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By: kelvinmai, Kelvin Mai
Oct 30 2013 10:40am
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Hello and welcome. I'm sure you've noticed the title as it doesn't say the usual Brewing on a Budget that I always write. And that would be because today we're going to be doing something different. I, along with my playgroup, have been working this deck for quite some time and it is far from a budget deck but it's still something that I want to share with the world. And don't worry it's still a brew, the deck is Jund in a world without Jund.

Why Jund?

Prior to the release of Theros, Jund was one of the top decks and much like UWR the deck just isn't as good or popular with all of it's key pieces rotating out. No more Thragtusk, no more Huntmaster of the Fells and no more Olivia Voldaren and of course many rejoiced because the metagame can be fresh again. But it lost more than just the creatures, it lost the checklands and Farseek which was the glue that made the deck work so well. So why even play jund now? Well even after rotation it is still widely recognized that Jund colors have the best removal so those cards can be easily utilized. The new problem now is finding new threats that can fill the void of the ones leaving. And that is our challenge today.

Card Choices

Spells:

Abrupt Decay Abrupt Decay
This handy little thing is so versatile. The fact that it can't be countered means it is always going to resolve. And it's definitely better in those decks because it hits both Chained to the Rocks and Detention Sphere. But it's not terrible outside of control either because it can still kill all creatures and even Domri and Ashiok.

Rakdos's Return Rakdos's Return
The all star of last standard and the foil of control, of course this is a card that's going to appear in Jund's comeback. As you all should know by now this makes your opponent empty their hand so you have nothing to worry about and go in with a vengeance. Additionally there have been games where this card is just a burn card for lethal to win the match.

 Putrefy
One of the many kill spells that will be featured in this deck. This particular one has the ability to destroy artifacts as well. And while there aren't that many artifacts to be wary of, the ones that are used have a pretty big bulls eye. Things like Pithing Needle or even the mana rock keyrunes want to be taken out by this spell.

Ultimate Price Doom Blade  Dreadbore
Ultimate Price Doom Blade Dark Betrayal Dreadbore
These are all the black removal. They all get the same job done: kill things, however they are all conditional but still good enough to be in the main deck. The only exception is Dark Betrayal, that is one that belongs in the sideboard if at all and to be brought it and replacing the other black removal against decks with black creatures, obviously.

 Hero's Downfall
This does what all those things above do except without any exception and at instant speed! But it's something that I still don't like because I'd rather play all of the above for it's 2 mana rather than this 3 mana beast. However it is still a strong and powerful card so I'd still recommend it. At least one in the main board as a silver bullet that they won't see coming.

Magma Jet Mizzium Mortars  
Magma Jet Mizzium Mortars Anger of the Gods Lightning Strike
After black removal comes the red removal. Magma Jet is the favorite here as it provides library manipulation with it's scry. Mizzium Mortars is premium removal, and one of the only answers to Blood Baron of Vizkopa and easily better than Anger of the Gods as a sweeper. But that doesn't mean we don't run Anger, it just means that this fancy Whipflare is more for the aggro matchups, I would even suggest just maindecking one and having some more in the sideboard. And that brings us to the last one, Lightning Strike. Not much to say about it, it's just a 2 mana Lightning Bolt, it's good removal and sometimes lethal burn.

Thoughtseize Thoughtseize
As the return isn't enough hand disruption we have this all star of a card to do it earlier at one mana. The 2 life loss can be big so I suggest putting these in the sideboard. The decks you want to bring it out against is obviously control and midrange but definitely not aggro as losing life just puts them closer to winning.

Duress Duress
While Thoughtseize is more of a debate as which part of the 75 you put him in, duress is not. This belongs in the sideboard and only the sideboard. It goes in during the same matchups. It's only advantage over thoughtseize is that there is no life loss but you have to know they have a spell, and not a creature, in hand for it to do anything worthwhile.

Slaughter Games Slaughter Games
Another sideboard staple, unfortunately it's not as good as it used to be. It was amazing when a deck has only one win condition, that way you know exactly what to take out. But decks now run multiple win conditions, Esper for one runs both Aetherling and Elspeth. But some decks this spell is still good against, like mono blue has only one card that is difficult for us to deal with, and that is Thassa. If we Slaughter Games her we would never have to deal with her in the first place.

 Fade into Antiquity
If any card screams sideboard it would be this one. It literally has one application in standard and that is to kill the gods. It really is the only answer in Jund colors that can deal with a god if it ever hits the battlefield. Everything else in our colors say destroy instead of exile so this card definitely deserves a mention. I just don't know how problematic one of the gods can be that we may need this card.

