Hey, guys o/ Ari here - this is my first article about Magic's newest format: Pioneer. Today I will talk about Mono Black decks that could be an option for those who want to try this format for the first time. I must confess that the announcement of the Pioneer format took me by surprise, I wasn't expecting to see any new tabletop format other than maybe an adaptation of Historic - another newly-added format that's exclusive to MTG Arena. By contrast, Pioneer will not be available in Arena. This is very relevant for those who play Magic Online (which is *not* the same as MTG Arena). Although the company had previously stated that it would continue to invest in Magic Online (MOL), I was still not convinced that they could keep both digital platforms running. My guess is that most Standard players will be interested in Pionner, and that will keep the gears turning. We're in a great moment for speculations, there's just so much questions unanswered. What is the future for Modern? Which format will see changes in their Grands Prix? Will Historic be just a for fun format? And is Standard moving towards a 100% digital future? I don't know what you think of it all, but the fact is that things are happening really fast. Pioneer is now available on both tabletop and MOL - it even has several GPs on the 2020 calendar. Among all these questions, one that's already answered is whether the format will succeed. In my opinion, this mode is already part of our reality, it is not being "forced" by Wizards as some say, on the contrary, there is indeed a demand for Pioneer and the format presented looks good. Sure, I wasn't active at the time Modern was created, so I can't really compare both, but I remember Frontier very well and I can safely say that we're in a completely different situation. *Pioneer is happening!* So what now? Let's cut to the chase and start venturing into the jungle that is the metagame of a newly created format. Starting with one of the best, the most highlighted Mono Black to date is Vampires. Player "CLYDE THE GLIDE DREXLERO" managed to get at least two good results at MOL during this first week of the format. With the deck below, he went 5-0 in a Constructed League and an excellent 7-1 in the October 27 Challenge. [deck](17817) For Standard players, you can use some cards from the newly-rotated Orzhov Vampires. However, we are not using the white color in our deck (you don't say?). [card](Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx) and [card](Gray Merchant of Asphodel) justify this option since Pioneer has great vampires that benefit from your devotion to black, there's no need for a splash strategy. (Unless you choose to build an Orzhov Aristocrats, a totally different strategy :p). [image](https://cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/aer-aether-revolt-gifted-aetherborn-61.jpg) [image](https://cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/ogw-oath-of-the-gatewatch-kalitas-traitor-of-ghet-86.jpg) Mono-colored decks are often well-suited for players who want to start in some of the formats, because of the low investment required to buy land cards. But, despite not using dual lands, Mono Black Vampires does not have a very cheap mana base. Besides [card](Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx) that accelerates our strategy, we have [card](Mutavault) to be aggressive, [card](Castle Locthwain) to guarantee us some draws in the midgame and [card](Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth) to maintain the corrected mana base and ensure that we always have black mana despite the use of these other lands. [card](Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord) and [card](Champion of Dusk) still work very well together and although the deck is a bit slower than its Standard counterpart, it is still possible to have a really aggressive third turn. [card](Gray Merchant of Asphodel) is a great finisher, and to complete the list we have [card](Thoughtseize) and [card](Fatal Push) that are already staples of this new format. [image](https://cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/ths-theros-nykthos-shrine-to-nyx-223.jpg) To