MTG Arena Historic Anthology 2 Discussion
On March 12, a new set of cards is coming to MTG Arena for Historic Anthology 2, and with it comes new possibilities! You can craft these with Wildcards if you’d like, or you can spend gold/gems to craft a playset of each of the 25 cards. It’s going to run you 4,000 gems or 25,000 gold to do that. If you’re a big fan of Historic and aren’t certain what you want to run, that might be worth your while.
There are exciting cards in each of the colors, plus some intense multi-color options. Perhaps the most interesting to me is the Cycle Lands! That’s right, each color gets a throwback land, that comes with the ability “Cycle.” Instead of playing these lands, you can opt to pay 1 mana (depending on the color of the land) and discard it. Instead, you’ll draw another card! With Scry being a thing these days, it can have potential value.
But there’s a theme amongst these cards. They fit very well with the cards that came with Theros: Beyond Death. Plenty of cards that reward you for having lands in the graveyard, help put them there in the first place, or give synergy for playing enchantments! Or maybe you just want to be unable to lose the game, while making sure your opponent cannot win (literally speaking). That’s right, friends! Platinum Angel is back!
Since 25 cards are no small sum, I’m going to look at some of my favorites per color and talk about what they do and where they could be utilized in Historic. So, let’s talk about some digital cardboard!
MTG Arena Historic Anthology 2: White Cards
I wanted to give an honorable mention to Nyx-Fleece Ram too! It gives you life on the beginning of your upkeep, so with your ridiculous white spells right now, you can buff your creatures to vile levels and do nothing to earn it truly. It’s a great time for fans of White in MTG Arena, thanks to Historic Anthology 2!
Sigil of the Empty Throne (Rare Enchantment): Here’s a card for some “Conflux” fans! It’s a 5-drop enchantment, but it’s for sure a powerhouse in this meta. One of the biggest parts of Those: Beyond Death is the notion of adding far more enchantments/enchantments that are creatures. So, what makes a 5-cost enchantment so good when combined with those? This Enchantment gives you a 4/4 White Flying Angel anytime you cast an enchantment spell! In your White/Green, or Mono-White creature/enchantment decks, this means a late-game army anytime you want it. You can combine this with Archon of Sun’s Grace to make both a 2/2 Pegasus and a 4/4 Angel every time you play an Enchantment. This is also neatly paired with the Enchantment that turns all tokens into Angels. I love this card and used it back in my Esper control deck. It’s high priced in terms of cost but produces seriously high value in any enchantment deck.
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben (Rare Legendary Creature – Human Soldier): Thalia, Guardian of Thraben is amazing. She’s a 2-cost legendary, which is a 2/1 First Strike. Is she easy to kill her with literally any direct damage? Yes, yes she is. But she makes noncreature spells cost 1 colorless mana more to cast. Counters, direct damage, enchantments (except enchantment creatures), et cetera! If you put this in play, you can slow players down further with Elspeth Conquers Death. Part II of that Saga makes your opponent’s non-creature spells cost 2 colorless more. From there, it’s a matter of using Teferi or your other Blink options to bounce it, re-play it, and make your opponent lose more permanents, as well as making spells cost more.
MTG Arena Historic Anthology 2: Blue Spells
There are only two Blue spells in this list! So, we’ll focus on perhaps the biggest of these two. The other Blue card that we see join the fold is Merrow Reejerey, which is a Merfolk Lord (gives Merfolk +1/+1) and is an overwhelmingly good tap/untap engine.
Inexorable Tide (Rare Enchantment): Oh boy, this is a good one from the second Mirrodin block. At the time, you used it to increase +1/+1 enchantments, as well as Poison Counters. So, this is a 5-cost enchantment for Blue, that does the following: Whenever you cast a spell, proliferate. Proliferate has you choose any number of permanents and/or players that have counters on them and add one more of whatever kind they have. This works for Poison Counters (making victory faster), Loyalty Counters (for more Planeswalker powers), and +1/+1s! It’s any spell, too, even if it’s a 0-cost. You can really ramp up your creatures and planeswalkers with it. This is incredible value for your planeswalkers that have weak/no +Loyalty generators. It’s fun to keep that Teferi in play for longer or to make it faster to ramp up to your ultimate abilities.
MTG Arena Historic Anthology 2: Black Spells
Black is getting some major firepower in this latest Historic Anthology in MTG Arena! Rats and Tokens! Rat Value, and Token Hate! Black also saw a pair of lands returning! Bojuka Bog is a card that lots of players used in the Zendikar Block. It exiles all cards from a player’s graveyard. I don’t have to tell you what makes that so great right now. Then there’s Virulent Plague, that gives Creature Tokens -2/-2. No more 1/1 human tokens for you, my friend!
Waste Not (Rare Enchantment): Waste Not is great for fans of enemy discard! Whether you make them discard, or they simply have too many cards in hand or do it for Dream Trawler, Waste Not makes sure you get value for their loss. Whenever your opponent discards a creature card, you gain a 2/2 Zombie Token (Black). If your opponent discards a land card, you get a temporary 2 Black Mana in your pool. Finally, whenever your opponent discards a noncreature, nonland card, you draw a card. No matter what they discard, or why, the old saying is true: Waste Not, Want Not! You can run mono-black discard and just make sure they constantly have nothing in hand and get something for it! You can play a creature, make them discard, and use that mana you could get for it, to make them discard again!
