Czech Mate – Brewing RW Twin and Tweaking Jund in Modern


Two weeks ago I played Jund at GP Prague and many people asked me for my list. I also promised to write about the RW Twin deck we played at GP Antwerp a few months ago, so here it is.

GP Antwerp

We drove with Cifka and two other friends of mine, who mostly play casually, but won’t pass up an opportunity to go to a nearby GP. We were talking about Modern and at some point I jokingly suggested that Twin might as well not play blue, because all the cards were pretty bad. Keep in mind that this was before one of the Dickmann brothers won the GP with the controlling version of the deck with [ccProd]Cryptic[/ccProd]s and [ccProd]Snapcaster[/ccProd]s. I didnt like [ccProd]Serum Visions[/ccProd], [ccProd]Dispel[/ccProd] was too situational, [ccProd]Pestermite[/ccProd] died to [ccProd]Lightning Bolt[/ccProd], etc.—so why don’t we try something different?

White offers [ccProd]Restoration Angel[/ccProd], which combos with [ccProd]Kiki-Jiki[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Village Bell-Ringer[/ccProd], which is a good target for [ccProd]Splinter Twin[/ccProd] because of its 4 toughness. It also has a lot of value creatures that go well with Restoration Angel, so most of the games you just win by generating card advantage and attacking, and the combo is just an added bonus that allows you to kill them out of nowhere when they tap out. Obviously Village Bell-Ringer is pretty bad on it’s own, but we were willing to give it a try.

We scribbled a rough list on a piece of paper and immediately upon arriving at our hotel took it for a spin on Magic Online. After winning a few 2-mans and 4-0ing a Modern Daily event, we were sold. We knew Jund was the best deck but we were getting a little sick of it and wanted to be different. This seemed good, it was a lot of fun to play, and it had a big surprise factor. We changed a few cards from the list we came up with in the car—4 Temple of the Triumph was too many, getting to scry is nice, but the difference between having your 4th land come into play tapped or untapped was often crucial.

This is what we played at the GP:

RW Value Twin

[deck]Main Deck
4 Wall of Omens
4 Blade Splicer
4 Village Bell-Ringer
4 Restoration Angel
2 Kiki-Jiki Mirror Breaker
4 Lightning Bolt
4 Path to Exile
4 Splinter Twin
2 Magma Jet
2 Blood Moon
2 Relic of Progenitus
4 Arid Mesa
4 Marsh Flats
2 Sacred Foundry
2 Temple of Triumph
3 Rugged Prairie
1 Cavern of Souls
2 Battlefield Forge
3 Plains
3 Mountain
3 Spellskite
3 Stony Silence
2 Grafdigger’s Cage
2 Pyroclasm
1 Aven Mindcensor
1 Combust
1 Blood Moon
1 Kiki-Jiki Mirror Breaker
1 Boil[/deck]

Let’s start with the obvious—there’s a big nombo of [ccProd]Blood Moon[/ccProd] + [ccProd]Path to Exile[/ccProd]. I know the list isn’t perfect, we only really had one evening to tweak it after all, but each card is for completely different matchups. Tron was probably the most popular deck in the grinders, and Blood Moon is also quite strong against UWR control.

Path to Exile is an answer for decks like Twin and Merfolk or a cheap way to get rid of a giant [ccProd]Tarmogoyf[/ccProd]. It can indeed lead to some awkward situations when you draw these two cards together against a deck like Jund, but we were willing to accept that. Another pair of cards that don’t work together is [ccProd]Stony Silence[/ccProd] + [card]Spellskite[/card], which you may want both against Affinity (Spellskite prevents them from putting counters from [ccProd]Arcbound Ravager[/ccProd] on another creature, they can still choose “no” on resolution of the trigger though, so you don’t end up with a big Spellskite).

We wanted [ccProd]Pyroclasm[/ccProd] against decks like Melira Pod, Jund, and Merfolk, but against Merfolk it was actually pretty bad because they can usually get you with another Lord in response from an [ccProd]Aether Vial[/ccProd] or just simply play two in one turn and your Pyroclasm doesn’t do anything. It’s interesting to note that when you resolve a [ccProd]Boil[/ccProd] against them, it also destroys your lands enchanted with [ccProd]Spreading Seas[/ccProd], so suddenly you can block islandwalking creatures again.

