MTG Arena Kaldheim Decks to Play in Historic
Which MTG Arena Kaldheim Historic decks are worth playing? That’s a great question, and that’s what I’m here to talk about today. I haven’t messed with Historic in MTG Arena for a while. It was all Goblins, as far as the eye can see. Is Mono-Red Goblin still going to be a powerful force? Of course! Muxus is amazing. But luckily, there are tons of options right now. There are so many possibilities, amazing decks in MTG Arena for Kaldheim’s Historic meta. From long-time favorites of mine (Approach of the Second Sun) to new weird nonsense (Snow Vampires), and even decks we know, recognize, and sigh in frustration at (Bant Control). Oh goodness, Historic is such a fun meta experience for MTG Arena.
However, a bit of anger, if you don’t mind. I’m so frustrated that Time Spiral Remastered is not going to be in MTG Arena. A paper-only expansion, I’m excited about it, but I wish desperately I could get some of those cards into Historic. There are a few decks that are really dominant in the meta, but I want to try and focus on decks that utilize at least something in Kaldheim. Not all of them may fit those criteria, but I’m going to lean that way as hard as I possibly can. Now, Approach of the Second Sun won’t have any new cards, but it’s one of my favorite decks and it’s back in the meta.
So, I have to talk about it. Some of these decks might feel familiar because they have versions in Standard. However, just a few Historic cards and suddenly these decks are terrifying. Which ones though? I’m glad you asked! Let’s get started to see what the best Kaldheim Historic decks are in MTG Arena.
Vorinclex, Valki, and Golos Walk Into a Bar (Sultai Yorion Control)
One of the great things about decks like this is you can replace lots of cards to fit your flavor/desires for the deck. It’s almost like a pile deck. You slap the best cards of a few colors together, and you dominate people. Since it’s a Yorion deck, you can put so many more frustrating cards to deal with. It requires us to have at least an 80 card deck, so that gives us options. On top of that, we use some of the most annoying planeswalkers MTG Arena has ever seen, with Liliana, Dreadhorde General, and Nissa, Who Shakes the World.
What goes great with those though? Why, Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider of course! We’re also using Valki, God of Lies, which means Tibalt, Cosmic Impersonator is also a possibility. As an Emergent Ultimatum deck, we have so many horrifying cards to pick to pull from. We have control, a little Mana Ramp, a few monstrous, evil planeswalkers, and we can Vorinclex to give them their ultimates immediately.
We’re also using one of my absolute favorite/least favorite creatures in Historic. Golos, Tireless Pilgrim makes me happy to see him, unless he’s on the other side. That’s not so fun. But here, we can use him to pick up a World Tree! We don’t care so much about its ultimate ability, because we are only running one God (Valki). The World Tree comes out tapped, but it makes all of our lands tap for any color, as long as we have six or more lands – easily done. Then, it is a simple enough thing to make Emergent Ultimatum happen. So let’s talk about this deck!
How Does It Work?
Emergent Ultimatum lets us take three mono-colored cards from our deck, and pull them out. The enemy picks one, and it goes back into our deck. The two cards that aren’t picked get exiled, and you can cast them without paying their mana cost. You could still get countered, but if your opponent has no mana/no counters, it’s going to be wild. What could we possibly pick though? What are our best options to make someone weep bitter tears, creating a perfect moment of victory?
These are mostly cards we only have one of in the deck. These are our biggest, meanest, most horrifying cards. They make victory all but assured. What are the picks?
- Omniscience (10-Cost Blue Enchantment): You may cast spells from your hand without paying their mana costs. That’s it, that’s the tweet. The game’s over. Now I can just pull annoying shenanigans all day, and nobody can stop me. You can counter, but you’ll run out eventually. I’ll never run out of anger-cards.
- Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider (6-Cost Green Legendary Creature): We’ve talked about dear Vorinclex before. He’s the return of the Phyrexian creatures. He’s a 6/6 with Trample and Haste. If we’d put a permanent on a permanent or player, we double that number. If the other player would put one or more counters on a permanent or player, cut that in half. It slows the other player down and gives our planeswalkers an immediate ultimate.
- Sea Gate Restoration (7-Cost Sorcery): Sure, we can pick Liliana, Nissa, Valki, Hydroid, Golos. But Sea Gate Restoration draws cards equal to our hand plus one. We have no maximum hand size for the rest of the game. We could have a 15-card hand in theory. With an 80 card deck, it’s not even going to inhibit us. With Omniscience, we can just cast whatever we want in our hands. It will just be a matter of time.
In order to cast Emergent Ultimatum in the first place, we need 7 mana (2 black, 3 green, 2 blue). That’s expensive and specific. But if we get a Golos, Tireless Pilgrim, it’s much easier. He lets us pull any land from our deck and put it into play. We choose The World Tree, to make all of our lands tap for any color (as long as we have six). Since Golos is a 5-cost, this immediately triggers The World Trees ability.
We could even tap Fabled Passage for mana! How great is that? So our early game is going to be hinged on getting more mana into play. Explore helps, by letting us play an additional land this turn and draws a card. Binding the Old Gods also destroys a nonland permanent of an opponent, then lets you search your deck for a Forest (so any card that is a Forest, like Triomes).
It’s also important to note we can cast Emergent again. There are other amazing picks for it, and I wouldn’t turn down casting it again. Kiora Bests the Sea God for example. Making an 8/8 Kraken with Hexproof, stealing an opponent’s permanent, and tapping our opponents nonlands for an extra turn? Oh yeah. That’s a great card to cast, and then drop Yorion to make their permanents stay tapped for a nice, long time. After we’ve used our planeswalkers ultimates, and get those sweet Emblems, we have a perfect chance to cast Yorion, Sky Nomad. Bounce them out of play, bring them back in with full Loyalty again. Also: Vorinclex makes Hydroid Krasis into an absolute dominating force of nature. Since Vorinclex doubles all counters put into play, we can make Hydroid Krasis come out as a 20/20 or something, with Flying/Trample. It’s a fantastic win-con. Or we can swing with tons of indestructible lands, through Nissa, Who Shakes the World?
Vorinclex makes the +1 of Nissa go from 3 +1/+1 counters on a land to 6. 6/6 Elemental Lands with Vigilance/Haste, and if you’ve popped her ultimate, they’re also indestructible? We’ve got lots of ways to win. Liliana’s ultimate makes each opponent choose a permanent they control of each type and sacrifice the rest. From there, winning is easy. We don’t want the opponent to ever get a leg up.
Can we stop the other player from getting ahead of us? Thoughtseize on turn 1, for example. Let’s see what they’ve got going on. Languish gives all creatures -4/-4 for the turn. That can put the kibosh on so many aggro decks. Sadly, it is a 4-cost, so you gotta time it right. Bala Ged Recovery can bring a card back from our grave to our hand, any card at all!
How are we going to win? Either the other player gives up out of sheer frustration, or swinging with lands, Vorinclex, and Hydroid Krasis. We need to get going fast though. Turn 5 Golos is one of the best things we can possibly have, to start setting up shenanigans.
1 Yorion, Sky Nomad
2 Aether Gust
1 Alrund’s Epiphany
1 Bala Ged Recovery
4 Binding the Old Gods
4 Breeding Pool
3 Emergent Ultimatum
1 Fabled Passage
2 Fatal Push
1 Fetid Pools
2 Golos, Tireless Pilgrim
4 Growth Spiral
4 Heartless Act
4 Hinterland Harbor
2 Hydroid Krasis
2 Ketria Triome
1 Kiora Bests the Sea God
1 Liliana, Dreadhorde General
2 Nissa, Who Shakes the World
4 Omen of the Sea
4 Overgrown Tomb
1 Sea Gate Restoration
2 Shadows’ Verdict
2 The World Tree
1 Valki, God of Lies
1 Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider
4 Watery Grave
4 Woodland Cemetery
4 Zagoth Triome
1 Elder Gargaroth
2 Grafdigger’s Cage
1 Narset, Parter of Veils
2 Shadows’ Verdict
2 Shark Typhoon
1 Thought Distortion
1 Yorion, Sky Nomad
This might be the deck I build for Historic in MTG Arena personally. That, and Approach. I love this kind of deck, and I’m really only missing the new Kaldheim cards. I should have just enough Wild Cards, too. This is a powerful, frustrating deck. Even if we’re on the back foot, and the other player is getting a leg up on damage, we can come back, wipe their field, and start winning. If you can get set up before a Muxus drops on the board, it’s over for them. Or if you wipe them out with Languish. It’s one I want to explore more, but I’ve got a very good feeling about it.
Is UW Control the Best Non-Best-of-Three Deck? (Blue/White Control)
There’s a lot to be said about flexibility in MTG Arena. You want to have decks that can do a variety of things. You want one win condition, sure, but there needs to be more than one way to get there. As far as Kaldheim Historic decks in MTG Arena, if you’re playing BO1, this might be the absolute pinnacle of power. Even more so if you’re familiar with how the deck works going in (or at least, this style of control deck). Who is the star of the show? There are two: Teferi, Hero of Dominaria, and The Raven’s Warning.
That’s right, more Kaldheim cards are showing up! The Raven’s Warning is our way to look for cards in our sideboard and put them into play. It’s cheaper than previous cards we’ve used (Fae of Wishes), and it does more. This is a control deck though, so our goal isn’t really to punish the other player via damage. We’re aiming for a Teferi, Hero of Dominaria ultimate, so we can just draw cards and exile things away from the game.
The Raven’s Warning helps us get optimal, optional win conditions too. As its final ability allows us to pull a card from the sideboard, we have 15 different, important cards. Some of them are game-winners (Baneslayer Angel), and some are just even more control options (Settle the Wreckage, Cataclysmic Gearhulk). We also have one of my favorite win conditions of all time, Approach of the Second Sun. That’s probably how I will use this deck to win, to be honest. We’ve got card draw, counters, removal, board wipe, the works! One of my favorite board wipe options is here, and it’s the brand-new Doomskar! It’s so fun.
If only we could cast it as an Instant though. . . maybe I should try and find a place for another Leyline to fix that. Nah. . . it’s a fun dream though.
How Does It Work?
Teferi, Hero of Dominaria is always going to be one of the strongest planeswalkers. Who cares if he’s a 5-cost? It’s what he does. Starting with 4 loyalty, this White/Blue planeswalker has a +1 that draws a card, and at your end step, you untap two lands. Now you always have potential land free for counterspells. His -3 (which we probably won’t use as much) puts a nonland permanent into its owner’s library, third from the top.
It’s great, but what we want is that -8. If we can keep him in play that long, we get an emblem that lasts the remainder of the game. “Whenever you draw a card, exile target permanent an opponent controls”. So we ramp him to 8 as fast as possible and pop him. From there, anytime we draw cards, the opponent suffers. That’s our major win condition. We eliminate every card the opponent has. We exile their lands, wipe their board, and laugh as they struggle to catch up.
From there, we can just win with Castle Ardenvale and its 1/1 soldiers, or we can pull a Baneslayer Angel and swing with it until we win. We also have Shark Typhoon to make certain we can keep powerful, annoying creatures on the board with each noncreature spell we cast. This mainboard has zero creatures in it, after all. We have a few in the sideboard though. Which leads me to our three-cost Saga, The Raven’s Warning. Part 1 creates a 1/1 Bird creature token with flying, and we gain 2 life. Part 2 reads “Whenever one or more creatures you control with flying deal combat damage to a player this turn, look at that player’s hand and draw a card.”
Sadly, we can’t draw a ton of cards in one turn with this. But it’s at least one card. Part 3 says we can take a card we own from outside the game, and put it on top of our library. From there, we just need to draw it. Hi, Teferi! The best part of the sideboard is that you can adjust it to whatever desires you have. I like this side board though, personally. Instead of talking about every single card in it (15 of them), I’m going to highlight a few of the best ones, in my estimation.
