Vicious Rumors (The News)

Patch 1.02.01

Released Tuesday this week, Patch 1.02.01 had a few bug fixes, most notably the “Network Error: Deck Validation failed.” message when submitting a deck with Mirage basic lands. They also fixed the bug with Food tokens that let you sacrifice them to pay multiple costs. There was an auto tapper update. The sideboard issues after a disconnect should be fixed, and several display issues have been worked out.

There are several other known issues, and you can read about all of them here.

Whelp, it’s a Dragon

Also in patch 1.02.01, they have added the first pet that can be purchased directly, and not tied to a Mastery Pass.

The Dragon Whelp, inspired by the old school card of the same name, can be purchased for 3,000 gems or 20,000 gold.

Historic Pauper Event

Starting yesterday, the Historic Pauper Event is available on Arena with an entry fee of 100 gems or 500 gold. This is an event where losses count, and you are out of the competition on your second loss. Alternately, four wins get you the maximum prize of 600 gold and at least one rare and two uncommons not in standard.

In the event you can use any common rarity cards in the client, but Persistent Petitioners is banned.

Expect to see a lot of aggressive, creature-based decks and Life Gain decks, but I’ve found a Dimir control deck that I’ll show you down below.

Folio of Fancies (Competitive Lists)

[Historic] Gruul Aggro

from Sidney Appratto @Sidneyfa

4 Llanowar Elves (DAR) 168
4 Burning-Tree Emissary (GTC) 216
4 Bonecrusher Giant (ELD) 115
4 Gruul Spellbreaker (RNA) 179
2 Rekindling Phoenix (RIX) 111
4 Questing Beast (ELD) 171
3 Skarrgan Hellkite (RNA) 114
4 Once Upon a Time (ELD) 169
3 Domri's Ambush (WAR) 192
2 Chandra, Fire Artisan (WAR) 119
2 Embercleave (ELD) 120
7 Forest (DAR) 268
7 Mountain (DAR) 264
4 Rootbound Crag (XLN) 256
4 Stomping Ground (RNA) 259
2 Castle Embereth (ELD) 239

3 Veil of Summer (M20) 198
3 Lava Coil (GRN) 108
3 Cindervines (RNA) 161
3 Legion Warboss (GRN) 109
2 Thrashing Brontodon (RIX) 148
1 Vivien Reid (M19) 208

I’ve noticed a lot of people having early success in Historic with variations on Gruul Aggro decks. Sidney Appratto used this version to plow through Platinum and Mythic in short order last week.

The inclusion of Burning-Tree Emissary in Historic Anthology 1 has really increased the power of these decks, allowing them to dump their hand onto the table much faster, and Embercleaves to hit sooner.

There are a ton of different Gruul lists out there. Some use Pelt Collectors and Thorn Lieutenants. Others top off with Ghalta, or more Embercleaves. But, Gruul definitely looks to be the default aggro deck of the format.

[Historic] Azorius Control

from: MTG Brew Crew Podcast @MTG_BrewCrew

1 Lyra Dawnbringer (DAR) 26
1 Opt (XLN) 65
3 Syncopate (DAR) 67
1 Dovin's Veto (WAR) 193
4 Absorb (RNA) 151
4 Chemister's Insight (GRN) 32
3 Settle the Wreckage (XLN) 34
2 Time Wipe (WAR) 223
1 Finale of Glory (WAR) 12
1 Search for Azcanta (XLN) 74
3 Seal Away (DAR) 31
2 Prison Realm (WAR) 26
4 Teferi, Time Raveler (WAR) 221
4 Teferi, Hero of Dominaria (DAR) 207
4 Plains (ANA) 56
3 Island (ANA) 57
4 Glacial Fortress (XLN) 255
4 Hallowed Fountain (RNA) 251
4 Fabled Passage (ELD) 244
2 Castle Vantress (ELD) 242
2 Castle Ardenvale (ELD) 238
3 Field of Ruin (XLN) 254

1 Grafdigger's Cage (M20) 227
2 Adanto Vanguard (XLN) 1
1 Devout Decree (M20) 13
1 Hushbringer (ELD) 18
1 Aether Gust (M20) 42
1 Dovin's Veto (WAR) 193
1 Sorcerous Spyglass (XLN) 248
3 History of Benalia (DAR) 21
2 Deputy of Detention (RNA) 165
2 Lyra Dawnbringer (DAR) 26

On the other end of the spectrum MTG Brew Crew put together the bones of this Azorius Control list. I’ve been having a lot of fun with this deck, as Azorius Control is near and dear to my heart. Newer players might not appreciate the simplicity of old-school Azorius Control. There’s no denying the capability of decks like this.

For those uninitiated, Big Teferi is a win-con in itself, allowing the owner to tuck it every turn if they are close to decking themselves. This is especially effective if there is already a Teferi Emblem in play. Getting behind against this deck is a near-certain loss.

There are a lot of knobs to be tweaked in this deck. From the number of permission spells, the number and type of early removal, and sideboard choices, it can adapt well to the meta as it shapes up.

