Initial Technology – Trying to Beat Jund (Again)


Since I doubt writing an article about drafting Tempest-Stronghold-Exodus would interest most readers, I suppose I can talk about a more relevant format. I have been drafting a lot of TSE online though, and it has been incredibly awesome, so I would recommend it to anyone looking for something “new”. If you haven’t bought back Capsize or Disturbed Burial recently, you really should give it a try. Ok, I need to get on-topic before I start debating the merits of Killer Whale or examining exactly where Sift fits in the pick order (hint: Sift is at the top).

It seems like the honeymoon is over in Standard. The only reason Jund briefly dipped in numbers was that people wanted any excuse not to play it, and the release of Worldwake gave them that excuse. People brewed all sorts of new decks, some good, some not, but ultimately it was back to 40% Jund once people realized that there are few reasons not to just play Savage Lands. The Top 8 at the GP that just concluded, Kuala Lumpur, was six Jund decks, a Boros deck, and a Mono-Red deck, and I don’t think that is an anomaly. Jund is back, and for the foreseeable future it is here to stay. Does that mean you should be sleeving up Blightnings and resigning yourself to cascade coin flips? No, of course not. There are always options, and the narrowness of the format just opens new doors for us to exploit. The way I see it, there are a few solid options for those of us looking to win Standard tournaments these days:

1) Play Jund

Obviously, there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with just breaking down and playing the best deck. Jund is good, and if you are running well it can be nigh unstoppable. There are even different ways to build the deck, so if you are good at predicting the decks and cards people are going to play, you can certainly get edges based on how you choose to put together your Jund deck. Unsurprisingly, this isn’t the route I would choose to take, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention it.

2) Play Mono-Red

Mono-Red has always been solid against Jund, and only the resurgence of various WG Knight of the Reliquary decks has been keeping it down. I know the whole rest of the San Diego Top 8 breathed a collective sigh of relief when I knocked out Jeroen Kanis, since he was the worst matchup of something like 5 of the other 6 decks in that Top 8 (Wescoe WW of course being the only deck that actively wanted to battle Mono-Red). More recently, Ding Yuan Leong won the GP by beating three Jund decks in the Top 8, and it appears that if your goal is beating Jund, Mono-Red is not a bad way to go. My concern with this approach is that people are still playing a fair amount of White-Green or Mono-White decks, and I’m not sure how good those matchups are for Mono-Red. Plus, I may have picked up Wild Nacatls, but asking me to pick up Hellspark Elementals is just crossing the line.

3) Dodge Jund

Let me know how this works out for you.

4) Re-Brew some sort of sweet UW deck

I wonder which option I’m going to choose.

If we look back a few months, the Standard metagame wasn’t all that different than now. Jund was making up a solid 30 to 40% of just about every tournament, and past that it was pretty fragmented. GW was definitely a smaller slice of the pie, but other than that I wouldn’t say the difference was huge. I did manage to make a deck that beat Jund back then, and won a 5k for my troubles (with Jeff making Top 8 of the very same event). It worked before, maybe it will work again! For reference, here is my article about the deck, and here is my tournament report about the 5k.

Now, I’m not saying that since that UWR deck beat Jund, just remaking it and switching old Jace and Sejiri Refuge for new Jace (henceforth referred to as “Jace”) and Celestial Colonnade will continue to beat Jund. Circumstances have changed, a new set is out, and we have different things to worry about. What I do think is that some of the tools I was using to beat Jund 3 months ago might still be useful, so taking a look at how we might apply them now might bear fruit. Plus, if the other options are playing Jund or Mono-Red, what choice do I have?

The three important elements in beating Jund are:

Shroud (Wall of Denial, Sphinx of Jwar Isle, Calcite Snapper)
Mana Disruption (Spreading Seas, Tectonic Edge)
Light Countermagic (Flashfreeze, Double Negative)

UWR obviously didn’t have access to Tectonic Edge or Snapper, but the rest of the cards were present. I think that the addition of manlands to Jund’s arsenal require Tectonic Edge in this sort of deck, and as such I am uncomfortable with the idea of playing Red.

Here is the core of the deck:


These are the spells (and lands) that aim to blank all Jund’s removal, and offer us a fighting chance of dealing with their endless stream of threats. Sphinx remains an excellent win condition, and Wall still stops all of their guys (although both manlands eventually break through). Snapper is slightly worse than Wall in many situations, but is still a good way to stop their idiots. It even beats down, which is pretty relevant. I do want to address the role of Spreading Seas and Tectonic Edge. My goal with those cards isn’t to mana screw Jund out of ever casting anything, since that isn’t really going to happen that often. Jund is playing a lot of lands nowadays, and even has a few Rampant Growths. The Seas and Edges are to kill their manlands and slow them down, not to lock them out. If you cast a Seas on turn two, they can’t cast Thrinax for at least one extra turn, possibly more. That buys you time to cast a Divination while under no pressure, which is a lot to get out of a two-mana card that replaced itself. Once it is obvious that they don’t have any mana troubles, save your Seas to hit manlands, since ultimately that is what matters.

The Flashfreezes are also worth noting. I think the time is once again upon us to maindeck Flashfreeze, since it is only dead against other UW control decks at this point. We even have Jace to Brainstorm it away, which is pretty insane. A full set of Flashfreezes goes a long way to beating Jund, since it gives you a mana efficient play that can stop anything they can do (although Bloodbraid Elf is pretty good still).

Now that the Red is gone, we need to add a bunch more creature removal. Losing four Bolts and two Earthquakes is rough, although the addition of Jace does help, since Jace plus Wall is a pretty nice combo.


