Seemingly out of nowhere, Brainstorm got suspended in Historic last week. And I mean out of nowhere because it happened on a Wednesday and they usually do the ban announcements on Mondays. There was a lot of talk about Brainstorm being too good for the format, so it’s not really a surprise that it eventually got the axe.
It’s the best card in Legacy (let that sink in for a moment) and even though you only have Fabled Passage and very few other good “free shuffle” cards in Historic, it still combines incredibly well with stuff like Narset, Parter of Veils’s activation or Search for Azcanta. I’m not a huge fan of cards being banned left and right because it always leaves a lot of people with burned wild cards, but the Brainstorm ban should make the format better.
I would also keep an eye on Untapped.gg for more meta information once the bans have sunk in.
Control is still great. Brainstorm was excellent in control decks to make them more consistent, but it was not a critical piece. Jeskai still has access to all the best cards and currently the best version seems to be the one with Magma Opus and Torrential Gearhulk.
2. Orzhov Auras
Auras already won the first big Historic post-ban tournament! I expect Auras to make the transition from Azorius back to Orzhov now that discard will be great again. Removal like Dead Weight, Mire’s Grasp and Legion’s End out of the sideboard should make you better against creature decks as well, although I’m not sure if it’s actually true.
Whenever I played the Azorius version, I always felt that Staggering Insight gave me an insane edge in the creature matchups because they can almost never race a big Spiritdancer with lifelink. You can play Rune of Sustenance for the same effect, but you just won’t be able to draw extra cards with it. If Jeskai is the most popular deck after the Brainstorm ban, I can see still playing Azorius because of how good Adanto Vanguard is in that version against them.
Don’t expect Phoenix to just plummet down the Historic Power Rankings now that Brainstorm is banned. Without it, the deck will surely be a little bit weaker, but you can just replace it with other cantrips like Warlord’s Fury and Crash Through.
Last week, I put Dragonstorm in the Top 10 after seeing it post some decent results and Sam Beaulieau immediately got third place with it in the Insight Esports 5k tournament, with another version getting 23rd. It might be time to either give it a proper look or start playing more graveyard hate.
Blue decks got weaker and less consistent, which means there should probably be less combo, which in turn should make creature decks more appealing. All of that makes me want to go back to Jund Sacrifice and punish them with Mayhem Devil. The one problem I see with this is if Mizzix’s Mastery and Magma Opus are very popular, then creature decks will be very badly positioned.
Less combo also makes me more interested in Five-Color Niv, which you can definitely build to beat creatures and, with enough cards like Hydroid Krasis and perhaps main deck discard, you should be able to make it good against control as well.
Discard is back on the menu and Mono-Black was already posting great results before the Brainstorm ban, which makes me quite interested in exploring it more now.
8. Sultai Ultimatum
Similarly to Dragonstorm last week, I saw some decent finishes with Sultai Ultimatum this week. This is definitely a deck that would benefit greatly from having Brainstorm, but it seems that it is still decent without it.
9. Gruul Aggro
If I had to play a red or green aggressive creature deck now, I would probably pick Gruul because of the haste attackers that seem better against Jeskai with Wrath of God effects. Selesnya Company seems reasonable too, but with Brainstorm gone and less Izzet Phoenix, I’m less interested in Thalia and Archon of Emeria.
10. Boros Midrange
Do you remember that Boros Midrange deck from a while ago? It certainly wasn’t very good against combo, but it was decent against control and creature decks. I would suggest giving it a try again.