The Impact of the Completed Triome Cycle
The triome cycle has finally been completed thanks to Streets of New Capenna and Pioneer is about to have an incredible mana base available to decks in three or more colors that can afford to run tapped lands. Let's look at the possibilities!
The Triome cycle has finally been completed thanks to Streets of New Capenna and Pioneer is about to have an incredible mana base available to decks in three or more colors that can afford to run tapped lands. The possibilities of what can become of existing decks and what new decks have been unlocked are seemingly endless when mana bases become “fixed”. We’ve seen this with two-color decks over the last couple of years after the printing of the Pathways and Slow Lands from Midnight Hunt and Crimson Vow. Aggro decks that were mostly nonexistent – not because the color pairings were bad in what they provided in deck cores – but rather due to the inconsistency of its mana base. When the Triomes were printed in Ikoria, their existence helped pave the way for three, four and even one particular five-color deck in Pioneer: Sultai Delirium. Jeskai Fires became four color Fires thanks to the Triomes. Four-Color Ascendancy got a huge boost from them. And of course, Niv To Light became a real contender.
Now, the pairings of Naya, Bant, Grixis, Esper, and Jund have been graced with more consistent mana. So, it’s time to dive in and see what existing archetypes are about to get a huge boost, and what new decks come up thanks to these Tri-color lands.
The Existing Beneficiaries
I’ve already mentioned a few decks that originally got a boost thanks to the Ikoria Triomes, and most of those same decks just got even better with the cycle completed. Niv to Light now has, essentially, as perfect of a mana base it can have without fetches being legal. Often, the deck leans into a particular color like Black depending on the metagame. Being able to now play the Esper, Jund, and Grixis triomes allow for its consistency to peak. Four-Color Ascendency, (which already plays 6-8 copies of Ketria Triome and Raugrin Triome), wants green mana available early for Sylvan Caryatid, but has also been playing more white recently for cards like Portable Hole and March of Otherworldly Light. The Naya and Bant Triomes will really provide that boost to smooth out its mana even further.
Recently, on the Pioneer Perspective, Alex and I talked in depth about the Greasefang Parhelion decks and how legit they are. With the Esper variant not typically playing anything on turn one, this is an easy include. Though, we discussed that the Abzan version was stronger and better suited as a deck moving forward. Alex suggested that maybe the Esper deck would like to take advantage of some of the reasons Abzan was in green, like Esika’s Chariot. With both the Bant and Esper triomes joining the fray, this may be possible.
Of course, there are the Fires of invention decks. Both the Four-Color Transmogrify and Enigmatic Incarnation variants will be happy to see these lands sleeved up in their decks.
Grixis, Esper, Bant Control variants
Out of all potential three-color control decks, I find Grixis to be the most believable option. Maybe I’ve been spending too much time with Alex of the Pioneer Perspective, but this is HUGE for the deck. Currently we see Azorius (UW) and Dimir as the two main control decks in the format. In the last few sets, Azorius has gotten Consider, Fateful Absence, Portable Hole, March of Otherworldly Light, The Wandering Emperor and Farewell to give it a boost. What has Dimir gotten? Only Consider – and it often doesn’t even play it. Between those two decks, Dimir has far more of a reason to expand into a third color than Azorius. Before, you might want to go into Esper for Thoughtseize and the type of removal that black had to offer. White has plenty of options for removal now, and doesn’t really need to splash into black for it. The deck would only be gaining Thoughtseize as any true upgrade to the deck. Fatal Push is kind of a lateral move, and there are no Planeswalkers in black that are all that enticing for the deck.
Dimir, on the other hand, has a pretty big reason to want to go into Red. I know you may be thinking, “couldn’t Dimir just become Esper?” Which is a fair thought. But the construction of these decks are fairly different. Dimir is still a Dig Through Time deck, where Azorius has opted for Memory Deluge and less graveyard-centric plans of card advantage. If Dimir were to become Esper, this is still mostly a lateral move in terms of power level and card selection, while trading for a slightly worse mana base. Going into red allows the deck to better build upon the foundation it’s already set. Access to cards like Chandra Torch of Defiance, Hidetsugo Consumes All, Abrade-type effects like Kolaghan’s Command and Prismari Command and, of course, Nicky B himself. The latter option maybe not be the most competitively sound choice, but cards like Nicol Bolas, Dragon God are incredibly powerful and could be worth testing. All these feel like more flexible upgrades to the deck rather than a lateral move.
Finally, there’s Bant. This is my dark horse for a deck that could be surprising. A tap-out control style deck featuring cards like Growth Spiral, Nissa Who Shakes the World and Wrenn and Seven is what I had in mind. Still having access to great UW cards like Teferi, Hero of Dominaria and Supreme Verdict, while also having room to play with some interesting cards that haven’t seen as much play in Pioneer like Elspeth Conquers Death and Fog. I am a huge fan of this idea, and dammit I’m going to try it.
Reflector Mage, Charmed Prince, Yorion, the Sky Nomad, Skyclave Apparition. This just sounds FUN. There are so many ways to go into a bant blink style deck. Arcanist Owl if you want to play a panharmonicon version or feature Enchantment based removal such as ECD. Sure, there’s Thraben Inspector as the deck’s turn-one play which could make a tap land awkward, but that’s the only real turn-one play in the deck, so you can afford to run the Triome in some number.
Boomer Jund/Jund Delirium
This is a deck I’ve played on and off early in the format. Rock-style gameplay in which you fill the board with powerful threats and just kill everything you see that’s in your way. Tireless Tracker, Grim Flayer, Liliana, The Last Hope. Just super fun stuff. Going into red gives you Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger, Dreadbore, and some sweet tutor targets if you go into Delirium such as Hazoret the Fervent and Glorybringer.
I have no idea what this exactly entails, because the possibilities are quite literally endless. I can simply guarantee this will be attempted, and who knows? Maybe Niv will have a run for his money.
With all of these decks that are going to benefit greatly from these Triomes, there are some that you’ll need to think twice before investing in these lands.
This is a deck that CANNOT stumble when it comes to its land drops. The consistency of having your mana available to you doesn’t even come close in overcoming the fact that you miss your turn-one dork, your turn-two Voice of Resurgence or Prosperous Innkeeper and, of course, your turn three or four Winota, Joiner of Forces.
This deck gets a hard MAYBE from me when it comes to these lands. Yes, the deck is grindy, so on the surface you may be okay with a tapped land in the mana base. The problem is that this deck wants to be incredibly efficient with its mana at all times. A turn-one cat, oven, or goose; a turn two Trail of Crumbs or turn three in which you have three mana available to crack your food and pay one for Trail’s digging effect. I think you can sneak one or two in the mana base, but my gut feeling tells me you should just skip the land altogether.
The only reason this deck even plays green is for Collected Company. This is a tempo deck that can be incredibly aggressive. Similar to Winota, it simply cannot afford to stumble under any circumstances. Seriously, don’t play Triomes here.
All in all, we know these lands are incredibly powerful and are sure to give boosts to current archetypes, revive older archetypes, and potentially even spawn new decks altogether. The completion of the triome cycle solidifies the pioneer mana into something that is skewed heavily into slower decks. For now, if you play or have any interest in playing three, four or five-color decks in Pioneer, these should surely be on your buy list.