Master 25 is released, it hasn't brought significative changes. We expected cards with a huge potential in this last expansion but they don't arrive. Despite it, the Pauper Metagame March 2018 is setting up with a clear prevalence of determinate archetypes.
The new asset of the format?
The most played deck in the Pauper Challenge in January was Burn, then the meta is evolved and now are the Delver.deck (it is known they have a positive MU against Burn). There was a majority of Mono U Delver in the first times, but due to the return and the increase of Boros Monarch among the most played decks now the majority is represented by Izzet Delver.
The March's meta is a clear and simple evolution of Pauper's meta after the arrive of Lead the Stampede in the format: that card has deleted the meta based on Mono Green Stompy due to Elves. That decks with this sorcery has reached stability and success in game with the Mono Green version and without the blue's splash for the situational card Distant Melody.
Izzet Delver and Boros Monarch are the principal causes for the Elves' disappear among the most played archetypes, reduce it only at a 4% of total (you should also consider the return of Murasa Tron and Mono Black Control).
However, Boros Monarch and Izzet Delver don't arrive to the top due to the good MU against Elves but because they are the two solid and strong archetypes in the format. A great aggressive approach, a relevant and some exceptional answers make these due Midrange the two strong archetypes of their macro-category. They relegate the more obsolete archetypes, like Mono U Delver, Kuldotha Rally or Mono Black Control, at tier 2 (a tier2 is a playable archetype in the meta but with less possibility in order to obtain results).
The surprise of these data is an explosion of an archetype considered strong but not so strong for entering in the top tiers: UB Alchemy.
Dimir Alchemy by Gernardi, 6° posto Pauper Challenge 11/03/2018
4 Augur of Bolas
2 Dinrova Horror
4 Gurmag Angler
3 Doom Blade
2 Forbidden Alchemy
1 Soul Manipulation
2 Dimir Aqueduct
4 Dismal Backwater
1 Chainer's Edict
2 Echoing Decay
2 Nihil Spellbomb
Probe is in 1-2 copies maindeck, at least for the online meta. It supplies card selection, graveyard (for Gurmag Angler) and in the mid game is an exceptional solution in order to break up the opponent's hand in attrition games (it is a lot draining playing Midrange or Control and in the late game your opponent forces you to discard at least the half of your hand).
Recoil and Dinrova Horror permit to have a bigger game's space, interact with a lot of different permanents from creature and give the possibility to remove (temporarily) Journey to Nowhere or Urza's Tower. They remand the problem in a successive phase of the game but it is repay by the discard.effect, the same efficient of Probe in the grindy MU and the body 4/4 of Dinrova Horror, a.k.a. a finisher.
I.M.H.O. Recoil doesn't convince me because is practically an Unsummon at cc3. However, this instant is more utilized that Dinrova Horror in Alchemy. So, the archetype's player appreciate the idea of remove the Journey to Nowhere, a card that have reprise to play in 2-3 copies maindeck in Boros Monarch.
The new tier
Why UB Alchemy is become the third archetypes most played in March? Because the players like it.
The other motive is because bad MU like Burn or Elves are not so played in meta online, so there is space for this archetypes. It is a deck appreciated by lot of players that don't want play Control or Aggro but want both answers and race.
Is also for the lovers of UB combination but they haven't choices after UB Flicker and UB Monarch.
If we have a "new" archetypes it will not necessarily one of the most performing.
It is difficult have reliability with data based only on 4 top8, but is interesting in order to understand the 2-3 archetypes with the most possibility to reach the top5.
If in a side Monarch and Ur Delver don't surprise us for their important presence in the current meta and for their validity, in the other side we have deck like UW tribe. These decks have a minor presence (for example, in this month only 18 player have used UW Tribe, think to the 44 of UB Alchemy) do the same number of results.
I.M.H.O. the motive is in the most flexibility of decks like (despite it is a free win against some archetypes) or Mono U Delver.
Mono U Delver continues to be played, despite there aren't valid motives to prefer it to UR Delver. The first motive is Boros Monarch, an opponent almost impossible to beat without removals like Lightning Bolt because the addition of Red gives the interactions that Mono U Delver alone can have it, like Recoil in UB Alchemy.
