Thursday, September 21, 2023

MTG Best Historic Decks

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Historic as a format has changed a lot this year. One of the biggest reasons for these enormous metagame shifts is the fact that a handful of specific Lord of the Rings cards are incredibly powerful. Cards like The One Ring and Orcish Bowmasters encourage players to play decks that can maximize their potential. With The One Ring being a four-mana card advantage machine, a large portion of the format is dedicated to grindier decks that can relish the card advantage effectively.

Today, we will be going over the best Historic decks available. Notably, the best performing decks in Traditional Historic and best-of-one Historic are quite different, so we will be showing top tier decks from both variants of the format. Given that Historic is an Arena-centric format and a lot of players enjoy trying to climb the ladder rather quickly, we felt covering best-of-one in addition to Traditional Historic was essential. Without further ado, here are the best MTG Historic decks, starting with Traditional.

Traditional #3- Golgari Yawgmoth

Golgari Yawgmoth, Thran Physician combo is a defining deck of the Modern format, and thanks to Yawgmoth’s appearance in Jumpstart: Historic Horizons, the deck continues to make its presence felt in the Historic format. The goal of the deck is to utilize Yawgmoth as a way to generate lots of value by sacrificing expendable Creatures to draw cards and shrink opposing Creatures. The reason the deck is so strong is that, not only does Yawgmoth act as an excellent source of card advantage, but it can also be used as a combo piece alongside multiple copies of Young Wolf and Blood Artist. The combo works as follows:

  • First, sacrifice a Young Wolf with Yawgmoth’s activated ability. Do not target any of your creatures with the -1/-1 counter. The Young Wolf will come back with a +1/+1 counter thanks to Undying. This will trigger Blood Artist, draining your opponent for one.
  • Second, sacrifice your Young Wolf that does not have a counter, targeting the Young Wolf that does have a counter. Your counters will cancel out. Your other Young Wolf will come back with a +1/+1 counter thanks to Undying. This, once again, will trigger Blood Artist.
  • You can repeat step two over and over, sacrificing the Young Wolf without a counter, targeting the one that does have a counter, thanks to -1/-1 counters and +1/+1 counters canceling one another out.

This deck also plays Chord of Calling as a way to find Yawgmoth, much like the Modern version of the deck. While the Historic version does miss out on Grist, the Hunger Tide which is not on Arena, most of the best cards are still available, making this deck a great choice.

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Traditional #2- Rakdos Midrange


Rakdos Midrange in Historic has a lot of similarities to the Rakdos Midrange archetype in Pioneer. Both versions play strong, efficient interaction like Thoughtseize and Fatal Push alongside powerful threats like Sheoldred, the Apocalypse and Fable of the Mirror-Breaker.

The biggest difference between the two versions, however, is that the Historic version gets to abuse some LOTR cards that aren’t legal in Pioneer. Both Orcish Bowmasters and The One Ring are elite additions to this style of deck. The combination of The One Ring and Sheoldred is super strong too, since Sheoldred helps negate the life loss from the One Ring by gaining you life every time you draw cards.

Read More: Top 11 MTG Best Pauper Decks

Traditional #1- Mono-Green Devotion

Utopia Sprawl

Mono-green Devotion is yet another archetype in Historic with a lot of overlap with Pioneer. The deck has a very simple gameplan: cast elite top-end spells ahead of schedule. In the early turns, this deck plays a lot of ways to make mana. Much like in Pioneer, Elvish Mystic and Llanowar Elves go a long way, but the Historic version actually gets a pretty nice upgrade in the one-mana slot in the form of Utopia Sprawl. As an Enchanting Tales card from Wilds of Eldraine, the card is now on Arena and legal in Historic, but not Pioneer. Not only is Utopia Sprawl much better in the face of removal, but it also works quite nicely with Kiora, Behemoth Beckoner, which can untap your Lands.

These cards help you cast haymakers like Cavalier of Thorns and Storm the Festival rather quickly. With enough Devotion and Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx in play, Karn, the Great Creator also becomes an elite threat. You can even use Karn to search for The One Ring in Historic, which is a nice bonus.

Read More: One Wilds of Eldraine Card is a Major Player in Multiple Formats

Best of One #2- Mono-Green Elves

Elvish Archdruid

Moving on from Traditional Historic, best-of-one Historic is a whole different ball game. Given the lack of sideboard cards, heavily proactive decks with a straight-forward gameplan tend to get a huge boost. It’s much more difficult to play a reactive gameplan in best-of-one against unknown opponents. Different pieces of interaction, such as removal or Counterspells, are better in certain situations than others, and without getting to play sideboarded games, it can be tough to know what hands to keep.

That’s where a deck like mono-green Elves comes into play. This deck is quite weak to board wipes, but in best-of-one, the archetype performs quite well. It’s very streamlined, looking to put on a ton of pressure in short order. Cards like Elvish Archdruid and Leaf-Crowned Visionary are fantastic payoffs for a go-wide Elf strategy. Collected Company gives this deck a decent shot against opposing midrange decks. This deck even gets to utilize Allosaurus Shepherd, helping you beat Counterspells and effectively attack in board stalls.

Read More: Top 11 Most Expensive Enchanting Tales Reprints in Wilds of Eldraine

Best of One #1- Izzet Wizards

Expressive Iteration

Izzet Wizards is a strong archetype with a decent gameplan against a lot of different types of strategies. This deck plays cheap Creatures like Soul-Scar Mage and Dreadhorde Arcanist that work well with cheap spells. From there, the deck plays a ton of the best efficient removal spells and card draw spells available. Expressive Iteration, despite being banned in Pioneer and even Legacy, the card remains legal in Historic, and is a big reason to play this deck.

By sticking to a Wizards theme, you get to maximize both Wizard’s Lightning and Flame of Anor, which are both solid payoffs. What’s nice about this archetype in best-of-one is that it has a proactive gameplan but can still use burn spells reactively when necessary. This deck can use burn spells to help provide extra reach against control and midrange decks, while also using them to slow down aggressive decks like mono-green Elves by killing their Creatures. Izzet Wizards is a solid tempo strategy that shines in best-of-one Historic.

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