Historic has changed dramatically with the addition of the Mystical Archive cards in Strixhaven: School of Mages. One of those cards is none other than Brainstorm. While several Mystical Archive cards were immediately banned from Historic, Brainstorm was not. Based on my experience on the MTG Arena ladder, Brainstorm is likely the most played card in the entire format at the moment.

Brainstorm is too good to be played in Modern, so why would it be okay in Historic? Personally I'm not convinced it is, and I'm going to make the case for it being banned.

Why is Brainstorm so Good?

To understand whether or not Brainstorm belongs in Historic, we have to know why the card is as powerful as it is. This is a cheap one-mana card manipulation spell, but it's not pure card advantage. If you don't have a way to manipulate your library after casting Brainstorm, it more or less becomes one mana to draw a single card, which is worse than Opt.

Brainstorm power comes from getting to shuffle your library or manipulate the top of your deck in some way after casting it. This is to avoid getting "Brainstorm locked"—having no way to actually get rid of the two cards you put on top of your deck. This is why you usually don't see Brainstorm cast on the first turn of the game. Players want to make a perfect Brainstorm, which includes shuffling away the least wanted cards in their hand.

The other, less significant, reason Brainstorm is better than a traditional card draw spell, is the ability it has to hide cards on top of our deck. If the opponent casts a hand disruption spell, you can respond with a Brainstorm and put your two most important cards on top of your deck, so they can't be taken by the hand disruption. This is an instant speed spell, giving it a ton of flexibility in terms of when to cast it.

Tools for Brainstorm Based on Format

The best tools to go alongside Brainstorm are lands that shuffle your library. We see fetchlands in Modern, even more so in Legacy, and Brainstorm definitely plays a role in this. Casting a Brainstorm, and immediately following it with a library shuffle means you're effectively casting a spell that reads, "Draw three cards, then choose two from your hand to shuffle into your library"—which is a very different card. The biggest reason why some players feel Brainstorm is okay for Historic is the lack of fetchlands.

However, Fabled Passage is a Fetchland in basically every way, and is good enough to see a lot of play in Historic already. That's only going to rise now because of Brainstorm, making Fabled Passage the top land in the format. Other than Fabled Passage, though, there aren't really good lands that fetch others out of your deck. Evolving Wilds is probably the next best option, but it's strictly a worse version of Fabled Passage.

Don't sleep on other, non-land ways to shuffle your deck, though. They may be a bit less mana efficient, but you can use traditional means of shuffling with a card like Cultivate. Historic also has another card that offers a different form of library manipulation—Abundant Harvest. This is a great card to cast right after a Brainstorm to put cards from the top of your library to the bottom. Clearly, there are more fetchlands available in other formats compared to Historic, but that doesn't mean Historic doesn't have enough tools for Brainstorm to be too good.

Most Blue Decks Have Adapted to Playing Brainstorm

It hasn't been that long since the release of Strixhaven, but it seems like almost all the blue decks in Historic have changed a bit to include Brainstorm. Let's take a look at one of the current most popular decks: Dimir Rogues. This version was played by Yuta Takahashi to a win in a recent Insight Esports event:

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Dimir Rogues by Yuta Takahashi

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

Created By: Yuta Takahashi

Event:

Rank:

Historic

Market Price: $174.95

Cards

Inquisition of Kozilek

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $2.83

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/128476_200w.jpg

Target player reveals their hand. You choose a nonland card from it with mana value 3 or less. That player discards that card.

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Swamp

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/196608_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {B}.)

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Aether Gust

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.25

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/192535_200w.jpg

Choose target spell or permanent that's red or green. Its owner puts it on the top or bottom of their library.

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Watery Grave

Color Identity:B,U

Market Price: $10.90

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/175205_200w.jpg

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

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Tyrant's Scorn

Color Identity:B,U

Market Price: $0.19

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/188860_200w.jpg

Choose one —
• Destroy target creature with mana value 3 or less.
• Return target creature to its owner's hand.

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Fabled Passage

Market Price: $4.67

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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Thieves' Guild Enforcer

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.30

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215608_200w.jpg

Flash
Whenever Thieves' Guild Enforcer or another Rogue enters the battlefield under your control, each opponent mills two cards.
As long as an opponent has eight or more cards in their graveyard, Thieves' Guild Enforcer gets +2/+1 and has deathtouch.

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Merfolk Windrobber

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.10

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221866_200w.jpg

Flying
Whenever Merfolk Windrobber deals combat damage to a player, that player mills a card. (They put the top card of their library into their graveyard.)
Sacrifice Merfolk Windrobber: Draw a card. Activate only if an opponent has eight or more cards in their graveyard.

