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By: jcf, Jose Freitas
Nov 28 2022 11:23am


Hello my brewer friends! As I am writing this article, The Brothers' War has just been released on MTGO. It is already making some impact on our beloved format.

I love how The Brothers' War is balanced, bringing something to the table but not breaking the format in half, like a heavy rain of Squirrels or the Initiative mechanic.

Another feature that appeals to me is how it seems they actually considered Pauper while designing this set, printing a couple cards that actually replace the slot for recent banned cards: Atog and Prophetic Prism.

Let's take a look at some of the coolest cards in the set for Pauper!

1 - Gixian Infiltrator:

Do not underrate this little Phyrexian. It is already seeing some competitive play.

Of course, it is not as strong as Atog, but it's doing its part on replacing it in Affinity decks.

The interaction with Krark-Clan Shaman and Makeshift Munitions is great but the coolness doesn't stop there.

There are all sorts of cards and strategies in Pauper that can sacrifice creatures or artifacts: Blood Tokens, Deadly Dispute decks, Kuldotha Rebirth, Chromatic Star.

My verdict: coolest card in the set. Not only it fit competitive play, there are many semi-competitive cool brews possible.

Pauper streamer Cooper The Red gives our little phyrexian friend a ride in Black Sac, here.

2 - Bitter Reunion:

Usually, combo decks need both the combo pieces and some card draw to find those pieces.

If your name is Caleb Gannon (a Pauper combo streamer), this card will do basically everything for you. 

There are many combo decks in Pauper that can benefit from haste. Keep in mind Bitter Reunion will give haste to each and every creature that comes in play in the turn you activated it, meaning you can cast multiple mana producing creatures on that turn and possibly escalate.

One awesome combo deck that could benefit is Llanowar Druid plus Forests. Walls seem like a great tribe to benefit from that as well.

Sadly, the card doesn't match so well with Lead the Stampede, but there are many efficient ways to draw extra cards in Pauper right now.

Don't even get me started on reanimator decks! Faithless Looting and Dragon Breath in the same card? Thank you very much!

Here we have Caleb Gannon, playing the forest combo deck.

3 - Goblin Blast-Runner:

If you know me, you know I have a thing for goblins. I tried many goblin lists during my Pauper planeswalker career and I am glad to see some goblins showing at competitive level.

Goblin Grenade, such a classic!

Kuldotha Rebirth is certainly widely respected, and Monastery Swiftspear is almost obligatory in any Pauper monored deck these days. That said, Goblin Blast-Runner is certainly a solid piece, both for more dedicated goblin decks or more generic monored aggro.

Both will have plenty to sacrifice during the course of the game!

4 - Union of the Third Path:

This card is very solid and I am pretty sure it will show at least in some sideboards. It gives Azorius Control decks a piece it actually been missing: a massive life gain spell that can replace itself.

Orzhov control could also benefit from a card like that. Pauper players don't need to rely so heavily on green for any needed lifegain.

On a more casual path, you could also brew a thematic monowhite life gaining card drawing deck. Union of the Third Path, Survival Cache, Inspiring Overseer and many other cards give you interesting tools for that.

Very narrow, but incredible fun against burn decks!

5 - Energy Refractor:

The Prophetic Prism banning was a big hit on Tron. People tried to replace it with Signets, Fertile Ground, or Network Terminal. Nothing seemed to be quite there.

Energy Refractor, while not as powerful as Prophetic Prism, is doing a great job at replacing it.

Basically it brought Tron back to the competitive map. While it can be quite clunky early game, it compensates by bringing some thrilling new possibilities: Tron with an infinite mana combo. 

If you didn't have the pleasure of facing Tron with infinite mana combo yet, I hope you do soon: you will love it!

Jokes aside, the deck is really powerful. I am not sure if regular Tron or the new versions with infinite mana combo will prevail. 

The combo consists on having all the Tron lands, Fertile Ground, Energy Refractor, Nightscape Familiar, Snap and Ardent Elementalist. I know it sounds like a lot, but Tron is really good at surviving while looking for those combo pieces.

