April 3-4 Pauper Weekend in Review

Sometimes these updates write themselves. It helps when there’s a 9 round Super Qualifier to bolster the results. Add to that a six round Saturday Challenge and a seven round Sunday Challenge and you end up with a pretty good look at the top of the Pauper metagame.

Decks with at least 3 appearances OR a Top 8; March 27-April 4

I normally divide each season into four week segments. It helps to break up the data and give reasonable check points. Thanks to the release schedule, Kaldheim will have close to three of these chunks. This is informative in that it gives us some insight into the way the metagame reacts to different decks at the top.

Let’s take the example of the current best deck: Flicker Tron. In the first four weeks Flicker Tron was a Top 5 archetype but did not hold down the top spot. Instead Boros Bully had some of the best numbers with Izzet Faeries and Gruul/Jund Ramp not far behind. The second four weeks saw the various Faerie decks do better and a decline in Boros Bully. We also saw a decline in Ramp in favor of Jund Cascade. The best deck during those four weeks? Tron.

What does this tell us about these four weeks? Initially it let’s us see that Tron needs a specific set of circumstances to be kept in check. While many decks can falter if there is one major check in the metagame, Tron is resilient enough to require two such checks. Here it appears that in order to falter there needs to be a good disruptive deck (Faeries) as well as one that can pressure the mana base (Gruul Ramp). If one of those falls by the wayside Tron can reemerge.

Now Tron may have some gaudy numbers in that latest chart but they are inflated by two incredibly strong Swiss runs in the Super Qualifier top 32: 9-0 and 8-1 (to go with 3 7-2 finishes and a 6-3).

Where does this leave us going into next week? Tron is clearly the best deck but with an ascendant Faeries there should be an opening for Mwonvuli Acid-Moss decks to find their lane. That being said I would look for them to adjust their removal suite and potentially run some number of Forked Bolt and Branching Bolt main. And it probably wouldn’t hurt them to consider Penumbra Spider in the main.

But if you’re looking to juke the metagame and want to turn creatures sideways, I would investigate Red Deck Wins. Stompy had a solid weekend all things considered. But if people are going to be blocking, having access to Goblin Heelcutter could be a way to sidestep several isses.

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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