A Look at Competitive Pioneer Decks


Hello everyone!  Welcome to standard weekly!

This week I am taking a break from discussing standard to look at Pioneer decks.  When Caffeinated Gamers holds its Store Championship Event, March 4th at 4 PM, the format will be Pioneer.  To help everyone better prepare for the event, I will look at some of the most popular decks in Pioneer over the next couple of weeks.  If you would like to investigate on your own, you should look at the decklists from Pro Tour Phyrexia.

Pro Tour Phyrexia finished yesterday with Reid Duke taking home the crown with Izzet Creativity deck.  This combo deck has tremendous power when it finds Indomitable Creativity and has the artifacts and creatures to sacrifice to get the best cards from your library.

IZZET CREATIVITY, by Reid Duke, 1st Place Pro Tour Phyrexia


  • 1 Xenagos, God of Revels

  • 1 Worldspine Wurm


  • 1 Valakut Awakening

  • 1 Spell Pierce

  • 4 Fire Prophecy

  • 3 Make Disappear

  • 4 Fiery Impulse

  • 4 Big Score

  • 1 Dig Through Time

  • 4 Impulse

  • 1 Secrets of the Key

  • 2 Spikefield Hazard


  • 4 Indomitable Creativity


  • 1 Shark Typhoon

  • 4 Fable of the Mirror-Breaker

LANDS: (27)

  • 3 Spirebluff Canal

  • 3 Stormcarved Coast

  • 1 Hall of Storm Giants

  • 4 Riverglide Pathway

  • 2 Shivan Reef

  • 2 Sokenzan, Crucible of Defiance

  • 2 Mutavault

  • 4 Steam Vents

  • 2 Mountain

  • 1 Otawara, Soaring City


  • 1 Disdainful Stroke

  • 2 Hullbreaker Horror

  • 3 Shark Typhoon

  • 2 Narset’s Reversal

  • 3 Rending Volley

  • 1 Aether Gust

  • 2 Negate

  • 1 Mystical Dispute

If you would like to see the deck in action, the official Magic the Gathering YouTube channel will have the footage from the event up early this week with good commentary about how the deck functions and operates.

What I want to focus our discussion on is the overall Metagame for Pro Tour Phyrexia.


As you see in this breakdown, Rakdos Midrange made up 15.1% of the field for the event followed by Mono-Green Devotion at 13.8%, Gruul Vehicles at 9.6%, Lotus Field Combo at 7.8%, Mono-White Humans at 6.9%, and Azorious Control and Izzet Creativity at 6.4.  What this says about Pioneer as a format is significant.  There is not one dominant deck in the format, so players can choose a deck that suits their own play style and have a reasonable chance to win.

For today’s deck tech, I will look at the top deck in the event: Rakdos Midrange.  The below link will take you to my deck tech on Rakdos Midrange and the game footage will show you how the deck functions.  The version in the Deck Tech is by Javier Dominguez from Pro Tour Phyrexia.  This version had the second most points of all the Rakdos Midrange decks in the event.

RAKDOS MIDRANGE, by Javier Dominguez for Pro Tour Phyrexia


  • 3 Sheoldred, the Apocalypse

  • 2 Graveyard Trespasser

  • 2 Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger

  • 4 Bloodtithe Harvester

  • 4 Bonecrusher Giant

  • 1 Misery’s Shadow


  • 2 Power Word Kill

  • 4 Fatal Push


  • 2 Dreadbore

  • 1 Duress

  • 4 Thoughtseize


  • 4 Fable of the Mirror-Breaker


  • 1 Unlicensed Hearse

  • 1 Reckoner Bankbuster

LANDS: (25)

  • 4 Blightstep Pathway

  • 4 Blood Crypt

  • 1 Den of the Bugbear

  • 4 Haunted Ridge

  • 2 Hive of the Eye Tyrant

  • 1 Takenuma, Abandoned Mire

  • 2 Castle Locthwain

  • 1 Sulfurous Springs

  • 1 Sokenzan, Crucible of Defiance

  • 3 Swamp

  • 2 Mountain


  • 3 Extinction Event

  • 3 Go Blank

  • 1 Duress

  • 1 Abrade

  • 1 Skysovereign, Consul Flagship

  • 2 Reckoner Bankbuster

  • 1 Damping Sphere

  • 2 Pithing Needle

  • 1 Rending Volley

There are minor differences between the two versions of the deck, but the core cards are the same.  The creature package offers good value plays with sorceries that attack your opponent’s hand.  Fable of the Mirror-Breaker allows you to filter through your deck to get to the right answer for the threats your opponent presents.  Overall, it is a fun deck to play that has several ways to win matches.

By: Scott Trepanier

Scott began playing Magic the Gathering in 1994.  His preferred format is standard.  Typically, you will see him playing aggro decks focused on quickly defeating his opponent but will pivot to midrange or control when standard is unfavorable for aggro decks.  He began creating Magic content in 2019.