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

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Post by Simto » 1 week ago

The State of Pioneer is that it's awesome :)

I'm kinda cautiously watching and waiting on the banlists until I buy some more cards for decks I want to build or flesh out. Don't want to buy more cards I'll just have laying around. I need money!

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Post by ktkenshinx » 1 week ago

Simto wrote:
1 week ago
The State of Pioneer is that it's awesome :)

I'm kinda cautiously watching and waiting on the banlists until I buy some more cards for decks I want to build or flesh out. Don't want to buy more cards I'll just have laying around. I need money!
Yeah, I really don't want to invest too heavily in decks/cards that might get banned. The format is super volatile right now and that won't change for a while. We're looking at weekly ban updates based on just MTGO data. With few paper events on the horizon until 2020, there isn't even too much incentive to really break the format or dig too deep into strategies. This means top players/brewers will still divide their attention between formats, or ignore Pioneer altogether. The end effect is an initially underdeveloped, immature metagame which is likely not representative of the final Pioneer state. That means we should be cautious when investing in anything until the format stabilizes.

That said, if I had to pick a deck right now, I'd probably pick a Reclamation/Nexus strategy. It dodges a ton of common interaction and is just playing on a very different axis than many decks are on.
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Post by motleyslayer » 1 week ago

ktkenshinx wrote:
1 week ago
Simto wrote:
1 week ago
The State of Pioneer is that it's awesome :)

I'm kinda cautiously watching and waiting on the banlists until I buy some more cards for decks I want to build or flesh out. Don't want to buy more cards I'll just have laying around. I need money!
Yeah, I really don't want to invest too heavily in decks/cards that might get banned. The format is super volatile right now and that won't change for a while. We're looking at weekly ban updates based on just MTGO data. With few paper events on the horizon until 2020, there isn't even too much incentive to really break the format or dig too deep into strategies. This means top players/brewers will still divide their attention between formats, or ignore Pioneer altogether. The end effect is an initially underdeveloped, immature metagame which is likely not representative of the final Pioneer state. That means we should be cautious when investing in anything until the format stabilizes.

That said, if I had to pick a deck right now, I'd probably pick a Reclamation/Nexus strategy. It dodges a ton of common interaction and is just playing on a very different axis than many decks are on.
that's where I'm at as well, format is super volatile right now and hasn't really picked up in my area despite my efforts since it was announced to try and fire weekly events

I'm gonna have to get a few copies of liliana, the last hope as I don't know what I did with mine before but I'm really cautious on cards like dig through time as pioneer is the only format you can play 4 of it right now and it seems too good for the format. Other than that I'm probably gonna settle with a deck once the format settles. I also still don't know if jvp is worth getting now

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Post by Simto » 1 week ago

Yeah, I mean, it sucks if you're only just getting into Magic now and you think Pioneer looks cool because buying into it is kinda hard, but on the other hand if you already have cards from the legal sets to build decks with, then I think that's kinda what makes it fun right now. It's just the "anything goes" kinda wild west right now. It's a lot of fun and tons of brewing options.
Pioneer is kind of a sweet spot as I see it, between having more powerful cards, but not as insanely fast or crazy strong as modern. It's a good blend as far as I've seen it right now.
And the weekly bans will likely kill all the broken stuff and hopefully keep the format fun and open without being too limited and boring.

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Post by motleyslayer » 1 week ago

I think that's part of the appeal to pioneer for me right now, it seems like anything can be good because there's barely any banlist and the format was literally just created a few weeks ago. So with that every decklist dump we get seems super cool

I think eventually I'd like to see the format stabilize but right now I love the wild west phase of it

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Post by gkourou » 1 week ago

I can already see Once Upon A Time being the only ban for tomorrow!

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Post by Simto » 1 week ago

I hope not hehe, I want a playset for my B/G Steel Leaf Stompy deck :) if not I'll just use it for my modern Tron deck hehe. But I could see it get banned at some point since it's basically an instant speed Ancient Stirrings which may be a power level above what Pioneer is going for.
I seriously doubt Wizard wants to ban a new card that people are buying packs to get though. Money is always the top of the list.

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Post by gkourou » 1 week ago

9 out of 32 decks play Once Upon a time at the latest PTQ.
5 out of 32 play Dig Through Time, but 3 of them are in that Reclamation-Nexus deck and full playsets.
1 out of 32 is playing TC, which seems fine.
5 out of 32 are on Teferi, also.
4, I think, are on OKO, which again, seems fine.
15/32 decks are on Smuggler's Copter.

