Hello everyone! Happy new year to all you guys! This year I hope to be able to write more often especially with Theros Beyond Death is almost here! With the new Gods’ anticipated arrival I’m sure a lot of brewers are excited to test out new card synergies that will push the meta to its limits!
I for one am super excited to get my hands on the new cards but before Theros becomes available, let’s first kickstart the year with another brew and this time, let’s visit one of the best Modern shards, Jund.
Unlike the conventional Jund that we all know which fashions the infamous Catdevil’s Food Cake combo, we’re trying out something different and what we tried to do is take apart the best decks in the standard in these colors and put them together and see if it works (it does as I am already in Gold 1 from Silver with this so far).
Red is known for Fires of Invention (sorry Fervent Champion) and the many crazy plays it enables. The drawback of only casting 2 spells a turn is insignificant if you’re able to cast spells worth 8 mana on turn 4, or 2 spells worth 10 mana on turn 5.
Red is also known for its Shockonastick card, Bonecrusher Giant! Red wasn’t blessed with great cards and I’m so glad this card was printed. It gives any deck a good survival rate against aggro decks especially on the play when you can snipe their 1-drop and pose a 4/3 blocker for their 2-drop, or even trade up to their 3-drop.
Green is known for Paradise Druid. This uncommon has seen so much play because of its ability to guarantee you 4 mana on turn 3 thanks to its Hexproof ability.
Some pros, however, don’t agree and have moved towards Beanstalk Giant for good reasons. Paradise Druid is an awful card to have against aggro decks since you’re losing both your ramp and your creature when you’re forced to trade it in combat. Beanstalk Giant has helped me close many games in the long run because it’s also a massive beat stick once your opponent is out of resources or is topdecking small critters.
Black is known for Murderous Rider. I don’t think any black deck these days abstain from playing at least 3 copies of this card. When we lost Vraska’s Contempt, I felt a gap in my heart and thought what else can they print to make up for it. Bedevil was neat but never really filled the hole. But when Murderous Rider got spoiled, I felt alive again. But exaggeration aside, Murderous Rider is a great value card that’s both a clean removal and a decent damage damper thanks to shock-proof toughness and lifelink.
WotC has been very careful in putting powerful sweepers in Black. If only they’d exercise the same care when printing crazy powerful, meta-warping cards like Oko then we won’t be seeing the banhammer so much so often. Putting the rants aside (thank God I didn’t invest in Oko), Ritual of Soot has seen less play but seems well-positioned as we see more and more Mardu Knights in high tables. It’s also great against fringe decks like Mono-Green, Boros Feather and Azorious Fliers which I’m seeing quite often in Silver and Gold 4.
Gruul is known for a lot of things but in the brewer’s table, Escape to the Wilds is a household card we always try to maximize. It’s a draw effect that is unprecedented in these colors since I started playing Magic (and that’s way back in ’94). With the ramp package and Fires, alongside the synergy of Adventure cards we can play from exile, we are not losing any of the cards we set aside with Escape, to be honest.
What used to be a crap rare or an EDH-staple suddenly became Standard’s Penicillin against any and all threats known to mankind. I see you got a Castle of Lochtwain there… GONE! Oooh… an Ugin, the Ineffable? GO BACK TO THE PRISON REALM! Is that an Embercleave attached to a Blacklance Paragon? GET OUTTA HERE! Is that a Trail of Crumbs hiding underneath those food tokens? SWEEP THOSE CRUMBS YOU MOTHERBAKER! This card alone has allowed many Pros to get back from an unseemingly unwinnable game. I think Casualties of War’s concept card was called “Comeback is real”.
Since Casualties of War and Escape to the Wilds are very powerful cards if we can cast them for free, it would also make perfect sense that it would make them even more powerful if you can cast them multiple times consecutively, right? Now we can thanks to Vivid Revival.
Vivid Revival has been a pet card of mine back when Ravnica Allegiance was the latest set. I had a deck centered around this card which was a lot of fun to play. Now with Throne of Eldrain added into the mix with its own arsenal of gold cards, Vivid Revival quickly became top of mind when I built this deck. Remember that Escape to the Wilds can help us find more Vivid Revival which is super sweet!
To make Vivid Revival more relevant, I added 2 copies of Deathsprout which increases our gold card density a bit. I chose this over Bedevil because we can reliably provide BG more than RB (as seen in our manabase). I also like the pseudo ramp it provides ensuring we can cast our Casualties of War on time.
This is how the deck ended up looking and I’m very happy with the list so far.
The sideboard is tweaked against aggro decks primarily because they are our worst match-ups, particularly the Gruul Embercleave variant.
Legion’s End has been useful in killing off Knight of the Ebon Legion, Fervent Champions, Zhur-Taa Goblin and Cauldron Familiar (if you can catch it).
Lovestruck Beast is a roadblock against Gruul and can trade with Questing Beast, buying us enough time to find a Ritual of Soot or Murderous Rider.
Duress comes in against UW and Esper controls which isn’t a lot. It also comes in against Reclamation decks. It doesn’t greatly improve our win rates against these decks since they can still top deck their threats but it does give us good information on how to play around their countermagic or sweepers.
Reaper of Night is our flex spot on our sideboard but I chose this card for the same reason I had when choosing the other adventure cards in the card. It works well with Escape to the Wilds and is a great hoser when we resolve it against control decks. They will be anticipating Fires of Invention coming down on turn 4, but they won’t expect a Reaper of Night especially if we already fired off a Duress in the early turns. Reaper acts as a bait for the control player on whether they would lose 2 cards and still hold their countermagic up, or counter it to save their hand but risk having a Fires of Invention resolve the next turn.
If your local meta is high on aggro, I would exchange Reaper of Night with Bedeck-Bedazzle. Not only is it good against the aggro decks but it’s also a target for Vivid Revival. It’s also another way to get rid of pesky Castles and maybe the reach you need to take down a tired Teferi or a weary Liliana.
My sideboard guide is quite straight forward:
- Against Aggro
- -4 Paradise Druid
- -1 Deathsprout
- -1 Casualties of War
- -1 Escape to the Wilds
- -1 Vivid Revival
- +4 Lovestruck Beast
- +3 Legion’s End
- +1 Ritual of Soot
- Against Control
- -2 Deathsprout
- -2 Ritual of Soot
- -1 Casualties of War
- -1 Bonecrusher Giant
- -1 Vivid Revival
- +3 Duress
- +4 Reaper of Night
That’s it for today! Time to prepare dinner for the wife! I hope you guys had a great 2019, and I wish you all the best in 2020, with great top decks in all your future tournaments!