Lorehold Beats in Standard

ElonThragtusk

Although adventurers at heart, the Loreholds are known as history buffs, and it shows. In the current Standard, it looks like they have taken both ways, kind of like Indiana Jones, unearthing relics from the past but not pulling any punches either. Where the past and future collide, there's plenty of deck material!


mavinda - blade historian

Another solid proof of how greatly Limited and Constructed play differ might be Lorehold. The Strixhaven College of Archaeomancy doesn't do that well in the former but is actually holding up great in the latter. Similarly to its own ideology, what seemed to hit the spot for red-white decks is a combination of old and new.

Winota

When you combine old powerhouses bearing these colors, such as Winota, with powerful new stuff, such as Blade Historian, you get a plethora of aggro-midrange tactics capable of reaching mythic. We might as well begin with a deeper look into new Lorehold cards and research their influence on the current Standard metagame. I think that it's only appropriate to start with Blade Historian.


winota blade historian

If I'm honest, I completely overlooked this card's power level in Constructed at first. It somehow manages to be even more relevant here than in Limited, and how wouldn't it? I've mentioned it alongside Winona (doing that on purpose) for a reason, and that is because I find their mechanics somewhat similar. Besides their colors and converted mana cost, both heavily buff your attacking creatures without actually having to attack themselves. With Winota already being around for quite a while, it's become obvious that, theoretically, having attacking creatures on turn four is a piece of cake. Sure, Sultai Control is now the deck to beat with all its pesky board clears, but with such a big variety of creatures, this Boros deck can at least partially dodge Extinction Event.

Also, Winona is losing just a tiny bit of relevance because many early-game creatures are now Humans. Blade Historian doesn't rely on that part, giving Monored Aggro a run for its money if it manages to stick around. Another thing that doesn't help our Joiner of Forces is a lack of late-game Human creatures. Agent of Treachery is long gone, leaving just Kenrith as a bigger replacement.


kenrith elite spellbinder

Blade Historian, on the flip side, also happens to be a Human, so in some cases, it's more than good enough. If two or three non-Human creatures of yours are left unattended, that could very well mean lights out for your opponent. The Historian is a card that can singlehandedly help you defeat control decks, at least if you're on the play. The current Standard format allows for turn four kills, just in the nick of time before the mana for board wipes gets online, not to mention that the most common, Shadows' Verdict, doesn't hit the Historian.

Another card that works both with and without Winota is Elite Spellbinder. At the core of all Monowhite Aggro and other white decks, just like Skyclave Apparition, the likeness of Paulo Vito Damo da Rosa (expectedly) adds another angle of attack. Not only is the enter-the-battlefield ability useful in basically all matchups in current Standard, dealing with board clears and Cleaves alike, having a 3/1 double striker in the air makes for serious trouble. Speaking of air force, the Bird Cleric Shaile is a candidate as well.

As far as Strixhaven goes, only one more notable white card remains to be considered for inclusion in Winota main decks, and that is Professor of Symbology. There's not much to say about it, except that it is a non-Human that perfectly fills the non-Human creature curve, on two and on three mana if need be. Though its learn ability offers access to more than just Inkling Summoning. This deck looks best for best-of-one games due to its explosiveness and because of the Lesson board, but Reddit user kenderpl still managed to get as high as #67 on Arena's ladder playing best of three.


If you still prefer best of one, you should of course look into additional Lessons worth learning. I've seen so many decklists with Spirit Summoning that I was surprised it's completely absent here. However, I believe that flying does, in fact, have a place in today's metagame, so I'd agree that the Inkling token works better here. Ultimately, all that matters here is a non-Human that fills the gap if you have a Professor and Winota, but not any of the three drops. Another lesson worth trying out, at least if you often fail to push through for lethal damage, is Introduction to Annihilation. But that might be taking it a bit too far in a maximally aggressive deck like this one. Do keep it in mind for some of the next lists, though.

Finally, I feel the need to remind you how the Strixhaven addition of Furycalm Snarl is an absolute necessity. The rest of the lands that give more than a single color of mana exclusively enter the battlefield tapped, which is a no-go when going for a turn four Winota or Blade Historian.

Magecraft

Clever Lumimancer remains one of the most discussed Strixhaven cards, even after its release. Is it broken or not? Although it's still somewhat hard to tell, it's probably already doing way more in Standard than most could have predicted. Coupled with Leonin Lightscribe, it makes for some pretty crazy shenanigans and fast kills, all at the same time.


clever lumimancer mavinda

Of course, not all is great here, as you can only play so many creatures. Other than the previous two, the only one that's commonly played is Mavinda, Students' Advocate. With such a powerful ability and flying on a single, relatively cheap body, you can still overrun opponents very quickly, but are more susceptible to mass removal. While you can't play Lurrus in a Mavinda list, I'd still keep the Bird over the Cat because of this interesting build that CovertGoBlue came up with.


If you do decide to play this deck in a best-of-three format, I would suggest taking inspiration from other lists to get the sideboard up to fifteen. This includes cards like Redcap Melee, Giant Killer // Chop Down, and Roiling Vortex or Drannith Magistrate for the Ultimatum. Additionally, one can consider adding Selfless Savior and/or Alseid of Life's Bounty, but I wouldn't say these are necessary since there are instants with similar effects.

Some Lurrus lists utilize much of the same magecraft material, but I'm not sure they can go as long. This one, on the other hand, also has a Goldspan Dragon that can catch players by surprise, especially when coupled with Unleash Fury. It's not particularly easy to play, as you can't always dump your entire hand this way, but it sure feels rewarding.

"Classic" Aggro

If you don't feel like relying on Winota, Joiner of Forces or Blade Historian at all, you could always try your luck with Venerable Warsinger. Between this Spirit, as well as Showdown of the Skalds and Faceless Haven, the following list can usually go longer than the previous two and not lose to board wipes as often. Its sustained damage output already managed to bring it at least one decent finish.


I also think that this list is the most customizable out of the three. You can change any amount of one-, two-, or three-drops, and it will still be decent. While not really optimized for four-drops, specifically Winota, it could utilize Blade Historian, should you feel like it. If not, you can always add more early game beaters like Robber of the Rich, especially given how it doesn't run nearly any four-drops.

While lists like this cannot use Lurrus as a companion, there is a funny best-of-one tactic with the Robber I've noticed. If you're facing lots of decks with different cards with learn, such as Witherbloom Sacrifice, you can always fill your sideboard with Lessons. That way, you might steal such a card once in a full moon, then use it to fetch your own Lessons. Besides Witherbloom, Lorehold is one of the best colleges in this regard. Also, you can always at least try to imagine the look on your opponent's face if you ever manage to pull this off. I know I did when I stole an Eyetwitch, then used its learn mechanic to fetch Spirit Summoning from the sideboard of my Monored Aggro.


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