Historic All Access – FNM at Home Event Guide and Decklists
With all these new sets recently, does your stock of wildcards, once a thriving hoard fit for any Dragon, now better resemble a dusty pile on a cracked tabletop with a “Please God, do not touch” sign? What if you craft that new Goblins deck then end up hating it; can you afford to take that risk? Well, what if you could play Historic entirely for free, as many decks as you want, for a whole day, and get to try out a new deck or twenty? Wouldn’t that be the dream?
Well, have I got news for you!
Today’s weekly FNM at Home event has returned to give you free stuff once again: you can receive a code for an Arena FNM Promo Pack from your local game store for participating (see details below). This week’s format is Historic All-Access, where you may use any Historic-legal cards, regardless of whether you own them or not, for the duration of the entire event! That means you can try out completely new decks, archetypes, those weird mythics that look so hilarious that you’ve always wanted to mess with but could never justify spending your precious wildcard reserve on… really just run amok and immerse yourself into this whole new world!
Read on for more information and plenty of decklists you can use in the event!
- Duration: July 24, 2020 @ 12:00 AM PT – July 25, 2020 @ 12:00 AM PT
- Format: Historic
- Entry Fee: Free
- Ends After: You can play as much as you like for the duration of the event.
- Match Structure: Best-of-one matches (BO1)
- 1 Win: Rare Individual Card Reward (ICR)
- 2 Wins: Rare Individual Card Reward (ICR)
You can also redeem one code for a MTG Arena Promo Pack every week, which will reward you two in-game cosmetic items – includes all 36 (the Ajani sleeve will be temporarily unavailable as it was recently featured as a separate reward). Sleeves featuring the Japanese Planeswalker alternate art, new Guild-themed sleeves, Ikoria card styles, the Tamiyo player avatar, and more. The code is obtained from your local game store’s online community, as outlined in the Wizard’s official article:
HOW TO GET A REWARD CODE FROM YOUR STORE
Some stores have robust online communities, and others will be forming them for the first time. If you’re already part of such a community, great! Check with them and get connected.
If you aren’t part of a local game store’s online community, or if they don’t have one set up, there are a couple ways you can get connected. One is to simply reach out to your store and ask (give them a little bit of time—many of them are getting this information today as well). Another is to head to locator.wizards.com to find your local game store’s website. Not every store has a website on there right now, but our teams here are reaching out to our stores to help them set up options and connect them to our store locator. Many of them will be setting up online communities through Discord, WhatsApp, and Facebook, so you may have to join or download one of those applications.
Step-by-step, here’s how it works:
- Play in the event (win or lose as much as you want)
- Take a screenshot of your event page
- Go to locator.wizards.com to find your local game store’s website
- Join their social media channel
- Share your screenshot with a nice message on their channel
- Store will message you a code* through that social media channel
*Note: While supplies last. Not all stores are participating. Limit one code per account. Sharing a screenshot with your local game store does not guarantee you will receive a code.
If you cannot find an appropriate store or just don’t want to bother with the process, you can buy the codes directly from trusted vendors such as Gray Viking Games. For a few dollars, you can instantly obtain the code to the MTG Arena Promo Pack as well as codes from other products such as Prerelease, Planeswalker decks, Secret Lair sleeves, and more. For more information of MTG Arena codes, check out our full guide. Be sure to check them out!
While I normally brew up most or all of the decks used in these events myself, we’re doing something a bit different today! Since this format is just decks that are Historic legal, I’m going to show and provide descriptions for a selection of different decks, including some expensive, fun, and out there ones on the site for you to try. I won’t really be covering cheaper aggro decks, for example, but you can always find them on the site in the links I provide below. As always, there’ll be a few of my brews and theorycrafts as well, and I’ll be updating some old Historic decks with new Jumpstart/M21 cards. Since most of the lists I suggest will be intended for best-of-three, I’ll suggest some tweaks you could make for best-of-one.
- I recommend people focus a) on taking this opportunity to try decks out before they begin to work towards/craft them later on, b) focus on maximising the fun they have, rather than on winning, since this event only rewards two wins anyway and you’ll get those, and c) switch decks frequently.
