Pauper's Christmas Wishlist - White cards

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Pauper's Christmas Wishlist - White cards

12/11/20 Comment regular icon2 comments

Christmas is coming and we all have our wishlists for Pauper. Today we list fifteen white cards that could have a reprint as a common or that the community would like to see in the format.

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By Romeu

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translated by Romeu

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revised by Tabata Marques

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Pauper is a format that is constantly changing every year due to additions to the format through downshifts and prints of new cards, especially in special sets such as Masters sets or Commander Legends. Interestingly, in 2017 I made a list of cards or effects that the format needed or that would be interesting to have a reprint as a common and, three years later, the vast majority of these reprints and effects were added to the format: We currently have a CMC 3 sweeper in the form of Fiery Cannonade, in addition to Suffocating Fumes which is an extremely useful card in the format today.

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Multicolor decks have become more accessible in format with the inclusion of Thriving Lands and Bonder's Ornament Although it is not yet the effect we need, we have new Reanimate cards in the form of Ressurection and Rise Again. Finally, we also had (frustrated) attempts to create more efficient responses against Tron in the form of Cleansing Wildfire. We have also had in recent years the inclusion of more powerful creatures like Seeker of the Way, more flexible removals like Cast Down, modal spells like Abrade and card advantage for creature decks such as Lead the Stampede and Winding Way along with several other cards included in the format in recent years that significantly impacted the Metagame. In order to create a new list, I will be using these weeks before the end of the year and beginning of the next year to bring to players ideas, composed by the opinion of different communities along with some cards that I particularly find interesting for Pauper and that could be or that we would like them to be reprinted as common in the future. Some cards will be off the list as they are part of a cycle, and I will be talking about card cycles in a separate article. Today, we will be talking about white card

White

White in Pauper today is in a position where the color is commonly used in Monarch decks, usually with a second or even third color, in addition to serving as an auxiliary color on decks like Bogles. In overall Magic, White is commonly used as an auxiliary color for Control decks, or as a base for decks like White Weenie, Auras or Prison decks. In Pauper, the only Mono White deck that puts some good results is Mono White Heroic, which uses creatures that grow when they are targets of spells to set a clock against the opponent while protecting them with enchantments or instants. Weenie decks on Pauper is relatively weak in white, usually requiring a splash to red in order to obtain better sideboard interactions and better removals. But what cards and effects could go into the format and add something relevant to that color?
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Soul Sisters is kind of a known deck in Pauper, since its base of Soul Warden and Soul's Attendant is present in the format together with other cards like Battle Screech to create a tokens deck that catches up with decks trying to win in the race. The deck recently had an adaptation for GWx, made by the Youtuber CalebGannon However, for Ajani's Pridemate, I think it’s more important to focus on the classic version, where it would interact well with the deck’s token + lifegain production to become a big threat at the table quickly, allowing the deck to attack from two angles different and demanding different types of responses from the opponent. But Ajani's Pridemate is still a non-evasive, unprotected creature that grows conditionally, making it an easy target for any cards like Cast Down and Journey to Nowhere or even a Lightning Bolt before reaching monstrous proportions.

