April 10, 2015

Shuhei Nakamura's Abzan Company


An airplane is actually a very boring place to be. Especially when the airplane is experiencing turbulence and it's basically impossible to watch a movie or write an article.

Originally, I planned to finish my article and land in Brussels with a light heart, but not everything goes to plan. But my loss is your gain, as my final Daily Deck is one straight out of my own head.

Yes, my final Daily Deck. Next Tuesday, Melissa DeTora, who now works at Wizards of the Coast and has a Pro Tour Top 8 on her resume, will take over Daily Decks.

In the meantime, I want to leave you with the deck I put together in my head while being shaken up in that cabin.

This deck is an Abzan aggro deck built around my favorite card from Dragons of Tarkir, Collected Company.

I was surprised how powerful this card is the moment I first saw it. Even with a restriction, it lets you put two creatures on the battlefield for four mana, at instant speed. I was so surprised, I reread the card, assuming it had to say "to your hand" instead.

The restriction are "top six cards of your library" and "converted mana cost 3 or less." These numbers are perfect to set flame to a deck builder's motivation. Two out of six means that almost all of the deck's creatures need to cost three mana or less.

Is there such a deck in Standard? Yes, there is. Abzan Aggro has 12 creatures for two or less; plus Anafenza, the Foremost—that's 16.

Adding Brimaz, King of Oreskos brings the number up to 19.

Now that the deck is base green-white, we can finish by adding Boon Satyr and another favorite, Den Protector.

Depending on the meta-game, Herald of Torment may be better than Boon Satyr. Building around a red-green shell with Goblin Rabblemaster and Deathmist Raptor, or adding a third color for Savage Knuckleblade sounds fun as well.

The 3 mana or less rule restricts the sideboard and I feel the deck is far from perfect compared to many decks I have introduced in my articles. However, I believe it has a shot if it can clear these uncertainties.

Please don't be mad at me if I'm not playing this deck at the Pro Tour.

Thank you all for these six months. I'll see you all somewhere soon.

Abzan Company

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