Go Jund or Go Home (Block Deck Tech) by David Calf

Go Jund or Go Home (Block Deck Tech) by David Calf

So last weekend we finally got to see the anticipated block Pro Tour, which a lot of European players were relying on to tell them the upcoming meta for GP Manchester.

I attended the Dark Challenge Brave Quest – Block constructed – Minimum £400 cash prize pool tournament and I had done a lot of testing with Reanimator, mono black and big red, with big red giving a nice set of results vs some of the better known decks.

I decided to go with a tweaked version of Big Red which had won a GPT the previous weekend, however after going 2-3 (conceding a match to a friend so he could make top 8) I decided that the deck had too many holes (one big one was no enchantment removal). That said, if you were running hot, you could easily pull off fast and effective wins however sometimes it just flopped and flopped hard.

Hero's Downfall banner

This lead to me and a friend brewing midrange lists on the way home (with no lists from the Pro Tour a this point as we had not watched it). I finally settled on a Jund midrange deck which I had built from the advice of friends and tuned it to the expected meta for a GPT in Milton Keynes (one of two local stores) the very next day.

Jund Midrange

(60)
Stormbreath Dragon
Polukranos, World Eater
Sylvan Caryatid
Polis Crusher
Voyaging Satyr
Courser of Kruphix
Xenagos, the Reveler
Hero’s Downfall
Silence the Believers
Thoughtseize
Destructive Revelry
Lightning Strike
Forest
Mountain
Swamp
Temple of Abandon
Temple of Malady
Temple of Malice
Mana Confluence

Sideboard

(15)
Thoughtseize
Polis Crusher
Silence the Believers
Arbor Colossus
Mistcutter Hydra
Worst Fears
Anger of the Gods
Reaper of the Wilds
Unravel the Aether

The main reason behind me wanting to play Jund was that it allowed access to the following 5 cards which are all great cards against the meta that the Pro Tour created over night:

Courser of Kruphix (0)

Stormbreath Dragon (0)

Hero’s Downfall (0)

Polis Crusher (0)

Thoughtseize (0)

After a long day I managed to place 4th in the event and was extremely happy with the deck, it performed even better than expected and the meta was close to what I had anticipated as I played against the following.

1. Junk midrange – Draw

2. Minotaur’s – Win

3. Junk (Chapin’s list which had been put up that morning) – Win

4. Orzhov Aggro – Loss

5. Minotaur’s – Win

At a record of 3-1-1 and close to 60% tie breakers I secured 8th position in the top 8 and my first round opponent was the same Orzhov Aggro list which I had already lost to. I won the match after seeing all my removal with the big hitters being Silence the Believers and Anger of the Gods which are extremely solid in the matchup even if you’re just exchanging them one for one.

My next game was against GB aggro/midrange and game one I lost to Gray Merchant of Asphodel combined with Whip of Erebos, and the second game my draws were rough so finally I conceded holding two useless Stormbreath Dragons in hand.

So what did I take away from playing this midrange list? It was the first time I had played some of the cards like Polis Crusher, Courser and Caryatid, and being mainly a control player in the Standard format I would say without a doubt that the deck was extremely strong and really over performed in all areas.

Courser of Kruphix banner

The top 5 cards performing cards were

Courser of Kruphix – As we all know by now this card gives card advantage and life gain as well as being a great blocker/attacker with its 2/4 body.

Silence the believers – Casting this card at 7 mana can win you games from no where, and it really shows why Chapin is running 4 in his main deck.

Reaper of the WildsReaper of the Wilds – This card for me was a all star and over performed every time I sided it in (which was every game). As a side note, before the event I wasn’t too sold on this card, but after being told how good it was by a close friend I decided to go with it, but in the sideboard.

It should have been in the main deck, instead of Polukranos, as its great in ALL matchups. You are mainly hoping to play it at 6 mana, but playing it on turn 3 is also fine as it can present a real clock.

Stormbreath Dragon – What can I say? A huge dragon which beats face and can help to deal with cards like Elspeth due to haste– and did I mention that protection from white is good in this format? I think this card could only get better if it had protection from black.

Polis Crusher – 4 power and toughness for 4 mana which seems solid– and did I forget to mention it as protection from enchantments!?! This card is a real beast in certain matchups and I would easily say this card is better than Polukranos in the current meta. Also its not legendary!

The fact this is Jund means that– as it does in all formats –every card in this deck is solid, and all the cards in the deck performed how I’d expected them to, including my favourite sideboard card Anger of the Gods.

This card is the number one card you want to see in your opening hand against the aggressive decks, especially when paired up with Silence the Believers which allows you to kill the bigger bestowed guy which they have put out of the range of Anger of the Gods.

Anger of the Gods banner

Going forward with the deck I would look at a list along these lines:

Jund Midrange v2.0

(60)
Stormbreath Dragon
Reaper of the Wilds
Sylvan Caryatid
Polis Crusher
Voyaging Satyr
Courser of Kruphix
Xenagos, the Reveler
Hero’s Downfall
Silence the Believers
Thoughtseize
Destructive Revelry
Lightning Strike
Forest
Mountain
Swamp
Temple of Abandon
Temple of Malady
Temple of Malice
Mana Confluence

Sideboard

(15)
Polis Crusher
Xenagos, the Reveler
Arbor Colossus
Mistcutter Hydra
Worst Fears
Anger of the Gods
Unravel the Aether
Thoughtseize

I think Silence the Believers really excels in the mirror match ups and even against the aggressive decks, as you can easily hit 4 mana way before you die, and you can easily hit 7 mana with this deck, making it an absolute blow out. This goes for Anger of the Gods too, and the cards together allow you to out attrition the aggro decks and then finally slam that final threat down which puts them on the back foot. This is the main reason that they have gone up to four and will definitely stay at a 4 of unless something drastic changes in the meta.

I would highly recommend this deck to anyone looking for a solid deck for GP Manchester. Every card in the deck can be justified and really allows the deck to compete against every other deck your expecting to see out there, even the unknown ones.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on Jund in Block, so please comment below!

Thanks for reading,

David Calf

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