One of the biggest divides in the Magic: the Gathering community that we’ve seen in a long time is the thoughts on MTG Arena‘s newest format, Alchemy and the cards that come with it. On one side of the fence, some people were loving the format and the new cards, but on the other, people HATE the idea of it. The biggest concern that people did have was about how the rebalanced cards and Alchemy cards would affect Historic. Well, it’s been a few weeks, and it’s not as bad as you’d think.
There were a handful of cards that were rebalanced from Standard that changed the version of the cards in Historic. This was a worry that the cards that were changed would throw the whole format out of whack, and people wanted to play with the original versions of the cards. Well, let’s take a look at the metagame and what the true impact of these cards were.
Looking at the MTGGoldfish Historic Meta page, we see that there’s a lot of the same decks that we had seen before the changes. This will come back into play when we talk about the Alchemy cards, but for the rebalanced cards, what decks out of this list of decks are playing any of the rebalanced cards? The only one is Selesnya Humans, which is still playing Luminarch Aspirant. The rest of the decks here are not playing any of the nerfed cards.
Now arguably, we do see a drop in popularity of Selesnya humans in favor of the other Selesnya deck, Life gain Combo, but that I think has more to do with a card that Alchemy brought in which we will talk about next.
Alchemy this go around brought around 60 digital only cards to Historic. Some of the cards seemed really strong, but at the end of the day, only 1 card is really making massive waves in the format, and that’s Inquisitor Captain.
Inquisitor Captain is critical to the consistency for the life gain combo deck, as it can find any of your 3 combo pieces, allowing you to win the game on the spot. Here’s a list of a version of this deck that got 7 wins in the Historic Decathlon Event #7.
Outside of this, none of the other decks in the metagame right now are using any Alchemy cards. The fact of the matter is, the cards just aren’t quite good enough to insert themselves into a generally worked out meta. Truthfully, I don’t think that these cards were really designed with Historic in mind. Rather, it’s just a side effect of Historic being a digital only format. Sure there will be some cards that make an impact on the format, but these shouldn’t take over the meta.
Historic, I think is in a solid place right now. The meta feels diverse and no deck feels unbeatable. Overall, I like where things are and am excited to see more things added to the format.