Omnath, Locus of Creation’s Reign On Pioneer Has Only Just Begun

After being forcefully removed from Standard, Omnath has shifted its reign of terror over to Pioneer!

Omnath, Locus of Creation
Omnath, Locus of Creation, illustrated by Chris Rahn

Welcome to What We’d Play! With Zendikar Rising having a huge impact on Pioneer, many are unsure what they’d play. That’s where we come in and let you know what we’d play and why we’d play it. Hopefully this advice aids in your decision making for your next Pioneer event!

Dom Harvey — Four-Colour Ramp

As Pioneer gains renewed attention in the aftermath of the Magic Online Championship, the format has started to evolve again. Oops All Spells is still by far the most powerful strategy in the abstract but people are finally showing it the respect it deserves — the aggressive red decks, formerly an easy matchup, are starting to maindeck a kill switch in Collective Defiance to pair with their sideboard hate. Those red decks are the most popular macro-archetype and are already strong against Lotus Field, my other contender for best deck in Pioneer.

With that in mind, I’m returning to the former best deck in Standard and Historic. The toughest question about Four-Colour Ramp is whether to play Fae of Wishes, which turns the combo matchups from miserable to reasonable with maindeck access to Tormod’s Crypt and Damping Sphere while being a surprisingly good blocker against aggro and a way to ensure you have action on your ‘combo’ turns without packing your deck with even more expensive spells. The Fae lists have been fine in my limited testing but until I have a more clear idea of what that toolbox should look like I’d rather have full access to my sideboard and use that to make up the difference against combo while loading up on the usual hits like Mystical Dispute and Aether Gust.

Ari Lax — Four-Color Ramp

Can you believe they let you play these cards? Did someone over in Renton just forget Pioneer is a format? Or do they just believe it’s best for everyone playing the format to build character playing against Omnath, Locus of Creation.

The recent addition of Fae of Wishes really kicks this deck up a notch of absurdity. The only previous problem with the deck was its weakness to other combo decks like Oops All Spells. Mono-Green Devotion had similar issues and Four-Color Ramp can steal the same technology. Instead of being a turn slower, Granted gives you a “Turn 3 combo kill” of get Tormod’s Crypt, play Tormod’s Crypt, activate Tormod’s Crypt if your opponent tries to win the game. It’s not like Four-Color Ramp is a deck notorious for sideboarding well, it’s just a ramp deck that needs all the lands, ramp enablers, and ramp payoffs it showed up with for Game 1.

I make no promises that playing with Omnath is fun for you, let alone your opponent, but the joy of winning is purpose enough.

Shaheen Soorani — Four-Color Ramp

For as long as they remain legal in Pioneer, Omnath, Locus of Creation and Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath will be my champions I build around.  Four-Color Ramp is the busted Standard deck that moved to Pioneer to dominate competitive play.  In this Magic Online Challenge it did not win it all; however, it continues to be a force in Magic Online leagues.

The lack of fetchlands simply is not enough to weaken Lotus Cobra and Omnath.  We figured that out while they were legal in Standard, which is nearly identical to the decklist you see here.  The addition of Part the Waterveil and Growth Spiral push the power level over the edge, adding consistency in the early-game and a late-game bomb.  Adding a Time Walk effect to this style of ramp is a genius move and I constantly must fight the urge to add additional copies.  The late-game with that, Genesis Ultimatum, Escape to the Wilds, and Ugin, the Spirit Dragon, makes Four-Color Ramp deadly if it survives the early wave of creatures.  These big-mana spells, enhanced by the broken creature package that makes ramp easy, are the reasons why Four-Color Ramp is my deck of choice.

Cedric Phillips — Four-Color Ramp

When reading previous episodes of this column, have you ever asked yourself “Does Cedric make the content creators pick different decks so it isn’t obvious that there’s just one best deck that everyone should be playing in a format?”

No. I do not. And here’s your clearest proof of that.

Until WotC defunds some combination of Uro, Omnath, and Growth Spiral, this is the best thing to be doing and I don’t think it’s particularly close. If you want to fight back against Oops All Spells, Fae of Wishes is probably your best bet (finding a Tormod’s Crypt via Granted as Ari mentioned above) but with Oops All Spells on a predictable decline (people weren’t going to let that nonsense happen forever!), I don’t find the card and the singleton sideboard it promotes to be an absolute necessity at this.

I predict Part the Waterveil will be out of the deck in a little over a week because it’s too bad of a draw in the early stages of the game and is absolutely a win-more card. If you want to get to innovating, those are the slots to mess around with.