Cass vs Keeper Magmar Match Up


Hey there fellow duelysts.

I recently encountered a bunch of Keeper Magmar lists on ladder (S rank) and I have a really hard time against them.

They don’t run any low drops, using removal early in the forms of Natural Selection, Tigers and Plasma Storm. Then they flash out a 4-6 drop, usually a Sunsteel, Elucidator or Makantor. Once I remove the threats they simply bring them back with Keepers, as most of them being rush they simply go face.

Even while trying to run away and position myself behind minions they simply find an answer in one way or another and continue the pressure.
As the match goes on Vath keeps growing in attack and going face.
Magmar has Earth Sphere to stay out of lethal range and Bounded Life Force to close out the game.

Now I’m not trying to rant or complain. I’m asking for advice and tips to counter their strategy as a Cassy control list.

Thanks in advance,


Maybe you’re just unlucky with running away. Cause usually magmars have to chase you down to win, and they might just have the God hand to answer everything you play. The other way is by being the aggressor. Their deck is slower than yours (this particular variant). So try getting some ooz and abyssal crawlers and be the one upfront. It’s kinda hard playing against them because you wont know what they’re running until it’s too late sometimes. The only way I can think of other than stalling till your own win con is by pressuring them. I wish you the best of luck xD


Thing is boxing against Vath usually hurts me more then him…
Plasma Storm, Natural Selection and Thumping Wave/Egg Morph deals with every single drop in my deck…
The deck is more aggressive than you’d think with all that pressure from turn 1 so it’s difficult being the aggressor myself…

Maybe I’m being unlucky but in the last 10 games I lost 4, all to Magmar, particularly Keeper/Aggro lists.


Magmar is a pain I admit. The Keeper list might overwhelm Cassy. But Cassy has a fair chance against normal magmar (the midrange-ish type). No experience in both factions, but from speculation, I think the keeper list can have swing turns that overwhelm Cassy.


more reaper of the 9 moons. as long as you play it outside of egg morph +face you have a reasonable chance of stealing a good minion.


And if RNG Gods wants to troll him, he’ll get stuff like Gro xD


I sort of did most of the innovation for keeper Magmar, I took it to S many times: Keeper Magmar: Copying my Reddit series over to here

I find this post ironic because Control Cass I actually consider one of my worst match ups. Because Keeper Magmar is not an aggressive deck, it’s a control deck that wants the game to drag on, but Cass forces it to be aggressive because we know we are probably going to loose around the 8 mana mark.

We also very rarely have turn one plays so the pressure rarely starts before turn three which is the decks greatest weakness.

I could help more if you posted your list, I will dig up my Cass list for you later. But in the mean time remember you can dispel vath, play minions diagonally because of Mank, be aware of natural selection so you probably don’t want to drop down a juggernaught on an empty board if they have not used at least one or two naturals. Play defensively, your one of the very few decks with a better late game then him.


Curious, did pre siphon nerf Vet had a good or abd amtchup vs Keeper magmar? I know I conceded cause my draws were bad and the opponent keeper-mar had a God like hand by spawning Kron back or something. point is, does vet have a good/ bad matchup vs keeper-mar?


Keeper mar was great agaisnt vet, they were sort of the hard counter between plasma and transforms. It’s why it started to get popular, because while it was not the strongest deck it had an answer to everything. Most games are real a struggle, and it usualy comes down to out playing your opponent since the deck is very good at leveling the playing field.

Vet: Our favor
Songhai: Did we draw our earth spheres? Yes, we got a good chance. No…we die horribly.
Vanar: Fae our favor, old Kara their favor.
Abyss: Lillith our favor, Cass their favor.
Magmar: Midrange gets punished pretty hard
Lyonar: Our favor.


Ah I see, it punished all the strong decks on ladder xD Which was Lyonar, vets and songhai at the top with cassy and lilithe trying to ambush (cass having more success) and magmar killing everything (kinda). Kara was kinda there and not there due to how the meta could burst them down before they can with their tigers.


The Kron nerf certainly hurts the deck, because it and earth sphere where fairly key to the Songhai match up. So now it’s back to either Harvestor+metamorph or taygete. But it’s still just usualy decided by earth sphere.

But yea I enjoyed it as it was a very anti meta deck, and because it has a very high skill cap, so every win with it was a boost to my ego :P.


Now every win I get with Vet feels like a blessing. Cause it feels amazing that you get to win a game eventhough everyone is spawning their stuff behind their general.


