[Unofficial thread] - Theros Beyond Death Previews: Pioneer

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Post by Arkmer » 2 weeks ago

The Fluff wrote:
2 weeks ago
does not have a home in pioneer right now, but I like that new Thassa is an indestructible conjuror's closet that costs one less, also cannot be countered by stub denial since it's a creature. Maybe someday a competitive blink deck will be created in this format? I will be waiting for that.
I like that it's not an activated ability. Instead of being blown out and losing a card and tempo to an activated flicker ability, the Thassa player still has to actually out value their opponent. I feel like it's a nod to removal and I hope we see some more.
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Post by The Fluff » 2 weeks ago

if graveyard strategies flourish in this format. Thassa could have amazing synergy with the new lamia. The lamia is basically an entomb, plus a 4/4 lifelink body. Thassa turn 4, curving into a lamia turn 5 allows any two cards put into the yard.
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Post by Arkmer » 2 weeks ago

Thryx, the Sudden Storm seems sweet. Protecting large spells from counters is hopefully a small nod to pushing a counter or two in the next set or so. I also feel like he'll be a pretty good player in Ikoria when we start talking about big monsters more. Otherwise, a 4/5 Flash/Flying seems legit and it had some decent upside stapled to it.

Interesting note that he makes casting a new one of himself uncounterable. If you get your first one targeted by removal, you can "save" him by casting a new uncounterable one and fizzling their removal. (Unless I am misunderstanding how that ability works.)
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I'd really like to keep grave decks to a minimum in this format. We've seen that angle of strategy broken time and time again by poor WotC design. Thus far, I think the most abusive thing we have is Underworld Breach.

I don't mind decks leveraging the yard, like when Unburial Rites was a thing in Standard. Needing a card to get the card back is a pretty important part of keeping yard decks in check. Escape is a neat exception because thus far I feel like it'll be totally fine and has adequate restrictions; we'll see in practice, but for the most part I think WotC got this one either right or were a bit on the conservative side. Things that really grind my gears are Prized Amalgam and Bloodghast; free free free. Phoenixes have mostly been fine with me, they have generally been reliant on things that can be dealt with within the normal construction of a deck. Not really an exhaustive list, but my point is that I'm not just blindly against grave things as Escape seems pretty cool and balanced.

I just really dislike getting into a position where you require either Leyline/RiP/similar or you lose. Those are huge failures in design in my opinion. It's just a narrow angle of attack that requires large sideboard investment to handle when it becomes prevalent.
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Post by The Fluff » 2 weeks ago

counterspells are already weak in modern. With pioneer much smaller card pool, I expect counters to be even weaker here. If I'm going to use Thryx, it would be for his cost reduction ability.. and the large flash flying body.

I think casting a new thryx when the first is targetted with removal is a legal move. Someone also mentioned that in spoilers section.
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Post by robertleva » 2 weeks ago

Calix will see play in Modern pillow fort at the very least. It's gas and targeted removal, and Pillow fort needs both of those things. I haven't tried pillow fort in Pioneer but this is as good of a reason as any. The main reason I havent messed with Pillow fort yet is because we dont have Runed Halo which I felt to be critical for the deck.

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Post by The Fluff » 2 weeks ago

Could this be useful. Or is the effect too weak to matter?
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Post by MAGUSZANIN » 2 weeks ago

Being unable to play Walkers on curve and still activate them is quite good. In many ways, if you think of each Walker ability as a spell, then this guy is basically littleThalia for Walkers which is not a bad place to be. The turn the Walker comes in to play is when it's the most vulnerable, and this card forces them to pay another Mana to use their abilities going forward.

Thalia hits Walkers as well of course, but she doesn't continue to mess with them after they're in play. This guy effectively hits them the turn they're cast, then continues to hit them every turn after.

The problem is that Thalia is a much broader effect than this guy. In a meta with large amounts of super friends, I could see playing it, but without that incentive Thalia is just better.

I'm not seeing much super friends in Pioneer's cardpool, but I guess if someone is successful at porting one in from a past standard or something this guy is good to have. For standard, Fires is a card that effectively makes this card a Bear, so I can't see that changing much. And if we do end up with a super friends deck in Pioneer, there's a good chance it starts playing Fires anyway, so it's just to narrow for my taste.

7/10, too narrow compared to previous cards, not powerful enough to make up for it, but I'm glad Wizards is playing in this space and that is worth a few points. This is space that is desperately needed and I approve of that if nothing else.

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Post by The Fluff » 2 weeks ago

I sort of get what you mean. Only for an example, I cast a Garruk, Primal Hunter. I want to get the +1 = 3/3 beast to have a blocker right away. But if an eidiolon is in play, I can't even get a beast if only have exact 5 mana casting Garruk. Also have to pay 1 each turn to get a beast. Though against cheaper cmc walkers, and walkers with useful static abilities.. the eidolon feels like it would have a lesser impact on them.
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Post by MAGUSZANIN » 2 weeks ago

Exactly. And by making it so they can't activate him the turn he comes down, you have forced a list of bad choices on them. Either

A: they cast him and wait till next turn to do anything with him. This is effectively a timewalk.
B: they cast him after playing another land/dork. If they are top decking on turn 5, this could be multiple turns out, and thus multiple timewalks.

So it is effective hate against Walkers, albeit one that must be backed by decent pressure. The problem is one of narrowness. Most decks only play 6-10 walkers at most. Having a hate card for 10 of your opponents best cards is fine. Having one that is totally dead in half your matches, and a quarter of the remaining matches only have 4-6 targets for it is less fine.

