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Pauper Power Rankings – December Update

Commander Legends has had a massive impact on Pauper. The printing of Fall from Favor has bent the format to the will of the monarch and has drastically altered the landscape. The format used to revolve around surviving a turn two Burning-Tree Emissary onslaught, but Fall from Favor has shifted things in such a way that now the scariest thing that can be played is an Aura on turn three. 

Here are the decks that have fallen out of the Top 10 since my last Power Rankings:

  • Azorius Familiars: There are a lot more decks packing counters these days, and Fall from Favor is a great way to keep pace with Mulldrifter.
  • Burn: Burn’s spot in the Top 10 was tenuous at best and I am not surprised to see it take a dip.
  • Elves: There’s another deck that cracked the Top 10 that does the Elves mana thing…but better.

 10. WonderWalls (Previously Unranked)

Pauper WonderWalls by LiturgijskaKnjiga

WonderWalls started life as a combo deck that would try to generate an unbound amount of mana using Axebane Guardian in concert with either Freed from the Real or Galvanic Alchemist. Commander Legends gave the deck a more explosive spout now, ramping into Annoyed Altisaur or Boarding Party which hopefully hits a Mulldrifter to find more threats with cascade. Ideally, a Tuktuk Rubblefort is on the battlefield so the entire hasted house can fall down on the opponent’s head. The deck has a reliable turn four kill, doesn’t really care about Fall from Favor and can sideboard into the combo version. If black removal decks pick up it’s going to struggle, but for now it’s rather well positioned.

9. Stompy (Previous Rank: 3)

The worst thing that happened to Stompy is that nothing’s changed. It got no new toys to add to its collection and now has to contend with Fiery Cannonade. Stompy has been relegated to a lower division with only four Top 8’s this season.

8. Bogles (Previous Rank: 8)

Bogles looked to be a big gainer this season as it had a threat suite that was largely immune to Fall from Favor. However, it has since struggled to find footing. It’s the second most popular deck in the field and has five Top 8’s (with a win) but its results are inconsistent and it’s just as likely to flame out spectacularly as it is to claim a Top 16 slot.

7. Boros Monarch (Previous Rank: 6)

Boros Monarch is one of the decks to get some new cards with Commander Legends. While still largely a Palace Sentinels decks, the stalwart has been branching out. Some builds have gone more Mardu, adding black for additional removal and recursion, with Omen of the Dead getting a decent amount of play for its interaction with Kor Skyfisher. Others have added Fiery Cannonade and Crimson Fleet Commodore as a way to take the crown and leave all non-Pirates quite dead. While still a strong choice, the proliferation of Fall from Favor decks means that Boros’s claim to the throne has been challenged.

6. Faeries (Previously Unranked)

Faeries is nothing new. It takes the tried and true Delver shell and cuts Delver of Secrets and instead runs Faerie Seer alongside Faerie Miscreant while pressuing folks with a combination of quick threats, countermagic and Fall from Favor. Some builds skew aggressive with Mutagenic Growth but most are content to sit back and let card advantage carry them to victory.

5. Jeskai Affinity (Previously Unranked)

Pauper Jeskai Affinity by billster47

Jeskai Affinity is a mashup of traditional Affinity and Boros Monarch, using Thraben Inspector and Kor Skyfisher to cycle through cards. It can occasionally run Of One Mind as a second suite of Thoughtcast as well. Unlike Carapace Forger Affinity, the Jeskai version is more focused on winning with Atog and Fling. The big upgrade to this deck is Fall from Favor as it can buy time while also helping you find the combo while the biggest threat to this deck’s continued success is the number of Gorilla Shamans in sideboards.

4. Dimir Faeries/Dimir Delver (Previous Rank: 2 [Faeries]/9 [Delver])

Since the printing of Fall from Favor, these builds have slowly been converging, so much so that I’m putting them together. These decks are just as good as before but suffer from the fact that black removal is slightly more expensive than red removal. They also lose out on access to Pyroblast out of the sideboard, which just so happens to be a very clean answer to Fall from Favor. Finally, whereas this deck used to lay claim to a good instant speed sweeper in Suffocating Fumes, the Izzet variety can just flash a shiny new Fiery Cannonade instead

3. Boros Bully (Previous Rank: 4)

Boros Bully can spit out a ton of threats to get around a single Fall from Favor. It has access to its own monarch card in Palace Sentinels and can protect its crown with Prismatic Strands. It can also run Pyroblast to handle blue decks as well as Gorilla Shaman to take on Jeskai Affinity. There isn’t much more to it so it’s only moving up a bit in the rankings.

2. Izzet Faeries (Previously Unranked)

Izzet Faeries has a pedigree but as of late the deck has met hard times. Previously, the removal out of Dimir builds lined up better with the format and access to a four drop monarchy card in Thorn of the Black Rose gave them the edge. Now, Izzet has all the cards; it has a fantastic sweeper in Fiery Cannonade and the best monarch enabler in Fall from Favor. It can also convert those extra cards into action with greater ease since Skred and Lightning Bolt cost half as much as black removal. As if that wasn’t enough, it can also run Azure Fleet Admiral as a way to keep a board presence after Cannonade. 

1. Flicker Tron (Previous Rank: 1)

What else needs to be said about Tron? Despite having a mediocre season by its own gaudy standards, it still has 12 Top 8s – the most of any archetype. It’s the most popular deck as well, but an abundance of monarch as well as a surge in ramp decks packing land destruction have created a more hostile environment for the leader of the pack. All that being said, the fact that Tron is still on top is a testament to the deck’s raw power.

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