The newest iteration of the iconic and terrifying Sheoldred breaks a lot of molds when it comes to card evaluation. Typically, I would be dismissive of any four mana creature that doesn’t provide any sort of material card advantage as being too vulnerable for any Constructed format. However, there are a few unusual dynamics of Pioneer when compared to Modern or Standard that make Sheoldred, the Apocalypse an absolute powerhouse in the format.
The biggest factor that makes Sheoldred so well positioned is that most decks in Pioneer tend to fall into one of four categories:
- Linear decks with little to no removal to answer a creature (decks like Mono-Green, Greasefang or Sacrifice). These decks can have a hard time racing Sheoldred that can rapidly drain life points over the course of a few turns.
- Aggressive red decks that play have a hard time answering five-toughness creatures with red removal. It’s also important to note that these kinds of decks get buried underneath the massive amounts of life that Sheoldred is capable of gaining.
- Izzet decks that play a pile of cantrips. These are the matchups that Sheoldred shines in the most, as their red removal can’t usually answer a five-toughness creature and Sheoldred will absolutely shred their life totals while they cast their cantrips and Treasure Cruises.
- Black-based midrange decks that Sheoldred fits into perfectly.
This metagame dynamic has made Sheoldred feel like one of if not the best four-mana threats in the format, and I recommend registering the card while it’s still so well positioned.
If you happen to be a red player struggling to deal with the Praetor, perhaps try Roasting her.