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Thread: Current Matchups for Abzan Company?

  1. #1
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    Current Matchups for Abzan Company?

    http://modernnexus.com/topdecks/

    Anyone have experience with which matchups are good, close, and bad for Abzan Company from Tier 1 and Tier 2 currently?

    [EDIT] Question is still open for answering, but I'm going to use this thread as my own means to analyze my favorite deck in Modern so that I can better prepare for a given metagame.

    1. What is Abzan Company? - In the concisest terms I can think of, it is essentially midrange favoring a high impact creature-based combo element over traditional disruption (i.e. removal, targeted discard, counterspells). This is evident by lists varying between all-in combo and value-town, the inclusion of Gavony Township in nearly every list, and the transformative sideboard to disruption-based midrange that is often employed as well.

    2. What is Abzan Company susceptible to? - Ok, I'm going to be blunt here: Abzan Company has so many weaknesses I'm surprised it can stick to Tier 2, let alone climb to Tier 1 from time to time. First, as a creature-based combo deck, it is susceptible to all kinds of disruption, including but not limited to traditional disruption (see above), nonbasic hate, graveyard hate, and especially Grafdigger's Cage. Second, infinite life means little against the likes of Karn Liberated, Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger, and Infect, so alternative win-cons are definitely bad news for this deck. Finally, decks like Dredge and Affinity that can potentially explode in your face with a fast clock can force you to play defense longer than you'd absolutely like.

    3. Conversely, what is susceptible to Abzan Company? - Now, while that may seem like a lot of hate that can potentially screw us over, this deck certainly has its merits. First, if a deck relies on damage to win (in particular combat damage), they are going to have a bad time if the combo is assembled. Hell, even if going the value route, using resetting Kitchen Finks does wonders against damage-based decks. Second, as combo-midrange, we have the potential to switch gears mid-match and possibly even mid-game. As such there are only a few matchups that are truly difficult to win. Finally, we are arguably in the best colors for our own anti-hate disruption.

    4. What are the bad matchups for Abzan Company based on the above link? - In Tier 1, nothing truly stands out as outright unwinnable. Jeskai Control and Merfolk are the most notable uphill battles, the former having access to Anger of the Gods, Nahiri, the Harbinger, and Path to Exile as well as counterspells and the latter having a considerable, often Orzhov Pontiff-proof clock via Lords, Spreading Seas, and of counterspells. In Tier 2, we have our worst matchup possible at the top of the list (or one of its variants at least): RG Tron has access to Karn Liberated which alone can be back-breaking for us. Newlamog, Anger, and [cards]Ugin, the Spirit Dragon[/card] downright make this one a nightmare to win. Other than that, Scapeshift and Grixis Delver receive honorable mentions as they also packing counterspells and control elements much like the Tier 1 Jeskai Nahiri, but I am not familiar with how fast they can actually win if they do play the control route.

    5. What are the good matchups for Abzan Company based on the above link? - Like I suggested earlier, Abzan Company is very much a 50/50 midrange deck. As such, don't expect a lot of easy or hard matchups game 1. Having said that, Burn and Death's Shadow Zoo are definitely favorable matchups due to their reliance on non-infinite damage to win: just be wary of a stray Skull Crack to ruin your day. An honorable mention here would be Infect: although Infect itself bypasses infinite life and persist, Melira, Sylvok Outcast rains on their parade pretty hard. In Tier 2, Gruul Zoo follows the same fate as Death's Shadow Zoo. Honorable mention to Ad Nauseum and Living End: these to me are questionable at best due to their reliance on damage to win.

    6. Is what's left of Tier 1 and Tier 2 considered close matchups then? - With the inclusion of the honorable mentions above and the exception of Death and Taxes (which I'm unfamiliar with in its Modern incarnation), I would say yes. Does this mean you play the same way? Hell, no.

    7. Am I talking out of my rear like Jim Carey? - Quite possibly: would like multiple second opinions still.
    Last edited by EpicLevelCommoner; 09-16-2016 at 11:18 PM. Reason: additional content

  2. #2
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    Re: Current Matchups for Abzan Company?

    Bump: I'll probably focus mostly on Tier 1 for the current Top Decks for Modern when I get around to updating the matchups, but I'd like other Modern player opinions on this as well ^_^.

  3. #3

    Re: Current Matchups for Abzan Company?

    I also did not go beyond tier 1. And it would be interesting to learn the methods of how to go further.

  4. #4
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    Re: Current Matchups for Abzan Company?

    Ok, since there is some interest in exploring the matchups for Abzan Company (now hereby referred to as Counters Company, as Naya is justifiable as well), I'll be using the following spreadsheet from MtG:Salvation's The Ceaseless Hunger.

    [LINK]

    Disclaimer: Theory crafting right now because I have to leave for work soon.

    I'm actually surprised Burn is still top tier with the emergence of Death's Shadow variants, Dredge, and Counters Company all attacking its core game plan on different axes (faster clock; more resilient clock; life-gain respectively). However, I can't think of anything different for this matchup; maybe Harsh Mentor if without Finks combo.

    Death's Shadow variants seem very favorable for Finks combo Abzan builds pre and post board (Skullcrack/Atarka's Command is still an issue, as with burn, but the combination of Fatal Push/Path to Exile and Abrupt Decay/other removal post board invalidates a lot of their threats on +0 parity with a st.dev of +/-1 unless packing a 3-cmc spell like Maelstrom Pulse).

    More when I get home.

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