Historic Best of Three Meta Snapshot – November 2021

Hello everyone! Today I’m going over the meta snapshot for Best of Three Historic. If you want to know what the top decks are, where the meta is going, and how to successfully navigate it, you came to the right article!

THE TOP TIER IS EXTREMELY DIVERSE

Sythis, Harvest’s Hand Art by Ryan Yee
Sythis, Harvest’s Hand Art by Ryan Yee

As the title says, it’s hard to get more diverse of a top tier than we have right now. 5 completely different strategies, almost every major archetype represented (poor aggro), and 5 different play styles.

Mtgmeta Selesnya Enchantress
by DoggertQBones
Historic
Midrange
best of 3
0 mythic
50 rare
10 uncommon
0 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (11)
3
Sanctum Weaver
$8.97
4
Destiny Spinner
$9.16
Enchantments (25)
4
Paladin Class
$13.96
4
Sterling Grove
$9.16
1
Rest in Peace
$15.99
1
Banishing Light
$0.29
3
Solemnity
$8.97
3
Nine Lives
$5.97
1
Borrowed Time
$0.25
Lands (24)
3
Forest
$0.75
3
Plains
$0.75
4
Sunpetal Grove
$21.96
4
Temple Garden
$51.96
60 Cards
$214.56
Sideboard
3
Wrath of God
$32.97
2
Day of Judgment
$14.98
3
Rest in Peace
$47.97
15 Cards
$106.29

We first have Enchantress which is one of the newer decks to get into Historic’s limelight. Enchantress is a super cool deck that has a lot of grindy elements, a lot of interactive elements, and finally a prison lockout combo with Solemnity and Nine Lives that most decks in Historic can’t beat. Enchantress is really hard to interact with as well since cards that can deal with enchantments are extremely few and far between.

I’ve seen lists having to adopt Cleansing Nova or Rampage of the Clans just for this matchup, but most decks can’t afford to play too many of those effects as they’re dead in literally every other matchup. With a deck as hard as this to interact with and one that’s very powerful, it’s no surprise that it has the highest projected win rate in the format. Beyond the decks that really are looking to go over the top of the format, Enchantress should be favored in pretty much every other matchup.

Mtgmeta Jund Citadel
by DoggertQBones
Historic
Combo
best of 3
2 mythic
43 rare
8 uncommon
7 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (30)
4
Gilded Goose
$29.96
4
Llanowar Elves
$2.76
3
Shambling Ghast
$2.37
4
Mayhem Devil
$5.96
4
Woe Strider
$19.96
Instants (4)
Artifacts (4)
Lands (22)
4
Blooming Marsh
$31.96
4
Darkbore Pathway
$33.96
4
Overgrown Tomb
$87.96
2
Blood Crypt
$37.98
1
Phyrexian Tower
$24.99
60 Cards
$513.3
15 Cards
$224.07

Second up we have a new take on an old deck, Jund Citadel. Bolas's Citadel has a lot going for it since the Memory Lapse ban, as expensive permanents have been functionally unbanned. With great midrange tools, a lot of ramp, and a functional 6 mana win the game, Citadel is also a force to be reckoned with. In a way, Citadel is similar to Enchantress as both have midrange and grindy elements into a game winning combo. Citadel is obviously easier to interact with, but considering it can win in multiple ways, it’s hard for one deck to have all the tools to stymie their game plan.

Mtgmeta Izzet Turns
by DoggertQBones
Historic
Combo
best of 3
4 mythic
40 rare
9 uncommon
7 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (4)
4
Smoldering Egg
$25.96
Instants (16)
2
Unholy Heat
$0.70
4
Divide by Zero
$1.00
Sorceries (10)
2
Sweltering Suns
$0.98
Artifacts (1)
Enchantments (2)
1
Immolation
$0.25
Lands (27)
4
Island
$1.00
2
Mountain
$0.50
4
Sulfur Falls
$23.96
4
Spirebluff Canal
$67.96
1
Castle Vantress
$11.99
4
Fabled Passage
$51.96
4
Steam Vents
$99.96
2
Raugrin Triome
$27.98
60 Cards
$490.28
15 Cards
$45.67

Functionally a port from Standard, Izzet Turns takes our third spot and has been very quickly gaining popularity. As I said, this is pretty much the Standard deck with better mana and a better interactive suite. It feels like this shouldn’t be as good as it is, but with so many directions to take your interaction and it being excellent against the mostly midrange metagame, this is a very powerful option.