This deck was good against Jund (or at least before they knew what exactly was going on) and other creature decks. Discard is pretty good against U/R Twin because they can take one part of your combo and leave you with useless Splinter Twins or Pestermites, but here they usually just see a hand with [ccProd]Blade Splicer[/ccProd], [card]Restoration Angel[/card] and [card Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker]Kiki-Jiki[/card] and have no idea what to take because everything is so good against them. You also have no real good targets for [card]Lightning Bolt[/card], which is probably the most played removal spell. [ccProd]Magma Jet[/ccProd] is in the deck as an early play that kills [ccProd]Dark Confidant[/ccProd] and also works as card selection.

If you want to work on this deck and make some changes, here are some things you can try:

• [ccProd]Chained to the Rocks[/ccProd] could be better than Path to Exile and it works much better with Blood Moon, but it will make your deck much worse against Splinter Twin. Maybe something like a 2/2 split would be good. Just make sure you have enough ways to get a Mountain into play early.

• If you cut [card]Blood Moon[/card]s, you can change the mana base, cut the [ccProd]Marsh Flats[/ccProd] and play more basics. We wanted to make sure we could get a basic Plains before a turn 3 Blood Moon. You can also add a second [ccProd]Cavern of Souls[/ccProd]—the mana base can easily support a few colorless lands.

• [ccProd]Anger of the Gods[/ccProd] could possibly be better than Pyroclasm, but it isn’t quick enough to kill a [ccProd]Deathrite Shaman[/ccProd] and [card]Dark Confidant[/card] from Jund. It also kills your [card]Blade Splicer[/card] token.

• You can cut one Bell-Ringer or Splinter Twin for a 3rd Kiki-Jiki

• [ccProd]Faithless Looting[/ccProd] could be a good way to cycle excessive lands or multiple Bell-Ringers/Splinter Twins. Two seems like a fine number to me, you never want to draw more than 1.

Other cards we wanted to try but didn’t have time: [ccProd]Rest in Peace[/ccProd], [ccProd]Grim Lavamancer[/ccProd], [ccProd]Wear // Tear[/ccProd], [ccProd]Reveillark[/ccProd], [ccProd]Fulminator Mage[/ccProd], [ccProd]Avalanche Riders[/ccProd], [ccProd]Squadron Hawk[/ccProd]s in a combination with [ccProd]Sword of Feast and Famine[/ccProd] or War and Peace, [ccProd]Lightning Helix[/ccProd] (instead of Magma Jet), [ccProd]Ajani Vengeant[/ccProd], [ccProd]Kitchen Finks[/ccProd], and [ccProd]Dismember[/ccProd].

White also gives you access to a very wide selection of sideboard cards that can swing an entire matchup around like [ccProd]Kataki[/ccProd], [ccProd]Thalia[/ccProd], [ccProd]Rule of Law[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Ethersworn Canonist[/ccProd] if Storm comes back, etc.

A funny thing happened when I was trying to get my deck together during byes. I always bring all my Modern cards with me, but Village Bell-Ringer wasn’t one of them. The dealers didn’t think the card was playable either (and who could blame them), so after going through all the boxes with bulk foil and foreign cards, all I had was one foil Japanese copy. I was already considering taking a cab to the local store when I noticed one of the dealers was selling Innistrad boosters. It wasn’t the cheapest option, but hey, at least I’ll have a good story. 5 euros a pack and almost half a box later, I finally had my deck together.

In the end, I had a rough day and didn’t make Day 2, and Stan went 12-3.

GP Prague

For the next Modern GP I promised myself I wasn’t going to try anything crazy, and I would just stick to Jund. I took a list Frank Karsten sent me a while ago and started from that. From the beginning I didn’t like any of the 4-drops—I never really wanted to draw them. I kept trying [ccProd]Huntmaster of the Fells[/ccProd], [ccProd]Olivia Voldaren[/ccProd], [ccProd]Chandra Pyromaster[/ccProd], even [ccProd]Thundermaw Hellkite[/ccProd], but nothing really impressed me so I decided to play Grim Lavamancers instead. Modern is a pretty fast format so the cheaper your threats and answers are the better.

