Pauper: What needs to be Reprinted?
Today we're going to discuss why certain cards in Magic's official, cheaper format need to be reprinted in future releases, whether in Standard or Supplementary sets.
Why would Reprinting be important?
Let's take Lotus Petal as an example, which is the most expensive commonly played card in Pauper today as it basically sees play in any format in which it is legal, increasing its demand.
When a new player wants to build a deck where Lotus Petal is needed, it will be more difficult due to the high demand. If a Master Set that Lotus Petal is part of is released, this will launch more copies of it on the market, making it more accessible to players.
Cards that needs a reprint
In this first part, we're going to look at some of the most popular decks and discuss cards that could see a reprint. I'll leave the Sideboard cards to another part of the article, as they go in several decks and adapt to the format.
Kuldotha Rebirth & Great Furnace
Kuldotha Rebirth is a card that sees a lot of play in Modern as well, and with cards like Experimental Synthesizer that buffs their game, and Ancient Imperiosaur that wants many creatures early to cast it, greatly increased demand for the card.
As this card was only printed once, in Scars of Mirrodin, and plays in multiple formats, it increased demand for it, which would make a reprint interesting.
Great Furnace is another card coming from the Mirrodin sets, and even banned in Modern. The artifact lands play a lot in Legacy, especially the red one in decks with Welder, to put something huge in play in exchange for a land. It has seen other reprints in special releases, but it still has a high price, so having new copies circulating in the market would be great.
Seat of the Synod, Deadly Dispute & Galvanic Blast
Galvanic Blast could have been quoted in the previous deck, but preferred to leave it to where it always had a home. One of the strongest Metalcraft cards ever made, where at least it's a shock, and when it reaches the requirement, it becomes stronger than Lightning Bolt, and it's been a while since this powerful card appeared in a new set.
Seat of the Synod is the blue version of Great Furnace, which even sees a lot of play in Vintage, and in fact all classic artifact lands could use a new reprint.
Deadly Dispute was standard-legal not so long ago. Not to mention that it's easy to abuse its effect, using cards that give you an advantage when sacrificed. Having new copies circulating would make a lot of difference to players.
Snow Lands, Spellstutter Sprite & Mutagenic Growth
Snow Lands has been much needed since its inception, and has only seen prints in Standard sets 2 times. As you can run as many copies as you want, these lands are quite popular for most players.
Spellstutter Sprite is a classic faerie, who has also seen play on Modern. With only 3 Sets it has been seen in, and being a staple for multiple blue decks on Pauper, Spellstutter Sprite would be a wonderful reprint.
Mutagenic Growth also sees play in other Pauper decks and in other formats, very common in the Blitz strategy that seeks to cast multiple spells to buff creatures, even more without needing green or any color to cast it, paying only the phyrexian mana.
Having a reprint would be fine, but since this is Phyrexian mana, it might be very difficult for us to see that happen on a Standard set.
Journey to Nowhere & Prismatic Strands
What is more expensive in this deck is the Sideboard, which we will mention below - but 2 cards deserve to be mentioned.
Journey to Nowhere is arguably the best white Removal on Pauper. Being only found in Zendikar and two smaller Commander sets, a reprint could be great
Prismatic Strands, in addition to being a protection for the board, is also a free spell in the graveyard. Being present only in Judgment, and in Commander 2019, its print run is quite short right now.
Mental Note & Snuff Out
Mental Note is a card that doesn't make sense to be so expensive, its high demand comes down to not being found anywhere other than Judgment. A simple print in any set would make its price decrease.
Snuff Out is arguably the most powerful removal in the format. For this reason, it sees a lot of play in the Legacy, which causes a price increase, and as it was only printed in Mercadian Masques and the Duel Decks: Garruk vs. Liliana, which makes almost no difference.
Sunscape Familiar is a classic card of the format, which basically only sees play in this deck, but since it only came out on Planeshift, its price is high. Also, it would be nice to get new art for it.
Utopia Sprawl, Thermokarst & Mwonvuli Acid-Moss
Utopia Sprawl has already seen a few reprints, but still, it seems to ask for more. Just for an enchantment that adds and fixes mana is quite powerful, and the interaction with Arbor Elf makes it powerful in many Pauper and Modern decks.
Mwonvuli Acid-Moss and Thermokarst are two cards with the same problem: good Land destructions that only had one release, Acid-Moss in Time Spiral and the Thermokarst in Ice Age
Tangle, Moment’s Peace & Arcane Denial
Although not very popular, Turbo Fog plays with some main deck cards that deserve some mention, and that new impressions would be very well received.
Tangle and Moment’s Peace are powerful fogs, and are great for buying time against very aggressive decks.
Now Arcane Denial is a surprise, since it's seen numerous reprints, especially in Commander decks, and it's a popular card in Commander too, mainly that you can use on yourself to draw more cards.
Tangle and Moment's Peace have basically only seen one reprint, which makes them somewhat hard to find.
Ancestral Mask is classic in an aura deck, making a creature suddenly gain a lot of power, thus closing games quickly. It might be the card on our list that has seen the most reprints after Arcane Denial, but it is still quite steep, and having more copies of it would be nice.
Let's review some of the cards that appear the most, which are important to the format, and having more copies available would make having optimal sideboards easier.
Relic of Progenitus is the best colorless graveyard hate of the format, since it acts slowly or can make a 2x1 with its draw. Seeing play in Pauper, Modern and even Legacy means that even with some reprints, it still has a relatively high value.
Red Elemental Blast and Pyroblast, are other powerful sideboard cards, even more so being very pleasant that red can counter Blue, which has always been a powerful color.
Blue Elemental Blast and Hydroblast bring something unusual for blue: the ability to destroy permanent (if it's red).
Both are widely played today. Even with a few reprints throughout Magic, one more would go a long way.
Dust to Dust has become a mainstay of the format as the best hate against Affnity, because it has indestructible lands that Gorilla Shaman can't deal with. Having only two prints, its price is sky-high.
Finally, Flaring Pain in theory is not a card that is very inaccessible, as you can still get copies without spending too much, mainly by just playing in Pauper.
But more and more damage prevention effects are becoming popular, like Fogs and Prismatic Strands. If this becomes too common, players will likely look for Flaring Pain, which, having only seen print in Judgment, will skyrocket its price.
Because it focused on the main decks of the format, the top cards were left out, and honestly, many I don't expect to have reprints, and some are even funny for being priced so high, like Slashing Tiger and Forest Bear .
Ashnod's Altar is surprisingly cool in Pauper, but it's a little hard to find a good home for it in the format, other than the combo Tron that eventually appears. As for Commander, it's an eternal staple in sacrifice decks.
Lotus Petal and Cabal Ritual show up in occasional storm decks that appear in the format, but without a consistent enough Payoff to stay at the top of the meta.
Finally, it is worth mentioning Priest of Titania, which can make the Elves fill the board and end the game quickly.
That's all for today!
Until the next article!
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