Tier List Companion – April 26, 2023

DarthJacen breaks down movements and changes in yesterday's Pioneer tier list.


Each week, we here at Playing Pioneer take a deep dive into the Magic Online results for Pioneer. We take what data we do have and break down which decks sit where in the overall metagame of Pioneer. These tier lists include a rolling average to ensure decks’ movement isn’t too volatile on the tier list after one good week. Here’s the Tier List from this week that we’ll be working with.

The Data

Each week, we look at top Magic Online Tournaments including the weekly challenges, any Regional Championship Qualifiers, or Magic Online Championship Series events, along with the Pioneer Prelim events. For the Challenges, we are looking at all decks that earned the same number of points as the player in 16th in each event and for the Preliminary events we are looking at all 4-0 and 3-1 decks.

If there are any high-profile paper events, we will also include those. Some examples of events we would count are SCG Con events, NRG Events, Regional Championships, Pro Tours, etc.

Here were this week’s events:

Now that we’ve looked at the data, let’s take a look at what changes occurred in this week’s tier list!

Metagame Breakdown

Moved Up


Atarka Red

Five-Color Enigmatic Fires

Omnath to Light

Moved Down

Abzan Greasefang

New to the List

Dimir Rogues


Rakdos Midrange remains the top deck in the format with a dominating twenty-four qualifying finishes including ten in the challenge. While March of the Machines’s debut has added plenty of powerful cards to various archetypes, the old standard of powerful midrange spells remains incredibly strong week one against some less refined shells.

Similarly, Green Devotion came out swinging to start off this new season with eighteen qualifying finishes, though most in the preliminary events. With Polukranos Reborn helping against various spirits and aggro decks along with Invasion of Ikoria offering faster ramp and devotion, the deck looks even stronger with fewer flex slots heading into this RCQ season.

Abzan Greasefang has been in the limelight for a long time now and like with most decks that sit on top for too long, the format has started adjusting. Seeing more copies of graveyard hate, Rending Volley, and equally fast decks climbing means that the rat pilot is on notice. Even with that level of attention, the deck still put up eight qualifying finishes and remains a great choice for local events, even if the online metagame has become a bit hostile.

Dimir Rogues debuts this weekend after a second strong set of finishes in a row. With fellow PlayingMTG writer KarnageKardsENT leading the charge with some strong challenge results, it’s nice seeing a new archetype finding purchase after the latest set dropped. With six qualifying finishes this weekend including a challenge top 8, expect this deck to continue showing up online and in paper thanks in part to MoM’s Faerie Mastermind.

Creativity was targeted rather hard after winning the Pro Tour and following that up with several strong weekends of good finishes. While the deck remains very powerful, i’s been starting to struggle. Recently, we saw the win condition of Worldspine Wurm replaced with Torrential Gearhulk or Atraxa to help mitigate opposing strategies to handle the Wurm. While the deck still isn’t back to the representative levels that it was post-Pro Tour, these metagame changes can easily breathe new life into this powerful archetype.

Atarka Red has been a consistent performer the past few weeks, it didn’t put up the best results this past weekend even with a challenge finals, but it’s very well positioned. With more combo decks and less tuned decks sitting near the top tables with the release of MoM, there’s room for an explosive aggro deck to take out some of the slower decks and Atarka Red is the best choice for that.

Wrapping Up

There you have it, our weekly breakdown of all the top contenders and frequent fliers of Pioneer. While these tiers can change somewhat frequently, be sure to also check out our monthly overview of how decks performed on a month-to-month basis found here.

Best of luck at your upcoming events and be sure to stay safe out there!


  • DarthJacen

    Pioneer Competitive Guide

    Darthjacen has been playing Magic since Dark Ascension and plays Standard, Modern, Pioneer, and Limited. With a Grand Prix win in 2015 and an SCG Team Top 4 in 2019, he continues to pursue competitive Magic at every turn.

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