So Pioneer was announced the other day. It’s a non rotating format comprising all standard legal sets from return to Ravnica forwards. The Khans of Tarkir fetch lands are banned at the format’s inception. People are understandably hyped. I’ll be shouting my opinions into the void on cards to watch out for.

The following are undeniably powerful cards that I foresee being banned in the first year of the formats lifetime. Treasure Cruise and Dig Through Time have been banned or restricted in every eternal format to date. The cards are just stupid broken and format warping. I see no world in which they’re balanced for pioneer. Expect them to be banned right away. It’s gonna happen. Likewise, smuggler’s copter dominated standard before its banning, being both too efficient a threat, offering good card selection and being colourless. It homogenizes deck building and I think is incredibly likely to be banned.

There are some cards, on the other hand that I think will be popular, potentially across multiple decks while being balanced enough to avoid the ban hammer. Cards to watch out for include Thing in the Ice, Siege Rhino, Arclight Phoenix, voice of Resurgence, Thoughtseize, Sphinx’s Revelation, Supreme Verdict and Scapeshift. If you plan on investing in pioneer, those are cards I’d look to get before their prices skyrocket.

In terms of metagame, I assume the early meta will consist of the following decks. Siege Rhino midrange, Arclight Phoenix/Thing in the Ice, mono red, mono black, UW control and Scapeshift as major contenders. Try to have a plan for these matches when brewing decks of your own.

Like many others, I’m tremendously excited to brew with powerful cards of standards past that didn’t quite make it into modern viability. Hope to see you at a pioneer game soon. And as always, good luck and good skill!


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