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Historic Power Rankings – 11/18/2020

Kaladesh Remastered brought a lot of really good cards into Historic and made the format feel very fresh and exciting again. Today I have for you the early Power Rankings of the format. The metagame is evolving very fast and the Zendikar Championship is right around the corner.

My top picks for new cards with the highest impact:

  1. Fatal Push
  2. Chandra, Torch of Defiance
  3. Bomat Courier
  4. Scrapheap Scrounger
  5. Sram, Senior Edificer

Honorable mention: Fastlands (Blooming Marsh cycle)

Post-Kaladesh Historic Power Rankings

1. Sultai Midrange

This deck picked up Fatal Push, which is one of the best removal spells ever printed, especially if you also have Fabled Passage to activate Revolt easily. Previously, the deck was very clogged on two mana cards, so getting to replace some of the removal with 4 Fatal Pushes is going to make you be able to double-spell more easily, especially after putting in an extra land with Growth Spiral. Fatal Push, combined with Thoughtseize also make Uro even better than usual, because your graveyard will fill even faster now. One thing I noticed is that very few players are splashing for Yasharn now, which is great news for Jund Sacrifice.

2. Mono-Red

I’m pleasantly surprised how good the new monored deck is. Bomat Courier is one of the best one drops ever printed and gives the opponent a really hard decision whether they want to kill a seemingly innocent 1/1 that could give you extra cards later on, or a bigger creature that is attacking for more damage. Chandra, Torch of Defiance is another incredible upgrade for this deck. It protects itself, gives you extra mana to empty your hand for Hazoret faster or bring back Earthshaker Khenra from the graveyard, and also damages the opponent or gives you an extra card every turn. I wouldn’t be surprised if Chandra alone created new archetypes, something like Temur ramp, where you get to play it on turn 3, thanks to Growth Spiral and Explore, shoot down your opponent’s creature and then use it to get extra mana for cards like Hydroid Krasis.

3. Jund Sacrifice

As mentioned above, I’ve been seeing very few copies of Yasharn in the last week. This is great news for Jund Sacrifice, as this card alone usually just stops the entire deck from functioning. Besides that, Jund also picked up Blooming Marsh, which should improve the mana base by a lot and also Chandra, Torch of Defiance, which is conveniently a perfect answer for Yasharn. The tricky part will be figuring out how many noncreature cards you can afford to run, to still make Collected Company as strong as possible.

4. Gruul Aggro

My favorite deck in the format also picked up Chandra, Torch of Defiance as a great new addition. Again, the hardest part will be figuring out the exact configuration of the deck, as you just cannot play too many copies of Chandra, Company, Embercleave and Questing Beast, because your deck will have too many expensive cards. I’ve really enjoyed playing this deck in the original form with just 4 Questing Beast and 4 Embercleave, intending to board in Company instead of Cleave against control decks with a ton of removal and sweepers. Now you can do the same thing with Chandra and possibly just split Questing Beast, Embercleave and Company to 3 copies each in the maindeck.

5. U/B Gearhulk Control

This deck was incredibly strong in the old Standard format, and it is still very good even in Historic. The combination of the best discard spell in the format (Thoughtseize) and the best removal spell in the format (Fatal Push), combined with cards like Search for Azcanta and Torrential Gearhulk makes this a very strong contender. The only question I have is, why not just splash green for Uro, which seems to be almost free, thanks to all the dual lands in the format. Growth Spiral also seems better than Mind Stone as it draws you a card immediately and you get to play Hydroid Krasis as well for the grindy matchups. That said, U/W Control has also been way more popular than Bant lately, so there is certainly some appeal to only playing two colors.

6. Goblins

Still one of the best and most consistent decks in the format and still somehow super underrated. In my opinion, the reason for that is that players are just trying all the new cards and different strategies, and Goblins is a deck that has pretty much already been solved. That doesn’t mean you should underestimate it, though.

7. Monoblack Aggro

I’ve been seeing a lot of people having success and fun with the new Monoblack Aggro deck, now featuring Fatal Push and Scrapheap Scrounger. Between Scrounger, Knight of the Ebon Legion, Dread Wanderer, Skyclave Shade and Gutterbones, your deck is incredibly resilient to removal spells, because seemingly every creature you play can easily come back from the graveyard. Thoughtseize makes sure your opponent doesn’t get to do anything too crazy while still allowing you to easily double-spell. If this deck ever picks up a Mutavault, it will be one of the absolute best decks in the format.

8. BW Auras

Sram is another new card that has a huge impact on the Auras deck, both B/W and U/W. While the version with blue seems like it should be a little better, thanks to cards like Curious Obsession and Staggering Insight providing you with additional card advantage and counters in the sideboard, the problem is the mana base. Having to play Temple of Enlightenment is less than ideal, because it comes into play tapped, and this deck wants to curve out and use every mana every turn. Black doesn’t have this problem, as you now have Godless Shrine, Concealed Courtyard and Brightclimb Pathway to help you cast everything without issues. Thoughtseize is also a very strong sideboard card that can preemptively protect your Kor Spiritdancer or Sram.

9. Monogreen Midrange

This is a fairly new iteration of this deck recently popularized by Crokeyz. Llanowar Elves and Pelt Collector are still one of the best one-drops in the format and combined with Burning Tree Emissary and Steel Leef Champion give you a lot of really fast openers. The key to this deck seems to be 4 Great Henge, which gives you a ton of card advantage. Collected Company is also huge, thanks to Steel Leaf Champion and Kazandu Mammoth.

10. Rakdos Arcanist

I’m a little surprised I’m not seeing more of this deck at the moment, as Fatal Push and Scrapheap Scrounger should be very good improvements. Dreadhorde Arcanist with Thoughtseize and Fatal Push is a deadly combination, and triggering Revolt in this deck shouldn’t be a problem.

Honorable mention – U/W God-Pharaoh’s Gift.

It is unclear to me what is currently the best version of this deck, because there are so many possibilities. You can play Monoblack, U/B or U/W and all of them have their advantages and disadvantages. The biggest upside seems to be that Grafdigger’s Cage is very popular now, because it stops Muxus, Company, Cat/Oven and Marvel, which you don’t really care about. Not a lot of people seem to be playing Leyline of the Void at the moment.

Decks not included

U/W Control – Fatal Push just seems like such a better removal spell than Seal Away or Glass Casket that I have to give U/B the advantage here.

Marvel – I’ll admit that I expected more of this deck. The biggest issue seems to be drawing the expensive cards like Ulamog and Ugin in your hand and then having no use for them because they just cost too much mana. I tried playing Fire Prophecy, but putting the big cards on the bottom is still a lot worse than shuffling them back into the library. Perhaps a version with black for Thoughtseize and Fatal Push instead of the red cards could give this deck what it needs – cheaper spells that would allow it to double-spell more often.

Colorless Ramp, Neoform Combo – Perfectly reasonable tier 2 decks, but I wouldn’t currently register them for a big tournament.

Discussion

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