In a world of lack luster announcements for Magic Arena, there’s a single beacon of hope for the game. With Historic being impacted by Alchemy cards, players are looking to Wizards of the Coast to bring a “true to paper” non-rotating format. Well, the wait is almost over, and you can get a taste of what’s to come right now!
What Was Written
“What Was Written” is this week’s Midweek Magic format, and boy is it exciting. We’ve talked about this in the past few weeks. This format is basically Pioneer but with cards that are legal on Arena. This means no Digital cards, no cards older than Return to Ravnica. It also incorporates the Pioneer banned list. What’s nice is that we can play nearly fully complete Pioneer decks, which we’ll drop a few lists at the end.
There are a few complaints that we have with the mode. First off, it’s not best of 3, it’s best of 1. This makes it not a real paper representation of what Pioneer would be like. I can understand this though, because the team probably wants to test out what Best of 1 would looking, as that will be an option when the format comes to the client.
The other is that this isn’t an All Access event. Since this even is using an expanded card pool, there’s a good chance that a lot of players won’t be able to partake in the event due to not having the cards needed. The last one is that it’s just too short. It’s only available for 2 days. Now WotC did say that the first version of this “bridge to Pioneer” format will be coming permanently to the game in the next couple months, so that’s very exciting.
If you’re interested in playing this event, there’s a plethora of decks that are possible in this format. Fireshoes posted a twitter thread with near or 100% legal deck lists for this format, that are pulled directly from the Pioneer format. These lists were aggregated from SCGCON, MTGO 5-0 League lists, and a few of his own. He also outlines the B&R list for the event as well.
From some of what Fireshoes posted, we pulled a few lists and have been testing them out in the event. The first one is Yorion Fires. The only card not on Arena is Chained to the Rocks. In our list, we replaced it with Circle of Confinement.
The second list is Mardu Greasefang. In this list, the only card that we don’t have is 1 copy of Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth. We just added an additional Blood Crypt to the deck to fill that in.
The last list didn’t have any cards in the main deck that weren’t on Arena. This is a Grixis Control deck.
The event is free to enter, so definitely give it a try if you love Pioneer. From our early testing and watching some other creators play the event, it looks very diverse and super fun!