of this can be attributed to a strong matchup v. Burn and a weak matchup v. Affinity. Additionally, as rogue decks have started to make more of an impact on the scene, Stompy is able to make many of these easy matchups. I still like Stompy right now, although if Burn drops in popularity, so may Stompy’s results.

2. Delver – Interesting that Delver increased its popularity up to 8.82% – the highest in a while. I would expect this is because Gut Shot has not been as close to as popular as many thought it would be. I think that the popularity of Delver is very important in determining whether the card is worth a spot in the board and if it continues to rise, then I would expect more Gut Shots to come out. This could make for a cyclical pattern in the meta, which would be very exciting. Delver still ran well on the top tables with a 38.10% cash rate and a 60.00% win rate. Delver still looks to be a fantastic choice for the meta, and more people will continue to make that choice.

3. UR Fiend – UR Fiend also had a good week, but not as strong as either of above with a 38.46% cash rate and a 53.49% win rate. One of the main stories to see is whether Gut Shot will become a staple of the deck. 3 of the 7 decks reported by Wizards played the card, most of them as a 2-3 of card in the main. This could very much improve their results against Delver, which has never been a great matchup for them. Additionally, if MBC remains big in the meta, I doubt this deck can become too great.


1. Affinity – Affinity is here less so because of its popularity, but because of its lack of it this week. For the first week in a very long time, Affinity made up of less than 5% of the meta at 4.62%. Affinity’s share of the meta has slowly moved down and down throughout the DtK season and now into the current season. The deck was around 8.5% prominence consistently until 2 weeks ago and last week it dropped to 6.40% prominence. In addition to its shrinking popularity, the deck didn’t do great with an 18.18% cash rate and 47.22% win rate. Now there were only 11 Affinity pilots this week so be aware of high potential uncertainty in those numbers. Despite all of this, I do not expect the deck to shrink much lower in prominence. The deck is widely regarded as a top deck and it is well known among the Pauper community. The lower popularity does mean that it may be safe to prepare for less Affinity in your sideboard, at least for the upcoming week.

2. MBC – The now 2nd most popular deck in the meta, MBC made up 12.18% of all decks. This is the lowest it has been in a few weeks and comes directly out of the difficulty of facing burn. In the last season, MBC was 5-28 versus Burn and it does not have too many strong options to shore up the matchup. The best black life gain spell is Gary and that is already a 4-of. Other than that, the two main life gain spells are Corrupt and Tendrils of Agony, both bad versus Burn. Unless Burn goes back downwards, I do not think MBC will or should rise up again as evidenced by a 20.69% cash rate and a 44.68% win rate, both sub-par.

3. UB Angler – This last deck has become another very common force in the meta over the past few weeks. Making up 8.40% of the meta, UB Angler has exploded onto the scene very similarly to last season when it did the same things. Sadly, it is also putting up more sub-par results with a 25.00% cash rate and a 42.37% win rate, something of a trend recently. UB Angler has not had enough strong weeks to counter the amount of bad weeks that it has experienced and continues to struggle – especially with Burn being such a major part of the meta. Not a fan of this deck right now, but you must be ready to face it.

Deck to Watch For

Hexproof – In a MBC dominated meta, Hexproof would not seem to be a great option, but it has done surprisingly well with a 50% cash rate and a 66.67% win rate this week out of 4 tries (which isn’t very significant). The reason why Hexproof seems to be a contender is its strength against a lot of the other top decks. Burn is the most popular deck and Hexproof can easily beat that deck as it has built in lifegain, a faster clock, and doesn’t let Burn kill its creatures (although that usually doesn’t happen). Even though it isn’t great against MBC, it has serious game against Burn, Delver, and UB Angler – the 3 other top decks. If MBC stays down, Hexproof may end up surprising some people.

