Magic: the Gathering
Fall from Favoralmost a month before this announcement that hugely changed the metagame of other formats
Bonder's Ornament, making Card Advantage engines in the format become the same for many decks and look kind of repetitive, with games being defined by those who spends more turns with Monarch or those who make more activations of the artifact, causing other Card Advantage mechanics (for example
Ephemerate) seem unattractive because they require more slots and build-around. In short, I think that Monarch and
Bonder’s Ornamentmake games repetitive and create little creative play or style. However, this is my conception. My view of reality and my personal dissatisfaction with the format. For many, Pauper is a lot of fun and, especially, very diverse. And in the diversity factor, I need to agree: We see entirely new decks appearing and putting in check other strategies already very well established in the format while strategies already known remain among the main decks of Metagame, creating the third factor that is the diversity among the decks that are at the top of the format. Pauper has never been more innovative since
Arcum’s Astrolabewas in the format, we see a new deck or a new tech coming up every week and I believe it is necessary to start this article by exemplifying new decks and new techs that have emerged in recent months. And it's impossible to start anywhere else, if not for these two cards:
Bloodbraid Elfhas already been banned from Modern in the past, was the main Staple when she played in Standard and today is a great card in Jund. But what exactly did Cascade cards offer Pauper? In addition to a new Card Advantage mechanic, a reason for you to choose the “go-big” instead of the “go-wide”. That is, a reason for you to choose the long game or the big mana game and make threats that will generate a huge amount of value instead of trying to filll the board with a huge amount of cheap-costed creatures. This is due to the fact that both
Boarding Partyare very good cards as creatures as they have immediate impact on the table and resilient bodies in addition to Cascade's 2-for-1 effect, something that Pauper lacked for years since your payoffs to ramp or to play with a higher cost Midrange did not compensate for deckbuilding concessions because you were able to have better effects at a lower cost. And Cascade cards offered several new and old ways to build some decks:
Fall from Favor, as this deck naturally takes advantage of Tron's greedy mana to take the game, and Tron's
Pulse of Murasarecursion becomes irrelevant when your creatures nullify the lifegain with a single attack.
Sarulf's Packmatemakes the Land Destruction plan less present, opting to become a ramp deck with some disruption and land acceleration to achieve as much value as possible in combining
Broodmate Dragon, but in the Pauper version, the top of the curve are the creatures with Cascade themselves, and a
Boarding Partycasting a
Blightningfor free is still painful, regardless of whether it was in 2010 Standard or Pauper. The deck has a good versatility of responses while its ramps never lose value as they are also part of its card advantage engine, especially
Bonder’s Ornament, making almost every topdeck good and every Cascade target useful.
Boarding Party, but gains access to
Coiling Oracleto maintain Card Advantage, in addition to better responses on the sideboard for certain matches. The deck can also include
Pestilenceas a means of keeping the board clean, which is a feat in a three-color deck that is only possible thanks to the inclusion of
Bonder's Ornamentto fix mana and ramp.
Tuktuk Rubblefort. The deck can still operate as a combo deck when needed, most of the time choosing to leave the combo pieces on the Sideboard to be used in specific matches such as those where attacking becomes less relevant like Tron. It is worth remembering that Cascade decks are not the only new decks in the format, though.
Drannith Stingerin the format and its game plan includes cycling a large number of creatures, to then generate mana with
Songs of the Damnedand
Cabal Ritualand then return these creatures with
Reaping the Gravesand, with a
Drannith Stingeron the board, cycle the creatures in your hand again to create your own version of
Grapeshot, while being able to use spells like
Land Grantto fix the mana and increase the Storm counts when necessary. Cycling Storm is far from being a simple deck to play, and requires great understanding of the deck to work as it has specific lines of play and some very complex ones to be seen at first. So, it is a deck that if you want to play with it, you should dedicate a few days or even weeks to understand how it works perfectly.
Fleshbag Marauderarrived to the format to justify the construction of this deck.
Cast Downserving as the main motivator to move on to play Dimir Faeries, and the inclusion of the new Kaldheim dual lands created new techs like
Spire Golembeing used on some lists, while
Behold the Multiverseproved to be a great resource for card selection and card advantage.
Cast Downadded to the deck tools it needed to change its deck construction to become a complete Control (where it previously needed to remain in the position of Midrange-Control in order not to lose Card Advantage), choosing to use few ercreatures, maximize the effect of discards and removals and generate an absolute value in mana advantage and card advantage with the new Ikoria artifact. In addition to these decks, other very well known decks of the format are also available for the competitive scenario, all of them with about 4% of the Metagame: