Introduction to Pauper Decks
This article serves as a basic primer on playing Magic: The Gathering with Pauper decks, which are simple in definition but complex in execution. A Pauper deck is one that consists solely of common cards. They’re a lot of fun because not only do they offer a lot of flexibility at a relatively inexpensive price to put together, but they’re also a great way to learn mechanics of the game that will serve you well when you’re playing more juiced up decks.
More-so than in a standard game, it’s important to come up with a plan for how you want to win a Pauper game before putting your deck together. Due to the lean playing you’re going to be doing without any of your favorite uncommon or rare cards, there is really very little wiggle room for spinning off your course. Once you come up with the plan, stick to it.
There are three basic types of Pauper deck:
Optimal damage at all times. You’re aiming to put your opponent into a maximum world of hurt every turn, and make them spend their mana and turns on the defense. Red is the big hitter here, followed up by black, then green.
Your goal is to keep your opponent from doing anything by not letting them have land, monsters, or spells until you’re in a position to finish them off. Blue is the big one here followed by white, blue being a much stronger choice overall.
A little from column A, a little from column B. Maybe not the best choice if you’re just starting off with MtG in general and Pauper decks in specific, but if you have a good strategy that mixes Aggro and Control effectively, have fun with it!
There’s not really one of the three that is superior to the others. The nature of the Pauper deck gives a significant amount of equality between the three types. It’s all going to come down to the cleverness of the player and how versatile they work with their deck.
In regards to the importance of land in a Pauper deck, there is no simpler way to put it than to say be practical, but not cheap. As with any other game style, your awesome collection of spells and monsters is not going to be worth squat if you have a mana drought at the most inopportune times, less so if the drought was of your own making. Don’t create problems for yourself in this area.
Once you have a plan and the type of deck you want to make figured out, considering your color comes next. I’m only going to focus on mono color decks for the purpose of this article, but that is not to say multi-color decks should not be considered. Blue/black is a nasty combo, and blue/red can be downright evil.
There are the basics of the Pauper deck. Take them and mess around, and see how much fun you can have without spending a lot.
What are some cards you can think of that would be great in a pauper deck? Let us know in the comments section below!