Splitting the Journeys and O-rings is for Maelstrom Pulse protection, and the miser’s Martial Coup is because I am a miser (duh). Path may seem a little odd with Edge and Seas, but you should be able to hold off on casting Paths until later in the game, so that shouldn’t be a big issue.

Card draw is also necessary, and here Jace gets to pull double duty. I still like two Mind Springs, but I suspect the Divinations require more explanation. I know that Treasure Hunt has replaced Divination in any deck that used to use it, but I don’t want to play Halimar Depths, and the straight two cards promised by Divination is enough for me. It isn’t the most exciting card, but it does the job, so it gets the slot.



As mentioned before, four Edges are crucial.


28 lands is a lot, but the Edges and Colonnades help mitigate flood, and the lack of Everflowing Chalice keeps this deck at less mana sources overall than most UW decks.


Sadly, I can’t guarantee that this deck crushes Jund, or anything of the sort. I haven’t gotten to test it much, although the few games I have played with it have gone well. Without any sort of sweeper you are somewhat vulnerable to getting overwhelmed, but the Top 8 decks from Kuala Lumpur only averaged two Siege-Gangs per deck, which isn’t too bad. One of your non-Wall shroud guys still stops Siege-Gang from attacking, and Flashfreeze is always an out. There are a few reasons that a deck like this is effective against Jund: it makes so many of their cards lose value by not playing creatures, it has a bunch of Shroud guys they have problems getting through, and it maindecks four Flashfreezes, which are actually just Counterspell against them game 1. It also has Spreading Seas and Edge to disrupt their early game and deal with manlands lategame, which is crucial. If you lose focus and start to trim any of the above elements, the deck will perform much worse in the matchup, which is why such a deck can only be successful when you know that you will play against Jund over and over.


I don’t have a sideboard fully built, but I know some of the elements.

4 Baneslayer Angel

This one is a lock. I just love siding in Baneslayers in a deck without removal targets, because as I have said many times before, it puts them in a real awkward spot. Even if they know you are doing this and leave in removal, you sometimes don’t play Angel until you have counter backup, and if Angel ever survives they just lose.

Past the Angels, I would probably elect to play a mix of Mind Controls, Luminarch Ascension, Essence Scatter, Kor Firewalker, Perimeter Captain, and Negate. You need enough stuff to be able to cut all the Flashfreezes and Seas against decks where they are dead, as well as more cards for control matchups. An answer to Malakir Bloodwitch is also important, as are additional cards against Mono-Red.

I think a deck like this is viable, and if Jund truly is back in force, it might be one of the few viable decks to play. Good luck, and I will have more info and updates on this deck soon, as I have started to battle with it on MTGO.


On a side note, here is another list that I have seen recently, and wanted to mention:

GP KL Blue-White

One interesting list to keep in mind is the UW list that the Americans played at GP KL, which was originally made by Michal Hebky and played at Pro Tour San Diego. Martin Juza thought the deck was awesome, and after a few changes it looked like this:

This got Sam Black to a Top 16 and Kibler to a Top 32, with Juza, Brian Kowal, and Alex West missing Day 2. I don’t know if anyone else played the deck, or even if all the Americans played it, but either way this is an interesting list. The most striking feature is a complete lack of situational counterspells in the main deck. This is a change I was interested in making even before I saw this list, since having Essence Scatter or Negate in hand when the other is needed is usually enough to lose you the game. I actually followed this principle with UWR, since the only counter I had in my maindeck was Flashfreeze, which is never dead against Jund. It may seem a little odd to say that I like the lack of situational counters but also like Flashfreeze, but that is because I like cutting the counters that are situational against Jund, a category in which Flashfreeze certainly doesn’t belong. In fact, this list contains another crucial element in fighting Jund: Spreading Seas. The deck does diverge a little from what I propose, but it is similar enough that I figured I would mention it for completeness’ sake. The eight X-Spells are sweet, and give this deck a ton of power going late. I haven’t battled with this list yet, so I don’t know how good the non-Shroud guys are against Jund, but I’m sure we will see something by those who played this list soon enough.

84 thoughts on “Initial Technology – Trying to Beat Jund (Again)”

  1. Boss Naya is okay against Jund but Koros has a definite weakness against it.

    Ding’s Rb deck from KL is a lot better against GW than the previous incarnations of mono-Red largely thanks to a set of Deathmarks (and 2 Doom Blades) in the sideboard.

  2. You said Jund is back… Where did it go? It’s been 1/3+ of the field since Lorwyn rotated.

  3. Jim – Both online and in some of the live events since WWK had way less Jund than pre-WWk, and I think that mainly was because people were trying new decks. So far, not much has been discovered that will beat Jund, so people are drifting back to it.

  4. What do you guys think about the Spread ’em list that made the finals at the Indy SCG 5K this weekend? Viable or no? It seemed to eat Jund decks alive pretty well from what I could tell.

  5. Kenyon Colloran

    How does this version of UW control fair against non-Jund decks? It seems like you really want sweepers for matches against a lot of the field.

    As for the super mana deck, it seems like it could afford to run cancels. Do you have any idea why it doesn’t?

  6. Check 2nd place SCG 5k Indy. Spread Em! I really enjoy how spread em plays. Tbh u don’t need the walletslayers for it either.

