Hello, guys, how are you? My name is Tiago Fuguete, and today we'll talk about the top 10 most popular cards in Pauper sideboards currently.
This list won't be ordered from worst to best. For this analysis, we'll consider the metagame in our own website's database, in which dozens of tournaments happen every month, and analyze the top 10 most used cards in current sideboards.
Would you like to know more? By clicking here, you can filter by color, type and date, and that will be how I will build this list as well. Let's discuss the last 60 days in today's Top 10 most popular cards in Pauper sideboards.
10 – Suffocating Fumes
We have here a black card, like many others we'll see in this list. It is a great card to have in sideboards of decks with this color, particularly due to its versatility of never being a bad card, because, in case you can't use it in a way that resolves the board, you can just recycle it and get a new card.
It is quite common to find Suffocating Fumes in the main deck, and maybe that is why it lags behind in this list, considering it might be present in decks, but not always in their sideboard.
Decks such as UB Terror, Golgari, BW Pestilence, among others, will always have copies of this card in their sideboard to deal with decks which summon countless small creatures.
9 – Unexpected Fangs
I was surprised by this card. Unexpected Fangs isn't a bad card, but the fact you need another card to be able to use it well many times ends up cutting this card from everyone's sideboards.
We know that, in UB Terror, Unexpected Fangs is essential and can win many games, as this card's targets are big creatures with 5/5 power and toughness, which then become 6/6 Lifelink creatures. We have to agree that is very good. However, that ends up limiting its use in decks with smaller statted units, such as 2 or 3, as it won't be much help to target them in that case.
In that same line of thought, that makes me wonder how many copies of this card everyone has been adding to their sideboards, as it might not be an addition in that many different decks.
8 - Weather the Storm
If we're talking about dealing damage, it is clear we can't go through this list without adding a card which also wants to gain a lot of life.
We have another case in which it is hard to find a deck with green which doesn't use this card in its side. If it isn't in the sideboard, it is probably because it is already in the main deck.
The strength that cards with Storm have in Magic is always very dangerous, and Pauper is no different. Many cards with this ability have been banned already, and that is every Burn player's biggest request as well.
It is very popular in decks such as Golgari, Stompy and Bant. Actually, if you don't use this card in your side, it is either because you're very well-prepared, not afraid of Burn, or you don't play green!
7 – End the Festivities
As I mentioned before, Mono Red players have been getting many good cards for their decks, and End the Festivities is another card which has been very popular.
Its low cost to deal damage to all your opponent's creatures and also itself is very strong, even more when allied to Monastery Swiftspear and Kessig Flamebreather, which increase the damage even more. Nowadays, it is hard to see this card being used in other decks which aren't Mono Red Burn.
Finding it here in our Top 10 is a sign people are trying to better prepare against small creature decks.
6 – Gorilla Shaman
Gorilla Shaman might not be able to destroy Affinity's indestructible lands, but players have used, increasingly, a more "fragile" mana base, and many times Gorilla Shaman can resolve the game by itself.
Decks such as Boros end up using both Dust and Gorilla, so they have an even bigger chance of winning the match, besides many Mono Red Burn decks also giving up Burn to add Gorilla and try to delay Affinity as much as they can.
5 – Pyroblast and Red Elemental Blast
Even though they're very similar, they're still a little bit different, but that isn't what we came here to talk about. Instead, we'll discuss how important it is to have at least a few of them in your sideboard.
It seems even a bit easy to explain why you should use one of them in your side: it is useful against any deck which uses blue. Known for countering everything, blue decks sometimes struggle a bit when their opponent can answer their plays as well, countering or even destroying their permanents.
What stands out to me regarding the use of these cards is that they aren't used only in decks with red, but even in many others which don't use red as their main color. A classic example is Caw-Gates, which is based solely on white and blue, but, as it uses many Gates which allow you to choose a second color when they come into play, it is natural to want to protect yourself or upgrade your deck post-side - and that's when Pyroblasts can come in.
4 – Dust to Dust
As we tend to say, this card came straight from the shoebox to become one of the most important cards in Pauper lately. Ever since indestructible artifact lands were released, Gorilla Shaman can't solve Affinity decks alone, and you can be sure it will be rare to find a deck which plays white without using this card.
We have another card which can be of great help, and is far from being the same thing, but for the price and difficulty in getting Dust to Dust copies, Revoke Existence can help against Affinity as well.
Decks which got the most value out of Dust to Dust were mainly Boros, Caw Gates and UW Familiar, decks in which it is very common to find 4 copies of Dust in the sideboard.
3 – Hydroblast and Blue Elemental Blast
Here I also ended up combining these two cards as they are "similar". We know that they have their differences, but the reason they are in any deck that brings blue is the same: they are great against any deck with red, which are decks that are very present in any tournament you play.
With red recently getting many good cards for Pauper, particularly for Burn decks, it is very impressive to see blue decks' sides with up to 7 of these cards. One example is the list that Beicodegeia brought to SuperCup: Mono Blue Serpents.
I thought about listing some decks which will bring this card in their side, but, if your deck uses blue, you will certainly have at least 4 copies of this card - whether your deck is primarily blue or if blue is just a splash.
2 – Cast into the Fire
I must confess seeing Cast into the Fire as the second most popular card in sideboards really surprised me.
When it was released, it gathered a lot of discussion, and it is incredibly common for decks with red to use it, particularly as it is 2 abilities in one card and those two options are very important for Pauper currently.
Very common in Mono Red decks, Cast into the Fire is a way of handling Affinity and also Faeries decks or small creature decks, such as Elves, Boros Bully or Caw-Gates. That guarantees its slot sometimes with up to 4 copies, which brought it to our Top 2.
1 - Relic of Progenitus
Currently, in Pauper, we know just how many decks use the graveyard, be it to combo, Reanimate creatures, or to reduce the costs of their strongest units. That has always been done with Gurmag Angler, and today it is done mainly because of Tolarian Terror and Cryptic Serpent. These cards are present in one of the strongest decks currently, and it becomes very necessary to use your side to delay as much as you can the arrival of these creatures into the game.
Practically every Pauper deck has one or more copies of grave hates in their sideboards.
The fact Relic of Progenitus occupies our 1st place as the most popular card doesn't surprise me, as its colorless cost to cast and ability allows it to go in any deck. Unlike Nihil Spellbomb, which, to get as much value as you can, you need to pay a black mana, Relic of Progenitus has been used thoroughly as a great sideboard option and has recently even appeared in some main decks.
At the end of this article, I want to say I was really surprised to see some cards and their positions here, and I am even more surprised by the lack of other candidates here. What about you, what did you think? Leave your thoughts in the comment section. What card can't be left out of your sideboard?
Thank you, and I hope you enjoyed this read. See you next time!