Ever since they announced it this morning, I have worked all day on making as many different decks as possible. I have some ideas on how the format will turn out, and what may or may not be good.
I also made some decks that are just simply fun to play and will be interesting archetypes in the format. This is one of the contenders for best decks in the format, as it provides a powerful combo packed into a neat midrange shell. While Saheeli Copycat may be the deck that most people will want to play, there is no doubt in my mind that Mono-Red Aggro will be the best deck in Pioneer.
Starting off any format, Red is always in a great spot, and Red has consistently been one of the most powerful decks in the past few years of Standard. This deck has it all, from super punishing cards like Eidolon of the Great Revel, card advantage in the form of Light up the Stage, and even Saheeli hate in the form of Rampaging Ferocidon. On the other end of the spectrum, we have UW control.
UW is in a great spot, thanks to a plethora of great sweepers, fantastic card draw, and good answers.
This might force some control builds to become UB or Esper to play cards like Dimir Charm or Drown in the Loch, but no matter what, there is a powerful control shell hidden in the past 5 years of Standard. Energy rears its ugly head once again to bear down on us in this new format. Be wary of Eldrazi and Longtusk Cubs in your future. Spirits is a very powerful deck in Modern, and the transition to Pioneer is relatively painless.
We lose Aether Vial, Drogskol Captain, and a couple of good dorks and removal spells, but the core of the deck remains the same. Whether you want to go Bant and play Collected Company, or streamline the deck and focus on a more tempo gameplan, either approach is viable when you are casting Spell Queller.
Edit: I recently did a stream with this deck.
Put Deathrite Shaman, Thoughtseize, and Liliana in the same deck and you are already on a path to victory. Black has the best removal, bar none, in this new format, and green provides a lot of great late-game engines and creatures. Add in a delirium package and you get access to powerful cards such as Grim Flayer and Traverse the Ulvenwald. And after you hit 8 lands, tutor up an Emrakul, the Promised End and finish the game.
Just like Mono-Red will be a good deck to start the season with, White Weenie has a lot of power baked into it already. Pheonix is a deck that has been gutted in Modern but still has a chance to compete in Pioneer. With powerful mana reducers like Baral, Chief of Compliance and a bunch of draw and discard spells, you can easily pitch your birds to the yard and bring them back in time for combat.I tend to fall in love with some of my favourite Standard cards.
Something younger and less boring than Modern — Pioneer. The one caveat to that is that the Khans of Tarkir fetch lands are starting on the banned list.
In the early stages of this format, Wizards have told us they intend to ban aggressively and often to clean up the mistakes. So I come to you today with a mission — to break the format in half as many times as possible in the coming weeks. This is my to do list. I would be unsurprised to find any of the cards on the ban list by February — now to take matters into my own hands. Also the sideboard options for Sultai are excellent in this format; efficient removal for anything your opponent could play, combo interaction in Thoughtseize and counterspells, as much burn hate as you want, and powerful midrange mix-up threats like Oko, Thief of Crowns or Tireless Tracker to take the game long when opponents board in narrow interaction.
Red and white by comparison are pretty lackluster on this front and will largely be reliant on raw aggression or access to other colors to present a cohesive 75 against the format, and may need both to keep up. How about we try to cross as many of those cards off our list at once? The main thing to get across here for building shells with the energy theme is that Servant of the Conduit is no longer a playable Magic card in a format with real acceleration.
It also allows us to transition to a more midrange backup plan more cleanly in the face of combo hate like Teferi, Time Raveler or Unmoored Ego. We could turn to another top-end card or two like Ishkanah, Grafwidow that also plays defense well in the midgame to bridge us to hard-cast Emrakul.
Once we put Ornithopter in our deck we need either a powerful card draw engine or a high impact way to convert spare bodies into meaningful threats. The Great Henge serves the first role while being an artifact itself so that Emry gives us more reliable access to it, and Ensoul Artifact does the latter while enabling Henge itself. Oko is another way to beef up Ornithopteran excellent card to cast off Springleaf Drum turn two and a format staple on-rate so it slots in nicely here.
