Magic: the Gathering


Paupergeddon: Impacts of LCI on Pauper and Decks that Overperformed

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We take a look at Paupergeddon Rome and how Lost Caverns of Ixalan impacted the Pauper Format.

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revisado por Tabata Marques

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What is Paupergeddon

Paupergeddon is the most prestigious Pauper Events of the year. Three times a year, players meet up in Italy and battle it out for all things Pauper. It's the most anticipated event for European Pauper Magic players. Paupergeddon Rome was the 17th-19th November and had 502 players!

Not only did it have a huge player count as always! It was the first large event where Lost Caverns of Ixalanlink outside website was legal.

Let's dive right into see how the event played out!


The Data

Day 1

Day 1 Metagame
Day 1 Metagame

Looking at the Day Metashare, the breakdown looks incredibly healthy. There is a large representation of 4-5 decks with a great showing of other tier decks.

I often best understand these when it is shown in how these percentages equate to pilots.

So out of the 502 players here is how many pilots were on each representative deck!

- 57 pilots were playing Burn

- 54 pilots were playing Boros Synth

- 41 pilots were playing Gates decks

- 45 pilots were playing Golgari Gardens

- 48 pilots were playing Glitters decks

- 34 pilots were playing Mono Blue Terror

- 29 pilots were playing Dimir Faeries

- 21 pilots were playing Grixis Affinity

- 22 pilots were playing Azorius Familiars

- 21 pilots were playing Dimir Terror

- 16 pilots were playing Gruul Ponza

- 16 pilots were playing Walls

- 11 pilots were playing Jeskai Wildfire

- 8 pilots were playing Izzet Fae

- 8 pilots were playing Orzhov Ephemerate

- 8 pilots were playing Altar Tron

- 63 pilots were playing Other Archetypes

Day 2

Day 2 Metagame
Day 2 Metagame

Out of all those 502 players, 98 players qualified for Day 2. This can show how many pilots of each archetype qualified and what the metagame looked like on Day 2.

Let's take a look at how the percentages transitioned to pilots.

- 15 pilots qualified for day 2 with Burn

- 13 pilots qualified for day 2 with Gardens

- 10 pilots qualified for day 2 with Gates

- 9 pilots qualified for day 2 with Boros Synth

- 9 pilots qualified for day 2 with Grixis Affinity

- 5 pilots qualified for day 2 with Glitters

- 5 pilots qualified for day 2 with Dimir Fae

- 4 pilots qualified for day 2 with Azorius Familiars

- 4 pilots qualified for day 2 with Mono Blue Terror

- 3 pilots qualified for day 2 with Dimir Terror

- 3 pilots qualified for day 2 with Izzet Faeries

- 2 pilots qualified for day 2 with Gruul Ponza

- 2 pilots qualified for day 2 with Jeskai Wildfire

- 2 pilots qualified for day 2 with Mono Blue Faeries

Top 8 Decklists

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Comment on the Results

So looking at the results, pilots, percentages and what transitioned into day 2 and what converted into top 32. The deck which had the most pilots was Mono Red or “Burn” in the images above. This was the most registered deck in the entire event and yielded one copy in the top 8 with a further 8 copies in the top 32. This is an incredible performance.

The next two decks are Golgari Gardens and Caw-Gates or “Gates” in the image above, both had 45 and 41 pilots respectively Day 1 and had 13 and 10 Pilots qualify for Day 2. Gardens yielded three copies in the Top 8 with a further two copies in the Top 32. Caw gates yielded zero copies in the Top 8 but did have 3 copies in the Top 16.

Familiars showcasing that it is a great deck and is limited in Challenge results due to its time-consuming play patterns on Magic Online and the Chess Clock System it uses. The deck is still very well positioned against the Artifact-based strategies and Red-based Strategies.


Overall, it was a great Top 8 very diverse and won by a newer take on an already existing archetype.

5 unique decks in the top 8 and 17 different archetypes taking up the metagame and 10 archetypes making up the majority share. This huge Pauper event really showcases what an amazingly healthy state the format is in currently, and I should expect it to get even more diverse with the inclusion of The Lost Caverns of Ixalan.


There was one clear overperformer for me, and that was Kuldotha Red or Red aggro decks. Going into the format, this was definitely the deck to beat. This deck not only had to fight through all the hate, it still managed to put a total of 9 out of 15 in the top 32. This is an incredible feat, all except one running the new Goblin Tomb Raider it seems as well. Who knew printing Goblin Guide at common would prove to be a big boost for the Red menace?

Another deck that really overperformed for me is Golgari Gardens, having a total of 13 Pilots and putting 3 into the Top 8 and a further 2 copies into the Top 32 is a strong weekend for Crypt Rats and Avenging Hunter.

