Pillars of the Format – Post BFZ Standard Pauper Metagame Analysis

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+ = recommended for play


Gurmag Angler+, Treasure Cruise+, Sultai Scavenger+, Hooting Mandrills+

Delve Enablers

Evolving Wilds+, Tormenting Voice+, Rakshasa’s Secret, Gurmag Drowner, Scout the Borders, Taigam’s Scheming


Dragon Fodder+, Ghirapur Gearcrafter+, Eldrazi Skyspawner+, Incubator Drone, Eyeless Watcher+, Call the Scions, Sandsteppe Outcast+, Mardu Hordechief+


Kytheon’s Tactics+, Trumpet Blast+, Inspired Charge, War Flare, Swarm Surge, Rush of Battle


Boiling Earth+ (honorable mention Twin Bolt+)



Treasure Cruise+, Read the Bones+, Tormenting Voice+, Artificer’s Epiphany, Weave Fate, Jeskai Sage+, Palace Familiar+, Vulturous Aven+, Altar’s Reap+


Anticipate+, Gurmag Drowner, Seek the Wilds, Scout the Borders


Makindi Sliderunner+, Snapping Gnarlid+, Valakut Predator+, Territorial Baloth, Swell of Growth


Fiery Impulse+, Twin Bolt+, Touch of the Void+, Bathe in Dragonfire, Sarkhan’s Rage+, Boiling Earth+, Arrow Storm, Bring Low, Bone Splinters+, Reave Soul, Debilitating Injury+, Complete Disregard+, Flesh to Dust, Unholy Hunger+, Flatten, Silumgar Butcher+, Gideon’s Reproach, Kill Shot, Sandblast, Sheer Drop, Plummet, Aerial Volley, Claustrophobia, Tightening Coils



Dispel, Negate+, Disdainful Stroke+, Cancel, Spell Shrivel+, Calculated Dismissal, Bone to Ash+, Contradict, Rakshasa’s Disdain


Duress+, Rakshasa’s Secret, Deadbridge Shaman, Mire’s Malice, Nightsnare


Benthic Infiltrator, Mist Intruder, Sludge Crawler, Culling Drone, Dominator Drone


Ruin Processor+, Murk Strider, Oracle of Dust

Unblockable Creatures

Benthic Infiltrator+, Elusive Spellfist+, Coralhelm Guide, Subterranean Scout, Mystic of the Hidden Way

Hexproof Creatures

Conifer Strider, Whirlwind Adept


Celestial Flare

Bounce Effects

Clutch of Currents+, Disperse+, Force Away, Separatist Voidmage, Murk Strider


Time Ebb Effects

Whisk Away+


Abzan Guide, Butcher’s Glee+, Feed the Clan, Sidisi’s Pet, Arashin Cleric+, Student of Ojutai+, Resupply, Courier Griffin, Kalastria Healer, Stone Haven Medic, Cleric of the Forward Order

One-Shot Kill Combos

Nantuko Husk + Subterranean Scout + tokens/creatures

4 Power or more creature + Temur Battle Rage + Pump spells

Thanks for listening!


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3 thoughts on “Pillars of the Format – Post BFZ Standard Pauper Metagame Analysis

  1. After the metagame has continued to evolve since this awesome post was put up, I think it’s time to note just a couple cards we all may have missed.

    Re: Overruns. Orzhov Warrios is gaining popularity they employ Rush of Battle as both an Overrun effect and a way to gain life, keeping them in the game. It’s definitely a card to consider now.

    Re: Removal. Somehow I also forgot that we have Pacifism in the format and it’s still as good as it’s always been. These days, it’s one of the few all-purpose removal spells that can take care of Gurmag Angler. For the same reason, it also seems Claustrophobia is the most played enchantment in the format and should be considered recommended for play.

    Those are the only two cards on this list that seem to be missing and the only one that should probably be re-categorized. Other than that, it’s the best comprehensive analysis anybody’s ever published alongside rremedio’s app. Great work DrChris!

    • Rush of Battle is probably worse than Kytheon’s Tactics in BW Warriors but sometimes the life is relevant. Aggro decks just aren’t that good in the format right now, so I think being able to overrun with 3 mana means it will happen even if you’re stuck on 3 land and vigilance is similar to life gain. Rush is insanely powerful when it goes off though. Also note that Disdainful Stroke counters it when only Negate would counter Kytheon’s Tactics.

      I missed Pacifism, too and I’ve actually been playing it from the SB in my Azorius and Boros Aggro decks. The problem with Pacifism and Claustrophobia is that decks with good targets, like Gurmag Angler, will often have tons of token targets that are blanks for our enchantment removal, plus cards like Altar’s Reap, Bone Splinters, Collateral Damage, Vulterous Aven and other exploit outlets exist, making our removal a source of card advantage for the opponent.

      I only like Pacifism out of the SB for the aggro matchups that don’t have that kind of sacrifice effects or for some Eldrazi I’ve been seeing running around. I played 3x Ruin Processor in my creatureless Izzet Burn deck and it was great. Pacifism makes it look awful. Pacifism gets brought in against Gruul landfall for sure, too.

      Good critical thinking, Cabel – keep it up man!

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