The Top 5 New and Most Improved Historic Decks with Jumpstart: Historic Horizons
Hello everyone! Today I wanted to do something for those of us who are (not) so patiently waiting for Jumpstart to release! My favorite days of the year are when a new set just drops and everyone is trying out their new strategy in Constructed, a sentiment I’m sure many share with me.
With that, it can also be scary to put Wildcards in a deck you’re unsure is even functional much less a good investment. That’s what I’m hoping to help with. I collated ten lists, five improved and five new, on what I believe are going to be strong options moving forward.
Remember this isn’t a complete list or excluded decks aren’t going to be good, just ones I identified. Let’s dive right in!
MOST IMPROVED DECKS
Elves was already a very solid archetype in Historic, but it always had an endemic issue with decks looking to interact with it. If the opponent had just a few pieces of cheap removal, the Elves deck would fall apart half of the time which was a super awkward spot to be in. However, with the introduction of Freyalise, Skyshroud Partisan, that dynamic is going to shift greatly. Now instead of just Collected Company to grind through removal, you have a Planeswalker that can accelerate you, buff your Elves, draw a card, or create a huge Regal Force to win the game with!
On a smaller note, Skyshroud Lookout is also quite the addition for Elves. Elvish Visionary was always a solid card and drawing a random card is all well and good, but getting a guarenteed Elf each time is quite nice.
A lot of decks that had an excellent matchup against Elves now will have to reevaluate with Jumpstart in the mix.
Phoenix has had quite the tumultuous ride in Historic from one of the by far best decks to a middling option. Although we still don’t have Brainstorm, the deck is poised to make a comeback Faithless Salvaging makes getting a Phoenix back trivially easy, and at worse, it’s just a slightly worse Faithless Looting.
By itself that wouldn’t be enough to let Phoenix make a comeback, but throw Fiery Temper in the mix and all bets are off. Now that Phoenix has multiple ways to accrue value from discarding, the deck is going to be much tougher to grind out as they get value from their discards and will require fewer spells to actually recur Phoenix.
One of the main issues with Phoenix was the amount of cards you’d have to spend to get your Birds back at some points, but these additions will significantly lower that threshold on average.
Rakdos Cat was an extremely powerful Historic deck that got quickly overshadowed by it’s Jund Company and Jund Food counterparts. It was hard to imagine a card that would justify someone to return to their Rakdos roots, but if there is one, Yawgmoth, Thran Physician is it.
For those who haven’t had the pleasure of playing Yawg, the card is absolutely nuts. It’s really easy to decimate an opponent’s board and draw a bunch of cards even with a smaller board state, a pretty insane deal for 4 mana.
Although it’s not a new card, Shambling Ghast is extremely powerful with Yawg to either ramp into it early or make Yawg’s sacrifice ability even more important on a creature dense board.
With these two in the mix, I’m envisioning that Rakdos is going to be the premier anti-creature deck in the format.
Similarly to Rakdos, Jund Citadel was mostly overshadowed by it’s counterparts, but it’s high time it came back into the mix. Why? Chatterfang, Squirrel General.
Citadel cares about the amount of permanents you can generate, and Chatterfang makes an insane amount of tokens, 1 extra for every one you create. This makes it extremely easy to combo off with Citadel in one turn as a big inhibitor in Citadel was always the amount of scries you could get with Woe Strider.
I always had mixed feelings about this deck as it seemed so powerful, but lacked the consistency to make it. I no longer think consistency is going to be an issue.
It’s weird to say a deck got vastly improved when just one new card enters the mix, but that’s how powerful Hard Evidence is in Indomitable Creativity decks. Getting an early blocker to help preserve life and a Clue for Creativity or drawing a card is an absolutely insane deal for 1 mana.
When I played it, I always felt Temur had two main issues: it lacked enough meaningful early plays and getting the first token could sometimes be difficult. Well, with Hard Evidence, both of those problems seemed to have been cleared up at once.
