Niv-Mizzet claims the trophy in Vancouver


It’s good to be back.

2020 is here and the first event in the history of the F2F Tour has come and gone. This past weekend we traveled to beautiful Vancouver, B.C. where players entered the battlefield to clash in the brand new Pioneer format!

And when all was said and done, Roy Yang triumphed with his spicy Five-Colour Niv-Mizzet deck.

Your F2F Vancouver champ, Roy Yang.

Pioneer has really ebbed and flowed since its announcement as a supported format back in October. Since the very beginning it was made clear to everyone that bans would come fast and frequently, and over the past few months we’ve seen a ton of cards receive the ban hammer.

And after all of these changes, we’ve arrived at the kind of format where Yang could slice through the format with this awesome deck fueled by Bring to Light. Often in eternal formats it feels like there are a handful of top decks that are extremely powerful, and you’ve got to pick one of those in order to give yourself the best shot to win.

But in Pioneer right now, it’s the wild west. You can win with Control, Midrange, Aggro or Combo. And that’s an awesome way to play Magic.

Yang was able to defeat Ryan Perez and his Azorius Control deck in the finals. A matchup where both decks went toe to toe with some insane top-end threats.

Your F2F Vancouver Top 8.

Joining them in the Top 8 was Jordan Boxeur who played Izzet Ensoul, Ben Elliot on Azorius Spirits, Anthony Song who played a Mono-White Aggro deck featuring the Heliod and Walking Ballista combo, Liam Malcolm who also played Five-Colour Niv-Mizzet, Clint Taylor who was our second Azorius Control player in the Top 8 and Michael Kuie who played an awesome Jund Midrange deck featuring Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger.

There you have it, an extremely diverse Top 8 metagame. That said, it was notably missing Mono-Black Aggro, a deck that has been the most popular archetype in Pioneer since the most recent swath of bannings.

From my perspective, it looks like some of these more controlling decks, specifically Niv, are doing a good job of keeping aggro down in the format. As you can see above, Niv and Azorius made up nearly 25 percent of the room in Vancouver.

In the competitive community, the Mono-Black versus Niv-Mizzet matchup has been a hot topic of conversation lately. Many people think it’s close, and others feel strongly one way or the other. But at least in Vancouver it looks to me like Niv was able to prevail over aggro on average.


Our first tour stop of 2020 was a huge success. We had 106 players battling in the main event. We capped our FREE Pioneer side event at 32 players and we also ran a record 26 Theros Beyond Death drafts all day on Saturday. Thank you to everyone who came out and made our first event on the 2020 F2F Tour a success!

Congratulations to Roy Yang and to the rest of the Top 8 on their outstanding performances this past weekend. Before I leave you for the week, I’d like to also extend a special thank you to both our judge staff and our sponsor Ultimate Guard for helping us put on a great event.

The next stop on the F2F Tour is coming up this Saturday, Feb. 1 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan where we’ll be playing Modern. Make sure to pre-register and we’ll see you on the battlefield.