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Abzan if You Can


Hello, everyone! Last week, I showed a few different varieties of Orzhov (wb) decks that all had what it takes to do well in Standard. This week, I have for you a few more decklists that all are in the same color combination: Abzan (wbg). Let's get started.

Abzan Tokens

The first deck I have for you this week wants to outnumber your opponent's creatures on the battlefield. Let's take a look at the deck:

Corpse Knight
Especially in a token-making deck like this one, Corpse Knight has the potential to finish off your opponent without you ever needing to attack them. If you're able to keep a copy or two of Corpse Knight on the battlefield and then cast March of the Multitudes, you can deal a decent amount of damage directly to your opponent. If you're able to attack your opponent for a few points of damage in the early game, dealing a point of damage for each new creature that enters the battlefield under your control gives the deck the reach it needs to be able to finish off an opponent without leaving you vulnerable to a counter attack.

If you find yourself unable to keep Corpse Knight on the battlefield, you still have a good chance to beat your opponent through the sheer number of attackers you can create. Hold your creatures back until you'll be able to deal enough damage with your unblocked smallest creatures. Plus, by holding back until you can make an alpha strike, you'll make it difficult for your opponent to attack you since you'll likely be able to kill any attacking creature by blocking it with multiple creatures.

Even though most of your token creatures will be small 1/1's, there are a few different ways to beef them up. The first is by having Trostani Discordant on the battlefield. Trostani Discordant will give all of your other creatures a bonus of +1/+1. You can also use up to five of your tokens to cast Venerated Loxodon using its convoke ability, which will give the creatures used to help cast it a +1/+1 counter permanently. Finally Pledge of Unity will put a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control as well as gaining you a point of life for each of them. Advantages like that can really help you turn a game around.

Abzan Legends

The next deck I have for you is looking to take advantage of legendary permanents. Let's take a look at it:

Kethis, the Hidden Hand
Kethis, the Hidden Hand plays a big part in allowing this deck to run smoothly. First, the reduction in casting cost makes it possible for you to build up a force of legendary creatures and planeswalkers much easier than usual. Kethis also allows you the ability to play legendary spells from your graveyard. Since legendary spells are generally more powerful than non-legendary ones, being able to use them multiple times offers you a big advantage. Also, bringing back a creature or planeswalker that your opponent has already spent some resources to destroy once makes it more likely that your opponent won't be able to get rid of it as easily the second time.

Traxos, Scourge of Kroog is a 7/7 creature with trample. If it didn't have the drawback of not untapping during your untap step, Traxos would be able to quickly run away with the game. In a deck like this one, since there are so many legendary spells, and since legendary spells are historic, the drawback is basically nullified. As long as you're able to cast a legendary spell on each of your next turns, you'll be able to attack with Traxos and force your opponent to block or take massive damage.

One particularly terrific way to close out a game is by casting Primevals' Glorious Rebirth. As long as you have one legendary creature or planeswalker in play, you'll be able to cast Primevals' Glorious Rebirth. This will allow you to return all legendary permanents from your graveyard to the battlefield. Since this deck has such a large number of legendary permanents in it, you're likely to be able to get back a minimum of five very powerful threats. Your opponent might concede on the spot because of this.

Abzan Hero

The final deck I have for you this week takes a page out of Esper's playbook and capitalizes on the power of Hero of Precinct One. Let's take a look at the deck:

Hero of Precinct One
Hero of Precinct One creates a 1/1 Human token every time you cast a multicolored spell. It doesn't matter whether the multicolored spells you cast is countered or not, you'll get the token simply for casting the spell. Since this deck has quite a few multicolored spells, you should be able to build up a fair amount of tokens that you can use to chump block with. These tokens are also perfect to sacrifice when you cast Plaguecrafter.

Since you'll likely be able to build up a fair amount of tokens, you can also use them offensively. Attacking with them always works better when you have Sorin, Vengeful Bloodlord on the battlefield. He'll give all of your creatures and planeswalkers lifelink, so you'll be able to gain a bit of life with your tokens (and any other creatures you have that you want to attack with), even if they get blocked and destroyed.

Storrev, Devkarin Lich is a creature that hasn't seen much Standard play. In this deck, Storrev offers you a way to get additional value by returning any creature or planeswalker (especially Hero of Precinct One) from your graveyard to your hand whenever Storrev deals combat damage to a player or planeswalker. Since Storrev has trample, your opponent will have to work hard when blocking if they want to deny you this ability. This is a great way for you to be able to destroy multiple opposing creatures at once.

Wrapping Up

Abzan decks offer multiple styles of decks that you can play. Whether you like attacking with a bunch of small creatures or one large creature, or whether you'd rather not attack at all, Abzan has a deck you can play. And each of these decks has the potential to take down a tournament near you.

What do you think of these decks? Do you have any suggestions for improvements? Let me know by leaving a comment below or you can reply to me directly on Twitter (@mikelikesmtg), or email me directly at mikelikesmtg@gmail.com. Also, feel free to share this article with your friends anywhere on social media. And be sure to join me here again next week as I continue my search for innovative decks in Standard. I'll see you then!

- Mike Likes