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Soaring Thought-Thief

Color Identity:B,U

Market Price: $0.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222153_200w.jpg

Flash
Flying
As long as an opponent has eight or more cards in their graveyard, Rogues you control get +1/+0.
Whenever one or more Rogues you control attack, each opponent mills two cards.

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Grafdigger's Cage

Market Price: $1.84

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/192909_200w.jpg

Creature cards in graveyards and libraries can't enter the battlefield.
Players can't cast spells from graveyards or libraries.

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Legion's End

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.22

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/192565_200w.jpg

Exile target creature an opponent controls with mana value 2 or less and all other creatures that player controls with the same name as that creature. Then that player reveals their hand and exiles all cards with that name from their hand and graveyard.

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Castle Locthwain

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $3.74

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199388_200w.jpg

Castle Locthwain enters the battlefield tapped unless you control a Swamp.
{T}: Add {B}.
{1}{B}{B}, {T}: Draw a card, then you lose life equal to the number of cards in your hand.

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Mystical Dispute

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.92

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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Drown in the Loch

Color Identity:B,U

Market Price: $1.59

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199207_200w.jpg

Choose one —
• Counter target spell with mana value less than or equal to the number of cards in its controller's graveyard.
• Destroy target creature with mana value less than or equal to the number of cards in its controller's graveyard.

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Memory Lapse

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.25

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/118731_200w.jpg

Counter target spell. If that spell is countered this way, put it on top of its owner's library instead of into that player's graveyard.

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Into the Story

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.21

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/198971_200w.jpg

This spell costs {3} less to cast if an opponent has seven or more cards in their graveyard.
Draw four cards.

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Brainstorm

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.50

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/243841_200w.jpg

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

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Drowned Catacomb

Color Identity:B,U

Market Price: $7.19

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/142036_200w.jpg

Drowned Catacomb enters the battlefield tapped unless you control an Island or a Swamp.
{T}: Add {U} or {B}.

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Fatal Push

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $2.00

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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Negate

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.09

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

Counter target noncreature spell.

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Island

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/235543_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {U}.)

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Languish

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $0.48

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/216573_200w.jpg

All creatures get -4/-4 until end of turn.

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Lurrus of the Dream-Den

Color Identity:B,W

Market Price: $6.24

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212282_200w.jpg

Companion — Each permanent card in your starting deck has mana value 2 or less. (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.)
Lifelink
During each of your turns, you may cast one permanent spell with mana value 2 or less from your graveyard.

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Clearwater Pathway

Color Identity:B,U

Market Price: $5.15

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221830_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {U}.

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Agadeem's Awakening

Color Identity:B

Market Price: $13.58

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222163_200w.jpg

Return from your graveyard to the battlefield any number of target creature cards that each have a different mana value X or less.

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Rogues existed in Historic, but never really seemed different enough from the Standard version to justify playing it. The Strixhaven Mystical Archive additions take the strategy to the next level. Brainstorm is quite nice here alongside Fabled Passage. There's Memory Lapse which works great with the Rogues to mill the opponent, and also Inquisition of Kozilek to attack the opponent's hand. The deck is full of cheap one- and two-mana cards, with Into the Story for a big payoff later in games.

There was already incentive to play Fabled Passage because of Fatal Push and its ability to trigger revolt. The land is more important than ever in this deck—with four copies of Fatal Push, Fabled Passage is your main enabler for revolt. With so many one-mana spells, you can trade up on mana against the opponent. This is definitely a good deck for Brainstorm, though there are other decks where you can make it even better.

Izzet Phoenix is another deck re-energized thanks to Brainstorm, along with Faithless Looting—another Mystical Archive card. This is the version of number 10 Mythic ranked "LokiLoki."

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Izzet Phoenix by LokiLoki

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

Created By: LokiLoki

Event:

Rank:

Historic

Market Price: $179.88

Cards

Negate

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.09

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

Counter target noncreature spell.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/222130/magic-zendikar-rising-negate

Faithless Looting

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.43

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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Fabled Passage

Market Price: $4.67

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.

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/215556/magic-core-set-2021-fabled-passage

Brainstorm

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.50

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/243841_200w.jpg

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

Buy This Card! https://www.tcgplayer.com/product/243841/magic-commander-adventures-in-the-forgotten-realms-brainstorm

Opt

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.11

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

Scry 1.
Draw a card.

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Shock

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215884_200w.jpg

Shock deals 2 damage to any target.

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Sprite Dragon

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $0.85

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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Finale of Promise

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $2.47

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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Sulfur Falls

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $4.60

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}.

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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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Dreadhorde Arcanist

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $1.26

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/187242_200w.jpg

Trample
Whenever Dreadhorde Arcanist attacks, you may cast target instant or sorcery card with mana value less than or equal to Dreadhorde Arcanist's power from your graveyard without paying its mana cost. If that spell would be put into your graveyard this turn, exile it instead.

