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

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Post by The Fluff » 1 month ago

[mention]robertleva[/mention]

ballista is of course better, but if trike was legal I would still use him as a 2-of.. because redundancy in pieces makes a combo more resilient. Anyway, Heliod and Ballista are here to stay for awhile. Let's see how long wotc allows the combo in this format.
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Post by robertleva » 1 month ago

It's pretty strong in UW which is already my personal favorite deck in the format currently. T3feri isn't technically part of the combo but if he resolves the rest of the pieces can be played safely. So your opponent will be forced to divert resources to stopping T3. Which plays right into your hand of course...
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Post by Arkmer » 1 month ago

Someone put together an evaluation of Sun-Gun on reddit. I don't have time to read it right now so this is partially a bookmark for myself, but it's also here for you guys to think about if anyone wants to delve into it.

Their conclusion seems to be that this isn't as good as Cat Combo was so it should be fine.
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Post by Card Slinger J » 1 month ago

robertleva wrote:
1 month ago
Card Slinger J You are right about people not brewing up their own decks, but that is what is so AWESOME about Pioneer right now. This the time that actual deck builders have a real edge over netdeckers. Whether Pioneer ends up at a Turn 4 modern clone in 5 years is besides the point, you have to get out there right now and explore.
The biggest fear when it comes to Pioneer is the long term effect it will have on Modern. Over time with every new set that gets released the difference in card pool between both formats will massively shrink. What would've been budget alternatives for some Modern staples will effectively become expensive Pioneer staples. That and the barrier of entry gap into Modern will become significantly wider than what it already is.

It sounds weird but weaker budget friendly decks form the backbone of a format's health, and its what gets the new blood flowing in for an eternal format. People looking to play MTG for the first time or who are avoiding the current scene in Standard have no reason to look further than Pioneer. And to these people, Modern is to Pioneer as what Legacy / Vintage is to Modern. Pioneer might already be dead on arrival to where the gameplay is bad enough that it doesn't stick.

Perhaps If Fetches were banned in Modern then we wouldn't need Pioneer.

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Post by Arkmer » 1 month ago

I like your point about budget decks being the backbone of the format. I think it's pretty close to being 100% correct. I think it's a combination of brewing being important and those brews being reasonable to play.
Card Slinger J wrote:
1 month ago
Perhaps If Fetches were banned in Modern then we wouldn't need Pioneer.
I really disagree with this. I don't think the fetches alone make or break Pioneer. In fact I'll make argument as to why they might benefit Pioneer if they were unbanned.

Fact of the matter is that Modern has many very powerful things in it that simply do not allow for other things to enter it's card pool. Magic was a very different place when they made many of those cards. Things have been much more tame since the time Pioneer's card pool starts. Hate cards are more direct and less blanketing, prison does not exist (as far as I can tell), combo is fairly well controlled (we'll see in the coming months), etc. Pioneer and Modern have very different things going on despite them both having just banned Oko.

So how would the fetches benefit Pioneer? It would make 3 color decks easier to support. Three color decks tend to be slower and thus need that color flexibility to justify going so slow. It would open up 10 more combinations of colors to play, whole new combinations of cards that are difficult to play as the format is now. WotC has had entire tricolor sets that reside within Pioneer yet the themes those decks were built on are not supported well because the fetches are banned.

Now, don't misunderstand me, I do recognize that the fetches would result in some bannings- namely Treasure Cruise and Dig Through Time. The fetches are not all upside to the format. Now there is a huge expense associated with many of the good decks, a big barrier to entry for many players. Most, if not all, decks will suddenly be at least two colors because why not? Fetches provide such good mana fixing that it hardly hinders anyone to add a second color. While I believe adding the tricolor combinations was a correct statement earlier, I also think there is good argument that it would remove mono color decks.

I just don't think you can blanket statement that removing fetches from Modern would invalidate Pioneer, nor do I think you can so easily say fetches are a net loss to a format. I'm certain there are more good arguments to go either way, but it isn't as black and white as you seem to suggest.
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Post by The Fluff » 1 month ago

Have the nasty feeling one reason they banned fetchlands here, is to make Fabled Passage a desirable card. Even with fetches banned, I'm still not buying any of those.
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Post by Arkmer » 1 month ago

I think WotC's goal for Pioneer is accessibility by price, and reduction of shuffling. I think Passage is a success on both fronts. At least here at the beginning of the format, those are the goals; we'll see if those goals remain going forward.

