Before we dive into this week’s Historic Power Rankings, let’s take a look at the most promising cards from Adventures in the Forgotten Realms that could impact the format.
Demilich seems like a natural fit for Izzet Phoenix that plays a ton of cantrips like Brainstorm, Opt and other cheap spells like Faithless Looting. It seems to me like a good replacement for some of the more expensive creatures like Crackling Drake and Stormwing Entity. It doesn’t have flying and doesn’t really pressure the opponent super well, but it will improve your late game drastically. You should be able to outgrind anyone who either doesn’t kill you faster or doesn’t exile your graveyard with something like a Rest in Peace.
2. Portable Hole
3. Hobgoblin Bandit Lord
Is this card going to make Goblins a solid contender? Honestly, I can see it making a much larger impact in Standard than in Historic. It seems like it naturally fits into the Historic deck as well, but keep in mind that it already has two lords, Goblin Warchief and Goblin Chieftain, and even four copies of Goblin Matron on the three mana slot. I can’t really see replacing any of them and you really don’t want to run 16 three-drops. Maybe a one-of for your Matron?
4. Circle of Dreams Druid
Elvish Archdruid five through eight for Elves? It does seem good, but the power of Elves is in running so many lords that your creatures just grow out of hand incredibly quickly. You’ll probably have room for two copies of this, but I wouldn’t expect it to break the format or anything. Getting a lot of mana is always good though, so this card certainly has potential.
5. Ebondeath, Dracolich
Cards that keep coming back from the graveyard are always valued very highly, especially if they can also close games by themselves. Ebondeath, Dracolich has very high power, but two toughness scares me in a format where the most popular deck, Izzet Phoenix, usually runs four or five copies of cards like Pillar of Flame and Magma Spray. Still, it could be a nice card for Mono-Black Aggro or in some deck with Stitcher’s Supplier.
6. Werewolf Pack Leader
There are some other reasonably looking cards, but keep in mind that Historic is a format where cards like Thoughtseize, Faithless Looting, Brainstorm, Collected Company and Teferi, Hero of Dominaria are legal. The new cards need to either fit into already existing archetypes or make them so much better that they would be able to challenge these cards.
Power Word Kill looks like a solid removal spell for black, but keep in mind that Phoenix runs four copies of Sprite Dragon and not being able to kill it with your main removal spell would be horrible. Guardian of Faith could save your board from a sweeper, but I’m looking for proactive cards more than reactive.
Overall, at first sight, it looks like the deck that benefits the most from the new set is Izzet Phoenix by getting to add Demilich. There are some decent options for other decks as well, but I don’t really see them changing the format. As a result, the Historic Power Rankings remains mostly the same as last week.
6. Jund Food
8. Gruul Aggro
Honorable mention: Goblins, Elves and Angels.
I can see creature decks picking up in popularity thanks to Hobgoblin Bandit Lord and Circle of Dreams Druid, which should in turn make Jund Food a solid choice in the upcoming days. I’m most interested in how Goblins will do and if the Bandit Lord makes it better or not.
If you want to win, keep playing Izzet Phoenix. If you want to try new decks, I’d take a look at Elves at Goblins.
I’ll see you next week for more Historic Power Rankings after we hopefully get some tournament results!