This weekend featured the Historic Arena Open, which helped solidify Jeskai Control as the top deck in the format. If you’ve been following your favorite pros and content creators on social media, you probably noticed many of them used Jeskai to get the $2000 prize. Some relatively new decks did surprisingly well, too, mainly Mono-Red Delirium and Mono-White Aggro, which was my choice for Best-of-One on Day 1. I was looking for a fast, but solid deck, and it did not disappoint, as I was able to get the seven wins on my first try in about 45 minutes. With these in mind, let’s take a look at this week’s Historic Power Rankings!
Jeskai was definitely the most popular deck amongst the pros this weekend and for a good reason. This deck currently has answers to pretty much everything you throw at it, be it control, aggro or combo. I recommend running more copies of Unholy Heat, as that card is amazing against aggro early, but also deals with Teferi, Hero of Dominaria, Torrential Gearhulk or Shark Typhoon tokens later in the game.
Delirium shouldn’t be a problem, as you can cycle Triomes and Irrigated Farmland for a land and Shark Typhoon for an enchantment. Instant is the easiest one and for the last card type, you’re usually able to get a Gearhulk in there through casting it or by using Prismari Command to discard whatever you need. As far as sorcery sweepers go, I recommend using Sweltering Suns instead of Anger of the Gods. It can be cycled for a fresh new card in control matchups and it makes getting delirium easier.
I’m going to start calling this deck Delirium instead of Madness. Dragon’s Rage Channeler and Unholy Heat are huge parts of this deck and, in my opinion, currently the two best cards in Historic. Dragon’s Rage Channeler has been a blast to brew and play with so far, but it’s not the only playable Channeler in this archetype. Magmatic Channeler has been pretty good as well when I played this deck, so make sure you give it a try.
If you’re looking for a deck that has a lot of annoying cards for Jeskai, Mono-White is a fine pick. Esper Sentinel, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben and Elite Spellbinder is a brutal curve for them to deal with, especially if you follow it up with Thalia’s Lieutenant, or even better a planeswalker like one of the three-mana Gideons out of the sideboard. It’s a solid pick for Best-of-One as well, but that’s true about most decks on this list.
Jund did also well this weekend, which could be attributed to the fact that many people tried to play low-to-the-ground aggro decks to try to beat Jeskai, which was focusing more on having more cards for the control mirrors. It’s naturally great against creatures, but also has game against control thanks to Trail of Crumbs.
5. Gruul Aggro
Gruul is another deck that is pretty decent against other small creature decks because your creatures are usually just way bigger than theirs. You also have Embercleave to trample over when the ground gets clogged and Collected Company to win any attrition wars after sideboard. Against control, use haste creatures to deal as much damage as possible before they can play sweepers and then have Chandra, Torch of Defiance as a follow up on an empty board.
Control seems like the better version of Jeskai at the moment, but there is nothing wrong with the Creativity deck. It’s still very powerful and great against creature decks, the only downside is being a bit weak in the Jeskai mirrors.
7. Orzhov Auras
I completely forgot about Auras when I was thinking about which deck to use in Best-of-One. It was probably a great pick this weekend for both Best-of-One and Best-of-Three, as Thoughtseize gives you a great card against control and all the Dead Weights and Mire’s Grasps out of the sideboard are amazing against creatures. I’m not totally convinced that Orzhov is better than Azorius, both seem perfectly reasonable to me at the moment.
This can be both the combo version with Heliod, Sun-Crowned and Scurry Oak or basically a Mono-White Humans deck with Collected Company as a splash. You can include Blade Splicer and Restoration Angel, but in my opinion it’s better to stay low to the ground and use Company as a curve-topper that helps you find more Thalia’s Lieutenants.
Merfolk is another solid fast creature deck, though I’m a bit worried about the lack of good interaction. Don’t sleep on Mistcaller, which is a great card against Collected Company decks or any kind of Indomitable Creativity shenanigans.
10. Dimir Control
If you’re a fan of control decks, Dimir is a solid choice at the moment. Thanks to Thoughtseize and cards like Narset, Parter of Veils, you can build a version that has very good game against Jeskai. Beating creature decks is a bit harder unless you dedicate a lot of slots for anti-creature cards, but that can be fixed after sideboard.