A Pioneer Deck to Play

After talking about Pioneer and seeing the three decks best positioned in the meta to compete in a major tournament, today we’ll analyze RB Midrange and its performance.

 

RB Midrange – DECKLIST

 

RB Midrange - Pioneer

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Planeswalker (3)
2
Chandra, Torch of Defiance
1
Sorin the Mirthless
Creature (15)
4
Bloodtithe Harvester
4
Bonecrusher Giant
4
Graveyard Trespasser
2
Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
1
Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger
Sorcery (10)
1
Cut/Ribbons
/
2
Dreadbore
2
Invoke Despair
1
Shatterskull Smashing/Shatterskull, the Hammer Pass
4
Thoughtseize
Instant (4)
4
Fatal Push
Enchantment (4)
4
Fable of the Mirror-Breaker
Land (24)
4
Blightstep Pathway/Searstep Pathway
4
Blood Crypt
1
Castle Locthwain
2
Den of the Bugbear
4
Haunted Ridge
2
Hive of the Eye Tyrant
2
Mountain
1
Sokenzan, Crucible of Defiance
2
Swamp
1
Takenuma, Abandoned Mire
1
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Cards 60
Sideboard (15)
3
Duress
2
Epic Downfall
3
Go Blank
2
Hidetsugu Consumes All
2
Lava Coil
2
Rending Volley
1
Unlicensed Hearse

 

The decklist is linear with many 4x and high-powered cards, and it’s built to have answers to almost every kind of thread in the format. The deck doesn’t present excessively unfavorable match-ups, granted Mono Green Ramp and Greasefang in all its versions are not good encounters. It’s also true that there aren’t very favorable match-ups, though Mono Red and Boros Heroic are better match-ups. It’s the typical deck that plays fairly well with everyone when it draws the right cards.

 

                                 

 

The removal package to play well against aggro decks is very important. In addition to the 4 Fatal Push and 4 Bonecrusher Giant that can never be missed, there’s a 1x of Cut//Ribbons that is a very good removal and a good closure at the right time, 2 Dreadbore that are useful in other match-ups to remove planeswalkers that are hard to handle, and 1 Shatterskull Smashing that can act as a 25th land. 

 

 

If Graveyard Trespasser is an established card of the format, versatile when needed to do damage and to control the board because it allows you to gain life, Kalitas is a purely anti-aggro card. It’s annoying to take away, recovers life, and allows you to gain board advantage when you kill an opponent’s creature. 

 

 

Bloodthite Harvest is a good 3/2 two mana that produces a blood token, acts as a removal, and puts pressure on your opponent. It’s a card you always want to play.

 

         

 

Chandra and Sorin are versatile planeswalkers. Both are good against almost any match-up, give you either card advantage, a removal (Chandra) or a 2/3 creature with lifelink and flying (Sorin), or an alternative closure with their ending.

 

Finally, we close with what is probably the strongest card in the deck and has had a very large impact in almost all formats since its release—Fable of the Mirror-Breaker.

 

This new card from Kamigawa does everything you need in this deck. When it comes into play with three mana, it gives you a 2/2 that produces a treasure when it attacks. The next turn focuses on card quality, which is key in this deck since there are match-ups where some cards will be useless and should be discarded. Finally, it turns into a 2/2 that with one mana puts a token into play that is the copy of a non-legendary creature with haste that has to be sacrificed at the end of the turn. An extra Bloodtithe Harvester will leave you a blood, a Trespasser that will activate its ability twice.

 

RB Midrange – SIDEBOARD

vs Greasefang

 

 

                      

 

                     

 

 

                   

 

                  

 

This match-up is not beautiful. You have little interaction with your opponent and few instant removals. Keeping blood with a fatal push is often the only thing you can do, but it will rarely be enough. Post-side you try to improve the situation a bit by putting hate against graveyards and two more removal for Greasefang.

 

vs Boros Heroic

 

 

 

 

                   

 

 

 

                   

 

 

 

This is a good match-up overall. You have numerous removal, and your opponent will run out of creatures sooner or later since they have no ways to restart. Post-side your opponent’s situation improves because they will probably play Adanto Vanguard and Showdown of the Skalds, which are strong against the deck. 

 

vs Mono Red 

 

 

 

                            

 

         

 

 

                   

 

                   

 

 

The match-up is similar to that against Boros Heroic. Unlike the latter, your opponent doesn’t gain cards on the sideboard like Adanto Vanguard and Showdown that improve the match-up. Put in six more removals and the game will be even easier.

 

vs Mono Green Ramp

 

 

 

                       

 

                       

 

 

                      

 

                       

 

 

The match-up is not too good, and post-side you can try to slow down your opponent’s game plan as much as possible by discarding their planeswalkers with Duress and trying to take away as many of their resources as possible with Go Blank. You should also try to put as much pressure as possible because your chances of winning decrease the longer the game goes on.

 

The deck turns out to be solid and fun to play. Each game is different from the previous one and your game plan won’t be the same in multiple games. 

 

If you are a fan of this kind of archetype, I recommend trying it out and playing as much as possible to improve your play choices.

 

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