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Much Abrew: Winota Werewolves (Pioneer)

Hello, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Much Abrew About Nothing. This week, for the first time in a while, we're checking in on the Pioneer format with a spicy Innistrad: Midnight Hunt brew. Winota, Joiner of Forces has been playable in older formats almost since the day it was printed, but now, we have a really interesting new way to build around the legend: Werewolves! When you think about what Winota really wants—a mixture of Human and non-Human creatures—the Werewolf tribe is the absolute perfect way to harness its power since the front sides of Werewolves are Human (which allows us to tutor them out of our deck with Winota, Joiner of Forces) but the backsides are non-Human (so if we can flip them, they can also trigger Winota, Joiner of Forces, allowing us to grab even more Humans from our deck). Plus, Tovolar's Huntmaster is one of the best Winota hits in all of Magic, giving us a massive Human body that makes two non-Human Wolf tokens to trigger Winota, Joiner of Forces the following turn! How good are Werewolves with Winota in Pioneer? Let's find out on this week's Much Abrew About Nothing

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Much Abrew: Winota Werewolves

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  • Record-wise, we finished 3-2 with Winota Werewolves (after going 0-5 in our first league where we played Izzet Phoenix five times in a row—that matchup felt horrible). The power of the deck was obvious—it can get off to some absurdly fast starts—but things get much more difficult if the opponent is playing a lot of removal to keep our creatures off the battlefield, as we saw in our loss to GB Control. 
  • Werewolves are oddly perfect for a Winota deck. As we discussed in the intro, they are Humans in our deck but can be non-Humans on the battlefield if we can flip them to their nightbound side. This allows us to both tutor them up with Winota and use them to trigger Winota, which is pretty insane. 
  • While all of our Werewolves are good, Tovolar's Huntmaster deserves special mention. The new Grave Titan is—by far—the best non-Winota, Joiner of Forces card in our deck and the card we are hoping to hit most with Winota's trigger. The 6/6 body allows us to pour on damage, and the two Wolves it makes set us up for even more Winota triggers the following turn. It's the perfect finisher for the deck. 
  • One issue we had with the deck was the mana being somewhat inconsistent, either missing red mana for Winota or white mana for some of our removal creatures. While adding more shock lands might be scary because we'll likely have to play them untapped a decent amount of the time and the damage adds up against aggressive decks, trading in some Pathways (which lead to some really tough decisions on the first turn or two of the game) for more shocks is probably worthwhile.
  • As for Pioneer itself, I'm not sure what to make of the format. The first league I played was literally five Izzet Phoenix matches in a row, and considering how tough that matchup is for Winota Werewolves (Thing in the Ice is hugely problematic), it wasn't much fun. On the other hand, the second league (the one in today's video) was super diverse. We played against five unique archetypes, and it was a blast. Is Pioneer more like the first league or the second? I'm not sure, but if you decide to play the format, you should definitely be prepared for Izzet Phoenix.
  • So, should you play Winota Werewolves in Pioneer? I think the answer is yes, although the weakness against Izzet Phoenix is a concern. The deck felt powerful, and its best draws are pretty close to unbeatable for a lot of decks, but its bad matchups (ones with a lot of removal) are really tough. The deck has more than enough power to 5-0 a league, but if you hit the wrong matchups and run poorly, a 0-5 isn't out of the question either.


Anyway, that's all for today. As always, leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments, and you can reach me on Twitter @SaffronOlive or at

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