  7. It seems like chapin’s list is really rough game 1 vs jund but post board it flows so smoothly…I’m curious if the walls/convertible turtles help out that first game; not to mention the 4 flashfreezes. I REALLY like playing with chalice and iona though. Also, I’m not sure how I feel about the “big mana” control decks though on paper I hate the idea of 4 mind springs and no counter magic. I put together a silly “little kid fnm style” UW deck using chapins shell and djinn of wishes with the brainstorming and halimar decks…pretty hilarious to wish in an iona/sphinx of steel wind/baneslayer/instant speed wrath

  8. Vampire Weak Knights

    Does the high price tag of Baneslayer/Jace keep U/W and Naya/Mythic decks from being played in higher numbers (thus ensuring a heavy Jund metagame)?

  9. “Since I doubt writing an article about drafting Tempest-Stronghold-Exodus would interest most readers.”

    Then again, maybe not =)

    Your ME2 draft was a littel whaky but a TSE draft vid would be prety cool.

  10. How does the UW list you brewed up fare against Gortzen’s Jund build? I would think that his build would be especially problematic for your version of UW Control, since it doesn’t have any removal game 1 that he can’t use to off Jace, plus he has Siege-Gang.

    I think a heavy sweeper version of UWx would play strongly at the moment, but then the creatures you play wind up becoming so much card disadvantage. This has to be the main reason for Knight of the White Orchid in the main deck over a wall like Calcite Snapper or Wall of Denial. I wonder if you could replace Baneslayer with some type of life gain engine to help buy you time to simply win with Sphinx of Jwar Isle or Martial Coup tokens.

    Jund is resilient against sweepers however, and early defense or some early life gain cushion might be required.

  11. @LSV
    4x Convincing Mirage
    4x Spreading Seas
    4x Ardent Plea
    4x Captured Sunlight
    4x Bloodbraid Elf

    This would be the core cards of the deck.
    Some use baneslayers or jace’s.. I like using 2x Sigil of the Empty Throne, 4x Sphinx of Jwar Isle. Also pack 4xDoJ in main also. This deck has been very good in my area even though the few that play it catch a lot of crap. Pre-board mono aggressive decks can beat it post-board its a totally different game.

  12. Most definately agree with PEter. Vids on TSE.

    As far as the UW shell, it seems to have the type of promise against the dominant deck. With Jund on the rise, MonoR, or KL Rb will see more play, and the UW needs to be able to defeat that deck as well. It seems like its poised to possibly do so, though there could certainly be some more difficult matchups. That’s what a sideboard is for though.

  13. “Does the high price tag of Baneslayer/Jace keep U/W and Naya/Mythic decks from being played in higher numbers (thus ensuring a heavy Jund metagame)?”

    a lot of the Naya decks run 0 baneslayers, Jace might be keeping some of the UW decks down, but I think more importantly is that UW decks have been getting destroyed at the 5ks vs Jund, which suggests its only a good choice if you are a pro level player

  14. TSE PLEASE! With you on this LSV, never succumb to Jund. I also built a U/W shroud deck when Zen came out and worked perfectly- shame other decks came along and was able to woop it. Any W/R is not great and RDW seems fine against most decks. U/W does seem to be one of the better decks available. I have begun using Halimar depths in my RDW online and still wondering if its good enough or not.

  15. Is there anyone in the world who is trying to innovate Jund past “How many Siege-Gang should I play?” I understand that people don’t like flipping for cascade and crossing their fingers, but honestly, it’s just so br00tal to flip into blightning after a 3rd turn blightning. I think it is GerryT that repeatedly asks the question: Why complain about someone doing something totally unfair to you when you are playing a deck that doesn’t allow you to do unfair things to your opponent?

    Jund r00lz lol

  16. i think jund is a pretty bad deck though. honestly, they should just cut red and add blue for some kind of control magic. it helps against jace decks.

  17. I like the article, identifying Jund’s inherent weaknesses and your thought process on how to exploit them when designing a UW deck around it. IMO uw can be pretty powerful when played properly, shame its so expensive to build (if ur looking to get the most out of the colors). That, and the proven power level of Jund, especially with the nuts draw may be what’s keeping more ppl from playing UW colors. Like a poster above mentioned , a dedicated cascade spread em deck can be a strong mu, wonder if it can be adapted post sideboarding against other decks as well?

  18. I am interested if in your testing if you have ever explored using islandwalkers with spreading seas. It seems that the conscious is that the collar beats shroud why not just try and preemptively steal it from their deck using the new merefolk. And speaking of artifacts wouldn’t loadstone Golem be sweet against Jund since a successfull bloodbraid would cost 6 instead of 4?

  19. I also want to read TSE or Ursa Saga Draft that upcoming release set on mtgo

    I did TSE drafts, but that’s was my first time to draft old format and have no idea what to do exactly. Just pick cards seems powerful. but i think that’s not enough

  20. More love for TSE draft vids! Exodus is actually my favourite Magic set of all time, do it! Also fantastic article as always, thank you!

  21. After 2 minutes of reading I already laughed out in front of my PC like 5 times 😀

    And that was followed by a good article. This site is soooo good.

  22. Interesting read. I have a lot of respect for you and your success. I like reading about these decks as it gives me some good insight into where the meta is going (as a LOT of people just take your decks and copy them card for card).

    Used to play junk and did quite well with it even when your UWR control deck was the flavor of the week. Then at my friends suggestion I built boss and did quite well with it even though I had no xp with it (me doing well is surprising cause I’m a REALLY bad player lol!) which says a lot about how good your deck is.

    Thank you for the very informative article. ^_-

  23. It’s funny to me how many people ask LSV direct questions and people suggesting he try a particular list. Thx for the article tho, I want to play UW so bad in Orlando coming up soon and am trying to get the right list going so I’m sure this will help.

