Arena Standard - Kethis, The Hidden Hand w/ Writeup

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Blakeizen's Abzan Midrange

We're just gonna get Value.

Hello spellslingers! Blakeizen here with the weekly Saturday morning build for you! Check out the game play on YouTube- Kethis, the Hidden Hand. The video showcases the deck in action with some game play commentary for those interested in picking it up. I have been looking at Kethis for a while now thinking he wouldn't be very competitive, but here we are. I worked out a list, tuned it to the current meta and let me tell you, this list is spicy. Today we're looking at: Abzan Midrange.

{{Kethis, the Hidden Hand}}{{Storrev, Devkarin Lich}}{{Emmara, Soul of the Accord}}{{Vraska, Golgari Queen}}

One of the problems with playing a bunch of mana dorks is the presence of [[Goblin Chainwhirler]]. This whirlyboi comes down on turn 3 and suddenly you don't have a board state. We're not playing that kind of ramp deck. We can easily drop a turn 2 [[Kethis, the Hidden Hand]] and this boi is thicc. In a deck like this, he functions as ramp, that you don't need to tap. He's also dummy thicc. A [[Trashing Brontodon]] body attatched to "make your deck easier to cast" along with the ability to replay those cards at a cheaper cost. This dude is really cool and I'll be playing him for a while.

[[Storrev, Devkarin Lich]] is another card you've probably not seen yet. You all know I like to throw stuff like this into my builds. This guy is a pretty good beatdown tool that also lets us recur things from our Graveyard. He can go get any planeswalker, or creature, so long as he deals damage and has a target before the attack step. We can turn 3 this guy a lot of games, and buff him with our [[Vivien, Arkbow Ranger]] for some easy damage followed by value. This guy helps us absolutely run over slower decks.

[[Emmara, Soul of the Accord]] and [[Vraska, Golgari Queen]] help us get some extra cards, while keeping up blockers and gaining us life. The synergy between these two is real. Emmara is a good card to have against decks that like to go low to the ground even without seeing Vraska. Vraska needs to be in the spotlight right now due to the sheer amount of things she hits the turn she comes down. Sorin, Prison Realm, 3feri, Domri- let me just go ahead and nuke that while I hold up these lifelink blockers. I'm considering going up to a 3rd copy of this card in the main. She's just that good right now.

{{Vivien, Arkbow Ranger}}{{Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves}}{{Trostani Discordant}}{{Ugin, the Ineffable}}

With our deck we actually end up getting pretty wide, so [[Trostani Discordant]] gives us some blockers, buffs our previous board, holds the life total against RDW, and keeps [[Entrancing Melody]] and most of [[Mass Manipulation]] from being a blowout. Do note that she doesn't get back your planeswalkers, only your creatures.

[[Vivien, Arkbow Ranger]] isn't being played much but, turning your mana dorks into real creatures, flexible removal, and the ability to replace herself with a creature from the sideboard is a welcome inclusion. She only needs to use her + ability once to be able to grab a dude from the side. I tried the toolbox approach but that wasn't as good as just having an effecient sideboard, but she can still tutor up [[Shifting Ceratops]] or [[Tolsimir, Friend to Wolves]] and be flexible.

[[Ugin, the Ineffable]] doubles down on the flex removal, value, get wide approach this deck has. If we got up to a 3rd Vraska, I'll trim Ugin down to 2 since they fill similar roles for removal. His +1 ability keeps us ahead on cards, and benefits from [[Trostani Discordant]].


Give it a try and tell me what you think! If you have any questions about any of my lists, or even a list you're working on feel free to add me on discord. Comment if you'd like the sideboard plan, It shouldn't be too much trouble to add the plan. The sideboard brings some real hate versus the current meta game.


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Last Updated: 27 Jul 2019
Created: 27 Jul 2019
837 107 0

Mainboard - 60 cards (21 distinct)

Creature (20)
Instant, Sorcery, Enchantment, Artifact (6)
Land (24)
Planeswalker (10)

Sideboard - 15 cards (6 distinct)


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Main/Sideboard Rarity Count
4 4 35 13 0
0 8 7 0 0