Budget-Focused: More Pioneer cards you need to acquire!

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Welcome everyone to this week’s article and a continuation of last week’s topic. For those that may have missed the last article, you can click the link here! We are diving a bit harder into Pioneer and where some diamonds in the rough might be lying dormant. We went over four cards last week and this week and this week we have three more to add!

Bring on Bloodsoaked Champion!

To start we are going to discuss a card that popped and then came back down a bit. The card being referenced is Bloodsoaked Champion. This thing looks like it can be the Gravecrawler of Pioneer, and that was the initial thought when the format was announced. It did see a lot of play in the early goings, but it has kind of fizzled as of late. This is one that nobody should sleep on, and it has plenty of opportunities to grow down the line.

There was an error retrieving a chart for Bloodsoaked Champion

The current price for this is at $0.79 for the non-foils, $4.50 for the foils, and $6.47 for the prerelease copies. What needs to be driven home with this is the average on the non-foil copies. The margin for growth is most certainly there and should not be ignored. Where its foil counterpart lies one would think the non-foils would be closer to the $2.00 range. Regarding the foils, there is room for growth within the format.

It is currently being used more often in Mono Black Aggro but can be used elsewhere. Any deck leaning on reanimator, alternate sac outlets, or speed strategies should have this at the top of their list for one-drops. There was a Sultai build that I used this in with Grim Flayer and Prized Amalgam. It played rather well on MTGO, but never got to test in outside of tournament practice. The synergies within it did exactly as one would have hoped, it just needed some fine-tuning. Here is an example where this would fit perfectly, and this build recently placed fourth at MTGO Pioneer Preliminary.

Abzan Rally by Ma7x


4 Blisterpod
4 Cartel Aristocrat
3 Cruel Celebrant
4 Fiend Artisan
3 Hunted Witness
3 Priest of Forgotten Gods
4 Satyr Wayfinder
4 Stitcher's Supplier
4 Zulaport Cutthroat

Instants and Sorceries

2 Rally the Ancestors
4 Return to the Ranks


4 Blooming Marsh
4 Concealed Courtyard
4 Godless Shrine
2 Overgrown Tomb
1 Plains
2 Sunpetal Grove
4 Temple Garden


1 Lurrus of the Dream-Den
1 Abrupt Decay
2 Assassin's Trophy
1 Caustic Caterpillar
2 Damping Sphere
3 Dead Weight
1 Drannith Magistrate
1 Enlightened Ascetic
3 Thoughtseize

Tutoring in Gruul with Signal the Clans

Next, we are going to talk about a Gruul card that has great upside with a little risk. Signal the Clans is an instant spell that should be in consideration for Gruul builds going forward. Its current price is $0.36 for the non-foils and $0.92 for the foil copies. One thing to consider when speculating this is the fact there is no promo and no reprints.

There was an error retrieving a chart for Signal the Clans

Now let us investigate why we should consider this card. The first is that there are not a whole lot of tutors within the format. Secondly, it is an instant, so we can cast this on our opponent's end step. Last and most obvious, Gruul loves creatures and loves ramp. Having this will allow us to get an option to put on the board. The negative here is that you get one of the cards you pick at random. Even though it is random we can still pick three valuable options that can complement our play. Here is a recent Gruul build that took second in MTGO Pioneer League.

Gruul Aggro by citizenofnerdvana


4 Bonecrusher Giant
4 Elvish Mystic
2 Ghor-Clan Rampager
4 Goblin Rabblemaster
1 Klothys, God of Destiny
3 Legion Warboss
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Lovestruck Beast
1 Rhonas the Indomitable
3 Steel Leaf Champion

Instants and Sorceries

4 Collected Company
2 Crater's Claws

Other Spells

2 Embercleave


8 Forest
2 Game Trail
6 Mountain
2 Rootbound Crag
4 Stomping Ground


2 Cindervines
1 Fry
3 Heroic Intervention
3 Lava Coil
2 Reclamation Sage
4 Scavenging Ooze

Although this deck has Collected Company in it, having 2 copies of Signal the Clans for an early play could help speed things up! Looking further at this build how mad can you really be at tutoring for any of those cards!

Breaking Into Your Wallets With Cryptbreaker

This next is definitely one to snag up, and that is Cryptbreaker! This surprisingly enough has not been in a top eight Pioneer deck since January (! The current price is at $3.50 for the non-foils, $6.28 for the foils, and $8.32 for the prerelease copies. This card is so versatile it should be considered in most black builds. Not only will we get aggro with token creation, but it is great card advantage. For a one drop, the upside is worth having a 1/1 body out on the board. It compliments Priest of Forgotten Gods ability using our tokens as potential sac outlets. It also compliments every deck that is wanting to dump cards into the graveyard. Outside of Pioneer, it gets used in just about every zombie build in Commander. We are not discussing Commander, but it is worth noting the usage.

There was an error retrieving a chart for Cryptbreaker

To try and see where this can go in the present time, here is a list that got third place at an MTGO Preliminary.

Mono Black Aggro by Phill_Hellmuth


4 Champion of Dusk
4 Dusk Legion Zealot
4 Gifted Aetherborn
2 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
4 Knight of the Ebon Legion
3 Murderous Rider

Instants and Sorceries

4 Fatal Push
2 Heartless Act
4 Thoughtseize

Other Spells

4 Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord


4 Castle Locthwain
4 Mutavault
1 Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
15 Swamp
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth


3 Drill Bit
1 Heartless Act
1 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet
2 Liliana, the Last Hope
3 Lost Legacy
3 Rankle, Master of Pranks
2 Soul-Guide Lantern

This is just one of many options, and this should not be one to sleep on for a long-term spec in the format!

Final Thoughts

To close this one out I just wanted to say that there are a vast number of cards flying under the radar in my opinion. We will have more to discuss over the coming weeks, and I hope that some fly under a bit longer so I can talk about them! Do a little research and I know you will find some great cards to pick up! All the cards mentioned should be traded into at the very least and buy them if the cash is available. I hope you enjoyed this week’s article and come back for the next one!

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