Mtgmeta Rakdos Arcanist
by DoggertQBones
Historic
Midrange
best of 3
4 mythic
33 rare
12 uncommon
11 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Instants (11)
1
Fatal Push
$21.99
4
Village Rites
$7.96
4
Unholy Heat
$1.40
Sorceries (12)
4
Thoughtseize
$99.96
3
Claim // Fame
$0.75
1
Go Blank
$0.25
Artifacts (1)
Lands (21)
2
Mountain
$0.50
3
Swamp
$0.75
3
Haunted Ridge
$32.97
4
Blood Crypt
$75.96
60 Cards
$551.68
Sideboard
2
Fatal Push
$43.98
2
Duress
$0.50
2
Feed the Swarm
$0.70
2
Go Blank
$0.50
15 Cards
$85.41

Arcanist hasn’t been a major player for quite awhile in Historic, but with the Delirium package and a metagame extremely soft to Thoughtseize, it’s time to make a comeback. The 3 decks above Arcanist in rankings hate to see a lot of hand disruption and many decks below this does as well, so what better way to use it than the deck that uses as many Thoughtseize as possible? A lot of decks still really struggle with hand disruption into Dreadhorde Arcanist, and with a lot of the aggro decks slowly being pushed out of the format, they have a much lower chance of being run over.

Mtgmeta Izzet Phoenix
by DoggertQBones
Historic
Tempo
best of 3
7 mythic
33 rare
8 uncommon
12 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (14)
4
Smoldering Egg
$25.96
4
Arclight Phoenix
$47.96
2
Ox of Agonas
$23.98
Instants (16)
4
Opt
$9.16
4
Unholy Heat
$1.40
4
Consider
$9.16
Sorceries (9)
Lands (21)
3
Island
$0.75
1
Mountain
$0.25
2
Sulfur Falls
$11.98
4
Spirebluff Canal
$67.96
3
Fabled Passage
$38.97
4
Steam Vents
$99.96
60 Cards
$487.38
Sideboard
1
Brazen Borrower
$54.99
1
Abrade
$0.25
1
Aether Gust
$0.25
1
Test of Talents
$0.79
1
Lava Coil
$0.25
15 Cards
$145.73

To round out Tier 1, Phoenix has finally hit it’s stride and found a list it can really shine with. As I said in the Best of One snapshot, Smoldering Egg makes sense as it’s the closest Thing in the Ice analog we have available, but Archmage's Charm was a bit of a surprise. Nevertheless, the deck is fast, has more cantrips than ever, and obviously has a great ability to grind due to Arclight Phoenix itself. Phoenix doesn’t have too many Control decks to prey on right now and 5 Color Niv can be problematic, but the deck is still inherently powerful.

Although Aggro isn’t a top tier player right now, there’s plenty of options to choose from for the very best decks and obviously a lot of great Tier 2 decks as well. However, despite most of the archetypes being represented, there is one archetype that’s slowly dominating Historic.

MIDRANGE IS BACK AND BETTER THAN EVER

Niv-Mizzet Reborn Art by Raymond Swanland
Niv-Mizzet Reborn Art by Raymond Swanland

It’s not often that Midrange is the best archetype in the format, but that seems to be the direction we’re currently heading. Out of the tier 1 decks, I would consider minimum two of them to be midrange (Enchantress and Arcanist), and you could argue that Citadel is a midrange deck as well. However, what other midrange options do we have in Historic? Well we have to start with one of the most popular ones, Five Color Niv Mizzet.

