Pioneer Breakdown – May 27, 2022

Arinceo breaks down the past couple of weeks of Pioneer data to provide a glimpse into the future of the format.

Arinceo, the Everwise

Welcome to the Pioneer Breakdown! I’m your host, arinceo, and this week we’re looking at the evolution of the format in recent weeks as more players get access to cards from Streets of New Capenna.

In my last article we noted the emergence of Izzet Prowess and Boros Heroic thanks to Ledger Shredder and Illuminator Virtuoso. Since their debut in MTGO standings, the decks have provided some consistent results! Izzet Prowess particularly comes to mind – which now ranks in S Tier on our Tier List page. The most recent weekend of MTGO challenges has been the high point for the Prowess lists so far

Saturday MTGO Challenge (111 players)

Event Meta Breakdown – Source | Reddit

Deck

Top 32

Top 16

Top 8

Izzet Phoenix

5

4

1

Izzet Prowess

4

1

1

Naya Winota

3

1

0

Rakdos Midrange

3

0

0

Bant Spirits

2

1

1

Mono Green Devotion

2

1

1

Mono Red Burn

2

1

1

Azorius Control

2

1

1

Other

9

6

2

Sunday MTGO Challenge (120 players)

Event Meta Breakdown – Source | Reddit

Deck

Top 32

Top 16

Top 8

Izzet Prowess

9

4

2

Naya Winota

5

2

1

Lotus Field Combo

3

2

2

Izzet Phoenix

3

2

1

Azorius Control

2

1

1

Mono Red Burn

2

1

0

Mono Green Devotion

2

1

0

Other

6

3

1

With several months now until the next standard set releases, we are going to get a true feel for the meta’s ability to shift and combat the “best deck” each week. Throughout the NEO season of MTGO results (following the Lurrus ban) we saw this cycle in action with Azorius Control (March 18-19), Naya Winota (April 9-10) and Mono Green Devotion (April 23-24) all having a dominant weekend before then regressing to within the pack of competitive decks over the following weeks. Will Ledger Shredder be the straw that breaks the format’s back under waves of Expressive Iterations and Treasure Cruises? We’re about to find out.

Not wanting to play the “best decks” each week? In the four weekends of SNC season so far we have seen eighteen different decks achieve a Top 8 finish in a challenge, with usually at least one “underdog” in the Top 8 of said challenges. If you know your pet deck well enough you are certainly in with a chance of performing well at any event!

Get in, loser, we’re exiling graveyards

If you have a sideboard in Pioneer these days, chances are you have at least a couple of copies of Unlicensed Hearse. The artifact is a great way to keep your opponent’s graveyard in check, while simultaneously building you a potentially game-winning threat that dodges sorcery speed removal. While Hearse does force the Phoenix decks to be very careful about their lines of play after sideboarding, perhaps the decks that are most affected are Greasefang decks, which require a single specific card in the yard to execute their primary game plan.

Deck to Watch

The preferred control variant was Dimir until Neon Dynasty brought a bunch of tools to Azorius. Now the Dimir Control shell has definitely received a boost with the printing of Tainted Indulgence. With Fatal Push providing an efficient, instant speed answer to Ledger Shredder, don’t be surprised if Dimir comes back as the preferred control build in the coming weeks.

Until Next Time

Thanks for reading this latest edition of the Pioneer Breakdown. The next Pioneer Showcase Challenge is on Sunday, May 12th – we’ll check back in after this event to see what the MTGO grinders delivered in terms of the latest competitive builds in the format!

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.

Liked it? Take a second to support PlayingPioneer on Patreon!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.