Standard Pauper returns to MtG Arena this weekend! We have another opportunity until Monday to bust out our commons on Arena for unique events. I’m here to help you get up to speed.

For the last Arena Pauper event, I was on Dimir Control. This is still a great deck choice. The biggest gains I can see are cards like Ill-Gotten Inheritance to win grindier matches, and Undercity’s Embrace answer the hexproof threats in the format that we were previously cold to. If you played Dimir Control in the previous Arena Standard Pauper events a month ago, you can make some adjustments and be good to go.

Every Friday at 7pm Eastern Time, Gatherling holds a MTGO player run event, and those events provide some insight into what we can expect in Standard Pauper this weekend. Please note that as some cards were not available on the site at the time of the event, so there have been some substitutions made in the list using basic lands called out in the individual deck lists. Three of the decks in the top 4 of the Gatherling event were top metagame decks for the Holiday Event. That suggests we will see more tweaks to existing decks this weekend than new emerging decks. The winning deck of Gatherling was a Golgari Saproling deck, followed by a Dimir control deck, which to me says the name of the game is still going to be value.

The deck swaps for the Saproling build are actually pretty minimal. We really only have Undercity’s Embrace in the Sideboard, but like I mentioned sacrifice-based removal was a sore spot in the format in general. The Dimir deck has Grotesque Demise, a powerful removal spell that is good against some of the new Orzhov afterlife creatures, and includes Undercity’s Embrace yet again as well as Ill-Gotten Inheritance. The mono-white deck doesn’t look like it had any additions from the new set.

Rounding out our top 4 is a relatively unique-looking Rakdos build. This Rakdos deck looks to be in on the value plan that makes up the best decks in the format, but is also able to play Skewer The Critics and Spear Spewer. I will say Skewer is a card I have been looking forward to—not only does it answer Persistent Petitioners, but it slots very nearly into Mono Red aggro, a deck that I played against quite a bit around the holidays.

I had high hopes for Persistent Petitioners, but so far it hasn’t had legs. Three toughness is very relevant in a format where I considered the premier removal to be Moment of Craving and Fungal Infection, so it seemed like you could get a lot of petitions signed during the course of the event with little to stand in the way. Perhaps we shall see it happen this weekend.

Now let’s talk about some cards that I think are cool!

Blade Juggler is an all-star black common from Limited that I think is a strong card individually, but doesn’t necessarily slot into any existing strategies. At its best it’s a Phyrexian Rager with an extra point of power. I would be interested to see if it could slot into the Rakdos midrange deck that I mentioned above, where it is relatively easy to get triggers for Spectacle.

Aristocrats fans rejoice! Footlight Fiend can go nicely into a Golgari shell that wants to sacrifice its own creatures with the likes of Thallid Omnivore. I have seen it in some of the regular Standard Artistocrats lists, and I see no reason why we couldn’t use it to add a little extra oomph in Standard Pauper as well.

I will admit Orzhov is not really an archetype yet, but I would be interested to see if it is interested in splashing black specifically for Imperious Oligarch. This card provides some more protection against Mephitic Vapors, which is very strong against most but not all of the Mono White creature suite.

Being a control player last time around, I am really hoping Prying Eyes can make my deck as a greedy one-of. Being an instant means in the mid to late game this will be a powerful draw spell that I can cast on my opponent’s turn that can also dump cards that are no longer relevant against my opponent. I would like it more if delve were in the format, but I would be interested in trying to make room for this card alongside Divination, my favorite all star.

I don’t quite know what to make of Quench. It seems powerful only in Standard Pauper, and of course its utility wears out the longer the game goes. Currently, most control decks are playing a split of Essence Scatter and Negate, but the catch-all nature of this card comes at a pretty hefty price of being irrelevant in the late game. As such, it is a little hard for me to evaluate and I will admit I have never been caught with the wrong counter in my hand so far. I am interested in seeing how this card performs.

Wrecking Beast may seem like an odd inclusion as Mono Green was never really a thing, but I have to admit that Wrecking Beast makes it seem the most like a thing to me in the current set. A 6/6 hasty trampler could be the knockout punch the deck was looking for, especially if the opponent is not playing permission or has tapped out on their turn five.

In conclusion, it looks like the most powerful decks in the format got new tools. I wouldn’t expect much movement at the top or any brand new archetypes outside of perhaps some Petitioner decks or Rakdos value, but we have powerful new cards that seem ripe for exploitation. I am very excited to see where the format goes, and am glad Wizards is continuing to release events that cater to the Pauper audience. Happy brewing, and I hope I see you all in the Arena!

Don't Miss Out!

Sign up for the Hipsters Newsletter for weekly updates.