We're coming off a team Grand Prix weekend. 11 out of 12 players in the Top 4 teams of Grand Prix Detroit have a Pro Tour Top 8 under their belts. Has there ever been a Grand Prix Top 8 that's yielded seven of eight competitors with a Pro Tour Top 8?

Jacob Wilson went 1-15 en route to a Grand Prix win with Sam Pardee and Matt Nass, and he has more Top 8s than Pardee and Nass combined. What I'm getting at here is that Team GPs are sweet and Magic is great.

@feb31st love your tcgplayer article on Pauper.Starting a league & want to provide people w/ staples,do you have an extendd paper meta list?

— Iván Pérez Gómez (@lukegothic) August 7, 2015

The first time I wrote about Pauper, I mentioned in passing how cheap the cards and decks are, highlighting the format as a way to "[simulate] competitive tournament gameplay at a fraction of the price." A sharply lower price tag saves us money, but what does it get us?

For starters, it makes accruing format staples relatively painless. This means that if you want to start a league, but your friends don't have any decks, you can just buy all the decks at the price you'd pay for one Standard deck. To be sure, this is still quite a bit of money. Just like any Eternal format, it's a one-time investment, but unlike every other Eternal format, future purchases – cards that have yet to be printed - only cost pennies.

Once you've got all the decks, you get to play whatever you want at any given time, but assembling a gauntlet yourself also comes with some fringe benefits. Let's say you've got ten decks built. In addition to letting people borrow decks to play each other, you can potentially host your own Pauper league, setting your own rules.

Rant: By the way, if you're playing Pauper someplace and they don't let you play Chainer's Edict, SHAME ON THEM. I have no clue why a TO wouldn't want their Pauper league to have as many legal cards as possible, and cards like Chainer's Edict and Thermokarst, while good, aren't really warping anything. To be contentious over them simply because "they're not common in paper" is an arbitrary distinction. It's a casual format, and it only exists to support Magic Online. So! Disallowing folks to play with Chainer's Edict, et al., because their common versions reside only on Magic Online, is asinine. Let people play with their cards.

/rant

As for how to decide which decks to make up your gauntlet with, our last office Top 8 is a good place to start, but the truth is that there are tons of Pauper resources, with Pauper Daily Events firing on Magic Online every day. The genesis of decks isn't what's important – you'll start your own metagame, and it'll start to warp as a result of itself. You won't even need decklists anymore. It's great!


SONG TO LISTEN TO BETWEEN ROUNDS OF THE WEEK

"Cool Kids," by Echosmith. Apparently these guys are all siblings and they're in a band together. This makes a lot of sense, because their sound is very "The Cure meets The Partridge Family." I will listen to this song ten thousand times this week, because it's very catchy and I have a well-documented weakness to 80's synth pop.

For some reason, everyone at the TCGplayer office is convinced I'm in my 30s (I'm 26), and my music tastes go a long way in confirming their suspicions. One of the best lines I've heard so far is from my friend Aimee; I'd been playing The Cure's Disintegration album a bunch, and when she found out I wasn't 30, her response was, "well, if you're not 30, then why do you like The Cure so much?" I still don't have a good answer for that one.


TOP 5 CARDS BY REVENUE

1. Polluted Delta (KTK)
2. Flooded Strand (KTK)
3. Windswept Heath (KTK)
4. Jace, Vryn's Prodigy
5. Hangarback Walker

"By revenue" is just a shorter way of saying "these cards made the most money last week." It's a useful metric that's a little more specific than "this cards sold the most copies," an important distinction for anyone trying to make a living off the singles market. It's little surprise that fetchlands – lands with applications in every format they're legal in – are in such high demand.

Jon Corpora
pronounced Ca-pora
@feb31st