BUTAKOV is a name you associate with success when it comes to MOCS events. These are some of the toughest tournaments in the entire world, filled with top level pros, so putting together a solid record is a real feat. And BUTAKOV made it all the way to the finals of the MOCS Playoff, securing his spot at the Magic Online Championship. His weapon of choice? Not one we’ve seen much of: Jund Energy.
R/G Energy has some excellent aggressive creatures. Greenbelt Rampager is at the top of the list as a big threat that can often be deployed on turn 2. A 3/4 creature is large enough to win most combats while staying out of range of Harnessed Lightning. It also has the ability to fuel your other energy cards as a mana sink to pump your other energy creatures.
Voltaic Brawler is similar to Putrid Leech as a 2-mana creature that starts hitting for 4 as early as turn 3. Trample is a nice bonus, but on size alone you’re looking at a considerable threat and one of the main pulls to be playing red and green together.
Longtusk Cub provides some extra energy, and it’s one of the best sinks in the format. Depositing your energy into a Cub will create an early- or late-game threat that is hard to beat in combat.
Rhonas the Indomitable is one of the scariest cards this deck has ever received. Rhonas has imposing stats at a cheap cost, but requires you to have another large creature in play to profitable attack. Luckily, this deck is filled with creatures that fit the bill, and Rhonas can even pump your team to make sure you’re getting in for 5. Adding trample to your already large creatures creates impossible to defend situations.
What’s better than one God? How about adding Hazoret the Fervent? Hazoret will let Rhonas start attacking immediately, but also provides a gigantic threat in the late game. The haste will rarely be relevant on turn 4, but that’s not the case as the game goes long. On later turns, you have a threat that can end the game in a hurry, as well as an ability to give you extra reach and make it easier to attack with your God.
Scrapheap Scrounger is a nice pull into splashing for black in an aggressive deck. You’re looking to get in there every turn, and Rhonas pumping Scrounger puts your opponents in a world of hurt as they don’t want to trade for it, but they can’t afford to just take the damage.
Bristling Hydra is another nice energy sink and resilient threat. Glorybringer threatens to go over the top of everything while taking out creatures in the process. You don’t want to get Dragon-flooded, but this is another nice way to turn on Rhonas and have a big turn 5.
Heart of Kiran is an awesome threat in a deck filled with 3-power creatures. Rampager can crew this with the trigger on the stack to be returned to your hand, and every creature in the deck (assuming you can pump your Cub once) will crew the Heart.
Blossoming Defense helps you win combat and can push through extra damage, but serves primarily to save your creatures from removal. Defense on a creature that was just pumped by Rhonas can deal 11+ damage—an absurd amount to take after you were planning on removing the creature allowing Rhonas to attack.
Fatal Push is a solid removal spell, but you don’t have a ton of ways to trigger revolt. Instead, you rely on what was once called the best card in Standard. Unlicensed Disintegration won’t always deal extra damage as this deck is light in artifacts, but an unconditional removal spell in a deck filled with big creatures is still excellent.
BUTAKOV was able to take this powerful deck and use it to earn a qualification to one of the biggest Magic tournaments in the world. In a sea of Zombies, Marvel, and Mardu, perhaps this is the direction we should look to go.