Brew of the Week

[d title=”RW Tokens by MadarameBK – June 9th, 2015 (Pauper)”]
Tokens Package
4 Battle Screech
4 Raise the Alarm
4 Squadron Hawk
3 Conclave Phalanx
3 Guardians’ Pledge
2 Veteran Armorer

Rebel Package
4 Ramosian Lieutenant
2 Aven Riftwatcher
1 Bound in Silence
1 Nightwind Glider

4 Lightning Bolt
2 Firebolt
2 Flame Slash
1 Journey to Nowhere

Other Spells
1 Faithless Looting
1 Prismatic Strands

4 Boros Garrison
4 Plains
4 Wind-Scarred Crag
3 Ancient Den
3 Great Furnace
3 Mountain

3 Pyroblast
2 Electrickery
2 Gorilla Shaman
2 Lumithread Field
2 Molten Rain
1 Prismatic Strands
1 Disenchant
1 Patrician’s Scorn
1 Relic of Progenitus [/d]

Here is the MTGGoldfish page. By far one of my favorite brews to come out recently, this deck really utilizes a card many had written off – [c]Conclave Phalanx[/c]. I’m using the latest list that madarameBK used as he made the list and knows it better than I do.

The deck is mainly 3 parts as split into above. The tokens package is the main part of the list and it creates the main aggro focus of the deck. The deck has lots of burn and removal to back up the aggression. Lastly, it has a rebels package (which some other versions do not have) centered around Ramosian Lieutenant for the search function. With that it can find cards valuable against various decks. Aven Riftwatcher is great against Burn and other aggro decks, Nightwind Glider can take down all of MBC’s 2/2s, and it can even get Bound in Silence for removal on demand.

This is an innovative list that was designed to take down the current meta and looks to be a fantastic meta deck. I’m not sure how it will fare in the future, but I love this deck for the upcoming week and expect it to leap in popularity.


1. Burn will remain as the top deck, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it decline a bit in popularity.
2. MBC and UB Angler will continue to have large followings, but will put up below average results.
3. The RW Tokens brew will find more success and potentially could be a breakout deck for the week.
4. UR Fiend will not have as strong of a week as it has the past two weeks.


With thanks to Tom Scudder. Check out his Facebook and his Spreadsheet.


PCT Results

The PCT is a weekly tournament hosted on Gatherling.com by LongTimeGone. It occurs Tuesday at 8 pm Eastern.



Mid-Week Pauper Meta Report: June 4, 2015

gut shot art

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 5/28, 5/29 evening, 5/31 afternoon, and 5/31 evening (courtesy of Patrick Johnson) results

Welcome to the new season! As Modern Masters 2015 was officially added for Pauper this week, and new cards are available, decks can really shift in the meta. The big story out of MMA2015 was [C]Gut Shot[/C], yet the ping spell did not seem to ping into decklists as it was in 0 of the 29 Wizards reported 4-0 lists (which is a different data set than the one looked at here). One of the main reasons for this is because of the graphs below. Gut Shot is not good versus 5 of the top 8 decks (MBC, Burn, Affinity, Boros Kitty, and UB Angler) which make up 50% of the meta. The deck it is arguably best against (Delver) only made up 6% of the meta. Still, the card is new and I would expect it to grow in popularity as more people get their hands on the card and test it out.


There are 4 really large takeaways from these graphs. First, Burn has moved up to being a dominant presence in the meta, but did not advance to the cash as much as it did previously. Second, Esper Fae Combo again had a huge week as the 7th most popular deck in total, but was the 3rd most popular deck from the 3-1s and 4-0s which is a massive jump. Third, and potentially the strangest, is that the other decks actually improved from the total to the cash, something very rarely seen. As the other category often includes suboptimal decks that go 0-2 or new brews, the most established decks in the category really had a huge week. A ton of interest decks cashed like Bant Midrange, Rhystic Tron, Grixis Contrl, Infect, RB Control, etc. This means that the meta is ripe for innovation and for rogue decks to do really well. Lastly, UR Fiend and W Tokens dropped under the 5% mark and were not included in these graphs. W Tokens is unsurprising, but UR Fiend just barely was under the limit with only 2 less copies than UB Angler. It’ll be here again. The last graph looks at how the best decks did in terms of cash rate and win rate last week.


