mtg icon Magic: The Gathering
mtg icon Magic: The Gathering

Announcement: Playing Pioneer Joins the DotGG Network

Valued readers, it is our pleasure to welcome and to the DotGG gaming network! Playing Pioneer (and Playing Explorer) is a community-built project, consisting of a dedicated team of independent Magic: The Gathering content creators looking to provide the best content in their respective format.

Looking towards the future, with tabletop Magic opening up again and Explorer arriving on MTG Arena, we look forward to working with the expansive team and bring the Magic community the best content possible. It is our plan to integrate many aspects of their platform with MTG Meta and MTG Arena Zone, for users to get the best content possible! Stay tuned for more details on exactly how our sites will be working together as we continue to develop more content, new features and improve upon the ones that are already in place.

Initially, there will be some overlap, but for the time being each website will operate as normal. So in the meantime, let’s take a moment to answer an important question: What does Playing Pioneer (and Playing Explorer) bring to the players?


Playing Pioneer started strictly as a hub for individual content creators to write about the format, and has since evolved into much more. Articles, however, still remain the primary focus of the team. From breaking format news within minutes of announcement to deep dives into decks and special series and more competitively-slanted articles like sideboard guides and tournament reports, the Playing Pioneer team will continue to bring the article and video content you’ve come to expect, now in tandem with the other websites in the DotGG network.

View the Article section

Tier List

Playing Pioneer’s weekly Pioneer and Explorer tier lists have quickly become one of the more popular sections of the website, standing out from other tier lists by being crafted entirely manually rather than strictly through metashare data.

The Playing Pioneer team carefully compiles and analyzes data from digital and large paper tournaments each week to set a baseline, then uses input from the competitive team to put together a weekly tier list geared toward players looking to compete in tournaments that same weekend.

Each week, the Playing Pioneer team provides an explanation of the tier list movements and placements to accompany the tier list update. Each month, they release a monthly meta snapshot that takes a look at the tier list changes over the last month and discusses the movers, shakers, and mainstays in the format.

View the Tier List section

Metagame Data

You might recognize some members of the Playing Pioneer team from their twice-weekly posts on the Pioneer subreddit going over MTGO Pioneer Challenge and League data dumps. Data from those events is compiled on Playing Pioneer’s meta data page and presented in several forms – from archetype metashare over time to a weekly snapshot of the top-played decks. In other instances, Playing Pioneer will now have access to‘s metagame data to further enhance this experience going forward.

View the Meta Data section

Budget Decks

Playing Pioneer’s budget Pioneer hub, largely operated by their resident budget deck expert, provides a central home for budget decklists and deeper dives into a select number of them, with more of these added every other week. This budget focus will expand in the near future into the Playing Explorer side of the website, with budget Arena decks that will preserve your valuable wildcards.

View the Budget section


Playing Pioneer has always been a community project, with most of the team members being long-time members of the Pioneer community that have been making content related to the format since it launched.

The Pioneer community’s support was integral to the site’s launch and continued operation and continues to be. As such, it is important to us that our readers continue to give us feedback on the content you want to see, and how we can improve the content we have on offer.

We have always strived to be a collaborative effort, both amongst ourselves and with the reader. We believe that the community surrounding pioneer is what makes it the best format available, so we will continue to do what we can to foster and care for it.

View the Content section

Playing Explorer

Introducing the Explorer Tier List

Playing Explorer is an adjacent project that will evolve as the format gets closer and closer to Pioneer on MTG Arena! Just like Playing Explorer, it has its own article section, bo1 and bo3 tier list, and more to come soon.

Check out Playing Explorer

up arrowtop