Historic - Oh Boy, It's Sultai Goodstuff

11 15 34
25 7 4 24
Midrange

Why Sultai Midrange?

I'm not going to lie, I love Historic. I loved Ixalan and Dominaria in constructed, and the checklands make 3-color manabases positively beautiful.

Anyways. Raise your hand if you remember Golgari Midrange during Guilds of Ravnica, and then Sultai midrange during Ravnica Allegiance? Sadly, Abzan midrange just wasn't good enough.

I remember I sure do. I loved those decks. In fact, I loved them so muchm I decided to make a Historic deck in rememberance of [[Wildgrowth Walker]] and Friends. So. Away we go.

What's Our Gameplan?

If you couldn't tell already, our gameplan is to win through slowly gaining incremental value from our recurring threats and prevent our opponent from accomplishing their gameplan. Essentially, we're putting both sides in a torture chamber and betting that we won't black out first. I'm sure, dear reader, this sounds like an excellent proposition and you can't wait to begin.

The Core:

Starting off any good Golgari-based midrange in Historic is our core. These are the cards I instantly think of when building a Sultai midrange build.

[[Llanowar Elves]]: This should really just be self-explanatory. Llanowar Elves is just such a powerful card. The potential of placing our curve ahead of our opponent's and curving out before they can really lets us start the game with the upper hand. A big downside of this card is, obviously, the fact that we don't really want to topdeck this late. But thanks to our explore package and graveyard recursion, we never really go into full topdeck mode unless we're really losing.

[[Merfolk Branchwalker]]: A 2 mana 2/1 that draws us a card? Yes please! A 2 mana 3/2 that lets us surveil? That's great too! Merfolk Branchwalker is just a solid card overall, letting us either make sure we don't draw dead cards later on, or helping us curve out by getting us closer to our lands.

[[Jadelight Ranger]]: More value-in-a-can. At very worst, this is probably a 3 mana 3/2 that draws a card and surveils for us. Nonetheless, this is a card I have no regrets including in this deck. Basically acting as a bigger Branchwalker and acting as a solid 3-drop for our deck.

[[Wildgrowth Walker]]: The payoff to our small explore package of friends. Walker has potential to grow really big, and can really push some damage in when you draw your explore creatures. I have considered running [[Seekers' Squire]] for some extra exploring, but I really have no idea what I would take out for Squire, so meh.

[[Midnight Reaper]]: I actually really like this card in this deck. This is mostly to mainboard against control, but it's a nice grind engine against other midrange decks, too. The card draw helps us recover from trading and board wipes, and the life loss isn't too bad when we have [[Wildgrowth Walker]] and [[Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath]] getting us life. Note the cute interaction this has with Uro - since Uro sacrifices itself, you basically get to play a 3 mana draw 2, gain 2, put a land onto the battlefield. It won't pop up often, but hey. It's been fun the few time it happens. I'm playing this as a 2-of because we can already get a decent amount of recurring card advantage, and we already have some pretty good board presence between our haymakers and explore package that we don't need many more creatures. A solid 2-of, but probably not much more.

[[Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath]]: Theros's golden boy is here. As it turns out, getting card draw, life, and ramp early game that can then turn into card draw, life, ramp, and a big body late game that can come back again and again is really, really good. Just being so good, Uro was really the main reason I wanted to go into Sultai instead of just pure Golgari. He's just so much value. I can't not run this guy in any deck that has more than 2 islands and forests.

[[Thought Erasure]]: It's uh... it's Thought Erasure. What am I supposed to say? Don't run this card? In a format where we can literally go turn 1 [[Llanowar Elves]] into turn 2 [[Thought Erasure]] consistently? But yeah. Thought Erasure is really good. Getting some early targeted removal lets us disrupt any early plays or interaction from control, and delay some key cards in [[Field of the Dead]] decks.

[[Vraska, Golgari Queen]]: A 4 mana planeswalker that serves as removal, card advantage, and lets us fill up our graveyard. If we can power Vraska out turn 3, there's a lot of times we can just end up with Vraska at 1 loyalty on an empty board and then... well. And then we're pretty happy.

And that's our core.

The (more) Fun Cards:

So here's everything else.

[[Polukranos, Unchained]]: I'm playing this card and you're going to like it, god dammit. I don't care if it's a dumb beatstick, it's a 6/6 for 4 mana that threatens removal. AhemIn actuality, Polukranos has actually proven surprisingly useful in the decks I've been facing against. He's a decent beatstick against that one control player, and he gets rid of the big creatures that Yarok and Golos Field are running, since he outsizes [[Cavalier of Thorns]], [[Golos, Tireless Pilgrim]], and [[Yarok, the Desecraated]] an can also come back..

