Pioneer Tier List Update July 5, 2022

An explanation of this week's Pioneer tier list movements and placements.

Click here for the tier list


Rakdos Midrange (Up from A Tier) – Rakdos midrange has continued to remain a consistent deck in the format. It has game against everything making it a popular choice among players. Expect to see this deck a lot during RCQs.

Izzet Phoenix (Up from B Tier) – Phoenix is climbing back as players continue to refine their lists after the sudden loss of Expressive Iteration. The deck has a powerful game plan and can kill quickly, which easily punishes players who may have assumed its demise.


Rakdos Sacrifice (Up from B Tier) – Rakdos Sacrifice continues its climb up the tier list, representing the most powerful home for Ob Nixilis, the Adversary – a card that was printed with a lot of hype and ended up underperforming elsewhere. For those who haven’t been keeping up with the archetype, the deck has dropped the Oni-Cult Anvil strategy completely in favor of a more creature-centric sacrifice strategy, which includes sacrificing opponent creatures with four copies of Claim the Firstborn in the mainboard. Along these lines, Unlucky Witness has replaced Experimental Synthesizer, allowing for a look at two cards and giving you an extra turn to play one of them. With plenty of removal and ping damage from Mayhem Devil, Rakdos Sacrifice is able to prey on quite a few of its S-B Tier peers, which brings it up to A Tier this week.

Boros Heroic (Up from B Tier) – Heroic is climbing. The deck is becoming one of the premier aggro decks; being able to kill quickly while protecting its threats. A very good deck choice moving forward into RCQ season. 

Mono-Blue Spirits (Stable) – Stable this week. Mono-Blue Spirits remains a solid choice of deck thanks to its resilience and very strong Mono-Green Karn matchup. The deck is one of two premier aggro decks in the format, and being a nice budget entry into the format shouldn’t be glossed over either.

Mono-Green Karn (Stable) – The deck picked up a little more steam compared to last week; however, it still seems to be having issues making it to the podium versus where it was immediately post BnR updates. That being said, expect this deck in numbers when heading out to any upcoming RCQ’s as many players had invested in this as the “best deck in the format” immediately following the Winota ban.


Lotus Field (Up from C Tier) – Lotus field saw a slight uptick this weekend, but overall this deck is not well positioned. Most of the top decks are bad matchups and it is an extremely tough deck to pilot. Picking this up for the first time at a RCQ is not advised.

Azorius Control (Stable) – Control is always a strong deck choice, but with the current state of the meta being somewhat in flux at the moment making the right call on card selection can be a little tough, which is what control needs to shine. If the meta can stabilize Azorius Control can climb up the list.

Mono-Red Burn (Stable) – Mono Red is a good deck but is slowly getting pushed out by better aggro decks. The deck also seems to be suffering a bit of an identity crisis as players go back and forth on the addition of cards like Torbran, Thane of Red Fell and other larger threats. Regardless, it was another average weekend for the deck.


Both C Tier decks are stable from last week and we feel like they do not need to be addressed at this time.


Izzet Creativity (Debut Tier List) – Izzet Creativity promotes a proactive gameplan while simultaneously controlling the board in the light of many of these aggro and creature focused decks that we’ve seen recently. Its explosive win condition can seemingly come out of nowhere, and the control package easily wipes up the myriad of one and two mana creatures in the format. We’ll be keeping an eye on this archetype moving forward, as its core strategy is one that many players typically align with. 

Izzet Prowess (Up from Off Meta) – Izzet Prowess has been staging quite the comeback on the lower end of the top tables this week thanks to the new inclusions of Young Pyromancer and Of One Mind to give the deck and extra push in the card advantage department following the loss of Expressive Iteration. Several prominent players like Todd Anderson/TandyMTG have been putting a lot of eyes on this deck, so don’t be surprised if it shows up at your local RCQ’s

  • Ruckman


    Having started playing Magic shortly before the release of Return to Ravnica, Ruckman’s Magic lifespan covers the breadth of the Pioneer format. Despite not being a stranger to the Top 8 tables of the old IQ and PTQ systems, most of his competitive experience comes from the other side of the event space, where he served more than five years as a level-two judge, only hanging up the black shirt for good at the beginning of 2022. Currently, you can find him making Pioneer content for Crew3 on your favorite podcasting platform or on Twitch/YouTube.

  • rose-emoji

    Network Administrator/Publisher

    rose-emoji started playing Magic: The Gathering during Battle for Zendikar, then took a break from the game until Throne of Eldraine. Pioneer got him back into Magic full-force, and the launch of Arena on mobile hooked him in forever. Now that his favorite format is working its way onto Arena, he can be found grinding the format to death. Only ever Grixis colors, but sometimes he can have a little Jund as a treat.

  • KarnageKards

    Competitive Team Lead

    KarnageKardsENT has been playing Magic since Scars of Mirrodin. During the Pandemic, he moved to playing MTGO. Today, you can find him playing Pioneer, Modern and sometimes Standard. A mainstay in the Pioneer Challenges, Karnage can be found at Most Eastern F2F stops in Canada.

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