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Sunday, May 28, 2017

Commander Review: Fate Reforged – Abzan of the Past

November 20, 2016 by  
Filed under Commander/General Ideas, Review

Sarkhan the Dragonspeaker Concept 02

Home Bitter Sweet Home. 

Hello fellow EDH-ers and welcome to past of Tarkir. Today article is the beginning of the series of articles talking about the Draconian Planeswalker Sarkhan Vol’s journey to the past of Tarkir. Story up till that point had Sarkhan trying to heal his broken mind and leading him back to his home Plane of Tarkir where all the clues led him to the remains of Ugin, the Spirit Dragon. Unable to get an answer from the Spirit Dragon as it is died, Sarkhan travelled through the past, with a little help from Narset, to witness the downfall of Ugin at the hands of Nicol Bolas. Through his course of actions in the past, the future of Tarkir was heading for a whole new future from the one he knew.

Ugins Nexus

Back to the Glory Days.

The Tarkir of the past was almost the same with all the five clans and their Wedge colors focus but are now fighting for their survivor and existence against Dragons; something which Ugin had established as a balance in this timeline. Sarkhan feels that the people of Tarkir past were nobler in sense of living and stronger in their will and spirit fighting for their existence against the Dragons. Unlike the present day where they do not have a common enemy in the Dragons thus ending up with them fight among each other for full dominance of Tarkir. But what really captured Sarkhan’s spirit were the Dragons which he was so fascinated with are still alive in this timeline.

The main story plot here was Sarkhan had met up with Yasova, the old Temur Khan of that timeline, and bear witness to how she was manipulated by Nicol Bolas into helping him locate and kill Ugin. At that fateful last moment after Ugin was struck down in battle by Bolas and awaiting his certain death, Sarkhan unintentionally intervened by using a shard of the seal from the Eye of Ugin and prevented Ugin from dying. Ugin was encased in a hedron network which protected him while he healed within. But that course of action also put him into a coma state. After doing that, Sarkhan was thrusted back to the present. What happened thereafter was with Ugin in a hibernating state of sleep, the Dragonstorm which produce the Dragons intensified and produced more Dragons than the clans could killed in time. This turn of events would then eventually led to the downfall of the clans called the Khanfall.

Crux of Fate

Turning Point of History. Where Great Things Happen.

 

Looking out for the Weak

Anafenza, the Foremost Trailer

Leader in Another Time.

Starting off the series, we look at the Abzan Houses of the past. They are pretty much the same in this timeline except the clan mechanic Outlast is replace by Bolster X instead. Bolster X is a keyword ability which when activated let you choose a Creature with the least toughness or tied with the least toughness among Creatures you control and put X +1/+1 counters on it. There are also instances where the ability is triggered. Also to further emphasized on the clan family theme, there are also cards which give bonus to Creatures with +1/+1 counter on them. As the ability doesn’t target a Creature, you could actually put counters on a Creature with Protection from the color Bolster is coming from. All in all the clan mechanic is still very much the Abzan theme ability it was before. In fact it may even reflect more of the Abzan theme as it is an ability which looks out for the little guys, helping them to survive on the battlefield; the aspect of endurance which the clan admire of the Dragons.

 

The Unwavering

Disowned Ancestor

Watching over the Descendants.

The khan of the Abzan past was a man called Daghatar, a man who relied on careful strategy to achieve his goals. He constantly analyzed his surroundings, which made him seem aloof. Appearance wise, he rode on a black Ibex and was clad in elaborate mail crafted from dragon scales. He held a mace known as Remembrance which was hewn from amber. The relic was the last remnants of the first kin-tree and held the Spirits of the first ancestors.

 

Things would had go on normally if Sarkhan had not intervene and saved Ugin. With the intensified Dragonstorm, Daghatar had decided to hold an audience with Dromoka in hopes of killing her in a moment of vulnerability and saving his clan from annihilation by the Dragons. This audience had instead led to his realization of why Dromoka and her brood had been massacring his people; her hatred of necromancy which she see in the clan ancestor worshiping. Seeing no other option, he ignored the dictates of the Remembrance Spirits and shattered the relic in order to please the Dragon. And to further show his submission to the Dragon, he ordered the end of all kin-trees and Spirit ancestor practices, the very heart of Abzan traditions thus solidifying and forging a pact with the Dragon. The clan was abolished with Dromoka forbidding the very use of “clan” and “khan” with the people living under her having no formal name of their own. A small fraction of “True” Abzan held their ground under the rule of khan Reyhan until she was killed at the Khanfall when she went to consult with the other khans on how to survive the Dragons. The meeting was raided by Ojutai, Silumgar and their broods and in order to allow the then Mardu and Temur khans to escape, Reyhan sacrificed herself to slow their pursuers. With her death, the last chance of the “True” Abzan to survive was gone and Daghatar and the others under Dromoka became the sole survivors of a lost cause.

