October 2-3 Pauper Weekend in Review

Another weekend and another three events in the books. October 2 saw a Challenge and a Super Qualifier while October 3 saw a Challenge. This brings the total number of major events in the Midnight Hunt season to 8, so we finally have a decent number of results from which we can infer trends. Here is the breakdown of the top decks, minimum 5 Top 32 finishes:

https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/534021867196121088/895382318255046686/Screen_Shot_2021-10-06_at_2.49.02_PM.png

It is safe to say at this point that Dimir Faeries and Affinity are not only the decks to beat, but they are significantly ahead of the rest of the field. That being said, things are not as dire as they were prior to the ban. Dimir is under 19% of the Top 32 metagame while Grixis Affinity is just over 16%. And neither of them is grossly outperforming their volume – they are merely great decks and not dominant.

For example, Delver decks have had a recent surge but last week the most successful builds eschewing Delver of Secrets entirely and leaned on Faeries. We have also seen a split in Jeskai Ephemerate lists – both with and without the Cleansing Wildfire package. As the metagame continues to evolve in the lead-up to Crimson Vow, I expect we will see a few staple archetypes cement themselves behind the early winners.

Yet no other deck has more than 7% of the Top 32 metagame share. Is this a reason to worry? I’m not so sure. I am absolutely concerned that these two decks are pulling away from the field but I think that a lot of the distance has to deal with the other decks figuring out the best builds for a relatively new metagame.

What would I be looking at for next weekend’s challenges? Between Delver and Dimir Faeries there are plenty of small flying creatures running around so finding the best way to stall their assault can come in handy. Penumbra Spider and Holy Light might have their day in the sun once again. In fact, a Green-White “Haterade” deck with Avacyn’s Pilgrim and access to Dust to Dust could perform well if it could just figure out other midrange matchups.

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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