Power 9 Equivalent in Pauper?
Posted on Feb. 3, 2018, 10:46 p.m. by Gattison
My friend, eyessky, and I came up with an interesting idea the other day, and I wanted to share it with everybody and see what others think.
Since Pauper is sometimes called "Legacy-lite," we were thinking that it would be cool to figure out a Power 9 equivalent for Pauper. A Pauper IX, if you will.
(And as far as aesthetics go, I think it would be cool to stylize it as "pauper ix," with (less advanced) Roman numerals. Cuz it feels right, lol.)
Anyway, we tossed this idea about for a bit, then realized that we would first need to define the Power 9, and then define what a Pauper IX would be.
So now I'd like to open this up to discussion. I'll go first, to get things rolling.
I feel that the Power 9 are not only some of the most powerful, broken cards ever, but that they are also a toolbox of stuff that can basically be slapped into any deck and make it better. Even if you're playing Mono- in Legacy, you can put a Mox Pearl in your deck and use it for a FREE somewhere.
I think that this is the aspect the Pauper IX should focus on. Not exactly staples, or the most expensive cards, but cards that every pauper player should know about, and will most likely want in their deck. Keep in mind since this is pauper, and commons-only, these cards would probably make 75% of all pauper deck better, whereas the Power 9 probably makes 95% of all Vintage decks better. So my choices below could all be debatable.
Here is how (10) TappedOut.users have voted thus far:
- Lightning Bolt - 8
- Lotus Petal - 7
- Gurmag Angler - 6
- Delver of Secrets Flip - 5
- Gitaxian Probe - 5
- Preordain - 5
- Brainstorm - 4
- Ash Barrens - 4
- Gush - 4
- Slippery Bogle - 4
- Urza's Tower - 4
- Apostle's Blessing - 3
- Urza's Power Plant - 3
- Urza's Mine - 3
- Ponder - 3
- Simian Spirit Guide - 3
- Chromatic Star - 2
- Dark Ritual - 2
- Rancor - 2
- Counterspell - 2
- Pestilence - 2
- Blazing Salvo - 1
- Daze - 1
- Hooting Mandrills - 1
- Quirion Ranger - 1
- Nettle Sentinel - 1
- Prophetic Prism - 1
- Augur of Bolas - 1
...And this conversation would only benefit from having more participants, so I'm always open to new suggestions. What do other people have to say?
I hope nobody minds, but I'm going to tag bunch of known pauper players here, some of you I've spoken to before, others I've just seen around recently and am hoping would be interested: Modern_Brews, eyessky, LunaCelt, Boza, malfeischylde, Dalektable, UrbanGirlScout, Captain_Howel, thattallguy, Dark Magician , IlGuale, Wurmlover, TheHelvault.
Please share your thoughts. =)
1) Gitaxian Probe - Any deck can run this to gain advantageous information about their opponents hands while simultaneously thinning their own deck.
6) Daze - Free counterspell.
7) Lightning Bolt - Cheap, efficient removal that can be used to close out a game.
8) Pestilence - Controls the board and can be extremely difficult to fight through.
Can't think of a ninth card.
February 3, 2018 11:18 p.m.
Oh yeah! I almost forgot to mention, Modern_Brews had his own ideas for a pauper 9 also. He randomly noticed us talking about it on eyessky's profile and added his thoughts. In case he never makes it over here, you can still see his comment, which is still on E's profile wall.
February 3, 2018 11:31 p.m.
Well first of all, power 9 is mostly Vintage :-p BUT formats don't matter, formats are a conspiracy
BUT that being said I agree with this list. Brainstorm should be on here because it's bonkers in Pauper. Imo Delver wouldn't survive without Brainstorm.
I'd say Slippery Bogle should be in the list, I mean it's a formidable foe and that hexproof ability really screws games up.
Urza lands are cool and all but it's not like tron is the best thing in the world lol. I personally don't find urza lands to be that good, like Myr Enforcer is just as good imo.
February 3, 2018 11:38 p.m. Edited.
I think it most important that the Pauper ix include as many cards as possible that can be played in any deck. If not, the whole list will end up populated with blue one-drops...Here's my 2 cents:
6)Delver of Secrets Flip
Welding Jar, Phyrexian Walker, Glint Hawk and the artifact lands.
February 4, 2018 12:07 a.m. Edited.
Blazing Salvo is another good choice, if you haven't seen or heard of it. I personally prefer to run that as opposed to bolts, but that's my personal preference.
February 4, 2018 2:49 a.m.
I would say that my pauper cards that are closest to the actual power 9 are:
- Lotus Petal - free mana
- Gush - goes in ANY blue deck and easily the best draw spell in the format
- Ash Barrens - pauper equivalent of a fetchland
- Urza's Tower, Urza's Mine, Urza's Power Plant - while they don't get slapped into every deck, they fuel one of the most oppressive and overpowered decks in the format.
- Dark Ritual - free mana
- Chromatic Star - fuels affinity and, if nothing else, pay 2 colorless to draw a card.
- Gitaxian Probe - the card that was too good for modern (rest in spaghetti, never forgetti)
- Lightning Bolt - best removal in the format
- Delver of Secrets Flip - debatably the best creature in the format.
There's my list, tell me what you think!
February 4, 2018 8:23 a.m.
I haven't played too much competitive Pauper, so I guess you can take my list with a grain of salt. That said, there are some pretty strong arguments for these:
2) Lightning Bolt - The most versatile removal/game ender in Pauper. So good, it's even banned in Standard. :P
4) Brainstorm - Instant-speed card draw that gets all the better with shuffle effects. Great with the aforementioned Delver; just so versatile.
5) Rancor - The card that wasn't supposed to be. Apparently it was originally put in the file as a card costing 1g, but it got printed at one mana. Counters the one thing bad about enchantments; getting two-for-one'd.
6) Gurmag Angler - The best creature in Pauper because its 5/5 statline and color is crucial. Oftentimes comes out early, crushes blockers and shrugs off most removal.
7, 8, 9) Urza's Tower, Urza's Power Plant, Urza's Mine - Never actually played against these cards before, in any format, and I almost discounted them because they need to be set up, but seven mana on turn 3 if you play your cards right is an absurdly powerful advantage in Pauper. They drop threats even the Angler can't compete with. For that reason, they take the last three slots.
February 4, 2018 1:58 p.m.
Power 9 in Legacy, that made me laugh a little.
Im not much of a pauper player but id try to pic some cards.
Lotus Petal: well its actually a mini black lotus it has to be there.
Gush: well its as close as we guess for ancestral I guess. Imagine they printed that as common as they did with lightning bolt...
Gitaxian Probe: similar to gush, pretty powerful and bannedrestricted in several formats.
Brainstorm: best cantrip ever not as good in pauper as in legacy but still pretty good.
Ponder: propapbly the best cantrip in this format yes the og powernine have four blue cards I dont see why p ix should have less.
Simian Spirit guide: p9 has a lot of fast mana p ix needs some too
Lightning bolt: Running out of cards that are similar to p9 great flexible removal so ot shpuld be here.
Gurmag angler: 1 mana for a 5/5 thats worth to be a p ix
Unfortunately my pauper knowledge ends here im only aware of cards that also see play in other formats.
February 4, 2018 3:20 p.m.
So, first of all... I'm obviously not a Vintage or Legacy player, lol. My bad. X)
Secondly, I like everybody else's lists better than my own. =D
Here's the breakdown of what everybody thinks so far:
- Lightning Bolt - 6
- Lotus Petal - 6
- Gurmag Angler - 5
- Brainstorm - 4
- Delver of Secrets Flip - 4
- Gitaxian Probe - 4
- Ash Barrens - 3
- Urza's Tower - 3
- Urza's Power Plant - 3
- Urza's Mine - 3
- Apostle's Blessing - 2
- Chromatic Star - 2
- Dark Ritual - 2
- Gush - 2
- Preordain - 2
- Rancor - 2
- Simian Spirit Guide - 2
- Blazing Salvo - 1
- Daze - 1
- Hooting Mandrills - 1
- Pestilence - 1
- Ponder - 1
- Slippery Bogle - 1
lukas96 brings up an interesting point, too. Because pauper is kind of made up from combo-pieces, stepping-stones and straight-up-chaff from other formats, should it also be a "requirement" that the Pauper IX be useful in other formats, i.e. as a bridge to allow players to "graduate" to more expensive formats?
I personally do not feel that this needs to be a requirement. I feel it will be an inevitable "happy coincidence" in the end, regardless of our restrictions. I just wanted to bring the thought up though. =)
February 4, 2018 5:26 p.m.
I would say with no doubt that Lightning Bolt and Brainstorm deserve to be P9s more than the Urzalands because, imho, a P9 should be a card which is too good not to play if you are in its colours more than a build around card. But i have zero experience in vintage and it's possible that my idea of P9 is wrong.
February 4, 2018 5:35 p.m.
i think your right p9 (maybe with the exception of Timetwister ) are cards that are playable in almost every deck (color is not that important because most of them are artifacts) and the urzalands are defenitely powerfull but you have to build around them to make them work (tutors for them and high cmc threats)
February 4, 2018 5:40 p.m.
Yeah, even though I originally put that idea out there (of putting the Urza's lands in the P IX), I'm leaning away from it the more we discuss this. I do have a couple solutions, though.
I propose if the Urza's lands are to be included here, then we include ONLY Urza's Tower, the big one. the other two lands that you need are named right on the card, so the combo isn't hard to figure out. However by putting the "big one" in the pIX, we insinuate the rest, basically.
Either that or get rid of all three of them from the list, which I could understand also.
February 4, 2018 5:56 p.m.
The list posted here kind of just looks like most broken pauper cards. If youre going for cards most decks in those colors should use, here are some suggestions, per color
That being said, Here is my Pauper IX:
February 5, 2018 6:18 p.m.
Hey, thanks for the tag! I'm new to Pauper and not very familiar with its meta, so take all this with a grain of salt, but I'll do my best.
I think it's not only accurate, but fitting in an almost poetic way, for the crown jewel of the Pauper IX to be Lotus Petal.
When picking the others, the first thing that strikes me about the original Power Nine is that 6 of them are mana production, 1 is card draw, and the last 2 are just other stupidly broken abilities. Therefore naturally mana production/fixing belongs at the forefront for the Pauper IX, but with how limited the options available are, I'm certain it won't take up 6 slots. Card draw should also get at least 1 slot, and I wouldn't be surprised if blue cards take up around 3 slots. There's nothing in Pauper that even comes close to those last two stupidly broken cards, so something more uniquely powerful in Pauper will have to take their place.
For the second, I have to agree with the common opinion ITT: the Urza's land trio deserves to be there, but there's no reason to fill 3 slots with a set of combo pieces, so giving 1 slot for Urza's Tower seems reasonable.
For the third slot, I gotta give it to Ash Barrens. The only decks that don't benefit from running that are mono-color decks and decks that entirely use nonbasic lands, like artifact affinity decks that fill up on the artifact lands.
I think that's enough for mana production in the Pauper IX. Now's when things get interesting.
For the fourth slot, staying predictable, but Lightning Bolt really earned it. Virtually every deck that contains red is going to run it. The only ones I can think of that won't are, again, artifact affinity decks (which would run the even stronger Galvanic Blast) or two-color Aggro decks that REALLY focus in on red's creatures and pumping them up.
For the fifth slot, several blue card draw options have been mentioned, and I recommend picking one. I don't have the experience to confidently pick one, but Ponder and Preordain seem the most appealing to me given the user control that they offer.
For the sixth slot, Slippery Bogle is my pick. With Pauper's limited options for mana fixing, hybrid mana costs are a big help, and with the kind of basic functions that each color keeps to, the most well-known evergreen creature abilities are all good, but hexproof is one of the best. Any deck with blue, green, or both in it that's running any kind of Equipment, Auras, or other things to pump up a creature and needs to fill a few slots can use a Slippery Bogle. It's no wonder that one of the notable builds of the meta -- something to which plenty of Sideboards run specific counters -- is based around, and named after, these little guys.
That's as many as I can really say something about. I don't really see what makes Gurmag Angler so great though; plenty of decks just aren't going to be putting enough cards into the graveyard to reliably play it. On the other hand, given some decks run graveyard removal specifically to shut down Delve creatures -- which is similar to the justification I gave for Slippery Bogle -- maybe it deserves a slot.
February 6, 2018 5:47 a.m.
I'm back. Sorry for taking so long to return, but I have been mulling everything everyone has said over, and I have some thoughts. I'd like to keep this dialogue going and reason out our choices.
Firstly, I've updated the Original Post, took my silly pIX list off and put up the running talley. I really like the way the current top 9 looks, honestly, despite that less than 10 pauper players voiced their opinions on it, lol.
Secondly, Modern_Brews, with all due respect, I think the pIX should be a list of the most broken pauper cards, because that's exactly what the Power 9 is. The P9 also doesn't care about representing the color pie fairly, and thus I feel that neither should the Pauper IX. I guess I did make it sound otherwise in my statement above, and my apologies for not clarifying earlier.
Third, Captain_Howel, I would actually argue that all three of the blue cards in the P9 could be called "draw." At the very least, every single one of the power 9 cards do essentially the same thing for a deck. They accelerate it. They give you more mana, cards or turns (which is really just card advantage, imo) than you would normally get, under normal circumstances.
I'm not trying to be argumentative with either of you, instead I'm just hoping to further define what the Pauper IX should be. =) Feedback is welcome!
Now on that line of thought, let's get back to the culmination of our votes in the list in the OP. Let me first say that I personally feel that, ignoring everything else, Lightning Bolt, Lotus Petal, Gitaxian Probe and Ash Barrens all NEED to be on this list, and there's no getting around it. Does anybody else feel this way?
I also feel that Simian Spirit Guide should definitely be on this list alongside Lotus Petal, because like DarkMagician said, it is literally a pauper version of Mox Ruby. It doesn't matter if people aren't playing this card currently, or if it's not "paupular". Not everybody always plays the P9, the same would therefore obviously be true about the pIX, wouldn't it? What does matter is that this card is free , which is crazy good no matter what color it is, and as a pauper player "you should know about this." For the same reasons, I feel Dark Ritual is the pauper version of Mox Jet, and should rank on the list.
I also feel the same way about Apostle's Blessing, but to a lesser extent. I also want to point out that this same line of reasoning (first iterated by DarkMagician above) is exactly why we "all" agree Gitaxian Probe should qualify. Because ANY deck can play it. And ANY deck can play Simian Spirit Guide for a free or a free , and to a lesser extent, any deck with in it can play Dark Ritual.
Next, I agree with Captain_Howel (and eyessky) about Gurmag Angler that it's not an auto-include in decks running . However, it is quite easy to alter most decks, just a bit, to allow 1 or more Anglers. I think that is why people play it so much, and why it got so many votes here. One more vote than Delver of Secrets Flip in fact, and I think that is indicative of how it's slightly harder to alter "just any deck with in it" to squeeze some Delvers in.
Finally, I do think we should all stop and reconsider whether Slippery Bogle should be on this list or not. It's not a game accelerator, like Lotus Petal or Preordain, but it is a super useful creature that should be known to all pauper brewers and builders.
Thanks for your input so far everybody!
February 14, 2018 8:05 p.m.
February 14, 2018 8:07 p.m.
February 14, 2018 8:28 p.m.
I agree with Lightning Bolt, Lotus Petal, Gitaxian Probe, Ash Barrens and Simian Spirit Guide.
I disagree on Dark Ritual because you actualy need black mana to cast it which makes it different from Guide and aldo different from the actual Moxen.
February 14, 2018 9:13 p.m.
