The first FNM of a new magic set is always a slightly awkward one, as you patiently wait for your shiny new cards to arrive in the post. That’s why this week, I decided to re-visit a deck which has been popping in and out of the meta for the last 4 months – Abzan tokens!
Having opened 2 Profane Procession (arguably the most annoying Rivals of Ixalan cards to face in a sealed format) at the pre-release, I jammed them straight into a (mostly) stock Abzan Tokens list to see what would happen. For science!
The deck list was as follows:
Creatures (4) 4 Anointer Priest Planeswalkers (3) 3 Vraska, Relic Seeker Spells (8) 4 Fatal Push 1 Settle the Wreckage 3 Fumigate Artifacts (5) 3 Renegade Map 2 Treasure Map Enchantments (18) 4 Legion's Landing 4 Hidden Stockpile 2 Profane Procession 4 Anointed Procession 4 Ixalan's Binding Lands (22) 4 Concealed Courtyard 4 Evolving Wilds 1 Forest 6 Plains 2 Shefet Dunes 5 Swamp Sideboard (15) 2 Authority of the Consuls 3 Duress 1 Crook of Condemnation 3 Lost Legacy 2 Sunscourge Champion 1 Settle the Wreckage 3 Crested Sunmare
Round 1: Temur Energy (2-0)
This was my first experience of Temur energy post-ban and while I was mostly sure what to expect, I was sure there would be a few surprises. Going into this match-up and having played Abzan Tokens before, my only goal was not to die to a Glorybringer, so I made sure to keep tools available to deal with those when they inevitably arrived. Game 1 was very close, but eventually I managed to stabilise and win the game, but not before my Anointer Priests were slowly sniped off from the skies by a couple of exerting Glorybringers. Game 2 I side-boarded in all 3 Crested Sunmare, mostly for fun because I love that card. Combined with an extremely well timed Settle the Wreckage that took down an ultimated Nissa, Steward of Elements and 3 other creatures in one fell swoop, I stole the game. Horses yay!
Round 2: Jund Energy (2-1)
Blooming Marsh came down turn 1, and I knew instantly I was in for some snake shenanigans. This matchup I faced a playset of the Rogue Refiner substitute, Jadelight Ranger, which in this instance turned out to be slightly underwhelming. The first one saw 2 lands come to my opponents hand which he was slightly disappointed with, while the second one let me know about a Vraska’s Contempt going to his hand, which turns out is pretty darn useful information when you have a Vraska, Relic Seeker in hand. I took over pretty quickly in game 1. Game 2 my opponent absolutely destroyed me with the classic Snake/Walking Ballista combo. Game 3 I drew very well, and a series of Ixalan’s Binding one after another locked my opponent out of most of his key cards.
Round 3: Temur Energy (2-0)
Game 1 was very hard work, however I managed to answer all of my opponents key threats thanks to a steady stream of sacrificial servos and the Profane Procession I slammed on turn 3. Having played with the enchantment quite a bit now, it can be quite slow, but if you’re able to stabilise past turn 6 or 7, you very quickly start taking over the game. I will say that looking back it’s almost certainly a sideboard card, however once on the battlefield it puts your opponent in a very awkward position, where they are scared to play their key threats knowing they will be exiled straight away at instant speed. My opponent after the games described their reformed Temur Energy deck as a ‘Glorybringer delivery machine’, however I managed to take game 1 fairly decisively. Game 2 my opponent mulliganed down to 5 and kept a 1-lander – we’ve all been there, but it didn’t end well for them.
Round 4: Red-Black Control (1-0)
These might have been the most absurd games of magic I’ve ever played. My opponent had brewed a very janky Red-Black control deck, featuring The Scorpion God and a flipped Azor’s Gateway/Torment of Hailfire as the two main win conditions. Game 1 took a while, but I managed to quickly shutdown his combo with Ixalan’s Binding on both a Scorpion God and his turn 2 Azor’s Gateway. Game 2 we both side-boarded in 3 copies of Lost Legacy for good measure and both managed to resolve all 3 of them… leaving us in a fairly awkward spot where all of our win conditions were exiled. I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to have 4 x Anointed Procession in play and only have 1 token producing card left in your deck… however it did feel great to eventually drop a single Legion’s Landing and create 16 Vampire tokens. Game 2 went to time, but not before my opponent ended on 114 life points and used Mastermind’s Acquisition to grab a card from ‘outside the game’ (i.e. his Scorpion God I exiled). A totally bizzare but fun match.
This was my first ever 4-0 at FNM which feels pretty great, but more than anything I’m just exited to continue brewing decks now that we have a brand new set full of crazy cards and a meta which has been blown wide open by the latest banned and restricted announcement. This deck has been a lot of fun to play, but next time I’ll definitely try something new and spicy… maybe a playset of Golden Guardians to spice things up and create an army of golem tokens.
Until next time!