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Missing any banned card? Maybe you’ll meet it again at Pauper

One of the greatest certainties of magic is the banning. Sometimes more in one format, less in another, sooner or later it arrives: there is no format without a banned list. Whole decks are lost, small fortunes disappear from one hour to another. Players migrated from Standard to Extended when Stoneforge Mystic was banned, as well as others went from Modern to Legacy because of Deathrite Shaman or Eye of Ugin.

At that time, Pauper has a slight advantage over the others. Rarely does a ban announcement do such a damage. For example, Mono Blue Fairies is one of the strongest decks since the format’s creation and has always taken advantage of 4 Cloud of Faeries in the main deck. In January 2016 the card was banned. Faerie Miscreant, which it is found for less than a buck, took over the spot and the deck is still a tier 1. And don’t you think the card is weak only by its price; the mono blue fairies has the potential to win from any Standard or Modern. Challenge a good pilot of the deck and you’ll see.

What few people know is that pauper is a format to remember some of the banned staples. In total, 30 common cards have already been banned or restricted in some format. Of these, 20 are still valid in pauper. That’s what I’m talking about in this article. I’ll show you all these cards and do some analysis.


Common cards banned in the set
(All from the set of Mirrodin)

[one-third-first] [/one-third-first] [one-third] [/one-third] [one-third] [/one-third]


Common cards banned on Standard

[one-third-first] [/one-third-first] [one-third] [/one-third] [one-third] [/one-third]


Common cards banned on Extended

[one-third-first] [/one-third-first] [one-third] [/one-third] [one-third] [/one-third]


Common cards banned on Modern

[one-third-first] [/one-third-first] [one-third] [/one-third] [one-third] [/one-third]

* – Unbanned

Common cards banned in Legacy

[one-third-first] [/one-third-first] [one-third] [/one-third] [one-third] [/one-third]


* – Unbanned

Common cards restricted on Vintage

[one-third-first] [/one-third-first] [one-third] [/one-third] [one-third] [/one-third]


* – Unrestricted
** – Unrestricted and restricted again

Gush was restricted on Vintage for the third time

Common cards banned in Commander

Commander doesn’t have banned cards.

Banned cards in Pauper

[one-third-first] [/one-third-first] [one-third] [/one-third] [one-third] [/one-third]
Treasure Cruise was banned in Modern e Legacy and restricted in Vintage in the same day. It even resisted for two months before being forbidden in pauper

We note that 20 banned or restricted cards in other formats, and often in more than one, are still legal in pauper. Let’s look at these cards and their submissions having the pauper format on sight.

Affinity cards

[one-third-first] [/one-third-first] [one-third] [/one-third] [one-third] [/one-third]


In termos of balancing, Affinity was the biggest mistake from Wizards. To correct it, they made a situated ban: 8 cards (7 coommons + Arcbound Ravager) from the same deck in the set and in Standard. That’s why is not astonishing that with so many strong cards the deck is still a Tier 1 since Pauper’s creation. Dust to DustGleeful SabotageAncient GrudgeGorilla Shaman, amidst others, prevent Affinity from getting out of hand. But his one Wizards can’t bear, Cranial Plating is at the ban list since Pauper’s creation on MOL, in 2008.



[one-third-first] [/one-third-first] [one-third] [/one-third] [one-third] [/one-third]


The cantrips are the dream of modern players and the reality of Legacy. There is an eternal controversy if these cards are a mistake for unbalancing the blue color. It is not difficult to check that most Legacy decks have blue because of cantrips and counters.

What about pauper? Well, cantrips, especially Brainstorm and Ponder, lose much of their strength without the fetch lands and in addition the mana base did not cooperate for an efficient blue splash. In recent times the lands had improved and it is common to see decks of 2 or 3 colors. Mono Blue Fairies itself surrendered to the red and Mono Black Control to the blue. With this the cantrips are in more use than ever, especially if combined with Ash Barrens and Terramorphic Expanse. Even so, they do not allow for blue supremacy and the format remains healthy and quite colorful.

As for Gitaxian Probe, it does not have as much strength in pauper. The only deck that uses it is the UR Blitz and even though it is a lot used, it doesn’t always use 4 copies. The current field is very aggressive and the 2 life that were considered almost free recently in Modern and Vintage are very important in pauper and cannot be wasted.

Mana Acceleration

[one-third-first] [/one-third-first] [one-third] [/one-third] [one-third] [/one-third]


The resources are scarce and each advantage card is lacking in pauper. There are no cards that justify the loss of a resource to be cast. Since the ban on Empty the Warrens and  Grapeshot the mana speed-ups are not very utilized.

Criaturas Agressivas

[one-third-first] [/one-third-first] [one-third] [/one-third]


There are two creatures that could not adapt to pauper. Once and a while we see some Zoo risking through the tops of MOL, but it’s a rare thing. The truth is that aggression and multicolors do not fit. You con be very lucky to draw the right basic lands, or you can adventure to lose rounds by using Terramophic Expanse e Ash Barrens. Until the setup is ready, Mono Green Stomp and Mono Red Aggro could already have finished the game.


Originally at the first list of banned and restricted Magic. Even in 1994 it was not such a strong card, so it was unrestrained a month later. Last year was brought as a common in Eternal Masters, but is not strong enough to play competitively.

Only card currently banned in Legacy and allowed in Pauper. Always appears in Mono Blue, UB control and UR Blitz. Drawing 2 cards for the cost of “0” is surprisingly good.

It was very used before, to fetch Cloudposts. Now that is banned, it still helps to unite the Tron Lands.



Banned cards in a format tend to be strong in those in which they remain valid. Some that were shown in this article prove this: they are staples in Pauper. Still others are not used. It does not mean that they are bad, but they have not yet found the correct deck on which they can shine. What bothers me the most about the ban issue is that there has never been a ban or restriction on common white cards in Magic history. Wow, Wizards, let’s get more into that color, huh?

About Diego Nunes

Diego foi apresentado ao magic e joga desde 2001. No início achava Vizzerdrix a melhor carta do mundo, mas com o tempo foi tomando jeito. Atualmente jogador de Legacy e Pauper, adora as diferentes estratégias que o jogo permite e está sempre disposto a criar e jogar com listas tortas.

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