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

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Post by Arkmer » 2 weeks ago

Nissa, Who Shakes the World, Grim Flayer, and Tireless Tracker?

I was looking to sell my Grim Flayers, I'm not a huge fan of the delirium mechanic and at 2cmc, Push is incredibly relevant. I could see Nissa if ramp makes a comeback with her again, but I don't think it's a huge need. Why Tracker?
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Post by The Fluff » 2 weeks ago

what I mean is Nissa, Voice of Zendikar. :)

I plan to wait for january before selling extra copies of them. As the price might go a bit higher by then. So fingers crossed no one get's banned. Tracker? Hmm, mentioned only because also on my plan to sell list once the price is good enough.
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Post by iTaLenTZ » 2 weeks ago

Once Upon a Time is being played in over 30% of the decks. Its unmatched consistency leads to boring and repetitive games and accelerates into broken stuff like turn 2 Oko or 5 power on the board every game. During mid to lategame drawing OUaT isn't a dead draw like Llanowar Elves so you get the early game acceleration without any tradeoffs in the mid-lategame. It will 100% get banned. That is why I am mad. Everyone knows OUaT won't make it to January yet Wizards doesn't ban the card immediately but gives people a false sense of security to buy into the card during holidays and then ban it. Also because next Monday probably no bans are announced more people decided to buy into them thinking the card is safe when its clearly not. Wizards is literally ripping people off and any of the consumer trust that is left will be shattered.

I know people who have lost 200-300 euro the past 2 years in Standard by buying into a card for their deck just to get it banned 2 months later. For the average Standard player that money represents 80% of their collection value. They all quit. Besides printing OP stuff that has to be banned there is also a huge cost to not banning cards timely.

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Post by drmarkb » 2 weeks ago

Yes, bannings have huge cost implications- they cost players and good will. One of the reason Pioneer exists is that it will enable tournaments to have a cheap-ish eternal format that can take heat out of Standard.
OUAT I don't think will be part of that Pioneer scene, for the reasons many have voiced.
I think Copter may be OK- the old dies to doom blade argument, of course, but beyond that potential main deck gravehate exists now they are starting to tack it on again to creatures- the pro black bin hosing 2/1 in m20. Stuff that hurts draws may come our way too- Underworld dreams is not a stellar hoser, and is due a return in the leaks from Theros, so I may be clutching at straws if that is their idea of a hoser, but we have previously had Chains on a stick with Spirit of the Labyrinth, so it is not inconceivable that as decks and tech evolves the copter chopper will not need to get the chop, especially as flexy removal appears to be in vogue. Of course, the fact that all the hate now seems to be critter based is an issue in itself- how good would SOTL be in Legacy as an enchantment you can't bolt/ballista........
Another thing that might help is a new suppression field type card if we ever get one (note to WOTC- don't be arses and make it not affect Planeswalkers, that is what is killing your game)- copters' crew ability is a cost and taxable if WOTC actually had a mind to print cards that efficiently stop people from doing their thing..

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Post by Wraithpk » 1 week ago

Banning Copter would be really short-sighted. We have a 2 archetype format right now when it comes to actually successful decks : green big mana and aggro. The big mana decks are still the best thing in the format, we're just now divided between Field of the Dead and Devotion builds. And what beats big mana? Aggro. What beats aggro? Stuff that Field of the Dead and Green Devotion crush.

Another interesting point is which aggro decks are succeeding. You'll notice that red aggro decks are still not doing well, even though they have all these big mana decks to prey on. This is where Oko is still making his presence felt in the format. Oko decks haven't been dominating, but he's still in almost 30% of decks in the meta. What's the difference between Black aggro and Red aggro? Black aggro can beat Oko.

So to sum everything up: MBA and Copter are not the problem, they're a symptom of the problem. The format is just aligned in such a way that makes it amazingly favorable for MBA. If Field of the Dead and Once Upon a Time get banned, that might open up space in the meta for midrange and control decks that can feed on the aggro decks, and if Oko gets banned it will diversify aggro into other builds, instead of just MBA.
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Post by Arkmer » 1 week ago

Some discussion online about how Mono B has shown it doesn't need Field of the Dead to cover for it. Curious what others are thinking right now.

Personally, I still think Field is the right answer for a ban. I'd have to see some numbers about Mono Black stopping more things built to fight it to really be dissuaded, but it's being played in such density that those numbers don't seem to exist. Additionally, the list with 4 Dark Betrayal makes quite the statement, in my opinion.
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Post by gkourou » 1 week ago

Smuggler's Copter is a colourless creature that does the powerful things it does. It's unifying all aggro decks. I could see it being the Wild Nacatl ban of Modern, where 2-3 years from now it will be unbannable, but right now, it's oppressive. It's skewed all the metagame around it, all the aggro decks are playing it, and MBA is not a symptom or something. I'ts not the the deck is too good. It's just that it's the best Copter deck that gets to have relatively fast kills, while being able to play the mid and late game of ineviability just fine.
That said, Copter will go on the coming Monday.

