[Official] State of Pioneer Thread (B&R 12/16/2019)

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Post by motleyslayer » 6 months 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 Simto » 6 months 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 motleyslayer » 6 months 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 Legend » 6 months 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 » 6 months 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 » 6 months 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 Mikefon » 6 months 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 » 6 months 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 » 6 months 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 » 6 months ago

Arkmer wrote:
6 months 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 » 6 months 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 » 6 months 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 » 6 months 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."
Last edited by Arkmer 6 months ago, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by ktkenshinx » 6 months 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 » 6 months 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 » 6 months 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 Arkmer » 6 months ago

Simto wrote:
6 months ago
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.
It may not be green but I'm eyeing my Lazotep Platings.
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Post by Wraithpk » 6 months ago

Veil alone likely won't be enough to power down the green decks, but it's a step in the right direction, and i'm fine with them making smaller, more gradual bans until they get things to a good spot. I still think Oko, OUaT, and T3feri should go, but we'll see this week.
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Post by drmarkb » 6 months ago

Have to disagree that Veil is a good ban. It is an answer to an answer, it protects overpowered threats from answers. The issue is with the design philosophy that has given us overpowered critters and weak answers, especially the pushed creatures in the casuals' favourite colour, green.
The solution is to print better answers to the overpowered threats. When you have Veil and I have Perish, Smallpox or similar there is no issue, Veil won't save you. The issue is black and blue largely have targeted and overpriced removal, and Veil is too good against the crummy removal suite. Blue doesn't even get Vapor Snag.

When you cast Veil it *is* interacting, I have no idea how some people don't understand that, and I am not having a go at anyone here, I just see it so often. I see it all over Standard discussions. Nexus of fate is not interactive. Counterspell cards, which Veil really is in disguise, are interactive by definition. You can't even cast most counterspells profitably if your opponent doesn't do anything. I try to kill your creature, you stop me. That is the very definition of interaction. Veil is interaction incarnate. If the word interaction is going to be changed so that it only means things that 'kill your creature' then the game will be poorer for it, but given the way things have been, that is the way the game is going.. Interaction means you do this, I do that in response to stop you. I guess it is because players today haven't played formats where interaction is largely on the stack.

Sadly green decks are too good, and something needs to happen, but removing the only vaguely interesting thing in the deck was not a good sign. The rest of the deck is pox ridden combat, hand fixing etc. Dull as hell. Aggro green was always going to be good, for the reason that the past few years the game has been made by people who prize letting casuals do what they want over good tournament experiences involving answers to pushed creatures and facewalkers. Rtr was the last heavy answer block- Supreme Verdict, Rip, Abrupt Decay, Needles etc. It was no surprise they included it as the last few years have been a desert for those wishing to kill, ignore or otherwise not play creatures and walkers every poxy game.

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Post by robertleva » 6 months ago

Dr Mark, you are correct on your reasoning. Veil clearly is an interactive card played by decks that employ interactive strategies. The problem is logistical in nature. Placing the Pioneer cutoff at the arbitrary starting point of Return to Ravinca has created some lopsided color pies. Green being the clear front runner at this point. The ban is a good one in my opinion, but not for the reasons that others have stated.
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Post by robertleva » 6 months ago

Wraithpk wrote:
6 months ago
Veil alone likely won't be enough to power down the green decks, but it's a step in the right direction, and i'm fine with them making smaller, more gradual bans until they get things to a good spot. I still think Oko, OUaT, and T3feri should go, but we'll see this week.
I have no opinion on Oko, but what strats are oppressing with T3refi currently? Honest question.
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Post by Carafe » 6 months ago

I'm not sure T3feri is oppressing any specific strategies, but I do think that it's a poorly designed card. Forcing the game to turn sorcery speed for one player is generally miserable. I tend to play UWx decks and I play T3feri as a necessary evil, but I think it just makes the game state miserable. If the sorcery speed limitation was an activated ability (something like +1: You may play sorceries as instants and your opponents can only cast spells at sorcery speed) would be way better, since it would allow you to respond to it with a removal spell. As it is now, you can only deal with it in hand or hope that your opponent doesn't have a counter for your removal spell (or be ahead enough on board with creatures to attack it). Again, I don't think it's overpowered, just a bad design.

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Post by robertleva » 6 months ago

Interesting take on T3feri. Imho, T3feri has a huge glaring weakness: Fast aggro. I have been playing UW extensively online and fast decks that go wide and bounce back pretty fast from Supreme Verdict are good against me. By contrast I love facing grixis or UWR with my UW T3feri deck, I feel like I have the advantage every time.

So we have a card that is very good in control mirrors and weak to go wide strats. This seems like a fair trade off no?
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Post by Arkmer » 6 months ago

robertleva wrote:
6 months ago
So we have a card that is very good in control mirrors and weak to go wide strats. This seems like a fair trade off no?
Sort of.

I'm going to use some experiences I've had in Modern for this. T3feri is great against Infect. Bouncing their single infect creature is pretty strong, then all the hexproof/pump in their deck means nothing. Currently, the aggro I am seeing in Pioneer is making bank responding to removal with Shrapnel Blast. I don't know if you are seeing the same thing, but that response goes away with Teferi. An interesting line of play is no longer even available to aggro decks because of how he operates.

I agree that he's not explicitly good against aggro and I wouldn't challenge you on games you have played where he is bad, but he does take important things away from aggro. Whether it's their ability to play tempo (literally at all), their ability to avoid removal, or even just gaining you life if they focus on him (if they even bother).

To be honest, I'm surprised Teferi isn't played in more things. I agree he isn't oppressive against everyone, but he certainly is the gate keeper and the key holder against other lists.

I'm pretty on board with gk's list right above you. I would only add Oko to it because I'm starting to see "Dies to Doom Blade" again in the form of "nice Elk", but I would venture that Doom Blade is less oppressive even without the non-black clause.
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Post by idSurge » 6 months ago

drmarkb wrote:
6 months ago
Counterspell cards, which Veil really is in disguise, are interactive by definition. You can't even cast most counterspells profitably if your opponent doesn't do anything
Veil's problem is all the text it has ON TOP of draw a card when facing the colours of stack interaction, is what makes it such a flawed design, while also being in the colour of proactivity itself.

It pushes the game toward "I do my thing and now you cant even interact with it."

Counter a Discard, and draw.
Counter a Counter, and draw.
Counter a Removal, and potentially draw.
Counter a Bounce, and draw.
Counter interaction with the GY, and potentially draw.

Its nuts, and in no way should be legal in anything but Standard at most, because at least in Standard, it rotates and goes away in time.

Anyway, I do believe we will have to see some more hits against Green, OuaT is very bad design with the London Mulligan, and T3feri remains something that should not exist at that low of a CMC.

Oko, I dont know. Its a Standard problem, but is it going to push out everything in other formats too?
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