Mtgmeta 5 Color Niv
by DoggertQBones
Historic
Midrange
best of 3
8 mythic
48 rare
4 uncommon
0 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (1)
Creatures (11)
1
Hydroid Krasis
$13.99
1
The Scarab God
$39.99
Instants (10)
3
Fatal Push
$65.97
3
Lightning Helix
$29.97
3
Vanishing Verse
$7.47
1
Prismari Command
$13.99
Sorceries (9)
1
Maelstrom Pulse
$2.29
1
Time Wipe
$0.39
Enchantments (1)
Lands (28)
1
Swamp
$0.25
1
Deserted Beach
$8.99
1
Haunted Ridge
$10.99
1
Rockfall Vale
$5.99
1
Shipwreck Marsh
$11.99
2
Breeding Pool
$65.98
1
Ketria Triome
$14.99
2
Steam Vents
$49.98
3
Raugrin Triome
$41.97
1
Stomping Ground
$12.99
2
Sacred Foundry
$59.98
3
Savai Triome
$38.97
3
Indatha Triome
$26.97
2
Overgrown Tomb
$43.98
3
Zagoth Triome
$44.97
60 Cards
$692.7
Sideboard
1
Fatal Push
$21.99
1
Despark
$0.49
3
Dovin’s Veto
$8.97
4
Thought Erasure
$1.00
15 Cards
$57.29

I’ve never been the biggest fan of the deck, but I have to pay my due respects as it’s captured many hearts. The deck is chock full of flash multicolor permanents and recently Territorial Kavu entered the mix which was likely the best possible card Niv could’ve received. Niv can be extremely clunky, but it is very powerful and has the tools to realistically win in any matchup.

Facing something fast? You have Territorial Kavu, Fatal Push, Vanishing Verse, Lightning Helix, and Deafening Clarion. Need to grind out slower decks? You have Hydroid Krasis, Niv-Mizzet Reborn itself, Expressive Iteration, Teferi, Hero of Dominaria, and The Scarab God. Since it has so many heavy hitters, it tends to dominate midrange mirrors (and famously destroys Phoenix) while still not being soft to the faster decks. You will struggle against combo decks, but you can’t have it all.

Mtgmeta Jund Food
by DoggertQBones
Historic
Midrange
best of 3
4 mythic
35 rare
21 uncommon
0 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (19)
4
Gilded Goose
$29.96
4
Mayhem Devil
$5.96
Instants (2)
2
Fatal Push
$43.98
Sorceries (4)
4
Thoughtseize
$99.96
Artifacts (4)
4
Witch’s Oven
$5.16
Enchantments (6)
4
Trail of Crumbs
$1.00
Lands (25)
2
Forest
$0.50
1
Mountain
$0.25
2
Swamp
$0.50
3
Fabled Passage
$38.97
4
Darkbore Pathway
$33.96
1
Stomping Ground
$12.99
4
Overgrown Tomb
$87.96
2
Blood Crypt
$37.98
2
Phyrexian Tower
$49.98
60 Cards
$537.12
15 Cards
$106.21

Another great midrange option (that’s been great forever now) is Jund Food. Similar to what I said in the Bo1 snapshot, since the deck has hardly changed from it’s inception, it’s going to have a hard time keeping pace with the ever growing power of Historic.

Nevertheless, the deck has a solid strategy, plenty of engine pieces, and plenty of interaction for those who like the archetype. Furthermore, the deck rewards dedicated pilots as it definitely can fail in the hands of less experienced players so if this is your jam, feel free to continue playing it.

Mtgmeta Golgari Lurrus
by DoggertQBones
Historic
Midrange
best of 3
5 mythic
32 rare
23 uncommon
0 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (30)
4
Gilded Goose
$29.96
2
Gutterbones
$2.98
2
Willow Geist
$1.38
1
Kraul Harpooner
$0.25
1
Fiend Artisan
$10.99
3
Skyclave Shade
$1.47
2
Mire Triton
$0.58
Sorceries (1)
Artifacts (4)
4
Witch’s Oven
$5.16
Enchantments (6)
2
Trail of Crumbs
$0.50
Lands (19)
3
Forest
$0.75
2
Swamp
$0.50
4
Blooming Marsh
$31.96
4
Overgrown Tomb
$87.96
60 Cards
$487.54
15 Cards
$154.59

The final midrange deck is listed as Tier 4, but that’s because it’s so new, Golgari Food. The deck is the next iteration of Jund Food and looks poised to overtake it as the Cauldron Familiar strategy of choice. The deck has an unreal ability to grind and with all it’s cheap spells and The Meathook Massacre, you can mess up creature decks and midrange decks all the same!

