Historic Temur Creativity Deck Guide: Historic’s New Best Deck

Indomitable Creativity Art by Deruchenko Alexander
Indomitable Creativity Art by Deruchenko Alexander

Hello everyone! I’ll just jump right into it, I believe I have found the best deck in Historic after the Time Warp ban. With a clean 15-1 run into Mythic and how powerful the deck inherently felt, I’m very confident that this deck is minimum going to be a Tier 1 moving forward.

So what is this magical deck? I actually wrote a whole article on this topic for the Premium section on Friday linked here, but I’ll share.

The Jeskai Turns deck was definitely too strong for Historic with the ability to win out of nowhere with Indomitable Creativity, the ability to grind any deck out, to have multiple alternate win cons, and so on. Combo-Control decks are seldom fair and this situation was no different so I’m happy Wizards took action.

That being said, I think they really missed the mark on the banning. Sure, banning Time Warp likely killed it as an archetype, but I don’t believe that’s what made it broken. What made the deck so powerful was all the other elements I just discussed, and although Time Warp did play a role in that, it wasn’t the star of the show. I purported that as long as you keep the same elements in the deck, if you Creativity into any powerful creature the deck should still be powerful.

How bad could a Control deck be when you can randomly generate a huge creature out of nowhere while functionally giving up no resources to do so, even if it doesn’t win instantly? With that, my most promising version of the deck was Jeskai with Dream Trawler as the top end. Let’s take a look.

(H) Creative Dreams 

Creatures (3)
3
Dream Trawler
Spells (27)
4
Brainstorm
3
Expressive Iteration
4
Memory Lapse
2
Anger of the Gods
4
Indomitable Creativity
4
Prismari Command
2
Mizzix's Mastery
4
Magma Opus
Enchantments (4)
4
Shark Typhoon
Lands (26)
4
Dwarven Mine
4
Fabled Passage
1
Island
4
Mountain
1
Plains
4
Raugrin Triome
3
Sacred Foundry
4
Steam Vents
1
Sulfur Falls
Cards (60)
Sideboard (15)
1
Soul-Guide Lantern
2
Aether Gust
2
Scorching Dragonfire
2
Anger of the Gods
4
Mystical Dispute
2
Commence the Endgame
2
Nezahal, Primal Tide

So this wasn’t necessarily groundbreaking, but I’m surprised that the meta hasn’t caught on yet. With functionally all the same elements as the old Turns deck in their post board configuration where they gave up velocity with Velomachus Lorehold for one turn kills for the resilience of Nezahal, Primal Tide, I purported that this deck would feel nearly as powerful. Well, I’m happy and somewhat disappointed to say that I was correct. I played a few matches with this version of the deck and was definitely getting convinced that this shell was still excellent.

I postulated this deck idea to a friend and he asked if Dream Trawler was better than Koma, Cosmos Serpent. I honestly forgot that Koma was even an option and knew I had to try it in this shell. From my record, I’m sure you can tell how that went. Let’s take a look at this shell with Koma in it, the current list I’m using.

(H) Temur Creativity 

Creatures (2)
2
Koma, Cosmos Serpent
Spells (28)
4
Brainstorm
3
Expressive Iteration
4
Memory Lapse
3
Anger of the Gods
4
Indomitable Creativity
4
Prismari Command
2
Mizzix's Mastery
4
Magma Opus
Enchantments (4)
4
Shark Typhoon
Lands (26)
4
Dwarven Mine
4
Fabled Passage
1
Island
4
Ketria Triome
5
Mountain
4
Steam Vents
2
Stomping Ground
2
Sulfur Falls
Cards (60)
Sideboard (15)
2
Aether Gust
1
Narset's Reversal
4
Scorching Dragonfire
1
Anger of the Gods
4
Mystical Dispute
3
Commence the Endgame

I’m not reinventing the wheel here, but the deck performs extremely well, feeling almost as good as the Turns deck. It’s not too surprising considering most of the cards are the same, but losing a crucial component would generally vastly change the dynamics of the deck. Since we lost Time Warp, I figured the Mizzix’s Mastery would be substantially worse, but still wanted 2 copies so I could mise a Magma Opus every now and again. To my surprise, Mastery has been still overperforming for me by either flashing back an early Magma Opus as intended, or a really nice alternate win condition when I hit 8 mana. I could see going up to 3, but you really need a Magma Opus or Commence the End Game in your graveyard before this starts to become powerful.

