In the wake of banning of Pod right before the Fate Reforged Pro Tour, a lot of former Pod players shifted a lot of classic decks like the Rock, RG Tron, Burn, Affinity and Twin. At the FRFPT there was a huge number of Soul Rock decks, with strong showings from burn and affinity, as well as Twin, which ultimately took the title. At the FRFPT, Jacob Wilson brought this deck and placed in the Top 8. Initially people were calling this deck Abzan Midrange, without Liliana of the Veil. However, the more you look at this deck you realize it is a GW beat down deck, that hates on discard, counters, and has strong life gain. For the new developing meta in modern after the Pod and Treasure Cruise bannings.
When the deck premiered at Fate Reforge Pro-Tour it really didn't have a name. Wizards called it "Abzan" or "Podless Pod," which really doesn't fit as it does no tutoring, but focuses on jamming value creatures ASAP. The name Little Kid, as far as I can tell, is a reference to a GW creature deck played back in Shards/Lorwyn era. I originally heard the deck call Abzan Liege, as a reference to Rhinos + Wilt-Leaf Liege. Liege Rhino is now becoming popular, while Little Kid seems to be falling out of favor. However, I have also heard it called "hateless hatebearers" which I just think is funny.
Since Jacob's first showing with the deck, two different version of the deck have formed; Speed vs Discard. The more speedy version uses mana-dorks to get ahead and power out large beater that take over the game. Jacob's list is below.
Jacob Wilson's Pro-Tour Top 8 DeckMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
Creatures - 274 Noble Hierarch4 Birds of Paradise4 Voice of Resurgence2 Qasali Pridemage3 Kitchen Finks3 Loxodon Smiter4 Siege Rhino3 Wilt-LiegeSpells - 104 Lingering Souls2 Thoughtseize4 Path to ExileLands - 233 Gavony Township3 Forest1 Swamp1 Plains3 Razorverge Thicket1 Godless Shrine1 Overgrown Tomb1 Temple Gardn4 Verdant Catacombs4 Windswept Heath1 Marsh FlatsSideboard2 Thoughtseize2 Fracturing Gust1 Stony Silence2 Sword of War and Peace1 Rule of Law1 Leyline of Sactity2 Chalice of the Void1 Relic of Progenitus1 Zealous Persecution1 Ajani, Mentor of Heros1 Slaughter Pact
Since then similar lists have show up in top 8's in several large tournaments. They all feature at least 6 mana-dorks, and some have been play abrupt decay where Jacob's list did not. Some even sneak in the mighty tarmogoyf! All in all, this deck is meant to hit fast and hit big. It is much less interactive than its cousin.
The hand destruction deck is as yet unproven in large events, but it was developed by Emracool here on this forum.
Emracool's Discard ListMagic OnlineOCTGN2ApprenticeBuy These Cards
Creatures4 Voice of Resurgence4 Wilt-Leaf Liege4 Tidehollow Sculler4 Loxodon Smiter4 Kitchen Finks4 Siege RhinoDiscard2 Inquisition of Kozilek4 ThoughtseizeSpells4 Abrupt Decay3 Path to ExileLand3 Forest1 Swamp1 Plains2 Gavony Township1 Godless Shrine1 Temple Garden2 Overgrown Tomb2 Razorverge Thicket2 Stirring Wildwood4 Verdant Catacombs4 Windswept HeathSideboard3 Engineered Explosives2 Nature's Claim3 Lingering Souls2 Zealous Persecution3 Scavenging Ooze2 Stony Silence
It features 10 mainboard discard spells and creatures. I moves the token plan to the sideboard and plays a more controlling roll than its faster counter part. Emracool wrote up a nice primer on this deck on page 8 of this thread, which has been nicely formatted here.
Kitchen Finks - a modern staple, generally gets you 2 for 1 card advantage and gains you life. Awesome for us, burn players hates it.
Loxodon Smiter - 4/4 for 3, nice. Can't be countered or bolted? Well I guess that means UWR control and Twin hates it. Has the bonus of making opposing Liliana of the Veil significantly worse.
Voice of Resurgence - More card advantage. Anyone who has played against him knows how much of a pain he is. His hate against control decks is strong and makes a great blocker against aggro decks.
Siege Rhino - Is quickly becoming a modern staple for abzan decks. He has been compared to a Bloodbraid Elf that always hits a lightning helix. Match that with a 4/5 trample body and we have a winner. He is the main reason to have black in this deck.