- This is the best time to be tweaking and trying out stuff; change the lists below up a lot and see what works and doesn’t! A great way to level up as a player is to start to recognise trends in what’s working for you and isn’t, and to think about why that might be. When I’m trying to innovate lists, I often look for the weakest cards or cards that don’t seem as necessary to me with recent adaptations, and see if I can try other cards in those slots and get a better result.
- This is not an event where you should be looking to only get two wins – you have the opportunity to try out the entire best-of-one Historic format in one day today! Seize it. Especially if you’re on the fence on investing into Historic, this is your best chance to see whether the format is for you or not. If you’re looking to play best-of-three, I would recommend researching what the sideboarded games look like with your deck too, however.
- This is a fantastic chance to test for the Historic Arena Open on August 1st, though do keep in mind that this event is best-of-one only – you won’t be able to test for day 2.
- Note that the decks below will vary from being some of the known best decks in the format to random expensive fun jank; I’ll try to make that clear in my descriptions, but don’t be afraid to lose some games trying stuff out!
Other deck sources:
- Find every Historic deck on the site here, some of which I used in the descriptions below.
- Check out our regular Mythic Decks of the Week Column, which several of our staff writers including myself rotate around writing, and has prominently featured Historic Mythic decks these past few weeks.
- Check out my Jumpstart Historic Set Review here, which includes myriad deckbuilding ideas!
- I’ll be adding more decks throughout today as I brew, so check back regularly!
The Meta’s Finest
This is one archetype that’s more for seeing whether you enjoy playing it and how you could tweak it than whether it’s good, because of that there’s little doubt. Goblins has been taking Historic by storm, and is one of the best decks in the format right now, in large part thanks to its colossal gains from Jumpstart. The raw power of Muxus, Goblin Grandee, which the entire deck is built to get out as quickly as possible, is absolutely ridiculous, comparable to Winota, a banned card, without all the work you have to put in, in a shell that’s much more powerful if you don’t draw him! Skirk Prospector does it all, being a combo piece when Muxus is out and allowing you to ramp to him rapidly, Goblin Chieftain converts quick Muxuses into instant kills and provides a solid beatdown plan for when you don’t draw him, and Krenko is a way to give the deck longevity and grind through almost anything, since with the 8 Haste Lords, he often produces an army and a lot of mana instantly (and sometimes the kill alongside Goblin Chieftain) and then threatens to do so again if undisrupted.
NessaMeowMeow can be credited for coming up with this powerful early list that people have adopted and tweaked, although personally I believe that having access to Gempalm Incinerators is important in the mirror and best-of-one generally so I’d recommend trying the list I linked in the title first. Still, mess around and see what works; personally I’ll be trying the list without Goblin Matron since I’ve found it a bit slow and this deck is capable of such explosive starts and such longevity with Goblin Ringleader that I’m not sure it’s entirely necessary anymore. But that’s just speculation, and the sort of theory you can come up with and put to practice in this event!
Likely the best deck in the entire format, which is so tried and tested that there isn’t quite as much room for tweaking here, this is a fantastic time to dive into and begin to learn Kethis Combo, a deck that takes time and skill to master but is one of the most rewarding for levelling up your game and for your potential future tournament successes! I link an excellent guide above from Ginky, one of our newest writers, where he provides a dedicated best-of-one list updated for Jumpstart, alongside plenty of tips for getting started and sound strategy advice. Ginky opines that the deck is even better in best-of-one than best-of-three, so you’re definitely bringing a gun to a knife fight!
One of the format’s best and least fair plans involves cheating Craterhoof Behemoth into play, and there are a bunch of different strategies designed to do so. This fairly expensive build, which took its creator to high Mythic, is running 4 History of Benalia and including the full 8 Polymorph effects for redundancy, while other decks have been more commonly playing 6 or so. The plan is to have only one creature in your deck to hit off Lukka and Polymorph, and in doing so kill your opponents with the extreme consistency and speed Craterhoof provides.
For a guide and some strategy advice on a jankier and more fun version of this deck, but with a similar strategy, check out this guide from my colleague Brewer’s Kitchen, who includes Divine Visitation as another axis on which to combo off! Why not try them both out?
