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Pioneer Peak: Ajani, Timestream Navigator


This week we've got a different way of winning as Fyre_Dawg_Games requested a deck doctoring to make a Pioneer version of a deck that SaffronOlive made for standard. That deck would include Ajani, Valiant Protector and Timestream Navigator. After spending some time and the help of Seth, I was able to locate the Ajanis and then went into the lab. I looked at the original list and realized that we needed to shift away from the ramp into the combo gameplan and interact a lot more with the Pioneer meta so this is what I came up with:

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Gameplan

The deck functions like a Bant control deck but has a different way of closing out a game.

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This is sort of like a build your own Nexus of Fate combo that is a lot more fragile but hilarious when executed properly. How it works is we wait until we can get the city's blessing and then deploy Timestream Navigator in hopes of it surviving a turn. Once it makes it's way back to us, we activate the ability to get us an extra turn, and then we use Ajani, Valiant Protector's +1 to find it again, thus locking our opponents out and never allowing them to have a turn again. It also helps that Ajani, Valiant Protector has the ability to find the Timestream Navigator so we don't need to play a full four copies of Navigator.  After that, we just take every turn until we draw a win condition whether it's a different walker or a shark! It's also a thing to note that because we want to make sure we always hit Timestream Navigator with Ajani's +1, we don't play cards like Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath or Dream Trawler.

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Our other methods of winning are, of course, our planeswalkers. We have tons of them to keep our card advantage going and we can always bring them back with Elspeth Conquers Death. If we're not using our Planeswalkers, we're Shark Typhoon to make one very big shark. 

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Outside of that, we play the typical Bant control play style and just try to drag the game out until we find our combo. To help us do that, we've got a decent amount of board wipes and couterspells. We also have Azorius Charm as a way to interact.

Conclusion

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The deck finished with a 3-2 record and as expected, our losses were to Mono White Devotion and Lotus Breach. The Mono White decks benefit from us not having many ways to kill a Walking Ballista at instant speed. It also dodges our Elspeth Conquers Death so that leaves us with countering the Ballista. Because of this, I'd look at adding more instant speed removal like Cast Out or Wilt. We also struggled against Lotus Breach as they're able to generate a ton of mana and close out the game pretty quickly. Because of our lack of disruption and a clock, I'd probably look to adding a card like Rest in Peace to keep them off of their graveyard for long enough but even then, we need to figure out a way to close the game quicker as counterspells won't help if they're able to go and grab a Thought Distortion. If the deck can find a way to beat those two decks in a more efficient manner, the deck could definitely get more wins. 

Either way, the deck was a lot of fun and was able to pull out more victories than I thought it would considering we don't have cards like Uro, Titan's of Nature's Wrath. I think we should definitely add at least one more Shark Typhoon. Anywho, thanks for the request Fyre_Dawg_Games! It was a lot of fun and I'll see you all at the next one!

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-Your Friendly Neighborhood AsianAvenger

Twitter: @TheAsianAvenger || Twitch: twitch.tv/TheAsianAvenger || Email: theasianavenger@mtggoldfish.com


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