What Should You Play in Historic After Oracle Ban

Grzegorz Kowalski



As you probably already know, 《Thassa’s Oracle》 has been banned in Historic. This means a lot for the format.

Thassa's OracleTainted Pact

2 card combo that was half instant speed, with an ability to kill on turn 3 (lucky mode) or turn 4 (consistent mode), while also being a ‘fair’ control deck with a chance to always kill out of nowhere, when the opponent taps out, clearly rigged Historic.

Muxus, Goblin GrandeeMayhem Devilアロサウルス飼い

The Pact was by far the best deck, which means some old decks couldn’t see play anymore (decks like Goblins, Jund, Elves and other proactive strategies without much interaction had no chance against Pact).

Fortunately, now we’re free, and we can go back to a wider metagame without the truly best deck. What would I recommend moving forward? In this article, I’ll share my thoughts.

Jeskai Control

Control decks don’t have to focus on beating Pact, and can be tuned to beat aggro and midrange.

BrainstormLightning Helix

With the addition of 《Brainstorm》 and 《Lightning Helix》, I believe Jeskai Control is a strong contender to be a tier 1 deck. The biggest nightmare for every control player was always 《Thoughtseize》. Now with 《Brainstorm》, you can hide your best cards, and make a discard spell useless.

Torrential GearhulkShark Typhoon

I do see two main ways to build Jeskai. Which one will be better depends on how the metagame will evolve. If you see more Azorius Control/Jeskai Control/Izzet Phoenix I would prefer the 《Shark Typhoon》 version. If you face more linear and aggro decks, I would go with 《Magma Opus》/《Torrential Gearhulk》. Those are my lists for now:

《Torrential Gearhulk》 Version


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《Shark Typhoon》 Version


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Orzhov Aura

Inquisition of Kozilek

The best linear deck before the release of 《Tainted Pact》 was Orzhov Auras. In Strixhaven we even got a very powerful addition – 《Inquisition of Kozilek》.

Orzhov Aura

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Without Pact I can see Auras taking back their well deserved place in the metagame. This is the list I would start with while waiting for the new metagame to form a shape. It’s well tuned vs creature decks. However, if meta goes more to the control side, you can consider adding more 《Inquisition of Kozilek》 and 《Claim/Fame》 over 《Dead Weight》 and 《Mire’s Grasp》.

The deck is good versus other creature decks (excluding Selesnya Company) and Jeskai Control while being bad versus decks with 《Skyclave Apparition》 and Jund.

Selesnya Company

That might be a great choice if the metagame goes towards creature decks. Very good match up versus everything that tries to win in combat (including Auras, which I believe might be very important). On the other hand, you will have a very hard time against Jeskai Control and Izzet Phoenix.

Selesnya Company

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Jund Food

Korvold, Fae-Cursed King

Jund Food, my trusted deck from Kaldheim Historic format. Carried me in both League Weekend and Kalheim Championship. It was too slow to fight against Pact, but right now, without the unwinnable match up, we can bring 《Korvold, Fae-Cursed King》 back to the table!

Jund Food

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This is the version that has a fair chance against everything but also doesn’t have extremely good matchups. If you want to make it better versus control, try to go with 4 《Thoughtseize》 and 0 《Fatal Push》, if you want to make it better against aggro, go up to 4x 《Claim the Firstborn》 and cut 《Thoughtseize》. I would for sure start with the list below, and adjust it only after figuring out how the metagame looks like.


It’s hard to predict what other people will pick now, so I think it’s important to let you know what are goods deck now, and in what environment there are the best.

Now with that knowledge, you can watch what your opponents are gonna do and pick a deck that fits your situation best. I hope it was helpful.

Grzegorz Kowalski (Twitter / Youtube / Twitch)

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Grzegorz Kowalski He made top 8 in GP Lille 2012 and GP Brussels 2015, and GP Santiago 2017 has achieved second place. His extraordinary skill is also demonstrated on Pro Tour, experiencing countless top prize and money finish. He is one of the top players who travels the world and continues to fight. Read more articles by Grzegorz Kowalski

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