Historic Selesnya Company Deck Guide: For Both Bo1 and Bo3 – The Best Collected Company Deck!

Welcome to our Selesnya Company deck guide for the Magic: The Gathering Arena Historic format, updated for Strixhaven: School of Mages! Here, you will learn how to play this green-white aggressive deck for both best of one (bo1) and best of three (bo3) modes from explanation of card choices to a complete matchups and sideboard guide.

Introduction

Hello again! Yes, I am not dead. I am alive and kicking, and this is what it looks like:

I was hugely impressed by this archetype and couldn’t believe how strong it was. So I just had to write a deck guide about it, so you can have some insights about one of the best decks in Historic!

I expected this deck to have the classic Selesnya problem, where you need to hit all of your early land drops, but then you flooding out also cost you a lot. Well, not with this one! We are playing only 21 lands, while playing 8 additional mana sources (Llanowar Elves and Kazandu Mammoth) and I was quite surprised by how consistent this deck actually was.

I am not only saying that it’s the best shell for Llanowar Elves – but it’s also the best Elite Spellbinder and Collected Company deck in Historic by a landslide. These cards just go together so naturally that it feels like cheating sometimes.

I’m not the first one to say good things about this deck, but I truly believe that it’s still a bit under-represented (at least on the Mythic ladder), given how well this deck is positioned. It’s also one of these decks that rewards you for playing perfectly and can win against practically any deck, given it’s aggressive nuances in nature.

Historic Selesnya Company Decklist

Arena (Bo1)

Most decks in best of one will kind of fold to The Great Henge so I want to make sure that we always have it. Knight of Autumn is a nice catch-all against most decks in the field, so we got that going for us. Overall, Selesnya Company is a nice Bo1 deck because of its proactive nature.

 

Creatures (32)
4
Kazandu Mammoth
4
Llanowar Elves
4
Luminarch Aspirant
2
Scavenging Ooze
4
Archon of Emeria
4
Elite Spellbinder
2
Knight of Autumn
4
Lovestruck Beast
4
Skyclave Apparition
Spells (4)
4
Collected Company
Artifacts (3)
3
The Great Henge
Lands (21)
4
Branchloft Pathway
4
Forest
2
Hashep Oasis
5
Plains
2
Sunpetal Grove
4
Temple Garden
Cards (60)

Traditional (Bo3)

 

Creatures (33)
4
Kazandu Mammoth
4
Llanowar Elves
3
Adanto Vanguard
4
Luminarch Aspirant
2
Scavenging Ooze
4
Archon of Emeria
4
Elite Spellbinder
4
Lovestruck Beast
4
Skyclave Apparition
Spells (4)
4
Collected Company
Artifacts (2)
2
The Great Henge
Lands (21)
4
Branchloft Pathway
4
Forest
2
Hashep Oasis
5
Plains
2
Sunpetal Grove
4
Temple Garden
Cards (60)
Sideboard (15)
2
Giant Killer
2
Baffling End
2
Rest in Peace
2
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
2
Knight of Autumn
2
Rule of Law
2
Shifting Ceratops
1
The Great Henge

How to Play the Deck

Sometimes, this kind of deck archetype gets called “taxes”. This name comes from the fact that a lot of your creatures “tax” your opponent by forcing them to pay more mana for their spells for example, or tax your opponent’s mana base (Archon of Emeria). Now the real concept behind that is that you slow your opponent down, while still having solid beaters to kill your opponent before they can set up effective defences. Turn 6 Wrath of God is much more beatable than a turn 4 one – you get the idea.

The real challenge is to find out if you want to slow your opponent down or if you want to bonk them faster – do you play Lovestruck Beast or Archon of Emeria? This always depends on the matchup and on the problematic cards that they could potentially have. Because of that reason, this kind of deck will always be challenging to play, because it requires a good understanding of the format and your opponent’s hand.

Pro tip: If you have absolutely no idea what your opponent could have, just play Elite Spellbinder in these spots. it gives you a good look into their hand and tells you what you will be working with!

Your best start will always be Llanowar Elves into one of your very strong 3-drops. You might have noticed that this deck is more 3-drops than anything else – that is because you want your Collected Company to be worth 6 mana and not 4 – hitting 2-drops is just not very appealing, usually.