From there we fill in with artifacts and high power creatures as necessary to keep everything enabled. The main thing we lack in Simic is a clean answer to creature based combo, since it can be difficult to hold up counter-magic and apply meaningful pressure against an opponent also playing to the board. Stubborn Denial and Metallic Rebuke both being online in our deck is also a major boon, as we get a significant upgrade in disruption quality compared to other blue decks in the format and at only a single mana.
If the format turns out to be light on aggression and heavy on big spells, some of those could slot their way into the maindeck. One quirk of this format is that there are extremely limited options for combo disruption. So pending some drastic shakeups, decks that intend to play counter-magic by necessity must also be aggressive enough to close the game out before we get there.
That free card selection is crucial to allowing disruptive aggro decks to play a low enough curve to keep pace with the full on aggro decks without fizzling out on turn six against interactive decks that can answer the first wave of threats.
Bomat CourierGlint-Sleeve Siphoner and Goblin Rabblemaster quickly snowball the game as our disruption and removal clears a path through blockers and wards off combo kills and removal spells. This shell is unlikely to get anything banned just yet, so we may need to set it aside for a couple weeks down the line, but it has the speed, resilience, and flexibility to make it a promising lead in the new format. Another thing to illustrate here with the hay-makers in the sideboard is the awkwardness of removal in this format.
The removal for those certainly exists as well, but is largely too clunky to be playable if your opponents are regularly casting one-drops.
Dreadbore can play both ways well enough, but runs into issues as a sorcery in a format with vehicles and creature combo kills.A complete list of the top Pioneer tier 1 decks updated to April For more info you can check the Banned and Restricted Cards on wizards site. The information presented on this site about Magic: The Gathering, both literal and graphical, is copyrighted by Wizards of the Coast. This website is not produced, endorsed, supported, or affiliated with Wizards of the Coast.
Please click here if you are not redirected within a few seconds. Toggle navigation. Show prices for: Paper Singles. Paper Prices. Home MTG Pioneer. Get the top current Magic the Gathering Pioneer decks and tournaments around the net with the best analysis of the current MTG pioneer metagame.
Dimir Midrange. Heliod White. Sultai Midrange. Bant Spirits. Red Deck Wins. Top 20 Pioneer metagame decks: Red Deck Wins — 6. The current top 3 tier 1 decks are: Red Deck Wins — 6.
Calle Padre Alcover 5 Granada, Spain. This site provides accurate and independent information on more than You can learn more about our database at our Google Dataset. This material is provided "as is", with absolutely no warranty expressed or implied. To view content sources and attributions, please refer to each tournament info. Mono Black. Azorius Control. Thassa's Inverter Combo. Lotus Field Combo.For the upcoming Players Tour events in NagoyaBrusselsand Phoenixskilled competitors will bring their best Pioneer decks.
Pioneer is a new, nonrotating format featuring cards from Return to Ravnica and forwardand the Players Tour will be the first premier event after the initial wave of bans and the release of Theros Beyond Death.
Ahead of the next two weekends of events, let's take a broad look at what you can expect from the Pioneer metagame at the Players Tour. Overall, I expect a lot of diversity. In published Magic Online decklistsPioneer Leagues regularly showcase over 50 different decks, suggesting a healthy metagame with many viable strategies.
What's more, in Preliminary and Challenge events, the top finishers generally play a wide variety of decks. Nevertheless, some decks appear more often than others. For our purposes I selected ten of the most popular archetypes based on published decklists and what I have faced in Leagues, with a representative decklist for each.
I grouped the decks into five categories Aggro decks, Midrange decks, Control decks, Engine decks, and Combo decks with two decks each. Join me on a journey through the Pioneer landscape! I consider a deck an aggro deck when it has a low mana curve and multiple one-drops that are best at attacking. Aggro decks may contain disruptive elements, and this is indeed the case for both Mono-Black Aggro and Azorius Spirits. Mono-Black Aggro exploits the most efficient interactive spells in the format— Fatal Push and Thoughtseize —in a shell that can put a lot of pressure on the opponent.
