There are two important pieces of information for this week’s Historic Power rankings. First, there’s a Memory Lapse ban in Historic – well, technically it’s suspended. Brainstorm has moved from suspended to banned as well. Suspended effectively means banned for the time being, with a very high chance of it getting fully banned moving forward. You can read the full announcement here. Second, October 30 and November 6 will feature a Arena Historic Qualifier for the next Set Championship. Information for the first qualifier weekend can be found here.
Now what does the Memory Lapse ban mean for the format? Let’s take a look at the Power Rankings.
Jund seems to be the biggest winner at the moment. Not only has Jeskai, one of its biggest enemies, gotten weaker, but I also expect a rise in popularity in creature decks, which is great news for Mayhem Devil and co. If you want to pick one deck to learn for this weekend that should be a fine choice no matter what happens in the next week or two, Jund should be a very fine choice.
Memory Lapse might have gotten banned, but that doesn’t mean that Jeskai isn’t a good deck anymore. Essence Scatter, Negate or Syncopate could all be reasonable replacements, but perhaps the right way to go at the moment is to not lean heavily on counters, but instead build the deck as a tap out strategy with Magma Opus, Mizzix’s Mastery, sweepers and planeswalkers like Narset, Parter of Veils and Teferi, Hero of Dominaria.
Counters are great if you expect a lot of other control and combo, but less so if the field is very heavily creature oriented, which is what I would expect for the next week or two. Control decks are hard to tune because you need to find the perfect mix of answers. This means it will likely take Jeskai a couple of weeks to find its new form, but it should still be a great deck moving forward. Magma Opus with Mastery and Torrential Gearhulk will still likely be the best thing you can be doing in the format.
Phoenix might not have been as much played lately as it once was, but it’s still one of the best and most consistent decks in the format. Unholy Heat is a big improvement over Magma Spray and Delver of Secrets could be a good fit for this deck if you can find the right balance of creatures and spells to flip it consistently.
4. Selesnya Humans
I’m not 100 percent convinced that Selesnya is better than Mono-White, but my reason to play two colors is how important Thalia’s Lieutenant is in the deck. Green gives you Collected Company, which is the best way to try to find multiple Lieutenants. Splashing the second color is also not a big deal, as the mana in Historic for two color decks is almost perfect.
This was one of the best performing decks in the last Arena Open and I see no reason for it to be just a fluke. Dragon’s Rage Channeler and Unholy Heat are two of the absolute best cards in the format. This deck could also be a good fit for Delver, which is something I’ll try to work on towards the end of this week.
A well-tuned Niv-Mizzet could be a dark horse of the format. Memory Lapse was one of this deck’s biggest issues because, especially in combination with Mystical Dispute after sideboard, it made resolving Niv-Mizzet Reborn against Jeskai extremely hard. Now, I expect a lot more creature decks, which means that cards like Vanishing Verse and Deafening Clarion should be very well positioned.
Memory Lapse is gone, which is definitely a big loss for this deck, but Mizzix’s Mastery, Magma Opus and Indomitable Creativity are here to stay. This deck has always been good against creatures, so it should be good in the next couple of weeks.
Less Jeskai means less Rest in Peace, which is good news for this deck. Fatal Push or Unholy Heat into Dreadhorde Arcanist can be a deadly combination against aggro and if you replace the removal spells with Thoughtseize and Duress, you get a great one-two punch against control.
9. Azorius/Orzhov Auras
Auras is a deck that always gets overlooked when new sets come out. I can see why, as this deck doesn’t have particularly interesting game play and the new cards are always fun to brew with. If your goal is to maximize your chance of winning though, I would keep a good eye on Auras, as it has always been one of the best decks in the format. The rising popularity of Jund would scare me a little bit though. As for which version to play, both should be good. If you’re playing black, make sure you have enough Dead Weights and Mire’s Grasps after sideboard.
10. Gruul Shamans
If you’re a fan of Gruul, a regular aggro version with Pelt Collector, Burning-Tree Emissary and others should be a fine choice. But if you dive a little bit deeper into this color combination, you’ll find out that, according to Untapped.gg, Gruul Shamans has been winning a lot lately as well. I don’t have much experience with Shamans myself, but it looks fun, so I’ll try to record a video with it this week.