This really demonstrates how much Esper Fae and Delver were ahead of the curve this week, despite being two of the decks most vulnerable to Gut Shot. The rest of the top decks all did a bit under the curve with all of them (excluding the newcomer Boros Kitty) getting less than a 30% cash rate and under 50% win rates, but just by a bit. That means that all of these decks were slightly below average, or in UB Angler’s case, way below average. This was a week that was taken by the rogue decks and it begs the question – is this variance, or just how the meta will go?

Thanks for reading! -Najay1


1. Esper Fae Combo – Making up only 5.39% of the meta, this continual force put up a 62.50% cash rate and a 71.19% win rate. This deck has been consistently above par, but still faces a major problem in dealing with it. The deck is potentially the best deck in the format (it has been recently), but rarely picks up new players and makes it so that its popularity is low enough that it may be correct not to sideboard for the matchup. That way it is hard to devote slots against a deck when it isn’t seen all that often. It is probably best to have cards that are good against this deck, but also great against other top decks if you want to beat it. If Gut Shot can be more popular, it may make the deck a bit worse, but until something happens, expect Esper Fae to continue comboing off into the winner’s circle.

2. Goblins – The old red force has not been seen too much of recently, but was able to get 4.38% of the meta this week (similar to past weeks) and put up very strong results. With a 53.85% cash rate and 62.22% win rate, the deck put up very strong results through 13 pilots. Despite the strong results, I doubt the deck will put up better results than this week. With a deck very reliant on having 2-3 lands, if it draws too many, or too few, the deck can be screwed. A very similar deck is Affinity, but Affinity has a much higher power level when working full speed – and is much harder to get a great start. I like the deck, and it deserves to be a solid T2 deck, but I doubt it will dominate the meta anytime soon.

3. Delver – Another strong week for one of the best decks in Pauper. Although it remained low in popularity, the deck put up a 47.37% cash rate and a 60.56% win rate. With 16 decks between 4-0 and 2-X, and only 3 worse, this deck looks to be one of the best in the metagame. Yet, there is a problem. A new problem. Gut Shot. This is the deck that stands to lose the most from having the card in the meta. Yet, as long as MBC and Burn stay atop the meta, and Delver isn’t very popular, this deck can continue having success as Gut Shot may not be a good meta call. Unlike the past, I doubt this deck will become number one in popularity anytime soon, yet the deck still seems like a strong choice until Gut Shot becomes popular and right now it is not. Still a great choice to play Delver.


1. UB Angler – With so many decks doing badly this week, UB Angler managed to counter its growing popularity with shrinking success. Clocking in with a 12.50% cash rate and a 43.14% win rate, the deck had only 2 pilots make the cash out of its 16 pilots. It did, however, have 5 decks at 2-X and have a win rate much higher than the cash rate, suggesting that this week’s failure was at least a bit related to luck. It could be argued that the deck just cannot stand up to the decks at the higher levels, but crush more decks lower on which gives it so many more decks close to the winner’s circle, but not in it. As past results do not support that too much, I would be surprised if that is the case. Either way, this is a deck that has had high highs and low lows recently. I am not yet sure where it will land.

2. MBC – The king of the format only this week got a serious challenge to its popularity, but it still managed to be the most popular deck by one with 47 pilots. As has been the trend though, it did not put up equally dominant results. With a 27.66% cash rate and 45.89% win rate, the deck again put up slightly below average numbers. With more players at each 1-X and 0-X than in the cash, the deck seems to again put up lower results through this data. Despite that, the addition of Gut Shot may help the deck up a bit. As more people play a card that is terrible against this deck, MBC will gain some amount of percentage points. On the other hand, it is important to look at the decks that Gut Shot does well against and how MBC fares against those decks. Most of the decks that are bad against Gut Shot are bad against MBC which means that Gut Shot may not actually be great for the deck. Either way, the effect will probably be small and the much larger impact is the surging growth of Burn. Burn is one of this deck’s worst matchups and it now is about as popular as MBC. For MBC, it is good that Burn will probably subside and MBC has a higher outlook in the future. Last season 2 different decks rose up to fight MBC, and MBC has withstood through both of them, it has done so with mostly losing records. I would expect to face a lot of MBC, but would not be excited to play it.

