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By: voices clear, Michael Finzel
Nov 19 2012 11:53am
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A Standard Pauper Format Break Down

By Realms_Uncharted

I have been playing the new standard pauper format for a few weeks now, and I believe now there has finally been enough events fired to give a meta-game break down. At the moment, like in most of other standard pauper seasons, there is one deck that has been labeled as the deck to beat.

GWx Midrange

Green White and Green White black midrange decks have currently been dominating this season of standard pauper, and it is not hard to see why. The deck has many tools to help keep other decks in their place and life gain to help them stabilize from rocky starts.

Here is a sample list of the standard GW deck:

GW Midrange
by L0rd_icon
4 Attended Knight
4 Avacyn's Pilgrim
4 Elvish Visionary
2 Sentinel Spider
14 cards

Other Spells
4 Centaur Healer
4 Seraph of Dawn
4 Trusted Forcemage
2 Keening Apparition
4 Prey Upon
4 Travel Preparations
2 Pacifism
4 Selesnya Guildgate
18 cards
10 Forest
6 Plains
2 Haunted Fengraf
18 cards

Seraph of Dawn


And here is an example of the GWB version of the same deck: 

Junk Midrange
by Yokai_
1 Sentinel Spider
1 cards

Other Spells
4 Borderland Ranger
4 Centaur Healer
4 Seraph of Dawn
3 Keening Apparition
2 Ogre Jailbreaker
4 Abundant Growth
4 Murder
4 Sign in Blood
3 Dead Weight
3 Victim of Night
1 Undying Evil
4 Golgari Guildgate
3 Selesnya Guildgate
27 cards
4 Evolving Wilds
4 Haunted Fengraf
4 Swamp
3 Forest
2 Plains
17 cards

Seraph of Dawn


These two decks work on the same principle, play big creatures to clog up the ground and air, remove problem creatures, and win by gaining an large amount of life most decks can't surpass.

So, the question becomes how do you take down this deck?

From my experience of facing these decks being able to consistently take out a 4 toughness or larger creature is a must. This was the main reason I believe the "Junk" version of this midrange deck took form. The Junk version packs the black removal to take out any creature the other deck can throw at it, and it also gains access to the Ogre Jailbreaker who is another 4 toughness creature to add to its ranks.

There are a few ways to take this puppy down though. There is the straight removal route the Junk deck took on, first strikers on the ground to stop their persistent attacks, deathtouch creatures, and playing hexproof creatures that you can build up bigger than their creatures.

I have decided to go with the first strike option with a touch of removal, but more on that later. Let us move along to the runner up of the dominant decks of the format.

Izzet Control

This next deck is a throw-back to the delver deck of last season using burn, bounce, draw, and counters to land them the win. This deck is more resilient to bad draws because of its card drawing engine, and has a good amount of removal.

Without further ado here is the red blue delver-ish list that just won spdc 19.04: 

by Flxex
4 Delver of Secrets
4 Stitched Drake
8 cards

Other Spells
4 Goblin Electromancer
3 Frostburn Weird
4 Searing Spear
4 Think Twice
4 Thought Scour
3 Negate
3 Pillar of Flame
2 Brimstone Volley
2 Essence Scatter
1 Cancel
1 Electrickery
4 Izzet Guildgate
23 cards
8 Island
5 Mountain
4 Evolving Wilds
17 cards

Frostburn Weird


This deck has a lot of synergy between its cards, but Goblin Electromancer is the heart of this deck. The electromancer makes about half the spells in the deck cheaper to cast which makes the deck more aggressive and harder to play around its counters and burn. Plus, with so many instants and sorceries in the deck, the delvers flip fairly quickly to speed up the doom it hopes to inflict on you.

So, the key to beating this deck is to take out the electromancer on as soon as you can. This slows the deck down and allows you more wiggle room to set up your board. Plus, its good to note that most of the removal in this deck hits for only 3 damage. One of the primary goals for facing this deck is to land out a few creatures with a toughness of 4 or higher. This will both stop most of its assaults with creatures and keep your creature out of removal range most game.

That leaves just one more tier 1 standard pauper deck, and that is the deck to beat from last season.

White Weenie

Now this deck has went through some pretty big changes since the last season. Last season it was a more traditional weenie deck that ran a bunch of small creatures and pump to push damage through quick. This new rebirth of the deck is a lot more flyer reliant and combat tricks, but it really took a hit with its pump spells. 

White Weenie
by AkhkharuXul
4 Attended Knight
4 Avacynian Priest
4 Aven Squire
4 Doomed Traveler
4 Loyal Cathar
2 War Falcon
22 cards

Other Spells
4 Seraph of Dawn
3 Sunspire Griffin
4 Pacifism
2 Bladed Bracers
2 Ethereal Armor
1 Cloudshift
1 Safe Passage
12 cards
19 Plains
2 Haunted Fengraf
21 cards

Avacynian priest


As I was saying before this deck is really dependent on its flyers, and to a lesser extent its removal package of auras. The key to taking out WW though all lies in being able to remove its priests and its pacifism. Another thing to watch out for when playing against this deck is to keep an eye open as to if they are leaving mana open to allow them to play Safe Passage. Safe Passage for this deck is its only true source of hard removal, so if you can bait it out and contradict the spell's benefits then you are good. Life gain is also a help when facing its deck since it will normally have a leg up on you in the first few turns.