Experimental Frenzy (Non-Competitive Lists)

[Historic Pauper] Dimir Control

from Alaric Stein @PlatypusJedi

1 Wind Strider (XLN) 88 
2 Salvager of Secrets (M19) 70  
4 Aven Eternal (WAR) 42 
1 Skeleton Archer (M19) 118 
4 Opt (XLN) 65
2 Radical Idea (GRN) 52
2 Thought Collapse (RNA) 57
1 Devious Cover-Up (GRN) 35
1 Clear the Mind (RNA) 34
2 Mephitic Vapors (GRN) 76
2 Toll of the Invasion (WAR) 108
3 Bake into a Pie (ELD) 76
1 Disdainful Stroke (GRN) 37
3 Moment of Craving (RIX) 79
3 Essence Scatter (M19) 54
4 Secrets of the Golden City (RIX) 52
1 Recover (RIX) 84
8 Island (ELD) 254
7 Swamp (ELD) 258
2 Mystic Sanctuary (ELD) 247 
2 Dimir Guildgate (GRN) 246
4 Dismal Backwater (M20) 245 

This is obviously an un-tuned list. Though, Alaric offers some suggestions for cards that might also be good depending on what decks you’re facing. But I won’t muddy the waters here with that. If you want to check it out, and look for any deck updates, you can find Alaric on twitter.

[Historic Brawl] Gishath, the Giant Turkey

1 Gishath, Sun's Avatar (XLN) 222

1 Llanowar Elves (DAR) 168
1 Marauding Raptor (M20) 150
1 Otepec Huntmaster (XLN) 153
1 Raptor Hatchling (XLN) 155
1 Charging Monstrosaur (XLN) 138
1 Forerunner of the Empire (RIX) 102
1 Rampaging Ferocidon (XLN) 154
1 Etali, Primal Storm (RIX) 100
1 Ranging Raptors (XLN) 201
1 Drover of the Mighty (XLN) 187
1 Thrashing Brontodon (RIX) 148
1 Savage Stomp (XLN) 205
1 Runic Armasaur (M19) 200
1 Ripjaw Raptor (XLN) 203
1 Shifting Ceratops (M20) 194
1 Carnage Tyrant (XLN) 179
1 Ghalta, Primal Hunger (RIX) 130
1 Polyraptor (RIX) 144
1 Raging Regisaur (RIX) 168
1 Raging Swordtooth (XLN) 226
1 Regisaur Alpha (XLN) 227
1 Zacama, Primal Calamity (RIX) 174
1 Growing Rites of Itlimoc (XLN) 191
1 Commune with Dinosaurs (XLN) 181
1 Thunderherd Migration (RIX) 149
1 Eternal Isolation (M20) 15
1 Pacifism (M20) 32
1 Seal Away (DAR) 31
1 Shock (M20) 160
1 Thud (M19) 163
1 Lightning Strike (XLN) 149
1 Act of Treason (M19) 127
1 Flame Sweep (M20) 139
1 Once Upon a Time (ELD) 169
1 Rabid Bite (M20) 190
5 Forest (RIX) 196
4 Mountain (XLN) 272
2 Plains (RIX) 192
1 Unclaimed Territory (XLN) 258
1 Gateway Plaza (GRN) 247
1 Evolving Wilds (RIX) 186
1 Command Tower (ELD) 333
1 Temple Garden (GRN) 258
1 Sunpetal Grove (XLN) 257
1 Sacred Foundry (GRN) 254
1 Clifftop Retreat (DAR) 239
1 Stomping Ground (RNA) 259
1 Rootbound Crag (XLN) 256
1 Gruul Guildgate (RNA) 250
1 Rugged Highlands (M20) 250
1 Fabled Passage (ELD) 244

In anticipation of Thanksgiving in the US this year, I decided to work up a Historic Brawl deck with my absolute favorite tribe. Turkeys! And who better to lead the flock, than the big turkey himself, Gishath. I look forward to playing this deck most when we can have four-player matches among friends.

To further show my love for the Dinosaurs of Ixalan, I even finished my paper Commander Gishath deck this week. I’ve had a great time crashing through with BIG STOMPY DINOSAURS at the casual tables.

Settle the Wreckage (The Wrap Up)

It was a slower news week considering the holiday in the US, and the weekly patch was fairly small.

I’ve noticed a steep reduction in the amount of complaint threads on Reddit. Usually this means that people are happily playing the game, and I hope that is the case. There is the outside possibility that people have slowed down playing the game for one reason or another. I hope that isn’t true, as it feels like the game has improved a bit since the Green purge and Historic showed up.

As for me, my ladder play has been halted due to time constraints. But, I plan to be able to fight back to Mythic next month using the Best of 3 Historic ladder.

Hopefully we have more deck lists and news next week, but I don’t expect there to be any large patches until January when Theros Beyond Death is released.

Standard Meta

The Standard meta is shaping up to be mostly different iterations of Cat Cauldron/Food and Jeskai Fires lists performing the best, but there are a variety of Tier 1.5 decks that have good enough win rates to show up in Top 8s. Included in that group are Adventures, Azorius Control, Temur Reclamation, and Gruul Aggro. Almost completely gone are Esper Dance, Mono Red, and Simic Flash, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see any of those on the ladder, as a good pilot can still get wins with them.

Historic Meta

The Historic meta is shaping up, and I’ve seen a lot of Gruul, Mono Black, Soul Sisters, Azorius Control, and Oko. I was expecting Kethis Combo to make a strong showing, but I haven’t seen any. There are a few people theory-crafting it, but I’ve seen no definitive winning lists. I’ll be sure to post one when it comes up. Until then, Historic will hopefully bring some life to Arena that it has been sorely needing since rotation.

Big <3 Hank

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