For those of you that don't know, 'Pauper' is a format in the card game Magic: The Gathering where only a certain rarity of cards can be used. In this case, only the game's common cards are used. It is more of a fun and casual format, but like anything, it can be very competitive.
Here are my top five cards to play in Pauper:
Delver of Secrets
If you have played any format of Magic over the last couple of years, you know how powerful this card is. If your deck is built correctly, this can often be a 3/2 flying beatstick on turn 2. It is currently the most played card in Pauper in the Mono Blue deck that most people say is the best deck in the format. Delver of Secrets is part of the reason. They can drop this guy on turn 1, then sit on their counterspells all game long. Ponder and Preordain aid the Delver in flipping over to its more powerful side.
The reason Delver is so powerful is because, you don't have to really invest any resources in getting it to flip over. Just play it in a deck with a bunch of Instants and Sorceries. If you consider Delver to be a 3/2 flyer for one blue mana, that ratio of mana cost to power/toughness ratio is INSANE.
Lightning Bolt is THE premier burn spell in Magic. Much like Delver, (which Bolt kills) this is a multi-format all-star. The ratio of its mana cost to damage output is the highest you can get off a spell without a drawback. It can hit opposing creatures or players and could be cast at instant speed. If you are playing a deck with red in it in Pauper and Lightning Bolt is not in your list, you are doing things wrong.
Hymn to Tourach
This card is illegal in MTG Online because the set it was printed in originally was never actually released online for players to use. However, the card is legal in physical Magic and is extremely powerful. For starters, it's a card advantage bomb. You cast this (one card) to make the opponent waste two of his. Boom, that's a two-for-one special. The icing on the cake is that your opponent has to discard two cards of his at RANDOM. This can be the difference between winning and losing a game. Example:
You play Hymn on turn 2 and your opponent randomly discards two lands or a combo piece. This sets the tempo for the entire game now. Perhaps he kept a risky hand, then gets hit by Hymn and has to discard the stuff that made his hand keepable. In order to really appreciate this card, you need to have it cast against you.
This guy is a gem. He had the spotlight on him when he was standard legal. Maybe you remember the deck it was in? Caw-Blade, ever heard of it? Of course you have. Well similar decks exist in Pauper. Put a Bonesplitter on him and go to town. I play a RW variation with Squadron Hawk and his friends, but the more popular version is UW mainly because of the addition of Brainstorm. You can cast Brainstorm, then put two undesirable cards on top of your deck, then get a nice shuffle effect with a hawk. It thins your deck, it attacks, it plays defense.
They got everything right when they printed this card. Its not overpowered, but very valuable to decks that play it. It is a force in most white creature-based Pauper decks.
Ah, an old favorite of mine. Most people say that this is the best Enchant-Creature card ever printed. And how can you argue against that? It can be played very early on in the game helping you win tons of damage races. By the way, it almost nevers goes away. Rancor keeps coming back for more even after the creature it was on has bit the dust. The reason this is such a big deal it because most of the time Enchant-Creature, or Aura spells, leave the caster at a disadvantage. The problem is that one removal spell will two-for-one you by removing the enchantment and creature. Rancor solves that problem while turning any creature into a threat.
Well, there you have it. Those are my top 5 cards for Pauper. It ended up working out so that there was one of each color. Let me know in the comments what your top 5 cards are and why. Thanks for reading!