Hey there. I'm back with your weekly fix of Pioneer goodness.
Today we're going to revisit our Humans deck from week one. It was four colors back then, now it's all five! The game plan is get 'em dead fast while disrupting their flow. Now watch me give it a go in the video below. After this brief description, that is. You wouldn't drink a La Croix with no fizz.
Curving out one through four will generally do the job. Starting with Experiment One (the closest we can get to Champion of the Parish in Pioneer) into any two-drop into Mantis Rider into Collected Company is a great recipe for a very dead opponent. Try not to keep a hand that doesn't have some sort of curve out, as we want to be the beatdown in most matchups. Not having a one-drop is okay, but you really can't miss your play on turn two.
You remember Reflector Mage, right? Well he's back, and he's making sure our opponents don't have much board presence while allowing us to keep beating down, but Mr. Mage isn't the only piece of powerful disruption in this build. Take a look at my good friend Kitesail Freebooter. This little guy is a staple of the Modern Humans deck, and with good reason! Take away that Oko, Thief of Crowns, that Supreme Verdict, that Hour of Promise or that removal spell and leave behind a flying Human body to boot! Get it, to boot? Both of our pesky beaters being Humans is important for Thalia's Lieutenant and Unclaimed Territory so we're running smoothly all around!
***Spoilers beyond this here line of text***
So Collected Company is a pretty good card, huh? We beat up on Abzan Midrange in round one and then barely got there against Ramp in round two. Round three was a Food deck with Nissa, Who Shakes the World and Hydroid Krasis that just had too much velocity for us to overcome. Round four was a Possibility Storm deck that we managed to dismantle in both of the sideboard games, and round five we got trounced by a really interesting Blue Devotion deck with Risen Reef and Master of Waves. That deck looked sweet! Maybe we'll play that one next week.
Overall we went 3-2 and showcased a fair amount of what this deck is capable of doing. We even got to take Witch's Vengeance with Kitesail Freebooter against Abzan for the full rub-ins! Cavalier of Thorns proved very difficult for us to deal with, especially when we didn't expect it, so that's something to keep in mind moving forward. Also, Unsummon in tandem with Harbinger of the Tides was pretty brutal.
Vs. Control: Any deck that has Supreme Verdict is not going to be excited to play against Xathrid Necromancer. That card is a big reason to dip into black beyond the maindeck Kitesail Freebooter, and Sin Collector also shines in this matchup. Bring all of those in and get those Reflector Mage out. Then bring in some amount of Phyrexian Revoker to taste while removing some amount of Thraben Inspector or Experiment One (Thraben on the play, Experiment on the draw).
Vs. Food: Bring in all the Phyrexian Revoker and Deputy of Detention, and take out Thraben Inspector, Kytheon, Hero of Akros and two Rogue Refiner. In this matchup we need to apply as much pressure as possible while shutting off or taking their powerful planeswalkers.
Vs. Midrange: Bring in the Xathrid Necromancer and take out a couple Experiment One on the draw. On the play, take out a couple Charming Prince so we can still have the more explosive starts. Our deck can actually grind through a decent amount of removal and our disruption seems to line up pretty well against black-based midrange decks. Languish and Ritual of Soot are obviously savage beatings, but we can rebuild with Collected Company or take them with Kitesail Freebooter.
Vs. Mono Red/Aggro: Bring in the Deputy of Detention and Dromoka's Command and take out Kitesail Freebooter and two Rogue Refiner. We don't need the card advantage as much, and Kitesail generally doesn't last long or block well. We are the control deck here, so slow the game down and trade off when you can. Try not to expose Experiment One or Thalia's Lieutenant to a Goblin Chainwhirler if possible, and don't forget about the gain 3 life mode on Charming Prince!
All in all, I really like this take on Humans in the current Pioneer metagame. Oko, Thief of Crowns is still a big problem, but the three Phyrexian Revoker in the sideboard that we can Collected Company into should help that a bit. Other than Oko, I like our other matchups for the most part. We can beat down and disrupt with the best of 'em, so don't count this deck out of the running for your next big tournament or FNM.
Have some fun with some Humans out there, and I'll catch ya next week with another spicy one!