How about some Magic with a quarter of the budget and all of the fun?

What are the best decks for MTGA Pauper?

MTGA
The artwork for Elvish Visionary

Pauper players have drawn countless cards with Elvish Visionary. (Image credit: Wizards of the Coast.)

Pauper is back, baby! The format that combines high fun factor with low price is catching up and more players are enjoying it now more than ever. But every time we talk about a constructed format, we can’t help but ask ourselves - what decks are the best?

The recent Friday Night Magic At Home event in Magic: The Gathering Arena drew a lot of new eyes to Pauper, being both an excellent proving ground for beginners and fun playground for veterans. With a format that provides so much deck-building possibility, completely disregards the Standard metagame, and literally costs pennies to play, there’s no reason not to be excited about it. So let’s discuss it!

But first… what is Pauper?

The answer is simple - this is an eternal constructed format where all standard deck-building rules apply (60 cards minimum, no more than four copies of anything except basic lands) with one major exception - only Common cards are allowed.

This is really great for a multitude of reasons. First, there are more Common cards than any other rarity (duh), providing a solid pool to pick from. Second, most Standard staples and important combo pieces, your Planeswalkers and Companions and whatnot, all come at Uncommon, Rare or Mythic rare. That means that a competitive Pauper deck looks nothing like a competitive Standard deck, no matter how budget-minded it is. Third, the Commons are cheap! Chances are you already own the vast majority if not all the cards you need to build multiple Pauper decks from your collection. Let’s find out! Listed below are a bunch of good MTGA Pauper decks that made appearances in the latest FNM event and performed well. Hopefully at least a few of them will catch your eye!

Izzet Cycling

Let’s kick things off in proper Ikoria fashion with a blue-red deck that has now Drakes in it! Crazy, right?

4x Drannith Stinger
4x Goblin Electromancer
4x Prickly Marmoset
4x Spelleater Wolverine
3x Spellgorger Weird
4x Go for Blood
4x Skewer the Critics
4x Frostveil Ambush
3x Keep Safe
1x Shock
4x Startling Development
2x Fire Prophecy

9x Island
8x Mountain
2x Swiftwater Cliffs

Mono Red Aggro

But why cook a blue-red fancy-schmancy brew, when you can ditch the blue entirely and build a classic Red Deck Wins and… you know, win? Piloting this deck is easy - tap your creatures and watch your opponent lose.

4x Burning Prophet
4x Grim Initiate
4x Rimrock Knight
4x Scorch Spitter
4x Spellgorger Weird
2x Underworld Rage-Hound
4x Skewer the Critics
2x Heartfire
4x Infuriate
4x Jaya's Greeting
4x Shock

20x Mountain

Azorius Fliers

If you’ve read previous deck techs here on EarlyGame, you know we can’t skip an Azorius deck. If it works for current reigning World Champion Paulo Vitor Damo “PVDDR” da Rosa, it works for us!

4x Aven Eternal
4x Chillbringer
4x Cloudkin Seer
4x Faerie Miscreant
4x Healer's Hawk
2x Metropolis Sprite
4x Gust of Wind
2x Silverflame Ritual
4x Winged Words
4x Pacifism

13x Island
8x Plains
3x Tranquil Cove

Gruul Aggro - Pauper

And while we’re on Ravnica, let’s pop to the wilds outside and gather the clans. Gruul smash! Savage Smash!

4x Fierce Witchstalker
4x Frenzied Arynx
4x Ilysian Caryatid
4x Kronch Wrangler
3x Lava Serpent
4x Loathsome Chimera
4x Silverback Shaman
2x Stampede Rider
3x Savage Smash
1x Raking Claws
4x Ram Through

11x Forest
8x Mountain
4x Rugged Highlands

Dimir Control

Done with the Burning Tree? How about a more… an elegant approach to victory? Clawing the face off of your foes is certainly one way to achieve victory if you’re an uncultured savage. But the Dimir has other ways, and the sweetest thing is - they are just as deadly!

3x Bake into a Pie
1x Murder
4x Ob Nixilis's Cruelty
2x Pharika's Libation
4x Thirst for Meaning
3x Suffocating Fumes
3x Essence Scatter
2x Devious Cover-Up
2x Dead Weight
4x Ill-Gotten Inheritance
3x Mire's Grasp
4x Omen of the Sea
4x Dimir Guildgate
4x Dismal Backwater

8x Island
9x Swamp

White Auras

And let’s end up on a positive note. As positive as it gets - the classic goody-two-shoes Magic archetype of Whie Auras! As the old saying goes, “Attack with a creature and it will live for a turn. Enchant it, and it will still live for a turn, but also give you a Constellation trigger.” Or something like that.

4x Daybreak Chimera
4x Healer's Hawk
2x Hero of the Pride
4x Law-Rune Enforcer
4x Pious Wayfarer
4x Transcendent Envoy
2x Heliod's Pilgrim
4x Karametra's Blessing
4x Knight's Pledge
4x Pacifism
4x Sentinel's Eyes

20x Plains

Just look at these decks! They are an absolute joy to build and play and they cost next to nothing. Take a moment to marvel at those land bases. 20 Plains? These are literally free. No other format is so affordable, while at the same time so cheap. It is great that it’s surpassed its humble Magic: The Gathering Online origins and entered the worlds of paper and now MTGA in full swing.

For more deck techs, MTGA news, and lore, keep reading EarlyGame!

Nikola Petrov

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