MTG Arena Historic Anthology 3 Decks You Need to Try


by in Magic: The Gathering Arena | May, 29th 2020

Editor’s Note: Please note that as of June 1, Fires of Invention and Agent of Treachery are banned in both Standard and Historic. Please refer to this article for more information. Decks that were built with the aforementioned cards will no longer be playable in Ranked/Traditional Standard/Traditional Standard Ranked/Traditional Historic Ranked/Historic Ranked. No decks going forward will include them.

MTG Arena released some more Historic cards this week with Historic Anthology 3! That means some of my favorite cards are back! I mean that seriously. Ulamog is one of my all-time favorites, and I love it so much I built a Legacy deck around playing him on turn 1. That’s just the kind of dreadful person that I am. But with these new cards, that can only mean one thing: new Historic Anthology 3 decks!

Some of these concepts are ones that work in normal standard, but with new (old) cards that make it far easier. I’m going to take some time to consider the decks that would be the most fun for me. Whether they make someone angry, or they are simply easy and fun to play to get dominating wins, we’ll get you in fighting shape!

I’m going to do my best to focus only on Historic Anthology 3 decks focused around some of these new cards! Let’s get started with my personal favorite to come out of this!

Esper Reanimator (Control/Combo)


My favorite way to play MTG Arena, whether it’s historic or standard, are via control decks! In particular, this one came to mind as one I was desperate to figure out. So let’s talk about Esper Renamiator! What are the new cards that we want to use in this deck though?

Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger and Unburial Rites are the two big winners. Ulamog is vile. He’s a 10/10 for 10 that exiles the top 20 cards of your opponent’s deck whenever you attack with them. But they’re a 10-drop, so we want to be able to play them. . . a tiny bit faster. The fastest we can probably manage in this deck is turn 4. Perhaps even turn 3! Unburial Rites puts a creature into play from our graveyard, and we’re only running four.

We have Ulamog, Agent of Treachery (of course), Emry Lurker of the Loch, and Atris, Oracle of Half-Truths. Emry and Atris are here to put those creatures in the graveyard as quickly as possible. They aren’t our only way to discard, but they’re the fastest. The only other way is to Surveil or simply have too many cards in hand.

Thought Erasure lets us Surveil 1 when we cast it, so we look at the top card of our deck and decide to keep it on top or throw it in the grave. So let’s talk about what we need to do. Emry, Lurker of the Loch puts the top four of our cards in the thrave when cast, and we can cast an artifact from our grave through them. That will help us cast Mind Stone if it should perish. We can also use this to sacrifice Mind Stone to draw a card, then cast it again via Emry, provided we have the mana.

Atris, Oracle of Half-Truths lets our opponent put some of our cards into two piles. One goes into our hand and one in the grave. They will go into a face-down and face-up pile. If they put the big creatures in a visible pile, we simply throw them away and get them back later. These are the best, fastest ways for us to do this.

Oh, wait! We have something that is simply fascinating, in the form of Ashiok, Dream Render. If you read this card carefully, you’ll find something fascinating. Her -1 has a target player put the top four cards of their deck into the grave. Then exile each opponent’s graveyard. Traditionally, this is used to mill your opponent for four then get rid of their grave.

Instead, we’re going to mill ourselves, put Ulamog/Agent in the graveyard, and cast them with Unburial Rites when the time is right. So how do we get that far? Do we need some measure of control over the board? That’s where Teferi, Time Raveler comes in. He prevents opponents from casting at Instant speed and lets us cast Sorceries at Instant speed, making him invaluable.

That way, we can set up Ulamog during our opponent’s turn, using Unburial Rites. If things are going badly, we can Kaya’s Wrath as an instant, to board wipe as well. Also, consider Glass Casket as a way to exile an opponent’s creature (3 or less converted mana cost). That’s a fantastic way to stop a powerful early game option.

Thought Erasure lets us look at the opponent’s hand and get rid of a key card they need to win on top of that. So with that in mind, we use Unburial Rites to get an Ulamog, and/or Agent of Treachery. Ulamog is our game-winner, and Agent is there to steal our opponent’s lands or creatures. If the other player kills our Ulamog, keep another Unburial Rite in hand to do it again.

We can also use Teferi to bounce Agent back to our hand and re-cast him. That way, we can keep using his ability to steal permanents. That’s a lot slower in this deck, so you have to time the casting of him just right to get only important cards. We’re not running Thassa, so we can’t infinitely steal. If I had to find room for her, I’d remove Atris, perhaps, for a pair of her.

If we can win by swinging lethal, that’s great. But the ideal situation for me is to hold the board down and keep swinging, forcing the other player to block. Even if he doesn’t get damage through, the other player has to lose 20 cards off their deck for the privilege. I can see this working well in Historic Anthology 3 decks that get back-to-back turns to make the other player deck out, but I don’t think that’s viable right now.

If your opponent has something powerful and game-winning, you can use Agents of Treachery to keep stealing them, and that’s why we run three. We have 4 Ulamogs because he’s our game-winner. We want him in our grave as soon as possible.

The fastest I think we can get him into play would be a perfect game leading to a turn 3 or 4 reveal. Turn 4 sounds the most plausible. Turn 2, we Thought Erasure, and pitch the top-decked Ulamog to the grave. Turn 3, land for turn, Mind Stone. Turn 4, land for turn, and then Unburial Rites. If for some reason, our opponent put Unburial Rites in our grave via discard, we can just Flashback it.

That is perhaps, as ideal as things get, and requires an almost perfect hand. Since that seldom happens, we’ll just dream of the day. The safest way is to get Teferi onboard turn 3 and use him to slow down the other player. Then we can use his +1 to cast Unburial Rites on our opponent’s turn, the moment they run out of mana for counterplay.

Then haha, turn 4 or 5 Ulamog! Since we aren’t casting him, we don’t have to exile two permanents. He’s also indestructible, so nothing is stopping him from swinging every single turn. I’d like to see him in a mono-green ramp deck too, as an aside.

Key Cards


Our goal is to slow the state of the board down until we have Unburial Rites, and the right cards in the grave. You can put almost anything in this deck, too. You could try slapping in a Dream Trawler if you wanted. Teferi is one of the most unsettlingly powerful planeswalkers. He completely stops all counterplay until you deal with him. If we have the board state set where we can defend him, or simply board wipe threats away, he will give you all the time you need.

Ashiok, Dream Render (Black/Blue 3-Cost Uncommon Planeswalker): I only wish we had a way to give her +Loyalty counters! Ashiok is a card I wasn’t reading correctly until recently. I can use it to mill myself, but I don’t lose my graveyard. Provided they aren’t attacked, we get five turns worth of milling ourselves to find what we need. On top of that, she’s an answer to every single deck that uses their graveyard for solutions to problems. If you get a mirror match, whoever has Ashiok first has a very clear advantage.

Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger (Colorless 10-Cost Mythic Rare Legendary Creature – Eldrazi): This isn’t the only form of the smallest of the three Eldrazi titans. Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre had Anahilator 4 but didn’t mill players. This is the best version of the card, in my opinion. Ulamog is a 10/10 that’s indestructible, and removes your opponent’s deck! The only deck that can survive this and maybe come out on top I think is Yorion. But we chip away at them, 20 cards at a time. Heavy card draw decks/mill decks are going to rue the day they run into Ulamog.

Unburial Rites (Black 5-Cost Spell – Sorcery): This isn’t the only spell we have to bring back a creature from the grave, but most of them require an additional sacrifice or something else. This one is so powerful because even if your opponent puts it in your graveyard via discard, you can play it cheaper. Since this is an Esper deck, we have access to Blue, Black, and White mana. That means we’ll be at an advantage. Conversely, we can use it and then use it again the next turn (though it gets exiled) if we have other creatures we want to put in play.

Decklist


Deck

4 Watery Grave (GRN) 259
2 Atris, Oracle of Half-Truths (THB) 209
2 Plains (IKO) 260
2 Swamp (IKO) 267
4 Drowned Catacomb (XLN) 253
4 Glacial Fortress (XLN) 255
4 Hallowed Fountain (RNA) 251
4 Godless Shrine (RNA) 248
3 Ashiok, Dream Render (WAR) 228
4 Thought Erasure (GRN) 206
2 Kaya’s Wrath (RNA) 187
4 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger (BFZ) 15
4 Unburial Rites (ISD) 122
4 Teferi, Time Raveler (WAR) 221
4 Mind Stone (WTH) 153
2 Glass Casket (ELD) 15
4 Emry, Lurker of the Loch (ELD) 43
3 Agent of Treachery (M20) 43

Sideboard

3 Timely Reinforcements (M12) 40
2 Narset, Parter of Veils (WAR) 61
1 Kaya’s Wrath (RNA) 187
2 Sorcerous Spyglass (ELD) 233
2 Damping Sphere (DAR) 213
2 Heliod’s Intervention (THB) 19
3 Mystical Dispute (ELD) 58

Final Thoughts


This was my favorite deck in the Historic meta (such as it is), until this weekend happened. Over the weekend, a treasure was deposited onto my Discord. This is a powerful weapon though. Being able to slow the game down until we win, casting or retrieving Ulamog so we can win. Unless your opponent can bounce or exile Ulamog, that’s the end of the game. The only real solution other than exiling is to have your Obliterator. He may not kill Ulamog, but he’ll make the player have to sacrifice a large number of permanents, just for the privilege of attacking.

Teferi is a card that is soul-crushing when you can’t put a stop to him. Combine that with Ashiok’s ability to render your opponent’s grave moot, you can take your time, and slowly destroy the ability to play anything at an instant through Teferi. It’s frustrating, it’s fun, and it’s nice to see control decks in this meta. So much of it is aggro it feels. Trust me, we’ll see plenty of aggro flavors as the week progresses and I’ve experimented in Historic. There’s a lot of really obnoxious, fun stuff to go around.

Gyruda, the Unstoppable Historic Cyber Terror (Zagoth/Sultai Combo)


YES. I knew Gyruda would be useful in this meta! I 100% knew that once I found a solid idea for Gyruda, that my run would be nigh-unstoppable. So far, I’ve only lost to three decks – Izzet Dragons, Red Deck Wins, and Mono-Black. So if it can outspeed me, it can win (or if I take a garbage start, which has happened). But yes, it’s back!

It’s powerful and can do obnoxious, unfair things as long as we don’t start getting cards exiled. One of the most important things about the start is getting mana in play. Whether it’s creatures or through Growth Spiral, we must ramp. But what makes this deck so strong is, of course, Thassa and Gyruda.

We have a few creatures that can do obnoxious things when they come into play, but perhaps my favorite combo is Thassa into Ravenous Chupacabra. That lets me destroy an enemy creature every single turn! Why? Because to heck with their creatures! We need to make sure they all go away. If we can get an early Umori, that helps too.

This is not a particularly fast deck unless we get lucky. But you know what else helps? All those gorgeous dual lands from previous expansions, that come in untapped if X or Y land is in play (say, Island/Swamp). With the new Triomes being triple lands, it’s very easy for us to get a wide variety of land in play. This is a simple deck to pilot, but it is really expensive to build, in terms of Wildcards.

I made some minor tweaks to the original concept, not due to effectiveness. This was because I was fresh out of Mythic Rare wildcards!

How Does It Work?


Companions are going to go down as a very divisive mechanic in MTG as a whole. There’s a lot of discourse on how they affect non-Standard metas, like Historic. So far, this is the only companion deck I’ve seen that’s been stomping. Maybe it’s because I’ve been on a roll with it. That is not to say he’s the only successful one; I’ve just done very well.

What’s our end-game? It’s not that dissimilar to our previous Gyruda deck. We just have way more interesting tools at our disposal. We’re not stuck with just using Thassa, Fore-Runner, and Spark Double. I mean, we’re using those too, but there’s more! There are some great cards from MTG Arena’s past that go well in Historic decks like this one.

So, Gyruda, Doom of Depths is the big way we want to win. They are our outlet. But we still have to have cards of the right amount of CMC (converted mana cost), which is even. Fortunately, there are a whole heap of them that work in this deck, that came back from the grave – so to speak. Though Gyruda is a great way to get a victory, they aren’t necessarily the only powerhouse in our deck.

Multani, Yavimaya’s Avatar is a really powerful card in this deck. Since we’re using Gyruda to mill cards into our graveyard, we can cast this even in the grave. It also gains power and toughness equal to lands we control and are in our graveyard. So, when this comes into play, it could come in as a 10/10, or even a 20/20! Even if dead, we can return two lands to our hand to put it back in our hand! As long as they aren’t exiled, they can always come back.

Another card we shouldn’t overlook is Muldrotha, the Gravetide. There are going to be times when we have multiple choices for good cards in our grave for Gyruda, and we can only pick one. So what do we do? We cast Muldrotha, the Gravetide! With them in play, for each of our turns, we can play a permanent of each type from our graveyard. This is a fantastic way to play creatures and lands from our grave each turn.

