Magic: the Gathering


Tier List: The 10 Best Pauper Decks in 2023

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In this article, I review the current Pauper Metagame in 2023 and prepare a Top 10 with the best decks, in addition to mentioning new cards and the strategy of each list!

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I'm Tiago Fuguete, and today we're going to talk a little about Pauper's moment and make a Top 10 of the best decks right now. I will also talk about each of them, giving the strengths and weaknesses of each one, in addition to commenting on their overall strategy.

One point to mention is that, after choosing the decks for my Top 10 that are part of the Metagame, I decided to take lists of players who had recent results and comment using them as a basis.

Pauper Tier List - Best Decks in 2023

10 – Boros Synthesizer


In 10th place we have Boros Synthesizer, one of my favorite decks in Pauper. I'm excited to see it well-positioned right now.

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The former Boros Monarch has changed a lot with Experimental Synthesizer, changing the deck for the better, with an excellent interaction with Kor Skyfisher and Glint Hawk, generating absurd amount of card advantage.

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The list used here is from Lindoso, who I consider to be one of the best Boros players I know and who went 5-0 on 05/10/2023, with some cards well geared towards winning Mono Red and Affinity, such as: Golden Egg and Smash to Dust.

9 – Selesnya Auras

Our 9th place is a very cool deck, easy to play and that has grown considerably in the current Metagame, since the deck has hexproof creatures and manages to have huge life swings.

GW Auras is a deck based on making a creature with protection and growing it with Auras to try to end the game quickly, but it mulls a lot and is that type of deck that ends up losing to itself. It's even normal to draw only creatures or auras and fail to develop the board.

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The list used as an example is from the player yPrincipe, who was Challenge champion on 04/23/2023, being well-prepared against Red decks including cards like Spirit Link and Freewind Falcon

8 – Orzhov Ephemerate

BW Ephemerate is in 8th place, being a very nice deck to play, and that does well against two of the most played decks today, Mono Red and Affinity, since it has lifegain against Mono Red and has 4 Dust to Dust to deal with Affinity.

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This deck came about with the arrival of Pegasus Guardian // Rescue the Foal and many creatures that were released recently that when they come into play draw cards. There's nothing better than “blinking” these creatures with Pegasus and Ephemerate.

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With this list, I played Pauper Royale and went 4-0, all being 2-0, the deck was very consistent and with great answers for the current meta.

7 – Dimir Terror

In 7th place, we have a deck with blue that doesn't think about controlling the game for too long, but just long enough for its 5/5 creatures to win the game.

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With Tolarian Terror, this new deck has reappeared with self-mill cards like Mental Note and Thought Scour, which allows casting Terror or Gurmag Angler as soon as possible.

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This example list was used by Alexandre Weber, who always succeeds with this deck, running only 8 creatures.

6 – Fog Tron

Despite Fog Tron being a bit absent from the Metagame, I still consider it a great deck and managed to get the 6th place spot.

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The deck had faded a bit when Prophetic Prism was banned, but it got much better when Energy Refractor was released. Unfortunately (or fortunately) we see little in event tops, but it is also due to the difficulty that the deck imposes and with few players that risk playing with it.


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The example deck is from player RClint21, who has been frequently scoring results in Challenges with his Fog Tron.

5 – Caw-Gates

Like the previous deck, our 5th place is a deck with few apparent results due to the deck's difficulty, so few players risk piloting the deck.

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Here's yet another deck that came up with the release of a specific card: Basilisk Gate gave life to this strategy, and literally life when we combined the Gate with Sacred Cat!

Caw-Gates, in its various versions, wants to control the game early on and take advantage of multiple draw cards, and with 1/1 creatures it can put a lot of pressure with multiple gates in play with Basilisk Gate.

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The aforementioned list is from Carvs, who, for me, is one of the best players with this deck, always making great results and this time it was a 5-0 in the Pauper League.

4 – Mono Blue Faeries

Our 4th place is also a deck loved by some and hated by many, after all, who likes to take that Spellstutter Sprite on turn 2?

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Even though it's not a Faerie (thankfully), Brinebarrow Intruder is a card that has been helping this deck to have great results.

This deck, despite having Spellstutter Sprite, doesn't want to know how to control the match, but how to attack the opponent. It is easy to see many little creatures in the first turns, including ninjas, attacking while making the opponent run out of gas.

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This list was run by Clamego, a player very present in the leagues, and who scored 5-0 on a Pauper League

3 – Mono Red

In the top 3 I'll put the two Mono Red versions, Burn and Kuldotha. Although they are a little different from each other, they still have the same core, and the idea is to draw several cards and deal a lot of damage to the opponent.

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And if we're going to mention Mono Red, there's no way not to mention its new staple, an extra copy of Reckless Impulse, and now we have an aggro deck with 8 draw effects. It is these cards that make the strategy stand out.

These are cheap decks that are relatively easy and quick to play. We have numerous players running it, and with that, any Pauper Metagame site will show them will be at the top - but make no mistake, the fact that it is at the top is because it has so many copies in events and not because it is necessarily the format's best deck.

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The example deck comes from a player who recently appeared on Pauper Online and soon put his name in the spotlight. Mahers has had many results with Mono Red and this was another 5-0 on a Pauper League

2 – Grixis Affinity

Our runner-up is the "new Tron" of the format. Grixis Affinity stole the show using the same strategy as Tron, that is, everything that is good in Pauper may be good in this deck.

Grixis Affinity is a mix of everything good in the current Metagame: it draws a lot of cards, counter spells, kills creatures or deals direct damage and still has great creatures that can be cast for free!


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In the same way that I spoke about Mono Red with the number of draws, Affinity has 8 copies of draw effects. Deadly Dispute and Reckoner's Bargain make the deck rotate and fetch whatever you need, making it a great choice for the competitive scene.

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Nowadays, if we talk about Affinity, there is no way not to remember the player LuffyDoChapeuDePalha, who was the champion of a Pauper Challenge with this list.

1 – Azorius Familiars

I imagine that players must and may disagree with having a UW Familiars as the best deck currently, but allow me to further explain it.

With today's Aggro Metagame, and with Mono Red as one of the pillars, the UW Familiars is a control deck that manages to gain life and establish their game.

A critical factor that made me place UW Familiar as the current best deck is that, when I look at the other 9 decks, I feel that Familiars can beat all the others. But it has an awful matchup against Gruul Ponza, when the opponent manages to destroy its lands in the first few turns - but if you give it some time, the game starts to roll out.

And make no mistake, the fact that the deck is not always present among the tops of Metagame sites is mainly because it is extremely tricky to play, especially online, and there are few players who know how to pilot it.

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The deck is a great Control, and now it even received an excellent card to help with drawing cards: Meeting of Minds was considered for Faeries, but it found its home in the UW, since it has a great interaction with Sunscape Familiar.

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The list was played by Kampo, and made 5-0 in the Pauper League with the new card.


Finishing another article, I would like to mention that this is my Top 10 and I would really like to know what you think and, of course, know what your Top 10 is.

If you have any questions or suggestions, just leave them in the comments, and I'll be back to talk about it!

Thank you very much and I hope you enjoyed reading.