[Official] State of Pioneer Thread (B&R 11/18/2019)

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Post by ktkenshinx » 1 month ago

Welcome to the State of Pioneer Thread!

Historically, community members have expressed interest in talking holistically about the challenges and problems facing various formats and Pioneer is likely no exception. Whether or not Pioneer has "challenges" or "problems" is up for debate, but what is clear is that people want to talk about all of these issues in one unified setting.

As such, Pioneer staff have created this thread from the old MTG Salvation/MTG Nexus "State of Pioneer" versions. You can use this thread to talk about any and all of these varied Pioneer issues and their intersection. This thread will be heavily moderated, so be sure to read the rules before posting;
Anyone who posts in this thread is assumed to have read and understood these rules, the Pioneer forum rules, and the general MTG Nexus rules.
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Update from the November 18, 2019 B&R Announcement:
No changes ("Data from the last week of Magic Online Pioneer league play and this past weekend's tournaments don't indicate a conclusive need for changes at this time. ")

Next Pioneer B&R Announcement:
November 25, 2019

Current DCI Pioneer Banned List



Here are some reasons cards are banned in Pioneer:


The following are links to WotC's in-depth explanations as to why cards have or have not gotten banned since the beginning of the format:

November 18, 2019: No changes
November 11, 2019: Veil banned
November 04, 2019: Guardian, Oath, and Leyline banned
October 21, 2019: Announcing the Pioneer format: fetchlands banned
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Post by Mapccu » 1 month ago

While there are certainly some silly and breakable cards that I'm sure will be added over time...I'm almost certain 3-feri is going to be an issue. There are still some 1 cmc dorks in the format that can lead to a t2 bounce your play and now I'm at 3+ mana with a creature + walker and I have essentially time walked you - eww.

Black gives access to thoughtseize and fatal push, which is certainly more powerful than what the other colors are doing for one mana (sorry opt and llanowar elves...).

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Post by motleyslayer » 1 month ago

I'm going on a whim and saying 3feri, treasure cruise and dig through time to name a few. I can't see those cards being reasonable in the format

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Post by Hawk » 1 month ago

I am glad they're letting us play around. I suspect the hammer will drop relatively quickly on Felidar Guardian, Aetherworks Marvel, Treasure Cruise, Dig Through Time, Deathrite Shaman, and Teferi, Time Raveler as well as possibly Fields of the Dead. But for sure there's an argument that...

- Dig, Cruise, and DRS aren't nearly as dangerous without fetchlands to fuel them.
- The format has sufficient anti-planeswalker technology in the form of Dreadbore, Negate, Hero's Downfall, and Thoughtseize that T3feri (and Oko, and Narset, and the 1-mana ramp that enables them to slam down early) isn't an issue.
- The format has enough interaction, speed, and power that we won't default to everyone having CopyCat versus Marvel for an Eldrazi versus Golos/Scapeshift zombie span as the defacto best possible endgame (and midgame), so those combos can stay in the format to "set the pace" that decks must be able to compete with.
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Post by stubb » 1 month ago

Is the sweet Mono Blue Tempo list from a few standards ago with Curious Obsession and Spell Pierce going to be playable with some tweaks? I mean, you get Dig Through Time for a few weeks.

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Post by gkourou » 1 month ago

My money is on Aetherworks Marvel and first and foremost Runaway Steam-Kin or sth else from that Mono red deck. It seems to be Turn 3 killing A LOT!

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Post by Arkmer » 1 month ago

I think the lack of fetches will hurt DRS a bit. It's no longer a monoblack mana dork.

Treasure Cruise and Dig Through Time are laughably legal for the time being. I can only imagine the lists rolling with Dig and Gearhulk. Aetherworks Marvel seems like a good target. Anyone think Saheeli Rai or Felidar Guardian would get the chop?

I'm sure as the format plays out a bit it'll be glaringly obvious what will float to the top and get the axe.
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Post by pokken » 1 month ago

the only one I would bet on is emrakul, the promised end. that card is a menace to fairish formats.

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Post by Dusk » 1 month ago

Having played Dig and Cruise without fetches, I think that their power will be held in check. Their power came a lot from being able to fill the yard early with fetches and cheap spells, then gain advantage off that. Will they still be powerful? Yes. How powerful? We will have to wait and see.
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Post by gkourou » 1 month ago

Ok, already playtested a little bit/saw a little bit of decklists. Sure that Wilderness Reclamation + Nexus of Fate should get gone really fast. That's the one I think is really broken.
About Marvel or Mono red: really strong, but not sure about a banning.

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Post by Dormammu » 1 month ago

I feel like BFZ Eldrazi and Kaladesh artifacts (with honorary member Hangarback Walker) are going to be a problem in some fashion.

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Post by motleyslayer » 1 month ago

I can see .3feri and oku being banned, I'm not sure how format warping three mana walkers could be though. Marvel might be a problem too

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Post by robertleva » 1 month ago

Are we sure there even will be an "initial banlist" like there was for modern?
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Post by MAGUSZANIN » 1 month ago

robertleva wrote:
1 month ago
Are we sure there even will be an "initial banlist" like there was for modern?
There explicitly won't be an initial banned list with the exception of the Fetches. They are however, probably going to ban a few, and maybe even several cards over the launch period, and probably a couple more after the GPs. It will depend on how broken stuff appears.

Personally, I think Cat, Dig/Cruise and Marvel are all getting the hammer in the next 6 months. Not so much because they're ban worthy (though they probably are to some extent), but because they promote play patterns WOTC doesn't want in their new format, and exemplified by banning Field but not something from Simic, the play patterns of the deck matters more than pure numbers.