When we have tons of permanents in play and our opponent has no hope, we can play Twilight Prophet. We need to have 10 permanents in play, so we get the “City’s Blessing” buff. When we do, on our upkeep, we reveal the top card of our deck and our opponent loses X life and we gain X life. That’s equal to the CMC of our deck. So if we get Ulamog there, that’s 10 life! This is also great for if you don’t quite have your Gyruda in play (or it died).

We have lots of mana ramp creatures, and Growth Spiral to put extra lands in play. If we can get a pair of say, Leafkin Druids and Paradise Druids in play, that’s plenty of mana. That’s four creatures, plus whatever lands we have. At that point, we just need six lands, and we can drop down that Twilight Prophet and start ramping life.

These are great choices, but remember, we have some new cards, specifically added during this Historic Anthology: Phyrexian Obliterator and Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger. Phyrexian Obliterator is one of my favorite cards added period, because of how great of a threat it is. As a 4-black creature, it’s a 5/5 Trample. That sounds expensive to cast because it requires 4 black mana, no colorless. But this is so easy, and we can put it into play for free.

Phyrexian Obliterator, whenever it takes damage, requires your opponent to sacrifice permanents equal to the damage it takes. So as a 5/5, you have to balance if it’s worth blocking or you want to take that kind of damage. Is it worth letting the Obliterator die? Of course, it is, because you can Gyruda back another one or Muldrotha one back into play.

Then there’s Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger. A 10/10 indestructible for 10, and if you cast it, you exile two permanents of your choice. If you play it any other way, you don’t get that. Either way, simply attacking makes you exile 20 cards of your opponent’s deck away. This means I want to put him in an Orzhov deck, to do some weird shenanigans. He’s one of my favorite ways to win. Simply playing him typically makes people give up because you can’t do a whole lot about him, other than exile them.

Ultimately, we want to have several lands in our starting hand. I feel comfortable with 3 lands if we have one or more of our ramp creatures, or a pair of Growth Spiral. We want to be able to have that 6 mana as fast as possible. Since we’re running Gyruda as a companion, we want to have that mana available as fast as possible. He’s a guaranteed cast, after all. Might get countered, but we can be prepared for that. I like to have Thassa turn 3 or 4 if possible, so once Gyruda is cast, we immediately get to bounce him this turn.

So we mana ramp as hard as possible, and prepare for the arrival of Gyruda. To stop creatures we don’t want to deal with, we have the Ravenous Chupacabra and Phyrexian Obliterator. They’ll slow other players to a crawl, and Thassa lets us keep blowing up creatures. If we have a few creatures in play but can’t seal the day, wait a turn, and then Spark Double.

Spark Double our Gyruda, to hopefully get a Raze Forerunner. It will have haste, trample, and give all our creatures +2/+2 until end of turn! So then we just swing lethal, because our opponent will most likely have no answers for it. That’s how we win. If we have to, we can make Ulamog keep attacking until they run out of cards.

The hardest wins are going to be against hyper aggro though. If they run us out of HP before we start our combos, it’s a bad scene. We only have one way to gain life, and that’s through Twilight Prophet. Cast Gyruda, hopefully have Thassa in play too. If we can get a Spark Double from that, we get another Gyruda, so yet another trigger.

It’s also important to note this is an 80 card deck. We aren’t running Yorion though, because he’s got an odd CMC. This is so we can have plenty of mana, and tons of cards for stuff to put into play. We even have one of my favorite creatures, Ghalta, Primal Hunger! After a turn or two of Gyruda procs, we can play this from our hand for 2 green mana. With all our awesome ramp creatures, we can also cast Ulamog without a whole lot of fear.

At the end of the day, we want Gyruda to show up, Spark Doubles and Thassa to be not too far behind, and watch as our opponent despairs in the face of our mighty army.

Key Cards


We have so much we can do in this deck. In the sideboard, we’re packing Destiny Spinner and Shalai, Voice of Plenty in particular. I’m thinking hard about putting Destiny Spinner in the mainboard, just to make our creatures unable to be countered. Getting that in play before we risk the Gyruda play, that would be key. Heavy board-wipe and counterspells can be hard to deal with. It can, in some cases, make the game unwinnable.

Gyruda, Doom of Depths (6-Cost Mythic Rare Black/Blue Legendary Creature – Demon Kraken): Of course, Gyruda’s a keycard for this deck! Don’t be daft. Without it, the win can still happen but it’s frightfully slow. If we don’t have Gyruda in play (via counter/discard/etc), we have to wait on Muldrotha to get him back. That, or we wait for another to appear in our hand. But he is what gives this deck life. We can not only take from our graveyard but the other player! If they have an Ulamog too, you can run theirs. When this 6/6 comes into play, both players mill the top 4 cards of their deck, and you take an even-cost creature from it and put it into play. You can also use the constant milling to win. We have 80 cards instead of 60, so it’s easier for us to survive.

Ravenous Chupacabra (4-Cost Uncommon Black Creature -Beast Horror): God, I missed this card. That is until at least, the other players start using them against me. Then I love it a bit less. For 4 mana, this 2/2 destroys a creature your opponent controls. Then, if we have Thassa in play, we can just keep doing this! This is exceptionally good against aggro decks while we get set up. If we can turn 4 Thassa, turn 5 Ravenous (or vice versa), we can set up a constant wave of creature destruction.

Muldrotha, the Gravetide (6-Cost Mythic Rare Black/Green/Blue Legendary Creature – Elemental): When Gyruda triggers, you can only take 1 out of the potential 8 cards and put it into play. That can mean some incredibly hard choices. I had today, for example, to pick between Spark Double and End-Raze Forerunner. But if you have Muldrotha, the Gravetide, you can just play the other one! It’s a great way to get lands you had to get rid of, or cards you were forced to discard. I miss this card and used it in several decks in the past.

Decklist


Companion

1 Gyruda, Doom of Depths (IKO) 221

Deck

3 Gyruda, Doom of Depths (IKO) 221
4 Umori, the Collector (IKO) 231
4 Thassa, Deep-Dwelling (THB) 71
3 Phyrexian Obliterator (NPH) 68
1 Forest (UND) 96
4 Paradise Druid (WAR) 171
1 Swamp (UND) 92
4 Spark Double (WAR) 68
4 Ravenous Chupacabra (RIX) 82
2 Twilight Prophet (RIX) 88
1 Multani, Yavimaya’s Avatar (DAR) 174
3 Drowned Catacomb (XLN) 253
2 Ghalta, Primal Hunger (RIX) 130
2 End-Raze Forerunners (RNA) 124
2 Muldrotha, the Gravetide (DAR) 199
4 Growth Spiral (RNA) 178
4 Leafkin Druid (M20) 178
4 Overgrown Tomb (GRN) 253
4 Woodland Cemetery (DAR) 248
4 Zagoth Triome (IKO) 259
4 Watery Grave (GRN) 259
4 Breeding Pool (RNA) 246
1 Island (UND) 90
3 Hinterland Harbor (DAR) 240
1 Swamp (THB) 252
1 Forest (THB) 254
1 Island (THB) 251
1 Forest (BFZ) 270
2 Fabled Passage (ELD) 244
2 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger (BFZ) 15

Sideboard

1 Gyruda, Doom of Depths (IKO) 221
4 Destiny Spinner (THB) 168
3 Shalai, Voice of Plenty (DAR) 35
3 The Elderspell (WAR) 89
4 Gemrazer (IKO) 155

Final Thoughts


This deck is amazing. If I lose with it, it’s either because I took a crap starting hand, or simply got out-aggroed. There aren’t a lot of bad matchups, because with the right hand, we can stop any deck except perhaps heavy control. Can you survive the first few turns of Red Deck Wins? Thassa+Ravenous Chupacabra is a great solution, as is Phyrexian Obliterator.

This is a deck that has tons of tools, and you can shift around the creatures to whatever feels right to you. I made some very minor tweaks to the original I was sent because it didn’t quite work (and short two Mythic Rare cards). You could even put a planeswalker into it if you wanted! We can make our creatures cast cheaper with Umori, and we could Spark Double him we wanted. But, try and reserve your Spark Doubles for the big guns: Gyruda, Ulamog, Phyrexian Obliterator (but Gyruda, first and foremost).

This deck is so strong. It might not be the best deck in the meta, but it’s for darn sure reliable, powerful, and makes people incredibly frustrated when it starts popping off. It does admittedly have a hard time against Tribal Decks (Merfolk, Elves, Goblins), but if we start faster than them, they never get off the ground.

The Megas Present “Harder Than Steel” (Blue/White Aggro)


“You’ve got fists for hands, an iron jaw, but now they say the Hardman’s gotten soft,” not my words, the words of The Megas when they wrote a track about Hardman. So this deck is frighteningly simple. It’s a Blue/White aggro deck, where we technically only have a few cards that has a color in the first place.

The overwhelming majority of the deck is colorless – artifacts! It all hinges around a pair of very frustrating white spells because of course, it does. We’re using All That Glitters and Tempered Steel to make our artifacts as big as humanly possible. On top of that, we have primarily very low-cost creatures, ranging from 0-2 in the artifact side of things.

Sure, Venerated Loxodon is a 5-drop, but we can tap a few artifacts to lower that cost down to 1. It’s not like we’re going to be short things to tap, either. Plus we have Voltaic Servant to untap artifacts at the end of our turn. But those two white spells aren’t our only ways to buff. Loxodon buffs anything tapped to cast him, and of course, there’s Steel Overseer!

We have just unreasonable amounts of damage in this deck. If your opponent runs a lot of multi-colored, Stonecoil Serpent is the win-con. We can instead, win via Gingerbrute if the other player isn’t running haste creatures. Then we figure out which creature we want to win with, we look to All That Glitters.

I know some people simply love complicated, technical decks (I’m one of them after all) but I regret to inform you this is not one of them. This is a deck that beats people’s faces into a creamy mush, and there’s not a whole lot that they can do about it.

I’m also just a sucker for robot armies. That’s what we’re putting into play this time: our mechanical army of jerks!

How Does It Work?


I guess “Blue/White” is a bit of a misnomer. There’s one card in the deck that’s Blue or White. But since everything else is white or colorless, it’s only a two-colored deck on a technicality. That card is Arcanist’s Owl and is what we need to fetch for an artifact or enchantment to put into play. How convenient, everything in this deck but Loxodon and Karn, Scion of Urza fit that bill!

Oh, and lands of course. I know some unenlightened people that think Ornithopter is a worthless card. It’s a 0/2 flyer for 0. It can’t attack anything. If anything, it’s the perfect card for All That Glitters. All That Glitters gives the enchanted creature +1/+1 for each artifact and enchantment we control. So let us consider the possibilities here.

34/60 cards in this deck are Enchantments or Artifacts. Also consider that Karn, Scion of Urza creates artifacts with his -2. We can make some truly monstrous cards in this deck. Gingerbrute, Stonecoil Serpent, and Ornithopter are our big winners here. Just buff the one that makes the most sense for a situation.

Or you could slowly get three or four Steel Overseer cards in play. You can tap it to give each artifact creature you control +1/+1. So every turn, you’re buffing. Then you stack Tempered Steel, to give all your Artifact creatures you control +2/+2. So you pop that area buff with Steel Overseer, and your other creatures, you’re going to hammer someone right into the ground like a nail.

If you can get a few Voltaic Servants in play, that’s great too. During your end step, you can untap an artifact, so you can untap blockers like Stonecoil Serpent/Ornithopter, or your Steel Overseer, so you can buff even more!

We have a lot we can do to set up massive, face-beating creatures. That’s not even truthfully the extent of our buffing capabilities. Our Sparring Construct gives +1/+1 to a creature when it dies, so you can throw him away after casting him, just to buff someone else.

Karn, Scion of Urza isn’t truthfully a game-winner, but over time, he can be. We use his +1 to let our opponent pick a card to go in our hand out of two., His -1 lets us put one of those other cards (they receive a silver counter and are exiled) into our hand. Finally, his -2 creates a 0/0 that gains +1/+1 for each artifact we control.

You can see what is going to happen there. We patiently build an army in the mid-game. The longer the game goes on, the harder it could be to win, in theory. Board-wipe is the bane of our existence. But if we say, get a Gingerbrute with All That Glitters (or even two casts of it), we can start dropping Ornithopers and Stonecoil Serpents. Since Stonecoil is an X cast, its cost is whatever we need. We can make them a bunch of 1/1s just to make more artifacts, or make it one massive creature if we’re going to cast All That Glitters on it if the opponent has nothing but multi-colored creatures.

The serpent is a 0/0 that gains +1/+1 counters based on what you tapped for it. It also has Reach, Trample, and Protection from Multicolored. So it’s an absolute monster in the right situations. We can rush, or we can take it slow and build up our army, depending on what the other player is doing. If they’re playing aggro, we can drop a Gingerbrute, buff it, and start hammering away at them.

