Sultai Flash Historic Deck Guide: The Art of Always Saying No

Frilled Mystic by Randy Vargas
Frilled Mystic by Randy Vargas

Hello everyone! When it was in Standard, Flash was simultaneously one of my favorite and most hated strategies depending on which side of the matchup I was on. Although it was quite a powerhouse in Standard, it’s had functionally no impact in Historic so far. There have been different forms of Simic Flash, but a lot of the issues I found with it was that any card that managed to make it onto the battlefield was now impossible to interact with. This was a huge issue if people play a fast deck or sneak something underneath your counterspells, and having that weakness more or less killed the deck’s viability.

However, I realized that if Simic wasn’t cutting it because of that glaring issue, what if we add an additional color for removal? You could go either Red or Black to achieve this end, especially because Temur and Sultai have Triomes to help you out, but I think Black is the clear winner for Flash. Not only do you get access to hard removal, you also get access to one of the best cards in Historic, Thoughtseize. Let’s take a look at the list.

(H) Sultai Flash

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Creature (13)
4
Frilled Mystic
4
Nightpack Ambusher
2
Torrential Gearhulk
3
Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath
Sorcery (4)
4
Thoughtseize
Instant (18)
3
Essence Scatter
4
Growth Spiral
2
Jwari Disruption/Jwari Ruins
2
Sublime Epiphany
4
Whirlwind Denial
3
Heartless Act
Land (25)
4
Breeding Pool
1
Drowned Catacomb
1
Forest
4
Hinterland Harbor
2
Island
4
Overgrown Tomb
4
Watery Grave
4
Zagoth Triome
1
Castle Vantress
Cards 60
Sideboard (15)
2
Disdainful Stroke
4
Fatal Push
2
Grafdigger's Cage
3
Mystical Dispute
2
Negate
2
Noxious Grasp

It took a good amount of tuning to get to this point, but I’m quite happy with how this deck turned out. Is this deck going to break Historic? I don’t think so, but I believe it has some real legs to it, especially in the right matchups. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this in Bo1 as this deck doesn’t tend to do that well working from behind, especially in a faster metagame like Bo1. However, if you feel strongly about it I would cut the Thoughtseizes for removal, whether its Fatal Push, Eliminate, or Heartless Act. Let’s talk about card choices.

CARD CHOICES

nightpack-ambusher-art

3 Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath

Uro is disgusting, and even though it doesn’t fit into the theme of the deck, it’s just so good you may as well play it. Great for ramping and for grinding in the late game, this card just does it all.

4 Frilled Mystic

Frilled Mystic was great in Standard and is still great here. Getting a counterspell and a body is a great deal and casting it is no problem for this deck. This is one of the cards that help you accrue value in this deck so use this liberally, nabbing any spell will generally be a pretty good deal.

4 Nightpack Ambusher

Nightpack Ambusher, like in Standard, is still the absolute nuts in this strategy. You can easily win the game off of counterspells and one Nightpack Ambusher against many strategies. Do your best to always get a trigger off of this as its a 0 mana 3/3 if you’re willing to be patient with your spells.

2 Torrential Gearhulk

Pretty much a bigger Frilled Mystic in this deck. It is 2 mana more, but the body is significantly more relevant than Frilled Mystic, especially when we have an excess of mana. However, if you’re not sold on trying this deck, you haven’t lived until you flashback a Sublime Epiphany off of a Torrential Gearhulk.

4 Thoughtseize

Similar to Uro, Thoughtseize is just too good of a card to exclude in a deck that can play it. Use it to put your opponent off curve and can allow you to double spell early in the game. It’s not good against every archetype, but it’s good against enough of them to warrant main deck inclusion.

2 Jwari Disruption

You need to hit all of your land drops so Jwari Disruption helps as a bad Censor and bad Island. It’s not the most impressive card, but it does the job. 

3 Essence Scatter

You mostly care about creatures when you’re playing Flash strategies as faster decks can beat you down before you get to enact your game plan. Scatter is important for stopping creatures with brutal ETBs like Muxus or Uro compared to playing removal instead.

