February 2nd Pauper Challenge Breakdown

On February 2nd, Izzet Faeries and Elves split the finals of the Pauper Challenge. Affinity took down two slots in the Top 8 and Flicker Tron took down three slots in the elimination rounds.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

I’m not going to dive to deep into these results as there is not a ton to say at this point. The metagame is largely settled and while there is some jostling for position, things are stable.

Stagnant metagames are not inherently bad. The problem arises when one deck in a stagnant metagame has enough good matchups that it throws the balance out of whack.

Looking at Pauper, there is a fairly vibrant metagame beneath the top tier. There are tons of powerful options that all have interplay against other decks in the metagame. The two most potent synergy decks are Affinity and Elves. These two decks have natural checks that can exist in sideboards and maindecks while not diluting a deck against the rest of the field.

And here we come to an issue with Flicker Tron. Not only does it take up a larger portion of the challenge metagame, but it has no checks that are effective and useful against the rest of the field.

Forgive me if this post is shorter than usual and doesn’t get into the weeds. The simple truth is that not much has changed – if anything, the metagame has regressed (there were zero Theros Beyond Death cards in the Top 32). Until something comes along to help keep Tron in check, the deck will continue to dominate the metagame.

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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