The latest set is around the corner, and the Pro Tour isn’t far behind it. While there will be a huge influx of data at that time, before that happens, I’m coming out from my pro tour testing bunker and sharing a few Pioneer decks with updates from Phyrexia: All Will Be One with y’all.
Pioneer Hammer has been a pet project of mine for a little while now. It has never been the best deck in the metagame, but it has some blazingly fast draws. Last week, I wrote about Cacophony Scamp in Hammer. Now it’s time to go over the deck at large.
The deck is constructed so any equipped creature will threaten a near lethal attack. This deck is full of creatures that benefit from having equipment on them, like Double Strike or being incredibly hard to answer.
This version of the deck needs these cards because, in Modern, Hammer can play longer, grindy games due to the power of the cards in the deck. That is not the case in Pioneer, so you have to actually get your opponent dead as soon as possible.
That’s also why cards like Fighter Class are in the deck. You can grab a hammer, which is great — but grabbing Maul of the Skyclaves is also a very common play pattern when it can let you push lethal damage.
This is a very all in deck, so if you’re risk averse, I wouldn’t suggest it. However, if you’re a fan of putting your opponent on the back foot right away, this deck is for you.
Angels has been a solid, tier 2 deck for about four months, but it has a few serious problems. First, it needs specific cards to sit on the board so you can achieve the right synergies. Second, it needs time to deploy its cards since the deck’s average spell costs three mana.
This new version of angels looks to fix both of these problems.
Skrelv is one of the best cards for Pioneer from All Will Be One. This card forces your opponents to interact with this first, or else they will never kill the more threatening creatures.
The addition of this to the deck means your key cards, like Giada, Bishop of Wings and Righteous Valkyrie. These are powerful tools that can overwhelm most decks in the format, but they are incredibly fragile.
You also have plenty of Lifegain in this deck compared to something like humans, which will also probably use this card. That means you can use the Phyrexian mana part of the card and not have to throw your curve off.
The deck also had no one drop creatures before this set. Decks would play a few Portable Holes so they had some interaction and a cheap play to make. While the small amount of interaction will be missed, the potential to curve out on players outweighs that in my opinion.
Speaking of curving out the deck, Angels got another good upgrade in Razorverge Thicket. This allows the deck to more easily cast its spells on curve. Mana is always under appreciated by people, but this one is easy to overlook since your mana was fine as a mostly mono color deck.
Still, despite that fact, it’s something you will feel as you play hundreds of games. While it’s a small get, it’s one your sideboard green cards will appreciate.
This deck is one of the wilder decks in Pioneer. It looks to abuse both Fires of Invention and Enigmatic Incarnation to overwhelm your opponent with value. This strategy has proven to be strong against many of the grindier decks in the format while maintaining the ability to keep most of the aggressive decks at bay while you go over the top of them.
The decks got two nice upgrades with this set. The first is Elesh Norn. This card, in some ways, is win-more since it doubles all your enter the battlefield effects. However, it also turns your opponent’s effects off. This is incredibly important against mono green, as often Cavalier of Thorns not only finds your Nykthos, but also a Storm the Festival.
Combine that with the fact that this deck has so many powerful EtBs and Yorion as a companion and you quickly see how you’re suddenly going to have more cards than you know what to do with. Cards like Agent of Treachery become game ending.
Ossification is the other new addition. This deck was playing four Chained to the Rocks, and I expect that trend to mostly continue. But that doesn’t mean they can’t find room for this card, too.
After all, getting a Plansewalker is real against decks like blue/white control when your spot removal is often dead. It’s also better against mono green, as their planeswalker draws were the biggest problem.
It’s not as game wrapping as Elesh Norn, but solid upgrades like this go a long way in improving matches. Not much can beat this deck once it gets the engines going, and All Will Be One has cemented that fact.
All Will Be One has a few role players here and there, plus a few all stars. It’ll be interesting to see how Pioneer will look after the Pro Tour in just a few short weeks.
Mason Clark is a grinder in every corner of the game who has played at the pro level and on the SCG Tour with Team Nova. Whether he’s competing in Standard, Historic or Modern, Mason plays with one goal in mind: to be a better player than he was the day before. Check out his podcast, Constructed Criticism, and catch his streams on Twitch.