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Outside of the archetype, I suppose the card would see little play since very few other decks tend to abuse multiple instances of life gain, and most other white decks prefer 2-for-1 effects over a large creature at the table. Overall, the card could be a good addition and would be a good push for the Soul Sisters archetype.
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Between 2014 and 2017, there was a deck called Robots, which basically boiled down to a Mono White Metalcraft using Court Homunculus, Ardent Recruit and Auriok Sunchaser along with cards like Bonesplitter, Tooth of Chiss Goria and Flayer Husk. Auriok Edgewright could be a good inclusion for this type of deck, without necessarily being a self-inclusion for Jeskai Affinity. It wouldn't pull the deck for the format's Tiers and maybe it would even make it reappear, but adding the card to the format is a possibility, especially considering the increased support for a possible Equipment-themed archetype that we saw recently in Double Masters and Commander Legends.
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Instead of Banisher Priest, some people have indicated Fiend Hunter as an addition to the format, but this card interacts significantly well with Ephemerate. With the Fiend Hunter trigger on the stack, you can use [card ](Ephemerate) to remove it from the game and, upon returning it, choose another creature to exile with its ability. The creature exiled with the Fiend Hunter’s first ability will be permanently exiled as it has already left the battlefield before the ability resolves. Therefore, it would be much healthier and preferable to have Banisher Priest in the format, even if it is a little worse for the purpose of removing a creature and serving as a blocker since its aggressive body allows it to play more proactively on the table. One of White's biggest issues in Pauper today is the absence of good unconditional removals in addition to Journey to Nowhere and Oblivion Ring, and Banisher Priest would be one of the cards that could collaborate in this regard by giving one more unconditional removal to the color in the format.
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It is possible to consider, with the introduction of a new sweeper in the form of Fiery Cannonade, the need that the format may have for effects to protect decks from possible blowouts caused by a board wipe at an undesired moment. Bathe In Light seems to fill this role in White, since it is a mostly global protection at a reasonable cost and has the possibility of being used in a proactive way as it is a combat trick that can potentially make all your creatures unblockable or survive an unfavourable combat for one turn. I believe that the card would see play especially on the sideboards, but some lists could even use it in the maindeck.
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There were some people who suggested some kind of Glorious Anthem for the format, but the reality is that hardly an effect like this and that works unconditionally would come out in the form of a common.

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Therefore, Consul's Lieutenant is the most viable option for a "pump all creatures" effect that I imagine appearing in the format. The card has a good cost and a favorable body (2/1 First Strike for 2 mana), it grows through combat damage, which is one of, if not the most important phase of the format and, from that moment on, becomes a pump every turn for your attacking creatures. Consul's Lieutenant is viable as a common card because it is not a guaranteed way to have an effect of Glorious Anthem and has a low cost and a relevant body at the same time as the fact that it is a creature allows the opponent to answer it easily As for the impact on the format, I believe it would be small or simply null, being used mainly in Weenie decks and with little splash for other colors due to its more restrictive cost for aggressive decks.
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"Did you freak out ?!" Well, yes and no. I know that Containment Priest's power level is way above what we believe to be viable for Pauper today, but the justification I received for the suggestion makes perfect sense. Pauper is a format where flicker effects are very common, cards like Ghostly Flicker and Ephemerate are longtime staples and used on several decks and would continue to be used even if Tron would be banned. Pauper has no punitive effect for abusing this type of effect, which can make countless different interactions such as locking the fight with Stonehorn Dignitary, drawing plenty of cards with Mulldrifter or resorting to any magic already in your graveyard with Mnemonic Wall. So, Containment Priest may not be a card that Pauper can have, but its effect is a type of the effect that Pauper would need to have access to today and will continue to need in the coming years to fight Flicker decks. It may not be in the form of a creature, perhaps in the form of an Instant, and yet it seems extremely unlikely that such a card will ever be printed on a common one day, but I think that it would be much more beneficial to have to this kind of card than not having it.
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This one if kind of a too narrow but groundshaking card. Pauper is a format where many decks play low cost spells to gain an advantage by playing many of them in the same turn and, in this kind of format, Deafening Silence would be extremely impactful. The enchantment would limit the number of actions that decks such as Burn, Faeries, Delver, Mardu Monarch, Boros Bully, Tron, Familiar and others can take in a single turn, thus making them play by your own rules. Deafening Silence would be so impactful in the format that, possibly, it would be able to see game in Maindecks, even though it is potentially a dead card against creature-based decks. On the other hand, I can't imagine which deck could benefit from the card more efficiently, perhaps the Skyfisher Decks could use the enchantment better as they could return it to the hand and use other spells before playing it again.

