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By: R Koster, Rob Koster
Nov 29 2019 1:00pm
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A while ago the new Historic format was introduced. Historic, at this point, is just Old and New standard glued together with some extra cards added.


I haven't played any games in the new format yet, but here are some of the things I want to do.

Wizards started the format with 20 additional cards that they handpicked to be introduced into the format to spice things up a bit. Because let's be honest. Just mashing 2 Standards together isn't that interesting.

So what that means is that currently in Historic the following things are legal:

Ixalan
Rivals of Ixalan
Dominaria
M19
Guilds of Ravnica
Ravnica Allegiance
War of the Spark
M20
Throne of Eldraine

And these 20 cards:
Serra Ascendant
Soul Warden
Kinsbaile Cavalier
Treasure Hunt
Distant Melody
Cryptbreaker
Hypnotic Specter
Phyrexian Arena
Tendrils of Corruption
Kiln Fiend
Goblin Matron
Hidetsugu's Second Rite
Elvish Visionary
Fauna Shaman
Imperious Perfect
Burning-Tree Emissary
Captain Sisay
Ornithopter
Mind Stone
Darksteel Reactor

While I have to be honest and admit that a lot of these cards I just don't care for. There are definitely a few that strike my fancy. I decided to see what Wizards was trying to add to the format by adding these cards.

Most of them are packages that would seem to work together, so to break it down a bit, I decided to put them together in where I think they will clump together.

Serra Ascendant and Soul Warden

These two have been BFF's forever in Modern and casual. They form a big part of a deck called Soul Sisters that also relies on Ajani's Pridemate. Which by a surefire happenstance that no one had ever thought of, is also legal. From there, I'd start by filling it out with something that gains some more life. Or something like Bolas's Citadel that uses up that precious life that you are gaining. You could even throw in Tendrils of Corruption, and I believe Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth is also legal. It should be a fun thing to be doing. Or just go full-on Ajani Tribal with Ajani, Strength of the Pride thrown in there as well. I could see Green/White working as well with something like Centaur Peacemaker to curve out into. Turn 1 Soul Warden, turn 2 Ajani's Pridemate, turn 3 Centaur Peacemaker, and turn 4 Ajani, the Greathearted seems like it would be fun. I have no idea if it would be good enough, but it would certainly be fun.

Then there is Kinsbaile Cavalier, which is one of my favorite casual cards of all time. I love this card so much! One of my first casual decks was a knight tribal, and Cavalier was amazing. Although the deck you could build in Historic will be a bit less powerful then what I did. Because in my casual group, we had no problem with curving out into Armageddon and Strip Mine was better than Wasteland and cheaper, how could we not run 4? But there should still be a very decent Knight deck hidden somewhere in the format. I'd start by looking at Mardu because you always follow the lands. But it'll probably end up somewhere in a 2 color deck splashing something.

Next is Treasure Hunt. And I'm sorry, but this just does nothing for me. It could be something if Seismic Assault ever gets reprinted or something. I don't know, and to be frank, don't really care either about this card.

That gets us to Distant Melody Elvish Visionary and Imperious Perfect.

For those of you who don't follow Pauper to much. Distant Melody is used there as a draw engine in an Elves deck that splashes green for it to never-ever-ever-ever-ever run out of cards. They are very obviously trying to push that into Historic as well. Seems neat to try out; drawing a bazillion cards is always fun.

About Cryptbreaker. Blatant zombie push is blatant, moving along.

Hypnotic Specter, Phyrexian Arena And Tendrils of Corruption are very obviously pushing for some sort of black-based midrange deck. It's the kind of deck that a ton of people always try to make viable and gets a lot of love but never truly gets there. Maybe this time it's different. The Devotion cards coming in the new Theros set could be something that gets there. We might even get back Phyrexian Obliterator. That would be really sweet, I highly doubt it. But it would be sweet. And a man can dream, right?

Then we get Kiln Fiend. Which is another card that basically wants you to play a ton of spells. You could go the way of playing a lot of 1 mana burn spells, or a bunch of cantrips. You even have an inferior version of Temur Battle Rage in Uncaged Fury. And I call it very poor. But a lot of cards look very poor compared to Temur Battle Rage because that card is insanely busted. You can throw this in a red deck, which is what I would do to start out with. Just go aggressive at the start of a format, after all. Or you can do something sweet with it and some of the other spells matters cards in the format like Arclight Phoenix or Brineborn Cutthroat. While I don't fully expect this kind of be the best deck in the format. They are very fun to pilot. So make of that what you will. Dreadhorde Arcanist Also says hello!

Then we get Goblin Matron. Just type in Goblin in the gatherer, you'll figure it out. I don't know where it leads, but I would include Goblin Chainwhirler.

(Hidugetsa's Second Rite). While fun, this card just isn't very good, probably. Getting someone to precisely 10 in my experience, in general, isn't very consistent. Being 4 mana also doesn't help in a deck that wants to burn someone out. But it would be funny if this would be a real thing.

Burning-Tree Emissary Wants to be in aggressive decks that want to pump out a lot of power on turn 2. It's also a card that gives you GR after casting it. Which makes it a 0 mana 2/2. Just go aggressive if your one of the two colors. And pray that they reprint Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx in the next Theros set. Although I honestly hope they don't.

Captain Sisay Is next! And I'll tell it straight, this card is so cool! I loved it the first time around, and I'm thrilled that they chose to put it in Historic so we can have some more shenanigans with it. Dominaria and War of the Spark are full of Legends, so there should, for sure, be something to find with it. And while 4 mana always is a tough nut to crack, I hope someone breaks it because this card is super sweet.

Then we get to Ornithopter and Mind Stone. While I'm happy to see Mind Stone because I just think it always plays very well and a mana rock that cantrips is a good card all around. It's pretty dull to use, but it's at its best in decks that want to untap it a bunch and ramp that way. Is Voltaic Key legal in this format? That could be the start of something spicy.

Oh, also, I don't care about Ornithopter at all. It's always either useless or enables something broken and busted. Definitely not my cup of tea.

And as the final piece of the new Historic puzzle, we get Darksteel Reactor. At first, I didn't have a clue about how to use this, and just thinking about ways to do something with this took me longer than writing the entire rest of this here article. But you can proliferate with it. Which means Evolution Sage could be a fun thing to do. Flux Channeler Also Proliferates a bunch. All you have to do now is just cast a bunch of spells. How hard can it be?

Anyway, that's it for me today. I hope you enjoyed me pondering about what Wizards wants to push the Historic format towards. Although I wouldn't be surprised at all if it just ends up a Mono-Red versus Nexus of Fate format.