Wizards of the Coast promised to do off-cycle ban and restricted updates for the new Magic: The Gathering format called Pioneer, and the first change was announced today with the banning of three cards: "Leyline of Abundance", "Felidar Guardian", and "Oath of Nissa".
As WotC previously said, their plan is to monitor the evolution of Pioneer's metagame closely and make necessary changes as needed, with possible updates every Monday for the time being. The publisher said that they will eventually align Pioneer updates with their normal banned and restricted announcements, so right now, whether or not they will make changes to the new format, they will make an announcement every Monday.
According to WotC, there are two decks that are dominating the Pioneer field: Four-Color Copy Cat and Green Devotion Ramp. These two decks have problematically high win rates and have earned the most 5-0 league finishes on Magic Online. Ian Duke pointed out that both decks feature play patterns that would reduce the diversity of the metagame over time, and based on the data, WotC doesn't believe that regular metagame pressure alone will be enough to keep these strategies in check.
With these three cards banned, the total of cards in the Pioneer banlist goes up to eight. When the format was first announced last month, Wizards already announced that they banned the five fetchlands: "Bloodstained Mire", "Flooded Strand", "Polluted Delta", "Windswept Heath", and "Wooded Foothills". With Pioneer still evolving in an open Wild West, it's likely that this format will keep a strong player base just like Modern, and it would be exciting to see MagicFest and Mythic Championship events that will utilize the new format next year.
Do you agree with their decision to ban these three cards in Pioneer? What other cards do yout think they should ban next?
The next Pioneer ban and restricted announcement will be made next Monday, November 11. Don't forget to join our Pioneer Facebook group below:
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