Jumpstart: Historic Horizons Set Review & Decklists Part 6 – Multicolored, Colorless and Lands

The First Sliver Art by Svetlin Velinov
The First Sliver Art by Svetlin Velinov
Jumpstart: Historic Horizons

Hey everyone! It’s time to wrap up the Jumpstart: Historic Horizons review with the multicolored and colorless cards! There’s a lot of spice to go over so let’s dive in!

As always, here’s the scale I’ll be using to label the new cards that potentially have constructed applications.

  • 0/5 – Unplayable in every sense.
  • 1/5 – Extremely niche play or very unlikely to see play.
  • 2/5 – Niche to no play, maybe playable in certain conditions.
  • 3/5 – Reasonable playable. Not format breaking, but has the power level to see play in some strategy (or strategies).
  • 4/5 – Very strong card, but not the best the format has to offer. Has the power level to see a lot of play.
  • 5/5 – The very top of the format. This card will create a huge impact going forward on the format.

Faceless Agent (0/5)

Starting off strong with one of the Arena only cards that’s being released. Faceless Agent is a two-for-one and does have some nice synergies in tribal decks since it’s a Changeling, but the stats are just too bad. That makes it a very low impact card that just won’t be able to compete with the other heavy hitting three drops of the format like Narset, Parter of Veils, Ranger-Captain of Eos, and Mayhem Devil.

Tribal strategies always have a hard time in formats as powerful as Historic since the hyper-efficient interaction that’s available makes it very easy to disrupt one dimensional strategies like that.

Cloudshredder Silver (2.5/5)

Cloudshredder Sliver gets by far the highest rating of all the Slivers I’ve reviewed so far because this little pointy squiggle monster earned it. I have low aspirations that Slivers have what it takes to make it in Historic currently, but with the possible release of Aether Vial and more cheap Slivers into Historic in the future, there’s still a chance.

If Slivers ever does become a deck, Cloudshredder Sliver will be doing a lot of the heavy lifting. Haste and Flying give your huge Slivers the speed and evasion needed to outclass and outrace every other creature on the board. Here’s hoping one of my favorite tribes of all time gets one last push soon so that I can ride a CloudShredder Sliver to victory!

The First Sliver (0/5)

The best Slivers are always the cheapest ones. The First Sliver is a really cool card, but it doesn’t play into the aggressive game plan that Slivers would be trying to accomplish. The First Sliver should just keep doing what it does best; dominating games of Commander.

Ingenious Infiltrator (.5/5)

There just isn’t the Ninja support needed for Ingenious Infiltrator to see play. If a critical mass of Ninjas is ever reached, then a potential two mana 2/3  Coastal Piracy could do some work. For the time being, I’ll just reminisce on how brutal Ninjas were in Modern Horizons limited and how busted the Dimir Ninjas draft deck that DoggertQBones used to top 8 his first Grand Prix was.

Munitions Expert (3/5)

Now we have some real power right here. Historic Goblins has been gradually picking up more and more tools over the past few releases and I suspect that it will soon be time for Muxus, Goblin Grandee to make his grand appearance once again. Goblins often go wide enough that this will be a Terminate with a valuable body attached to it. Being able to tutor it up with Goblin Matron in the more attrition based creature matchups is just the icing on top.

What’s holding Munitions Expert back is that Goblins normally just want to be Monored and it does also compete with Gempalm Incinerator. However, the fixing in Historic is decent and I’m pretty optimistic that Munitions Expert could give Goblins a whole new angle of attack.

Soulherder (3.5/5)

My vote for one of the coolest cards to enter Historic. Soulherder strikes that perfect balance between being a powerful build around, but not being overly oppressive, which is a really tough goal to accomplish when designing cards. I really do believe that Soulherder will at some point create a new, competitive archetype in Historic.

At the moment, Bant Soulherder is lacking powerful, cheap interaction like Path to Exile and good ramp in the form of Noble Hierarch. If those issues can get addressed or worked around, then I think Bant Soulherder will find a place in the metagame.

Bant Soulherder 

Creatures (28)
4
Glasspool Mimic
4
Elvish Visionary
4
Prosperous Innkeeper
4
Wall of Blossoms
4
Elite Spellbinder
4
Skyclave Apparition
4
Soulherder
Spells (10)
4
Ephemerate
2
Declaration in Stone
4
Collected Company
Lands (22)
2
Branchloft Pathway
4
Breeding Pool
2
Forest
4
Hallowed Fountain
1
Island
1
Plains
4
Sunpetal Grove
4
Temple Garden
Cards (60)

Arcbound Shikari (1/5)

This is honestly a pretty darn solid lord. However, having to compete with the current top end that is being offered to the aggressive artifact decks is a tough ask. Tempered Steel, Nettlecyst, and Thought Monitor all outshine Arcbound Shikari and are already making up the few expensive payoffs that I want in my aggro artifact decks. 