Passage is just a major downgrade, even compared to Prismatic Vista.
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Post by Mapccu » 1 month ago

I don't think fetches are the only thing that defines modern. There are decks that operate without them (Tron) that would be absolute monsters if everyone else was fumbling for fixing every couple games. The larger card pool just gives some strategies a metric ton of tools and lets them remain hyper efficient (look at the difference in cards that mill for example, or burn).

I'm not sure pioneer is really more accessible from a price stand point. Yeah you can build a competitive deck for $200-500 USD now with most falling in the bottom end of that range, and as a percentage of moderns most expensive decks sure it's not bad. That's still not really "affordable" in my book though. Getting a high school or early college student with zero-minimal income into the game is nearly impossible without going through prolonged drafting/standard environments. It's very hard to cultivate new blood because the target audience is usually priced out of the more stable formats. At least that's how I feel locally.

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Post by robertleva » 1 month ago

Currently, we have a format where fair decks have a fair shot. That's all anyone ever wanted out of Modern, in my opinion. I doubt we can sustain this forever but it's nice while it lasts.
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Post by drmarkb » 4 weeks ago

Financially Pioneer won't get to Modern peak prices. The print runs post rtr are big compared to their immediate predecessors. That said, Modern prices will fall as it loses support and few Modern players drift to Legacy and many exodus to pioneer, but Pioneer will be cheaper for the foreseeable.
I have pioneer decks, but I think it will suffer from fatigue. Bashing critters into each other gets dull pretty quickly. It is a remarkably undiverse meta, uw control, burn, tempo, aggro beats and a few fringe combo decks. Smashing with mono b or mono g feels exactly the same, it is all mussionary position magic. Fair decks certainly don't have a shot, they are the shot, unfair does not exist almost and ballista combo will eat a ban if it is good. I have found a couple of fringe starfield enchantment decks I like, one UW enchantment, one doom foretold, but how viable they are is open to question. 8 rack or Skred won't be coming to a shop near you any time soon, and neither will any of the other critterless decks from Modern bar UW control.

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Post by motleyslayer » 4 weeks ago

robertleva wrote:
1 month ago
Currently, we have a format where fair decks have a fair shot. That's all anyone ever wanted out of Modern, in my opinion. I doubt we can sustain this forever but it's nice while it lasts.
I've read some friends saying on twitter that one thing don't like about the format right now is that it's a lot of aggro and a bit of control, with not a lot of midrange in the middle at this moment. But the format seems like it's a format where there a lot of chances for fair decks to be good.
drmarkb wrote:
4 weeks ago
Financially Pioneer won't get to Modern peak prices. The print runs post rtr are big compared to their immediate predecessors. That said, Modern prices will fall as it loses support and few Modern players drift to Legacy and many exodus to pioneer, but Pioneer will be cheaper for the foreseeable.
I have pioneer decks, but I think it will suffer from fatigue. Bashing critters into each other gets dull pretty quickly. It is a remarkably undiverse meta, uw control, burn, tempo, aggro beats and a few fringe combo decks. Smashing with mono b or mono g feels exactly the same, it is all mussionary position magic. Fair decks certainly don't have a shot, they are the shot, unfair does not exist almost and ballista combo will eat a ban if it is good. I have found a couple of fringe starfield enchantment decks I like, one UW enchantment, one doom foretold, but how viable they are is open to question. 8 rack or Skred won't be coming to a shop near you any time soon, and neither will any of the other critterless decks from Modern bar UW control.
I feel that the Pioneer card pool starting at RTR (where print runs got much bigger) was a great choice, as it will hopefully really control card prices. Which is one of the scary things about modern, the prices being so high. I really hope they made an eternal/non rotating format where it won't spiral out of control in terms of prices anyways

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Post by robertleva » 4 weeks ago

One thing that hasn't been mentioned in this thread yet: MTG announced they will have new format every 6 years. Is this basically them saying that "eternal" formats are not really sustainable, and we will get a new starting point every 6 years?
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Post by Arkmer » 4 weeks ago

[mention]robertleva[/mention], you got a source for that? Might be an interesting read and details might be important for understanding what this means. I would have thought something like that would receive more attention.
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Post by The Fluff » 4 weeks ago

want to see the official source for that. Could be good or bad news, depends on how exactly they will implement such things.
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Post by robertleva » 4 weeks ago

Meh if it's isn't common knowledge i'd chalk it up to rumor. Someone at my LGS was talking about it as thought it were a well known fact.
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Post by GenesisEffect80 » 3 weeks ago

robertleva wrote:
4 weeks ago
Meh if it's isn't common knowledge i'd chalk it up to rumor. Someone at my LGS was talking about it as thought it were a well known fact.
Whther it's fact or rumor, the existince of Pioneer is an acknowledgment of Magic's biggest problem: thousands of cards that are not good enough to play in a legacy format have been rendered worthless once they cycle out of Standard. New eternal formats make perfect sense, but at some point that idea is going to seem very silly. Maybe Magic only has about a dozen years of life left in it.

