January 5th Pauper Challenge Breakdown

Theros Beyond Death is right around the corner; the Throne of Eldraine season is over. Next week the Pauper Format Championship will determine which player makes it to the MOCS and then a bevy of new options will enter the card pool.

But on January 5th it was more of the same. Flicker Tron took down half of the Top 8 and technically won as the finals were split. Flicker Tron was 25% of the field and took home 26% of the Win+ awarded in the Challenge. After a few weeks of being sidelined, the deck was back in force.

So how can we interpret this? Tron was clearly a dominant archetype over the 10 Challenges, 1 PTQ, and 1 Playoff that took place since Arcum’s Astrolabe was banned. Flicker Tron decks took home 26% of all Top 8 slots and the archetype made Top 8 in nearly 44% of its Top 32 appearances. Out of the other decks with at least 20 appearances – Boros Bully, Boros Monarch, Burn, Elves, Izzet Faeries, Stompy -the best conversion comes from Izzet Faeries at just over 31%.

Minimum 7 appearance

So why was Flicker Tron able to come back so strong? My guess is that it was never any worse than it was before. The strategy had about a month of being underrepresented but still managed to put up solid numbers in the span. Considering that next week is going to feature some of the most dedicated Pauper players, I would wager we are going to see quite a few Tron decks come out to battle with a few brave souls trying to game the system by going under. Of course one of the new Dimir Delver or Izzet Faeries decks, leaning on Mystic Sanctuary, could easily win.

What deck do you think will win the Championship next week?

Published by Alex Ullman

Alex Ullman has been playing Magic since 1994 (he thinks). Since 2005, he's spent most of his time playing and exploring Pauper. One of his proudest accomplishments was being on the winnings side of the 2009 Community Cup. He makes his home in Brooklyn, New York, where he was born and raised.

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