Magic: the Gathering
This article belongs to the series Pauper's Christmas reprint wishlist:
50% for each. Another important point to note is that there are many multicolored cards that are out of the list because
they will be part of the last article in the series, where we will be talking about card cycles that could enter the format, so don't expect to see cards like the Khans of Tarkir Charms on this list, for example.
High Alerton Pauper because Walls has become an extremely relevant deck in the Metagame and
High Alertdoes absolutely everything for the archetype: Creates another angle of attack that is difficult to interact with, transforms all the walls into threats that can close the game quickly and, with the right amount of creatures, generates infinite mana with
Axebane GuardianDespite being out of the archetype colors, the enchantment does a lot and splashing to white on the deck is not impossible, especially since
Axebane Guardiangenerates mana of any color and
Sunscape Familiaris a creature with Defender as well. Despite being on the list because it is an effect not accessible in the format, I consider that
High Alertis no longer a card that could be fun and is now card that would bring a deck of the format to the status of "broken deck" I've put it on the list under the proposal of "giving a good effect to the Tribe Decks and an alternative way to build certain lists", but
High Alertbecame almost a no-go due to the rise of Walls in the format the past few months. Sorry, Tribe Decks, it won't be this time.
Sky Hussarcould be an interesting addition for creating a Card Advantage engine for decks like Faeries, Boros, among other White or Blue-Based decks that don't depend exclusively on Monarch or cards like
Ninja of the Deep Hours. Furthermore,
Sky Hussaris a 4/3 body for 5 manas with evasion that can draw a significant amount of cards in the long run while serving as a mid or late-game finisher for UW versions of Faeries or other archetypes in that color combination.
Psychatogdownshift for the simple fact of being one of the most iconic cards in Magic: The Gathering, especially for Brazilian players (Carlos Romão was the first Brazilian to become world champion in 2002 with a
Psychatogdeck), and would like to be able to use this card in the format to give it an opportunity to have a competitive space somewhere since it has become a dated card and has little or no impact on other formats. At Pauper,
Psychatogwould have significant uses being a good enabler and payoff for UB Reanimator or UB Delver decks, where it could streamline Delve to
Gurmag Angleror become another card that feeds on the graveyard and that establishes a clock that needs to be respected. The deck could also enable other versions of Dimir Control or even multicolored control decks focused on cleaning the other side of the board and then playing a big threat and closing the game in a few turns. The Monarch also favors the former champion, as he always allows for a flow of cards that can occasionally be discarded to increase his power. On the other side, the card would be competing with
Gurmag Anglerat the spot of big finisher, which is also in kind of a bad shape right now as it falls off pretty easily to
Fall from Favor. The most annoying card to be played against you on turn 2 of last year's Standard could be an interesting addition to a format where most engines starts to be played in the first two or three turns of a match.
Thought Erasureworks as a more accessible
Distressfor Dimir decks, with the upside of being able to fix the top of the deck and even occasionally speed up Delve for
Gurmag Angler, then serving as a good early-game interaction, especially on the play.
Anathemancercan be problematic with
Ephemerate, I believe that having a way to punish players who use a lot of nonbasic lands is gradually becoming a necessity at Pauper. Some players always mention that Pauper needs some fairer version of
Price of Progressto punish decks like Tron, Affinity or Boros Monarch and, although I agree that this type of effect could be beneficial, I don't like the idea of giving it to decks like Burn. For this reason,
Anathemancerseems like an option that, while might look kind of absurd on decks like Mardu Monarch or
Ephemeratedecks, still looks like an addition that could serve as a way to punish some decks that take too much advantage of nonbasic lands, but not to the point of being devastating as a
Price of Progresswould be. It would definitely become a maindeck or sideboard addition for Mardu or Rakdos Monarch decks, and possibly bring with it the possibility of decks like the old Rakdos Burn that did some minor results in 2019. The simplest and least detailed card that will exist in this series of articles:
Rakdos Cackleris essentially a 2/2 for 1 mana creature whose drawback is irrelevant on many occasions and which would serve as another aggressive drop for decks like RDW and it could even appear on decks like Black Burn or other aggressive black decks as a low-cost threat.
Boggart Ram-Gangfits perfectly in this regard. The creature fits on all non-white decks that need support for better creatures today like Stompy, Red Deck Wins, Goblins, RG Aggro, among others.
