November 2, 2014

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Adapting with Abzan

I am a midrange player at heart and I love playing this deck. The list above has given me a lot of success lately, and that is all due to adapting my list to the local metagame. I would like to discuss with you what I have been using to help locally that will hopefully help you get your lists to become a lot more fruitful for you.


2 Wingmate Rocs: I use to have this as a one of in my list but I added a second recently and haven’t looked back. It is extremely helpful at closing games against aggro and burn decks that have been showing up a lot more recently. I feel this deck could support more of the rocs but I think 2 are where I want to be right now.

4 Siege Rhino: A staple 4 of and there really isn’t much more to say, closes games quickly and keeps you in the game against Jeskai and Aggro.

4 Fleecemane Lion: This has been absolutely fantastic for me. It gives me more threats against control and Jeskai, it is a wall against mono red, and it is very solid in the mirror. I can definitely see a world where I cut down on some or all of these but they have been putting up such good results that they are staying for now. It’s also cute to Duneblast with him monstrous for extra fun times for everyone.

4 Courser of Kruphix: Another staple that helps gain life, find lands, and have a giant butt against mono red and other aggro decks.

4 Sylvan Caryatid: This card is a very big lynch pin in the deck that makes everything work smoothly. He is of utmost importance as trying to cast a BB1, BGW, WW4, GG1 all in the same deck can be a nightmare. This is also another in the big butt department that helps against aggro. If you are having trouble against the Jeskai Ascendancy combo deck then remember that Bile Blighting your own caryatid can sometimes just win you the game against them. You can also put some counters on him with Abzan Charm to make aggro really feel the pain of attacking without fear.

2 Elvish Mystic: Ari Lax got it right, I was on 4 for a little while as it seemed that you wanted to be as fast as possible against the field. Cutting down to 2 has been great. It has opened space for more removal and less dead draws late in games where all you want to draw is threats.


4 Abzan Charm: I use to be on 3 with 1 in my sideboard but I was boarding it in against almost all of my opponents. It is so versatile and has been one of the pillars of the deck for me. There are a lot different ways to use this card and I love it in my metagame.

2 Bile Blight: This is 100% a call on my local metagame where aggro decks are abundant. It isn’t a dead card against the mirror either as they help manage the creatures off of the planeswalkers or helps you get rhino damage through.

1 Utter End: This has been a very versatile card for me. I especially love it against decks that run a lot of enchantment removal like Chained to the Rocks and the like. It makes a very good end of turn get back rhino, trigger, then attack for 4. Also helps as a additional planeswalker removal spell as quite often my removal can be strained with multiple threats and having this can save the day.

1 Sorin, Solemn Visitor: This card is very good and I would love to have another in here somewhere but I can’t find room at this point. If anyone has ideas please comment below as I would love to hear your thoughts on possible changes. There isn’t really much to be said about this card outside of what has already been said. Good card is good and does work.

3 Elspeth, Sun’s Champion: I see most lists as running 3 and I am in agreement. The card is extremely strong but in my local metagame I often ship it to the board in favor of cards for the aggressive match ups like burn and mono red. I could definitely see cutting one for a Sorin in the near future.

1 Duneblast: I am testing this card out this week and it has been extremely useful in the main as a singleton. It gives you game one answers to greens degeneracy and helps clear up boards to a much more reasonable state and pushes you very much into the driver seat from a board stall.

4 Hero’s Downfall: I have seen lists run 3 and I think that is entirely correct but I find I need more answers to planeswalkers in my area as they are extremely strong against you.


I am on almost the exact 24 that most Abzan decks are on now but with no Mana Confluence as I have yet to feel any real need for it and the life loss really hurts when there are plentiful numbers of aggressive decks of all colours.


4 Thoughtseize: There are a few U/G heroic decks running around in my area and this has been great against them. I haven’t run into a lot of midrange decks where I would want to board out cards that are already good for them. I love them in my board as a crutch against those combo decks.

1 Glare of Heresy: This is my go to card against other Abzan and Jeskai decks. It has been a secret all star of my sideboard and I will be trying to find room for another. It is also very good against enchantment removal like Chained to the Rocks.

2 Bile Blight: More concessions to aggressive decks being popular in my area. When they die down I will definitely be cutting back on all this hate in my board.

1 Murderous Cut: You can never say no to good removal. I love this as a 1 of but not looking to add anymore.

1 Windstorm: Still testing this out. If Mardu and Jeskai fliers start popping up more then I can see going up but as of now it seems fine as a 1 of.

2 Duneblast: Same thing as before. Helps you really get back into games you were behind in.

1 End Hostilities: an early board clear against green. Haven’t had to use it recently so I could see switching it out but the fear is real and we have a tough game against them.

3 Drown in Sorrow: The safety net against mono red, it is a must in your board if you have any semblance of mono red in your area.

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Hopefully this gave you some clarity into the Abzan deck and what I am doing to combat my metagame. I would love to hear your input or answer any questions you have about the deck.