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June 7, 2010

A few days ago I posted a Jund list that I was considering playing for my PTQ which occurred this past weekend on the 5th.   Just to review here is the list I was considering:

Creatures: 25
4x Lotus Cobra
4x Putrid Leech
4x Sprouting Thrinax
3x Goblin Ruinblaster
4x Bloodbraid Elf
4x Vengevine
2x Malakir Bloodwitch

Sorceries: 5
3x Maelstrom Pulse
2x Consuming Vapors

3x Sarkhan the Mad

Lands: 27
4x Verdant Catacombs
4x Raging Ravine
3x Lavaclaw Reaches
5x Forest
4x Swamp
3x Mountain
2x Savage Lands
1x Scalding Tarn
1x Misty Rainforest

4x Blightning
2x Malakir Bloodwitch
4x Jund Charm
3x Lightning Bolt
1x Maelstrom Pulse
1x Goblin Ruinblaster

First of all this list is a great list but not the one I ended up playing.  I did not manage to get all the cards I needed before the tournament so I had my Bant Polymorph and an old style Jund deck with me.  Luckily last minute I was able to obtain the missing 2 Lotus Cobras but I was still short on Goblin Ruinblaster.  I was wanting to run Hell’s Thunder anyways but no one had those either.   I toyed with the idea of adding Blightning back in  or just adding plated Geopede but in the end I decided on something completely different.  I’m glad I did.

The list I played:

Creatures: 24
4x Lotus Cobra
4x Putrid Leech
4x Sprouting Thrinax
4x Bloodbraid Elf
4x Vengevine
1x Malakir Bloodwitch

Sorceries: 7
4x Maelstrom Pulse
3x Bituminous Blast

Planeswalkers: 3
3x Sarkhan the Mad

Lands: 26
4x Verdant Catacombs
4x Raging Ravine
1x Lavaclaw Reaches
4x Forest
3x Swamp
3x Mountain
4x Savage Lands
1x Scalding Tarn
1x Misty Rainforest
1x Rootbound Crag

4x Blightning
2x Malakir Bloodwitch
2x Jund Charm
2x Vendetta
2x Pithing Needle
3x Terminate

The list has quite a few changes overall but the big change is adding Mul Daya Channelers.  I didn’t consider how often this card would be a 5/5.   Sure occasionally the creature does nothing, but you have fetches and cascades to clear the top of the libary.  On the times she produces mana you are able to pull off some stupid turns.   I never once was sad to cascade into her.  Maybe I was lucky but I actually think she is the real deal and deserves the slot in the deck.

That’s all I wanted to cover right now.

Wait, did you want to know how it worked?  Well, I didn’t qualify.  I got 11th place at the STL PTQ out of 150+ people.  A solid performance but unfortunately at 6-2 I couldn’t make the cut.

Rnd 1 – Jund –  Lotus cobra and 5/5’s for 3 are insane.  I quickly realize the mirror is in my favor, and if they are not playing Bithuminous blast or Double Dragons it is really really in my favor. 1-0 (2-0 games)

Rnd 2 – Blighting Deck Wins – Very very close games but again I cast 3 mana 5/5’s that are just to much for his 3 mana burn spells.  Very close games though.  2-0 (4-0)

Rnd 3 – Jund – I cast more thrinax than he does and as usual that spells doom for the opposing jund player.  3-0 (6-0)

Rnd 4 – Superfriends – Tough match and good games but my deck was to fast game 1.  Game 2 he got trips spreading seas fairly quickly locking me in U/G but I almost got back in the game.  Game 3 he stumbled on mana and my deck roared like a lion.  4-0 (8-1)

Rnd 5 – Naya (collar combo main) – This one I lost due to not testing and being up all night before the PTQ working (11-7am shifts suck).  He wins in 2 but the games he won were fairly close.  4-1 (8-3)

