Tier List Companion – May 3, 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

Green Devotion

Dimir Rogues

Moved Down

Azorius Control

Lotus Field Combo

Neoform Atraxa


With the printing of Polukranos Reborn, Green Devotion has vaulted back into the A-Tier. We’ve seen this deck do very well in the past, but one of the key issues was having enough three-drop creatures that could shut down aggro – specifically fliers. Now with Polukranos in addition to Old-Growth Troll, it’s hard for most decks to break through and punish Devotion before it can get it’s Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx online. While the deck also picked up a few battles in Invasion of Ixalan and Invasion of Ikoria, the real difference maker was Polukranos, and I expect we’ll continue seeing green pile up results for the near future once again.

After hearing fellow writer Karnage talk about Rogues for a few weeks, the deck continued doing better including a top three performance this weekend in terms of quantity of finishes. If you’ve enjoyed playing Spirits in the past, I highly recommend taking this deck for a spin and playing what could arguably be the better Spirits deck moving forward. This is the best home we have found so far for Yuta Takahashi’s World Championship card Faerie Mastermind. The card is a powerhouse and continues to impress every time I’ve seen it in play. Be sure to read Karnage’s excellent guide on this deck over on the premium side of our website as well if you want to take down your upcoming RCQs or FNMs!

When a new set comes out, often the decks that suffer are controlling in nature. Without being able to establish the right answers for a metagame that is generally in flux, control struggles early on before getting stronger throughout the set’s lifespan. While we have March of Machines Aftermath still upcoming, Azorius will regain its footing again before that set and will likely rise back towards A-tier. The deck still managed reasonable results but compared to the near dominant results from this archetype before MoM, this has been an off week or two for the archetype.


  • 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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