Bloodsoaked Champion and Scrapheap Scrounger aren't made for blocking, after all. If the board stalls out, then impactful fliers like Rankle, Master of Pranks can still swoop in for the kill.
The main reason for staying mono-color is that this allows you to fit 4 Mutavault and 4 Castle Locthwain into the mana base.
These lands provide an excellent way to mitigate mana flood and offer some mid-game staying power. Azorius Spirits is fairly similar to the Modern version. The plan is to curve out with fliers, to use Supreme Phantom and Empyrean Eagle the so-called Spirit "lords" to boost their power, and to race the opponent with evasive creatures.
The best card in the deck overall is arguably Spell Quelleras it provides interaction, pressure, and the right creature type all in a single package. There are Bant versions that splash for Collected Companybut the straight-up Azorius version has better mana, can run a few Mutavault s which is also a Spiritand is more popular overall. But both Bant and Azorius Spirits can play a good flash game on their opponent's turns. Opponents will have to commit without knowing whether you are holding Spell QuellerRattlechainsor Nebelgast Heraldand they could easily play around the wrong cards.
After sideboard, when opponents also have to be mindful of Settle the Wreckageit is even more of a nightmare to play against Spirit decks.
Midrange decks can switch into an aggro or control role depending on the matchup. Their mana curves are generally higher than aggro decks, with fewer early drops and more four or five mana creatures. Sometimes called "Chonky Red" this deck aims to burn opposing creatures early on, cement a board advantage with something like Goblin Rabblemaster when the time is right, and overpower the opponent with Glorybringer. Personally, I personally like the Goblin Chainwhirler builds like the one above.
Although the deck is capable of aggressive draws, the first red creature often won't appear until turn three. So don't mistake this for a fast burn deck that is weak to life gain spells. Instead, I view it as more of a midrange deck.While many of you have come to expect a Standard analysis from me come hell or high water, the last big Standard event before Mythic Championship VI has just finished and many people want to know where to start in the newly announced Pioneer format.
You know, for a format where the only bans are fetch lands, this is surprisingly fair and diverse for a first Top 8. Let's look at the Top 32 then? Everything else looks pretty well split and there are a lot of fringe decks that got on the scoreboard. Many people expected a far more unfair and fast metagame, myself included, but decks like Izzet Phoenix, Sultai Midrange and the various aggro decks actually managed to keep the more degenerate decks in check despite popular expectations.
A large part of this is that the fair decks in Pioneer need to have a high density of removal to answer Copycat and other creature-combo decks. Treasure Cruise and Dig Through Time let them find the answers necessary for multiple combo attempts without actually having too many copies in their deck.
Before I bury my editor in word count, let's get to this week's analysis. Keep in mind that this is a brand new format and I'm writing this on Monday evening—things will likely adapt at a significant pace, so focus more on the why than the what in this tier list. The fairest of them all. This is your Thoughtseize -plus-removal deck, and since Tarmogoyf isn't legal in Pioneer, Jace, Vryn's Prodigy is the all-star two-drop in this deck. Abrupt Decay is the best removal spell in the format, Thoughtseize is the most efficient disruption in the format, and Jace, Telepath Unbound allows you to flash it all back to do it again.
Looting is also deceptively powerful when your deck is full of narrow but powerful answers and legendary threats. There are two main variations of this deck: one with Gilded Goose and more planeswalkers, and another leaning on a full playset of Oko, Thief of Crowns and playing Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet and Scavenging Ooze to take over the board.
However, both decks use the card advantage and selection from Jace and Dig Through Time to win more drawn-out games of Magic. This is the top control deck because it is the best suited to answering the format's most prevalent pillars: Copycat, three-mana planeswalkers, disruptive aggro and ramp.
All of these decks rely on low-converted-mana-cost setup, and unlike Azorius Control, Sultai doesn't need any one card to pull a lot of weight like Supreme Verdictso cards like Thoughtseize aren't as back-breaking.
