[Top 50] MTG Arena Best Historic Cards!

MTG Arena Best Historic Cards
One of the most powerful cards in MTG, Thoughtsieze, makes a comeback in Historic

The ability to play cards that are already out of the Standard rotation is something that makes Historic a really attractive format especially. With the continuous expansion of this format, more and more cards are being brought to the spotlight whether it something that should be a staple on Historic decks, or maybe something which you can build your whole deck on. 

This article lists down some of the best cards in the Historic format. Cards were divided into different subcategories based on how they are played. Please also note that a lot of Standard-legal cards were not included as this list prioritized cards that are impactful in the Historic game. There are a bunch of Standard-legal cards included in this list as they are some of the cards in which Historic decks are built around. 

With these things cleared up, let’s look into the Top 50 MTG Arena Best Historic Cards.

Aggro

Creature-heavy, aggressive decks are some of the most fun decks to play within MTG Arena. It provides you with some of the quickest and most satisfying wins that you can achieve without even breaking a sweat. 

Lurrus of the Dream-Den

  • Having Lurrus as your companion means you can repeatedly play permanents from your graveyard giving you more attack options or bodies for blocking
  • As long as you haven’t paid the 3-mana companion tax, it is still in your sideboard making it invulnerable to threats such as hand disruption and mill
  • Barring the companion tax, Lurrus is a very cheap creature at three mana given its powerful ability. You can also opt not to play it as a companion which makes it even cheaper. 

Krenko, Mob Boss

  • The more goblins on the battlefield, the more goblins Krenko spawns. 
  • It can create attackers, blockers, or bodies that can be sacrificed for mana.
  • Couple this with Goblin Chieftain then you can completely overwhelm your opponent immediately. 

Gempalm Incinerator

  • This card can deal massive amounts of damage depending on how many Goblins are on your board.
  • The damage dealt by this card is very difficult to prevent as it comes from its cycling ability 
  • With its cycling ability, it can also help dig through your deck for bigger threats especially in the late game where you need to find specific cards.

Soul-Scar Mage

  • If you plan on running a mono-red aggro deck, then Soul-Scar Mage should be in it as it is a very fast and powerful card in this format.
  • The more spells you cast, the more powerful this creature becomes as it gains an additional +1/+1 pump every time you cast a non-permanent spell.
  • Its ability to dish out -1/-1 counters on your opponent’s creatures can help deal with those indestructible bodies that are present in the meta

Hazoret the Fervent

  • If you are playing a burn deck, you will often find yourself with no cards in hand. This plays well with Hazoret as it needs you to have at most one card in your hand for it to be activated.
  • Hazoret’s ability is a good way to dispose of your extra mana, especially in the late game. Using this ability will deal damage to your opponent and at the same time, activate Hazoret for blocks or attacks.
  • Hazoret is a 5/4 indestructible monster, making it very difficult to deal with. Your opponents need to deal with it through exile effects to remove Hazoret on the board.  

Earthshaker Khenra

  • A two-mana 2/1 creature with haste that can become unblockable (on the right scenarios) is really a scary threat.
  • You can also use Khenra to trade against your opponent’s threats as it can always come back and become a larger creature
  • Very flexible as it can play in aggro decks as well as midrange ones

Imperious Perfect

  • Great synergy with Elves as it will pump all your creatures
  • Its ability can also generate more Elves on the board, allowing you more bodies for attacks or blocks

Goblin Chainwhirler

  • This card functions as a one-sided board wipe against other aggressive decks as it deals one damage to your opponent as well as creatures and planeswalkers that they control
  • It can be a great defensive body as it is considered large at 3/3 plus it has first strike

Phyrexian Obliterator

  • This creature is very scary especially against aggro players as it presents a massive threat on defense.
  • It also enables your devotion to grow massively as it costs four black mana to cast
  • It is also relatively cheap. Four black mana, when you think about it, is difficult to cast. However, you will only play this card on mono-black decks so that wouldn’t be a problem.

Tempered Steel

  • Makes artifact aggro a viable strategy in Historic
  • This enchantment makes your artifacts bigger, allowing instant lethal attacks

Ornithopter

  • A zero-cost creature is something very uncommon in MTG Arena so having Ornithopter means you can deploy it even if you don’t have much mana
  • It is also a good enabler for other artifact-based cards such as Tezzeret and Sai

Steel Overseer

  • Great synergy with artifacts as it can pump your creatures for lethal
  • It can snowball if it is not dealt with immediately. As you improve your board state with more artifacts, Steel Overseer’s ability gets more and more powerful.

Tempest Djinn

  • Mono-blue tempo staple as it is a good creature to attack with especially with its increasing power.
  • It is also great for devotion as it costs three blue mana to cast, allowing your devotion to increase massively.
  • A good removal spell is needed as your typical burn spells may not get through its 4 toughness. Its toughness also makes this card a good threat both on offense and in defense.

 

Control

The whole idea of control decks is to play defensively until the late stages of the game. Control players are characterized by their ability to thrive under duress often finding themselves threatened by a huge number of creatures or dodging a topdeck burn spell from the opponent. These cards are proven to give control players the edge in any given matchup. 