  24. Bushwacker does okay against mono-red, Jund and U/w but is weak against Boss Naya and Junk from my experience

    I’d love to see a TSE draft too

  25. well let me start with excusing myself for my bad english i am showing to display in a couple of seconds(i am from germany so please have mercy;))
    so ONE BIG QUESTION to you lsv as a pro player who is currently well positioned on the circuit (since i could ask kai but his opinion is largely outdated and wouldnt matter as much;))
    when und why arent some jund cards banned actually?!?!lets just look at the facts,from my perspective at least.i have played during the black summer(aka necropotence rise to fame for you out there how are luckily not as old as myself;)), the urza block combo weeks(jar combo,acadamy etc etc) and affinity with clamp in it and now with jund.back then and today the metagame was either you play the best deck(jund right now) or something else and be lost in the shuffle because no real metagame exists.the last 3 big Standart constructed events were dominated by far from jund from 30%-40% being present in these certain events.Do we have to sit through this till Nov when alara block rotates out or does R&D have mercy with us and allows the metagame to become healthy before nationals by banning bloodbraid elf for example?Because as i see it nothing will change right now,I think it is a joke that people are not playing jund because they are looking for excuses to not play it because they hate it.
    just my 2 cents..but an educated response would be nice and not a flame from certain individuals like “then play something else moron” thank you very much;)

  26. Would love to see some TSE draft videos. Just more videos period. One per week at least would be nice. (from each of you guys, lsv, ffreak etc ;)) Might as well be greedy right.

  27. Any video / article is obv better than no article, but seeing as how TE block isn’t relevant to PTs, PTQs and any current format, I’d vote for more standard / ZWK draft, less random (amazingly fun, but random) formats.

  28. I ddon’t think spread em is that good against jund any more. Gerry T sugested that the match up wasn’t that good during the gg live coverage of the 5k. and ben was only 3/2 against jund in the 5k. Jund decks were his only losses.

  29. The only thing that is capable of beating jund is the new block coming out in october.

  30. I would love to see some TSE draft videos as well. Or just an article on TSE and how awesome it is.

  31. Patte, I’ve been thinking about that myself.
    I think the problem is really only Sprouting Thrinax, Broodmate Dragon, and Putrid Leach are “tied” to Jund. DCI could potential ban, say, Bloodbraid Elf, but what about the the other R/G decks that use it? What makes Jund such a special deck lies in every card serves a purpose where no one card “defines” the deck (outright. Yes, you can debate that point.).

    For reference, a list of all unique spells from GP KL’s Top8’ing Jund lists:

    Bloodbraid Elf
    Borderland Ranger
    Broodmate Dragon
    Elvish Visionary
    Master of the Wild Hunt
    Putrid Leech
    Siege-Gang Commander
    Sprouting Thrinax

    Bituminous Blast
    Garruk Wildspeaker
    Lightning Bolt
    Maelstrom Pulse
    (You could include the manlands, but for the discussion of bannings, I wouldn’t touch those.)

    Of those spells, which one could you remove to neuter the deck that doesn’t limit other decks? I can only think of Blightning. The only other deck that would play it is the non-existent B/R aggro deck. Banning Blighting would remove a cascade target as well as slowing the Jund clock. …but its only a common and surely Mind Rot would take that slot. Even then, the deck would play well. I doubt Jund players would stop playing Jund if the deck no longer had the burn three, discard two.
    To seriously consider banning a key spell from Jund will take careful consideration from DCI, much more so than simply saying, “No Nerco. No Clamp.” I say will because I assure you it must be in the works to do something about it. November is a long, long time away.

  32. What about deft duelist in the uw build? he seems pretty fine vs bloodbraid and seige gang, can even get in for some beats.

  33. yes i knew that argument Godzola,I thought about it myself.
    Besides all the other good stuff the deck has it is really my opinion that the problem is that damned elf because it allows you to play always another card for free that is good on itself already like thrinax,pulse or blightning,even if i have to admit that it is to 99,99% percent always random(i thought about cheating there;)),these cards are SO GOOD that playing 2 cards for the price of one is just insane in this deck and gives an ungodly advantge in comparsion to all other archetypes.

  34. I don’t think you should give up so easily on the red splash. First of all, you don’t need to have Tectonic Edge in order to combat their additional Manlands as Ajani Vengeant and Spreading Sea’s do that for you. I think Wall of Denial, despite being good against Jund, isn’t that good any longer against the rest of the potential field unless Basilisk Collar becomes (or isn’t) very popular. If this becomes the case, then the Day of Judgment’s I have in my UWr deck won’t be as necessary (since they suck against Jund) and one could return to Wall of Denial. This is especially true if Vampires is a non-factor.

    I think UWr can compete once again. It just needs to change a few cards around (like adding Oblivion Ring).

  35. Example Spread Em play…
    T1 Land
    T2 SS/CM
    T3 Ardent plea into SS/CM
    T4 BBE or Captured Sunlight into yes another SS/CM
    T5 Lots of choices here!!!
    T6 Should be dropping a finisher on this turn

    Against mono decks bring in
    3 Grizzled Letou
    3 Wall of Denial
    3 rhox warmonks

    So now T2-T4 you have some beastly blockers to help get your finishers out on 6. Even though that’s only 9 cards of the side board u see how versatile the deck can be.

  36. Would it ever be worthwhile to play Jace Beleren in addition to Jace?
    I ask because if divination is worth a spot; I wonder how often you could land a Jace-Beleren, draw, have him get killed, then land a Jace for good times.