Pack Rats (Rare Creature – Rat): Remember that annoying Rat Deck we built here on the site? Well, this creature takes that and gives it a shot of steroids. Pack Rat’s power and toughness are equal to the number of Rats you control. ANY KIND OF RATS. So, if you are running those horrific Rat Colony cards, the more of them you have, the better it’s going to be. But Jason, I hear you asking! What if you have a handful of lands, and don’t need more of them! Then tap 3, discard a card, and put a token onto the battlefield that’s a copy of Pack Rat! So, you get more huge, horrifying rats. Sure, Rat Colony is a 2/1 base, but Pack Rats can be 21/21s! If nothing else, you can include Shadowspear, and only swing with the Pack Rats, and leave the Colony Rats as huge glass defenders.
MTG Arena Historic Anthology 2: Red Spells
Now, this isn’t taking anything away from the other card Red receives, Goblin Ruinblaster. But with the right point in time, you can get a 5/5 Dragon creature every turn with the other option. However, Goblin Ruinblaster, for 4 mana total, lets you destroy a non-basic land your opponent control. In a world dominated by non-basic lands, you can do lots with this, and it should be noticed. Land destruction is a lot of fun in red, after all.
Dragonmaster Outcast (Mythic Rare Creature – Human Shaman): This is a “four-of” if you ask me. It was very popular in Valakut Decks. Valakut was a legendary land that let you deal 3 damage and rewarded you for mana ramp. So, with this in a Gruul (Green/Red) deck, you can make someone very sad, very quickly. For 1 mana, this Human Shaman is a 1/1 with an overwhelmingly powerful ability. At the beginning of your upkeep, if you control six or more lands, you put a 5/5 red Dragon creature token with flying into play. I’d also like to see this in White/Red decks, so you can keep it alive by protecting it from damage. As a 1/1, it’s too easy to get rid of, but the longer you keep it in play during the mid-game, the more dangerous it becomes. Who doesn’t want an army of dragons?
MTG Arena Historic Anthology 2: Green Spells
A GOYF IS BACK. I REPEAT, A GOYF IS BACK. Tarmagoyf is a creature from MTG’s past, that had power and toughness equal to the card types in all graveyards, plus 1. So, I want to briefly touch on the Terravore. It’s a 3-drop with Trample whose Power and Toughness is equal to the number of land cards in all graveyards. Oh yes, with a card I’m going to cover later, there’s good stuff here.
Ancestral Mask (Common Enchantment – Aura): A common? And a great one? Oh yes, it’s true. The only downside to Ancestral Mask is that it’s a 3-cost. But it’s perfect for your Selesnya (White/Green) or Mono-Green aura/enchantment decks. It’s also great for when your opponent’s doing the same! The Enchanted creature gains +2/+2 for each other enchantment in play. It doesn’t just double based on the enchantments. Each enchantment gives this creature +2/+2, no matter where it is if it’s in play. Give it to a creature with Trample and First Strike and laugh as it obliterates anything it meets. This. Card. Is. So. Strong. Combine it with All That Glitters, and you can easily OHKO someone with the right card. Give it protection vs. whatever mono-color you’re dealing with, and swing for 50, 60, 70 if you want! It can happen.
MTG Arena Historic Anthology 2: Multi-Colored Spells
Oh boy, some of my favorite cards are back! I mean that literally! The Alara Block is my favorite block in all MTG, so seeing cards from it fills me with joy and happiness. A great example of this is Maelstrom pulse. It’s a cheaper version of Casualties of War (3-cost). Sure, it doesn’t let you pick one of each permanent and blow it up. Instead, you destroy a nonland permanent, and every other permanent that shares the same name. All those annoying Slime, Wolf, or Human Tokens? BOOM. GONE. GET LOST, NERDS.
Meddling Mage (Rare Creature – Blue/White – Human Wizard): For 1 White and 1 Blue mana, you can stop a spell from being played, that isn’t a land. You must keep Meddling Mage in play but come on. You’re running at least White and Blue! That means you have control plenty. You don’t have to look at their hand, their deck, et cetera. This is the card you play when you’re 100% confident that you know what your opponent’s win condition is. You can run a few and prevent counterspells too! Dovin’s Veto? It got Vetoed! Platinum Angel? Nope, taking her to the pawnshop. Teferi? Tell him to Time Walk his ass back to before I played the Meddler! Now, admittedly, this is a double-edged sword. That card can’t be played period. So, don’t use it on something that is also a card you need.
Knight of the Reliquary (Rare Creature – Green/White – Human Knight): This goes great with our Knight of Autumn! Knight of the Reliquary gives you +1/+1 for each land card in your graveyard. Those fetch lands suddenly feel mighty useful. But you can also sacrifice a Forest or Plains, to search your library for a land card, and put it into play. There are a few things to consider with this. One: It costs NOTHING to do this. No mana, no tapping. It also doesn’t specify the type of land you can fetch. Sacrifice a Plains or Forest to give Knight of the Reliquary +1/+1, and to also fetch land and put it into play. It doesn’t even come into play tapped! You can then pull a Fetch Land, sac it, give them another +1/+1, and get yet another land. Her power is endless. It is Maximum. If you’re running land hate, or simply want to cycle through your deck, it’s a great way to do so. With that, consider running the Cycle Lands of your deck colors to power her up even more while also getting card draw.
MTG Arena Historic Anthology 2: Colorless Spells
Platinum Angel (Mythic Rare Artifact Creature – Angel): It’s a 7-drop, but it’s a 4/4 Flyer with the following ability: You can’t lose the game and your opponents can’t win the game. No cards? No life? NEGATIVE LIFE? No problem! Just hang tough until you can win! It’s best served with Hexproof and Indestructible. Make sure it can’t be the target of anything or destroyed, and just laugh as your opponent gives up. User beware though: When she leaves play if you are in a position where you would have lost, you will!