Don’t do that against Mono-Red Aggro though. They have enough Haste creatures to block him, even if he uses his power to be unblockable. It’s only unblockable except against Haste. This sadly isn’t a deck that has a lot of answers to problems that come up. We aren’t running exile, removal, board wipe, any of that stuff. Our answer is to just keep hitting them in the face until the problem disappears, or we win the game.

That’s the nature of aggro decks though, I think. We aren’t considering “Oh what if the other player has lots of counterspells?” Instead, we think “Oh if they counter this, we’ll play this cheaper option and start bopping them right in the sensitive parts until they run out of HP.

We don’t have any card draw in this deck, unfortunately. That is, outside of Arcanist’s Owl or Karn, Scion of Urza. They’re both 4 drops but have pretty serious value. Arcanist’s Owl lets us pick an enchantment or artifact out of our top four cards. It’s also a 3/3 flyer, so it might be an even better shout for All That Glitters.

If your opponent can’t break through your mechanical defenses, you can just buff over and over using Steel Overseer and your enchantments, until you’re ready to win. Or you can keep cycling through Karn’s powers to make sure you can always make a 0/0 that buffs more and more. But that’s one of the things I like about this deck. Despite being pretty simple as far as a premise goes, it’s flexible. We have quite a few creatures that can win for us.

It’s all about what we need right now.

Key Cards


I used to use Steel Overseer a lot in my old Myr days. Maybe those cards will come to MTG Arena one day. But it still packs quite a bit of a wallop here. What we look at here are the cards that make us win, not the actual creatures themselves (for the most part). We have so many that can secure victory for us, it all depends on the situation. But what can help us get into a place where we cannot be stopped?

All That Glitters (White Uncommon Enchantment – Aura): God, this card is so busted. You don’t run it unless you’re running enchantment/artifact heavy decks. So it’s always going to have incredible value. It’s only a two-drop too, so we can play this on turn 2 if we have Ornithopters. We can play them both on the same turn, no less. If we turn 1 Gingerbrute, we can turn two All That Glitters and drop a couple of Ornithopters if they’re in hand. Why not drop them all at once on turn 1? Because patience! They might have some kind of creature removal that we can bait out with Gingerbrute. You can also stack this more than once for way more value. The more cards we have in play, the more terrifying this uncommon is.

Voltaic Servant (Colorless Uncommon Artifact Creature – Construct): It’s the creature version of Voltaic Key! Huzzah! I’m glad this came back. At the beginning of your end step, untap target artifact. You can swing out with a few creatures, and untap the strongest one so you can defend with it. If you’re playing against Blue/White and they’re tapped out, this is also a strong move. That way they can’t open up their turn by exiling a tapped creature. It allows us to be aggressive and also be defensive at the same time. It lets us untap the Steel Overseer and keep buffing during our opponent’s turn as well. That’s minimum +2/+2 all around!

Tempered Steel (White Rare Enchantment): Tempered Steel made its debut back in the second Mirrodin block. This is another card that I used a lot in my Blue/White Infinite Myr deck. But for 3 mana (2 white), it gives all of our artifact creatures +2/+2. In a deck that only runs White Mana, this is easy to cast. In multi-colored decks, it can be a bit harder for that 2W, but here, it’s nothing. If we get this in our opening hand, we can drop it turn 3, after putting a few Gingerbrutes and Sparring Companions in play. Turning that 1/1 that can’t be blocked (if you have 1 mana open) into a 3/3 minimum? That’s lots of damage in a hurry. Combine this with All That Glitters! That will make Gingerbrute at least a 6/6, before any other cards in play. You love to see it.

Decklist


Deck

4 Tempered Steel (SOM) 24
4 Ornithopter (M10) 216
4 Gingerbrute (ELD) 219
4 Sparring Construct (DAR) 232
4 All That Glitters (ELD) 2
4 Steel Overseer (M20) 239
4 Stonecoil Serpent (ELD) 235
2 Karn, Scion of Urza (DAR) 1
4 Venerated Loxodon (GRN) 30
4 Voltaic Servant (DAR) 236
2 Arcanist’s Owl (ELD) 206
2 Castle Ardenvale (ELD) 238
18 Plains (ANA) 51

Final Thoughts


Don’t forget, you don’t have to let Sparring Construct die! It’s a 1/1 for 1, but if you can keep it around with Steel Overseer and Tempered Steel, it can buff other units later. I love the deck because we just bully people with low-cost, high-impact creatures. No matter how weak our artifacts start, they never stay that way. We buff, increase and summon more and more.

Our power is fluid. If we need one gigantic creature that can’t be blocked by multi-colored, we tap 8-10 mana and drop a huge Stonecoil Serpent. Then we slap All That Glitters on it to make it even bigger. We can instead choose to swing over and over from the skies with Ornithopter or Arcanist’s Owl. Whatever the situation is, we have a creature that will capitalize on it.

Murky Obliteration (Golgari Obliterator Midrange)


A combo stuck out to me when I saw the Historic Announcement, which we certainly covered here. It was the return of the Phyrexian Obliterator! There are some crazy combos you can do with him, but one, in particular, stands out. It has to do with the card Back for More. You return a creature from your grave to the battlefield, and it fights a creature you don’t control.

So that’s going to do obnoxious things. While this is a Golgari Midrange deck, our other win con is a mono-black card! It’s Gary (Gray Merchant of Asphodel)! This is another technical deck. This is a Golgari deck because we have two cards in the deck that are not black. It’s a Mono-Black deck with a splash of Green for flavor.

This is made even easier, thanks to the return of Woodland Cemetary. It’s a dual-colored land that comes in untapped if you control a Swamp or Forest. So, we have Indatha Triome which is a Plains Swamp Forest, Overgrown Tomb which is a Forest Swamp, and then, of course, Swamps. That means we don’t need any “regular” Forests in the deck.

The longer this game goes on, the harder it’s going to be for your opponent to come back with. I mean, we’re running four Phyrexian Obliterators, Ayara, 4 Gray Merchants, and a classic card, Vraska’s Contempt. This deck runs a lot of really obnoxious cards, and you distract the other player until it’s time to make the big plays.

This is a deck that is going to frustrate people. How do I know this? Because I’ve played against it! I was a turn away from winning, and they dropped Gray Merchant and beat me. Before that, they dropped Back for More to bring back an Obliterator, and killed my creature and forced me to sacrifice lands. It was brutal. So I sought it out for myself.

It’s not the meanest deck on this list, but it’s arguably the safest if you ask me. We play frustrating things and gain life for no good reason at inconvenient times. Welcome to the swamps, friends!

How Does It Work?


This whole deck exists because of Gray Merchant of Asphodel and Phyrexian Obliterator! Phyrexian Obliterator costs 4 Black mana, so his devotion to black brings 4 minimum. That means if we have both in play, that’s a minimum of 6 life lost to the other player and we gain 6 life.

Stack that with Ayara, that’s 8 life, and our 1-cost Knights of the Ebon Legion. Yarok’s Fenlurker’s another 2-black card! Don’t worry about those high-swamp costs, though. Every single land in this deck can tap for black mana.

The Back for More card is a “just in case” back-up plan. Why? Because when Phyrexian Obliterator is in play, he’s a threat and must be killed. A 5/5 with Trample, that when it takes damage, the owner of that damage has to sacrifice that many permanents?

So, we have four of them, and the other player has to deal with it. But consider this: If we have an opponent that is going slowly and we’re on the upswing, we can do something mean. Consider this, if you will.

Phyrexian Obliterator is in play, we attack with it. We get the 5 damage. Pay 3, lose 2 life, and we kill our Phyrexian Obliterator, using Swift End, the Adventure spell attached to Murderous Rider! We can do it on our opponent’s turn, too. Also, we can use Ayara, First of Locthwain to sacrifice the Obliterator, for 1 mana. That way, we don’t spend any mana to do it!

Why would we do that? Maybe it gets locked down with enchantments, or maybe we just want to be a jerk. We can then cast Back for More for 6 mana (1 black, 1 green), and bring it back into play! Then it can fight an opponent’s creature.

This way, we force the other player to sacrifice permanents! Even if it means the Obliterator is going to die, that’s fine. The more damage it takes, the more permanents the other player has to get rid of. I would only do this if I had another in play, or could cast another one from hand. But that’s just a means to an end. Winning with Phyrexian Obliterator is easy enough because nobody wants to ever block him.

The only player that blocks an Obliterator is one that has a ton of tokens or spare creatures. Looking at you, Elfball. So, we have a tool we can win easily. But instead of swinging with him, I like to use him as a defender, forcing the other player to not attack, or lose permanents (except with flyers/unblockables, of course).

That way, we build up our creature army and settle in for a Gray Merchant win. How do we set that up though? Ayara, First of Locthwain can sacrifice a creature to draw a card. When we lose a creature with Murderous Rider in play, we lose 1 life and draw a card. However, with Ayara, playing black creatures gives 1 life, and the opponent loses 1 life! So we have a ton of card draw.

We use those to get a Gray Merchant, a few Yarok’s Fenlurkers, and Obliterators as fast as possible. Yarok’s Fenlurker is an amazing turn-two play because it’s a 1/1 for 2. Wait, that doesn’t sound good! The other player has to exile a card from their hand too. It can inflate via 3 mana (1 black), but we aren’t going to do that very often, if ever.

Our ideal early game though is getting a Knight of the Ebon Legion in play, hopefully, followed by Yarok’s Fenlurker, or our other fun control card, Brain Maggot. That lets us exile a card from the other player’s hand, a nonland. It stays gone until Brain Maggot leaves play.

Our other control cards are Vraska’s Contempt to exile a creature or planeswalker, or the aforementioned Murderous Rider’s “Swift End” spell cast. So we can slow the other player down by exiling cards.

This deck’s win condition doesn’t even require us to attack! We can keep making the other player lose life simply by keeping Ayara in play and casting black creatures. She’s also a 3-black cost creature. That’s important for Gray Merchant. So in case you aren’t aware, I’ll go over Devotion real quick.

Your permanents (nonland) each have mana symbols in their cost. For each skull in our creature’s cost, that adds 1 to our “Devotion Total”. When we cast Gray Merchant, each opponent loses life equal to your Devotion Total. Then we gain that much life. He’s a 5-cost (2 black).

So that’s what we do here. We’re going to slowly whittle down the other player’s life total through Ayara, and maybe pinging away with Phyrexian and Knight of the Ebon Legion. Knight of the Ebon Legion can get the win all on its own if the other player has a weak start.

That is a creature that grows when an opponent loses 4 life on a turn. For 3 mana, we can give it +3/+3 and deathtouch too! So with open mana, he’s a terrifying defender. So while attacking with him is great, keeping three-six mana open with him around is just as scary. Your opponent has to wonder if you’re willing to throw him away just to kill an attacker.

Spoiler Warning: We are. We are. So we have Back for More as a Black/Green spell. What’s our other non-black card? Paradise Druid! They let us tap for any color of mana, and it has Hexproof as long as it’s untapped. As a 2/1, it’s a card we can sacrifice as a defender, should we wind up with more than enough mana. But they help us play our spells just a little faster. If we’re shy one black and want to play an Obliterator or something, there we go, with the Paradise Druid coming out to save the day!

Golgari Obliterator picks away at someone’s life points by playing black creatures, play the Obliterators as a threat, and throw the curveball at the last second, drop a Gray Merchant, and win! You could in theory, just win in one turn if you have two of them available to you. Be patient, as always, play your creatures, and wield Phyrexian Obliterators with due reverence. Do you want to make your opponent block them, or do you want them to be defenders? That style is up to you.

Key Cards


I’d like to squeeze Nightmare Shephard into this deck. Why you ask? Because it is one of the keys to the Gray Merchant combo OTK! Plus we can use it with Phyrexian Obliterator to let it die, and get it back again! A white/black version might be fun too with Mothra, but that’s neither here nor there. So that’s something to think about. If anything, I’d consider swapping one or two Paradise Druids, or even one of those and a Vraska’s Contempt. We know that Gary and Phyrexian Obliterator are the keys of this deck, but what will help us make the other player as mad as possible?

Back for More (6-Cost Black/Green Uncommon Spell – Instant): This card exists for when Phyrexian Obliterator dies. There are going to be times when you play it, and the other player immediately responds with Ravenous Chupacabra, or a pair of Red instants to kill it. So in response, you can pay 6 mana to not only get it back but have it kill something! Don’t use this if your opponent has no creatures, I think though. Otherwise, you waste the ability to force damage onto your Obliterator.

Ayara, First of Locthwain (3-Cost Black Rare Legendary Creature – Elf Noble): Honestly, I don’t think Ayara gets the respect she deserves. An incredible card with so much value. She’s in tons of decks. This is a ⅔ for 3 (3 black), and when she or any other black creature drops under your control, the other player loses 1 life and you gain 1. That can be just what you need to survive another turn. Plus you can sacrifice a black creature to draw 1 card! So if you have an Obliterator that can no longer attack/defend, just sacrifice him, and bring him back via Back for More! I prefer to do that during the other player’s turn so I can get more cards in hand, and not risk losing a defender.