The Sideboard: The Raven’s Warning Choices:
The best part is that we don’t have to reveal that card! Normally you do. Of course, it has Ugin, and we’ve talked about him plenty. Cataclysmic Gearhulk’s a card we don’t mention much, if at all. A ⅘ Construct for 5 mana (2 white), he’s a great board control option. Each player, upon casting this, chooses an artifact, creature, enchantment, and planeswalker among those they control. Sacrifice the rest. For us, who keep a minimalist field, will lose virtually nothing. The other player, however. . .
Settle the Wreckage is our “Oh God, the other player is about to swing out” card. For 4 mana (2 white), we can cast this during combat. All attacking creatures are exiled, and the other player can take a basic land from their deck for each of those. Bye, greedy player that swings with all their creatures! Approach of the Second Sun, we’re going to talk about later. But it’s a fantastic win condition if you’re patient.
Baneslayer Angel is a 5/5 Flying, First Strike, Lifelink, Protection from Demons and Dragons. If your opponent has a Dragon they’re harassing you with, you can just leave this out to stall them. Conversely, you can attack with it every turn. We also have another Grafdigger’s Cage if you aren’t seeing one pull in your deck. For 1 mana, Grafdigger’s makes it so players can’t bring creatures onto the battlefield from graveyards or libraries. And players can’t cast spells from those places either. No more retrieval decks! Nope, you can just get lost. One card can completely ruin whole decks.
The main deck has other control options too, like Authority of the Consuls. It makes opponents creatures come into play tapped, and whenever an opponent does bring a creature into play, we gain 1 life. We have a potential Turn 0 card too! If we draw Leyline of Sanctity on turn 0, we can put it into play for free. It gives us Hexproof (the player), so the other player can’t cast spells directly on you! We also want to set a Doomskar into Foretell (exile for 2 colorless). It will set up our ability to cast it later.
There are other familiar cards, like the counter Absorb. Cards like Cast Out also exile nonland permanents until Cast Out leaves play too. Can’t beat that. This is how we win. Smart use of control options, dropping a turn-5 Teferi and getting him to 8 for that -8 ability. Then we just draw and laugh, as the other player slowly runs out of options and gives in.
2 Authority of the Consuls
4 Behold the Multiverse
4 Cast Out
3 Castle Ardenvale
2 Castle Vantress
4 Glacial Fortress
1 Grafdigger’s Cage
4 Hallowed Fountain
4 Hengegate Pathway
4 Irrigated Farmland
2 Leyline of Sanctity
2 Shark Typhoon
2 Snow-Covered Island
2 Snow-Covered Plains
4 Teferi, Hero of Dominaria
4 The Raven’s Warning
1 Aether Gust
1 Approach of the Second Sun
1 Baneslayer Angel
1 Cataclysmic Gearhulk
1 Disdainful Stroke
1 Dovin’s Veto
1 Field of Ruin
1 Gideon’s Intervention
1 Grafdigger’s Cage
1 Heliod’s Intervention
1 Rest in Peace
1 Settle the Wreckage
1 Sorcerous Spyglass
1 Ugin, the Spirit Dragon
I love this deck, but that’s not a shock I bet. It’s not fast, it’s not exciting. It’s slow, ponderous, and tedious. You might want more board wipe (like Wrath of God) or more counters. Tune it to your needs, but this works for me. Also adjust the sideboard for the cards that help you feel safe/help you win. That’s always going to change. But we can win with just Teferi in play, just like we always could. If we board wipe an aggro deck and start removing their lands? There are players that will greedily take a two-land hand and never see another one. If we just remove those? The game’s over, and they know it. Make people pay for their greed. Control wins games.
Poison Counters A-Go-Go, Baby! (Black/Green Aggro/Combo)
Now, this might not be the top Black/Green deck right now, but it can really come out of nowhere and surprise people. Fynn, the Fangbearer is the card that makes decks like this in Kaldheim for MTG Arena to get going. It’s one of our only real solid Poison Counter engines. We only really need to get his ability to trigger once. From there, it’s all about Proliferate as a keyword. Bear in mind, we can easily drop all the Poison Counters we need in one turn, thanks to a mid-game Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider. We also have Llanowar Elves to help Vorinclex hit the board faster.
For those of you who haven’t seen it/aren’t familiar, Poison Counters are a very old way to play the game. There are still some popular Infect decks in the Modern scene. Poison Counters are a counter that stacks on the player upon receiving damage from certain creatures. If a player receives 10 Poison Counters, they immediately lose the game. So Fynn, the Fangbearer brings that back through Deathtouch. It’s something I pointed out when we talked about the Fynn card during spoiler season.
The idea behind this game is very simple: Get a few Poison Counters on someone, and proliferate. That, or we can get all ten of those Poison Counters onto the other player in one shot. It’s not as hard as it might sound. If we go for option 1, we want to use cards like Evolution Sage, Pollenbright Druid, and Planetwide Celebration to proliferate! Proliferate lets us take as many counters that are in play and add another one (on as many targets already have at least one counter on them). We can do a lot of mana ramp, and get those Poison Counters triggered with the greatest of ease. I don’t know that this will be Tier 1, but I don’t think that matters as much in Historic.
How Does It Work?
The best part about Fynn, the Fangbearer is that he’s a 2-cost! 1 green and 1 colorless. A ⅓ with Deathtouch, he gives all Deathtouch creatures of yours (him included) the following: Whenever a creature you control with deathtouch deals combat damage to a player, that player gets two Poison Counters”. He immediately creates the threat of “Do I block the deathtouch creature or do I take the Poison Counters?”
While not every creature we have has Deathtouch, we can give it to them temporarily, via Binding the Old Gods. It gives us a nonland permanent destruction pick, a Forest from our deck, and the final part, Creatures you control gain deathtouch until the end of turn. So you have to time that Saga correctly to get the most out of it. We have plenty of creatures, all of them Elves. That’s because we run Elvish Warmaster, who creates a 1/1 green Elf Warrior creature token whenever one or more Elves enters play under our control.
