Kaldheim releases tomorrow! Hooray!
Zendikar was the set that made me quit playing Standard. I was so bored of the same decks every day, and I refuse to play tier1 control or any of those other controlish long game 3+ color decks. Thanks Triomes, thanks a lot. I don't find these decks fun to play against. I also don't see the fun in just denying my opponent from playing the majority of the game while I do nothing but wait until I have enough lands to play my one big thing. It's just boring gameplay to me. I was also bored of mono red, as I played two complete set releases with mono-red. I wanted something new with more action, so I started playing Historic.
Welcome to Historic! The land of opportunity and limitless fun.
Or so I thought...
Historic, I realized quickly, was also the same 4 decks over and over again. But, they're different decks! It was new and fun for a while, then turned into the same thing I hated standard for. Most days it's either U/W control, Rakdos Sacrifice or some combo of 3 color deck that all does the same thing, which is counter all your spells and board wipe you on turn 4 every game. They're pretty easy to play around because they're all exactly the same. It just comes down to luck of the draw and if you get to go first or not. I quickly started conceding after a turn or two after I saw what was up.
I love playing magic, but if I don't get to actually play the game on my end, then it's no fun, so I concede and find the next opponent, hoping they don't have one of these specific decks, or that my hand is better this time, or the opponent misses a land drop or card draw or something to give me the edge.
Despite all of that, I had more fun. I think it's because I was able to play a deck architype that was competitive that I enjoyed playing. I went with Historic Elves. It's all creatures except for a set of Collected Company, which a large majority of the time is really just equal to two more creatures. So basically a 100% creature deck.
I love the synergy of the elves. They either give themselves mana or buff themselves. Some duplicate themselves to make more elves or more buffs. My finisher for a while was Craterhoof Behemoth, until later on I switched over to Ghalta, Primal Hunger. Ghalta was just easier to cast early on, especially since the last month of gameplay has been a large majority of just U/W control, so I was never able to get Craterhoof out anymore. Ghalta can be dropped as early as turn 3-4, hoping to miss the big board wipe or a counterspell early on.
So with all that said, I started with Zendikar standard on the Arena release day, playing Mono White Lifegain then changed to Mono White Enchantments for a week. By early October I switched to Historic with my old Historic Merfolk deck and finally by mid October I had crafted the Historic Elves deck and have been tweaking it ever since.
I really, really enjoy the Elves deck. So much so, I built a commander deck out of it for my weekly gaming group. I'm also considering buying the new elves commander precon for Kaldheim.
Well, you came here for stats, so here's my Zendikar Rising Gameplay Stats.
All stats recorded via hand after each match and double checked using MTGAHelper. My customized spreadsheet then calculated the rest and all of the running totals.
My only goal was 4 wins per day, and keeping the daily quests from backing up.
I completed every event, including FNM @ Home and all other extracurricular free events that were offered.
Gameplay dates range from 9/17/20 to 1/27/21.
We can see here I played Historic Elves for the majority of the duration of the Zendikar Rising set. Since my weekly play group started playing in-person again over the late summer, we stopped playing direct play games online, so that's why that one has zero games.
Historic Elves did pretty well IMO, with a 58% win rate, and I even enjoyed many of the losses or quickly conceded and moved to the next game, so really not much time loss there for that kind of rate.
The only other stats I didn't show here was my ranked play rank. My best Standard rank was silver 4. My best Limited rank was bronze 1. I'm not much into the grindy nature of ranked play, so I stick to the casual queues and play out my daily 4 wins each day.
I wish I could say I had fun with Zendikar Rising, but as soon as I switched to Historic, I rarely saw a ZNR card. We'll see what this new set brings. I am looking forward to more new Elves and a Viking theme. That new Kaldheim showcase art is stunning!