Welcome to the Pioneer World

Cristian Ortiz Ros

Cristian Ortiz Ros


Hello everyone! Naisirc is here again.

Today, I bring you an article about this new format called Pioneer, which I see as a little Modern and I love it. I will try to show you the today’s metagame and possible changes in the not too distant future. We will also highlight one of the cards that has recently left the game tables (since as you know we will have the updated Banned and Restricted List for our format every Monday). It is time to get comfortable. Let’s get started!

Was 《Veil of Summer》‘s Departure Really Necessary?


Image Copyright: Wizards of the Coast

Many of you will be wondering if the banning of a card that only inhabited the sideboards was worthy of abandoning the game and the reality is that YES.

But… Why?

Veil of SummerCryptic Command

Only for 1 mana we had access to a card that came to have the power of almost a 《Cryptic Command》 when we got to disable a counterspell from our opponent and at the same time it allows us to draw a card. Also adding that it is rarely an unusable card, since you always have the option to cycle it when our opponent plays a black or blue spell. To the point of making the decks with access to green color very stable post sideboard. In general, a headache quite important for any deck with black or blue in its DNA.

For me it has been a great success on the part of the company towards our format to keep it out of play, since even in other formats it causes you more than a fright, which helps me to give my approval.

Now I want to show you how the metagame was shifted after the last ban, highlighting, in my way of seeing and understanding Pioneer, the five tier 1 decks more fit right now.

Top Five Tier 1 Dekcs

Mono-Green Devotion

Nykthos, Shrine to NyxOnce Upon a TimeLlanowar Elves

This archetype is in one of the highest positions to be a single-color deck and with very powerful low-cost cards. Abusing 《Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx》 to quickly get a very clear mana advantage and 《Once Upon a Time》 gives you to start almost always go out with a turn 1 mana dork.

Vivien, Arkbow RangerNissa, Who Shakes the WorldVoracious HydraWalking Ballista

We will get a high persistence in stability thanks to 《Vivien, Arkbow Ranger》 and 《Nissa, Who Shakes the World》 with both playsets in our main skeleton.

We also have the option to deal with threats thanks to 《Voracious Hydra》 and 《Walking Ballista》 on more than one occasion (Imagine it with 《Veil of Summer》 before).

Mono-Black Aggro

Smuggler's CopterMurderous RiderRankle, Master of Pranks

Fighting also for the first position in the ranking we have another strong archetype also of a single color with cards that create advantage while pressing our rival with 《Smuggler’s Copter》, 《Murderous Rider》 and 《Rankle, Master of Pranks》.

Fatal PushThoughtseizeBloodsoaked ChampionScrapheap Scrounger

The low cost of cards as powerful as 《Fatal Push》 or 《Thoughtseize》 bring you closer to an extraordinary stability.

In addition, having the opportunity to play some of our cards from the graveyard itself and without underestimating, of course, the sideboard that allows us to play.

Bant 《Field of the Dead》

Field of the DeadSupreme VerdictGrowth SpiralHour of Promise

A little lower than the previous two, but no less effective, we have the queen of the lands, which clearly depends entirely on 《Field of the Dead》, since our game plan will be accumulating lands accelerating the process with ramp spells in shape of 《Growth Spiral》, 《Elvish Rejuvenator》, 《Hour of Promise》 while eliminating possible threats from our opponents with cards such as 《Supreme Verdict》, 《Settle the Wreckage》 and even 《Teferi, Time Raveler》.

In general, for lovers of manipulation, advantage and injustice, this is undoubtedly your deck!

Izzet Phoenix

Thing in the IceArclight Phoenix

This deck is without a doubt my favorite in the format, although it is true that it is not better than the previous ones already named. It is quite similar to that seen previously in Modern (although clearly missing the 《Manamorphose》 playset among our ranks), which continues to snatch games from our opponents with the dreaded 《Thing in the Ice》 on turn two and as always with the return all our 《Arclight Phoenix》 from graveyard.

OptChart a CourseIzzet CharmTreasure Cruise

Also abusing as is customary of cantrips in the form of 《Opt》, 《Chart a Course》, 《Izzet Charm》 and the outstanding 《Treasure Cruise》.

Mono-Red Aggro

Monastery SwiftspearGhitu LavarunnerBomat CourierLight Up the Stage

I position this one in the last place of the tier 1. It is a deck with a lot of potential, since in the formats with little time of life it is always hard to fight an archetype that presses so much in first turns. But of course, apart from that pressure in early turns we also have cards that create a certain advantage such as 《Bomat Courier》 and 《Light Up the Stage》.

Eidolon of the Great Revel

I would highlight as a key card in our thick 《Eidolon of the Great Revel》, since in many matchups it will be our key to the most overwhelming success.

The Bans in the Future

Before giving way to the last point with the possible changes in the following months I want to emphasize that this week we had NO changes in the last Banned and Restricted Announcement.


Image Copyright: Wizards of the Coast

Being a format as I said before with a recent life time, it is normal that cards that show their great potential throughout the days end up leaving our game, but it is always appreciated to have some peace of mind between weekly announcements and everything can generally be maintained in the same way to achieve a greater real metagame reading.

Possible cards to ban in the distant future (or not so distant):

Oko, Thief of CrownsNykthos, Shrine to NyxField of the DeadSmuggler's Copter
Treasure CruiseDig Through TimeNexus of FateTeferi, Time Raveler

All of them are cards with more than remarkable potential (some are played more than others), which means that some may eventually abandon us earlier than others. Overall, I think that I am not very wrong that they are all in a certain danger without a doubt.


Well, if you got here, just thank you and say that I am very grateful to continue having the opportunity to share my knowledge and opinions with all of you. And thank you for making this possible as always to Hareruya.

I write this article with great pleasure and with the same pleasure I will answer all your questions or applications on social networks.

See you soon!

Cristian (Twitter / Twitch)

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Cristian Ortiz Ros

Cristian Ortiz Ros Cristian Ortiz Ros is a veteran player from Spain. He is a Modern enthusiast and well known as an expert of the format especially his hallmark deck; Living End. He became the finalist of the Grand Prix Copenhagen 2017 with it and he finally won the whole thing at the Grand Prix Madrid 2017 with UR Storm. Also, Cristian is very famous on Magic Online and surprisingly, he did earn 38 trophies in a cycle and he finished that cycle as a trophy leader. Read more articles by Cristian Ortiz Ros