    Both Jace Beleren and Divination are 3mc sorcery-speed, so a comparison seems apt to me.

  37. Has no one thought of Great Sable Stag. Seems very good against Jund plus to me and a reasonable SB card against W/U control.

    Am planning on using these in my Naya Deck, though can see that the inclusion of Siege Gang does reduce their effectiveness.

  38. Everyone says there is no good card draw in T2 right now, and they are wrong.

    i played UWR at a recent 5k, and my list didn’t have any sphinxes (i played baneslayers main, and couldn’t have been happier with it). But what really set it apart and i was happy with all day was Worldly Counsel. In UWR it is only a little bit worse than Impulse, and Impulse is awesome. So if you want to try to build UWR, think about Worldly Counsel, it’s great.

  39. Ding's Rb deck from KL is a lot better against GW than the previous incarnations of mono-Red largely thanks to a set of Deathmarks (and 2 Doom Blades) in the sideboard.

    Sadly I don’t think this is the case, the problem with the GW/x decks and mono W decks is not so much the single problematic creature your kor firewalker, your baneslayer angel, or your rhox war monk, but also the ridiculous life gaining , red smashing monster that is Basilisk Collar.

    Once the Collar hits the board you either try the impossible task of burning out ever nacatl and bloodbraid elf that hits the board (good luck with that) or you let them gain 3 or more life every turn thereafter.

    In Lowryn-Alara standard BR could put up decent numbers against hateful GW and mono white decks by going to pro white route, running 4 Goblin Outlander 4 Stillmoon Cavalier and slicing through forge tenders and finks with Demigods blasting in across the skys for 5.

    Sadly there is no such approach or tactics I can foresee to beating today’s Naya or Bant or WW decks for Blighting at the present.

    You can try to steal games with hellkite charger swinging through the air but it is still a long shot. Going heavily black for things like Malakir Bloodwitch might improve things but you stilll have problems with green creatures like nacatl and bloodbraid picking up the collar, or giant knights of the reliquary picking up behemoth sledges and simply ignoring the pro white and smashing through over your bloodwitches.

  40. Great article LSV; I would suggest people try my UWr list from PT San Diego it has a 75/25 matchup vs Jund and a favourable matchup vs RDW, Boro's, Knightfall and Craig Wiscoe WW (If you read Craig’s write up on Starcitygames.com I only lost to his deck in rd 4, game 3 as a result of being stuck on 4 land for the match with Double Baneslayer in hand; if I'd drawn a land, path or Jace in next 7 turns following his Kor Firewalker I would have won and gone 5-0 in first day of standard instead of 4-1. Craig’s hand when I died was 3 land and Day of Judgement and we board was empty as I was able to kill every treat except for his Kor Firewalker which ultimately killed me).

    The decks worst match up is vs Vampires or Chapin's UW list but they are not unwinnable. Tectonic Edge is rough vs UW, I lost to Chapin in rd 13 as he used all 4 against to hinder my mana development.

    2 Calcite Snaps
    4 Wall of Denial
    3 Sphinx of the Jwar Isle

    4 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
    3 Ajani Vengant


    4 Spreading Seas
    4 Lightning Bolt
    3 Path to Exile
    2 Essence Scatter
    2 Negate
    2 Double Negative
    2 Earthquake


    4 Glacial Fortress
    4 Celestial Colonnade
    3 Scalding Tarn
    3 Arid Mesa
    1 Himar Depths
    4 Island
    3 Mountain
    3 Plains

    4 Baneslayer Angel
    2 Negate
    1 Essence Scatter
    3 Luminarch Ascension
    2 Mind Control
    3 Day of Judgement

    During the 10 rounds of constructed at PT San Diego I went 3-0 in matches and 6-1 in games vs Jund beating Emmanuel Bucher & Lino Bungard (German Rookie of the year 2009) sporting Jund lists including Collars in the board. The only item I recommend changing in the sideboard were the Day of Judgements or Mind Control for 3 Oblivion Rings as I underestimated how bad Luminarch Ascension was against the deck. In rounds 15 & 16 I lost to the card in games 2 & 3 as a result of my opponents actively mulliganing into t2 Ascension and in once case T2 & T3!

    This deck is crippling VS Jund, in RD13 vs Emmanuel Bucher I totally wrecked his Jund deck.
    I'm on the play
    T1 Plains
    EB T1: Savagelands
    My T2: Island, Spreading Seas targeting Savagelands
    EB T2: Raging Ravine
    My T3: Scalding Tarn Spreading Seas targeting Raging Ravine
    EB T3: Forest
    My T4: Arid Mesa, break both fetchlands getting Island and Mountain, play Ajani Vengant tapping – target forest, does not untap as normal etc.
    EB T4: Dragonskull Summit tapped.
    Basically from this point I permanently colour screw him and there's no return; I draw Jace a few turns later fate sealed him out of the game then used both Ajani's and Jace's ultimate to get the concession.

  41. What makes Jund so hard to cope with is that nearly everything in their deck is 2 for 1’s and/or removal. Having red in the control deck helped mitigate this because you could 2 for 1 them back with earthquake and double negative. Still the card draw in this deck will help a lot.

  42. Hi LSV. I really would appreciate if you could give you thoughts about this.

    Im trying that color combination for a long time now.

    I think you should give 2 maindeck swerve and 2 in the sb a try, its really good against jund and useful against lots of things.

    All the cards i wanted to use in the deck cant fit even the 75 slots so im pretty stuck on how to make it work the way i think it needs to.

    Im in doubt for a long time Flashfreeze vs Double negative but i tend to like DN a little more.