With that, I had 6 slots I had to fill since I continued to use the groundwork that Jeskai Turns laid for me. I decided to go up to a full 4 Shark Typhoon as it’s great early to create a token and good late as a wincon. Next, I added another Expressive Iteration to help me grind against Control decks and be reasonable in faster matchups, but it has been mostly underperforming for me unfortunately. I’m not sure what I’d replace it with right now, but it’s probably still better than our other options thus worth keeping for now unless you want to put the fourth Anger of the Gods main to free up a board slot.

Speaking of which, I fill out the rest of the deck with 3 copies of Anger of the Gods as a hedge for the Phoenix and aggressive matchups. Even in matchups where they aren’t good, it’s not too difficult to get rid of them using either Brainstorm or Prismari Command. Beyond the modest changes, this still feels like the Turns deck we all know and certainly love (or something). If you need additional proof, both me and a friend got 7-0 runs in the Historic metagame challenge as well.

I’m still not positive if the Temur iteration of this deck is better than Jeskai with Dream Trawler, but I’m pretty sure that it is. If you want to try both versions, I’ll provide the updated version of the Jeskai deck as well. With that, I’ll even talk about the pros and cons of each strategy and I’ll leave that determination ultimately up to you.

(H) Jeskai Creativity 

Creatures (3)
3
Dream Trawler
Spells (27)
4
Brainstorm
3
Expressive Iteration
4
Memory Lapse
2
Anger of the Gods
4
Indomitable Creativity
4
Prismari Command
2
Mizzix's Mastery
4
Magma Opus
Enchantments (4)
4
Shark Typhoon
Lands (26)
4
Dwarven Mine
4
Fabled Passage
1
Island
5
Mountain
4
Raugrin Triome
3
Sacred Foundry
4
Steam Vents
1
Sulfur Falls
Cards (60)
Sideboard (15)
1
Narset's Reversal
3
Scorching Dragonfire
2
Anger of the Gods
4
Mystical Dispute
3
Commence the Endgame
2
Nezahal, Primal Tide

PROS OF JESKAI:

  • The ability to get multiple Dream Trawlers is extremely powerful
  • Dream Trawler is a better blocker against Fliers which is relevant with the prevalence of Phoenix
  • As long as you have a card in hand, Dream Trawler is immune to all removal which is extremely important against decks that have instant speed removal
  • Although it’s minor, being a mana cheaper than Koma does make it more feasible to cast
  • Lifelink can get you out of tricky spots and Trawler can generate card advantage to push you further ahead

PROS OF TEMUR:

  • Although it’s marginal, the mana is a bit cleaner
  • A creativity for 1 is more likely to win when getting a Koma compared to one Dream Trawler
  • Koma stabilizes better against nearly every deck compared to Dream Trawler
  • Koma can become indestructible which allows it to dodge Wraths where Dream Trawler only gains hexproof
  • You get to play one fewer top end creatures to Creativity into compared to Jeskai
  • You free up board slots as Nezahal is not necessary when you have Koma (although I did consider having a copy or two in the board)
  • Koma can pull you out of games that Dream Trawler never could, especially when you’re very behind. Many of my wins came from getting a Koma where even multiple Trawlers would not have been enough
  • Koma being uncounterable makes casting it extremely feasible against Blue decks when the games go late enough, a play that I’ve stolen multiple games with.

MATCHUPS AND SIDEBOARDING

Koma, Cosmos Serpent Art by Jesper Ejsing
Koma, Cosmos Serpent Art by Jesper Ejsing

MIRROR

INOUT
+2 Aether Gust-3 Anger of the Gods
+1 Narset’s Reversal-2 Mizzix’s Mastery
+4 Mystical Dispute-4 Magma Opus
+3 Commence the Endgame-1 Expressive Iteration

Since this matchup is becoming more popular, makes sense to add in the sideboarding for it! This matchup is going to mostly be fought over Koma game 1 then tokens in game 2. You still want to have enough Koma answers as an early Indomitable Creativity with counter backup is still a very easy way to win in this matchup. Like other Control matchups, the Mastery/Magma Opus package is too slow for my liking so we just shove in a bunch of interaction and Commence the End Game. Play this matchup very patiently as you don’t want to get blown out first.

IZZET PHOENIX

INOUT
+1 Aether Gust-4 Memory Lapse
+4 Scorching Dragonfire-2 Mizzix’s Mastery
+1 Anger of the Gods-4 Magma Opus
+4 Mystical Dispute

If Phoenix thought Nezahal was hard to beat, they won’t be able to contain their excitement when they see a Koma! I heavily tailored my sideboard for the Phoenix matchup since I believed it was going to be extremely popular, but have only faced it twice. Nevertheless, I destroyed it both times as picking apart their threats into landing a Koma isn’t a plan they can reliably beat.

Focus on controlling their threats in the early game as once you get a Koma on the board, you can easily win in a few turns. Phoenix doesn’t have many counterspells to efficiently deal with your Creativities so you can generally safely jam into open mana if you feel the need to.

JESKAI CONTROL

INOUT
+1 Narset’s Reversal-3 Anger of the Gods
+4 Mystical Dispute-1 Mizzix’s Mastery
+3 Commence the Endgame-4 Magma Opus

Control has definitely felt a bit challenging as our main game plan of cheating in a Koma isn’t really tenable when they have counterspells like Dovin’s Veto, Aether Gust, and Mystical Dispute alongside Prismari Command to kill our creature or treasure tokens in response to an Indomitable Creativity. With that, our main game plan changes game 2.

Instead of trying to turbo out a Koma, we look to establish a large token either through Shark Typhoon or Commence the End Game to apply enough pressure to either kill them when backed up by countermagic or force them to tap out so you can force through a Koma that these decks mostly can’t beat.

The main issue with this matchup is that you have no means to bounce tokens so if they establish a large token threat first and you can’t respond in kind, you really don’t have a chance of winning. It’s possible that this list should include some bounce spell or something, but I feel like that plan is less powerful than trying to establish a good threat of our own hence the 3 Commence the End Game.

Narset’s Reversal is really just for this matchup, but it’s extremely important as a means to play around Dovin’s Veto by bouncing your own spell or to snag opposing Commence the Endgame.

SELESNYA COMPANY

INOUT
+4 Scorching Dragonfire-3 Expressive Iteration
+1 Anger of the Gods-2 Shark Typhoon

I have yet to face this matchup, but I believe you’d want relatively light boarding as you would for most of the aggro matchups. Expressive Iteration is generally too slow against decks that are trying to kill you ASAP so I board it out quite often. The last two slots are harder to pin down, but I believe you’d want to trim the Shark Typhoons. You’ll rarely have the ability to meaningfully block something so it’s mostly a tool to make a token and draw a card, an effect we don’t need many of.

You really want to try and so something high impact early before they can get too set up with a clock and disruption like Elite Spellbinder, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, or Archon of Emeria. That being said, Scorching Dragonfire and Anger of the Gods are excellent against them so if you have lands, some interaction, and anything to do, this matchup shouldn’t be too problematic.

JUND FOOD

INOUT
+1 Aether Gust-3 Anger of the Gods
+2 Scorching Dragonfire

Similar to Jeskai Turns versus Jund Food before, this matchup is generally pretty good for you. The main issue is that Noxious Grasp can take out Koma before the upkeep trigger resolves, but they likely only run a few so that shouldn’t be a huge concern. The main issue is if you can get something going before they resolve a Korvold, Fae-Cursed King, but they don’t have a good way to win beyond Korvold so they generally give you a lot of time to find something to do. This is a matchup where it’s common to overload Mizzix’s Mastery for the win, something I’ve done far more than I thought I would.

MONO BLACK AGGRO

INOUT
+4 Scorching Dragonfire-4 Memory Lapse
+1 Anger of the Gods-1 Expressive Iteration

Unfortunately for this deck, this matchup is definitely challenging. Between a lot of Thoughtseize effects, a fast curve, and a resilience to Anger of the Gods (although it is still great against them), it can be hard to get a Koma onto the board and make it stick. I only faced this once, but was able to win by slowing them down enough with my interaction to start just hard casting my Magma Opus and eventually overloaded a Mizzix’s Mastery. Some of Mono Black’s hands won’t be able to beat an Anger of the Gods regardless so then all you have to do is find something to do before they can reestablish pressure.

AURAS

INOUT
+4 Scorching Dragonfire-3 Expressive Iteration
+1 Anger of the Gods-2 Memory Lapse

Both the Orzhov and Azorius version of this deck can be challenging as meaningful interaction and pressure is a tough recipe to beat, but they really struggle to beat a Koma unless they have Heliod’s Punishment. With that, neither version tends to play that much interaction anyway and if you manage to stymie their early aggression, you’ll have substantially more time to set up a winning game plan. Keeping their board clear is priority number 1 beyond getting a Koma in ASAP.

