Welcome to the first of our ten guides on the mini-events that make up the 2023 Magic Arena Decathlon. The event doesn’t kick off until Sunday, but we generally don’t publish content on weekends so we’re firing off this guide for Pauper, as well as Part 1 for Jump In!, later today! That will give you a couple days to save up your coins anyways, since entry to each mini-event will cost you 2,000 coins.

For more information on how this event works, and the overall schedule and rewards, make sure you read our complete guide to what the Decathlon is, and then come back here.

The second event of the Decathlon is Pauper, and will be available from Sunday, Jan 1st at 8am PT until Wednesday, Jan 4th at 8am PT. More specifically, since this is taking place on Magic Arena, the event is Historic Pauper. That means, basically, that you can build your deck from any Historic-legal card so long as its been printed at common rarity on Magic Arena.

For example, Abundant Harvest is available on Arena through the Strixhaven Mystical Archives printing. However, in that set its rarity is rare. In tabletop pauper you could play it because in Modern Horizons 2 it was printed as a common. So you can’t just, for example, search Scryfall for cards that are legal and Historic and have also been printed at Common. It may feel redundant, because Historic is only available on Arena, but you have to add game:arena to get the correct card pool.

Also, Persistent Petitioners are banned.

A card pool of 2,754 cards is large enough to have more flexibility than Standard (1,617 cards) and even Alchemy (2,178) but less diversity than Explorer (6,516). If you’re looking for inspiration, check out Historic Pauper decks at MTGAZone which were last updated for a previous Midweek Magic event. Personally I’ve got a few decks in mind to try out:

  • Boros Soldiers
  • Izzet Tempo
  • Golgari Self-Mill
  • Simic Ramp
  • Orzhov Lifegain

I’m also trying to work out a way to abuse cycling lands but haven’t found a good payoff yet. What will you be playing on the journey to conquer the Decathlon?

Rich Stein (he/him) has been playing Magic since 1995 when he and his brother opened their first packs of Ice Age and thought Jester’s Cap was the coolest thing ever. Since then his greatest accomplishments in Magic have been the one time he beat Darwin Kastle at a Time Spiral sealed Grand Prix and the time Jon Finkel blocked him on Twitter.

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