Pauper Commander League Reminder and Updates

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Hello! I wanted to remind folks to sign up for our upcoming league by the end of Thursday this week.

Sign up in the comments on this post.

And now for some quick updates.

These commanders are banned based on 1v1 “Duel Commander” rules: Derevi, Empyrial Tactician, Edric, Spymaster of Trest, Erayo, Soratami Ascendant, Oloro, Ageless Ascetic, Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary, Zur the Enchanter.

Join the #PEDH chat room when you’re in MTGO to find practice partners.

Match timers should be set for 40 minutes rather than the normal 25. I could not find this option when making a challenge, but if you are in the play screen you can open a match with a 40-minute time limit and restrict it to just your buddies, then message your opponent to join. 25 minutes does not seem enough time to finish an EDH match.

We have just over 20 people signed up at the moment. Tell your friends and get more people to join us; I have been practicing and it is a really fun, interesting, and challenging format!

Get in touch if you have questions and, if you really love us, become a patron today. Thanks!


Community League #8, Pauper Commander: Registration is Open

community league 8 banner

The holidays are over and it is time to get our next league event going. I hope you guys enjoyed a merry Yule and are ready for some Magic mayhem.

Want more leagues, tournaments, gauntlets, videos, articles, and other good stuff?

Become a patron today!

Just $2 per month does a lot to support our efforts and you get some great perks, too, including access to our patron-only forums, a direct line on video requests, and the opportunity to win patron prizes.

Now let’s talk about our next league!

Community League #8: Format and Rules

I thought it would be fun to try something different for this league, and I’m not sure what could be more different than Pauper Commander. Commander, also known as EDH (Elder Dragon Highlander) is a singleton format with 100-card lists and a “Commander” card to lead your armies.

About the Format

Build decks using the “Commander” format in MTGO. Here are the official rules and banlist for Commander and a link with additional information on the format. Commander uses the Vintage card pool. We are playing 1v1 so Duel Commander bans apply as well.

These Commanders are banned: [c]Derevi, Empyrial Tactician[/c], [c]Edric, Spymaster of Trest[/c], [c]Erayo, Soratami Ascendant[/c], [c]Oloro, Ageless Ascetic[/c], [c]Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary[/c], [c]Zur the Enchanter[/c].

Pauper Commander, the way we will play it, differs from regular Commander in that while your Commander may be of any rarity all of the other cards in your deck must be commons. We will not be using the Pauper banned list for this event.

We will be enforcing the “printed as a common in an online set” restriction, however, which means no [c]Sinkhole[/c], no [c]Desert[/c], and no [c]Hymn to Tourach[/c]. Basically set your rarity filter in your MTGO collections page to “Common” and go from there.

This is a singleton format. The only cards you can have more than one copy of in your lists are basic lands and [c]Shadowborn Apostle[/c]s. We will be playing matches (best 2 games out of 3) and 1v1.

Registration is open now and closes in on Friday, January 22.

To sign up, provide your MTGO username, your real name (or preferred pseudonym), and your time zone down in the comments below.

I will post the first pairings on January 22 and will also send out an email with contact information. I try very hard NOT to send people lots of emails. It is up to you to keep track on the site and get in touch with your opponents promptly. After that, you will have to check the site for your next pairings, which will go up on Friday each week. It will be up to each participant to contact their opponent by email to set up their match for the week. Don’t wait for your opponents contact you; be proactive!

For this event I am going to be very strict concerning players that don’t communicate well. If your opponent says they are having a hard time getting in touch with you, and you don’t respond to my follow-up email in a timely fashion, your opponent will get the win for that week and you may be removed from the event. Check your email, respond to your email, email your opponents, email me. Short notes are fine, but KEEP IN TOUCH!

We will play 4-5 weeks of Swiss and then cut to top 8 with the goal to finish the league by the end of February.

League Rules

1. Pauper Commander uses the Vintage card pool and while your Commander may be any rarity all of the rest of the cards in your deck must be considered “common” in MTGO.