Once the format slows down and the pillars change Sultai may not have all the answers, but until then I think this is one of the best decks in the format.
Copycat is the two-card bogeyman of the format. Much like Splinter Twin before it, Copycat threatens to kill you any time you leave the shields down. This exerts a huge amount of pressure on opponents in play and even in deckbuilding, demanding that opposing decks either have an answer to the combo or a clock so fast they can afford to ignore the combo.
Very few decks can reliably do the latter, so until this deck gets banned every deck in the format needs to have an answer to the combo.
Because of this pressure, more linear versions of Copycat like the Vannifar Cat build I was championing early on in the format became the victim of their own success, and more midrange-centric energy builds like Four-Color Copycat were the most successful, followed closely by the control-focused Jeskai Copycat version.
Not all versions of Four-Color Copycat play a ton of energy cards, but Rogue Refiner is a solid roleplayer and helps enable Aether Hubwhich is one of the cards that allows such a greedy manabase alongside Gilded Goose. One-mana accelerants are quite powerful in Pioneer, as only red and black have one-mana answers and playing a three-mana planeswalker on turn two is extremely difficult to answer outside of Abrupt Decay and Spell Pierce. This is what allows the midrange builds of Copycat to succeed despite the pressure of decks like Bant Spirits and Mono-Red Aggro, as you don't stay the aggressor for long if your turn two begins facing down Oko, Thief of Crowns.
This is the more controlling version of Copycat, acting much more like old-school Splinter Twintrying to answer a few things and set up a safe, clean kill.
Teferi, Time Raveler is the master of safe and clean, denying your opponent most forms of interaction on your turn.
This 11th place build has a lot of card selection and early interaction, allowing it to set up the kill safely quite often. The biggest weak point of a deck like this is still running out of the win condition.
While AnticipateDig Through Time and Thrill of Possibility are good for digging to what you need, cards like Thoughtseize combined with Abrupt Decay or a swarm of creatures and one good piece of disruption can really make it hard to combo off before getting buried. This deck is all about safe combos, but it takes time to set up that safety, and this deck doesn't have a plan B.
Izzet Phoenix Is the Best Deck in Pioneer
All those weaknesses aside, this is still one of the most successful archetypes of the event, and remains in my decks-to-beat list. Remember how I said one-mana accelerants were very strong in Pioneer? There are eight unconditional one-mana accelerants and Leyline of Abundance makes them twice as powerful.
Leyline of Abundance generating two devotion to green for zero mana makes Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx incredibly powerful. While the Simic versions gain access to some resiliency in Hydroid Krasis and Oko, Thief of Crownsthe Mono-Green versions have access to some really explosive draws because Burning-Tree Emissary generates mana with Nykthos in play instead of being merely free.After the latest flurry of Pioneer bans, we have arrived at a format with a reasonably equitable power level and diversity of gameplay.
With Oko, Thief of Crowns gone, here are my picks for the best decks in the format! Coming in at 8 is Lotus Field Combo!
The deck has lost some of its luster with the popularity of UW control, as the deck is incredibly weak to Narset, Parter of Veils. Even though Oko is gone, the rest of the aggressive Green shell remains intact. While still weak to Supreme Verdictcards like Collected Company and post-board vehicles alongside Heroic Intervention can give your UW opponent a bit more to play around.
In Pioneer, the only major loss for the deck is Drogskol Captainits most powerful lord. Additionally, the deck has access to plenty of powerful sideboard cards, allowing it to shift into a more controlling plan with Settle the Wreckage and countermagic.
It pressured opponents. It disrupted opponents. The deck was simply great at everything. This particular list comes from Andrew Jessup a. Mono-Black has access to all the cheapest, most powerful interaction in the format, allowing it to clear the way for its hard-hitting, similarly cheap threats.
