Historic Anthology 2 is the latest set of 25 cards from Magic: The Gathering’s past that has been added to the Historic card pool along with MTG Arena’s latest patch on March 12, 2020. In this article, we will be featuring a full list of decklists played by Mythic players, pros and streamers of what we think are the best Historic decks so far and we will be keeping it updated throughout the beginning of the Historic season, so check back often!
The Historic queue is still expected to be relatively soft, and there is a huge variety of decks that is possible to play. Despite that, Field of the Dead being removed from the banlist will impact the metagame the most, being one of the most powerful cards available to us at present. Theros Beyond Death and Historic Anthology 2 have also made some influence and will interesting to see what cards make the cut. Read on as we provide commentary on individual cards and deck archetypes, followed by the decklists. You can also go straight to our Historic deck section!
- March 17, 2020: More deck types, more decks added!
- March 14, 2020: Guide added with the initial 5 deck groups, and some representative decklists from various sources.
Field of the Dead
Field of the Dead has been unbanned from Historic, with anticipation that there are sufficient hate cards in Historic to justify its return. This includes a long list of cards such as Alpine Moon, Blood Sun, Ghost Quarter, Field of Ruin, Goblin Ruinblaster, Virulent Plague, and others. The classic version of the deck uses Scapeshift to generate heaps of zombie tokens all at once, but you can do all sorts of creative things with the nonland cards in the deck to your bidding. The deck at its core, is a ramp deck which makes Uro a great addition like Hydroid Krasis that it provides ramp, card advantage, makes use of the graveyard and is also a win condition on its own.
Mono White Aggro / Devotion / Lifegain
The introduction of Soul Warden and Serra Ascendant from Historic Anthology 1 was not quite enough to make Mono White a good enough archetype, but Theros Beyond Death introduced the powerhouse that is Heliod, Sun-Crowned. It is versatile enough to be used in a more lifegain synergy deck, or in a more aggressive build. Nyx-Fleece Ram, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and Ranger of Eos are all good inclusions in this type of deck going forward.
Breach / Kethis Combo / Nexus of Fate
Combo decks are mainstays of non-rotating formats, and Historic has access to a few that can go off in just a few turns. Underworld Breach is a card that has already made an impact on all other Magic: The Gathering formats, and it looks like it can also pull off something similar in Historic thanks to Mox Amber and Diligent Excavator. In essence, it is similar to the already pre-existing Kethis Combo deck that aims to mill yourself and reuse cards in your graveyard to win with Thassa’s Oracle or Jace, Wielder of Mysteries. These decks are surprisingly resilient and can reliably combo out as early as 4-5 turns.
Another common “combo” deck is Nexus of Fate, which usually goes in a ramp shell similar to Field of the Dead decks to make lots of excess mana and allowing you to loop it over and over utilizing cards like Search for Azcanta and Golos, Tireless Pilgrim. It’s a different sort of combo deck that does not rely on creatures and thus more hard to interact with, but can be a bit slower to go off. Do keep in mind Nexus of Fate is banned from BO1 game modes.
Azorius / Esper Control / Hero
Teferi, Hero of Dominaria is one of the most powerful planeswalkers in Historic (followed by the other Teferi…) and as Standard has demonstrated with Theros Beyond Death, control is back on the menu thanks to the help of Shatter the Sky and Dream Trawler. Meddling Mage is an interesting new addition that can pair up well with Thalia and/or Hero of Precinct One.
Gruul / Mono Red Aggro
Going under your opponents in a metagame high on Field of the Dead or Combo decks will keep them in check. Llanowar Elves and Burning-Tree Emissary are the cornerstone cards of Historic that makes the deck super explosive. Questing Beast and Embercleave also does a great job dodging the mass army of zombie tokens or pesky blockers trying to stall. The classic Mono Red Aggro shell (Goblin Chainwhirler, Ghitu Lavarunner, Viashino Pyromancer, Wizard’s Lightning, and so on) with a lower mana curve still works very well despite adding little since the last few sets.
Mono Blue Tempo
Mono Blue Tempo is a consistent performer in Historic, despite adding no cards since Throne of Eldraine. The deck’s game plan is similar to Simic Flash – counter your opponent’s important spells, protect your creatures as they ping your opponents in the air, preferably with Curious Obsession. It is also quite budget friendly, and keeps some of the slower decks in check.
Tribal Aggro – Dinosaurs / Vampires / Merfolk / Spirits
Historic is full of tribal synergies, mostly aggressive in nature. They have been meta decks in Standard at some point as well, so the base of the deck is relatively well defined.
We will be continuously adding more deck types and decklists here as we find them, but if you have any you’d like to share or if we’re missing some decks, be sure to let us know (with some kind of context – Mythic level, win rate, and so on) via the comments below, Twitter or Discord!