Initial Technology – Don’t Get Bushwhacked

Before I get into the Constructed material, I have some observations on Limited, so bear with me.

Two weeks ago I made the claim that Vampire Nighthawk is the best card in the set, and that sparked some debate. When I said that, I meant best card in the set, pick 1 pack 1, but I think it would have been more appropriate to just call it the flat-out best card, no qualifiers attached. My opinion hasn’t changed in the intervening time, and the undefeated decklists from the first 9 rounds of GP: Paris seem to back me up a little.

Of the eight players that went undefeated, five of them had Vampire Nighthawk, which doesn’t surprise me. I’m not saying that it’s firm proof of anything that there are a bunch of Nighthawks in the undefeated section, but I think it does lend a little credence to my claim. I know I am convinced, and think that Vampire Nighthawk even being debatably the best card in the set is something worth thinking about. What does it say about the format when a three-mana 2/3 (albeit with a ton of good abilities) is possibly the best card in the set?

Even if you think other cards are better, you have to at least consider the argument about the Nighthawk. The Hawk does a lot, but it doesn’t offer inherent card advantage (even if it often nullifies multiple attackers) and it isn’t absurdly powerful, certainly not on the level of Sorin Markov, Sphinx of Jwar Isle, or Hellkite Charger. The main factor making the Nighthawk the best is the incredible speed of this format. Six mana spells are just too slow, and while I certainly am not saying that the powerful spells I listed are unplayable, or even anything less than awesome, it is so easy to just be dead by turn six. If unanswered, Nighthawk puts a screeching halt to any offense, then starts bashing and draining life. Few spells can turn games around so quickly, and none for so little cost. Normally it isn’t really important what the “best card in the set” is, and even here it doesn’t matter if I’m right or not (although I am). What is important is that you understand how fast and aggressive this format is. I can’t think of any other format where a card like Nighthawk is better than a card like Sorin, but I honestly think it’s true here. Sorin v Nighthawk is still really close, but I don’t actually think Hellkite or Sphinx (either one) is even that close; Nighthawk is much better. The takeaway: this format is ridiculously fast.

A few more interesting tidbits from the eight undefeateds:

All eight played Black as a main color (although one deck was a tri-color mess with double-colored bombs in U, W, and B).

Six of the eight players played Red-Black with no splashes, and all those decks looked pretty aggressive (playing cards like Slaughter Cry, Goblin Bushwhacker, Unstable Footing, Mark of Mutiny, Magma Rift, and Vampire Lacerator).

Green, Blue, and White only showed up once each, with Blue and White in the same tri-color deck.

Such results don’t really please me, and in fact are exactly why I don’t like Zendikar sealed or draft formats very much. I don’t really like complaining, and definitely am aware that this may seem like sour grapes (seeing as I haven’t done that well in Zendikar Limited), but I know I am not alone in my dislike for the speed of this format. The aggressive cards are too good, and starts so punishing that so many games are over before anything interesting happens. There just are less choices made when the game only lasts five turns, and the weakness of defensive plays just exacerbates this. The abundance of landfall and evasion means that games often are just races, without much opportunity for the player who falls behind to come back. Just look at some of the best creatures of each color: Plated Geopede, Steppe Lynx, Welkin Tern, and Surrakar Maruder are all great beaters, but none of them block well at all. The Geopede is particularly heinous, and actually a level above every non-removal common, and probably better than most removal spells anyway. It is almost impossible to block, so unless you have a removal spell or Kraken Hatchling, you better hope they run out of lands.

Again, I do have a point here. While I obviously am a little displeased as to how the format appears to play out, that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop playing it. I just have to figure out how to work within the framework given, since even though I don’t like the format when compared to previous ones, it is obviously still really fun to play. After all, it is still Magic, and still awesome. I previously chronicled how I had trouble adjusting to Zendikar, and even then I think I underestimated how aggressive this format is. I do still like the pick orders I presented, although I would move up both Welkin Tern and Giant Scorpion. As fast as I thought this format was, it is actually faster. There aren’t many ways to exploit this knowledge, since good defensive options really don’t exist, so ultimately you should just be drafting the most consistently aggressive decks possible. Even decks like Allies or Landfall should eschew power for consistency, since I have repeatedly tried to draft multicolor Allies and have been disappointed just about every time.

