Magic: The Gathering’s popular commons-only Pauper format is now fully tournament-legal
Magic: The Gathering is giving the card game’s Pauper format an official seal of approval, making the commons-only format fully tournament-legal for the CCG.
Pauper has been around for a while now, first emerging out of Magic’s fan community a decade ago as a way to construct decks using just common cards. The other typical rules for building Magic decks still apply: there have to be at least 60 cards in the deck and no one card can appear more than four times, aside from lands.
After years as an unofficial way to play, Pauper was added to Magic Online, the game’s digital version, in 2017. The format has since carried over to Magic Online’s successor, Magic: The Gathering Arena.
Despite being supported by Magic’s digital versions, Pauper lacked official support in the physical version of the card game – until now.
Magic maker Wizards of the Coast announced that it would be unifying Pauper across digital and physical, making the format tournament-legal at tabletop events and updating the list of cards supported to include any common card from any Magic set, digital or physical, including adding some cards that were previously banned in Magic Online.
The change means that both Wizards’ major Magic tournaments and local competitions at shops can now include Pauper events, and Magic Online, Magic Arena and the physical card game will all have the same card list – previously, two different lists existed for physical and digital.
Alongside the cards being made legal for the first time in Pauper, three cards have been added to the format’s banned list: Hymn to Tourach (which forces a player to discard two cards at random), Sinkhole (which destroys a land) and High Tide (which lets you search your library for a blue instant or interrupt and put it in your hand).
Wizards said that it would be watching how the changes to the format affect Magic’s metagame closely, but would give the new Pauper time to settle in before deciding to ban or restrict more cards in the future.
The revised Pauper will come into effect on Magic Online with the Core Set 2020 update, with the online Gatherer resource – which keeps track of which cards are permitted for use – being updated on July 9th.