Weekly Pioneer Tournament Write-Up and Commentary (now with meta!)

Today, we’ve got a write-up for the most recent weekly Thursday night tournament that took place on February 13th, 2020.

Meta & Tournament Results

There were thirteen players and the meta was the following:

Angry Red Wizards (Red Aggro) – 1 Deck
Atarka Calvacade (Goblins) – 1 Deck
Goats (Gruul Aggro) – 1 Deck
Red Aggro – 1 Deck
U/R Wizards Aggro – 1 Deck
Sultai Delirium – 1 Deck
Lotus Breach – 1 Deck
Mono Black Aggro – 2 Decks
Orzhov Midrange – 1 Deck
Niv to Light – 1 Deck
Dimir Inverter – 1 Deck
Fires Superfriends – 1 Deck

There were two decks that went 3-0:

Sultai Delirium by Vivi
Road to 3-0

Round 1—Goats (Gruul Aggro)
Round 2—Niv to Light
Round 3—Mono-Black Aggro

Deck Introduction

I thought about giving you my best introduction to the deck, but there’s actually an article out there that does a great job of letting you know what it’s all about, why it has certain cards, etc. I’d be doing any reader a disservice not to point you to it (after all, it’s written by the player who came up with the deck and won the PT Brussels event). You can find it here.

I did get to chat with Vivi about it a little in the “interview” style format I’ve been using lately (and again, note that I paraphrase their responses):

Vivi’s Interview Comments

Do you have any insights to share about the matchups tonight?
They were all really good games… and I didn’t feel like any matchup was lopsided (although I understand that the Mono-Black Aggro matchup is supposed to be pretty good for Sultai)

Why did you choose to build the deck you played with tonight?
Although it’s a different strategy than what I normally like to play, when I first saw the earlier and similar Ramp Delirium version of the deck I really liked it. I had been considering building Delirium, and when I saw that the deck won PT Brussels, that pushed me over the edge and I decided to build it for myself—and to take it to GP Phoenix.

Are there any card choices you’d like to highlight?
Scavenging Ooze did well tonight—both gaining life vs aggro and for exiling (which is particularly useful vs Mono Black Aggro). In the sideboard, I really liked Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet. It’s good vs Aggro decks and also useful for dealing with an opponents Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath.

U/R Wizard Aggro by Kirk Sturgis

When I sat down with Kirk to take a look at his list and chat about it, he (in a good-natured way) explained that he built the U/R Wizards deck because he was bored of winning with Boros Aggro—and just wanted to play something for fun. After sharing a little with me about the deck, the card choices, and how he felt lucky to have dodged some cards he thought would ruin the deck—he (again, in a good-natured way) basically said, “the deck is too bad to have the decklist posted.” We had a good laugh about it and I agreed to not include the list in the article.

However, I will say that I thought the deck looked really fun and that the fact that it went 3-0 didn’t particularly surprise me.


Pioneer Format Commentary

The Rise of Combo and Their Dodging of the Ban Hammer

The pioneer format for the past few weeks has seen quite the shake-up, and now that things seem to have settled (for the moment) here’s the most critical updates on the format:

  • The combo decks Dimir Inverter and Lotus Breach are very popular and powerful decks that are putting up impressive results.
  • These decks are so good, that many players thought WOTC would ban cards as a result—but that has not happened.
  • In addition to the combo decks, Sultai Delirium has also been rising in popularity and is putting up very good results.

For more detailed information on the format (and what sideboard cards you can consider to fight these decks), I would like to direct you two excellent articles I found. The first, one that I found on Cardsphere’s blog and the other is an article by Frank Karsten. After reading through these two articles myself, I realized that they cover everything that I thought I might share with you—and I’m not fan of wasting time or plagiarism—so please go and read them, they won’t disappoint!

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