Hi everyone, welcome back on 95mtg.com!
Next weekend brings us the Kaldheim Championships and, with it, a return to the Historic format.
While I really liked we finally got rid of Uro in Historic, someone left the cat in the bag and now the format revolves around Jund Sacrifice as the only true tier 1 deck left from previous iterations of the format.
Banning Uro, the addition of Historic Anthologies 4 and Kaldheim to the format since I’ve last played the Historic format, has presented some new tribal options for us, though.
FIRST THERE WAS MUXUS, THEN THERE WAS… LYS ALANA HUNTMASTER?
While this deck might looks like a meme and may end up there, it’s much better than it looks. It has 12 lord creatures and tons of mana sinks.
It’s not unusual to be representing lethal damage on turn four or five against the goldfish. There are very few cheap removal spells being played right now to slow that down.
Decks like Jund require time to set up, even its one “removal” spell is contingent on having a sacrifice outlet in play.
The additions of Jaspera Sentinel from Kaldheim gave this archetype a required one drop that could accelerate into some disgusting double-lord turns.
Elvish Warmaster, also an addition from Kaldheim, is truly obscene: it both generates tokens every turn while giving you a game ending activated ability as well.
With Imperious Perfect or Collected Company you can trigger it both on your own turn and in the opponent’s, making it snowball a little more quickly than you’d think.
Realmwalker, an addition from Kaldheim, can be truly disgusting in this deck alongside Elvish Archdruid, both fueling the mana necessary to have some turns similar to old Standard days when we saw Runaway Steam-Kin and Experimental Frenzy together.
Elvish Visionary is an option I’ve seen and not too sure if it’s worth trying to include as finding more lords is definitely nice, but you also want to force them to answer your board as quickly as possible or simply get rolled over.
Collected Company is an absolute all-star in this deck.
I’ve tweeted some stuff about how overplayed and overhyped I think Collected Company is, as it’s generally a card people build around it and fit its constraints, rather than having a deck that just wants the card.
For example, Jund Sacrifice is a deck that would want to play a few removal spells to answer cards like Yasharn and every time you add a non-creature spell, it makes Collected Company worse.
So rather than play what it wants, it plays what it needs.
Elves is playing both what it needs and what it wants, and Collected Company fits that scheme perfectly.
One issue with a deck like Elves is its naturally weakness to sweepers and Collected Company can turn losses into wins by putting two threats into play at instant speed or just finding Realmwalker to rebuild after that.
While I’d be worried about the Jund Sacrifice matchup, I think Elves is a promising deck that’s better than it looks and certainly worth a try if you’re a fan of this kind of deck.
A TRIBE CALLED BLESSED
The next tribal deck that I’ve started to see and played a few matches with is Angels.
Another deck that looks like a meme but, I think, it might be decent.
Anytime I see Soul Warden in a deck I pretty much question what I’m looking at immediately, but this deck is quite powerful when it comes together.
A curve of Soul Warden, Bishop of Wings and Resplendent Angel is a nice start that leaves you with an additional flying 4/4 and a heavily boosted life total.
While there are no Angel Lords, there is Righteous Valkyrie which, if you’re capable of keeping that life total high, makes your whole team enormous.
This deck does lack interaction and it’s incredibly linear, which means it’s not going to be able to disrupt the opponent all that much, as it lacks tools a deck like Modern Humans has in disruptive creatures.
The best we have is Linvala, Shield of Sea Gate which can protect your creatures from certain sweepers or your best angel from a removal spell.
Thalia out of the sideboard can play this role, but unfortunately doesn’t contribute to the synergy of the deck like it does in the Modern version of Humans.
What it lacks in interaction it makes up for in raw power.
Much like the Elves deck, it can present lethal damage much quicker than you’d think looking at it, and it’s all-in flying damage.
It’s hard to race this deck because of the sheer volume of life it can gain. This makes it pretty good against other decks just trying to play to the board and attack as it’s able to get bigger very quickly.
The interaction we do have? Ajani, Strength of Pride allows you to wipe the opponent’s battlefield if you’re able to get up to 35 life which, in all honesty, isn’t as hard as it might seems.
It also gives us another tool to fight sweepers like Wrath of God as a way to generate value.
A big downside of this deck is when it doesn’t get going early, it’s not going to get going: your life total and board position always matter and as you fall behind it’s incredibly difficult to catch back up as you have no interaction, and cards like Bishop of Wings and Youthful Valkyrie are not particularly good top decks.
I do like this deck and I think there’s room to work on it and I’m not sure how much we’ll see moving forward, but I think we will see it played.
GET TO THE POINT: SHOULD I PLAY THEM OR NOT?
All in all, I think these Collected Company Tribal decks are actually good enough to compete in Historic and I expect to see some number of both represented at the Championships.
These decks may not be good enough against Jund Sacrifice as they both have issues with cards like Mayhem Devil, Priest of Forgotten Gods, and Claim the Firstborn, but it has to be seen.
I do think these are excellent ladder decks in a more wide open field and make the Mythic Climb really quick.
I think that, between decks like these and Jund Sacrifice, Collected Company will be the most played card in Historic moving forward.
This is it for today, I’ll see you next week here, on 95mtg.com!