An interview with Fabio Soeiro, Pauper Masters Online's finalist

Magic: the Gathering

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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!

By Humberto, 12/07/21, translated by Humberto - Comment regular icon0 comments

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Introduction

Last Sunday, Pauper Masters Online's second season finals took place, an independent tournament organized by me, in partnership with Cards Realm and several other independent tournaments, where 24 players competed for the 70 Tix collected during the season. At the end of the Swiss rounds, the Top 8 players competed against each other in elimination rounds, where the following players participated: FSoeiro (Burn) Boom_bust (Rakdos Affinity) AdrianoTT (Burn) Mosskirin (Mono White Heroic)

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ImViniih (Bogles) GGR212 (Project X) Doug08 (Mono White Heroic) TakamurA_ (Jund Cascade) In the elimination rounds, we saw the player FSoeiro quickly beat TakamurA_, while the other competitors' matches were very even, with all of them finishing 2-1. In the semifinals, boom_bust beat GGR212 2-1 with his Rakdos Affinity, while FSoeiro managed to race over ImViniih's Bogles in a tight match. The final round, however, had an unexpected result: Both players know each other, and they reached an agreement that they would split the first and second place prizes between themselves, without the need to play the game for the prize, and essentially the games became a symbolic question to end the tournament. When deciding whom to interview, boom_bust mentioned that he preferred the interviewee to be FSoeiro, who ranked first in the Swiss rounds, using his Burn deck.
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FSoeiro's list is the standard version of Burn, without many differences and additions, or without any cards whose usefulness hasn't been proven for years. The player apparently chose to play โ€œsafeโ€, without using new cards that are being tested in the archetype, such as Kessig Flamebreather, Reckless Impulse, or even Kiln Fiend, which some lists used on the Sideboard in recent leagues. Another interesting point on the list is the absence of Pyroblast on the Sideboard, which can be caused by the player's budget restrictions, or even a conscious choice, as I've heard from other Burn players that the inclusion of Pyroblast can delay the way the deck plays for a game that is already naturally bad for the deck, and that copies of Pyroblast you put on the Sideboard can be the card that allows you to win the game by countering an opponent's spell, or the card that makes you lose the game because you topdeck it at a critical moment. In the end, the absence of Pyroblast was of little relevance to the player, as there were few copies of Blue-Based Decks in the tournament. On the other hand, the sideboard feels a bit dated, with the inclusion of cards that aren't present in the current lists, like Molten Rain (which is still very useful for dealing with Tron and pulling some extra damage), or Keldon Marauders (which is commonly used to play against decks with removals, to punish the player for dealing with their creature, while putting pressure on decks that don't usually have many blockers in play). But, in the end, by opting for a safe choice instead of trying out different ideas, FSoeiro managed to play with his deck in an exemplary way, closing the tournament with a 4-0, and reaching the final round, demonstrating that an archetype as classic for the format and with so many redundant effects as Burn still manages to establish good results in an open Metagame.

The Interview

First, tell us a little about yourself, where you are from, your history with Pauper, etc.

I'm Fรกbio Soeiro, I live in Sobral, Cearรก, 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.

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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.
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MH1 brought problematic cards like Arcum's Astrolabe, Ephemerate, Weather the Storm, etc. This year, in addition to Chatterstorm, which was a consensus among all players as a bad and broken card, they also brought great cards to Affinity. I believe the new artifact lands should not have been printed as common, as well as Sojourner's Companion. Despite making the decks abuse Cleansing Wildfire, which is a somewhat honest strategy, this land cycle brought a consistency that Affinity didn't have before.

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But more than that, the later release of cards that give a lot of Card Advantage, like Deadly Dispute, is what left Affinity as powerful as it is. However, if I were to ban something, I wouldn't ban lands, cantrips, nor Atog, classic for the format. I would choose to take out Disciple of the Vault. This card is too problematic, and even though it is an old card, it should not be present as long as these newer ones remain.
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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.
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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.
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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 Piauรญ, 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 websitelink outside website and a Facebook group, and they're super accessible for questions and all.

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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!

Conclusion

This was our interview with Fabio Soeiro, finalist of the second edition of Pauper Masters Online, where he was undefeated in the Swiss rounds playing Burn, and you can find him on the Twitterlink outside website! Soon, I will be announcing some points about the future of the Pauper Masters project, and what we can expect for 2022! Thanks for reading!
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Humberto

Writer and translator for Cards Realm and journalism student. Plays virtually every Magic: The Gathering competitive format.

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