June 5-6 Pauper Weekend in Review

It is impossible to talk about the June 5 and June 6 Pauper Challenges without discussing the format’s current sciurophobia.

Yes, I’m going to make you look it up.

It is extremely early in the Modern Horizons 2 season but there have been a number of developments that will have a profound impact. The first is the presence of a viable Storm kill card in Chatterstorm. Pauper is dense with rituals and card filtering so it is always one good spout away from exerting a ton of stress on the format. So here we are.

“But Alex,” you’re probably saying, “Storm wasn’t dominant. What gives?” Storm decks flexed their muscles and helped to narrow the metagame in the first week. Dimir Faeries was one the most played deck last season and kept the numbers up. The fact that it can run discard, Echoing Decay, and Echoing Truth just help it against Storm while not suffering against the wider metagame. Boros Bully has adopted Rustvale Bridge and other indestructible lands to go with Cleansing Wildfire (powerful against Squirrel Storm but weak against the Izzet variant) to pivot towards a land denial strategy with Fiery Cannonade in the sideboard.

Speaking of Artifact Lands, Affinity has emerged as the big winner thanks to Sojourner’s Companion, new lands, and Krark-Clan Shaman. The ability to wipe the board at will is huge when your likely to die from a horde of 2/2 squirrels in one turn. The fact that Affinity can back this up with eight different 4/4s and Atog/Fling makes it an absolute monster right now. The fact that Gorilla Shaman has lost some of its punch these days means it is going to take some time before the machine breaks down again.

So is this a problem? Chatterstorm has racked up numerous turn one wins and has people calling for a ban. Those of you who follow me know I’m no stranger to calling out problematic cards with some speed.

Here’s where I stand today: we need a little more time to see adjustments. If we start to see a rise in other decks and strategies than can compete in this new metagame, it might not need a bad. However if Chatterstorm creates a narrow metagame (similar to what we saw this past weekend) action will need to be taken to keep it and other meta monsters in check.

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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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