Abzan: Flip it Turnways

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Atifexe
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Abzan: Flip it Turnways

Postby Atifexe » 07 Oct 2014, 18:52

Abzan: Flip it Turnways! is a casual deck I just threw together intended to highlight how much I love the idea of the card Hardened Scales. It is also a deck that I'd like some feedback on - It's listed on Tapped Out as a Standard format deck, mostly because I wanted to force myself to work within those restrictions instead of falling back on my default favorite +1/+1 counter cards. It is intended for casual play.

Off the top of my head, I'd say the first thing that could require addressing is the general lack of removal. I'd like to try to find some medium point between the Heroes' Downfall type super efficient removal and the very expensive Rite of the Serpent, and in this regard I think I'd be willing to consider cards outside of Standard (I think I have to, actually).

That said, I'd like any input anyone feels up to offering. This isn't intended to be a super-efficient tournament deck, but I would like it to be able to stand up in most casual environments. Any thoughts?
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Re: Abzan: Flip it Turnways

Postby OneirosGolem » 08 Oct 2014, 18:34

If your goal is to go off with Hardened Scales, maybe consider cards like Commune With The Gods to dig for it? There's also Plea for Guidance, but Hardened Scales strikes me as the kind of card you want to get early, and 6 mana is anything but early.

You could even try comboing with cards like Pharika's Mender so that late game you can pull back relevant things you accidentally milled. But admittedly, I'm not sure that's what you want in a 5 mana slot.

It'd take the deck in a slightly different direction, but a playset of Feat of Resistance & Reap What Is Sown can enable / protect Heroic cards. And if you have Hardened Scales out, that's double the counters.
Akroan Skyguard, Bloodcrazed Hoplite, Hero of Leina Tower are the ones that, at a glance, gain a counter and are in your colours without being too difficult to cast. (Fabled Hero also rates highly for me, so it's your call if 1WW is too much of a strain)

As for removal: Banishing Light, maybe? Kill shot? Hunt the Weak seems far too appropriate to cut, but I think it's better late in the game when you're established. So maybe try a few cheaper removal spells like Last Breath or Reprisal?
Atifexe
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Re: Abzan: Flip it Turnways

Postby Atifexe » 09 Oct 2014, 11:08

Hmm... Would dropping two Incremental Growth for two Reap What is Sown be a good idea? I really do like it - it's an instant, it costs two less than Incremental Growth, and it hits as many targets, which is the main reason for having included Incremental Growth in the first place.

In regards to removal, part of my reason for not including Banishing Light or the new two-mana one that only hits toughness 3+ creatures is the existing vulnerability to Back to Nature. I'd prefer removal that's a little more permanent than just dropping my opponent's creatures into cryostasis. To this end, I think Kill Shot fits better than the others you suggested. Abzan Charm can also work as a bit of removal, though admittedly conditional (power 3+). The question becomes what to swap for it?

If Pharika's Mender was repeatable return, I'd be more inclined to use it. I feel like I could find other on-colour single use reshuffle or recovery effects for less if I really wanted to. The others, though... Well, I feel like the High Sentinels and the Falconer are enough flying, so I'm not inclined to include the Skyguard. Bloodcrazed Hoplite and Fabled Hero are both catching my eye, but again I'm not certain what to remove to make room for them. Maybe a Longshot Squad for the Fabled Hero and a Disowned Ancestor for the Hoplite?
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Re: Abzan: Flip it Turnways

Postby Lord Hosk » 09 Oct 2014, 11:38

I would cut the Disowned Ancestors in favor of more of the creatures you already have, Falconer, Captain and fortress primarily. Also why no Life link outlast?
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OneirosGolem
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Re: Abzan: Flip it Turnways

Postby OneirosGolem » 09 Oct 2014, 15:08

First: I just noticed you've only got 20 land: you're really gonna want at least 4 more, if not 5. Otherwise you'll spend a lot of games struggling to hit 4 mana.

If it doesn't seem good to you, then don't bother with Pharika's Mender. It was just something I stumbled across on Gatherer when I was trying to remember what enchantment finding effects were available.

On removal: I can understand wanting to avoid a Back To Nature blowout. So I repeat my recommendation for Last Breath. It seems to me that your deck doesn't care too much about the opponent gaining 4 life, and it will exile whatever creatures your Abzan Charm can't.

As for things to get rid of:
I'd trade out Longshot Squad for a different creature. You actually have fliers, so conditional Reach isn't nearly as important. Trampling Badger is only good if you can always voltron or pump it, so it seems a little questionable (despite being hilarious). Also, maybe one Disowned Ancestor. While I like that it's a 1-drop wall that grows, your 1-mana slot is really crowded.
I think you need to cut out some Incremental Growths. 5 mana is pricy. The effect is great, but I'd only put in 2, tops.

Like Hosk recommended, I'd put in one more Falconer, Tuskguard Captain, and Fortress, since they're all cards you want to see and aren't awful if you get two.

In terms of your mana curve, your 2-drop looks empty while your 1-drop is stuffed. I again suggest Last Breath as a possible 2-drop removal, and maybe Satyr Grovedancer as another creature? It comes with a +1/+1 counter, so if you draw it late you can throw the counter onto something more relevant and still have a chumper.
Atifexe
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Re: Abzan: Flip it Turnways

Postby Atifexe » 09 Oct 2014, 18:00

Yeah, 14 one-drops is pretty nuts. I think cutting the Badgers makes sense, especially if I'm dropping half the Incremental Growths.

So:
-2 Charging Badger
-2 Incremental Growth
-2 Disowned Ancestor
-1 Longshot Squad
+2 Satyr Grovedancer
+1 Ivorytusk Fortress
+1 Abzan Falconer
+1 Abzan Battle Priest
+2 Reap What Is Sown

I'm amused that no one has questioned the Fated Return. =P

I'm thinking I'll cut both Font of Fertility for more land. The Font does have fixing potential... I'm not sure on that one. Maybe Ordeal of Nylea would be worth including? Or Burnished Hart?
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Re: Abzan: Flip it Turnways

Postby tamaness » 10 Oct 2014, 07:37

I'm not one to begrudge a one-of miser's 7-drop, especially one that can get a key creature back out of the yard.

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