Into the Arena: Bringing Legacy to Historic Dawson Reynolds June 25, 2021 Decklists, Historic, Into the Arena, MTG Arena Historic, Arena’s eternal format, has been drawing a lot of comparisons to Legacy in recent days. Although Historic doesn’t have a decades-old card pool with some of the most powerful cards ever printed, the comparisons do hold water. After all, just like Legacy, Historic is dominated by Brainstorm-powered decks of both combo and aggressive varieties. Indeed, Brainstorm is likely the best card in both Legacy and Historic. Both formats also see the play of mono-coloured creature decks, tribal decks, and control decks. Most importantly, both formats have a wide-open card pool that supports a variety of viable strategies. I wanted to see just how much Historic can resemble Legacy, and so I recently brewed up a few decks based off of Legacy staples. I’ll dive into three of those below so that all the Legacy fans out there can enjoy some familiar decks on Arena, and so Arena players can get a taste of one of Magic’s oldest formats. Death and Taxes Historic by Dawson Reynolds Creature3 x Dauntless Bodyguard2 x Thraben Inspector4 x Usher of the Fallen2 x Giant Killer // Chop Down1 x Charming Prince2 x Thalia, Guardian of Thraben4 x Adanto Vanguard4 x Luminarch Aspirant3 x Archon of Emeria4 x Elite Spellbinder4 x Skyclave Apparition4 x Benalish Marshal Land20 x Plains (331)1 x Castle Ardenvale2 x Shefet Dunes Sideboard2 x Rest in Peace2 x Forbidding Spirit2 x Reidane, God of the Worthy // Valkmira, Protector’s Shield2 x Drannith Magistrate2 x Suncleanser2 x Mana Tithe1 x Containment Priest2 x Glass Casket Buy This List MTG Arena decklist Deck 2 Thalia, Guardian of Thraben 20 Plains 4 Skyclave Apparition 3 Archon of Emeria 4 Elite Spellbinder 3 Dauntless Bodyguard 2 Thraben Inspector 2 Giant Killer 4 Usher of the Fallen 4 Adanto Vanguard 4 Luminarch Aspirant 4 Benalish Marshal 1 Castle Ardenvale 2 Shefet Dunes 1 Charming Prince Sideboard 2 Rest in Peace 2 Forbidding Spirit 2 Reidane, God of the Worthy 2 Drannith Magistrate 2 Suncleanser 2 Mana Tithe 1 Containment Priest 2 Glass Casket Death and Taxes is a classic Legacy deck that relies on disruptive and aggressive white creatures to play the beatdown while keeping all the combo and spell-based opponents at bay. In Legacy, D&T gets to play with powerful cards such as Stoneforge Mystic, Aether Vial, and Swords to Plowshares. However, alongside these older cards the deck also plays some newer white creatures including Skyclave Apparition, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, and Elite Spellbinder. These cards were my starting point for the Historic version of the deck. From there I added Archon of Emeria, which is another great way to fight against the top decks in the format: Izzet Phoenix and Mizzix’s Mastery decks. Adanto Vanguard and Luminarch Aspirant are solid two-drops that can end games quickly if not dealt with. The deck doesn’t have great options for cheap removal, but Giant Killer does the trick for most troublesome creatures that Skyclave Apparition can’t hit. Just like in Legacy, Death and Taxes provides an option for fighting the broken blue decks without having to play blue yourself. If you want to beat down the Brainstorm players then look no further! BG Elves Historic by Dawson Reynolds Creature4 x Llanowar Elves4 x Jaspera Sentinel2 x Allosaurus Shepherd4 x Elvish Clancaller4 x Elvish Warmaster3 x Dwynen’s Elite4 x Elvish Visionary4 x Elvish Archdruid2 x Imperious Perfect Instant4 x Collected Company Sorcery4 x Thoughtseize Land8 x Forest (347)4 x Woodland Cemetery4 x Overgrown Tomb4 x Blooming Marsh1 x Darkbore Pathway // Slitherbore Pathway Sideboard3 x Crippling Fear2 x Fatal Push3 x Relic of Progenitus1 x Heroic Intervention2 x Tyvar Kell2 x Reclamation Sage2 x Duress Buy This List MTG Arena decklist Deck 4 Elvish Clancaller 4 Blooming Marsh 4 Elvish Warmaster 8 Forest 4 Dwynen's Elite 4 Elvish Visionary 4 Llanowar Elves 4 Jaspera Sentinel 4 Elvish Archdruid 1 Darkbore Pathway 4 Overgrown Tomb 4 Woodland Cemetery 4 Collected Company 2 Imperious Perfect 4 Thoughtseize 1 Growing Rites of Itlimoc Sideboard 3 Crippling Fear 2 Fatal Push 3 Relic of Progenitus 1 Heroic Intervention 2 Tyvar Kell 2 Reclamation Sage 2 Duress Elves in Historic don’t have the same respect that they do in Legacy, but I have been seeing more and more Elf decks on Arena as time goes on. The plan for Historic Elves is similar to Legacy, but slower and less combo-oriented. Elvish Archdruid is the most powerful card in the deck and rewards you for going wide, making as many elves as possible. Elvish Warmaster and Dwynen’s Elite help with that, as do the one-drop mana