He’s another Deathtouch helper. For 7 mana (easily done in this deck), he grants Elves you control +2/+2 and Deathtouch for the turn. He’s also a 2-drop, so we can get him into play very fast. The new planeswalker, Tyvar Kell also brings the pain for this deck! His +1 gives an Elf you control a +1/+1 counter, and then you untap it. It gains Deathtouch for the turn. Or you can use his -0 to create a 1/1 green Elf Warrior creature token (which would give you potentially, another Elf from Elvish Warmaster). His ultimate, -6 gives you an emblem that reads “Whenever you cast an Elf spell, it gains haste until end of turn and you draw two cards”.
If you use that, you can play an Elf, give it deathtouch, and swing with it (and draw two cards on top of that). Keeping Fynn, the Fangbearer in play is so important. He’s how we get those poison counters in play, after all. Between Tyvar Kell, Llanowar Elves, and Rishkar, Peema Renegade, we have so much mana ramp. Rishkar gives each creature you control with a counter on it “Tap: Grant 1 Green Mana”. Tyvar also grants all of our Elves the ability to be tapped for 1 mana.
With all this extra mana, it should be easy to play spells like Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider to double all counters we play (making victory much faster, and our creatures much bigger), and also Planetwide Celebration. If we get Vorinclex, then cast Planetwide, it’s a wrap. Say, for example, we get two Poison Counters on the opponent, but then Fynn, the Fangbearer dies. We play Vorinclex, and then we play Planetwide the next turn. Planetwide Celebration lets you pick from four things. But we can choose one more than once:
- Create a 2/2 Citizen creature token that’s all colors
- Return target permanent card from your graveyard to your hand
- You gain 4 life
With Vorinclex, we go from adding 4 Poison Counters, to 8. That’s the end of the game! We only really had to swing once! That’s a best-case scenario, mind. We can also flood the board with Elves, cast Harald Unites the Elves, and use that to safely swing. A 4-cost Black/Green Saga, part 1 mills you for 3, and you can put an Elf or Tyvar from your graveyard into play. Part 2 puts a +1/+1 counter on each Elf you control. Part 3 reads “Whenever an Elf you control attacks this turn, target creature an opponent controls receives -1/-1 unt the end of turn.”
With enough Elves, you can just wipe someone’s entire field and win that way. That’s all we have to do. We can keep Fynn in the whole game, but as long as he’s put those two Poison Counters on an opponent (or at least one creature), we’re ready to win the game. Heck, We can do all our mana ramping off one creature if things go well. Marwyn, the Nurturer receives a +1/+1 counter whenever an Elf comes into play for you (two with Vorinclex). She taps for X green, where X is the power of Marwyn. We can easily use her to cast almost everything with the greatest of ease.
4 Evolution Sage
2 Marwyn, the Nurturer
4 Overgrown Tomb
4 Blooming Marsh
4 Darkbore Pathway
2 Tyvar Kell
2 Planewide Celebration
1 Rishkar, Peema Renegade
2 Fabled Passage
4 Binding the Old Gods
4 Llanowar Elves
4 Harald Unites the Elves
3 Pollenbright Druid
4 Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider
4 Fynn, the Fangbearer
4 Elvish Warmaster
A wild take on Elfball, we technically don’t need Elfball (swarm with Elves) to win. It’s safer, it’s a lot more fun, but it’s not the only way. It’s a powerful deck that can really sneak up on an opponent. Just get those two Deathtouch Counters out! You are relying on the other player being too nervous to block hosts of Deathtouch creatures. Don’t just swing wildly, though. You don’t want to lose Fynn before he puts those Poison Counters on. Play patient, and use whichever of the two strategies makes sense for you at the time. It’s great fun, and I can’t wait to see more people using this deck (or one like it).
Lifegain’s Still Incredible (White/Green Aggro/Midrange Lifegain)
Lifegain never truly goes away, but Kaldheim gave us some really awesome new angels to put in my Selesnya lifegain deck! It’s only barely Selesnya though. We have Collected Company in the deck, but that’s it. Originally, I also had Toski, Bearer of Secrets too. But I opted to swap that for a Linvala, Keeper of Silence, and Heliod, Sun-Crowned.
Since this deck is all about lifegain and big numbers, I feel like they fit better than Toski. If you really want to add him, I’d swap out the Skyclave Apparitions for a pair of Toskis and perhaps a pair of Ajani’s Pridemate. They aren’t angels, but they gain +1/+1 each time we gain life (and that’s practically every single turn). You could also consider dropping Linvala for another Speaker of the Heavens, because more lifegain is always great. The focus of this deck is again, gaining as much life as we can, and making our creatures grow as a result.
We beat down the other player with a literal choir of angels. We gain life when Angels come into play (Bishop of Wings) when any creature period comes into play (Soul Warden), and anytime an Angel or Cleric comes into play (Righteous Valkyrie). It gets out of control very fast. Our reward is even more Angels, which gives us even more health, which gives us even more +1/+1 counters (Youthful Valkyrie, Heliod, Sun-Crowned).
How Does It Work?
This isn’t too far removed from decks like Soul Sisters. We’re going to gain so much life that the other player can never assail our numbers. It’s especially great against enemy decks that also run plenty of creatures. A few Soul Wardens will make anyone hesitate to play creatures. After all, it gives us 1 life each time any player plays a creature. Doesn’t matter if it was created, summoned, cast, brought from the graveyard or what. It’s free life – it’s free real estate.
Bishop of Wings helps too. Whenever an Angel comes into play for us, we gain 4 life. Then, whenever an Angel we control dies, we create a 1/1 white Spirit creature token with flying (so Soul Warden triggers again). The next part of this is Speaker of the Heavens. He’s a 1/1 Vigilance/Lifelink for 1. But if we have at least 7 life more than our total, we can tap him to create a 4/4 white Angel creature token. So that triggers both of the above creatures.
