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By: Arctic_Ghost, Arctic_Ghost
Jul 11 2022 11:04am
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It is quite rare that I get excited for a new set enough to want to do a review of it. Double Masters 2 has breathed a bit of life into me as a considerable number of the downshifts are pretty awesome.

I won’t lie, not all the cards are very good, but the few that are worth talking about should change things up enough to make the format feel a bit like new. Alright I won’t waste any more time. Lets do this! Just a note, I my review of cards will be straight to the point and not very lengthy explanations.

Advanced Stitchwing – I don’t think this card will see much play. It is a big body and has an acceptable cost for control decks, but I am weary to believe this will replace something like Gurmag Angler. It does have an annoying ability for opponents, but discarding 2 cards can be a lot. However, maybe there is a Madness deck that this could squeeze into. Just food for thought.

Bloodwater Entity – I like this card for Izzet Blitz style decks. There is another card we will discuss later that with this one coming to Pauper, we could see some Izzet Prowess style decks pop up with Wee Dragonaughts among other cards.

Call to the Feast – I don’t see this making any waves. Vampires aren’t a thing in Pauper (yet I suppose) and Battle Screech is just better.

Carrier Thrall – A new toy for decks based around sacrifice effects. It could also be decent for certain builds of Mono Black Aggro, but other than that I don’t think this card will make big waves.

Cartel Aristocrat – I expect Aristocrat to make some waves in the format. It is an extremely powerful creature no doubt and will definitely bring about some new Orzhov Sacrifice decks. I am not sure if this will show up in already existing Orzhov archetypes as they tend to be more midrange and not token based. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Golgari splash for this card either. If you can keep the fodder going, you can win the game with this card alone because of the protection ability.

Chronicler of Heroes – Selesnya decks aren’t very popular so I do not expect this card to be played much. Yes it can be a strong creature, but building a Selesnya aggro deck that uses a lot of counters doesn’t sound it will happen in my opinion.

Dreg Mangler – This is just the kind of card that Golgari Aggro/Sacrifice was looking for. For 3 mana, you get a 3 power creature that has Haste and that is a ton of pressure for the opponent. Then to top it off, it has Scavenge and that can be a headache for any opponent because at any point later in the game, you can make any creature into a sizable threat. Imagine going turn 2 Putrid Leech into turn 3 Dreg Mangler, that is just the kind of thing Golgari decks may have been missing.

Experiment One – I have been waiting so long for this card to come to Pauper. The first deck that comes to mind is Mono Green Stompy, but there is a problem as Stompy doesn’t play any 3 power or toughness creatures, so getting 2 counters on this creature may be an issue. However, the combo with Hunger the Howl Pack is no doubt extremely strong. I can’t wait to see what new aggro archetypes come out though as we may even see a return of Zoo or Gruul decks. Hopefully the mana is not too slow.

Fireblade Artist – Looks like Rakdos Sacrifice just got a new toy to work with. I don’t think this is enough to push it over the edge however, but building Jund or Mardu Sacrifice will be interesting going forward.

Glowspore Shaman – This might spark a return in Tortured Existence decks. Other than that I don’t see this card doing much.

Gnarlback Rhino – Man this creature is beefy. I think it is quite possible to see this in the green midrange as playing this on turn 3 and then something like Owlbear is gonna be a lot of pressure for any deck to handle. The only unfortunate thing is that you need to be the one to target this creature to draw a card. With that in mind, there is a good chance this might not be good enough for the format. Yes, you can play it in stompy but 4 mana is a lot. It could be a good sideboard card though when you expect the game to slow down a bit.

Izzet Charm – Looks like Izzet Strategies just got a new toy. Izzet Prowess/Blitz will most likely play some copies of these, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if Izzet Faeries try to find room for a copy or 2 as this card does just about everything the deck wants and the cost isn’t all that high.

Jeskai Elder – More toys for Prowess builds. This one is quite good because it draws you cards. I also wonder if maybe Madness will make a comeback? I am sure its possible, but unlikely.

Lava Coil – I don’t think this will see much play unless graveyard based strategies become extremely popular. I think Flame Slash being only one mana matters more as it is better on the mana. This doesn’t mean I think Lava Coil isn’t good, I just think the format doesn’t call for it at the moment.

Liliana’s Elite – I am eager to see brewers build around this card. Should be quite interesting to see. Only issue is that it is quite simple to deal with in this format, so I don’t expect much.

