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Browse > Home / Strategy / Articles / Weekly Update (Oct 27): New Pioneer Format

Weekly Update (Oct 27): New Pioneer Format

New Format Announced: Pioneer!

Wizards announced a new sanctioned, competitive format: Pioneer! Here's what you need to know.Read more

Banned and Restricted Update, October 21, 2019: Field of the Dead Banned, Astrolabe in Pauper

Field of the Dead banned in Standard, Acrum's Astrolabe banned in Pauper.Read more

Budget Magic: $77 Standard Affinity (Standard, Magic Arena)

We've had Steel Overseer in Standard since M20, and now in Throne of Eldraine, Wizards gave us a Cranial Plating in All That Glitters. Can Affinity make the jump from Modern to Standard? Let's see!Read more

Finance Update w/ Saffron Olive

Jace, Vryn's Prodigy Stoneforge Mystic Oko, Thief of Crowns


This week has been the busiest finance week in years, likely since the announcement of Modern nearly a decade ago, thanks to Pioneer. While way too many cards have spiked to cover even half of them in our weekly finance update, the bottom line is that basically any card that is playable or even might be playable in Pioneer has spiked in price in paper and on Magic Online. For example, Mana Confluence more than doubled to $30, [Jace, Vryn's Prodigy]] shot up 77% to $45, while Liliana, the Last Hope increased 48% to $50. If you want a more complete picture of the price movement, you'll find a list of the 50 biggest winner in Modern (almost all of which are connected to Pioneer) here. The bigger question is what to do now that all of these cards have increased in price. In general, the right answer is to sell into the hype. While you should hang onto the cards you need to play with, if you have extra copies, it's likely best to sell or trade them while prices are high. From Wizards; perspective, one of the biggest reasons to create a format like Pioneer is to make more reprint equity, so I wouldn't be surprised to see some Pioneer-focused reprint sets in the near future, maybe as soon as the "Mystery Boosters" coming in a couple of weeks at Magic Fest Richmond. 


On the other hand, the Pioneer announcement and hype might be bad news for Modern. The list of the biggest losers in Modern this week is littered with format staples like fetchlands, Tarmogoyf, Stoneforge Mystic, and Surgical Extraction. It could simply be that players are cashing out their expensive Modern cards to buy into Pioneer and this will be a short term trend as these players return to Modern in the future, or this could be the start of the long, slow death of Modern as Pioneer (over the course of a few years) replaces it as the primary non-Standard format for competitive play. Keep an eye on the format for Magic Fests and SCG Opens in 2020. While Modern still has a lot of support among players, if the big tournament series move away from Modern and towards Pioneer, the trajectory of the format will start to look a lot like Legacy from several years ago. Without heavy tournament support, it will become harder and harder for players to justify maintaining an expensive Modern collection and, assuming Pioneer continues to grow, more might jump ship to the newer format. 


Finally in post-banning Standard, Oko, Thief of Crowns is the talk of the format. At this weekend Arena MCQ, 68 of the 102 players to make day two were playing Oko decks. As a result, the planeswalker is up to $55.20 (after reaching a high of $67 earlier this week) in paper and almost $90 on Magic Online. The biggest question is whether Oko, Thief of Crowns could be the target of a future banning if it remains such a heavy part of the Standard metagame. While an ever-increasing amount of Modern (and likely Pioneer) play should help soften the blow should Oko, Thief of Crowns get banned in Standard, spending $220 on a playset of one potentially bannable card to play the best deck in Standard is a risk. 

Much Abrew: Dubious Challenge (Modern, Magic Online)

Series TBD: Wishclaw Combos (Legacy, Magic Online)

Is Charming Prince the long-awaited missing piece to make Dubious Challenge less dubious? Let's find out! Read more

How many combos can you jam into one Legacy deck with Wishclaw Talisman holding everything together? Let's jump into a leage with Wishclaw Combos and find out! Read more

Budget Commander: Gargos, Vicious Watcher | $25, $50, $100

Tomer showcases one of the best pound-for-pound commanders at the lowest budget range! Nomnom to victory with Gargos!Read more

Updating Classic Standard Decks for Pioneer: Part 1

What classics deck from Standards past might be good enough for Pioneer, and how can we update them for our newest format? Let's break them down!Read more

Going Infinite, October 21st

Pioneer's Peak: Decklist Drop!

A weekly update on the project 'Going Infinite' Read more

TheAsianAvenger drops a ton of decklists for Pioneer to help you get started! Read more

Against the Odds: Trespassing Trolls

What are the odds of trolling our way to some wins in Modern with Clackbridge Troll and friends? Let's find out!Read more

Ready to Brawl? Part 1—Mono-Colour

Ready to Brawl? Part 2—Guilds of Ravnica

Brawl is about to be released on Magic Arena, and in a multi-part guest series, Jess Williams has a ton of decklists for the format for you to try out! Read more

In part two of the Ready to Brawl series, we look at decks featuring Guilds of Ravnica legends as their commanders! Read more

Ready to Brawl? Part 3—Ravnica Allegiance

Ready to Brawl? Part 4—Alara Shards

Welcome back to the third installment in this series of Brawl decks where we’ll be tackling the guilds feature in Ravnica Allegiance! Read more

Today, in part four of our special Brawl deck series, we move into the three-color shards! Read more

Vintage 101: Everybody Gets an Elk!

Single Scoop: Mono Blue Yoink (Standard, Magic Arena)

Joe Dyer hangs out with the Thief of Crowns, Oko, and talks about the card's impact on Vintage. Read more

Feeling Blue? So are we! This week, we're going to be trying out Mono Blue Steal Your Things Read more

Brewer's Minute: Pioneer - Beating the Banned in Standard Cards

Commander Clash S7 E6: More of Eldraine | Emry vs. Gadwick vs. Kenrith vs. Questing Beast

Pioneer is here, along with a bunch of potentially broken cards and combos. How can we beat cards that were so strong they were banned in Standard? Let's break it down! Read more

Richard is back to school us with jank tribal for our last Throne of Eldraine episode! Read more

Fish Five-0: Grixis Adventures (Standard, Magic Arena)

Podcast 247: Mythic Championship V, Bannings and New Pioneer Format

Grab your Bolas horns as we're going on an Adventure! Read more

The crew breaks down a ton of Magic news including Mythic Championship V, a Standard banning and the announcement of a new format! Read more

Instant Deck Techs

Each day we'll be posting a short, three minute deck tech featuring some of the coolest decks that come across the site. The most popular deck will be made into videos the following week based on your views, likes and comments in the videos. Here's this week's Instant Deck Techs:

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