I feel like the only time any of those expensive cards are good is in the Jund mirror when you are both drawing off the top after discarding each others’ hand and killing everything on board. I also wanted the 7th discard spell because Inquisition into Confidant or Tarmogoyf backed by removal is pretty much the best opening in Modern. The last change I made was to adjust the mana base more to my liking. I don’t like taking too much damage from my lands when my deck already has Thoughtseize and Dark Confidant in it, and the manlands aren’t very exciting either. I was trying to make my deck as fast as possible, not slow me down with comes-into-play-tapped lands I hardly ever got to activate. If I were to play the tournament again, I would actually cut all the [card treetop village]Treetops[/card] and just add more [ccProd]Copperline Gorge[/ccProd]s.

This is what I ended up playing:


[deck]Main Deck
4 Deathrite Shaman
4 Dark Confidant
4 Tarmogoyf
3 Scavenging Ooze
1 Grim Lavamancer
4 Liliana of the Veil
4 Inquisition of Kozilek
3 Thoughtseize
4 Lightning Bolt
2 Abrupt Decay
2 Terminate
2 Maelstrom Pulse
4 Verdant Catacombs
3 Marsh Flats
1 Misty Rainforest
1 Blood Crypt
1 Overgrown Tomb
1 Stomping Grounds
4 Blackcleave Cliffs
1 Copperline Gorge
2 Raging Ravine
2 Treetop Village
1 Forest
2 Swamp
4 Ancient Grudge
4 Fulminator Mage
2 Sowing Salt
2 Graffdigger’s Cage
1 Grim Lavamancer
1 Olivia Voldaren
1 Batterskull[/deck]

I actually had a lot of space in my sideboard and didn’t really know what to play, which doesn’t happy very often. I guess it just shows how solid the Jund main deck is.

I knew I wanted 4 Grudges in my board, because I kept losing to the Affinity manlands and [ccProd]Shatterstorm[/ccProd] or [ccProd]Creeping Corrosion[/ccProd] didn’t help with that. It also only costs two mana and allows you to keep some Dark Confidants in your deck after sideboard without taking too much damage. 2 [ccProd]Grafdigger’s Cage[/ccProd] is a standard number these days, mostly for [ccProd]Birthing Pod[/ccProd] decks or some graveyard shenanigans (it doesn’t work against [ccProd]Living End[/ccProd] though, because it exiles the creatures and then puts them in play). Grim Lavamancer is another cheap removal against creature decks like Merfolk and its also good in the mirror because you absolutely need to kill Dark Confidant as fast as possible. Olivia comes in in the mirror (though I don’t like her very much on the draw), against Pod, pretty much anything with [ccProd]Lingering Souls[/ccProd], and sometimes against Affinity. Batterskull was my other trump card fom the mirror when you are drawing off the top, but it’s just too expensive and ends up doing nothing when you draw it in your opening hand most of the time, so I would just switch it for an [ccProd]Obstinate Baloth[/ccProd], which at least has an immediate effect on your life total the turn you cast it. [ccProd]Sowing Salt[/ccProd]s and [ccProd]Fulminator Mage[/ccProd]s are for Tron, [ccProd]Scapeshift[/ccProd], and UWR.

I started the GP 6-0, beating some Naya aggro, Living End, and Petr Brozek with mono-green Nykthos ramp. In round 7 I lost the mirror against Valentin Mackl, where I think I made a mistake in game 3 when I chose to kill his creature with [ccProd]Abrupt Decay[/ccProd] instead of [ccProd]Terminate[/ccProd] and ended up having to sacrifice 2 creatures to his [card liliana of the veil]Liliana[/card] instead of being able to kill it.

In the final turn he ended up making a pretty bad mistake as well, Pulsing my only chumpblocker in a game he couldn’t possibly have lost, not realizing it also kills his creature. That only allowed him to take me to 1 and it came down to his Dark Confidant trigger with him at 2 life, but it revealed a land.

