Pauper Bans, Other Formats & Combos Under Scrutiny

Today, Wizards announced that 3 cards would be banned in Pauper.

Therefore, in order to weaken blue tempo decks without impacting the core cantrip-plus-Delver of Secrets gameplay, we are banning Gush, Daze, and Gitaxian Probe in Pauper. We discussed whether some subset of these cards would cause enough impact, but based on our data of blue’s historical strength in Pauper and the web of synergy between cantrips, free spells, and efficient threats, we determined multiple bans were necessary.

Other cards were potentially on the chopping block;

We discussed taking action against one or more of the one-mana cantrips, Ponder, Preordain, and Brainstorm.

But banning one of those would have lead to the others & not impacted much overall; “However, we believe that different formats should offer different styles of play, and that many Pauper players have come to enjoy efficient card selection as one of the hallmarks of the format.”

Monarch’s impact was addressed as well, stating:

A second topic that’s been on our radar is the monarch mechanic in Pauper. Our data, at present, doesn’t show decks using the monarch mechanic as having problematic win rates or a problematic role in the metagame. While some feel that monarch is too high-impact, especially against midrange and control strategies, it also enables archetypes that may not otherwise exist, like red-white and white-black midrange decks.

Modern combos were discussed as well, but there appears to be a lack of data to support it at this moment;

We’re aware of some concern about combos in Modern based around War of the Spark cards, such as Neoform plus Allosaurus Rider; Ugin’s Conjurant plus Celestial Kirin; and Karn, the Great Creator plus Mycosynth Lattice. We’ve been monitoring the play rates and win rates of these decks and, so far, don’t see cause for alarm. With the release of Modern Horizons and Mythic Championship IV right around the corner, we’ll continue to observe the evolution of the Modern metagame.

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I’m your host, the Wizard of the Post; and that was Pauper