Magic: the Gathering Approves New Competitive ‘Pioneer’ Format

Magic: the Gathering Approves New Competitive ‘Pioneer’ Format

Competitive Magic: the Gathering will be getting a bit of a shakeup as the Pioneer format has been officially recognized by Wizards of the Coast as an official competitive format. Pioneer is positioned to take over where the Modern format started, being a middle ground between the basic Standard format and the more difficult Legacy format. As Modern now includes 16-years of MTG cards, it’s almost as daunting a format as Legacy.

Pioneer will only comprise of cards released since 2014’s Return to Ravnica series. According to Wizards’ Blake Rasmussen:

One goal in creating Pioneer was for the format to be large enough to have cross-block synergies to give the format its own unique characteristics. Starting with RTR gives the format that is the most different from Modern, since Modern launched right before RTR.

Wizards of the Coast

The format’s initial list of banned cards will be just five items long. The cards banned from Pioneer at launch will be: Bloodstained MireFlooded StrandPolluted DeltaWindswept Heath, and Wooded Foothills.

The format will be available for players to build and test on Magic Online starting today, October 23, with premier and qualifying events starting soon after. For those who prefer physical cards, the format will be available for high-level play soon as Pioneer will be one of the formats at the first Players Tour Series of 2020 which takes place on February 1–2 and February 8–9. Additionally, the Players Tour Finals the weekend of April 25, 2020 will include Pioneer.

Which is great news for newer, but no longer novice, players of Magic. However, as uncovered by Bleeding Cool’s Joshua Nelson, many of the cards that will be viable in Pioneer were bought out in physical retailers and online a few weeks prior to the announcement of Pioneer:

A lot of Pioneer-viable “staple” cards have been bought out en masse by buyers, oddly well in advance of the public announcement of the format. TCGPlayer seller Michael Caffrey (@MChainmail on Twitter) recently tweeted that he sold a glut of cards which are great for Pioneer roughly a week in advance of the announcement. 

Bleeding Cool

And those buyouts also pulled into Magic: the Gathering Online as retailers who use bots to sell cards in the game have also noticed a spike in card sales from Return to Ravnica onward.

Those buyouts will make Pioneer less accessible to new players, so it will be interesting to see how the situation is handled by Wizards of the Coast over the coming weeks.

Battlefield V’s New Chapter Returns to the Pacific Theater

Battlefield V's New Chapter Enters the Pacific Theater 1

Electronic Arts and DICE are bringing the Battlefield franchise back to where it all began with Battlefield 1942 and Battlefield 1943 by entering the Pacific Theater of WWII. Battlefield Vs Chapter 5: ‘Enter the Pacific’ will launch on October 31, 2019 with two new playable factions, and three classic maps: Iwo Jima, Pacific Storm, and Wake Island.

The first two classic maps, Iwo Jima and Pacific Storm, will launch with Chapter 5 on October 31, while Wake Island will release later in December. The updated Iwo Jima is a dynamic map that has the U.S. and Japanese forces engaged across wide black beaches and close-range environments. The Pacific Storm map involves more sea combat, and takes players through treacherous weather on a set of islands where they secure control points using boats, tanks, or aircraft. 

The full contents of Battlefield V Chapter 5: War in the Pacific include:

  • New maps: Iwo Jima, Pacific Storm, and, coming in December, Wake Island.
  • New factions: The U.S. and Japan.
  • New weapons including the M1 Garand and M1919A6.
  • New vehicles including the M4 Sherman tank and the F4U Corsair plane.
  • New stationary weapons.
  • New gadgets like the Katana and Flamethrower Battle Pickups.
  • New Chapter Rewards including weapons, soldier sets, weapon skins, and melee weapons.

For more details on Chapter 5: War in the Pacific, you can read the full blog post from EA here.
For those who haven’t tried Battlefield V, there are two Free Trials weekends coming up on Xbox One, PS4, and PC. The first weekend, Thursday, October 24 to Monday, October 28, will grant new players access to all of Battlefield’s current content through Chapter 4. The new Chapter 5 content will be available during the free trial weekend from Friday, November 1 through Monday, November 4.
Battlefield V is available now on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.