Charting a Course – SNC Retrospective and DMU First Look

Arinceo breaks down the week of Pioneer data to provide a glimpse into the future of the format.

Welcome to the Latest Edition of Charting a Course! 

Dominaria United is now legal on MTGO, so this week we’re going to take a look back at the SNC season of results and examine some of the early changes we’re seeing with the latest set.

SNC Season Wrap-Up (Post-Ban)

DeckPre-Ban Top 32sPost-Ban Top 32s
Rakdos Midrange35115
Mono Green Devotion22100
Izzet Phoenix3487
Azorius Control2778
Boros Heroic1052
Rakdos Sacrifice646
Mono White Humans140
Mono Blue Spirits939
Bant Spirits1035
Abzan Greasefang029
Lotus Field Combo2125
Naya Winota520
Izzet Prowess386

It was a very long time between standard set releases, but the banning of Winota and Expressive Iteration created a mini-rotation, seeing some archetypes disappear from the top tiers of decks – mainly Naya Winota and Izzet Prowess, the main sufferers from the bannings.

In their place we saw Humans decks emerge in various color splits until Mono-White emerged as the favorite, not just for results but from a budget perspective as well! Spirits was also present in two different versions, the budget friendly Mono-Blue and the classic Bant Spirits featuring Collected Company.

In order to ‘get under’ the likes of Mono Green Devotion and Azorius Control, fast-finishing linear decks like Abzan Greasefang and Boros Heroic became a weapon of choice to fill the void left by both the Winota decks and Izzet Prowess.

If you want to dive into this season data further, click here to check out the full spreadsheet.

Weekend Challenges

Week 1 of challenge results never shows drastic changes in the meta, but it’s great to see 10 different decks represented in the Top 8s across the weekend, as well as a fully unique Top 8 from the Sunday challenge, the first for a MTGO Challenge since July 10th!

New DMU Cards

Here’s a couple of cards from the new set that have already started appearing in decklists:

As expected, the reprinted planeswalker has been slotted into a few decks already, with a larger existing supply from Modern probably also assisting players in trying this card out ahead of some of the new DMU tech. Rakdos Midrange and Abzan Greasefang are the ‘tier’ decks to make use of LotV, though there have been some comments from Rakdos players that 2-3 copies in the main is probably best rather than a full playset. Mono Black Aggro is also testing this among other cards and could be in line for a resurgence.

Phoenix Chick

This one-drop has created a shift in the build of Mono Red Burn, with three pilots in the Sunday Challenge running a list that cuts previous mainstay Eidolon of the Great Revel in favour of Phoenix Chick and cutting Lightning Strike as well to use Obosh, the Preypiercer as a companion. Phoenix Chick provides a great recursive threat for the deck, and having flying makes it easier to get in and trigger spectacle or extra damage through a board stall with Obosh on the battlefield.

Until Next Time

We’ll be back in a fortnight to look at the development of the meta as the new cards become more available and people have more time to test their decks. In addition to the weekend Challenges, we’ll pick out some of the best new decks on the scene from the league 5-0s to examine.

If there’s anything you’d like to see me examine further in these articles, you can reach me on Twitter and Reddit, or on our PlayingPioneer Discord if you are signed up to our Patreon.

  • Author/Data Coordinator

    Arinceo has been in an on/off relationship with Magic since cracking his first packs in 2004. After watching his beloved Hardened Scales deck suffer the loss of Walking Ballista he jumped back into Pioneer following the release of the 2021 challenger decks and is active in the community on the PioneerMTG subreddit and Twitter. Arinceo compiles most of the competitive data used on our meta data page and elsewhere.

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