Another month, another change to the Historic format.

Yesterday, Wizards of the Coast suspended Brainstorm. As is classically the case on MTG Arena, cards can get suspended before they eventually get banned. Personally, I would be quite surprised to see Brainstorm not be officially banned in a couple months though. For many players, it has been seen as only a matter of time until Brainstorm exited the format.

I've felt for a while that WotC should ban Brainstorm in Historic. The Mystical Archive has many powerful cards in it, including many cards that are clearly just too strong for the MTG Arena-only format. Brainstorm in particular is an incredibly strong cantrip that gets even better if you have a way to shuffle your library after you put whatever cards you don't want on top of your deck. Fabled Passage and other Historic staples made "the perfect Brainstorm" far too easy to pull off.

The Fate of Izzet Phoenix

Historic has largely been dominated by blue decks for a while now. Time Warp got banned, but that clearly wasn't enough to shake the dominance of blue strategies in high-level events. The top deck in Historic before the ban was very clearly Izzet Phoenix. Let's take a look at that deck:

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Izzet Phoenix by Toni Ramis Pascual

'Izzet Phoenix' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Toni Ramis Pascual

Event: Insight Esports Presents: Tier 1 $5,000 Historic Open

Rank: 3rd-4th

Historic

Market Price: $309.80

Cards

Abrade

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.24

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/227309_200w.jpg

Choose one —
• Abrade deals 3 damage to target creature.
• Destroy target artifact.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/227309/magic-commander-legends-abrade

Mountain

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215722_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {R}.)

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Lava Coil

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/176562_200w.jpg

Lava Coil deals 4 damage to target creature. If that creature would die this turn, exile it instead.

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Mystical Dispute

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.89

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198683_200w.jpg

This spell costs {2} less to cast if it targets a blue spell.
Counter target spell unless its controller pays {3}.

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Magma Spray

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/129832_200w.jpg

Magma Spray deals 2 damage to target creature. If that creature would die this turn, exile it instead.

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Steam Vents

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $14.58

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/175202_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {U} or {R}.)
As Steam Vents enters the battlefield, you may pay 2 life. If you don't, it enters the battlefield tapped.

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Arclight Phoenix

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $9.65

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/176685_200w.jpg

Flying, haste
At the beginning of combat on your turn, if you've cast three or more instant and sorcery spells this turn, return Arclight Phoenix from your graveyard to the battlefield.

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Fry

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.07

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/192595_200w.jpg

This spell can't be countered.
Fry deals 5 damage to target creature or planeswalker that's white or blue.

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Faithless Looting

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.40

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/236106_200w.jpg

Draw two cards, then discard two cards.
Flashback {2}{R} (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its flashback cost. Then exile it.)

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Spirebluff Canal

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $14.19

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/122672_200w.jpg

Spirebluff Canal enters the battlefield tapped unless you control two or fewer other lands.
{T}: Add {U} or {R}.

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Lightning Axe

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/233921_200w.jpg

As an additional cost to cast this spell, discard a card or pay {5}.
Lightning Axe deals 5 damage to target creature.

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Pillar of Flame

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.12

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/216467_200w.jpg

Pillar of Flame deals 2 damage to any target. If a creature dealt damage this way would die this turn, exile it instead.

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Sprite Dragon

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $0.95

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212044_200w.jpg

Flying, haste
Whenever you cast a noncreature spell, put a +1/+1 counter on Sprite Dragon.

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Anger of the Gods

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $1.17

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/145342_200w.jpg

Anger of the Gods deals 3 damage to each creature. If a creature dealt damage this way would die this turn, exile it instead.

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Brazen Borrower // Petty Theft

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $20.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199387_200w.jpg

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Soul-Guide Lantern

Market Price: $2.40

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206867_200w.jpg

When Soul-Guide Lantern enters the battlefield, exile target card from a graveyard.
{T}, Sacrifice Soul-Guide Lantern: Exile each opponent's graveyard.
{1}, {T}, Sacrifice Soul-Guide Lantern: Draw a card.

