Modern Abzan Blink (Videos)

Feature Article from Craig Wescoe
Craig Wescoe
7/12/2016 11:00:00 AM
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Abzan Blink by Craig Wescoe
Main Deck
Sideboard
2 Birds of Paradise
1 Eternal Witness
4 Fiend Hunter
4 Flickerwisp
4 Restoration Angel
4 Shriekmaw
2 Thragtusk
4 Voice of Resurgence
Creatures [25]
4 Aether Vial
2 Evolutionary Leap
4 Oath of Nissa
2 Path to Exile
Spells [12]
2 Forest (295)
3 Ghost Quarter
1 Godless Shrine
3 Marsh Flats
1 Overgrown Tomb
2 Plains (283)
2 Razorverge Thicket
2 Temple Garden
3 Verdant Catacombs
4 Windswept Heath
Lands [23]
Deck Total [60]


1 Engineered Explosives
2 Eternal Witness
3 Gaddock Teeg
1 Ghost Quarter
2 Path to Exile
3 Scavenging Ooze
3 Stony Silence
Sideboard [15]





Click for full deck stats & notes!

This is a deck that my teammate (Justin Heilig) and I built and played at Grand Prix Detroit a few months ago. The basis of the deck is to “blink” creatures with enters the battlefield abilities in order to keep gaining value from creatures.

Flickerwisp and Restoration Angel are the two ways to blink creatures. In conjunction with AEther Vial they can do some super cool things. With Fiend Hunter's enters the battlefield trigger on the stack, either flash Restoration Angel onto the battlefield or activate AEther Vial to put Flickerwisp onto the battlefield, target the Fiend Hunter, and effectively exile two creatures. This works similarly with an evoked Shriekmaw, resulting in killing two creatures and permanently gaining a Shriekmaw, since it “forgets” that it was evoked when it blinks back in.

Blinking Eternal Witness regrows more cards from the graveyard, including fallen Flickerwisps or Restoration Angels, which lets the party keep going. Flickerwisp can also blink Oath of Nissa to find more threats.

Blinking Thragtusk is my personal favorite since it gains us an additional 5 life and makes a 3/3 beast since blinking triggers both its enters the battlefield and leaves the battlefield abilities.

Mid
Low
 Evolutionary Leap
$0.55
$0.15
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Brickmaster Games 3 $0.22

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The silent MVP of the deck is Evolutionary Leap. It allows us to gain value from our creatures and then sacrifice them to find another creature to gain value from. It's the late-game engine of the deck that gives it an edge against all the other midrange decks. You can sacrifice Voice of Resurgence to get a new creature and then sacrifice the Elemental Token to get another creature. You can evoke Shriekmaw and sacrifice it to Evolutionary Leap before it dies to the evoke trigger. You can sacrifice Fiend Hunter with its ability on the stack to permanently exile a creature while also replacing itself. And the creatures we find off the Leap are either more copies of these same creatures or they are creatures with blink effects that allow us to target our creatures on the battlefield for even more value! It can really get out of hand sometimes.

Sideboard Guide

Stony Silence comes in against Affinity, Tron, and any sort of artifact-based combo deck (eggs, Sword of the Meek, etc). When I bring in Stony Silence I usually take out AEther Vial since they don't exactly work together.

Path to Exile comes in against creature decks, especially ones where sorcery speed removal (Shriekmaw / Fiend Hunter) are less effective.

Scavenging Ooze provides life gain against Burn/Zoo decks and also graveyard hate against graveyard-based combo decks. I also like it against midrange Tarmogoyf decks like Jund and Abzan since it can dominate the battlefield and Shrink Tarmogoyfs.

Eternal Witness is a value card and comes in against midrange decks but also decks where a key card in our deck is especially potent. For instance, against Tron decks, Eternal Witness recurs Ghost Quarter. Same goes for combo decks that fold to Path to Exile.

Gaddock Teeg comes in against combo decks such as Ad Nauseam. I also like it against Tron and Cryptic Command decks.

Ghost Quarter comes in against Tron and Inkmoth Nexus decks (Infect/Affinity).

Engineered Explosives comes in against decks with a lot of one-drop creatures (Zoo, Elves, etc) or in spots where I need an answer to tokens, W/B Tokens or Storm (for Empty the Warrens). Engineered Explosives for two also works against Merfolk.

Shriekmaw comes out against Affinity and we can shave a few against Chord decks since instant-speed removal, like Path to Exile, is better against them.

Evolutionary Leap can come out against fast decks since we will win the late game without it and would rather just have more cheap interaction for the early game. I often shave Flickerwisps and Oath of Nissas against fast decks too since those cards take time to set up. Be careful not to side out Thragtusk against decks running Lightning Bolt. It's our way to stay out of burn range!

This deck is perfect for FNM. It's a blast to play and the sideboard is customizable to your local metagame. If you want more protection against burn decks, add Kitchen Finks. More protection against Affinity? Add Leonin Relic-Warder or Reclamation Sage.

Craig Wescoe
@Nacatls4Life




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