MTG Reporter – Bittersweet Madness at SCG Dallas, 9th Place [Edward Eng]

I was really pumped for the second SCG Dallas of this year. I wanted revenge. And just like every tournament I play in, I wanted to win the whole thing. I felt really good going into the tournament. I was in the zone.

I chose to jam Abzan Aggro because I think it’s the best deck in the format right now. As I mentioned in my previous article, Abzan Aggro is a deck that has a proactive plan and amazing sideboard cards to cover all matchups. I also picked Brad Nelson’s build because I think it’s the most streamlined version.

Abzan Aggro - Edward Eng

Creatures (20)
4 Anafenza, the Foremost
4 Fleecemane Lion
4 Rakshasa Deathdealer
4 Siege Rhino
2 Warden of the First Tree
2 Wingmate Roc

Spells (14)
4 Abzan Charm
3 Dromoka's Command
2 Hero's Downfall
3 Thoughtseize
2 Sorin, Solemn Visitor




3 Den Protector
3 Drown in Sorrow
2 Duress
3 Self-Inflicted Wound
3 Ultimate Price

I know a lot of people have been swapping out the Den Protectors for other cards because they think it’s a bit durdly. To be honest, I wasn't sure how useful the card would be. But I figured I give it a try before making any changes. It turned out to be a fine card but some adjustments might need to be made based on my tournament results. 

I’ll quickly go through my matches so you know how things went.

R1: W 2-0 vs. BW Warriors (1-0)

My creatures and removal outclassed hers.

R2: W 2-1 vs. Jeskai Control (2-0)

I controlled the board as best I could and minimized damage from my lands until I could take over with my creatures.

R3: L 0-2 vs. Bant Heroic (2-1)

This was kind of a rough matchup. You obviously need to do your best to contain their creatures before they get out of control all while trying to get damage in with your crits. I'm pretty sure I made a mistake one game where I tried to race with a Rakshasa Deathdealer instead of hold it back on defense until I built a bigger army.

R4: W 2-1 vs. Jeskai Dragons (3-1)

I ran him over with creatures backed up with Thoughtseize. I was also careful not to get wiped by End Hostilities.

R5: W 2-0 vs. Mardu Dragons (4-1)

You sometimes act as the control deck in this matchup in a sense that you need to know when to hold up mana and the right removal for Goblin Rabblemaster and various dragons. Hero's Downfall is obviously important for Stormbreath Dragon.

R6: W 2-1 vs. Mono Red Aggro (5-1)

Stemmed the bleeding as best I could in the early game until I could take over with Siege Rhinos. Drown in Sorrow is key.

R7: L 1-2 vs. 4C Collected Company (5-2)

He ran into a bunch of Hornet Nests in our matchup. You need Drown in Sorrow against this deck. One more loss and I'm done.

R8: W 2-1 vs. Jeskai Tokens (6-2)

Played out like Mono Red. You've gotta stem the bleeding early here too before you take over with Siege Rhinos.

R9: W 2-0 vs. 5C Dragons (7-2)

The win-and-in. Put the pressure on. Watch out for Crux of Fate. He kind of stumbled on mana game 2 and I ran him over. I'm in for Day 2.

R10: W 2-0 vs. Atarka Red (8-2)

Siege Rhinos.

R11: L 0-2 vs. Bant Heroic (8-3)

Second loss to this deck. Didn't make any obvious mistakes this time. Matchup doesn't feel great. Might need to revisit sideboard to shore up things against this deck.

R12: W 2-0 vs. GW Collected Company (9-3)

Ran him over before he could amass an army.

R13: W 2-1 vs. Abzan Control (10-3)

Don't remember much here. Just jam dudes. Save Hero's Downfall for Elspeth, Sun's Champion and Ugin, the Spirit Dragon.

R14: W 2-0 vs. Abzan Megamorphs (11-3)

Abzan Charm and Anafenza, the Foremost did a lot of work against Den Protector and Deathmist Raptor. My own Den Protectors gave me an advantage.

R15: W 2-0 vs. Atarka Red (12-3)

Stem the bleeding. Siege Rhino. Again. Game 2 I mull to 4 on the draw and WIN. Drown in Sorrow and Siege Rhino. Very good. I played the best I could only to end up 9th on tiebreakers. 1.1%. What a crappy and good feeling at the same time. At least I got some points to qualify me for an SCG Invitational. Maybe I'll jam the New Jersey one in August.

Moving forward...I'd still play this deck. It's very powerful. And I still think it's the best deck in the format. One card I'm considering to shore up the Heroic matchup is Winds of Qal Sisma. The card is probably good in other various attrition matchups.

Feel free to message me in the comments section below or on social media to talk about the deck or any of the matchups. Thanks.

Peace, love, and good games...

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