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Finale of Promise

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $2.87

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/188509_200w.jpg

You may cast up to one target instant card and/or up to one target sorcery card from your graveyard each with mana value X or less without paying their mana costs. If a spell cast this way would be put into your graveyard this turn, exile it instead. If X is 10 or more, copy each of those spells twice. You may choose new targets for the copies.

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God-Eternal Kefnet

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $3.53

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/188507_200w.jpg

Flying
You may reveal the first card you draw each turn as you draw it. Whenever you reveal an instant or sorcery card this way, copy that card and you may cast the copy. That copy costs {2} less to cast.
When God-Eternal Kefnet dies or is put into exile from the battlefield, you may put it into its owner's library third from the top.

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Entrancing Melody

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.29

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/142004_200w.jpg

Gain control of target creature with mana value X.

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Island

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/227279_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {U}.)

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Stormwing Entity

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $1.07

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215582_200w.jpg

This spell costs {2}{U} less to cast if you've cast an instant or sorcery spell this turn.
Flying
Prowess (Whenever you cast a noncreature spell, this creature gets +1/+1 until end of turn.)
When Stormwing Entity enters the battlefield, scry 2.

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Expressive Iteration

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $4.97

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/235845_200w.jpg

Look at the top three cards of your library. Put one of them into your hand, put one of them on the bottom of your library, and exile one of them. You may play the exiled card this turn.

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Negate

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.11

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222130_200w.jpg

Counter target noncreature spell.

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Spell Pierce

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.25

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/145258_200w.jpg

Counter target noncreature spell unless its controller pays {2}.

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Blitz of the Thunder-Raptor

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212286_200w.jpg

Blitz of the Thunder-Raptor deals damage to target creature or planeswalker equal to the number of instant and sorcery cards in your graveyard. If that creature or planeswalker would die this turn, exile it instead.

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Chandra, Torch of Defiance

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $8.49

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/122645_200w.jpg

+1: Exile the top card of your library. You may cast that card. If you don't, Chandra, Torch of Defiance deals 2 damage to each opponent.
+1: Add {R}{R}.
−3: Chandra, Torch of Defiance deals 4 damage to target creature.
−7: You get an emblem with "Whenever you cast a spell, this emblem deals 5 damage to any target."

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Opt

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215840_200w.jpg

Scry 1.
Draw a card.

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Ox of Agonas

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $2.82

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206651_200w.jpg

When Ox of Agonas enters the battlefield, discard your hand, then draw three cards.
Escape—{R}{R}, Exile eight other cards from your graveyard. (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its escape cost.)
Ox of Agonas escapes with a +1/+1 counter on it.

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Fabled Passage

Market Price: $4.59

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215556_200w.jpg

{T}, Sacrifice Fabled Passage: Search your library for a basic land card, put it onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle. Then if you control four or more lands, untap that land.

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Riverglide Pathway

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $5.76

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221822_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {U}.

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Brainstorm

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.50

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/236208_200w.jpg

Draw three cards, then put two cards from your hand on top of your library in any order.

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Sulfur Falls

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $4.82

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/162122_200w.jpg

Sulfur Falls enters the battlefield tapped unless you control an Island or a Mountain.
{T}: Add {U} or {R}.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/162122/magic-dominaria-sulfur-falls

This list, played by Toni Ramis Pascual, is similar to what most Izzet Phoenix lists look like. Izzet Phoenix was not a popular deck until Faithless Looting, Expressive Iteration, and Brainstorm all got thrown into the format at once with the addition of Strixhaven. While Brainstorm was useful in this deck, it's also replaceable. I think Faithless Looting is actually more important than Brainstorm in this deck because it is a discard outlet for Arclight Phoenix. The deck will likely cut Fabled Passage, as I think the main reason to play it was because of Brainstorm.

Izzet Phoenix will continue to shine in Historic. However, Brainstorm was undoubtedly a very good cantrip in the deck, better than losing something like Opt for instance. At first when Izzet Phoenix became the top deck many players were happy to try something fresh and new, but it has gotten old fast.