3. Burn – This is a deck that has grown in popularity in direct response to MBC and looks to have reached the tipping point. The deck has striking similarities to the path W Tokens took just a bit ago. It grew from a small deck to one of the best decks with great success, but then the hate cards started flowing in. Burn, as W Tokens, is very bad against certain cards and decks and once people notice its presence, they start preparing more for the deck. People have noticed, and Burn had bad results with a 26.09% cash rate and a 48.37% win rate. It still was not as bad as MBC (with less 0-X results and significantly more 2-X and 1-X results), but the deck was not able to put up as strong of results as usual. This indicated Burn has reached the tipping point, the moment in which the deck is hated too much to be successful. As with W Tokens, I believe the deck has a small amount of weeks as a very prominent deck. The popularity may not dip too much this week, and should still be hated upon, but in 2-3 weeks, the deck will fall to be just one of the top decks. Right now is not the time to be a Burn player, but it is still time to plan to beat this deck. The deck will subside soon, the tipping point has been reached.

Deck to Watch For

Boros Kitty – A deck that has consistently put up strong results, but never shown up in numbers, I was very surprised when the deck made up 6.06% of the meta. It put up decent results with a 33.33% cash rate and a 53.97% win rate, still better than every top deck except Delver and Esper Fae. I think this deck is very well positioned right now as it has great matchups versus MBC and some other top decks. I would not be surprised to see the deck going up or down in the near future, as this week’s spike in popularity was unexpected, but I hope it to continue as it seems to be a solid choice in the upcoming meta.

Brew of the Week

Bant Midrange – One of the more innovative decks I have seen have success in a while, this list runs a lot of cards that are not seen too often, or at all. It is mainly a UW grindy list that is splashing green for Armadillo Cloak. Some of the key cards are Squadron Hawk, Mulldrifter, Trinket Mage, Brainstorm, and lots of counters/removal. The deck interestingly does not play 4 of any spell, partially because of Trinket Mage, but that suggests to me that the list needs to be streamlined a bit more. It packs a Trinket Mage package, some removal, some counters (including 3 Hindering Light), and some bounce. In a world of Burn, I can see how this had success with 3 Last Breath, 2 Radiant Fountain, and 2 Armadillo Cloak (along with interesting Affinity tech Divine Offering). Intriguing, but the deck needs to be improved before it is truly competitive.


Thanks to Tom the Scud. Check out his Facebook and his Spreadsheet.


PCT Results

The PCT is a weekly tournament hosted on Gatherling.com by LongTimeGone. It occurs Tuesday at 8 pm est.



Mid-Week Pauper Meta Report: May 28, 2015

ghostly flicker art

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 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 uses the data from the 5/21, 5/22 evening, 5/24 afternoon, and 5/24 evening results

No decks really exploded onto the scene this week and W Tokens continued its fall, but UB Angler has now risen to make up more than 5% of the field and had a quite decent week. The other major story is that the DtK season is wrapping up and Modern Masters 2015 is coming in as the hot new thing.


The prominence graphs are above and really there is not too much fluctuation from the prominence in all of the field and just the 3-1 and 4-0 results. The only deck that increased/decreased by more than 2% was Esper Fae. This shows a decently even metagame for the week and not the large jumps that can often occur.


The graph above demonstrated the 2 groups of decks this week. Esper Fae is above all with over 60% cash and win rates and just after that UR Fiend, UB Angler, Delver, and Burn are all very close to each other with very strong weeks. Affinity, MBC, and Stompy did not do as well, with the entire group having less than 30% cash rates and a losing record. Stompy had a much worse week than I expected, but other than that this graph is not super surprising.

As always thanks for reading, Najay1!