Planeswalkers:

 Xenagos, the Reveler
This brand new guy is the entire reason why I wanted to play these colors. He has done a lot of work in Green Red monsters and devotion but I still don't think people are fully utilizing him. His plus ability may not generate as much mana in this deck as one of those but it's what you can do with that mana that is impressive. Like those other decks you can plus to sink in additional mana into Polukranos' monstrous to act as a pseudo board wipe but something that has not been done yet is using that extra mana on a Rakdos's Return, which feels really good. But that's not all he's good for, because his 0 effect spits out hasty 2/2s that can fuel his plus. His ultimate is ridiculous because it's not uncommon to uncover a Desecration Demon or any other threat in the top seven cards.

Vraska the Unseen Vraska the Unseen
Vraska has some good utility in that her -3 ability can take out almost any problem. It's an effective way to take out opposing planeswalkers and creatures as well as problematic Detention Spheres and Chained to the Rocks. However her other two abilities is what makes her a bit wonky as it can easily be ignored and doesn't give us any advantage. She is definitely sideboard material although not required and nothing more than that.

Creatures:

 Polukranos, World Eater
Just like Xenagos, I was giddy when this hydra was spoiled. And similarly I instantly thought he'd fit into Jund as a replacement for Huntmaster of the Fells. Unfortunately he was clumped up into green red along Xenagos and Domri. He has good applications here as well though, as mentioned above his monstrosity can act as a board wipe, but more commonly it'll be spot removal for a single creature. And on top of that he's a big beater for four mana.

Desecration Demon Desecration Demon
This is the new rising star in standard along with (Frostburn Wierd). Both were completely overlooked and underrated but now they are taking vengeance and taking over the meta game. And this deck is no different it wants this demon on the team. One of the things that is missing from today's meta game is flying creatures so this demon serves as free removal or free damage because he is almost always unblockable.

Scavenging Ooze Scavenging Ooze
And this is called beautiful synergy here. If you have both the demon and the ooze out, you give the opponent a really hard choice: take a big demon to the face or let both the demon and the ooze grow? But of course that situation isn't always going to happen which is why the ooze is a formidable fighter on his own, being able to feed off of creatures that you can easily kill off with removal or even the creatures that your opponent manages to take care of.

 Sylvan Caryatid
We can't always think about the offensive and this is a creature that proves that. This little plant replaces Farseek in the mana fixing/ramp department and in addition can easily fend off the aggro assault with it's 3 toughness. It is very hard to deal with because of the hexproof but not impossible so that's one inconvienience when comparing it to Farseek

Lifebane Zombie Lifebane Zombie
Hurray for more hand disruption! There is no doubt this guy can do a lot, take a card from their hand or if they aren't playing green or white you can take a peek at their hand. Now the real question here is "is this guy mainboard or sideboard?" Well just count how many green or white creatures are being played and I'm sure you'll figure out that he's main deck potential.

 Mistcutter Hydra
Sideboard card of the year! This made the cut only because mono blue is one of the biggest decks out there. We already have a pretty good match up against mono blue with the black removal and big beefy creatures. But it doesn't hurt to have an unblockable 10/10 in those situations either. Speaking of it being a 10/10, this hydra is also amazing because it doesn't matter when you draw into him he will always be on curve and being uncounterable is another plus against those esper decks. The only downside is that it doesn't have trample so it can be chumped by Elspeth tokens all day until she ultimates because she doesn't need to waste her wrath on this creature.

 Reaper of the Wilds
When other people think of what Jund is today they instantly think of this card. But why? Scry 1 every time something dies is pretty strong and it has pseudo deathtouch so it can turn on the scry. The hexproof is also a great ability. But personally when I think of Jund and everything that it has to offer, I still think of midrange but a much more aggressive version of midrange. This little gorgon is a very defensive creature and would fit better into a BUG deck than a Jund one.

 Underworld Cerberus
For one more mana than Desecration Demon you get a 6/6, almost unblockable, and best of all it's unconditional. But aside from being a big beater it also lets you recur all your dead creatures when it dies. And of course they won't get any creatures back because you'd be eating all of them with your Scavenging Ooze, but if you miss a crumb they still won't get the advantage that you will.

Ruric Thar, the Unbowed
Yes that's right another 6/6, except this time for 6. Why pay 6? Because control decks will shiver when they read his card text. They have to take 6 damage from every non-creature spell they cast. Yup you read that right, why isn't this guy played more? It does say all players which includes you. But the beautiful thing is that while they take their time trying to deal with him you'll be drawing into all your removal, so when they finally destroy him you'll be ready.

Other:

 Whip of Erebos
This whip works wonders! The lifelink is very relevant as you will be taking a lot of damage from your own shocklands and of course the enemy assault. It can easily put you out of reach for an aggro deck to come back from. And the whip is even good against control as it lets you recur creatures that was countered away or destroyed to continue an assault until they are reduced down to 0.

