Owen’s Pick of the Week: Abzan Aggro

Owen’s Pick of the Week is Abzan Aggro!

Last weekend at GP Memphis the top billing went to Sultai Control. I feel Abzan Aggro is well positioned against Sultai Control and a deck that’s now slightly off the radar. One of the biggest weaknesses of Abzan Aggro is its poor matchup against RW Aggro, but I think that drastically changes when you factor in Back to Nature—a card that can straight-up embarrass Chained to the Rocks and Outpost Siege.

The biggest change in the starting lineup is Courser of Kruphix over Wingmate Roc. I wanted to play with Courser here, since lowering the curve is so important in this environment. Wingmate Roc had its time to shine and just ain’t what it used to be. Courser is just a ridiculously good Magic Card that doesn’t get played as much as it should.

Lastly, in the current metagame it has no bad matchups. No matchup exists where you don’t want a Courser. It’s good against fast aggro, it’s good against midrange, it’s even good against control.

Control mastermind Andrew Cuneo was recently stressing to me the importance of killing Courser of Kruphix when he plays a control deck. As the game goes longer, a green deck with an uncontested Courser has a better overall quality of cards in hand than a control deck using card draw.

I will admit there’s some awkward lack of synergy between having Courser of Kruphix and Back to Nature in your deck, but ultimately I feel the cards are both individually too good not to play and together you can either accept that you may have issues, or, when you side one in you can take the other out. These both seem like totally viable options to me.

I’ve been playing a ton of Standard recently, and I feel a bit foolish that I have chosen to play with Thoughtseize and Siege Rhino in my deck such a small number of times. Those cards are completely amazing and I’ve been a bad professional player for neglecting them this long.

I’d also like to mention how strong Drown in Sorrow is in the current metagame. If you take a look at Ben Stark’s RW aggro list, his maindeck threats are exactly 4 copies of Soulfire Grand Master, Seeker of the Way, Goblin Rabblemaster, and Hordeling Outburst. Drown in Sorrow is incredible against a field that looks like this. It’s just 3-mana Plague Wind with scry 1. I imagine Ben didn’t play against many Drown in Sorrow-type cards, or got creative in sideboarding to avoid such blowouts. In any case, Drown in Sorrow’s stock has gone up dramatically.

Thanks again for reading and good luck piloting my Pick of the Week!

Owen Turtenwald

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