August 29-30 Pauper Weekend in Review

After a week where Challenge results didn’t populate due to back end error, we are back! Both August 29 and August 30 played host to six around affairs. We also now have 8 challenge results and, well, would you look at that? We’re standing on the precipice of yet another new release. While Zendikar Rising isn’t likely to make huge waves in Pauper, the recent run of Standard legal sets having an impact makes it possible that this will be the most impactful Zendikar set since Zendikar.

Rather than focusing on these events as distinct entities, I want to look at format trends. None of these should be very shocking.

Flicker Tron

The most popular deck in format has an excellent case for being the best option. In 35 Top 32 appearances it is averaging a Top 16 finish and has 12 Top 8s (with a win). If anything, the deck is under performing. Weird, I know. Given how powerful it is and how hard it is to disrupt, Flicker Tron should be running roughshod over the Challenges. Yet it is merely doing very well. Strange.

Boros Monarch

This deck, on the other hand, is have a resurgent season. Despite not having a win, the deck has a Win+:Volume ratio of 1.32. Roughly translated, it has more finishes of X-1 or better than it does of records on the other side of that coin. It’s doing this as the fourth most popular archetype. Even if you fold in the versions with a heavier black component, you still get a deck where the ratio is above 1. For a deck that gets housed by Tron, this likely means that Boros Monarch is the best deck against everything that isn’t Tron.

No Beatdown

Given the top two decks, this shouldn’t be a shock. Stompy is the second most popular deck but only has 4 Top 8 appearances. For an average deck this would be amazing. But Stompy’s ratio of Win+:Volume is an abysmal 0.48 – it is more likely to finish X-3 than X-1 this season. Here’s a short, non-comprehensive list of decks that are out performing Stompy (with a minimum of five appearances):

  • Burn
  • Elves
  • Mono Black Control

These are decks that are often considered second rate at best. I’m not saying Stompy is bad, but when the best two decks are really good at stopping combat from mattering, well, what are you really doing with Burning-Tree Emissary?

I think non-beatdown Linear Decks are in an interesting spot. Both Burn and WonderWalls did well this weekend, but these are not likely to be the start of a trend for these archetypes. This is because Linear Decks have a harder time adjusting to metagame trends due to the nature of their design. Instead, I would expect the various Spellstutter Sprite decks to get a little boost next week.

Here are the top performing archetypes with at least five appearances. I included WonderWalls and Azorius Familiars here due to their results over the past 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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