The bannings of Nexus of Fate and Burning-Tree Emissary in Historic took effect yesterday. That would already be enough to cause a big shakeup to the format on its own, but the new limited “smash-up” set Jumpstart was also released yesterday on Arena, adding over 450 cards that are also legal for Historic. With the Mythic Society Historic Weekly Trial results and others reporting success on the ladder, we got several updated decklists to look at.
Bant Golos seems to be the front-runner as the new best deck with Nexus of Fate not holding it back any longer. The previously suspended Field of the Dead gives the deck inevitability, particularly with the recent addition of Kenrith, the Returned King giving the zombie army haste. Explore’s printing in Jumpstart gives the deck added consistency for two mana ramping, alongside Growth Spiral.
Andrea Mengucci’s Bant Golos
Young Pyromancer is another big addition to the format, though it likely will be in a new archetype, rather than slotting into an existing one. Here is Noe Rivera’s take on Rakdos Pyromancer. Young Pyromancer and Dreadhorde Arcanist are BFFs for generating large quantities of elemental tokens. The tokens are excellent fodder for Village Rites to keep the gas flowing. Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger provides extra damage and is a recursive threat against removal-heavy decks.
Noe Rivera’s Rakdos Pyromancer
Jumpstart has supercharged Elves for Historic, with strong new cards in Allosaurus Shepherd, Dwynen’s Elite, and Elvish Archdruid, as well as the long-time Legacy Elves finisher, Craterhoof Behemoth. The deck is capable of generating loads of mana by turn 3 or 4, with Craterhoof available to end the game on the spot. Four copies of Finale of Devastation are included in this version as more virtual copies of ‘Hoof or one of several silver bullet tutor targets.
Lucas Caparroz’s Elves
Rakdos Sacrifice didn’t receive a lot of new support, but the one new inclusion is a big reason to play the deck. Phyrexian Tower plays nicely with the deck’s sacrifice themes, but more importantly, as a “sol” land, it enables the deck to ramp out Bolas’s Citadel a turn early. If a Citadel sticks, the game is probably over, so we’re playing the full four copies here.
Crokeyz’s Rakdos Citadel
Jumpstart has also excited Goblin aficionados, with Muxus, Goblin Grandee as the payoff at the top of the curve and Goblin Chieftain as another lord effect. With Skirk Prospector’s mana-generating ability, Muxus can come down as early as turn 3 and bring a herd of angry gobbos with him. This build splashes black for Call of the Death-Dweller because Goblin Chainwhirler wrathing your opponent’s side of the board is too fun!
Andrea Del Moro’s Deathwhirler Goblins
Kethis decks also received an upgrade with Jumpstart in the form of Chromatic Sphere. The innocuous artifact triggers Diligent Excavator, cantrips, and helps fix mana for the deck’s demanding casting costs.
Ian Connelly’s Kethis Combo
Of course, you could just be like Mitchell Sachs and ignore the new cards altogether. The winner of the last Arena Community Cup isn’t allowed to play Nexus of Fate anymore, but it turns out, his Bant Control doesn’t need it. Mitchell continues to be a force in the Mythic Society events, with a perfect 4-0 record in last night’s Historic Weekly Trial.
Mitchell Sachs’s Bant Control
There’s still lots of room to explore in the new format as we approach the next Arena Open, which will be Historic, on August 1st and 2nd. I’m excited to see what other new developments we’ll see before then!