Post-board, it gets to tune its plan against any deck it faces, bringing in Duress for spell-based decks, Noxious Grasp for all the Green decks running around, and lifegain for other aggro strategies. BG has a beautiful suite of threats, answers, and consistency. As is true in most formats, BG has a great set of sideboard options as well: Scavenging Ooze and Kalitas to hate on graveyards, Damping Sphere to hate on big mana and spell-based combo, and plenty of more finely-tuned interaction depending on what the deck is up against.
The Best Aggro Decks in Pioneer
As has been the case with Red since the beginning of the format, there are a lot of different directions you can go with the color, and all of them seem to be reasonable. You can go super-aggro with Boros Charm for burn, splash Black for Unlicensed Disintegration and sideboard flexibility, or go big with Glorybringer and Chandra, Torch of Defiance. With Red, you have to decide how fast you want to go, which four-drop top-end threat you want to play Chandra, Torch of DefianceHazoret the FerventExperimental FrenzyTorbraanand which utility lands you want to include MutavaultCastle EmberethRamunap Ruins.
I am confident that Red will continue to be a player in Pioneer, especially once the optimal build is determined. From the beginning of Pioneer, Supreme Verdict looked well-positioned to be a pillar of the format, and this is bearing out.
The planeswalker suite is extremely powerful for a format that is creature-heavy and helps the control pilot pull ahead in most midrange battles. Post-board, the deck simply upgrades its gameplan according to which deck it is playing against, including sometimes switching to a creature-based plan. UW Control is currently the best deck in Pioneer, but not by a lot, and it is not oppressive. Top 8 Decks in Pioneer Going into Ryan Normandin December 27, 0 Comments.
Vizier of Tumbling Sands. Ral, Storm Conduit. Sylvan Scrying. Yavimaya Coast. Ugin, the Spirit Dragon. Sphinx of the Final Word. Narset, Parter of Veils. Aetherflux Reservoir. Steel Leaf Champion. Wild Slash.On October 21, a new format was announced : Pioneer.
Its card pool starts with Return to Ravnica and moves forward from there. The ban list starts with the five allied-color fetch lands, which implies that most mana bases will largely rely on the 10 check lands e. So what kind of decks might we see in this new format?
To gather competitive inspiration, I glanced over the current top-tier Modern decks and the Top 8 decks of previous Standard Pro Tours, which inspired me to build the following 12 decks. They are rough, suboptimal first drafts that merely aim to showcase what is possible, but they offer a first glance into this new format. Red Aggro decks are a thing of all ages and all formats.
The above list combines cards from all these successful decks, although it chooses to go more spell-centric than creature-centric. As I mentioned, my decks are rough first drafts only, and there are many things I am unsure about beyond colors. For example, do we want Runaway Steam-Kin? What is the best mix of burn spells? Siege Rhino dominated Standard for several years. Seth Manfield took down the World Championship.
The Pioneer Metagame: October 30th 2019
Meanwhile, Thoughtseize and Fatal Push are likely to be among the interactive pillars of the format. An interesting question is whether Deathrite Shaman is going to work out. Although it never dominated Standard, it was banned in Modern because it was too powerful in conjunction with fetch lands. Is that good enough? Maybe we need Traverse the Ulvenwald and Satyr Wayfinder to up the graveyard theme. Speaking of…. Looking over the deck, I fear it is going to be too slow and clunky and also it will require testing to figure out the right mix of enabler and payoff spells but there are many good graveyard-based cards in the format that are just asking to be broken.
That may also be a viable route, but I decided to focus on the combo with Emry, Lurker of the Loch and two Mox Ambers. There are a bunch of artifacts and some other legends in the deck to support this.
This deck also exploits a delve spell. These cards have been on the Modern ban list for quite a while, but we get to play with them in Pioneer. Sure, they are not as powerful without fetch lands, but a cheap Dig Through Time is still a great fit for a combo deck like this. Mono-Blue decks have claimed multiple trophies. The above list is a rough amalgamation of both of their decks, which can surely be improved by diving deeper into the whole card pool.
In any case, Tempest Djinn does fit quite nicely with Master of Waves. Featuring excellent disruption in Supreme Phantom and a relatively fast clock, the deck could certainly be competitive.