2. Duels will be 1v1 and fought in matches best 2 out of 3. You get 3 points for a match win, 1 point for a draw, and 0 points for a loss. A BYE counts as a win. Set your match timers for 40 minutes.

3. We will use Challonge to track this event since it worked well last time. It is the responsibility of the winner to report their win. Report by the end of Thursday each week.

4. Communicate early and often. I will only send out the one email with all your contact information. Don’t lose it! Get in touch by email (it is much more effective than waiting around on MTGO). If no one communicates with each other or with me, that week’s pairing will be considered a draw and one or both players may be removed from the league. If one person is attempting to communicate and the other person is not, they should let me know. I will attempt to solve issues when I can, but when that doesn’t work out, the person who is trying to communicate will always get the win. Don’t wait until the last minute.

5. After the initial email all official league announcements will happen here on the site. You can always stay up to date with the link on the home page or by keeping tabs on the Events page. You can also get updates by liking us on Facebook or following me on Twitter @bava_mtg.

6. We’ll play 4-5 weeks of Swiss and then cut to Top 8. The league will end by February 28.

7. You can drop at any time. Please let me know if you’d like to drop before the next week’s pairings go up. You will always be welcomed back into subsequent league events.

8. Chat about the league or share lists over in our forums.

9. Contact me if you have any questions.

League Prizes

MagicGatheringStrat is proud to list Cardhoarder as an official sponsor of all our events going forward. Cardhoarder has been serving the MTGO community since 2005, and with new ownership since 2014 has shown renewed vigor to improve the way they serve their customers and create innovation in the MTGO community.

I have personally switched all of my singles purchases for MTGO from MTGOTraders to Cardhoarder and have had a top-notch experience. I highly recommend them. Shop online or use their bots by searching for #cardhoarder in the Trade screen.

Thank you to Cardhoarder for sponsoring this event.
Buy MTGO singles at or through their bot network.

We are happy to welcome additional sponsors or donations to the prize pool. If you’re interested, please get in touch.

The winner of this event will receive 35 bot credits from Cardhoarder.

Second place will receive 15 bot credits from Cardhoarder.

In addition, the best-ranking patron in the league will receive 10 tickets from me personally. This will be in addition to any prizes already won by placing first or second in the event.

The winning patron will have to have been in good standing for at least one month, so go sign up now if you haven’t already!

I will double the prize payouts (with tickets) if we reach Patreon support of $300 by the end of January and maintain it through the end of the event.

Sign up below

To sign up, provide your MTGO username, your real name (or preferred pseudonym), and your time zone down in the comments below.


Goblins vs Gnomes: A GvG Look at MtG

Did you know that, following his obsession with explosives, Mekgineer Thermaplugg took up knitting? It was probably difficult since he was, at that point, missing his left arm; but I imagine these things can be replaced easily enough.

Whether or not you ever ran Gnomeregan in WoW (one of my favorite lower level dungeons), you’re probably aware that Hearthstone just had its big expansion, and the theme is Goblins vs Gnomes. People are inordinately excited. I’m really not much of a Hearthstone player these days, but I do think an expansion was overdue and I hope that we’ll see a more interesting and diverse metagame emerge with all the new cards.

If you want to tell me all about why Hearthstone is amazeballs, by all means, do so in the comments. But we’re not really talking about Hearthstone in this article, we’re just using the expansion as an excuse to talk about Goblins vs Gnomes in Magic, and to look at some lists from days-gone-by. And since they’re competing, we’re going to turn this into a contest. Here are the rules.

Goblins and Gnomes will each get three lists covering different formats. For each format, you guys can vote on whether goblins or gnomes are the winner. The overall champion will be the creature that takes at least two formats. First up, Legacy!



Copper Combo – Gnomes (Legacy)

This list from 2011 uses Kuldotha Forgemaster to cheat out game finishers like Blightsteel Colossus. Copper Gnomes also work well as a 2-card combo to cheat giant artifact creatures onto the table.