1. Esper Fae Combo – Esper Fae continues its hot streak at the top of the charts with a 62.5% cash rate and a 65.45% win rate. It was very polar in the results as it had 10 decks in the money and 4 decks winless with only 2 in between. With the arrival of Gut Shot, the deck now is much less safe going off while the opponent is tapped out and could suffer as a result, but for the current season Esper Fae is leaving on top. Look for another strong week from Esper Fae.

2. UR Fiend – A deck that has not been racking up the numbers recently, it made a strong showing this week as it put up a 43.75% cash rate and 57.41% win rate. Despite that, I do not expect the deck to be a major power in the meta in the immediate future. The question with the deck going forward is to what extent the deck will utilize Gut Shot, if at all. I am a bit surprised about the amount of UR Fiend with the dominance of MBC as it is not a strong match up at all and I would not look for the deck to be great during the end of the season.

3. UB Angler – The best Gurmag Angler deck is starting to really become a deck to watch out for. Last week the deck just missed 5% prominence and this week it barely got over the mark with a 5.06% prominence. With the larger sample size, the deck’s results can now be analyzed more accurately and this week it did quite well with a 43.75% cash rate and a 55.56% win rate. The Delver version of the deck is now by far the better contender and has put up very strong results. I really like this deck and its current version which have done better than the Turbo Angler decks of last season.


1. W Tokens – The past flavor of the week deck is now diminishing back to its normal size with a 3.8% prominence across the 4 dailies. Those decks did not have strong numbers either as it had a 8.33% cash rate and a 42.11% win rate, not the most stellar. The win rate does indicate the cash rate should probably be higher (as 1/3 of the pilots went 2-X), but it could also indicate that the top decks were prepared for W Tokens. As the hate starts to fade away, the deck may be able to make a comeback.

2. Stompy – Stompy is a deck that I thought would be great in the coming weeks, but it certainly did not have a great performance this week. With a 22.73% cash rate and a 45.07% win rate, the deck did not do as well as expected. One of the reasons for the failure is a 2-6 record versus Esper Fae (not including the data from the 5/24 evening daily) which was its second most common match up. This was mostly just a bad draw for Stompy and they probably will not meet too much in the future. Overall, I can see this deck doing decent to great before Gut Shot hits at which time the future is unknown.

3. Affinity – Affinity also had a below average week, again, as it took home a 27.27% cash rate and a 44.93% win rate. The deck had as many 0-X as it did 3-1s and it placed 0 4-0s. The deck has been mediocre pretty consistently in the season, but the addition of Gut Shot ma change its fate. On one hand, Gut Shot is just terrible against Affinity, as it can basically hit nothing except Flayer Husk (which isn’t even in every list). Yet, Delver isn’t a bad matchup (16-16 in this season) and can be tuned to be a great one and Delver may be put out of the meta to some extent (although it is currently underplayed so we will see). The results of this deck in the next season will be interesting to watch.

Deck Spotlight

MBC – MBC was again the most popular deck with 51 entries through 4 dailies. That leads to a prominence of 16.14% which is down from the more than 20% it packed last week. The deck was below average this week with a 29.41% cash rate and a 48.78% win rate. These are both a bit below average, but are not as bad as some of the numbers seen in the past. Interesting again was the difference between the cash and win rate. Overall, the deck was again did not merit the top spot in the meta, but this week was a bit better than some of its past results.

Brew of the Week

UR Tron Fae Combo – This is not the newest deck on the block and has been around for a decent while, and has never really put up more than a few copies in the results. The list is similar to RUG Tron, but it does not rely on big fatties to get the job done, but the Cloud of Fae win con like in Esper Fae. I do like this deck because it seems to have more resistance to MBC and also can win by Kaervek’s Torch or Sage’s Row Denizen. An interesting list and one that I think more should check out.


Thanks to Tom the Scud. Check out his Facebook and his Big Fat Spreadsheet.


PCT Results

The PCT is a weekly tournament hosted on Gatherling.com by LongTimeGone. It occurs Tuesday at 8 pm est.