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Pauper has a lot of good Cycling cards in the format and our only payoffs are Drannith Healer and Drannith Healer. Flourishing Fox would serve as another good Cycling card that is also a payoff in the form of a creature that grows at gigantic proportions if unanswered, possibly enabling an archetype focused on this theme. Like Ajani's Pridemate, the creature has no built-in protection and needs specific cards in the deck to grow up, thus being an easy target for targetred removal and a relatively bad topdeck to have at more advanced points in the game. In general, Flourishing Fox would be an interesting addition to the format, but not impactful enough.
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Sentinel's Eyes came out as a common card and follows a similar principle than Gryff's Boon: a low cost Aura that the player can resort to in the late game for an additional cost. Therefore, it is possible that the card will eventually come in some Masters set as a common, but honestly, I don’t know how beneficial it would be to give Bogles and Heroic another evasion card against a considerable portion of decks through a CMC 1 Aura that also buffs you creature's power. Especially for Bogles, where one of the best ways to try to win from the deck is to attack with flying creatures while holding the game through damage prevention or counterspells.
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White Weenie is one of the most disadvantaged decks of the format today, as the deck lacks the means to get a good card advantage outside of Palace Sentinels and is one of the worst decks for the card, cannot establish a good clock, has little interaction and suffers significantly in a format with plenty of removal spells. Although it is unlikely that one day Sanctuary Lockdown will come out as common, the card would be a great reinforcement to the archetype without necessarily becoming a self-include in other aggressive white decks, since a considerable majority of its creatures are human. and would be able to establish a good clock and / or survive the main sweepers of the format with the enchantment on table.
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Some players and other content producers have suggested Adanto Vanguard as a card that could one day come out as a common. While the idea of ​​the vampire taking a downshift is attractive, it is very likely that it could be too effective on decks like Heroic or Bogles, as there are still few exile effects in the format and these decks usually plays around Edict pretty well at most of the time and the cost of 4 life is a very small price to pay against most decks, especially if you already have a Armadillo Cloak in play. Therefore, Seasoned Hallowblade seems like a more viable option as the costs to protect it are much more punitive for the player, since a card and possibly a combat phase is a much more expensive price to pay than 4 life. However, I believe that the card would be a viable option for Heroic and Bogles, as it is still a difficult threat to resolve for a considerable number of decks.

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Still on the regard of white removals being mostly conditional, I believe that Stasis Snare could be a good addition of unconditional removal to the format. The card basically has all the interactions that Journey to Nowhere would have, but costing an extra mana for being Instant-Speed, which would make it a favorable way to interact with Stonehorn Dignitary before a Ghostly Flicker or dealing with combat tricks or Ninjutsu before the damage is dealt. The card would also be a good way out of trying to make room for the creation of a UW Control in Pauper.
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One of the most commonly abused mechanics in Pauper is to use Flicker effects in graveyards with Mnemonic Wall or have a constant stream of creatures with Omen of the Dead and Kor Skyfisher . The format is relatively fragile for strategies that use the graveyard because we have few really viable options for hate directed at it, especially maindeckable ones at instant speed. Stonecloaker serves as one of the ways to punish such decks by being an effect that you can use in Instant-Speed and a card you can actually run on your maindeck, as it is a relevant evasive body in combat, with a good interaction with cards like Thraben Inspector or Monarchs, and it also serves as a way to protect one of your threats from removal while it can be used as a recurring graveyard hate if you choose to return the Stonecloaker its own ability.
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Vesperlark is a type of card that could be very dangerous for the format at some point because it already has a large amount of cards in the format where it could interact well and players would also try to find ways to abuse it Vesperlark interacts very well with the vast majority of Familiars' creatures and spells, interacts well with plenty of cards from Faeries, interacts well with Thraben Inspector, with Archaeomancer, and even with major threats like Atog. Therefore, the card would have a strong potential to become a major staple of the format and possibly bring the same air of innovation similar to what we had with the introduction of certain cards in recent years.
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Finally, there were many players who mentioned the need for a white sweeper in order to enable a possible UW Control. However, all white sweepers are extremely efficient and unconditional in what they do and that would make them impossible to ever come out as a common. Therefore, the best way out would be a card that would punish an opponent for doing too many things before or during combat, and this is the case for Wing Shards. Unfortunately, the card does not punish the opponent as much as it could, and ends up being a card that is kind of simple to play around, but also one that needs to be respected if you're playing it in some kind of instant-speed deck. On the other hand, Wing Shards would give white decks the chance to deal better with Bogles through a sacrifice effect, which may not be the best thing to happen since one of Boros / Mardu Monarch's worst matchups is Bogles.

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And here I close Pauper's Christmas Wishlist for White. If you have a card recommendation for the format that is not in this list, feel free to leave your suggestion in the comments! In the next article, I'll be talking about the blue Wishlist !
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Romeu

Journalism student, writer and translator for Cards Realm. Plays virtually every Magic: The Gathering competitive format and is a lifetime Final Fantasy fan.

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