For best-of-one play, I’d suggest cutting 2 Satyr’s Cunning to put 2 Fire Prophecies into the maindeck – I think the combination of some extra protection against aggro and being able to put Craterhoof Behemoth back in the deck if you draw too many copies is more worthwhile than having additional protection from wraths in Best-of-one, and I think this list has enough token generators without those.
This is possibly the most boring deck with the least dynamic gameplay in Historic (yes, I know the Standard version has dynamic and interesting gameplay, but this deck is quite different), but it’s here if you want to test it out and tweak it for the Arena Open and such (remember that day one of the tournament is best-of-one!), or just play a game or two and understand the strategy/see how it feels and, well, it’s extremely good. The gameplan is a lot more focused in Historic, with 11 Explore effects and the ability to essentially play Field of the Dead for free. This deck is capable of some ridiculously fast and hard to disrupt Explosion kills, but a lot of the dynamic and interesting aspects of its gameplay in Standard are gone; it will do the same thing every game, which is ramp up and buy enough time for the first Explosion to lock your opponents out of the game and the second Explosion to kill them, or it will die (but usually the former). Tale’s End hits most of the important spells in the format, and allows you to get Uro out early by preventing its sacrifice trigger, against decks where early Uro is likely to take over the game.
Spirits combines a powerful Mono Blue Tempo-style counter suite with a much faster clock that can race most decks, so I have pretty high hopes for it! My main issue was that there’s only one 1-drop Spirit in the entire format, so I had to make do with Siren Stormtamer, which is still a solid card in this deck, but now I have 5 Curious Obsession effects with only 8 1 drops. Still, I think that’s fine, since oftentimes you want to play a 2-drop Spirit and then have maximum protection for your Obsessioned creature on turn 3, with Lofty Denial and Aether Gust backup. Rattlechains is the glue that holds this whole deck together, and can set up some absurd moments such as when you flash in Kira in response to a removal spell or Supreme Phantom/Empyrean Eagle to blow out flying blockers. It’s important with this deck to know when you can afford to play stuff and when you have to hold up disruption – e.g. don’t get caught with your pants down against a Muxus – but Rattlechains allows you to perform both roles at once.
Cards I considered:
Hanged Executioner – rejected for being too slow, off-plan, and kind of medium rate.
Remorseful Cleric – rejected for harming the mana base and not giving clear advantages over my existing 2-drop Spirits.
Pteramander – not enough spells, not a spirit, I didn’t want to play random 1/1 fliers for 1.
Feel free to try any or all of those if you feel they’d be a better fit!
A fun toolbox-y creatures deck built around the creature selection and instant speed power of Vivien’s Arkbow, this is a deck with a powerful midrange plan and a lot of longevity in the later game, through Arkbow turning lands and bad topdecks like Llanowar Elves into your best creatures! Nightpack Ambusher always triggers with Arkbow, which allows you to play entirely through it and avoid casting spells, Frilled Mystic is one of the best cards to hit off Arkbow and still works well when you don’t draw it, giving the deck a sort of Simic Flash angle of attack, and cards like Kira, Great Glass Spinner and Luminous Broodmoth become a lot more terrifying when put into play at instant speed, so your opponents can never plan for them. Emiel the Blessed + Frilled Mystic is a soft lock, allowing you to repeatedly counter any spell your opponents dare cast, and is extremely annoying alongside Deputy of Detention, which is an absurd card to flicker every turn.
The great part about playing a deck like this in this event is that it has boundless potential to be tweaked – you can afford to add all sorts of silver bullet creatures to it which you think would work well with the Arkbow/Simic Flash plan, and maybe you’ll make enough of a mark to call it your own! I like the idea of trying a couple of maindeck Aether Gusts here – not only are they amazing against most of the decks in the format, buying you a ton of time against aggro and Goblins, but there’s a lot of sweet things you can do with Aether Gust/Arkbow even when you don’t have good Gust targets, such as recur your Frilled Mystics by putting them on top and then searching them up immediately with Arkbow to counter another spell, re-use other enter the battlefield abilities, and save your creatures from removal.