Both Gardens and Mono Red have received significant upgrades from LCI, including Tithing Blade and Goblin Tomb Raider.

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The Final deck that I would like to showcase as overperforming is Azorius Familiars. 4 pilots qualified for day 2 - two of those were in the top 8 and the other two were in the top 32. Really showcasing the power of Familiars.

Overall, Control strategies overperformed in the entire event, showing that being reactive with having a proactive game plan if needed is a great place to be at the moment in Pauper. The success of Caw Gates, Dimir Faeries, Gardens and Familiars really shows that.


The biggest underperformer for me was Terror strategies. With around 55 pilots registering Mono Blue or Dimir variants, only 7 of those qualified for Day 2 and zero of those were in the Top 32! This is a real poor performance for a deck that was considered oppressive only recently.

The Final strategy that underperformed for me was Boros Synthesizer. With 54 pilots registering the deck, only 9 of those qualified for Day 2. However, only two managed to squeeze into the top 32.

Overall, I believe with the type of strategies that are overperforming I’m not shocked at how poor these archetypes did. Control strategies are very prepared for the Terror matchup, and the Kor Skyfisher/ Experimental Synthesizer engine gets buried when competing with Deadly Dispute and Lorien Revealed.


The biggest surprise was that 0 copies of Caw Gate made it into the Top 8. This deck has been considered one of the best decks in Pauper at the moment, being able to go toe to toe with Mono Red whilst also being able to out control the Control decks. The deck did get close by having three copies in top 16 in 9th,10th & 11th. With no new cards of their own and the new cards both Gardens and Mono Red received, maybe Caw Gates hasn’t had the chance to adapt.


The last archetype that surprised me was Glitter decks. Five Azorius Glitters players made it to Day 2, but there were zero made it into the top 32!

Even though a Glitters deck did take down the whole event, the changes in the list were clearly well thought out to have reach against these control decks like Gardens and Caw Gates.

How LCI affected the Meta

In comparison to Paupergeddon Pisa being released on the Day 1 of LOTR being released, this Top 8 was flourished with the Lost Caverns of Ixalan cards.

Goblin Tomb Raider

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Personally, Goblin Tomb Raider has been the biggest impact from Lost Caverns. Slotting into an already existing powerful deck. Looking at the top 32 you can see how much impact it has had on the format as three of the nine Red decks were running 4 copies of Goblin Tomb Raider.

Tithing Blade

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This is my favorite card in the entire set, so seeing this have such an immediate impact on the format is incredible.

Not only was it featured in all three Top 8 Gardens decks, it was also seen in the 15th place Grixis Affinity deck. Having your Chainer’s Edict be a permanent you can sacrifice to Deadly Dispute is such a strong effect to have access to. I am not surprised this card saw immediate play.

Fanatical Offering

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This card I was assuming would be an auto-include in Golgari Gardens, as it allows all copies of your Deadly Dispute cards to produce an artifact for the next copy, allowing you to chain them together. As you can see in all the top 8 lists, it is strong, but not strong enough to cut Reckoner’s Bargain as the lifegain is crucial to surviving against Mono Red.

This has been a great showing for not only week one of LCI being legal, but the first large event of them being legal. This makes me really excited to see where the cards and the deck development will go.

How the Meta will look moving forward

Firstly, the metagame will ultimately shift in the support of the new variant of Glitters. Not only that, it will question a lot of Magic Symbol rMagic Symbol w/X builds of artifact-based decks to see if they need auto include Kor Skyfisher alongside Experimental Synthesizer.

Having such an aggressive slant on the Archetype is powerful, and not getting clunky hands due to Kor Skyfisher is a large part of this deck's success. As well as the Azorius Glitters Core of course; as that is incredibly strong. I could see a lot of Glitters decks coming to light after this Tournament, and we will see all kinds of Two & Three color combinations.

Secondly, I think due to players continuing to pick up these successful decks like Dimir Fae, Golgari Gardens, Glitters and Caw Gate, ultimately means Terror decks will likely take a downward trend, especially Mono Blue and Dimir variants.

Finally, other value based Midrange decks will come to fruition, especially of the printing of Tithing Blade and how it interacts positively with a lot of playable Pauper cards, i.e Kor Skyfisher, Myr Enforcer and Deadly Dispute.



Overall, this was an incredibly well run event that keeps getting better and better. Paupergeddon is the future of larger Pauper events, and this was not only proof of that, but what an amazing state the format is in. I’d like to take this time to thank the Pauper Format Panel for sticking to their guns and allowing the player base to figure out the health and diversity of the format.

I look forward to seeing how these Glitter decks develop and how the metagame adapts to the inclusion of LCI.

Until next time!