The Top 5 Decks to Beat Post Uro Ban in Historic

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Ding dong the witch is dead… Again! Uro has plagued Historic for far too long and I’m more than happy to finally see the last of that egregious design mistake for a long, long time. With that, these are the 5 decks you have to be the most prepared for if you’re looking to explore the new Historic metagame.

5. Rogues

(H) Rogues

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Companion
1
Lurrus of the Dream-Den
Creature (16)
4
Merfolk Windrobber
4
Ruin Crab
4
Soaring Thought-Thief
4
Thieves' Guild Enforcer
Sorcery (8)
2
Agadeem's Awakening/Agadeem, the Undercrypt
2
Chart a Course
4
Thoughtseize
Instant (13)
4
Drown in the Loch
3
Fatal Push
4
Into the Story
2
Spell Pierce
Land (23)
4
Clearwater Pathway/Murkwater Pathway
4
Drowned Catacomb
4
Fabled Passage
4
Island
3
Swamp
4
Watery Grave
Cards 60
Sideboard (15)
3
Aether Gust
1
Fatal Push
1
Lurrus of the Dream-Den
4
Mystical Dispute
2
Negate
3
Noxious Grasp
1
Tale's End

Although this is the deck I’m most excited to try now that Uro has met its timely demise, since Rogues had no presence in the meta beforehand it’d be wrong to place it higher without knowing if the deck is good or not. Functionally just the Standard deck with a better manabase and some nice improvements in Thoughtseize, Spell Pierce, and a host of great sideboard cards.

I’ve seen many players attempt the archetype before, but Uro was always an insurmountable wall for the deck to beat. It’s very hard to win when your enabling your opponent to start bringing back a 6/6 that gains life and draws cards indefinitely. Now that Uro and Sultai are both gone, it’s very possible that Rogues can have it’s time to shine. With that, the deck may struggle if the meta settles on a lot of fast decks as the standard counterpart can also struggle in this department, but this may end up as a great choice moving forward.

4. Azorius Control

(H) UW Control

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Kaheera, the Orphanguard
Planeswalker (6)
2
Narset, Parter of Veils
4
Teferi, Hero of Dominaria
Sorcery (4)
4
Wrath of God
Instant (11)
4
Absorb
2
Behold the Multiverse
4
Censor
1
Essence Scatter
Enchantment (12)
2
Baffling End
4
Cast Out
2
Search for Azcanta
4
Shark Typhoon
Land (27)
3
Castle Ardenvale
2
Castle Vantress
4
Glacial Fortress
4
Hallowed Fountain
2
Hengegate Pathway/Mistgate Pathway
3
Irrigated Farmland
5
Island
4
Plains
Cards 60
Sideboard (15)
2
Baffling End
3
Dovin's Veto
2
Grafdigger's Cage
1
Kaheera, the Orphanguard
3
Mystical Dispute
1
Narset, Parter of Veils
1
Rest in Peace
2
Timely Reinforcements

Azorius Control was an archetype that suffered from the classic Control issue of that it’s spread so thin trying to beat everything in the meta at the same time. Trying to control out decks like Gruul, Rakdos Arcanist, Jund Cat, and most importantly, Sultai Uro all at the same time was an extremely difficult feat to accomplish.

Uro itself was very problematic for the archetype as it forced the UW deck to keep in Grafdigger's Cage in a matchup where it really doesn’t want to, just to not lose to Uro. Now that one of the hardest threats for UW is gone, UW can concentrate on the rest of the metagame which will certainly be an easier goal to accomplish. Furthermore, UW is excellent against the very next deck on the list that I believe will have a large resurgence due to Uro’s ban.

3. Burn

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1
Lurrus of the Dream-Den
Creature (18)
4
Bomat Courier
4
Ghitu Lavarunner
2
Grim Lavamancer
4
Soul-Scar Mage
4
Thermo-Alchemist
Sorcery (8)
4
Light Up the Stage
4
Skewer the Critics
Instant (14)
4
Lightning Strike
4
Shock
2
Spikefield Hazard/Spikefield Cave
4
Wizard's Lightning
Land (20)
4
Inspiring Vantage
4
Mountain
4
Needleverge Pathway/Pillarverge Pathway
4
Ramunap Ruins
4
Sacred Foundry
Cards 60
Sideboard (15)
3
Abrade
4
Baffling End
4
Chandra's Defeat
1
Lurrus of the Dream-Den
3
Soul-Guide Lantern

There’s simply no deck that struggled the most from Uro’s existence then Burn. The first time Uro was cast was already hard to beat. A ramp spell and negated a Burn spell was hard enough, especially when it curved into a Nissa, Who Shakes the World or even worse, an Elder Gargaroth. However, Uro only doing that would be considered lucky. Most of the time, if Sultai ever drew Uro and you didn’t have a way to deny lifegain, you more than likely just lost if they could Escape it. Sometimes you were lucky enough to have the god draw where you can kill them through an Uro, but those were very rare as they had to be coupled with the opponent having next to nothing. Now that there’s a hole in the metagame where Sultai was, other slow decks may come in to try and replace it which could put Burn in a strong position for the opening weeks of this new Historic format.

