Playing Magic: The Gathering with paper cards has seen a downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals are staying at home and local hobby shops remain closed. There has been much discussion on the r/mtgfinance Subreddit about COVID-19 causing a decrease in MTG paper prices. While outlets for playing MTG in paper have decreased significantly, these unfortunate times will not last forever.
Pioneer, one of MTG's newest formats, has been a popular addition to competitive play. Many cards increased in demand and price following Pioneer's announcement. However, the uncertainly surrounding COVID-19 has led to price drops for many of Pioneer's format staples. While COVID-19 has negatively affected the financial situation for millions of people, I believe it has created an opportune time to purchase paper cards. The following cards are my current recommended buys for Pioneer.
Kaladesh Fast Lands
The rare lands from Kaladesh are known as fast lands. Most of them are found on MTGGoldish's top 50 lands in Pioneer. These lands also appear in Pioneer's top decklists. Market prices on TCGPlayer are at their lowest since Pioneer's announcement. I particularly like Botanical Sanctum, Spirebluff Canal, and Blooming Marsh. Personally, I completed a set of Spirebluff Canal at $5.50 per copy. The other two fast lands, Concealed Courtyard and Inspiring Vantage, are priced around $3.00 each.
Vivien, Archbow Ranger
The market price on TCGPlayer for Vivien, Archbow Ranger has fallen from a high of $21.00 in November, 2019. The card is one of the most played in Pioneer according to MTGGoldfish. Vivien sees play as four copies in multiple competitive decks. Her strength and staying power in Pioneer give reason to purchase copies for about $7.00 each.
The Throne of Eldraine set brought new and powerful cards to Pioneer. Stonecoil Serpent found inclusion in the Hardened Scales and Izzet Ensoul decks. Also, Stonecoil is one of the most played creatures and overall cards in Pioneer. With a current price around $2.00, it is an inexpensive card with versatility.
Since the release of Throne of Eldraine, Murderous Rider has remained a format staple in Pioneer. Murderous Rider sees play in many black decks like Sultai Delirium and Mono-Black Aggro. It is currently a top ten overall most played card in Pioneer. The 2020 Challenger decks did increase the available supply of Murderous Rider. However, it is only included as two copies in one deck. With a current price hovering around $2.00, I believe Murderous Rider is a decent buy.
Ashiok, Nightmare Muse
My sleeper recommendation for Pioneer is Ashiok, Nightmare Muse. This card has quickly become one of the most played in Pioneer. It is commonly found in the Sultai Delirium and Dimir Inverter decks. Currently, the card is available for about $5 on TCGPlayer. The floor price for Planeswalkers playable in Standard is generally around $3.00. Ashiok has a long road of playability ahead in Pioneer and Standard.
*The information in this article is of my own knowledge and opinion. It is meant for informational purposes only.*