Top 5 Magic: The Gathering Sets For Pauper

Pauper is exploding in popularity. The release of Eternal Masters has injected the format with tons of power. The set has been widely praised for providing Pauper with a number of interesting cards that lend to strategic depth and complexity.

One reason that Eternal Masters has been so well received is because as a non-Standard release, that is a set that will never enter Standard, it is exempt from New World Order.
New World Order is a design mandate that is engineered to help players new to Magic adjust to the game.

After Time Spiral block saturated Magic with new mechanics and Lorwyn block did the same with on board tricks (looking at you Silvergill Douser), Wizards R&D decided to try and make the game easier for new players to learn. This meant reducing the ways that commons, specifically, were designed.

Why commons? As Mark Rosewater has said many times, commons cards are the easiest way for new players to access the game. By making the individual cards easier to understand it lowers the barrier of entry to the game. Because of this, some cards that were common for much of Magic’s history, including icons like Prodigal Sorcerer and Samite Healer, are no longer shoe-ins for being reprinted. Instead, the amount each card can do has to be weighed against the entirety of its set.

While New World Order has nothing to do with the strength of common cards, the directive is still derided by many Pauper players. “Quit powering down our format” we cry. On some level this makes sense as Pauper can be seen as defined by extremely potent cards from years gone by like Rancor and Counterspell. Cards like Goblin Matron and Quirion Ranger are not likely to see print at common in a Standard legal set anytime soon, to say nothing of Pestilence. These cards are not only complicated but they could wreak absolute havoc on a limited format, ruining an entire season of draft.

But are the cards released after New World Order worse in Pauper? Zendikar – the first set to be fully designed with New World Order in mind was released over 7 years ago. That’s 21 expansions and 7 core sets. Let’s take a look at the Top 5 post-New World Order releases for Pauper.

For the sake of this video, we’re only going to be looking at sets where a card entered Pauper for the first time. For instance, Dead Weight appears in both Innistrad and Shadows over Innistrad, but it only counts in our first visit to the world of Gothic Horror.

Top 5 Magic: The Gathering Sets For Pauper (Post-New World Order)

5. New Phyrexia

4. Scars of Mirrodin

3. Zendikar

2. Rise of the Eldrazi

  1. Innistrad

by Tolarian Community College

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