Thoughtseize

  • Cheaper Agonizing Remorse as it functions the same way but at one-mana less
  • This spell can completely derail your opponent’s strategy especially against decks that require specific pieces in their strategy.

Approach of the Second Sun

  • Getting this card to resolve means that your opponent only has a seven-turn clock before you win the game
  • In control decks, the second copy of Approach of the Second Sun can be cast earlier with the amount of card draw in the format
  • Against aggressive decks, this card can help you pad your life total to help you survive until you cast the second copy 

Search for Azcanta

  • Almost a staple on every control deck as it helps filter your deck 
  • This card’s ability to get through your deck will help you smooth out your card draw and help you get those early land drops 
  • Looking for those late-game threats is crucial in these types of decks and with a flipped Search for Azcanta, you can easily get through your deck to find almost any answer 

Cast Out

  • This deck can remove any threat on the board with its exile effect
  • Very flexible as it can be used to draw cards in the early stages of the game
    • It doesn’t matter when you draw this card as it can be effective both in the early stages and also at the end stages of the game

Teferi, Hero of Dominaria

  • Teferi is almost a staple in UW control decks as it presents a lot of threats

    • Card advantage can be gained as it gives you card draw with its +1 ability
    • It answers threats by tucking them back into the enemy’s deck
    • You can also gain mana advantage as its +1 allows you to untap two lands allowing you to hold up a counterspell

Wrath of God

  • Since there are a lot of creature-based decks in the meta today, Wrath of God becomes more vital in control decks
  • Better board clear than Shatter the Sky as it prevents the opponent from drawing cards

Maelstrom Pulse

  • Very versatile as it can deal with any nonland threat
  • It is great especially against Goblins and Elves as it deals with tokens very well
  • Cheap interaction allows you to cast it in the early stages against very aggressive creature decks

Waste Not

  • A staple in discard decks
  • Huge value engine as it can give you card draw, additional mana, as well as summon a creature token
  • Since cycling decks are gaining popularity once again, this card will help negate the value that those decks generate

Supreme Will

  • Very flexible in control decks as it can function as a counterspell and as a way to manipulate your deck
  • It is also a cheap counterspell that charges a considerably huge amount of mana to negate

Vraska’s Contempt

  • Still deals with most threats on the board especially in this format

    • Great against creature decks as they will not be able to bring back their cards as Vraska’s Contempt will exile them
    • Great counter against Ulamog, The Scarab God, and the Locust God as well as a bunch of planeswalkers in the meta

Censor

  • Cheap counterspell that is good against aggro

    • This card is particularly great against Goblins and Elves as those decks feature a lot of cheap creatures that can be targeted with a cheap counterspell like Censor
  • Option to cycle allows you to hit your land drops as well as go through your deck 
    • Even if you draw this card beyond the early stages, it can still give you value by allowing you to draw a card

Settle the Wreckage

  • Still a good card to put on control decks. It is also gaining popularity on other decks as board clearance is already a must-have when playing in a creature-heavy meta

    • It may give your opponent plenty of mana but, aggro decks don’t necessarily need a lot of mana especially if they no longer have their threats on the board

Sorcerous Spyglass

  • Sorcerous Spyglass is often a card that mostly sees play in the sideboard since it is not really the most efficient way to deal with threats

    • Having Fae of Wishes and other cards that can access the sideboard allows Sorcerous Spyglass to still thrive in this format
    • It is still great since there are a lot of viable planeswalkers in the format

Meddling Mage

  • Great at ‘removing’ cards from the game

    • It may not completely remove them from the game but Meddling Mage prevents your opponent from casting certain spells as long as it is on the battlefield.
    • This is a great piece for Humans since Tajic, Legion’s Edge can make it invulnerable to non-combat damage

Thalia, Guardian of Thraben

  • Taxes your opponents making it hard to play counterspells and makes cheap removal inaccessible in the early game
  • A cheap creature that runs well with a lot of decks
    • You can play this in Humans deck but it also holds its own on prison and control archetypes

 

Midrange

In a format where most of the decks are either very fast or very defensive, it is always a good idea to have a balance of both. Midrange decks cater to both the aggressive style of play while still having the resources to fight even as the game progresses farther.

Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger

  • Can still deal damage even if it does not resolve

    • Casting Ulamog will trigger its ability that will exile two nonland permanents on the battlefield. This will be very beneficial as it will reset the opponent’s board
  • If you get Ulamog to resolve, it will be a very huge threat as it is a 10/10 indestructible creature that exiles a huge chunk of you opponent’s deck every time it attacks
  • This is great in ramp decks since you will be able to cast it very early which often catches your opponents off guard.

The Scarab God

  • Very hard to deal with since even if you get to kill it, it will still come back to your hand, allowing you to cast it again.

    • This ability will give you an advantage as your opponent will repeatedly try to remove this, exhausting their resources in trying to do so 
  • It can also bring back your threats from the graveyard with its ability. 
  • The more creatures you get back from the graveyard, the bigger your advantage will be in terms of deck manipulation as you get to scry a lot of cards. 

