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Reyav, Master Smith Art by Scott Murphy

Historic Artisan Festival Event Guide and Best Decklists

This guide will contain everything you need to know about the Historic Artisan Festival event, including the details, banned card list, rewards, and our exclusive sample decklists.

Table of Contents

Hey everyone! It’s festival time once again here on Arena. First up on the list is Historic Artisan which consists of commons and uncommons only which means I don’t have to worry about any budget concerns here. It’s a great format that’s been well received every time it has popped up.

As always, our event guide features background info and rewards, alongside a whole bunch of decklists, to give you all the tools you need to conquer your foes! MTG Arena Zone does decks for every single event, so check the event schedule for the next one.

Event Details

Festival Historic Artisan Event May 2023
  • Duration: May 1, 2023 at 8:00 AM PST – May 6, 2023 at 8:00 AM PST
  • Format: Historic Artisan
  • Entry Fee: 2500 Gold or 500 Gems
  • Ends After: When event ends
  • Match Structure: Best-of-one matches (BO1)

Event Rewards

WinsReward
1 WinBaral and Kari Zev Card Style
2 WinsHidetsugu and Kairi Card Style
3 WinsYargle and Multani Card Style
4 WinsRankle and Torbran Crad Style
5 WinsGhalta and Mavren Card Style

Banned Card List

The following cards are banned in Historic Artisan:

Let’s be honest here, nobody wants to play the Cauldron Familiar game of a thousand clicks and they can’t have you just Zenith Flareing your opponent in the middle of nowhere.


Historic Artisan Decklists

The updated decks below are all ready to go. For some older decks that may need just a little updating to crush the competition or if you just want to complete the event with no new cards, check out our evergreen Historic Artisan format page!

Since this is a nonrotating format, the first thing we should do is go back to look at what cards have been added since the last event and whether they have a place here. The last Historic Artisan event was at the beginning of January so that means we need to be checking out ONE, ONE alchemy, SIR, and MOM to see what might shake some things up.

While I’ll be talking more about certain cards when I provide the decklists with them down below, one thing that’s a nice boost to every allied color pair is the reveal land cycle (Port Town, Choked Estuary, Foreboding Ruins, Game Trail, and Fortified Village) being bumped down to uncommons in SIR. Those are going to be auto includes in almost any deck that they fit in.

Azorius Auras

Looking at the Shadows of the Past bonus sheet brings up a huge new threat in Invisible Stalker. That slides right into the Auras deck to provide an unblockable, untouchable game ending threat. The basic plan is to stack a pile of enchantments on a creature that they can’t deal with.

One of the main strategy points is to avoid playing directly into an edict effect. Luckily you have some disposable bodies from Cartouche of Solidarity or even the one drops to ensure that your Invisible Stalker gets across the finish line.

Azorius Auras
by j2sjosh
Buy on TCGplayer $38.86
Historic Artisan
best of 1
0 mythic
4 rare
26 uncommon
30 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Lands (21)
7
Island
$2.45
10
Plains
$3.50
4
Port Town
$1.96
60 Cards
$34.08

Mono Red Burn

Look, we all know what you’re here for. You just want to play the event, collect your wins, and get it over with. If that’s your thing, that’s cool, I don’t judge. In that case, here is your mono red list to burn their face off with.

There really aren’t any new cards that made the cut here. Stoke the Flames and Brimstone Volley are just too expensive. I was really tempted to try out Khenra Spellspear, but historic lists are really tight as you can see here since we are only running two Viashino Pyromancer.  

Artisan Burn
by j2sjosh
Buy on TCGplayer $19.88
Historic Artisan
best of 1
0 mythic
0 rare
34 uncommon
26 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (14)
Instants (14)
4
Play with Fire
$17.96
2
Shock
$0.70
2
Searing Blood
$0.70
Sorceries (12)
Lands (20)
16
Mountain
$5.60
4
Ramunap Ruins
$1.40
60 Cards
$37.68

Squirrel Storm

While squirrel storm didn’t really gain anything besides a better mana base, it is still one of my favorite decks to play when these events pop up. Fair warning, there are going to be games where this just crashes and burns. There are also games that this deck bashes their face in with thirty hasty squirrels.

The general idea is to play some mana accelerators and build to a turn where you cast a pile of spells including a First Day of Class followed by a Chatterstorm. The First Day of Class effects stack so if you’ve cast two, the squirrels will come in as 3/3s.

If you’re looking for a good time and don’t mind the variance, then this is the deck I would run.

Squirrel Storm
by j2sjosh
Buy on TCGplayer $14.65
Historic Artisan
best of 1
0 mythic
8 rare
7 uncommon
45 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (20)
4
Elvish Mystic
$3.96
4
Llanowar Elves
$3.16
Instants (8)
4
Big Score
$5.96
Sorceries (11)
4
Chatterstorm
$1.40
Lands (21)
9
Forest
$3.15
8
Mountain
$2.80
4
Game Trail
$1.96
60 Cards
$38.2
7 Cards
$2.45

Boros Equipment

After seeing Reyav, Master Smith and Hexgold Sledge in action, I really wanted to build an artisan equipment deck to take advantage of them. Luckily there are enough reasonably costed equipment that come with an attached creature to be able to pull it off.