[[Muldrotha, the Gravetide]]: It's a big creature that gets you recurrable card advantage. And I didn't want to be boring and run something like Garruk or Yarok. Also, I have a soft spot for Muldrotha. It's just such a fun card to play around with. With our ability to rapidly fill the graveyard thanks to [[Tamiyo, Collector of Tales]], Vraska, and the multiple explore creatures, Muldrotha will basically always let us have something to cast. Really, this is our midrange stall-breaker. With Muldrotha, we can just drown our opponents in value off of Vraska upticks and exploring to the graveyard.

[[Maelstrom Pulse]: I've been looking for a card like this for quite a while in GB. [[Assassin's Trophy]] did the trick, but it also ramped them, which was not so bueno against a Field deck. Maelstrom Pulse, on the other hand. MMMMMMM. Cleans up Field nicely and can get rid of some key cards our opponents rely on, like multiple [[Banishing Light]]s or [[Wildgrowth Walker]]s in a GBx matchup.

[[Tamiyo, Collector of Tales]]: Tamiyo's been kind of insane for me in this deck. She lets us dig for answers, she fills the graveyard for [[Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath]] and [[Muldrotha, the Gravetide]], and she can return cards to make our opponents' lives miserable. Although she doesn't impact the board directly, Tamiyo is quite a house for card advantage in our deck.

The Lands:

So our explore package and card selection lets us cheat a little on our lands. A lot of our blue cards are kind of expensive, and the only double U we need is for Uro's escape cost, so we can afford to play a bit riskier than we probably should. In addition, we should probably be running more lands, but since we're exploring and drawing quite a decent amount, we usually don't have much problem hitting our early land drops, and once we're around 4 lands or so, we can afford to durdle for a turn or two.

As such, we're playing all four copies of [[Overgrown Tomb]] with 3 copies of [[Breeding Pool]] and [[Watery Grave]]. In this meta, the life doesn't matter too much apart from when we're facing Gruul, but our manabase doesn't suffer too badly so I'm not too worried (have I told you that checks are great? Checks are great). In addition, we're playing a couple Temples because we like fixing our topdecks, and one [[Mobilized District]] because it comes in handy sometimes. Notably, we're playing 3 basics because I don't want to get caught in the colalteral of [[Field of Ruin]] and [[Ghost Quarters]] being brought against [[Field of the Dead]].

The Sideboard:

So when I made this sideboard, I had 4 main decks I was worried about. They were:

1) UWx Control

2) Field of the Dead

3) Nexus

4) Graveyard shenanigans (i.e. Kethis Combo)

In all of my games, I haven't really faced against another midrange deck that I didn't fare well against, or a red deck that I struggled hard against where the deck didn't lose to itself. Plus, I really haven't seen much of either of those two archetypes in Historic, so I wasn't really too concerned about the decks in Bo3. Anyways.

[[Duress]], [[Spell Pierce]], and [[Shifting Ceratops]]: Control hate. Need I say more? Spell Pierce makes sure they can't wrath us early or drop a [[Teferi, Hero of Dominaria]] and win from there. Duress is Duress. It just tears apart their hand with [[Thought Erasure]]. Shifting Ceratops is just a big beater that dodges counterspells and doesn't get hit by the Teferis. In addition, it can hold the ground (and air) against any random Mono U Tempo decks still floating around.

[[Return to Nature]] and [[Ashiok, Dream Renderer]]: Both of these fill multiple roles in the sideboard. They're both graveyard hate, but [[Return to Nature]] helps us deal with problematic enchantments and artifacts (read: [[Wilderness Reclamation]] and I guess [[Embercleave]]) and Ashiok stops our opponent from pulling some [[Golos, Tireless Pilgrim]]/[[Scapeshift]]/[[Circuitous Route]] shenanigans and flooding the board. In addition, Ashiok can help mill us for some sweet sweet graveyard utilization.

[[Unmoored Ego]]: I know, I know. Ego doesn't do anything to affect the board, and it's just card disadvantage and really doesn't help. But heear me out. In this meta, the two big decks you're bringing this into really hurt when you name their key cards. Basically, this is [[Nexus of Fate]] hate and [[Field of the Dead]] hate. Without their key card, [[Nexus of Fate]] decks are just really bad Simic ramp decks. And without Field, [[Field of the Dead]] decks are just kinda bad ramp decks. I'm not really a fan of the card, but I can't deny that it's done some work for me. I especially like [[Tamiyo, Collector of Tales]] with Unmoored Ego, since you can just methodically get rid of every card your opponent has that poses a slight danger to you.

