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Bant Spirits Deck Guide

Join Darthjacen as he breaks down the best tempo deck in Pioneer: Bant Spirits. Can this tempo deck take down the likes of Rakdos Midrange and Karn Devotion or will it simply ghost the metagame and fall back into the middle tiers?

Pioneer Meta Guide: September 28

DarthJacen breaks down some of the meta shifts that took place this week – notably, the inclusion of an S+ Tier, which we have never used before, for Rakdos Midrange

Rakdos Midrange Deck Guide

DarthJacen breaks down Pioneer’s premier midrange deck, which has answers for every permanent and threats to boot. Sideboard guide inside!

Abzan Greasefang Deck Guide

DarthJacen breaks down two versions of Abzan Greasefang, which has somewhat recently overtaken all other variants of the archetype to represent the strongest home for Parhelion II in Pioneer.

The History of Green Devotion

Anthony Dolce looks back on the entire evolution of Green Devotion in Pioneer, from its humble beginnings as a stompy deck to its current state of looping an infinite combo.

Rakdos Sacrifice Guide

DarthJacen breaks down Pioneer’s oldest way to invalidate combat and count up to 20, one at a time.

An Elf’s Tale

ServoToken goes all-in this week discussing Elves in Pioneer and the different archetypes that are emerging with some new tools from Dominaria United.

A Letter from the Publisher (Sept.2022)

Hello! It is with great joy and humility that I find myself in the position to write to you all today. As you may have seen elsewhere already, there are some big changes happening within our sphere here, and i’m looking forward to the opportunity to give you all the run down. Here at Playing…

Izzet Pyromancer Deck Guide

DarthJacen breaks down Pioneer’s new Izzet deck, full of cheap threats, interaction and a stream of card filtering and cantrips.

Explosive Impacts!

Briger joins us this week for his new series, Explosive Impacts and shares the top three cards from each set in the Ravnica Block

Play Dumb Decks, Win Dumb Prizes: Fog

In September’s edition of “Play Dumb Decks, Win Dumb Prizes”, Ricky introduces the deck that just may lose you all your friends in Turbo-Fog.

The Return of Tribal

IslandGoSAMe shows what new tribal decks might just have their time in the limelight in the Post-DMU Pioneer

Lotus Field Deck Guide

DarthJacen breaks down Pioneer’s longest-standing combo menace in Lotus Field/Hidden Strings Combo.

Niv to Light Deck Guide

DarthJacen breaks down Pioneer’s long-standing toolbox deck that has been a scourge on the format’s midrange players from the beginning.

August Meta Snapshot

Ruckman covers the changes over the last month of Tier Lists in August’s Meta Snapshot.

Omnath’s Dominarian Domain

Michael Schwander imagines a new version of our known Omnath piles using some of the new cards from DMU.

Jund Sacrifice Deck Guide

DarthJacen dives into the newest iteration of Jund Food – a variant closer to Rakdos Sacrifice than ever and seems to have staying power.

The Defiler Cycle: Infinite Combos in Each Color

Kevin Finkle explores the Phrexian Defilers from Dominaria United! Getting whacky with some brews, he shows off the weirdness they bring to the table, showcasing new infinite combos in every color!

Boros Heroic Deck Guide

DarthJacen breaks down one of the best aggro decks in Pioneer and provides a matchup and sideboard guide based on the current meta.

Green Devotion Deck Guide

Bailey (BCS8995) reveals his own sideboard guide and provides a in-depth overview of Pioneer Green Devotion

Izzet Phoenix Deck Guide

DarthJacen breaks down the most recent iterations of Pioneer Izzet Phoenix and provides a sideboard guide for the most prominent matchups in the current meta.

The Future of the Lotus in Pioneer

IslandGoSAMe speculates on Timeless Lotus and how it could make a splash as he eagerly awaits the release of Dominaria United.

RCQ Report: Izzet Pyromancer

In this series, CasualJake dives into a low-tier or off-meta deck, brings it to an RCQ, and reports on how it did and some of the matchups.

The Evolution of Rakdos Sacrifice

Brad dives deep into the history of Rakdos Sacrifice in Pioneer, before looking at where the archetype is heading with the release of Dominaria United!

The Mono-Green Machine

In his debut article, Bailey (BCS8995 on MTGO) gives readers an overview of the main variants of Green Devotion currently making waves in Pioneer.

Mono-White Humans Deck Guide

DarthJacen details Pioneer’s premier tribal aggro deck. With Brave the Elements, the deck is able to have blowout turns or protect the wide board it’s built up in the early game.

LATP: An Exploration of Dimir

Brad explorers the sometimes frustrating color pairing of Dimir and how it may break into the current meta.

