So first, please forgive my brevity here. I retore the ligament in my bad wrist about two months back and still won’t be seeing a surgeon until the middle of January. I’m in incredible agony typing and can’t elucidate clearly on pain medication. I wanted to write about something that just came up in the past day, though.
Arena is, without a doubt, the future of Magic: the Gathering. Sadly, it’s looking like they don’t even have plans to bring the Brawl format to it, let alone EDH, Modern, Legacy, etc. When I got an email inviting me to play Pauper on Arena, I did a double take.
Sadly, I was rather disappointed. Of course, the pauper is comprised of only Standard legal cards. I knew that would be the case going into it. With such a small card pool to work from, the format isn’t as diverse as I had hoped for.
The other issue is the card crafting system. A pauper format on Hearthstone or Eternal would be no big deal. Crafting a common card from dust is easy. The wildcard system on Arena is terrible. Often, commons and uncommons are harder to come by than mythic rares. To craft an entire deck for this, you would be hard pressed to find the wildcards for it. If you had a ton, you’d be using them for your regular Standard deck. When I played, I did so from my owned collection and was short quite a few of the better cards I found others to be using. Unless you’re spending hundreds of dollars on each rotating set, you just won’t have what you need easily.
Lastly, and to my extreme disappointment, the format was just a week long special event and not a permanent format. There’s no incentive to get good at it or craft up a deck since it’s just not sticking around after January 1st. That said, Singleton was so popular that it keeps coming back, so there’s a chance we’ll see it again.
Arena is a game changer for Magic, but there are a huge number of things it could do better. Seeing Pauper gives me hope, but they need to change the wildcards to a dust system before just about anything on there becomes more enjoyable.
Below is my video stream from playing in the Pauper event. I tried a Golgari deck, a Dimir deck, and a mono-white lifelink build (which did very well against me earlier). I hope it makes up for the lack of length of this piece. <3