Vraska’s Contempt (4-Cost Black Rare Spell – Instant): I picked this card as a key because it’s so overwhelmingly powerful. For 4 mana you can exile a creature or planeswalker, and you gain 2 life! Huge creature getting you down? Sudden planeswalker about to win the other player the game? Tired of just dealing with an Elf getting bigger and bigger as the turns go on? Drop Vraska’s Contempt upon their face and ruin their day.

Decklist


Deck

4 Brain Maggot (JOU) 62
3 Murderous Rider (ELD) 97
4 Paradise Druid (WAR) 171
2 Ayara, First of Locthwain (ELD) 75
4 Knight of the Ebon Legion (M20) 105
4 Yarok’s Fenlurker (M20) 123
4 Gray Merchant of Asphodel (THB) 99
4 Vraska’s Contempt (XLN) 129
3 Castle Locthwain (ELD) 241
4 Phyrexian Obliterator (NPH) 68
10 Swamp (THB) 283
3 Back for More (IKO) 177
4 Overgrown Tomb (GRN) 253
4 Woodland Cemetery (DAR) 248
3 Indatha Triome (IKO) 248

Final Thoughts


This deck is just rude. I love midrange decks that don’t require you to attack. If you get board wiped though, it could be lights out. Drop as many creatures as you can, always keep mana open. As long as Knight of the Ebon Legion, Yarok’s Fenlurker in play, try to always keep mana open. You never know when you’ll need to buff one of them on the defense. You don’t even have to attack, but you certainly can!

Phyrexian Obliterator could, in theory, win you the game all on its own before Gary even shows up. Your opponent isn’t going to want to sacrifice up to 5 (or more) permanents just to stay in the game. If they’re low on creatures, they’re going to have to get rid of lands, and that’s no good. If you have Back for More in hand and know they can’t counter, feel free to throw good ole Obliterator out every turn! What’s the worst that happens? You bring him back and do something mean?!

… Yeah, fair enough. That sounds awesome to me.

Bolas-Ception (Red/Blue/Black Control)


These next two Historic Anthology 3 decks are going to be based around a card that it seems like people just can’t get enough of: Fires of Invention! They’re two very different decks though. This one synergizes the card with our favorite planeswalker, Nicol Bolas! We’re running two versions of him, because this is historic, and we do what we want here.

This deck doesn’t take advantage of the new Historic Anthology cards, as much as it does new cards in Ikoria. We have a few of those cards available to us, like Heartless Act, Extinction Event, and Shark Typhoon.

Grixis is my second favorite color combination, next to Esper. Grixis is Red/Blue/Black and is built around being as infuriating as it can be. We’re not running Faerie of Wishes in this deck, but our sideboard is still important.

Why? Because we have Mastermind’s Acquisition instead! It’s arguably better because it can also let us delve into our deck to find a card if we need something there instead! It’s far more flexible, and can’t be countered for 1 mana, like our blue Fae counterpart.

But since we’re only really running a tiny handful of creatures, what’s our win condition? Do we even have one? Yes, of course, we do! Our win condition is “whichever Bolas card gets to maximum first”. Nicol Bolas, Dragon God may not work as a win con if the other player has legendary creatures/planeswalkers in play. But that’s why we can reach to our sideboard, and wipe their board clean.

Then we can win. Trust me. This all works like a charm. It’s not quick, but it’s frustrating all the same. We look at their hand, we fetch cards, and we make sure that nothing they want to use ever stays in play for very long.

How Does It Work?


Oh, Ikoria. You’ve changed the game yet again. I feel like perhaps we’re getting deeper into a spiral where every set has even more busted cards than the one before it. One of the downsides of MTG Arena not being able to nerf cards.

Instead, we have to ban/restrict. We have a ban/restricted announcement coming, but I doubt it will affect any of these Historic Anthology 3 decks all that much. So what is our grand master plan this time? It’s a Grixis deck without counterspells! What are we going to do?

Why we’re going to cast Fires of Invention of course! That’s the big plan here. We get Fires of Invention in play, and hopefully, a Shark Typhoon in a few turns after that. Shark Typhoon will give us the creatures we need to stay resilient, but it’s not always going to be needed.

We have Cry of the Carnarium, Ritual of Soot, and Extinction Event as in-deck options to board wipe. If we can get the turn-4 Fires, Mastermind’s Acquisition becomes far more powerful than before. We can search for the card we need, and play it on that turn!

Truthfully, I haven’t seen a lot of counter-heavy decks in Historic. It all feels very aggressive or combo-oriented. So, we use our sideboard to get any solutions we need. Graveyard deck? Grafdigger’s Cage. Do they need one card to win? Unmoored Ego. Need more board wipe? Kaya’s Wrath, Ruinous Ultimatum. Ruinous is probably my favorite card in the sideboard. It destroys all nonland permanents your opponent controls!

That’s how we set up a Nicol Bolas, Dragon God win. His ultimate ability is “Each opponent who doesn’t control a legendary creature or planeswalker loses the game”. So that’s the easiest way to win. We bomb the board and activate his ability. But what about our other Nicol Bolas?

Nicol Bolas, the Ravager is a creature, that gets exiled for 7 mana. He then comes back as the planeswalker version, Nicol Bolas, the Arisen. He has 7 base loyalty, and can do some just. . . ruthless things. Draw 2 cards, deal 10 to a creature/planeswalker or put a creature/planeswalker from any graveyard into play. But his -12 exiles the opponent’s entire deck, except one card.

I’d love to put the Orzhov planeswalker in this deck just to blow someone up for 30-40 damage, but it’s not necessary. So, our ideal, most likely win conditions will be one of the two Nicol Bolas cards. We can also set up some rude shenanigans with Ashiok, Nightmare Muse. That sets up some exile shenanigans, and then we activate their -7. We can then cast 3 face-up cards our opponent’s own from exile without paying their mana cost.

You see where that’s going, yes? We mostly use Ashiok to create ⅔ Nightmare tokens that exile cards when blocked/blocking. But her -3 is also nice, that bounces a nonland permanent to the owner’s hand, and then they exile a card from their hand after that. This is exceptional if we can catch someone with an empty hand. Bounce one key card out of the game, guaranteed.

Our early game, we sincerely want at least one Thought Erasure in hand. That way, we can see what the other player is doing, and try to get their greedy, key card they kept a starting hand for, and discard it. We also really want a Fires of Invention in our hand, or at least, draw into it early.

Once we have Fires in play, we can take our time. It lets us cast two spells a turn without paying the mana cost. The only catch is that we have to have at least enough lands in play to cover its CMC (converted mana cost).

Mastermind’s Acquisition is the most important card in this deck. No matter what situation we’re in, no matter what card we need, we can get it. Except the graveyard. It lets you choose one: pick a card from your deck, or your sideboard, and put it in your hand. Whether we need lifegain (Planetwide Celebration), to destroy creature tokens (Virulent Plague), or whatever, our answer is available to us.

Don’t cast it all willy-nilly. Keep a close eye on the state of the board, and pick what you need. If you don’t have one of your Nicol Bolas, figure out which one is the most ideal, and take that one. The easier of the two to use is Nicol Bolas, Dragon God. But if we have the lands, we can cast Nicol Bolas, the Ravager, make your opponent discard, and then transform him on that turn.

I’d rather leave him as a creature, unless we have a second in hand (or can get another). That way we have at minimum two Nicol Bolas’ on the table. We can get a max of three: Dragon God, the Ravager, and Arisen. So you can have Ravager, transform him, and play another Ravager! It’s filthy.

If we can get an early Search for Azcanta, that’s also very ideal. When it transforms (by having 7 or more cards in your grave), it’s a great way to peel through the top four cards of your deck for a noncreature, nonland. Which is almost everything in this deck.

Beyond our Nicol Bolas wall of hate, Shark Typhoon, once we get one, can start making an army of creatures. I’d fetch a Shark Typhoon before Nicol Bolas. That way, when we cast Bolas (except the Ravager), we gain an X/X flying Shark.

Anytime we cast a noncreature spell, with Shark Typhoon in play, we gain flying shark with Power/Toughness equal to that CMC. So getting that after Fires of Invention is key. We have six cards in this deck that are creatures, total.

Virtually everything we cast is going to give us a creature. Your path to victory is what you want it to be. Whether you choose to bulldoze someone with sharks, or simply “make your opponent lose”, your path to victory is whatever you want it to be.

My ideal game is to get Fires of Invention in play, follow-up with Shark Typhoon two turns later, and then after that, fetch a Ruinous Ultimatum. We blow up all their non-land permanents. Then if we can go back to our sideboard one more time, we can get Blood Sun. That gets rid of all non-mana abilities in all lands in the game. No more blowing up permanents with your lands, or making tokens!

Sarkhan the Masterless is another solid potential game-winner. We can turn our in-play planeswalkers into 4/4 flying dragons and hopefully, swing lethal with them. This is a deck that wins when you understand what your opponent can, and cannot do. You lock them out of what they can, and then take a victory when they give up upon seeing your increasingly growing army of Shark Tokens.

Key Cards


What makes this deck so great is how many “answers” we have. Though we can only use Mastermind’s Acquisition four times, we have four chances to secure an answer to any problem. Or to set up a near-unstoppable board state. The only way we get more is if the other player has Fae of Wishes/Mastermind’s Acquisition, and we conveniently exile/cast it with Ashiok. We can also use Ashiok, Dream Render if we’re worried about graveyard decks. We have an answer to every problem. It’s up to you to judge what is most important!

Nicol Bolas, the Ravager (Blue/Black/Red 4-cost Mythic Rare Legendary Creature – Elder Dragon): That’s a mouthful, that is. Nicol Bolas is a flying creature that makes your opponent discard, and also becomes a terrifying planeswalker. What makes him so great on top of that, is he’s a 4-drop baseline. His transformation requires 7 mana, though. But he’s a great layover until we have 5 mana and Nicol Bolas, Dragon God. He’s a very easy way to win the game if we have complete domination of the board state (not very hard to do at all).

Mastermind’s Acquisition (Black 4-cost Rare Spell – Sorcery): As I said before, this card is the gateway to victory. Any card you need from your deck or sideboard, you can pilfer it and put it into your hand. This card is only as powerful as your knowledge of the deck and your opponent’s deck, so keep that in mind.

Shark Typhoon (Blue 6-Cost Enchantment): In the event, you don’t or can’t win via Nicol Bolas right away, you can winnow away at someone with Sharks. Did you cast a Thought Erasure? Get a 2/2 Flying Shark. Cast another Fires of Invention? Get a 4/4 Flying Shark. Did you board wipe with Cry of the Carnarium? Get a 3/3 Flying Shark! The bigger the spell, the bigger the shark. Our biggest spell in the sideboard is 7 mana, so we can, at best, get a trio of (minimum) of 7/7 flying sharks. They can either be aggressive or make people wait until they lose via Bolas. The choice is yours!

Decklist


Deck

1 Island (M20) 266
1 Extinction Event (IKO) 88
2 Murderous Rider (ELD) 97
1 Ritual of Soot (GRN) 84
2 Heartless Act (IKO) 91
3 Shark Typhoon (IKO) 67
3 Ashiok, Nightmare Muse (THB) 208
4 Nicol Bolas, the Ravager (M19) 218
1 Mountain (M20) 273
3 Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God (WAR) 207
4 Thought Erasure (GRN) 206
2 Search for Azcanta (XLN) 74
4 Fires of Invention (ELD) 125
3 Dragonskull Summit (XLN) 252
1 Cry of the Carnarium (RNA) 70
4 Watery Grave (GRN) 259
3 Steam Vents (GRN) 257
2 Sulfur Falls (DAR) 247
4 Blood Crypt (RNA) 245
3 Swamp (M20) 272
4 Mastermind’s Acquisition (RIX) 77
1 Temple of Deceit (THB) 245
4 Drowned Catacomb (XLN) 253

Sideboard

1 Unmoored Ego (GRN) 212
1 Ashiok, Dream Render (WAR) 228
1 Vraska’s Contempt (XLN) 129
1 Sarkhan the Masterless (WAR) 143
1 Cry of the Carnarium (RNA) 70
1 Chandra, Awakened Inferno (M20) 127
1 Planewide Celebration (WAR) 172
1 Blood Sun (RIX) 92
1 Kaya’s Wrath (RNA) 187
1 Enter the God-Eternals (WAR) 196
1 Virulent Plague (DTK) 125
1 Ruinous Ultimatum (IKO) 204
2 Grafdigger’s Cage (M20) 227
1 Inspired Ultimatum (IKO) 191

Final Thoughts


Out of the Historic Anthology 3 decks for MTG Arena we’ve featured here, this is the only one I can think of so far, that has no “new” cards in it. But it uses the new Standard ideas instead and expands on them. There are already several Sharknado decks. But this one uses that as a back-up or side-plan. It’s not our main course of action, but it can be if we want. What we have to worry about though is aggro.