Wilt-leaf Liege - The name sake of this deck. WG has a ton of high efficiency beaters that deliver hate to a lot of decks. Make them all get +2/+2 and hate some more on hand disruption? Rounds out the nasty.
Mana dorks are important to this deck. The faster the beaters come out the faster we get pressure on our opponents.
Noble Hierarch - Another modern staple. Produces 2/3 of the mana we need, but also gives exalted. Not much more to say
Birds of Paradise - the original mana dork.
Thoughtseize - The other reason to play black. This deck has issue with combo decks, notably living end and scapeshift. It also has issue with planeswalkers that cost more than 3, Karn, Sorin, Elspeth, to name a few. TS solves all of these problems. We have great life gain, so the 2 life lost is generally more than worth it.
Abrupt Decay - If you are playing G and B in the same deck you have to consider this card. It answers tons of threats, and 95% removes its target. A huge number of Tier decks are hit hard by this card. To me it is surprising Jacob Wilson didn't include it in his 75.
Zealous Persection - great combat trick card from BW Tokens. This can do some amazing alpha strikes if you are going wide. In addition it can act as a board wipe from time to time. Clears many tokens, cliques and even those pesky Pestermites that are twining.
Qasali Pridemage - GW with exalted and a way to hate on Blood Moon, affinity/tron and twin all rolled into a nice efficient package.
Tidehollow Sculler - He is a key player in the discard version. He takes a card and is a pumpable beater that lands on turn 2. He generally forces opponents to make bad decisions.
Ajani, Mentor of Heroes - An amazing support walker, but quite pricey at 5cmc. He permanently pumps your dudes, and can dig to find you just the creature you need, which is almost half of your deck. Debatable if you want him MD, but not a bad SB choice at all.
Sorin, Solemn Visitor - One of the superstar cards from KTK. He plays so nicely with souls. One swing with a couple souls and you can have a major life swing. He can somewhat protect himself with tokens, but really his job is to put games out of reach for your opponents. A consideration for the mirror or against burn.
Elspeth, Knight-errant - Long considered one of the best walkers in modern. Nothing says win like giving a creature +3/3 and flying. She makes tokens which synergize nicely with Township, but again feels like a bit of a win more card, but if UWR becomes more popular may be a difficult card for them to deal with. I think she is more of a meta call.
Cards that need to be considered
This is a list of cards that I think (perk of starting the thread?) should be considered in the deck. Hopefully this will continue to change if the deck takes off. If cards don't pan out I will also put why they seem to fail here.
Dark Confidant - Bob is a powerful card. The deck has good life gain, but really lacks card advantage outside of difficult to remove creatures. Bob could help the deck keep pace with more controlling decks, allowing it to constantly keep pressure on. In a burn or aggro heavy meta the life loss is probably a bad idea.
Abzan Charm - All 3 modes are quite relevant. Card draw at instant speed is a good thing. Pumping our creatures as a combat trick can be a good thing. 6/7 Rhinos can trample for quite a bit. Exile a large goyf or Titan/Wurmcoil all sounds good to me. Just that 3 cmc cost of all 3 colors might be a bit hard.
Sideboarding is arguably the most important part of playing a competitive game of magic. While your main deck is what you initially construct, you will end up playing more games of magic with a sideboarded deck. As such, picking your 15 hate cards is very important. Your choices will of course change depending on what sort of meta you expect to see on any given day and what your deck match ups are like before sideboarding. As this deck stands, its best match up is against it close relative, the Rock (BGx, mostly abzan these days). Also, because we are playing white, we have access to the best SB hate cards in the game.
Torpor Orb - With the TC and other bannings, as well as recent PT results, URx Twin is one of the top decks. Our deck struggles against combo and Torpor orb houses twin. 90% of their creatures have an ETB, and this just says no more. It does hurt us a bit too by weakening Finks and Rhino, but preventing "oops, I win" makes it worth it most times.
Relic of Progenitus - Cheap easy GY hate. Dredge and other GY strats are always around. Tasigur is making waves, so a little GY can go a long way. In a pinch it can get your a card as well.
Rest in Peace - mother of all GY hate. Destroys goyf, dredge and living end. If you are worried about GY strats, this is your best SB choice. Enough said.
