December 5-6 Pauper Weekend In Review

Fall from Favor tempo decks went undefeated in the Swiss on both days before sweeping the Top 8 on Saturday and Sunday. Twitter is awash with discussion about how the format is dominated by the Monarch.

I wish there was more to say about Pauper at this time…and there is…sorta.

This chart tracks every archetype that has at least 2% of the total metagame volume (approximately 4 appearances) or a Top 8 finish. Six events into Commander Legends season and already Tron is pulling away from the pack in Top 8s. Looking at these top decks, however, the number that are running the Monarch is nothing short of astounding as it now includes almost every Spellstutter Sprite deck. Decks that are not Tron or Monarch (or some combination) account for just over 22% of all wins above X-2. This number might not seem so bad until you break down that remaining 78%.

Tron, with and without Monarch, accounts for 23% of all wins above X-2. That means decks packing the Monarch account for around 55% of all wins at X-2 or better.

There’s a Pauper PTQ on January 23rd. There is a very real cost to not fixing the format before that event. Magic Online PTQs attract a wide swath of players – not just dedicated Pauper grinders. If this is their first exposure to Pauper and they see “Monarch: The Format” are they really going to come back? Like it or not, Pauper can’t survive on die-hards alone.

The choice to me is either to kick off the new year right or the first foot of the format six feet under.

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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