Once is walking on dangerous grounds. But of course, there are the 5-0 MODO data we don't have. And they do.
Copter is basically gone, I think.
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Post by motleyslayer » 1 week ago

after looking through the ptq lists from today, I wouldn't be surprised if once upon a time got banned tomorrow

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Post by gkourou » 1 week ago

Basically totally lost track of 15 out of 32 decks playing Smuggler's Copter. I am certain it will get banned.

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Post by Legend » 1 week ago

Any thoughts on how helpful Mystery boosters due in March will be to newish players that want to get into Pioneer?
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Post by drmarkb » 1 week ago

I think they might leave it a week or two before anything gets the chop. Copter is not front loaded for value, and encourages interactive game play that they prize so highly (too highly imho). There are lots of ways of dealing with it and on an empty board it is fine, so I think they will leave it.
It is going to be common, but not ubiquitous. There is no hurry to ban given the schedule, another week or two might get more reliable data upon which a decision can be made.

@ Legend, if you want boosters then RTR block was printed to oblivion and it has lots of staples. Many people have a box kicking about. Theros too has some major players and is not expensive for a box, decent draft environment too. Mystery boosters are unlikely to help much, variance will be ridiculous.

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Post by robertleva » 1 week ago

Is copter popular? Sure. Is it degenerate or oppressive or unfun? Not to me personally. I realize that is just one man's opinion but I am normally in line with the casual masses on my takes. Free spells like Once Upon a Time, and possible Dig Thru Time are no doubt being looked at. I really don't like free spells in this format with our answers being so limited. I predict Once will be gone eventually.
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Post by gkourou » 1 week ago

I don't mind the card, actually. Just because they said about aggressive bans, though, and having watched some Pioneer, Copter is not only popular now, but it's being played at literally 100% of the aggro decks.
Also, during the latest PTQ, 1 out of 2 decks basically play the card. If they want some evidence based, data driven bans, they will ban it.

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Post by Mikefon » 1 week ago

Time to make another guess for banlist update.
It may be a "no change week" since I don't think there are so clearly broken decks right now.
If somenthing has to go then I'd say Once Upon a Time.
About Smuggler Copter: it's a tough one. I think it should go if we base the banworthy status only on the number of copies played.
But Pioneer should be diverse enough even with copter so I personally don't think it will be banned yet.
Banning or not the copter may be a clear sign of where wizards wants to guide Pioneer.

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Post by Ulka » 1 week ago

I could see Once Upon a Time getting the Axe but if they are axing it in Standard anytime soon I think they will leave it in pioneer so not to kill its value and ability to get people to open Throne packs.

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Post by Arkmer » 1 week ago

Why do people dislike Once Upon a Time? I am genuinely confused about why this card is on so many minds as a ban target.
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Post by robertleva » 1 week ago

Arkmer wrote:
1 week ago
Why do people dislike Once Upon a Time? I am genuinely confused about why this card is on so many minds as a ban target.
It's a free spell that fixes your hand. It will only get better as new creatures and lands are printed. This spell has a death sentence hanging over its head, they should just ban it now while it's still early.
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Post by Mikefon » 1 week ago

OUAT may go for consistency issues.
After reading Challenge results, I think that Nykthos and/or Nissa could go.

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Post by Arkmer » 1 week ago

Free spells have only been a problem when they create value through another source. Phoenix is an example, storm is an example, etc. The first spell in the game clause seems like it should prevent this card from taking advantage of the free part of this. I think people are too afraid of being more resilient to mulligans, which I think is basically the point of the card. If the single casting of a limited cantrip is tearing up the format, I worry for the health of the format. I don't think anyone is complaining about casting this for 1G. I would also point to Ancient Stirrings in Modern. Sets a precedence for cards seen and finds things much more egregious in Modern than Once finds in Pioneer (except probably Nykthos).

"Getting better as new creatures are printed" is an argument against basically anything that cantrips the way you're using it. Opt gets better when Blue has access to better spells. This isn't skipping mana costs on the creature, it's just putting it in your hand, same as Opt. It'll still cost 4 to cast a Questing Beast. This is not Birthing Pod, which is where this argument has generally been applied. This argument was even debunked when it was applied to Stoneforge Mystic and equipment though I'm not sure how widely accepted the argument was in that case anyway.

