Last updated on June 15, 2022
Historic is a diverse format where people try to do the things they enjoy the most, whether that’s casting spells from the graveyard for free or playing long games with their control archetypes. But there’s one deck in the metagame that puts a stop to anything its opponents try to get done.
It’s time to go over one of the most popular archetypes in Historic that aims to stop your opponent’s game plan while beating them down: Selesnya Company.
Every format has its own Death & Taxes, or “fun police” deck. In Historic, Selesnya Company fills this role. This is an aggro deck that aims to disrupt your opponent’s plans while attacking with powerful creatures to close games as fast as possible.
In the early game, you’re trying to ramp from turn 1 to turn 3 with the help of Llanowar Elves. This is a big deal since cards like Elite Spellbinder and Kazandu Mammoth represent a very short clock, especially when the latter usually swings for five damage.
Luminarch Aspirant is the last of the deck’s aggressive cards. It can grow itself or another creature if need be. I like to put my counters on my fliers since creatures with evasion look the best wearing them.
The Disruption Package
The rest of the creatures act as the deck’s disruption package. My favorite by a large margin is Thalia, Guardian of Thraben. Only six cards in the deck are non-creatures, meaning that it usually acts as a tax effect against your opponents’ cards and doesn’t really punish you. Thalia’s ability may not seem very relevant, but this is devastating against the most popular decks that try to play multiple spells a turn, like Izzet Phoenix.
Scavenging Ooze is the graveyard hate card of the deck. It gains you some life by exiling your opponent’s creatures, but its main role is to prevent them from reusing the graveyard. This strategy is great in the current metagame. Not to mention that the Ooze can outgrow every other creature in late-game aggro matchups. It also stabilizes your life total in the process.
Archon of Emeria is one of the deck’s MVPs. It can shut down entire strategies like Izzet Phoenix and Rakdos Arcanist. Having a mana value of three is huge, since it means the Archon dodges Fatal Push. It can also grow outside the range of other removal with a bit of help from Luminarch Aspirant.
Most decks in the meta have removal spells to combat aggro strategies, but Selesnya Company is somewhat resilient to spot removal and makes board wipes more expensive.
Collected Company is an excellent addition to the deck since it refills your board in a pinch and adds pressure with cheap but strong creatures. Being instant speed also gives you the benefit of surprise, and a turn 3 Company thanks to Llanowar Elves is a game-winner most of the time.
The deck’s other non-creature spells include The Great Henge and Emeria’s Call. The Henge can be cast as early as turn 3 thanks again to Llanowar Elves. This card alone can generate a ton of value and is back-breaking for your opponent if it’s followed by a Collected Company.
Emeria’s Call has the same role as Kazandu Mammoth, which consists of answering both mana screw and mana flood. Aggressive strategies are punished the most and having flexible cards that answer those issues is very important.
As far as lands go, the deck runs a very smooth mana base. Hashep Oasis is an excellent card as you can deal the last points of damage you need to close the game with it. The deck only needs three to four lands to operate at its full potential anyways.
As for the rest, try to have a decent combination of green and white mana in your starting hand. Prioritize white the most, though, as your deck needs to be able to cast Skyclave Apparitions for interaction.
Some interactions may be very intuitive, but some are a bit more difficult to spot if you haven’t played with the deck or haven’t seen it in action. Don’t worry, I’ll help you with those right off the bat!
- Collected Company being an instant gives you a lot of flexibility when you want to cast it. If you’re racing your opponent or trying to pressure them, though, you should play it in the pre-combat main phase since you may end up hitting some Luminarch Aspirants that can grow your creatures.
- Thalia, Guardian of Thraben is great at taxing your opponents, but don’t forget that you can play Lovestruck Beast’s adventure sorcery first and save yourself one mana. It’s not that big of a deal, just something to consider.
- Try to prioritize pumping your fliers with Luminarch Aspirant rather than your ground creatures, since your opponents will have a more challenging time blocking them.
- Be careful deciding which creature you want to pump with Hashep Oasis. If all you have in play is a 1/1, you won’t be able to attack with Lovestruck Beast if you pump it. The same applies when distributing counters with Luminarch Aspirant.
- Archon of Emeria taxes both you and your opponent, so play it last in a situation where you can cast two spells.
One thing that’s particularly difficult for most players is making sideboard adjustments for games 2 and 3. Cards can vary depending on the play or the draw, which is why I’ll try to cover the most common matchups you’ll face while trying to reach mythic this season.
