FABLES FROM KITCHEN TABLES – THE TOP SOLDIERS OF – JUND

Greetings, readers! For some reason, I’ve declined to remember that there’s another week in this month for some reason (We’ll chalk it up to me losing my marbles.), so I’m pushing my monthly Let’s Build article back a week so that I can go back to the Top Soldiers Of series that I’ve neglected for a while. In this series, I highlight powerful cards and generals in specific color combinations in the hopes that I give you, the readers, an idea or two when considering cards for the deckbuilding process.

This time around, I’m covering a color combination that focuses on advantages through cards, mana and creatures to overwhelm the opponent. Through damage, loss of life, and the destruction of creatures, it’s easy to come out of the gates blazingly fast and destroy the opposition, or sit on your lategame threats and grind the table out slowly yet surely. The combination I’m referring to is that of red, black and green; Jund.

Jund has a number of interesting strategies at its disposal, and a lot of range in its card pool, allowing for fast, aggressive shells to end games quickly, or slower, more control-based lists to sit on incrementals and slowly drain the table of resources. That’s something I’ve always liked about the color combination, and while I’ve yet to really dive into a deck that utilizes the colors, I must admit, I’ve always wanted to try.

Regardless, Jund uses some pretty interesting and yet powerful effects, so let’s get right into highlighting them:

#5 – Jund Charm

Jund Charm

One pretty universal thing I’ve noticed about the shards is that their Charms always wind up here in some form or fashion. Jund’s is no different–whether it’s enabling +1/+1 counter shenanigans with Kalonian Hydra, being an instant speed Pyroclasm, or being timely graveyard hate, Jund Charm is, while not the most powerful, arguably one of the more flexible Charms overall. It does very different, yet very interesting things, and while not the most exciting or splashy version of any of the three modes you can get, the fact that Volcanic Fallout can also be a Bojuka Bog in and of itself is almost impossible to ignore.

#4 – Violent Ultimatum

Violent Ultimatum

It’s so simple, yet so effective. You get to literally blow up anything. Then you do it again. Then you do it a third time. There’s a lot of power in this card, and while it’s inevitably going to be compared to Rain of Thorns a lot, Violent Ultimatum gets the bonus catch-all of also hitting creatures and Planeswalkers, which the Thorns can’t.

It’s honestly really difficult to try and be splashy and write a clever, lengthy review for such a simple card. It slices. It dices. It blows things up. It has great flavor text. It’s a green card, making the fact that it’s color-intensive almost non-existent. If your curve can afford this, it’s honestly a pretty huge swing if it resolves. Just try not to run this into Wild Ricochet.

#3 – Charnelhoard Wurm

Charnelhoard Wurm

To me, Charnelhoard Wurm represents something wonderful in a card; it’s not particularly the most threatening creature you could cast, as the threat it poses isn’t terribly relevant, but when you get to the later stages of a game, with a full graveyard and enough targets for this thing to be a workhorse, it’s a solid finisher that can crank out some serious card advantage.

There are a number of interesting interactions with this thing, as well. If you run it alongside Warstorm Surge, you get a card back immediately, because this thing doesn’t need to deal combat damage for it to trigger. You can also return Fleshbag Marauder for great value. Overall, there’s a reason why Eternal Witness is one of green’s most solid creatures, and while this is expensive, dealing damage with it isn’t terribly difficult, and it works wonders in a goodstuff list.

#2 – Hellkite Overlord

Hellkite Overlord

Arguably one of the more obstinate finishers printed period, for 8 mana, you sure are getting your mana’s worth. It has immediate impact due to trample and haste, and if you untap with it (or are fortunate enough to cast it on 10), it’s stupidly hard to remove.

In addition, it’s one of the very few creatures that has both trample and firebreathing, making it a lethally threatening creature, as well. Pair it up with deathtouch through Basilisk Collar or Bow of Nylea and it gets even more disgusting. Overall, I think more control-oriented Jund shells will lean on finishers like this to close out games, and the Overlord does one hell of a job at that. (For those of you who enjoy Scion of the Ur-Dragon like I used to, this was always my favorite haste / regenerate target, so the Overlord is a wonderful dual-purpose tutor there, as well.)

#1 – Lavalanche

Lavalanche

Topping the list is probably a card under a lot of people’s radars–Lavalanche. Anyone who’s ever played Standard in the past couple of formats understands the power of Bonfire of the Damned, and while this is a bit more restrictive, at least you’re never paying double X for it.

There’s a whole lot of value in this, despite its heinous cost, as you can potentially screw a player over big time (or outright kill them, if their life total is low enough), which on its own makes it powerful as a Plague Wind-esque effect. Obviously, you will draw the ire of the target of this, but it’s well worth the cost, in my opinion.

Now that we’ve discussed the non-legends, we move onto the generals of Jund. We begin with:

#5 – Adun Oakenshield

Adun Oakenshield

Adun Oakenshield, like Xira Airen, is what I mean when I say that Jund can approach the deckbuilding process from a slow, grindy control angle. I mean, there are a number of powerful creatures to run alongside this (Sakura-Tribe Elder and Fleshbag Marauder, to name a couple), but Oakenshield can literally force creatures through almost every counterspell imaginable, and heavy creature lists really enjoy him.