I would much rather see Nykthos take a ban. That much ramp is not fair in Green but is fair in non-green colors?? I don't think so. I'm talking Torment of Hailfire, Banefire (Electrodominance?), and Finale of Revelation; none of those are things I'd like to see and since they're all fairly game ending effects. I would be pretty worried if they were not good enough but still saw devotion lists in their respective color. Since all of those only take 2 colored pips of mana, X could just be entirely green mana anyway; I don't see how they haven't dropped UG lands in to shoot for Krasis.
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Post by Arkmer » 1 week ago

Veil of Summer is banned.

They note that Green ramp is still an issue and hope this allows more interaction.

Also, effective dates are going to align with MTGO effective dates, so the ban goes into effect tomorrow (12Nov19) instead of in a week like the last one.

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Announcement Date: November 11, 2019

Pioneer:

Veil of Summer is banned.

Tabletop Effective Date: November 12, 2019

Magic Online Effective Date: November 12, 2019

The list of all banned and restricted cards, by format, is here.

Next Pioneer B&R Announcement: November 18, 2019

Observing the evolution of the Pioneer format after last week's bans, we're generally seeing positive changes to the metagame. However, green-based aggro and ramp decks still remain overrepresented in the competitive metagame at the expense of midrange and control. Therefore, we are banning Veil of Summer to better allow for natural metagame forces to provide counterpressure against these strategies. We expect this to increase incentive to play reactive strategies that will help keep the format in balance over the long term without fundamentally changing any of the diversity of decks currently available in Pioneer.

We'll follow up with further changes if needed next Monday, November 18, but please note that the Pioneer update will take place that afternoon, separate from the regularly scheduled B&R update for all other formats.

We also want to highlight that we'll be aligning the tabletop and Magic Online effective dates going forward. In the past, we've held effective dates for tabletop games to prevent disruption of already-planned tournaments. However, with the fast iteration for Pioneer, it makes more sense to align the dates to allow players to adapt and test quickly.
My feelings: "That makes sense to me too."
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Post by ktkenshinx » 1 week ago

B&R is up, Veil of Summer is banned:
https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/a ... nouncement
Observing the evolution of the Pioneer format after last week's bans, we're generally seeing positive changes to the metagame. However, green-based aggro and ramp decks still remain overrepresented in the competitive metagame at the expense of midrange and control. Therefore, we are banning Veil of Summer to better allow for natural metagame forces to provide counterpressure against these strategies. We expect this to increase incentive to play reactive strategies that will help keep the format in balance over the long term without fundamentally changing any of the diversity of decks currently available in Pioneer.
I think this is a great change for Pioneer and shows Wizards understands the importance of natural metagame forces to rein in problematic decks. Hopefully we see more surgical bans like this in the future.
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Post by Simto » 1 week ago

Hope it'll take a dip in price now hehe. I still need a playset for modern, but I doubt it'll dip too much if at all.

I know it's not quite the same, but the green decks may pick up on Blossoming Defense as a pseudo replacement. It's still a very good card that can act as a 1 man counterspell a lot of the time.

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Post by Wraithpk » 1 week ago

Glad to see Veil go, that's such a toxic card. I hope this is a portent for it being banned in Modern as well, but I won't hold my breath. Cards that punish you for trying to interact are bad designs. Magic is the best card game because of the interactions in the game, and cards that take that out of the game, like Veil and T3feri, actively make Magic worse.
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Post by gkourou » 1 week ago

Wraithpk wrote:
1 week ago
Glad to see Veil go, that's such a toxic card. I hope this is a portent for it being banned in Modern as well, but I won't hold my breath. Cards that punish you for trying to interact are bad designs. Magic is the best card game because of the interactions in the game, and cards that take that out of the game, like Veil and T3feri, actively make Magic worse.
Agreed. Wow, this is a great ban, but didn't expected them to have the guts to ban a sideboard toxic card. This is a great banning. Green decks still overrepresented, with copter decks alike. We will see how they handle this, or how green will be from now on.
Certainly this ban helps shape a more interactive format.
Veil checked off from my toxic bucket list. Teferi, reclamation/nexus still in there.

Wooohooo! This is like modern, only we don't get to play vs toxic non-interactive things instead!

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