[[Virulent Plague]]: More [[Field of the Dead]] hate. I came prepared. Plus, if you're ever facing a tokens decks for some ungodly reason, you have a beautiful silver bullet in the form of a 3 mana enchantment that doesn't hurt you at all.

Possible Inclusions:

One last thing. There are a couple cards I'm considering including, but didn't. Here's why:

[[Cast Down]]: I really should be running this, I think. The only problem I ahve with Cast Down right now is that the biggest threats to this deck, [[Field of the Dead]] and control, don't care about our single-targetted removal. It's better in our matchup against them to be running [[Maelstrom Pulse]]. If the meta changes and something like Gruul aggro becomes more predominant though, I'll definitely be adding this.

[[Hydroid Krasis]]: The jellyfish-snake didn't make it. Mostly because I'm not really sure it's necessary. We're already using up all of our mana each turn, and flooding isn't too much of a problem for us. Krasis is a good card, but maybe not in this deck.

[[Hostage Taker]]: I'm seriously considering this one. I'll need to do some more testing. The main problem I have is the same problem with Cast Down - single target removal on creatures and artifacts is meh against our big matchups, but the fact that this can hit key legendaries like Golos and Yarok or not trigger death effects like [[Cavalier of Thorns]] could be really helpful.

[[Casualties of War]]: I don't think this is where we want to be against the current metagame. Decks that this is really good like [[Fires of invention]] seem to be on the decline in Historic, while Field decks, which really only run a couple planeswalkers and mostly creatures and lands, are on the rise.

[[Assassin's Trophy]]: I don't like to let Field decks put more lands onto the battlefield.

[[Yarok, the Desecrated]]: It was choosing between this and Muldrotha as a my top end. In the end, I felt like we didn't have as many ETB's as we would want in a Yarok deck, and that we would benefit more from the added graveyard utilization that Muldrotha allows.

And that's all, folks.

Thanks for reading this thing. As of now, we've reached over 10 thousand characters, so you've done quite a bit of reading. If you have any concerns or improvements, please do tell me. This deck is not 100% refined, so any little bit helps. Thanks for reading.

Comments

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2 comments

ILike2Lose
@JustSomeSoffyBread:
I can definitely see swapping the Returns for Cast Down. Having played a couple more games with it, I don't really find myself needing the Returns all that often, and I just faced my first Gruul aggro deck in a week. I could definitely see the need for more removal so their board doesn't get out of control.
I love Garruk, I'll need to do some more testing between him and Muldrotha. My main concern is that he doesn't really help against Field - they quickly overwhelm 2 wolves
JustSomeSoggyBread
This is a fun deck.
I'm not so sure about a couple cards. Particularly, Muldrotha and that Return to Nature in the sideboard. I don't know how you haven't faced much Gruul, but I certainly have. I think you might want to consider swapping your Muldrotha for a Garruk and the Returns for Cast Down. I've found they really help the matchup against Gruul aggro.
ILike2Lose
Last Updated: 24 Mar 2020
Created: 24 Mar 2020
1080 236 2

Mainboard - 60 cards (22 distinct)

Creature (25)
$0.25€0.090.03
$0.28€0.150.03
$1.87€1.470.26
$8.28€4.890.30
$0.25€0.140.04
$1.30€1.610.38
$2.49€1.930.61
$38.70€33.9747.19
Instant, Sorcery, Enchantment, Artifact (7)
$1.25€0.680.01
$2.86€3.410.90
Land (24)
$5.17€4.410.31
$3.76€2.560.28
$10.75€7.030.90
$8.94€9.241.31
$22.00€16.236.56
$0.48€0.170.03
$1.00€1.030.50
$1.41€1.220.22
$0.200.01
$0.230.01
Planeswalker (4)
$7.17€6.182.73
$1.20€0.920.79

Sideboard - 15 cards (7 distinct)

$2.49€2.022.54
$0.26€0.180.03
$0.25€0.160.04
$1.08€0.780.24
$0.15€0.080.04
$0.16€0.070.01
$2.00€1.160.20

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Main/Sideboard Rarity Count
7 12 32 9 0
8 4 3 0 0