Arctic_Ghost's picture
By: Arctic_Ghost, Arctic_Ghost
Mar 12 2019 1:00pm
Login or register to post comments

Standard Pauper has been around for many years. I myself have had a lot of fun playing it and always found it interesting how creative brewers can be with such a small card pool. MTG Arena has started running special Standard Pauper events from time to time as well as a new Gatherling event that has started running.


Although Standard Pauper has a much smaller card pool, you can still brew quite a bit of decks. My first time around playing Standard Pauper on MTG Arena, I saw quite a few different archetypes that were fun. I saw archetypes such as Red Deck Wins, UB Control and even some archetypes featuring Rat Colony.


Today I would like to talk about some archetypes you could be having fun with on MTGA Arena, when Standard Pauper events come around, or you could be playing in a new Standard Pauper event. I will be showing some lists specifically for MTG Arena and deck lists for Magic Online.


MTG Arena Standard Pauper events are best of 1 games, which means no sideboarding. With this rule in mind, the lists may be built very different then their best of 3 counter part that uses sideboards. In best of 1 deck lists, you may see a card like Crushing Canopy in the main deck so that you don't lose out to a bunch of flying creatures, or maybe you are trying to meta against decks that may have Luminous Bonds as a key removal spell. Let's get into some decklists to see not only what I am talking about, but what you could be playing today!



This archetype should be very straightforward. It is good old Red Deck Wins. The whole point of this archetype is to take your opponent from 20 life to 0 as life as quickly as possible. The good thing about this list is that it is very playable in best of ones as well because the main deck is just that strong.


You have very aggressive one drops in the form of Ghitu Lavarunner and Fanatical Firebrand and then you have Viashino Pyromancer to hit your opponents face for a couple of points of damage to keep the water going downhill. Your only 3 drop in the deck is Wojek Bodyguard, but he is good not only because he hits for 3 power, but with Mentor he can beef up your little guys to hit even harder.


Skirk Prospector and Goblin Instigator aren't fantastic creatures, but they add an extra 1 drop to the deck and 2 power worth of 2 different creatures, so your opponent will need 2 removal spells to deal with them.


For burn and/or removal, you have Shock, Skewer the Critics (yes I know it costs 3 mana, but you should usually be able to cast it for 1 mana a lot of the time) and Shivan Fire. Shivan Fire can't go to the face, but being able to use Shivan Fire over a Shock helps a lot because that means you get to save Shock for later to either deal with a creature or help finish the game.


Finally we see Run Amok and Sure Strike to help speed up your clock immensely and it also helps mess up your opponents combat. Run Amok is especially good because it gives Trample, allowing you to get in for extra damage.


Red Deck Wins is a deck that does require it's creatures to help win the game In my opinion, you want and/or need your creatures do almost half the work on your opponents life total so that your burn can finish your opponent off. When playing, you will need to do precise math to get the most out of your creatures.


For those playing in best of 3, the sideboard is full of cards that help you clear your opponents nasty blockers out of the way and get your creatures through for damage and unharmed. In a lot of cases, your main deck will be more than enough to win a game.



UB Control is made up of 3 things, they are counter magic, removal and card draw. This archetype is your basic, run of the mill control deck with all answers and a few win conditions. For those of you who like to play control, this is the archetype for you.


You have plenty of counter magic with Essence Scatter, Negate, Cancel and especially with Devious Cover-Up. Devious Cover-Up isn't just a counter spell in this deck, it also can be your win condition because you can keep shuffling other Devious Cover-Ups back into your deck and never mill out, while you counter everything your opponent decks. You do have to be careful though because if your opponent stops playing spells, you won't have anything to counter and will draw until you deck yourself.


This deck also gives you a plethora of removal to work with. You have Moment of Craving, Grotesque Demise and Eviscerate as your hard removal. You also have a copy of Mephitic Vapors to be a kind of board wipe against certain aggro decks, it also Surveil's to help you dig deeper to cards you might need.


Omenspeaker is great in this archetype because it is a great blocker with 3 toughness and it Scry's when it enters the battlefield, helping you smooth out your draws. Vampire Neonate is not only a good blocker, but can also be a long and grindy win condition as well. To finish it off, you have plenty of card draw as well to keep the gasoline flowing down hill.


The sideboard is made up of Duress for burn decks and other control decks. Then you have access to more removal that can come in against whatever matchup you may need them for.


This is another archetype where the main deck shown here would be just fine for best of ones as well.



Ah yes, the good old White Weenie archetype, an excellent choice for anyone just getting into the format. You play creatures, you turn them sideways and then hope for the best. This is also the most basic from of White Weenie you can play with all creatures and 4 removal like spells in the form of Luminous Bonds.


The cool thing about this deck is that is has a lot of life gain, which makes it very hard for Red Deck Wins to find a path to victory against you. This archetype also contains a lot of token makers and a lot of creatures with flying, but it easy for you to go wide or fly over green decks bigger creatures that stop you from battling. Angel of the Dawn is a very good way to top off your curve in this archetype because it is a decent flying creature with 3 power and gives your whole team a +1 power boost to help win the game in the red zone.


This is an excellent deck for best of one play as well because the archetype is designed to either fly over your opponent and just pretend their board state doesn't exist or you just add more creatures to the board every turn, making it hard for your opponent to prevent damage from getting through. I would recommend this archetype to anyone just entering the format and trying to learn the cards people play.


Verdict and Conclusion

These 3 decks are just a small sample size of the archetype possibilities. There are Merfolk decks, Persistent Petitioners builds and many more! You can also easily brew your own deck create something that no one has seen yet. You could also take established archetypes, tune them to your liking and easily crush your opponents.


I find Standard Pauper to be a great way to introduce people to magic for such a low cast and such a great time. Arena is having a promo Standard Pauper event this coming weekend as I write this article, the dates are the 15th-18th of March. You can also join JherJamesB's Standard Pauper tournament on, which happens on Friday nights at 7pm EST. For any information, check out this link, or can contact JherJamesB for more details on mtgo. The Gatherling tournament is always best 2 out of 3, so make sure have a sideboard ready to battle!


I'd like to give a special shout out to JherJamesB for hosting the event and everyone has been participating in his event, as well as Standard Pauper!


Thank you so much for reading! Good luck to you in your Standard Pauper Adventures!