Charting a Course – August 11

Welcome to the latest edition of Charting a Course!  There’s now a month to go until Dominara United releases – it’s been a long while since set releases but the SNC season continues to provide plenty of changes each week! Weekend Challenges

It was a heavily varied meta in the weekend challenges, with…

How to Beat: UW Control

Swancin goes deep into not only the makeup of Azorius Control, but how to attack it at its heart.

Azorius Control Deck Guide

DarthJacen breaks down the more recent 60-card version of Azorius Control, which is better tuned to counter the current meta than its 80-card counterpart.

Bans for Business

Bradcifer looks to decipher WOTC’s ban philosophy – both recently and not-so-recently – and comes to an uncomfortable realization.

Showcase Challenge Data Project

Arinceo breaks down his biggest data collection project to date, using the Pioneer Showcase Challenge results.

MtG Humans: A History

Anthony Dolce goes deep into the history of humans in Pioneer and how they have evolved into their multitude of new forms.

FNM Report: Mono Blue Spirits

CasualJake brings Mono Blue Spirits to his local FNM and writes about the deck, his record and matchups.

The Road To The Pro Tour

Ruckman has created an all encompassing guide to navigating your way to the Pro Tour through both the digital and paper paths

How to Beat: Izzet Phoenix

Need a quick course on how to identify and beat Izzet Phoenix? The second article in the “How to Beat” series has some tricks on caging the bird.

Like A True Pioneer: Boomer Jund

An archetype requested with insane consistency to be a part of LATP, and one that is near and dear to many; Boomer Jund, has finally got its place in shine in todays LATP

Magic but Cheaper: Humans

This week, Servotoken takes a dive into his favorite tribe as he breaks down some of the new tools the deck has picked up this year. Between Extraction Specialist, Brutal Cathar and Thalia, Humans has received a tremendous shot in the arm. Human tribal is alive and well in pioneer, let’s take a look at…

Charting a Course – A Brave New World

Welcome to week one of our post-ban format! With Winota and Expressive iteration gone Arinceo goes over what did well in last week’s events as well as what they expect to do well in the upcoming weekend challenges challenges

Making the Switch to MTG Arena

So, you play Pioneer on MTGO, and you’ve been thinking about making the move over to MTG Arena, have you? Tyler goes over making the switch.

FNM Report: Izzet Prowess

After the Pioneer bannings on June 6th, 2022 (Winota and Expressive Iteration), many wondered how Izzet decks would fare in the meta. CasualJake brings Izzet Prowess to an FNM and goes over the changes.

DarthJacen’s Declassified Tournament Survival Guide Part Two

You’ve done all your preparations for the event – you have the best deck in the room, you know your matchups, you know how to sideboard, you know how to get to the venue and you know what time the event starts; you’ve pre-registered and verified that your decklist was properly submitted. DarthJacen takes us…

How To Beat: Greasefang

The many flavors of Greasefang are some of the newest archetypes in Pioneer. Sprouting up not long after Greasefang, Okiba Boss was released – these decks are the most efficient reanimator-style decks in the format and can claim wins early and out of nowhere. Here’s how to beat it.

Breaking News Winota and Expressive Iteration – Banned

In what will be a highly discussed decision among the community Wizards of the Coast just announced the sudden, and without warning, banning of both Winota, Joiner of Forces and Expressive Iteration. The team reacts here.

Deck Deconstruction – Mono Blue Spirits

In IslandGoSAMe’s second iteration of Deck Deconstruction, he covers the resurging mono-blue version of Spirit and how it not only survives but prospers in Pioneer.

Magic But Cheaper: Dimir Reanimator

“join ServoToken as he takes a look at some new ways to cheat giant creatures into play with this weeks Magic, but Cheaper – Dimir Reanimator”

Non-Meta Decks? In this Meta?

Michael “Pioneer Brewer” Schwander goes into the ups and downs of playing unconventional decks in events.

From FNM Hero to MTGO League Zero: How To Improve

I have been taking my Pioneer decks to my local FNM ever since in-person play returned and have steadily secured myself as “that guy who usually goes 3-1”, and I am just fine with that! So how can I test and create content using a variety of decks without breaking the bank and buying new…

Like A True Pioneer: An Exploration of Cycling

Cycling has always been a fan-favorite mechanic in Magic: The Gathering. It’s simple, efficient, and just a really great mechanic overall. For the first time, I conducted a poll within our Patreon community to choose this month’s LATP entry, and they voted on Cycling!