Speaking of which, Collected Company will be your second big challenge for this deck. This is because you always have to decide if you want to play it in your turn or in your opponent’s turn. That’s right! You have good payoff for playing it in your own turn (Elite Spellbinder, Luminarch Aspirant, Archon of Emeria) but it can also be your best way to play around sorcery speed sweepers if you just play it in your opponent’s end step. In the matchup guide, I will talk about how to utilize this card in the corresponding matchup.

Card Choices

Collected Company Art by Lake Hurwitz
Collected Company Art by Lake Hurwitz

Main Deck

Llanowar Elves: We would play 8 copies of this card, if we could. It really feels like cheating when you slam this on turn 1 and it enables Lovestruck Beast.

Luminarch Aspirant: This is one of your weaker cards in the deck, but it’s a good role player. It buffs up your fliers, which is great, and it enables Lovestruck Beast as well.

Scavenging Ooze: Scoozy is really well positioned right now because of the amount of decks that rely on the graveyard. It’s also notorious for being one of the best 2-drops that you can draw in the late game, because it easily becomes a 10/10 when the dust settles and everything else died off already. I am not a big fan of playing more than 2 copies of this card, because the second copy is drastically worse on the battlefield than the first one and we don’t run too many lands in this deck to begin with.

Archon of Emeria: I’m going to humble brag a bit here, because in my Zendikar Rising constructed set review I gave this card a high rating and said that this card can be incredible in the right shell. It took a long time, but we finally found it! Archon is such an annoying card to play against with all the shock lands in Historic and it for sure stops your phoenix opponents from doing anything meaningful. Most decks just don’t operate that well playing only 1 spell a turn.

Elite Spellbinder: This card is just perfect for this deck and it’s honestly the card that revitalized this whole archetype. It’s a strong, evasive beater, and it’s one hell of a find off your Collected Company. I never want to hear “white cards are bad” ever again!

Skyclave Apparition: Skyclave apparition is the second best candidate for your Collected Company (most of the time). Sometimes it can be rough to play this card because of the casting cost. Be careful with your Branchloft Pathway in the early game for that reason, and sometimes it’s better to play Temple Garden on turn 1 instead of a basic forest for your Llanowar Elf – this allows you to play Skyclave Apparition on turn 2.

Lovestruck Beast: What a surprise! Who would’ve thought that Lovestruck Beast is good! Jokes aside, Lovestruck and Great Henge has always been one hell of a drug, so we’re playing it. It’s also another pseudo 1-drop because of the adventure half.

Kazandu Mammoth: Not only does this prevent flooding and manascrew at the same time, it’s also just a very reasonably beater and Great Henge enabler.

Collected Company: Honestly, this card might get the award for being the single strongest card in Historic, or at least in contention. Instant speed 4 mana spell that’s essentially 6 mana is just so messed up – and it’s the reason why this archetype is as good as it is.

The Great Henge: I found this card to be quite effective in this meta game, but you can certainly cut it if you’re facing too many control with sweepers. It easily overpowers a lot of creature decks though, which is why I like it right now.

No Reidane, God of the Worthy: Right now I am facing too many Rogues and control decks for this to be an inclusion. If you’re facing a lot of control decks and sweepers, then this might be a card that you want to play instead.

No Rhonas, the Indomitable: We don’t need the trample right now, but it can be a cheeky 1-of that you could be playing. Most of the time this is just worse than Lovestruck Beast though, so I am not sure how much I want this.

No Thalia, Guardian of Thraben: Even though it’s a good main deck card against a good number of decks right now, the fact that this also hinders our Collected Company and Henge is what puts me off a bit. We are such a good proactive deck game 1 and we just want to delay ourselves in that regard.

Sideboard

In general, you don’t to sideboard in too many noncreature cards because it ruins your creature count for Collected Company. This is why you will sometimes see lower numbers of cards, even though they are good in the current meta.

2 Baffling End: Just some additional removal cheap removal. Usually we are fine against creatures because of Skyclave Apparition and Lovestruck Beast, but it doesn’t hurt to have a little bit more.

