When I announced the Standard Pauper tournament, a close friend asked how many players I hoped to have. I replied that I wanted thirty and would be delighted and surprised to have fifty players. I hoped for a reasonable number from outside the Hipsters of the Coast/Twenty Sided Store community and a few international players.

There are one hundred and fifty-two participants, representing fifteen countries—Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Ireland, Italy, Kuwait, Malaysia, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

This isn’t a small tournament; this is a Pro Tour Qualifier. This is absurd. This is immense. This is absolutely amazing!

I want to thank every person who chatted with me on reddit or via e-mail, every person who shared the event on Facebook or a message board, every person who encouraged me IRL, and every person who helped get this massive snowball a-rolling. Thank you, hardcore Standard Pauper crowd, SP enthusiasts, and SP neophytes. Thank you, competitive players eager to snag my Taiga and casual players eager to have fun. Thank you, Hipsters of the Coast for encouraging, aiding, and enabling me. Thank you, Twitch viewers, for your kind words and support. A special thank you to gwyned, who volunteered to match my booster pack prizes every round and will be blogging and recording the event. And of course, thank you, one hundred and fifty-two players!

Now, let’s get this tournament started!

rule of law

Tournament Structure

  • The tournament will be swiss with a cut to top 8. As there are over 128 players, the tournament will be eight rounds.
  • The format is Standard Pauper. Decks and sideboards may only contain cards that are Standard-legal and printed as commons in Standard (Rancor and Oblivion Ring are illegal, even though they were previously common). Decks must contain a minimum of 60 cards and sideboards have a maximum of 15 cards.
  • The tournament will end before Theros is released on Magic Online (and the format rotates). The Theros paper release is Friday, September 27th (in six weeks). I don’t know when Theros will be released online (my guess is Friday, October 11th). If we are in danger of hitting rotation, I will shorten round lengths and may request that players out of contention drop from the event. However, I’m not drawing any lines in the sand so soon. Rounds may end early and the release may be far enough away that the tournament can finish in time. Just letting y’all know that it’s a concern.
  • This tournament is being run in good faith; please conduct yourselves accordingly. I trust you to exercise good sportsmanship, to accurately report your match results win or lose, to only have one account in the tournament, to not ghost your opponent’s stream (if he or she is streaming your match), and to not pre-board for a specific opponent. If people are not acting in good faith, I reserve the right to remove them from the tournament. If you have any concerns, questions, or complaints, please contact me at [email protected]. That said, I hope you all have a boatload of fun and that my saying this is wholly unnecessary.

Standard Pauper - things to focus on

Match Structure

  • Matches will be best two games out of three, with thirty minutes per player. Sideboards are encouraged.
  • Make sure that the format is set to Standard Pauper.
  • Decklists are not required (until top eight). You are allowed to tweak or completely change your deck every week. You are not permitted to preboard a deck for an opponent.
  • When your match is complete, please promptly report your results to [email protected]. Please report your results even if you lose.
    • 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 Monstrify.

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.
  • I expect all players to report match results by 12:01pm Eastern Standard Time, on Monday (that’s noon, not midnight). After that deadline, I will drop all players in outstanding matches. Pairings should be up by Tuesday morning.


Hipsters and Prizes

  • Each round, two players will be selected at random. Each will receive a random booster—one from me and one from gwyned (who graciously offered to match my prize). There’s eight rounds, so that’s sixteen prize packs given out just for playing.
  • Several of us Hipsters are participating in the tournament. You’ll see (HotC) after our names on pairings to indicate this. There are five of us: Hunter, Tim, Monique, Rich, and me, Zach).
    • Should you defeat one of us, you’ll be rewarded with a random promo or foil standard pauper card.
    • Hipsters are eligible to top eight and receive prizes (except for me; I’m running everything and cannot top eight).
  • 8th-5th place will each receive a draft set of his or her choice from Standard.
  • 3rd and 4th place will each receive two drafts sets of his or her choice from Standard.
  • 2nd place will receive a foil, online, Modern Masters Elspeth, Knight-Errant and a draft set of his or her choice from Standard.
  • 1st place will receive my Revised Taiga. If I’ll be in your neighborhood, I can hand it to you personally (I live in New York City and will be attending a few Grand Prix this year). Otherwise, I’ll mail it to you, wherever in the world you live.


If you’re looking to learn more about the Standard Pauper format, here are a few resources:

  • PDCMagic is a website dedicated to pauper. They also run their own tournaments!
  • There’s also a Facebook group dedicated to Standard Pauper!
  • If you’d like to see the players, they’re all listed in a Google Document.
  • Play folks on MODO! It’s easy to assemble multiple decks and find opponents!

