Updated: Dec 10, 2019
Hey you...Yeah you. Want to know a secret? All of the images in the articles here on Goblin Traders are hyperlinked just in case you want some more information on a specific decklist or card. Go ahead, try it out.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.
Welcome back to our journey looking into what you can do in Pioneer. Last week was a look at the competitive decks with a heaping pile of aggression. This week we look at all of the sweet tidbits that have been floating around the interwebs.
Julia, I've got to go. We got cows.
Let’s kick it off with a deck that is full of endless possibilities. Pun intended.
How could anyone who enjoys Magic the Gathering not like this deck?
The fact that this deck is actually competitive and isn’t just a meme says a lot about the Pioneer format. We have seen something similar to this in Modern with the original win condition of the Grishoalbrand deck. The win condition being Borborygmos Enraged and all of the lands left in your deck thanks to Enter the Infinite.
So the plan here is to get a Possibility Storm on the battlefield as fast as you can, enter Vessel of Volatility. This innocuous enchantment from Shadows Over Innistrad allows the deck to cut the mana dorks from the deck. It serves as this formats Pentad Prism in a way.
The next step is to use one of your creatures that has a sorcery Adventure spell causing your Possibility Storm to trigger and flip over cards until you find a spell of the same type. This will result in you cast one of the copies of Enter the Infinite and draw your remaining deck and putting a card back in place of your library, that cards is Borborygmos Enraged. Next you cast a Walking Ballista for zero causing the Storm to have you cast the Enraged cyclops in place of the construct. After that you proceed to fling the lands you have in you library-hand straight at your opponent’s (enemy’s) face.
What’s This? What’s This? There’s Colors Everywhere!
(UPDATE: This didn't age well.)
My thoughts exactly! What is this deck? We’re going to try and figure this deck out together, so here goes nothing.
This deck reminds me of the Goblin Charbelcher decks in Legacy. The idea is generally to kill your opponent in one or two turns when you combo off.
You want to mulligan aggressively to find either one of you four lands or a copy of Once Upon a Time to find a land that way. Follow this up with one of your twenty one spells that allow you to search your deck for other lands. We need to get all of them out of the deck for things to work smoothly. The main pillars of this deck Undercity Informer and
Balustrade Spy, they are how we mill our entire library into our graveyard. This deck has multiple creatures and spells that trigger when they are in the graveyard such as Narcomoeba and Creeping Chill, all four copies of each. This causes the 4 copies of Prized Amalgam in the graveyard to trigger and return to the battlefield at the beginning of the next end step. Don’t fret, we won’t be killing ourselves by decking; that’s what the single copy of Nexus of Fate is for.
The following turn, with your motley crew of creatures, cast the Aftermath side of the Driven / Despair to give your creatures Menace and swing for the win.
Riddle Me This, Riddle Me That…
First things first. This is a card from Magic days gone by called Twiddle. Read it, take it in. Got it? Okay.
That card is going to be vital to understanding the idea behind this next deck.
There are a number of effects (Vizier of Tumbling Sands and Hidden Strings) here that will allow us to untap our most important card, Lotus Field. The land sacrificing clause on Lotus Field is not a drawback if it’s producing a lot more than three mana each turn. If sac’ing lands isn’t your thing then you can use a copy of Thespian Stage to copy Lotus Field to get additional copies without the sacrifice.
We’ll then use the utility of our sideboard thanks to Fae of Wishes to finish our opponents (enemies) off in the glory of a Promised End. Do you have a moment to discuss Emrakul, the Promised End; our goddess and sovereign?
We can find these Fae by casting our singleton copy of Omniscience and then free copies of the likes of Dig Through Time and Pore Over the Pages.
Another avenue to victory can be found through “Wishing” for Jace, Wielder of Secrets and Enter the Infinite; thus drawing your deck and winning with Jace.
The sideboard is rounded out with a “choose-your-own” swiss toolbelt of answers and additional threats. I would also like to point out that this is a Simic deck, that does not play Oko, Greatest of All...I mean Oko, Thief of Crowns.
Let's Go To The Winchester, Have A Nice Cold Pint, And Wait For This All To Blow Over.
Ah, Field of the Dead. it has been too long old friend. While the Core Set 2020 land was deemed too powerful for Standard, it has already found a home in Pioneer. You know what that means? ZOMBIES! (UPDATE: This also didn't age well.)
I love Tireless Tracker. There, I said it. Tracker is a powerhouse in any format and it’s no different in Pioneer. We also gain access to the powerful land-based spells from the past sets like Hour of Devastation’s Hour of Promise and Magic Origins’ Nissa, Vastwood Seer. Thoughtseize is the number one disruption spell in the format and we have it here as well. "You can fit so many good cards in here," slaps decklist hood.
This deck also contains a myriad of lands from the span of Pioneer’s share of Magic’s history. A lot of these lands act as spells in this deck. Ifnir Deadlands is a “removal spell” while Hissing Quagmire and Westvale Abbey are additional threats.
The Castle land cycle from Throne of Eldraine are some of the most powerful lands that Pioneer has to offer, as you can see, this deck uses those to great effect. Castle Garenbrige allows acceleration and Castle Locthwain gives you staying power in the late game. The robust late game that this deck offers is backed up by some of the best and most efficient removal spells in the format.
Operation: Dumbo Drop
(UPDATE: This did age well.)
Now to discuss the pachyderm sized problem of Pioneer...Field of the Dead is still busted. It is a free resource that is very difficult to realistically interact with. This land has been on a lot of players “watchlist” to be banned in Pioneer sooner rather than later. While I do agree that something needs to be done about Field, I’m not sure that you want to cut every powerful strategy in the format as it rears its head.
My watchlist is currently Field of the Dead, Once Upon a Time and Oko, Thief of Crowns. I believe that each of these cards is just too powerful and too efficient for the Pioneer format is you want the format to flourish and continue to grow.
Not The Hero We Deserve, But The Hero We Need
While the deck that has stolen my heart in the format is not that off-the-wall; I would like to include it here nonetheless.
Yes, it’s a blue and red deck, so sue me. The heart wants what the heart wants.
You have not lived until you have emerged an Elder Deep-Fiend on your opponent's upkeep. You love to see it.
Here we actually have creatures that we actively want to sacrifice through the Emerge mechanic to get them into our graveyard for value. Anyone who has played in the last few years knows the power of such fiery birdies like Rekindling Phoenix and Flamewake Phoenix.
A wise person once said that “drawing cards is the best thing in Magic”. I don’t know who they were, but I’m assuming someone famous. Now I’ve said it so, it’s still probably not that well known. It is true though and I’m looking at you Champion of Wits.
This monstrosity of Izzet-y goodness also has access to Stubborn Denial and the kill-whatever-ails-you sweeper Kozilek’s Return. Piggybacking off of the above decklist, here we get Mutavault and Sanctum of Ugin. The latter allows us to go find more copies of Elder Deep-Fiend; the more the merrier.
Meanwhile… Back At The Hall Of Justice
I hope everyone had a happy and safe holiday this past weekend for those in and out of the U.S. Things in the Magic-verse have been rough and tumultuous lately and I hope we can all remember that regardless of clan, color or creed, that we all love this game and we do have an amazing, beautiful community.
Until next time, Good luck, I hope you lose.