MTG Standard is a fantastic format to play, but one of the drawbacks is that your cards will eventually rotate. Once your cards rotate, you’re only able to play them in eternal formats, such as Modern or Commander. These formats span vast eras of Magic: The Gathering and may be daunting for newer players to get in to. In an attempt to remedy this, a new format is being introduced: Pioneer.
In the Pioneer format, players will have access to all sets from Return to Ravnica forward. However, there will be a banned list of exactly 5 cards, those being the Khans of Tarkir fetch lands (Flooded Strand, Polluted Delta, Bloodstained Mire, Wooded Foothills, and Windswept Heath). These cards will not be in the format due to their ability to make multicolor decks too easy to build. Also, they are not cheap by any means, so this will cut costs for deck builders.
The format will only be available on Magic Online and in paper. Players can start testing on Magic Online as soon as Oct 23. Pioneer will be featured on the application at the same level as Standard and Modern. As for high-level play in paper, that will begin in 2020 during the Players Tour Series.
The introduction of this format does raise a few questions, though. As Magic continues to progress farther from its origins, will yet another “Modern” style format be introduced to include not all sets while still giving players a gateway for their older cards to be used? Is Pioneer intended to replace Modern, or just supplement the deficit? Unfortunately, without directly asking Wizards of the Coast, any answers would be mostly speculative for now.
What do you think of the Pioneer format? Are you planning on trying it out? Or will you stick to other formats, such as Modern? Let us know down in the comments below!
I’m a veterinary student based out of Illinois. I enjoy (and sometimes stream) Shadowverse and MTG in my spare time. Follow me on twitch at https://www.twitch.tv/elpieps