GRUUL AGGRO

INOUT
+1 Aether Gust-3 Expressive Iteration
+4 Scorching Dragonfire-3 Memory Lapse
+1 Anger of the Gods

Unlike the other aggressive decks on this list, Gruul doesn’t really have interaction to stop you from comboing off, so your main objective is to stall long enough that you can get a Koma on board. Thankfully, they also have no real way to beat a Koma so just a piece or two of interaction into Koma will functionally always win. Don’t keep durdly hands as they can kill on turn 4 uninterrupted.

TIPS AND TRICKS

Prismari Command Art by Johannes Voss
Prismari Command Art by Johannes Voss
  • Ideally you want to Brainstorm with a way to clear the top of your library. The best way to do that is with Fabled Passage, but can also function in a similar way. You could also use Prismari Command to achieve this, but that’s not the best use of the looting. Indomitable Creativity is also a great way to clear the top of the library as that forces you to shuffle.
  • You will generally cycle your Magma Opus aggressively, but don’t discount the ability to cast it either. With excess Treasure from Prismari Command, hitting a lot of land drops, and interacting with the opponent, it’s not that unreasonable to cast this at some point.
  • A common way opponents will try to interact with you is by killing your token in response to Indomitable Creativity with something like an Abrade or Prismari Command. If you’re confident that you can win as long as Creativity resolves, you can consider increasing the X value of Creativity to play around a single removal spell. You will lose the other Koma, but if you know you can win from that spot it hardly matters.
  • Mizzix’s Mastery is generally bringing back a Magma Opus, but don’t be afraid to flash back something that’s lower impact like an Anger of the Gods or Prismari Command if it makes sense to do so. On the flip side, also consider holding this with the potential of Overloading it later in the game. You win a lot more games than you’d think over flashing back a bunch of Prismari Commands and draw spells.
  • Try to play out your tapped lands first, even useful ones like Fabled Passage and Dwarven Mine if it means your curve is better around turn 3 or 4. Not being able to operate in the mid game is a recipe for disaster with this deck.
  • Although I like keeping Treasure tokens around over small creature tokens, targeting Treasures with Indomitable Creativity is generally much safer.
  • Even if it feels worthless at the time, don’t underestimate the chip damage you can accumulate with stuff like Prismari Command and small tokens, I’ve won a lot of games hitting opponents for exact lethal because I was cognizant of not playing too defensively.
  • Grafdigger's Cage doesn’t do anything against this deck, both Indomitable Creativity and Mizzix's Mastery exile the spells first
  • Although it’s niche, you can also kill opponent’s creatures/artifacts with Indomitable Creativity
  • As a note, I expect this deck to become very popular so you should consider which top end creature you want to Creativity into. Nezahal, Primal Tide or Dream Trawler can be better targets than Koma, Cosmos Serpent depending on how the meta shakes up.
  • Do NOT put artifacts in your sideboard that you can hit into with your Indomitable Creativity such as the Soul-Guide Lantern that was previously in the sideboard. Reading is power!

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.

20 Responses

  1. David says:

    Okay, I gotta try this deck in the Historic Challenge. I haven’t been liking the Phoenix or Control decks, but I’m gonna give this one a whirl!

  2. zaergaegyr says:

    I talked a bit with Bob in the Twitchchat about this archtype. I tested each version for at least a dozen matches (regardless what my creativity target was they all have above 70% winrate) and personally the Koma version feels the best. The one with Trawler feels a bit weird in my opinion, but it still works perfectly fine.

    • DoggertQBones says:

      I agree that Koma is the best right now but it may not always be depending on how the meta reacts to this deck. Will likely need more targets in the sideboard in the future

  3. shitzo says:

    Thank you for this really cool deck tip and guide! 🙂 Do you have also a recommandation for BO1? Do you think, it can be viable as well and if so, what changes would you make?

    • DoggertQBones says:

      Definitely go with the Koma version in Bo1 and I would go -1 Expressive Iteration for the fourth Anger of the Gods main. If Wildcards are an issue there, Scorching Dragonfire does a great job in Anger’s slot as well and gives the deck additional 2 drops

  4. Jawn says:

    I just can’t seem to get this deck to work. I went 0-4 in Mythic BO3 today with the deck (all against some form Izzet – nice format diversity). It’s probably just bad play and tilt since I’ve seen others do well with it, but no game felt particularly close. I’ll try it again tomorrow and see if I can start seeing some success.

