Historic Anthology 6 Review and New Decks for Day 1
Table of Contents
Hello everyone! Historic Anthology 6 is available on MTG Arena starting July 28, 2022, and along with Explorer Anthology 1, 20 new cards to use for Explorer and 40 in Historic! We’ve had many of these Anthologies in the past, and with each supplementary product, a good amount changes in Historic. Be sure to check out the Explorer Anthology 1 review for the other 20 cards that will also be included in Historic:
Let’s dive in to surmise what cards are going to have a big impact and which will fall flat, along with decklists for you to try on day 1! As always, here’s the scale I’ll be using to label the new cards that potentially have constructed applications.
- 0/5 – Unplayable in every sense.
- 1/5 – Extremely niche play or very unlikely to see play.
- 2/5 – Niche to no play, maybe playable in certain conditions.
- 3/5 – Reasonable playable. Not format breaking, but has the power level to see play in some strategy (or strategies).
- 4/5 – Very strong card, but not the best the format has to offer. Has the power level to see a lot of play.
- 5/5 – The very top of the format. This card will create a huge impact going forward on the format.
Modern Horizons 2 Artifact Lands
Now this is a confusing one for me. These artifact lands aren’t particularly strong and while there are some Affinity cards in Historic, there aren’t even that many. You may play a few copies of Razortide Bridge in Azorius Affinity, but I’m not seeing much of a payoff beyond that. Maybe they’ll be better in the future, but this is a bit of a weird inclusion for me.
Avacyn, Angel of Hope
Like many players, Avacyn is one of my favorite cards ever. It’s huge, it’s splashy, it has an incredible effect, and it’s so unbelievably cool. The issue with it is that it’s not the most playable on rate. Obviously you’re not looking to cast this fairly, but there are better Reanimation or Indomitable Creativity targets that will end the game much faster than Avacyn can. Even if there were a creature that could give everything hexproof (like Archetype of Endurance), cheating both into play would just be worse than killing them with The Locust God and Sage of the Falls.
Realistically this inclusion is likely for Historic Brawl anyway so it’s no big miss.
Chalice of the Void
Now this card is icky. Don’t get me wrong, I like Chalice of the Void as prison decks are enjoyable for me, but that doesn’t necessarily make this a good inclusion.
The issue I have with Chalice is twofold: non-games and too bad/too good. First off, Chalice is never played as a fair piece of hate. If it’s good aganist a deck, it’s likely to lock them out of most of their spells which will create a lot of non-games that coalesce around Chalice. The second issue I have with it is that there is such a small window where this card is fair. It’s either going to be quite bad and see no play, or be really good and see a lot of play if it hoses enough decks.
As it stands, I think it’s more likely to be too good at the moment as it seems insane against Izzet Blitz, Izzet Phoenix, and Auras which are three of Historic’s best strategies. I could be wrong and this will likely just be a sideboard card, but Chalice is a pretty nasty card to have in any format.
Glimpse the Unthinkable
Well this is a nifty card! Milling 10 cards for 2 mana has always been quite the strong rate and will continue to do so in Historic. While the deck may look a bit suspect and we could use a few more mill cards before this is a super competitive option, this is also likely better than it looks and may be very powerful in the future.
Go-Shintai of Life’s Origin
Let’s be honest, this card isn’t for Historic and is just a super sick commander for Historic Brawl. Nevertheless, the ability to reanimate Enchantments could potentially be powerful, but I’m assuming this is both too slow and color intensive to be a serious contender. I wouldn’t completely rule it our as a possibility, but it seems unlikely.
Laelia, the Blade Reforged
For those who haven’t gotten the chance to play with this, Laelia is a very powerful card. Attacking for 3 when it comes in and then threatening to keep growing and accruing potential card advantage is a whole lot of abilities on a single 3 drop. It’s nice that this could happily slot into aggressive decks or even slow decks if you want to shift gears in post board games.
Admittedly I’m not positive where Laelia is going to slot in, but I’d be pretty surprised if it didn’t have a decent impact in some strategy.
Night of Souls’ Betrayal
While I do enjoy extremely specific hate pieces as much as the next guy, Nosbe (shortname for Night of Souls' Betrayal for you zoomers, but to be honest I never knew if it was Nosb or Nosbe, I digress) isn’t really a card that has seen play in many years. If there were a lot of decks that were writhe with 1/1s like Elves, then this would be more reasonable, but that’s not really the case right now.
It is still a powerful card regardless, I just don’t think it’s going to see much, if any play.
Although it’s a sweet card, Ophiomancer is really not up to snuff compared to modern cards. I’m not going to say it has no applications as it can be really good against aggressive strategies, but it’s definitely a bit limited. For what it’s worth, getting a Typhoid Rats each upkeep if you don’t have a Snake can be powerful if opponents can’t kill Ophiomancer or if you have a repeatable sacrifice outlet.
This Cube All-Star is coming to Historic to do… Something? I know this saw play in some Birthing Pod lists in the past, but beyond that, has never really been a big Constructed card. The effect is solid as a 3 mana Clone is powerful, but I’m not sure where it would slot in. I don’t like its odds of seeing play, but the card itself is strong enough that I wouldn’t be shocked if it did either.
Somewhat similar to Hangarback Walker in the Explorer Anthology 1, this isn’t a super stand out card, but gets brownie points as it can see play in a wide variety of decks. If you are playing a slow deck and need more ways to utilize your mana, this is a great fit as you can start to get 4/4 Constructs in short order.
This card also seems nifty in decks that can naturally create or play Thopters, but that seems extremely limited. The most obvious spot for this is in the sideboard of Azorius Affinity as you can use this on the opponent’s end step after holding up counterspell mana, but beyond that, I feel like there are better options.
Tarmogoyf is a super iconic card that fell out of favor in Modern in lieu of the powerful threats printed in the Modern Horizons sets. While Goyf is powerful, not having fetchlands (e.g. Verdant Catacombs) to work along side of it will gate its power level a little bit. That said, getting a robust graveyard is not too difficult for a variety of decks and having access to a 2 mana 4/5+ could definitely be good enough, especially with the nerf to A-Unholy Heat.
Unfortunately, I think Historic Anthology 6 was a bit of a miss. There was nothing particular stand out in this Anthology beyond Tarmogoyf and having half the slots taken up by a land cycle nobody was really asking for is similarly awkward. I am excited for Goyf and this is probably a big win for Historic Brawl players, but a bit of a miss for Constructed players.
Thank you for reading!
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