Jumpstart: Historic Horizons is officially available to all Magic: Arena players as of Thursday, August 26. The supplemental set serves as a gateway for cards that are too strong to add into Standard, but just fun enough to allow in Historic. Not only are there reprints of popular cards from Modern Horizons 1 and 2, but there are a whole handful of new cards with Magic: Arena specific keywords. Historic Horizons has plenty of new and exciting cards for players to test out.
Since each entry into Jumpstart: Historic Horizons is 2000 gold, players may want to lean towards the packs with the “most valuable” cards in the set. As with any set, there are definitely cards that are far and away the strongest in the collection. Here are the of the top cards Historic Horizons has to offer for the Historic format.
- Unholy Heat
- Thought Monitor
- Cloudshredder Sliver
- Pool of Vigorous Growth
- Throes of Chaos
Longtusk Cub has a new best friend. Longtusk Stalker looks and feels a lot like Greenbelt Rampager, but in reality it plays a bit more aggressive than its predecessor. The one-mana beater is a new member of the “energy aggro” family and it’s looking like it will fit right in. Playing this cat on turn one helps put the pressure on the opponent extremely early. On turn two it turns into a 2/1 that continually grows as the game continues. Though if all goes according to plan, the game shouldn’t drag on for too long.
The good news about Longstusk Stalker is that it isn’t reliant on additional cards to generate value. At its absolute worst, Stalker can slowly create energy on its own. In a dedicated deck it can pump itself and another threat almost every turn. There’s no need to stock a graveyard or cast multiple spells in a turn to get this creature large. Longtusk Stalker is as “plug and play” as an aggressive one drop can be.
Seasoned Pyromancer was a card that truly stuck out as one of the premier cards for midrange decks with the release of Modern Horizons. A 2/2 for three that can potentially draw three cards for free seemed like a no-brainer addition for Jund. Once it dies it even continues to provide some late game value, by creating necessary bodies from the graveyard. Now as it enters Historic on Arena, it has potential to be an all-star in a new format.
The discard portion of this card can fuel the Arclight Phoenix decks to reach new heights. Adding a bit of consistency in the deck should propel it to the top spot in the Historic meta game. Seasoned Pyromancer could also create a few new archetypes for the format as well. There could be a “draw” deck waiting in the wings with several different cards generating value off of drawing a second card in a turn. Historic players better get used to this red three-drop, as it will be hanging around for quite a while.
Esper Sentinel is the best card any Death and Taxes could wish for. The card offers almost immediate value for an insanely low cost. As a one-mana creature, Esper Sentinel replaces itself the moment the opponent tries to progress their own game plan. If the opponent does pay to negate the draw effect, it means they aren’t spending that mana to do something meaningful. In a slow gameplan like DnT, that one turn makes all the difference.
The subtle thing about Esper Sentinel is its flexibility. It’s unique typing allows it to fit into several different archetypes. As an artifact creature, it slots into any affinity shell perfectly. As a human, it fits nicely into any deck that looks to utilize the synergies that humans provide. Esper sentinel is a quiet card, but it will easily be a familiar name for many Historic players going forward.
Freyalise, Skycloud Partisan
As if Elves really needed another tool in its arsenal. Freyalise is an extremely powerful planeswalker because it can be easily brought out as early as turn two. Overall, the card is just incredibly good at all stages of the game. When a player is ahead Freyalise brings on the pressure to close out a game. Or if the game calls for more threats, Freyalise can find a random elf creature from the deck.
Freyalise’s biggest strength is giving the deck more game against removal-heavy opponents. Elves’ greatest weaknesses as a deck is attempting to bounce back from boardwipes. Freyalise helps rebuild a strong board state in a way that only Collected Company could do in the past. With time, and a bit of tuning, a new Elves deck could emerge as one of the top decks in the format thanks to Freyalise.
Dragon’s Rage Channeler
Historic is just another format for Dragon’s Rage Channeler to conquer. There hasn’t been an uncommon that has immediately made its mark on every format since Monastery Swiftspear. “Darcey” is the premier card to come into Historic, and for some it may not even be a discussion. It is a one-mana threat that not only can end games quickly, but it filters draws and warps the meta in a way that makes other decks respect its power.
Dragon’s Rage Channeler is not only an aggressive card, but it is the best card to open the game while also being an amazing late game draw. The only downside is that it must attack, leading into some unfortunate combat situations. Playing with DRC is all it takes to be sold on this innocuous one-drop. Historic better watch out, because this shaman is coming for the crown.
Featured image courtesy of Wizards of the Coast
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