Historically Accurate - Amonkhet Remastered!
Hello all! Welcome to this week's edition of Historically Accurate! This week we'll be talking about Amonkhet Remastered. We're about 2 weeks away from it's release on Magic Arena, which is August 13th. We don't know a lot about the cards that are in the set at the moment, but we do know that it's going to be around 340 cards, and span both Amonkhet and Hour of Devastation. We also know that it's going to be legal in Historic, and is working towards the inclusion of Pioneer in Arena, which is very exciting. Since it's going to be legal in Historic, what we're going to be talking about over the next few articles leading up to release, is a few speculative decks to be on the look out for with the edition of these new cards. We did have Amonkhet and Hour of Devastation back in the beta of Arena when it was in standard, so some of us has played with these cards on here before, but we have had some powerful additions to the game since, so this should shake up the format quite a bit.
Again as a disclaimer, we do not know (at the time of writing this article) what cards are going to be included in the set, so these lists are entirely speculation. Anyways, lets jump into a couple decks.
For those of us who played magic during Amonkhet and a little bit afterwards, this deck shouldn't come as a surprise to you. The most powerful deck at the time was a deck called Hazoret Red. It was a simple mono red deck, that had the powerful top end of Hazoret the Fervent.
Oh boy was this card powerful. This was a finisher that rewarded you for playing out your hand, with an activated ability to fuel that condition for benefit. In addition, the deck sported a host of fast and powerful creatures to chunk your opponent's life total and allow for Hazoret to do some clean up. The deck was so powerful, that it was in top contention as the best deck in the format through multiple set releases, even having to have a few cards banned from the deck as it was just too powerful.
There's many lists that you'll find online from many high profile events during that time, and from each of them we can draw great inspiration for our new list for Historic. Below is a list that was from GP Memphis 2018, and this is where I'll be drawing my inspiration from for our list.
This is not the most recent list with Dominaria cards, but this was a very good base to work from, as we have a lot of similar but probably more powerful cards in Historic to replace of some of the cards that are in Kaladesh. Here's a version 1 list that I've come up with that looks akin to our current Mono Red decks.
The breakdown I was following was 27 creatures, about 9 spells or so, and 24 land. It turns out that I ended up adding an additional spell to the deck and cutting a land so we're on 23 lands now overall, and 10 spells. Let's go ahead and break this one down.
- Fanatical Firebrand is in the deck for a reason, a cheap body that gets through and can also be a nice little combat trick as it can finish off creatures that have blocked.
- Fervent Champion is our Bomat Courier replacement, as its a another cheap creature with haste, and really can pack in the damage.
- Robber of the Rich is also playing part Bomat Courier as well, as this is an additional method of getting additional cards to cast, this time from our opponents deck.
- Earthshaker Khenra would be a card returning from Amonkhet. While it's only a lowly 2/1, it's ETB is very powerful, making it unblockable by other creatures that have equal or less power. In addition it's a recursive threat in the late game, as it can Eternalize for 6, and come back as a 4/4 with the same ETB trigger.
- Ahn-Crop Crasher is Earthshaker Khenra part 2, and uses the Exert Mechanicl, which makes it unblockable. Getting in 3 free damage always feels great.
- Anax, Hardened in the Forge is great since we're Mono Red, and he should be a high power threat very quickly in this deck, plus he allows us to continually generate tokens when our dudes die, and also gives us some resiliency to sweepers.
- Rampaging Ferocidon was so powerful in this deck that it had to be banned. It was a free way to extend the life total gap by taxing your opponent playing creatures. We see this being played in Red decks already in Historic, and it should be great here.
- Hazoret the Fervent is our closer, and gives us late game reach, and resistance to flood, turning our extra lands into shocks. Not to mention the 5/4 indestructible, hasty body that comes along with that ability.
- Shock, Lightning Strike, and Magma Jet are our burn suite, allowing us a bit of additional reach, as well as some removal. Magma Jet is taking place of Magma Spray, just to allow us to smooth out our draws, since we're going down to 23 lands.
- Abrade was an all-star card, allowing us some great removal for creatures in play, and also could deal with artifacts. I expect that this will be great at dealing with opposing Embercleaves, and maybe Sorcerer's Spyglass.
- Embercleave is just more extra reach and is just too good not to play in this deck. You've face it tons of times before, and with the amount of unblockable damage in this deck, you'll face it even more in the coming weeks.
The only two lands worth talking about here are Ramunap Ruins and Scavenging Grounds. Ramunap Ruins was the other card that was banned in this deck during Ixalan Block, as this card provided more free reach in the late game. Scavenging Grounds was a really solid choice for these decks as it was used to combat the Scarab God decks, and give them no reanimation targets. This land has great applications in today's meta, being able to handle things like Sacrifice Decks and Uro Decks very easily.
I fully expect the cards that are in this list to be printed to Amonkhet Remastered. They were all highly played cards during their time, and would be great in the Historic. The consistency, speed and Reach of this deck will probably make it a very strong option for week 1 of the new format, so save up your wild cards if you're a red mage.
Approach of the Second Sun
The second deck Archetype that we'll touch on today is Approach of the Second Sun. This was another staple deck in the standard meta during its time, and was very powerful in it's own right. There are a few ways that I imagine this deck being built, and while we won't look at lists from the past, I'll post drafts of 2 different versions of the deck below and I'll break down principles behind the card choices.
The first list here is going to be Bant Approach.
The premise here is similar to Bant Ramp in our current meta. Use Growth Spiral, Explore, and Uro as ramp and draw spells in the early game, stick both Teferis and Narset and Control the game. Our way to Approach here is to use Fae of Wishes to Wish the card from our sideboard to our hand. This allows us to protect our Approach to things like discard or Unmoored Ego effects. We also have a secondary game plan of Field of the Dead. This may not necessarily be the right call for this deck as we don't have things like Golos (which
honestly may be worth considering as a way to cheat on casting Approach) but I put it in as Field can give us some sustain against aggressive decks and near inevitability against control. The other card I was considering for this deck is Drawn From Dreams. This is essentially a Dig Through Time, which allows us to go 7 deep to find 2 cards. Since Approach puts itself 7 deep into our library after we cast the first copy, this is a fast and easy way to find the second copy to cast and win the game. I couldn't find room to play the card, and in a deck where this card is played, we'd definitely want to have some number of Approach in the Main deck.
I definitely think that there's room to improve this list, but this is a strong first iteration.
The second version of this deck is going to be Esper Approach. I won't post a deck list for this version, but it's very similar to the Bant version. Below are the changes that we'd most likely make to that version
First off, we'd get rid of the Field of the Dead package, and go down to maybe 26 lands overall. We'd end up replacing the 12 green cards in the deck and the 2 extra land slots that we freed up to play more removal, and 4 copies of Mastermind's Acquisition, which is another wish, with the versatility of being able to also tutor a card from our library.
This would be a little more all in on the combo, and so there may need to be some consideration for counter magic to protect the game plan a bit as well.
I will say, that this deck would be awesome to play with Fires of Invention if it were in the format, and I'd definitely be playing Drawn From Dream and Fae of Wishes in a Jeskai Approach shell. Unfortunately, Fires is banned in Historic, but maybe one day, it'll come off the list.
Conclusion I hope you guys enjoyed the decks today! I'm super stoked for Amonkhet to come back to the game and to see its impact on Historic! Drop me a comment below on what cards you're excited about seeing in Amonkhet Remastered!