One of the most underrated but beloved formats in Magic: the Gathering is Pioneer. Additionally, one of the most generally well received products that Wizards of the Coast releases each year are the challenger decks.
Traditionally, these are Standard decks, but they often will release a supplemental format as well, Pioneer included. Well today, a image for the challenger deck cycle for Pioneer was leaked over on Reddit.
A New Challenger Approaches
There are typically 4 challenger decks in each release, and this cycle is no different. Here is the image of the leaked decks, and we’ll briefly talk about each deck.
The 4 decks that we have here are Azorius Artifacts, 4 Color Combo, Naya Winota, and Rakdos Sacrifice. Each of these are contenders in the Pioneer format, which is very cool to see and definitely on par with the rest of the deck releases in the past. We don’t have the full deck lists yet, but we can generally talk about the decks in the metagame.
The Azorius Artifacts deck is all about going fast. It’s an aggro deck that aims to abuse cheap artifacts and various buff effects to make them bigger. We also utilize Lurrus of the Dream-Den to great effect as well since pretty much all of our permanents are sub 2 mana.
4 Color Combo
Next up, we have 4 color combo, or Jeskai Ascendancy Combo. This deck involves getting in play a Jeskai Ascendancy, turning our lands into creatures with Sylvan Awakening and casting a bunch of cantrips and cheap spells to buff them up to attack out for the win.
Third up is Naya Winota. This deck’s namesake card is Wintoa, Joiner of Forces, which is used to cheat out some pretty beefy creatures. There’s a bunch of small dorks like Elvish Mystic and utility creatures like Prosperous Innkeeper to help trigger winota, and then we aim to hit some bigger threats such as Tovolar’s Huntmaster and Avabruck Caretaker.
Lastly, we have Rakdos Sacrifice. If you’ve played Standard or Historic in any shape or form, in the last couple years, you’ll know this deck well. It wants to sacrifice it’s creatures for value and damage. This is most likely going to be a good base to build upon, as Jund Sacrifice is the more optimal list right now.
These are very cool decks, and once the official lists get published, we’ll be covering upgrades for those decks that you can pick up, so be sure to stay tuned for those.