Historic Metagame Snapshot and Tier List Update - August 3, 2022

Historic Metagame Snapshot and Tier List Update – August 3, 2022

Looking to see how the Anthologies impacted Historic? DoggertQBones has the stand out decks for this week and the best lists! Find out what you should be playing this week!

Hello everyone! We just discussed the Explorer metagame yesterday and the impact Explorer Anthology 1 had on it, but we have an even more impacted format with Historic! The Explorer Anthology provided many cards to Historic, and on top of that, we had Historic Anthology 6 as well! With a large injection of new cards, things are obviously going to be shaken up a bit. Similar to Explorer though, one week is not going to change an entire format, but rather decks will start to rise to prominence as people discover new strategies to explore.

As a note before we get started, this isn’t a comprehensive list of every notable deck, but rather the decks that have stood out the most this week. For the full list and decks, check out the tier lists for each game mode:

Tier 1

Selesnya Humans

(H) Selensya Humans
by DoggertQBones
Historic
Tribal
best of 3
4 mythic
46 rare
1 uncommon
9 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
60 Cards
$492.16
15 Cards
$87.83

Key Cards

To kick us off, we have the deck that’s reigned supreme since the Phoenix and Food nerfs, Selesnya Humans.

Selesnya Humans is not just my style of deck, but it attacks the metagame in away that’s really tough to deal with. It’s not just a powerful aggressive deck, but it’s one that’s extremely hard to disrupt long term. For example, the best way to disrupt an aggressive deck is through board wipes, right? Well Humans has Esper Sentinel to tax it, Dauntless Bodyguard to protect something Thalia, Guardian of Thraben to tax it, Ranger-Captain of Eos to disrupt it for a turn, and Elite Spellbinder to tax it. That’s just all the ways to disrupt the wrath, if you’re looking to rebuild with Inquisitor Captain and Collected Company! Obviously this deck needs to beat more than just controlling decks, but having a powerful curve and disruptive creatures makes that pretty easy.

While Humans didn’t get anything from the Anthologies, the fact that it’s an aggressive deck that can present fast starts and feel impossible to disrupt, makes it a big winner in my book.

Azorius Artifacts

azorius affinity
58.4% global win rate
2.74% metagame share
Powered by
best against
vs 5c niv-mizzet
100.0% win rate
5 tracked matches
vs izzet phoenix
75.4% win rate
57 tracked matches
vs azorius auras
64.3% win rate
28 tracked matches
worst against
vs azorius control
33.3% win rate
9 tracked matches
vs rakdos arcanist
26.7% win rate
15 tracked matches
vs jeskai creativity
20.0% win rate
5 tracked matches
(H) Azorius Artifacts
by DoggertQBones
Historic
Artifacts
best of 3
2 mythic
26 rare
19 uncommon
13 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (2)
Creatures (14)
2
Ornithopter
$0.78
4
Esper Sentinel
$119.96
4
Ingenious Smith
$3.16
4
Thought Monitor
$9.16
Instants (4)
4
Metallic Rebuke
$1.00
Artifacts (23)
4
Portable Hole
$15.96
1
Shadowspear
$22.99
4
Nettlecyst
$9.16
Enchantments (3)
3
Ensoul Artifact
$1.47
Lands (14)
1
Plains
$0.25
60 Cards
$374.88
15 Cards
$52.33

Key Cards

Easily one of the biggest winners from the Anthologies, Azorius Artifacts was already a great strategy that was pushed even further ahead.

The biggest gain from the Anthology is easily Ensoul Artifact. My issue with the deck was the consistency aspect of it. Thought Monitor and Nettlecyst are incredible payoffs, but that’s all you had. If you didn’t see either in the top 20 cards, you were in big trouble. With Ensoul Artifact, you have more power cards to work towards which is a huge deal for this strategy. That said, Ensoul Artifact is only as good as the artifact you’re enchanting! Not only did we get Ensoul, but we also gained access to a bunch of Indestructible lands that are best friends with the Ensoul itself! not only can we naturally up the artifact count, it plays perfectly into our new strategy.

While Artifacts was already good, I’m assuming this change is only going to make it better and further cement its at the top of Historic.

Izzet Blitz

(H) Izzet Blitz
by DoggertQBones
Historic
Aggro
best of 3
0 mythic
25 rare
25 uncommon
10 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Companion
Creatures (16)
4
Soul-Scar Mage
$11.16
4
A-Symmetry Sage
$0.00
4
Sprite Dragon
$2.76
Instants (13)
4
Play with Fire
$7.96
4
Consider
$11.96
Sorceries (12)
4
Reckless Charge
$1.00
Lands (19)
1
Island
$0.25
1
Mountain
$0.25
4
Spirebluff Canal
$111.96
4
Steam Vents
$91.96
60 Cards
$372.34
Sideboard
2
Spell Pierce
$0.50
2
Abrade
$0.50
3
Mystical Dispute
$17.97
15 Cards
$67.31

Key Cards

Not just the terror of Best of One, Izzet Blitz is easily one of Historic’s best decks.

Like many other decks, this didn’t gain anything from either Anthology unfortunately, but it has plenty of power none the less. The game plan of playing all cheap threats and spells is a timeless strategy that’s very effective. The ability to close out games quickly or interact based on what you need to accomplish in the matchup is a rare ability for a deck to have and one that translates well into Bo1 or Bo3. Many strategies in Historic, while perhaps being ready to deal with aggressive fronts, will still struggle in the face of the absolutely blistering speed this deck can operate at. If not interacted with early and often, turn 4 kills are generally an inevitability in game one and even turn 3 wins are not uncommon.

While many players are still trying to find their bearings in the new format, just going fast and having interaction as needed is going to be a very tough opponent for any deck to face.

Rakdos Arcanist

(H) Rakdos Arcanist
by DoggertQBones
Historic
Midrange
best of 3
7 mythic
45 rare
0 uncommon
8 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (2)
Creatures (11)
Instants (8)
4
Fatal Push
$17.96
4
A-Unholy Heat
$0.00
Sorceries (10)
4
Thoughtseize
$79.96
2
Molten Impact
$0.00
Artifacts (2)
Enchantments (4)
60 Cards
$610.1
15 Cards
$112.99

Key Cards

Yet another top deck that got help from the Anthology, Arcanist is still sitting pretty at the top of the metagame.

Prior to the Historic bans, there was a deadlock of the best three decks with Phoenix, Golgari Food, and Arcanist. The issue was that Arcanist was actively bad against both of the top decks, so while a strong deck itself, could never be the best deck. Now that both of those decks got nerfed, it’s really had its time to shine as the format’s premier midrange deck. Furthermore, while my list in particular doesn’t go ham on them, getting Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet is a big deal for a deck that didn’t have solid catchup mechanisms before. If you wanted to, you could easily play a bunch main, and in the right metagame, that would be an excellent call as many decks can really struggle to deal with the powerful threat.

By the nature of a more interactive deck, this is a bit of a tougher time as Rakdos figures out the best configuration for the metagame, but as the meta solidifies, Arcanist will only improve.

Tier 2

Bant Combo

(H) Bant Combo
by DoggertQBones
Historic
Combo
best of 3
8 mythic
34 rare
4 uncommon
14 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (8)
Creatures (12)
4
Displacer Kitten
$59.96
4
Saiba Syphoner
$0.00
Instants (12)
4
Opt
$1.00
4
Haze of Pollen
$1.00
Sorceries (1)
Artifacts (4)
4
Mox Amber
$179.96
60 Cards
$549.66
Sideboard
3
Aether Gust
$2.97
4
Dovin’s Veto
$15.96
1
Test of Talents
$0.59
4
Mystical Dispute
$23.96
1
Farewell
$8.99
15 Cards
$67.45

Key Cards

While this may be a more speculative pick, I believe it’s more than worth a shout out.

We don’t often see good combo decks make their way into Best of Three, but this one seems quite powerful! Generating infinite mana and infinite draws with Mox Amber, Teferi, and Displacer Kitten, you just cycle until you hit Approach the Second Sun and win from there. What I like about this deck is, although it requires multiple pieces, it’s a pretty easy combo to establish and you can play a relatively fair and interactive game before then. This version leans on Green to gain access to Fog effects to better the creature matchups, but you could just as easily go Azorius for Supreme Verdict and Teferi, Hero of Dominaria.

It’s hard to say if this deck will catch on as it’s such a new strategy, but any combo deck that can just play all strong cards is definitely one to keep an eye on.

Jund Sacrifice

Jund Revels Sacrifice
by Altheriax
Historic
best of 3
4 mythic
43 rare
12 uncommon
1 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Companion
Creatures (28)
4
Gilded Goose
$13.96
4
Unlucky Witness
$1.00
4
Mayhem Devil
$17.96
4
Woe Strider
$1.40
Instants (4)
4
Fatal Push
$15.96
Enchantments (4)
Lands (24)
1
Swamp
$0.25
4
Blooming Marsh
$35.96
4
Stomping Ground
$59.96
4
Overgrown Tomb
$63.96
4
Blood Crypt
$91.96
1
Phyrexian Tower
$17.99
60 Cards
$431.88
15 Cards
$93.75

Key Cards

While the nerfing of Cauldron Familiar has severely hindered Sacrifice strategies, Altheriax still found a way to make it work!

A more classic form of Sacrifice leveraging cards like Priest of Forgotten Gods and Woe Strider, this deck looks to get on the board quickly and start compounding synergies. What makes this deck so potent, similar to Humans, is that it’s quite hard to disrupt as it has many catchup mechanisms to keep it in the game. Furthermore, Sacrifice seems like a nice strategy right now as many decks will be unprepared to handle it as top strategies like Humans and Artifacts are insanely soft to Claim the Firstborn and Mayhem Devil.

While I believe Jund is a tier 2 strategy at the moment, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it snuck up to Tier 1 relatively soon due to it’s strength and positioning.

Jund Midrange

(H) Jund Midrange
by DoggertQBones
Historic
Midrange
best of 3
17 mythic
43 rare
0 uncommon
0 common
0
1
2
3
4
5
6+
Planeswalkers (3)
Creatures (17)
4
Tarmogoyf
$75.96
2
Elder Gargaroth
$35.98
Instants (5)
4
Fatal Push
$17.96
1
Hagra Mauling
$2.29
Sorceries (7)
3
Thoughtseize
$59.97
Enchantments (4)
Lands (24)
4
Haunted Ridge
$67.96
3
Rockfall Vale
$8.37
3
Deathcap Glade
$23.97
4
Stomping Ground
$59.96
2
Overgrown Tomb
$35.98
4
Blood Crypt
$91.96
60 Cards
$819.81
15 Cards
$109.92

Key Cards

For my final deck of the list, we have an offshoot of Rakdos Midrange and the perfect analog for Modern Boomer Jund!

As it stands, it’s hard to say if adding Green and nixing Dreadhorde Arcanist improves anything substantially for Rakdos, but it definitely has a good deal going for it. The first new card added to the mix, Tarmogoyf has already shown that it can tussle in Historic. With many decks having an array of different card types, it’s pretty easy to get a very large creature out of a measly two mana investment. Second, Elder Gargaroth is at an absolute premium right now with very little commonly played removal tagging it.

With both Fatal Push and (the nerfed) A-Unholy Heat missing it, the stock on it has gone way up. Finally, having access to Klothys, God of Destiny again is a huge draw to the deck in my opinion. While Unlicensed Hearse is still the graveyard hate of choice, Klothys has been excellent as a means of tearing apart a graveyard and making the damage race near impossible to win.

More time is needed to see if Jund can hang with Rakdos or even supplant it, but a deck that’s just chock full of good cards is generally going to be reasonable!

Wrapping Up

Somewhat similar to Explorer, Historic is still mostly the same metagame it was right before the Anthologies were introduced, but with new flavors to work with. With a much larger card pool to draw from, the amount of different decks that are now viable with the Anthologies is going to make things really interesting. While I mostly touched on the existing strategies that improved from the Anthologies, I’ve seen a litany of new decks utilizing the cards that now need to prove themselves to compete in this metagame.

Furthermore, there are decks that were great prior to the Anthologies that may struggle now due to these new decks being well matched up against it. I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m assuming Spirits is going to rear it’s ghastly head into Historic soon enough and completely shake up what’s viable to play.

All in all, as long as you have a good game plan and are playing powerful cards, you have a reasonably strong chance of succeeding in Historic.

Decklists in this Article

Card Kingdom - Double Masters 2022
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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.

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