This list is not great in a mirror match since we run three Thalia, Guardian of Thrabens. Side those out on games 2 and 3 and replace them with Baffling End and Giant Killer. Knight of Autumn can also be sided in on the draw to prevent your opponent from going wide thanks to The Great Henge.
Izzet Phoenix Matchups
Game 1 is going to be in your favor since you have answers that keep Izzet Phoenix from playing multiple spells a turn. You just need to be careful to not get killed by a giant Sprite Dragon, but don’t get too stressed about it; Skyclave Apparition can deal with the Sprite. The real problem is Stormwing Entity, so you should trade for it in combat if you get a chance.
Post-sideboard you’re going to bring in your graveyard hate and an extra Thalia to limit your opponent. You’re also going to bring it two Giant Killers, and you can even bring a third on the draw in one of The Great Henge’s slots.
Jeskai Control Matchups
This is a harder matchup since the latest Jeskai Control lists run both spot removal and board wipes. Pressure them just enough to have them clear the board and then cast Collected Company at the end of their end step to continue the beating. The Great Henge is another excellent way to go wide, so prioritize casting it as soon as you can.
Post-sideboard you want to have access to Shifting Ceratops, a bulky creature that can’t be countered but can attack right away even if your opponent clears the board. Reidane, God of the Worthy is also an excellent answer against their key cards and wipes.
Jund Sacrifice Matchups
You have the advantage here as you aim to finish the game before Jund Sacrifice gets to assemble their combo. Even if they manage it, you have the tools to disrupt them with Skyclave Apparition. Given the option, always get rid of Witch’s Oven over Trail of Crumbs.
The opponent also runs little removal in game 1, which makes things easier. Always be careful to grow your creatures outside of Mayhem Devil’s range, though.
The plan against aggro decks is to manage the board’s tempo. This matchup is a race to deal the final few points of damage. Your main removal is great at dealing with their creatures and, more importantly, neither mono black nor Gruul aggro run tons of fliers to block your threats.
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben isn’t terrible at blocking since has first strike, so it can hold the ground on its own if needed. And if it gets some counters from Luminarch Aspirant, it can quickly grow into a wall your opponents won’t be able to pass.
Post-sideboard, however, side out your Thalias to bring in your dedicated removal with Baffling End. Knight of Autumn is also nice as it stabilizes your life total. Depending on what you see in game 1, you can also side in the rest of the cards and trim more copies of Archon of Emeria.
Dimir Rogues Matchups
This is a tough match as Dimir Rogues has removal and fliers to block your creatures. Scavenging Ooze is your best answer against them, and it’s enough left unanswered most of the time. Try to bait your opponent’s removal by playing your other creatures before you drop the Ooze.
Other Cards to Try
It’s always good to have some options that you can swap back and forth between your builds as the meta changes. Here are just some of them.
Forgotten Realms Lands
With the introduction of the new D&D set, the most significant addition that I see for Selesnya Company are the green and white manlands. Cave of the Frost Dragon is a solid flier that can get above your opponent’s ground blockers, and Lair of the Hydra has a fireball effect after board wipes. Both can replace Emeria’s Call.
Yasharn, Implacable Earth
This card is designed to beat Jund Sacrifice, and you can add two copies of the boar if the meta is suddenly filled with Food.
Declaration in Stone
A solid replacement for Baffling End as it can hit multiple targets at once with a slight drawback. Declaration performs best against token decks.
You’ll be replacing Giant Killer with the Command as they have a similar role, but Dromoka’s has more reach in terms of flexibility.
An excellent combat trick that’s primarily a sideboard card against control decks. It protects your creatures against control’s board wipes and spot removal.
Settle the Wreckage
This can be a decent sideboard card on the draw against aggro decks, so if you’re running into lots of fast-paced lists, consider running a copy or two of the Wreckage.
Rhonas the Indomitable
Most people find Rhonas to be a perfect addition to the main deck, and it pumps the rest of your creatures and swings for tons of damage when enabled in some versions of Selesnya Company.
It’s been very fun to play with this deck. It’s straightforward and you can manage the match’s tempo with your toolbox of creatures and then deliver the finishing blow with Collected Company when you’re ready.
I hope you have as much fun as I did if you test this deck out! Don’t forget to let me know in the comments how it performed for you, and which changes you’d make to improve it. Oh, and be sure to grab Arena Tutor if you’re playing on MTGA a lot and want a free app to track your matches.
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