Pioneer Decks I’d Play

Sub title: If I could…

Introduction

The subtitle is a bit misleading. I could play some Pioneer decks if I wanted. I recently learned about the MTGO card and deck rental services. Doing some research, they seem like a good deal to try out some tier 2 or 3 decks at a reasonable price. Also, there is the questionably legal method of trying things out on xMage. So, stay tuned. There might be a follow up to this post in the near future. Plan for Thanksgiving weekend.

Chris already got the ball rolling on some Pioneer content earlier in the week. It might be a couple of weeks too late, but it’s downright topical for how long it usually takes us to get around to trying new things. Hey, there’s a market for retro gaming, too. I’m told. I haven’t actually found any of those markets.

In spite of all that, I was pretty intrigued by the announcement of Pioneer as a format. Like Chris, I took a long break from Magic the Gathering. That break ended, inexplicably, around the time that Return to Ravnica was released. Having a format that starts at that set just feel like kismet. Therefore, let’s take a look at some Pioneer decks that I’d like to try.

Mono Green Devotion

Unlimited green mana. What could possibly go wrong?

Usually I like to build to the eventual big reveal. that shows you how excited I am about this particular deck. It’s been the “best” deck of the format since pretty much the beginning. They’ve already had a list of banned cards (aside from fetch lands) that tried to slow the deck down, but to no avail. As long as Nykthos is allowing Walking Balllista and Voracious Hydra to terrorize people while Nissa and Vivien party in the background, this deck will dominate the format. I’ve never been the type to want to dominate in Magic. but, there’s just something about giant green stompy decks that makes my blue mage heart sing.

Mono Blue Devotion

Speaking of my blue mage heart…

Chris got really excited when I mentioned that I thought that this deck might actually be a thing. He texted back, somewhat mysteriously, “I knew it!” He then went on to explain that he saw a spike in Thassa’s price. I know nothing about economy, especially the economy of Magic the Gathering, but I do know from islands. Now, I’m not sure how much of a deck this actually is anymore. There are only 3 listings on MTG Top 8. Nevertheless, any deck that lets you play islands and sling blue cards is okay by me. I will just say. Needs moar counterspell.

Sultai Control

He made being a shirtless bro cool before Oko. Until he got turned into bling by a dragon.

Anything that has the word control and swamps and islands in it is okay by me, too. Do I get an added bonus for picking a deck with everyone’s least favorite villain card, Oko? Looking over the deck, this one looks really sweet and it will probably be the first one that I fart around with on xMage after I reinstall that on the desktop upstairs. It’s got shirtless bros. There’s removal. I have to speak to the manager about the lack of counterspell, but that is easily remedied.

Blue and white! Yay! But, red? Ew. Somehow, the Jeskai make it all work.

Pioneer has been called “Ghosts of Standard Past”. Other than being especially seasonal, that title is actually accurate in a way. When I went to the Khans prerelease, I ended up picking Mardu because Aiden had picked Sultai. I don’t remember what Liam picked, but I think it was probably Jeskai. I then went on to try to build a Mardu control deck. Now, that can be a thing, but not at a prerelease, so I just trolled the rest of the group with my durdle tactics for 3 rounds, dropped, and went to get food with the boys. None of that has to do with Standard, but this felt like a good place to tell that story since I know little about meta gaming.

Copycat

Splinter Twin players just can’t let it go.

Now, this I do know a little bit about. Gather around, children and listen to the tale of Splinter Twin. Once upon a time, there was a deck that allowed you to make many tokens. A great many Modern players enjoyed and played this utterly unfun and disgusting pile of cards. WotC finally killed it. Everyone lived happily ever after. The end….until Felidar Guardian came along. Rinse. Repeat. Until Pioneer came along. Rinse. Repeat. Now, I think the beast is dead forever….until the next stupid card that allows you to pull off this combo comes along. Rinse? Repeat? *sigh* So, this truly is a deck that I can only play against Chris in our no holds barred cage matches every month or so. But, I won’t. Because, it’s stupid. I just wanted a paragraph to rant about this dumb “strategy” again.

The Verdict

Thanks for reading my article about Pioneer decks that I’d play (if I could*). *I can and probably will in a couple of weeks, so look for my report then. No promises, as usual. There might be a cube active on xMage at that time and I am easily distracted by shiny objects. I will try my hardest to play at least the Sultai Control deck a few times and report back on that one.

Seeing as how Jeskai is my second favorite clan, I will probably try that one, too. Okay? Let’s meet in a couple of weeks to discuss my travels back in time (hopefully it goes better than when Sarkhan tried this) to Tarkir. I look forward to meeting again.

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