Charting a Course – A Year with No Data

Arinceo breaks down the week of Pioneer data to provide a glimpse into the future of the format.

Stirring Revelations

Welcome to the latest edition of Charting a Course! We’re now entering the final month of the BRO season, with spoilers/leaks about new cards from Phyrexia: All Will Be One (ONE) already causing a stir within the community.

Over the holiday period we had an issue with the publishing of MTGO decklists, but this has since been rectified by Daybreak Games and we can see another shift in the metagame.

‘Most Dominant’ Decks of the Week (MTGO Challenges)

WeekMost Top 32sMost Top 16sMost Top 8s
Nov 5-6Izzet Phoenix (10)Izzet Phoenix (6)Mono-Green Devotion, Izzet Phoenix (3)
Nov 12-13Izzet Phoenix (17)Izzet Phoenix (7)Lotus Field (4)
Nov 19-20Izzet Phoenix (13)Rakdos Midrange (5)Rakdos Midrange, Izzet Phoenix (3)
Nov 26-27Rakdos Midrange (9)Azorius Control (5)Azorius Control (3)
Dec 3-4Rakdos Midrange (18)Rakdos Midrange (13)Rakdos Midrange (5)
Dec 10-11Rakdos Midrange (19)Rakdos Midrange (13)Rakdos Midrange (8)
Dec 17-18Gruul Vehicles (13)Gruul Vehicles (8)Gruul Vehicles (4)
Dec 24-25Rakdos Midrange (13)Rakdos Midrange (8)Rakdos Midrange (5)
Dec 31/Jan1Gruul Vehicles (11)Mono-Green Devotion,Gruul Vehicles (5)Lotus Field Combo, Gruul Vehicles (3)
Jan 7-8Mono-Green Devotion (9)Lotus Field Combo (6)Lotus Field Combo (4)

The dominance of Rakdos Midrange has been broken in recent weeks, largely on the back of the Gruul Vehicles deck which has a strong matchup against the deck. Another deck on the rise has been Lotus Field Combo, which is thriving in a meta short on fast aggro decks that can quickly win matches, e.g. Mono-White Humans.

However, when looking at the biggest two MTGO events of the past fortnight, it is clear that familiarity with a deck and how it fares against the meta is a key factor in success.

MTGO Super Qualifier – 383 players, December 28th

Top 8 Results

  1. Selesnya Angels: MZBlazer
  2. Izzet Phoenix: Ale_Mtg
  3. Rakdos Midrange: felider
  4. Abzan Greasefang: Xuxa
  5. Enigmatic Fires: THE0NEWH0KN0X
  6. Enigmatic Fires: musasabi
  7. Mono-Blue Spirits: Fink64
  8. Rakdos Sacrifice: Rhianne

9th-32nd Decklists

Top 32 Breakdown

DeckTop 32Top 16Top 8
Rakdos Midrange931
Selesnya Angels411
Enigmatic Fires222
Lotus Field Combo210
Gruul Vehicles210
Mono-Green Devotion210
Azorius Control210
Abzan Greasefang210
Izzet Creativity210
Other554

MTGO Showcase Challenge – 251 players, January 8th

Top 8 Results

  1. Rakdos Sacrifice: Rhianne
  2. Gruul Vehicles: bresett123
  3. Gruul Vehicles: Snapcaster-Bolt
  4. Golgari Vehicles: pancake_sock
  5. Azorius Control: Daking3603
  6. Lotus Field Combo: kytk321
  7. Lotus Field Combo: szkuznik
  8. Enigmatic Fires: kasa

9th-32nd Decklists

Top 32 Breakdown

DeckTop 32Top 16Top 8
Mono-Green Devotion610
Gruul Vehicles532
Azorius Control531
Lotus Field Combo332
Selesnya Angels210
Rakdos Midrange210
Dimir Control210
Other433

Special congratulations to Rhianne, who secured Top 8 finishes in both events on Rakdos Sacrifice, and also being the only player on the deck to secure Top 32 finishes. With other decks like Mono-Blue Spirits, Izzet Phoenix and Azorius Control securing Top 8’s as well despite having a lower meta share in recent weeks, it’s clear that an experienced pilot can perform well with their preferred deck if they have the practice and a good run.

