Tier List Companion – May 24, 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

Abzan Greasefang


Moved Down

Azorius Control

Dimir Rogues

Gruul Vehicles

Atarka Red

New to the List

Boros Convoke


Let’s start this week off with the hottest deck on Magic Online, Boros Convoke. This deck took the online metagame by storm this weekend finishing first and second in a challenge and sparking leagues to look like an endless sea of Venerated Loxodon Normally, we would scale our expectations of a deck back a bit as it starts to break out since the surprise factor can help bolster a deck tremendously. The main reason to instead slot Convoke into C Tier is due to the upcoming Regional Championship in Dallas. With a major Pioneer event coming in just under two weeks, we wanted to express that this deck showed up and way overperformed expectations and for those playing the RC, you will likely need to consider this style deck in your metagame plans. While the deck has more to prove to keep its position or climb even higher, I’m optimistic that this deck will be a factor at the RC and at your upcoming local events.

Next up, we have Abzan Greasefang returning to B Tier. The deck has been struggling of late to put up the same impressive results it had after Pro-Tour Phyrexia. This week, Greasefang put up a strong nine qualifying finishes including a challenge Top 8 along with another three top 16s. While the deck hasn’t changed much in the past months, one of the big factors affecting the deck’s success has been the amount of graveyard hate and Rending Volley in sideboards. While they are still seen in decks like Rakdos Midrange and Izzet Creativity, we haven’t seen as much of this powerful removal spell with decks like Gruul Vehicles and Izzet Phoenix falling down the tier list.

Azorius Control continues its small downtick in the face of March of Machines Aftermath. While the top archetypes haven’t changed much, the few archetypes that did drop from the top tables were all favorable matchups for Azorius. With Rakdos, Green Devotion, Lotus Field, and Greasefang highly represented in the metagame, it’s no surprise the deck only managed four qualifying finishes this past weekend. Add in an explosive deck like Boros Convoke on top of Mono Red Aggro, Spirits, and Atarka Red and there’s too many tripwires in the field for control to reign as it had.

We also saw Rogues and Spirits swap spots on the tier list again this week. These decks operate in similar lanes and while it’s hard to declare one overall better than the other, this week we saw Spirits put up stronger results with seven qualifying finishes to rogues two. While players temporarily gravitated towards Rogues off the stronger finishes, it does seem like Spirits has regained popularity with a challenge win and another challenge 9th place finish. Hopefully we can see these decks continue to add to the overall metagame as they are heavy checks onto the combo decks of the format.

With the addition of Boros Convoke to the metagame, sweepers and removal are going to be at a premium for the next week or so. This continues a trend we’ve already seen with Rakdos being the best deck in the format and heavily contributes to the continued lowering of aggro decks on the tier list. With no pure aggro deck sitting above C Tier – as Gruul Vehicles and Atarka Red fall back into D Tier –  it’s clear that aggro is struggling to punch through Rakdos, Green Devotion, and the combo decks of B Tier. However, as we head into the RC, remember that even in a field that had plenty of Rakdos, Devotion, and Phoenix, Mono White Humans managed to win the RC in Atlanta. 

The biggest difference, though, is the addition of Creativity as a strong staple to the format, which may make repeating such a strong feat difficult for aggro decks headed to Dallas.

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.

Liked it? Take a second to support PlayingMTG on Patreon!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *