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By: MarcosPMA, Marcos Rodriguez
May 12 2013 11:10pm
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 I had no intention of playing in the Legacy Silverblack event on 5/6/2013 at all when I woke up that day.  It only came across my mind when I checked Gatherling.com (which is something I do every day), and even then I wasn't too sure if I wanted to play or not.  The last time I had played, I went with a Legacy version of my Modern combo deck, and I didn't do too well in the event, finishing 1-2 before dropping because I didn't want to play with my deck anymore.  For reference, here's the list that I registered for that event:

 

Not my best list, but heading into an unexplored format I thought it would be the best chance to do something like this before it either got hated out or were just unviable in the format.  After playing with it, I found it had a lot of problems; mainly it couldn't win against discard spells, specifically Hymn to Tourach.  After the event, I tried to make it into a Esper control deck with just 2 copies of Duskmantle Guildmage and Mindcrank, but I didn't feel motivated enough to finish it so I left the deck unfinished and forgot about it.  So, as you can see, I wasn't especially ecstatic about playing in the event. Out of boredom, I decided to look at the decks from the previous event and see what people were playing, which lead me to this list:

 

 

I liked the idea of the deck, but I didn't like the actual numbers.  I felt that some of the creatures didn't seem to fit the deck and that too many of the lands came into play tapped, which hurt your chances to play disruptive spells in the early game.  All this being said, I didn't know how to fix it, seeing as how I've never played Jund in my life, except for Jund Aggro, but that's a completely different style of deck.  After thinking for a couple of minutes, I decided to take what I know about Jund and try to find cards that would help me accomplish what Jund wants to do, and with that in mind, I came up with this list:

 

Now, I'm going to preface this by saying that I don't much about Jund at all, so I could be completely wrong with what I'm about to say.  So, for me, this is what I feel Jund wants to do: Disrupt the opponent with discard, present singular threats that must be dealt with, and eliminate the opponent's threats.  With all this in mind, that's how I came up with the above deck.

Disruption

                                                

The first thing we want to do with this deck is to take away important cards from our opponent and these three spells allow us to do so.  Inquisition of Kozilek on Turn 1 not only allows us to take an important early card from our opponent, but also gives us valuable information as to what deck we're playing against.  This information is extremely valuable, and lets us plan our turns in advance by using the information given to us from our opponent. Hymn to Tourach takes it a step further and attempts to strip any 2 cards that might not be able to be taken by Inquisition of Kozilek.  In addition to that, it provides us with card advantage as we use 1 card to take away 2 cards, so it also gives us a slight tempo boost in the early game.  Hymn to Tourach also punishes our opponent for mulligans or greedy/sketchy keeps by either taking away important spells or key lands in a 3 color deck.  Finally, Blightning serves as a versatile card for us to use at any point of the game, either just serving as a overcosted Lava Spike in the late game, or getting value as a discard and damage spell in the early game.

Threats

                                                

Each one of these creatures, aided with disruption and removal, is enough to win a game outright.  First up is Vampire Nighthawk, which is such an efficient creature for 3 mana.  Vampire Nighthawk is a must kill once it resolves, and if I can untap with it, I feel like I'm in a good place.  On an empty board, the Nighthawk is capable of a 4 point life swing every single turn, putting you closer to victory and making it that much harder for your opponent to kill you.  Even though it dies to Lightning Bolt, it's still an evasive creature and will always trade with an opposing threat, making it quite the formidable threat at all stages of the game.  One of the things I liked about Rakura's list was that he was playing with Sprouting Thrinax.  For a 3 mana creature that isn't Vampire Nighthawk, it has to have some sort of value to make the cut, and Sprouting Thrinax delivers on value.  If your opponent is behind, killing the Thrinax will still leave 3 power behind to be dealt with, and if you're somewhat behind, you can chump block and have 3 more chump blockers for the next attack.  It's a little harder to cast, but it's earned its spot in the deck for now.  Lastly, we have the card that saw itself get banned in Modern: Bloodbraid Elf.  I don't think it's completely unreasonable to say that if you're playing Jund colors, you should be playing with Bloodbraid Elf.  Bloodbraid Elf does so much in this deck, it's a hasty creature with a reasonable body and gains you card advantage via Cascade.  Even though the spell you get from Bloodbraid Elf is random, it's usually going to be a useful spell no matter when you Cascade.  You can get another threat [Vampire Nighthawk or Sprouting Thrinax], or a removal spell [Putrefy, Lightning Bolt, or Terminate], or a disruption spell [Hymn to Tourach, Inquisition of Kozilek, or Blightning].

Removal

                                               

Lastly, we have our removal suite of Lightning Bolt, Putrefy, and Terminate.  With the exception of Terminate, our removal is pretty versatile.  Lightning Bolt can either go upstairs for 3 damage or kill an early threat while Putrefy can unconditionally kill any artifact or creature it can target.  Terminate does sure a purpose in the deck however, it serves as redundancy for our removal spells while being slightly easier to cast than Putrefy.

You might be asking yourself, why aren't you talking about Lingering Souls, after all, the deck IS called Lingering Jund, right?  Well, yes, the deck is called Lingering Jund but Lingering Souls didn't come to my mind initially when I began looking for cards that were threats, disruptive spells, or removal spells.  Simply put, I only thought of Lingering Souls when I was looking for additional slots to fill in the deck, and I wanted a value card and Lingering Souls instantly came to mind.