wrap up my considerations, I think it's worth mentioning that some content creators are guessing that [card](Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx) will be banned. A safe approach would be to look for options like card rental for Magic Online or some kind of insurance for banned cards IRL. I don't think it's that drastic of a situation, but I'll leave it up to you ;p. Vampires aren't the only Mono Black option in Pioneer, though. It looks like [card](Gray Merchant of Asphodel) is inspiring some players. Another Devotion-oriented list (that's not using [card](Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx), look at that!) also went 5-0 in a Construct League at MOL. The deck features [card](Underworld Connections), a main deck enchantment that helps with our black devotion and the management of our hands, so we can create more copies of [card](Pack Rat). It is also worth highlighting these two cards from Throne of Eldraine - [card](Murderous Rider) and [card](Rankle, Master of Pranks). We've been seeing both being played lately. [deck](17815) Another black-oriented type that is gaining exposure in Pioneer are the zombies. The undead have two lords that make any zombie token a problem to deal with. This list below also went 5-0. Despite using 4 copies of [card](Smuggler's Copter), I'm surprised by the absence of [card](Diregraf Colossus), which in my opinion is one of the strongest zombies in this format. [deck](17554) At last, we have a list that, although not really *Mono* Black, has Eldrazi, which are very dark creatures and so could not be left out! Honorable mentions to [card](Liliana, the Last Hope) and [card](Collective Brutality) which are staples of Modern and had not yet been cited. [deck](17816) So, what are your thoughts on the options offered so far? Is the dark side an interesting option after all? What would you choose at this format's beginnings? Thanks so much for reading and until next time o/
Hey, guys! I'm Ariel and this is *All Against Arena.* This series is all about the presentation, creation and/or adaptation of unusual or unexplored decks that, nevertheless, works great and provides what all games should provides us with: *fun!* Today, I am going to show you the deck I played last Monday, in our (portuguese-speaking) live stream, over at [link](https://www.twitch.tv/cardsrealm)(Cards Realm Twitch channel): *Fires of Grixis!* I must confess: This deck, if not the strongest, is currently one of the strongest in Arena. The synergy with the card that names it is amazing! Speaking of which, we have the enchantment of the new edition (*Throne of Eldraine*) [card](Fires of Invention), which is the main synergy between all cards. When this enchantment reaches the battlefield, it opens up a range of possibilities! So we have: 4 [card](Drawn from Dreams) and 4 [card](Narset, Parter of Veils) so we can make the best choices against our opponent, "hunting" whatever suits us best. In addition, we have 7 more planeswalkers to define the game: 3 [card](Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God), 2 [card](Chandra, Awakened Inferno) and 2 [card](Liliana, Dreadhorde General). This deck proved to be very strong against several decks from the current meta, I didn't see any major disadvantages in it. Maybe I could swap 3 [card](Rankle, Master of Pranks) with 3 [card](Murderous Rider) for better synergy and better answers against planeswalkers. I will test this substitution in the future. Check out the list: [deck](17011) But a video is worth a thousand words, so take a look at my test run - though it's in portuguese, it's worth a watch! [youtube](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfeMUAyusbk) Although we lost the first (and only) match, this deck is still great, very strong and with good answers in ranked matches. It's the deck I'm using to rank up and it has worked very well so far! I recommend this deck even more so now that [card](Field of the Dead) has been banned. Want to see more decks like this? I'm live every Monday and Thursday at 10pm at our [link](https://www.twitch.tv/cardsrealm)(portuguese-speaking Twitch channel!)
