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By: gwyned, gwyned
Dec 16 2014 12:00pm
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I. Introduction

Of all the different ways you can play Magic the Gathering, Limited has always been my favorite. As one who has never wanted to invest large sums of money into pieces of cardboard (especially digital ones!), there is something very appealing about simply opening a bunch of booster packs and then creating the best deck from their contents. Not only does this ensure a more level playing field, but it also allows me to experience my favorite aspect of this game - deckbuilding! Unfortunately, whether you're playing online or in person, Limited is still pretty expensive. Perhaps if money was no object, I would spend most of my time on Magic Online drafting. But that simply isn't the case. That's probably one of the big reasons I've been such a major proponent of the Standard Pauper format - you get most of the full experience of playing Magic, but you get to do so at a fraction of the cost.

So for this article, I'm delighted to be introducing a format that takes the best of both worlds: Standard Pauper Sealed. The concept is simple: generate virtual packs online from the current Standard sets, separate out all of the non-Commons, load that pool into Magic Online, build a deck, and play it out against others in the community. And while this idea isn't original to me, I will be hosting a special 'league-style' Player Run Event using this idea starting in January. For today, I want to demonstrate the mechanics behind this idea. I will show you how to generate your packs, how to load them into Magic Online, how to separate out the non-Commons, and even how to quickly obtain any cards that you're missing. But even better, I will also review two different Standard Pauper Sealed pools and put together what I believe is the best decklist from those pools. Let's get right to it!

II. Creating a Standard Pauper Sealed Pool

If you just want a quick summary of the process, here's what you do:

  1. Point your browser over to Magic the Gathering Sealed Deck Card Generator. From there, select which set you want to generate pack(s) for. Then, export the contents of each pack into a text file and save it somewhere handy.
  2. Load up Magic Online and go to the Collection tab. Create a new deck, and use the Import feature to select the text file. Once the text file has loaded, sort by rarity and manually remove all the non-Commons.
  3. Right click on the pool, and select Add Missing Cards to Wishlist. Then, open Trade with your bot of choice. Once the bot has loaded, select Search Tool, and load Wishlist. Any cards you are missing will be automatically selected and you can check out.

III. Deckbuilding from Standard Pauper Pools

So we've looked at the mechanics of how to generate a Standard Pauper Sealed Pool. The next step is to take a look at two different pools and the decks that I created from them. But first, a word on selecting your packs. Typically, a tournament legal Sealed Pool will consist of 84 cards; but if you only generate 6 packs and remove the non-Commons, you'll be left with only 60 cards. After some experimentation, it seems like generating 9 packs gives you a pretty good distribution of cards. For these two sample pools, I ended up using three Khans of Tarkir, two Theros, two Born of the Gods, and two Journey into Nyx packs. There is nothing special about that particular choice - it's just what I chose for this article. But enough already. Let's take a look at the pools.

A. Sealed Pool #1

After looking through the pool, it became clear that Blue Green was probably the best color combination. And while I certainly encourage you to watch the whole video, here's the deck that I ended up building:


This seems like a classic Simic midrange deck, but it's got some nice tricks and card-draw at its disposal. Along with some of the early removal and protection, it makes use of Satyr Wayfinder and Renowned Weaver to get cards into the Graveyard early to fuel Delve for both the Hooting Mandrills and the Treasure Cruise. Notable creatures that should be strong in the deck include Nylea's Disciple, Agent of Horizons, Cloaked Siren, and even Ravenous Leucrocota, since this deck should be able to survive into the late game. Finally, both Leafcrown Dryad and Nyxborn Triton could be utilized late game to build a very potent threat.

B. Sealed Pool #2

I ended up running Green again, this time pairing it up with White for a more aggressive build. Here's the list I ended up crafting:


This is a very straight-forward beat-down deck. It has a good mix of creatures, a little bit of removal and protection, and just enough combat tricks to keep your opponent honest. In general this deck wants you to be dropping creatures onto the virtual battlefield every turn and swinging in with them early and often. Both Rush of Battle and Griffin Dreamfinder are a bit marginal in the deck, but I think there is just enough support for them to make it worth running them. And thanks to the dual lands in the pool, the deck can easily splash Red (or even Black for that matter). Unfortunately, with the exception of the included Fall of the Hammer, there really wasn't much worth splashing for in either color, especially given how aggressive this deck is.

IV. Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into the possibilities of Standard Pauper Sealed. As I mentioned in the Introduction, I anticipate hosting a special 'league-style' Player Run Event using this format sometime in January, so keep an eye on my Twitter and blog for that announcement. Let me also remind you that I am the host of Monday Pauper Deck Challenge, which is a weekly PRE featuring a Swiss tournament in the Standard Pauper format, with prizes awarded for the Top 8 finishers thanks to the sponsorship of MTGOTraders. New players are always welcome, so if you haven't done so before,  I encourage you to browse over to check out all the information and then come join us at 2:00pm EST / 7:00pm GMT in the #MPDC channel. Finally, you can check out all my previous articles here on PureMTGO right here. Thanks for reading.

2 Comments

That's interesting because I by rremedio at Tue, 12/16/2014 - 16:36
rremedio's picture

That's interesting because I had some talks with BigBee and DrChrisBakerDC about making a Std Pauper sealed league some months ago. I played some matches when the clan was trying this format and it is quite fun. BigBee created a sealed pool generator that would allow only commons. Maybe you should check and evaluate it. I'm not sure that having more commons for boosters was the reason for the decks being so fun. Good luck with this league. Count on me in the ranks! :)

Sounds fun. See me about by joekewwl at Tue, 12/16/2014 - 21:11
joekewwl's picture

Sounds fun. See me about helping with prize support gwyned. Joe