There’s a lot of nuance when it comes to building control decks in Pioneer. The most popular variants are Izzet and Azorius, but while both decks are certainly viable choices (especially in the hands of experienced pilots), I’ve found both of them to feel somewhat subpar with Izzet Control lacking a powerful sweeper and Azorius Control lacking efficient spot removal.
After a lot of thought, I’ve come to the conclusion that the best way to solve these issues is to pivot to a different color combination, one that gets to play some of the best spot removal in the format as well as getting to play what might secretly be the best sweeper Pioneer has to offer. That color combination is, of course, Dimir.
Pivoting from Izzet/Azorius to Dimir is perhaps easier said than done. With Fatal Push being one of Pioneer’s premier removal spells, Dimir Control has always had tons of potential in the format, but has always been a fringe strategy at best. This is partially due to the fact that there are tons of incredibly difficult deckbuilding decisions to make, and partially due to the fact that there are relatively few deck builders and pilots working on the archetype. I find that these Dimir deck lists are often unfocused with lots of one-ofs and experimental cards, and while some pilots prefer this style of deckbuilding I’ve been hammering out a list that has felt more focused and tuned.
Here’s the list. I’ve found it to be great against most of the aggressive strategies in the format, as well as having a favorable matchup versus Rakdos Midrange and opposing control decks. I’ve found the Mono-Green matchup to be relatively even, but the Mono-Blue Spirits and Izzet Phoenix matchups can be a struggle.