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

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Post by MAGUSZANIN » 1 month ago

A friend of mine suggested adding a 2 Mana tax to casting a Companion from outside the game. Lurrus is way less broken at 5 Mana and that might prevent a ban being needed in Modern, which is looking increasingly certain. Lurrus would also still be perfectly fine in Standard at 5cmc since the decks that play him are all casting him on turns 6+ usually anyway.

Meanwhile, Yorion is probably still playable at 7cmc, even if it is a significant nerf.

I suspect they'll ban Agent before anything else from Lukka Fires, since we're close to that card rotating. The issue is that we all know banning the pay off never works. We saw that with Aetherworks Marvel and Emrakul, and we're going to see it again here. Not sure what would be slotted in to replace Agent, but there's plenty of choices.

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Post by Greeksis » 3 weeks ago

Pioneer has so many answers per threat ratio at this point. Containment priest with no Dredge, Runed Halo with no Boggles, Field of ruin with no Tron, etc.

Really, really happy about the companion change and the number of answers in the format, which I think it's super appropriate by now. Let's what the next spoilers bring!
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Post by motleyslayer » 3 weeks ago

I'm super interested to see how Baneslayer Angel and Azusa, Lost but Seeking impact the format. Could there be some split between BSA and Lyra Dawnbringer ? what decks want azusa if any?

I'm not sure if Containment Priest will have any affect on the format

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Post by Cyanu » 3 weeks ago

M21 in general seems to be an increase to the power level of answers which spells good news for all formats but especially Pioneer, as essentially we're getting answers for problems that do not yet exist, signaling a dramatic shift into the relative level of answers in the format

we're already in overkill range in terms of GY hate (including free hosers like LoV or Tormod's) while we keep getting more in a format that doesn't even have the dredge keyword legal, so yeah, the priest won't do much, just another option for W decks which is cool

other than that the companion nerf seems to have made a good impact on the format so far: Yorion remains but at a much lower meta share and mostly to assist Esper control (superfriends + etb enchancements) and Jeskai Fires, Lurrus is mostly an afterthough in some mono red/boros aggro and i have yet to see any other companion making any result

overall things are only improving for the format

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Post by Arkmer » 3 weeks ago

Cyanu wrote:
3 weeks ago
M21 in general seems to be an increase to the power level of answers
I think some people, myself included, will roll their eyes a bit at this statement and say that Containment Priest and Runed Halo aren't really "answers" they are Prison cards and sideboard queens (hate cards). They're right up there with GY hate as being a huge signal that something else is dominating the format if they see play in game one.

I would look to Eliminate as an example of an answer. While I'm happy to see it, I don't think it really changes the power struggle between answers and threats. The two mana it costs will likely still be enough tempo loss to negate the gain of hitting most worthwhile 3cmc cards and anything cheaper than that is only getting worse value. This is a pretty common trend that isn't bad but is far larger a gap than I think most people are willing to admit. Personally, I'd like that gap to be smaller.
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Post by Cyanu » 3 weeks ago

well when some people say something they mean something else, for example answer=counterspell...

in general when answers are pushed too far in power they tend to become what you described as 'prison cards': they answer not only the existing 'problem' but the future ones too, ofc those answers are usually too narrow to compensate for their killing power

for example the priest could have it's effect as an etb untill eot, which would fit your definition of an answer, instead it's even higher power level than that, making it a persistent effect, i have little interest in semantics about the limits of asnwer to prison axis myself though

regardless for me all answers are welcome and i was refering to a generic trend in recent prints for an increase to the power level of answers and not just the priest in specific

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Post by Arkmer » 3 weeks ago

That's fair. Generally speaking, you're right, I define answers as non-persistent and responsive. Loosely a "one question, one answer" mentality.

The main issue I take is not that answers (my definition) are too weak, it's that threats are too strong/efficient. You can only make things so cheap and answers have to be cheaper than threats to have any chance of making a difference. To fix that we bleed into that persistent category of Prison effects which is why I differentiate between them; to me it's a fundamental change.