The primary issue with the dominance of Izzet Phoenix is it has pushed out aggressive decks. Izzet Phoenix preys on creature-based beatdown strategies. Even decks that are a bit more robust like Jund Food and Goblins struggle against it. Cheap removal, combined with card advantage and free creatures is just too good a plan against the creature-based decks. In order for Historic to be a healthy format, the aggro decks need to be more popular than they currently are. I'm happy to see Izzet Phoenix get knocked down a bit, but it won't stop the deck entirely.

The Fate of Blue-Based Control Decks

There are a few blue-based control decks in Historic, with the most popular likely still being Jeskai Control. These decks are going to be hurt less by the Brainstorm ban than Izzet Phoenix. In fact, not all versions of these control decks actually played four Brainstorm. Part of the reason for this is that playing Fabled Passage in these decks is pretty annoying, and makes the mana suboptimal. Without Fabled Passage though, there wouldn't be a way to shuffle your library.

Now, the control decks get to have a better manabase and simply cut Brainstorm. You can play a pure card draw spell over it like Behold the Multiverse that provides actual card advantage, and add in some Castles to the deck instead of Fabled Passage and basic lands. A relatively easy swap to make.

However, the reason why the control decks have been as popular as they have been is mostly because they have good matchups against Izzet Phoenix. By "good" I mean they are like a 55% favorite, but that's pretty nice against the most popular deck in the format. If the metagame does shift back toward creature decks, expect to see more removal spells taking the place of Brainstorm.

The Fate of Combo Decks That Played Brainstorm

Outside of the top tier control decks and Izzet Phoenix, it's hard to find additional popular decks that played Brainstorm until you look at blue combo strategies. Temur Creativity has been fairly popular recently, and then you also have decks like Dragonstorm, Neoform, and Aetherworks Marvel.

These combo decks were primarily tier 2 strategies. They are unfortunate casualties of this ban. In many ways these decks being worse is not a good thing for the Historic format. I think having combo be viable generally makes a format more enjoyable to play. Brainstorm held a lot of combo decks together by letting you dig for your key pieces at instant speed, and it won't be easy to replace.

The Fate of Nonblue Decks

Before this suspension, Brainstorm decks made up over half the Historic format by metagame share. Any decks that weren't blue should be on a more level playing field now. The first deck that comes to mind is Jund Food, because it was a very dominant deck before Strixhaven came along. Let's take a look at the deck:

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Jund Food by Noriyuki Mori

'Jund Food' - constructed deck list and prices for the Magic: The Gathering Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Noriyuki Mori

Event: TGS Anniversary Series Featuring MTG Arena

Rank: 3rd-4th

Historic

Market Price: $330.47

Cards

Binding the Old Gods

Color Identity:B,G

Market Price: $0.27

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/230118_200w.jpg

(As this Saga enters and after your draw step, add a lore counter. Sacrifice after III.)
I — Destroy target nonland permanent an opponent controls.
II — Search your library for a Forest card, put it onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle.
III — Creatures you control gain deathtouch until end of turn.

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Stomping Ground

Color Identity:G,R

Market Price: $8.78

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/182841_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {R} or {G}.)
As Stomping Ground enters the battlefield, you may pay 2 life. If you don't, it enters the battlefield tapped.

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Woe Strider

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $1.22

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206627_200w.jpg

When Woe Strider enters the battlefield, create a 0/1 white Goat creature token.
Sacrifice another creature: Scry 1.
Escape—{3}{B}{B}, Exile four other cards from your graveyard. (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its escape cost.)
Woe Strider escapes with two +1/+1 counters on it.

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Trail of Crumbs

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.17

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198868_200w.jpg

When Trail of Crumbs enters the battlefield, create a Food token. (It's an artifact with "{2}, {T}, Sacrifice this artifact: You gain 3 life.")
Whenever you sacrifice a Food, you may pay {1}. If you do, look at the top two cards of your library. You may reveal a permanent card from among them and put it into your hand. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in any order.

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Cragcrown Pathway

Color Identity:G,R

Market Price: $2.99

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221845_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {R}.

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Abundant Harvest

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.16

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/239691_200w.jpg

Choose land or nonland. Reveal cards from the top of your library until you reveal a card of the chosen kind. Put that card into your hand and the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order.

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Korvold, Fae-Cursed King

Color Identity:B,G,R

Market Price: $10.86

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198424_200w.jpg

Flying
Whenever Korvold, Fae-Cursed King enters the battlefield or attacks, sacrifice another permanent.
Whenever you sacrifice a permanent, put a +1/+1 counter on Korvold and draw a card.

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Phyrexian Tower

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $16.28

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/216140_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{T}, Sacrifice a creature: Add {B}{B}.

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Mountain

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215722_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {R}.)

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Fatal Push

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $2.11

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218830_200w.jpg

Destroy target creature if it has mana value 2 or less.
Revolt — Destroy that creature if it has mana value 4 or less instead if a permanent you controlled left the battlefield this turn.

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Witch's Oven

Market Price: $0.55

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198898_200w.jpg

{T}, Sacrifice a creature: Create a Food token. If the sacrificed creature's toughness was 4 or greater, create two Food tokens instead. (They're artifacts with "{2}, {T}, Sacrifice this artifact: You gain 3 life.")

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Klothys, God of Destiny

Color Identity:G,R

Market Price: $7.55

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206458_200w.jpg

Indestructible
As long as your devotion to red and green is less than seven, Klothys isn't a creature.
At the beginning of your precombat main phase, exile target card from a graveyard. If it was a land card, add {R} or {G}. Otherwise, you gain 2 life and Klothys deals 2 damage to each opponent.

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Overgrown Tomb

Color Identity:B,G

Market Price: $14.54

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/175196_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {B} or {G}.)
As Overgrown Tomb enters the battlefield, you may pay 2 life. If you don't, it enters the battlefield tapped.

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Forced Landing

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.01

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/188315_200w.jpg

Put target creature with flying on the bottom of its owner's library.

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Mayhem Devil

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $1.77

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/188173_200w.jpg

Whenever a player sacrifices a permanent, Mayhem Devil deals 1 damage to any target.

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Forest

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/125584_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {G}.)

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Swamp

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/72296_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {B}.)

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Darkbore Pathway

Color Identity:B,G

Market Price: $9.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/229208_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {B}.

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Fabled Passage

Market Price: $4.59

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215556_200w.jpg

{T}, Sacrifice Fabled Passage: Search your library for a basic land card, put it onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle. Then if you control four or more lands, untap that land.

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Jegantha, the Wellspring

Color Identity:B,G,R,U,W

Market Price: $1.15

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212539_200w.jpg

Companion — No card in your starting deck has more than one of the same mana symbol in its mana cost. (If this card is your chosen companion, you may put it into your hand from outside the game for {3} any time you could cast a sorcery.)
{T}: Add {W}{U}{B}{R}{G}. This mana can't be spent to pay generic mana costs.

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Duress

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215662_200w.jpg

Target opponent reveals their hand. You choose a noncreature, nonland card from it. That player discards that card.

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Thoughtseize

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $13.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218934_200w.jpg

Target player reveals their hand. You choose a nonland card from it. That player discards that card. You lose 2 life.

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Cling to Dust

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.20

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/206655_200w.jpg

Exile target card from a graveyard. If it was a creature card, you gain 3 life. Otherwise, you draw a card.
Escape—{3}{B}, Exile five other cards from your graveyard. (You may cast this card from your graveyard for its escape cost.)

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Doom Blade

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.20

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/145420_200w.jpg

Destroy target nonblack creature.

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Cauldron Familiar

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $1.28

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215972_200w.jpg

When Cauldron Familiar enters the battlefield, each opponent loses 1 life and you gain 1 life.
Sacrifice a Food: Return Cauldron Familiar from your graveyard to the battlefield.

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Blood Crypt

Color Identity:B,R

Market Price: $15.20

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/182838_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {B} or {R}.)
As Blood Crypt enters the battlefield, you may pay 2 life. If you don't, it enters the battlefield tapped.