    Goblin assault in the side was always better for me than Luminarch ascension since its good against the mirror and other controls since it blanks their boarded ascension and apply pressure in the early game, you can even needle their ascension since you are not playing it.

    Pithing Needle on catacombs + Spreading seas + Ajani after sb are really a hard time not just for the jund player but to tri-colors deck in general.

    And i traded DoJ i was using for Chain reaction since you play 6 walls and those together with DoJ dont have much synergy, its better cause it probably won’t kill the Wall of Denial so you can have a board advantage so im playing 3 Chain reaction and 1 eartquake as sweepers right now.

    Good to see you have not give up the URW i think it have a lot of potential.

    Thanks for the time.

  43. I really do not want to see a TSE draft. I’ve played a good amount of limited with the block and I find it quite boring (I did win the champs during Stronghold release though, that was fun!).

  44. I too wish I always on the play and had multiple Spreading Seas. Maybe then the card would be as crippling as people pretend it is, instead of simply a cute Time Walk.

  45. “Emmanuel” and “Bungart” gave me a good laugh, but the deck seems fine.

    If any card should be banned, it most definitely should be the elf of evil.

  46. @Hamish Gordon
    “it has a 75/25 matchup vs Jund and a favourable matchup vs RDW, Boro's, Knightfall and Craig Wiscoe WW”

    Congratulations on breaking the format.

    If only you werent the 100000th person claiming those %s

  47. Open the Vaults has a pretty favorable match up vs. Jund. Spreading Seas maindeck, Flash Freeze (for sure) and Purges (on some builds) in the side pretty much seal an already bad match.

    Of course, sometimes Jund just wins.

    I’m running OtV right now, and I think it’s pretty solid all around. The only trouble I had was with Vampires, but that’s due to inexperience with sideboarding with the deck. If I hadn’t of sided poorly, I think my matches would have been different.

    OtV is also a ton of fun to play. The only thing I don’t like about the Belgian list is the amount of “comes into play tapped” lands and the lack of Everflowing Chalice.

  48. I have a fairly similar list to Hamish Gordon (see above) exept with creatures i am only running sphynx. The others are horroble against anything running basalisk collar/stoneforge mystic because they just die so fast. Instead i am running 3 doj and 3 earthquake main. Seems to work ok.

    I can understand hamish’s optimism about numbers, against jund you do feel quite in control when you win, but i have never come close to those stats with similar builds.

    I definately think i’ll try out your new list aswell. Thanks for a good article.

  49. @Josh S.
    That’s the first time I’ve seen “time walk” and “cute” in the same sentence.

  50. I think a Uwr doublesplash manabase might actually be better because of it’s interaction with Jace and Calcite Snapper. White is more of a splash in your deck so you can add 1-2 mountains with 28 land. you can run 8 basics, 8 fetch, 4 colonade, 4 t edge and 4 fortress. maybe 4 calcite snapper’s and a single Sphinx to improve game 1 against mono red?

    4 lightning bolts and 2 earthquakes are just better than 2 oblivion ring, 2 path to exile and 2 journey to nowhere. Jund will side in naturalize to take care of most UW decks chalices and spreading seas, so your oblivion rings and journey’s to nowhere may not be as effective game 2. Instant speed removal is the only kind that matters against mono-red.

  51. @ everyone talking about Wienburg’s spream ’em list from the 5k, notice the deck that beat him in the finals? Jund.

    @ Hamish: we only played one match, so it’s hard to tell who the matchup favors. I do have Luminarchs in the sb too. Maybe you tested it more after the tournament, I don’t know.

  52. Naya is still good aginst Jund, may be 55/45 against jund depends on draw, from my result in GP KL, i won 5-6 jund and lost to 2 jund… I was on table six by round 14 wif 2 lost to jund 1 draw with monored ( leong’s deck ), too bad have been paired to the worst match up of UW control and lost the 3rd game due to colour screw, and fail to top 8…

    However i think naya is still good, I will never give up on that…

  53. Thanks for the interesting article LSV,

    I’ve been playing a tweaked version of Chapin’s UW, doing ok with it, but I might try something like your list as well, aS I understand that we have one thing in common; we both hate the thought of RUNNing RDW or similar decks…

    nevertheless, a couple of things I’m puzzled about,

    only four counterspells MD, which would be dead against WW or in the mirror, although of course those decks are not too popular these days (in online tournaments anyways, the queues and practice rooms are a bit different)

    the other one is why, in a deck which is supposed to be built to smash Jund and RDW (or BRDW as I call it with a black splash) no love for Celestial Purge… if that’s not the best possible removal against those two decks I don’t know what is…. I guess it’s not needed but still, post SB I have 4 against Jund in my current uw list and they help a lot.

    peace, gl

  54. @Patte

    Dude, I feel your pain, and I’m also old enough to have experienced the metas you mentioned, and you’re absolutely right, if WOC had any guts they would go and finally ban BBE, that card has not only pushed Jund over the edge but it’s warped the format to the point that it’s not about skill anymore, it’s only about luck and who draws more of those elves

    anyways, that would mean admitting that the card should have never been printed, which is exactly the case, but on the other hand it’s pretty obvious that they’re taking the opposite route and just keep saying “no worries, everything is peachy”

    yeah right, I mean, listen, I watched the live coverage of San Diego’s top 8, and btw, if any of the players are reading this congratulations for your achievement guys…

    but look, one commentator, talking about Jund (and obviously toeing the company line) said something like
    “Who said that playing Jund requires no skill and prevents innovation, look at Goertsen’s list, he added two lands to compensate for mana screws blah blah blah”

    so now adding two lands to a deck is amazing tech? Wow, ok, if we’re already down to “Magic for Dummies” what’s gonna happen with the next block “Magic for ret… I meant, Magic for mentally challenged individuals”?

    thanks again WOC, for another terrible, and endlessly so, meta game

    peace, gl

  55. Sorry about the earlier spelling mistakes I was in a rush and didn't bother reading what I typed. If you put the deck together and test it vs Jund as (much as I did prior to leaving for San Diego) you'll soon realise the figures do stack up to around 70-75% in your favour.

