What is Pauper EDH?
Its a format very similar to normal EDH in that all decks are singleton (except for basic lands), but instead of a legendary creature as your commander you can have any creature that has been printed at uncommon rarity as your commander. The rest of your deck is made up of only common cards that share color identity with your uncommon ‘Commander’.
There is no official ban list for Pauper EDH.
Some groups of the Pauper EDH community also consider that you can use a common card as your Commander; I have no problem with this option.
What’s Different About The Gameplay?
There are basically no Wrath of God effects in the format so boardstates become populated and rarely decelerate. There’s less super efficient removal spells overall so players are sometimes rewarded more for making proactive plays.
We might only have commons but we still have combos that can end the game. I think that combos are good for this format because it helps close games out – if there were almost no combos games might take too long to resolve.
Why You Should Play It
I think Pauper EDH is a really good way to either decelerate arms races that can occur in play groups or great for budget-minded players. Pauper EDH content is also not widely publicized so net-decking isn’t as easy and players might feel like they are on an equal playing ground.
Decks also cost almost nothing to make. Even if you have people who want to dump money into the format the option of making all-foil decks is always an option.
Powerful Commander Options
There are tons of uncommon creatures to look at to create decks around, but here are a few potent starting thoughts to work with:
Psychatog was a monster when he was legal in standard, and he’s a house as well in Pauper EDH. Blue and black are good graveyard colors and Psychatog’s second ability works almost similarly to the delve mechanic.
Mistmeadow Witch is a playable card in standardized blue/white EDH blink decks and while four mana can feel like a lot in Pauper EDH blinking ANY target creature can disrupt or enable many synergies.
Want to play 5 color? Fusion Elemental is a powerful option. He’s also a 8/8.
Invisible Stalker can be a super strong voltron commander having both Hexproof and being unblockable.
Crypt Rats is one of my favorite options for a Mono Black control deck.
Izzet Guildmage, among the other 9 Guildmages in the Ravnica cycle of cards, can be a potent commander with his ability to copy spells.
This is only the surface of a vast mountain of different commanders you can choose to lead your budget-friendly common-stuffed decks. What commanders do you have your eye on?