Mid-Week Pauper Meta Report: May 21, 2015

ghostly flicker art

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 large story of the last few weeks had been the explosion in popularity in W Tokens. The deck shot up to the 2nd most popular deck last week, but as the deck got more popular, the hate made its way in. This week, the legion of 1/1s regressed to the 7th most played list. MBC also continued its reign as the most popular list and Burn became a much more dominant force after having one of the worst weeks ever a few weeks ago. The chart on the left below shows the percentage of the meta (from the entire daily) each of the top decks make up (decks that had >5% of the meta). The one on the right shows those same decks prominence in the 3-1 and 4-0 results.


As seen, MBC takes he biggest hit from deck prominence to cash prominence at a loss of 8% and the other decks lose 9% (which is to be expected as many are not established decks). Stompy and Esper Fae Combo took the majority of that, each gaining ~7%, making up equal portions of the cash prominence. There appears to be a lot of diversity from the top lists here, and a decent spread between the top lists. The next graph looks at the same top decks and their cash and win rates (as a note, ~31.5% is the average for cash rate).


I like this as a nice way to really visualize the results from the week. If you have any other graphs that you would like to see make sure to let me know!

Lastly, these are going up on MagicGatheringStrat solely which simplifies things a lot for me and allows the use of visuals in a much better and more streamlined way. Thanks for reading!


1. Stompy – This is a strong week for the Green Machine in a slightly unexpected position. Based on the amount of hate that W Tokens has attracted to the format, Stompy would have seemed to be only a decent option this week. That proved not to be the case as it had a 64.3% cash rate and 61.7% win rate. It had 9 people in the cash out of 14 pilots, compare that to MBC’s 10 pilots in the cash out of 47 tries. A little concerning is that only one of those pilots 4-0ed, which is not fantastic out of 9 appearances. Either way, I believe that Stompy is the best aggro deck in the format right now and should be played more than it is right now. If it can survive a week with as much hate as there was for W Tokens (although the hate isn’t close to as good v. Stompy), it can do well in the future.

2. Esper Fae Combo – The former dominant power, the explosive combo deck had a surprisingly large 16 pilots for a 7.3% prominence. Of those 16 pilots, 9 made it into the cash and 2 of those 4-0ed. The deck then had 3 0-X, 1 1-X, and 3 X-2. This is an interesting split and could come just from the learning curve of playing the deck, or also just variance. It had a 56.3% cash rate and 63.2% win rate. Esper Fae has been putting up better numbers as of late after a slump at the beginning of the season. I’m really surprised that the popularity grew in decent numbers – and had great success. As this deck has a massive learning curve, it is difficult for it to sustain great numbers if more people pick up the deck. A good sign for a deck that has been trending up.

3. Delver – With 18 pilots for the aggro-control deck, it made up 8.3% of the meta. With 4 pilots at each 4-0, 3-1, and 2-X, the deck had a very strong week with a 44.4% cash rate and 60.7% win rate. The 4 decks at 4-0 is really interesting. It is rare that a deck does so well reaching the 4-0 stage. In general, I don’t look too much into the difference in 4-0 and 3-1s because in just 3 dailies, there is a large amount of variance and without something too outstanding, it is difficult to take too much from 1 4-0 v. 2. Yet, when a deck is so successful at reaching 4-0 (as Delver was this week), it says something about the quality of the deck and its position in the meta. Even though there was a 20% difference in cash rate between Stompy and Delver, their win rates only differ by 1%. This is a much more even distribution for Delver which could be interpreted various ways. My theory is that it shows a lower variance deck, which could also mean greater rewards for better play. In general, the rewards for being a strong control player can be greater than a strong aggro player because if you make more correct decisions over a longer game, you have a better chance of winning. Delver is a strong choice (as it usually is), and the rewards are great if you get good at this deck and continue to improve.