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Post by Arkmer » 3 weeks ago

That's a cold dose of reality. Sparing the regular "doom and gloom" conversation, it does seem inevitable that all eternal formats crumble under their own weight. Legacy is still strong in my area, however, so while I agree with the premise I don't think it's come to fruition yet. Oddly enough Modern has died almost entirely in my area. Many people attribute that to various things, but historically speaking we have not seen the true death of an eternal format yet.

Extended died long ago, but that was not eternal, but we do know that it was actively replaced by Modern shortly after. What your comment does make me think about though is whether or not killing extended was a good idea or not. If eternal formats are (assumed) to crumble eventually, then the logical solution is to have more rotating formats. Once we start seeing WotC establishing that, then I think it's probably fair game to bail out. More of a fizzle than a bang.

Maybe the creation of new eternal formats is just destiny. The best way for things to pan out. If we want to go with my opinion (which is what I'm about to continue doing), then we know that Modern needed to be a thing because Legacy was getting inaccessible, Pioneer needed to be a thing because Modern was getting inaccessible and degenerate Pioneer's starting point also marked a change in overarching direction for magic (notably increased print runs), whatever follows Pioneer may also follow some if not all of those marks to some degree. This idea creates a psudo-rotating/eternal format hybrid.

Will the player base be happy? Depends on how long WotC can go without making a new format. Pioneer seems very well received by a large percentage of the player base, so another 10 years down the road may just be a good time to make a new format; it's worth noting that ELD was marked by WotC as the set they try to increase Standard's power level, seems like a good road marker for predicting a future format's starting place.

However, again, I have doubt that any of this will happen any time soon.
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Post by robertleva » 3 weeks ago

Would it be a bad thing to have a new eternal every 6 years? We can always dump unused old ones, or just ignore them. It would keep things really fresh and you would avoid a lot of the eventual problems that befell modern.
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Post by Arkmer » 3 weeks ago

I don't think it's a bad idea, but it also goes against the "eternal" part of the format description. It's like we'd need a new name to describe this non-rotating yet "rotating" overarching "format". Personally, I'm inclined to label them as "Disposable Formats" because that would be what they are. Disposable. Once Modern is truly dead they'll cancel it or declare it fully unsupported, the same will happen to Pioneer eventually, and so on. I think the only way I can call this theory solid is if they actually establish a new format in 6-10 years and god knows where we'll be to call me out on being wrong about that- maybe a new forum, lol.
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Post by The Fluff » 2 weeks ago

With dig through time still legal, it's sort of tempting to build a deck around it. I only wonder how long this blue card would stay unbanned? :shhh:
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Post by robertleva » 2 weeks ago

The Fluff wrote:
2 weeks ago
With dig through time still legal, it's sort of tempting to build a deck around it. I only wonder how long this blue card would stay unbanned? :shhh:
It's a fair card in my opinion and not really in danger of banning. We just don't have the cards to reliably fill up the graveyard in the color combos that want to run this.
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Post by The Fluff » 2 weeks ago

I remember seeing a blog last year, but can't remember anymore the name of that blog. They are developing a ur deck.. and said "let's get dig through time banned!" I guess they are not yet succesful, because the card is still legal. :halo:
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Post by Arkmer » 2 weeks ago

I took a look through the new Theros cards for self mill that's good enough to get Dig on turn 3 and nothing sticks out as playable. I also think Dig is safe. Turn 4 seems pretty easy, maybe even possible to hold 1-2 mana up after casting it, but turn 3 seems difficult enough to avoid wanting to try it.
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Post by robertleva » 2 weeks ago

The amount of deck space that needs to go into filling up the graveyard in Pioneer is a real consideration. In modern filling the GY is a given that requires basically no design space. At some point I'm sure new cards will get printed that fill up Pioneer graveyards, but for now I think the Delve cards and Deathrite Shaman are pretty safe.
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Post by Arkmer » 2 weeks ago

Anyone watching the PT?

I've watched a few matches so far. Heliod looked good against Ensoul, there was a Dimir Inverter list on camera but I was in a meeting when it came on, just watched Sultai Delirium take on Simic Ramp to show off Uro's power. It's been good so far.
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