3 Great Furnace
4 Ancient Tomb
4 City of Traitors
4 Grove of the Burnwillows
4 Wasteland

3 Blightsteel Colossus
4 Copper Gnomes
4 Kuldotha Forgemaster
4 Metalworker
3 Sundering Titan
4 Wurmcoil Engine

4 Chalice of the Void
4 Grim Monolith
2 Lightning Greaves
2 Mox Diamond
1 Staff of Domination
4 Tangle Wire
2 Mox Opal

2 Crucible of Worlds
3 Tormod’s Crypt
3 Trinisphere
2 Phyrexian Metamorph
4 Punishing Fire
1 Karn Liberated [/d]


Belcher Combo – Goblins (Legacy)

Hey, if we’re going combo gnomes, we have to go combo goblins too. This one-land list wants to win on turn one or two.

4 Elvish Spirit Guide
4 Simian Spirit Guide
4 Tinder Wall

1 Taiga

4 Chrome Mox
4 Goblin Charbelcher
4 Lion’s Eye Diamond
4 Lotus Petal
4 Desperate Ritual
4 Manamorphose
4 Pyretic Ritual
4 Seething Song
4 Burning Wish
3 Empty the Warrens
4 Land Grant
4 Rite of Flame

4 Xantid Swarm
4 Red Elemental Blast
1 Diminishing Returns
1 Empty the Warrens
1 Infernal Tutor
1 Pyroclasm
1 Reverent Silence
1 Shattering Spree
1 Tendrils of Agony [/d]



BW Sanguine Gnomes – Gnomes (Modern)

This build-around-me Bottle Gnomes list comes from a fun challenge over on MTG Salvation. Every card (but four) had to interact with Bottle Gnome in some way. I’m impressed with the result!
Deck Centerpiece
4 Bottle Gnomes

4 Soul Warden
4 Soul’s Attendant
4 Blood Artist
3 Grave Pact

4 Trading Post
2 Skeleton Shard

4 Path to Exile

Win Cons
4 Ajani’s Pridemate
2 Sanguine Bond
2 Sun Titan

3 Fetid Heath
4 Godless Shrine
8 Plains
8 Swamp [/d]


I Call Shenanigans! – Goblins (Modern???)

Let’s be fair. There are so many more Goblins than Gnomes in Magic that they have an obvious advantage. To alleviate that, I had to find some interesting, non-tier lists to highlight. This list is from Abe Sargent’s “100 Combo Decks in 20 Weeks” series. It’s #79 on the list.

1 Goblin Marshal
1 Goblin Warchief
1 Siege-Gang Commander
2 Goblin Recruiter
2 Goblin Ringleader
2 Rage Thrower
3 Goblin Dynamo
3 Moggcatcher
3 Tar Pitcher
4 Goblin Arsonist
4 Goblin Assassin
1 Tuktuk the Explorer

3 Dragon Fodder
4 Goblin Grenade
1 Boggart Shenanigans

25 Mountain [/d]

PDH: Pauper Deck Highlander


Wait, Kithkin? – Gnomes (PDH)

Kithkin are sort of like gnomes, even if they are really more like hobbits. Give me a break, [c]Clockwork Gnomes[/c] is the only Pauper-legal gnome card, and no one is playing with it. This list is commanded by Gaddock Teeg and runs a bunch of short people. Close enough for me!

1 Gaddock Teeg

1 Amrou Kithkin
1 Amrou Scout
1 Amrou Seekers
1 Apothecary Initiate
1 Ballynock Cohort
1 Ballynock Trapper
1 Ballyrush Banneret
1 Barrenton Medic
1 Burrenton Bombardier
1 Burrenton Shield-Bearers
1 Cenn’s Heir
1 Goldmeadow Dodger
1 Goldmeadow Harrier
1 Kinsbaile Balloonist
1 Kinsbaile Skirmisher
1 Kithkin Daggerdare
1 Kithkin Healer
1 Kithkin Shielddare
1 Kithkin Spellduster
1 Kithkin Zealot
1 Kithkin Zephyrnaut
1 Mosquito Guard
1 Order of the Golden Cricket
1 Plover Knights
1 Springjack Knight [/d]
1 Armadillo Cloak
1 Arrest
1 Cessation
1 Empyrial Armor
1 Ethereal Armor
1 Faith’s Fetters
1 Flickering Ward
1 Inviolability
1 Journey to Nowhere
1 Oblivion Ring
1 Pacifism
1 Recumbent Bliss