Essentially, this card is good sideboard fodder, but it's not Thalia, and we really needed a Thalia. If this said "activated abilities of permanents your opponents control that are not Mana abilities cost 1 more to activate" it would be infinitely more useful, hitting things like Azcanta, vehicles and other things on top of Walkers.

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Post by robertleva » 2 weeks ago

Three good cards spoiled today. Thassa INtervention is probably the best utility counter spell in Modern, it will be a good card for Pioneer. The artifact that removes opponents Hexproof is awesome to have in the card pool for all formats. And the indestructible lion is pretty sweet too.
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Post by Arkmer » 2 weeks ago

MAGUSZANIN wrote:
2 weeks ago
If this said "activated abilities of permanents your opponents control that are not Mana abilities cost 1 more to activate" it would be infinitely more useful, hitting things like Azcanta, vehicles and other things on top of Walkers.
I agree that it's too narrow. I like the quoted part too, that would be a really nice broadening.

I've had it in the back of my head that WotC is going to likely avoid certain things getting into Pioneer. I wonder if broad taxing is one of those things. As we talk about it being to narrow, I wonder if they are trying to avoid taxing in general or are just being very cautious with it.

I do wonder if there is just some "avoid these" list when it comes to Pioneer, but as more and more of these breakdown in my head (before the first new set, mind you) this theory slowly dies off.

I thought they were avoiding Lifelink on an equipment until Shadowspear was spoiled earlier today. It's currently the only one in Pioneer. Cheap and with extra text makes me think this will just always be the best one in the format- not that equipment is played extensively beyond Embercleave right now. I want to find a way to make Elspeth a creature now and equip her with both Shadowspear and Godsend, lol.
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Post by The Fluff » 2 weeks ago

@robertleva

I'm thinking which one is better for aggro. The new Bronzehide lion, or the fleecemane lion they printed years ago. Or maybe just use both if there's room in the deck?

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On other things. Dream trawler looks like a good top of the curve in a uw deck.
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Post by robertleva » 2 weeks ago

You could make a case for both, I would probably use Fleecemane.

Folks may as well just go ahead and get 4x Shadowspear right away. It will be a sideboard option going forward into the future. Blouses gets wrecked by this. I think blue control likes this card as a way to break thru certain problematic creatures. Essentially you have a colorless Armadillo Cloak that is also a stand alone hate card.

It's a neat little card. 8.5/10
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Post by Arkmer » 1 week ago

robertleva wrote:
2 weeks ago
Folks may as well just go ahead and get 4x Shadowspear right away.
It looks like it's going for a bit much right now, but I'll likely be doing exactly that when it drops.

It'll be weird throwing it into control decks just for the ability to debuff things. It'll also be amusing to equip it to Elspeth Tokens or something to get some use out of it.
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Post by The Fluff » 1 week ago

shatter.jpg
the new wrath variant Shatter the Sky at first looked good. However, I soon realized it's bad. As someone who played Azorius Titan for many years, a deck with 2 or 3 mainboard wraths. I manage it's primer in mtgs... most of the time if I wrathed the board, it's because the opponent has creature superiority. To get rid of a large shadow, angler, goyf, eldrazi, merfolk with multiple lords.

of course, I could be also be wrong about it. Maybe a deck can be built to take advantage of Shatter the Sky? the deck would be something that likes to wrath it's own large creature... or it has multiple large creatures in the deck, that losing or two to a wrath does not matter?
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Post by robertleva » 1 week ago

It's too hard to make the draw clause be one sided in your favor. People will just use Day of Judgment.
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Post by Arkmer » 1 week ago

robertleva wrote:
1 week ago
It's too hard to make the draw clause be one sided in your favor. People will just use Day of Judgment.
Just a heads up, DoJ is not legal in Pioneer.
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Post by MAGUSZANIN » 1 week ago

If you catch 3 of their creatures with this Wrath, and they draw one card and you draw none, then you just gained Mana over them while hitting them with a 2 for 3.

It's not an amazing card for sure, but it does have a significant advantage in that it's the only monoWhite 4 Mana unconditional boardwipe legal in Pioneer. As we have found out multiple times over the years post Supreme Verdict, 5 Mana wipes are almost unplayable in some metas, and Pioneer is fast enough to be one of them.

Sure, you can play Kaya's Wrath or Verdict if you want, but if you want a Wrath in a GW deck, then this is suddenly your only option.

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Post by robertleva » 1 week ago

I actually thought we had doj, but it was the 4cc mass path to exile that I was using as a 5th verdict sorry. It has use as the only pure white wrath then. not great but meh. Stands to reason Doj or some other sweeper will get reprinted eventually.
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Post by The Fluff » 1 week ago

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mono b now can get rid of enchantments.

good or bad?
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Post by robertleva » 1 week ago

Well it's the only mono B enchantment removal so it's playable. I don't love it, but it's a thing black has never had in modern or pioneer obviously.
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Post by Arkmer » 1 week ago

Black getting enchantment removal is fine. I think it should have been Blue because of how things look for Artifacts, but Black is fine. Essentially Red, Green, and White can all remove Artifacts even exile them efficiently. Enchantments have only been White and Green for a very long time. There are some old cards that break that and some newer, non-Pioneer (though this opinion stems mostly from pre-pioneer-Modern), cards. So because WGR can hit Artifacts, it would have mirrored it to have GWU hit Artifacts then given more credence to Black removing Creatures and Walkers.

Overall though, I am glad a third color can hit enchantments and totally fine with it being Black.
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Post by The Fluff » 1 week ago

sort of feels weird when a mono black vampires deck can remove my worship or detention sphere.. but I'm not against this change, my ub deck benefits from it. :)
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