To say I was excited when I first saw Jarad’s Orders is an understatement. Clearly this is a very powerful effect—it tutors for two cards! As we’ve seen with Entomb, even being able to tutor to the graveyard alone can have its advantages. The first thing that popped into my head when I saw this was Body Double. It seems so automatic to just pair these cards together, since it curves out pretty well from four to five, and you just use this card to search for the Body Double and copy whatever monster you searched up and left in the bin. It works as a same speed Gifts Ungiven for Unburial Rites, though you lose a little bit of the flexibility of being able to cast Gifts for value.
During my preparation for the Players Championship, I brewed up a deck that was basically Gifts Rock Control from the old days, but it had Unburial Rites, alongside [card elesh norn, grand cenobite]Elesh Norn[/card] and Iona, Shield of Emeria. I first made the deck to try and cheat Griselbrand into play because I was so excited by what he could do in Legacy, but it became clear pretty quickly that against RWU delver and Zoo, they can just [card path to exile]Path[/card] it and if you pay life you will die.
I learned two things from this deck: First, if your strategy is to go all-in on casting a Gifts Ungiven and Unburial Rites on a fatty, then that creature needs to actually win the game by itself an overwhelming percentage of the time, or the whole deck idea is bad. If you reanimate a creature and they just Path it and win then the strategy is poor—Path is one of the most heavily-played cards in the format. I liked the deck because Elesh Norn was so good against Birthing Pod and Iona could strand people with Path to Exiles in their hands.
The second problem I encountered was that my deck was just all ramp, discard, spot removal, and Gifts, so if I ever didn’t draw Gifts Ungiven then I couldn’t win the game. As sad as it sounds, I actually added Merchant Scroll to my deck just to try and grab Gifts—I would greatly prefer to have had access to Jarad’s Orders.
This deck clearly gets a boost from Abrupt Decay and Jarad’s Orders. I could see cutting roughly 1 Maelstrom Pulse, 2 Kitchen Finks, 1 Damnation, and the 1 Merchant Scroll for 4 Jarad’s Orders and 1 Body Double. Once you add these cards to the deck, the mana curve becomes quite a bit higher so it’s possible the deck wants more one-mana accelerants, or even just a couple more lands added to the deck. I haven’t played this deck since before the Players Championship, so I’m not certain on what changes can and should be made—but I think this is a really strong starting point for anyone wanting to use Jarad’s Orders in Modern. I like that you can even just get Eternal Witness and Snapcaster Mage and get some pretty filthy value there.
I liked this deck because its deceptive how powerful a turn 1 Birds of Paradise into turn 2 Liliana of the Veil is, and basically no deck in the format really does that right now. Liliana obviously helped at making sure you never had Iona or Elesh Norn stranded in your hand which was helpful. I think the sideboard probably requires a Sphinx of the Steel Wind to lock out Jund, and possibly an Inkwell Leviathan to help bust up the UW control deck that Kibler and Finkel played.
That’s one thing that’s awesome about this deck, all you have to do is think of a creature of any cost that can cause the opponent problems, and now you have access to roughly 8 of them. Finding a creature for every deck that they have no outs to is also easier said than done. I was really excited when I saw Worldspine Wurm, until I eventually read the line about him shuffling into your deck if he ever hits the grave—weird how they put that on there so I can’t have any fun.
Honestly the options are pretty wild for this card. You can even get a Sun Titan and a Phantasmal Image, and just try to go deep from there—and don’t even get me started on the possible options if you grab a Sharuum the Hegemon. Even during my quick search of Modern-legal creatures I have found some pretty interesting ideas. You can grab Haakon, Stromgald Scourge and another Knight, or just grab 2 Hell’s Thunder and go off that way. I look forward to brewing with this card, and hopefully someone breaks it wide open for the Pro Tour.
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