    During the 10 rounds of constructed I in San Diego I played 2 well known pro players fielding Jund (main deck Putrid Leeches) and a 3rd unknown player.

    Rd 2 vs Lino Burgold (Jund) – Win 2-0
    Rd5 vs Lukas someone (jund) 2-0
    Rd14 vs Manuel Bucher (jund) Win 2-1

    The deck performed extremely in the matchup and my results clearly show that winning 6-1 in games and 3-0 in matches at Pro Tour. While I do not proclaim to have broken the format (as the deck was LSV's with a Worldwake update) the deck does extremely well in a heavy Jund format, Pro Tour had something like 25% Jund, around 118 in the field if memory serves.

    Against WW, Knightfall, Boro's and RDW's you have a favourable match up of around 55/45, however Vampires you get totally wrecked. BTW you must have answers to Luminarch ascension in the sideboard (as i learn the hard way losing rd 15 & 16 to it).

    Please note in round 13 I played Ben Lundquist sporting a RW boro's list (similar to the extended list that top 8'ed GP Oakland) and I won 2-1 winning game 3 on a mulligan to 5 keeping a hand of Plains, Scalding Tarn, Glacial Fortress, Lightning Bolt and Wall of Denial.

    Btw here's the Jund List I tested against before PT San Diego
    4 Putrid Leech
    4 Sprouting Thrinax
    4 Bloodbraid Elve
    2 Siege-gang Commander
    2 Broodmate Dragon
    2 Garruk
    4 Blightning
    4 Lightning Bolt
    3 Terminate
    4 Maelstrom Pulse
    2 Bituminous Blast
    4 Raging Ravine
    4 Savageland
    4 Verdant Catacomb
    3 Dragonskull Summit
    2 Rootbound Crag
    3 Mountain
    3 Forest
    2 Swamp

    3 Basilisk Collar
    4 Goblin Ruinblaster
    2 Malakir Bloodwitch
    3 Great Sable Stag
    3 Jund Charm

  56. Hi Craig congratulations again on the top 4 in San Diego; the deck tested favorably against WW variations I put together prior to San Diego.

    Since the PT I’ve only played a few games vs your deck design and I seem to have a small edge (even if its very small)! 😉

    Btw good luck in San Juan if I don’t see you there, hopefully I’ll qualify in the next few weeks for it myself!

  57. “@ everyone talking about Wienburg's spream ‘em list from the 5k, notice the deck that beat him in the finals? Jund.”

    he had the match won, but messed up with his Jace, I mean fatigue could have easily been an issue since it was like 3AM and the 13th round he played

    “Naya is still good aginst Jund, may be 55/45 against jund depends on draw, from my result in GP KL, i won 5-6 jund and lost to 2 jund"¦ I was on table six by round 14 wif 2 lost to jund 1 draw with monored ( leong's deck ), too bad have been paired to the worst match up of UW control and lost the 3rd game due to colour screw, and fail to top 8"¦ ”

    pretty sure you have that backwards, Jund is definitely the favorite vs Naya and its probably pushing towards 60/40 Jund

  58. I’m actually pretty interested in trying out UWR also, but since it would look almost EXACTLY like the list I was using before, I figured writing about it might be less useful. If it ends up being good I will certainly talk more about it!

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  60. I don’t think luminarch ascension is really that big of a deal vs UW or UWR i ran into it out of the sbs all day that the scg 5k Indy ( i went 5-2 drop with a list similiar to chapins.) game 1 i saw elspeth alot when i played against mythic so i always brought in 2 pithing needle and left in the 3 mb oblivion rings. i think as a control player id rather see you board in luminarch ascension that something more threatening honestly.

  61. As always, a nice article!

    I just wanted to say that I would like to see a TSE draft from you. I really love the format in draft, it’s quite different form the rest and it’s a welcome breath of fresh air.

  62. As a sidenote, if anyone cares, TSE drafts are actually highly lucrative, considering the value of some of the cards in those sets. If you actually get good at drafting it, you can be rolling in digital dough in no time.

    So personally, ya, I’d actually really like to see some TSE articles, Luis =)

  63. Yes I imagine LSV is probably in a position where he can not say what he thinks of ZZW draft but the fact hes drafting alot of TSE so soon after its release says it all really.

    I’ve found myself drafting m10 again as its nix tix atm and then its MED3 farewell events for me which is the most profitable format ever for me so looking forward to that, whilst it’ll take me a long time to forget all my gripes with ZZW as a draft format.

    Would also be interested in some TSE drafts, I only drafted it once with no prior knowledge of the set and got crushed round 1 not surprising really giving my lack of knowledge of the set.

  64. You should do TSE draft videos of MTGO glitching the opponent into an 80 card deck, and then the opponent playing the wrong creature and losing the game. That would be tight.
    And people saying that they would need more reason to ban Bloodbraid Elf: that’s really the only card in Jund they could justify banning, the rest of them aren’t that exciting on their own, only as a team. Think of Jund as Megatron.