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Scorching Dragonfire

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215894_200w.jpg

Scorching Dragonfire deals 3 damage to target creature or planeswalker. If that creature or planeswalker would die this turn, exile it instead.

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Relic of Progenitus

Market Price: $4.65

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/118645_200w.jpg

{T}: Target player exiles a card from their graveyard.
{1}, Exile Relic of Progenitus: Exile all cards from all graveyards. Draw a card.

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Lava Coil

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/176562_200w.jpg

Lava Coil deals 4 damage to target creature. If that creature would die this turn, exile it instead.

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Gilded Goose

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $2.09

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198394_200w.jpg

Flying
When Gilded Goose enters the battlefield, create a Food token. (It's an artifact with "{2}, {T}, Sacrifice this artifact: You gain 3 life.")
{1}{G}, {T}: Create a Food token.
{T}, Sacrifice a Food: Add one mana of any color.

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This deck was played before the suspension, and it shows how much Izzet Phoenix has warped decks like Jund Food. In order to combat Izzet Phoenix this deck is playing maindeck copies of Lava Coil and Scorching Dragonfire, which didn't used to be maindeck inclusions. There are even three copies of Forced Landing in the sideboard, another card specifically geared toward the Izzet Phoenix matchup. The deck is quite flexible though—you have four of all the core Food generators to go along with the payoffs like Cauldron Familiar and Korvold, Fae-Cursed King.

Expect to see more of Jund Food moving forward. This deck still has a very powerful core, and is scary for control decks to combat. Keep in mind this is an all-time low for the number of Yasharn, Implacable Earth people are playing. This could change very quickly once players move back toward Jund, as that is the scariest card for this archetype.

After Jund Food we have aggro decks like Mono-Black Aggro, Gruul Aggro, Bant Angels, Mono-White Aggro, Elves, and Mono-Red Aggro. These decks all have struggled to beat Izzet Phoenix, so a lot of this shift is really going to come down to how much worse Izzet Phoenix gets as a result of this suspension. Out of these my personal pick is Gruul Aggro. There was a point where Gruul was the top deck in Historic, and the more you take away from other decks the better picking up Gruul looks.

What Comes Next for Historic

Suspending Brainstorm was absolutely the right move for Wizards of the Coast. However, the impact on Historic isn't all that clear. Brainstorm is a cantrip, a role player in most decks. While it's an important role player, it isn't a card that any deck can't exist without. Decks get worse without it, but there are replacements.

This may end up being similar to the Time Warp ban, which failed to shake up the shape of the meta. The Indomitable Creativity deck did get worse, but it still sees play even without Time Warp, with most of the cards it used to play still in the deck. Players want a more significant shift in Historic. I'm okay with this process of slowly banning things, but the bans likely are going to need to continue.

Historic's anti-aggressive cards are so efficient that I'm not sure the pure aggro decks will ever be the very best decks in the format again. I hope I'm wrong. Lightning Helix is an incredibly powerful weapon against any deck trying to beatdown with creatures, or burn you out. If it were me, I would take out some more Mystical Archive cards, probably starting with Faithless Looting.

I know that players like playing with Faithless Looting—I do too! That being said, if removing Brainstorm from the format isn't enough damage to Izzet Phoenix, then I believe there could soon be calls to take away Faithless Looting as well. Even that might not be enough. To fully shift the format back to what it was a year ago when Goblins was the top deck, you would need to ban a handful of cards. So much of the Mystical Archive has proven overpowered in Historic. Tainted Pact was so strong in Historic it got Thassa's Oracle banned, and Brainstorm and Time Warp are gone too. This is what happens when you dump so many extremely powerful cards into a format at once.

I'm happy to see Brainstorm going back to Legacy where it belongs. I will be keeping a close eye on the postseason Gauntlets that Rivals, MPL, and Challengers will be playing in the coming weeks. Oftentimes it's hard to gauge the health of a format without major competitive tournaments, but here we should be able to truly see what this new format looks like.