4 Growth Spiral

2 mana instant speed Explore? Broken. It got banned in Standard! Being able to ramp and hold up counterspells is so gross and gets an easy inclusion into this deck.

3 Heartless Act

Having hard removal is the whole reason to play Black in this deck and Heartless Act does a good job killing the cards that can sneak under your counterspells. It can suck if they have a creature with counters on it, but that’s pretty few and far between.

4 Whirlwind Denial

This may be a surprise to see this here, but you gotta believe in the Whirlwind. Is this card sad when something important needs to be countered and they have the 4 mana? Yeah. Do you feel like a million bucks when you full counter a Hydroid Krasis? You better believe it. This is mostly here because of how powerful Hydroid Krasis is, but most of the time this will just be a hard counter with an extra bonus. If Krasis wasn’t so popular, these would likely be Disallows.

2 Sublime Epiphany

The pinnacle of top end in case you draw a few too many lands. If you can get to clone a creature off of this, you will almost certainly win the game just from it. Furthermore, as mentioned before, if you flash this back off of Gearhulk, that should end the game instantly. However, even just as a Counterspell, bouncing a permanent, and drawing a card is still quite a strong turn.

25 Lands + 2 Jwari Disruption

SIDEBOARD

4 Fatal Push

When you need small creature removal, great against Aggro decks and Auras of all flavors.

2 Grafdigger’s Cage

Although this doesn’t work well with Uro, Grafdigger’s Cage is so powerful against so many archetypes you have to include it in any reactive deck.

2 Disdainful Stroke

A lot of Historic decks have many 4+ CMC cards you care about, and this is the best answer to them.

2 Negate

For when you need to counter non-creature spells.

2 Noxious Grasp

Sultai is really popular and this is excellent and versatile against them. Also good against other random green and white decks.

3 Mystical Dispute

Good against other blue decks. If blue becomes less popular in Historic, you can change these slots to something else.

MATCHUPS AND SIDEBOARD GUIDE

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Sultai Midrange

InOut
+2 Negate-3 Essence Scatter
+2 Noxious Grasp-1 Growth Spiral
+3 Mystical Dispute-3 Heartless Act

Pretty simple boarding here, you want to bring in your better interactive cards and take out the more narrow ones. Growth Spiral is less important than having more interaction so shaving one is fine. Time your counterspells and threats correctly as best as you can and this matchup is very winnable.

Auras

InOut
+4 Fatal Push-2 Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath
+2 Noxious Grasp-2 Whirlwind Denial
-2 Sublime Epiphany

Auras is all about stymying their ability to suit up one creature and that shouldn’t be too difficult considering all the counterspells and removal we have. There is a non-zero chance they sneak under you which can be frustrating, but you should be able to keep pace most of the time.

Goblins

InOut
+2 Grafdigger’s Cage-1 Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath
+2 Disdainful Stroke-3 Growth Spiral

This matchup will revolve around keeping Krenko and Muxus off of the board. Goblins is good at grinding, but so are we with Nightpack Ambusher and Uro. The cage/Uro interaction is awkward, but it’s so powerful I don’t like taking it out even when it can be “dead”. 

Sacrifice

InOut
+4 Fatal Push-3 Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath
+2 Grafdigger’s Cage-3 Growth Spiral

Here Uro is much less exciting than it is against Goblins because there’s a decent chance the opponent will keep in Claim the Firstborn. This matchup can be a struggle if they can get under you or establish the Cauldron Familiar/Oven interaction, but this isn’t unwinnable by any means. Interact as often as possible then slam the door with a Nightpack Ambusher or Torrential Gearhulk. If you are facing the Food version instead of the Company version, Fatal Push is much less enticing and Noxious Grasp looks a lot better. In that case, just exchange the Fatal Push for 2 Noxious Grasp and you can keep in 2 Uro as it’s a lot less likely they’ll keep in Claim the Firstborn.

That’s what I have for today! If you like my content and want to see more of it, you can check me out on Twitch! Have a great day!

DoggertQBones

Robert "DoggertQBones" Lee is a streamer and high ranked Arena player. He has one GP Top 8, has 3-0d 3 professional draft pods, and loves writing and teaching!

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