 

Now with the brief history of the past Abzan khan done, let us look at the Khan stats.

 

Daghatar the Adamant

Card Name: Daghatar the Adamant

CMC: 3W

Types: Legendary Creature – Human Warrior

Card Text: Vigilance

Daghatar the Adamant enters the battlefield with four +1/+1 counters on it.

1 B/G B/G: Move a +1/+1 counter from target creature onto a second target creature.

P/T: 0/0

Although Daghatar is mono White, he is actually of Abzan (White, Black and Green) color identity due to the mana required in his ability activation. As per his introduction description, Daghatar is every bit the Abzan khan as his ability has very good synergy with the clan abilities. Both of Abzan clan mechanic, Outlast and Bolster, works with +1/+1 counters. His ability to shift those +1/+1 counters at any time is a very good combat trick. Those who had played MtG long enough would know this from the infamous Arcbound Ravager, who can turn unfavorable blocks to your favor through its Artifacts “eating” ability to get +1/+1 counters and Modular to shift its +1/+1 counters around when it dies. Daghatar is similar but not as powerful as compared to Ravager though due to his ability requiring mana to activate. The ability is quite costly too at 3 mana thus you can only move a limited amount of +1/+1 counters for as much as you can pay his ability. Overall, Daghatar still has quite decent stats for being 4/4 for 4cc. He also conveniently comes with Vigilance which allows him to attack and defend you at the same time; something which is valuable in EDH when facing multiple opponents. The +1/+1 counters moving ability is an added bonus in this sense which puts opponents on alert when you have mana open.

 

Leave No Man Behind

As the khan of Abzan clan, Daghatar is not much different from the present day khan Anafenza in that both deal with +1/+1 counters; Anafenza gives it and Daghatar moves it around. Daghatar has a bit of an edge over Anafenza as he enters the battlefield with +1/+1 counters instead of putting one when attacking like Anafenza. Thus similarly, Creatures which worked well with Anafenza can also work with Daghatar. For easy reference, below are examples of those Creatures which can be use within both khans color identity.

Abzan Battle Priest Outlast.
Gives Lifelink to all your Creatures with +1/+1 counter on them.
Abzan Falconer Outlast.
Gives Flying to all your Creatures with +1/+1 counter on them.
Ainok Bond-Kin Outlast.
Gives First Strike to all your Creatures with +1/+1 counter on them.
Bloodspore Thrinax Devour 1.
Gives your other Creatures entering the battlefield with additional X +1/+1 counters where X is the number of +1/+1 counters on Bloodspore Thrinax.
Bramblewood Paragon Gives +1/+1 counter to your other Warriors when they entered the battlefield.
Gives Trample to all your Creatures with +1/+1 counter on them.
Cenn’s Tactician W, T: Put +1/+1 counter on target Soldier.
Let your Creatures with +1/+1 counter on them able to block an additional Creature.
Crowned Ceratok Trample.
Gives Trample to all your Creatures with +1/+1 counter on them.
Longshot Squad Outlast.
Gives Reach to all your Creatures with +1/+1 counter on them.
Mer-Ek Nightblade Outlast.
Gives Deathtouch to all your Creatures with +1/+1 counter on them.
Oona’s Blackguard Flying.
Gives +1/+1 counter to your other Rogue when they entered the battlefield.
Whenever your Creatures with +1/+1 counter on them deal combat damage to a player, that player discards a card.
Tuskguard Captain Outlast.
Gives Trample to all your Creatures with +1/+1 counter on them.

 

 

Looking out for the Clan

Daghatar the Adamant

Leaving the Past for the Future.

My opinion with Daghatar is that his abilities are very supportive but pale in comparison to many other Abzan Commanders available. His main game is in his +1/+1 counters shifting around and other than that does not do much. That being said, he is still quite a good add as a normal Creature in decks which interacts with +1/+1 counters. One such example will be Ghave, Guru of Spores. Ghave itself is already what Daghatar is with the +1/+1 counters moving; only Ghave can make Saproling tokens too adding more versatility to it as compare to Daghatar. That alone is what makes Ghave outshine Daghatar. There are tons of other ways to move +1/+1 counters around, thus Daghatar might not be the top choice to add to your deck. A good add but not a must as I always put it.

 

So what do you think of the Abzan khan of the past? Is he any better than other Abzan Commanders of your liking? How else would you have use him in your deck? Share with us your thoughts and ideas if we missed out any in the comments below. We come to the end today for the olden days Abzan and their Khan. Do stay tune for more Commander Review of Fate Reforged for the other clans and their Khans. Till then….

 

This is yours truly, Edward “Reaper King” Leong, signing off.

:D~

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