Let’s shift gear and turn into some aggressive strategies for Pioneer. The most common aggressive archetype in the format is trumped by Mono Red, Spirits, and Humans. There is another well-known species that loves going into the red zone, and it’s the Eldrazi.
Back when Eye of Ugin was legal in Modern, you will see numerous tables running Thought-know Seers, Matter Reshapers, Reality Smashers, and copying them with Eldrazi Mimic. This strategy was so good because the Eldrazi offered plenty of utility while encased in very sturdy and hard-hitting bodies. Thought-know Seer is among my favorites because it’s a 4/4 for four, with a unique ability to do a Thoughtseize effect when it enters the battlefield. Reality Smasher, the OG ward creature hits so hard so fast and punishes anyone who attempts to remove it from the battlefield. Matter Reshaper is another value card that replaces itself with a permanent or a new card, and its 3/2 body trades very well as well.
So how do we bring these monstrosities into Pioneer? Thankfully, generating colorless mana is now easier thanks to the reprinting of the Ice-Age pain lands. Together with deserts from Amonkhet, we have a very stable mana base that can generate both colored and greyscale mana without breaking your curve. And if we borrow the concept of Eldrazi Temple that allows Eldrazis to hit the table sooner, we can replicate this with elves. So here’s my take on RG Eldrazi.
The deck is your typical RD aggro deck utilizing mana elves to ramp into your turn 3 spells one turn earlier. The majority of the power of this deck sits on the 3-mana curve, with Bonecrusher Giant, Matter Reshaper, Eldrazi Obligator, and Fable of the Mirror Breaker making up the curve. This means if you have 2 lands, 1 mana dork, and a couple of these 3-mana spells, your opening hand should be keepable.
Fable of the Mirror Breaker is a broken card in this deck. Matter Reshaper can put it into play for free, and the goblin allows us to ramp into our 5-mana spells quicker, and the loot effect lets us throw away any elves we play mid-game where their usefulness has already expired.
Copying a Matter Reshaper and then sacrificing it at the end of the turn nets you free permanents or a free card. Don’t forget that you can copy a Glorybringer and let the token exert and kill any 4-toughness threat every single combat is stupidly insane.
The removal suite is honestly light because we want to keep our creature density high. Depending on your meta, I chose Lava Coil and Scorching Dragonfire for their exile ability. It keeps Greasefangs, Arclight Phoenixes, and Old Growth Trolls dead forever. Burning Hands is in there to respect the big bodies mono-green aggro decks play which is beyond our own reach.
Our other sideboard tech is snuck into our mana base. Blast Zone can help keep spirits or humans in check at least once, Scavenger Grounds together with our small desert package can help keep the graveyard clean, and Ramunap Ruins offers some reach to close out tight games when needed.
Against RB Midrange and LOTVs, you run in Nullhide Ferox and cheap a 6/6 into the game for free. A good tech is to target a Graveyard Trespasser with a cheap removal, then use its Ward to your advantage and pitch Ferox and you are gold!
Scavenging Ooze further strengthens our position against graveyard decks playing Arclight, Greasefang, and Treasure Cruise. Occasionally you can bring it in against RDW for the life gain.
Speaking of life gain, Feed the Clan is an absurd life resetter for you. With a lot of your creatures able to trigger Ferocious, resolving a Feed the Clan against opposing aggro decks that wanted to race you will suddenly feel exhausted and depressed.
Cindervines comes in against control punishing them for their cantrip and counter magic and sits on standby waiting for Shark Typhoon. Together with Fry to hose down Teferi, Hero of Dominaria, Narset, or Wandering Emperors, they both support your 1-off Domri, Anarch of Bolas in the mainboard to go under the counter magic.
Gruul Charm is an anti-spirits tech but is also useful against non-flying aggressive decks. Disabling them from blocking your alpha strike, or wiping the skies clean of spirits is a great utility to have on your sideboard.
Warping Wail comes in for decks that play Farewell, Storm the Festival or any game-changing sorcery in Pioneer. If you can catch Cauldron Familiar without an Oven out, you can also exile it. The 1/1 scion token may be a combat trick you can use to block what supposedly was an alpha-strike on you and throw your opponent’s math out the window.
The deck is fun to play and can have one of the most explosive turn sequences in Pioneer. It’s relatively cheap to make as well (except for the Fable of the Mirror Breaker, but you can replace this with 2 more Obligator, 1 more Domri, and 1 Chandra, Torch of Defiance).
Till next time!
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