August 15-16 Pauper Weekend in Review

We have hit the third week of Double Masters season and the metagame is rounding into shape. To the shock of almost no one, it looks a lot like the metagame before the bans of Expedition Map and Mystic Sanctuary. The best decks remain Tron, Monarch, and Spellstutter Sprite variants. Let’s take a look.

Saturday’s Challenge was not very diverse. Stompy and Flicker Tron were the two most popular strategies; Flicker Tron performed extremely well, Stompy not so much. But the deck of the weekend was Boros Monarch. In four appearances on Saturday, it placed three decks in the Top 8 (including an undefeated Swiss run).

Before the bans, Boros Monarch had been struggling to keep pace with the other major players. As of late, it has seen a resurgence due in no small part to the Thriving lands. These cards give Boros easier access to splash colors – specifically black. We have seen more copies of Terminate, Chainer’s Edict, and Unearth show up in Boros as of late. We have also seen more copies of Bonder’s Ornament which can help to turn off Tron’s card flow. Boros also can now run Abrade as another way to pressure some of Tron’s mana rocks.

Another challenge and another undefeated run by Boros Monarch. While it made it to the Top 8, it fell in the quarterfinals. The deck of the day was Jeskai Ephemerate, with three copies in the Top 8. Jeskai Ephemerate plays a similar game plan to Tron except it eschews the benefits of Tron – namely Mystical Teachings – for running Ponder and Preordain.

Here are the best decks with at least 2% of metagame volume (approximately 4 appearances). Left off this chart are Azorius Familiars and Izzet Delver, who each have a challenge win.

Looking at this chart we can see that both Flicker Tron and Boros/Mardu Monarch are pulling away from the field. While it is still early in the season, it appears that those two are the decks to beat. The different Spellstutter Sprite decks are putting up a good fight but are definitely better situated to do well in the Top 8 than the Swiss. Meanwhile, there’s Stompy – a deck which needs to adjust to the shifting landscape.

What deck do you think is poised to breakout next weekend?

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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