Adun feels very goodstuff in nature; you can run him alongside Eternal Witness and a sac outlet for a slow Regrowth engine, or you could run him in an extremely heavy creature base with Garruk, Caller of Beasts. His flexibility and utility make him a very useful general overall.

#4 – Karrthus, Tyrant of Jund

Karrthus, Tyrant of Jund

Also known as Mr. Steal Yo Gurl. While this Karrthus can’t just press R and win, what he can do is provide 7 hasty general damage, in addition to a strange ability that has some ridiculous interactions (You will learn to fear Blades of Velis Vel when playing against Karrthus). He’s also a Dragon, so you know what that means; Utvara Hellkite eats your face off!

Overall, Karrthus has some interesting lines of play, and in the right shell, can come down as easily as turn 3 to threaten damage incredibly fast. The fact that he lacks trample is a bit disconcerting, but if you can land this and get some fast damage in, it might not matter. (He’s also stupidly easy to enable, what with the new Scourge of the Throne, Nylea, God of the Hunt and Xenagos, God of Revels, among others)

#3 – Sek’Kuar, Deathkeeper

Sek'Kuar, Deathkeeper

Attrition and Skullclamp‘s best friend, Sek’Kuar makes the best use out of nearly every general in the game out of recursive creatures, making sure they leave behind a present in the form of a 3/1. Whether you need fodder, pressure or card draw, Sek’Kuar delivers, and despite his cost, he’s incredibly solid for what he does.

One card I really enjoy with him is Din of the Fireherd, because the tokens he makes are both black and red. Overall, Sek’Kuar has a number of interesting and synergystic cards that work really well with him, and if no Jund general is printed in Conspiracy, I might just craft a shell for Sek’Kuar myself.

#2 – Prossh, Skyraider of Kher

Prossh, Skyraider of Kher

Prossh, while not my favorite because of how easy it is to infinitely combo with him, has a lot of power in that he’s both a sac outlet and a frightening source of general damage if left unblocked. On his own, he creates enough fodder on his first cast for the magic number of 11, and when enabled, general damage becomes both extremely easy and extremely scary to think about.

Prossh is arguably one of the better commanders to cast after landing Xenagos, God of Revels, as you can enable him with haste, double his power to 22, and threaten the life of anyone without a flying blocker immediately. Plays like that are not uncommon when it comes to Prossh, but then, nobody bothers with that and just plays boring things like Mana Echoes and/or Food Chain, anyway.

#1 – Shattergang Brothers

Shattergang Brothers

I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of talking about how powerful Grave Pact is, and when your general is a Grave Pact, that’s something that for sure catches my eye. Shatterbros are not only by far the best Jund general, but one of the better Goblin generals, as well. It’s no surprise that Commander 2013 has printed some insanely busted generals for the format, but Shatterbros are arguably one of the best ones.

Whether you’re sacrificing Reassembling Skeleton, Spine of Ish Sah or Rancor to this thing, getting value out of it is stupidly easy, and you’re slowly yet surely grinding the table out, and that’s without playing spells like Fleshbag Marauder, Dictate of Erebos, Pernicious Deed, and so on. By itself, Shatterbros are pretty grindy and disgusting. Enabled, they’re an absurd workforce that can shut out any form of counterattack.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

There you have it, my ranking of the top players in Jund! Next week will certainly be my Let’s Build article for May. Until then!
~L

Check out my previous articles here:

Adapting to EDH Metagames:
Part 1 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1177
Part 2 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1252
Part 3 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1317
Part 4 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1370
Part 5 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1454

Building on a Budget:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1522

Choose Your Champion:
Part 1 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1594
Part 2 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1868
Part 3 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2539

Dragon’s Maze Prerelease Weekend:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1810

Guidance:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2548

Hits & Misses of:
Dragon’s Maze -http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1870
Innistrad - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2586

M14 –  http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2295
Theros - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2508
Born of the Gods - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2800
Journey into Nyx - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3101

Legen-Wait for It-Dary:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2264

Let’s Build:
Part 1 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1606
Part 2 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=1595
Part 3 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2214
Part 4 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2278
Part 5 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2303
Part 6 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2310
Part 7 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2323
Part 8 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2336
Part 9 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2341
Part 10 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2525
Part 11 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2617
Part 12 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2691
Part 13 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2822
Part 14 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2933

Let’s Talk Journey into Nyx:
Part 1 – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3015
Part 2 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3030

Let’s Talk M14:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2228

Let’s Talk Theros:
Part 1 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2362
Part 2 - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2378

Oh My God:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=3118

Painting a Target:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2631

Planeswalking and You:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2184 

Resource Management:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2200

Stacking Up Commander 2013:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2561

The Slippery Slope:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2440

The Top Soldiers Of:
Azorius - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2640
Bant - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2907
Boros – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2854
Dimir - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2653
Esper - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2957
Golgari - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2760
Grixis – http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2984
Gruul - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2669
Izzet- http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2710 
Orzhov - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2681
Rakdos - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2663
Selesnya - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2677
Simic - http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2900

Trial & Error:
http://thecgrealm.com/wordpress/?p=2089

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