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Jund, the Promised End

After many weeks of testing with Team EUreka, we arrived at two different decks: RUG Emerge, and the deck I played—Jund, the Promised End. As the name suggests, the main plan is to win with Emrakul, the Promised End, but there’s a whole lot of other things going on. This is the final iteration of the deck that I registered to make Top 16 in Pro Tour Eldritch Moon with a 8-­1-­1 record in Constructed.

Jund, the Promised End

Before delving into the final deck, I think it’s interesting to go through the deck’s history and how we came up with this list. It all started by trying to break the mechanic emerge as much as possible. We quickly realized how powerful it was to emerge either Elder Deep­-Fiend or Distended Mindbender with a Kozilek’s Return in the graveyard as early as turn 4 with an additional effect, either ripping your opponent’s hand apart or getting a huge tempo boost by tapping their lands.

The first reason why I went with Distended Mindbender was its utility against one of the most dominant cards in the format, Collected Company. If you cast a Distended Mindbender on the turn they intend to cast Collected Company and have a Kozilek’s Return in your graveyard, you can deny them from that Collected Company by forcing them to discard cards before you Kozilek’s Return. If they cast Collected Company in response, you can just pick another card from their hand and wipe the creatures they put onto the battlefield. If your opponent chooses to hold it, you can discard the Company with Mindbender, making it very ineffective against this particular line of play.

The second reason is that Distended Mindbender would line up the best against any kind of unknown strategy that was also built to go over the top of the known, Bant Company metagame. After trying out many different turbo versions of the emerge decks, we realized that Languish also played very well with the emerge package versus Bant Collected Company, consisting of sacrifice outlets, Kozilek’s Return, and Distended Mindbender. If they try to use a removal spell or bounce your sacrifice outlet before you can emerge with it, you can take that opportunity to Languish for a full blowout. Languish also lets you play around Selfless Spirit, which is their sole way of protecting themselves from a Kozilek’s Return in the early turns.

Somewhere mid-testing, this was where we were at.

As you can see, the list is vastly different from where we ended up. First, the strategy was too linear. It only had one game plan—Distended Mindbender your opponent through Haunted Dead, then cast Emrakul, the Promised End to win the game, so it was easily disrupted by sideboard cards.

Another problem is that sometimes the deck just fizzled in the early turns when the mill effects didn’t get the cards you needed into the graveyard, namely Haunted Dead and Kozilek’s Return. Not doing so meant that you lost too much tempo not getting on the board, since it would take too much time to set up the plays that got you back into the game.

The last problem was that your hands often were too clunky, not having all the pieces for your puzzle or the means to get there. All of these factors together meant that we felt like we needed more way to affect the board on the early turns and also make the deck more versatile, trimming on the raw power level and taking a step back to make the deck more reactive and less of a dedicated emerge deck, but keeping the power of Kozilek’s Return and Distended Mindbender.

The final iteration played out similar to a BG control deck, controlling the early game, but with a more powerful late game, featuring the ultimate grindy combination between Nissa, Vastwood Seer, Grapple with the Past, and Liliana, the Last Hope, and the highest power level in Distended Mindbender and Emrakul, the Promised End. The deck was truly amazing at the tournament, having a high win percentage for us in Team EUreka, and I recommend you try the deck out.

If I were to change anything, I would remove 1 Mindwrack Demon, 1 Ultimate Price, and 1 Fiery Impulse from the main deck to add 1 Pilgrim’s Eye and 2 To the Slaughter. From the sideboard, I would remove 1 Nahiri’s Wrath and 2 To the Slaughter for 1 Fiery Impulse, 1 Transgress the Mind, 1 Duress.

Updated Jund, the Promised End

Sideboard Guide

Bant Collected Company

On the Play

Out

In

On the Draw

Out

In

­

The game plan versus Bant Collected Company is to survive with early removal and then blow them out with a combination of your 6 wrath effects. If possible, try to play around Spell Queller as well—sometimes even waiting to Languish on turn 5 to have the backup of Fiery Impulse to kill a potential Spell Queller. To win the game, Ishkanah, Grafwidow usually locks up the game for you to get to your powerful grind engine or just win the game flat-out with Emrakul, the Promised End.

Matchup: Great.

Green/White Tokens

On the Play

Out

In

­

On the Draw

Out

In

­

It’s very hard to beat their best draw curving Sylvan Advocate and Nissa, Voice of Zendikar into Gideon, Ally of Zendikar preboard, but all of that changes post-sideboard with Nahiri’s Wrath, which can buy you all the time you need to get to your late game. With additional late-game cards such as 1 Emrakul, the Promised End—which is the best card against them—and Dragonmaster Outcast, it becomes really hard for them to out grind you out, even with Evolutionary Leap. Your sole plan is to try to keep them off planeswalkers, especially Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, which should get you the time you need to finish the game with Emrakul, the Promised End.

Matchup: Good.

Mono-White Humans

On the Play and Draw

Out

In

­

Between Languish, Kozilek’s Return, Fiery Impulse, and Liliana, the Last Hope, you have no problem smashing their early pressure. Ishkanah, Grafwidow usually solidifies your position post-wrath, and after that it’s easy to grind them out. After sideboard, you go up to 9 wrath effects and even more removal, removing some of your clunkier cards. Their only good game plan is with Gideon, Ally of Zendikar, but even if you have to use multiple cards to deal with it, they had to use multiple cards to get there since they have to up their land count, therefore losing out on spells where they instead have lands.

Matchup: Great.

BW Control

On the Play and Draw

Out

In

­

Their only plan is to outgrind you with card advantage and cast threats that are hard to deal with or win the game on their own. Preboard, they have a lot of inefficient removal against you that doesn’t really disrupt your game plan. Try to cast Emrakul, the Promised End a few times and ride that to victory. Post-board, you want to keep some amount of removal for their hard-hitting creatures, but you also get a lot of different avenues to attack them in Infinite Obliteration and discard.

Matchup: Good.

RUG Emerge

On the Play and Draw

Out

In

­

The game revolves around casting Emrakul, the Promised End from both sides and both players will try to get there as fast as possible while disrupting their opponent’s Emrakul. Preboard, they are a bit ahead because they are faster with Nissa’s Pilgrimage and Corrupted Grafstone, having fewer bad cards in the matchup, but you can also just get them with Distended Mindbender. Post-board, you improve a lot, mostly with your discard. It might take a few Emrakul, the Promised End from both sides to actually win the game.

Matchup: Even.

BG Delirium

On the Play and Draw

Out

In

­

Preboard, they are mostly a black/green Rock deck with Emrakul, the Promised End at the top. You have removal for their creatures and ways to go over the top of them. Post-board, they slow down, bringing a Dark Petition, Seasons Past, and Infinite Obliteration package together with grind creatures like Den Protector. Because of this, you need to care less about their early pressure and board in more diversified threats as well as discard for their Dark Petition package.

Matchup: Good.

I hope you all enjoyed reading about the deck and watching it on camera, hopefully you might even pick it up. If you do, I suggest you get plenty of games in, because not only is the new Standard format very technically difficult to play, but so is this deck. If you master it, it will serve you well. If there’s anything you are wondering about the deck, just let me know!

 

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