Between Magic: The Gathering's myriad of Constructed and Limited formats, there is certainly no shortage of ways for fans to play Wizards of the Coast's legendary TCG. That said, fans of Constructed are about to get access to an entirely new experience, as WotC has just officially announced Pioneer, a brand new Magic: The Gathering format that the company will be supporting on Magic: The Gathering Online and in paper.
Magic: The Gathering's Pioneer format is intended to bridge the gap, one that Wizards' describes as a "sizable one," between MTG's Standard format and Modern. It will include cards from the Return to Ravnica set forward, and there will be five cards banned straightaway: Bloodstained Mire, Flooded Strand, Polluted Delta, Windswept Heath, and Wooded Foothills. Wizards indicates that banning these five fetch lands will "add diversity to the format and make decks play differently from one another."
With respect to when players can start to enjoy the Magic: The Gathering Pioneer format, it will get Play Lobby support, including a League, on Magic: The Gathering Online starting October 23. Additionally, Magic Online will be the site of weekly Pioneer Challenges, which will occur on Sundays, and there will be six Pioneer PTQs on the digital platform from the beginning of November to the beginning of December. Furthermore, there will be a Pioneer MOCS Preliminary on November 23.
For Magic: The Gathering fans that are more interested in playing Pioneer in paper, the format will be featured in the Players Tour Series scheduled for February 1-2 and February 8-9 of 2020. Wizards has further indicated that the Players Tour Finals occurring the weekend of April 25, 2020 will utilize Pioneer, and, beginning on March 21, the new format will also be used in "some tabletop qualifying events" for Players Tours.
As some will expect, WotC is not currently planning to add MTG's Pioneer format to Magic: The Gathering Arena, as this new platform simply does not have the card pool required to support it. That said, MTGA's Historic format is an option for those looking to play a Constructed format that is not Standard on Arena, and there are certainly a bevy of Limited formats for players to enjoy on this new digital platform as well.
The Magic: The Gathering Throne of Eldraine expansion set is now available.
Source: Wizards of the Coast