Is the Siphon nerf THAT bad? I thought it would just get replaced with the 1/1 Shroud.

Also Shroud looks really sad now from the nerf a 1/1 is just sad :’(


My list can be found in the guide I wrote in the forums titled “Abyssian Lists Volume I” under the name “Oblivion Sphere”

Now please note that I’m an S rank player and an Abyssian main so all the rookie tips you suggested are of course being considered.

Thank you very much!

I’m looking for more strategic tips.
For example, what do I do vs a flashed Sunsteel turn 1?
I can run away until I have an answer but meanwhile the pressure continues.
Whenever they don’t flash a big creature they simply remove my opening and go face.

Another example, they play elucidator turn 2 (4 mana turn) and go face. If I remove it they simply Keeper next turn. If I run away they summon another threat or remove whatever I summon.

From your experience, in which situations did u have a hard time vs Cassy? How did she pressure you?

Thanks for your time.


We’re getting off topic here, but while I think the siphon nerf was stupid I do think people are over reacting. I rarely ran siphon anyways favoring shroud and or bender, tiger, Jaxi and maybe pyro to deal with ranged threats.

But hitting Kron, Siphon, and shroud really hurts the Songhai match up for vet. While at the same time not dealing with their actual problem cards pax and Falcius. Meaning we are quickly getting a Rock Paper Scissors effect in match ups which is really bad. Vet crushes everyone but Songhai/Mag, Songhai really oppresses pretty much everyone but Lyonar and Cass, and then we have every one else who is just sort of their mostly In a healthy state.


Daemonic Lure doesn’t kill it and places it far from any use for 2-4 turns. Aside from that, Oranos’s suggestion on Reaper of the 9 Moons stealing something is probably the best not screwing around to much answer in my lowly Gold 8 opinion.


I also like to consider my self an Abyss main, with mag as a close second, have taken both to S several times. And ya said you were struggling so I just started with the basics.

Anyways the worst thing about Cass is the fact that she is either really aggressive, or super control. So at turn 0 we sort of have this weird coin flip, do I mull for an agressive hand and go face right away…or do I expect aggression and go the usual slow game.

If we make the wrong decision we get punished. I usualy expect it to be control since that is the worse match up and choose aggression. The deck is good at adapting and switching modes but that is still a hardship that needs to be over come.

Sunsteel is more of a midrange pick, but with Kron out he may start showing up more as a valid alternative to taygete, or harvest/meta. But anyways, don’t retreat vs a Sunsteel you want it dead early as it is a minion that will snowball and pull value from not being a prioity removal. Remeber while they take big chunks out of you with rush, they are still ultimately slow so you can afford some health loss early.

…now here is a weird peice of advice that I am reluctant to give, because I really hate that turn 0 coin flip…you can totaly capitalize on that mind game, as a control deck you can pretend to be aggressive early on which will actually force a good keeper magmar player to pull back defensively. It’s a very strange match up that mostly comes down to out positioning, good replacing, and planning ahead, and a huge part of it is a weird mind game. Now your often in a similar position because maybe they are not keeper magmar, but your very good at pulling back if they stay aggressive.

Alternatively you could actually be the aggressive Cass type deck which, while in my opinion is not quite as strong as control, is just a consistent race since the keeper magmar will usualy start aggressively, putting it at a slight disadvantage vs aggro Cass.

Next I would try to give some constructive criticism on your lists but A. You have a lot of them so I am not sure which one is current, and B. “Experienced players” rarely take criticism well, and C. Ultimately I play mostly Lillith and certainly don’t have as much experience with Cass as you do so my instincts and experience might not be as relevant. In general your lists are very different from mine and I dissagree with a lot of your picks, but it may just be a playstyle difference.

And at its core a great player can get to S rank with a basic deck, the game is ultimately more skill then the deck building. And you certainly are skilled, likely more then me at least with abyss. But I have always prided my self in the deck building aspect, so I think I could help you optimize, or at the least a good discussion could help us both learn something.

Edit: ah Obliv Sphere is your current focus? Very interesting, it is actually midrange and does not have the coin flip issue nearly as much.


Here is my Cass control list updated with Kron removed.

I am not fond of skorn. Kills crawler, hurts your artifacts, 3 drop is awkward. I think blood tear is the better choice, but if you keep skorn I still think both is overkill. But I see if your running it why your also running very low artifacts.

I don’t like grasp unless your an aggro deck. Blade is pretty much strictly better then void pulse. Dark transform is a meh card, I’d rather have a third shroud and more win cons. I don’t like the inconsistency of running a ton of 2x stuff, with the exception of stuff like obliterate and rite that you will almost never cast more then once.