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Aether Gust

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.25

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/192535_200w.jpg

Choose target spell or permanent that's red or green. Its owner puts it on the top or bottom of their library.

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Stern Dismissal

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.04

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/207180_200w.jpg

Return target creature or enchantment an opponent controls to its owner's hand.

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Crackling Drake

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $0.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/236188_200w.jpg

Flying
Crackling Drake's power is equal to the total number of instant and sorcery cards you own in exile and in your graveyard.
When Crackling Drake enters the battlefield, draw a card.

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Steam Vents

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $13.80

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: $5.03

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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Mountain

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/196580_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {R}.)

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Mystical Dispute

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.92

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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Spell Pierce

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.24

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

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

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Memory Lapse

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.25

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/118731_200w.jpg

Counter target spell. If that spell is countered this way, put it on top of its owner's library instead of into that player's graveyard.

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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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Cinderclasm

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.11

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/222044_200w.jpg

Kicker {R} (You may pay an additional {R} as you cast this spell.)
Cinderclasm deals 1 damage to each creature. If it was kicked, it deals 2 damage to each creature instead.

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Lightning Axe

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.09

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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Abrade

Color Identity:R

Market Price: $0.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/253063_200w.jpg

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

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Expressive Iteration

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $5.90

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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Island

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/235543_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {U}.)

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Spirebluff Canal

Color Identity:R,U

Market Price: $13.57

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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Dreadhorde Arcanist is another card in the format that plays nicely alongside Brainstorm. Similarly to Rogues, this deck wants a lot of cheap cards. With Brainstorm now legal, you can afford to cut down on the mana cost of your spells without hurting the overall power level of your deck. Cantrips like Brainstorm and Faithless Looting mean you're generally casting more spells since these help you dig quickly through your library—in this case helping to find those Arclight Phoenix.

I also want to show you a deck with both Abundant Harvest and Brainstorm. Keep in mind there are a ton of viable decks with Brainstorm being played at the moment, this is but a taste of what the card's capable of. Crokeyz has been playing this version of Taking Turns:

Magic: The Gathering TCG Deck - Taking Turns by Crokeyz

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

Created By: Crokeyz

Event:

Rank:

Historic

Market Price: $316.93

Cards

Commit // Memory

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $1.61

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/130160_200w.jpg

Buy This Card! https://shop.tcgplayer.com/magic/amonkhet/commit-memory

Barkchannel Pathway

Color Identity:G,U

Market Price: $5.46

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/229210_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {G}.

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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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Crawling Barrens

Market Price: $0.27

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/221959_200w.jpg

{T}: Add {C}.
{4}: Put two +1/+1 counters on Crawling Barrens. Then you may have it become a 0/0 Elemental creature until end of turn. It's still a land.

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Fabled Passage

Market Price: $4.67

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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Elder Gargaroth

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $12.07

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215477_200w.jpg

Vigilance, reach, trample
Whenever Elder Gargaroth attacks or blocks, choose one —
• Create a 3/3 green Beast creature token.
• You gain 3 life.
• Draw a card.

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Narset, Parter of Veils

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $1.13

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/188705_200w.jpg

Each opponent can't draw more than one card each turn.
−2: Look at the top four cards of your library. You may reveal a noncreature, nonland card from among them and put it into your hand. Put the rest on the bottom of your library in a random order.

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Aether Gust

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.25

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/192535_200w.jpg

Choose target spell or permanent that's red or green. Its owner puts it on the top or bottom of their library.

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Hinterland Harbor

Color Identity:G,U

Market Price: $6.23

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/162120_200w.jpg

Hinterland Harbor enters the battlefield tapped unless you control a Forest or an Island.
{T}: Add {G} or {U}.

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God-Eternal Kefnet

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $2.75

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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Scavenging Ooze

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.57

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215695_200w.jpg

{G}: Exile target card from a graveyard. If it was a creature card, put a +1/+1 counter on Scavenging Ooze and you gain 1 life.

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Island

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.05

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/235543_200w.jpg

({T}: Add {U}.)

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Memory Lapse

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.25

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/118731_200w.jpg

Counter target spell. If that spell is countered this way, put it on top of its owner's library instead of into that player's graveyard.

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Blast Zone

Market Price: $2.62

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/188636_200w.jpg

Blast Zone enters the battlefield with a charge counter on it.
{T}: Add {C}.
{X}{X}, {T}: Put X charge counters on Blast Zone.
{3}, {T}, Sacrifice Blast Zone: Destroy each nonland permanent with mana value equal to the number of charge counters on Blast Zone.

