Magic: The Gathering Introduces New Pioneer Format and It's Coming To MagicFests Next Year

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Wizards of the Coast has introduced a new nonrotating Magic: The Gathering format called Pioneer, and it's coming to tabletop and Magic Online events soon. Pioneer features cards from Return to Ravnica and forward.

DailyMTG Content Manager Blake Rasmussen explained that Wizards of the Coast created the new Pioneer format to bridge a gap between Standard and Modern since Modern's card pool is so large that it no longer serves the needed role of "format where you can use your Standard cards after rotation." The oldest Modern set was released in 2003 but Pioneer's oldest set is Return to Ravnica, which was released in 2012.

Credit: Wizards of the Coast

The initial banned list for Pioneer will include only five cards —the fetch lands: "Bloodstained Mire", "Flooded Strand", "Polluted Delta", "Windswept Heath", and "Wooded Foothills".

Pioneer will be available to build and test on Magic Online starting October 23, and on tabletop, the format will be available for high-level play soon. The new format will be one of the formats at the first Players Tour Series of 2020 happening on February 1-2 and February 8-9. The Players Tour Finals the weekend of April 25, 2020 will also use Pioneer. On March 21, some tabletop qualifying events for Players Tours will start utilizing Pioneer.

Additionally, the MagicFest 2020 schedule reveals that four Grand Prix events in the first quarter of 2020 will utilize the Pioneer format.


There are still no plans to add the new Pioneer format to Magic Arena but I wish they would just eventually merge the nonrotating Historic format on Arena with it instead of having an additional nonrotating format that players will have to keep up with.

Are you excited to play the new Pioneer format?

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