Boggart Ram-Gangalso has a body that exchanges favorably with many creatures of the format and constant blockers of these archetypes such as
Augur of Bolasand
Kor Skyfisherwhile still serving to weaken larger creatures and, finally, it has an immediate impact on the table since it has Haste In all,
Boggart Ram-Ganglooks exactly like the creature that Red-Based and Green-Based Aggro could have today to give a boost to their respective archetypes. In 2018, one of the Pauper Masters participants made Top 8 with a Gruul list that consisted of creatures like
Burning-Tree Emissaryalong with removals like
Lightning Boltand pump spells like
Colossal Mightin addition to
Temur Battle Rage. The deck was very functional at the time and was used by other players afterwards, but it seemed to have a constant problem that the parts of the deck did not always fit as they should and you often lacked creatures when you needed pumps and pumps when you needed creatures.
Ghor-Clan Rampagermight not make this deck a great competitor to Pauper, but it would be the first step to give more consistency to the base of the Gruul "Stompy" decks.
Conclave Mentorcould be a great enabler for an archetype of GW Counters with cards like
Hunger of the Howlpack,
Travel Preparations] ] and [[Pollenbright Druidin addition to several other cards with +1/+1 counters theme and Modular cards presents at the format. Although it doesn't seem like the type of card that would enable an archetype that would be competitive for the format,
Conclave Mentorwould certainly be a good incentive for players to try to innovate and for other cards with this theme that appear as common could impact the Metagame.
Dryad Militantwould, in my view, be one of the best and most possible additions that Pauper could have in the coming years. The Card is a fair creature, with a body comparable to that of
Jungle Lion, within the colors where we already have an abundance of low cost creatures but that adds a very important hate effect against graveyards in a format where interactions with
Mnemonic Wallexist and are still prevalent in the metagame as a central Card Advantage mechanic.
Etchings of the Chosenjoins the list because of a relatively frequent mention of
Adaptive Automatonby some different communities. My problem with
Adaptive Automatonis that it goes into absolutely any tribal deck with virtually no concession: Elves, Goblins, Faeries, Birds, Soldiers, etc. Therefore,
Etchings of the Chosenappears to me as a substitute for this card for the reason of significantly restricting the archetypes that can have access to it: Faeries will hardly use this card because it would need to splash a lot for a card that does little for the archetype Elves would need to do some laps with
Birchlore Rangerto have access to this effect. The decks that could most benefit from this card, therefore, would be Slivers that have easy access to different colors of mana with
Gemhide Sliverand Thriving Lands and decks like Boros Bully, Tokens or even a variant of White Weenie with focus on soldiers, as they naturally use white and the splash to black ends up compensating because
Etchings of the Chosenwould give them the
Glorious Anthemeffect that some players would like to have. If
Hymn to Tourachis too strong and
Wrench Mindis too fragile due to the high use of artifacts in the format, would
Gerrard's Verdictbe the perfect combination for efficient discard at Pauper? Decks like Orzhov Monarrch already use a few copies of
Raven's Crimeas a means of disruption, and
Gerrard's Verdictwould be a good addition that would help promote a discard-based Midrange. Honestly, it would be even more interesting if
Gerrard's Verdictcost BB instead of WB so that Mono Black Control could have an effective disposal that really works in a beneficial way against Burn.
Quillspikeis on the list for having a 2-card-combo with
Devoted Druid: You generate a green mana with
Devoted Druid, put a -1 / -1 counter to untap it, pays the cost of activating
Quillspike's ability with the mana generated by the druid and repeats the process until you have a creature with an arbitrary amount of power and toughness. The combo even existed in Standard Time Spiral / Lorwyn and Lorwyn / Alara, but never had a chance to shine in any format. Like the Gond Combo, the Quillspike Combo needs a turn of setup to work, in addition to requiring the opponent not to use effects like
Stonehorn Dignitary, have removal or even a blocker for the giant
Quillspike. The advantage of this combo over Gond is that it is Mono-Green, which means that it is much easier to maintain the deck's manabase, include evasion means such as
Rancorand also collaborates to splash other colors such as example, red for
Tuktuk Rabblefort. In a general context, I don't believe that the combo would be efficient enough to be broken, but it could somehow be competitively viable for the format.
Putrefyis, in short, a black and green
Abradethat destroys creatures of high resistance and does not allow
River Boato regenerate. It's another card that I consider to be an addition that would make it justifiable to start splashing green in Black-Based Midranges instead of the other colors. There's not much to say about this card, to be honest. If
Abrademade it to the format with Double Masters, I see no reason why
Putrefycouldn't go through the same.
Bred for the Huntwould serve as yet another card that would motivate players to try to build viable and minimally competitive strategies in this combination of colors and themes. It wouldn't make the Proliferate deck a competitive archetype, but at least it would give a reason to try to play with it and look for the most optimized build. The effect of
Vedalken Hereticis already well known in the format due to the Ninjutsu of
Ninja of the Deep Hoursand is, currently, a staple of the format.
Vedalken Hereticdoes not seem so beneficial for archetypes already established with Ninja as it does not allow reusing ETB effects and is in a color combination that is not usually focused on attacking, but it could be another card that would motivate players to try new things in UGx combinations other than Fog decks or Lock-based decks.
Lorescale Coatlwas placed next to
Vedalken Hereticbecause of its synergy, but it is a very interesting threat to the format since it grows significantly with a generous range of cards of the format like
Brainstorm, Monarch, or
Frantic Inventory, and other options. Although it initially looks dangerous, we are talking about a format that has a 5/5 creature for 1 mana or a deck that can make multiples 4/4 in the same turn,
Lorescale Coatllseems like a very under-optimized option in this context. The UG combination has access to cards like
Rancorto evade as well as cards like
Dive Downnext to the suite suite of classic counterspells and cantrips commonly used in Blue-Based decks. Who knows, a UG Tempo could appear with
Hooting Mandrilsand a combination of disruptions and low cost interactions like
Snapbacknext to the classic suite of counters and cantrips.
Monstary Swiftspearwas a card that would become too strong for Pauper, but that a 1/1 for 1 creature with Prowess would be an acceptable option and some players mentioned that
Blistercoil Weirdcould be that option.
Blistercoil Weirdlooks "almost" fair on decks like Burn, Prowess decks, blue-based tempo decks and still benefits MUCH from the fact that it can be used in any Rx or Ux combination with very few concessions. But ...
Blistercoil Weirdhas the potential to be its own
Jeskai Ascendancyin a combo deck, which makes it a dangerous card to have on Pauper.
Blistercoil Weird, combined with
Karametra's Favorand a significant range of spells that untap permanents like
Vitalizecan generate extra mana and create a "pseudo-Storm" base with any number of CMC 1 cards as these cards would come out "for free" if
Blistercoil Weirdcan pay their mana cost and be untapped. Consequently, this makes the card a dangerous piece in terms of Combo decks as an enabler AND a payoff at the same time, being essentially a 2-card combo or even a 1-card combo if you choose to just use it as a finisher and following a more classic Storm shell and the fact that it is in a color that can filter your deck very well and protect your pieces makes it even more problematic. So, as much as I would like to see its application on decks like Burn, Prowess decks and even different versions of Tempo decks, I consider
Blistercoil Weirdto be a potentially too dangerous addition to the format.
Enigma Drakeis more of a personal wishlist than a suggestion. I tried to make Non-Faerie blue-red Tempo decks work many times whenever a card came out that seemed to add something relevant to the deck like
Fire // Ice, and the deck never worked because having
Delver of Secretsas the deck's only major threat has always been very bad. Therefore, I would like to see a card that is a big and significant threat on UR decks and that could close the game in a few turns if the opponent is unable to interact, and there are a few candidates:
Invade the Cityhave the problem of offering a body that is much more difficult to remove with damage effects like
Invade the Citycan also be used with cards like
Experimental Overloadallows you to resort to protection or removal from your graveyard in addition to creating a large body.
Crackling Drakehaving an ETB effect and not being affected by
Relic of Progenituscould make it a very problematic card despite its more restrictive cost. Finally,
Spellheart Chimeradies to
Lightning Bolt, but we are talking about a blue and red deck, where there is no lack of ways to protect your threat and, because of that, I consider that Trample could be a huge problem since it makes any blockade unfavorable. So, in order of elimination, I ended up with
Enigma Drakebecause it is a body that does not grow so much in resistance that it is not impossible to remove with
Lightning Bolt+ a blocker, etc, and although I am kidna uncomfortable with it having an evasion, it can also be answered with effects such as
Relic of Progenitus. My biggest concern, however, is to give a finisher and a clock to the Izzet Faeries, which today has established itself as the best deck of the format and does not necessarily need its own version of
Tenth District Legionnaireis one of the payoffs that could serve as a justification for a splash and the qualification of a Boros Heroic deck within Pauper's Metagame.
Weapons Traineris another card from the list of cards that could help promote an Equipment theme that came up last year, serving as a Pseudo-lord for the other creatures on the deck and whose means of activating your pump is relatively easy with cards like
Bonesplitter. There is not much to say about it, except that the card can also be used in possible Metalcraft decks with
Galvanic Blastand some equipment.