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 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.



Mid-Week Pauper Meta Report: May 13, 2015

nettle sentinel

This article courtesy Najay1 and is reprinted with his permission.

About this article

This is a weekly report on the online pauper meta. The data it uses are from last Wednesday to this Wednesday. It looks at the data that Tom the Scud collects from a selection of dailies. He watches the replays on MTGO to figure out how each person did, not just the 3-1s and 4-0s that Wizards publishes. This allows us to see the whole iceberg and figure out how well each deck did in total. Now, this data is just for this week and just from the data Tom collects, so it does ignore the other 3-1/4-0 results which means it is not perfect. Additionally, the conclusions in this article are just based on this week, and as the meta is fluid, the top decks shift. This is intended to see what decks are performing well this week and is not necessarily a reflection of the deck’s overall strength.

The meta continued to develop this week, with the big story being W Tokens. The deck exploded onto the scene 2 weeks ago, and put up strong results in those weeks, but did not have quite as good of a week. Also, many of the top decks continued to put up middle of the road results. The tier two players came out to fight this week, and did very strong in the process. It’ll be interesting to see how these successful, yet less popular, strategies develop in the coming weeks.

Thanks for reading!


1. Stompy – Stompy put up one of its strongest weeks of late with a 69.2% cash rate and a 66.6% win rate. It was the 5th most popular deck, making up 7.1% of the meta. This is one of the decks that I expected to be strong going in, but has only really put up modest results. This week was a strong exception as not only did the 13 pilots put up 6 3-1s, they also put up 3 4-0s. Just absolutely insane numbers, and something that can be expected not to happen frequently. I would expect this deck to continue to put up strong results, but not close to as strong as this weeks result.

Strong Outlook

These decks all put up very strong results, but were at or under 5% of the meta, with 9 or less pilots, which means that their results are able to be more influenced by variance. All of these decks are known quantities, and many have been doing better recently, so it is interesting to see how strong they were, but the small sample size means they should be taken with a grain of salt.

1. UB Teachings / UB Angler – There again is two main flavors of UB Angler, but the Delver version seems to be getting slightly more results recently. The deck had 9 pilots for a prominence of 5.0%. The Delver version had 3 3-1s and 1 4-0 whereas the Teachings version had a lonely one 3-1. This makes for a cash rate of 55.6% and a win rate of 55.4%, both quite strong. This deck has consistently put up results and has continually grown. Based on the success of the deck, I wouldn’t expect that to stop.

2. Esper Fae Combo – One of the bogymen of the last format, this deck has slumped back into the shadows recently. Never one to have too many decks, it was just 3.9% of the meta last week with 7 pilots. They put up a cash rate of 57.1% and win rate of 58.3%. As there is only 7 decks, this could obviously be variance, but it is a bit of a departure from some recent bad results. At this point, I’m pretty confident that it will not increase in popularity too much (as it never did when it was one of the best decks) so maybe don’t watch out for this one too much.

3. UR Control – Another deck that was a lot more popular in the previous meta, UR Control has made a slow comeback to be a deck to look out for. Combined with UR Fiend Control, it could make up a decent force in the meta, but the decks do end up playing out differently. This week it had 6 results (3.3% of the meta) for a 66.7% cash rate and 68.0% win rate. Now this could be variance, but 4 out of 6 decks in the cash is still very strong. Also, it appears the decks are making some new card choices which could be a factor in their success as seen just a bit below.

kiln fiend art wide


1. Affinity – This was the top performer last week, and is now the worst performing deck. It had a 18.8% cash rate and a 35.3% win rate. Now, a lot of this seems to be from a bad record against non-top decks, 6-10. As Affinity is a very high variance deck, I’m not too surprised at the difference from one week to another. Sometimes Affinity can just get lucky and get strong results, this was the opposite of that. Part of this week to me says it was bad luck, but that is one of the downsides to playing a deck like Affinity. At that same point, I wouldn’t be too surprised to see the deck continue to do below average.

2. UR Fiend – UR Fiend has been very much average as of late. Even with the addition of Temur Battle Rage, the deck has not been able to get into solid tier one status. This week it had a lot less pilots than it has averaged, with a 6.1% prominence (compared to about 9% usually). Out of the 11 decks, 6 went 0-X. Looking at its matchups, the majority of that came from a 6-13 against those less popular decks talked about above. Usually, UR Fiend is strong against these decks as it can come out of nowhere to win and a deck that cannot deal with that very quickly will lose. I would expect this to change next week as it faces different rogue matchups.

3. W Tokens – The token machine jumped up to being the 2nd most popular deck with 9.4% of the meta in really just its 3rd week on the scene. One of the defining characteristics of this deck is how much it can fold to silver bullet cards. These were at least partially used as W Tokens fell to a cash rate of 29.4% and a win rate of 28.9%. A lot of that came from the fact that over half the decks went 0-X. This was at least a bit from the fact it went 4-4 vs. MBC, down from 6-0 last week. Most of the MBC decks were packing at least 4 hate cards between Shrivel, Crypt Rats, and Pestilence. Yet, the real culprit was probably the 4-17 record against those pesky rogue decks. This means it went 15-13 against the top tier decks which is actually really strong. As the rogue matchups change more rapidly than top decks, I would expect this to still be a viable option for the near future, even if not the best. I would expect the hate to grow which means that eventually the deck will probably have to go back into tier 2/3 status. I would expect this deck to be strong next week, but it will find too much hate at some point in the future.

distant melody art

Deck to Watch For

Elves – Not always the strongest deck, Elves is one of the combo decks that exists in pauper. With 4 pilots this week (at a total of 2.2% of the meta), they had 2 3-1s and 2 2-Xs for a cash rate of 50% and a win rate of 62.5%. As a combo deck, it is relatively resilient and puts out a ton of creatures (which gives it reasonable protection from sacrifice effects). The real interesting this to me was how each pilot did very well with the deck. Not sure how well it is positioned in the meta, but it seems to have done quite well for a rogue deck up to this point.

Brew of the Week

UR Control by carthaginians – There wasn’t too many brews that had success this week, but this UR Control deck seemed very interesting in the card choices it has. It plays 4 Beetleback Chief as one of its main threats. The Chief is a fantastic value in a format filled with lots of 1-for-1 removal. Additionally, he plays 1 Vulshok Morningstar to get more value out of the tokens and his 8 other creatures. Another one of the more interesting choices is 2 Harvest Pyre, not an option in the Treasure Cruise days, this allows the deck to take out things such as Gurmag Anglers in a deck that would previously have to spend 2+ cards to get it off the board. Really interesting choices for a deck that has seen some more success (as referenced above). Carthaginians was able to 4-0 one daily and 3-1 two others (over the whole week, not just from Tom’s dailies) and it looks like an innovative list.


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.



MagicGatheringStrat: The Podcast Ep. 2

This week on the Magic Gathering Strat Podcast Sam and Dan present live radio play by play of Classic Pauper Tuesday. Brennon talks about Standard Pauper Pre winners and runner ups. Sam presents a shell of a Prowess Rage deck. Dan talks about Turbo Angler and Crusing with Gary.
Remember if you like our content to support Magic Gathering Strat’s Pateron. Goals have been met with many more to come!
This is the Magic Gathering Strat Podcast, thank you very kindly for listening.

website: magicgatheringstrat.com
twitter: https://twitter.com/MagicGathStrat
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Magicgatheringstrat
google +: https://plus.google.com/+MagicGatheringStrat/posts