Saturday, December 13, 2014

Why Standard Pauper Is Worth Saving

All this week I've been talking about the problems with Magic Online, how it relates to Standard Pauper, and what we as a community can do about it. Tuesday, I wrote that while there is no doubt Magic Online is a mess, it's worth putting up with it to keep Standard Pauper alive. Thursday, I wrote about different options we have as a community to help bridge the gap while Magic Online goes through its growing pains. Finally, today I want to remind everyone about why Standard Pauper is worth saving.

Back in April 2013, a petition was started asking Wizards of the Coast to support Standard Pauper. It ended up with just under 350 signatures on it. Around that same time, Chris Baker, who is affiliated with ChannelFireball, also wrote a blog post talking about what a great format Standard Pauper is.  I myself have written several different articles discussing why Standard Pauper is good both for the community and for Wizards of the Coast. So what's so special about it?
  • It's cheap to play.
  • It uses the most popular and relevant format.
  • It has an interesting and varied metagame
  • A more 'flat' power-level rewards better skill over time
  • It is supported by multiple Player Run Events
  • It has a Magic Online clan devoted to it
It's a great format. Let's do whatever it takes to keep it alive.

A couple postscripts for this week:
  1. I wrote an article on Common Design and its implications for Standard Pauper. Check it out here.
  2. I am working on a new league format called Standard Pauper Sealed. You can find out more about what this means and how it's possible here. More about that next week.


  1. I love standard pauper, and I would play in the PRE, but I work on Monday from 10:30am to 9pm EST, (I'm in NY). If their was a standard pauper PRE on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday, I would be in.

  2. While I whole-heatedly agree that Standard Pauper is worth saving because it is the most accessible, least expensive, and probably most skill-intensive constructed format ever invented, I do not believe that Magic Online is the answer to saving it. I personally still cannot run the program successfully on my machine and let's face it: I play Pauper. If I can't afford Money Magic formats, I most definitely cannot afford to upgrade to a machine that can handle this terrible, awful, no-good, very bad software.

    So I'm taking steps to get back into the format but with paper cards at in-person physical locations. I think it's fantastic that you and other hosts like Dr. Chris are doing your best to work with what you've got and keep the format as healthy as possible on MTGO, but what about IRL?

    I used to keep paper copies of all the Standard Pauper decks and when friends who knew how to play but weren't active hobbyists happened to come over, I would introduce them to the format that way. The response was always excellent and we had every bit as much fun dueling or in melee as I've ever had online. I would even challenge myself to run the best PDC decks against Money Magic players at FNMs. I'll never forget when my old Dominus Deck Wins build went 2-1 against a $400 UB Faeries build. I've never seen an upper class M:TG snob get so upset! It was just precious :-)

    If Standard Pauper is worth saving online, then it's worth pushing it in real life as well. It might not be as cheap or convenient, but I strongly believe there is untapped potential at every Magic players local game shop. I'm taking steps to use my prior MTGO hosting and season play experience and translate that to the brick and mortar locations. I will certainly let my players know about PDCMagic and this blog and others maintained by the Online Standard Pauper community as part of that endeavor. Wish me luck and good luck to those trying their best to save the format from the Lord of Pit that is v4 :-)

    1. I think expanding Pauper Magic from online into paper should be encouraged. There needs to be a balanced approach for sharing the beauty of PDC. It helps not only online/MTGO digital players (new, veterans returning etc) but to paper players under the same theory: Magic can be fun and you don't need to spend $$$ to enjoy Magic at its core fun playability! Long live the Paupers!

  3. Gwyned and to the Pauper community as a whole - I totally agree with and support this article's point of view. Pauper/PDC kept folks in MTGO years ago when MTGO fired Leaping Lizards, had issues with 2.x and 3.x versions of MTGO. Pauper is fun, functional and should continue to be sorted (Standard, Extended etc). Long live the Pauper Commoners!

    Tharionwind, founder of PDC