Around the Tables

To finish off this week’s article we’re gonna take a look at two very fresh brews that secured solid results over the weekend:

Golgari Vehicles by pancake_sock (4th in Showcase Challenge)

Buy on TCGplayer $447.84
3 mythic
47 rare
0 uncommon
10 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (21)
4
Llanowar Elves
$1.56
4
Elvish Mystic
$2.76
2
Misery's Shadow
$4.98
Instants (4)
4
Fatal Push
$9.96
Sorceries (4)
4
Thoughtseize
$63.96
Artifacts (7)
4
Esika's Chariot
$39.96
Lands (24)
1
Forest
$0.01
1
Swamp
$0.35
1
Blooming Marsh
$7.49
3
Darkbore Pathway
$16.47
4
Llanowar Wastes
$3.16
4
Mutavault
$39.96
4
Overgrown Tomb
$59.96
60 Cards
$369.6
Sideboard
1
Scavenging Ooze
$0.35
1
Gemrazer
$1.49
1
Windstorm
$0.35
1
Back to Nature
$0.35
1
Tear Asunder
$1.29
3
Go Blank
$1.77
3
Damping Sphere
$1.17
15 Cards
$24.03

Combining the elements of both Gruul Vehicles and Rakdos Midrange, this deck has a powerful suite of Turn One plays between eight mana-dorks and Thoughtseize + Fatal Push. The Vehicles top-end of Esika’s Chariot and Skysovereign provides value that Rakdos Midrange cannot overcome, while Misery’s Shadow and Graveyard Trespasser provide strong mid-game to lock down aggro decks and any graveyard strategies like Izzet Phoenix and Greasefang.

Azorius Control (Yorion) by JTL005 (Pioneer League 5-0)

Buy on TCGplayer $269.19
2 mythic
34 rare
19 uncommon
19 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (2)
Creatures (4)
Instants (15)
2
Dovin's Veto
$7.98
2
Make Disappear
$0.98
Sorceries (2)
2
Supreme Verdict
$7.98
Artifacts (7)
4
Portable Hole
$5.96
Enchantments (19)
4
Baffling End
$1.40
4
Omen of the Sea
$1.00
3
Omen of the Sun
$0.75
4
Static Net
$1.00
80 Cards
$286.38
Sideboard
4
Monastery Mentor
$31.96
1
Spell Pierce
$0.29
1
Dovin's Veto
$3.99
1
Supreme Verdict
$3.99
3
Rest in Peace
$23.97
15 Cards
$79.67

This deck is an interesting take on the Yorion lists, running a playset of Disruption Protocol to synergise with an early Portable Hole or Thraben Inspector, along with The Mightstone and Weakstone as a modal effect that can be blinked with Yorion. 

The true spice comes from a playset of Banish into Fableand Static Net, which satisfies the artifact and enchantment conditions of Banish while also acting as lifegain and removal to survive the early game.

Until Next Time

Thanks for reading this week’s article! We’ll be back in a fortnight to check in on the latest previews for ONE and what it means for the format, along with the latest event results and decklists.

If there’s anything you’d like to see me examine further in these articles, you can reach me on Twitter and Reddit, or on our PlayingPioneer Discord if you are signed up to our Patreon.

  • Arinceo

    Author/Data Coordinator

    Arinceo has been in an on/off relationship with Magic since cracking his first packs in 2004. After watching his beloved Hardened Scales deck suffer the loss of Walking Ballista he jumped back into Pioneer following the release of the 2021 challenger decks and is active in the community on the PioneerMTG subreddit and Twitter. Arinceo compiles most of the competitive data used on our meta data page and elsewhere.

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