The final piece of this puzzle is Righteous Valkyrie, which only costs 3 mana (1 white). A 2/4 flyer, whenever an Angel or Cleric we control enters the battlefield, we gain life equal to that creature’s toughness. 4/4 Angel drops? We gain 4 life. Then we gain another 4 life from Bishop of Wings, then another 1 from Soul Warden.
On top of that, if we have at least 7 life more than our starting total (27), our creatures have +2/+2. Now those Angels come into play as 6/6s. If we get another Righteous Angel out, it makes our Angel tokens into 8/8s! We have other powerful creatures though, like Youthful Valkyrie. Whenever this ⅓ Flyer is in play and another Angel enters play for us, Youthful Valkyrie gets a +1/+1 counter! So she can just inflate more and more. From there, the strategy is pretty obvious. We swing as safely as humanly possible.
Not a whole lot of decks right now run big flyers. Why would we be scared of ½ Rogues with flying? We can just run them over. We have so much life and such a great access to creatures that we can pretty freely swing with those creature tokens. We even have a useful card to stop those annoying overrun Green decks/Goblin decks – Settle the Wreckage. I love this card so much. We cast it when someone is attacking, and exile all attacking creatures. They can get a basic land for each attacker from their deck and put it into play tapped. But if they swing out, it’s probably game over.
We also have some Resplendent Angel cards to play when we start ramping up tons of life every turn. If we gained at least 5 life while this is in play each turn, we create a 4/4 Angel token with flying and vigilance. She also lets us pay 6 mana (3 white) to give itself +2/+2 and lifelink for a turn. This deck also has a way to keep annoying effects from popping off. Linvala, Keeper of Silence is an Angel that makes your opponent’s creatures activated abilities not be able to pop off.
Finally, Heliod, Sun-Crowned. We used to talk about him a lot. He’s a 5/5 with Indestructible and is an Enchantment until your devotion to white is at least 5. However, whenever you gain life, you put a +1/+1 counter on a creature you control. Finally, he grants Lifelink to a creature for 2 mana (1 white). We only run one, but he’s worth seeing. We also have one green spell – Collected Company. Since almost every card in this deck is 3 or less, it’s instant value. For 4 mana, this instant is cast, and you look at the top six cards of your deck. You can put up to two creatures from among them into play, with a total casting cost of 3 or less. So you could play two Soul Wardens this way, a Righteous Valkyrie, or even Speaker of the Heavens and a Youthful Valkyrie.
Just some food for thought. We build up as much life as we can, and hammer the daylights out of someone using a flood of very frustrating Angels. It’s easy to do, and it’s a lot of fun.
4 Skyclave Apparition
1 Linvala, Keeper of Silence
1 Heliod, Sun-Crowned
2 Radiant Fountain
4 Branchloft Pathway
4 Sunpetal Grove
4 Temple Garden
4 Soul Warden
3 Speaker of the Heavens
2 Settle the Wreckage
4 Collected Company
4 Righteous Valkyrie
4 Resplendent Angel
4 Youthful Valkyrie
1 Emeria’s Call
4 Bishop of Wings
I would consider swapping the 4x Skyclave Apparitions for 4x Ajani’s Pridemate. That’s what I’m leaning towards very heavily. You could also swap in Luminarch Aspirant for another easy way to buff creatures.
This deck went under a lot of changes this morning. There are so many ways to play the deck, and they’re all valid. It’s a wildly powerful deck and it appears to be seeing a lot more wins right now. That’s what I’m seeing, anyway. You just have to wait a few turns to get online and start making Angels. Thankfully, you can keep making them as long as you have the right cards and life total. If you get board wiped, it is admittedly very hard to come back from. But as long as you have a way to keep gaining life, it won’t be so bad. You just visit upon your opponent holy wrath and laugh as your life total just keeps rising.
Gruul Aggro’s Still a Beast (Red/Green Aggro)
Not every deck has new cards added into it, unfortunately. I went through a variety of Gruul and Goblin decks, but they remain virtually unchanged. In Gruul, the only major change was the addition of Cragcrown Pathway from the previous expansion. Technically, Burning-Tree Emissary is new, but only because it was unbanned. Other than that, it’s pretty similar to Gruul decks of the past, so this deck write-up will likely be a bit briefer. We’ve talked about Gruul a lot in the past.
Why though? Because it’s fast, powerful, and most important, it’s reliable. We have everything we need to absolutely batter someone into pieces in as little time as possible. This deck originally also ran Gallia of the Endless Dance. It does help a bit in terms of drawing cards (if you attack with three or more creatures). I’m not so sure it’s what I want, but it is nice to have. You could consider replacing it with Tangled Florahedron if you’re reliably getting what you need, and just want more mana ramp. Gemrazer is another potential addition to the deck to make your weaker creatures into bigger, meaner threats.
The deck archetype? We hit hard, we hit fast, and we swing with creatures that make people incredibly angry (Hi, Questing Beast)! A turn-3 Questing Beast typically means the game is over unless the other player has removal.
How Does It Work?
Ahhh, Gruul Aggro. You’re so strong and nobody cares. There’s really nothing new this deck needs! When the sets rotate later this year, it will 100% change though. The most ideal hand for my money is two green mana, a Llanowar Elves card, Burning-Tree Emissary, and a Questing Beast. A Gruul Spellbreaker is also grand, because we can drop him on turn 2 with mana and Burning-Tree. When it comes into play, you add 1 green and 1 red mana to your mana pool. So you get a 2/2 creature for free. Or you can hold off until turn 3, play a second Llanowar or something on turn 2. You can drop a Questing Beast on turn 3, thanks to either combo.
Questing Beast is so stupid strong. It is a 4/4, Vigilance, Deathtouch, haste, and can’t be blocked by creatures Power 2 or less. Combat damage you deal with creatures cannot be prevented either. Finally, when it deals combat damage to a player, it deals that much to a planeswalker that player controls. If we also have access to at least 2 red mana by then (through Stomping Ground and Rootbound Crag), we can turn 4 an Embercleave. Normally it costs 6, but it costs 1 less for each attacking creature.
