Jumpstart: Historic Horizons dropped today, and it’s time to start crushing the Arena ladder! Today, we have five new decks for you to start playing, covering everything from combo to beatdown to midrange decks. Let’s jump right in.
Orzhov Lark Combo
Lark Combo is looking to be one of the strongest decks during the first week of Historic Horizons’ legality. I wrote about this deck a few weeks back, and today, I wanted to share another build, if you’re curious about other ways to build around this shell.
The TL;DR: If you target Vesperlark with either Davriel’s Withering or Davriel, Soul Broker, Vesperlark can then target itself with its own ability. This allows you to go infinite and win the game with lifegain or drain triggers.
In this build, I focused on streamlining the mana base and making the combo as redundant as possible. There are four copies of each of the key cards, as well as enablers like Lurrus and Return to the Ranks to help you fight through all the hate.
To be honest, I could have written an entire article about this archetype alone. I’ve been working on one more version of this deck that might end up being superior.
Abzan Lark Combo
This build is more focused on combo wins than the previous iteration. While we have fewer copies of combo pieces and fewer recursive spells here, this deck does have more ways to find the combo. I like leaning on the power of cards like Collected Company to help build up our pillow fort of life while we try to assemble the combo. Prosperous Innkeeper also does a great job of helping us set up the “gain infinite life” combo in a few ways — in addition to outright gaining life, it also provides a boost of mana that will allow you to combo as early as turn three.
If you’re a Modern player, this Hardened Scales deck may be a little different than what you’re used to. While the Modern version of the deck tries to abuse artifact synergies, this build is more focused on building large threats. You don’t have the most flexibility, but your creatures will quickly outgrow anything on your opponent’s side of the battlefield. That’s not a bad thing, but something to consider when building your deck.
While you could play Lurrus in this deck, I’ve opted to play Vivien, Arkbow Ranger instead. Lurrus may be one of the strongest cards printed in the last 10 years, but I don’t think it’s the right fit for this deck. You want to be putting your opponent on the back foot and pushing through damage; Vivien serves as a removal spell and pump spell that importantly gives your creatures trample. If you want to explore a Lurrus build, I would suggest trying to play more of the modular artifact cards in Historic Horizons.
We all know the classic Blue-Red Phoenix deck. While definitely weakened by the banning of Brainstorm, this deck is still a fine choice, and Historic Horizons is looking to jumpstart (get it) this deck back to the top of the metagame. Lets talk about the new cards and the choices that go with them.
If you’ve played any Modern or Legacy recently, you don’t need to be told just how powerful Dragon’s Rage Channeler or Unholy Heat are. They both provide enormous value when they are fully on, and they both have a fine default rate. Dragon’s Rage Channeler helps sculpt your draws while quickly turning into a creature that can end the game quickly; Unholy Heat is one of the best catch-all removal spells we’ve had in a while.
That said, these cards require a little bit of deck building finesse to get them fully “on”. In Modern and Legacy, we have Mishra’s Bauble as a free way to help get another card type in the graveyard. In Historic, we have to work a little harder. I’ve added two Soul-Guide Lanterns to the main deck for this reason. While Lantern isn’t the most exciting, it’s a fine card to have in your main deck, as there are a lot of graveyard strategies in the format and it’s an easy way to get delirium going. I’ve opted for more copies in the sideboard, but you can change that if you like. If your deck doesn’t already have artifacts or enchantments that can end up in your yard, I’m a big advocate for playing a few copies of Lantern one way or another.
Lastly, one question you might have about this decklist is why I’ve excluded Stormwing Entity. I think you can play it in a deck like this, but the current configuration of the deck is less all-in on attacking. Stormwing is best in a more aggressive build, so if that’s more your style, feel free to run it.
Izzet (Mostly Red) Midrange
After building the previous deck, I started wondering about a deck that was more focused on discard payoffs and Season Pyromancer. Pyromancer is a great tool to keep the cards coming in the late game while also enabling discard synergies. Combine that with Expressive Iteration, and this deck should be able to go very long while also having fast starts.
Speaking of which, Expressive Iteration does stick out like a sore thumb in this decklist. I’m a firm believer that Iteration is one of the best cards printed in the last year, and it does so much to enable midrange decks. It’s worth the splash for that reason alone, but when you get access to permission post-board, now you have a really strong main deck with some flexible options. Time might tell that this is just a worse Arclight Phoenix deck, but I think it’s worth putting some time into figuring that out.
Looking for even more Jumpstart: Historic Horizons decklists? Don’t forget to check out my article from a few weeks ago for some more fun decks.
Also, make sure to follow me on Twitter at @masoneclark for more decklists and to make sure you never miss an article!
Mason Clark is a grinder in every corner of the game who has played at the pro level and on the SCG Tour with Team Nova. Whether he’s competing in Standard, Historic or Modern, Mason plays with one goal in mind: to be a better player than he was the day before. Check out his podcast, Constructed Criticism, and catch his streams on Twitch.