9, Jul, 21

Is Acererak the Archlich Combo the Spicy New Historic Combo Deck?

Article at a Glance

Magic Arena‘s Historic format is one that no stranger to powerful cards and powerful strategies. With the unique card pool that we have access to, combo decks pop up from time to time. Adventures in the Forgotten Realms brings a new set of awesome cards to the format, and there’s a few cards that have the potential to enable some cool combos. The one we’re talking about today is Acererak the Archlich. Is this crazy mythic rare good enough to be the new spicy combo deck in Historic?

The Wombo Combo

The two card combo for this deck is Acererak, and any card that reduces the mana cost of our spells. For this case Omniscience is that card. If we can get Omniscience in play, and Acererak in our hand, we’re able to play Acererak an infinite number of times. Acererak’s first ability triggers, and we bounce him to our hand. Then each time we venture into the dungeon, we choose Lost Mine of Phandelver, and make sure that we go through the “Dark Pool” room. This will eventually drain our opponent out of the game in 1 turn. This combo does take a lot to work, since Omniscience is 10 mana. Let’s talk through the deck and see how we’re getting this combo to go off.

The Deck

This deck is actually modeled after the Sultai Control deck that’s in Standard, but with some updates with Historic cards. The deck is effectively a ramp and control deck that gives us plenty of ways to get our combo going, ways to protect it and alternative win conditions incase our combo gets shut down. We’re a Yorion, Sky Nomad, so we have a large toolbox of cards to work with in our matches.

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Getting to the Combo

The first question to ask ourselves is, how are we reasonably going to get Omniscience in play? This deck offers a couple of options for this. First is Emergent Ultimatum. This 7 mana spell lets us pick 3 haymakers in our deck, and we get to cast 2 of them for free. The second way is Golos, Tireless Pilgrim. In combination with The World Tree we have a chance to spin into Omniscience and then we can cast it for free. The last way is to just cast it fairly. Sometimes we end up with Omniscience in our hand. This deck plays a bunch of ramp spells in Explore and Growth Spiral which keep us healthy on mana.

The other part of getting to our combo is drawing through our deck. Since we’re playing 80 cards, we need to find ways to churn through our deck. We do this with Brainstorm and Omen of the Sea.

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Protecting the Combo

The next set of cards is to help us protect our combo. Thoughtseize is the best hand disruption spell in the format, which can give us time to set up our combo, or to get rid of something that’d stop it. If we can’t disrupt our opponent’s spells, we have a few counter spells to help us. Memory Lapse has been an all-star in the format since it was introduced, and Mystical Dispute is a cheap way to help us win counter wars. The last card is a bit spicy, but we’re playing a single copy of Xanathar, Guild Kingpin which stops our opponent from casting spells on our turn period, allowing us to go off with impunity.

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Alternate Win Conditions

Given that we’re a very slow combo / control deck, we need some additional win conditions outside of Acererak + Omniscience. This comes in the form of Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider and either Liliana, Dreadhorde General or Tibalt, Cosmic Impostor. Vorinclex and Liliana basically wins us the game on the spot through her ultimate, and Tibalt’s ultimate gives us so much value that we’d have to be so far behind that it wouldn’t solidify a win. Not to mention, Vorinclex is a really fast clock.

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Challenges of the Deck

There’s a few challenges that come with playing this deck. First off, since we’re playing so many cards, we often can flood out. It may be worth putting Cultivate back into the deck to thin the deck and smooth out our draws. The second is that we can just die to a fast aggro start. We do play a good amount of removal such as Fatal Push, Eliminate, and Binding of the Old Gods, finding that removal is the difference between stabilizing in time, or dying on the spot.

The last challenge is the APM (actions per minute) and dexterity needed to go through the motions of the Acererak combo. Hopefully our opponent concedes once they see a few iterations of the loop, but if our opponent makes us play it out, we have a lot of clicks to do to get through the combo. We run up against the rope, and hopefully we can build up enough time extensions over the course of the game to win.

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The current state of Historic is definitely up in the air. If you’re looking for a spicy deck to play that can do some really powerful things, definitely give this one a shot. What are your thoughts on this deck? Do you think this is the way to pull of this combo, or is there some other hidden tech? Let us know in the comments!

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