Sure, you have to attack with your Llanowar, Burning-Tree, and everything else. You swing with Questing Beast and friends, and drop Embercleave on him. You may also have a Gruul Spellbreaker, with whom I’d use Riot to give him a +1/+1 counter (making him a 4/4). Whichever goes unblocked is the one I’d probably put Embercleave on, potentially. I’d rather give it to questing beast. Embercleave gives +1/+1 and Double Strike.
Now, Questing Beast is a 5/5 (so it’s going to hit for 10 damage), in addition to any other damage to get through. If your opponent lacks a blocker for the next turn, I’d swing again, and use Domri’s Ambush to give the Questing Beast another +1/+1 and deals its total power to another creature/planeswalker you don’t control.
From there, the game’s over! You have swung for maximum damage. I understand though, that scenarios like this aren’t always going to come around. So we’ve also got Bonecrusher Giant for early game threats/removal. Scavenging Ooze exists to remove cards from graveyards and hopefully grow bigger. How could I forget Robber of the Rich? If we have fewer cards, and attack with it, we exile their top card. Any turn we attack with a Rogue, we can cast those spells with any mana. Finally, Pelt Collector gets +1/+1 anytime a creature bigger than him comes into play under your control. As long as he has three +1/+1 counters, he also has trample.
We use this to make aggressive plays, swinging any turn we have an advantage. The idea is that we’re gonna deal lots of damage from turn 2 or 3 (hopefully) and onward. Easy to do, fun to see pop off, Questing Beast carries most of the burden, especially against weak creature decks. Since it has Vigilance, it can swing safely and still be used to block.
4 Burning-Tree Emissary
1 Llanowar Elves
3 Llanowar Elves
4 Bonecrusher Giant
3 Domri’s Ambush
2 Gallia of the Endless Dance
4 Gruul Spellbreaker
4 Cragcrown Pathway
4 Pelt Collector
4 Questing Beast
2 Robber of the Rich
4 Rootbound Crag
2 Scavenging Ooze
4 Stomping Ground
Ugh. Gruul. Those are my thoughts. It’s so good and for the last year, has been pretty evergreen. It doesn’t have new cards other than a handful of lands, because it doesn’t need them. Much like the next deck, Goblins, it doesn’t see a lot of changes, because there’s no need. The only thing that people do differently in Goblins, in my opinion, is a few tiny creature changes, and the decision to be Mono-Red or to splash in some a black land (Phyrexian Tower).
Muxus is the Best; Yes, Still (Mono-Red Goblins)
Somehow, Muxus decks still persist, and it’s still one of the most powerful, frustrating decks to play against in Kaldheim or any other time in MTG Arena. The ability to drop Muxus, Goblin Grandee as early as possible and swing, flooding the board with goblins are ferocious. You can easily one-shot a player around turn 3 or 4 if you get a perfect start. This deck is the exact same deck as the last time I played this deck. We’re still focused on getting Skirk Prospector on turn 1 to start what constitutes for Mana Ramp in this deck. I’ve discussed this deck a few times in the past, so you can read greater in-depth articles on the power of Muxus.
How Does It Work?
I’m going to try and keep this brief for that reason. Skirk Prospector is a 1-drop Goblin that lets you sacrifice a Goblin to get 1 red mana. So we turn 2 Goblin Instigator, which then creates another 1/1 red Goblin. If we don’t miss a land drop, we can turn-3 Muxus. He’s a 6-cost creature, so we’d need to sacrifice three Goblins, play three lands, and hope for a good proc. What does he do though?
When Muxus, Goblin Grandee enters the battlefield, you reveal the top six cards of your library. All Goblins that cost 5 or less from among them enter play, and the rest go on the bottom of your deck. Whenever Muxus attacks, he receives +1/+1 for each other Goblin you control. In a perfect world, you get a Goblin Chieftain (Other Goblins get +1/+1 and Haste), Krenko, Mob Boss (Tap to create X 1/1 Goblins where X is the number of Goblins you control), another Goblin Instigator, and maybe a Goblin Ringleader (Reveal the top four cards of your library and put all Goblins revealed this way into your hand) and maybe another Skirk Prospector.
With all these Goblins, we can use the Skirk Prospector to sac weak goblins to cast other, better Goblins, but not before tapping Krenko to make more tokens. If we draw into another Krenko, we can sacrifice our original for mana, to play another one, to make even more Goblins. From there, we swing for tons of damage. Those are for me, the best options to see. Goblin Warchief at least gives your Goblins Haste, and also makes them cost 1 less. It’s also wonderful. If you lack a Muxus, you can cast an early Goblin Matron to go into your deck, find one, and put it into your hand.
Just make sure your opponent isn’t going to just kill/counter it right away. Give them more threats than they know what to do with it. Wily Goblin also helps when it comes to mana. It creates a Treasure Token, which can be sacrificed for 1 mana of any color. But you might be asking, why Phyrexian Tower? We don’t even use black spells! Because it can be used to sacrifice a creature for 2 black mana. That’s why! It helps when combined with Skirk Prospector to make things pop off much faster. It’s not necessary, but it’s a lot of use in that respect.
2 Wily Goblin
2 Gempalm Incinerator
2 Goblin Ringleader
2 Castle Embereth
1 Phyrexian Tower
4 Goblin Instigator
4 Goblin Warchief
3 Goblin Matron
4 Skirk Prospector
4 Conspicuous Snoop
4 Muxus, Goblin Grandee
4 Krenko, Mob Boss
4 Goblin Chieftain
4 Goblin Cratermaker
3 Tormod’s Crypt
2 Goblin Chainwhirler
1 Goblin Trashmaster
2 Gempalm Incinerator
1 Lava Coil
There it is. Muxus in a nutshell. It’s a deck where we need a few lands, a Prospector, and can ramp into anything we need. This turn-3 Muxus can backfire though. You can be left with nothing and then lose the game. It’s possible, but not likely. Much more of our deck are creatures, and we use zero spells. Cards are either a land or a goblin. We do also have Conspicuous Snoop which is another amazing Goblin to drop on turn 2. It makes you play with your top card revealed, but you can cast Goblin spells from the top of your deck as normal. But Conspicuous Snoop also has the activated powers of any goblin on the top of your deck. So we can get the Krenko activation early, play him, and then summon even more Goblins later (or this turn if we have Haste). This deck is so stupid, but it’s powerful. You control the fate of the game, and it’s through obnoxious, powerful goblins.
