This weekend is the TCGplayer MaxPoint Championship in Milwaukee, and I'll be there, providing live coverage all weekend with none other than Numot the Nummy himself, Kenji Egashira! As for players, we already have Craig Wescoe, Seth Manfield, Adam Yurchick, Josh McClain, and more set to be there. Be sure to check out the homepage this weekend starting at 1 pm EST for all the action!

For anyone who has been following my columns for any length of time, it should come as no surprise to you that I love warriors (henceforth known as "chieves" within the article: an inside joke between me, Melissa DeTora, and the numerous digesters of my content).

So imagine my excitement when not only one chieves archetype, but two began seeing success! While there was a B/W version in both the Top 16 of an SCG Open and the finals of Grand Prix Kobe, there were also two Abzan versions that went 4-0 in Daily Events on Magic Online recently.

We're going to be taking a look at one of those today.


Both Abzan lists were piloted by Magic Online user Icculus13 and they only had minor changes between them. The biggest reason I went with the Abzan list over the straight B/W list was because of Collected Company. The Warrior archetype in general doesn't have many ways to provide card advantage, and Collected Company is not only that, but an awesome way to recover after something like a sweeper or an Ugin, the Spirit Dragon.

Let's see if the chieves of Tarkir can still hold their own!

Abzan Warriors vs. R/G Ramp

Abzan Warriors vs. Jeskai Black

Abzan Warriors vs. Five-Color Control

Abzan Warriors vs. Atarka Red

Pretty disgusted about that last match. I mean, I just don't think you should be able to kill someone from 18 life with two cards and a creature in Standard. I was still dead even if we played Wingmate Roc there. Let's do some math to show what I mean.

I would have been at 13 life instead of 18 since I wouldn't have gained the five from Warden of the First Tree. I also would have had eight more toughness on board and the opponent could have cracked the fetch land if he needed to, essentially giving him two more mana (one more card to delve and one actual mana). He dealt us exactly 18. We would have blocked putting Wingmate Roc and a token on each creature since he's just going to pump whichever creature we don't double block, making the double block useless. We would soak up four of the incoming 18 damage because of the Wingmate Roc, but we would be at 13 and still die. Of course we'd have a completely different game if we ever drew a Surge of Righteousness….

There were two main problems I had with the deck: the mana base and the fact that there were so many non warriors. It felt like we weren't fully taking advantage of cards like Blood-Chin Rager, Arashin Foremost, Chief of the Edge, and Mardu Woe-Reaper. Every time I cast a Kytheon, Hero of Akros I wished he was a warrior. Same thing with Anafenza, the Foremost, but at least Anafenza could hold her own. I didn't feel that way about Kytheon; he was almost always a 2/1 for one. We never activated his ability, and he never flipped. And I even played two other matches with the deck! I could see either of the other one-drop chieves - Bloodsoaked Champion or Dragon Hunter - being better.

I also didn't think we needed four copies of Dromoka's Command. Like I said in one of the videos, often our creatures will have two toughness even with the counter from Dromoka's Command, so they will frequently lose in a fight. I could definitely see cutting two Commands and one Blood-Chin Rager for three Battle Brawler. The first strike is so good.

While I love all of the benefits of green (Abzan Charm, Anafenza, Warden of the First Tree, etc.) I can definitely see the appeal of going two colors; especially when it allows you to play one of my favorite bros, Brutal Hordechief. I would also cut some number of either Self-Inflicted Wound or Surge of Righteousness from the sideboard. We never had enough cards to board out to bring in all eight, and they kill a lot of the same creatures. I lean toward keeping Surge in as it hits Mantis Rider, Tasigur, the Golden Fang, and nearly every creature in Atarka Red. It's also an instant, which is very relevant.

That's about it for today. I've created a public page on Facebook for all of my Magic content things, so be sure and give me a like. Friend requests are hard to keep up with and a lot of people just wanted to follow my Magic content rather than my personal posts. If you're looking to get updates on when I post a new video to YouTube, know when I have a new article, see when a new podcast goes live, or want to join in some cool discussions, be sure and give the page a "like."

I'll be back again on Monday after the MaxPoint Championship with another sweet Modern brew. Like I said, be sure not to miss live coverage of the TCGplayer MaxPoint Championship this weekend! Thanks for reading, enjoy your holiday, be safe, and I'll see ya soon!

Frank Lepore
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