Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Standard Pauper Sealed League

Here's the announcement you've all been waiting for!

I am happy to officially announce the Standard Pauper Sealed League. Last month, I previewed this great format with an article on PureMTGO, a couple videos, and a previous post discussing how the event would work. But if you've somehow missed all that, here's the quick concept: a 90 card Sealed pool consisting of all Commons, generated from 9 packs in any combination of sets that are currently legal in Standard. You receive your pool, sort out of the non-Commons, create a decklist, and battle it out over a several week period. And like the old Sealed Leagues, you can even add additional packs as the event goes on!

So here are the official rules for this event:

1. Registration: Registration begins immediately and will be open until 11:59pm EST on Friday, January 30th. To register, send an email to gwyned at gmail dot com with "Standard Pauper Sealed" in the subject line and include your MTGO username, your time zone, and your choice of boosters for your Sealed pool (more on that below) in the body of the E-mail. There is no entry fee to participate - in other words, it's absolutely free!

2. Important Dates: You must register by Friday, January 30th at 11:59pm EST to participate in this event. You will receive your Sealed Pool by 11:59pm EST on Sunday, February 1st. Round 1 then begins on Monday, February 2nd. Each round will run one week, beginning on Monday and ending at 11:59pm EST every Sunday.

3. Sealed Pool: Each player can choose which booster packs will be used for his or her Sealed Pool. You pick 9 boosters from the five sets currently in Standard (Theros, Born of the Gods, Journey Into Nyx, Magic 2015, or Khans of Tarkir). However, you may not choose more than 4 boosters from any one set. This means, at minimum, your pool will contain cards from at least three different sets. As the host, I will be generating pools for each player to ensure integrity. You will receive your pool as an E-mail attachment, and you will need to sort out all of the non-Commons prior to building your decklist. Check out this video for a walkthrough on how to do this (start at the 4:12 mark on the video).

Additionally, after you have finished your match for the week, you can request an additional booster pack worth of cards to be added to your pool. These pools will also be sent via E-mail attachment and will need to be manually added to your existing pool.

4. Decks: Decks are 40 card minimum, with any card in your pool available during Sideboarding.

5. Structure: This event will be Swiss style, with the total number of rounds determined by the number of players:
  • With less than 17 players, we will play 3 rounds. 
  • With 17 players or more, we will play 4 rounds.
  • With 33 players or more, we will play 5 rounds.
  • With 65 players or more, we will play 6 rounds.    
  • With 129 players or more, we will play 7 rounds.
After the Swiss rounds are complete, there will be a cut to Top 8 (resulting in three more Single Elimination rounds).

I will be using Gatherling on pdcmagic.com to facilitate matches. This means that each participant needs to have a functional account at pdcmagic.com/Gatherling. I will be adding players to the event manually once I have received your registration E-mail, so don't try to register on that site directly.

Each week, login to the Player CP on Gatherling and look for the entry under Standard Pauper Sealed #1. There you will see your Pairing for the round. Once your match is over, both players will need to record the results in their Player CP as well. Failure to complete your match may be grounds for disqualification for the event. Be sure and contact your opponent early each week to make sure you can complete your match in a timely fashion.

6. Tables: Please set up each match as follows; before you join a match, make sure the match is setup correctly.
  • Type: Freeform
  • Match Structure: Best 2 out of 3
  • Event Timer: 25 minutes
  • Allow Watchers
  • Comment: Standard Pauper Sealed Round #
7. Conduct: It is the responsibility of each player to be aware of all the rules for this event. Ignorance will NOT be an excuse.

This event, like any Player Run Event, relies on the honor system. Please be a good sport.

If you’ve contacted your opponent and have not received a response in 48 hours, please contact me. If only one person contacts me and no results are reported, I will award that player a match win and drop his or her opponent.

If you are having any other problem (such as your opponent not showing up, your opponent dropped connection in the middle of the match, harassment, or anything else), don’t hesitate to contact me. And if you suspect another player is cheating, let me know. But I trust that every player will be a good sport and act in good faith such that I never have to become involved.

8. Prizes: The exact prize structure will be determined by the total number of players, but I will be donating a minimum of $28 in prizes. If you are interesting in donating to this prize pool, please contact me at gwyned at gmail dot com with the subject line "Standard Pauper Sealed Prizes".

9. Questions: Leave any questions in the comments below, or feel free to contact me at gwyned at gmail dot com.


  1. Just to list out the current standard legal sets to choose from:

    Born of the Gods
    Journey Into Nyx
    Khans of Tarkir

    I'm really interested to try to figure out which combination everyone thinks is best - will have to think about it mucho.

    Even though the league start isn't for a few weeks (anticipation is killing us all I'm sure) the timing is perfect since we will have something to do between Worlds and Fate Reforge's release.

    Cheers :D

    1. Thanks. Edited the OP to list the Standard legal sets and fixed the typo in the previous post that listed Gatecrash instead of Born of the Gods.

  2. Is Fate Reforged going to be legal once it is added on MTGO?

  3. I think it should be - since it will be a legal standard set. Good idea!

  4. Whether or not Fate Reforged will be legal or not is more of a technical question. Depends how quickly that gets added to the software. I will check on this and let you guys know.

  5. So is there a limit to how many packs from one set can be taken as "extra" packs after each week's game?

  6. Ya I would like to know as well. Is 4 of the same pack the max you can have at any time or just for the initial build? Thanks

    1. I think the easiest rule would be to allow you to pick whatever additional booster you want, but you can't pick the same set two weeks in a row.

  7. Ya I would like to know, as well. Is 4 the max number of packs for the whole league or just got the initial build? Thanks

  8. Hi, it looks like we're free to change our decks between rounds, is that right?

    Also, may I add basic lands to my sideboard? This would be for off-color activation costs, or for a transformative sideboard.

    1. You are welcome to add Lands to your Sideboard. In a normal sealed event you can always add and subtract lands during Sideboard, but since the manual pairings won't allow this, you can just add them manually. And yes, you are welcome to change your deck in between rounds, or even during Sideboarding if you wish. I will send out an E-mail today with final instructions and some clarifications.