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Compulsive Research: The Monstrous Beard

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

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I was very thankful this week to have the privilege of having Chris VanMeter as a guest on the show. Chris is making an excellent run on the SCG circuit, and is well paced to potentially win the Points at Large slot for season 2 of the SCG season. That accomplishment will allow him to play in the SCG Player’s Championship at the end of the year, as one of the 16 players playing off for a pro tour-esque amount of money. Chris has been well known as a Standard stalwart on the SCG circuit, as his consistent evolutions on first RG, and now Jund colored Monsters builds have earned him the lion’s share of his points this season. With Journey into Nyx freshly released on MTGO, I wanted to make sure that I checked into the successful decks from the SCG event on release day to see what the hot new technology was for that tournament. Chris and I have often found ourselves on the same page with deck preferences, so naturally his lists were where I started. I was just as shocked as the rest of you to see that both he and Brian Braun-Duin opted to play the “best deck in the format”; Jund Monsters. That in and of itself was not really a surprise, but the complete absence of any new cards from Journey into Nyx was. I knew that I needed to have him on the stream to discuss the deck, and let’s be honest; that beard deserves a reality show crew following it around chronicling its eventual and inevitable demise at the hands of CVM crushing an SCG Open. Here is the deck that we were going to pilot.

I’m no stranger to Jund Monsters. It has been a sleeved deck for me since Cedric unleashed it upon us. Two cards in this list however are ones that I personally did not value as highly as Chris does; Ghor-Clan Rampager and Xenagos, The Reveler. I can only assume that the reason these cards have risen again to prominence is the shift away from Mono Blue Devotion in the metagame, and the subsequent rise in Mono Black and Control based strategies. Xenagos is likely the best anti control card that the deck has available to it, and the fact that it is also able to perform so well against Desecration Demon and Mono Black in general is another good support to the change. Rampager makes blocking against you a consistently losing proposition, and can give us the push we need to often kill a control opponent well before Sphinx’s Revelation can steal the game from us. I really liked the numbers in this list, and they felt clean and tuned. This is an area that most of the previous lists have felt lacking in to me, but here I felt like I was piloting a well oiled killing machine.

Here was the stream:


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Misclicks aside, I legitimately feel like all of these matches were winnable if the draws cooperated a little more. The Burn matchup can indeed be tough, and Rw Devotion also, but neither one is completely a disaster. The only real exception I think is the Mono Blue matchup, which has always preyed heavily on a monsters based metagame. We gain a lot of tools to combat the tough cards like Master of Waves post board, but there are still aggressive fliers draws which are nearly unbeatable by the non-control decks in the format.

Monsters is a great deck. This list in particular has all the tools you might need to take down your local tournaments, but the real strength of the color combination is that you can easily tighten up some of the sideboard slots to shore up matches that you are having trouble with, or are simply more prevalent in your area. The mana base is always “suspect” with this archetype. and it is entirely possible that adding some number of Mana Confluence can go a long way towards speeding up our game plan and giving the Jund version the same speedy tempo draws that the RG versions had before JOU. This would of course potentially cost us matchup points against the red burn based decks, but if your meta is more control heavy, then this might be where you should start looking.

Tune in tonight for Jacob Van Lunen joining me as we finish our JOU Standard tour before we start testing Modern in earnest. We will be battling with Naya Hexproof, so if you want to see some non interactive Magic while we gain insane amounts of life, don’t miss it. Also if you did not catch the stream live last Wednesday, I will be posting my efforts with Hoogland Junk in Standard also later this week right here on LegitMTG. THAT deck was fun, and is currently my personal Standard preference.

See you all tonight! 930pm EST
Follow the channel at www.twitch.tv/legitmtg
@MrScottyMac

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