Remember Witch’s Ovens? (Red/Black Sacrifice Combo)
Rakdos is one of the most successful decks I’ve ever run in MTG Arena, and Kaldheim adds a little more to this deck. We didn’t add a ton of cards to the deck, but throwing in the Immersturm Predator is never bad for a deck like this. He synergizes so well with every single aspect of this deck, and we can use his sacrifice engine as a way to make Mayhem Devil way more obnoxious. This is a very simple, very annoying deck, and it’s so dang strong. The addition of Valki, God of Lies / Tibalt, Cosmic Imposter, and Immersturm Predator makes this such a hoot.
We even have a Commander in the deck, and it’s not the one ya think it is! We can’t use Lurrus of the Dream-Den in this deck. We have Immersturm Predator, Midnight Reaper, and Mayhem Devil, which cost too much. What’s the solution? We try Jegantha, the Wellspring instead! It just makes our deck have to have no more than one of the same mana symbol in a card’s casting cost.
This deck has not changed appreciably, and I think it’s a testament to its strength. Sure, I like to see decks adapt and evolve, but sometimes, a formula is just perfect. Witch’s Oven + Cauldron Familiar is going to be a power combo forever and ever. It’s not going to make its way into the Legacy format, by any stretch (I think). It in no way changes how great it is. A pair of Mayhem Devils in play plus that means someone is taking damage, and they can’t do a whole lot about it.
How Does It Work?
Rakdos Sacrifice is built around punishing players through the art of sacrifice. Mayhem Devil deals 1 damage to any target whenever any player sacrifices a permanent. So if your opponent has to sacrifice something for a card, they get punished, and the same goes whenever we do. We combine this with a single use of Immersturm Predator. We have other engines, but this one also sets up a very powerful flyer to win with.
Whenever the Immersturm Predator is tapped, you exile a card from a graveyard and put a +1/+1 counter on him. But you can also sacrifice another creature to make Immersturm Predator indestructible until the end of turn, and you also tap him. Thus, he gets bigger. We have a lot of different targets for sacrifice too. But the tried-and-true combo for this deck is Cauldron Familiar and Witch’s Oven. I’m positive you’ve seen this here before, but here’s a recap.
Witch’s Oven is a 1-cost artifact (colorless), and lets you tap it to sacrifice a creature. This creates a Food Token. Food Tokens normally are sacrificed to give you 3 life for 2 colorless mana. Or you could summon a Cauldron Familiar. When Cauldron Familiar comes into play, each opponent loses 1 life, and you gain 1 life. Then you sacrifice it to the Oven. You can sacrifice a Food Token to bring Cauldron Familiar from the graveyard, and back into play. We do this on our opponent’s turn to keep cards open. We may want to use the Oven to sacrifice our blockers, in the event it needs to happen. That way we sacrifice the creature, the opponent’s creature does no damage (except on Trample/First Strike).
So we need several ways to get creatures off the board, but only if it’s to our benefit. That’s where we have Priest of Forgotten Gods. Priest of Forgotten Gods is a 2-cost (1 black) and is a ½. Tapping this has you sacrifice two creatures. Your opponent then has to lose 2 life, and sacrifice a creature. You add 2 black mana and draw a card. If you have at least one Mayhem Devil in play, you deal 3 damage, your opponent loses 2 life, and you gain mana and draw a card.
Do we have cards we can just throw away for this? Why I thought you’d never ask! If we have extra Food Tokens, we can throw away Cauldron Familiar. Then we bring it back to do it again in the Oven! Woe Strider is a 3/2 for 3 (1 black) and he creates a 0/1 Goat creature token. It also lets us sacrifice another creature to Scry 1. We can use that Goat for Woe Strider or use them both on the Priest. Woe Strider also has an Escape cost (5 mana – 2 black, exile four other cards from your graveyard). If it comes back this way, it has two +1/+1 counters. Plus another Goat.
So we have those to sacrifice, and we can aggressively play with Dreadhorde Butcher in the early going, to synergize here. A two cost 1/1 (1 red, 1 black), the Butcher has Haste, and whenever he deals combat damage to a player or planeswalker, it gains +1/+1. Whenever he dies, its power is dealt in damage to any target. So you can use him after he’s nice and big (or even if not) to deal free damage to the enemy player, and then he synergizes with our sacrifice engine.
We also want to have a Midnight Reaper for card draw. Whenever a nontoken of ours dies, Midnight Reaper hits you for 1, and you draw 1. With Cauldron Familiar, we get enough life to make this worth it. When you couple all this with a potential Predator, it’s very powerful. We’re also running Valki, God of Lies // Tibalt, Cosmic Impostor to deny the opponent cards. We can use Valki to deny from their hand, or Tibalt to just start exiling cards from our opponent’s deck/etc, play them, and sacrifice them! We have a near-endless pool of punishment for our opponents.
To be honest, a lot of this is just a distraction, if you ask me. We just want to drop Ovens, Cats, and make our opponent lose a life every single turn. The more, the better. It’s our secret to success. We can also do all that other fun stuff to win, but at the end of the day, we just need Mayhem Devil, Cauldron Familiar, and Witch’s Oven.
