Insider: Mining Pioneer for Future Gains

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Pioneer is the new hot format.

We have seen tons of cards spike in price thanks to the massive new influx of demand created with a new format. The biggest risk right now is going deep on something powerful and then having WoTC ban a card or multiple key cards in the deck.

Whereas the recent addition of Pauper as a playable format caused some price spikes but has all but died off completely, Pioneer seems to be the gift that keeps on giving. I've recently had a lot of success selling previously bulk uncommons like these

When these cards are acquired in piles of bulk they have massive profit margins, especially when sold in playsets. The purpose of this article is to try and pluck the cards you might often find in bulk that are currently seeing play in Pioneer that have significant potential to grow. Without further ado, let's begin.

As we can see by the graph, this card actually jumped up way back in 2018 from its all-time low but hasn't moved much since Pioneer was announced as a format. We always seem to have a good red aggro deck in most formats; it may not always be tier 1, but it's rarely completely unplayable and it's often a budget-friendly option for players with limited expendable income. Currently, it only has a single major printing back in Born of the Gods, which for those who recall was a set with very little money cards so little reason for stores or players to crack packs and frankly not the most fun draft environment.

When it comes to Pioneer specs all the sets will have had large print runs, but there were still sets like Born of the Gods which were opened a lot less than other sets. This is the perfect storm for a potentially high value uncommon. It's double red mana cost means it's not as splashable as other burn options like Wild Slash, but decks that often want this card are likely mostly red to begin with.

While copies of this card are likely still being opened at LGS's across the country, we have now had two sets printed after War of the Spark and new supply is likely to begin drying up. This card does have an FNM promo which may be the better option from a speculative standpoint, but supply is still high on both versions currently. However, this is one of the premier counterspells in the format and is good enough to see play in other eternal formats.

Pioneer has a UW Flash deck as one of the better decks in the current format and players who enjoy playing control will be sleeving up some number of Dovin's Veto's when they play Pioneer.

There are still plenty of people who expect an Aetherworks Marvel ban, it's important to keep in mind that Aether Hub plays perfectly well in a non-energy shell as a one-shot, pain-free mana fixing option on turn 1 that still adds colorless later on. This works especially well with Eldrazi that often require specifically colorless mana be spent on them or their abilities. There was an FNM promo available whose market price has doubled since Pioneer was announced.

Reflector Mage has a slightly higher buy-in compared to other cards on this list, but it's important to note that the price on Reflector Mage has gone up since Pioneer was announced it had stabilized around $1 for months prior to this announcement. It sees play in Modern Humans builds and is a fantastic hit off of Collected Company against most decks.

This M15 uncommon was almost $5 at its heyday and maintained that price for several months. Core sets often tend to be opened a lot less than block sets as they often have more reprints and tend to be less desirable to draft. This card also has an FNM promo which is currently going for only about double the regular version and neither have seen any price growth since Pioneer was announced.

It is especially good when decks running Goblin Rabblemaster and Legion Warboss are good, because of the ability to remove the "must attack" clause on the tokens by tapping them pre-combat makes the previously mentioned cards even more powerful.

While there are a lot of copies of this card floating around, again we see no discernible price increase after the Pioneer announcement. This is a pain-free multi-color mana fixing land that is usable on turn 1. Obviously, the fact that it only helps with one specific creature type means it doesn't fit in any 3+ color deck that isn't heavily focused on a specific creature type, however, similar to the previously mentioned Reflector Mage, Unclaimed Territory has a home in multiple eternal archetypes and naturally fits into any non-mono colored creature type-specific archetype.

There are a significant number of powerful creature archetypal deck options that exist and as is usually the case, it often only takes one or new additions before one becomes playable.

Last but not least is another card destined to be an auto-include in any aggressive red creature-based deck. It's price breached the $1 mark long before Pioneer was announced as a key card in the 8-Whack decks of Modern. While Pioneer doesn't have the other 4 whacks (Goblin Bushwhacker) it does still have the powerful sidekick of Burning-Tree Emissary and unlike many other cards I mentioned there is no promo or other version, just the Oath of the Gatewatch option.


These appear to be some of the top uncommons in the Pioneer format that haven't really moved much in price and thus have the most potential upside. It's important to keep in mind that WoTC's desire to cull the format almost weekly via bans does mean there is inherently a lot more risk in any Pioneer speculation at this time, but there is likely high reward potential with these types of specs.

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