It is my pleasure and privilege to announce an open Standard Pauper tournament. If you have a Magic Online account (or would like to create one), then you can play!

Mentor of the Meek

What is Standard Pauper?

Standard Pauper is a Pauper format, so your deck and sideboard may contain only common cards. It’s Standard, so your card pool is limited to commons from Standard (Innistrad, Dark Ascension, Avacyn Restored, Magic 2013, Return to Ravnica, Gatecrash, Dragon’s Maze, and Magic 2014). You may only use a card if it is common in Standard—so no Rancor; it’s an uncommon in Magic 2013, even though it was common back in Urza’s Legacy.

Why Standard Pauper?

Why not?

The format doesn’t have the same heavy metagame analysis as do Standard, Modern, and regular Pauper, so there’s much more room for experimentation. Also, the cost to entry is really low. If you’re an irregular drafter, you’ll already have many if not all of the cards you’ll need. If you’re not, you can easily pick up the cards from bots or bum ’em off your friends. Lastly, because the format is fun!

 Apprentice Wizard

How do I sign up?

Easily. Shoot me an e-mail at [email protected]. Please provide the following information:

  • Name—it can be your real name, a fake name, an abbreviation, your MODO handle, or whatever. This will be put on the Hipsters’ website as I update the standings (so it’ll be publicly viewable).
  • E-mail address—I’ll be doing pairings via e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be publicly viewable, but it will be viewable by every contestant in the challenge. If you’re uncomfortable with this, then you can always create an e-mail address for this tournament; just make sure that you check it regularly or forward to your daily e-mail account.
  • Magic Online username—so that you and your opponent can find each other and play.
  • Nation of origin—because it’s an interesting factoid and relevant to prizes. I will only list this publicly if you write opt in (for example, someone who sends me “Germanyopt in” could have this fact published on Hipsters, but someone who sends me “United States” or “Egyptopt out” would remain nationless on Hipsters).

That’s it. You can send me any cool details about yourself, but that’s all I need for the purposes of the tournament.

Entries are open until Monday, August 19, 2013 at 12:01pm EST (that’s noon, not midnight). I may accept late applicants, but they will be given a round one loss (as pairings will be sent out on Monday).

Note that you do not send me a decklist. You are allowed to tweak or completely change your deck whenever you want! I do, however, ask that you act in good faith; if the metagame is full of GW Ramp decks, then you’re welcome to adjust your sideboard and maindeck to accommodate this. However, if you’re paired against Player X who is known for playing GW Ramp, I ask that you do not pre-board for the matchup.

Standard Pauper - things to focus on

What is the tournament structure?

The tournament will likely be swiss with a cut to top eight (though it may be double elimination). I’ll confirm this when I know how many players I’m working with.

Pairings will go out Monday night in an e-mail to all players. Players will have one week to contact their opponent, schedule a match, play it, and report their results. Each round will end on Monday at noon EST. Players who fail to report will be given a match loss (and/or be eaten by an Atog). If all players report early, then the next round will start early!

Each match will be a best of two out of three games, with 30-minute clocks. Make sure that the above image matches your challenge (except for your deck; GW Ramp isn’t mandatory). Standard Pauper is pretty low on the drop-down list, so if you can’t see it or scroll down, move the challenge window higher up on your display and try again. If the match isn’t set to Standard Pauper, then Magic Online will not enforce the rules.

When the match is over, please promptly report your results.

  • If you’ve lost, send me a short e-mail (such as “lost 1-2” or “lost 0-2 drop” if you’d like to be dropped from the tournament). I need you to report in order to confirm that your match has occurred. If you fail to report, your opponent reports a win, and the Monday deadline passes, I will assume that you have lost and will drop you from the tournament.
  • If you’ve won, please send me an e-mail with a short description of the game (like “won 2-1”) and attach a screenshot of your game results. Make sure that you take the screenshot before you click okay (once you click okay, the match immediately closes; if this happens, you can watch a replay of your match and take a screenshot of that). Make sure that your screenshot clearly shows the Game Results window and each players’ name. There’s an example below, click it to Enlarge.

Sample match result

If you’ve contacted your opponent, a few days have gone by, and there has been no response, please contact me. If only one person contacts me and no results are reported, I will award them the win and drop his or her opponent.

This tournament relies pretty heavily on the honor system. Please, be a good sport.

Win or lose, please report your results.

Please play your matches sooner rather than later and report immediately. The faster everyone reports, the sooner the next round begins. I will avoid us hitting the Standard Pauper rotation come October (but I’d rather it not be a possibility in the first place).

If you are having a problem (such as your opponent not showing up, your opponent rage-quit in the middle of the match, harassment, or anything else), don’t hesitate to contact me. I trust every contestant to be a good sport and act in good faith. I hope that we can all set an excellent example and have lots of fun while so doing!

What are the prizes?

Sure, rules are all fun to read, but we all wanna know what’s at the end of the line.

Every round, I will randomly select at least one contestant and gift him or her a random booster or promotional card from my collection. It’s a small gift, to be sure, but it’s something (I am footing the bill and labor on this contest and I sadly don’t have infinite stuff to gift). The more players we have, the more rounds there’ll be and the more prizes I give out per round.

As for the finalists… we’ll see what the top eight get when we see how big this tournament is.

Fourth and third place will each be invited to Skype onto my stream and draft with me (or vice versa; I’ll Skype into one of your drafts or matches), in addition to any other prizes.

Second place will be awarded a foil, MODO, Modern Masters Elspeth, Knight-Errant.

Second place - foil Modern Masters Elspeth

As for first place?  It’ll be the only non-Magic Online prize awarded for the draft. Wherever in the world you live, I will mail you this. Hopefully that’s enough to get you excited (as if a Standard Pauper tournament wasn’t enough)!

Wrapping Up

If you’ve got any questions, please shoot me an e-mail.

This tournament is open to everyone. All you need is a Magic Online account and a Standard Pauper deck. I encourage everyone to brew, playtest, and have fun! I expect good sportsmanship from all and hope that the tournament is smashing success (which depends on all of you). So, please apply! Tell your friends! Play Standard Pauper!

(As a reminder, I’m making this all up on the fly, so please forgive me that. If there’s anything I need to legally put here, please let me know and I’ll update the post. Hopefully, everything’s kosher and the tournament will be a smashing success!)


Phew! That was long.  Sorry to go into such depth, but I want the rules of this tournament to be clear. As ever, thanks for reading, and here’s looking forward to the tournament beginning next week!

—Zachary Barash

Join the livestream!:

Magic Online username: Zennith

Zachary Barash has been playing Magic on and off since 1994. He loves Limited and drafts every available format (including several that aren’t entirely meant to be drafted). He’s a proud Cube owner and performer, improvising entire musicals every week with his team, Petting Zoo. Zach has an obsession with Indian food bordering on the unhealthy.

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