2 Rest in Peace: This card is lights out against Rogues, but Dreadhorde Arcanist decks also struggle quite a bit against this.

2 Knight of Autumn: There are always enchantments and artifacts in the formats and Knight of Autumn is exactly what this deck stands for – interact with your opponent while having a beater.

2 Shifting Ceratops: Against blue decks, this is the best bonker. Works wonders!

2 Giant Killer: This is surprisingly needed in some matchups, which can be tough otherwise. In a pinch you can also find this off Collected Company, which won’t let you kill things, but at least tap them down.

2 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben: The taxing ability is really good in some matchups and it usually hits them harder than it hits us (and they usually want to kill this anyway). Especially phoenix and control decks do not want to play against this for a long time. I face more phoenix decks than control decks at the moment, so I have this instead of Reidane, for example.

2 Rule of Law: On the play this can be crushing against phoenix, but the main reason for this card is definitely the new Tainted Pact deck. Good luck finding an answer for that, opponent!

1 The Great Henge: Incredible card in most creature matchups.

Matchups and Sideboard Guide

Orzhov Auras

InOut
+2 Baffling End-2 The Great Henge
+2 Giant Killer-2 Adanto Vanguard
+2 Knight of Autumn-2 Luminarch Aspirant
+2 Rule of Law-2 Lovestruck Beast

Rule of Law is lights out for them, and so is Archon of Emeria if they can’t remove it in time. This matchup boils down to if they have early Kaya's Ghostform and Thoughtseize and they need a specific combination of cards to beat you. Overall it’s quite an even matchup overall, but Rule of Law will be very hard to beat for them.

Gruul Aggro

InOut
+2 Baffling End-4 Archon of Emeria
+2 Giant Killer-3 Adanto Vanguard
+1 The Great Henge
+2 Knight of Autumn

This is a good matchup, but you can get overrun in game 1 because Archon of Emeria and Adanto Vanguard aren’t very good. Knight of Autumn can be a nice comeback against Embercleave and for the life gain. If you survive until turn 5 you usually win, so play accordingly.

Izzet Phoenix

InOut
+2 Rest in Peace-4 Elite Spellbinder
+2 Giant Killer-4 Luminarch Aspirant
+2 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben-2 The Great Henge
+2 Rule of Law (on the draw bring in Baffling End instead – if it’s a Dreadhorde Arcanist version, always bring in Baffling End instead of Rule of Law)
+2 Shifting Ceratops

This matchup has been pretty close for me. Phoenix has good amounts of removal and you’re not doing a lot when they put 2 phoenixes into their graveyard by turn 2. Giant Killer is surprisingly good here because the tapping ability can be potent. Great Henge is usually a tiny bit too slow post-board because they always kill your stuff as well. I think that Spellbinder is not worth it because it just gets pinged down and most spells are incredibly cheap anyway. I’m still on the fence about the Ceratops – it can be super good but sometimes it just gets Lightning Axed.

Jeskai Control

InOut
+2 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben-2 The Great Henge
+2 Shifting Ceratops-4 Skyclave Apparition
+2 Knight of Autumn

Knight of Autumn isn’t great but it’s certainly better than Skyclave Apparition. Be careful with your Collected Company – ideally you want to play this after they used their Wrath of God. Sometimes it’s also the correct play to play it in your own turn, because your opponent tapped out. Try to identify what could be in your opponent’s hand and make your choices based on that. Recent data suggests that this is a bad matchup for Selesnya, but I honestly think that it’s about even – your threats are pretty good and so are their answers.

Simic Stompy

InOut
+2 Baffling End-2 Scavenging Ooze
+2 Knight of Autumn-3 Adanto Vanguard
+2 Giant Killer-2 Archon of Emeria
+1 The Great Henge

You can answer your emails and make yourself some sandwiches while playing this matchup. You just have all the answers and you’re essentially the mirror match with much better cards.

Dimir Rogues

InOut
+2 Baffling End-2 The Great Henge
+2 Rest in Peace-4 Elite Spellbinder
+2 Shifting Ceratops

Rogues wants to pressure while interacting and that’s exactly what we are doing as well. Rogues can have a tough time keeping up with cheap threats and Collected Company is a key card here. In game 1, just slam your The Great Henge as soon as you can and don’t play too much around counterspells.

