Wilds of Eldraine Updated Decks for Pioneer

Wilds of Eldraine: Updated Decks for Pioneer

Mason ClarkPioneer

Wilds of Eldraine drops Sept. 8, so it’s time we start looking at potential new decks in the Pioneer format. Most eyes have moved to Modern for the Regional Championship Qualifier season, but I’m still working on Pioneer in hopes of finding the next big brew for the upcoming Regional Championship in December. 

Sleepy Fae Combo

This deck is the most wild of the bunch. Pun intended *puts on shades*. 

So what exactly is this deck trying to do? Well, wants to abuse Agatha’s Cauldron and generate infinite mana using Sleep-Cursed Faerie and Kami of Whispered Hopes

There are a few ways to do this. The easiest is to have Kami of Whispered Hopes in play alongside Agatha’s Cauldron with your Faerie in the graveyard. 

Then you use the Cauldron to exile the faerie and put a counter on the Kami. The Kami now has two +1/+1 counters on it and a power of three. At that point, you can tap it for blue mana equal to its power. 

Next you’d use the ability of Sleep-Cursed Faerie to untap the Kami for two mana. Rinse and repeat until you have infinite mana. What exactly you do from there is still a work in progress. I currently play Fae of Wishes in order to grab Torment of Hailfire to kill the opponent. 

The biggest indictment of this deck is the amount of enablers we must play, but I think ultimately that’s something players can smooth out over time. The ability to generate infinite mana is just one you should not sleep on. 

This deck will take lots of iterating to fully figure out an optimal game plan, so I highly suggest you take this shell and run with it. There are going to be countless ways you can build and play this deck. 

This version is just one of the more streamlined ones I found, so I went with it. In truth, the choices are all up to you.


This is a much more boring build compared to the last deck, but one I think has some serious legs thanks to Wilds of Eldraine. First, it’s important to remember that Burn hasn’t been a playable strategy in Pioneer for a few reasons. 

To start, the red, playable creatures haven’t been hyper-aggressively focused. And when they are, they haven’t played well with burn spells. 

Otherwise, Burn spells have also been on a steady decline in Standard. We haven’t had a really strong option for a while. This makes it hard to build a deck full of only direct damage, leading to the archetype’s absence from the format. 

Occasionally you’ll see someone play a deck that abuses this hole in the meta, but most players still haven’t had to face a proper Burn deck. Now, while the actual spells on offer haven’t changed much even after the latest set, we did get one card that is both a Burn spell and a Burn payoff. 

Virtue of Courage is an over-cost Shock in the early game and a card advantage source in the mid-game. But if we build the whole deck to maximize this enchantment, using cards like Eidolon of The Great Revel and Thermo-Alchemist to trigger it, the payoff can actually be pretty nutty. 

Runaway Steam-Kin is another card we play that was once a Standard all star despite having since fallen by the wayside. While it doesn’t trigger the Virtue, it can help us cast it early, or also let us continue to chain off burn spells in a dangerous way. 

Overall, this deck has an uphill battle with cards like Sheoldred in the format — but there are sideboard options players can use. I think it’s a shame that red hasn’t been a real part of Pioneer outside of Fable of the Mirror-Breaker, and I’m hoping this set finally changes that. 


Prowess was a top deck in Pioneer back before Expressive Iteration caught a ban. You could play a powerful, proactive game at the time and still last in the long game. 

But that has all changed, and the deck fell out of the format. Since then, its spiritual successor  in the Boros Pia deck has been doing fine despite its occasional clunkiness. 

However, Wilds of Eldraine brings a new furry friend we can lean into in Elusive Otter. This new card ups the number of one-mana prowess creatures to 16, which means setting up explosive turns is much easier without being weak to Bonecrusher Giant

One of the other problems with prowess decks is finding a good mix of spells and creatures. Luckily this set has two cards to help with that! The first is, once again, elusive otter — but specifically its adventure side. It can just be a one mana prowess trigger or be a mana sink in the late game. 

The other addition is Sleight of Hand. This cantrip has been relegated to the side lines in Modern, in part due to the newly freed Preordain. But Sleight of Hand gives Pioneer Prowess players a much more informed decision on your cantrip. 

Imagine you cast Opt and have a medium spell on top. You have no idea what could be underneath with the scry, and weighing the choice is a very hard skill test. 

That doesn’t happen with Sleight of Hand. It simply shows you both and lets you choose whichever is best. The sorcery type line is usually the big drawback, but in this deck we want to cast it early to figure out if we need to shove in this turn or just launch a modest attack. 

Prowess will be very good against non-interactive decks, and there are a ton of ways to build it with the addition of a new color. Make sure to fully explore this forgotten archetype once the new set actually drops! 

End Step

That’s it for the Wild of Eldraine decks updates. There is so much more you can do in this set, so be sure to check out our other formats, too. In the meantime, I’m excited to see what adventures players get up to with it!