We don’t have room in the deck for several copies of our board wipes. We only have one of each (except Cry of the Carnium in the sideboard). So you have to pay attention, and understand what we have access to, and what we can survive. You’re probably going to take a lot of damage in the early game, so you can survive into the late game. Planetside Celebration on the sideboard can fix that late game if that’s your want. Conversely, you can also use that card to Proliferate 4 times and win the game as soon as Nicol Bolas, Dragon God is in play (as long as the other player has no legendary creatures/planeswalker in play).

Learn what your opponent can and cannot do, and then punish them for their iniquity. That is the path to victory using Fires of Invention.

Death and Taxes (Mono-White Mid-Range/Control)


Since Agents of Treachery and Fires of Invention both received a ban, the decks I had planned are no longer viable! So let’s go with something easy, simple, and mono-colored: Death & Taxes! Death & Taxes is a style of deck, usually found in older metas like Modern. The idea behind it is you slow the other player down until they simply can’t do anything.

One of the original “Death & Taxes” cards is here, thanks to Thalia, Guardian of Thraben coming back. She makes non-creature spells cost 1 mana more. Sadly, she’s legendary, so we can’t have two of her in play at once. But we can do so much more.

We can tap creatures when they come in, prevent enemies from playing lands from their grave (Hi, Muldrotha), and prevents our lands from being the target of spells or abilities. So land destruction? Not on our Plains!

Ultimately, our deck is built for high-octane damage, and slowing the other player down. One of the downsides of Mono-White is a lack of trample though. We have an option for that, too: Shadowspear! I was talking about this with a friend just the other day.

I always sneak one into my mono-white decks now, because it’s so useful as a one-drop artifact. But Thalia’s not our only option to slow things down, not at all. In fact, during our turn, we slow things down quite a bit more with our Tithe Taker! So let’s talk about this fun, horrific deck!

How Does It Work?


Our goal is to still beat people right in the face with ultra-violence. But it takes some time for us to get there. How do we get there, though? Using Ajani, Adversary of Tyrants to buff creatures, making them have a useful ability using Gideon Blackblade (like indestructible). Luminous Broodmoth is so good in this deck too. Even if a creature dies, it can come back again, this time, with flying!

This is doubly great for cards with Afterlife (like Tithe Taker). If we can get four Tithe Takers in play (unlikely), all spells played during our turn cost 4 more. Luminous Broodmoth has so many uses in this deck.

One of the biggest combos in the deck, for example, is Alseid of Life’s Bounty. It’s a 1/1 with Lifelink that can be sacrificed to give a creature or enchantment Protection of a Color until the end of turn. So you combine that with Luminous Broodmoth, and Alseid comes back! So we can sacrifice it yet again for a potentially unblockable situation!

Gideon can be our game-winner since he takes no damage as a creature. Simply give him the Shadowspear, give him protection from a color, and swing! We have him to do damage, flying creatures when they die, or simply get Ajani’s ultimate. It creates an Emblem that offers you 3 1/1 white lifelink cat tokens during every one of your end steps. So you will eventually run someone over. But how do we slow the game down until the tide is right and well-turned?

Tomik, Distinguished Advokist makes it so our opponents can’t target our lands, and cannot play lands from the graveyard. So no land destruction, which is something very hard to deal with. He’s not the biggest part of the combo, but it’s great in the right moments.

Then we look to Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, who is the hero. A 2-cost (1 white) with first strike, Noncreature spells cost 1 more to cast, period. The downside is that they’re a 2/1! That means they can be killed very easily. With Luminous Broodmoth though, she comes back as a flyer, so they have to keep trying.

Thalia slows them down as does Tithe Taker. They’re also a 2/1 and makes it so spells your opponents cast cost 1 more to cast, and abilities they activate also cost 1 more unless they are mana abilities. The best part of Tithe Taker is that they stack though, and has Afterlife. So when it dies, you gain a 1/1 Flying Spirit Token.

Luminous Broodmoth strikes again, so we would get it back and still keep the token. Next up in the “Slow ‘em down World Tour 2020” is Kinjalli’s Sunwing! That’s right, a Dino! This is a ⅔ flyer, that makes creatures your opponents control come into play tapped! Oh, were you going to play a RDW deck? Wanted to swing mercilessly and constantly?

No, you most certainly did not. Finally, Tocatli Honor Guard is our Hushbringer. Creatures that enter the battlefield don’t trigger abilities, so no-nonsense +1/+1 tokens that drop from the sky for no reason. Of course, we’re also using Banishing Light to exile cards, and one final sneaky way to win.

Lavabrink Venturer has you pick even or odd when it comes to play. Lavabrink Venturer then gains protection from cards with that CMC (converted mana cost). If we get both into play, we are guaranteed to have a creature that can’t be targeted/blocked. So we slap the Shadowspear on one, and just go after them!

Take the time, slow them down, and batter them down with righteous, holy power!

Key Cards


What a fun, easy deck this is. We have so many cards that put the board state in a positive one for us. One of the things it lacks is heavy lifegain, though. That’s rare for mono-white. We have Daoxos, Blessed by the Sun in the sideboard, but I may simply slot him into the main board to make that more viable. So we’ll focus our key card thoughts on the best “slow down” cards on offer.

Kinjalli’s Sunwing (White 3-Cost Rare Creature – Dinosaur): Fun fact: This card was the card that almost turned my Gruul dino deck into a three-color deck! Creatures your opponents control enter the battlefield tapped! Plus it’s a ⅔ flyer. It’s great because any aggro deck is instantly slowed down. We don’t have tons of “huge” creatures, but we can make them a little bigger. With this, those dorky goblins slow down so we can set up our defenses for them.

Alseid of Life’s Bounty White 1-Cost Uncommon Enchantment Creature – Nymph): Did your opponent cast Shock/Lightning Bolt/Target for destruction your Thalia, Guardian of Thraben? For 1 mana, you can sacrifice this, and protect them! Then if you have a Broodmoth, it comes back so you can do it again! They can just sit on the board at turn one, and it’s a constant threat as long as you have one mana open. Your opponent won’t know what you plan on saving with it, so it’s going to be a nagging worry.

Thalia, Guardian of Thraben (White 2-Cost Rare Legendary Creature – Human Soldier): A first strike 2/1 that makes everything that isn’t a creature cost 1 more? I’m sold. They’re part of why this deck made a comeback I think. Even if they kill it, we’re packing several, so they’re coming back. Again, Luminous Broodmoth can make her come back anyway. Tired of hearing about her yet? I’m not!

Decklist


Deck

2 Castle Ardenvale (ELD) 238
2 Lavabrink Venturer (IKO) 19
4 Luminous Broodmoth (IKO) 21
4 Tocatli Honor Guard (XLN) 42
2 Field of Ruin (THB) 242
4 Secluded Steppe (ONS) 324
3 Banishing Light (THB) 4
2 Tomik, Distinguished Advokist (WAR) 34
2 Gideon Blackblade (WAR) 13
2 Ajani, Adversary of Tyrants (M19) 3
1 Shadowspear (THB) 236
4 Kinjalli’s Sunwing (XLN) 19
4 Tithe Taker (RNA) 27
4 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben (DKA) 24
16 Plains (M20) 261
4 Alseid of Life’s Bounty (THB) 1

Sideboard

2 Slaughter the Strong (RIX) 22
2 Amulet of Safekeeping (M19) 226
1 Daxos, Blessed by the Sun (THB) 9
2 Revoke Existence (THB) 34
3 Grafdigger’s Cage (M20) 227
3 Drannith Magistrate (IKO) 11
2 Nyx-Fleece Ram (JOU) 18

Final Thoughts


This is a nice, simple deck to run. The only challenge is deciding what creature you’re going to win with though. We have a few options, especially Lavabrink Adventurer. It’s a fun, easy deck with relatively low-cost, high-use creatures. We slow the other player down and whittle away at them. We aren’t likely to beat someone in one blow (though that would be awesome). We slow time down for them, so even if they like direct damage and counter-play, you can slow it down so that every spell for them matters.

Nothin Says Naya Like Winota (Red/White/Green Combo/Aggro)


Remember when I said, “Gyruda is my favorite deck in Historic?” Well, I might have one that’s even more absurd and frustrating to play against. This is a deck that initially had access to Agent of Treachery, but no longer! The Standard Winota ran him to start stealing permanents as early as turn 4. However, that’s not necessary in Historic. Because by turn 4, we can turn this deck into an OTK monster.

This deck runs a truly ferocious card, in the form of Fauna Shaman. Even if we don’t start with a Winota in our hands, we can get one. That makes our ideal starting hand a lot more flexible. What makes the deck so powerful is how many possible triggers we have for Winota to pop off with. Also, we have the ever-popular turn-1 Llanowar Elf. That one extra bit of mana can really be more powerful than you think.

This is a nice blend of combo and aggro, and as soon as turn 4 hits, we can win. We can get Winota out on turn 3, but it won’t do any good without things to proc with it. We want turn ⅘ to get going. This deck also runs a companion, in the form of Umori, the Collector. Bear in mind that Companions have changed. If you need further details, please see this link.

Honestly, that change doesn’t hurt this deck. Having to pay that extra 3 mana isn’t so bad for us. Why? Because we don’t put Umori into play all that often. We don’t need to! It’s only when the game drags on, that we want to put Umori in. It’s when we’re biding our time for a Winota.

This was a deck I ran briefly in Standard but didn’t see quite the same success. For whatever reason, it just wasn’t popping off as it should. But here, in magical Historic land, this deck is showing real signs of life for me in MTG Arena.

There’s an alternate version of this deck, with a similar strategy, but different creatures to make it pop off. I’ll include that decklist too, because it’s really fascinating. Instead of using Phoenix, Gruul Spellbreaker, and cards like that, we’re running Emmara, Soul of the Accord, Rhys the Redeemed, and Mox Amber to pop off.

I like the other version (the first decklist you’ll see) more, but I see the appeal of the alternate decklist. I’ve played them against each other, and it all depends on who has the better start. At the end of the day, it still relies on the same damage combo to see victory though.

How Does It Work?


Winona, Joiner of Forces is the MVP of this deck. Everything is centered around her bringing together non-humans and humans. When she’s in play, and a non-human creature attacks that you control, you can look at the top six cards of your deck. Then, you can put a human creature (of any cost) into play, tapped, attacking, and it’s also indestructible. As long as “Human” is not in the original attackers typing, this will proc. This also procs as many times as you have attackers.

If we have Legion Warboss, it makes a Goblin every turn that has to attack. If those can avoid death, it’s even better. If we say, attack with Llanowar Elf, Fauna Shaman, Legion Warboss, and the two Goblin Tokens, that’s five chances for more creatures. So what are we looking for to win with?

If we get even one Angrath’s Marauders, it might be game over. If we get more than one, more’s the better. Why? Angrath’s Marauder doubles the damage our sources do! Plus they’re a 4/4 all on their own. So if we can get two of those, that’s amazing. Also, we want Haktos the Unscarred. When he comes into play, he’s got protection from all converted mana costs, but 2, 3, or 4 (chosen at random). As a 6/1, that makes him do at least 12 damage when combined with the Marauder.

If you get lucky and he’s unblockable, that’s the perfect thing to see. The idea is that we overwhelm them with double damage. Sometimes, this simply doesn’t pan out and we don’t get any useful creatures. What if we get a Winota, Joiner of Forces in this pull? Use her instead of the one you have in play!

Sacrifice her, and attack with the new Winota! That’s something I need to remember to do. I’ve lost a few games because I didn’t think of that. Bad play can happen. So the major strategy is to overwhelm the other player with more damage than they can handle at turn 4. My biggest attack was to bring someone from 18 life to -28 life on turn five.

Bombarded them. What do we do if we don’t have a Winota in our starting hand? You can consider a mulligan. If you have plenty of mana, and creatures, you might stick it out. In particular, if you have Fauna Shaman. What makes her so great? She’s a creature version of a card that’s banned! Survival of the Fittest had the same rarity and power, as well as CMC.

Fauna Shaman lets you discard a creature card, by tapping her and one green mana. You then go to your deck, choose a creature, and put it into your hand. You have to reveal it too. There are no restrictions on what you can pull. So there are creatures in this deck simply for discard fodder.

Phoenix of Ash and Gruul Spellbreaker meet that goal for me. Try to keep a creature in hand just for this occasion. Even if you have to drop a spare Adanto Vanguard or Llanowar Elf to fetch Winota, do it. Speaking of the Vanguard, he’s one of our best early game creatures, and they’re a Vampire! As a 1/1 that can become a 3/1 when attacking, he’s amazing. You can pay 4 life to make them indestructible too.