The Locust God

  • Having The Locust God on the battlefield can help you generate more value every time you draw a card. 
  • It creates tokens with flying and haste so you can immediately pressure your opponent with those pesky 1/1 insects.
  • The Locust God’s ability is also a great mana sink since during the late games, you will experience having too much mana. Having this card on the board will help you utilize all your mana efficiently.

Rampaging Ferocidon

  • Great against decks built around cheap creatures as it taxes them with one damage every time a creature enters the battlefield. 
  • A three-drop 3/3 with menace can be a scary threat, especially against smaller creatures.
  • It shuts down life gain decks with its ability to prevent your opponent from gaining life.
    • Though it is not a very common deck in Historic, you will still encounter mono-white life gain so having this card can help you deal with those decks.

Collected Company

  • Can assemble a huge army at instant speed
  • Very flexible in creature decks like Elves and Merfolk
    • CoCo Elves is a strong deck in Modern so having Collected Company in Historic raises the power level of both Elves and Merfolks

Platinum Angel

  • This card is great in decks that have access to the sideboard

    • It can help buy you time as it will prevent you from losing while you are still looking for the answers to your opponent’s threats
  • It can also be placed on the main deck especially in ramp decks to ensure that you get to play your threats without the risk of losing the game out of nowhere.

Rhonas the Indomitable

  • A cheap creature at only three-mana to cast allows it to be played in your early turns, giving you a huge threat in the early game
  • Deathtouch and Indestructible is a good combo that functions as a removal threat against your opponent’s creatures.
  • Its ability pumps your creatures and at the same time enables Rhonas to attack or defend.

Phyrexian Arena

  • Card draw is a crucial part of playing competitively and black decks always find it difficult to have this aspect in their playstyle
  • With just a small one-life tax, you can get an additional card draw to help you run through your deck faster to find your big threats
  • It is also a good card to have if you are running mono-black devotion since it gives you two devotion 

Prowling Serpopard

  • Great against control matchups as it makes your creatures invulnerable to counterspells
  • Its very low cost of three mana helps you gain the early advantage by preventing your future creature spells from getting countered

Drake Haven

  • Adds another threat to cycling decks

    • With cycling decks becoming increasingly powerful, Drake Haven opens a new threat that these decks can use by allowing players to generate tokens every time they cycle their cards

Feather, the Redeemed

  • A lot of cheap instants and sorceries in Historic format makes Feather a great card

    • Cards such as Moment of Triumph and Sheltering Light can help you win the game with recurring damage that is difficult to stop

Young Pyromancer

  • Spell-based decks are increasing in popularity in this format making Young Pyromancer a threat by producing tokens

Curious Obsession

  • Cheap enchantment means you can cast it early on to help stabilize your hand and your board
  • Great value as it gives you card advantage through its card draw ability

Golos, Tireless Pilgrim

  • There are more resources in Historic to make Golos effective

    • It can be paired with Maze’s End to create a very strong combo deck

Darksteel Reactor

  • Due to its slow pacing, it often gets overlooked which means you can still get counters to it without worrying that your opponent will try to remove Darksteel Reactor
  • There are very few artifact removals in the meta today. Coupling it with the fact that Darksteel Reactor is indestructible, it will be a very difficult thing to remove.
  • A wide variety of proliferate cards allows this to get counters at a faster rate meaning you can win the game without waiting for 20 or so turns. 

Mirari’s Wake

  • It is a great addition to Ramp decks as it can stack the effects
  • Aside from ramping, it also helps in giving your creatures additional power so they can dish out more damage

Sephara, Sky’s Blade

  • A lot of cheap fliers in Historic allows Sephara to be placed onboard very early

    • Imagine playing a 7/7 flier with lifelink on turn 4. Your opponent might as well just concede.
  • It can turn your cheap fliers to scary threats as they will become indestructible

 

Kinsbaile Cavalier

  • Knights are pretty strong in the Standard format but since the addition of this card, Knights were able to hold their own in the grueling Historic format
  • It functions well both in offense and defense since double strike is a great tool in both facets of the game

Lands

One of the most overlooked elements of the game is the lands. It is the backbone of all decks since you cannot play any of your threats without these lands. In Historic, lands have more functions than just letting you cast spells.

Bojuka Bog

  • This land exiles your opponent’s graveyard once it enters the battlefield making it a great addition against today’s meta

    • Great against Lurrus decks and decks that utilize the Escape mechanic
  • It is not a legendary land so even if your opponent gets to fill up their graveyard again, you can just slam another Bojuka Bog on the battlefield to destroy their plans

Maze’s End

  • Strong when paired with Golos
  • Opens up a win condition that can only be countered by land destruction
    • The ability of Maze’s End can be activated anytime which make sit very difficult to deal with as you will only get a small window to try and remove this certain card

Ancient Ziggurat

  • There are a lot of creature-based decks in Historic that use more than one color so having Ancient Ziggurat can help solve the mana problems
  • It is also indestructible so land destruction cards are not a problem

Reliquary Tower

  • This card is great in spell-based decks as it can help preserve all cards that were drawn even if it exceeds the maximum hand size of seven.
  • This will give you access to more cards that can deal with your opponent’s threats

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