Last week, Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath finally got banned in Historic.
Uro was a source of card advantage, life gain, ramp and a finisher, all in one card. I enjoy playing midrange decks as much as anyone, but I strongly disliked that Uro singlehandedly invalidated way too many other decks and strategies.
That said, in my opinion, the Uro ban has both good and bad implications on the format.
- Uro will no longer be the gatekeeper of fun in the format
- Without Uro in the format, aggressive decks are now perfectly viable. Think Mono-Red Aggro, Mono-Black Aggro and similar decks. Previously, it made no sense to play these decks, because Uro alone beats your deck.
- Similarly, other midrange and control decks now don’t have to worry about Uro always being able to out-grind them in the long game, no matter what they did.
In other words, a world without Uro is a world where more decks than just Sultai Ramp, Jund Sacrifice and Goblins should be able to consistently win.
When they announced they were going to ban Uro, I was honestly expecting maybe a few more cards. Even if some other decks had their good moments, it was always the big three that seemed to rule the metagame by being head and shoulders above the rest. Without Uro, aka without Sultai in the format, it should, in theory, be possible to now win with aggressive creature decks. However, my expectation is that in reality, once we start playing big important tournaments, it’ll be Jund Sacrifice ruling the field with no other decks to keep it in check.
I guess only time will tell. Maybe Sultai will be playable anyway with some other finishers, maybe some new combo decks will capitalize on the fact that there should be a lot less Thoughtseizes now. We will see.
Here are my early Power Rankings of the post-Uro Historic metagame.
This should be a pretty clear best deck in the format now. Without Sultai and Four Color Midrange in the format, I’m not sure if there’s going to be anything that can keep this deck in check. There should be plenty of creature decks around now for you to farm with Mayhem Devil, Priest of the Forgotten Gods and Claim the Firstborn. If winning is your biggest priority, play Jund Sacrifice.
I expect some kind of control deck to figure out the perfect mix of answers against the new metagame without Uro in the format. The thing I probably like about Azorius the most is that it previously already successfully played Grafdigger’s Cage in the main deck, which I expect to be very strong now.
This deck got a big upgrade in the form of Blightstep Pathway and Valki. Thanks to Claim the Firstborn, removal and Dreadhorde Arcanist to flash them back, you also have a very good matchup against creature decks.
5. Gruul Aggro
This deck will still be a good contender, although I expect the sacrifice decks to be able to beat it once they dedicate a few more sideboard slots to it. That said, Gruul can sometimes be so fast that it just beats everything, especially if you win the die roll.
This is another deck that greatly benefits from Sultai being gone from the metagame and creature decks getting more popular as a result of the Uro ban. Decks like Goblins and Gruul are great matchups for you, although you’re going to pretty much have an autoloss against Jund Sacrifice.
If Jund Sacrifice, Goblins and creature decks are the most popular in the new meta, I can definitely see this kind of combo as an answer.
You can now even splash Showdown of the Skalds if you’d like and the mana should work out without any issues. I’m not sure if it’s necessary though when you can just play Experimental Frenzy. I haven’t tried Showdown in Historic Mono-Red yet, but I have always really liked both Hazoret the Fervent and Chandra, Torch of Defiance at the top of the curve instead, so it’s going to be hard for me to replace them.
Another control deck that now doesn’t have to worry about Uro and that can still play the two best interactive spells in the format – Thoughtseize and Fatal Push. Time will tell if it’ll be good to stay two colors or splash green anyway for Growth Spiral, Nissa, Who Shakes the World and cards like Elder Gargaroth.
This is more of a dark horse prediction, as anything can really take these lower spots on the Rankings. Without Sultai in the format, there should be less Thoughtseizes, which is good news for control.
My pick: Jund Sacrifice. The only way I can see changing my mind about this is if a Historic Anthology gets added on Magic Arena tomorrow with some new busted cards that would completely shake up the format. Otherwise, it’s an easy Jund Sacrifice for me.