15, Oct, 21

Best Upgrades for All Pioneer Challenger Decks

Article at a Glance

If you’re a Pioneer player, or thinking about getting into the format, then you’ll be happy to hear that Wizards of the Coast is releasing Challenger Decks for Pioneer! We talked about them here, and looked at each of the 4 decklists, but now it’s time to talk about upgrades! Each of the decks are not at full power, so here’s the best upgrades for each Pioneer challenger Deck.

UW Spirits

Here’s the list for the UW Spirits deck. This list has some protection inclusions in Spell Pierce, Brazen Borrower, and Lofty Denial. These inclusions are honestly fine. If you want to stick with these card choices, the best upgrades here in the mana base.

Hallowed Fountain and Hengegate Pathway. For sideboard changes, I’d recommend picking up a few Rest in Peace, removing the Remorseful Cleric, and add a couple more Selfless Spirit.

Lotus Field Combo

The Lotus Field Combo deck list is actually pretty darn spot on. Once again, the biggest upgrades are going to be in the mana base. A lot of the other decision points are really what you want to pull from your sideboard to win. Truthfully, the cards in the challenger deck are common choices among top contending lists, so I wouldn’t change much here.

I’d mostly look to pick up Botanical Sanctum and Barkchannel Pathway in place of some of the basic lands.

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Mono Red Burn

This version of the Mono Red Burn list is honestly just fine. To upgrade to this deck would require adding white, and some other very important pieces in addition to lands.

One of the best burn spells ever created is Boros Charm. The difference between 3 and 4 damage might not seem like a lot, but it really helps. Eidolon of the Great Revel punishes our opponents for playing cheaper spells, and while we’ll take damage for ours, our damage is usually going up stairs, so we can out race the damage. We’re going to be cutting the Bonecrusher Giants to be able to play Lurrus of the Dream-Den. Lurrus gives us a little bit more reach into the late game if the game goes a little longer than we want. Obviously with the addition of these cards we need to add some Red and White dual lands in Sacred Foundry and Inspiring Vantage.

For the sideboard, we get access to cards like Rip Apart, Wear // Tear, or Chained to the Rocks. All of these are very worthwhile inclusions.

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BW Auras

This decklist is pretty close to optimal. The biggest thing yet again is updating the lands to include more duals.

Land upgrades are Godless Shrine and Brightclimb Pathway, and to round out the sideboard, you’ll want to swap the Duress with more Thoughtseize.

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These decks all come out on October 15th, so if you’re looking to pick up some of these decks, you have plenty of time to stock up on these upgrades and get ready for Store Championships!

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