April 2-3 Pauper Weekend Recap

Four weekends have passed since the last round of bans. There have been countless words written about the state of Pauper so today I want to take a slightly different approach. The chart I am presenting today takes into account the eight challenges and one qualifier that have taken place on Magic Online since the Pauper Format Panel’s last round of updates. It does no include the (amazing) Paupergeddon event that took place this past weekend.

This chart is broken up by the different weeks and it measures each archetype’s volume of the winner’s metagame, defined as share of wins at X-2 or better. So X-2 counts as one win, X-1 is two, and X-0 is three. It does not take Top 8 records into account – only Swiss. It also breaks up macro archetypes (Affinity, Boros, Faeries) into their sub-components.

Bold black numbers represent the deck with the largest winner’s meta share on that weekend; red numbers is the largest drop off from the week prior; green numbers represent the biggest gains (for week 4, the same deck had largest winner’s meta share and biggest gain).

Phew! With all that out of the way, let’s get to the chart!

I’m eager to see what folks think of this information, but here are some tidbits I’ve pulled from this information:

  • Outside of the first week, the best deck on any given weekend makes up about 15% of the winner’s metagame. That first week, the best deck had nearly double those numbers.
  • No micro-archetype has had back to back weekends where it was the best deck.
  • Azorius Familiars, Dimir Faeries, are Grixis Affinity are the most consistently “good” decks.
  • Boros as a macro archetype is a solid choice but rewards you for picking the best Boros build for a given weekend – just look at that drop-off for Kuldotha Boros.

Let’s talk about the macros for a moment. Here is the week over week for Affinity (Grixis, Kuldotha, Rakdos), Boros (Bully, Kuldotha, Metalcraft), and Faeries (Delver, Dimir, Izzet, Mono Blue):

This is an interesting tidbit – from week to week, the best choice changes. That indicates that the Pauper metagame is more dynamic than stagnant, meaning it trends towards change. That is a drastic change from the format in the past, where a best deck was not only clearly the best deck but tracking these shifts was a fool’s errand since some deck (whether it was Tron or Tribe or Chatterstorm) was going to be at the top of the heap.

So what can these trend lines tell us? Faeries should trend down slightly next week, as should Affinity. Boros could make a surge but that depends on whether or not people pick the right suite.

But what do you see in this data? What questions are left unanswered? What deck could be next week’s Burn?

If you like my more hardcore Pauper content, consider supporting my work via Patreon. Rewards start at just $1 and every little bit helps!

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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