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Post-Neon Dynasty Pauper Power Rankings – February Update

Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty has been out for less than a month but it has already had a massive impact on Pauper. While everyone expected Moon-Circuit Hacker to push the power level of Faerie strategies, the real winner has been Experimental Synthesizer. Artifacts that can generate value upon entering or leaving the battlefield have been a staple of the format since people started to pair Kor Skyfisher with Prophetic Prism. Experimental Synthesizer is largely an upgrade as it also “draws” a card when it gets picked up, not just sacrificed like Ichor Wellspring. The top of the format is largely defined by this egg and has skewed the format. Currently, it is far better to be a proactive deck than a reactive one as the Synthesizer can load up a deck with action early. We can see this play out in the first post-Neon Dynasty Pauper Power Rankings.

 

 

10. Stompy

RancorBurning-Tree EmissaryYoung Wolf

After being largely forgotten during the era of Chatterstorm and Affinity, Stompy has come back to be a player. The deck remains almost unchanged and still wants to put Rancor on green creatures to apply pressure. Stompy might be a step behind the other decks but it is consistent, something that serves the strategy well.

9. Burn

Voldaren EpicureLightning BoltChain Lightning

Speaking of consistent, Burn is exactly that. The deck has gotten better thanks to Voldaren Epicure providing it an opportunity to improve its draws. Burn does have an uphill battle thanks to the prevalence of white decks near the top of the standings.

8. Mono-Black Control

Chainer's EdictGray Merchant of AsphodelCast Down

The early returns on Faerie decks gave Mono-Black Control a chance to flex its removal based muscles. After a strong start, the deck has somewhat fallen off. There is a chance it can climb the rankings again as other monarch decks have largely fallen by the wayside, giving it an opportunity to grind out wins.

7. Jeskai Ephemerate

EphemerateArdent ElementalistCleansing Wildfire

Combining Ephemerate with Ardent Elementalist and including a Cleansing Wildfire package, Jeskai Ephemerate is built for the long game. The only issue is getting there as the deck excels at stopping traditional angles of attack (creatures) but has a problem with the combo kills that some of the top decks are currently trading on.

6. Bogles

Ethereal Armor (Timeshifted)Slippery BogleCommune with Spirits

Bogles got some new toys in the form of Spirited Companion and Commune with Spirits. Both are showing up regularly in the latest builds and helping the deck improve its consistency. Considering Bogles already is a deck that can put a hurt on Pauper, giving it more opportunities to find its haymakers could lead to more wins.

5. Dimir Faeries

Faerie SeerSpellstutter SpriteSnuff Out

Dimir Faeries is still a top choice, but it has not really adopted Moon-Circuit Hacker as a standard inclusion yet. In fact, it has not really changed with the release of Neon Dynasty. Once pilots figure out a build that can go toe-to-toe with the other top decks I expect this strategy to take a step up.

4. Faeries

Faerie MiscreantMoon-Circuit HackerSpellstutter Sprite

Delver decks have finally dropped Delver of Secrets and instead have leaned harder on Faeries to enable Moon-Circuit Hacker. These decks are fast, consistent and draw a ton of cards. The biggest problem is that everyone was expecting them to be popular and came prepared. It does not help that the top three decks all have access to Pyroblast either.

3. Boros

Experimental SynthesizerKuldotha RebirthRally the Peasants

There are so many varieties of Boros these days and many of them are running Experimental Synthesizer. Boros Monarch has largely faded but three aggressive versions – the stalwart Boros Bully, the old guard Kuldotha Boros (running Kuldotha Rebirth), and a newer more metalcraft focused build are putting the format under extreme pressure. These decks are fast, see a ton of cards, and can win from nowhere either with burn spells or Rally the Peasants.

2. Affinity

Myr EnforcerReckoner's BargainMakeshift Munitions

Affinity has largely settled into a black-red aggro deck. Even without Atog, these decks can slam Myr Enforcers and Gurmag Anglers early, draw cards with Deadly Dispute and Reckoner’s Bargain, and close out the game with Makeshift Munitions and Disciple of the Vault. Grixis builds are still showing up but the top of the metagame is all Rakdos, all the time.

1. Rakdos Storm

Dark RitualGalvanic RelayKessig Flamebreather

Pauper has access to fantastic ritual effects, great card filtering, and a fair share of lands that can produce multiple two mana in limited capacity. In other words, it’s always one spout away from a broken Storm deck. Galvanic Relay has fueled this latest build, putting tons of spells on layaway only to be converted into damage through Kessig Flamebreather. The deck is consistent and resilient and despite being known for months, it had its real breakthrough last weekend.

 

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