Wizards of the Coast
Magic: The Gathering's Pauper format (only commons allowed) finally arrived in Magic Arena as a free-to-play holiday event. Since it was released a few days before Christmas, I've spent a lot of time playing Pauper in Magic Arena while trying to figure out which cards are the best to play in this fun format. After playing more than 100 Pauper games in Magic Arena, I decided to rank the best cards you can play in Arena's Pauper event based on how powerful, effective, and important they are. Note that this list only includes cards that are currently (at the time of this writing) legal in Magic Arena Pauper, so that includes only commons printed in Ixalan, Rivals of Ixalan, Dominaria, Core Set 2019, and Guilds of Ravnica.
So here are my Top 53 Best Magic: The Gathering cards you can use in Magic Arena's Pauper format now.
There's not a lot of good counterspells you can play in Magic Arena's Pauper right now but Devious Cover-Up makes the list for its overall value. It may cost 4 mana to play but since Pauper is a slower format anyways, this Guilds of Ravnica blue card is definitely playable. Being able to shuffle up to four target cards from your graveyard can help you re-use the cards you need especially in the late game. Plus, if you have multiple copies of this card, it would be tougher to mill you.
Healer's Hawk has seen play in Standard thanks to its impressive stats for a one-drop 1/1 creature with Flying and Lifelink so it's not surprising to see it work in Pauper. I played against white decks that open to Healer's Hawk followed by an Aura to deliver some early damage while gaining life.
Want to protect your Ancient Brontodon from a cheap removal spell? Dive Down does the job. For one blue mana, you can protect your creatures from your opponent's annoying Pacifism-like auras or any removals while increasing its toughness by 3 so it can also be used to help save your creature during combat.
Thallid Omnivore is a versatile four-drop creature that works great with Saproling token decks but it can also fit in any creature-heavy black deck. I run one copy in my Grixis Chronicler deck as a sacrifice outlet for Ghitu Chronicler so I can bring it back with Soul Salvage.
Ancient Brontodon is the biggest creature you can cast in Pauper right now and with the right build, it's easy to ramp enough mana to cast it. Not a lot of creatures in Pauper can defend against this dinosaur's 9/9 body. Sure, it doesn't have Trample but unless your opponent has a hard removal spell, they would have a hard time dealing with this one. It's also great to attack this with Pegasus Courser. A Flying 9/9 creature will be a huge pain to deal with.