Old Man Rant - I Hate Pioneer

Am I the only one that hates Pioneer? I’ve seen a ton of positive buzz about it but I’m not sure why. I tried it out a bit and looked as some of the decks… I was less than impressed.

Part of it is that I’m tired on the continued watering down of eternal formats. Like many of you, I’ve played through this with 1.5 to extended to legacy to modern. I didn’t quite feel the same when modern came out as I could see the point of an eternal format without the no-reprint list.

I assume this is just to make an easier port into Arena than it would to port over Modern.

I believe that much of the excitement is in having new uncertain meta to brew into. I normally love this but to me, the deck are bland.

I also wonder how many formats there really needs to be. I think I’ve hit my personal limit at Modern. I live in the Midwest so playing Vintage outside of MTGO isn’t a possibility. I have to live with whatever the LGS hosts. We used to have a fair amount of Legacy. That was killed by Modern. I can live with Modern but I fear than this dumb format will become the new normal for local eternal formats.

Maybe I’m just getting old

last edited by Trius

I feel you. I tried to play the format. I thought there was this cool storm deck. I thought there were cool cards waiting to be broken (looking at you dtt).
But somehow the format does not live up to my expectations. Modern is barely playable for me, but I do enjoy it from time to time.
And every two to three years there's even a standard deck I enjoy until it rotates (aetherflux storm ftw!), but Pioneer will never have this.
It lacks fun cards, good synergies and the way it's set up means that strategies I enjoy will be to weak to pop up, given how these strategies are barely standard playable when they're available.
I feel you.

I've seen a lot of Pioneer videos. I was trying to get the feeling of the format. And I think I got it. Unfortunately it's not a good feeling. Didn't see any fun and excitement in none of the videos.

I think the problem is that it's still too close to standard. And standard is boring as hell.

And also, even though it's a brand new format, it doesn't seem new. Actually it's not brand new. Modern was new. Modern 2.0 is a format that is born kinda old.

I stopped playing Standard during Time Spiral block and I have not wanted to ever play Standard again. I went big into Modern during Eldrazi winter in 2016 but found the format dumb. So, I went hard into Old School and I have had a blast with the format.

The problem is not the format, it playing paper magic. I love playing paper magic. I can usually find games of Old School with friends, Modern on Friday nights and some Pauper events (for some reason it is HUGE at my LSG).

I would always rather play Vintage or even Legacy but finding places to play paper that do not require at least a 2hr drive is very hard in Metro Detroit right now.

Pioneer does offer brew space but the format will quickly get solved and turn into something stupid. The biggest issue with Pioneer and Standard and to some extent Modern is the lack of stack manipulation and speed. Modern players get mad when the format speeds up and the other formats do not have any speed or real manipulation of the stack. There are not even any good combat tricks.

Casual formats look more fun to me lately but it is just so hard to play paper magic now that I might end up playing this stupid format.

last edited by moorebrother1

I really enjoy Pioneer. as someone who enjoys the competitiveness of Magic, Pioneer is great. There's a lot of interactions, and unlike eternal formats, and even Modern, you can't just "get vintage'd". EVERY game I've played (outside the games where Sam Black demolished me, but 3 of the green cards in his deck are now banned), I feel every game I could have made different decisions which could impact the outcome of the game, which isn't a feeling I get often in Vintage; I'd say 50%. The games where you get "lol Ancestral, then force your first spell, then tinker" really don't feel good.

I have never played Pioneer and likely never will, so I can't say whether it's fun or not. But I had a rule of thumb long ago that I only play formats with Dark Ritual in them. Those formats are just more fun to me.

@trius said in Old Man Rant - I Hate Pioneer:

Am I the only one that hates Pioneer? I’ve seen a ton of positive buzz about it but I’m not sure why. I tried it out a bit and looked as some of the decks… I was less than impressed.

I actually am enjoying the new space for deckbuilding. I built a fun deck that I've been honing over the past two weeks. The unrestricted access to things like treasure cruise and the absence of phyrexian mana and pitch counters and all is nice.

I do see the limitation that it is dominated by uberfast aggro (soulscar, swiftspear, etc.dec) or hard control (grixis push, verdict, teferi, counters). Looks like not much else has room to win in a 6+ round scenario.

I prefer Modern and Vintage, but I've been enjoying the wild west build space of Pioneer so far. If Modern gets displaced by Pioneer at the LGS though, I'll be pissed.

I didn't like the idea of Pioneer as as format,at first.
I do, however, like the space for brewing and innovation in Pioneer.

a few more sets down the road might help the format establish a more clear identity. It's just too soon for me right now to dismiss it entirely.

  • 8
  • 2413