Historic has seen some big changes in recent months, thanks to the introduction of Alchemy and the rebalancing of cards like Luminarch Aspirant. But how much have these changes affected the metagame itself? Today, we’ll be going over three of the best decks in the format.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Jund Sacrifice continues to set the bar for Historic decks, with good board control and presence, great card advantage, and flexibility. Mayhem Devil still strikes fear in the heart of one-toughness creatures, and it allows Jund to quickly turn the corner in difficult match-ups.
Since we last covered Historic, Jund has added Ravenous Squirrel to its arsenal of threats. This might look like just another gimmicky Squirrel card, but I assure you, it’s anything but. This one-drop allows Jund to get on the battlefield early and either present a clock or stop any opposing pressure, depending on the situation. Plus, it also gives you a mana sink for your excess food in the late game. Most importantly, Ravenous Squirrel gives Jund more game against the combo decks of the format, which were often a problem for Korvold builds in the past.
Jund has stood the test of time in Historic, and as long as the format continues to be about the battlefield, I doubt we will see this deck go anywhere. This is the best midrange deck in the format, bar none.
By all accounts, this deck has the highest win rate in Historic. That’s not an easy feat, but it does make sense when we think about what the format is about. Historic revolves around the battlefield, and any deck that gets to control the battlefield while dodging other decks’ control elements is undeniably powerful. And when UW Control does get on the battlefield, it leans on cards like Teferi and Shark Typhoon tokens, which are quite hard to answer.
If you’ve played any control deck before, this game plan will seem familiar to you: disrupt your opponent’s game plan, then drown them in card advantage. This plan is surprisingly easy to achieve in Historic, a format known for its large, diverse card pool.
Honestly, there isn’t much more to say about UW Control in Historic. Just like Mayhem Devil, it’s a very powerful and resilient litmus test for the format. If your deck can’t beat this one, you’re going to have a very rough time playing Historic.
This is my pick for the best deck that no one talks about. Honestly, it might just be the best deck in the format if it weren’t for the limitations of the Arena client.
This deck looks to assemble a three-card combo: Heliod, Scurry Oak, and any creature that lets you gain life when it enters the battlefield. When you gain life, Heliod will put a counter on your Scurry Oak. Then, Scurry Oak will make a Squirrel, which will gain you a life, and you can repeat the process ad nauseam. As you might imagine, it’s very hard to actually beat this combo in theory, though you’re at the mercy of the Arena rope while you execute it.
This deck might appeal to combo players, but the best thing about this deck, in my mind, is its ability to play a fair game and beat down. It plays various Ajani Pridemate variants in order to benefit from the combo pieces, so you can keep pushing through damage while you threaten to combo.
Combine this with the raw card advantage of Collected Company and new threat Inquisitor Captain, and your opponents are in for a world of hurt. Inquisitor Captain is my bet for best card from Alchemy, and this deck uses it better than any other. Not only does it help assemble every aspect of the combo, but it also provides two bodies, which allows you to fight through spot removal and board wipes.
If you’re looking for a combo/beatdown deck, this is the deck for you.
These are my picks for the three best decks in Historic, but there are many other cool decks we didn’t have room to cover today. Which ones are your favorites? Let me know on Twitter at @masoneclark!
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.