I don't blame you for not wanting to get into it though, my opinions tend to end in desires for bans even when I try to avoid it.
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Post by Cyanu » 3 weeks ago

imo the key word here is synergy: threats synergize and their sum is greater than their parts

looking at pioneer's threats individually, in a hypothetical midrange shell, most of them are almost cute when compared to things like TS which is a monster answer in the format's context (and ironically used to force proactive gameplans since the format's inception - and no i'm not advocating for a ban, i'm just making a point)

and the point is that things are much more complicated than 'print better answers', the've put themselves into a pretty tough spot with all the failures and mistakes of the last 2 years, just printing a buch of powerful removals is not going to fix this (and Pioneer is still on the brighter side compared to the mess of other formats)

for example as Pioneer is now, would we want a VERY pushed removal spell, a multi-format allstar, in black? would a doomblade on steroids help or hinder the health of the format? my vote is the latter: the format is enough combo centric as it is, and more/better removal would only encourage people to play more combo to bypass it, not to mention it slots straight into inverter, besides Push is another crazy card relative to the rest of the format, people are still playing 4drops with no etb, push wrecks them

that said having removal similar to what we have hitting walkers is a great idea, which is one of the things they seem to be consistenly doing lately and i approve

a better generic 2cmc counter would be a good addition to fight off the combo decks

now for a better W removal, that's complicated af, i just don't know if it would help or hinder the format,i only know that PtE would not be a good reprint for many reasons - IMO

finally if we reach the point of us needing 0cmc spells to not die turns 1-3 i'm out of the format, that's a big red line for me, if i was cool with that i'd just play Legacy instead

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Post by Arkmer » 3 weeks ago

I like the way you're talking. I think we agree pretty well. I'd love to see the rise in relevance of 2cmc multi-color (or double pip mono-color) removal. Black can have their seat on high with Push, that's sorta their thing. I'd love to see a 2cmc "Counter target Creature or Planeswalker spell", very simple, very necessary.

I still have issues with Inverter though. I totally agree that better removal just slots into it. I don't think the deck is healthy for the format given how difficult it is to interact with and it's ability to use Thoughtseize (I am also not looking to ban TS). I think the best thing to fight the deck with is itself and I think we can agree that that's a problem.
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Post by motleyslayer » 2 weeks ago

I played against more of a vampires build of mono black 2 matches in a row on MTGO today. is there any advantage to that build over traditional mono black aggro?

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Post by robertleva » 2 weeks ago

Now that companions are nerfed, I feel like playing magic again. Containment priest is going to do work, for me at least in UW control shells. I think I can make use of Nine Livessomewhere, but probably only has limited applications in Pioneer.

Smother gets a really nice upgrade in Eliminate [/card]. It hits a lot of targets and probably will replace a copy or two of Fatal Push in most lists. Selfless Savior [/card] is neat, but not sure where it can work. I doubt many others are interested in Riddleform [/card] but I enjoy non creature decks and I have used this card before in Modern. Anyway it's nice to be able to play magicc again. I hated companions and Im not a huge fan of the companions 2.0 either but its better than not being able to play MTG.

EDIT: to the mods I notice using the little card icon to add the card tags now adds extra [/card] AFTER you submit. Weird bug but I left the results in place so yall can see.
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Post by motleyslayer » 2 weeks ago

Containment Priest is an interesting add to the format for sure. I don't know how relevant it is in pioneer right now but it's a good safety valve almost.

Selfless Savior is interesting with Lurrus too

is Yorion playable in UW control or is that not an option? I saw a few esper lists, is that the new go to control deck in pioneer?

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Post by robertleva » 2 weeks ago

motleyslayer wrote:
2 weeks ago
Containment Priest is an interesting add to the format for sure. I don't know how relevant it is in pioneer right now but it's a good safety valve almost.

Selfless Savior is interesting with Lurrus too

is Yorion playable in UW control or is that not an option? I saw a few esper lists, is that the new go to control deck in pioneer?
Priest stops all the stupid CoCo and graveyard critters. No longer will UW fear green mages casting CoCo at the end of turn.
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Post by motleyslayer » 1 week ago

robertleva wrote:
2 weeks ago
motleyslayer wrote:
2 weeks ago
Containment Priest is an interesting add to the format for sure. I don't know how relevant it is in pioneer right now but it's a good safety valve almost.

