When Wizards of the Coast announced Pioneer, the new nonrotating Magic: The Gathering format featuring cards from Return to Ravnica and forward, they also revealed the short ban list: the five fetch lands: "Bloodstained Mire", "Flooded Strand", "Polluted Delta", "Windswept Heath", and "Wooded Foothills". Now, players are testing Pioneer on Magic Online like an open Wild West with powerful cards banned in Standard before like "Deathrite Shaman", "Emrakul, the Promised End", "Aetherworks Marvel", and "Felidar Guardian". However, WoTC is willing to ban more cards in Pioneer before the end of the year if they see some strategies that are ruining the fun out of the new format.
During a recent Weekly MTG webcast, Senior Designers Aaron Forsythe and Max McCall talked about the new Pioneer format, and explained why they only banned the fetchlands. McCall recalled how banning cards when they first started Modern didn't really help the format much back then. McCall said that they're starting the format on Magic Online to let everyone figure out what cards should be banned in Pioneer, collectively. He says that in the next couple of months, while Pioneer is exclusively on Magic Online, their intention is to be willing to ban cards that they see are "starting to work the format", so by the end of the year, when they start doing Pioneer tournaments on paper, they would feel more confident about the new format. He went on to say that they are deliberately willing to ban cards within just weeks during the format's early period.
Forsythe went on to explain that even if the MTG designers spend a lot of time arguing, researching, and playing a bunch of games, they are not going to "come close to the thousands and millions of hours of games and decks that are actually going to determine what's too powerful in this format", so they decided to let players do the exploratory work so they can determine which cards are worth banning.
You can watch the full interview in the Twitch below:
Watch Weekly MTG: Pioneer from Magic on www.twitch.tv
Other than the potential bannings for Pioneer, Forsythe and McCall also explained why they added the new format, and what it means for Modern and other MTG formats. They also confirmed that the "Mystery Booster" is not Pioneer Masters.
What cards do you think they should ban in Pioneer? Let us know in the comments section below, and feel free to discuss in our Pioneer Facebook group.
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