With that out of the way (I tried not to be too whiney, but maybe I failed), I would like to move on to Standard. For those of you who haven’t seen them, check out the new series of videos I started with Brad Nelson here.

The responses have been great, and we plan on doing more, so I figured my article would be a good place to discuss the matchup we played. We have played a lot more than just those 10 games, and the idea is that by combining the videos with our written analysis, readers (or viewers, I guess) can hopefully get good ideas of both how we actually play the matchup and what we have to say about it.

For reference, the lists used:




Brad has mentioned Boros in a number of articles, so I will provide the Jund perspective here.

Game 1’s: Before board, I think Boros is favored. I may have had some good results against Brad in the videos, but that was partially due to some nice cascades on my part and bad draws on his. On the draw, you don’t really want to keep most hands without Lightning Bolt, Putrid Leech, or Terminate, since if your first play is turn 3, that is rarely fast enough. On the play it gets much better, but you still can mulligan pretty aggressively. You almost never lose to running out of cards, but time is another matter. Your cards are almost all 2 for 1’s, so as long as you have time to keep playing stuff, winning will follow. This explains how non-aggressive I am in some of the videos. In my experience, games don’t come down to a race, so I usually don’t start attacking until I am sure the situation is in hand, even if that means leaving guys back against an empty board.

Here is how most games go pre-board:

Early game is them hitting with an early drop or two until you can kill them, often inflicting 4-12 damage.

By turn 4 or 5 Jund usually stabilizes the board, at which point Boros often drops Ranger of Eos and sets up a big turn, where they hit you with 3-6 creatures at once. This is often the critical turn, since if you can survive they are often out of gas, at least until their next Ranger. On the big turn and the turns leading up to it, you mainly want to make the line of play that deals with the most creatures, even if it seems like a waste. Terminating Elite Vanguard at the end of their turn if you are going to tap out, killing your Thrinax to make three blockers, that sort of thing. Again, don’t worry about short-term losses, since just by surviving you are gaining an advantage.

Once you have reduced their threats to a manageable level, you usually can kill them within a few turns, although beware of dying to cards like Elspeth, Burst Lighting, and Lightning Bolt, or another Ranger-fueled Bushwhacker assault. If you can stop them from attacking for a while, you usually pick up enough of an advantage that even a topdecked Ranger can’t get them back in the game, and they just have to hope to draw enough burn. They don’t have all that much burn usually, especially since many lists cut Burst Lightning, so staying above three is usually good enough.


Right now, I’ve been taking out 4 Blightning and 3 Garruk, although many have suggested cutting a Dragon and keeping one of the Garruks. Either is worth trying, although I haven’t really liked Garruk all that much. He is worse than all your other plays at the same mana level, so by the time you get around to playing him you can often just cast Broodmate, which is then going to be better. Plus, you often don’t want to cast Bituminous Blast until their combat step, since they won’t always have multiple guys out until then, and hitting a Garruk off a Blast is really awkward. Blighting is just too slow, and you don’t have the luxury of casting it over removal. On the other hand, if they go overboard on boarding in removal spells (Purge, Journey, possibly even Goblin Ruinblaster), Blightings get a little bit better. Also, your Pyroclasms and Jund Charms make them slow down a little bit, again upping the value of Blightnings. Alternately, try siding 3 Garruk, 1 Broodmate, 1 Blightning for the 5 Pyroclasm effects, and just don’t bring in Deathmarks. If they get really wild, and bring in something like Manabarbs and Harm’s Way and Journey and Purge, you might even want 2 Duresses, although I have never brought them in.

The matchup improves once you get to sideboard, since the sweepers take away much of the speed advantage Boros has pre-board. Post-board, they can’t go all-in without risking a [card]Pyroclasm[/card] blowout, which means that you can keep slightly slower hands. Beware of Harm’s Way, since it can destroy you when you go for a sick [card]Jund Charm[/card] or Clasm. It is usually pretty easy to see when they have Harm’s Way, since the Boros deck doesn’t have much mana to waste, and they won’t usually leave a White source untapped for multiple turns unless they have it. The overall gameplan hasn’t changed, since you will still win given enough time, so keep playing defensively.

Altogether I would rather be on the Jund side of the matchup, even if it is close. Boros is definitely a threat, and I wouldn’t dip too far below the five Clasms in the sideboard. Boros is the kind of deck that is classically underestimated, for a few reasons. It has underpowered cards (Bushwhacker, Skyfisher, Geopede, Lynx), and is tough to play, which may lead many to assume it is worse than it actually is. Don’t make that mistake, and give Boros the respect it deserves, and you should be in decent shape. I also recommend winning the die roll and deciding what you want to cascade into before you cast your Bit Blasts!

We will have more Constructed matchups soon, although GP:Minneapolis and Worlds will occupy some of my time over the next few weeks. If this sort of article is useful, I can try and provide more analysis for each matchup we post, and perhaps even discuss some of the more interesting (and/or incorrect) plays from each video next time!


51 thoughts on “Initial Technology – Don’t Get Bushwhacked”

  1. I can’t wait for the more under-developed decks to start catching wind.

    Jund is relatively slow due to it being a tri-colored deck. It has some devastating tricks and could pressure you with all the Bloodbraids and Pulses. The burn spells are common place. Even though it survived the post-ZEN rotation Leech is pretty weak for a two drop. I saw those videos that were recently posted, and I gotta say.. Leech can be the first to be replaced if anything surfaces later on. Paying 2 life with all the new rule changes is a lot. It’s true: it’s all about preventing life loss.

    Bushwacker decks can be dealt with via mass removal. The fact that it runs on hasters and low drop creatures means that it can be stopped with cards like Volcanic Fallout, Day of Judgment, and even Disfigure. What the deck lacks are spells that pump up their creatures. The new builds are starting to pack Goldmanes and some Elspeths; not so much Elspeth, but Goldmane for sure. Brave the Elements can become a possible sideboard option for these decks, but I’m pretty sure players aren’t afraid of losing their little critters.

    Elves are rising in a new-ish fashion; festively dubbed “Nissa’s Monument” – The decklist that came out in 1st just recently has yet to be released and analyzed for a full critique, but I gotta say that it isn’t bad using Monument in a deck that pumps out creatures in a matter of turns. Rumor has it that even Master of the Wild Hunt made it’s way onto the same list, so we’ll see about that.

    Luminarch Ascension/WUR control is slowly catching wind. Planeswalkers Jace, Vengeant, Elspeth and Chandra are the dominant force that uses mass removal and limited counter control to overwhelm the enemy as Jar Jar Sphinx enters without fretting of being touched. What I find to be cool is that while the standard Lightning Bolt, Path to Exile, Negate and Day of
    Judgment to be the main support, Hindering Light and Swerve are starting to become relevant. While it cannot stop from being overrun by Aggro-based decks, Ascension Control can do it’s job in stalling the opponent. Obelisk of Alara might end up slowing the overall process of pouring out vulnerable planeswalkers, so Ethersworn Canonist might as well become apart of the main deck; stopping Cascading and multiple weenie drops. On the other hand, this deck can be stopped by sided Pithing Needles, Hexmages and Pulses that slip past the counters. It’s a cool deck to look out for. It really reminds me of 5CC minus Baneslayer and all the good mana fixin’s.

    Vampires.. well.. that’s another story. Some players and online brewers are considering splashing for another color. While it destroys the whole idea of Tendrils and Sludge, there were options that presented control and/or burn. Ironically, there was that one Grixis Vampire deck that seemed to go unnoticed. It used Divination as it’s draw source, but nowhere else was Blue to be seen. If it did Countersquall would be the only viable counter to interact well with Nocturnus. Red has a plethora of multicolor spells that could do a lot of damage if Vampire players took it seriously: Blightning, Blast, Terminate, and even Hemorrhage. The whole splash idea is up for a huge debate because mono Black Vampires are thriving on it’s own. It’s a really diverse deck idea that takes many turns. To use or not to use Sorin. To use or not to use splash. The one notion that should be known is that the new decklists are removing Lacerator because of its poor late game impacts. Otherwise, the deck suffers from typical tribal problems that have come up in the past, yet Nocturnus is what all players are dying to get out and race, race, race..

    Oh yeah, there is Naya Ramp that’s starting to raise some hairs, but it isn’t taken too seriously seeing that it uses Cobra to do all their dirty work.

    Anyway, perhaps you could touch ground on these decks in future videos or articles. Good job on this one. It’s good to see this kind of coverage these days. Too bad y’guys didn’t do it during the past few years. It would’ve been nuts.


  2. I think your fondness for control and your dislike for green are really pushing you in opposite directions for Zendikar limited. In my (admittedly amateur) opinion, green has the best long game in the set, and Grazing Gladehart can be one of the best control cards at common. Most landfall-based aggro decks play out like burn decks, where they run out of gas and sit on their hands if you can weather the early storm. Just as life gain is good against burn, it’s also good against lynx/geopede-based aggro limited decks.

  3. Did the first guy to post a reply really say that Putrid Leech is a weak 2 drop? I stopped reading the rest of his post right after that, but I’m guessing it’s filled with many other “insightful gems”.
    Putrid Leech is a legitimate clock on turn 2. What more do you want?
    Have you ever played the deck or do you just theorize?
    I can assure you that 100% of Jund players absolutely love the feeling of dropping Leech turn 2.
    Pity I didn’t get to read the rest of your 9 paragraph novel.

  4. Thank you for echoing something I’ve been feeling about Zendikar draft for a while. I’ve gotten to the finals something like three or four times in my last 20 MTGO 8-4s, and while I’m definitely not a pro-caliber player, this is abysmal compared to my performance in other formats.

    I don’t even feel like I’m doing very much wrong; my decks often feel strong and it’s rare I’m completely blown out. It’s just there’s so little opportunity to outplay, and almost more importantly, for opponents to make mistakes. Games run pretty much on autopilot. You attack and pray you draw better. I’m going to keep this up as long as I can and try to find some kind of edge, but I’m getting pretty discouraged. C’mon super secret tech!

  5. One of the points that LSV makes about the Boros Matchup is one of the reasons for Leech being a poor 2 drop in some scenerios and one of the things to consider replacing instead of other cards.

    In some matchups its about life preservation while weathering the storm. Leech is ill suited to this. Yes its a solid aggressive 2 drop but in a situation where life total needs to be managed carefully it could be considered a less desireable card.

    The situation is what makes it weak. Playing a grizzly bear is weak and in some situations thats what a leech is.

    I was toying with adding white to Jund and running more Fetches in order to up the cascade count with Captured Sunlight to give the leeches more punch longer in the match and various other reasons.

    I found that my build was often much faster than Jund due to not running the Tap lands and the addition of Woolly thoctar. Having Path and or Celestial purge for the mirror is fantastic.

    After a number of games Im inclined to agree that leech needs to be looked at on occasion as the card to be sided out as it is sometimes disjointed with the situation at hand. If Jund is running full speed ahead its great but if it falls behind at all its a weak card.

  6. @John: I felt exactly the same way. Even if that statement was legitimate, I dare wizards to print another two drop on a higher power level than Leech. Until they reprint Tarmogoyf or Hell freezes over, I don’t see that happening 🙂

  7. Love this article. Best article on this site so far. Decklists and stuff like that is easy to find because everyone writes about them, but matchup analysis like this one is really helpful because a lot of people dont write about them.

  8. John, I can assure you that 100% of Jund players would prefer casting a Terminate against the Boros deck, rather than dropping Leech turn 2.

  9. Okay, putrid leech can really help to preserve your life total. If you’ve played with jund extensively at all, you’ll figure out hes just as awesome on the D. Turn 2 you can put an end to 2/3 lynx and 3/3 geopedes all day! He is always a potential 4/4. If ur on the play, you drop the leech, there vangaurds kinda suck.

    To the guy who wrote the first post, if you think putrid leech is a pretty week 2 drop Then no one is going to care what your opinions are when it comes to magic. You are bad at magic, don’t rant about the meta, you have no idea how things really work. And in the post all you did was describe what stuff did, like we don’t know how jund wins.

  10. [quote]Six of the eight players played Red-Black with no splashes.[/quote]

    Looking at the GP last week end I think this is terrible. 2 colors dominating as much as BR does and it´s not that it run good cards either, only that all their cards are agressive. I rather have a format defined by bomb that this, atleast the chances are either your opponent doesn´t have any or he don´t draw them so if your deck is solid enough it can still be enough. In Zendikar there are way to many pools that are not good enough and to many decks that can luck out and hit for 20 from nowhere. Everyone´s so pleased with Zendikar limited but for sealed I rather go back and play M10 again.

  11. Leech doesnt stop Lynx for long when you’ve already been beat down or when the 2 life to save the leech puts you in bolt or worse range.

    Im not saying its a weak card but its situationally weak. Unlike Goyf that is a solid drop no matter what position you are in.

    All im saying is that leech is more interchangable than many people have been willing to look at. Its one of those cards like Lynx that is really strong when you are following your game plan but becomes a liability late in the game where its nothing more than a bear.

    I dont even see it stopping lynx or geopede very often the fetch lands ensure that lynx and geopede still get through. In an attrition war with the kind of reload power that Boros has id even be willing to lose my lynx or Geopede and treat them like a shock to the dome because the bleeding is going to put him within reach.

    Thrinax is the guy I really dont want to see unless I have path and all that does is put him closer to brood mate who is a real stopper.

    Leech is a speed bump defensively often enough.

    Im not saying its not a card to run main board because plain and simple it can win you games only that you need to look a little closer at the situation and if you can consider boarding it out on occasion maybe there is something else that takes its spot that helps the deck more and leaves something else that might actually be better.

    Often times the Jund player will board out the blightning for say Jund Charm.
    Instead take a closer look at removing leech and consider the frequency of an actual turn 2 leech. over the more probable turn 3 based on the mana base.
    Not saying its an auto swap but something to consider.

  12. The leech is a great 2-drop for sure. But it’s not so good against the Bushwhacker deck. I play the R/W myself and I always prefer seeing it hit the table on turn 2 rather than hearing a “go” from jund with mana open for removal.

    If the Leech blocks and pumps you still loose life. The most Boros loses at that point is a 1-drop, so its a good trade and it’s like you didn’t block at all. So, to preserve your life total until the mid-game (where jund wins), you can’t pump, and that reduces the leech to a chumping bear.

    That’s just in the Matchup vs. Boros. I wouldn’t call it weak by any means.

  13. On the Leech topic, if you’ve read the article, Luis said that Leech is one of the cards you really want in your hand (on the draw) in order to keep it (Bolt, Terminate, Leech) and I agree. Leech can be awkwar, you rarely can pump him safely (you end up taking damage and exposing yourself to instant speed removal), you really need action in the first turns. So, while a better (in this match-up, that means “more defensive”) 2-drop would be nice, I can’t really see myself cutting early action instead of something like blightning when sideboarding… The issue that leech can often come up on turn 3 is for real, though….

  14. i have heard the mono green token eldrazi deck did really well in the recent 5k i would really like to know your thoughts on it as i dont think its a reall deck but its matchup against these two decks is suposed to be on the up and up

  15. mmm… Turn two or three you play Leech, they attack with their 3/3 Geopede, or 2/3 Lynx. Worst case scenario you block, pump, and they bolt it. Which means it is the same as if you played any other random two drop, they bolted it and attacked – which is still ok, since at least you spent only one mana more than them and you did something early.
    There are several other scenarios where Leech is better – if they Path it, or if you block a 2/2 and then you don’t pump it (it’s important to keep the board clear against them). Of course these trades are weak, but you have ton of better cards so, as LSV said, you don’t care.
    I really don’t see how Leech could be cut unless they become another deck post sideboard (as in the Manabarbs example).

  16. Could Vampire Nighthawk in Jund be good as a way to counteract putrid leech life loss and get through wall of denial decks as well as weathering the boros storm? If kitchen finks were still in standard, boros would stand practically no chance against Jund. Best case scenario, it crushes them with the lifelink. Worst case scenario, they hit it with removal, which either makes things safe for thrinax or saves you 3 life from a bolt. But what do I know lol.

  17. The mono-green deck is pretty sweet. It’s a lot of fun to play and really is a change from playing land after land that EtBF tapped. There is a version that runs red for BBE, Bolt, Chandra, and Sarkon Vol. Which isn’t surprising since there is almost a non-existent counterspell.

    I miss Counterspell, Absorb, and Undermine. Best spells ever.

  18. goyf is not a solid drop no matter what position you are in. Anyone who has ever had to play a goyf when bolth yards are empty will tell you that. All cards a situationaly bad. that does not mean the card is bad. yes leech loses some effectiveness in this match up but it stops goblin guides and vangaurds and any land fall creature with only 1 land fall trigger. plus it presents a strong clock against non-agressive decks

  19. I feel like some people are overestimating leech in the matchup. People are saying things about how he can block the boros little guys all day.

    Think about how the matchup plays out for a moment. This is jund ramping into a dominant board position vs boros burning life total.

    When leech blocks an elite vanguard what happens? The vanguard dies and you lose two life. Boros just played a shock at your face. When leech blocks a lynx and a vanguard gets through things look much more grim.

    In reality putrid leech is often turning their renewable damage sources into burn to the face. But you know what? Boros is ok with that. It is not that leech is bad it is just that something else might be better and his drawback is actively helping them win the game.

  20. Who exactly said leech was the best thing ever in this matchup?

    Even if it isn’t amazing vs RW that hardly means you should cut it, it certianly is very good vs lots of other decks.

  21. Great article and thanks for the insights.

    One question: I’ve seen some players at local FNMs trying to fit white into a Jund build against Boros/whacker just for PTE and Intimidation Bolt. Apparently, the bolt is a great “fog + dead Geopede or Lynx” tempo steal from Boros that it’s worth mangling the mana for… Is this completely dumb or worth it if you’re playing Jund and you can devote the SB to being mostly anti-Boros?

  22. This analysis is awesome! It was really exciting to see this posted the other day. Will there ever be a time when we get to see the match-up from Brad’s perspective?

  23. I would be interested in how boros sideboards. sideboarding with the jund deck seems much easier than sideboarding with boros. I am really wondering what cards brad sided in and out, so i would really appreciate some info on that.

  24. You guys have to be kidding when you say leech is bad because you lose life… you know, you don’t HAVE to pump her. If you don’t want to lose 2 life and risk getting “blown out” by lightning bolt, simply block and trade, how hard is that?

  25. The point was that in the matchup leech could be boarded out instead of a card that actually is more effective against the particular matchup not that leech should be out of the deck entirely. The reluctance to even look at leech as a card to board out is what I dont understand. Why is the first card to go out of jund blightning when it tends to be the card that makes most Jund matchups devestating. Its a card actually hurts borros much more than the leech does.

    As to splashing white in jund I think its an excellent idea. If you do splash it then you can effectively fix the mana base of the Jund deck to not rely so heavily on the tap lands and actually speed up the deck some.

    Intimidation bolt is one idea against boros that may actually work quite well.
    I actually splashed white in mine changed the mana base to make more use of fetch lands and added Captured sunlight giving leech some more life and upping the cascade count.

    While not the most optimal deck list at the moment the options that white opens up for the deck in its removal suite are quite nice for the mirror as well. I think it needs some more exploring as ive only tested it in Jund matchups so far and its promising.

    I think the love for the leech comes from the clinging to block constructed where it really shines in the deck. I seriously dont think it needs to be cut from the deck as it is a good card in a lot of situations but its not a card that can “never” be boarded out of the deck either.

  26. You get access to both Marsh Flats and Arrid Mesa as fetch lands by running more basics the M10 Duals you can improve the EtBt problem in addition to additional deck thinning. By reworking the mana base around them and running more basics here is the mana base I currently have for my Jund spash white

    I think the mix might be slightly off but its a good place to start
    Now I added Path and Woolly Thoctar to this list as well but its simply a place to start
    Marsh Flats 3
    Arid Mesa 3
    Verdant C’combs 2
    Dragonskull Sum’t 3
    Rootbound Crag 3
    Plains 3
    Mountain 2
    Forest 4
    Swamp 2

  27. best tip ever

    “deciding what you want to cascade into before you cast your Bit Blasts!”

    if someone did what u did in that vid (forgot which game), there would be a lot of accusations flying away.

    that was hilarious though xD

  28. It would be similar to playing Naya splash black its all about which card choices make the most sense. Thrinax Broodmate Blightning Malestrom pulse all require black but cross over with Naya. Melding the two seems like it could be a good idea in the current meta. In the straight Jund matchup its been fairly successful in testing.

    I think the mana base can support the 4 colors very well and with some tweeking give you access to some real good meta choices of cards.

  29. and to answer the question directly because straight Naya seems to lose to Jund from what I can see. (sorry for the double post)

  30. @Lpettro
    so leech makes there elite vanguard a shock? And that’s bad? They are trading one card for 2 damage to the face. Think about how bad that is. I really don’t think boros relishes in trading there guys to burn you for 2. By paying 2 life you are trading life for cards that could potentialy deal more damage to you, there for preserving your life total. Jund needs a two drop on turn 2 in that match up. Cuz boros has crazy good one drops.

    And i totaly agree with lsv taking out blightning for board sweepers. Boros empties his hand real quick, and puts all it’s cards on the board. And that is where all the attention needs to be focused. Yeah blightning can fuck up a ranger set up, but your not guaranteed to have that oppurtunity. You wil always have a need and the opportunity to sweep the board. And as far as taking leech out for the sweeps? Try it, and see how fast you get ran over, when you cut 4 Witch is more than a quarter of all the creeps in your deck. and none you can play before turn 3. And as far as trading leech for a situationaly better 2 drop? Try and fucking find one

  31. Leech is pretty awesome, and while I think questioning card choices is a useful exercise, in this case there isn’t much wiggle room. Leech is a good defender until it is time to kill them, and for two mana you can’t even get anything close to as good at either job. Sometimes you have to settle for trading it for a 2/2, but that’s fine too.

  32. You are probably right that it is the right sub my only point was to think outside of the box and find out for sure. I have found blighting to really be the card that carries off many more victories than many people give it credit for putting an opponent in a hole that the other cards fill in.

    I just think that examining the entire set of cards in each matchup is more beneficial than just making default assumptions. You never know till you try some lesser thought of swaps till you try them was all I was saying. Leech does have situations where he is simply a bear. And apparently thats good enough in those cases but without recognizing it you cant begin to tell when its not good enough.

  33. So in draft importance is shifted from playing the game to drafting your deck? Is that really that terrible or is it just not your preference?

  34. is it reasonable to think that because boros decks will be bringing in cards like celestial purge and harm’s way and will be playing around board sweepers, both of which will lead to having more cards in hand, that blighting could become a relevant spell post-board? I’m not saying i would be cutting leech instead of blightning but maybe someone could find an alternative.

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  36. I was one of the 9-0 at Paris and yes Vampire Nighthawk was certainly the best card in the deck. One card that surprised me by how good it actually ended up being was Mark of Mutiny. Blade of the Bloodchief also was good but that wasn’t a surprise because with a few vampires (2 that have flying and one that has first strike and can sacrifice itself for some tricks with the blade) and some removal cards it actually wasn’t a surprise.

  37. My forehead is hurting from all the facepalming i just did with you guys debating leech and adding white. PV and LSV are right, adding a forth color does not help the mana and leech gives the boros player something awkward to play around.

  38. The problem with sideboarding 5 pyroclasm effects is that they are dead draws if the boros player has a fetch in play. Any player who knows how to properly handle the deck knows to leave as many fetches unused as possible and to wait to play out landfall guys only once you have a fetch in play to back it up. Once I have 2 fetches on board (usually turn 5) I can ranger for double lynx and they wont be able to blow me out, wont be able to block, even with a a baneslayer or something huge like that, and combat math will be impossible. One of the key advantages of playing boros is being able to outplay your opponent. When I have a board of lynx, geopede and two fetches, plus two basics, I will never crack them to play a ranger, just because if they do have the pyroclasm, you WILL lose after that.

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