Pauper has turned a proverbial page and we are now in the second four week stretch of Double Masters 2022 Season. The first month ended with Faeries, Boros, and Monastery Swiftspear at the top of the metagame with Affinity remaining a major contender. Last weekend saw a Challenge on Saturday and Sunday in addition to the Showcase Qualifier on Saturday. Where does that leave us at the end of the day?
While this image may be a bit hard to read, things should be somewhat clear. The same macro strategies continue to perform well with Affinity, Faeries, and Boros all taking down events. The big story, to me at least, is the ascendancy of the Lunarch Veteran version of Boros Bully that runs the Basilisk Gate damage engine.
While this is not the list that won Saturday’s Challenge, instead making Top 8 on Sunday in the hands of Folero, this deck does a feature Raffine’s Informant. Informant is a great back up to Faithless Looting. More than that, it is arguably better in concert with Prismatic Strands since it not only advances your board state but provides a fresh body to use when you Connive away the Flashback Fog.
Boros Bully was already a deck based on a damage engine – that of going wide and ending the gate with Rally the Peasants. Basilisk Gate gives the deck another engine that works in a different direction. Where Bully traditionally won by going wide, Basilisk Gate allows it to go tall and present a single threat that can end the game. Guardian of the Guildpact is a fine target but Sacred Cat might be better right now. With Monastery Swiftspear and Affinity pressuring life totals, a 1/1 lifelink that can absorb a blow and come out swinging for Armadillo Cloak levels of life gain is huge. The fact that it requires two answers from Faeries does not hurt either.
So where would I look next week? I expect cards like Suffocating Fumes to see some play especially since black seems to be back on the menu thanks to Vampire Sovereign decks. But if you’re an enterprising Pauper, you might want to dig a bit deeper into the bulk box because a new storm might be a brewing.
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