1 Celestial Flare
1 Disenchant
1 Glorious Charge
1 Guardians’ Pledge
1 Prismatic Strands
1 Repel the Darkness
1 Resounding Silence
1 Surge of Thoughtweft [/d]
1 Cenn’s Enlistment
1 Cultivate
1 Dust to Dust
1 Iona’s Judgment

1 Command Tower
1 Evolving Wilds
10 Forest
1 Kabira Crossroads
25 Plains
1 Secluded Steppe
1 Sejiri Steppe
1 Selesnya Guildgate
1 Selesnya Sanctuary
1 Terramorphic Expanse

1 Adventuring Gear
1 Bonesplitter
1 Darksteel Ingot
1 Selesnya Signet
1 Tumble Magnet
1 Vulshok Morningstar
1 Whispersilk Cloak [/d]


My Commander is a Lackey – Goblins (PDH)

Aside from the contradiction that your general is a lackey, this seems like a fun Goblins PDH list. Lackey actually makes a good commander in terms of his ability, but you have to wonder … who is really calling the shots?

1 Goblin Lackey

1 Adder-Staff Boggart
1 Akki Avalanchers
1 Battle-Rattle Shaman
1 Bloodcrazed Goblin
1 Caterwauling Boggart
1 Emberwilde Augur
1 Fire Juggler
1 Firefright Mage
1 Flamewave Invoker
1 Foundry Street Denizen
1 Goblin Arsonist
1 Goblin Balloon Brigade
1 Goblin Battle Jester
1 Goblin Bushwhacker
1 Goblin Chirurgeon
1 Goblin Cohort
1 Goblin Fireslinger
1 Goblin Gardener
1 Goblin Gaveleer
1 Goblin Grappler
1 Goblin Lookout
1 Goblin Matron
1 Goblin Medics
1 Goblin Mountaineer
1 Goblin Patrol [/d]
More Creatures
1 Goblin Rimerunner
1 Goblin Shortcutter
1 Goblin Skycutter
1 Goblin Sledder
1 Goblin Spelunkers
1 Goblin Striker
1 Goblin Swine-Rider
1 Goblin Taskmaster
1 Goblin Tinkerer
1 Goblin Tunneler
1 Goblin Vandal
1 Goblin War Buggy
1 Grotag Siege-Runner
1 Intimidator Initiate
1 Keeper of Kookus
1 Kyren Sniper
1 Lavafume Invoker
1 Lobber Crew
1 Mogg Conscripts
1 Mogg Fanatic
1 Mogg Flunkies
1 Mogg Raider
1 Mogg War Marshal
1 Mudbrawler Cohort
1 Mudbutton Clanger
1 Mudbutton Torchrunner
1 Raging Goblin
1 Riot Piker
1 Rummaging Goblin
1 Rustrazor Butcher
1 Skinbrand Goblin
1 Skirk Commando
1 Skirk Shaman
1 Sparksmith
1 Spikeshot Goblin
1 Torch Slinger
1 Utvara Scalper
1 War-Torch Goblin [/d]
1 Accorder’s Shield
1 Bladed Pinions
1 Bonesplitter
1 Flayer Husk
1 Kitesail
1 Leonin Scimitar
1 Spidersilk Net
1 Vulshok Morningstar
1 Whispersilk Cloak

1 Disintegrate
1 Flame Slash
1 Goblin Grenade
1 Goblin War Strike
1 Grapeshot
1 Kaervek’s Torch
1 Rift Bolt

1 Brightstone Ritual
1 Fireblast
1 Galvanic Blast
1 Lightning Bolt
1 Tarfire

1 Goblin Caves
1 Goblin Shrine

32 Mountain [/d]

Six decks. Three formats. Who wins?

Discuss your choices and winners in the comments. Have your own favorite gnomes or goblins lists? Share those too!