There is also the version with Ashnod's Altar, two Myr Retrievers and Golem Foundry. Energy Refractor will allow to convert infinite colorless mana into the desired color. Again, sounds like a lot, but tron is just so great at surviving and drawing card to find those pieces.

Energy Refractor is possibly useful in other combo decks, like Cycle Storm, that could possibly benefit from a cantrip capable of generating blue mana from two black mana.

The card is cool and I am eager to see if other interesting combo decks will emerge from it!

Here we have a spectacle of nature: Two Combo Tron players playing against each other.

Warning: not for sensitive viewers. Obscene amounts of mana were spent to produce those videos.

6 - Stern Lesson / Argothian Opportunist:

I must admit, those Powerstone tokens didn't appeal that much to me at first. Tthen I realized they aren't just useful for casting artifacts. They are pretty good at paying for other abilities.

From Ninjutsu to Morph. From Recover to Foretell. There are plenty of interesting abilities that can benefit from the provided colorles mana. While I am not certain this is extremelly competitive, it is certainly a novelty on the brewers territory.

Keep mind also you can use that mana to activate Simic Signet or other Signets, giving you an output of two regular mana out of one Powerstone token mana. Not insane probably, but cool and reasonable.

7 - Recommission:

I heard there is a new Unearth in town, and together they make Breathless Knight an awesome to toy with!


From creatures that naturally come from the graveyard to the battlefield, like Persistent Specimen, First-Sphere Gargantua and Viscera Dragger to creatures that are really easy to discard or give you loot, like Drannith Healer, Drannith Stinger and Raffine's Informant, there are plenty of tools to try abusing the power of Breathless Knight.

Maybe a couple Benevolent Bodyguard and even Tethmos High Priest could bring some consistency to the mix. I am not sure what could be the ideal spell to target Tethmos High Priest in such a list, maybe something you can cast again from the graveyard.

If you manage to grow and protect Breathless Knight, you can probably win the damage race against most decks. While I am not sure this strategy is viable in highly competitive play, it is certainly awesome to try it out.

Here we have an interesting gameplay video of Deluxicoff going that path.

8 - Mightstone's Animation:

Four mana for a 4/4 isn't extremely impressive in Pauper. But when you consider you can enchant artifacts with other abilities, things can get interesting.

Ornithopter and Silver Raven imediatelly come to mind. They could also be the base for a monoblue affinity or ninjutsu deck. Suddenly you have this pseudo-haste 4/4 attacking on the air while replacing the card that did it. Not so bad.

Time to dust off your Patchwork Gnomes maybe?

Bonus points if you manage to also use a couple: Machine Over Matter. Perfect fit for this particular strategy!

9 - Tomakul Honor Guard:

If you love Stompy, you might want to give this a try. Ward 2 makes it hard for opponents to interact with Tomakul Honor Guard, specially if you have a couple protection spells to tempo punish them for trying. 

Feels like Tomakul Honor Guard could be a great target for Rancor, Elephant Guide and other pump spells.

Of course - straight up hexproof is just better than ward 2 - but having a 3/1 for two mana instead of a 1/1 is definitely something. Just imagine a hand with three copies of Tomakul Honor Guard and another hand with three copies of Silhana Ledgewalker and no auras at all. Which one would prefer in your starting hand, most of the time?

Stompy is a classic and - while it is not having it's best moment right now - it is always a resonable option. Having a new tool to try in the archetype is always a blast! 

Bonus points for also using: Gaea's Gift. Quite a versatile combat trick there!

10 - Fallaji Archaeologist:

In many ways, this card resembles Augur of Bolas, a card that already seem a lot of competitive play. There are some specific perks on choosing Fallaji Archaeologist over its predecessor.

On the competitive side, cards like Deep Analysis, Tolarian Terror and Gurmag Angler might benefit from filling the graveyard.

Fill your graveyard while you search for Exhume? Yes please

On the coolness factor side, the card brings another piece to a relatively unexplored territory: Dimir Control Reanimator, based on auto-milling with cards like Pieces of the Puzzle, maybe even Brainstorm.

That's it for today, hope you enjoyed this article!

See you next time!