Check the Historic section of that article out for more ideas! Elvish Archdruid and Allosaurus Shepherd were two of the most powerful printings from Jumpstart, and while Goblins has gotten more attention so far than Elves, I think the latter tribe has lots of potential too. It has much less resilience and longevity, folds to sweepers more than Goblins, and doesn’t have a payoff quite as good as Muxus, but the raw power of Elvish Archdruid + ways like Allosaurus Shepherd to convert that into a kill carry it through. If it lives, Elvish Archdruid will generally just win the game in one turn, and decks like Goblins and Kethis (which normally only has 2 copies of Oath of Kaya) don’t really have a good way to kill it- t1 Llanowar Elves t2 Archdruid is a start many decks in the format will routinely lose to.
I suspect Elves is uniquely suited to best-of-one since there will be fewer sweepers running around, especially of the narrow sort that is fast enough to combat their great draws, like Cry of the Carnarium and Flame Sweep (though a deck like Reclamation, which has 8 ways to ramp up to its sweepers, will still be a rough matchup). You should mulligan fairly aggressively; you need fast starts to keep up with the rest of the format, and Llanowar Elves is the most important card to have any in opening hand (“wow, I’ve never heard that before!”).
There are two ways to build Mono Black decks – one is to play a purely aggressive deck, similar to the ones that have been occasionally good in Standard but souped up by Phyrexian Obliterator – you can find one by a streamer named Mystmin linked above. The other is to go the Devotion route, including slower cards like Gray Merchant of Asphodel and taking a more stall-y approach. I’m not sure which is better and intend to try both for at least a few games each!
Young Pyromancer is an absurd card, capable of producing an absolute army in a can, so powerful that running a lot of ways to recur it is a strong strategy, since it will often force slow decks to sweep the boards more times than they have sweepers, and Aggro decks to be totally unable to attack without something like an Embercleave. All this plays into you setting up the Archfiend’s Vessel-Call combo, or simply fuels the graveyard for more Kroxa recursion than they can deal with. This deck strikes me as incredibly resilient and hard to disrupt, having the full 4 Calls alongside Lurrus to recover from any situation.
Tinybones, Trinket Thief is one of the coolest cards in Jumpstart, and I really really wanted to make something happen with him! At first, I tried to build Grixis Rats, but I decided I wanted access to Yorion and from there I realised that the tools in Esper like Oath of Kaya are just too much better with Yorion, and necessary for surviving, and Basilica Bell-Haunt does a pretty good Nicol Bolas, the Ravager impression. It’s worth noting that Tinybones is Legendary, but I felt he was powerful enough in this deck that I still wanted 4. Still, you could happily trim down to 3. I think Aether Gust is a necessary evil for surviving against, well basically the entire meta.
While this deck isn’t intended to be the most compettiive, it should be a lot of fun, will probably be good against some slower decks and more dedicated aggro decks alike with all this lifegain, and there’s a lot of potential tuning in some of the flex slots which I see as 2 Charming Prince, 1 Tinybones, 1 Treacherous Blessing, and 1 Basilica Bell-Haunt.
I think it has been a disappointment to many people that Control has been quite bad so far in Historic’s lifespan, which can be attributed to how easily things from Nexus of Fate (when it was unbanned) to Field of the Dead to the various Ramp decks can go over the top of it, combined with Control’s suite of permission being pretty mediocre in Historic. However, I was really excited when I saw Innocent Blood in the Jumpstart spoilers – the card is extremely powerful, and Grixis Control is an archetype near and dear to my heart.
I built this version to absolutely destroy creature decks like Goblins, Elves, and Creature Ramp, incorporating a truly colossal amount of sweepers including three copies of Witch’s Vengeance. I suspect it will be quite good at that, and then I have a suite of discard to attack decks like Reclamation, but I don’t expect to succeed in that… Planeswalker + Innocent Blood is pretty easy to double spell, and can have a truly devastating impact – the idea is to sweep away whatever you can then follow up with Innocent Blood on anything annoying that sticks around.
More decks will be added later today!
Thanks for reading!
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