Few games are more endless than Magic: The Gathering. The enormous number of cards available in the title and the countless modes that can be enjoyed both physically and digitally through MTG Arena make it clear that it is not easy to repeat the same situation on a game board. Today, we return to the load with a none other than Pioneer format.
The arrival of the pandemic was a heavy blow for a format since it had planned to expand in the fairs of this year. This time it is a modern format. Since it was presented in October 2019, its rules closed at the end of January 2020. This might make us think that this is a stillborn way to play Magic, but the actions of Wizards and the R&D team make it clear that this is a big bet. Plus, it’s gaining popularity as the physical play makes a comeback.
What is Pioneer?
Deck construction is standard: a minimum of 60 cards, four copies of each card used except for lands, and a sideboard of a maximum of 15. Pioneer’s particularity is that it uses cards that appeared since Return to Ravnica, released in October 2012, to the latest cards emitted in the recent Streets of New Capanna.
So you’re looking for something more potent than Standard but less powerful than Modern or Legacy. A perfect balance for those playing Magic for just ten years. The only drawback of this format is that it is unavailable in MTG because some of the cards are present in this title, but there is a bridge format such as Explorer.
For those who don’t know it, Explorer is a built format that appeared a little less than a month ago in Arena and that is thought to become Pioneer in a while. This is because it uses all the legal Pioneer cards available in MTG: Arena, looking to transmute into said mode as new expansions come out.
Banned Cards in Pioneer
Unlike other formats, the Pioneer format doesn’t have a ton of banned cards. Of course, some others, like the Nexus of Destiny, are classics of these ban lists. This list is open to change, but this is the most up-to-date list we have:
Canyon of the Dead
Disfigurer of Truths
Kethis, the Hidden Hand
Mystical Line of Abundance
Dream Nest Lurrus
Oko, Thief of Crowns
Once Upon a time
Teferi, Manipulator of Time
Breach to the Underworld
Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath