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Chasing Victory – Eldrazi Jund

 

Whatever happened to Eldrazi Monument? Wasn’t that card supposed to be the nuts in Standard, specifically against Jund? It seems like right after the Eldrazi Green hype, the deck and with it, the namesake card seemed to disappear from Standard altogether. I know for a while Cedric Phillips and I were trying to brew the best possible Monument deck for Worlds, which he went 4-2 with.

So what changed? Well, since then, Jund has become even more popular since I guess people like trying to actually win tournaments. UW is also now a deck, and possibly making a run for the title of “Best Deck in Standard” after its performance in the first Magic Online PTQ for Amsterdam.

So wait, UW and Jund are 60% of the field? Doesn’t that mean that Monument is even better? In between doggling with Open the Vaults, 30 land decks, and Legacy, I was determined to find out.

How awkward indeed that the best Monument deck I could come up with was Jund-based

I feel this is the best Monument deck for a few reasons. The first is that you have a lot of great token generators to feed the Eldrazi. I considered running the deck as straight RG, but the mana doesn’t really even improve that much. Naya is another consideration, but that basically turned out to be a Boss Naya deck with Monuments. That isn’t to say that I don’t think that’s a good idea, but it’s hardly something to write about.

The second reason is that even if your Monument plan doesn’t come together, you’re still a Jund deck. While you may be a little more inconsistent than regular Jund due to your hectic cascades, you still maintain the powerful aspects of Jund and gain the possibility for blowouts featuring Lotus Cobra or Eldrazi Monument.

But still, why play this over normal Jund? First and foremost, the reason I’m writing this article: Eldrazi Monument. I have yet to lose a game in which I resolve a Monument and get to untap with it. You might be thinking that isn’t exactly a glowing endorsement considering how much removal and Blightnings there are right now, but it’s actually far easier than you would think.

Oblivion Ring and Maelstrom Pulse are by far the most popular spells that kill your Monuments. Pulse typically gets sided out in the “mirror,” so they might not have any outs going into game two and three. Oblivion Ring will probably have to be used on your early dudes, but in the off chance they sandbagged correctly, you can kill it with a Pulse or sideboarded Acidic Slime.

Sometimes it takes a little careful planning. Let’s say you’re in a match against UW Tapout, and things are going alright. You’ve got some little dudes while they have no board, but a couple cards in hand. In your hand is the Monument that will almost assuredly grant you victory, but don’t get so hasty!

Slow down and think for a minute. What could foil your plans? A counterspell that they either won’t board in against you (Negate, Cancel) or Oblivion Ring. If you were your opponent, would you have had an opportunity to use that Ring yet? Nope, I guess there’s nothing I would have Ringed yet. Maybe I can bait him by playing out this Sprouting Thrinax first

Against Jund, protect your Monument from Blightning, but use your better judgment. If protecting it means not playing a Bloodbraid Elf or something that you need to stabilize, then you probably shouldn’t. They don’t always have the Blightning, but you should still play around it to whatever degree you can.

I thought Monument was the only overlooked card, but I was wrong. Oran-Rief is pretty insane, and I’m kind of sad that people stopped playing with it. Yes, it can cause some extremely awkward draws with Forest and Sprouting Thrinax, but I’ve also blown out a few Jund mirrors by abusing it.

Another reason to play this over Jund is because it’s more fun. It’s also more forgiving. You can make a couple strategic errors but still win on the back of t3 Siege-Gang Commander or a t5 Monument kill. Typically, the games don’t tend to turn into the long, boring grinds that Jund tends to produce. Someone is going to die, and it’s going to be relatively quick.

I went through a few different versions before I came to the above list. At first I had no Maelstrom Pulses since I wanted more room for Masters and Goblin Ruinblasters, but the more I played against things like UW and Naya Allies, the more I realized that I need to be able to deal with permanents. I don’t want to just be drawing dead to an Elspeth or giant Talus Paladin.

I also tried different creatures in the Putrid Leech slot. By cutting Leech you minimize the black, but there aren’t very many other good creatures on curve. I could fill an entire deck with great four drops, but that won’t help me unless I stuck a Lotus Cobra. Birds of Paradise were my pseudo-solution to the four drop glut (along with a more Naya-esque. manabase), but unsurprisingly, those were terrible to cascade into.

Elvish Visionary was my next great mental leap. I figured you didn’t have much to do in the two slot and it would provide a body for Monument that didn’t cost me a card. It would be easier on the mana, and even draw me into my good cards.

It just didn’t work out. Visionary’s body was just too weak, and investing two mana often meant that you would have to chump with the Visionary because of the tempo you lost, so it rarely stuck around for Monument. I’ve never really had a problem keeping dudes around for Monument anyway. For two mana, Leech was better, even if I wasn’t entirely happy with it.

But wait, no Blightnings? How insane am I to play a Jund deck without Blightning? Well, I played them for a bit, but was never happy when I had them. They had no synergy with the rest of the deck. This Jund deck is attempting to create a stable board position and eventually finish it with card advantage from Bloodbraid Elf, Master of the Wild Hunt, or Siege-Gang Commander. Either that, or you blow them out with Monument. Blightning causes you to basically skip your turn, which I absolutely didn’t want.

If you insist on playing Blighting because of how “good” it is, then go ahead. I assure you though, you’d be better off playing normal Jund at that point. However, even normal Jund should have a Monument or two in my opinion.

Onto the matchups!

Jund

Be careful about Blightning, since your five drops are going to be how you beat them the majority of the time. Oftentimes, it will be correct to not Bolt their creature because you need that card to pad your hand. Plan ahead, think about how many cards are going to be in your hand, etc.

+ 2 Goblin Ruinblaster, 2 Grim Discovery, 2 Acidic Slime
– 4 Lightning Bolt, 2 Maelstrom Pulse

Post board the majority of your cards are insane against Jund, with the except of things like the 2nd Lotus Cobra or 2nd Monument. Those are now the cards that you use to protect your good spells from Blightning, so think twice before you run a second Cobra out there.

Once they are aware of the Monuments in your deck, you have to be wary of Maelstrom Pulse. Similarly to what I wrote about Oblivion Ring earlier, playing around Pulse requires some thought. If you can trick them into using it on something other than your Monument, do so.

Other than that, take into consideration that you are the beatdown deck.

UW Tapout

This is a matchup I’m happy to face. You have plenty of difficult to deal with threats, a card that protects them, and even some decent disruption. The main way they can beat you is by sticking a Baneslayer, but between Pulse, Master, Siege-Gang, and Monument, you should be alright.

Spreading Seas can obviously hinder you, but if you draw a Cobra, things should be alright.

+ 3 Duress, 2 Goblin Ruinblaster, 2 Acidic Slime, 1 Maelstrom Pulse
– 4 Lightning Bolt, 3 Master of the Wild Hunt, 1 Putrid Leech

In don’t necessarily like taking out Leech, but the eight cards I’m bringing in are much better. Should they be completely overloaded with Baneslayers and Kor Firewalkers I could see taking out more Leeches for Deathmark or Master of the Wild Hunt.

Naya Allies

First game is a bit dicey as you lack quick removal. If you draw a Bolt and a Cobra you should probably win, but otherwise it’s an uphill battle. They’re going to be building some relatively large animals and you can do little but chump block and hope a Monument saves you. Even then, they have the trump in Kabira Evangel.

+ 3 Doom Blade, 2 Deathmark, 1 Maelstrom Pulse
– 2 Goblin Ruinblaster, 4 Sprouting Thrinax (on the draw)/4 Putrid Leech (on the play)

After boarding you should probably obliterate them. Obviously they can just draw a bunch of Bloodbraids or Rangers in a row, but hopefully that doesn’t happen and your spot removal just picks them apart.

RDW

While not overly popular, this is a matchup I face about once every other tournament. I would be far less confident in my matchup here if not for Doom Blades instead of some of the Deathmarks. Despite Deathmark being better vs. the field, sometime you gotta hedge vs. an unpopular deck and play a similar, but slightly worse card. So far, the difference in the matchups where Deathmark would have been amazing has not been enough to convince me to cut the Blades. Cheap removal is still cheap removal and typically gets the job done, regardless of the fact that it costs one mana more.

+ 3 Duress, 3 Doom Blade
– 2 Goblin Ruinblaster, 2 Maelstrom Pulse, 2 Master of the Wild Hunt

Depending on their version, you could keep in Ruinblasters and even go so far as to play Acidic Slime. While not insane against the red deck, it will mitigate some of the value they can get out of their unearth cards and big spells like Earthquake.

Overall, not a great matchup, but one that I seem to win frequently.

But, but, What about the new cards? There are no Rise of the Eldrazi cards in your deck. Don’t you want to play card X or even card Y? Yeah, yeah”¦ I’m getting to it.

I’ve been asked for my opinion on Vengevine a few times lately, but overall I’m not sure. It seems like it would be good in Jund assuming you can trigger it, but therein lies the problem. Casting two creature spells in a turn is very difficult, even for a Jund deck like this. I wouldn’t be surprised to see people discarding Vengevines to Blightnings in the future, but I doubt it’s going to be good in Jund.

Consuming Vapors is a sick, sick card. The comparison to Ribbons of Night is favorable, and I often wanted to just draw another removal spell off of Ribbons anyway. Vapors seems like yet another card to put in Jund’s arsenal of quality removal.

Nest Invader is inconspicuous. It’s not very flashy, but then again, what is when compared to Emrakul? Still, I feel like Nest Invader might have a spot in the Jund Monument deck. Putrid Leech is hard to cast and has no real synergy with the rest of the deck, so I’m eager to give Nest Invader a try.

Good luck!

GerryT

40 thoughts on “Chasing Victory – Eldrazi Jund”

  1. Ya, love the deck, however, around January myself, bj bessler, Indianapolis’ MWMS winner Neil Michalares, and others piloted a deck designed by Chranderson and us, Eldrazi Jund, pretty much card for card of your list. Its the perfect deck in a jund meta, becuz it beats jund, and thts y neil won tht tourney, he played a ton of mirros. We did not play the cobras, we played terminates too, and other minor changes including Vampire Nighthawk, also with the addition of manlands, are mana was a lil diff too, but if ppl wanna beat jund and still play jund, THIS IS THE DECK TO PLAY Neils list was slightly different then mine and chrandersons, however, you can check out the list at midwestmastersseries.com under indianpolis, no one saw the deck comming.

    The One Who Slays Mages………

  2. Yeah in the finals I blightninged him and he discarded 2 eldrazi monuments. They were incredible!

  3. Pingback: MTGBattlefield

  4. Cody: I’m still all about Open the Vaults, don’t worry. This is just a good brew that I made in the meantime. I’ll be opening some vaults in a few live tournaments coming up.

  5. Thomas ''Tuffy'' Maggio

    I played Eldrazi Jund at Iowa States. My version just upped the token making cards, cut Broodmate and basically was Saito’s Jund+monument. The deck is the Nuts, especially right now. I have been considering working on it until Gerry ”The Masta” Thompson showed that it is A deck to compete in this current meta. Everyone that knows me knows I love me some E-Jund. I am glad that Gerry could get it out in the open since nobody really cared about it.

    There is also an article on SCG.com about the version I played before written by GFabs if anyone is interested in that as well.

    My friend Matt Yeager played some guy at the MMS in Indy and Monument won g3 for him. I really wish I could have been there because Matt said he had a priceless reaction. I am not calling Gerry’s deck my idea or anything because he has put the hard work into making it viable and basically made the deck as well. I swore I would never pilot a regular Jund deck and E-Jund is the way around that. Now I hope I dont have to play the mirror alot on Modo now

  6. If you want to replace Putrid Leech while minimizing black, feeding the monument with tokens, improving your mana curve and working with Oran-Rief all at the same time, you should try Nest Invader.

  7. Nest Invader >> lotus cobra in general I think and especially for this deck.
    Cobra can be insane but is usually just killed or you don’t have a fetch to really abuse it. Nest invader however is a 99% garanteed acceleration to 4 mana (who would kill the spawn) and gives a decent 2/2 body which you don’t have to be careful about.
    Lategame when mana doesn’t really matter much anymore nest invader is also far superior, 2 bodies is very relevant especially in a monument deck compared to the lousy 2/1 of cobra.
    The only real disadvantage to cobra is the fact it gives colorless so it doesnt actually help fix your colors but relying on this with cobra is very risky as well. It wouldn’t work for accelerating into ruinblaster that well for that reason but seriously that doesn’t belong in the list anyway. Look into vengevine instead of the ruinblaster, the cascade in this deck is reliable enough to get it back quite easily.

  8. Thomas ''Tuffy'' Maggio

    Ruinblaster is amazing maindeck. I have been playing a list just a few cards off for the last 24 hrs and ruinblaster has been amazing. Especially if you cobra it out early enough. Most Jund decks are running less and less removal and I think right now on modo your gonna be playing UW more often then Jund. Seems like UW has taken over modo and as Gerry said, you dont mind that matchup at all. Cobra is amazing vs UW and being able to ruinblaster them on t3 is no joke. Or even play a Siege-Gang on t3 into monument on t4.

  9. Thomas ''Tuffy'' Maggio

    Monument will definately be a player Post ROE. I honestly think E-Jund will also have a fine spot in Jund post ROE because UW will become even more popular.

  10. Call me crazy, but I feel like monument gets a lot worse once all is dust shows up. I mean I love monument decks but if all is dust sees much they are going too loose a lot.

  11. There are some surprisingly good G/R elderazi decks going around at the moment. They use Goblin Assult and Awakening Zone to churn out tokens while they wait untill they can drop an Elderazi and sometimes even Beastmaster Ascension. Combine it with Bloodbraids, Nest Invaders etc and it starts turning out to be a very fast but resiliant deck. The worst thing is that the only effective card I’ve come across to fight it is All is Dust which just feels bad.

    I wonder if the adding black in those decks would be better or if they should add in some Nissa package. All in all I just keep loosing to it, seems like some verson may be worth something.

  12. Hasn’t this deck been out for like 2 months now? I’ve never seen master or blaster main, but this is nothing new.

  13. If Lightning Bolt comes out against Jund and UW and those make up over 60% of the field, isn’t it right to play them in the board to begin with?

  14. BYoung – I have tried doing 3 bolts main 1 side using the same philosophy, but I have come to realize that without bolts, you are throwing away some matchups while only slightly improving the popular matchups. Keep them in because they are MANDATORY against some decks. If they are slightly worse than your SB, then by all means improve a bit for G2. Even jund could play great sable stags after G1 so you always want the option.

  15. Gerry: Are you still on the Duress + Sculler (/+ Bond) SB plan for OtV against UW? Do you think RotE makes the deck any worse (UW seems like it will get even more popular, which could be potentially annoying)?

  16. Master in play, Siege Gang into Monument is pretty sick. Sacing a thrinax to get 3 2/2s is pretty hot, as well.

  17. dowjonzechemical

    I like it….don’t fully agree with all of the card choices, but whatever…you do this for a living and I am just a hobbyist (competitive, but it is a side project for me none the less).

    I wonder how you feel about SB’d Goblin Outlanders with all of the W in the meta. Lower on the curve than the Bloodwitch, and could PWN (X)W builds especially with the Monument…it seems that it could strengthen your early game vs. those decks.

    What do you think?

  18. Spike/Markwerf: I love comments like this since it shows that you actually didn’t read the article.

    Tristan: Good thing Monument tends to kill them the turn you cast it.

    DTLoco: Yes, and criminally underplayed.

    BYoung: You need Bolts vs White Orchid g1 and against the random creature decks like Naya and Allies.

    Zulo: I’ve been trying Negates, planeswalkers, and/or Luminarch Ascension. ROE gives me Wall of Omens, which is a huge upgrade. I don’t mind the UW matchup at all. I’d rather play vs UW than Jund.

    dowjonze: What exactly would Outlander be good against? Yes, there are white cards around, but Outlander isn’t particularly good against any of them. Was there something specific you had in mind?

  19. I’d think the problem with Goblin Outlander is the same as with Putrid Leech. Yes it could be pretty solid versus the numerous white decks out there, but you won’t reliably have access to black early enough to have it really shine and it doesn’t seem to have a powerful enough impact on the game to bother bringing it in from the board if it won’t always be a turn 2 play.

  20. Can you run birds with Vengevine for your 2 drop replacement? That way cascading into birds will actually be good most of the time and you will have an extra thing to discard to blightning.

  21. Hey
    iv been running eldrazi jund for a while now
    since worldwake came out
    my deck is the same except now with ROE, im going to run awakening zone
    i dont run the lotus cobras
    i run 1 or 2 dragon broodmothers as well
    they are both token makers and threats in themselves
    also i think i mite drop some leeches for the new 2 drop that makes an eldrazi spawn
    also… tuktuk the explorer mite be good… idk yet
    i LOVE thrinax with monument

  22. nest invader… just read it in another comment…
    what do u think about awakening zone, nest invader, and possible a broodmother?

  23. Who reads the whole article. Just scan the decklist and tell the author how he should have built the deck.

  24. I thought Eldrazi Monument worked great in jund after worldwake, creating an engine to sac persecutor and thrinax, 1/1 tokens, etc to put junds creatures in the air, pumped, and immune to Day of Judgment. However, with Rise of the Eldrazi, a better sac outlet is the new sarkhan, which can sac those same creatures for a 5/5 flyer. That and sarkhans ulti will let you deal 13 damage the next turn, before attackers, with your newly played broodmate and 5/5 token. Sarkhan the Mad is even better than the monument

  25. hey i read thewhole article
    i just didnt read all the comments
    sorry
    haha but idk sarkhan is good for sacing things
    but its creatures can be hit by day of judgement
    and it can be o ringed and pulsed the same as eldrazi monument
    thats just my view

  26. Charles Darakdjian

    Hello,

    Good article!

    Actually, I do not know much about Jund, Naya, or other popular decks but I definitely know and have played Allies for the last 6 months.

    Why do you run Deathmark in your sideboard?

    Despite the fact that it is a 1-mana removal (while Doom Blade costs 2), Deathmark does NOT kill Kazzul Warlord and it also does NOT kill Akoum Battlesinger. The spell is also a sorcery which is pretty bad as this prevents you from responding to the sorcery-speed ally triggers.

    I had already explained to quite a few Jund players in my play-test group that Doom Blade is strictly better as it is an instant and kills both Warlord and Battlesinger.

    With Rise of the Eldrazi out, I really recommend *Vendetta* as a sideboard option to deal with Allies, Naya, and Mono-Red. It costs one mana, is instant-speed removal (which is critical against allies, you never want to tap-out on your turn as a Kabira Evangel draw without any response from the Jund player is usually fatal in the late-game!). The life-loss is negligible unless you are targeting a Baneslayer Angel or a Knight of the Reliquary (in such cases, you have to think this through).

    Against Allies, even Disfigure is better as it destroys all the “early” allies (Akoum Battlesinger, Hada Freeblade, Kazandu Blademaster, and Oran-Rief Survivalist) while the ally-trigger is on the stack. Deathmark on the other hand, I really do not fear. Sure, it can kill Talus Paladin, which is critical as the Paladin ensures Allies win the damage-race against other beatdown decks. However, you need to wait for your turn to kill the Paladin with Deathmark, and by then, the Ally player will have already swung and gained a bunch of life! …!

    Just my 2 cents.

    Cheers,
    Charles D.

  27. Eldrazi jund is old already. Its won a tournament here in Indianapolis by a buddie of mine. No need to try and fix something not broken. IMHO

  28. Yes, the deck won a tournament four months ago. Why would we change it? Obviously the list is perfect.

  29. Loving the sarcasm Gerry.

    I’ve been a huge fan of the monument myself, can’t blame you for bringing it back into the limelight.

  30. @cody
    thanks
    i went back and read it and realized judement rhymes with monument kinda i guess
    i asume ur talking about that

  31. or maybe
    its cuz
    i press enter
    after 2
    to 3 words…
    also, Gerry, along with the questions on nest invader and awakening zone, i was wondering how the mana in this deck had been working for you. Iv never ran lotus cobra so idk how much it fixes and i run 2 oran reifs… i assume its been good?
    also, if we consider ruinblaster a 4 drop, the 4 drop spot seems alittle crammed… just throwing things out there that probly arnt important

  32. and literally, i just left this article, went to Starcitygames.com and read an article, did a double take and realized it was written by u as well… just thought it was cool

  33. dowjonzechemical

    Gerry T: I just thought maybe he would be a better 2 drop vs WW and that it can’t be o-ringed, journeyed, pathed, gets through Wall of Omens, he basically forces a wrath or Mind Control against UW control/tapout, etc… but I also see your point. An otherwise vanilla 2/2 is not what Jund needs. He is not a trump, and Bloodwitch probably fills this role better.

    I tried a similar build out in a testing group last night…it works pretty well. I did not lose a mirror.

    Thanks for not setting my comment ablaze and actually addressing it as if you took it seriously.

  34. Just won an FNM using eldrazi jund! Nice article Gerry T..made me change my traditional jund to E-jund and its nuts!. Went 4-0 beating 2 U/W controls and 2 jund mirrors! didn’t use the cobra rather placed 4 nest invader on that slot and it is the nuts on this deck! Didn’t cut the blightnings…cut bolts however,,,^_^

  35. Nice article and decklist. Playtesting shall commence shortly! Seriously, this is the Jund build I’ve been waiting for.

  36. I’m testing this deck and it’s really sick, but… It’s a bye to Polmorph !!

    Apart from this, i’m testing 3x Bestial Menace instead of 3x Master of the Wild Hunt..

    1 More mana but, in my experience, Master did never see my next stap phase!

    Opinions?

  37. so im not sure if you were properly teased for this when you were a child, but you have a very odd shaped head. I thought you realized this because you were always wearing a hat. Recently, you havent being wearing a hat, put it back on.

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