June 09, 2015

Standard Rally the Ancestors

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I really thought our days of draining our opponent out with Gray Merchant of Asphodel were over. Most of the cards that had a high devotion count rotated out of Standard with Return to Ravnica block. There aren't many cards that provide you with BB these days and it's really hard to justify playing a 2/4 creature for five mana. Yet today's deck is an Abzan deck that tries to win with a huge Gray Merchant of Asphodel trigger.

Abzan Rally is a graveyard recursion deck that wants to fill up its graveyard as fast as possible. Once the right creatures are in the graveyard, Rally the Ancestors brings them all back. From there you can trigger your Gray Merchants and Siege Rhinos, and it's usually enough to kill your opponent, even from 20 life!

I was really impressed when I saw this deck in action and was curious if Rally the Ancestors saw a lot of FFL (Future Future League, our internal Standard league) play during its time in development. After asking around, I found out that Rally didn't see a ton of play, and was mostly a "Mons" card. Mons Johnson, of Mons's Goblin Raiders fame, is known for building wacky FFL decks, and while he piloted this card a decent amount, no one else really did. The development team concluded that Rally the Ancestors was a fun Johnny card and wouldn't really make much of an impact in Standard.

It's really interesting to me that a card like Rally the Ancestors is the backbone of a great Standard deck. Now, this deck isn't winning Pro Tours or anything, but it can definitely hold its own in a tournament. It's definitely fun to see the look on your opponent's face when you cast Rally and return four Gray Merchants to the battlefield for a 32 point life swing.

RandomDrooler’s Standard Abzan Rally



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