June 19-20 Pauper Weekend in Review

The first six weeks of the Modern Horizons 2 season shows just what happens when mistakes are repeated or somehow, made worse. Taking into account the June 19 and June 20 Challenges here is where the Top 32 metagame stands – minimum of 4 Top 32 appearances:

Storm is a problematic mechanic in formats with better answers. Even with plenty of “answers” available to an army of squirrels, even with hate being nearly everywhere, the new Storm deck is putting up great numbers. The only deck that is clearly doing better is Affinity which recently got indestructible artifact lands and a new free 4/4 to go with Myr Enforcer. Affinity already has more appearances in six weeks than every archetype except Dimir Faeries had in the entirety of Strixhaven Season.

Storm in Pauper is a mistake. Any time a Storm card has represented a clean kill it has proven to be too powerful (and before someone chimes in to say that Temporal Fissure wasn’t a clean kill I would advise them to stop looking at the 0.01% of the time someone built back from a one sided Upheaval). Artifact Lands were a mistake that only managed to survive so long in Pauper because they represented a real risk in a format featuring Gorilla Shaman.

Now I get it – Pauper is always going to matter less than Modern and Limited. Both Chatterstorm and the new lands play a vital role in Modern Horizons 2 Limited and needed to be printed. But at this point it is increasingly clear that they have boosted two decks far beyond the rest of the metagame and action needs to be taken. Chatterstorm should be banned and something needs to be banned out of Affinity to balance the deck for the metagame.

As far as downshifts or new cards go, I doubt anything could be released that would solve these issues. Modern Horizons 2 provided the perfect opportunity to print a soft hate card for Storm at common. And it isn’t there. So that leaves banning as the last option. Unless you like a three deck metagame.

Me? Not so much.

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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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