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Budget Magic: $97 (38 tix) Standard Abzan Rally


Alright boys and girls, it's Budget Magic time once again and this week we have a pretty sweet deck: Abzan Rally for Standard. Coming in at $97 in paper and 38 tix online and complete with a (potentially) game breaking combo. If you're looking for something a bit different to play this weekend, you might want to give it a try. I won't talk about the deck too much here because I cover everything in the deck tech video, so just a quick reminder: if you enjoy the budget magic series and the other video content here on MTGGoldfish, make sure to subscribe to the MTGGoldfish Youtube Channel to catch all the latest videos.

One other thing: Some people brought up last week that a $170 deck shouldn't count as "budget," and they might be right. Going forward, our video series is going to be split into two parts: Budget Magic for decks that cost less than $100 in paper, and a yet-to-be-named series highlighting rogue brews that cost over $100. The yet-to-be-named part is where you come in. I'm horrible at creating catchy titles, so if you have any ideas for the rogue deck series, please leave them in the comments. If we like it, it just might end up the title for the series! Anyway, on to the videos. 

Abzan Rally Deck Tech

Abzan Rally v RG Bees

Abzan Rally v Esper Dragons

Abzan Rally v Jeskai Aggro

The List

Discussion

I should probably start by saying that I never expected to play Rally the Ancestors. Ever. Not in draft. Not in cube. And certainly not in constructed. But after spending the last week with this deck, I have to admit it is pretty addicting. It can kill opponents out of nowhere and really adds another dimension to graveyard based strategies. As I stated in the deck tech, I have no idea if this build is better than a more traditional Whip of Erebos build, but it is most definitely way more fun. 

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As you probably noticed looking at the list, the manabase is rough. We have infinite comes-into-play tapped lands which can slow the deck down by an entire turn (for instance, when you have to wait until turn three to play a Satyr Wayfinder or Sylvan Caryatid). While this deck has enough power to win despite this limitation, upgrading the manabase would be my first priority. If budget is no concern, I would replace the eight gainlands with four scrylands (which at least gives value for the downside of entering the battlefield tapped) and four Windswept Heaths. 

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On the other hand, I wouldn't change a whole lot about the creature/spell base. The most questionable card is Nighthowler, which is basically a nonbo with Rally the Ancestors. While I wouldn't call the enchantment creature bad, it does feel out of place. At first I thought it was included to up the black devotion count when Rallying back Gray Merchant of Asphodel, but this doesn't work out in practice — assuming our opponent's graveyard is creature-free, Nighthowler just dies because Rally the Ancestors empties our graveyard. I guess it is suppose to be a Plan B for when we fill our graveyard but don't draw a Rally the Ancestors, but I would think just having second copy of Whip of Erebos is probably better.

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One card I'm really interested in trying is Dragonlord Kolaghan (my least favorite elder dragon). While it requires splashing another color, it seems like it could give the deck another dimension. Currently we don't really win by attacking. Sure, we can beat down with Siege Rhinos, but generally we are counting on Rallying back Gray Merchant of Asphodels for the combo kill. With a Dragonlord Kolaghan in the bin, the one downside of Rally the Ancestors (that your creatures can't attack because they are summoning sick) is completely eliminated. Next time I run the deck, I'll be replacing Nighthowler with the haste-granting dragonlord and testing it out. 

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Finally, while Duress is a fine card, Thoughtseize is far better, especially in this deck which naturally gains a lot of life. Being able to hit a Dragonlord Ojutai against control is a pretty big deal, so if you have the Thoughtseizes laying around, swap them in for the Duresses. Otherwise, I don't think there is a whole lot to change. The deck is what it is: a semi-janky combo built into an odd Abzan Midrange deck. But regardless, you should give it a shot because it is a ton of fun to play. 

Conclusion

Anyway, that's all for today. Make sure to leave your naming ideas in the comments, and as always you can reach me on Twitter (or MTGO) @SaffronOlive. 

 


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