Round 1 Pairings

[table width=”400″ align=”center” colalign=”right|center|left”]

Player One[attr alight=”right], vs, Player Two, Results

Andrzej “Onion” K, vs, Jonathan Peña, (2-0)

Grao, vs, Jason Gray, (0-2)

Vincent Sippola, vs, Neil Anderson, (0-2)

MarkBGH, vs, ElPolloLoco, (0-2)

Bartosz Chrzanowski, vs, Conor Moran, (1-2)

Luke Burnett, vs, Justin Beckert, (1-2)

r [drop], vs, pinksquidjig [drop], (0-0)

Nico, vs, Kithias, (2-0)

David Nunez, vs, Shea Strausman, (2-0)

iAmQuantum, vs, Monique Garraud (HotC), (1-2)

Adam, vs, joekewwl, (1-2)

Pauper Mage, vs, d00n, (1-2)

Edgar Magalhaes, vs, Wolfmedic, (2-0)

Hans, vs, Torreth, (2-1)

rbernardinello, vs, gwyned, (2-1)

puzzles, vs, Talby [drop], (2-0)

Tim Akpinar (HotC), vs, Kevin Roman, (0-2)

Dana, vs, Gibble, (0-2)

Josh Kaufman [drop], vs, Kyle S, (0-2)

Elliot [drop?], vs, Lollipop_Man, (0-2), 

King Xia, vs, Carrie O’Hara, (0-2)

Matt Mulholland [drop], vs, Sudo_Nym, (0-1)*

The_Sir, vs, Kas S [drop], (2-0)

Matt B, vs, Kebab, (0-2)

Conexion, vs, DoogieH, (0-2)

Adam Bloom, vs, CJMoran, (2-0)

DV8tor83, vs, Will, (0-2)

Carl, vs, Zach W, (0-2)

Jamie B, vs, snapponder, (0-2)

P. Dalton, vs, Jesse S, (2-1)

Chase, vs, Maciej Chrzanowski, (2-0)

PurplePotato, vs, Runtime.error [drop], (2-0)

rjljr, vs, Lacio, (1-2)

Grociu, vs, Paul Green, (2-1)

Paul Salerno, vs, James J, (2-1)

sixfirhy, vs, Kenny, (1-2)

Brad, vs, ratsby, (1-2)

Charlie S, vs, flapjack, (2-1)

Rich Stein (HotC), vs, Kaziks, (1-2)

AoRK14, vs, David Wills, (1-2)

HurricaneWaves, vs, togepi258, (2-1)

Hunter Slaton (HotC), vs, MattP81, (1-2)

Fábio Silveira, vs, Tom, (1-2)

Darius [drop], vs, Alex Gardner [drop], (0-0)

Edmilson, vs, Kylock [drop], (2-0)

Daniel Gardner, vs, CloudofEther, (2-0)

Chris de Lacy, vs, Zombii, (1-2)

Jeremy Gagne [drop], vs, Mrdarby, (0-2)

Hugh Kramer, vs, Chris Reid, (2-0)

James Bathurst, vs, Zachary Barash (HotC), (2-1)

Reversed [drop], vs, J.S. Bangs, (0-2)

Kevin Downs, vs, GreenSig, (1-2)

Marc DeLay, vs, Danny DiPietro, (0-2)

Peter C, vs, Matt Bobola, (2-1)

ShiratoKai, vs, Scumbag Judge James, (0-2)

Landon, vs, aceracerff, (1-2)

Andrew, vs, John Mason, (2-1)

Nivius, vs, MattLaZer, (2-0)

Keith Richard Smerbeck, vs, DL Martin, (0-2)

Spencer Gordon-Sand [drop], vs, Ben H, (0-2)

Collecter, vs, Jesse Lee, (1-2)

Iris W, vs, Ahniwa Ferrari, (0-2)

Hugo Ezquivel, vs, Marcin, (0-2)

Skyboss, vs, Vanhelsen, (1-2)

Simon White [drop], vs, Dave Barman, (0-2)

Colin, vs, Simon, (2-0)

ReelDeel [drop], vs, Nils Hjalmarsson, (0-2)

Ideocl4st1, vs, Sean Knowelden, (1-2)

slyguy183 [drop], vs, Charles H [drop], (0-0)

Sam Werbalowsky, vs, bacon_music_love, (0-2)

Eternal_Blue, vs, Wurst12, (0-2)

Benito, vs, mangol, (2-1)

Nick G, vs, Alithinar, (0-2)

Tikigodbob [drop], vs, Steven, (0-1)

JL, vs, The_Nin, (2-0)

Austin, vs, Zach G, (2-1)


* – The winner of the match never reported, but the losing player did.  In this instance, we’ve decided to issue a win to the reporting player and drop the other.


If you don’t see your name listed but received a confirmation e-mail (I responded to every e-mail I received), please contact me immediately.

gifts_ungiven (1)

Phew! Thus begins the grand experiment. Here’s hoping it’s fun for all involved. Happy Taiga-hunting, everyone!

—Zachary Barash

Join the livestream! twitch.tv/ZennithGP

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 unhealthy.

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