Tournament Report: 1st Place with Abzan Depths

BCDL Tournament Report: Winning with Abzan Depths


I want to give a HUGE shout out to Rob and the Buffalo Chicken Dip Legacy tournament. Do not miss out on a future event and be sure to keep up to date with the latest information via their Twitter account.

You can also check out a full replay of the event via their Twitch stream with Anuraag Das [AnziD] and Joe Dyer on commentary!

Deck Introduction

Let’s start this tournament report by addressing the unorthodox decision to run a 62 card maindeck. When I told my significant other I couldn’t compromise on the last 2 cards to cut for the deck she wasn’t the least bit surprised. I wanted the 3rd Depths, I wanted the 4th Knight, I wanted the Ouphe, Endurance, Ramunap, and Safekeeper, and I wanted the 4th Crop Rotation all in the main.

Abzan Depths

Instead of investing time stressing about what to cut I focused on getting reps in against the new Bowmasters and The One Ring legacy world. Anecdotally, the maindeck inclusions were all relevant at different points in the tournament. Would I run 62 cards again? Honestly, yes, I would. Yorion’s impact as a companion on all formats it could be played in (excluding Vintage) shattered the paradigm of 60 cards is the truth that should be adhered to at all costs.

Green Sun's Zenith crop rotation

In a deck with this many tutors and Sylvan Library I value having more options maindeck to provide flexible pivot plans against a variety of opponents. I’ve been running 61 cards in GWx Depths as well as Modern Yawgmoth for over a year now. It doesn’t seem to impact the consistency of the deck in a significant fashion so what’s another card in the main at that point? I think that covers the decision for 62 cards so onto the matchups.


Round 1 -| RUG Delver | W W

Ran a midrange game plan against them both games, kept their graveyard small, kept Murktide at bay for as long as I could, went for Lage when I had openings, and got the W.


+2 Endurance
+2 Veil of Summer
+1 Path to Exile


-1 Collector Ouphe
-1 Safekeeper
-2 Crop Rotation
-1 Sylvan Library

R2 | 5c Zenith | W L W

Game 1 I made a quick and protected Marit Lage from what I remember. I wasn’t sure if they were Zenith or just a Yorion Hot Bant control deck so I tried to hedge with sideboarding.

Primeval Titan

Game 2 was a 30 min slog where they ultimately Primeval Titan’ed me. Turns out they were the big Zenith build. I brain farted this game and Sylvan Library’ed after he Teferi bounced it to my hand. I’d recommend not making game rule violations in round 2.

Game 3 Sub 15 minutes to finish this game after the game 2 grindfest so I went on a quick Marit Lage line backed up with Safekeeper that got there.

(I don’t remember how I boarded here but I think this is what I went with)


+2 Endurance
+1 Gaddock Teeg
+2 Opposition Agent
+2 Veil of Summer
+3 Thoughtseize


-1 Knight of the Reliquary
-2 Crop Rotation
-2 Swords to Plowshares
-1 Collector Ouphe
-3 Mox Diamond
-1 Dark Depths

R3 | Moon Stompy | W L W

Game 1 was a weird one where he Chaliced on 1, I Bowmasters killed a goblin and double blocked a Rabblemaster, then we sat staring at each-other drawing dead until I was able to finally get a Knight down to close the game. I had what I thought was a pretty cool line of staging my Flagstones and then replaying Flagstones every turn with Ramunap to create my own pseudo-howling mine effect.

Game 2 I lost to Magus of the Moon.

Game 3 I got a Reclaimer down, they cast Blood Moon, then I Reclaimed for Depths and cast Force of Vigor on the Moon to make a Lage for the win.


+2 Force of Vigor
+1 Path of Exile


-1 Ouphe
-1 Sejirri Steppe
-1 Bojuka Bog

R4 | Grixis Delver | W W

See the RUG delver comments- basically the same kinds of games and same sideboard plan.

R5 | Grixis Delver | W W

Same as above

R6 | R7 – ID

Quarterfinals | Grixis Delver (same opponent as R5) | W W

Both of these games were way closer than the swiss games. The games came down to playing towards multiple outs both on mine and the opponents’ end with me surviving at 1 or 2 life. No sideboarding changes from the previous delver matchups.

Semi-finals | Cloudpost | W L W

Game 1 I got an opportunity to make a T2 Marit Lage thanks to my opponent’s Yavimaya.

Game 2 I kept a kind of medium hand that relied on Wasteland but T1 Pithing Needle on Wasteland threw that plan in the trash. I tried to pivot to a Reclaimer beatdown plan but wasn’t fast enough to get under a Primeval Titan into an Emrakul infinite turns loop.

Pithing Needle Thespian's Stage

Game 3 was a tight one where I mulliganed away medium hands aggressively down to 5 cards. I knew Opposition Agent was a haymaker in the matchup so a 5 card hand that could cast Agent was better than a medium 7 or 6. Luckily I hit just that kind of hand on the play. The Opponent had another T1 Needle on Wasteland. I was able to Opposition Agent his Expedition Map to steal a Thespian Stage. The opponent landed a One Ring which was my first time facing the card in paper. The Ring draws him into consistent Cloudpost land drops while also finding Karakas. I was ultimately able to assemble their Stage + my Depths with a Safekeeper out to protect Marit Lage from Karakas.


I should also mention there was another game rule violation on camera during this game. The turn after my opponent casts The Ring, I cast Thoughtseize while they had protection forgetting how The Ring interacted with my Thoughtseize. I took a 2nd Pithing Needle which would have been relevant depending on which card they named and that shouldn’t have happened. Neither of us caught it at the moment.

The casters, however, did catch it when I watched the stream VOD. I’d recommend casters call for a stop in play in the event they see a game rules violation to get a judge and sort out the game state. It was an unfortunate situation, and, again, it was my first time playing against the card with neither of us catching the issue. However, I absolutely know how “protection from everything” works and I should have paid more attention. Apologies to my opponent for the erroneous play.


+2 Opposition Agent
+2 Force of Vigor
+3 Thoughtseize


-1 Knight
-1 Steppe
-1 Ouphe (should have kept this one in knowing now about The One Ring)
-3 Orcish Bowmasters
-1 Endurance

Finals | Cradle Control | W W

Game 1 was a quick Marit Lage while putting them off balance with a turn 2 Bowmasters.

Game 2 my opponent unfortunately mulled to 5. I drew into a hand that resulted in a Knight + Crop into Marit Lage while on curve Bowmastering one of their mana dorks. This was the one time I was overjoyed to have a Sejiri Steppe in hand as it allowed Marit Lage to swing past an endurance for the tournament championship.


+2 Opposition Agent
+3 Thoughtseize

+1 or 2 Veil


-1 Ramunap
-1 Ouphe
-2 Knight
-1 Steppe
-1 Library
-1 something else if I boarded in the 2nd veil

Overall Impressions of the Deck

Abzan feels like a great color combo now for the GWx depths archetype. Bowmasters is a fantastic card, Grist got me out of a handful of tight spots, opposition agent is a haymaker in the right matchups, and Thoughtseize is a comfort blanket of a magic card for me.

I think both Abzan and Naya Depths are equally viable color combinations for the archetype with their own strengths. I would probably sleeve up abzan again before naya simply because I prefer the options abzan has.

Questions from the Depths Discord

Why the 3rd Depths?

This comes down to a play preference thing. I come from playing Turbo Depths back in 2017 or 2018 when the deck was breaking out in the meta so I’ve been making fast Marit Lages for a long time. The way my head works with the deck is by default I want to assemble the threat of making Marit Lage as fast as possible to put my opponent in the bind of respecting the combo. The 3rd Depths with 4 Crop Rotations facilitates how I want to play the deck. Whether that is right or wrong I don’t know.

GWx Depths is super flexible though so I think there are multiple ways to pilot/build the deck while not being “wrong” per se. I think it’s equally acceptable to play 2 Depths, 3 Crops, and lean heavier into the midrange gameplan but that’s not how I want to play the deck.

Was the manabase able to consistently make a T2 Bowmasters?

orcish bowmasters

Yes, if I wanted to play Bowmasters on 2 then I was able to do so. After playing Naya I never had issues finding red mana with just 1 Plateau, 1 Taiga, 4 fetches, and 3 Mox so I assumed the mana would be fine with the same thing but black splash lands. I’ve seen multiple lists with an extra bayou, Mox, and/or fetch but I didn’t seem to have issues casting my Bowmasters on 2 when I needed it.

Veil of Summer

How Was Veil of Summer?

I had it in hand, needed to resolve a critical spell, and had the mana to back up my critical spell with veil 3 times throughout the day but never needed the backup. In that sense it was relevant and it would have been relevant as an extra protection spell for Marit Lage against all the Delver opponents. I originally had 2 Surgicals in those slots but I’d run the Veils again over Surgical.

Maze of Ith

To Maze or Not To Maze?

Given the way I want to play the deck is to focus on making Marit Lage, I don’t like Maze of Ith in my build of the deck. I also didn’t want another land in the deck that doesn’t produce mana on its own.

A huge thank you to Nicolas for putting together a tournament report so quickly for the GreenSunsZenith.

I think it’s fantastic to see Abzan Depths emerge since the release of LOTR to give players another way to play Depths in Legacy. It’s very similar to Naya (other than key differences like access to Minsc & Boo or Blast effects) but could be a great pickup for any Zenith fan.

Want to support the Check out the ways you can via our support page (not all ways are monetary!)!

As always take care and play fair


About Douges

Hey! Douges here - Founder of the GreenSunsZenith. I've been playing Magic since 2013 and Legacy since 2014. I'm a Death & Taxes pilot turned Maverick aficionado who created the GreenSunsZenith as a resource for both beginners & experts of the Legacy Maverick archetype. I've been fortunate enough to be a guest on several Eternal & Legacy podcasts including Everyday Eternal, Deep Analysis with Brian Coval & Phil Gallagher, The Canadian Threshold, Archetype Influencers and the Dark Depths Podcast You can reach out to me through my social links below. I stream via Twitch on Thursday nights (7:30pm AEST) & Sunday mornings (10:30am AEST). Please let me know if you don't find anything on the site that you'd like to see. If you'd like to support the GreenSunsZenith, I have a Patreon account you can support the platform through :)

One thought on “Tournament Report: 1st Place with Abzan Depths

  1. > The casters, however, did catch it when I watched the stream VOD. I’d recommend casters call for a stop in play in the event they see a game rules violation to get a judge and sort out the game state. It was an unfortunate situation, and, again, it was my first time playing against the card with neither of us catching the issue. However, I absolutely know how “protection from everything” works and I should have paid more attention. Apologies to my opponent for the erroneous play.

    L2 here. I’d have to go watch the vods to be sure but this doesn’t necessarily sound like a GRV. ToR creates an “invisible” trigger when it enters the battlefield that most players playing it forget to immediately acknowledge. That trigger is not missed until it would be relevant to the visible game state. The first relevant point would be you attempting to cast thoughtseize.

    If at this point the ToR player does not say “I have protection” the trigger is considered missed. Players are allowed to miss their non detrimental triggers and the opponents are not required to point it out. Thus attempting to cast thoughtseize was a bit of a gambit but since he did not acknowledge the trigger it was a legal play. No issue or penalty. Also note spectators, and judges should not intervene on miss triggers else it is considered outside assistance and they would receive a match loss.

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