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Compulsive Research 65: Walking the Walk

Written by LegitMTG Staff on . Posted in Competitive Magic, Standard

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The Pro Tour had just passed, and that meant two things. First, Standard was flush with some new tech from M15, helping to update existing decks, and in some cases, also adding brand new decks to the format. The second thing of course is that with the passing of the Pro Tour for the next 2 seasons, the eligibility of Gerry Thompson is reinstated for competitive play. Gerry and I have been trying to get together on stream for a while now, and I was so happy to be able to join both his wealth of knowledge and personality with a new hot deck which took the Pro Tour by storm, and was skyrocketing in popularity as a result. Jund Walkers was one of the highest performing archetypes in the Pro Tour Constructed portion, with 2 very different versions both cracking top 8 berths for themselves. I asked Gerry to put together what he felt would be the most optimal version of this list, and this is what he shipped me.

This is very close to the list that Willy Edel put out a week before, and Gerry took some liberties with some of the Sideboard cards and (as Gerry is apt to do) tweaked the mana a little to capitalize more powerfully on the underutilized mode on Nissa, Worldwaker; untapping forests. The full complement of shock lands are on display here, allowing us to ensure our color fixing, and adding to the versatility of Nissa. One of the great advantages that this deck has is a natural resilience to Thoughtseize with its consistent stream of powerful cards. The Sideboard also mirrors this sentiment, as cards like Slaughter Games and Garruk, Apex Predator can be lights out for control or midrange opponent’s respectively. The sheer volume and versatility of the removal here seems to provide a great cushion for you to start working your planeswalkers toward game breaking ultimates. Vraska is really on display here, as she will often even in a bad spot be at worst 2 vindicates. Many people have asked about playing Stormbreath Dragon in the list, but hear this now; Nissa is a green dragon in disguise. Once you cut the ties with big red, you will really start to see what this deck can do.

Here are the games that we played.

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There is VERY little that I can say here which Gerry has not already on the stream about this deck. Please give is all the respect it deserves, as it is certainly a very powerful strategy. The one term that I would use to describe the deck however, is clunky. The deck often draws the wrong half of itself, and can more than not leave you unprotected and quickly falling behind. This is a problem that has plagued Jund lists in the past, and it can be certainly on display here. Drawing all removal and no creatures, or drawing all mana ramp and no gas are all reasons to earn the deck the “clunky” moniker. Add to this the fact that the strategy is more towards the control end of midrange, and you can often find yourself too far behind to catch up. This was never more true than when we played against all those burn matches on stream. Anytime all of the cylinders were firing however, it did feel pretty impossible to lose. That naturally is enough to attract many people to the deck, and it has almost ubiquitously replaced Jund Monsters as the default midrange 3 color strategy. I don’t necessarily endorse the piloting of this specific deck list for your WMCQ, as I feel like it has a bad matchup against GW and burn, and mono Blue can similarly be challenging. The sideboard does not do enough currently to shore those up in my opinion, but I’m sure with some tinkering, that you could find a correct build of it if you predict your metagame effectively.

Tune in next week when I start on the path to learn about Vintage Masters Draft. With the MTGO Community Cup on the horizon, I need to polish up the limited game so I don’t disappoint you. I of course will need help with this, so I enlisted notable PT Stalwart and PT Gatecrash Champion Tom Martell to get us started. Check out how we did next week, and tune in Monday for another draft. Sorry for being late this week, but with the PTQ and WMCQ Weekend that just passed, I got a little bogged down. I played in the PTQ, ended up going 6-3 in the event, good for 58th out of over 350. That report will also be up soon here on Legit, so stay tuned!!

Huge thanks to Gerry this week for joining the stream and being such a good guest. He answered a ton of questions about all things Magic and otherwise, and I look forward to having him back in the near future. Make sure you check out his content every day on SCG, and let him know that you liked having him on.

See you all soon!

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