Legacy Punishing Abzan

Posted in Daily Deck on December 3, 2015

By Melissa DeTora

Melissa is a former Magic pro player and strategy writer who is now working in R&D on the Play Design team.

If you ask enfranchised Legacy players what the strongest card in Legacy is, the majority of those players will say Brainstorm. Brainstorm does quite a lot, and many decks are built to exploit the card's power. Magic is a game about drawing the right cards at the right times, and Brainstorm helps reach that goal. Drawing three cards and putting back two cards that you don't need right now and then shuffling your deck with a fetch land is one of the best things you can do in this format.

Today's deck isn't a Brainstorm deck, but rather an anti-Brainstorm deck. Tom Keating proved the world wrong by winning the Legacy Open last weekend with a deck that not only doesn't play Brainstorm, but also stops opponents from casting their own Brainstorms.

Tom's deck is a four-color midrange deck that seeks to cast a Chalice of the Void for one on either turn one or two. Chalice can completely lock a player out of a game, especially if that player's deck is full of Brainstorms, Ponders, and Lightning Bolts. Once Chalice is in play, this deck looks to control the game with cards like Liliana of the Veil and Abrupt Decay while returning Wastelands and fetch lands to your hand with Life from the Loam.

The deck is named "Punishing Abzan" because, although it's predominantly an Abzan deck, it splashes red for the powerful combo of Punishing Fire and Grove of the Burnwillows. This combo will stop any creature deck cold, and can act as a very slow win condition as well.

Punishing Abzan's other win condition is Knight of the Reliquary. Since you are controlling the game in the early stages with Life from the Loam and Liliana, by the time you get a Knight into play it will be quite large. Liliana makes it very easy to play around your opponent's removal spells as you can simply wait to cast your Knight until your opponent has no cards in hand, so a single Knight will usually end the game very quickly.

Tom Keating's Punishing Abzan

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