Back during Strixhaven preview season, there was one card in particular I was very excited to start brewing with. I was so excited to play with it, I even started looking at potential decks for it long before I had the card to do any testing with. That card was of course Dragon’s Approach, the latest iteration of the ‘have any number of cards named …’ design to enter Magic the Gathering.
A sorcery for three mana, Dragon’s Approach deals three damage to each opponent, and then you can also exile it and four cards named Dragon’s Approach from your graveyard to search up a Dragon creature card and put it straight onto the battlefield. Now initially I intended to test this card out in Modern, using it alongside Thrumming Stone and some mana acceleration to from an instant win combo. Outside of that, I didn’t really think it would find a home outside of possibly Commander.
So, imagine my surprise when I saw it start to show up on Arena in both Standard and Historic ladder matches. Not only that, but it was winning games. So, I decided to try the deck out myself, and see if it was a meme or a legitimate contender for the up coming season of Arena play. After a few games of both Standard and Historic, with a few different builds tested, I have settled on this Historic brew as the deck I prefer. Not only is it fun to play, but its also a decent list to play if you are more of a fan of Bo1 games. So, let’s have a look at Lorehold Approach for Historic.
The game plan of the deck is to get four copies of Dragon’s Approach into our graveyard as quickly as possible, then cast one from our hand and search up a copy of Velomachus Lorehold and start the beatdown. To help make sure we can do this as early as turn 3, the deck runs three playsets of card filtering in the form of Faithless Looting, Cathartic Reunion and Thrilling Discovery. All these draw 2-3 cards while also letting you discard 2 cards from your hand (which we obviously want to be Dragon’s Approach).
Speaking of Dragon’s Approach, the deck runs at least 20 copies, so there is a really good chance of having more than a few in your hands at any one point. The deck also runs three copies of Velomachus Lorehold as the dragon payoff, partly because it’s a hasty threat, but mainly because of the attack trigger that allows you to look seven cards deep into your library and cast an Instant or Sorcery for free. This means if all goes according to plan, you can easily deal up to 11 damage by turn 3, and finish of the game by turn 4.
For lands, the deck rounds a conservative 21 lands, with a mixture of duels and basics. Playsets of Scared Foundry and Needleverge Pathway, as well as 3 copies of Inspiring Vantage gives the deck a decent number of untapped duels, which is supported by 7 Mountains and 3 Plains to round out the mana base. That leaves 4 cards to put into the main deck, and this is where you can have a bit of fun.
I have seen a few people play Time Warp in order to get multiple combat phases thanks to Velomachus Lorehold trigger, while others run a playset of damaged based sweepers to clear away the opposition and keep you safe from the crack back. I am a fan of the latter camp, and as a result run a playset of Deafening Clarion. This works double duty as it not only clears away aggro threats while leaving Velomachus Lorehold pretty much untouched, but also gives our elder dragon Life Link which can buffer our life total which is not nothing.
3 Velomachus Lorehold
4 Faithless Looting
4 Cathartic Reunion
4 Thrilling Discovery
20 Dragon's Approach
4 Deafening Clarion
3 Inspiring Vantage
4 Scared Foundry
4 Needleverge Pathway
Now this is the point in the article where I talk about the sideboard and what cards you should run and why. But the thing is, this is one of those decks that works better in Best of 1 games over traditional Best of 3. The reason is that the deck is great in game one when our opponent doesn’t know what we are doing. However, once they know what is going on they can usually disrupt our game plan quite easily. Graveyard hate stops us from playing the combo. Hand attack can shutdown the deck by taking out the deck’s cards draw. And if the deck losses Velomachus Lorehold, its going to be an uphill battle to pull out a win.
That doesn’t mean you can’t play and win in Bo3. I have been able to bust out more than a few victories with it in testing. But if you are going to play it in Bo3 there are a few cards I would recommend that are going to shoring up the deck. Leyline of Sanctity is a good shout to protect you from hand attack spells like Thoughtseize and Inquisition of Kozilek. Rip Apart is a great multi tool spells, been able to act as targeted removal for small creatures, artifacts and enchantments. And since the deck is running White, I would recommend some exiling effects for larger creatures and threats.
And that is Lorehold Approach for Historic. The deck is a blast to play, and the perfect plate cleanser if you are looking for a bit of dumb combo fun after a long hard day at work. But I would love to know what do you think about today’s deck? Is this the kind of random brew you would like to play? Or have you a different janky deck you want to try out? Please let me know in the comments below, and while you’re there you could like and subscribe to keep up to date with all we do here at Master of Magics.
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