Abyssian Trial is a popular ladder deck, due to the unique effect the Destiny has on the game. It’s never been the most competitive, but it is decently versatile: while the core of the deck is quite rigid, there are enough flex positions to allow for customization in many different ways.
In all these lists, archetype staples are listed normally, while less commonly played cards are indicated by parentheses.
- Underlord Xor’Xuul
You need this to get the Trial in the first place. While he does have a decent attack value, the RNG of where he spawns means that he’s normally not too relevant to closing out the game once Destiny is active.
- Sarlac the Eternal
These essential cards allow you to use all of your sacrifice spells without actually subtracting from the board. The tradeoff is that they provide negligible board presence in the first place.
- Darkfire Sacrifice
- Aphotic Drain
- Ritual Banishing
- (Consuming Rebirth)
- (Inkhorn Gaze)
- (Necrotic Sphere)
An almost comprehensive list of sacrifice spells, in rough order of playability. Darkfire can massively accelerate your gameplan, while Drain and Banishing help you survive while progressing the Trial. Rebirth is underwhelming if just used on a Sarlac (although it is nice to have a backup one as insurance against dispel), but shines if you can use it on something more impactful, especially once the Destiny is active. Inkhorn is kind of a modal card, combining a low-power removal spell with a low-value sacrifice effect. Vellumscry is uncommon since as a Mythron deck you have trouble getting enough cards out of your Action Bar to get the full value, but it can work in some builds. Similarly, Sphere is too slow for most builds but is a powerful catchup option if you prefer a slower playstyle.
- (Bloodbound Mentor)
Maehv’s BBS is also a good sacrifice spell, and the Husks are actual board presence. You have to be careful about using it too much, though, as the life loss adds up and opponents will be pressuring you heavily.
- (Saberspine Tiger)
- (Shadow Sister Kelaino)
All of these are intended to be played after the Trial in complete, which makes them extremely difficult to remove from the board. Shadowdancer is the best option as she turns your army of replicating 1/1s into lifedrain, which wins the game in short order. Tiger is more RNG dependent, but in theory can win the turn it comes down with infinite attacks. Desolator is slower (and clogs your hand), but the healing is nice and he can also be played in a pinch pre-Destiny. Kelaino doesn’t progress you towards winning at all, but all the health gain she provides makes it very hard to lose, which is usually good enough to allow you to last until you can get a real finisher online.
- (Demonic Lure)
It can be hard to find the deck slots for these, but you may need them to avoid losing to faster decks. Gibbet is more of an annoyance pre-Trial, but can be a lifesaver once the Destiny is active.
The first two packages listed here are the most competitive ways to play this archetype. The next few lists can be decent, while beyond that it’s all memes. Some of the later decks include elements from the former. Below each deck is listed some of the key tech cards differentiating that build from the others.
Alcuin – See decklist above.
- Alcuin Loremaster
- Alcuin Fugitive
The archetype’s traditional weakness is the horrendous tempo pre-Trial completion that comes about from being forced to play 1/1s as Trial enablers while your opponents are actually progressing their boards. While it’s possible to mitigate this by including stronger tempo plays at the expense of slowing down the Trial (see Hybrid Xor, below), this build goes the opposite direction, aiming to complete the Trial as quickly as possible via recurring Darkfire Sacrifice. Once Xor is down, all the immortal heal-type finishers should enable you to comfortably grind out your opponent.
Hybrid – See Hmmmn’s writeup here.
- Azure Horn Shaman
- Deathfire Crescendo
- Furor Chakram
Another route you could take is to include higher-tempo plays to not fall so far behind on board, while still slowly progressing towards Xor for inevitability.
Pet – See decklist here.
- Inkhorn Gaze
If you get out Hydrax together with Gor, your sacrifice spells don’t cost you a minion or a card, allowing for a smooth Trial completion and transition to the Destiny phase.
Unbirth – See decklist here.
- Abhorrent Unbirth
The Abomination offers a surprise explosive finish, even before the Trial is completed, and Saberspine Cub is actually a finisher on its own post-Trial.
DW – See decklist here.
- Carrion Collector
- Azure Horn Shaman
- Reaper of the Nine Moons
Another cross-pollination, with Maehv’s other main archetype. Similar to the Hybrid approach, this is a relatively higher-tempo build. An undying Carrion Collector will net you a lot of value, and Dying Wish minions that leave minions behind will swiftly fill the board.
The Spice Corner
Mechs – See decklist here.
- Nightmare Operant
A fun way to build around lesser-played Mechs. S.I.L.V.E.R is too clunky to include main deck but if you hit it off of Z0r, it can really accelerate the finish.
Arcanysts – See decklist here.
- Prismatic Illusionist
- Trinity Wing
A slower build that tries to make Nightshroud do some work.
Cassyva – See decklist here.
- Blood Echoes
- Silhouette Tracer
Abyssal Scar counts towards the Trial when used to kill your own minions, and while it doesn’t provide the same amount of board presence, it also doesn’t drain your life so quickly. Developed by Moggin.
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Played by vbcfbhc for South East Asia and won the Worldchampionship 2019
A well balanced Maehv deck that can switch between many different play styles.
It is, however, a challenging deck to play as it contains many moving parts and produces a large number of minions.
Another Xor’Xuul variant.
Undying Battle Pets
Xor’Xuul without his best friend Sarlaac. Uses no cards above rare (technically), besides Xor himself.
A deck revolves the ability to resummon minions using their dying wish and Mnemovore to mill opponents’ cards