GattisonAgree about the boggles...not pIX worthy imo...and you you know how I feel about Dark Ritual ;) ...also interesting that Chainer's Edict didn't even get an honorable mention. The list looks good!
February 14, 2018 10:47 p.m.
Gattison, I agree about your 4 must-haves. They're really good fits, and they perfectly illustrate the range of effects that belong on the list.
That hybrid mana is a BIG factor for Slippery Bogle. While it still is best in a green & blue deck, it can be used just like a mono-colored mana cost in any green OR blue deck. It's immune to burn and removal spells. It can ONLY be destroyed by an opponent in direct combat.
Put another vote down for Simian Spirit Guide from me. Let's see if we can get that onto the list proper, and bump off Brainstorm or Gurmag Angler!
February 17, 2018 3:41 a.m.
I just had a thought. So far we've been talking about this in terms of mimicking the Power Nine for Pauper both in concept and in number of slots. But the only reason the Power Nine is 9 cards is because that's how many cards fit the criteria. It stands to reason that the Pauper equivalent wouldn't necessarily be 9 cards. It could be 6, or 13, or another number like that.
That being the case, rather than argue whether a card deserves one of the nine slots, it makes more sense to arque whether a card deserves to have a slot with the total number of slots still uncertain. In order to come to any kind of final decision on the matter, the precise criteria for the Pauper Unknown-Number-of-Cards has to be locked down.
February 24, 2018 11:39 p.m.
There are actually a few cards that are seen as powerful or even more powerful than the p9 so imo thats not the thing we shoud discuss
February 25, 2018 6:12 a.m.
lukas96 what cards are seen as more powerful than the P9?
February 25, 2018 6:51 p.m.
solRing at least in Vintage cube. But its actualy pretty close to a mox in general
Library of Alexandria is also very strong.
Those are called the 10th powetpiece sometimes. There might be some mor ebut those are the only ones i can think of in the moment.
February 25, 2018 7:08 p.m.
Regardless, we still need to lock down the precise criteria for this list.
From a quick skim of the thread again, here's the commentary so far ITT about what that criteria is:
"I feel that the Power 9 are not only some of the most powerful, broken cards ever, but that they are also a toolbox of stuff that can basically be slapped into any deck and make it better."
"Not exactly staples, or the most expensive cards, but cards that every pauper player should know about, and will most likely want in their deck. Keep in mind since this is pauper, and commons-only, these cards would probably make 75% of all pauper deck better, whereas the Power 9 probably makes 95% of all Legacy decks better... I also propose the Pauper IX contain only cards that BOTH MTGO AND paper players can use"
"I think the pIX should be a list of the most broken pauper cards, because that's exactly what the Power 9 is. The P9 also doesn't care about representing the color pie fairly, and thus I feel that neither should the Pauper IX."
"At the very least, every single one of the power 9 cards do essentially the same thing for a deck. They accelerate it. They give you more mana, cards or turns (which is really just card advantage, imo) than you would normally get, under normal circumstances."
"Because pauper is kind of made up from combo-pieces, stepping-stones and straight-up-chaff from other formats, should it also be a "requirement" that the Pauper IX be useful in other formats, i.e. as a bridge to allow players to "graduate" to more expensive formats? I personally do not feel that this needs to be a requirement. I feel it will be an inevitable "happy coincidence" in the end, regardless of our restrictions."
