Zendikar Rising Championship – Best Historic Decks from Day 1

Zendikar Rising Championship kicked off yesterday with 7 rounds of Swiss – 3 rounds of Historic, followed by 4 rounds of Standard. The former has a prominent role in the tournament as the Top 8 on Sunday will be played exclusively in Historic Constructed as well.

In this article, you will find the overview of the best Historic decks from the Day 1 of the tournament. We’ve included all the lists that went 3-0 yesterday, as well as the most interesting decks with 2-1 record. Below you will find the featured lists with short descriptions; scroll to the bottom of the article where you’ll find direct links to all the decklists.

Rakdos Sacrifice by Piotr Wiktorzak


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Planeswalker (1)
1
Chandra, Torch of Defiance
Creature (27)
4
Cauldron Familiar
2
Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger
4
Mayhem Devil
3
Midnight Reaper
4
Priest of Forgotten Gods
3
Scrapheap Scrounger
3
Stitcher's Supplier
4
Woe Strider
Sorcery (4)
4
Claim the Firstborn
Artifact (4)
4
Witch's Oven
Land (24)
4
Blood Crypt
2
Castle Locthwain
4
Dragonskull Summit
4
Fabled Passage
3
Mountain
1
Phyrexian Tower
6
Swamp
Cards 60
Sideboard (15)
2
Abrade
1
Act of Treason
1
Chandra, Torch of Defiance
3
Leyline of the Void
3
Noxious Grasp
3
Thoughtseize
2
Witch's Vengeance

Historic metagame has been slowly moving away from splashing for Collected Company into sacrifice decks, and Piotr Wiktorzak’s 3-0 performance on Day 1 is the good case in point for Rakdos Sacrifice. Kaladesh Remastered added Scrapheap Scrounger into the mix – a great aggressive threat that is MUCH more superior to 2-drops like Dreadhorde Butcher and Blood Artist; and of course, Chandra Torch of Defiance is another great card that really works in any red deck.

Historic Bant Control by Evart Moughon 


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Planeswalker (11)
3
Gideon of the Trials
3
Narset, Parter of Veils
2
Nissa, Who Shakes the World
3
Teferi, Hero of Dominaria
Creature (4)
4
Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath
Sorcery (2)
2
Wrath of God
Instant (14)
4
Growth Spiral
4
Pact of Negation
2
Settle the Wreckage
4
Tale's End
Enchantment (1)
1
Shark Typhoon
Land (28)
4
Breeding Pool
1
Castle Vantress
2
Fabled Passage
2
Forest
2
Glacial Fortress
4
Hallowed Fountain
2
Hinterland Harbor
3
Irrigated Farmland
2
Island
2
Lotus Field
1
Plains
3
Temple Garden
Cards 60
Sideboard (15)
2
Aether Gust
4
Baffling End
3
Dovin's Veto
1
Mystical Dispute
1
Settle the Wreckage
1
Wrath of God
3
Yasharn, Implacable Earth

Azorius Control hasn’t been doing that well in Historic so far – but what if you’d add the best card in the format into the mix? As long as Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath is legal, the control players will always have a perfect excuse to make room for green in their blue decks. Apart from the Uro gameplan, Bant Control is the planeswalker-centric draw-go archetype, often looking to win the game off of Teferi, Hero of Dominaria’s emblem. Notice the 4 copies of Tale’s End in the main deck – a catch-all answer for a wide variety of matchups that also has a couple of sweet interactions within our own list.

Historic Sultai Paradox Engine by Kai Budde


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Planeswalker (5)
2
Jace, Wielder of Mysteries
3
Tamiyo, Collector of Tales
Creature (15)
4
Emry, Lurker of the Loch
4
Kinnan, Bonder Prodigy
4
Llanowar Elves
3
Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath
Sorcery (2)
2
Bala Ged Recovery/Bala Ged Sanctuary
Instant (2)
2
Fatal Push
Artifact (17)
4
Chromatic Sphere
4
Mind Stone
4
Mox Amber
4
Paradox Engine
1
Prophetic Prism
Land (19)
4
Blooming Marsh
4
Botanical Sanctum
4
Breeding Pool
3
Clearwater Pathway/Murkwater Pathway
1
Forest
3
Watery Grave
Cards 60
Sideboard (15)
3
Aether Gust
1
Aether Spellbomb
2
Ceremonious Rejection
1
Fatal Push
3
Maelstrom Pulse
2
Negate
2
Skysovereign, Consul Flagship
1
Vraska, Golgari Queen

This particular deck is probably the single biggest revelation of the tournament so far! It’s the sweet Paradox Engine + Emry, Lurker of Loch combo deck that went on a tear through the established meta of Four Color Midrange and Rakdos Sacrifice decks. The combo you’re trying to set up involves Paradox Engine and Emry, but also any of the cheap cycling artifacts and the ways to generate mana from artifacts. Once you have that down, you’ll be able to infinitely sac your Chromatic Sphere’s and the likes to draw cards, then immediately replay them from the graveyard thanks to Emry. Paradox Engine will untap Emry to let you do that over and over, while even a single Mox Amber/Mind Stone paired with Kinnan will provide you all the mana needed. Just as in the case of Kethis Combo, the wincon is Jace, Wielder of Mysteries.

Historic Mono-Red Planeswalkers by Takahiro Touma


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Planeswalker (10)
1
Chandra, Fire Artisan
3
Chandra, Torch of Defiance
3
Karn, the Great Creator
3
Sarkhan the Masterless
Creature (8)
4
Bonecrusher Giant
4
Soul-Scar Mage
Sorcery (4)
4
Shatterskull Smashing/Shatterskull, the Hammer Pass
Instant (7)
2
Abrade
1
Lightning Strike
4
Shock
Artifact (10)
2
Guardian Idol
2
Heart of Kiran
4
Mind Stone
2
Skysovereign, Consul Flagship
Land (21)
4
Mobilized District
17
Mountain
Cards 60
Sideboard (15)
1
Combustible Gearhulk
1
Embercleave
1
God-Pharaoh's Statue
1
Golos, Tireless Pilgrim
1
Grafdigger's Cage
1
Hedron Archive
1
Meteor Golem
1
Pacification Array
1
Perilous Vault
1
Ratchet Bomb
2
Scrabbling Claws
1
Shadowspear
1
Skysovereign, Consul Flagship
1
Tormod's Crypt

Historic format is wide open right now and there were quite a few archetypes that came out of the left field and took the field by surprise. Take this Mono-Red Planeswalker list by Takahiro Touma that went 3-0 on Day 1. Sarkhan the Masterless found a powerful ally in Chandra, Torch of Defiance, giving her and other many planeswalkers in the deck the ability to fly over for the unexpected lethal. Soul-Scar Mage and Heart of Kiran add much to the attacking prowess of the list as well. Overall, it’s a very exciting multi-dimensional aggressive deck that was completely off the radar.

Historic Mono White Prison by Grzegorz Kowalski


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Companion
1
Kaheera, the Orphanguard
Sorcery (12)
4
Emeria's Call/Emeria, Shattered Skyclave
4
Idyllic Tutor
4
Wrath of God
Artifact (12)
2
Grafdigger's Cage
4
Guardian Idol
4
Mind Stone
2
The Immortal Sun
Enchantment (13)
1
Dawn of Hope
1
Gideon's Intervention
1
Ixalan's Binding
4
Nine Lives
1
Overwhelming Splendor
1
Rest in Peace
4
Solemnity
Land (23)
2
Arch of Orazca
2
Blast Zone
4
Castle Ardenvale
3
Field of Ruin
12
Plains
Cards 60
Sideboard (15)
3
Authority of the Consuls
3
Baffling End
1
Gideon's Intervention
1
Heliod's Intervention
1
Kaheera, the Orphanguard
1
Leyline of Sanctity
1
Rest in Peace
1
Settle the Wreckage
2
Sorcerous Spyglass
1
The Immortal Sun

Kowalski himself called the decision to bring this deck “the biggest (or the dumbest maybe?) metacall in my magic career”. He believed the Nine Lives-centered prison archetype to be very well-positioned in the current metagame, with extremely favorable matchups into Goblins, Auras, and Sacrifice decks. The open decklists help this style of a deck a lot, making your decisions as to what threats to prioritize much easier. Kowalski went 2-1 with the list but missed out on Day 2 due to 1-3 Standard record, so we don’t get to see how Nine Lives fare from now on, unfortunately.

Zendikar Rising Championship Best Historic Decks from Day 1

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