An interview with Fabio Soeiro, Pauper Masters Online's finalist
An interview with Fabio Soeiro, known as Fsoeiro, which went 4-0 on Pauper Masters Online's swiss rounds, and managed to reach the Top 8 finals!
First, tell us a little about yourself, where you are from, your history with Pauper, etc.I'm Fábio Soeiro, I live in Sobral, Ceará, Brazil. I'm a certified judge by the Judge Academy (L1), Tournament Organizer in the region, owner of Arcane Snacks & Games, Commander enthusiast (preferably 1x1), and passionate about MTG's best format, Pauper. My first contact with the format was in 2010, when we met here in the region to play the Pauper Standard at the time (Rise of the Eldrazi), but I really got into it in 2017, when I returned to Magic after a few years away, playing Izzet Blitz in a local/in-person tournament, and I never stopped. I started on MTG Online in February 2021 because of the pandemic, I farmed my entire pool in CardsRealm's independent tournaments, and I played Boros Bully (my favorite deck in the format, I won many local tournaments with it) for a long time, even managing to reach the top4 in last season's Pauper Masters, in July.
Your choice of deck for the tournament was Burn. What led you to this choice?So, it's kind of complicated to talk about, but I hadn't played MTGO properly for a few months because I was mired with work. I got a spot in the second Qualifier playing Izzet Serpentine, when I realized that Boros Bully was a bit bad for the metagame back then. I was hardly going to play the Pauper Masters, I had to organize an in-person tournament on the same day. That's why I chose Burn: I wanted a fast deck that would allow me to play well and pay attention to my event here. I played the first two rounds while the event was still running and after the event was over, I was able to give Masters full attention. Fortunately, the deck has few bad matches, I even noticed that there were several present, like Soul Sisters and Mono White Heroic, but I was lucky not to bump into any of these decks.
You made 4-0 in the Swiss rounds, and made it to the finals. What was the most challenging game for you?During the Swiss, I believe that, curiously, it was against AdrianoTT, in a Burn mirror. I opened 1-0 because he kept a one-lander for most of the game, but in Game 2 in play he was faster. In Game 3, he played many creatures, so I had to spend most of my burns to remove them, plus the fact that I drew the two Forggoten Caves from the deck, significantly delaying my game plan. There were two turns where I was on the brink of defeat, but he didn't draw well. Unless I'm mistaken, he drew two lands in a row, while I found more burn spells and managed to finish the game.
What is your opinion on Pauper's current state? Do you believe something needs to be banned? If yes, what?I believe Pauper went through a rough patch this year after Modern Horizons 2. It's impressive the impact these other-format-oriented sets have on Pauper.
Some new decks have been appearing in the format in the last few months, do you believe that the more recent sets have, despite some negative consequences, helped to diversify the format?As I mentioned earlier, some sets aimed at other formats have the potential to ruin Pauper. I believe Wizards could devote a little more effort to balancing certain cards. It doesn't make sense to launch as common, for example, Ephemerate, if there is already Cloudshift that does the same thing, but worse. It's the same case with Sojourner, who is on the same curve as Myr Enforcer, but with benefits. Not to mention a few other years when they brought Monarch mechanics to 1v1, which is a mistake. I believe the format should be diversified, when the format isn't broken, we've been living under the reign of Faeries, Tron and Monarch for a long time. I just believe that there should be more care in balancing.
Every player and community has a different version of what Pauper should be like. For you, what would be the ideal state for the format?The ideal state of Pauper, for me, would be how it was at the beginning of the year. I'm not much of a league player, and I understand there is a dominance of some archetypes in leagues and in Challenges. But CardsRealm's standalone meta, for example, is pretty fun! Of course, there have been some lags of a few months now, but the diversity of decks and good players that emerge in this scenario is something that really excites me! I would always love to always play a metagame like this.
Do you believe that any card could be downshifted in future sets for the format?It's not just because I played Burn in this tournament, but I have a dream that Skullcrack would be downshifted. Maybe it is too strong for the format, so if there was something along the lines of Flames of the Blood Hand that prevented massive lifegain in addition to preventing damage, aggro decks would have better odds on the format.
Do you follow or play any other competitive format besides Pauper?Yes, I really like the Commander 1x1. Unfortunately, Wizards abandoned this format, focusing only on Multiplayer. But there is plenty of people interested in having a format aimed at this. Not only here in Sobral, but also in the capital Fortaleza and in nearby states, such as Piauí, we play the Leviathan format, which is nothing more than a 1x1 commander with 30 life points, its own updated banlist. There is a committee of players who think exclusively of this format, which is widely played in Europe. I would love for it to be more widespread, and I even advise anyone who wants to try it. They have a website and a Facebook group, and they're super accessible for questions and all.
What are your plans as a Magic player for 2022?As said, I organize tournaments here in the region. So, for 2022, I have some projects, like intensifying the regional leagues for Pauper and Commander Leviathan, as well as creating the Pioneer League, to give more diversity to the formats played here. I also intend to resume my activities on Magic Online. After Pauper Masters, I am excited, so I'm going to take the opportunity to go back to studying the format more, going back to CardsRealm's independent metagame and maybe even playing some leagues.
Is there anything you'd like to say to the Pauper community or our readers?First, I would like to thank CardsRealm and whoever organizes this community. It is not an easy job to manage all this, just with a lot of love for the cause. So, here I leave my special thanks to each person who works to bring all this content and entertainment to us. As for the Pauper community: nothing is so bad that it can't get worse... Just kidding! I believe that soon there will be some balancing, so don't give up on our format. And readers, regardless of the format you play or your worldview, always respect each other! MTG communities are often a bit toxic, which ends up hurting and scaring many people away. So if you love the game, you must respect whoever plays with you. Be the change you want to see in the world!