Hello, players! Welcome to our *Magic on Budget* series, where we take strong decks in the metagame and make them more accessible, but still good! *Jean-Emmanuel Depraz* placed second in *Mythic Championship V* using the *Bant Golos* deck - the only one of this archetype to reach the Top, despite everyone imagining that it would dominate the format. [deck](17731) However, even if you agree or disagree with the measure, [card](Field of the Dead) was banned. So the main strategy of this deck was ended. But you can still use the foundation of Bant Golos to make another deck focused on ramp - which I'll explain better in a bit. [deck](17732) The idea behind this deck is to fill the battlefield with lands as quickly as possible so we can play our most powerful spells while also increasing the power of some as the number of Gates we control go up. To start the list, let's talk about ramp, that is, looking for lands to help you accelerate (or accel) your mana gain: [card](Golos, Tireless Pilgrim) is a 3/5 legendary artifact creature with 5 generic mana cost that, when enters the field, allows us to search our library for a land (it doesn't have to be a basic land) and put it onto the battlefield tapped. With that, we can search for any land that supply the colors we still need. In addition, at the cost of 1 white, 1 blue, 1 black, 1 red, 1 green and 2 generic mana we exile the top three cards of our library and may play them this turn without paying their mana costs. This allows us to play with both the cards from our hand and the top of our library at the same time, greatly accelerating the strategy. For budget reasons, we will use only 3 of this card instead of 4. [card](Arboreal Grazer) is a 0/3 creature with reach that costs only 1 green mana which, when enters the battlefield, allows us to put a land from our hand onto the field tapped, which accelerates the first turns on top of being a defensive creature that helps with the more aggressive decks at the beginning of the game. Unlike [card](Golos, Tireless Pilgrim), in our budget deck we use 4 copies of [card](Arboreal Grazer) instead of 3. We'll keep the 4 copies of [card](Growth Spiral), an instant that makes us draw a card and then allows us to place a land from our hand onto the field. We'll also keep the 4 copies of [card](Circuitous Route), which is a sorcery that allows us to search for up to two basic lands and/or Gate cards to put onto the battlefield tapped. And we will swap the 2 [card](Once Upon a Time) for 2 [card](Bond of Flourishing). Even though it is a sorcery (not an instant) that only allows us to look at the top 3 cards of our library instead of 5, we may still reveal a permanent card among them and put into our hand, while the rest goes to the bottom of our library in any order. On top of that, we gain 3 life. Despite not accelerating as much, it still helps us finding cards we need. Besides looking for lands, we also have cards that benefit from said lands (mostly from Gates) - be it by our large mana pool or by benefitting from them as they enter the field. We increased the copies of [card](Gatebreaker Ram) from 2 to 3. This 2/2 creature gets a +1/+1 counter for each Gate we control and as long as we control two or more Gates it also gains trample and vigilance, making it one of our main attackers. As we do not use [card](Hydroid Krasis) to gain life, we increased the amount of [card](Archway Angel) from 1 to 3. This angel is a 3/4 creature with flying that when enters the battlefield, gives us 2 life for each Gate we control. This can be a lot of life for us. We also increased the amount of [card](Gate Colossus) from 2 to 3, as it is an 8/8 creature that costs one less generic mana for each Gate we control. Also, it cannot be blocked by creatures with power of 2 or less (Army decks have a difficult time against it). And whenever a Gate enters the battlefield under our control, we may put [card](Gate Colossus) from our graveyard at the top of our library, which makes it a difficult creature to deal with. And since we no longer have [card](Hydroid Krasis) or [card](Teferi, Time Raveler) to help us draw more cards, we use 4 of [card](Guild Summit), an enchantment that when enters the battlefield allows us to tap any number of untapped Gates we control, and we will draw a card for each Gate tapped this way. Also, whenever a Gate enters the field under our control, we draw a card. This deck also has some removals to deal with the opponent as we fill our battlefield with lands: We'll keep the 2 copies of [card](Time Wipe), a sorcery that will first return a creature we control to its owner's hand (which can save an attacker of ours) and then destroy all creatures. Furthermore, we'll keep only 1 [card](Realm-Cloaked Giant // Cast Off) that can be used as an adventure sorcery that will destroy all non-Giant creatures. Or it can be played (it can also be cast later from exile after playing the adventure) as a 7/7 creature with vigilance. Closing out our deck's foundation we have: 2 copies of [card](Agent of Treachery) a 2/3 creature that when enters the battlefield makes us gain control of