MTG – Introduction To Pauper -The Best Budget Format For Magic: The Gathering

Competitive Pauper Decks:

The Pauper SubReddit:

MTG Salvation Pauper Forum:

An Introduction To Competitive Pauper at MTGO Academy:

Pauper Berwer’s Cup –

The Professor is professing thanks to the love and support you have shown, and the generous contributions from Alumni Patrons. Thank you all:

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“Vintage Education” Kevin MacLeod (
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“Airport Longue” Kevin MacLeod (
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“Deliberate Thought” Kevin MacLeod (
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“Airport Longue” Kevin MacLeod (
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“Pamgaea” Kevin MacLeod (
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What is the Pauper format? Pauper is a format which only uses common cards. With the exception of a small banlist, any card that has been printed at the common rarity level in a set or product.

Other than that, Pauper is like most other games of constructed Magic: Decks must consist of a minimum of 60 cards with an optional 15 card sideboard, and so forth.


Sephyrias says:

Pauper is the best competitive format.
There is no “pay-to-win” aspect in it, it is very easy to get into and it is slower than the other formats, meaning that the games are intriguing to play and watch as well.
The decks are so cheap that basicly everyone can make a “top tier” pauper deck. I mean, a single Mana Crypt, Tarmogoyf, heck, even some lands cost more than a pauper deck.

Greg Jones says:

Over at Dollarama you can buy packs of 15 cards for a buck, or 100 cards for 4 bucks (CAD, probably 2.50 in the US), across all sets, and they come with some rares and foils. I feel like buying one of those packs would be a great way to play a pseudo draft pauper game with a friend or many. Think I’m gonna try it, it sounds fun to me.

Christopher Zechman says:

NOTE: Cloud of Faeries is now banned. The replacement card is Faerie Miscreant. The deck is still great.

Kenneth Milz says:

Who’s watching this in 2018? 😀

Eric Pelletier says:

Love the show! I’m new to the pauper format. I’ve built 2 decks so far, but neither has done well, so I’m trying a third brew, any suggestions would be most welcome, check it out here:

JahNoDis says:

I recently started collecting the cards again for nostalgia purposes, came into a bundle of C/UC’s (about 12k) . Started thinking “hmm should start looking in to playing instead of just collecting” then started to look. Daunting is mild of a term and financially trying to keep up in the long run, perturbed me to say the least. The multiple formats is a tirade of confusion to me and your videos have really helped me understand and then enlighten me to a format I can actually start to break in to wow, just a big thank you to you for your work , i may be late getting into the whole scene but if it wasn’t for your videos , i wouldn’t be getting into it at all.

Cory R says:

Not always the cheapest lol, I have seen a 1k+ pauper deck

Kirkendall Greene says:

Love the video, I have to wonder why you sound at times like you’re promoting a sex phone line or something. Very seductive. Definitely got me to go build a pauper deck though!

Maciej Masadynski says:

And now cards in pauper cost 20$. No, thank you.

ShadowTron says:

Hey professor, I will check myself at my local FNM anyway, but before I do, how popular is pauper in paper right now? Am I likely to find people playing Pauper, or anyone with a Pauper deck at all? thanks

Cobweb Recordings [Retrowave ] says:

I think excluding any cards from a format really limits creativity. Excluding commons and uncommons is silly imo. Just because it’s a rare doesn’t mean it will be good. Now I do see the benefits though. Personally I thought no the best format would be no cards banned and no cards restricted. That would be fun.

Keovar says:

Sorry Prof, but because the MtGO community hates paper, they only allow cards that are common online, which does not include iconic and nostalgic cards like Fireball. Maybe if Wizards supports the format they’ll change the rules so paper commons are still pauper-legal even if the digital version is uncommon, or they could just release common versions online to unify the available card pool. Until then, paper pauper players are hobbled by the limitations of a program which didn’t even exist for the first 9 years of Magic.


But I don’t have friends

Spannungboy says:

Hey Professor,
I was wondering what pauper decks do you play at your local pauper events?

Wilyape 17 says:

This guy is James May for Magic Cards.

Ict Aaso says:

Dear Prof: I recall seeing somewhere that you had a short list of additional Pauper cards that were generally banned/restricted by “gentleman’ agreement” — is that so? And if so, would you share it with us here?

Eric Payne says:

What pauper deck do you use the most?

David Silva says:

I just won two games with a pauper deck against an opponent with some expensive cards… I guess maybe I was lucky, or the synergies are just about right …. I think the point is: no deck wins them all

Technicolor says:

Love pauper especially since I really do adore common mtg cards. Maybe not the winners that umcommon, rares and mythic rare are, but instead are a menagerie of fun, interesting and even weird effects that add up and shine through the pauper format. Yay for common love!

Marcus Kim says:

Was that The 4-Hour Workweek?

GhostRadio says:

It’s a good format because it’s not tainted by GPS and official recognition.

Arthur Herbst says:

Well, that delver deck nowadays costs 75 TIX.^^

Blake Rodriguez says:

Honestly best format ever for budget players surprisingly some commons can be super OP however not that surprising for some older players some commons were not as viable back then however with newer sets and mechanics made them more viable some of these commons have even had reprints at higher rarity to show this

Nic says:

masterpiece pauper would get promoted by wotc!

Bach Frog says:

100% best format. Love this game

KingToll says:

This and Goat Format in YugiOh are the pinnacle of budget formats for Trading Card Games. I love it!

Andrew Davison says:

I think a fun format would be to allow up to 4 of any common, 3 of any uncommon, 2 of any rare, 1 of any mythic, Would still be much more affordable but also more exciting when you finally draw the rare and mythic cards you need.

Benjamin Lin says:

Hi prof, I’ve got a question.
Its quite ironic given that pauper is the cheapest format, but is there a booster box expansion u can recommend for pauper? Since commons are easy for me to get playsets of, and I can share a box with my friend, we can might be able to build decks if we choose different colours..

Ravia Windrunner says:

I’m sold. I’ll be building a pauper deck later today.

Bobcat dad says:

Thank you Professor. This video randomly popped into my feed about 2 weeks ago. And after watching it I decided to come back to Magic (which I left in 1996). Thank you for bringing me back.

Leafy Breeze Studios says:

Dang, I gotta get in on this

Praise_The_Hive says:

I’m watching this again because my LGS just got pauper events!

Treasure Train says:

should put an annotation on here letting people know that Cloud of Faeries is banned

Dennis says:

aaw rip Cloud of Faeries banned since 16 nov 2016

Patrick Ruplinger says:

Cemetery gate + pestilence hooray

David Brent says:

A paper deck costs only 30 to 40$…??? Lol. Watching this video in 2018….a u/r deep hours deck will run you 130$ now. And most of the other tier 1 decks are 80 to 100$. Hardly what I would call budget.

Advisor of Atlantis says:

Shouldn’t there be an expensive format with mystics only?

James McLennan says:

4:10 *sigh* well I guess it’s time to buy these four card.

Nestor Makhno says:

3 years later, that Delver deck is sitting at $80+. No surprise there I guess

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