It's Monday once again, so that means Wizards of the Coast is expected to make an off-cycle Magic: The Gathering ban and restricted announcement for the new Pioneer format, and while no changes were made recently, some fans think that are still powerful cards in Pioneer.
Based on the recent Pioneer tournament results, Gruul, Monoblack Aggro, and "Field of the Dead" decks are dominating the meta, and many would agree that the cards that have been banned in other formats before should also get banned in Pioneer.
Here are the Magic cards that might get the ban hammer today, next Monday, or later this month, roughly in this order:
Field of the Dead
"Field of the Dead" is difficult to interact with in Pioneer. Unlike the Modern format that has several land destruction answers to it, Pioneer doesn't have a lot of viable answers to this zombie-producing land. With "Hour of Promise" legal in Pioneer, it's easy for players to bring out multiple copies of "Field of the Dead" to ramp and quickly make an army of zombies in a few turns.
"Smuggler's Copter" is a must-have in most competitive aggro decks in Pioneer. Four copies of it, and it's causing the same problems when it was in Standard before. The two-drop 3/3 Flying Vehicle is easy-to-crew but difficult to interact with, and it can fit in pretty much any Aggro decks because it's colorless. Mono Black Aggro, Gruul Aggro, and Simic Aggro decks in recent Pioneer PTQs in Magic Online have been dominating thanks to this card, so I'm not going to be surprised if it gets banned soon.
Once Upon A Time
We've already seen how efficient "Once Upon A Time" could be in Standard, and it's easy to see why this card was banned along with "Oko, Thief of Crowns". In Pioneer, this Throne of Eldraine card is being used in most viable green aggro and midrange decks - Simic Ramp, Hour of Promise Ramp, Gruul Aggro among other archetypes. It would be silly for them not to ban "Once Upon A Time" in Pioneer soon.
Oko, Thief of Crowns
Just like how it did in the Standard format, "Oko, Thief of Crowns" invalidates many big creature and artifact strategies in Pioneer. While not as widely-used as "Once Upon A Time", Oko still proves to be promblematically powerful in Pioneer decks that use it like Simic Devotion and Simic Aggro decks.
Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
While some players consider "Nykthos, Shrine of Nyx" to be the Tron of Pioneer, it's still a powerful card that makes Devotion decks extremely efficient.
Dig Through Time
Both "Dig Through Time" and "Treasure Cruise" are highly-efficient draw spells that see significant metagame shares in Pioneer, and although Control decks are not as dominant as Hour of Promise Ramp, Mono Black Aggro, Gruul, and Simic Devotion, these cards are still too efficient in the right Control shell, but Wizards of the Coast will probably ban the other cards in this list first before they ban these cards.
So what cards do you think they should ban in Pioneer soon? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
Don't forget to join our Pioneer Facebook group here: