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Can I interest you in some (mainboard) discard spells so you don't completely fold to combo decks?
September 25, 2017 7 a.m.
I can understand the allure of playing Dark Confidant, but it seems to me that one of the advantages - whether intended or not - of this deck is that it runs very few creatures and therefore opponent's removal sort of becomes dead cards. Conversely, Bob is a prime target for removal. This means they will usually have multiple answers for Bob when it comes down, making it unlikely that you will ever draw a card off him. Another 2-drop candidate could be Bloodghast (played in another B/W Pox list as a recurring threat) or Wall of Omens (you get at least 1 card off it, early blocker, and you're never sad to see a removal spell used on it). That said, the 2-of Bitterblossom seems quite out of place as well.
September 24, 2017 5:23 a.m.
Typical Abzan decks only run around 13-15 creatures currently, I think. They are full of removals (Maelstrom Pulse in the maindeck instead of sideboard), and have a playset of Lilianas (used to be purely Liliana of the Veil but now maybe 1-2 Liliana the Last Hope). So if you want to go 'full' Abzan, the final list will look even more different.
As for the specific changes you brought up in the last post, I think Anafenza is not maindeck material for now. Maybe try 1 Tracker and 1 Courser and see how they fare? Thoughtseize is perfectly fine, but Inquisition of Kozilek and even Duress is good too.
September 23, 2017 10:24 a.m.
If you want to play a lifegain-based deck, I'd suggest Martyr Proc or straight up Soul Sisters or even Norin Sisters. I've been dabbling with the former recently and it's pretty fun.
September 22, 2017 7:44 a.m.
I can understand - Goyfs are not cheap. If we got rid of 3 Rams, 1 Doran and 2 Formations (6 cards), I would play 1-2 more Scavenging Ooze, 1 more Lingering Souls, and probably some number of discard spells or utility creatures like Tireless Tracker, Courser of Kruphix, Anafenza the Foremost, etc. Then this deck will firmly be an Abzan midrange deck. It should have fair game against a wide variety of tier decks.
September 22, 2017 7:42 a.m.
This really is too fine a balance to make - with only 18 creatures in the first place you don't have enough creatures to benefit off the Doran/Assault Formation strategy (Birds can now attack, Rhino and Angel both get +1, and the obvious payoff are the Rams, but the Finks get -1) and then you run the risk of playing Rams that don't have much impact on the board (I don't imagine that an Abzan deck is that weak to aggro). You can still devote 3 spots to Doran/Formation if you really want to, but you can try Tarmogoyf instead of Rams. They are usually 3/4s and can become 4/5s or even 5/6s, and they can do something even if Doran/Formation is not out.
September 21, 2017 5:12 a.m.
September 21, 2017 5:01 a.m.
September 20, 2017 6:03 p.m.
You're welcome. I really like Heroic as a mechanic back when it was in Standard. However, a deck based on Heroic does run into several problems, like drawing spells when there are no creatures on board, not drawing enough spells to complement the creatures, running out of gas beyond Turn 5, etc. That was why I thought spells that can be cast more than once (Rebound, Flashback), and creatures that generate creatures (Vanguard of Brimaz, Brimaz, King of Oreskos, Monastery Mentor, Young Pyromancer) are key to this type of deck. A go-wide strategy is good because we have ways to pump the whole board, with Phalanx Leader and Anax and Cymede.
Therefore, my own suggested list is this: 4 each of Monastery Swiftspear, Favored Hoplite, Young Pyromancer, Phalanx Leader, 2 Anax and Cymede and 3 split among Brimaz, King of Oreskos and Monastery Mentor (21 creatures); 4 each of Gods Willing, Emerge Unscathed, Blossoming Defense, Pit Fight (I think we do need some mainboard removal), and 3 Warriors' Lesson (19 spells); 10 fetchlands (4 Windswept Heath, 4 Arid Mesa, 2 Wooded Foothills), 4 basics (2 Plains, 1 Forest, 1 Mountain), 5 shocks (2 Temple Garden, 2 Sacred Foundry, 1 Stomping Ground) and a Horizon Canopy (20 lands). I upped the fetch count because I think the maximum number of lands we ever need is about 4 or thereabouts.
This is all theorycrafting though. I have not actually tested a deck like this in Modern before. Do let us know what your testing results are.
September 17, 2017 3:21 a.m.
September 17, 2017 1:33 a.m.
You're welcome. Let us know the results of your testing!
September 13, 2017 2:05 a.m.
Just realised you don't have a basic Forest at all - you should have at least one that you can fetch for if the opponent is playing Blood Moon. And probably a full 4 of Windswept Heath. The 2 random Flagstones of Trokair can make way, I think.
September 11, 2017 7:33 p.m.
Ok, I see. If that's the case, can I suggest Scout's Warning as a cantrip that allows for instant speed interactions? As for not being able to hardcast your WW creatures, I think that won't happen often since your mana-base is already quite clean!
September 10, 2017 9:32 p.m.
September 10, 2017 10:11 a.m.
I think other than Leonin Shikari (combat tricks with Equipment), Mirran Crusader (built in protection and evasion), and Puresteel Paladin (card advantage), you shouldn't be playing creatures that get a bonus only from equipping something (Auriok Glaivemaster, Auriok Steelshaper, Kor Duelist). My rationale is that they are going to be quite weak when played early, and that's not ideal. You need some resilient creatures in the first few turns, not creatures that become better on turn 4 when you equip something on them. Even if you cast them early, they are likely not attacking nor blocking anyway given they are basically vanilla 1/1s.
Therefore, some suggestions are Doomed Traveler (gives you an evasive spirit after dying), Sacred Cat (two lifelink bodies for a 1-drop), or Knight of the Holy Nimbus (tricky to get rid of), or Squadron Hawk (gives you more evasive bodies to hold the swords), or Auriok Champion (protection from more than one colour, goes well with the swords too). These guys will probably be better early-mid game.
I would also cut Quest for the Holy Relic entirely - it is a terrible top deck, objectively quite slow even if you manage to play it on turn 1, especially since your deck doesn't run that many creatures in the first place. And since that is the case, you may as well cut Argentum Armor, and play another sword or something like a Batterskull instead? Also, you can double up on Swords - Sword of Fire and Ice and Sword of Light and Shadow are objectively the best two swords and you can play two of each if you want.
I'd also suggest playing Gideon, Ally of Zendikar over Elspeth, Knight-Errant. He is more popular in midrange white decks ever since he was printed. I think his abilities are more relevant here. He can even animate himself and equip something if it comes to that.
Generally, I think 21 Lands, 4 Sorcery, 4 Instant, 2 Planeswalker, 6-7 Equipment, 22-23 creatures will work. Having only 19 creatures is quite risky, especially if you play against removal heavy decks like control (removal into Snapcaster buyback and/or boardwipes), Jund/Junk, etc.
September 10, 2017 9:53 a.m.
September 10, 2017 9:22 a.m.
24 creatures is not enough to justify Collected Company. You will not be hitting 2 creatures off it (i.e. only 1 or even zero) at least a quarter of the time. The curve also looks pretty rough - very crowded on the 3-drops. You may want to consider bumping up the 1 and 2-drops. Knight of the Holy Nimbus is not a bad Knight at 2CMC.
September 8, 2017 12:32 p.m.
Doesn't fit the tribal theme, but I would recommend putting in some Smuggler's Copter which dodges board-wipes, can be crewed by creatures who can't attack in, filters your draw, etc. Maybe 2-3 of them to replace the objectively weaker Kithkins. Can be a source of recursion with Order of Whiteclay too.
September 6, 2017 12:31 a.m.
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