Pro Tour Fate Reforged Deck Diaries: Matej Zatlkaj

Posted in NEWS on February 18, 2015

By Event Coverage Staff

Gold-level pro and Grand Prix coverage mainstay Matej Zatlkaj was also one of the Pro Tour Fate Reforged Deck Diary participants. His approach, for the most part, was very straight-forward. After the Banned & Restricted announcement, Zatlkaj set to work on building a deck that he was the most comfortable with: Abzan.

Below are the three drafts prior to the final deck he registered. Enjoy!

Matej Zatlkaj

Here are my initial thoughts:

-The Banned & Restricted list updates make us think Abzan is a solid choice, especially with the addition of Siege Rhino to the deck. Birthing Pod was a bad match-up and that is now gone, which opens the deck up to be a house.

-I’ve been playing B/G decks for two years now and feel most comfortable playing this archetype.

-It is a deck that can beat anything but doesn’t have overwhelmingly good match-ups.

Draft 1

Matej Zatlkaj’s Abzan – PTFRF Deck Diary Draft 1

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This is a straightforward version with very consistent numbers across the board, covering plenty of angles. It just plays the best cards. The mana-base comes from Robin Dolar’s Grand Prix Boston-Worcester 2014 winning deck. However, it is untested and one of the first decks we put together for our Modern gauntlet.

Draft 2 (the first version with a sideboard)

Matej Zatlkaj’s Abzan – PTFRF Deck Diary Draft 2

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My thoughts:

-We clearly have a defined core of the deck: Abrupt Decay / Tarmogoyf / Siege Rhino / Liliana of the Veil / discard spells.

-This deck has a rough mana-base and I’m testing one-ofs in the deck to see how they perform.

-The first sideboard is based on our initial gauntlet testing and Modern articles/tweets/forum impressions.

Draft 3

Here is our latest draft.

Matej Zatlkaj’s Abzan – PTFRF Deck Diary Draft 3

Download Arena Decklist

The one missing card from the sideboard is an undetermined miser’s slot for the mirror match. I have to decide between Batterskull, Sword of Light and Shadow, Sigarda, Host of Herons, Gideon Jura, Sorin, Solemn Visitor, Thragtusk, or Zealous Persecution.

My thoughts:

-With a much better idea of how which match-ups go, we adjusted the sideboard to compensate for some of the worst match-ups.

-I’m still making small tweaks to develop a clear sideboard plan so that we know what we board out and what goes in.

-The mana-base still in flux largely depending on how many white cards we play in the end.

Here is Matej Zatlkaj’s final version of the Abzan deck that he played in the Pro Tour.

Matej Zatlkaj’s Abzan – Pro Tour Fate Reforged

Download Arena Decklist

The miser’s card that Zatlkaj referred to was Zealous Persecution, which made it into the final 75.

Zatlkaj managed 18 match points (a 6-4 record) in the Modern portion. His Booster Draft performance left him a bit short of additional Pro Points at the end of the weekend, with his final finish at 119th