1x Azelia seems like blasphemy to me, it is the main reason to play Cass. It’s both removal and a win con.

Currently I think your win cons are lacking, and you can’t decide wether you want to be aggressive or control. Now that may be very intentional so it can adapt better, but generally I think a control deck is already good at adapting to any given game. If you want to play aggressive Cass do it, if you want to play control do it.

But if your going to stick with midrange I would probably try something like this:

Which after putting it together I can understand your design process a lot better. It falls into needing to run a lot of 2x in order to have versatility, which is normally a bad thing, but just might be needed for this deck. I do think this is much more optimized, but I have 0 experience with midrange Cass, and you have been maining your variant of it, so I am interested in your thoughts.


Althur, have you tried experimenting with nightwatchers? I have found that they severely hamper the rush/revive style of those magmar decks once you have one on the field. If they don’t remove it, then you have a chance to respond to whatever they revive. The nightwatchers also help trade well with forcefield minions such as sunsteel, since having forcefield themselves, they can swing a free hit.

Though I main abyssian as well, I mainly play Lilith though, and the gors/wraithlings/jaxis help a lot to curb natural selection. With Cass, natural selection would be a problem for the nightwatchers. Also thumping wave can remove them, but at least it gets rid of a wave that they could use on an elucidator or mechantor. And of course, nightwatcher hampers your own spectral revenants (which, for lilith, I avoid by sometimes removing revenants in favor of other swarm win-cons).

Anyway, just an interesting suggestion, not sure how effective it would actually be or how much weaker it would make your other matchups - let me know what you think.


Thank you for your input as a fellow deckbuilder.

So if we’re going into the deck structure I might as well share my reasoning behind the card choices you mentioned.

I find Skorn to be a very useful card in Cass as the AoE and ping provide additional control. While generally being a tech card, useful against certain match ups - i.e Wall Vanar, Chrysalis Magmar, Lilith Swarm etc… - It synergises well with Kelaino and our BBS. It is also a 3 drop which enables an ok openning as player 2.

Grasp is often a very underestimated card. It is an excellent tool for clearing the board or pushing face damage. The card itself is quite useful against decks which like to flood the board and keep minions close - i.e Zeal Lyonar, Wall Vanar, Lilith Swarm, Zirix Dervish etc…
It synergises extremely well with several core cards in Cass.
Firstly, it’s much easier to trigger it with our BBS. The common Lure + Grasp combo comes to mind along with Dark Transform + Grasp, which not only able to clear the board but also close out a game. While sometimes being overkill and at others being just enough, it also combos with Revenant or Obliterate.
Simply put the card always has some kind of use and I usually like to run at least 2 deeming it core in Abyssian.

Void Pulse and Blade cannot be compared imo. The former is a healing card while the latter is damage prevention card, like Regalia for example.
Pulses are useful because they both heal and push for lethal. The ping they provide is also handy against artifacts.

Dark Transform is literally Abyssian’s only unconditional hard removal.
It grants us an answer vs any minion from anywhere on the board and renders most Dying Wish effects useless. It simply offers a better solution rather than Shroud or Lure in many cases.

Now Cassy’s win cons and greatest pay off cards are Obliterate and Ghost.
I believe there’s a certain ratio between the two which varies between lists.
I find that in Fast Cass, running 2 Ghosts and 1 Obliterate is extremely effective while in a slower control oriented list the other way around is true - 2 Obliterates and 1 Ghost.
The reason behind this is because in a slower list you may often use your first obliterate for board clear, not only a finisher, that being the second. In the faster version you won’t get to play both Obliterates, taking a more aggressive approach as you are inclined to close the game asap.

Some cards are simply perfect at 2 - one being too few and inconsistent while three being too clunky and situational.
All core cards are played at 3 copies for the sake of consistency.

You were right to call my deck a midrange list which gave me some food for thought.

So I’ve taken your words into consideration and decided to adjust my list a bit. I cut the Bloodtears for Mystics which provided a bit more healing and upped the curve slightly. This granted the option to get by with 2 Rites only and so add a third Jugger. The new list works better and feels less awkward.

After facing more Magmars with similar lists I tried to change my approach a tad, playing more proactively. I noticed this playstyle opens more room for a victory but is essentially a race. Whoever gets a stronger initiative and draws a closer first, wins the game.

If you’d like to discuss more strategies and deckbuilding please pm me on Discord: #3242

Althur ;3