Selfless Savior is interesting with Lurrus too

is Yorion playable in UW control or is that not an option? I saw a few esper lists, is that the new go to control deck in pioneer?
Priest stops all the stupid CoCo and graveyard critters. No longer will UW fear green mages casting CoCo at the end of turn.
I completely forgot about that interaction but that makes me even more excited for the Containment Priest reprint adding it to the format now. I guess there is also that "dredge" deck in pioneer as well and I saw a rally deck do well a Lotus Box pioneer event

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Post by The Fluff » 3 days ago

Priest is indeed a good addition here. I only now realized it stops Coco as well.
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Post by robertleva » 3 days ago

Two decks I am messing with right now are Mono White Devotion and UW control. Both use Heliod combo. I use containment priest in both sideboards. Runed Halo in mono white has been great. In general the mono white list has been performing very well. I think white finally has all the pieces it needs to be a fully fledged control color on its own in Pioneer.
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Post by motleyslayer » 3 days ago

UW control seemed reasonable a few months ago but seems to have fallen off. I've always liked the deck, Containment Priest seems like a great add though

I wanna try Yorion in the deck though

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Post by The Fluff » 2 days ago

if there are enough etb nonland permanents in the pioneer deck, Yorion is worth a try.

we tested it for awhile in the modern thread at mtgs, results were good.

now, that companions are nerfed, he is weakened but could still provide value mid-late game.
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Post by robertleva » 2 days ago

I am a serious UW player and I just don't get the attraction to Yorien. We don't have anything we want to bounce, and I don't even really want to have to cast Yorien. He at least made sense before the companions nerf because you get a free finisher. After the nerf he makes no sense to me at all, people keep trying to jam him in Pioneer and I don't get it.
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Post by The Fluff » 2 days ago

What I said about testing Yorion in is the Azorius thread we had at mtgsalvation 75-77, you can see that we are also serious in testing him. We only stopped testing because corona came, and paper was stopped. But as I said it's modern we tested Yorion in. I'm unfamiliar with etb cards used in Pioneer, which is why I said if there's "enough etb nonland permanents", then he is worth a try. If etb nonland permanents are too few, then there's no reason to add the companion.
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Post by robertleva » 2 days ago

The Fluff wrote:
2 days ago
What I said about testing Yorion in is the Azorius thread we had at mtgsalvation 75-77, you can see that we are also serious in testing him. We only stopped testing because corona came, and paper was stopped. But as I said it's modern we tested Yorion in. I'm unfamiliar with etb cards used in Pioneer, which is why I said if there's "enough etb nonland permanents", then he is worth a try. If etb nonland permanents are too few, then there's no reason to add the companion.
It's not just you, I didnt mean to imply that. I saw some lists of goldfish using Yorien and no recent lists without. I am going to go ahead and double down on it though. THis is a bad card after the nerf, it wasn't ever designed to be hard cast. I havevnt played modern in a while but I believe that will apply there as well.
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Post by The Fluff » 2 days ago

is there a stock list for competitive uw in pioneer? If the list has not been solved, people of course would be testing to find what's good.

Yorion was hot stuff a little while ago competing with Lurrus, recently cooled down by the obligatory companion nerf. If people are winning with their Yorion lists post nerf, they will keep using him. If not, then they will eventually stop.
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Post by robertleva » 2 days ago

The Fluff wrote:
2 days ago
is there a stock list for competitive uw in pioneer? If the list has not been "solved", people of course would be testing to find what's good.

Yorion is was hot stuff a little while ago competing with Lurrus, recently cooled down by the obligatory companion nerf. If people are winning with their Yorion lists post nerf, they will keep using him. If not, then they will eventually stop.
As someone on MTG once badgered me when I was trying to get 8Rack exposure "you can 5-0 with a ham sandwich". Hyperbole of course but his point stuck with me.

Pioneer is in no way solved. There is a treasure trove of hidden gem cards that are great in this format but overlooked due to their age. Silkwrap is an excellent example. No one uses this Silkwrap, but the newer Baffling End sees play even though it only hits tapped critters. I know it has flash, but that is actually there to distract you from how narrow it is. Baffling end is essentially useless against mana dorks which is one of the primary targets for my Silkwraps since they are so common.
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Post by motleyslayer » 1 day ago

The Fluff wrote:
2 days ago
is there a stock list for competitive uw in pioneer? If the list has not been solved, people of course would be testing to find what's good.

Yorion was hot stuff a little while ago competing with Lurrus, recently cooled down by the obligatory companion nerf. If people are winning with their Yorion lists post nerf, they will keep using him. If not, then they will eventually stop.
there was a thread that @robertleva had started in the decklists section of pioneer a while ago, they had a few cool looking lists in that thread. The list I posted in that thread was pretty stock for what I was finding on mtg goldfish at the time. But again I think one of the main things that prevented people from "solving" the format was the fact that the pandemic closed down paper play and there hasn't been anything for pioneer except for maybe a few challenges and leagues on mtgo. So I don't know how much "useful" information we've gotten on the format, I don't really like using leagues as reliable info. I guess that leaves the challenges, but I don't know if you'd use that info reliably

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