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Pauper is a constructed format of Magic: The Gathering, in which only common cards are allowed.

Description[ | ]

Pauper developed as a Magic Online-specific format, but gained official tabletop support in June 2019.[1] The restriction to common cards found in Pauper format can easily be combined with other formats, such as Standard, Modern, or Block Constructed. Pauper Standard is also a Magic Online sanctioned format. Magic Arena also supports some of these hybrid formats, though Pauper as it is known elsewhere is not accessible, given the small Historic card pool.

Pauper is often confused with Peasant, which allows up to five cards of uncommon rarity to be included in each player's library.

History[ | ]

On MTGO, one active community of players of Pauper Magic was the Pauper Deck Challenge or PDC. Their combined chat room is PDC, and is a central meeting spot for the format.

At the beginning of 2017 Magic Online Championship Series, WotC dropped Pauper as one of the formats the eligible to score QPs accompanied with the introduction of League System, Pauper was exclusively played in casual league which Treasure Chests are rewarded to good finishes. On the revision of event structure in 2017 May, Pauper Leagues was reintroduced as one of the QP scoring events in MOCS.

Since Pauper used to be Magic Online specific format, it didn't extend to physical cards. Therefore, the term Paper Pauper was used to distinguish it from its MTGO counterpart. This format included cards which were never printed at common in MTGO such as Sinkhole.

At first, Paper Pauper had no official banlist. However, due to the active community, many Magic players started to play Pauper with their physical cards, and applied the Online Banlist to their deck construction. The restriction that only common cards are allowed was however surprisingly difficult to apply to earlier sets, because the so-called C1 commons are effectively as rare as uncommons, but are printed on the common sheet.

In June, 2019, digital and paper rules were officially merged, and the definition of Pauper legality was expanded upon in June 2019 to include any card with a common printing in any paper or digital set. If the card is listed as a common on Gatherer from any set, it is legal in Pauper.[1] This added cards to the format that were not previously legal on Magic Online.

In January, 2022, Gavin Verhey introduced the Pauper Format Panel. This panel, consisting of Verhey and six notable Pauper community members from around the world, will discuss the format and provide recommendations of action to the Play Design team at Wizards of the Coast.[2]

Banned & Restricted[ | ]

As of June 6th, 2024, thirty-three cards are banned in Pauper tournaments in addition to culturally offensive cards which are banned from all sanctioned play.[3][4]

In addition, all cards that bring Stickers into the battlefield are banned.[5][14] There are not enough Attractions at common rarity to allow play in pauper, otherwise they too would be banned.

Excluded cards[ | ]

Hada Freeblade, Spatial Contortion, and Circle of Flame appeared at common as promotional cards but are not considered part of the Pauper format.[15]

References[ | ]

  1. a b c d e Blake Rasmussen (June 27, 2019). "Pauper comes to Paper". Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Gavin Verhey (January 10, 2022). "Introducing: The Pauper Format Panel". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Latest Pauper Banlist
  4. Gavin Verhey (June 15, 2023). "State of Pauper: Ban Status, New Decks, Fate of Unbannings, & More! (Video)". Good Morning Magic. YouTube.
  5. a b Gavin Verhey (May 13, 2024). "Explanation of Pauper Bans for May 13, 2024". Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Ian Duke (October 21, 2019). "October 21, 2019 Banned and Restricted Announcement". Wizards of the Coast.
  7. a b c Gavin Verhey (January 20, 2022). "January 20, 2022 Banned and Restricted Announcement". Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Gavin Verhey (June 6, 2024). "Modern Horizons 3 Banning in Pauper! - Magic: The Gathering MTG MH3 (Video)". Good Morning Magic. YouTube.
  9. a b c Ian Duke (May 20, 2019). "May 20, 2019 Banned and Restricted Announcement". Wizards of the Coast.
  10. a b Wizards of the Coast (March 7, 2022). "March 7, 2022 Banned and Restricted Announcement". Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Ian Duke (January 14, 2021). "January 14, 2021 Banned and Restricted Announcement". Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Dan Musser (December 4, 2023). "December 4, 2023 Banned and Restricted Announcement". Wizards of the Coast.
  13. Pauper Banned List Change. Wizards of the Coast (November 3, 2016).
  14. Andrew Brown (May 13, 2024). "May 13, 2024, Banned and Restricted Announcement". Wizards of the Coast.
  15. Ian Duke (January 21, 2019). "January 21, 2019 Banned and Restricted Announcement". Wizards of the Coast.

External links[ | ]