  65. LSV’s deck may beat jund, but naya and bant with an early basilisk collar will get this deck every time.

  66. Ban bb elf? I’ll believe they should do that when every deck in extended begins using it. Until then it is an appropriately powered card for the meta. The fact that the field isn’t split 50/50 jund naya speaks to this point, as both decks use this spell. Jund just has better spells to utilize it (and better spells than every deck in general).

    Anyway, unlike everyone else, I like jund. It has a lot of tools at it’s disposal, and figuring out the right play at the right time is pretty fun and challenging. I laugh when ppl say that turn 3 blightning turn 4 bbe is always how you play it and the deck auto-pilots.

    Anyway I’ve been trying out stags mb and anowan in sb. The stags are performing very well against the mirror and u/w (terrible against naya and rdw but they don’t make up 50% of the field together). Anowan I have been finding is amazing against your deck tho. Stops you BSAs and your shroud creatures, and mind control is ineffective against him to this regard, although you still have a blocker. He usually comes down late as well, so removal can come in short supply. Take into account that he can’t be flashfriezed and his impact on my board is usually limited with thrinax and siege gang, seems pretty good.

    My innovations don’t usually get far but it was conoly who originally suggested mb stags. So I’m wondering if these gain mb flavor would it be better to go back to uwr? I personally think your better off with ajani over tectonic anyway. Since if jund hits 4 they have a chance to bbe or ruinblaster before you can use it. If your on the play ajani can stop them. Besides, since when does a control deck want to put itself behind a land drop? Seems pretty bad when martial coup could win the game outright as soon as you hit 7.

  67. Charles Darakdjian

    Title: Know Jund’s *Lethal* Enemy!


    Great article!

    Here is another strong option against Jund.
    Jund is designed to wipe-out creature strategies (Elves, Allies, Naya, Goblins, etc…), but without maindeck duresses, they die to Emrakul!

    Skeptics say “Ya, these players need to get lucky”, “Ya, Summoning Trap costs 6-mana”, … The truth is, Emrakul emerges from Summoning Trap an unusually high percentage of the time regardless of whether you have time to setup or not.

    Yes, this deck is a One-Trick Pony, but it is *quite* a trick!

    I think the Jund domination will fall. Duress helps the Jund player against Emrakul, but it is not listed in all the Jund decklists I have seen; Blightning however helps the Emrakul player! And the other issue being that there is so many different ways to build Emrakul, it is difficult to prepare to fight this weird “Combo Deck”, although this is a misnomer, it is more of a “Trick” than anything else. For example, my build (please see the bottom of this article) looks like a standard creature deck with Birds, Cobras, and Battlements; thus, the Jund player would think yes, let’s Blightning on turn-3 when this is the *last* thing they should contemplate on doing. Without Duress, the Jund player’s *only* option is to beatdown, and I don’t think the deck is fast enough to beat me by damage before I “go off”. Real beatdown decks such as Allies, Goblins, Elves, and Boros Bushwhackers all can potentially beat-me-down, and I have to “go off” turn 3-4, turn 5 at the latest assuming I drew some Overgrown Battlements to prevent all the beatdown damage.
    I could be wrong of course (I have been wrong many times), but I still believe Jund will disappear like a bad memory at Regionals 2010 (anyway, not show up at in Top-8), being replaced by a plethora of Emrakul players!

    A comment on the other decks you mentioned and posted:

    Vs. Mono-Red. No question, the Emrakul player (regardless of the specific build) has to worry about Mono-Red. Very fast hasted creature, a plethora of efficient burn spells… The Emrakul player is on a clock and needs to “go-off” ASAP! Clearly, against RDW, if the Summoning Trap fails, unless you have a couple of Overgrown Battlements to prevent some damage, it will probably be game right there and then… [the Emrakul player will loose:-( ]

    Vs. Dodge Jund. Unless this deck has Duresses main-deck, I feel this will be the same outcome as the regular Jund build (the Jund player should lose relatively fast).

    Vs. Blue/White Control. Yes, I am very, very worried! Flashfreeze stops Summoning Trap, Lotus Cobra, and Harrow. This is where the sideboard comes in with Stags and Dispels to ensure Trap will resolve (usually, one Trap is enough to “hit” one of the big creatures and then it is lights-out in a hurry. Unfortunately for the blue/white player, Wall of Denial is no longer big enough [it needs to be 16/16 🙂 ].

    Charles D.

    Ps: if you think Emrakul is messed-up in Type II, then wait to see what it does to Zendikar block… I think Wizards has to ban either the Lotus Cobra or Summoning Trap, it is the only way not to end up with another messed-up block format like Urza’s Saga Block *before* the massive bannings!

    Ps2: Long live Emrakul! 🙂

    ps3: For those interested in my deck-design (it is no big secret):

    Summon Eldrazi
    19 Creatures
    * 04 Birds of Paradise
    * 04 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
    * 01 Iona, shield of Emeria
    * 04 Lotus Cobra
    * 03 Overgrown Battlement
    * 01 Sphinx of Lost Truths
    * 02 Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre

    18 Other Spells
    * 04 Harrow
    * 02 Mind Spring
    * 04 Ponder
    * 04 See Beyond
    * 04 Summoning Trap

    23 Lands
    * 10 Forest
    * 09 Island
    * 04 Misty Rainforest

    15 Sideboard
    * 04 Dispel
    * 04 Great Sable Stag
    * 01 Into the Roil (unsure what to put here, maybe Linvala, Keeper of Silence)
    * 01 Overgrown Battlement
    * 01 Pelakka Wurm
    * 04 Tectonic Edge

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