Historic has been a volatile format in the past few months. With new sets releasing, bans and suspensions, and tournaments happening infrequently, it has been difficult to track the metagame. However, it seems that Historic may finally be settling down a bit and a few decks are showing themselves to be consistently at the top of the pack. Surprisingly, the format isn’t totally different from how it was before all of the new sets and bans. Sacrifice, Jeskai Control, Auras, and Izzet Phoenix are all still great. A few new decks have joined them at the top of the format, most notably Humans and Merfolk. With the most overpowered cards from the Mystical Archive all now banned, Historic seems to be in a great place. The metagame is pretty wide open and you can play any sort of deck from control to aggro to combo to tribal. Below I will be diving into the top two decks to try out this fall, decks which are iconic in the format and strong choices for competitive play.


Jund Sacrifice

by Terence

MTG Arena decklist

1 Jegantha, the Wellspring

4 Gilded Goose
4 Cauldron Familiar
3 Ravenous Squirrel
4 Mayhem Devil
2 Woe Strider
4 Korvold, Fae-Cursed King
2 Fatal Push
2 Claim the Firstborn
4 Witch’s Oven
4 Trail of Crumbs
2 Binding the Old Gods
2 Forest
1 Mountain
2 Swamp
3 Fabled Passage
1 Castle Locthwain
3 Blightstep Pathway
3 Darkbore Pathway
2 Stomping Ground
4 Overgrown Tomb
3 Blood Crypt
1 Phyrexian Tower

1 Angrath, the Flame-Chained
2 Graveyard Trespasser
2 Klothys, God of Destiny
1 Yawgmoth, Thran Physician
1 Jegantha, the Wellspring
2 Noxious Grasp
3 Thoughtseize
2 Witch’s Vengeance
1 Soul-Guide Lantern

Jund Sacrifice (or Jund Food) has been a major player in Historic for about a year now, and although it’s had a few ups and downs it is still one of the very best decks in the format. Sacrifice was oppressive and nearly banned until blue cards like Brainstorm and Memory Lapse were added to the format and took some of the attention away, but now that both of those are banned Jund Sacrifice has returned to the spotlight. The most incredible thing is that the deck has barely even gained any new cards over the past months, and it hasn’t needed upgrades to remain at the top of the pack. The combination of Witch’s Oven and Cauldron Familiar is still incredibly difficult to play against, and the rest of the deck packs a punch as well. 

Most Sacrifice decks these days have a fairly high curve, as opposed to the more aggressive Rakdos and Jund decks from earlier this year that played cards like Dreadhorde Butcher. Now, because the format is more aggressive, Jund takes advantage of its midrange nature and beats down on the aggro decks while attacking control with its powerful food-based engine cards. The combination of Trail of Crumbs and all the ways this deck has to make food is an amazing way to continually build card advantage, and Mayhem Devil can also turn this combination into a machine gun that blows through opponents’ life totals. Korvold, Fae-Cursed King is an incredible finisher and always ends games quickly when given the opportunity. 

Jund is very robust, and often unstoppable. It is a great choice for best-of-one games because most opponents won’t have answers to threats like Cauldron Familiar and Trail of Crumbs. Even in best-of-three Jund imposes itself on opposing defenses, forcing them to have the right answers at the right time or face an unavoidable defeat. Another draw to Jund is that it is good against all sorts of decks, whether aggressive or controlling. One of the only downsides of the deck is that it can be complex at times and requires some practice to master. One turn can often involve a large number of decisions due to all the activated abilities and sacrifices you can make. Timing is also very important to keep in mind as you are sacrificing Cauldron Familiars and Food tokens; it is often best to be patient and wait for opportunities, although sometimes the best move is to sacrifice everything before it is too late.


Izzet Aggro

by Dawson Reynolds

MTG Arena decklist

4 Delver of Secrets
4 Mountain
4 Dragon’s Rage Channeler
4 Island
4 Opt
4 Consider
2 Curious Obsession
1 Search for Azcanta
2 Cathartic Reunion
4 Faithless Looting
4 Arclight Phoenix
1 Play with Fire
2 Fading Hope
1 Pteramander
4 Riverglide Pathway
4 Steam Vents
4 Sulfur Falls
1 Spell Pierce
4 Unholy Heat
1 Jwari Disruption
1 Spikefield Hazard

1 Pithing Needle
2 Tormod’s Crypt
3 Magma Spray
1 Fading Hope
3 Spell Pierce
1 Negate
2 Abrade
1 Disdainful Stroke
1 Dive Down

Arclight Phoenix is another deck that has had a place in the metagame for quite some time now, and still seems to be in a great place. Although the deck took a hit when it lost Brainstorm, it also gained Consider from Innistrad: Midnight Hunt which is an excellent replacement. Even better than that it also gained Dragon’s Rage Channeler from Historic Horizons, and finally has a threatening one-drop that fits perfectly into the gameplan. Dragon’s Rage Channeler usually has no problem reaching Delirium with the help of Faithless Looting, and its Surveil ability is extremely powerful when you can cast two to three noncreature spells each turn. The card selection means that your one-drop also fixes your hand and puts Arclight Phoenixes in the graveyard.

Most Izzet Phoenix decks I have seen in tournaments are operating at a similar pace to Izzet decks this summer, playing Expressive Iteration and two and three mana creatures like Sprite Dragon and Smoldering Egg. However, I think that Izzet has the ability to be even more aggressive than this, which can be important as the format speeds up and becomes more linear. Against tribal decks like Merfolk and Humans you will often be racing, so I have been adding more one-drops and lowering the curve of the deck. I have decided to play Delver of Secrets as a part of this change, which of course leads to other changes in the deck like playing Jwari Disruption to increase the spell count. I have also decided to play three enchantments, two Curious Obsessions and a Search for Azcanta, in order to make it easier to reach Delirium (and because these enchantments add a nice touch of card draw). Although my version of the deck can sometimes lack late-game power, it is much quicker and can often leave opponents in the dust. 


These two decks are updated takes on classic Historic archetypes, and they’re a great choice during this calm time for the format. It is unclear where the next shakeup might come from but until then Izzet Aggro and Jund Sacrifice are two solid choices for competitive play. As well, they’re both super fun decks to try out because they are fast-paced, offer a lot of decision-making, and often win. With the format in a great place, this fall should be a great time to enjoy Historic!


Find me on twitter: @dreynolds2727

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