Rakdos Keyrune Rakdos Keyrune
The best keyrune within these colors as it serves as an exceptional blocker with it's first strike and 3 offense. But it being a mana rock it isn't the best as we want access to green more than red. And it being a creature isn't as relevant either because of the quality of all of the creatures we are running. It's not a bad choice but it is one that I wouldn't run.

Mutavault Mutavault
An exceptional man land that has been in a lot of decks in standard lately. As with all man lands it is immune to sorcery speed removal, many cards mention 'non land' when targeting and it can provide beats on an empty board. Unfortunately it has no place in our deck and I'll tell you why. The deck that we are playing are very tight on colored mana that we can't really run a colorless land without taking a hit. On top of that the decks that do play mutavault have a lot of card draw so it can hit whatever land drop it needs and that's just not the deck that we have so we can't do it.

Pithing Needle Pithing Needle
A sideboard Staple and it shouldn't be missing from yours either. It does so much! It turns off Mutavault Nykthos and planeswalkers. It even reduces Aetherling to a normal creature that can easily be taken care of. It has never been a contender in the main deck though because it's a wasted slot against aggro, a matchup that you want to win game one. But in almost every other deck you want to bring it in.

Example Deck

This is the deck that I've been playing lately and it's been doing pretty well. It wins pretty consistently even though it looks very unfocused. You basically never want to run this many one-ofs in a deck with very little draw power but it's been working for some reason. If anything I would cut some of the removal for more Read the Bones but it'll be something that I'll work on as I'm going to try to take this deck to SCG:LA.

Match Ups

Mono Blue

Mono Blue is easily one of the best match ups for this deck. We have enough removal to make sure Thassa never turns into a creature, Master of Waves is the biggest threat and can be taken out by Polukranos' monstrosity for just 1. It is also a deck that can't really answer a Desecration Demon. And to add insult to injury we can have a Mistcutter Hydra in the sideboard to end the game quicker.

Mono Red

Mono red and all of his red aggro counter parts feels more like a coinflip, as both sides have an equal chance of winning. Their deck has no answer to any one of your fatties but they can definitely power out devotion fast enough so that the Fanatic will just take over the game. However if you have a starting hand of removal and Anger of the Gods the favor switches to you. If you have a good amount of Read the Bones main deck, this is the matchup to take them out and instead put in more removal. You can't take too much damage so that you can stay out of Lightning Strike range, and you don't really have time to use your turn to draw so more removal would just be better to have. Alternatively you can always Thoughtseize the Fanatic and save yourself 5 extra damage.

G(r) Devotion

This deck features a lot of the same creatures as you as well as planeswalkers. In the beginning of each game they'll try to power out ramp and Burning-Tree Emissary, those are your biggest targets. Anger of the Gods is one of the best options here, if they manage to put out one of their fatties, don't worry because you still have an advantage cause you are the one that has removal. But be careful of Garruk, he's the most dangerous of all the planeswalkers in that deck because he refills their hand with creatures. Good choices to side in would be more removal, Anger of the Gods and Dreadbore and even Pithing Needle. I'm sure the removal comes doesn't need explanation, but Pithing Needle is amazing here because it can turn off all the planeswalkers and even the monstrosity of some creatures. It, however, can not turn off Nykthos because it's second ability is still considered a mana ability.

UW/Esper Control

This is one of the more annoying matchups. Notice I didn't say difficult, just annoying. They are able to kill and get rid of everything. But if you can resolve a Whip of Erebos then the game is yours. Because all you need is 4 of your fatties in the yard and whip them out. In the following 4 turns you will win while they are struggling to draw into their 1 Aetherling. To alleviate the stress of counters and supreme verdicts, this is where Thoughtseize and Duress comes in while taking out the not so useful kill spells. Lifebane Zombie is also a good creature here if he resolves because knowing their hand is really powerful in these matches, more so than any other matchups. And of course a resolved Xenagos can do work by giving you an endless supply of attacking 2/2s.

I believe I covered everything I needed to cover. But all in all I think this deck is a really powerful one and can stand up against the playing field of today's standard. I'm doing my part to try to put this deck out there and so should you. Anyways that's all I have for this article, have fun with this list and win with it.

2 Comments

Lifebane is also good in the by MarcosPMA at Wed, 10/30/2013 - 20:43
MarcosPMA's picture

Lifebane is also good in the Esper matchup if they're running Blood Baron.

While you mention it in the by Procrastination at Thu, 10/31/2013 - 07:04
Procrastination's picture
4

While you mention it in the individual card descriptions, if this deck is being aimed at competitive play, you should include the Sideboard in the first draft as well. While it doesn't have to be perfect at first, those other 15 cards are a part of the "whole 75" and give us an idea of how you intend to shift the deck around between match ups.

You will usually play more SB-ed games than default list G1's, so showing us your entire plan is useful.

Good luck with the build! I wonder if testing will slowly move you in the direction of RG Nykthos or if the Jund mix will prove more effective?