Historic Golgari Midrange by matpec
I love the Golgari color combination, and I love a good midrange deck. This is particularly true when it’s defensively slanted, with emphasis on value, and killing the opponent’s stuff. As such, it probably won’t surprise you that I love matpec’s take on Golgari Midrange in Historic. This is a collection of the best removal and discard spells available in Historic, plus the most punishing planeswalkers that the Golgari colors have to offer.
All of that said, there are two particular reasons why I’ve chosen to highlight this deck. The first is that I believe it’s a huge winner from the suspension of Memory Lapse.
Memory Lapse is incredibly punishing for any strategy centered around resolving expensive cards on your own main phase. When you cast Nissa, Who Shakes the World or Liliana, Dreadhorde General and the opponent has Memory Lapse, you’ve been on the losing end of something very close to a Time Walk. The opponent can spend the rest of their mana progressing their game plan in another way, and might even be attacking you with creatures and planeswalkers in the meantime. All of this becomes compounded if they have a second Memory Lapse or another counter the following turn.
While you can always fight the good fight with Thoughtseize and Inquisition of Kozilek, it’s hard to deny that Memory Lapse was a prevalent card which caused a major headache. Now that it’s gone, ramping into big spells becomes a lot more reasonable.
Which brings me to my second reason for highlighting Golgari Midrange: Into the North. We’ve learned by now that cards like Farseek, Rampant Growth, Growth Spiral and Explore are extremely powerful (often bordering on too powerful) whenever they show up in Standard. Despite the higher power level of Historic, I still believe that getting to use Into the North is a strong appeal of a strategy like this.
Into the North is difficult to use for a number of reasons. First, your deck needs to be structured in a way where you can take advantage of ramping to four mana on turn three. This means having threats like Nissa and Polukranos, Unchained, as well as catch-up cards like Languish. Second, it’s a tougher sell for multicolored decks that need to play with a lot of dual lands.
Factoring all of this in, Golgari Midrange is one of the very best decks for Into the North. The solid, two-color mana base is happy to play with both Woodland Chasm and Faceless Haven. The ability to search for Faceless Haven makes Into the North the best Farseek ever, and allows your ramp spell to represent a real threat in the late game. A third copy of Faceless Haven would certainly be on my wish list for this deck.
For those looking to explore this archetype, I’ll add that I had good experiences with Phyrexian Arena and Elder Gargaroth (which appears as a two-of in matpec’s sideboard) when I played Golgari Midrange in the old days.