The Pauper Place: SCGCon and the Pauper Classic

Hello everyone and welcome to the first edition of  my Pauper articles, The Pauper Place!  What I will be going over in these articles will be very similar to what I write about in my Making It In Modern articles but of course, for Pauper.  Anything related to the Pauper format from deck techs to theory is going to be explored in The Pauper Place.  For this first article, I want to go over my trip to SCGCon to play in the first ever Pauper Classic.  I had a blast over that weekend and it was an overall great experience!

The Trip to SCGCon

My good friend Ryan Creamer(@RCVip) decided to start our travels on Saturday at around 12 pm EST in order to get anything we may need to get done that morning and still be able to get down to the convention center in Roanoke, VA at a decent time to have some time there that day.  We arrived at the convention center at around 3:30 pm EST.  Our first mission was to hit the vendor tables to sell some of our cards in order to help fund this event, and we were very successful with unloading a lot of cardboard.  The only event we were able to actually play in that day was a Modern Turbo match.  I registered my beloved Dredge list, of course and was paired against a RB Hollow One player.  I ran over him game one, but after sideboarding, I was staring down Leyline of the Void games 2 and 3 with my only way to remove it being a single Ray of Revelation n my library.  I ended up losing 2-1, and Nature’s Claim was added into my sideboard.  Ryan won his match R/G Ponza against Bogles.  At the end of the night, we met up with the Kelley brothers from Magic: The Brothering(@BrothersMTG) to head to the motel for the night.  I play tested Ryan in pauper at the motel to get some kind of preparation in for the Classic in the morning.  After testing, I was feeling confident that I would have a good day playing.

Sunday Morning: The Pauper Classic

We arrived at the convention center around 9 am EST to have enough time to unload the rest of the cards we were planning to sell and to be able to relax and find a calm mind state to play.  The Pauper Classic seemed to be a massive success as 123 players signed up to play it.  I registered this deck:


7 Forest

1 Plains

4 Blossoming Sands

4 Jungle Hollow

4 Scoured Barrens

1 Unknown Shores


4 Heliod’s Pilgrim


1 Kirtar’s Desire

4 Abundant Growth

1 Trace of Abundance

1 Crystallization

3 Fertile Ground

4 Journey to Nowhere

4 Quiet Disrepair

1 Hobble

1 Recumbent Bliss

1 Curse of the Bloody Tome

3 Oblivion Ring

3 Protective Sphere

1 Faith’s Fetters

3 Pestilence

4 Kruphix’s Insight


2 Relic of Progenitus

2 Prohibit

2 Negate

3 Castigate

1 Curse of the Bloody Tome

4 Aura Gnarlid

1 Pestilence

I got this list from Mathonical on YouTube, and have been playing in for about six months.  The deck is an enchantment prison deck that looks to pacify or remove your opponent’s creatures from the battlefield to set up Quiet Disrepairs for massive life gain chunks.  The win conditions of the deck are Curse of the Bloody Tome to mill them out after you stall them out, or Pestilence, which you can incrementally deal a damage or two to them each turn as long as there is a creature on the battlefield.  It is a slow, excruciating process, but it is so much fun for me.  After game 1, you can bring in Aura Gnarlid to punish any deck that sided out creature removal, since there are so few creatures in the main deck.  There are also counter spells, hand disruption, graveyard removal, and more win conditions in the sideboard to help you out with whatever you may need.

As far as the Classic went, I personally went 2-5 in the seven rounds.  It was an overall disappointing finish for me because most of my losses came down to sloppy play from me.  My two wins came in a decisive two game match against burn in round two and possibly the best match of Magic I’ve ever played against Cas Watson(@Power_Queer) piloting Burn.  That match came down to a game three where i had two cards left in my library.  If the second to last card was an Aura Gnarlid, I am favored to win, if it is not, I lose from not being able to draw a card in two turns.  The card i drew was an Aura Gnarlid, and I was able to attack for lethal on my next turn.

My losses were to Four Color Tron, Elves, UG Delver, WG Slivers, and WG Bogles.  I attribute my loss to Tron to me not casting a second Protective Sphere about 40 minutes into game one.  Most of the game was a back and forth, but i was able to take control.  A Pulse of Murasa stopped me from finishing with Pestilence, so that pushed me back a bit.  My opponent was then able to bounce my Protective Sphere I had on board and cast a Rolling Thunder for 32 for lethal.  I had a second Protective Sphere in my hand which I could have cast as a back up to my original one.  My opponent was able to set up a Capsize lock in game two, but honestly, there wasn’t enough time left in the round for me to win or even draw, so I conceded.  My next loss was to Kendra Smith(@TheMaverickGal) on Elves.  Game one, I kept a land light hand and never drew a third, while she built up a fast board and ran over me.  Game two, I had better luck on lands and she wasn’t off to the quickest start.  I was able to deploy a Pestilence to deal with the 1/1s on board.  I wasn’t able to gain enough life in the game, and when i left a Timberwatch Elf and a couple of Morphed Birchlore Ranger and ws planning to Pestilence them away on her turn.  She started her turn by casting Gleeful Sabotage on my Pestilence and another enchantment and I then had to activate the Pestilence.  This allowed her to activate Timberwatch Elf on a Birchlore Ranger and attack with it for lethal since it survived.  My last three loses came down to me winning game one in all of them, then losing the last two games in each due to not having the right sideboard plan, or a card like Aura Flux coming in to catch me completely off guard.  I had not put in the necessary preparation for this tournament and I paid for it dearly.  Although, I had a miserable record, I had a great time and I was glad to have participated in the event.

My Hopes For the Format

After the Pauper Classic, I hope to see Pauper become an actual sanctioned and supported paper format.  We had 123 people sign up to play Pauper when the Legacy Classic only pulled in 92 people and the Standard Classic pulled in 96.  Pauper is a very popular format due to its so low buy-in point that virtually anyone can play it.  The deck that I took to the tournament only cost me $24, and Kendra Smith won the Classic with a $96 Elf deck.  Just yesterday, over 200 people signed up for the Pauper Championship at GP Vegas.  If Wizards of the Coast would give it a shot at being sanctioned, I don’t think there would be a lack of people showing up for events.

Wrap Up

Anyway, that’s what I have for you today.  The Pauper Classic at SCGCon was a great experience and I hope to be able to play more events like that in the future.  Do you think Pauper would be a good format to actually sanction?  I  want to hear from you! You can let me know what you think of the format by commenting here or giving me a follow on Twitter @T2TKS.  Don’t forget to give MTGDecktechs a like on Facebook at and a follow on Twitter @MTGDecktechs.  Thank you all for taking the time to read this, and I will see you all next time!


Jason Stoops

Jason Stoops

Jason has been playing Magic: the Gathering for 20 years off and on. Jason first took to the game competitively in 2009, when Zendikar released and after a hiatus from 2012-2015, he came back for good when Battle for Zendikar released. Jason mainly plays Modern and Pauper and is an avid fan of green based midrange decks and other combo decks. He has two PPTQ top 4s on his list of achievements. You can follow Jason on Twitter- @T2TKS

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