There aren’t an excess of midrange decks that are super represented right now, but to even have 5 or so in the top echelons of Historic is definitely a welcome surprise and really attests to the format’s current health.

THE FALL OF CREATURES

mh2-69-svyelun-of-sea-and-sky
Svyelun of Sea and Sky Art by Seb McKinnon

Where did all the creature decks go? It’s weird to not see a creature deck at minimum in Tier 1, but to find a classic example, you need to go all the way to the bottom of Tier 2! How did this happen? Well, when you can do a lot of broken things or grind extremely well, why limit yourself to a fast creature deck? These strategies are far from obsolete, but they’ve definitely fallen out of favor. That said, if you’re going to go creatures, it is hard to do better than Merfolk and Humans.

Mtgmeta Simic Merfolk
by DoggertQBones
Historic
Tribal
best of 3
3 mythic
27 rare
30 uncommon
0 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Instants (9)
3
Miscast
$5.37
2
Fading Hope
$0.50
Lands (20)
4
Island
$1.00
4
Breeding Pool
$131.96
60 Cards
$355.04
15 Cards
$42.53

I haven’t played much Merfolk, but I’ve been a big fan of the deck since Jumpstart: Historic Horizons. Shoreline Scout as well as Svyelun of Sea and Sky are pretty obscene in the deck and with a total of 12 lords, your board can get massive extremely quickly. If slower decks have you down, you’re one of the few creature decks that can play counterspells to help you out there!

Mtgmeta Selesnya Humans
by DoggertQBones
Historic
Tribal
best of 3
4 mythic
52 rare
1 uncommon
3 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Instants (4)
Lands (23)
2
Forest
$0.50
9
Plains
$2.25
2
Sunpetal Grove
$10.98
4
Temple Garden
$51.96
60 Cards
$405.78
15 Cards
$60.33

The second tribal contender, Selesnya Humans is the spiritual successor of Monowhite Humans and is still quite the strong deck, even if it isn’t the best positioned. You still have all the powerful humans like Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and Thalia's Lieutenant with Collected Company to top the curve, but your competition is pretty stiff. Merfolk can run a gambit of interaction to help them out in slower matchups but Humans doesn’t have the same luxury. If you look at the top of the metagame, nearly all those strategies have inherently good creature matchups or easily could which helps speak to where the problems lie.

For what it’s worth, I love creature decks, but they’ve also had it too good for too long. It’s nice to have different archetypes take the limelight rather than another creature deck that can kill you turn 4. Don’t expect this to last forever though, a few good creatures get printed then the world if their oyster.

MY TOP UNDERRATED DECKS TO LOOK OUT FOR

Old-Growth Troll Art by Jesper Ejsing
Old-Growth Troll Art by Jesper Ejsing

Considering Historic is in quite the flux, there are plenty less popular options that may be poised to come back in a big way.

Mtgmeta Boros Burn
by DoggertQBones
Historic
Burn
best of 3
0 mythic
33 rare
15 uncommon
12 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (12)
4
Bomat Courier
$1.40
4
Soul-Scar Mage
$13.96
Instants (12)
4
Shock
$3.96
4
Unholy Heat
$1.40
4
Lightning Helix
$39.96
Sorceries (12)
Enchantments (4)
4
Roiling Vortex
$5.96
Lands (20)
1
Mountain
$0.25
3
Ramunap Ruins
$2.37
4
Sacred Foundry
$119.96
60 Cards
$290.42
Sideboard
1
Mana Tithe
$1.49
2
Cinderclasm
$0.50
3
Portable Hole
$5.97
1
Baffling End
$0.25
15 Cards
$61.53