Leyline of Sanctity - Play this and burn basically can't win. They can't burn you out, and your creatures are just plain bigger. Done and done.
Gaddock Teeg - Much more of a meta call. Does nothing against burn, infect, affinity and the mirror. Does help a bit against Twin, as they can't combo off, but dies to all sorts of cheap removal. Does make control much more sad as typically their finishers such as Cruel Ultimatum and White Sun's Zenith can't be played and it shuts down Cryptic command. Incidentally, it is pretty strong against Tron (GR and mono U) as it stops Ugin, Karn, Mindslaver, Condescend, Spell burst and Platinum angel. Not an auto-include by any means.
Stony Silence - Hate artifacts and makes Tron and Affinity very sad.
Fracturing Gust - 5cmc makes this card something you really need to consider carefully. It is hard to play, but man can it be a blow out. Against affinity it basically says I win. It does some damage against boggles too, if you survive long enough to play it. It can answer twin (hitting the combo as well as Blood moon and spreading seas), but not your first choice for this. Successful lists have played 1-2 in the board.
Aven Mindscensor - Double edged sword. We have a big mana bass that requires fetches, so it hurts us there, but we do have a good number of dorks. However, against amulet bloom it just wins. It also makes our paths that much more sexy. Less important now that Pod has fallen, but can hurt Tron a lot as well. A good card to consider.
Rule of Law vs Eidolon of Rhetoric - I combined these card because they basically do the same thing. Sole purpose is to beat storm. Can be annoying against other decks like burn, slows them down a lot, or twin (prevents them from countering the combo or double burning you rhinos), but it is really for twin. Rule of law is a bit better IMO because it is harder to deal with in general, but both can work.
Chalice of the Void - Not as over the top powerful as it was when Delver was king, but Chalice with 1 counter basically wins the game against burn and boggles. Less effective against other decks. A meta call, but may be worth it as boggles is just faster than we are and we don't have a lot of ways to interact with them.
Engineered explosives - we play 3 colors so we need to consider this card. Can just beat boggles and affinity (definitely played this on 0 and removed all 90% of their board before). On 2 can hit a lot of junk threats as well. Again, a meta call.
Deck Tech and Articles
From the creators, Channel Fireball - Deck Guide – Modern GW Little Kid Luck
Jacob Wilson's article about the deck and updated sideboard - Taking GW to the Top 8 of Pro Tour Fate Reforged
FRF Pro Deck Tech with Jacob Wilson - Pro Tour Fate Reforged Deck Tech: Abzan with Jacob Wilson
Youtube Deck Tech video - Podless Abzan Aggro Modern Deck Tech – MTG!
Emracool's sideboarding - http://www.mtgsalvation.com/forums/the-game/modern/tier-2-modern/596576-abzan-liege-wilted-abzan-liege-rhino?comment=189
If you are willing to do some extensive testing against a deck and do a write up, I will link to it!
8-Rack by SSJRanulf
Ad Nauseum by SSJRanulf
UR Twin by SSJRanulf
Sideboarding vs individual match-ups by Emracool
Quote from jonnnny »I haven't play tested this deck at all so take this for what it's worth but my initial thought is to play 3-4 abrupt decay and replace razorverge thickets with horizon canopies for some late game card draw. The damage more than made up by finks and rhino I think. But perhaps sacrificing lands is not what you want to do when trying to activate gavony townships.
Quote from mirrislegend »@OperationRemie: cutting a Finks and a Voice of Resurgence are almost certainly wrong. If your metagame has very little removal, you could justify it, but that doesn't happen in Modern. I would play Abrupt Decay over Slaughter Pact. And if you're not worried about Combo, turn the Thoughtseizes into open slots, not the Lingering Souls
Quote from Complex Pants »I am not sure Garruk Wildspeaker is what this deck wants. There isn't a lot of interaction on an opponents turn that would justify his +1. If you are looking for a walker, I think Ajani, Mentor of Heroes, Elspeth, Knight-Errant or even another Sorin might be where you want to go.
Quote from mirrislegend »Noble Hierarch is amazing. I understand the need for black mana, but at least go 3 Birds and 3 Hierarchs.
Quote from Complex Pants »Quote from mirrislegend »Noble Hierarch is amazing. I understand the need for black mana, but at least go 3 Birds and 3 Hierarchs.
I put in an Urborg and have not been unhappy with the move.
And woot Tier 2!