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.
@desolutionist I've toyed with DPS and Defense Grid is still an attractive option imo. Misstep just got "upgraded" into more versatile counters, so you're less likely to resolve a game endling bomb as opposed to just getting your rituals stepped. And the most common line of winning though a citadel is obliterated with FoV.
I'd hedge against both disruption angles and keep some numbers of Grids in the main and side. I'm not sure what number is correct though or if it's even really just replaceable with discard 5-7(?).
And Lavinia is not a good argument in PO's favor as it can't realistically win through an active Lavinia.
I haven't played against many PO decks since the restrictions, but I always felt DPS could keep up with PO easily.
For me it's more of a playstyle thing.
I think many people don't like storm decks and the archetype is therefore underrepresented across all formats. Those decks do very well in the right hands, therefore one could argue that there are less people playing traditional storm decks.
PO is probably an easier version of the storm archetype to pilot and also feels totally different to play to other storm decks, at least in my opinion as I despise playing PO but enjoy all kinds of storm decks.
I think DPS has a lot to offer for any given metagame that's not just outright hating it out. It's just the matter of putting work into that deck. And only a handful of players are doing it.
I will always love the old days of Gifts Ungiven for some Welder shenanigans, but I must say I have not started to brew with Welder yet.
There are two directions I planned to brew with. First the aforementioned Control Slaver and secondly a SCVesque list with all the draw7s (chainings Memory Jars is just love) and a bunch of Fastbonds (as I still firmly believe the future of Fastbond lies in a turn 1 kill deck).
A little sidenote on Fastbond. A friend of mine and I jammed some games with it and it just seems stupid. Of course those were just a couple of games of combo mirrors, but Fastbond just seems plain stupid in a High Tide shell. I side on the "Misstep should've stayed unrestricted."
We had a Death's Shadow deck running around in our local meta and it had a pretty good run back then. The Missteps are really good along the shadow. It was basically a powered legacy shadows deck. I don't know if he's still playing that deck, since i haven't been playing much lately.