The motives to play Mono U Delver and not UR Delver are two: the player prefer to play Mono U, or it doesn't have the possibility to play UR Delver (for example I don't have the Snow Lands! >_<)
Old, funny and/or competitive lists
In the end, let's see some interesting things.
Mono Green Tron by Redzone91, 3° posto Pauper Challenge 04/03/2018
2 Accomplished Automaton
3 Fangren Marauder
4 Fierce Empath
3 Ulamog's Crusher
4 Wretched Gryff
4 Ancient Stirrings
4 Crop Rotation
2 Pulse of Murasa
2 Tree of Tales
3 Chromatic Sphere
4 Chromatic Star
4 Expedition Map
3 Prophetic Prism
2 Haunted Fengraf
1 Khalni Garden
4 Urza's Mine
4 Urza's Power Plant
4 Urza's Tower
2 Pulse of Murasa
1 Bojuka Bog
1 Moment's Peace
2 Penumbra Spider
2 Reap and Sow
2 Relic of Progenitus
An old version of Tron that work on beatdown and not on Control.
In the times of old Temur Tron (the version with Preordain, Sea Gate Oracle and Mulldrifter) Mono Green Tron was the "for fun" version, playing funny but also epic card like Aurochs Herd.
Now the type of big creature of this decks are better, but the archetype's base is the same and we can consider it like a Mono Color variant of GR Tron, the version with a Red's splash for Rolling Thunder and a pair of cards in the site.
This version has a manabase with a major number of colourful land: it is better if we won't depend on filterlands or mana's rocks, it is worst if we won't lost Rolling Thunder.
Izzet Flicker by kungfutrees, 4* posto Pauper Challenge 18/03/2018
4 Augur of Bolas
3 Sea Gate Oracle
1 Arc Lightning
1 Deep Analysis
2 Flame Slash
2 Ghostly Flicker
1 Harvest Pyre
4 Lightning Bolt
2 Ash Barrens
3 Evolving Wilds
4 Izzet Boilerworks
1 Radiant Fountain
9 Snow-Covered Island
3 Snow-Covered Mountain
1 Flame Slash
1 Gorilla Shaman
1 Razorfin Hunter
2 Relic of Progenitus
1 Serrated Arrows
It is a UR Midrange with a CA gameplan based on Ghostly Flicker and creatures with an EtB very similar to the dead Izzet Drake and Dimir Flicker, but it doesn't have a lock or a combo and is in based only on simple and clean card advantage.
Pro: cheap removals. Contro: It is slow when is should finish in attrition MU and in doesn't have a recursion (Maybe Mortuary Mire?)
Mono Black Ponza by Tommycakes, 8° posto Pauper Challenge 25/03/2018
4 Dusk Legion Zealot
4 Gurmag Angler
3 Thorn of the Black Rose
4 Chainer's Edict
4 Choking Sands
2 Night's Whisper
4 Rancid Earth
4 Sign in Blood
4 Dark Ritual
2 Barren Moor
4 Peat Bog
2 Cartouche of Ambition
1 Ghastly Demise
4 Tendrils of Corruption
2 Victim of Night
This Midrange with a Land Denial strategy has some players in this times, but there is no number for being a sure presence in the online meta.
The most performing and stable versions have Cuombajj Witches, Crypt Rats and/or Thorn of the Black Rose.
Metagame Pauper March 2018: Conclusions
It is an interesting meta. I don't like the big presence of Midrange among the most played archetype, but that presence permits a return with good results of some of my preferred archetypes.
I'm talking about Elves and Stompy.
Elves has a good MU against a lot of Aggro, from UW Tribe to UR Delver (at least it is playable against these two decks). It has a match up against Boros Monarch that becomes more accessible thanks to cards like Spidersilk Armor, Distant Melody and Gruesome Fate (it is better than Mob Justice because it doesn't do damage and it play around Prismatic Strands).
Mono Green Stompy has removed the Vault Skirge and has reinserted River Boa, not for the Islandwalk, but because they could regenerate, they are very strong against Red removals and manage a lot of Black removals.
GR Tron (and Mono G Tron) is another archetype with a great potential, but it have a bad MU against UR Delver and Mono U Delver. Despite it, it is playble against UR Delver due to playing also Custodi Squire or Mulldrifter with Wretched Gryff. We should keep an eye on this deck.
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