I hope field and Once will go too as well. Personally, Nexus is the final piece of the puzzle.

Oko is just fine, although it's pushing the line of what's a fair "OK" card, or a fair broken card. Don't expect any other changes beyond those ones.

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Post by Arkmer » 6 days ago

So here we are on the cusp of another Monday and another deck is certainly poised to see it's cards get the axe. I picked up the results as they came out this week but I never took a look at the overall full week results. From what I've seen/remember Black Aggro had the majority of the top 8 slots by a long shot and at least 2 wins to boot. One of the results had some interesting results because it looked like Black Aggro didn't do as well, but if that's suddenly because the Field of the Dead players stayed home then I think it's evidence that Field is covering for B Aggro in an unhealthy way.

Predictions? I think Field of the Dead is likely but now I could see Copter going or maybe something else from Black Aggro depending on how they interpret the results. I would like Field, Oko, T3feri, and possibly Copter.
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Post by metalmusic_4 » 6 days ago

Very likely: Ban copter and once upon a time.
Possibly: ban field of the dead.

These are all banned in standard cards that are on top of the meta now. There are very few decks not running one or more of those cards right now. Especially copter, that thing is everywhere.

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Post by Mikefon » 5 days ago

Updated prevalence in MTGO top32 (number of decks that made top 32 in PTQ or challenges in MTGO from the last ban).
Mono B 23.6%
Gxx Field of the dead 21.0%
Simic Aggro (all versions) 11.1%
Gruul Aggro 9.9%
G (devotion + stompy) + Gu devotion 7.1%
R and Rb aggro 6.3%
Other 23.9%
Field of the dead, OUAT, Copter and maybe something else from B (Scrounger?) might be at risk of ban.

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Post by gkourou » 5 days ago

Field of the dead, Copter, OUAT will be banned later today, I think, for obvious(and probably good) reasons. I could see OuAT getting to live another day, because of sales reasons or something else, but the other two, there is just no way.
In case anybody disagrees with the Copter ban, the reality is it's just too efficient, is colourless, unifies all aggro decks, discards relevant cards into the graveyard, zombos, wins too much.

Nothing else is needed imo, but if there absolutely was a need for something(and there probably is not), it would be the black castle land, because there will always be scroungers. But that's all in theory. Obviously it would be a wrong, wrong ban and it's just a discussion.

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Post by Arkmer » 5 days ago

People keep talking about OUaT, but it's dodged bans regardless. I am semi convinced WotC just refuses to let the card go much the same way they avoided banning Nykthos. I'm not claiming the card isn't good, I just have a suspicion that it's on some secret keep list opposed to a watch list.

I do think Field and Copter are still just the cards to look out for on today's ban announcement. If both of those go, what do we assume will move into the top slots? Will OUaT propel green stompy to the top again? Will some form of control emerge? Will Oko take over?
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Post by metalmusic_4 » 4 days ago

https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/a ... Qp4i1WOEYt

Banned copter, once upon a time and field of the dead. I think most of us saw these coming.

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Post by Wraithpk » 4 days ago

I wish they would have waited on Copter, but I sold mine yesterday anyway, lol. OUaT and Field are good bans. Now, I hope everyone is ready for Oko: the format for the next couple weeks, lol.
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Post by iTaLenTZ » 4 days ago

Now they only need to ban Oko and this is the best format ever.

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Post by The Fluff » 4 days ago

Powering down the format, which is a good thing.
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Post by Arkmer » 4 days ago

I would have to agree that the general powering down of the format is a good move. I think many people were hoping to get away from Modern's degeneracy and seeing a bunch of fair play here has been refreshing.

I'm shocked and not shocked about OUaT and happy to see the other two take a tumble as well.

Here's to seeing Oko and T3feri on the ban announcement in the coming weeks.
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Post by metalmusic_4 » 4 days ago

They just decapitated all the best decks in the format but some of those decks will be able to keep working. Mono red is the best deck that wasn't using any of the newly banned cards I think, so I see this as a big big plus for chainwhirler and that whole deck.

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Post by Wraithpk » 4 days ago

Mono-red isn't going to break out until Oko is gone. If slower fair decks really do find their place now with Field and OUaT gone, the best fair thing to be doing will be Oko. So Oko decks will probably shoot up in metashare, making the format even more hostile to Mono-red.
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Post by metalmusic_4 » 4 days ago

You may be right, life gain from food tokens are rough on red deck wins. It is undeniable that oko is real good and will continue to be widely played. They shook the format up dramaticly and anything could happen now, but I do think red will get a bigger share than it had before.