I’m excited to get back to cheating Koma in ahead of schedule.
BEST NEW DECKS
Since Death’s Shadow was introduced into Historic, many tried to get it to work, but all efforts came up short. The deck was just too inconsistent to enact it’s game plan consistently which made the life loss too much of a detriment. However, now that the deck has Ranger-Captain of Eos and Ranger of Eos, getting a Shadow into play should be extremely easy.
The deck was already really close as it performed well when it drew Shadow, so having more ways to actually do that is a huge bump in the deck’s power level. Beyond that, having 8 tutor effects also make the 1 ofs less embarrassing as you can grab them more often when you actually need them rather ahead of time to hedge against something that wasn’t played yet.
I’m not positive at what Tier Shadow will end up at, but it seems like an extremely solid option and has definitely improved substantially.
Monowhite Aggro did already exist, although it was a very niche archetype. However, a few new cards have entered the mix to make the archetype way more viable.
Esper Sentinel is a huge headache for any deck looking to play non-creatures as it will keep taxing them until they kill it or you draw a bunch of cards. Secondly, Ranger-Captain of Eos is a fantastic 3 drop as it’s solid in it’s own right, great against spell-based decks, and will fetch up one of your mana 1 drops to boot.
Since the deck now has a Humans theme and gave up no power to do so, it also can play Rally the Ranks as an Honor of the Pure for free as well! You could also go for the Black splash to get General Kudro of Drannith and Dire Tactics, but losing Faceless Haven is a hard pill to swallow.
I already liked Monowhite before, but I think this new Human theme will definitely power the deck up significantly.
Rejoice Merfolk players! Your God is here! Merfolk was one of the saddest storied in Historic as it was always close to playable, but could never cross the finish line. However, it’s gotten so many new cards there’s no chance that the deck can’t make some traction now.
First off, Svyelun of Sea and Sky is absolutely nuts. It’s hard to kill, makes other things hard to kill, draws cards on attack, it’s a hit off of Collected Company. This is one of the best Lords in Historic, if not the best one.
I would say Merfolk is likely to see play if just Svyelun came to Historic, but that wasn’t the only addition! Master of the Pearl Trident is an iconic card and an excellent addition to Merfolk to bump them up to 8 2 mana lords. Lastly, Shoreline Scout looks a bit innocuous, but I believe it’s going to be a pivotal part of Merfolk by being both insanely aggressive and smoothing out your draws when necessary.
I’m warning all of you right now, Merfolk may be insane so be ready for it.
I didn’t know we were allowed to play Modern decks in Historic, but I’m not complaining! Let’s be clear, Dragon’s Rage Channeler and Unholy Heat are in conjunction for the best one mana creature and removal spell respectively, so building your deck around them is a no brainer.
Although we lack some of the best Delirium enablers like Mishra’s Bauble and Manamorphose, Historic still has a relatively good selection. The deck has a nice mix of permanents with creatures, instants, sorceries, artifacts in the form of Bomat Courier, enchantments with Brain Maggot, and lands with the Cycle lands and Fabled Passage. I’m sure the ratio can be worked on, but getting Delirium should not be a problem most games.
There’s not much more to say beyond that playing all relatively good cards together so you can play two broken ones seems like a wise choice for those who like this style of deck.
I’ve been trying to make Hollow One work for awhile, and the closest I was able to get was playing it in Cycling. However, there’s now definitely enough pieces to make the deck extremely viable.
Out of all the decks on the list, Hollow One definitely uses up more new cards that anything else. In terms of enablers, Insolent Neonate, Seasoned Pyromancer, and Faithless Salvaging all work towards making a cheap Hollow One extremely possible.
The deck looks to have a lot of power, a lot of synergy, and has one of the best mana bases I’ve ever seen. I don’t think this deck is the best on the list, but it’s the one I’m definitely most excited to play.
What decks are you most looking forward to playing? Let me know in the comments.
Thank you for reading!