2. Rakdos Arcanist

(H) Rakdos Arcanist v2

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1
Lurrus of the Dream-Den
Creature (16)
4
Dreadhorde Arcanist
4
Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger
4
Stitcher's Supplier
4
Young Pyromancer
Sorcery (15)
2
Bloodchief's Thirst
3
Claim the Firstborn
4
Claim/Fame
2
Spark Harvest
4
Thoughtseize
Instant (7)
1
Bedevil
2
Fatal Push
4
Village Rites
Land (22)
4
Blood Crypt
1
Castle Locthwain
4
Dragonskull Summit
2
Mountain
7
Swamp
4
Blightstep Pathway/Searstep Pathway
Cards 60
Sideboard (15)
3
Abrade
2
Angrath's Rampage
3
Duress
1
Fatal Push
1
Lurrus of the Dream-Den
1
Noxious Grasp
2
Soul-Guide Lantern
2
Witch's Vengeance

Unlike all the other decks on this list, I would actually say Rakdos Arcanist didn’t struggle too terribly against Uro, and as an extension, Sultai. I wouldn’t say the matchup was favored, but it felt relatively even whenever I was on either side of the matchup. That being said, now that there’s no other midrange deck to compete with it, Rakdos Arcanist will likely be the deck many flock to. It’s skill intensive, has a lot of decisions, grinds well, and overall, is a very fun deck to pilot. If you are a Sultai pilot that feels nixed by the bannings, you can still have your fun by playing a midrange deck with an Escape Titan in it.

On that note, I don’t think Rakdos Arcanist will necessarily be that much better positioned than it was previously as the list was pretty immutable from the start, but I suspect the play rates are going to increase substantially. However, I don’t think Arcanist’s play rates are going to increase as much as the final deck on the list.

1. Jund Sacrifice

(H) Jund Sacrifice Company

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1
Jegantha, the Wellspring
Creature (25)
4
Cauldron Familiar
4
Dreadhorde Butcher
4
Mayhem Devil
3
Midnight Reaper
4
Priest of Forgotten Gods
2
Scrapheap Scrounger
4
Woe Strider
Sorcery (4)
4
Claim the Firstborn
Instant (4)
4
Collected Company
Artifact (4)
4
Witch's Oven
Land (23)
2
Blightstep Pathway/Searstep Pathway
4
Blood Crypt
3
Blooming Marsh
4
Dragonskull Summit
4
Overgrown Tomb
1
Phyrexian Tower
4
Stomping Ground
1
Swamp
Cards 60
Sideboard (15)
3
Abrade
4
Bonecrusher Giant
1
Jegantha, the Wellspring
1
Klothys, God of Destiny
2
Korvold, Fae-Cursed King
2
Noxious Grasp
2
Reclamation Sage

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Planeswalker (1)
1
Chandra, Torch of Defiance
Creature (18)
4
Cauldron Familiar
4
Gilded Goose
4
Korvold, Fae-Cursed King
4
Mayhem Devil
2
Midnight Reaper
Sorcery (4)
1
Maelstrom Pulse
3
Thoughtseize
Instant (4)
4
Fatal Push
Artifact (4)
4
Witch's Oven
Enchantment (4)
4
Trail of Crumbs
Land (25)
4
Blood Crypt
4
Blooming Marsh
4
Cragcrown Pathway/Timbercrown Pathway
4
Fabled Passage
2
Forest
1
Mountain
4
Overgrown Tomb
2
Swamp
Cards 60
Sideboard (15)
1
Bolas's Citadel
2
Embereth Shieldbreaker
1
Extinction Event
1
Languish
1
Liliana's Defeat
4
Noxious Grasp
1
Scavenging Ooze
1
Thoughtseize
3
Witch's Vengeance

The cat’s out of the bag again. Jund Sacrifice was initially played as it had a good Sultai matchup, but towards the end of Uro’s tenure the Sultai lists were very heavily geared towards beating Cat. Cry of the Carnarium, Elder Gargaroth, Grafdigger’s Cage and more were all employed by Sultai lists to keep Cat suppressed. Now that Sacrifice lost one of it’s few poor matchups, the deck is going to see a resurgence like no other, albeit it may take some time. Whenever a new format occurs, the first week is generally people messing around, but by week 2, people want to be try hards again and will go to Cat in droves. With that, I believe there’s going to be two meta shifts involving Sacrifice.

The first is going to be a huge influx of Jund Company strategies. The deck is powerful and very good against the assortment of creature decks that will very likely come back as a result of Uro leaving. Once Jund Company firmly takes the top spot, Jund Food will come by sporting a similar strategy to the Company decks, but using Korvold, Fae-Cursed King to go over the top of them. With the lack of Sultai and Uro in general, Aether Gust’s stock will be way down so there will be very few ways Korvold can be punished in the game 1s. If you want to get ahead of the curve early, I would highly suggest picking up a Sacrifice strategy and polishing it to perfection.

That’s all that I have for today! Thank you for reading!

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!