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Censor

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.20

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/130042_200w.jpg

Counter target spell unless its controller pays {1}.
Cycling {U} ({U}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

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Growth Spiral

Color Identity:G,U

Market Price: $0.37

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/227368_200w.jpg

Draw a card. You may put a land card from your hand onto the battlefield.

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Tamiyo, Collector of Tales

Color Identity:G,U

Market Price: $0.70

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/188490_200w.jpg

Spells and abilities your opponents control can't cause you to discard cards or sacrifice permanents.
+1: Choose a nonland card name, then reveal the top four cards of your library. Put all cards with the chosen name from among them into your hand and the rest into your graveyard.
−3: Return target card from your graveyard to your hand.

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Nissa, Who Shakes the World

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $4.21

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/188415_200w.jpg

Whenever you tap a Forest for mana, add an additional {G}.
+1: Put three +1/+1 counters on up to one target noncreature land you control. Untap it. It becomes a 0/0 Elemental creature with vigilance and haste that's still a land.
−8: You get an emblem with "Lands you control have indestructible." Search your library for any number of Forest cards, put them onto the battlefield tapped, then shuffle.

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Mystical Dispute

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.92

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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Wilt

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.16

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212274_200w.jpg

Destroy target artifact or enchantment.
Cycling {2} ({2}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)

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Abundant Harvest

Color Identity:G

Market Price: $0.15

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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Castle Vantress

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $1.95

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199284_200w.jpg

Castle Vantress enters the battlefield tapped unless you control an Island.
{T}: Add {U}.
{2}{U}{U}, {T}: Scry 2.

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Breeding Pool

Color Identity:G,U

Market Price: $19.55

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/182842_200w.jpg

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

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Time Warp

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $13.09

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/32744_200w.jpg

Target player takes an extra turn after this one.

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Search for Azcanta

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $4.63

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/145370_200w.jpg

At the beginning of your upkeep, look at the top card of your library. You may put it into your graveyard. Then if you have seven or more cards in your graveyard, you may transform Search for Azcanta.

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Brainstorm

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.50

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/243841_200w.jpg

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

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Negate

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $0.09

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

Counter target noncreature spell.

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Shark Typhoon

Color Identity:U

Market Price: $11.27

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212133_200w.jpg

Whenever you cast a noncreature spell, create an X/X blue Shark creature token with flying, where X is that spell's mana value.
Cycling {X}{1}{U} ({X}{1}{U}, Discard this card: Draw a card.)
When you cycle Shark Typhoon, create an X/X blue Shark creature token with flying.

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This is another fantastic deck for Brainstorm. We used to see Simic Nexus of Fate decks a lot until the Nexus of Fate itself got banned, and now there's a new card available to take extra turns—Time Warp. It turns out the card's worth building around and using as your win condition. The deck's able to dig through its library quickly to find the necessary pieces to start looping extra cards.

Notice the one copy of God-Eternal Kefnet. This card is amazing with Brainstorm, so it's stock has risen dramatically. Not only can Brainstorm trigger it on the opponent's turn, it can also put cards on top of your deck to fully utilize the God-Eternal Kefnet trigger, and copy an instant or sorcery spell. This deck also has planeswalkers which are another way to reset the top card of your deck. After a Brainstorm, activating Narset, Parter of Veils or Tamiyo, Collector of Tales does the trick nicely.

Brainstorm May Not Last in Historic

Personally, I think Brainstorm days in Historic are numbered. The format's still settling down from the recent shakeups, but within the coming weeks it may become more apparent just how inherently powerful this card is. The fact it makes one of the strongest colors even better, and goes into so many different strategies is an important factor. Every deck that plays Brainstorm will play Fabled Passage as well.

If the card is close to as good as it is in Legacy, Historic may not be the right format for it. While Historic has had some very powerful cards added recently, it's still not close to the power level of Legacy. Modern, and possibly Pioneer, still have more powerful cards in them than Historic does. Also, as more cards get added to Historic, Brainstorm is likely to only get better. Additional ways to shuffle your deck fall into this category. There's no chance Brainstorm could be considered for Historic if more fetchlands get added into the format.

At the end of the day, we're talking about one of the most iconic cards in the history of the game. I'm glad that we're getting a chance to try it in the format, because it really is an amazing magic card in so many respects, and banning cards immediately is kind of silly. However, Magic players are really smart and constantly finding new ways to utilize Brainstorm, because they know how good it is. We may not know what the best Brainstorm deck in Historic is yet—the card has so much potential. But I personally think it's only a matter of time until we realize it needs to be banned. Once the format settles down, expect to see a number of decks playing Brainstorm rise to the top.

Thanks for reading,
Seth Manfield