Historic Power Rankings – 5/4/21

Another week of Historic tournaments with Strixhaven cards is behind us, which means more results and data to look at. The metagame has been all over the place lately, which is why we’ve decided to bring you the Historic Power Rankings every week now!



1. Izzet Phoenix


Out of all the new decks that are trying to utilize all the powerful Strixhaven cards from the Mystical Archive, Izzet Phoenix certainly doesn’t look like the most broken one of them all. And that’s perfectly fair – this deck is definitely no Elves or Caw Blade. Your average draw usually gets you a free 3/2 haste flying creature on turn three or four, which is great, but hardly broken. 

At the same time, this deck is extremely consistent thanks to all the card draw spells, which is usually one of the first signs of a great deck. All the card selection also helps you better find your sideboard cards, which is very relevant. Lastly, thanks to the Phoenixes coming back from the graveyard over and over, this deck is also quite resilient.

This deck might not be doing things as powerful as flashing back Magma Opus on turn three, but it’s great at fighting through interaction, which is something the early all-in combos are lacking. 

Something that very likely contributed to Phoenix getting on the top of the Historic Power Rankings and having the best win rate in the past week is Dimir Rogues being very popular. You really don’t want to help mill your opponent’s Phoenixes into their graveyard for free…


2. Orzhov Auras


I feel like this deck is very much under the radar at the moment and pretty well positioned as long as cards like Pillar of Flame are used instead of Shock and there are very few Baffling Ends in the format. At the same time, discard has gotten worse thank to Brainstorm, which is one of the most popular cards in the format. 


3. Selesnya Company

Thalia, Guardian of ThrabenArchon of EmeriaCollected Company


Cards like Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and Archon of Emeria skyrocketed in value as decks like Izzet Phoenix got more popular. If this deck had another good one-drop, I would be a lot more excited about it, but it has certainly been putting up good results lately, topped by Calcano winning the latest 5k tournament. 


4. Dimir Tainted Pact/Thassa’s Oracle Combo

Tainted PactThassa's OracleLutri, the Spellchaser


This simple two card combo between Tainted Pact and Thassa’s Oracle seems to be one of the best decks in the format, despite the fact that the Arena UI currently takes two time outs to resolve a single Tainted Pact. Thanks to this issue, it’s still not fully explored and you won’t see it too much on the Arena ladder, but it’s already been putting up some solid finishes.


5. Azorius/Jeskai Control

Teferi, Hero of DominariaMagma OpusTorrential Gearhulk


The game plan of playing a bunch of counters, card draw, sweepers and Teferi, Hero of Dominaria is still very solid in this new format, especially thanks to some of the best white sideboard options like Rest in Peace that can completely turn off some decks. Red offers you a splash for Magma Opus and Torrential Gearhulk, while staying two colors means you will have better and less painful mana base. 


6. Dimir Rogues

Memory LapseSoaring Thought-ThiefInto the Story


Rogues is great against most of the combo decks of the format, but now that Izzet Phoenix is getting very popular, I just have to move it down a bit in the Historic Power Rankings. Milling your opponent’s Phoenixes for them as a necessary part of your game plan is really as bad as it sounds. 


7. Gruul Aggro


I feel like Gruul is a perfectly reasonable deck now. It didn’t really get any new cards, but it’s very annoying for a lot of the new decks to play against. The combo decks aren’t interacting with you too much at the moment and spend most of their time setting up with card draw spells like Brainstorm and Faithless Looting. At the same time, Jeskai Control has been getting popular lately and playing against a bunch of Wrath of Gods, Lightning Helixes and Torrential Gearhulks is not fun.


8. Jund Food

Korvold, Fae-Cursed KingTrail of CrumbsMayhem Devil


Is Jund making a comeback? We’ll see more moving forward, but it’s been putting up some solid finishes in the past week. I would recommend focusing on Jund Company more than playing the long and grindy game with Trail of Crumbs, but for some reason this version has been a lot more popular lately so I want to give it the proper respect.


9. Rakdos Arcanist


I haven’t seen this deck around too much since Luis Salvatto won the 5k last week, but the game plan of playing Thoughtseize or Inquisition of Kozilek into Dreadhorde Arcanist and Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger still seems great to me. I assume one of the reasons why you don’t see this deck as much now is the rising popularity of Izzet Phoenix, which is a bad matchup.


10. Simic Stompy

Yorvo, Lord of GarenbrigRhonas the IndomitableDecisive Denial


This deck has been making some waves in the past week. It’s basically Gruul but with bigger creatures that don’t have haste and your secondary color offers countermagic instead of removal.


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