The 5 Best Decks In Magic The Gathering’s Pauper Format

Magic The Gathering's Pauper format has been steadily growing in popularity for a few years now. It is a budget-friendly format that only uses cards printed at common rarity, it manages to be kind to your wallet while still having spicy plays and complex decks.

Whether you're getting started with Pauper and want a good place to dive in, or a veteran looking for your next deck, the Pauper metagame is vibrant and varied. Here are the top five decks currently played in the Pauper format.

5 Mono-Green Aggro

Mono-Green Aggro has recently been quite popular in several formats, so it makes sense to see it working its way into the Pauper meta. The deck's goal is to play lots of cheap, small creatures, like Nettle Sentinel, Burning-Tree Emissary, and Nest Invader and juice them up with enchantments like Rancor and Elephant Guide, or spells like Hunger of the Howlpack and Savage Swipe.

One of the deck's weaknesses is its vulnerability to flying creatures. There is Savage Swipe, which lets your creature fight something else, and Vault Skirge is always an option, but on the whole, this deck is going to struggle when up against flying-heavy decks. Because of that, a lot of decks tend to run a few answers in their sideboards, like Viridian Longbow or Scattershot Archer.

4 Naya Bogles

Bogles have been pretty popular in Pauper for a while, but they got a lot of attention in late February when competitive Pauper player Dimitry Medvedev secured his place at the Neon Dynasty Championship with a red, white, and green take on it.

The deck is focused on Slippery Bogle, a 1/1 beast with hexproof. By using lots of land ramp enchantments, like Utopia Sprawl, Unbridled Growth, and Abundant Growth to generate as much mana as possible, you can then enchant the Bogle with Armadillo Cloak, Rancor, and the finishing moves of Ancestral Mask and Ethereal Armor to deal massive damage with it. Though the Bogle is the namesake of the deck, they often use other self-protecting creatures, like Gladecover Scout.

The main deck is often only Selesnya (green/white), but in the sideboard Bogles often runs cards like Gutshot to get blockers out of the way, and Flaring Pain as an answer to damage-prevention tools like Moment's Peace.

3 Mono-Blue

Mono-Blue is just that: blue doing what blue does best. It is an excellent control deck that limits what your opponent can do while beating them down with lots of flying and otherwise evasive creatures.

On the control side, there are lots of counterspells. Annul, Dispel, Spellpierce, and Counterspell all play prominent roles, as does Spellstutter Sprite – who doubles up as an attacker. It also makes use of freezing enchantments like Bind the Monster to ensure your opponent can't hit you back.

There's lots of great card draw too, thanks to Preordain, Faerie Miscreant, and Ninja of the Deep Hours. This deck in particular has really benefited from Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, thanks to the introduction of Moon-Circuit Hacker into the format. Ninjas go very nicely with flying creatures, and they're an excellent way to bounce a Spellstutter Sprite or Faerie Miscreant back to your hand.

2 Mono-Red Burn

Burn is one of Magic's most straight-forward deck archetypes, focused on dealing direct damage to your opponent using instants, sorceries, and abilities on creatures. Unlike mono-red aggro decks, which are also popular in a lot of formats, mono-red burn doesn't tend to focus on combat damage to win, making it more difficult for decks without counterspells or protection to deal with.

The Pauper take on mono-red burn uses lots of one-red direct damage spells, like Needle Drop, Lightning Bolt, Lava Spike, and Chain Lightning. Innistrad: Crimson Vow helped a lot with this deck too, thanks to the reprint of Thermo-Alchemist and the new card Voldaren Epicure.

It does run some more expensive cards as well, though. The highest mana cost often used is the six-mana Fireblast, although players tend to sacrifice their mountains to cast it for its alternative cost instead. That's one of the benefits of such a low mana curve: anything past a certain amount of lands is useful sacrifice fodder.

1 Jund Storm

In the void left by Affinity's nerfing in recent bans, there are a few decks vying for the top spot of the Pauper metagame. At the moment, it looks like Jund (red/black/green) Storm is finally getting its day at the top.

Storm is a mechanic that has spells copy themselves for each spell you cast before it, and has been a mainstay of pauper for a long time thanks to the now-banned Chatterstorm. That ban hasn't done much to punch down Jund Storm, though, as instead of drowning the opponent in squirrels, the deck now uses Crimson Vow's Kessig Flamebreather to burn them away instead.

The goal of the deck is to cast lots of instants and sorceries while Kessig Flamebreather is out to continually deal one damage to your opponent. Use stuff like Dark Ritual, Ritual of Flame, Manamorphose and Cabal Ritual to keep the mana flowing as you try and find a Galvanic Relay (the one card with Storm in the main deck) to replenish your hand and just keep going. Ideally, you'll have all four Kessig Flamebreathers out at the same time, ensuring four damage with each noncreature spell you cast.

Like many Storm decks in other formats, this one pops off in a big way. It's a self-sustaining engine of mana and spells, backed p with a Feldon's Cane to shuffle your graveyard back into your library and start all over again. Stopping it can be tough, as with so many instants in the deck a Storm player can just steamroll over your attempts at interaction and obliterate you before the stack has a chance to resolve.

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