1 Jegantha, the Wellspring
4 Blood Crypt
1 Call of the Death-Dweller
2 Castle Locthwain
4 Cauldron Familiar
4 Claim the Firstborn
2 Dragonskull Summit
4 Dreadhorde Butcher
2 Fabled Passage
4 Mayhem Devil
2 Midnight Reaper
1 Phyrexian Tower
4 Priest of Forgotten Gods
4 Witch’s Oven
4 Woe Strider
2 Fatal Push
2 Valki, God of Lies
1 Immersturm Predator
1 Bojuka Bog
4 Blightstep Pathway
1 Feed the Swarm
1 Jegantha, the Wellspring
2 Immersturm Predator
3 Noxious Grasp
1 Skysovereign, Consul Flagship
Sometimes, you just want something reliable and easy. This is where this deck comes into play. The hardest part is surviving long enough if you don’t get your Cat/Oven on turn ½. That’s how early we can get this deck going. We get those on turn 1 and 2, and then we get a Mayhem Devil on turn 3? It’s a wrap at that point. Then we just deal nickel-and-dime damage every opponent’s turn. We can also steal our opponent’s creatures to sacrifice with Claim the Firstborn, and bring things we sacrifice back (looking at you Dreadhorde Butcher) with Call of the Death-Dweller. It also lets us bring back cards that were killed prematurely (Mayhem Devil, which is always a target). I just adore this deck.
The Second Sun Sets on Your Foe’s Future (Blue/White Second Sun Control)
The first deck I ever used in MTG Arena was a Red/Green Dino deck because it’s all I had the cards for. However, once the game launched, and I had my feet wet again, a card spoke to me. It said, “Jason, you must use this. You must use it in all White/Blue decks, as long as you possibly can,” and that’s the truth. Approach of the Second Sun offers a unique/new win condition, and that’s important to me. One of my favorite ways to win a game is through “obnoxious nonsense”. I find a condition that infuriates the other player as much as possible and make it work.
Sadly, Approach of the Second Sun was gone for a while, but thanks to Amonkhet Remastered, it’s back! So let’s talk about what it does. If Approach of the Second Sun was cast from your hand, and you’ve cast another spell named Approach of the Second Sun this game, you win the game. Otherwise, put Approach into its owner’s deck, 7th from the top, and you gain 7 life. So then it becomes a race against the clock.
There’s an important thing you need to know about Approach though. It’s something I’ve brought up before, but it bears repeating: The only version of the card that has to be cast from your hand is the second. It doesn’t even matter if the first one resolves. If your opponent counters the first one, and you’ve got another waiting in the wings, you can still win later. This deck has changed some though. We have some new tools to get to the win condition faster.
This comes from Silundi Vision, and Behold the Multiverse in addition to the classic tools of Search for Azcanta, Castle Vantress, and our two planeswalkers: Teferi, Hero of Dominaria and Narset, Parter of Veils.
Since I’ve talked about this deck before, I’ll keep this one brief, and talk about the new tech since the last time I visited this concept.
How Does It Work?
We want the Approach of the Second Sun to cast as soon as possible. Sadly, it’s a 7-cost spell (2 white). We have a couple of ways to search it out faster. We’ll go over the classics in brief:
- Search for Azcanta: The legendary land lets us look at the top four cards and take a noncreature, nonland, and put one in hand.
- Narset, Parter of Veils: Exact same thing, only on a planeswalker!
- Omen of the Sea: When you cast this enchantment (with Flash), Scry 2 then draw a card. You can sacrifice it to Scry 2 again.
- Castle Vantress: A land that lets you Scry 2, so that’s pretty awesome.
We also have God-Eternal Kefnet. When we start our turn, we can look at the top card of our deck. If it’s an Instant or Sorcery, we can copy it, and cast that copy for 2 mana less. In the late game? If your opponent has no answers, this can be an immediate victory. So if you have 12 mana and your opponent is tapped out, you cast the copy, cast the real one, and the game is over immediately. Sure, that’s not going to happen very often, but our Scry cards could set up for it.
What do our new cards do though? Behold the Multiverse has us Scry 2, then Draw 2. A great way to see if a victory is in sight. Silundi Vision is much better, in my opinion. This is what you cast after your first Second Sun if it goes into your deck. Silundi Vision costs 3 mana (1 blue) and lets you look at the top six of your deck. You can reveal an Instant or Sorcery from among them and put it into the hand. Since you likely cast this the next turn, you will be guaranteed to find a Second Sun.
I advise holding off on casting Second Sun the second time until you can also play a counterspell. In particular, Dovin’s Veto, because it cannot be countered. It counters a noncreature spell, so having plenty of extra mana for counters is key to this deck. You have to take your time in this deck.
We also have Doomskar to put board wipes into play, because they’re important. Authority of the Consuls slows down other players, by making their creatures come into play tapped, and also grant you 1 life each time a creature does show up for your foe. If we get a turn 5 Teferi, we can absolutely make this go faster. Between drawing/untapping 2 lands, putting a permanent back in someone’s deck, and the “Draw a card = exile a card” emblem, it makes things way more imposing. Plus he’s an immediate threat and can be a distraction.
That’s how this deck works! We use control spells and board wipes wisely, and draw/scry as much as humanly possible. By turn 7, we want to be ready to cast an Ascend of the Second Sun, and if we can do it on turn 5, thanks to God-Eternal Kefnet, even better. We only run one of him, so we’d love to run into him. Not a necessity, but it’s grand.
2 Approach of the Second Sun
2 Authority of the Consuls
3 Behold the Multiverse
2 Castle Ardenvale
2 Castle Vantress
2 Dovin’s Veto
4 Glacial Fortress
1 God-Eternal Kefnet
4 Hallowed Fountain
4 Irrigated Farmland
2 Narset, Parter of Veils
4 Omen of the Sea
1 Search for Azcanta
2 Silundi Vision
4 Teferi, Hero of Dominaria
4 The Birth of Meletis
2 Baffling End
2 Grafdigger’s Cage
2 Rest in Peace
1 Settle the Wreckage
4 Shark Typhoon
2 Tale’s End
This is a deck where you are sure to have games where it feels very shaky whether you’ll win or loss. It’s risky, but that’s the fun of it for me. There will be games where you get down to 2 or 3 life, holding people off with your Castle Ardenvale tokens, while you wait for victory. But you can get there, and it’s so satisfying to see someone lose through Second Sun.