Rnd 6 – Mythic Conscription – Ok, this one will be a little longer.  This is a match-up I truly feared because I have so little maindeck removal.  If they get the die roll and an good start I really can’t beat their combo.  Fortunately for me he doesn’t combo quickly game 1 and my vengevines backed by 5/5’s and lotus cobra get me there fast enough.  Long, tough game 1.   For our second game he doesn’t combo me out before we get going and i’m all set to kill him on my next attack step.  He has 0 cards in hand and can only beat me if he rips a sovereigns off the top around turn 5 or 6.  Elspeth showed up too I think?  Elspeth is tough on me if I don’t get the pulse immediately.   For the final game I am on the play and I have a strong hand including Terminate and Vendetta for this early guys.  He plays t1 Hierarch, I vendetta it on my turn.  On his turn 2 he casts a Lotus Cobra.  My turn I terminate.  I know as long as I keep him off quick explosive mana I have a good chance to win.  Turns out he kept a 2 lander and those two pieces of removal gave me an additional turn of reprieve as he missed his third land drop.  From there I cast a bunch of hasty guys and efficient beaters and have the win on board as long as he doesn’t have a Baneslayer. If he casts Baneslayer I have to draw any non-land card in my deck and I still win immediately.   Board is his Baneslayer and tapped lands at 5 life to my Vengevine, Leech, and Lotus Cobra with 15 life.  I have 2 fetch in hand and a crap load of non-man lands on the board.  I can cast anything I draw and the Putrid Leech I also had in hand with ease.  I also have 1 Vengevine in the graveyard.  Bituminous Blast and Sarkhan were boarded since he was on the play and I needed speed.  I drew Maelstrom pulse and kill the Angel. That made the 3 guys on the board easily enough.

The reason I put all of that in there is because my opponent went ballistic that I top decked and killed him.  He top decked the win against me in game 2 when only 4 cards in his deck save him (assuming 4 Sovereigns of Lost Alara are played main).  On the other hand I had about a 60% chance to hit a card that just wins the game for me.   Odds were against him when he won, and for me when I won.  This was his second loss so it put him out of contention but really blowing up, slamming your hand on the table, and cursing are not necessary.  It honestly shocked me that he behaved to terribly because I’ve seen him around and from that I knew he was a solid player who knew better than to act like that.  Total lack of sportsmanship.  The game up till that point was very cordial and enjoyable.  He kept a hand that was weak to removal and it cost him.  He took a gamble and it didn’t pay off.  When he said to me? or just to the wind I guess, “I never lose this match up, I can’t lose this match up” and etc he just made himself look very childish.  No match is 100% one way or the other.  Also I can guarantee he never tested against my build or my terrible sideboard.

It’s attitudes like his that push people away from this game.  I’ve dealt with worse losers before but not from serious players who put work into qualifying for the Pro Tour.

/rant off          5-1 (10-4)

Rnd 7 – Jund –  He won the die roll and was able to cast the first Thrinax games 1 and 3.  He also played Bituminous Blast and at least 1 Broodmate.  Those are good cards against me in the mirror as can keep me from catching up if I lose the die roll.  The real key is he cast about 8 Thrinax in the match to my 2.   I wish him luck and get ready to play out the final round for some packs.  5-2 (11-6)

Rnd 8 – Jund –  I out thrinax him and win.  Simple match up since he was just kinda regular Jund without bit blast or broodmates.  This match was the opposide of round 6.  Me and the opponent are both out of contention and playing for 9 packs to the loser 18 to the winner.  The guy was nice and we joked a lot.  When he cascaded well we both laughed at the lucky hit.  It was the kind of game that I come back for.  It was fun.  Sure I won which is always better but even if I had lost I would have walked away excited to play magic another day.

The deck is VERY good.  Needs a SB though.

Changes I’d make:
-1 Sarkhan the Mad
-1 Malakir Bloodwitch
+1 Mul Daya Channelers
+1 Bituminous Blast

Thanks for reading,

Andrew from STL

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