We want to get as many low-cost non-humans in play to set up for the big Winota bomb. In more cases than not, when she is played, and we declare attack, people give up right away. Why even bother, when you’re going to win? Because I’ve had matches where I had four Winota procs that did nothing. But I won anyway because they lost hope.

In the face of superior might of Winota, Joiner of Forces, nobody can stand. She brings us all together for the greater good: Ultraviolence.

Key Cards


This deck is so darn mean. We have early game pressure (Adanto Vanguard), spot removal (Bonecrusher Giant), and a way to fetch exactly what we want to win the game with (Fauna Shaman). But what exactly do we want to win? What are the cards that scream “THE GAME IS OVER YOU DORK!” to me? Well, I’m glad you asked.

Haktos the Unscarred (Red/White 4-Cost Rare Legendary Creature – Human Warrior): Ahh, Achilles. When Theros Beyond Death came out, I said he might be the best legendary in the set. While I wasn’t exactly right, he turned out to be wild in the set that came next. Winona, Joiner of Forces draws into his untapped potential (har har). He’s protected from all sources, except by converted mana costs of 2, 3, or 4, chosen at random when he is cast. The downside is you could get hosed here. I’ve had quite a few games where RNG just gave him up to the other player on a silver platter (2, when all the enemy creatures had a 2 cost). But if he can’t be blocked, and you get him with Marauders, that’s a minimum of 12 damage. He’s a free win.

Angrath’s Marauders (Red 7-Cost Rare Creature – Human Pirate): This is a mobile version of the Furnace of Rathe from back in the day. A 4/4 for 7, if a source you control deals damage to a permanent or player, you double that damage instead. Getting him at the same time as Haktos ends the game. Even those little 1/1 and 2/2s become a threat. If you can get more than one of him in play at once, it’s filthy and unpleasant. This wasn’t seen as a great card upon arrival because it’s a 7-drop. But now that we can play it on turn 4 with Winota for free, it’s suddenly very powerful.

Winona, Joiner of Forces (Red/White 4-Cost Mythic Rare Legendary Creature – Human Warrior): One of the most powerful decks from the outset of Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, people would rage-quit as soon as I cast Winota. They wouldn’t even wait to see what was coming. It was just “Welp, I’m done here”. It was infinite-turn levels of salt. The idea behind her is to play low-cost non-humans, and swing with them when she’s in play. For each creature, you look at the top six, and put a human in play, tapped, attacking, and indestructible. The more low-cost options you have, the better. This is why the other deck is so great. It runs Rhys the Redeemed (1), Gallia of the Endless Dance (2), Thalia, Guardian of Thraben (2), Emmara, Soul of the Accord (2), Legion Warboss (3) as our triggers. She’s what makes this pop off. Casting her signals the end of the game, one way or another.

Decklist


Companion

1 Umori, the Collector (IKO) 231

Primary Decklist

4 Ancient Ziggurat (CONF) 141
4 Legion Warboss (GRN) 109
1 Mountain (UND) 94
1 Forest (UND) 96
2 Phoenix of Ash (THB) 148
4 Bonecrusher Giant (ELD) 115
1 Gruul Spellbreaker (RNA) 179
4 Fauna Shaman (M11) 172
4 Temple Garden (GRN) 258
3 Rootbound Crag (XLN) 256
4 Stomping Ground (RNA) 259
4 Clifftop Retreat (DAR) 239
4 Sacred Foundry (GRN) 254
4 Angrath’s Marauders (XLN) 132
4 Haktos the Unscarred (THB) 218
4 Adanto Vanguard (XLN) 1
4 Llanowar Elves (DAR) 168
4 Winota, Joiner of Forces (IKO) 216

Sideboard

1 Umori, the Collector (IKO) 231

Alternate Decklist

4 Legion Warboss (GRN) 109
3 Rhys the Redeemed (SHM) 237
2 Rootbound Crag (XLN) 256
4 Temple Garden (GRN) 258
4 Stomping Ground (RNA) 259
4 Ancient Ziggurat (CON) 141
2 Gallia of the Endless Dance (THB) 217
4 Haktos the Unscarred (THB) 218
3 Mox Amber (DAR) 224
2 Sunpetal Grove (XLN) 257
2 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben (DKA) 24
4 Fauna Shaman (M11) 172
3 Emmara, Soul of the Accord (GRN) 168
4 Llanowar Elves (DAR) 168
2 Clifftop Retreat (DAR) 239
4 Winota, Joiner of Forces (IKO) 216
4 Sacred Foundry (GRN) 254
4 Angrath’s Marauders (XLN) 132
1 Plains (ANA) 51

Final Thoughts


The concept of this deck is so simple. Play non-humans, play Winota, swing, win. Sure, there’s a chance that our draws will bring nothing. It’s happened to me on a few occasions. If you gamble and pull nothing, the game is likely over, unless your opponent can’t match your aggression. Then you simply swing again.

But what can stop this rollercoaster of agony and frustration? Treasure Hunt. It’s a deck I’ll be covering this week, don’t worry. Decks that are faster than us, like Treasure Hunt can win, simply because they hit their win condition before turn 4. If our opponent can board wipe us before Winota hits and we attack, we lose there too.

Heavy exile/counter-spell decks can stop us. But if we can get that turn 1 Llanowar, or turn ⅔ Adantos, whatever you want your early game to be, you start off in a much better place. That’s how we win: our non-human allies swing and bring in the big, beefy, game-winning aggressive human characters. That’s the win con. Set it up, and blow up the other player with the might of Winota.

Kinnan and His Awesome Monster Pals (Simic Ramp Combo)


Higher into plat, this is a deck I started running into more and more frequently It, too, has a few variations, but the one I’m picking runs a Leyline, Leyline of Abundance. It makes the early game terrifying if it drops on turn one. This is an interesting Simic Ramp deck, in that we don’t rely on ramp spells. Instead, we’re using creatures, and ways to ramp up the amount of mana they produce.

Between Kinnan himself, Nyxbloom Ancient, or Leyline of Abundance to make our mana production shoot through the roof. We want that Kinnan as close to turn 2 as possible, to start things popping off. It’s a fun combo deck, and you can put a variety of huge green creatures into it. We’re focused on Kogla and Thorn Mammoth, but we can add End-Raze Forerunner, or perhaps Carnage Tyrant, if that’s what we want.

Heck, we can also throw Ulamog into this deck! Maybe I’ll put one in there, just because. The name of the game is “more mana than your body has room for.” This is the Brawndo, the Thirst Mutilator of Mana Ramp decks. It’s got electrolytes! It’s what plants crave, and it’s what this deck runs on.

Decks that rely on one-card combos (like Winota) find trouble here, because they build up a huge frontline of mana creatures, and then start searching their deck for Kogla and Thorn Mammoth. Once Thorn Mammoth is in play, anytime we cast a creature, Thorn Mammoth can fight something (and batter it). So what makes this annoying Blue/Green deck drown people in aggression and mana?

That’s what I’m here to do! There’s also an alternate version of the deck that doesn’t run Leyline, and instead runs Umori, the Collector as a companion. I’ll include some discussion about that and the alternate decklist!

How Does It Work?


Kinnan, Bonder Prodigy is a sleeper hit in the Ikoria expansion. He’s a two-drop that I recall discussing as a very interesting pick. But somehow, I didn’t expect him to play a huge part in the meta as a whole. He didn’t either, until Historic! At least, not as far as I’ve seen. I have yet to see a major Kinnan deck anywhere on the ladder other than Historic.

He lets you tap nonland mana permanents for one additional mana, of any type that it produced. If our Leafkin Druid taps for 2 green mana, now it taps for 3 mana. If we turn-0 a Leyline, that becomes 4 mana. That’s enough to drop an early Nyxbloom Ancient. He, in turn, triples the mana that our sources produce. Our Leafkin now taps for 12, and our Paradise Druid can tap for 9 of any color.

But that’s not all that makes Kinnan such a powerhouse. For 7 mana (1 green, 1 blue), you can look at the top five of your deck. Put a non-Human from among them onto the battlefield. No casting, no worrying about that nonsense. Just put them in play! Now you see why I want to sneak Ulamog in?

This deck runs Kinnan as the only Human of the deck. Everything else are Elementals, Apes, Pixies, Elves, Beasts, Nightmare Sphinxes. We want to see him in our opening hand, alongside a Leyline. It’s worth trying a mulligan or two to see at least one of them.

About a quarter of our creatures tap for mana, too. We want to be able to make this happen as soon as possible. We won’t be doing anything aggressive until then. Now, the first version of the deck takes out Tishana, Voice of Thunder. I like the card, but I’d rather have the Leylines, if I’m honest. Leylines, once we have all that excess mana, lets us give our creatures plenty of +1/+1 counters.

Our main strategy is to somehow get Kinnan within the first few turns, and as many mana tapping creatures as possible. Once we can start popping his ability, feel free to do it at the end of your opponent’s turn if you can. You can do it on your own, that’s fine too, but having access to swinging on your turn is much better.

Our major sources of damage come from Kogla, the Titan Ape and Thorn Mammoth. In particular, Thorn Mammoth fights a creature we don’t control any time a creature enters under our control. So, we use Kinnan, or heck, just play a late-game Llanowar, and deal at least 6 damage to an enemy creature. We can use this to keep their board clear of threats.

Did your opponent start playing flyers, and you’re worried because we have one flying creature in the deck? Inflate your side with Leyline, and play a creature! Then Thorn Mammoth starts running them down with his mighty, thorny tusks.

Getting an early Dream Eater helps too. It lets us Surveil 4 (look at the top 4 cards of your deck, and put any number in the grave, and any on top of your deck in any order). This is amazing because it helps thin out potential targets for Kinnan. We’re running 21 lands, so 26 cards in this deck are non-humans.

You can do the math (because I’m lousy at it), but almost every card in this deck is a potential game-changer. You know what else would be fascinating in this deck? If we snuck in a Devil’s Play. It’s a red sorcery that deals X damage to any target. If you can find room for something that cheeky in the deck, go for it! With all that excess mana we’re going to have, it can’t hurt to have a bomb out of nowhere.

If you aren’t sure about damage by just creatures, that’s my Pro Tip (™): Devil’s Play. Just consider how much mana we have access to. The more mana creatures/lands we have, the more this combo can do. I watched someone activate Kinnan’s power 3 times on his turn, and killed everything on my board with Thorn Mammoth. They had 21 mana there, with mana left over.

We use Kinnan to make this all go down. We use him to play Kogla, the Titan Ape and Thorn Mammoth. Between the two of them, we can fight down anything. When Kogla attacks, he destroys an enchantment or artifact the other player controls. If we have to, we can bounce Kinnan back to our hand to make him indestructible, too.

With the limitless mana on tap that we have, he can easily come back into play. Plus, we don’t need to tap him to use his ability, so summoning sickness is not an issue. Our way to victory is to simply buff our creatures to unheard of heights with Leyline, and simply play low-cost creatures (or summon big ones) and use our Thorn Mammoth to fight threats down. Or simply swing with Ulamog until we win.

Alternate Deck: It’s the same deck, but no Leyline/Ulamog. We’re still using Kogla and Thorn Mammoth to batter people, but instead, we have alternate tools. Nylea, Keen-Eyed lets us look at the top card of our deck, and if it’s a creature, put it in our hand. Plus, we have Tishana, Voice of Thunder to consider. She has power/toughness equal to our hand size. When she is summoned, we draw a card for each creature we control, so she can get out of control fast. Plus we have no maximum hand size with her. It all comes down a matter of style and preference.

We want as many mana-producing creatures as possible, to spam Kinnan’s special ability. We thin through our deck, picking whatever creature we need at the moment until the opponent can’t stand them. We also want to make sure we get that Leyline out, so we can start giving all our creatures +1/+1 counters. Before long, even our Paradise Druid can kill people!

Key Cards


So. Many. Mana Dorks. This is a deck I did not respect until it happened to me. Getting that turn-0 Leyline is so important though. If it’s in our starting hand, we can put it in play without casting it. So, getting one (or even two) in the starting hand is just lovely. Being able to tap our creatures for extra mana is so wonderful. But while that’s great, we need some damage to win.

Thorn Mammoth (Green 7-Cost Rare Creature – Elephant): Thorn Mammoth is a creature that frankly, I also forgot about. It’s a 6/6 Trample Elephant! Whenever it or another creature enters the battlefield under my control, the Thorn Mammoth can fight up to one creature we don’t control. Play a Llanowar Elf? Fighting. Kinnan summons us another Thorn Mammoth? They both fight something. Dream Eater? Something’s going to die! We can do this before we have that 7 mana in some pretty interesting situations. This is how we kill any annoying creature we come up. That’s where Leyline of Abundance also helps. If we can boost it beyond a 6/6, it will be able to fight and destroy even more creatures.

