Pauper is a Magic format that has become increasingly popular due to its accessibility and budget friendliness. Pauper is a 60-card, two player format, with a 15-card sideboard that allows only common cards in deck construction. However, it should be said that the common-only restriction doesn’t diminish the power level of the format- it still has plenty of solid combos and supports a variety of decks and play styles.
Power on a Budget
The best part of pauper for many players is the fact that it is infinitely more affordable than many other formats. Many format staples, such as the classic Lightning Bolt, are unlikely to run more than a few dollars per card, with more expensive outliers still typically being much cheaper than comparative pieces in more rarity-driven formats. Even better, commons more reliably see reprints over time, often helping to significantly drive down costs.
One of the biggest advantages of the pauper format is its constantly changing nature. Purely by the numbers, more common cards are printed into the game with every set than any other rarity. This boosts the potential number of cards that can impact the format and it shows! It is not uncommon to see real meta shake ups with every single release, meaning you can hop into the format with ease at just about any time.
Finally, there are many powerful archetypes worth highlighting in Pauper, but we’ll take a moment to recommend some great ways to pick up and play the format. Burn is one of the easiest decks to pilot, jamming a deck with all the best damage-dealing commons such as Lightning Bolt, Lava Spike, and Fireblast. Mono black control runs a ton of powerful removal options, like Chainer’s Edict, backed by strong card advantage such as Sign in Blood, before closing out the game with the classic Gray Merchant of Asphodel. Lastly, there are many faerie deck variants that use control elements and efficient flying threats, best exemplified in the central powerhouse of the deck: Spellstutter Sprite.