Top Strixhaven Cards to Affect Pauper


Strixhaven: School of Mages is looking to affect Pauper in major ways. Let's ignore most of the typically draft-oriented commons and head straight for the big ones and the big guns. Here's a brief description of all of the top picks and how they can impact the format, and we've got decklists too!

bayou groff

Strixhaven introduces Pauper to cards and effects we have not seen in the format before. We also get strong additions to top tier archetypes and upgrades on cards that already see a lot of play. It will be particularly interesting to watch the brewers try to figure out how to use those specific, new effects.

Bayou Groff

bayou groff

Let's begin with my personal favorite. Bayou Groff is a cheap, green body big enough to trade with almost every fat creature in the format such as Gurmag Angler or Myr Enforcer. It perfectly fits into Black-Green Artistocrats, but what excites me the most is its application in Monogreen Stompy. It already synergizes with other cards in deck, Hunger of the Howlpack and Nest Invader. How about adding few Young Wolves? Looks like Stompy might become more canine, and I can't wait to see it in action.

Blood Researcher

blood researcher

Welcome to the format, Ajani's Pridemate's weird cousin! The colors on Blood Researcher definitely don't suit already existing, white Soul Sister's variations in Pauper. But even if it does not find a place in the metagame immediately, we should nevertheless keep this card somewhere in the back of our head.

First Day of Class

First Day of Class

The first deck that came to my mind when I first saw First Day of Class and thought about a lot of small creatures entering the battlefield in a single turn, was naturally Boros Bully. This card enables wins out a nowhere and protects our swarm of Squadron Hawks and Battle Screech tokens from Suffocating Fumes. Learn even lets us discard a card, which is exactly what we want to do in this archetype. Absolute perfection.

Teach by Example

Teach by Example

Teach by Example is the first copy spell in Pauper. I'm really excited about this one, even if I don't yet see shell for it. Current combo decks in the format, like Wonderwalls or Cycling Storm, do not rely on spells to end the game. I have no idea how to use it in the actual metagame, but I'm optimistic someone will find a place for this kind of effect.

The Scry Land Cycle

prismari campus quandrix campus

Recently we saw a huge update in Pauper mana bases: Bonder's Ornament, dual snow lands from Kaldheim, and now the new land cycle from Strixhaven, which looks promising as well. I think midrange and control deck are going to be more than happy to try Prismari Campus and the others.

Learning Lessons

hunt for specimens pest summoning

Is the new learn mechanic going to be important? Initially I had quite high expectations for this to make an impact in Pauper. When I first saw cards like Pop Quiz or First Day of Class, I was more than hyped to see what we can tutor for. Unfortunately, the common Lessons lack in luster. Looks like there is nothing special here. Honorable mentions go to Environmental Sciences, Introduction to Prophecy, and Introduction to Annihilation, but I really don't see any place for them. Pauper sideboards are full of high-powered answers, and I can't imagine a scenario where one of introductions finds a place anywhere. If some black deck is looking for the specific combination of sacrifice fodder plus life gain, one could curve Hunt for Specimens into Pest Summoning, but that remains a big question mark.

pest summoning

That is everything I have prepared for you. Overall, I think Strixhaven is another good expansion for Pauper players. We have two strong cards that may change the way we look at two competitive archetypes. We also get two interesting cards with high potential for brewers. The scry lands are going to slot perfectly into already existing slower decks, and I'm definitely going to test one or two in my White-Black Pestilence list, of which I wrote before. The learn mechanic is the only disappointment for me.

Thank you very much for reading. Let me know in the comments if I forgot anything, and let us know what your picks for the most important commons from Strixhaven are. Cheers!

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily Cardmarket.


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xcver(12.04.2021 22:11)

I cannot imagine blood researcher doing anything meaningful. Sure there are some best case scenarios, but the normal case scenario is pretty bad. 3 name for a 2/2 in pauper is usually late for the party and then dies to removal spells costing less than it does itself.

Wilecoyotegb(12.04.2021 11:23)

Blood Researcher is my favourite and Essence Warden main would be extremely useful. I've got a brew coming together.

JF-MAGIC-2016(12.04.2021 10:08)

I'm excited for Teach by Example too!