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Post by gkourou » 4 days ago

Oko might be the new LOTV of the veil of the format, just like Teferi. Wizards made some great bannings. Let's see where we go from here, but I expect diversity to really take off now.

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Post by iTaLenTZ » 4 days ago

The problem with Oko is that he invalidates too much your opponent can do and is generally a very unfun to play against. oko is an acknowledged design mistake and it would be better if he just got banned because the card should never been printed in the first place.

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Post by The Fluff » 4 days ago

@Arkmer

I was surprised they got rid of the copter. Fortunate that I did not hoard the thing,

Agreed that Oko must be got rid of too. It's hard to deal with in modern, so it would obviously be hard to deal with here.
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And on other things. I'm enjoying the deck building challenge of this format. With no decent fetch, have to be careful selecting which duals to add in my wbg deck. Mana confluence helps as a single, but more than one and the lifeloss get's dangerous. Testing continue.. :)
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Post by drmarkb » 4 days ago

I must admit I was disappointed by the copter going. I am not an aggro player by any stretch, I like prison or combo-prison in Legacy, so it is odd of me to defend it. The main argument against it is that it is ubiquitous- and there is a lot of validity in that- it is in a lot of decks. It is pretty easy to remove in maindecakble white banishing effects, and K command plus abrade, decay etc. provide a lot of ways to interact, but without going into the dies to doomblade arguments, the card is not front loaded and easy to interact with. On powerlevel even in the mono B deck it is not too OP but it is universal, which is why they have chopped it- every aggro/tempo deck runs it. Having said that if they start to hurt - and I mean HURT- activated abilities or excess card draw we do not get the issue with the card. It comes down and the Chains of Meph or Suppression Field type hate make the card worse than a basic critter. That is the real worry- they are not planning on making proper hate cards. It avoiding or invalidating wrath is not an issue for me- we need cards to do exactly that or the format ends up with boring control mirrors and control being control will involve everyone gravitating towards the same deck in UW or UWX. Long may UW players not get away with just wrathing and not worrying about what hides under the wrath or what hasty or flash stuff is in hand, and I like to Wrath myself.

I also think Field is perhaps the wrong call- or at least too early- maybe Hour should have gone and we could have had a look at what happens. But then that may have still needed action. To say control gets invalidated by it is not really fair, it gets invalidated by needing to control lands archetypes and aggro archetypes at the same time, an issue in Modern where there are so many broken strategies you can hit some and suck to the others. This ban is a symptom of a format which lacks good land destruction and search hate better than Aven Mindcensor- something we desparately need to act as a ballast against future broken decks. I do wonder if Blood Sun would have risen in promenance and again, with proper mandeckable mini-hate- think a blood sun ability on a 2/1 hasty first striker in red (without the draw, obviously) or a nevermore for a nonbasic land in white stapled to a dude- maybe the card would not have needed a ban. What a miserable era the cards have been scraped from, an era when Sam Stoddard would write about how much fun Emrakul was. At least RTR block had some good answers.

OUAT is just busted.

Oko- oh how we need hate for all pushed walkers. Bans are not ideal, but WOTC refuse to punish people for playing with walkers the way everybody else gets punished.

I think the format will end up with a bunch of boring combat based decks vs UW whilst modern ends up a bunch of broken non interactive decks, and neither had to happen this way if only WOTC had made hate cards to match the threats these past few years.

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Post by Arkmer » 4 days ago

drmarkb wrote:
4 days ago
I think the format will end up with a bunch of boring combat based decks vs UW {snip some modern commentary}
I think this is interesting. Generally, I feel that combat starts as aggro, gets pushed out by midrange (slightly slower but bigger), then gets big enough that the removal of the format becomes incredibly good and pushes out midrange in the form of control, then aggro slides under again. I'm pretty happy with that cycle, tbh. There are other things that can fit in that but once we start disrupting it entirely I start to take issue.

Combo, for example, is certainly allowed to exist, but it needs to fall prey to control because it's role in a meta is to force interaction out of the faster decks. In that sense its role is to check for interaction. On the other side of the scale, I think we have big mana who is supposed to prey on control and fall prey to aggro lists. Unfortunately, big mana lists (like Field of the Dead's recent example) have the effect of pushing out both control and midrange resulting in the recent ban because it disrupted the "aggro < midrange < control < aggro" cycle. I don't feel like they all need to have a T1 list at all times, but T1.5 or close should at least be something to strive for and I feel like this is the format to do it in right now.

Is that all law? God no. Just my opinion. I feel like much of it is the reason people left Modern; there is no meta based on a cycle or at least it doesn't feel like it. It just doesn't feel like many of the things people want to do are remotely viable.

I'm curious what everyone else feels the Pioneer meta should be built on from a theory standpoint. Would you alter the rock/paper/scissors cycle I propose? Can a 4 piece cycle exist? Would you swap out one of the archetypes?
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