Saturday, February 7, 2015

Is Standard Pauper Casual?

This week I came across a relatively new article series on PureMTGO entitled "Casual Play" by author bdgp009. The article first caught my eye because he regularly discusses a Standard Pauper build in each of his articles. Then, in his most recent article, he weighed in on what has been a long-running discussion for online games in general and Magic Online (as well as Hearthstone) in particular: What is casual?

Here's what he had to say:

1. Casual is when you play "just for fun."
2. Casual is when it costs you nothing to play and you don't have any prizes on the line.
2. Casual is when you are playing a deck that you enjoy building.
3. Casual is when you are playing a deck that is untested or doesn't have much of a track-record.
4. Casual doesn't necessarily mean weak, but it shouldn't be unbeatable either.

So I was curious how this definition applied to Standard Pauper in general. Overall, I would say it fits pretty well. It costs very little to obtain the cards, there are no sanctioned events or results, it encourages testing and experimenting with new decks, and most of the time any given player can win any given game if the circumstances are right. 

But does this mean that Standard Pauper Player Run Events are also casual? Interestingly enough, it doesn't seem so, at least by this definition. While I hope that most players enjoy the format, there certainly is an emphasis on winning. With prizes on the line, players often go with decks that have performed well in previous events. Of course, even for all this preparation, it isn't unheard of for a complete newbie to end up making Top 8 or better the first time they play, so in Standard Pauper perhaps it is always anyone's game.

What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. This thinking is very much in line with the one I followed when coming up with my "Rarity-Restricted Casual-Competitive" moniker for such formats. I think all these elements do make Standard Pauper and other similar formats casual, but even as a casual format they can be a canvass for some very good competition. I believe it's the only way to play :-)