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Historic Pauper Event Guide and Decklists


Pauper is finally back to MTG Arena week, which now allows us to use the full Historic card pool! This event is a fantastic way to win some Historic Individual Card Rewards (ICRs) and catch up on your Historic card collection, while at the same time having fun playing a new format. Read on to find out all you need to know about Historic Pauper and our decklists, both new and reinvigorated for this event.

You can skip to our Historic Pauper deck section!

Event Information

  • Duration: November 28, 2019 @ 8:00 AM PST – December 1, 2019 @ 8:00 AM PST
  • Format: Historic Pauper
  • Entry Fee: 500 Gold or 100 Gems
  • Ends After: 4 wins or 2 losses (whichever comes first)
  • Match Structure: Best-of-one matches (BO1)

Event Rewards

The event rewards three Historic Individual Card Rewards (ICRs) as a base. Upgrade Rate refers to the chance for the ICR to become a rare or a mythic rare.

# of WinsGoldICR #1 Upgrade RateICR #2 Upgrade RateICR #3 Upgrade Rate

Historic Individual Card Rewards (ICRs)

Historic ICRs consist of cards from sets that have rotated out of Standard – cards from Ixalan, Rivals of Ixalan, Dominaria and Core Set 2019. More information as detailed in the Patch Notes:

  • They can include older versions of cards that may be legal in Standard because they also appear in a Standard legal set (e.g. Opt from Dominaria)
  • They currently do NOT include cards from Historic Anthology 1
  • They can be uncommon (with an upgrade rate to rare/mythic rare) or rare/mythic rare.
  • If rare/mythic rare, each rare appears twice as frequently as each mythic. If uncommon, each uncommon is equally likely to be awarded.

What is Historic Pauper?


Historic Pauper is a format that allows you to only use cards of the common rarity in your deck, from any of the sets available in MTG Arena. As an example, Murder was released as as a common in Core Set 2020 which means we can now use it for Pauper, although it was an uncommon in Core Set 2019. Persistent Petitioners is also banned from this event.

The last time we had Pauper was back in May as part of the War of the Spark Chronicles event series. Since then there are now three additional sets worth of cards – Core Set 2020, Throne of Eldraine and Historic Anthology 1, which should allow us to build a lot more variety of decks. This is also a great opportunity to boost your Historic card collection in a fresh metagame that anyone can join for minimal investment!

Historic Anthology 1 Commons

Another major change to this event is that we can also use the common cards from Historic Anthology 1! As these cards were specially curated for constructed play, we can expect these cards to be high performing compared to ordinary commons – if there are good enough synergies to support them in Pauper. You can purchase the whole bundle in the store for 3400 gems or use Wildcards to craft them individually.

  • Soul Warden: Slots in the Mono White deck as one of your one drop creatures, though it will be hard to make use of the lifegain synergy in Pauper.
  • Distant Melody: There are some decent tribal decks now possible in Pauper – even including Rat Colony decks. The goal would be to draw at least three cards with it (there are cheaper ways to draw two cards, like Divination).
  • Treasure Hunt: There aren’t any payoff cards in Pauper like [c]Spiraling Embers[/c] in MTG Arena yet, so not sure if it will be better than any other blue card draw spell.
  • Tendrils of Corruption: A great removal spell for black that should be able to deal with most creatures while giving you life.
  • Kiln Fiend: Slots perfectly into Mono Red or Izzet decks. Little bit fragile and is in Shock range, but the potential is there.
  • Elvish Visionary: While it is not yet possible to directly build a tribal elf deck, at worst it is a cantrip in creature form.
  • Mind Stone: A generic mana accelerator, could be good for more slower controlling decks.

Our Top Historic Pauper Decklists

Here are all the decklists updated for this event. Remember you can skip right to our Pauper deck section for future use as we add more decks over the next few days. Please note if you get a deck validation error, it may be a bug for Murder from Core Set 2019. Swap it out for the Core Set 2020 version. Apologies for the inconvenience.

Wrapping Up

Let us know what decks worked and what does not! As this is a repeatable and grindable event, a metagame of the better decks will eventually form over the weekend, and we will update everybody accordingly (possibly dividing them into tiers?).

As always, we encourage you to join our community Discord server and follow our Twitter account for the latest updates on all things MTG Arena. For those in the United States, Happy Thanksgiving!



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5 Responses

  1. Eddie Hicks says:

    Why won’t an all common deck validate

    • Alan Reed says:

      Assuming it’s not a bug and your deck actually is illegal in Historic Pauper, here are the cards most likely to trip people up:

      * Banned card: Persistent Petitioners

      * Cards that are legal in historic AND in pauper, but not legal in Historic Pauper. A card is only legal in Historic Pauper if it has been released as a common **on Arena**. These cards include:

      Augur of Bolas,
      Burning-Tree Emissary,
      Dragon Egg,
      Fencing Ace,
      Goblin Matron,
      Gods Willing,
      Knightly Valor,
      Lightning Strike,
      Loyal Pegasus,
      Might of the Masses,
      Pulse of Murasa,
      Rupture Spire,
      Sage of Lat-Nam,
      Uncaged Fury,
      Warden of Evos Isle,
      Wee Dragonauts

      *Cards in pauper that are not in historic and vice-versa (too many to list)

    • mtgazone mtgazone says:

      Which one? Can you let me know please!

    • Benjamin Philippe says:

      Also you have to put the right format in the deck editor.