First we have to start with one of my favorite strategies in Historic, Burn. Realistically, I’ll play Burn whether or not it’s good as it’s a really nuanced strategy I enjoy (seriously, it’s way harder than it looks!) Considering there are also significantly fewer Lightning Helix in the metagame, it may be a decent time for it to come back. My main concern for Burn is the Golgari Food deck as they’re quite good at gaining life, but Boros does have tools like Containment Priest, Roiling Vortex, and Portable Hole to assist there. If the right list of Burn can be found, I believe it can be a really scary option.

Mtgmeta Abzan Auras
by DoggertQBones
Historic
Aggro
best of 3
0 mythic
33 rare
7 uncommon
17 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Creatures (13)
2
Esper Sentinel
$45.98
1
Selfless Savior
$0.25
4
Kor Spiritdancer
$17.96
Instants (2)
1
Wild Shape
$0.25
1
Sejiri Shelter
$0.69
Sorceries (6)
4
Thoughtseize
$99.96
1
Claim // Fame
$0.25
Lands (19)
2
Isolated Chapel
$11.98
2
Blooming Marsh
$15.98
4
Temple Garden
$51.96
4
Godless Shrine
$83.96
2
Overgrown Tomb
$43.98
60 Cards
$408.48
Sideboard
3
Hushbringer
$20.97
2
Duress
$0.50
2
Portable Hole
$3.98
1
Dead Weight
$0.25
2
Rest in Peace
$31.98
15 Cards
$90.89

We then have to follow up with another Historic favorite of mine, Auras. Auras has this funny ability to kind of always be great, but it just randomly loses popularity for no reason just to come back a few weeks later to kick everyone in the shins. Orzhov was my version of choice generally, however Abzan looks to be the next iteration of it as you get to play up to 12 Spiritdancers to have a level of consistency the deck never had before. I’m going to be real, this deck is definitely good right now, you just need the right build and you can easily tear through ladder.

Mtgmeta Golgari Stompy
by DoggertQBones
Historic
Aggro
best of 3
3 mythic
49 rare
4 uncommon
4 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (2)
Creatures (31)
4
Llanowar Elves
$2.76
4
Pelt Collector
$3.96
2
Kraul Harpooner
$0.50
2
Scavenging Ooze
$29.98
4
Kazandu Mammoth
$1.00
1
Questing Beast
$17.99
Instants (3)
Sorceries (2)
Lands (22)
7
Forest
$1.75
4
Blooming Marsh
$31.96
4
Overgrown Tomb
$87.96
60 Cards
$352.82
Sideboard
2
Fatal Push
$43.98
4
Thoughtseize
$99.96
1
Epic Downfall
$0.25
1
Maelstrom Pulse
$1.99
1
Bojuka Bog
$1.49
15 Cards
$153.09

The final deck of the list was one I wasn’t expecting myself, Golgari Stompy. After proclaiming the death of creature decks, I turn around and recommend one? What gives? A lot of the removal that is popular right now is either cheap red removal or Fatal Push, and funny enough, both of those aren’t the best against this deck. Your threats pack a lot of punch, you’re very fast, and since you’re playing Black you can have an excellent sideboard. Furthermore, you have multiple creatures that can go over small creatures easily so even Cat/Oven, which is normally great aginst creature decks, is only ok against you! If you’re a big fan of creature decks and are unsure where to go, I would definitely give this one a shot.

Like Bo1 Historic, Bo3 Historic has a great wealth of options and may be the most diverse the metagame has ever been. If you’re feeling a little sick of Standard, definitely give this a go.

Thank you for reading!

DoggertQBones

Robert "DoggertQBones" Lee is the content manager of MTGAZone and a high ranked Arena player. He has one GP Top 8 and pioneered popular archetypes like UB 8 Shark, UB Yorion, and GW Company in Historic. Beyond Magic, his passions are writing and coaching! Join our community on Twitch and Discord.