Jump Starting Historic with Jumpstart
Updated: Jul 26, 2020
JUMPSTART IN HISTORIC
We are about a week out from the release of Jumpstart’s release on Magic Arena and there’s a LOT to unpack from the set! With about 500 cards coming to the Historic Format, there’s bound to be some new great archetypes to play and explore! Today, we’ll be looking at a few cards that are rather exciting additions to the game, and go over some sample deck lists that will incorporate these cards.
THRIVING LAND CYCLE
The new Thriving Land cycle is a really interesting set of lands. Allowing you to be entirely flexible on mana fixing allows for more multicolored decks in tandem with the Triom cycle. I think that these lands may replace the scrylands in 3 or 4 color decks. That being said these will be mainstays in 3 color decks where there are some really heavily mana intensive color requirements, as the free choice of colors fixes all of that. My only fear is that we will start to see a homogenization of decks in the format, akin to Khans Standard decks. With Yorion allowing for more slots at a value, decks may become more “good stuff” decks and less about a theme.
First off, I think the archetype that I’m the most excited about is Elves. Elves had sort of existed in Historic before, but it never caught on. It didn’t have the speed and over the top potential that something like Legacy Elves had. With the new inclusions in Jumpstart, we’re able to now much closer to that awesome combo potential.
We can really look at a lot of the Elves pack to see what is going to make a big splash. The first couple reprints that are very exciting are Craterhoof Behemoth and Elvish Archdruid. Craterhoof Behemoth is the combo finisher of choice in Legacy Elves, and we have a way to tutor it into play with Finale of Devastation. Elvish Archdruid allows us to have some staying power by buffing our dudes and gives us the mana to cast a finale of devastation and end the game very quickly. The last reprint that I think could very well see play in this deck is Primordial Sage. It's no Glimpse of Nature, but a lot of the elves that we have in the format are mana dorks so we can very quickly get that guy in play and start drawing some cards. The other card that could potentially be in contention for this would be The Great Henge. We’re looking for a card that allows us to continue to fuel our board state and hopefully close the game out in quick fashion.
The new card on the block that will be sure to make waves in both Legacy and Historic is Allosaurus Shepherd. A 1 mana way to give our spells uncounterable and allowing us to buff up our creatures is a very welcome addition to this deck.
I’m sure that there will be some other elves from Jumpstart to fill out the 60, but overall, these new additions are exciting, and power and I will definitely be trying out Elves in 2 weeks. Below is a rough draft first list of what Elves may look like in Historic.
SACRIFICE Sacrifice decks were at one point a main stay in the standard format but have not really found legs in Historic. With the addition of Core 2021, they did end up getting a nice boost in consistency in Village Rites. The added draw allowed the deck to refill on gas when they were hellbent and allowed the deck to get incredible value against removal.
Jumpstart brings only a couple cards for this deck type. First off is Phyrexian Tower is a land, while it taps for colorless, it can sac a dude to generate 2 Black mana. The value that you can generate from this can be incredible.
Another creature that is coming in is Perilous Myr. Having a cheap sac target that can deal additional damage and block nicely is a great addition to the deck. There is a chance that Serrated Scorpion is still better, but for now it’s worth testing.
Lastly, there’s Blood Artist. Another way to generate incremental damage while continuing to do what we want to do. It was an all-star in aristocrat style decks back in the day, and I expect to continue to be so here.
Surely there are other cards that are going to be considered for the deck, but these I think stand out to me right away and will be ones to try week 1.
Here is a draft list of RB Sacrifice:
MONO BLACK / BW COMBO
The last archetype that I want to talk about a little more in depth is Mono Black / BW Combo. With Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose providing us a Sanguine Bond and having 2 ways to kill our opponent on the spot with Vito, this deck may very well have potential to make waves. Our existing way to win is with Revival // Revenge. Doubling our life total with Revenge counts as life gained, and so if we can retain a high enough life total, we can one shot our opponent.
Jumpstart brings us Exquisite Blood, which is a huge reprint. In combination with Vito, Exquisite Blood puts our opponents in a difficult spot where they cannot lose any life, and we cannot gain any life. If either of those conditions are met, a loop starts that drains our opponents out of the game. There are many ways that we can forcibly trigger this condition with these cards in play as well, which allows us to control the game state.
Talking about the differences between the two styles, Mono black more than likely is going to be playing a game like a devotion deck would. Play some value creatures on curve, jam an Obliterator on 4, and a Gary on 5, and you might just oops into the combo. Alternatively, you can play a control style. Rip the hand apart with things like Duress, Agonizing Remorse, and Yarok’s Fenlurker, and then play a bunch of solid removal. You eventually can set up the combo and trigger the loop by doing almost anything. We could even continue the combo by playing Underworld Dreams and simply pass the turn and allow game actions to do our dirty work for us.
The BW version is probably looking to use enchantments to dictate the flow of the game, like the BW Yorion lists that were doing well in standard for as of late. You’re able to hold the game in place, allowing you to set up the combo and win.
Here’s a rough draft of the Mono Black iteration of this deck:
Some honorable mentioned cards that are also exciting are listed below
- Rise of the Dark Realms
- Emiel the Blessed
- Linvala, Keeper of Silence
- Scholar of the Lost Trove
- Young Pyromancer
- Selvala, Heart of the Wilds
- Tinybones, Trinket Thief
- Muxus, Goblin Grandee
- Mikaeus, the Lunarch
- Oracle of Mul Daya
- Bruvac the Grandiloquent
- Ghoulcaller Gisa
I’m really hyped for Jumpstart. Historic for me is my go-to format in Arena, and I’m excited to see it getting some love and great cards! With Jumpstart coming in 2 weeks and Amonkhet Remastered coming in August, we’re in for a lot of great decks in Historic. I’ll be covering all things Historic in future articles, so be sure to check those out as well as the other awesome articles on the site!