Charting a Course – August 11

Welcome to the latest edition of Charting a Course! 

There’s now a month to go until Dominara United releases – it’s been a long while since set releases but the SNC season continues to provide plenty of changes each week!

Weekend Challenges


It was a heavily varied meta in the weekend challenges, with Mono-Green coming back into prominence after a dominant showing from Rakdos Midrange last week. The usual suspects are present in the Top 8s but again there is always opportunity for somewhat “rogue” decks to perform well like Indomitable Rakdos and Abzan Greasefang.

‘Most Dominant’ Decks of the Week
WeekMost Top 32sMost Top 16sMost Top 8s
July 9-10Izzet Phoenix (12)Rakdos Midrange, Izzet Phoenix (6)Izzet Phoenix (3)
July 16-17Rakdos Midrange (15)Rakdos Midrange (8)Azorius Control (4)
July 23-24Azorius Control (10)Azorius Control (6)Azorius Control (4)
July 30-31Rakdos Midrange (17)Rakdos Midrange (10)Rakdos Midrange (6)
August 6-7Mono Green Devotion (10)Azorius Control (4)Azorius Control (4)

The cycle of top decks continues, but Azorius Control has been the more consistent when it comes to Top 8 finishes. You can check out some more of the season on our PlayingPioneer Meta Data page, or by looking at my Season Data Spreadsheet, which contains Top 32/16/8 data for all SNC season MTGO Challenges.

Special Event – Pioneer Showcase Qualifier

Among the weekend challenges there was also the Pioneer Showcase Qualifier, a small event featuring the best of the MTGO crowd – you had to Top 8 one of the last three Showcase Challenges or go 5-0 in the last chance qualifiers run in the week before the event in order to qualify.

You can click here to view the full standings and list of player deck choices. Mono-Green Devotion took down the event, but a small event like this creates one-off metagames that are hard to extrapolate to the wider state of the format (e.g only one person on Rakdos Midrange).

Special congratulations to MTGO user Claudioh, a well-known figure in the Pioneer community for his proficiency as a Niv to Light player, for winning the Modern Showcase qualifier!

Deck to Watch

Mono-White Humans is now firmly the most common version of Humans tribal in the metagame, performing very strongly in the most recent MTGO challenges. With a smooth curve and reliable mana base plus a variety of creatures that can interact with the opposition, this is definitely a deck to consider for your upcoming events, or at the very least a matchup you should be prepared to face!

Until Next Time

Over the next two weeks you can enter the Manatraders Series, a free to enter MTGO event that changes format each month – August is Pioneer! You can play as many qualifier matches in the window as you want so it’s a great time to get some reps in on the format even if you aren’t able to qualify for the end of month swiss tournament.

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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