Kogla, the Titan Ape (Green 6-Cost Rare Legendary Creature – Ape): Oh, Ikoria. You gave us some awesome new creatures. In particular, Kogla, the Titan Ape. When it enters the battlefield, it fights up to one creature we don’t control. That’s already exciting, as a 7/6. On top of that, when it attacks, we can destroy an artifact/enchantment the defender controls. We can use it to get rid of things that are annoying us or are holding our creatures hostage. Plus, for 2 mana (1 green) we can return a human (Kinnan) to our hand to become indestructible this turn. He’s only a 2-cost. He’s going to come back. The two of them are our absolute face-beating bangers.

Nyxbloom Ancient (Green 7-Cost Mythic Rare Enchantment Creature – Elemental): Whew. A 5/5 Trample Elemental for 7! But anytime we tap a permanent for mana, it gives three-times that mana instead! Thank God Mana Burn is gone, huh? At least one of these makes Kinnan a god-tier threat. Having more than that is just overkill (but necessary nonetheless). He’s why I want to sneak or consider sneaking in a Devil’s Play. As long as we have a Paradise Druid in play, we have access to Red mana, after all. We can also buff him with Leyline, making the 5/5 grow, and grow, alongside our mana pool. If we get all four out, that’s 12x the amount of mana we have access to. Just consider that. It may make people give up on that alone. We may not even have to attack.

Decklist


Deck

4 Island (UND) 90
1 Castle Garenbrig (ELD) 240
4 Hinterland Harbor (DAR) 240
4 Breeding Pool (RNA) 246
4 Llanowar Elves (M19) 314
2 Thorn Mammoth (ELD) 323
4 Leafkin Druid (M20) 178
2 Kogla, the Titan Ape (IKO) 162
4 Kinnan, Bonder Prodigy (IKO) 192
4 Paradise Druid (WAR) 171
8 Forest (UND) 96
4 Nyxbloom Ancient (THB) 190
4 Incubation Druid (RNA) 131
4 Maraleaf Pixie (ELD) 196
2 Dream Eater (GRN) 38
1 Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger (BFZ) 1
4 Leyline of Abundance (M20) 179

Non-Leyline Decklist


Companion

1 Umori, the Collector (IKO) 231

Deck

4 Island (ANA) 52
1 Castle Garenbrig (ELD) 240
4 Hinterland Harbor (DAR) 240
4 Breeding Pool (RNA) 246
4 Llanowar Elves (M19) 314
2 Thorn Mammoth (ELD) 323
4 Leafkin Druid (M20) 178
2 Kogla, the Titan Ape (IKO) 162
4 Kinnan, Bonder Prodigy (IKO) 192
4 Paradise Druid (WAR) 171
8 Forest (ANA) 55
4 Tishana, Voice of Thunder (XLN) 230
4 Nyxbloom Ancient (THB) 190
4 Incubation Druid (RNA) 131
4 Maraleaf Pixie (ELD) 196
2 Dream Eater (GRN) 38
1 Nylea, Keen-Eyed (THB) 185

Sideboard

1 Umori, the Collector (IKO) 231

Final Thoughts


I again did not respect this deck at first. But turn 0 Leyline, turn 1 Llanowar, turn 2 Kinnan and a Paradise Druid is a mean start. That will almost give us access to using his power by turn 3. If we don’t miss a land drop, we can start looking through our deck on turn 3. The idea behind this is that the other player won’t be able to get through our line of defense. We have a nonstop flow of mana-producing creatures, and through Leyline, we can make them truly terrifying.

The other deck simply uses the same resources, but ideally wins through Tishana being so huge and annoying that they’re going to be a threat (unless Deathtouch is a factor). This deck is stopped by lots of board wipe though. Esper Control can be a nightmare because as early as turn 4, they can start board wiping. As early as turn 2, it can start exiling your permanents if they tap for any reason, on top of that. If you don’t get a good start, any aggro deck worth its salt can beat you.

Winona beats this deck if we get the ideal turn-3 Winota (Elf, Warboss, Winona, across the first three turns). Anything else and it’s kind of a gamble. We have to be aware of how much mana we can produce, and how many chances we have to look at our deck for a massive creature. Also consider swapping the Kogla out for something else if you’d like, such as Carnage Tyrant or something else massive that isn’t even green. That’s entirely up to you. But this is the deck that’s worked the best for me.

Four-Color Fun: Maze’s End Combo (White/Blue/Red/Green Combo)


Okay, here’s a deck that has been seeing a lot of traction that I want to talk about today. The other deck coming this week isn’t technically a Historic Anthology deck, but it’s worth acknowledging. This one though? This is 100% the doing of Historic Anthology 3 in MTG Arena. We’re building the whole thing around one land: Maze’s End. Maze’s End is a card that let you win if you had 10 or more unique Gates in play. Some people stick Fields of the Dead in this deck too, and that’s entirely up to them.

We aren’t doing that though. If I were to though, I’d get rid of the Gateway Plazas for them. That way, we still have access to all of our unique Gates. We need 10 of them in play for this to work out. So, this is a deck that we use to stall and slow the game, and by giving us tons of life/blowing up the field over and over, we make sure we’re always in a position to make things happen.

Bear in mind, that since this is a Gates deck, almost all of our lands come into play tapped. So it’s going to feel slow at first. But once we have four or five lands in play, it’s going to wildly snowball out of control. We’re also taking advantage of Golos, Tireless Pilgrim in this deck too. His ability to search out land, or play cards without paying their mana costs is going to be a godsend.

So, let’s get started!

How Does It Work?


As soon as I saw Maze’s End, I knew what was coming. It was inevitable we’d talk about this deck. I just wasn’t 100% sure how to approach it. Then I started seeing them. In a trickle, then a floodgate burst (if you’ll pardon the expression). Now I understand how this all comes together.

We use Blue/Green’s mana ramping capabilities, with White’s ability to shut the whole game down. Then with a single red spell (Gates Ablaze) to compliment the control aspect of the deck. Then all we need is a lot of lands. Circuitous Route is another surprising card for this deck. The ability to search for not only Basic Lands, but Gates is underrated.

Let’s talk about the game-winning card. Maze’s End is a land that of course, enters play tapped. It taps for 1 colorless mana. Or you can tap 3 mana, tap it, and return it to its owner’s hand. If you do, search your library for a Gate card, and put it into play. Then, if you control 10 or more Gates with different names, you win!

We’re running at least 1 of each of the various Gates. They all offer a mana source we can use in some way or another: even the Black Gates. Those have alternate colors we can use, or we can pair them with Golos, Tireless Pilgrim. Through him, we can tap 2 colorless and 1 of each color to exile the top 3 cards of our deck. We can play those cards without paying their cost.

Of course, the question is: How do we get access to as many Gates as possible and start dumping them into play? Turn 1, we want to have Arboreal Grazer in hand. We can’t use him on turn 1, because every one of our lands comes into play tapped. But if we play him turn 2, we get three lands on turn 2.

Then next turn, we want to be able to use Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath or Growth Spiral. That will, either way, get us a card draw, an extra land in play, and if we use Uro, 3 life. From that point on, anytime we can do this again is just a bonus. We also want to use Circuitous Route on the next turn or sometime shortly thereafter. It lets us fetch a pair of Gates from the deck.

When you get to choose which one of these drops, be careful. Make sure you get unique ones out, but ones that also compliment the land drops you need. Once we have plenty of mana, I want to cast at least one Guild Summit. It will let us tap untap gates when we cast it, it to draw a card for each land tapped. Plus, whenever we play a Gate, we draw a card.

That is a crazy amount of mana ramp. The more times we play these spells, the faster we winnow through our deck and set up a Maze’s End victory. That’s the best part of it. There aren’t many decks around that can put a stop to it. The only one that springs to mind is Haphazard Bombardment. That’s a very land destruction heavy deck.

Sadly, we can’t use Circuitous Route to fetch a Maze’s End. We just have to draw into it. Or use Golos. Golos will let us fetch any land and put it into play. If we don’t have enough unique Gates, we can just use Maze’s End over and over to get the right ones until we win the game too!

Once we’ve got a bunch of spells put away too, we can unleash Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath from the grave. He will give us more card draw/life gain/land drops, simply by being cast or attacking. But how do we stop the other player from winning?

Shatter the Sky is our primary boardwipe, alongside Gates Ablaze. Gates Ablaze deals damage to each creature based on how many Gates we have. So, that’s for really big creatures, or if they’ve dumped their hand and think victory is in the bag. Snatch that bag from em.

Settle the Wreckage gives them a basic land per creature they attack with, but all attackers get exiled. Amazing for indestructible creatures, or creatures that keep coming back from the grave (like in the Gates Aggro deck). Those are our primary tools, and thanks to Guild Summit, we should always have one close to hand.

We can also activate Golos, Tireless Pilgrim’s ability during the attack phase, and try to fish out a Settle the Wreckage. Unlike the other board wipes, Settle the Wreckage only harms attackers but is an Instant. So we can, in response to their declaring attack, try and fish one free from our deck.

While we have those, Archway Angel keeps us in the game too. For 6 mana, we can play her and gain 2 life per Gate we have in play. 21 of our lands are Gates. Just crank out some quick numbers to see how easily she keeps us standing strong. Her and Uro are our lifelines to sticking this game out. It’s not always going to be “every single turn we mana ramp more and more and we win”. But there are going to be some like that. I’d be tempted to keep starting hands with a Maze’s End in them, but also consider what cards/mana you have access to.

That’s the deck, long and short! We want to mana ramp as much as humanly possible in the early game. Get our 10 unique Gates in play, use Maze’s End’s ability, and instantly win! That’s what makes this deck so great! We can win without our opponent having much if any say-so in it. You control the pace of the game, they do not. Just don’t be too reckless with your board wipe capabilities. You have quite a few, but remember: sometimes you have to take the hit and let them think you’ve got nothing.

A wise man once said to me, “Sometimes, you have to respect them a little, before you disrespect them a lot.”

Key Cards


One of the best parts about this deck, is several of these cards are staples of Simic Mana Ramp anyway. Arboreal Grazer, Growth Spiral, Uro, Circuitous Route, these are all cards we’ve had to use in the past to ramp with. So, seeing them come to make an impact in Historic is kind of nice. Saves money, potentially! But what makes this deck take off and go zoom?

Maze’s End (Mythic Rare Colorless Land): This is the card that makes this deck win. We could win with Uro and Archway Angel, or slide in some Fields of the Dead. But why, if we don’t have to? The best part about Maze’s End, is we don’t need to even get it back into to play to win! We just have to tap that 3 mana, get 10 unique Gates into play, and boom! Attacking is for nerds anyway. If we can play a few Circuitous Routes back to back somehow, we can just make this happen so much faster. The more cards we draw, the more lands we play, the easier this is. We’re running zero non-Gates except Maze’s end.

Golos, Tireless Pilgrim (5-Cost Rare Legendary Artifact Creature – Scout): The card that makes Fields of the Dead decks faster returns! I’m shocked he didn’t somehow get a ban. He doesn’t really ruin things though I guess. When this ⅗ comes into play, he lets you fetch a land of any kind from your deck, and put it in play tapped. If you’ve already got your 9 or 10 Gates, your opponent has one turn to win with. Unless they can blow up your Maze’s End, they are likely about to lose.

Settle the Wreckage (4-Cost Rare White Spell – Instant): Settle the Wreckage was the key component of my first control deck in MTG Arena – Ascent of the Second Sun. This is the one you hold while you take a turn or two of damage. Then, when the other player is sure victory is theirs, they’ve dumped their hand to win, you drop this! Exile all attackers! They get a basic land for each, but they lose those attackers. If the other player knows you have it though, they’ll attack with smaller numbers. Cast this anyway, if you have a backup board wipe. Show them no mercy.

Decklist


Deck

2 Azorius Guildgate (RNA) 243
1 Orzhov Guildgate (RNA) 253
1 Dimir Guildgate (GRN) 245
2 Izzet Guildgate (GRN) 251
1 Golgari Guildgate (GRN) 248
1 Rakdos Guildgate (RNA) 255
2 Gruul Guildgate (RNA) 249
2 Boros Guildgate (GRN) 243
2 Selesnya Guildgate (GRN) 255
3 Simic Guildgate (RNA) 257
4 Gateway Plaza (WAR) 246
3 Maze’s End (DGM) 152
4 Arboreal Grazer (WAR) 149
4 Growth Spiral (RNA) 178
4 Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath (THB) 229
4 Guild Summit (GRN) 41
4 Gates Ablaze (RNA) 102
3 Shatter the Sky (THB) 37
3 Settle the Wreckage (XLN) 34
4 Circuitous Route (GRN) 125
3 Golos, Tireless Pilgrim (M20) 226
4 Archway Angel (RNA) 3

Final Thoughts


This deck has weaknesses, but it’s still amazingly fun. If you get out-aggroed, or if the other player, by some miracle, is running land destruction. That doesn’t happen too often, thankfully. None of the cards you keep on the board are going to lose you the game if they’re destroyed. They’ll slow down the pace, that’s about it. All we care about is getting those lands into play ASAP.

