Lately, Pauper community members have expressed interest in talking holistically about the challenges and problems facing Pauper. Whether or not Pauper has "challenges" or "problems" is up for debate, but what is clear is that people want to talk about all of these issues in one unified setting.
As such, Pauper staff are opening this thread as a replacement for the old "Banlist Discussion" thread and the "State of the Meta thread." You can use this thread to talk about any and all of these varied Pauper issues and their intersection. This thread will be heavily moderated, so be sure to read the rules before posting; anyone who posts in this thread is assumed to have read and understood these rules.
Bans, unbans, and all things related to the banlist and banlist policy
Metagame health and diversity
Reprint suggestions and reprint philosophy
New cards and design philosophy
Prices and Pauper finance
Format health, successes, and challenges
Anything that constructively relates to these different issues
Prohibited topics and behavior
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Those are my gun-to-my-head, you only get 4 cards. I could go on and suggest other improvements to the format like banning Bogles into the ground and outright banning the Tron lands among other things, but these are the most pressing issues facing the format.
I disagree with those that think that Monarchy is a problem. It wouldn't be a problem if you didn't have to fight through 8 one sided fogs a game. While I generally support banning the problem itself instead of the support for the problem, Prismatic Strands being a one sided fog with EZCast flashback is the problem. It's the only degenerate card in Boros Monarch.
Augur is just fine, Stompy has plenty of ways of killing x/3's, Stompy players just won't play Porcelain Legionnaire for whatever reason. Ban Augur and all that happens is that U/B Delver runs Elusive Spellfist instead and the deck is just as gross.
I've played against well played, well built Tron decks in paper. Nothing really beats it, especially since the downshift of Fire & Ice. Unlike MTGO, there is no clicking or chess clock holding it back, it beats aggro and burn 50% of the time while having 90/10 matchups against everything that can't win by turn 5.
Ghostly Flicker and Displace is most of the problem and getting rid of them probably fixes Tron. Other Tron strategies like eggs + Fangren Marauder, Rhystic Circle, Dawnglare Invoker, and big bois can all be interacted with.
Overall I think that if nothing changes, no one will be playing this format in a year. There are two groups of Pauper players, those that have correctly ascertained the format's true power level and play exclusively power decks, and those that either intentionally or out of ignorance have their head buried in the sand.
The problem is that people who don't like this format quit playing it or never begin playing it to begin with. So when asking for the opinions of people about bans all you're going to be left with are the people who like the format because everyone with critiques of it are absent because of natural selection.
The guy who hates playing against Tron just stops showing up. The guy with his fun brew deck shows up and gets reamed by Kiln Fiend + Lightning Bolt + Mutagenic Growth + Temur Battle Rage for 27 before he can possibly do anything by some annoying stoner, and simply decides to stop showing up. Or some guy Yu-Gi-Oh's you on turn 1 with One Land Spy. This format is filled with degenerate, zero sum fun nonsense that drags the format down and keeps people away.
To put it bluntly, only interactive Magic counts as Magic and there is no point to the game it it's not interactive. Playing against Tron is not interactive. Playing against Delver decks that have access to Gush and literal Force of Will (It's even better since it gets Gurmag Angler out faster LOL) is not interactive. No tier 1 decks in this format are interactive besides for Boros Monarch, and that's only tier 1 because people haven't quite caught on to just how little Tron cares about fair decks.
Wow, I don't remember ever seeing so much written about justifications for bannings like this. I like the attention Pauper is getting.
We understand the possibility that weakening blue tempo decks may cause a rise in the popularity of Tron decks. However, we believe that this combination of bans will result in a healthier mix of aggro, tempo, control, combo, and midrange that can adjust to balance out each other's populations. We'll continue to monitor the metagame as it evolves in practice, but need to allow time for it to readjust rather than making assumptions about what the results will be. And as always, we'll continue to listen to community feedback.
When I saw the bannings, this was my first thought. I am so sick and tired of tron decks, but more particularly Ghostly Flicker and its ilk causing really stale games. I miss the days of good old RUG Tron beating face with Fangren Marauder and Rolling Thunder.
Hopefully, their assumptions pan out and a greater variety of decks will weaken the Tron strategy thanks to the bannings.
Do you think Foil is still playable without Gush? I have difficulty seeing it as more than a 1-of, now.