Standard Abzan Aggro

Posted in Daily Deck on October 6, 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.

Platinum Pro, Level One tutor, and writer Reid Duke has been doing some brewing for Battle for Zendikar Standard. Although pretty much everyone is familiar with Abzan Aggro, there are a lot of interesting new card choices in his list.

The first card I'd like to point out is Drana, Liberator of Malakir. This is a great card in any kind of aggressive deck. There have been plenty of cards printed that pump all of your creatures, but Drana is the first card printed of its kind. On the surface, Drana looks like a pretty simple card. If it deals combat damage, all of your other attacking creatures get +1/+1 counters. No big deal. However, Drana has first strike. This means that she'll deal combat damage before your other creatures deal combat damage, which means that the +1/+1 counter trigger will resolve before your other creatures have dealt their damage. That's pretty cool! Your opponents will have to factor in that your creatures will be bigger, while making blocking decisions or deciding if and when to use removal.

Gideon, Ally of Zendikar also makes an appearance in this list. This is one of the most versatile planeswalkers printed in a while. It can play both offensive and defensive roles pretty easily. It's useful for making blockers or attacking for 5, but my favorite use of Gideon is making an emblem right away. Gideon can be a four-mana Glorious Anthem that never dies, and that's pretty powerful if games go long.

The final card I'd like to mention is a sideboard card, but it's a very impactful one. Lantern Scout is not just for your Ally deck. This card is excellent in aggro mirrors or against mono-red, and can create gigantic life swings that make it nearly impossible for your opponent to come back. Lifelink is a powerful tool in aggressive decks. Although there aren't any other Allies in this deck other than Drana, Liberator of Malakir and Gideon's tokens, usually all you need is that one attack to put the game out of reach.

Reid Duke's Abzan Aggro

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