Selesnya Company (Mirror)

InOut
+2 Baffling End-2 Scavenging Ooze
+2 Giant Killer-3 Adanto Vanguard
+1 The Great Henge-2 Luminarch Aspirant (on the draw)
+2 Knight of Autumn (on the draw)

On the play I want to be more proactive than reactive, so I’m just not playing the Knight of Autumn there. This matchup can be a bit miserable because the turn 1 Llanowar Elves is just such a force and it really punishes the player on the draw. Luminarch Aspirant can be massive on the play, but also a bit too slow on the draw. On the play, enable your The Great Henge if you have it in hand. On the draw, remove their creatures first before trying to enable yours.

Tainted Pact Combo

InOut
+2 Knight of Autumn-4 Skyclave Apparition
+2 Shifting Ceratops-2 The Great Henge
+2 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben-2 Scavenging Ooze
+2 Rule of Law

This matchup isn’t very good. Not only are they playing tons of sweepers, they are also playing a 2-card combo that’s hard to interact with. Archon of Emeria and Rule of Law are your best cards, but focus on putting enough pressure on the board first. Don’t play around the turn 4 kill too much. If they have it, you lose, simple as that. Shouldn’t happen too often anyway, considering that it’s a singleton deck. The most important thing is early pressure.

End Step

Thank you so much for reading again, it’s always a pleasure. Please let me know in the comments if you have any questions regarding this deck, I’ve been playing this deck ad nauseam and I’ve tried a lot of cards out already!

Stay safe everyone!

Sorquixe

Alexander Steyer, 23 years old. Qualified for Mythic Championship VII, Zendikar Rising Championship and Arena Open Winner.

11 Responses

  1. Chrysologus says:

    Excellent, this deck is so fun.

  2. LoDag says:

    Thank you for not forgetting about Bo1!

  3. SorHue says:

    Didnt tried adanto in my list, I dont like some of the cards in my main decklist, so i’ll change for adanto.
    Nice guide, thanks.

  4. anon says:

    Is there a sideboard guide for Jund Sac? I’ve found that it’s one of the worst matchups for this deck, because of how much of our stuff dies to Claim + sac, so I’ve started including Yasharns in the SB. Is that a mistake?

    • David says:

      You’ll want to take out 1 health creatures that die too easily to Mayhem Devil and Cauldron Familiar. With the board he has, you should probably board like this:

      +2 Rest in Peace
      +2 Baffling End
      +2 Knight of Autumn
      +1 Giant Killer (for Korvold versions)

      -3 Adanto Vanguard
      -4 Elite Spellbinder

      Yasharn is a totally reasonable card to include as well.

    • Sorquixe says:

      Hey,

      You’re right, that one is a bad matchup. However you should not cut your fliers, they will be the main way to win the game (even if mayhem devil is brutal against spellbinder)

      Putting in Yasharn makes tons of sense if you face a lot of this deck. Good thinking!

      Try to save apparitions for mayhem devil if you can.

      Coco can overpower these decks for sure. I think its a bad matchup but manageable.

      ~Sorq

      • HellFox says:

        I know you didn’t find any spots for Reidane in your 75 (and frankly, your explanation was a tiny bit weird… you face too many control decks to include her, but you could see running her if you faced too many control decks?), but Reidane seems a nice shutdown for Jund Sac… or rather Valkmira, that is. I was lucky enough to drop Valkmira on Turn 3 both Game 1 before siding in 2 more Reidanes and managing the same trick in Game 2, ez win for my first time in the numbered Mythic ranks 😀

  5. David says:

    I would recommend playing 1 Legion Angel maindeck and 3 in the board for Bo1. A 4/3 that draws you three more 4/3s is just flat good. It also works great with The Great Henge, ensuring you’ll never run dry and always have more stuff to play.

    Not sure what to cut, but might possibly be an Archon of Emeria since its effect doesn’t stack, so the second copy isn’t very useful.

  6. JP says:

    In just a few weeks, Historic Anthology 5 will be out and Dromoka’s Command will be available in Historic. That seems like this would be ideal for this deck. How would you adjust the deck for those, if at all?