The Kor Blademaster is a nice synergistic addition because it gives plenty of your other equipped creatures double strike and can go absolutely insane with Goblin Gaveleer (which you are technically playing eight of).

One question you might be asking is “Why there are only two Wind-Scarred Crag in the deck?”. It’s because this deck is hyper mana efficient and can’t afford to have too many tap lands in it.

Artisan Boros Equipment
by j2sjosh
Buy on TCGplayer $28.89
Historic
best of 3
0 mythic
0 rare
26 uncommon
34 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (18)
4
Goblin Gaveleer
$1.40
3
Cacophony Scamp
$1.05
4
Kor Blademaster
$1.40
Artifacts (20)
4
Bonesplitter
$1.40
4
Barbed Spike
$1.40
4
Lightning Spear
$1.40
4
Hexgold Halberd
$1.40
4
Hexgold Sledge
$0.00
Lands (22)
11
Mountain
$3.85
9
Plains
$3.15
60 Cards
$18.9

Selesnya Toxic

Anyone who spent any time around ONE knows exactly what this deck is trying to do. It’s an all-in deck that’s trying to get ten poison counters on your opponent ASAP. It’ll be interesting test of power creep to see if this can hold up to the power level of the older established metagame.

One notable exclusion is Infectious Bite, but most of the time you just won’t have a creature big enough to fight down a problem creature. Instead, you are relying on Patriar's Humiliation, Ossification, and Annex Sentry to clear the way for your infectious cohorts.

Artisan Toxic
by j2sjosh
Buy on TCGplayer $36.36
Historic Artisan
best of 3
0 mythic
4 rare
30 uncommon
26 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (24)
4
Crawling Chorus
$1.40
4
Phyresis Roach
$0.00
4
Jawbone Duelist
$1.40
4
Annex Sentry
$1.40
Instants (4)
Sorceries (4)
4
Viral Spawning
$1.40
Artifacts (2)
2
Portable Hole
$2.58
Enchantments (4)
4
Ossification
$2.76
Lands (22)
7
Forest
$2.45
11
Plains
$3.85
60 Cards
$20.6

Mono Black Sacrifice

While the cat that came back is unable to make an appearance (unless you get it off Cursebound Witch), there are plenty of other minions willing to sacrifice themselves for the cause. Between Zulaport Cutthroat, Blood Artist, and Bastion of Remembranceyou’ll be casually draining them out as you go along.

The removal suite might be lacking, but most of the time you’re not going to be too concerned with what your opponent is doing. While I went with one each of Tragic Slip and Fatal Push, I wouldn’t argue if you wanted to play with two of either one.   

The cards keep on coming with a combination of Xander's Wake, Deadly Dispute and Fell Stinger ensuring you are always stocked up. This is the deck to play if you want to ensure your opponent has the most miserable time imaginable.

Artisan Sacrifice
by j2sjosh
Buy on TCGplayer $181.65
Historic Artisan
best of 3
1 mythic
5 rare
24 uncommon
30 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (26)
4
Eyetwitch
$1.40
4
Shambling Ghast
$2.36
4
A-Blood Artist
$0.00
4
Fell Stinger
$1.96
Instants (6)
1
Fatal Push
$2.79
1
Tragic Slip
$0.59
4
Deadly Dispute
$5.16
Enchantments (6)
2
Xander’s Wake
$0.00
Lands (22)
22
Swamp
$7.70
60 Cards
$41.78
7 Cards
$2.45

Golgari Elves

Where is Elves of Deep Shadow when you need them? I guess I will have to settle for Jaspera Sentinel for those extra Black sources. Twenty-one lands seems like it might be cutting it tight, but there are twelve one mana elves in this deck so you should have no trouble playing everything.

The point of this deck is to dump your hand ASAP and kill them with either Shaman of the Pack or Skemfar Shadowmage. In a lot of ways, it is a non-interactive combo deck that comes with a bunch of chump blockers. It also has the backup plan of just overrunning them with a pile of elves pumped up by Imperious Perfect.

Artisan Golgari Elves
by j2sjosh
Buy on TCGplayer $23.16
Historic Artisan
best of 3
0 mythic
4 rare
23 uncommon
33 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Lands (21)
14
Forest
$4.90
7
Swamp
$2.45
60 Cards
$24.79

Below are all the Historic Artisan decks in our database, listed from newest to oldest. The best decks are the ones listed in this article, and the ones further below may need to be updated.


Wrap Up

Thanks for reading! This is a very entertaining format and I hope you have a wonderful time smashing some face in during the festival. I’ll be back tomorrow with the Midweek Magic article. Until then, stay classy people!

Iroas, God of Victory Art

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j2sjosh
j2sjosh

Josh is a member of the elite limited team The Draft Lab as well as the host of The Draft Lab Podcast. He was qualifying for Pro Tours, Nationals, and Worlds literally before some of you were born. After a Magic hiatus to play poker and go to medical school, he has been dominating Arena with over an 80% win percentage in Bo3 as well as making #1 rank in Mythic.

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