Pauper Powerhouses: Top 8 Double Masters 2022 Downshifts

Pauper Powerhouses: Top 8 Double Masters 2022 Downshifts

Spoiler season for a masters set is always exciting. Flashy new art, big expensive reprints, and the most important part…Pauper downshifts! Today I want to take a look at some of the coolest downshifts in Double Masters 2022, and maybe show you the spice that will help you win your next Pauper event!

  1. Experiment One

A card responsible for a lot of brewing, this one has lots of the staff from ETB Oakville very excited. Curving this into Putrid Leech and then Dreg Mangler (another downshift from 2X2) means that you are attacking for 10 damage on turn 3! But maybe you aren’t interested in playing a second colour in your aggro deck. You could stick to mono green and experiment with curving Experiment One into a couple Burning Tree Emissarys and a Bayou Groff. I have been shown so many Experiment One decks since this downshift was spoiled and I can’t wait to lose to them. 

  1. Jeskai Elder

I’m not sure which one of the cantrip heavy blue decks will pick this up, but I would be shocked if it didn’t find a home. A new way for tempo decks to pressure their opponents and filter extra lands into more interaction is a powerful tool for any of Pauper’s many tempo decks. 

  1. Tenth District Legionnaire

A standard all-star of its day, Tenth District Legionnaire can dish out large chunks of damage, and quickly grows out of range of Pauper’s damage based removal. The only thing holding this card back is being two colours, which typically means lands that enter tapped, and taking turns off…not exactly what an aggro deck wants to be doing. That said, this card might deal just enough damage to make taking a turn off worthwhile. 

  1. Cartel Aristocrat 

Pauper players have been exploring Sacrifice decks since the downshift of Mortician Beetle in Modern Masters 2017, and this is yet another piece to play with. In the past the decks have sometimes played green as their second colour for a variety of creatures that replace themselves with a token upon death, but cards like Doomed Traveler and Hunted Witness can easily replace them without pulling the deck into a third colour. Cartel Aristocrat was a staple of the standard deck nearly a decade ago, and I’m excited for the card to find a home in Pauper too. 

  1. Might of Old Krosa

Infect has been a consistent threat in Pauper for as long as players have been allowed to cast Glistener Elfs and Ichorclaw Myrs. Paired with a variety of pump and protection spells, infect creatures can be lethal threats very quickly, so I’m positive that Glistener Elf will be feeling the Might of Old Krosa at Pauper tables very soon. 

  1. Militia Bugler

One of the most popular decks in Pauper right now is Blue White Familiars. Its a deck built around small creatures that generate card advantage with plenty of spells to flicker and protect those creatures. Here’s a sampling of common choices: Sunscape Familiar, God-Pharaoh’s Faithful, Mulldrifter, Archaeomancer, Sea Gate Oracle, and Dawnbringer Cleric. Astute magic players will have already realized the commonality here. They all fit Militia Bugler’s restriction. Militia Bugler also has the upside of 3 toughness, meaning it eats ninjas for breakfast. Familiars is already a very tight list, but Militia Bugler has a lot to offer the archetype. 

  1. Dark-Dweller Oracle 

I have a soft spot for Goblins as a tribe, and this card might be higher on my list than is reasonable, but here we are. Red Black Goblins, or MoggWarts, is a combo deck that aims to generate infinite red mana with Skirk Prospector, Putrid Goblin, and First Day of Class. After infinite mana is achieved it is put to use by Flamewave Invoker, rapidly reducing your opponents life total by as many chunks of five as is necessary. I expect that MoggWarts will replace Flamewave Invoker with Dark-Dweller Oracle and play copies of alternative win conditions such as Makeshift Munitions since Dark-Dweller Oracle “drawing” your whole deck with the combo to find something like Makeshift Munitions is just as lethal with fewer bad cards in the deck. 

  1. Monastery Swiftspear

The big shot, the talk of the town, the head honcho, the one that everyone wants to dance with. Everyone knew it was going to be at the top of this list, and for good reason. The reputation of Monastery Swiftspear is known far and wide. This card has been a mainstay in aggro decks since it was first printed back in Khans of Tarkir. From Standard back to Modern, and even some appearances in Legacy, this little 1/2 with Prowess is not to be messed with. Stock up on removal and life gain, because this 1 mana threat will be doing a lot of heavy lifting in any deck that is trying to kill you quickly. 

And there you have it. My picks for the top 8 most impactful Pauper downshifts from Double Masters 2022. An incredibly powerful set overall, with a whopping 29 new downshifts, I can’t wait to see how people use them both in old decks and new creations.

 -Niko

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