Now, with all the information gathered we can start piecing things together.

The Alpha Deck

We have analyzed the data from all the decks and here is what it seems like is needed to beat the top decks in the format:

  • First strike
  • Instant Speed Removal
  • Lifegain
  • 4 or higher toughness creatures

With this list in mind let's look at the colors we fall into:

  • First strike - White, Red
  • Instant Speed Removal - Red, Black
  • Lifegain - White, Green, Black
  • 4 or higher toughness - Any color

Normally with deck building I like to stick to a 1 or 2 color deck, and with the colors shown containing what we need Red and White seem to be the 2 best colors in the format for such a deck.

Now we will look at the options of spells that fall into the categories above.

First Strike

Now here is where we really want to capitalize on our number of spells and creatures we have in the deck that have or give first strike. Skimming through the list of cards I see these cards as definite choices for first striking creatures:

Attended Knight - A great first striking creature that is also a 2 for 1 spells. The 1/1 body may seem insignificant but it can punch at least a couple of points of damage through or be a chump blocker for you if you are falling behind

Splatter Thug - Another great creature that has a lot of versatility. It can be a great early beater to put pressure on, or help you stabilize by helping you build a wall of first strike.

Then, we have the spells that add first strike to a creature.

Ethereal Armor - This card has been my pet card since the day I saw it previewed. I have been looking for a good spot to throw this card into, and I think this deck just might be the one for it.

Swift Justice - This card pulls a double hitter for this deck by both supplying lifegain and granting first strike. This card can turn an attack from an opponent trying to rush into a win into a horrible defeat at the cost of only 1 mana.


Instant speed removal is the key to beating a few decks, but in the colors of red white there is no hard removal so we will have to look at burn instead. Burn spells are better though in a lot of ways then its black counterpart because if you get them close enough to dead you can just aim your removal at your opp's face for a win.

Looking through red's burn spells I decided on these cards:

Searing Spear - The new Incinerate. This card is great spot removal and burn

Brimstone Volley - With our use of the Attended Knight this spell gets even better. You can just ship over your little 1/1 token to its death and finish out the kill for 5 damage.

Thunderbolt - Not a main deck card for sure, but when facing WW and GW this is a lifesaver.

Now since we are running Ethereal Armor the value of aura removal has also increased significantly. Not only does it now remove a creature from combat it also adds a combat buff. With that note I will also be adding in:

Pacifism - Great removal. Keeps the fields open for your attacks, or removes one of their attackers

Bonds of Faith - A better and worse version of pacifism. Some games its just that a pacifism, but it can also provide pump for some creatures in the deck too.


Lifegain has turned into a real must have for the current standard pauper season. With so many aggro and midrange decks around life gain helps set you back onto a better footing once you get a foot on the board.

I already have the Swift Justice to give me some lifegain, but when it comes to gaining life there is one go to creature I always turn to.

Seraph of Dawn - A 4 toughness creature that has flying to block or punch through damage while gaining your life back.

4 Toughness Creatures

Now, this is a point I will admit I kinda missed in the deck building, but I feel that the Seraphs and the enchantment buffs I have in the deck should help this deck enough.

Finishing Touches

Boros Aggro
by Realms_Uncharted

Now that we got about half a little over half the deck its time to fill in some holes. Keeping with the whole enchantments matter theme Curse of the Pierced Heart seems like a shoe-in for sure. It adds reach to the deck and another target to try to pull their enchantment hate away from our other ones. Another card that adds a good bit of reach is Heirs of Stromkirk. The heirs is good because it starts out kinda vulnerable but after a hit or 2 its practically unstoppable because most of the format doesn't play red.


As for the sideboard, I decided to go with a lot of enchantment removal because there are a lot of enchantments being played right now.

Keening Apparition - A beater with built in enchantment hate, whats not to like.

Urgent Exorcism - Instant speed enchantment hate and removal for a few creatures, not too bad.

I also wanted to go with something to use as creature removal for when my burn was too small and my ooponent was running enchantment hate so I went with the go to Avacynian Priest

Then, there is Thunderbolt that I already went over.

Finalized Deck

This all put together gives me this final product:


Boros Aggro
by Realms_Uncharted
4 Attended Knight
4 cards

Other Spells
4 Searing Spear
3 Seraph of Dawn
2 Bonds of Faith
3 Brimstone Volley
4 Ethereal Armor
3 Heirs of Stromkirk
4 Curse of the Pierced Heart
4 Splatter Thug
3 Swift Justice
4 Pacifism
23 cards
4 Mountain
3 Plains
4 Plains
4 Mountain
1 Mountain
2 Plains
4 Evolving Wilds
22 cards

4 Thunderbolt
3 Urgent Exorcism
4 Avacynian Priest
4 Keening Apparition
11 cards
Brimstone Volley

So, if you enjoyed hearing about these decks and think that standard pauper might be a good format for you, then come out any Monday for MPDC at 2:00 P.M. EST or Thursday for SPDC at 8:30 P.M. EST. There is always plenty of room for more players to come out, and it is loads of fun.


Nice read. Keep up the good by joekewwl at Mon, 11/19/2012 - 18:39
joekewwl's picture

Nice read. Keep up the good work.

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