"I think it most important that the Pauper ix include as many cards as possible that can be played in any deck. If not, the whole list will end up populated with blue one-drops"
"imho, a P9 should be a card which is too good not to play if you are in its colours more than a build around card"
"i think your right p9 (maybe with the exception of Timetwister ) are cards that are playable in almost every deck (color is not that important because most of them are artifacts)"
So the big points we have, as I see them, are:
Very functional in almost any deck in the format to the extent that only specific builds would use alternatives (e.g. an affinity deck with Atog would use Chromatic Star instead of Lotus Petal to take advantage of the card draw when sacrificing them), but not to quite the same extent as the Power Nine, since nothing in Pauper is THAT good
Not just staples, but cards that are strong enough to shape the whole meta
Mainly accelerants; generating mana or card draw, giving the user card advantage
Ideally cards that are powerful towards any deck that can play them, rather than cards that are part of a specific build
So this is all still in line with the top picks; I rarely see a deck that includes red and doesn't run Lightning Bolt, because why wouldn't you when it's so useful and easy to play? Lotus Petal is in because any multicolored deck can run it just fine. Ash Barrens is arguably even better in general, as it offers great momentum with any multicolored deck that has at least a few basic lands. Slippery Bogle still makes the cut for me; what green/blue deck couldn't use a one-drop hexproof creature? Simian Spirit Guide is also just an excellent accelerant. Put it in. As for Urza's Tower, here's where my inexperience becomes a factor. I don't know enough about that combo's use to understand if it's widely usable, or only as part of a specific build. Without that knowledge, all I can say is it strikes me as potent enough to put in.
February 26, 2018 4:37 a.m.
I HAVE to read this whole thread, it looks cool. That said I disagree with the original list. Gurmag Angler is not more powerful than Pestilence in most cases, and I would include pestilence on the list. Additionally, bw pestilence is a clear t1.5 deck these days and it runs zero anglers, usually. Also due to its key placement in two, a 1.5 decks (izzet blitz) and a t1 deck (tireless tribe) Gush should not be a cusp card, but a p9 ish card.
February 26, 2018 8:23 a.m.
Starting at the top:
TheHelvault said something that I'm just picking up on now. "Imo Delver wouldn't survive without Brainstorm." I believe he means Delver of Secrets Flip, but I think the point is the same for the Angler. Delver & Angler both are very build-around-me, which makes them less easy to slip into just any deck. On the other hand these two cards are super popular with a bunch of decks already built around them, which newer players can use as a starting point.
I've put some thought into Dark Ritual and did a lil research. The reason people are not as impressed by it as they are Simian Spirit Guide is because due to its casting cost of AND what else is available in pauper, it just doesn't enable enough awesome stuff. Therefore despite that in theory its 2 free mana, in practice its just not that effective. I see that now, and just wanted to expound on that for anybody interested.
Captain_Howel, I really like where your head is at. =) Your idea that the P9 is 9 cards because thats how many there are is so obviously obvious that I feel shame for not realizing it myself (lol jk, seriously though. Great point).
eyessky mentioned something to me offline that I don't think was mentioned in this thread. And that is that maybe the p ix should be a multi-tiered list? Maybe 9 absolutes, 9 build-around-me and 9 popular? Unless people think one list of however-many would be better? I'm just considering what would be easiest to verbally explain to a newer player.
I am mobile now, but tonight or tomorrow I will recount the votes and update. I was thinking if we upvote a 10th card then we should downvote a previous choice, buuuuut... If we aren't restricted to a mere 9 anymore , then that doesn't seem necessary any more. Does it? =)
Also I think I agree with Captain_Howel's assessment of what the Pauper #? should be. Anybody else?
February 27, 2018 4:10 p.m.
I think the biggest problem with Dark Ritual is the simple fact that you HAVE to be running black in order to benefit from it where as Simian Spirit Guide can be used to accelerate (though not color fix) any deck. That's my reasoning for placing it on the p9 list while omitting the Ritual.
March 1, 2018 10:15 p.m.
A multi-tiered list would be overkill; popular cards really don't matter, we have format staples lists for that. As for build-around-mes, the Power Nine has one, which raises a tricky question: why is that one there, but other build-around-mes aren't? Is it just THAT good? If so, how was that measured to begin with?
I think sticking to absolutes is the way to go, with maybe 1-2 build-around-mes if they seem to have earned it. The only (apparent) build-around-me I'd put in right now is Urza's Tower.
I hate to keep changing my answer, but now the number eight is really resonating with me. The Power Nine, the Pauper Eight; it feels good. Since there's been a lot of support for Delver of Secrets, I say put in that, Brainstorm, and the 6 I mentioned in that big paragraph in my last comment.