  5. David says:

    Started 4-0 in the Historic challenge but then had to run into Niv-Mizzet Reborn twice in a row. What’s the SB plan and overall plan there? Managed to barely win the 2nd match, but it seems like an incredibly rough matchup. They just play infinite hand disruption into a 5 mana 6/6 that draws them 4 cards. This deck falls apart against that; I had trouble against them when I was playing Jeskai Turns, too. Is there anything that can be done about that?

    Ulamog actually comes to mind as a potential card to bring in there as an Indomitable Creativity target; the only answer they have is Teferi (or maybe Extinction Event), which isn’t a permanent answer, and getting to 10 mana in that matchup isn’t impossible. I feel like it might be worth a sideboard slot. In my experience Nezahal doesn’t work, because after all the Thoughtseizes and Inquisitions, you won’t have enough cards in hand to save it.

    • DoggertQBones says:

      The current plan is we treat it like a control deck.

      +1 Narset’s Reversal, +4 Dispute, +3 Commence -3 Anger -4 Magma Opus -1 Mastery

      I haven’t faced it yet personally and hand disruption is annoying but they don’t have many ways to deal with Koma itself which gets out of Control super quickly. I’ve seen players start to add Narset for other matchups and it seems decent there to help mitigate the discard spells

      • David says:

        That’s mostly how I boarded, although I took out Prismari Command instead of Magma Opus. Prismari Command didn’t seem good since it’s just card disadvantage, looting is worse when hand disruption shrinks your hand size, and they have no artifacts or creatures to target, so really none of the modes are great. Plus, Magma Opus costs enough that Drown in the Loch sometimes won’t counter it (although they have Mystical Dispute and Dovin’s Veto as well).

        Why keep Prismari Command over Opus?

        Maybe it’s just bad luck but Koma seemed to frequently die to Mortality Spear or Drown in the Loch before I could get a token, even if they were tapped out at the time Koma came into play.

        What do you think about Ulamog in the board?

        • DoggertQBones says:

          I wouldn’t board in Ulamog but you could consider Nezahal, especially as more people become prepared for this matchup. I like Prismari Command a little bit more as getting a Treasure and getting 2 damage in as chip shot plus the option to loot I think is more relevant than Opus which you’ll cycle most off the time anyway.

  6. Folfire says:

    Against Jeskai Control, the instruction is to give up turboing out the Koma. The sideboard states you take out Opus, but what about keeping the Creativity if you are giving up on the TurboKoma plan? Shouldn’t we take the Creativity out and keep the instant speed spell that provides a treasure even if it’s going to be countered many times?

    • DoggertQBones says:

      Great question! Even against Control I like having a lot of Creativity for a few reason. 1. it will always draw out interaction 2. It’s the best punish for them tapping out 3. they really struggle to beat a Koma on board so having the most amount chances to put it on board is ideal

  7. peregrinations says:

    I don’t know if it actually is good or if people just aren’t prepared, but I’ve been sideboarding in one Nezahal and one Jin-Gitaxias against control and other grindy decks to punish them tapping out or using up their disruption. Creativity for 2 means getting drawing seven cards with no hand limit. If Jin-Gitaxias survives their turn, then it is game over. Even if they kill one or both, you end up drawing 8 or 10 cards.

    • DoggertQBones says:

      Thats definitely not unreasonable. Jin-Gitaxias is super powerful if it survives to the end step, unsure how feasible that is now that more people are prepared for Koma. Nezehal, however, I did have in my sideboard before so it’s very reasonable to go back to it, especially if players start bringing back a lot of instant speed interaction to kill Koma

      • Pereginations says:

        I find a lot of blue players (both control and Phoenix) side in Aether Gust after seeing Koma game 1, which makes them feel slightly more comfortable tapping out. Plus, drawing 7 gives you a good chance of drawing your own counters (and makes protecting Nezehal by discarding extremely easy). Part of my success is definitely surprise though.

  8. David says:

    This guy made mythic with some changes here: https://twitter.com/Mansonian01/status/1405960000774807562?s=19a

    Moved Anger of the Gods to sb in favor of Sweltering Suns– ok, can see that. Fire Prophecy makes some sense too. What do you think?

    • DoggertQBones says:

      I think both are very reasonable changes. Having more 2 mana interaction is definitely nice, I’m not sure if that’s good at the expense of Expressive Iteration especially as the mirror picks up steam but it could make sense depending on the decks you’re facing. Anger of the Gods was specifically for Phoenix and splash damage against Auras and Monoblack, if those decks are mostly absent, then Suns is likely better to cycle in dead matchups.