Historic Power Rankings – 1/11/2021

This weekend features the Kaldheim Arena Qualifier and also the MPL/Rivals League play, so there will be plenty of Historic action at the highest level. All the League Pros will be streaming their matches on their respective channels with a 10-minute delay. You can also follow coverage of all the featured matches on www.twitch.tv/magic, starting on Saturday  a.m. PT/6 p.m. CET.

Let’s take a look at the updated power rankings. Since the last Mythic Invitational, there were no big tournaments in Historic, nor were there any additional cards added to the format on Magic Arena, but hopefully Kaldheim is going to shake things up a little bit. I recently did an early look at Kaldheim in Historic so far and needless to say, I’m looking forward to it.


Most recent changes:

  • Gruul is getting very popular and has a pretty high win rate.
  • Pretty much everyone switched from Four Color Midrange to Sultai, meaning there is almost no Yasharn, Implacable Earth anywhere.
  • Sultai decks are now focusing on trying to beat each other with cards like Tale’s End, Narset, Parter of Veils and Shark Typhoon, cutting down on spot removal spells. This is good news for aggro, although trying to beat Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath in two out of three games is still quite a challenge.
  • I’ve been seeing very little graveyard hate lately, meaning that decks using cards like Dreadhorde Arcanist could be a solid choice now.
  • A couple of new decks have been popping up recently, like the Izzet Creativity Combo or the UR(w) Lotus Gearhulk deck. These decks are fun to play but the reality is that they are still far from Tier 1. 


1. Sultai Midrange

Sultai is still the best deck in the format, and honestly, at this point it’s not even close. The results back it up and as long as Uro remains legal in the format, I really doubt it will change. LSV’s deck guide (above) is excellent, coming off winning $2000 in the last Arena Open with it, so make sure you check it out! 


2. Jund Sacrifice

There are multiple reasons why Jund Sacrifice should be even better now than, say, a month ago. Almost all the Four Color Midrange players dropped Yasharn in favor of having more cards for the mirror, like Tale’s End, Narset and Shark Typhoon, which are all bad against this deck. Similarly, the Sultai decks now have very few if any Fatal Pushes in their main deck, which is also great news for aggressive cards like Dreadhorde Butcher. Lastly, Gruul Aggro has been getting very popular lately, which should be a great matchup for this deck thanks to Claim the Firstborn and Mayhem Devil. Playing Jund now instead of Rakdos makes a lot more sense to me because there’s no real need for an answer to Yasharn right now and Collected Company is still one of the absolute best cards in the format so I see no reason to play without it. 


3. Gruul Aggro

Bonecrusher GiantGallia of the Endless DanceBurning-Tree Emissary

I’ve been playing against a lot of Gruul on the ladder lately and again, I blame LSV and his updated deck guide. Klothys, God of Destiny seems like a great card against the Sultai decks since it gets rid of Uro while providing a threat they can usually only answer with Aether Gust. This deck also greatly benefits from Sultai dropping some spot removal spells from their main deck lately. 


4. Goblins

As usual, one of the most consistent decks in the format is still a solid choice, although lately the Sultai decks have been playing up to four Tale’s End in their 75, which is a very convenient way to deal with Muxus, Goblin Grandee.


5. UG Paradox Engine

This deck is still somewhat of a dark horse of the format, mostly because people aren’t very familiar with the deck and its play patterns, so playing and sideboarding against it can be challenging. Unfortunately, this deck also loses some percentage points thanks to Tale’s End being a very popular card right now.


6. Rakdos Arcanist

Dreadhorde ArcanistThoughtseizeKroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger

Again, yet another deck which greatly benefits from all the Sultai decks focusing on mirror matches rather than playing a full set of Fatal Pushes. Turn one Thoughtseize into Dreadhorde Arcanist on turn two, followed by Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger can be almost unbeatable for many control and midrange decks. I have also not seen almost any Leyline of the Voids or Grafdigger’s Cages in everyone’s sideboards, which is another huge bonus for this deck.


7. Rakdos Sacrifice

As I mentioned above, I strongly recommend playing Jund instead, thanks to Collected Company being one of the best cards in the format. Rakdos is still a fine choice as well, but you’re choosing to play a slightly weaker version of the deck.


8. Azorius Control

I’ll be honest here, I can’t really see a reason to play a slow blue deck without Uro, yet this deck is somehow still incredibly popular on the Arena ladder. My biggest concern is that it’s very bad at closing out games. Often the deck will just sit there with Teferi, Hero of Dominaria in play, drawing more and more answers but not really anything that can end the game. This is usually pretty costly against decks with Uro and Hydroid Krasis because even against an active Teferi, they can very easily outgrind you. 


9. Azorius Auras

There’s a lot less sacrifice decks and Fatal Pushes around now, which means that this deck should be somewhat of a decent choice again. I still wouldn’t recommend playing it in a big tournament though. The Arena ladder is a completely different experience than playing in a big event where everyone puts a lot of thought into their deck choice. In general, there will be a lot less brews and a lot more of the actual top decks of the format. 


10. Izzet Creativity

Indomitable CreativityThe Locust GodSage of the Falls

I thought this deck was a meme when I played against it on the Arena ladder, but it’s a real thing. I’m not going to tell you it’s Tier 1, but it’s something new that just wins out of nowhere so it’s worth keeping an eye on. If you want to see this deck in action, Gabriel Nassif has been championing this deck on his stream lately. 


Good luck if you’re playing the qualifier this week and I’ll see you in two weeks!


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