Before you keep a hand, ask yourself how quickly you’ll be dumping lands into play. If it’s not overwhelmingly fast, don’t even bother. You want to have a few early turns of options. This is a deck that wins once you get tons of lands in play. If you can get an Archway Angel or two in play also, you can get enough life to win in this aggro meta. Keep a firm hand on your board wipe, and learn when to use them correctly.

Then, mana ramp and win for it!

One final thing to beware: Any deck that’s running a Crucible of Worlds + Field of Ruin combo. They can keep replaying Field of Ruin every turn, and destroy your Maze’s End every single time you play one. If this happens. use your Angel and Uro to just beat them in the face.

Kethis Infinite Combo (Green/White/Black/Blue – Combo)


Here’s a really annoying combo to talk about: Kethis Combo! There are a few ways to pull this deck off, and all revolve around lots of legendary/historic cards. In particular, this deck relies on Jace to come out of nowhere and seal the deal, in a deck that just locks down the other player (potentially). We’re not running a lot of aggressive creatures here, just some low-cost jerks.

Why do I call this an infinite though? Because it technically is. Once we have a few cards in play, like Diligent Excavator, Kethis, the Hidden Hand, and Emry, Lurker of the Loch, the game’s all but over. Tamiyo is here to help make sure things go off without a hitch or we find the right card. Teferi’s here to slow the pace of the game down, and Lazav helps us get things moving too.

But at the end of the day, it’s all about our Excavators, Mox Amber, and Kethis. They will set up the combo, and let us just recycle the same cards over and over until we win. It’s not easy per se’, because things like this take a little practice. You can really mess this up for yourself by forgetting to tap the Mox Amber before you play the next one, for example.

Now technically, this doesn’t really need any of the Historic Anthology 3 cards, but it’s a deck I’ve really seen pick up steam again so I wanted to highlight how silly it is. You can accidentally defeat yourself with this deck, though. Don’t get greedy.

How Does It Work?


The best part about this deck is if the other player doesn’t know it’s coming, it’s incredibly hard to stop. The other player’s best bet is to aggro you down before things are put into motion. We only need a set of cards to really make this go.

  • Kethis, of the Hidden Hand
  • Diligent Excavator (but having two of them is better)
  • Mox Amber
  • Jace, Wielder of Mysteries

Following up on that, we need legendaries in the graveyard. Having a second Mox Amber in the grave really really makes this easy. We have so many legendaries in the deck too! Early game Fblthp, the Lost, and Lazav, the Multifarious make this much easier too. We get card draw/surveil with them. I’m also going to offer an alternate version of this deck too, used by Andrea Mengcucci. His runs Ashiok in addition as another mill tool, as well as a way to stop the other player. I don’t run this version but I respect its power.

Let’s go into what makes this work. Diligent Excavator lets you mill a player for two cards, each time you cast a Historic spell. We can use this on ourselves and use Jace, Wielder of Mysteries to trigger a victory. Conversely, we can mill someone out and let them draw on their next turn. Or if we truly want, we can constantly recast Oath of Kaya to ping someone down for 3 damage each time until we win. We have enough legendaries in the deck to make that happen at normal life levels. How does this work?

Diligent Excavator is our engine to get legendaries in the graveyard. We want at least one in play, but two is better. Having a Mox Amber in play, and one in the grave is ideal. More is better. Kethis, of the Hidden Hand, is the next step. We want one of him in play. We use him for his special. Exile two legendaries from the graveyard, to give all legendaries in your grave “You may play this from the graveyard.”

Tap your current Mox Amber for mana, cast the one from the grave, keep the new one, and tap it for mana. Rinse and repeat this over and over until you have the desired mana/cards in your deck. You want to make sure that Jace is either in your hand or your graveyard. Tap your Mox Ambers for what you need. If you don’t have to do anything but cast Jace to win, just tap them for blue mana over and over.

If you need to cast a few Oaths of Kaya, a Teferi, or a Tamiyo, tap them for blue/white/green as needed. But make sure you’ll have enough mana to cast Jace, Wielder of Mysteries. He’s the final key for this deck.

When he’s in play, and you have no cards in your deck, you win the game! Simple as that. Nothing they can do about it. This is much better when the other player is tapped out and thinks the game is in their hands.

It’s important to note that each time you cast a Mox Amber, and another goes to your grave, you have to exile two cards again via Kethis. His ability only works on cards that were there when it was activated. So that’s the key. Keep exiling cards from your graveyard to keep doing this over and over. It’s just a matter of time until you win, so be careful.

Do not be like me! I had a game where, with 3 cards left in my deck, cast Fblthp, the Lost. I had two Excavators in play, so I milled four. That’s fine, except I draw a card with Fbltph in play. Since I had not cast Jace yet, I lost. The game was over, and I had won. But I goofed and got greedy. Don’t let yourself fall into that trap!

In the alternate deck, you can also use Teferi/Ashiok to mill. You use Teferi to bounce the Mox back to your hand and recast them. Then you play a Teferi from the grave, keep the new one, play Mox, bounce it with Teferi, rinse and repeat. You can do the same with Ashiok to constantly mill yourself (about 8 cards a turn), while also nullifying your opponent’s grave. I like this slower approach, but I appreciate the power of the other deck.

If the other player manages to destroy your Kethis, don’t worry! If he’s in the grave, you can use Lazav, the Multifarious to turn him into Kethis. So how do we get all this setup? Our early game is going to be Lazav and Fblthp, ideally. Between them and Teferi, we want to get some extra card draw. Lazav doesn’t let us draw, but Surveil. So we can use him to put something in the grave.

Don’t be shy about blocking with Fblpth and letting him die. He serves us better in the grave, once we’ve drawn a card with him. The next step is to get Diligent Excavators. Tamiyo, Collector of Tales is another way to get cards back we’ve lost/find them. She can put a card back in our hand, or we can search the top cards of our deck for something. I tend to use her to find Diligent Excavators in a pinch. The more legendaries we have in the grave the better anyway.

If you accidentally mill a Diligent Excavator though and have Lazav, all is well. You can turn him into the non-legendary, and start milling away! Then when it’s time, switch them to Kethis/cast Kethis. Once you have some legendaries in the grave, Excavator, Mox, and Kethis around, you’re ready to win the game. If you have Jace in hand, that’s fine too. I prefer him in the grave, but either is fine. We’ll have more than enough mana to fix the problem. We can simply keep re-casting him, as long as we have legendaries in the graveyard.

You cannot stop it from happening. You can’t really stop the combo once it’s begun, unless you already have certain cards in play. Leyline of the Void exiles cards that go to your grave, and Grafdigger’s Cage prevents you from casting spells from your grave.

Now, the other player can Unmoored Ego the key cards for this deck. That can be very bad. If they don’t get all of the cards for the combo, you could still in theory keep bouncing cards from the grave (like Oath of Kaya). The only hard matchup for me is hyper-aggressive decks that curve out before I do. It’s not a bad matchup, they’re just very hard. Sometimes, they will just out-aggro you and you’ll lose. I don’t really think this deck has bad matchups though.

Key Cards


This deck is so strong. I played against it a few times, and never seemed to out-move them. Once a few turns had gone by, it always seemed like they had exactly what they needed. Sometimes, the other player will help you go faster by making you discard things into the grave that you were never going to cast! So, we have to ask ourselves exactly what makes this thing so darn great.

Diligent Excavator (2-Cost Uncommon Blue Creature – Human Artificer): This is the only non-legendary that we’re running, outside of lands. Whenever we cast Historic spells, we make a player mill the top two cards off their deck into the grave. Historic spells are Artifacts, legendaries, and Sagas. That’s everything else in this deck. We’ll probably never have all four of these in play. We only really need two to be honest. That lets us mill 4 per spell cast. Getting this one into play on turn 2 is amazing, but a few turns later can’t hurt, as long as we’ll be ready to start the combo.

Kethis, the Hidden Hand (3-Cost White/Black/Green Mythic Rare Legendary Creature – Elf Advisor): Wow, that’s a mouthful! Kethis, the Hidden Hand is so great, in my estimation, because he’s only a 3-cost. That, and he makes Legendary Spells cost 1 colorless less. If you’re going to Oath of Kaya spam, this makes it only cost 1 white/1 black instead of 3 total. Exiling two legendary cards from your grave makes you able to cast all legendary cards in your grave until end of turn. If you time this right, you’ll only need one turn to win the game. Patient spam of casting Mox Amber over and over is going to be how you win out. We can cast Emry, Lurker of the Loch to help put cards in the grave too, and also play another Mox from the grave for a turn, to make it go just that bit faster. Kethis is part two of this chain. Without him, it would not be quite as fast or feasible.

Mox Amber (0-Cost Colorless Mythic Rare Legendary Artifact): Oh, Mox Amber. You’re so good. It’s a 0-cost legendary artifact that we can tap for 1 mana. Specifically, it has to be mana symbols on our legendaries/planeswalkers we control. If we don’t have a blue legendary in play, we can’t tap it for blue mana. That means we’ll need to put a Fblthp, Lazav, or Emry at some point through the combo. Or simply keep blue mana open, I guess. But that’s not half as fun. As long as we have legendaries with colored mana in their cost, we’ll be fine.

Decklist


Deck

4 Kethis, the Hidden Hand (M20) 211
4 Watery Grave (GRN) 259
2 Temple Garden (GRN) 258
4 Teferi, Time Raveler (WAR) 221
4 Tamiyo, Collector of Tales (WAR) 220
2 Overgrown Tomb (GRN) 253
4 Oath of Kaya (WAR) 209
4 Mox Amber (DAR) 224
3 Lazav, the Multifarious (GRN) 184
1 Jace, Wielder of Mysteries (WAR) 54
1 Isolated Chapel (DAR) 241
1 Island (SLD) 64
4 Indatha Triome (IKO) 248
4 Hallowed Fountain (RNA) 251
2 Godless Shrine (RNA) 248
3 Fblthp, the Lost (WAR) 50
4 Emry, Lurker of the Loch (ELD) 43
1 Drowned Catacomb (XLN) 253
4 Diligent Excavator (DAR) 51
4 Breeding Pool (RNA) 246

Sideboard

2 Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves (WAR) 224
3 Assassin’s Trophy (GRN) 152
3 Ashiok, Dream Render (WAR) 228
3 Urza’s Ruinous Blast (DAR) 39
4 Unmoored Ego (GRN) 212

Alternate Decklist


Deck

3 Glacial Fortress (XLN) 255
4 Breeding Pool (RNA) 246
1 Godless Shrine (RNA) 248
3 Hallowed Fountain (RNA) 251
3 Isolated Chapel (DAR) 241
3 Woodland Cemetery (DAR) 248
4 Watery Grave (GRN) 259
1 Drowned Catacomb (XLN) 253
2 Temple Garden (GRN) 258
1 Hinterland Harbor (DAR) 240
4 Diligent Excavator (DAR) 51
4 Lazav, the Multifarious (GRN) 184
4 Kethis, the Hidden Hand (M20) 211
4 Fblthp, the Lost (WAR) 50
4 Mox Amber (DAR) 224
4 Teferi, Time Raveler (WAR) 221
2 Ashiok, Dream Render (WAR) 228
4 Oath of Kaya (WAR) 209
2 Urza’s Ruinous Blast (DAR) 39
3 Tamiyo, Collector of Tales (WAR) 220

Sideboard

1 Teshar, Ancestor’s Apostle (DAR) 36
1 Tamiyo, Collector of Tales (WAR) 220
2 Unmoored Ego (GRN) 212
1 Jace, Wielder of Mysteries (WAR) 54
1 Urza’s Ruinous Blast (DAR) 39
2 Cerulean Drake (M20) 53
1 The Elderspell (WAR) 89
1 Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves (WAR) 224
2 Ashiok, Dream Render (WAR) 228
2 Legion’s End (M20) 106
1 The Immortal Sun (RIX) 180

Final Thoughts


God, I love this deck. Unless you out-aggro it or know what’s coming, you probably won’t stop it. Once the combo is in place, we’ll likely have enough cards in our graveyard to keep just casting until you run out of counters. The only bad match-ups are decks that completely nullify graveyard play since that’s how we win. But since those aren’t incredibly popular right now, the only bad matchup for me has been myself. It’s important to take smart hands. You want at least one piece of your combo in the starting hand or ways to draw/surveil so you can set up for them.

But the faster you can get going, the better. Ideally, by turn 4 you want to start this thing up. If you can’t, just be smart, be patient. Don’t be shy about playing Teferi after Teferi to slow someone down, or to keep casting Oath of Kaya to kill things/gain life. It will all work itself out if you’re patient, and get what you need for your combo.

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