So I am at my local store for FNM a few weeks ago, and I see a few guys playing EDH at one of the corner tables. Seeing as EDH is by far my favorite format I strolled over to check out what commanders they were running and see if they had some new tech I had not seen before. While it is not unusual to see a common in an EDH build I was very surprised to see it was nothing but commons being played. I had heard of pauper before, but only as a constructed format, and was very intrigued by the idea of common only commander decks. After talking to the guys and then doing some research into the rules for builds and common house rules people use I talked the guys in my group to try it out. So for those of you that do not know Pauper is a format where you can only play commons. EDH pauper allows for your commander to be either common or uncommon.
Lesson #1 – Pauper Building is Not Easy
I have been playing for a long time and have a ton of extra cards laying around. The hardest part about building a full power EDH is usually deciding on what commander and strategy I want to use and then just start pulling the stuff to fit the tech I am using. Pauper throws a wrench in this. Building a synergistic pauper is hard. Building a Pauper for multiplayer, as that is what my group uses EDH for, was even harder.
Lesson #2 – Research is King
Forums are such an underrated tool for finding obscure cards that are great in given formats. I especially like going through the hidden gems forums as they are chock full of great little cards to use. When I first started thinking about what creature I wanted to use for a pauper commander I started with the forums. There are 1000s of pages of PC builds, and I highly recommend checking out a few of them before starting your build. I found several great spells I had never heard of in these list, seriously check them out.
Lesson #3 – You Will Start Wishing for Strange Things
At prerelease this past weekend I was not interested in the rares, and instead traded for commons and a few uncommon creatures. Pauper has made me appreciate the lower rarities and wish for more powerful effects at the common level. It was actually pretty refreshing to be at a prelease and be worried about pulling more than the “bombs” of the new set.
Now as to the games it is pure shenanigans. Pauper games are fun. The things that get played, and the amount payed for effects creates really funny situations. Seeing the combos getting pulled off at common just leaves you laughing and shaking your head. I will post deck lists shortly.