Exploring the Pioneer jungle - Four Color Ascendancy

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Exploring the Pioneer jungle - Four Color Ascendancy

Put on your Indiana Jones fedora and let's go

By Roger, 11/12/19, with help from our readers

What's up, players? How are you? Today we will explore the uncharted jungle that is the Pioneer format, so put on your Indiana Jones fedora and let's go! In this article I bring you a combo deck...

Four Color Ascendancy.

Many of you might already be asking: - But a 4-colored deck in Pioneer? Does it even work? Don't fret, in this deck we absolutely can organize our mana, so on we go.
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DECK GOAL

Four Color Ascendancy requires 2 cards to set up its combo, Jeskai Ascendancy on the battlefield and Sylvan Awakening to transform our lands into creatures. After that, we'll need a cost 1 spell to actually start the combo. Our land-creatures will untap and get +1/+1 until end of turn. In addition to having a large mana pool, we can still grant some kind of evasion ability to our creatures, often dealing over 20 damage points to our opponents.

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With the cards we have in our possession, we can probably play our combo in the 4th or 5th turn with ease (not so much if you're playing against a control deck).
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DECK BUILDING

There are several ways we can build this deck. We can focus on using only non-creature spells or maybe taking out some of these spells and using creatures that help with our mana base. I prefer going with creatures because they give us the consistency we need in our combo. Sylvan Caryatid and Paradise Druid help us with our mana base, on top of having hexproof (giving them evasion against removals). Rosethorn Acolyte also helps with our mana base. Attune with Aether, besides searching for basic lands, gives us 2 energy counters we can use with Aether Hub, making it both very important cards on the deck. Commune with the Gods let us look and pick 1 enchantment (or creature) among the top 5 cards of our library, so we can search for Jeskai Ascendancy - which is crucial to our combo. After that, we put the 4 remaining cards in the graveyard, which in turn can help us cast Dig Through Time and Treasure Cruise, because both have delve (for each generic mana in their total cost, we may exile a card from our graveyard rather than pay that mana). Another card that helps us with searching our library and also filling our graveyard is Strategic Planning. And we have cards that give the creatures evasion abilites. Crash Through gives trample and Slip Through Space makes target creature unblockable for a turn. In addition to evasion, these two cards guarantee a draw. Mana base is a little tricky, but Aether Hub and Mana Confluence are the main cards that help with that. Shock lands also aid a lot, especially Breeding Pool, Stomping Ground and Temple Garden. We also have assistance from Unbridled Growth - and it only costs 1 green mana. Below I present you with two decks, one with creatures and another with only spells.

Creature-focused deck

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Spell-focused deck

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CARD SUBSTITUTION

Yes, we can try to budget our deck or even adapt it if we don't have all the cards in the combo. However, some things cannot be removed: Jeskai Ascendancy is the main deck card, Aether Hub is cheap, Breeding Pool is a major shock land, Sylvan Caryatid avoids most of removals from the Pioneer format. Therefore, these 4 cards are a must. Botanical Sanctum can be replaced by Hinterland Harbor. Mana Confluence can be replaced by shock lands like Stomping Ground and Temple Garden. Finally, Sylvan Awakening can be replaced with Elemental Uprising. Unfortunately it only transforms a single land (instead of all of our lands), so we'll need to rely a lot on our evasion spells.

Deck with the substitutions

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CONCLUSION

Ou combo is fast and consistent, but suffers against control decks and sideboard cards that can destroy enchantments or permanents like Abrupt Decay and Assassin's Trophy. Against that we can switch to a more aggressive strategy with Saheeli, Sublime Artificer, placing 1/1 creature tokens to attack and block. However, the deck is very fun, and so is its combo (unlike those strategies that take hours to kill the opponent) - so you'll love playing with this deck.
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That's all for today, I hope you enjoyed the article and that you understood the deck. Please leave your feedback for improvement. See you guys later!
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