Next round I beat another Naya aggro and in round 9, I played against Affinity. We split the first two games and I had to mulligan to 5 on the play in game three. He kept 7 and I thought that was it, but fortunately my opening hand was Blackcleave Cliffs, Copperline Gorge, Inquisition of Kozilek, Tarmogoyf, and Ancient Grudge. Pretty much the best possible 5 cards if you ask me. The game was close, but I managed to discard his [ccProd]Etched Champion[/ccProd] and draw a fetchland, making my ‘Goyf a 5/6, and when I drew a second Grudge it was over.

Day 2 started well with a close win over Scapeshift, but it all went downhill from there. Next round I played Robin Dollar, one of the best players nobody knows (yet) and I pretty much just punted the entire match. We only had about two minutes left in game 3, so I tried to play very fast. Playing fast is not something I’m good at though, so I ended up missing that there was a creature in the graveyard and basically threw away my Dark Confidant at 18 life for no reason. I saw his hand with Inquisition and I knew I had all the tools to win the game, but this changed everything and we drew instead.

I was super mad at myself and I think it really got to me for the next few rounds, which I ended up losing against two Twin decks. I actually think I ran pretty bad in those matches, in one of the decisive games I had 2 Dark Confidants in play, something like 18 life, my opponent had no relevant cards in hand and I died to the Confidant triggers before I drew another land. I guess it was just justice being served for punting the match against Robin, so I got what I deserved.

I managed to salvage the day by winning the last two matches against Scapeshift and Affinity, bringing my record to 11-3-1, which was good enough for Top 32. I’m not happy about how I played, and I’m pretty sure a better player would have made Top 8 in my seat, but I’ll take the 2 Pro Points and hopefully play better next time.

A quick sideboard guide:

Mirror (with and without white)


[draft]3 Thoughtseize[/draft]


[draft]1 Olivia Voldaren
1 Batterskull
1 Grim Lavamancer[/draft]



[draft]3 Liliana of the veil
3 Dark Confidant
3 Thoughtseize[/draft]


[draft]4 Ancient Grudge
4 Fulminator Mage
1 Grim Lavamancer[/draft]

I’m not a big fan of Olivia if they have [ccProd]Galvanic Blast[/ccProd]s, but you can bring her in if they don’t have it and keep in cards like [ccProd]Signal Pest[/ccProd]. Liliana is your worst card in game 1, but you sideboard so much removal that you can sometimes get an Etched Champion with her.



[draft]2 Terminate
2 Abrupt Decay
2 Maelstrom Pulse[/draft]


[draft]4 Fulminator Mage
2 Sowing Salt[/draft]

Keep in mind that some versions bring in [ccProd]Inferno Titan[/ccProd]s and some have [ccProd]Prismatic Omen[/ccProd], so you might want to keep a Pulse or two, but between discard and Liliana I think you should be fine.



[draft]1 Grim Lavamancer
1 Scavenging Ooze
4 Lightning Bolt
2 Abrupt Decay
2 Terminate[/draft]


[draft]4 Ancient Grudge
4 Fulminator Mage
2 Sowing Salt[/draft]

I like boarding out all 4 Bolts for Ancient Grudges because they always bring in 4 [ccProd]Wurmcoil[/ccProd]s and Ancient Grudge basically trades for that. Sometimes you can also kill an [ccProd]Expedition Map[/ccProd] on the play.



[draft]2 Abrupt Decay
2 Maelstrom Pulse[/draft]


[draft]4 Fulminator Mage[/draft]

Liliana is your best card here, and [ccProd]Scavenging Ooze[/ccProd] and [card]Deathrite Shaman[/card] should make sure [card]Snapcaster Mage[/card] is just a 2/1 for two.

Splinter Twin


[draft]1 Maelstrom Pulse[/draft]


[draft]1 Grim Lavamancer[/draft] [card]Batterskull[/card] can be annoying at times, but you have tons of discard and Liliana.

That’s it for today, thanks for reading!



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