a target permanent (messing up with your opponent's strategy and delaying it). Also, at the beginning of our end step, if we control 3 or more permanents we don't own, we will draw 3 cards. And regarding mana curve, which is very important in this deck, we have: 6 basic lands - 3 [card](Forest), 2 [card](Island) and 1 [card](Plains). We'll remove the 6 Shock Lands - 2 [card](Breeding Pool), 2 [card](Hallowed Fountain) and 2 [card](Temple Garden). Insted, we will increase the Gates from 7 to 13 - 2 [card](Azorius Guildgate), 4 [card](Selesnya Guildgate), 4 [card](Simic Guildgate) for Bant colors, plus 1 [card](Golgari Guildgate) for black, 1 [card](Boros Guildgate) and 1 [card](Izzet Guildgate) for red. We'll keep 1 [card](Plaza of Harmony) - which, upon entering the field, grants us 3 life if we control two or more Gates, and it can also be tapped to generate colorless mana or a mana of any type that a Gate we control produces. We will also swap 2 [card](Fabled Passage) for 2 [card](Evolving Wilds) to fetch our basic lands. And we close this list by keeping 2 [card](Temple of Mystery), that makes us scry 1 when entering the field, and 1 [card](Castle Vantress) that makes us scry 2 when tapped, at the cost of 2 blue and 2 generic mana. The main idea behind the deck is to ramp and if the battlefield starts to get dangerous, we use our removals. Against more aggressive (or aggro) decks (such as MonoRed, Gruul Aggro, Knights, among others) we can play some creatures to defend ourselves until we have the advantage to attack (before wiping the board). When battling control decks, we want to play a [card](Gatebreaker Ram) as soon as possible so we can attack the opponent from the get-go with increasing power, and we should play [card](Gate Colossus) as much as we can, as it will always come back no matter if it is annulled or destroyed. With all these changes we end up with the following deck: [deck](17733) I hope you enjoyed this deck and see you soon!
Hello, fellow players! Are you all right? I'm Fogaça and I'm here yet again to talk about Commander. As you all know, EDH was created for the purpose of being a casual Magic: the Gathering format, even if we treat it competitively. After talking a lot about how to optimize strategies and details to consider when building up a list, I decided to show you the other side of the same coin, after all, if the creators' goal was to enable players to build the way they want, why can't we seek this idea in a competitively manner? Therefore, today I bring you a nuance of this thought (in a somewhat unconventional way); Following the idea of another player, this week's build will be a Queen Marchesa Superfriends. [image](https://cardsrealm.com/images/cartas/en/pz2-treasure-chest-queen-marchesa-50.jpg) *INITIAL CONCEPTIONS* Specifically today, our goal is to be bold. I know that cEDH players will probably dislike two things about this idea - changing the archetype of an established commander (even if it's a low tier one) and building while focusing on Planeswalkers - the point here is to show how we can create effective combinations (albeit with some flaws) even if we stay away from the metagame. Pillowfort's namesake is a throwback to the forts every child made with their pillows and blankets, which in-game represents a battlefield with many permanents and effects that together form a concise scheme. In Marchesa's case, our plan is to take advantage of the colors available to fetch Planeswalkers and use them to add value to our game. *DECK BUILDING* Each Planeswalker chosen from the list has a specific function, but I won't detail every single one; I want to mention [card](Gideon of the Trials) (along with other Gideons in the deck) because of his indestructible effect and [card](Sarkhan the Masterless) because he helps us with a win condition. Now, you might be thinking: "how do we protect our PWs?". Or even: "how are we going to condition our victory with something so inconsistent?". To answer that, we reach for *randomness:* we'll use [card](Possibility Storm)'s effect to make the game as chaotic as possible, and then combine it with any other effect, such as [card](Rule of Law), to promote a lockdown on the table - at this point, our Superfriends will serve more as a tempo strategy, though effective in ending a game that has been conditioned to last. Several removals (both mass and spot ones) are added to tutors - giving our deck a toolbox feel. [deck](12756) *CONCLUSION* As we can see, we shouldn't necessarily be closed-minded towards uncommon ideas, the spirit of the Commander committee (RC) still lives on among EDH, the choice will always be yours as to which stance you take towards victory. That's all for today. Thanks to everyone who has been following this series of articles and I ask you to always leave your feedback so I can keep improving. Until the next time!
Jogador de Magic desde Tarkir, sou apaixonado por interações e sinergias que quebram a curva do jogo. Para mim, o cEDH é o teste máximo para o jogador de Magic, tanto para deck build, quanto para gameplay. Para me acompanhar no YouTube, acessem meu canal.