• David

Eldrazi Combo for Pioneer

Hey guys, David here with a new deck. Today I’m taking a break from the world of commander and jumping over to my other favorite format, Pioneer. Pioneer, for those who don’t know, is a semi new format that was announced towards the end of 2019. It is a non rotating, 60-card format, like modern, with its own ban list and starting set. Pioneer starts with Return to Ravnica and every standard legal set printed since then is Pioneer legal. Pioneer was very popular pre-pandemic but now that we are in the back end of 2021, most of the people I know who play Pioneer lost interest or had to sell off their decks. But a glimmer of hope shone through during the 2021 look ahead stream when Wizards of the Coast announced four competitive pioneer challenger decks. With some acknowledgment from the mothership for the first time in over a year, pioneer is looking to make a comeback. Over the next few weeks I’d like to go into some of my favorite pioneer decks and to start it off today we are talking about Eldrazi Combo.

This is the core of the deck and we play 4 copies of each. If our hand is perfect, we can win the game on turn 4, assuming our opponents have no interaction, or more likely, don’t know what to interact with. One of the big strengths of this deck is it’s surprise factor, admittedly slightly ruined by me writing this article. When you first look at this deck, it looks like a bunch of bad semi-related cards slapped into one deck but once you get into it, this deck is a serious threat. Firstly, Biomancer’s Familiar is our two mana play that reduces the activated effects of creatures we control by 2. There is literally only one card in the deck that this applies to, but it’s important and the best card to fill this slot in Pioneer. Next is the three drop Eldrazi Displacer. This card is insane against a bunch of matchups even when you aren’t comboing out for the win. Displacer’s ability can target any creature on the board and exile it only for it to instantly return, flicker it. The targeted creature returns tapped, which is incredibly important as it sometimes allows you to remove blockers or attackers or other player’s combo pieces to stall or push for the game as the situation demands. Primarily though, this creature’s activated ability is reduced by Biomancer’s Familiar down to just waste mana.. Eyeless Watcher is the next to hit the table and the final piece of the puzzle to win the game. When Eyeless Watcher enters the battlefield, it makes two 1/1 Eldrazi Scions that can sacrifice themselves to make a waste mana. When Eldrazi Displacer’s ability only costs one waste mana to flicker anything on the board, and when Eyeless Watcher enters the battlefield you create two Scions, you go infinite. You can infinitely flicker Eyeless Watcher with the discounted Eldrazi Displacer to create infinite Scions and therefore infinite waste mana. Worst case scenario, use Displacer to flicker down any creatures opponents control to last the turn and swing with the army of Scions for the game. Best case scenario, you have Thought-Knot Seer in your hand and can cast it since you have infinite colorless mana through the Scions. Thought-Knot Seer then rips a card out of the opponent's hand, which is nice, but the real kicker is when you flicker him. Thought-Knot Seer’s internal balancing is that it lets our opponent draw a card when it leaves the battlefield. This is a mandatory trigger so our opponent cannot decline the draw, so you flicker the Seer enough times to deck out the opponent winning on the spot. This all comes at instant speed so unless they know what’s happening ahead of time, even removal spells don’t work here because you just keep comboing in response to the cast.

In my preferred build of the deck, Eldrazi Displacer and Biomancer’s Familiar are the only non-mono-green cards in the deck. The entire rest of the deck should be geared to getting to your combo creatures and protecting them. In my mind, green cards just do this the best. If other cards come out that kick out one of the cards in this list then they go in the deck but until then this is what I’m rocking. Prophetic Prism helps with the mana problems, drawing us a card closer to our combo pieces and filtering mana into useful colors. Heroic Intervention hopefully is pretty obvious as it protects everything we have and want, basically our entire deck is permanents. Vivien does a lot for this deck as well. You can dig deeper into your deck for creatures and cast the whole combo at instant speed. If you have one or two pieces on the board already you can wait until your opponent over commits and flash in the combo to win the game or create infinite blockers/mana to save yourself and win the game.

These guys just keep the theme going of finding our creatures and protecting us until we get there. From Beyond is excellent in this list as it does basically everything we could want a card to do. It creates Scions to generate colorless mana for Displacer’s flicker effect, it searches 3/4ths of our combo pieces since everything except Biomancer’s Familiar is an eldrazi, it creates a token that can block if need be, and, with some help, can even turn that Scion into the only card it can’t search itself. Eldritch Evolution is that help. This card tutors basically anything we are ever gonna need at any point in the game. You sacrifice one of your creatures and put straight onto the battlefield anything with converted mana cost at most two higher than the sacrificed creature. You can sacrifice a 4 mana card to find the 3 mana Eldrazi Displacer, or the 0 mana Scion token to find the 2 mana Biomancer’s Familiar. Foul Emissary is the weakest card in this list and the one that can most easily be replaced. That isn’t to say it does nothing, it is still quite good. Its secondary emerge related effect doesn’t ever trigger in this deck but its enter the battlefield trigger to dig a big for creatures is quite relevant. It can be flickered with Displacer to keep digging, it can be eaten with Eldritch Evolution to find any piece in our combo, including Thought-Knot Seer, and isn’t the worst blocker in the world afterwards. All in all, these help find the creatures we need to win the game and that’s about all they need to do.

This deck is a combo deck to the heart, but it’s a semi-reliable combo deck at that. You’re matching 4 to 4 to 4 to maybe another 4, which with enough searching isn’t super hard to do. You also perfectly curve into your combo with a 2 drop, into a 3 drop, into a 4 drop for the game. This deck is a blast to play and wins games out of nowhere. It is fairly fragile before sideboarding but your opponents aren’t likely to know what you’re trying to do before sideboarding. Sideboards should always be tuned to your local meta so I’m not including one here. Thanks for reading and good luck!


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