So we saw what, for me, was a long anticipated update to the pioneer banned list and, despite the inevitable grumbling I think it bodes well for the format. I want to discuss some potential future bans as well.
Joining the current pioneer banned list is Once Upon a Time, Field of the Dead and Smuggler’s Copter were all banned on Monday. Smuggler’s Copter and Once Upon a Time were very much on my radar. Green being the best colour in the format, all green decks automatically include four copies, as Once Upon a Time offers insane draws in conjunction with one mana elves, allowing green decks to really consistently ramp early and play huge threats. Similarly, Smuggler’s Copter just goes in every aggressive deck. As a colourless card, it was and is way too efficient and powerful.
Given those two cards were banned in their respective standard formats, as was Field of the Dead I’d like to discuss other, similar cards. The big one being Oko, Thief of Crowns. Oko quickly proved too powerful for standard and is already seeing consistent play in Pioneer, Modern, Legacy and Vintage. The card is just nuts, and I think may prove to powerful a disruptive element for Pioneer. I could be wrong though, I often am.
I also believe, as bans serve to slow down the speed and consistency of Pioneer, Aetherworks marvel decks are likely to become a problem. Energy decks are far too good at surviving through the midgame and deploying massive threats off Aetherworks Marvel. Like Birthing Pod before it, I think a time will come soon where Aetherworks toolbox decks become too good for the format to self correct.
By all means though, in the meantime these are some powerful cards that it might be wise to brew with. Or at least be prepared to answer. As always, good luck and good skill!