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Post by Depian » 1 month ago

I am surprised nobody has mentioned Smuggler's Copter yet, I think it will homogenize all aggresive decks and it will be the first banned card, I also think the Felidar + Saheeli deck will become too strong and require action (maybe they simply ban T3feri so we can interact? I would love that but I expect Felidar Guardian to get banned).
Other cards worth discussing:
Aetherworks Marvel → The standard deck was really powerful but since there is no Energy support from other sets, I am confident there will be enough power in most decks to keep it in check
Treasure Cruise → Not that worrying once you take fetchlands and free cyclers out, being a sorcery makes it a bit easier to deal with, I think it will be fine
Dig Through Time → Dig is different than Treasure Cruise and I believe is much stronger in this kind of format because you want to keep mana open for a reactive spell and if nothing happens you simply cast Dig for maybe 5 mana and exile 2 cards, the way this plays out makes it more easy to chain them and with Torrential Gearhulk makes for a very powerful effect. Will have to see how it develops but I wouldn't be surprised if it gets banned
Deathrite Shaman → Way less scary in a format without fetchlands as he won't be giving ramp to Grixis builds and that kind of nonsense, he will see play but I think it won't break anything
Jeskai Ascendancy → Really scary considering Sylvan Awakening is a thing and that this deck will likely be playing Dig Through Time, I think it will have to go but without fetchlands the manabase to support it will be more fringe, maybe that's enough to keep it in check
Thoughtseize → While I don't think it will get banned, I want to mention that I expect this to be the most iconic card of the format and the one to fight back any nonsense going on (just like FoW in Legacy)

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Post by Wraithpk » 1 month ago

I've been watching a lot of Pioneer streams, and the only thing that's jumping out to me so far is Oko. He's busted in Pioneer, just like he is in Standard. I feel like your Pioneer deck should start with 4 Gilded Goose, 4 Oko, 4 Once Upon a Time, and some Veil of Summer, then go from there.
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Post by SpeedGrapher » 1 month ago

Siege Rhino Ban it. Sick of it. There is no needs for standard 2.0 /extended 2.0 to be dominated yet again by this Rhino.

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Post by Wraithpk » 1 month ago

??? I've yet to see a good Rhino deck. The format is not at a place where Rhino is good right now, there's so much other broken stuff to be doing. And honestly, if the format comes to a place where Rhino is good after some bans, it's probably a healthy format.
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Post by MAGUSZANIN » 1 month ago

Wraithpk wrote:
1 month ago
??? I've yet to see a good Rhino deck. The format is not at a place where Rhino is good right now, there's so much other broken stuff to be doing. And honestly, if the format comes to a place where Rhino is good after some bans, it's probably a healthy format.
Pretty much my thought. If Rhino becomes an issue ok, but I doubt it based on what we're seeing right now.

There's way to much combo running around right now for midrange to be that good anyway.

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Post by robertleva » 1 month ago

I hope there isn't a big initial banlist, but Dig / Cruise are the type of cards that will probably only get better in the format as people find new ways to fill up the GY. I could see them just nipping it in the bud at the start before people get attached.
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Post by motleyslayer » 1 month ago

Wraithpk wrote:
1 month ago
??? I've yet to see a good Rhino deck. The format is not at a place where Rhino is good right now, there's so much other broken stuff to be doing. And honestly, if the format comes to a place where Rhino is good after some bans, it's probably a healthy format.
I don't see as many Abzan lists around, mostly GB. My buddy has been doing pretty good with GB but has been saying a Gr ramp deck is really good as well

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Post by Wraithpk » 1 month ago

Sultai has looked like the best GBx build by far because Oko is so broken. Jund and Abzan don't have anything on that level in this format.
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Post by MAGUSZANIN » 1 month ago

Wraithpk wrote:
1 month ago
Sultai has looked like the best GBx build by far because Oko is so broken. Jund and Abzan don't have anything on that level in this format.
I have been playing Sultai Food to some success on Arena. I think it's worse than Bant Food because of T3feri, but I bet I would change my opinion if I had Thoughtseize to cast whenever I didn't have a Goose/Grazer turn 1.

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Post by Arkmer » 1 month ago

I'd really like to see T3feri banned. He's still just causing some terrible play lines. Feels like out only saving grace is that BGx has Abrupt Decay sitting as top tier removal right now, but that just pushes us back towards Oko.

On the other hand...
We had Pioneer this FNM and a bunch of people showed up. I played Sultai control for various reasons, but Oko almost always made a food and died. Virtually useless nearly every time. I think a large reason for that is I played against UW control (basically a zillion walkers), BG Field of the Dead, and another BG deck running Decay and Trophy.

It would be nice to see them ban all the over powered combo out in the near future, but I'm hoping for T3feri more than anything else.

Additionally, after playing with Dig through Time a bit, it doesn't feel that over powering. Having such a high cost makes Delving it fairly difficult much of the time. I would contrast that with Treasure Cruise where that third card is helping to build greater advantage and get more things into your yard to delve.

I would also say that Cat Combo is likely okay unless they feel the turn 3 kill is too prevalent; the games of it I watched, it was fairly easily out classed with attackers and spells of various types. Lo and behold, Shock is good against the combo, so the huge list of things that stop it is huge.
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Post by Wraithpk » 1 month ago

After the challenge this weekend, I'm more convinced than ever that Oko is the first thing getting banned in this format. Even Copy Cat might be fine if they don't have the crazy strong midrange plan of Oko to go along with their combo plan.
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