Hail Pauper companions! Double Masters spoilers are now complete, and we have great news coming our way on this new collection for Magic: The Gathering, which contains a plethora of reprints for many different formats. Our beloved Pauper wasn't forgotten, and we can already smell the sweet scent of new possibilities for the format.
On this article, I'll highlight some cards from Double Masters which may see play in Pauper. Some of them may be interesting tools to use on Sideboards or a small upgrade for some popular decks on the format (or, who knows, maybe a significative impact on the metagame).
Of course, there isn't a better way to start this review than talking about our dear Oubliette:
Oubliette is being reprinted after many years of waiting (and fair demands) for the Pauper community. One of the most expensive cards on this format (reaching peaks of $30 for each copy of the card on the past), the new Oubliette comes in Uncommon rarity and with a really cool art from Jim Pavelec, which expresses the macabre and cruel idea of a hole on the ground used as a prision, which is the meaning of the card's name.
Oubliette's text has also been updated, having become easier to understand in comparison to the old one. With the same approach as Teferi, Master of Time, we see another recent mention to the rule of Phase In/Phase Out. Considering the old text was long and complicated, this change will certainly make it easier for newer players (and maybe for the more experienced ones as well, during complex players) to comprehend the card's effect. And, of course, finally we, Mono Black Control players, may have access to a very popular tool for our deck and which helps us to deal with creatures as Stormbound Geist without needing to spend a considerable amount of money in just one or two copies!
Another very interesting addition for decks which uses black is Cast Down, which is now being reprinted as a Common card. An old friend of Magic Arena players because it was first printed on Dominaria (as an Uncommon), Cast Down comes as a new and powerful removal for Pauper, especially since its restriction of destroying only non-legendary creatures is practically irrelevant, since Pauper doesn't use legendary creatures on its current metamage (there are only 12 legendary creatures that are legal on Pauper and none are used currently - sorry Jedith Ojanen!).
I believe Cast Down will become very popular on the format, replacing cards as Victim of Night (used on Mono Black Control, but which doesn't remove cards like Gurmag Angler and Grey Merchant of Asphodel) and Doom Blade (which is used in some Bx decks, but it only destroys nonblack creatures). Basically, Cast Down removes the restrictions of other black removals and becomes a "destroy any creature" for only a generic mana and a black mana, being interesting for any deck which uses black. We can be sure that Cast Down is going to become a Pauper staple!
Still on the black color, Bone Picker from Amonkhet appears now on Pauper as another creature option with evasion and which can also trade with Kor Skyfisher and Delver of Secrets, offering another flying option for Bx decks and which may enter the battlefield for just one black mana, if it is being cast on the turn in which another creature died (possible interaction with Village Rites?).
On the first glance, I don't see Bone Picker as a revolutionary card for the format, although the card certainly deserves to be tested. On Mono Black Control (or (https://mtg.cardsrealm.com/decks/3097-mono-black-midrange-weber)(Mono Black Midrange)) it is easy to cast Bone Picker on turn 2, using Defile or Disfigure to remove another creature to reduce Bone Picker's mana cost.
On MBC, a 3/2 with flying and deathtouch on turn 2 doesn't sound bad at all, even though it isn't clear to me which cards could leave the deck to make room for this creature. Maybe this card will see play on UB Delver or in a Golgari deck (more likely), but the answer isn't as simple and direct as in Cast Down's case.
On the red color a card that calls for attention is Abrade, from Hour of Devastation, which now appears in Double Masters as a Common. An instant for only two mana (a generic mana and just one colored mana) which removes an artifact or most pauper cratures sounds like an excelent option for the Sideboard of decks that use red, like Skred (UR Fairies).
Yes, we have Lightning Bolt (3 points of damage for just one red mana and which can also be used as direct damage to the opponent's face) and Gorilla Shaman (to remove artifacts), but I believe that the possibility of destroying any artifact in instant speed and for only two mana is enough to guarantee a slot for Abrade on the Sideboard of most Rx decks. Removing a land of an link](https://mtg.cardsrealm.com/decks/30ke-liv_one-competitive-constructed-league)(Affinity) deck on Turn 2, stopping the bounce effect of a Kor Skyfisher on a Prophetic Prism or removing that Bonder's Ornament on the end step of your opponent? Sounds good!
On the artifacts, the old Myr Retriever from Mirrodin is now activated for Pauper. For two generic mana, this friendly Myr "robot" 1/1 may fetch another artifact on your graveyard right back to your hand when it dies.
A very obvious interaction is with the Atog of Affinity decks: Sacrifice Myr Retriever to grant +2/+2 to Atog and as a bonus recover an artifact (maybe that colored land your opponent removed with Abrade?). It is possible that this Myr may safely replace Frogmite or at least some of it's copies.
Return some of the cards sacrificed for the Atog (including other copies of Myr Retriever) to the player's hand, strenghtening the deck's win condition and partially mitigating the damages of a semi-all-in tentative looks like a good tool for Affinity. I believe Myr Retriever may see play to the point of becoming a staple for decks using artifacts.
Many other cards appear in Double Masters on the Common rarity that may see play in Pauper, although many of them don't have an obvious place for them in the current metagame. Pauper is, however, a diverse format that allows many experiments and brews (which, although may not always be effective, are really fun to play with and sometimes even surprise players to the point of winning a tournament!). I present here some cards which, although may not be a main highlight, deserve to be briefly mentioned, even if only as a complement for this discussion:
Crib Swap is another removal option for decks which use the white color and the fact that it exiles target creature instead of just destroying it is certainly interesting. However, the fact that we already have Unmake makes me think that Crib Swap will only see play in rogue decks which have use for the 1/1 Shapeshifter created by the controller of the exiled creature.
Balduvian Rage can be seen as an interesting cantrip, especially for decks with huge amounts of mana available, like Tron. If we walk down this route, however, it's hard to justify replacing cards like Kaervek's Torch or Rolling Thunder with Balduvian Rage, as these cards fit more easily into Tron's archetype.
Rapacious Dragon may be interesting at first sight as a red version of Prosperous Pirates. However, I don't see any place in the current meta for a 3/3 Dragon for 5 mana which, although it creates 2 treasure tokens, it doesn't do much more than what cheaper creatures already do.
Ancestral Blade from M20 comes to Pauper as an extra option for white decks, especially White Weenie (or, forcing our thought a little bit, maybe a rogue variation of Boros). The advantage is that it enters the battlefield creating a 1/1 token, which may assist aggro decks which otherwise would pass the turn without playing any creatures so they could play an equipment. Certainly this isn't a Tier 1 card on the current meta, but it may see play on Tier 2 or 3 decks.
The most beloved/hated deck on the format, Tron receives in Double Masters the reprints of Urza's lands, including premium versions with complementary artwork. Beyond new art, the reprint of these lands in their common versions (as Double Masters also comes with these lands in their old alt versions) may reduce a little the price of these cards on Paper Magic. Although these aren't super expensive lands, reprints are always welcome on a monetary sense. #Stonks!
Double Masters brings many new and interesting additions to Pauper. Although this isn't an specific product for the format (hello Wizards... Pauper Horizons? Pauper Masters? :P), I believe those who, like me, are lovers of this format will be happy with what is coming. I wish good matches and many victories for everyone!
I had the assistance of the greatHumberto Romeu when writing this text. He is preparing a super special article for you. Stay tuned! Thanks Romeu! :)