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Modern Mastery: Brand New Bag

Written by LegitMTG Staff on . Posted in Competitive Magic, Modern, Multimedia

When we were last together, we wrapped up our time with RUG Delver after playing it extensively during the last two months. It was an excellent deck to begin our journey because it was flexible, well-rounded, and had good matchups against most of the popular decks. It was a great deck for me to sharpen my skills and learn the pillars of the Modern format. I have been able to learn about proper fetchland use, life total management, stack manipulation, and most importantly, playing in such a way that I don’t lose.

For the most part, RUG Delver is a reactive list. There is not a lot of disruption outside of Vendilion Clique, so it relies on removal and countermagic to interact with the opponent while presenting a clock in the form of a (hopefully) flipped Delver of Secrets and/or Tarmogoyf. Snapcaster Mage presents a huge amount of power and versatility because the bulk of the deck is spells for Tiago to reuse. For reference, this was our list:

Winds of change

This will be the last you see of this list for quite some time. Two major events are occurring in Modern that make this deck a bad choice for the future. Return to Ravnica has been released on MTGO, and Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle has been unbanned.

Return to Ravnica introduces two cards likely to see some play. Neither Abrupt Decay nor Slaughter Games can be countered, and both can devastate this list. Threats in this deck are already light and undiversified. Abrupt Decay kills all of the maindeck threats, and Slaughter Games can strip all of our Tarmogoyfs with impunity. I do not want to be the counterspell deck in a format with spells like this.

The unbanning of Valakut brings the potential for two deck types: RG Valakut and Scapeshift/Prismatic Omen decks. With no real way to interact with land-based strategies and an inability to present forward pressure, RUG Delver is a poor choice against Valakut. Clearly we have a better matchup against the Omen-based versions because they are slower. RG is extremely fast though, and equally consistent. Plus, we are stone dead to a resolved Primeval Titan.

I went on the search for new technology. I looked at lists, I read articles and I watched streams. Ultimately, I found a deck that was doing exactly what I wanted to be doing in the new Modern format. Unsurprisingly, I found the list from Cedric Phillips’ stream. Welcome to the New Jund. It has a strong message for you.

Card choices

I decided to take this list into a Modern Daily event. Other than a couple of changes to the manabase, it is is a carbon copy of the list Cedric took to a 4-0 finish last week. A couple of things bear mentioning:

  • Geralf’s Messenger presents a faster clock than Kitchen Finks, and Finks generally does not punch through the creatures in decks that present difficulty like 4C Birthing Pod. The mana is intensive, but the lands have been designed to account for this. You also get additional reach without needing to get into combat each time the Messenger enters the battlefield.
  • Blightning has been in and out of favor for some time throughout its marked history. Last season it was dubbed a bad card, but its reign in days of Standard past is well documented. Last season, Jund players felt the card did not impact the board, especially since everyone was playing Kitchen Finks and making the life loss irrelevant. This list takes full advantage of the card, not only as another burn spell to the face of your opponent. It also helps force them closer to playing off the top of their deck, making your cascades more powerful. The mana to play this and Messenger is also easily created.
  • Terminate is basically just Murder on the cheap in this list because the R/B-slanted manabase makes casting this a breeze. The fact this is an instant makes it infinitely more powerful than Dreadbore right now, so please stop comparing the two.
  • The No. 1 question people ask is about the Deglamer in the sideboard. Wurmcoil Engine is basically the card that kills this deck. RG Tron is a rough match if this guy lands, and Ancient Grudge on a Wurmcoil Engine is just the start of an uphill battle. Deglamer does two things: It removes the Engine at instant speed, and it does so WITHOUT destroying it. It is probably the best card we have against Wurmcoil Engine. Since the Rg Tron match is our worst one, and is all over the MTGO events right now, it is a strong tool for us.

Armed with this information, you should go forth and watch this deck in action. It is a blast to play with, and the games are fast-paced. This daily was co-piloted by none other than Phil Samms (@psamms), noted Jund aficionado and well-respected GP grinder. His experience with Jund in general and this list in particular was a huge asset. Please be aware that we experience some audio issues with Phil initially, but we get it together eventually.

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We won a little!!! I was very happy with this run. I expect I will be making some changes in the immediate future to reflect my paper testing, so let’s see where that takes us this week.

Like the new layout? I want to thank Matthew Beverly (@mattystudios) for this amazing contribution. We will be working hard over the next few weeks to continue to build up the visuals, with hopes the production value will reset the bar in this field. Any of you familiar with our work on The Eh Team podcast should know how important this is to me.

I’m committed to bringing you an amazing experience that is fun for everyone, informative, and most importantly, of some value. It could be the play experience. It could be the matchup analysis. It could be the guests. And it could even be the giveaways!!! (They’re coming … stay tuned!!) I’m open to your feedback about what you want to see from the show, so bring it on! Let me know what you like and don’t like, and I will do my best to accommodate. Comment below, hit me on Twitter (@mrscottymac) or email me (mrscottymac@gmail.com). Hope to see you all at 9 p.m. tonight for the next episode of Modern Mastery!

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