Arcus Acolyte (0/5)

I’ve played the hell out of this card in Modern Horizons II limited, and it’s pretty spectacular there. However, it’s way too slow for Historic and has the issue of not really working well in a Selesnya Counters deck. The fact that most of your creatures will already have counters on them means that the universal Outlast ability isn’t worth much, which is really what made this card shine.

Chainer, Nightmare Adept (.5/5)

Unless there’s some crazy combo I’m not thinking of, then Chainer, Nightmare Adept is just way too fragile and slow for Historic. It wasn’t even particularly powerful for me in my Modern Horizons II limited experience, which only makes me even less optimistic about Chainer making an impact.

Chrome Courier (1/5)

Chrome Courier reminds me a lot of Faceless Agent in that despite being a two for one, it is too slow and low impact for Historic. Maybe Soulherder blinking it and being able to consistently get an artifact and gain 3 life will make Chrome Courier better than the two mana cantrip creatures, but I don’t think that the gain 3 life will come up enough to warrant that and three mana is a lot for a mopey 1/1.

Goblin Anarchomancer (2.5/5)

No clue where Goblin Electromancer’s cousin fits in, but this is a very powerful effect for the decks that need a cost reduction on their spells. I’m confident that this card will show up in some unfair setups eventually since Goblin Electromancer saw a lot of play and this is a better version of that card in a lot of ways.

Lonis, Cryptozoologist (2.5/5)

This Snake Elf Scout makes a lot of resources very quickly. Being able to generate so many artifacts while still having the backdoor plan of being able to crack the clues for cards makes me think that Lonis will find a home in some sort of Collected Company deck.

I’ve never used the tap ability before, but if you’re behind and don’t have time to crack all these clues, it’s nice that you can at least spin the wheel and cash them in for a potentially stabilizing creature or something. I also am kind of biased in that the design of Lonis is awesome and is a card that I would really enjoy playing with.

Priest of Fell Rites (3/5)

Another potential archetype staple right here. Getting two Reanimates out of one card makes Priest of Fell Rites a staple in any Reanimator deck that arises in Historic. We already have great reanimation targets like Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite, Sheoldred, the Whispering One, Jin-Gitaxias, Core Augur, Serra’s Emissary, Scholar of the lost Trove…. the list goes on and on.

You also of course have Faithless Looting patiently waiting in the wings to do busted things. That in conjunction with powerful disruption like Thoughtseize and Inquisition of Kozilek make me think that Reanimator is close and only needs one more good reanimation effect before it’s a real top contender. Definitely gonna keep my eyes on Priest of Fell Rites.

Rakdos Headliner (2/5)

Blazing Rootwalla and Fiery Temper are the key to Rakdos Headliner getting there. A two mana 3/3 haste is a good rate even by Historic standards, but the tricky part is ensuring that the discard is always a benefit and not a detriment. I have a feeling that more Madness support is needed, but regardless this card caught my interest and I’m excited to try and build around it.

Ravenous Squirrel (3/5)

There is definitely the critical mass of sacrifice outlets to make Ravenous Squirrel a powerful card. There’s a good chance that I’m valuing this creepy little critter too highly, but it does A LOT for a one mana creature. It grows out of hand quickly with cards like Woe Strider, Priest of Forgotten Gods, Yawgmoth, Thran Physician, and of course, the ever present Cat Oven interaction. I’m not sure if those sort of strategies are even interested in a huge beater that can draw cards in the late game, but I’m optimistic that Ravenous Squirrel will find a home somewhere.

Jund Sac 

Creatures (29)
4
Cauldron Familiar
4
Gilded Goose
4
Ravenous Squirrel
3
Blood Artist
4
Priest of Forgotten Gods
4
Mayhem Devil
4
Woe Strider
2
Yawgmoth, Thran Physician
Spells (4)
4
Collected Company
Artifacts (4)
4
Witch's Oven
Lands (23)
2
Blightstep Pathway
4
Blood Crypt
4
Blooming Marsh
2
Darkbore Pathway
1
Forest
4
Overgrown Tomb
1
Phyrexian Tower
4
Stomping Ground
1
Swamp
Cards (60)

Sythis, Harvest Hand and Sterling Grove (2.5/5)

So Historic might be lacking Solitary Confinement, but we still have the horribly obnoxious Nine Lives and Solemnity combo! The lack of Utopia Sprawl really slows down this sort of strategy, but I feel like something is here that could really terrorize best of one.

