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Post-Nerf Historic UW Auras – Deck Guide

The Arena Qualifier weekend for February is coming up (this weekend, in fact), and the format is Historic, which has had little attention and few tournaments from which to draw data over the last few months. I believe UW Auras is currently poised for success, as a deck that has got several new tools over the past few sets that shore up a lot of the deck’s previous weaknesses.

 

 

 

Header - The Additions

Esper Sentinel

As a one-drop that both draws removal and draws cards, Esper Sentinel does an excellent job as a pseudo-enchantress on multiple counts. The deck would previously struggle against lists that had an abundance of early removal, and Sentinel does an excellent job helping overload that removal in matchups where it matters. The tax from Sentinel, particularly once you put an Aura on it, is enough to ensure you draw several cards if your opponent leaves it around while they draw cards and interact with your other threats, making it a must-kill and forcing them to spend removal that would otherwise go at your enchantresses. Sentinel isn’t stellar everywhere, of course, since creature-heavy decks largely ignore it, but it’s good enough where it matters to provide a huge boost to the deck’s quality.

Stormchaser Drake

Perhaps the biggest addition to the deck, Stormchaser Drake does an excellent job ensuring you always draw enough enchantresses. A problem the deck would have before is awkward hands without a Kor Spiritdancer or a Sram, Senior Edificer, and Drake ensures that you now have enough of those effects to reliably draw at least one of them in most hands. With 11 enchantresses, you’re at around 95 percent to hit at least one in an opening hand without needing to mull to five, and when paired with the hands that Sentinel makes keepable, particularly post-board, the deck mulligans a whole lot less than prior versions used to.

Curse of Silence

Curse of Silence is a card that’s significantly less impactful in closed deck list tournaments where you can’t get away with running several copies in the main deck. It’s still fairly important out of the sideboard, however, as a one-mana enchantment that interacts meaningfully with combo decks. A struggle this deck has had in the past is that while cards like Sentinel’s Eyes and Cartouche of Solidarity do a good job affecting the board against creature decks, all the answers the deck has wanted to board in against combo decks have been non-Auras. This leads to the deck struggling in these matchups, either lacking a critical mass of Auras or playing too many cards that don’t really matter in a given matchup. Curse does a good job bridging this gap.

Reprobation

A fairly minor addition to the deck, Reprobation frequently functions as a meaningful upgrade to Heliod’s Punishment in matchups where the games go long and your opponent might get their creature back from Punishment. This is a fairly metagame-based slot, as giving your opponent the ability to block may end up being very relevant in some matchups, making Reprobation far from a strictly better version of Heliod’s Punishment.

 

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