This week, Magic Arena finally rolled out its Historic format, which includes every card from Ixalan forward. Joining these cards are 20 unique cards to the format from ages past, aimed at expanding the metagame and making more decks relevant for the format.
Here are the decks that just got better thanks to Historic Anthology 1.
Lifegain fans, rejoice. Soul Warden is finally in Arena. This classic card is a powerhouse when it comes to lifegain triggers, which plays well with a lot of other Historic cards, like Ajani’s Pridemate and little-explored roleplayers like Gideon’s Company.
Of course, Historic Anthology 1 also brings a key finisher to this deck: Serra Ascendant. Who doesn’t like a 6/6 lifelink flyer for one mana?
Esper Stax established itself as a key deck in the new Throne of Eldraine Standard meta. For Historic, look to the newly-reintroduced Phyrexian Arena to be a powerful card engine for this deck. It’ll help you dig through your deck to find the right cards and it gets brought back with Dance at the Manse for extra value.
Mono Red Burn
Mono Red Burn also got a bit better. These decks are all about getting opponents down to zero life as fast as possible, so the inclusion of Hidetsugu’s Second Rite is a particularly interesting play. This card has the potential to finally shine. The last time it was in Standard, it was alongside the “fetchland” set that could change a life total with ease.
We aren’t sure if this deck needed to get any better, but Kethis Combo just did. Captain Sisay is the key add here—a flexible legend that allows its controller to search their library for another legendary card. Since Kethis Combo is all about finding legendary cards to combo with, Sisay is a welcome newcomer to an already-powerful (and potentially best) deck in the format.
The first of two tribal decks, Elves is gaining three new creatures courtesy of Wizards: Imperious Perfect, Fauna Shaman, and Elvish Visionary. Modern’s Elves deck is a powerful combo archetype that can quickly end games. We’ll see if Elves breaks out in Historic with the same gusto.
Zombies is the second tribal deck, and although it only gains a single shambler, this deck seems ripe for attacking the format. Cryptbreaker joins the undead ranks as a card engine that gets better with each and every zombie that you add to the board.
After Field of the Dead recently completely broke Standard and required a ban, players are eager to see if a similarly broken deck comes to Historic.