GW Nine Lives 

Spells (9)
2
Emeria's Call
3
Idyllic Tutor
4
Wrath of God
Enchantments (28)
4
Baffling End
1
Rest in Peace
4
Sanctum Weaver
4
Sterling Grove
4
Sythis, Harvest's Hand
4
Nine Lives
4
Solemnity
1
Gideon's Intervention
1
Ixalan's Binding
1
Overwhelming Splendor
Lands (23)
4
Branchloft Pathway
4
Castle Ardenvale
3
Forest
4
Plains
4
Sunpetal Grove
4
Temple Garden
Cards (60)

Territorial Kavu (2/5)

Fetchlands are really what push this card over the edge and consistently make it a huge beater. I just don’t think the juice is worth the squeeze on this kavu unless it’s at least a 4/4.

As is, there really isn’t much incentive to be a five-color aggro deck since the manabases aren’t good enough and we don’t have the other Domain payoffs like Scion of Draco and Tribal Flames. Fetching up Triomes and Shocklands is honestly kind of a miserable play pattern, so while I love Territorial Kavu, I’m kind of happy that it doesn’t really have a home at the moment in Historic.

Nettlecyst (3.5/5)

Cranial Plating’s big brother right here. Nettlecyst is a powerful curve topper for aggressive artifact and enchantment based decks. Not only is the card a huge beater on its own, but it can turn any creature into a massive threat, which will help keep the opponent on the backfoot throughout the entire game. I posted an Azorious Artifacts list in an earlier article that really makes great use of Nettlecyst.

Azorious Tempered Steel 

Artifacts (38)
4
Ornithopter
4
Stonecoil Serpent
4
Treasure Vault
2
Arcbound Mouser
4
Esper Sentinel
4
Gingerbrute
4
Scrapheap Scrounger
4
Steel Overseer
4
Nettlecyst
4
Thought Monitor
Enchantments (4)
4
Tempered Steel
Lands (18)
4
Blinkmoth Nexus
4
Brightclimb Pathway
4
Hallowed Fountain
4
Hengegate Pathway
2
Plains
Cards (60)

Zabaz, The Glimmerwasp (2/5)

Zabaz, The Glimmerwasp is an insanely powerful card… when combined with Arcbound Ravager. As is, there just isn’t too much Modular support in Historic which means that Zabaz will just have to patiently wait until more of his robot buddies show up. 

Khalni Garden (3/5)

Khalni Garden has seen play across pretty much every format. I’m confident that some strategy in Historic could make good use of the Plant or just tokens in general, which makes me optimistic that it will see play.\

As we’ve seen with Dwarven Mine, being able to use tokens to cheat out creatures with a Polymorph effect is really powerful. Now it has become even easier with the addition of Khalni Garden to cheat out a Koma, Cosmos Serpent.

Sliver Hive (2/5)

If Slivers are good, then this will be an instant 4-of in the archetype. It’s a very powerful land for the deck and the super powerful Sliver manabase is a big check in favor of the strategy. Five color fixing and a mana sink is a very strong combination to have on a non-legendary land after all.

Well that just about does it! It was a blast reviewing these cards with my trusty best bud DoggertQBones. The multicolored and colorless group of cards had some real heavy hitters that could end up being format defining. It’s a shame that the release of Jumpstart: Historic Horizons got delayed, but these cards are so sweet that it’s well worth the wait!

As always, thank you for reading!

Chris Kvartek

While Chris Kvartek technically kicked off his career in 2012, he burst onto the scene in 2019 like few before him. With an early season Top Finish at Mythic Championship II and narrow miss for his second at Mythic Championship IV, Kvartek earned invitations to two more Mythic Championships through online qualifiers. He secured his second Top Finish of the season at Mythic Championship VII, and now this rising star must prove he can stay among the elite of professional Magic.

1 Response

  1. Zafarion says:

    IMO Faceless Agent is an interesting card because you can build the deck in a way that you can use him as a tutor for a certain creature. The first that came in my mind is winota but that doesn’t work cause you need more humans than her in deck. Arclight phoenix? That should work but isn’t much effective. Anyway, that card has a higher probability that it’ll see play in future.