Pioneer Breakdown – SNC Early Impressions

Welcome to the Pioneer Breakdown! I’m your host, arinceo, and this week we’re looking at the first events on MTGO since the release of Streets of New Capenna! The launch of the new season was also accompanied by the news that, in light of consistently high participation numbers in recent weeks, the weekly challenges will…

A Farewell to Kamigawa

Streets of New Capenna has come to Pioneer, which means now is a perfect time to discuss the cards from Kamigawa that had the biggest impact on my personal game. However unlike my Innistrad retrospective, not all of these will be a net positive. So throw on your VR headsets because we’re diving into the…

Magic, But Cheaper: Black Aggro

Join ServoToken as he breaks down one of Pioneers classic archetypes, Mono Black aggro. MBA has been a pillar of the format since the start, and can be made relatively cheaply while still being able to expand into a full and rich list that offers fun and compelling gameplay.

Like a True Pioneer: An Exploration of the Ascendancy Cycle

New Capenna is upon us, and with it has come the return of Shards and the focus on these three-color pairings. The return to Shards also comes the return of both Charms and Ascendancies, the latter of which Bradcifer breaks down and brews here.

Pioneer Breakdown – April 24, 2022

Data man Arinceo discusses results from the most recent Challenges as well as the Season Wrap up in this edition of the Pioneer Breakdown.

DarthJacen’s Declassified Tournament Survival Guide

With the return of in paper events like SCG Cons, NRGs, and soon to be smaller PPTQ style events leading into Regional Qualifiers for the Pro Tour, now seems like a great time to go over some of the tips of the trade in how best to survive those challenging tournament days.

Welcome Week: The Landscape of the Pioneer Manabase

When the Pioneer format was created, only five cards were on the banlist. Those cards were the Fetch Lands, and their absence from the format has had an immense impact on how manabases are constructed. Here, WonkyWombat gives a detailed overview of the lands available in Pioneer and constructing a manabase around them.

Welcome Week: The Modern Pioneer

Are you a Modern player who’s just picked up an interest in Pioneer? ServoToken takes you through some cards and strategies that you may be familiar with as you start off on this new and exciting journey.

Pioneer Primer – April 19, 2022

In the first edition of Arinceo’s Pioneer Primer, he discusses the God of Pioneer tournament, this weekend’s challenge results and looks forward to the next week of Pioneer.

Welcome Week: Finding Success in Pioneer

A lot has happened to Pioneer during the pandemic era of Magic, so it can be a little daunting to try and jump into or play catchup. Ruckman is here to help!

Neoform Takes Its Turn(s) in Pioneer

Neoform, the same card that created the infamous NeoBrand deck in Modern, seems to have finally enabled the same glass cannon-style combo deck in Pioneer. Neo-Machus is brand new to the scene, finishing with multiple League 5-0s and a Top 16 finish in Saturday’s Challenge.

Two Sides of the Same Coin: Ob Nixilis, the Adversary

IslandGoSAMe and Bradcifer showcase the nuances of card evaluation by taking two sides on a planeswalker that has been spoiled for Streets of New Capenna to much hype by the Magic community: Ob-Nixilis, the Adversary

FNM Report: Dimir Ninjutsu Rogues

CasualJake sleeves up Dimir Ninja Rogues, takes it to an FNM and discusses the deck, the results and the specific matchups here for PlayingPioneer.

Digging into Fable of the Mirror-Breaker

Midrange Red cards have always been very interesting and difficult to evaluate. People tend to look at red cards with low mana cost and keywords like “haste” through the lens of an aggressive deck, leading to some skewed perceptions of how good cards actually are. Sometimes, like in the case of Fable of the Mirror-Breaker,…

Magic, But Cheaper: Jeskai Transmogrify

Jeskai Transmogrify is a value-based midrange deck that looks to keep the board relatively clear while setting up, then outclass opposing threats by using its namesake to turn an innocuous token into a tremendous creature that swings the game wildly in our favor. ServoToken presents a budget version of the deck here.

The Case For Unbanning Kethis

Bradcifer and Tyrant of Tales make the case for Kethis, the Hidden Hand to return from exile and rejoin a Pioneer meta that is largely prepared to deal with creature-based combo decks.

From the Editor: The State of PlayingPioneer

Things have moved pretty quickly and a lot has changed in the couple of months since we launched PlayingPioneer.com. Rose-emoji discusses the past, present and future of the site.

UW Control Tournament Report: Super PTQ Edition

On Tuesday, over two hundred and eighty players entered the Pioneer Super Qualifier on Magic Online, wherein the top two finishers earned invites to the upcoming Streets of New Capenna set Championship. Here, DarthJacen shares his deck choice and experience playing in the event.