4. Burn – Very polarized results this week as Burn also had a great week. It was very similar to Delver in that it had 18 pilots for 8.3% of the meta and had a 44.4% cash rate and a 59.7% win rate. The main difference in the results is that Burn was skewed slightly towards the losing end, but by a very small amount. Burn, just a few weeks ago, went 0-13 in dailies, probably the worst result I’ve seen since I started looking at the meta data. Yet, with such a strong MBC matchup, it got back into the game. In fact it went 12-0 v. MBC. Twelve wins and zero loses. On the other side of the coin, it went 0-6 v. Delver. As long as MBC is a player in the meta, the bolt deck can expect to do decently. I like this deck as a meta call for the near future.


1. MBC – With 21.6% of the meta and 47 results, MBC is dominating the meta in terms of numbers. Yet, it is not experiencing too much success in these dailies. With a 21.3% cash rate and 42.7% win rate, MBC again did not have a great week. One of the nice things about Tom’s collection is that it can give us the individual win rate of decks and see how they did in the matchup. One thing that can be noticed is that MBC played the mirror 15 times. Adjusting for that, MBC went 45-68 in non-mirror matches. That is a win rate of 39.8%. Not huge, but it means that the win rate is actually inflated when it plays the mirror, opposite of what happens when decks with a >50% play the mirror. While W Tokens isn’t a menace to the deck as much, Burn came in and gave the deck fits. This is the deck to beat in the current meta and it seems like a lot of decks are doing just that.

2. UB Angler – This is a deck that has been doing decently in recent weeks, and it was not close to as successful this week. The Delver list (as opposed to the Teachings version) really started to emerge as the favorite in recent weeks. It made up 4.6% of the meta with only 10 pilots (and there is some problems with smaller sample sizes such as this in terms of increased variance). Even so, the deck had a 20% cash rate and 37.9% win rate. 7 of the pilots went 0-X or 1-X, and the win rate suffered as a result. Despite that, the deck certainly isn’t done and I’m watching this one to see how well it does in the near future.

3. W Tokens – The main story of the past few weeks, the token machine has lost its meta momentum. With just 5.1% of the meta, W Tokens is receding back into a T2/T3 deck. It had a 18.2% cash rate and 42.3% win rate. Potentially more importantly, it went 1-3 against MBC and Burn has emerged as the MBC hate deck. Really I expect that this is on the heels of significant amounts of tokens hate. The deck generated a buzz in the past few weeks, but that buzz has slowly descended to a whisper. If you want to play this list, I would wait a few weeks when the hate goes away and then return to the deck. Right now, this is not where I want to be.

Deck to Watch For

Boros Kitty – The slow card advantage machine has gone under the radar for the past few weeks and it is high time that stops. This week, the deck went 3 for 3 in appearances, 4-0ing once and 3-1ing twice. This is one of the best decks that isn’t being played and it has consistently done this throughout the season. Since the banning, the deck has had a 64% win rate and a 53% cash rate. This deck has averaged getting in the money and 5 of the 16 cashing decks were 4-0. This deck should be played more than it is right now, the deck is just good.

Brew of the Week

UG Land Auras Fae Combo by DoGBiscuit – A variation on the Esper Fae Combo list, this list is mainly just 2 colors (although it is able to run black and red cards because of the fixing). One of the nice things about this list is that it uses enchantments to help it go off instead of familiars. This is significantly more resilient game one, although it does open the deck open to more hate post-sb. One of the other problems with this list is that it plans to go off with a one-of [c]Kaervek’s Torch[/c] cast off of a two-of [c]Fertile Ground[/c]. This means that it can take longer to go off than Esper Fae. There are some other differences as well (such as only needing two colors mainly), but those appear to be the main ones. Overall, this is an interesting list, although I do not think it is as strong as Esper Fae, but I’m not 100%.


Thanks to Tom the Scud. Be sure to check out his Facebook and his Big Fat Spreadsheet.


PCT Results

The PCT is a weekly tournament hosted on Gatherling.com by LongTimeGone. It occurs Tuesdays at 8:00 PM Eastern Time.