So we saw the last round of pioneer bannings for this year, and I’m not sure they came as much of a shock to anyone. All the cards currently banned in standard are banned in Pioneer. Similarly, the Pioneer format has fewer reasons than ever to lean on green as the primary colour.

Weakening the omnipresent midrange decks pummeling the format has given control an adequate power level to properly punish midrange decks. And similarly, we should see aggro decks increasing to balance out the usual aggro beats control, beats midrange, beats aggro triad.

The control deck of choice seems fairly obvious. UW decks have access to teferi as well as the best board wipe in the format in supreme verdict and tools like Azorius charm and sphinx’s revelation. That said, esper might be a solid choice as well, offering Thoughtseize, drown in the loch and dragonlord Silumgar as potential draws. Similarly, I think red still offers the best early creatures and burn spells the format has to offer, as it so often does. Izzet Phoenix is as good as it always was. Fast, efficient and resilient. Its main weakness being clunky draws.

Time will, of course, tell. I’m still hedging my own bets before committing to an archetype. Still brewing a deck that lets me cast siege rhinos. Be wild in your deck building. Playtest relentlessly. And as always, good luck and good skill.


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