"Welcome to Thunderdome"


Two weeks ago we kicked off the first round of the 5CB Pauper Derby where contenders had one week to brew, name, and submit a five card pauper decklist. In the second week, these lists were smashed against one another in a round robin rally to determine who would be crowned champion. Since these lists were only five cards, each engine made the most optimal plays it possibly could in order to win. In this way, contenders didn't need to pilot their five-card engines for this tournament, only submit them and wait a week for the results.

Ok but, 5c what now?

5CB is a five card Pauper variant of 3CB or "Three Card Blind" which is a micro-format Magic Judges have been playing for quite some time in order to explore card interactions and further solve various formats. It began gaining steam in regular mtg circles primarily within online forums circa 2005.

The idea for the Pauper 5CB Derby comes from the concept of the demolition derby where racers face off in the arena, crushing each other in creatively chaotic fashion.

How it works...


  • A submitted deck list must include lands (which count toward your 5 cards)

  • Games begin with 5 cards in hand. Libraries are empty and contenders do not lose the game as a result of being unable to draw a card.

  • Random effects that occur will always least benefit the owner of the source of the effect.

  • Contenders can include any card ever printed at common in their submissions, with the exception of [Empty the Warrens] & [Burning Inquiry.]

  • Decks ALWAYS make the most optimal plays possible, otherwise normal MTG comprehensive rules apply.

  • Each week the previous Champion's engine is locked-in until a new Champion takes its place.


  • Each round consists of (2) games. One where each list is on the play.

  • A game won = 3 pts.

  • A game draw (where no player can reduce their opponent's life total to 0 in any number of turns) = 1pt.

  • A game loss = 0 pts.

Current Standings

Last week six contenders submitted their engines. We did some smashing and the results are in.

Two Reanimator engines faced off in a mirror match stalemate where no champion could be determined between the two. Each earned 19 pts and are currently tied for the cup.

Black Reanimator - 2nd Place (19pts)

Ulamog's Crusher

1 Exhume

1 Putrid Imp

2 Swamp

Dimir Reanimator - 2nd Place (19pts)

Striped Riverwinder

1 Exhume

1 Daze

1 Swamp

1 Island

Black Covid - 3rd Place (18pts)

Dogged Pursuit

1 Paralyze

2 Dark Ritual

1 Swamp

Burning Lizards - 6th Place (1pt)

Burning Inquiry

3 Basking Rootwalla

1 Mountain

Start your engines...

The champion's cup is still up for grabs so the current contenders will have the choice to run their respective lists back, or re-tune their engines for the next round of destruction.

Submissions are now open and will close in exactly one week. (3/6 - 3/13)

If you are interested in entering we would like to welcome all contenders to join in and help create more variance. See the 'events' channel on our Discord server for more details on how to submit your five-card decklist.

I'm looking forward to seeing what interesting combinations our contenders and community ultimately decide to throw into the particle collider, if not only just to see what comes out the other side. We'll see you in two weeks.