Hangarback Walker in Abzan Aggro

Hangarback Walker

“How good can a deck be when the most popular deck is your worst matchup?”
-Patrick Chapin

Hangarback Walker has been a key contributor to many decks since the release of Magic Origins in Standard…

  1. First it showed up in a U/W Control deck (enabling cards like Thopter Spy Network)
  2. At the Pro Tour it hooked up with Ensoul Artifact and Hardened Scales
  3. But today: Hangarback Walker is transforming Abzan Aggro!

Hangarback Walker showed up in multiple builds of Abzan Aggro in the Top 8 of Grand Prix London 2015, including the decks played by winner Fabrizio Anteri and finalist Matteo Moure

Hangarback Abzan by Fabrizio Anteri

4 Hangarback Walker

1 Hero’s Downfall
2 Ultimate Price

4 Abzan Charm
1 Ajani, Mentor of Heroes
4 Anafenza, the Foremost
4 Dromoka’s Command
4 Fleecemane Lion
4 Siege Rhino
1 Sorin, Solemn Visitor

4 Den Protector
1 Warden of the First Tree

3 Caves of Koilos
3 Forest
3 Llanowar Wastes
1 Mana Confluence
2 Plains
4 Sandsteppe Citadel
4 Temple of Malady
1 Temple of Silence
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
4 Windswept Heath

sideboard:
2 Self-Inflicted Wound
1 Tasigur, the Golden Fang
4 Thoughtseize
1 Ultimate Price
1 Arashin Cleric
2 Elspeth, Sun’s Champion
1 Glare of Heresy
1 Surge of Righteousness
2 Tragic Arrogance

Hangarback Abzan by Matteo Moure

4 Hangarback Walker

2 Hero’s Downfall
3 Ultimate Price

2 Sorin, Solemn Visitor

2 Abzan Charm
4 Anafenza, the Foremost
3 Dromoka’s Command
4 Fleecemane Lion
4 Siege Rhino

2 Den Protector
2 Warden of the First Tree

2 Wingmate Roc

3 Caves of Koilos
2 Forest
3 Llanowar Wastes
1 Mana Confluence
2 Plains
4 Sandsteppe Citadel
3 Temple of Malady
3 Temple of Silence
1 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
4 Windswept Heath

sideboard:
3 Herald of Torment
4 Thoughtseize
1 Ultimate Price
1 Dromoka’s Command
1 Unravel the Aether
2 Elspeth, Sun’s Champion
3 Tragic Arrogance

The defining component of the new breed of Abzan Aggro decks isn’t just the inclusion of Hangarback Walker… But also playing twenty-six lands (or as Patrick says, the number they were supposed to be playing all along).

“Hangarback Walker is TWO TIERS better than Rakshasha Deathdealer”
-Chapin

Everyone knows Hangarback Walker is a powerful card. But what makes Hangarback Walker so good in Abzan Aggro specifically?

  • It has a super good rate… Abzan Aggro is all about cards with great rates
  • Hangarback Walker lets Abzan Aggro afford to play a bigger game – like when Faeries draws Bitterblossom
  • Dromoka’s Command allows Abzan Aggro to escape Abzan Charm (so that you can still get the 1/1 Thopter tokens)
  • Tons of +1/+1 counter redundancy – Abzan Charm; Dromoka’s Command; Ajani, Mentor of Heroes, etc.

Michael and Patrick also discuss G/R Dragons, the concept of not playing new cards versus curating old cards, Bant Heroic and what might be great next week.

Check it out in “Hangarback Walker in Abzan Aggro”:

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