Channel Owen – Standard Abzan Midrange

I’m back! Back from the Pro Tour and home again which means more video content. I’m also back from the Pantheon testing house where I got in all my games with the deck I played in Brussels: Abzan Control. I played the following list there, and I also played it in this 8­-person queue on MTGO.

Deck List


Round 1: Jeskai Dragons

This was an interesting looking brew and I didn’t know exactly how to proceed, but I sideboarded like this:



Round 2: Abzan Mirror



I could see an argument for removing Ultimate Price, but in game one I saw Tasigur so I figured there was a chance he was running multiples, and Courser of Kruphix is the most important card in the matchup—a must-­kill-­on-­site threat—so an efficiently-costed answer to that card is hard to pass up.

Finals: UB Control



Normally I would remove two Hero’s Downfall and leave the 3rd Elspeth which is awesome against control for its ability to ­-3 and destroy Dragonlord Ojutai regardless of whether it’s untapped, but against a blue/black build I feared Ashiok a bit more and wanted the Downfalls for that reason. Also if you look at Elspeth as purely a threat, it’s a bit on the lower end of power—6 mana for 3 power, a high investment cost relative to the cards that can trade for it like Negate and Disdainful Stroke.

Read the Bones was the all-star in today’s matches and I’ve been highly satisfied with my 2-main-2-side split, but I did get paired against three straight control decks. It’s just the best possible card you can have against them—fuel when you trade 1-for-1 all day with Thoughtseize and Duress, and it can either get more Duresses to blank their hand or just turn into more cards that deal damage. Also, the best possible way to win any game in any matchup is to draw as many copies of Thoughtseize and Siege Rhino as you can.

Owen Turtenwald
qazwsxedcrfvtgbyhnuj on Magic Online

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