Tier List Companion – June 1, 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:

MTGO Pioneer Challenge

MTGO Pioneer Challenge

MTGO Pioneer Super Qualifier

MTGO Pioneer Preliminary Event

MTGO Pioneer Preliminary Event

MTGO Pioneer Preliminary Event

MTGO Pioneer Preliminary Event

MTGO Pioneer Preliminary Event

MTGO Pioneer Preliminary Event

MTGO Pioneer Preliminary Event

MTGO Pioneer Preliminary Event

MTGO Pioneer Preliminary Event

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

Bring to Light

Rakdos Sacrifice


Moved Down

Abzan Greasefang

5c Enigmatic Incarnation

Gruul Vehicles


This week, Rakdos and Green Devotion shared the limelight with 22 qualifying finishes each. Rakdos won one challenge and did better in the Super Qualifier in terms of quantity, but it does seem like people were gunning for it. In the Super Qualifier, all four finishes were Top 16s, which is a great showing, but somewhat disappointing for the lone S-Tier deck in the format.

Green saw a trend upwards this weekend, especially in the challenges with five total finishes including two Top 8 finishes and another two Top 8s in the Super Qualifier. With the target firmly on Rakdos Midrange for Dallas, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Green sweep up some solid results by being the second-best deck and having less hate directed at it specifically.

To the point of Rakdos being targeted, we saw Omnath to Light performing well this weekend, with six qualifying finishes split evenly between the challenges and the preliminary events. In a world where there’s plenty of creature decks and Rakdos Midrange, it’s easy to see why Omnath to Light is doing well again. The various enchantment-based removal does wonders against Rakdos and allows you to extend the game, reaching the midgame where the Omnath and Bring to Lightdecks naturally pull ahead of Rakdos. Add in the flexibility of Bring to Lightto help against various other strategies through Slaughter Games, Extinction Event, Elesh Norn among others and there’s no reason this deck can’t continue to find success while targeting the current metagame.

Abzan Greasefang had a solid weekend, putting up eleven qualifying finishes. The deck continues to perform well overall and has plenty of strong matchups. The biggest thing holding this deck back is the speed in which other decks are entering the metagame that have interaction like Rending Volley and graveyard hate like Rest in Peace. The re-rise of Rakdos Sacrifice and the birth of RW Convoke aren’t doing Greasefang any favors. Add in that Azorius Control hasn’t been as present at the top of the metagame, and the top tables are becoming more hostile to our Rat Pilot.

Speaking of Rakdos Sacrifice, the deck had a strong showing in terms of overall finishes, with 13, but the quality of those finishes wasn’t the best. With only three finishes among the Super Qualifier and two challenges, the deck certainly got stronger thanks to Aftermath, but it still hasn’t found enough success to be a true top-tier contender quite yet.

With the rise of decks like Rakdos Sacrifice, RW Convoke, and even Rakdos remaining at the top, it’s no shock that Angels has reemerged as a strong option. With three qualifying finishes, I don’t want to entirely oversell the deck, but if you are concerned with RW Convoke, there’s no matchup better than Angels to really punish their gameplan. Having a naturally good matchup in Convoke rising in the ranks is one thing, but also having the naturally bad matchup in Azorius Control falling in playrate helps to bolster Angels, since wrath effects are these angelic creatures’ worst nightmare.

Heading into Dallas, it’s clear that there is a top section of the format in Rakdos Midrange and Green Devotion. Funnily, this has been true heading into every Pioneer RC and Pro Tour yet. At those previous events, it was Rakdos that stood taller than Green and anti-meta decks like Mono White Humans, Creativity, Phoenix, and Lotus Field that ended up looking the best. While most of these decks are on the tier list currently, don’t be surprised if some lower-tiered decks tuned to attack the metagame end up putting up top level results this weekend.

To those attending Dallas, best of luck!

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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