There’re a couple pretty big reasons this blog doesn’t cover Standard: time and money. So what’s a guy to do when Wizards releases a sweet Common that’s not good enough for anything outside Standard?
The answer? Play Standard Pauper.
For those who aren’t aware of one of Magic’s coolest formats, Pauper is a Magic Online based format that allows only cards that have been printed at Common. No flashy Rares or Mythic Rares here, and even your more humble Uncommons are not allowed. I’ve never played online myself, but have tried it out in paper a bit. The metagame is fairly diverse, and the games are fun and skill-testing. After all, Pauper’s still a format where things like Lightning Bolt and Counterspell are legal.
Standard Pauper, then, uses Pauper’s Commons-only rule but further limits itself to only Commons that are currently legal in Standard. From this card pool, you have to build a normal, 60-card Constructed deck.
While attempting to brew around Thermo-Alchemist, I found the Standard Pauper card pool to be surprisingly deep. There were a lot of actual decisions to make when choosing which cards would go in my deck. And as I sorted through cards, I couldn’t help but notice other Commons that I’d like to take out for a test drive.
I quickly decided to pair Red with Blue for my Thermo-Alchemist deck, and I found a couple good synergies across Standard’s different sets. The most important one is Zephyr Scribe‘s looting ability combined with all of Shadows Over Innistrad’s good Madness spells, such as Fiery Temper. Zephyr Scribe’s no Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy, but at the bargain price of 2 cents, he doesn’t have to be.
And that’s the best part of Standard Pauper: decks are C-H-E-A-P. This is the decklist I’m looking at, and it easily comes in under $8, no matter what shop you want to order cards from. It’s so cheap that I’m considering building a BG Delirium deck as well, to make use of Moldgraf Scavenger.
Are there any Commons you love in the current Standard that aren’t seeing play? Or do you just want to play Magic on the cheap? Then Standard Pauper is for you. My friends’ and my initial tests of the format have turned out to be pretty sweet, and we’re itching to actually play in paper.
I’ll be back next week with the third part of From the Ground Up.