Living Lightning – I don’t like this card. I think it is too slow and I do not like that its ability is not an enter the battlefield ability.

Lyev Skynight – In theory this card is strong, but it doesn’t really fit into anything and with only 1 toughness, you can just breathe a bit on the card and it will die easily. I don’t see this being very good.

Might of Old Krosa – Deluxicoff, if you are reading this my friend, they finally did it! I look forward to seeing Infect make a come back. Now keep in mind, Invigorate was broken in half because it was a free spell, but Might of Old Krosa only costs 1 mana. In the grand scheme of things however, that really is not a huge amount to pay. Infect has been missing a really good one cost (or free I suppose) spell to really push it over the edge. The difference between Giant Growth and Might of Old Krosa might not seem like much, but please trust me, it means a ton. I would say start preparing for Infect, because you will run into it in leagues at the very least. This can also be good in Stompy as well, but Infect is what I am excited about.

Militia Bugler – For all you White Weenie players out there, it has finally happened. Militia Bugler is the perfect creature for White Weenie as it is an aggressive beater with Vigilance (which makes it even better in combat) and it looks 4 cards deep to find a creature. The main creature it can find is Kor Skyfisher so you can do it all over again. I would not be surprised if we see this card in other archetypes as well.

Monastery Swiftspear – This one took long enough. The options for this card are quite limitless in Pauper. I fully expect players to be trying Izzet Prowess decks, sticking this in Burn and Kiln Fiend strategies for quite some time. I honestly don’t think players will stop there either. In my opinion, pick 4 of these up asap.

Pirate’s Pillage – I think this card is alright but not great. For midrange decks, there are better options for ramping and they already have ways to draw cards/generate card advantage. This card is too expensive for a Faerie build and I think Deep Analysis would be better in that mana slot anyway. You could play this in a Reanimator shell, but I think that is about it.

Purphoros’s Emissary – A form of Hill Giant with an expensive ability that doesn’t have much benefit. This one is really just limited fodder.

Relief Captain – More limited Fodder. It can be a powerful card, but for 4 mana in a white aggro deck I would much rather have a mass pump spell that wins the game.

Tenth Distract Legionnaire – I was not expecting this one. I have seen people already start brewing with this card and I doubt it will stop anytime soon. Boros Prowess should now be viable so long as the mana can support it. You can also build Boros Heroic as well, maybe even a Jeskai deck. This one will for sure see play.

Tuskguard Captain – If green aggro decks that use a lot of counters becomes popular, this can def be a good one because it gives all of your creatures Trample. Other than that however, this card isn’t that great.

Vampire Soveregin – I always wondered what Pauper would be like if Siege Rhino made its way into the format somehow and with this creature it kind of has. We could start seeing more black based Midrange decks pop up with this as a win condition. It also combos well with Ephemerate as well, making it quite viable for the Orzhov Midrange decks or maybe even in a Flicker deck.

Webweaver Changeling – I can sort of see this being played in the sideboard of certain archetypes, but other than that I don’t think this will do much as it is slow and a little expensive for its ability.

Dark-Dweller Oracle – To think this card was once a rare. How the mighty have fallen. For all you Sacrifice fans out there, this is an extremely good card for you. However, this creature is also a Goblin and that could mean Goblins has a chance to make a comeback or that Boros Midrange decks playing lots of tokens could use this to see more cards. I do expect this to see play, but I am not sure it will be quick or good enough.

Wow this set has a ton of potential and I can not wait to see what players do with the cards. I am most excited to see if Might of Old Krosa brings Infect back to its former glory. If that happens, it may be banned quickly, so enjoy it while it lasts.

I am also anticipating seeing Prowess based strategies and I think they will be pretty good. It is also possible we could see some type of weird Faerie Prowess hybrid. As I said, the possibilities are quite endless currently. Overall, Pauper is going to become a brewers paradise soon and I look forward to it. I just hope Affinity doesn’t halt any of it because if it does, much to my dismay, it will be time to let the artifact dual lands go.

However, with all this being said, as always, do remember my words are not gospel. I will always encourage you to try a deck that I bring you despite my personal feelings. Remember that results will vary and always remember to practice!

Would you like to compete in a free Pauper tournament with some great prizes? Head on over to Gatherling.com on Tuesday nights at 8pm EDT and play in our weekly Pauper Classic Tuesday's event! Join the chat #PCT to chat with us and feel free to find most of the competitors on Discord!

Thank you so much for reading. Best of luck to you in your next tournament and I’ll catch you all next time!