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Insider: The Biggest Pauper Winners This Week

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Channel Fireball’s announcement of adding Pauper side events to Grand Prix, and that Pauper events as large as a Grand Prix under consideration, has revitalized interest in Pauper. There have been local stores holding Pauper events that draw large crowds, and all eyes will be on Grand Prix next month to see how popular the side events are. Last week, I explored the potential impact of the changes, and shared some key cards that are ripe for speculation. Now with a week of buying behind us, there’s a lot more data on what cards are actually moving.

There’s a clear picture forming of what cards the market is buying, and because the movements so far have been very small, there’s still opportunity to buy in on these cards in anticipation of the format exploding in the coming months.



The biggest dollar value winner of the week was Oubliette, which grew from $1 to $23, and with crossover appeal for an Old School card, this is just going to keep growing.



In terms of percentage, Standard Bearer grew 15 percent, from $0.50 to over $0.60. A price of $1 at the bare minimum seems inevitable at this point for one of the most important sideboard staples in Pauper that is almost omnipresent in white decks.



Another key white card, whether it is used maindeck or in sideboards, is Prismatic Strands. It has just one printing, and while its price is actually down to $0.50 from its previous high over $0.60 a few weeks ago, its upward trend this week is likely to bring it toward $1. It's notable as one of the biggest Pauper gainers on MTGO this week, where it almost doubled to its current price of 3.5 tix, which could indicate increased Paper demand.



Another critical Pauper sideboard card is Gleeful Sabotage, which is the preferred Naturalize effect for green creature decks. Shadowmoor is notorious for its low supply and price spikes, which explains the card's 8-percent growth this week to $1.71, while the Archenemy printing grew from $2 to $2.50. I can’t imagine the card getting too expensive, but it’s certainly possible, and it’s certainly not going to fall anytime soon.



One very attractive buy is Ash Barrens, which is a staple of many multicolor decks, and has just one printing in Commander 2016. It’s one of the most expensive Pauper cards online, worth around 8 tickets, an indication of its popularity. Its price has been stable at $3 since spring, but it’s now trending upwards at $3.20 for a 6-percent growth this week. It seems like a safe assumption the price will continue to grow towards $5, and given the relatively small supply, it could outright spike to $10 or more if Pauper Grand Prix come to fruition.



Lava Spike is one of the pricier Pauper cards, and as a staple in competitive Burn decks, it makes for a target with little downside besides a reprint. This week its price grew 5 percent to almost $4.75. The card is a safe $5 bill now, and it’s only going to grow from there.



Expedition Map is a key card for Tron decks in Pauper, of which there are numerous builds, and there’s crossover appeal as a Modern staple. The Zendikar printing grew from $2.50 to $2.60 this week, while the Modern Masters 2015 version grew from $2.80 to $2.93. It’s safe to say the card will soon command $3, and is likely heading towards $5.



Crop Rotation is another key card for Pauper Urzatron decks, one of the most powerful cards in the format, and is in relatively short supply. Plus, it has crossover appeal as a casual card and Legacy staple, so at just $1.55, it seems like a bargain, and there’s potential in its Duel Deck printing at $2.



Another key card for Pauper Tron decks, among many others, is Moment's Peace. This week the price bumped up from $1 to $1.07, and with just one printing, the price is going to continue to appreciate.



Gitaxian Probe has been banned from Modern, and with its price now as low as it has been in over three years, it’s ripe for growth with new life being breathed into it as a Pauper staple. It's currently at $1.71, up three cents this week for a 2-percent rise, its first significant upward movement since a year ago, so it seems like a safe $2 card with the potential towards its former $4 high if Pauper becomes anywhere near as popular as Modern.



Another New Phyrexia Pauper staple is Mutagenic Growth, which is used in Stompy decks as well as in Izzet Blitz decks. As an effectively colorless card that has applications in any creature deck, and indeed, we even sometimes see it used in Mono-Blue Delver decks. The price is strong over $1 despite a reprinting, and the original printing trending upwards this week is a positive sign.



Skred is a key Pauper staple in Blue-Red Delver, one of the top decks, and could potentially be used in all sorts of red decks in the future, so with just one printing in a rare set, it seems like a strong buy. Its price moved up a couple cents to $0.68 this week, and looks to be heading towards $1 with the potential for even more growth.



Kami of False Hope is used in Black-White Pestilence decks to lock out opponents with Grim Harvest, and with just one printing years ago, it's a good candidate for growth. It grew almost 10 percent this week, from $0.40 to $0.43, and will likely just continue to grow.



Slivers is a minor deck in the online Pauper metagame, and as a historic tribe, it's likely to have outsized popularity if Pauper takes off in paper, especially with the return to Dominaria being a potential return of Slivers. There was some notable growth in Pauper Slivers this week, including Sinew Sliver as a critical staple, Sidewinder Sliver as a playable and Spinneret Sliver as an excellent sideboard card that often earns maindeck inclusion.

What Pauper cards are you targeting?

–Adam

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