dorks. Once you’ve built a battlefield full of elves, you’ll just need the help of lords such as Elvish Clancaller or pump effects such as Allosaurus Shepherd to defeat your opponents on the spot. There are a few difficult choices to make when building Elves in Historic. For example, Craterhoof Behemoth is in the Historic card pool thanks to Jumpstart, and it is appealing to build the deck using the Behemoth as a finisher. Sadly, I believe that Craterhoof is too hard to cast without the powerful tutors that Legacy players have access to. I also had to decide if splashing colours outside of green was worth it. I came to the conclusion that playing black for Thoughtseize was great since Elves needs to dodge sweepers and could also use disruption against the fast combo decks. Just like in Legacy, Thoughtseize and Elves go together hand in hand. I also have Crippling Fear in the sideboard to deal with aggressive decks. If the metagame becomes more aggressive then it will probably be best to move the Thoughtseizes to the sideboard. Elves is a quick and powerful deck that can thrive in a format that isn’t full of removal. As long as you dodge a sweeper you can often beat your opponents as early as turn four. Not quite as fast as in Legacy, but it always feels great to have a board three times the size of your opponent’s. Bant Control Historic by Dawson Reynolds Creature3 x Wall of Blossoms1 x Charming Prince2 x Skyclave Apparition2 x Elite Spellbinder1 x Knight of Autumn Planeswalker2 x Narset, Parter of Veils1 x Kasmina, Enigma Sage1 x Teferi, Master of Time3 x Teferi, Hero of Dominaria Instant2 x Ephemerate2 x Mana Tithe4 x Brainstorm4 x Memory Lapse Sorcery4 x Abundant Harvest1 x Wrath of God1 x Day of Judgment1 x Doomskar1 x Alrund’s Epiphany Land4 x Fabled Passage3 x Glacial Fortress4 x Hallowed Fountain2 x Temple Garden2 x Sunpetal Grove2 x Breeding Pool2 x Hinterland Harbor2 x Island (335)2 x Plains (331)1 x Forest (347) Sideboard2 x Rest in Peace2 x Archon of Emeria2 x Glass Casket1 x Knight of Autumn1 x Mystical Dispute3 x Spell Pierce1 x Settle the Wreckage1 x Niko Aris2 x Yasharn, Implacable Earth MTG Arena decklist Deck 4 Brainstorm 4 Fabled Passage 4 Abundant Harvest 4 Hallowed Fountain 2 Mana Tithe 3 Glacial Fortress 2 Ephemerate 1 Day of Judgment 1 Wrath of God 1 Doomskar 3 Wall of Blossoms 3 Teferi, Hero of Dominaria 1 Teferi, Master of Time 1 Kasmina, Enigma Sage 2 Narset, Parter of Veils 4 Memory Lapse 2 Skyclave Apparition 2 Elite Spellbinder 1 Knight of Autumn 2 Temple Garden 2 Sunpetal Grove 2 Breeding Pool 2 Hinterland Harbor 2 Island 2 Plains 1 Forest 1 Alrund's Epiphany 1 Charming Prince Sideboard 2 Rest in Peace 2 Archon of Emeria 2 Glass Casket 1 Knight of Autumn 1 Mystical Dispute 3 Spell Pierce 1 Settle the Wreckage 1 Niko Aris 2 Yasharn, Implacable Earth Lastly, I want to talk about a deck that utilizes the multi-format powerhouse that is Brainstorm. There are a variety of control decks that use the infamous cantrip in Legacy, and they are frequently evolving. Grixis, Sultai, Azorius, and Jeskai have all had their moments to shine, but these days it seems that Bant is the control deck in the spotlight. The deck uses planeswalkers and Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath to gain advantage over time while disrupting opponents with removal and counterspells. Since Uro is banned in Historic I have decided to brew a Bant Control list that focuses on planeswalkers and a handful of creatures with powerful ETB effects. This deck has surprised me with its effectiveness on the Ranked Ladder in Arena. Its strength lies in its consistency; having full playsets of Brainstorm and Abundant Harvest makes it easy to sculpt an ideal hand. The variety of powerful planeswalkers can easily run away with games, and the wraths keep aggressive opponents in check. The sideboard for this deck is focused on having a few answers for any situation which can be found quickly with the cantrips. My favourite part of the deck is that it plays a team of under-appreciated and fun-to-play planeswalkers including Teferi, Master of Time, Kasmina, Enigma Sage, and Niko Aris. Each of these decks is competitive enough for the Ranked Ladder, and each one offers a taste of Legacy for us Arena players who don’t get the opportunity to play Magic’s older formats. As Historic continues to grow I think there will be an opportunity for everyone to get to play their pet Legacy deck. For now, I hope you enjoy the selection that I’ve brewed! Find me on twitter: @dreynolds2727 Check out the stream: twitch.tv/dawsonreynolds Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName Email Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.