Is Jund Sacrifice The Early Front-Runner In Post-Uro Historic?

Has Jund Sacrifice become Historic’s deck to beat after the Uro ban? World Champion PVDDR and three more SCG creators say what they’d play.

Priest of Forgotten Gods, illustrated by Zack Stella

Welcome to What We’d Play! With the arrival of Kaldheim and the banning of Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath, many are unsure what they’d play in Historic. That’s where we come in and let you know what we’d play and why we’d play it. Hopefully this advice aids in your decision making for your next Historic event!

Dom Harvey — Sultai Ramp (Yorion)

While I’d feel no shame about copying and pasting any of the five Jund Sacrifice lists we recommended last week, I’m keen to mix things up. Sam Black recently wrote about porting the Sultai Ramp (Yorion) deck from Kaldheim Standard to Historic and I think the ban of Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath has actually helped that idea more than hurting it — with Uro in the mix, it was hard to justify another variant of Sultai Midrange (especially since the cheap interaction that trumped these ‘go larger’ plans played perfectly with Uro) and every other deck had to focus on beating Sultai. Nissa, Who Shakes the World now gets to try a new look in a more open format.

I expect players to gravitate to Jund Sacrifice (perhaps spurred on by our pundits!) and Gruul Aggro in the short term and so this list gladly makes sacrifices to be more prepared for those matchups. The right mix of Emergent Ultimatum options is unclear but Liliana, Dreadhorde General is an easy addition as a card that can’t possibly be paired with Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider (or, here, Planewide Celebration). There’s probably a more structurally sound, 60-card Sultai deck playing a more conventional game that will remain a contender in Historic, but I’m keen to push the envelope for now.

Ari Lax — Mono-Red Goblins

Good morning everyone! Have you heard the good word of Goblins?

There wasn’t a big Historic event this last weekend, but the mid-sized ones were shockingly light on Rakdos Sacrifice. If people don’t want to keep me honest with Mayhem Devil, I’m not going to change my behavior. I have nothing new to say about the deck, and it remains great against everything that isn’t going to make everything you control die a horrible ping-y death.

If you still have the fear of dying to Rakdos Sacrifice, I would look at Paradox Engine decks. Chase Masters did some good work updating the deck for a smaller MTGMelee tournament, and even without Uro it remains a powerful combo deck. Or you can check out Shaheen’s Azorius list and add some Grafdigger’s Cages. At least until we get the next heavy-hitting event to drive the metagame forward in a clear direction, Historic gives you a lot of room to have a personal opinion on what to play and have no hard proof you’re wrong.

Oh and the actual good word of Goblins is “bonk.” Possibly without the “o.” I don’t think Goblins are fond of vowels.

Shaheen Soorani — Azorius Control

Azorius Control is back in the driver’s seat of Historic.  It took a brief vacation due to the domination of Uro, a card that tied our hands as control players, forcing us to use the Simic card if we wanted to remain competitive.  There were some Azorius Control hardliners who passed on the lifegain, card draw, and ramp that the splash had to offer.  And although some of these warriors continued to win, I found myself losing matchups that the inclusion of Uro would have prevented.

This version of Azorius Control I wrote about recently is the strongest for the new metagame.  It’s all about Teferi, Hero of Dominaria and the new Kaldheim control package, fueled by foretell.  Wrath of God is a powerful card; however, Doomskar adds an early-game depth that puts it in a different class of sweeper.  The ability to represent a sweeper as early as Turn 3 gives the control player an unprecedented amount of breathing room.  Aggro players, holding back creatures from impending doom, give up a few precious points of damage, turning losses on our end into wins. 

This list will continue to adapt as the metagame shifts, but it is where I want to be in today’s Historic.

Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa — Jund Sacrifice (Jegantha)

While the Uro ban is bound to change the format, my prediction was that in the short term it would change minimally — the top decks would still be the top decks. So far, there haven’t been any big Historic tournaments for us to draw data from, so it’s hard to know if my prediction is right or not, but the few ladder games I’ve played have not shown me anything new that didn’t exist before.

Last week, I felt that Jund Sacrifice (Jegantha) was simply the best deck to play, as it was a solid deck that also happened to beat the main winners from the Uro ban (such as Azorius and Orzhov Auras). I feel that nothing has changed at this point, and would continue to play Jund Sacrifice.

I do think that the number of Jund Sacrifice decks has skyrocketed (if you look at past week’s column, almost every author chose Jund Sacrifice, for example), so I think a couple of sideboard changes might be due. I don’t think there’s any mirror-breaker that you can just go and play, but another copy or two of a cheap removal spell can be a strong addition.

Since I’m already maxing on Abrades, I think Fatal Push is the next-best removal spell in the mirror (and also versus Gruul Aggro), but this leaves me with zero outs to Yasharn, Implacable Earth. And even though I haven’t seen a big Yasharn deck yet, it must exist somewhere as a reaction to all Jund decks, so my removal of choice is Heartless Act.

If there’s no Yasharn whatsoever, I’d play Fatal Push in that slot. I’ve cut the Leyline of the Voids because it looks to me like Jund Sacrifice has mostly supplanted Rakdos Arcanist, and it’s not like that’s actually a bad matchup that you need a haymaker for — you can still beat them even without it.