Value

                                                                                                     

These two cards just scream value, and who doesn't love value?  Lingering Souls has seen extensive play and it probably won't stop anytime soon.  What Lingering Souls does in this deck is act as an extremely versatile card in just about every situation.  Against discard decks, we're getting insane value every single time we discard Lingering Souls.  Against control decks, Lingering Souls gives us another avenue of attack, giving us the opportunity to flood the board with 4 1/1 spirit tokens just by using one card.  Against creature decks, Lingering Souls gives us chump blockers to buy time to draw our removal spells and allow us to take over the game with our singular threats.  Speaking of threats, Treetop Village functions both as mana and a threat at the same time.  In the early game Treetop Village can act as the mana we need to cast our spells, and in the late game we can animate the Treetop Village to start attacking our opponent for 3 every turn.

Sideboard

                                                  

I won't talk about most of the sideboard, because I mostly threw it together at the last minute and didn't really care what I put in.  The cards I did actually give thought to were Krosan Grip, Duress, and Choke.  I remember the deck that won the first Legacy Silverblack event, it was a Thopter Foundry combo deck, and I wanted a way to unconditionally kill it and get around counterspells, and Krosan Grip fit the bill quite nicely.  I also wanted to have more redundancy in my discard spells, so I put 2 copies of Duress in my sideboard in case I needed to take something on Turn 1 that I couldn't get with Inquisition of Kozilek.  Lastly, I put Choke in the sideboard because I thought my hardest matchup would be against blue decks, and I figured if they didn't have a way to get rid of Choke, I would be favored to win that match.

With my deck completed, I submitted my deck at 5 p.m., went for a short walk to think about the deck a bit more, came back at 6:30 p.m., messed with the mana base a bit then prepared myself for the games while hoping that the deck would function without me having actually played a game with it.  Normally, I wouldn't go into a tournament without having played a game with the deck, but seeing as how I had just made it, I didn't have time to test and could only hope that I was a decent enough deckbuilder/player to hang in there with an untested deck.  With all that in mind, let's get on to the games!


Round 1 - Lingering Jund vs. Legacy Chalice of Discard 

Round 2 - Lingering Jund vs. Chandra's PMSn

Round 3 - Lingering Jund vs. Classic BWR

Round 4 - Lingering Jund vs. Affinity SilverBlack

Conclusion/Notes

A 3-1 finish for the deck isn't too bad, and the deck functioned exactly how I wanted it to for the most part.  I won't lie, the mana for the deck is a bit iffy, and this was probably the hardest mana base I've ever had to make, and it didn't help that I gave myself so little time to do it in.  I tried to use as few tapped lands as possible because I wanted to have Turn 1 Inquisition of Kozilek available, but I think if I want to keep Lingering Souls in the deck I'll have to add more tapped lands to the deck.  One problem I did have was actually casting Lingering Souls, so that's one problem I have to solve in order to keep Lingering Souls.  As I said in the 3rd round, I'm not sure if my opponent played with Sensei's Divining Top correctly, but it seemed to me like he didn't because the cards he got from Top weren't useful.  I'm not sure if the Affinity matchup is as horrendous as it seemed, but it's something I'll have to dedicate some sideboard slots to so that I just don't auto-lose to it again.  With some tuning, I'm sure the Affinity matchup can get closer to favorable than it was during the tournament.  If you have any comments or suggestions, please leave them in the comments section below.  If you want to learn more about PRE events, please visit Gatherling.com, they have events mostly every single day so there's always Magic to be had.

 

MarcosPMA on MTGO

2 Comments

Great Card Analysis by Dabil at Fri, 05/17/2013 - 07:58
Dabil's picture
5

I have always enjoyed your take on card analysis, and have always liked the honest approach you take while writing. I find your humble approach very refreshing. I wanted to comment also about your Jund mana base, I don't know anyone who has ever built and played a Jund deck competitively who thought they got the manabase just right, especially in a budget format. Part of that is subjective as people simply have different ideas and familiarities with their card selection. And the other part is that, especially in budget formats, the selection of lands available doesn't always match the needs of every deck list. I blame this on the mediocre performance Jund has had in Legacy SilverBlack thus far. That being said I think that you have an interesting build that I know has gotten a lot of attention. Good job going 3-1 in the event!

First of all, thank you very by MarcosPMA at Sat, 05/18/2013 - 03:19
MarcosPMA's picture

First of all, thank you very much! It's always good to hear that someone is enjoying what I do, definitely makes it worth it. I think the biggest issue with the Jund manabase (in Silverblack at least) is figuring out how many tapped lands you're willing to run. Ideally you'd want to be able to play relevant spells every turn, but asking to have B or R on 1, B/R and/or B/B on 2, and B/R/G and/or B/B/G on 3 is a bit much without the Ravnica shocklands. Personally, I value the early disruption very highly, so I run more basics than other people would, whereas I've seen lists with a higher curve that don't emphasize early disruption, so they're more willing to play tapped lands than I am. I do enjoy the challenge of making the manabase though, it forces you to look at what your deck is trying to do on a turn by turn basis and if your lands aren't able to do that, it makes you either change the order in which you want to play spells, or find similar effects for a different mana cost.