Pioneer Metagame Update

Anthony Lowry Pioneer

A lot can happen from nothing. Last week’s Banned and Restricted announcement was pretty highly anticipated. Many discussions across social media centered around Pioneer — the format’s overall health and the power levels of the proverbial Boogeymen. People even started talking about how the metagame would change after the presumed bans, projecting deck positions and power shifts. It was an …

Mono-Black Decks in Pioneer

Anthony Lowry Pioneer

Mono-Black is one of Pioneer’s oldest archetypes, and has continued to be a mainstay. It’s an aggressive strategy that utilizes cheap, resilient creatures like Bloodsoaked Champion and Dread Wanderer to get the ball rolling, while using the most powerful interaction spells in the format in Thoughtseize and Fatal Push to drive your threats home. Just in case your smaller creatures …

Sultai Delirium in Pioneer

Anthony Lowry Pioneer

When Wizards first introduced Pioneer, the stated mission of the format was to give players who have been around for the last seven years an excuse to dust off cards they aren’t using. I can’t think of a Pioneer deck that embodies this notion more than Sultai Delirium, the winning deck from Players Tour Brussels. On paper, Sultai Delirium looks …

Pioneer Tier List: Post-Players Tour Edition

Anthony Lowry Pioneer

This past weekend was yet another showcase for Pioneer, and it did not disappoint. With the Players Tour and Grand Prix happening in Phoenix, as well as the SCG Team Open and Classic in Philadelphia, there was no shortage of the Pioneer metagame on display. Some of the big questions going into the weekend involved Inverter and Underworld Breach decks. …

Mono-Green Pioneer Deck Guide

Anthony Lowry Pioneer

When most players hear about a Stompy deck, they think ridiculously large threats. They think large power coming into the red zone against the rest of the format’s puny creatures. Stompy decks aren’t trying to play some attrition game or work their way around creature combat. They’re trying to run you over and laugh in post-combat’s wake…assuming there even is …

Top 5 Theros Beyond Death Cards in Pioneer

Anthony Lowry Pioneer

Theros Beyond Death is just around the corner, and all the new cards have been revealed. I’m excited to play with these cards in every format, but I’m most interested in the set’s impact on Pioneer. Pioneer is currently as healthy as it’s ever been: every color is represented well, and there are multiple archetypes within almost every color combination. …

Jeskai Fires Deck Guide

Anthony Lowry Standard

This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to qualify for a WPNQ Invitational event with Jeskai Fires. Jeskai Fires utilizes the card Fires of Invention to cast spells without paying your mana costs, which frees up your mana to activate the abilities of cards like Cavalier of Flame and Kenrith, the Returned King. There are two restrictions, however: first, you …

Sideboarding in Pioneer

Anthony Lowry Pioneer

A sideboard to your deck. A paintbrush to your canvas. A hammer to your smithing. …That’s all I got. Sideboarding is important because your maindeck can’t cover everything. Sometimes you need some fine-tuning to cover weak points against a match-up, a particular card, or even a player! Sideboard cards can vary from high impact but narrow answers — such as …

Post-Ban Pioneer Watch List

Anthony Lowry Pioneer

And just like that, the landscape of Pioneer has changed. Felidar Guardian, Leyline of Abundance, and Oath of Nissa are banned. According to WotC, Copycat and Green Devotion decks were the winningest decks since the format’s inception; cards from these decks needed to be banned to ensure Pioneer’s health. What’s interesting about these bans is that they sidestep cards that …

Brewing for Pioneer

Anthony Lowry Pioneer

When the Pioneer format was announced last week, I was initially reserved. I wasn’t sure what to expect, as it was so sudden. Plus, I was already so neck deep in Modern and Standard, that I wasn’t sure if I could put time into another format. But after about twelve hours, I fell in love with Pioneer. All of the …