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Historic Anthology Launch Event Guide and Decklists


Historic is being officially introduced to MTG Arena with the November 21 game update! This follows the launch of Brawl last month as players seek different ways of playing MTG Arena other than Standard. Read on to find out all you need to know about Historic and of course, our decklists as we begin our coverage of the format going forward.

Click here to view all Historic decks!

Event Information

  • Duration: November 21 2019 at 8 AM PST (4 PM UTC) or when server maintenance finishes – November 25 at 8:00 AM PST (4 PM UTC)
  • Format: Historic Constructed
  • Entry Fee: 1000 Gold or 200 Gems
  • Ends After: Rewards up to 5 wins, losses are not counted and play unlimited games.
  • Match Structure: Best-of-one matches (BO1)

Event Rewards

  • 1 Win: Treasure Hunt Card Style
  • 2 Wins: Goblin Matron Card Style
  • 3 Wins: Serra Ascendant Card Style
  • 4 Wins: Hypnotic Specter Card Style
  • 5 Wins: Fauna Shaman Card Style

What is Historic?


Historic is a non-rotating, constructed format that allows you to use all the available cards in MTG Arena to create a deck and make use of cards that have rotated out of Standard. That is, all the cards from the Ixalan set forward, plus special batches of Historic-only cards that are being introduced every quarter called Historic Anthology. You can read more about the planned rollout for Historic in Wizards’ official article here.

Historic Anthology 1

Click on the image to view all the cards in detail!

Historic Anthology 1 consists of 20 cards that are being introduced to Historic only. These are cards “that have been carefully selected to expand the format in interesting ways. Some are nostalgia plays, some are fun build-arounds to enable new archetypes, and some are powerful new tools.” You can view the full list of 20 cards here.

You can purchase a playset of all these cards (4 copies of each card, 80 cards in total) for 3400 gems from the Store or craft them with Wildcards (1:1 ratio). The rewards for this event are the Card Styles for five of the cards in this small set.

Building Your Historic Deck

  • As in the screenshot above, you can set your deck to be Historic when you first create a new deck in the top right corner, or after you have imported a Historic as in the screenshot to the right. There is a red frame around your deck’s name if it is Historic.
  • Since this is a best-of-one event, Nexus of Fate cannot be used (but can be used in the Historic Ranked Queue).
  • Other than Nexus of Fate, there are currently no other banned cards – you can therefore use Field of the Dead, Oko, Thief of Crowns, Once Upon a Time and Veil of Summer, which are currently banned from Standard.
  • There will be a tonne of viable decks, especially as more sets are released. As it stands however, Historic only adds Throne of Eldraine from the previous Standard season so the best decks will probably not deviate too far from the already proven, successful ones and do not have too much overlap from current Standard. For example, Orzhov Vampires and Jund Dinosaurs.
  • Note for new players: Historic will likely be out of reach, especially if you started after Throne of Eldraine release. For the purposes of this event you may be able to squeeze out five wins with your best Standard deck as many others will be in the same boat also. It should go without saying that your focus should be more on collecting cards from the current Standard sets first then only moving on to Historic if this is the format you choose to play predominantly. Look out for our Historic Crafting Guide soon!

How to Play Historic

Other than this event itself, MTG Arena will be supporting four other ways to play Historic:

  1. The Play Queue: This option has been always available since Standard rotation. If you queue for the “Play” mode using your Historic deck, you will be matched against others that are doing the same (see above screenshot). Playing via this way does not grant credit towards Daily Wins or Weekly Wins (but do note that it can progress Daily Quests). Good for best-of-one casual play or testing decks.
  2. Historic Ranked Queue: This will be a best-of-three, competitive ladder queue that will count towards the respective season’s rank for constructed formats (i.e. not separated from Standard), available until the release day of Theros: Beyond Death on January 16 @ 13:00 UTC.
  3. Historic Tournaments: MTG Arena will be holding its first major Historic tournament just before the release of Theros Beyond Death, for some “epic prizes”.
  4. Historic Events: An evergreen best-of-three Historic Event (similar to Traditional Standard event) that will be live after release of Theros and when the ranked queue goes down until the release of Historic Anthology 2, planned for March 2020.

Our Top Historic Decklists

Here are the decks you can try for this event, tailored for best-of-one play and has the goal of easing you into the potentially huge Historic metagame.

November 23: Added some sweet budget decks as well!

November 22: Added five more dual colored decks – Dimir, Boros, Gruul, Simic and Azorius. We’ll be adding more soon!

November 21: Today we start off with the five mono colored decks that have become much stronger with Throne of Eldraine. We will be adding batches of decks each day, so keep coming back if you need more ideas!

Budget Decklists

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Theorycraft Decklists

Here are decks that we built to make use of the cards from Historic Anthology 1. You can read their associated articles as well, which explains the rationale behind these decks.

Wrapping Up

You can grab your Historic Anthology 1 Card Styles until November 25, and continue to play Historic in the casual Play queue or the Ranked Queue! We look forward to seeing some awesome decks, which will be added continuously as long as the Historic events and queues are live so keep checking back!


  • November 22, 2019: Five decks added.
  • November 21, 2019: Guide posted.

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