Welcome Back!

So, after my metagame analysis last week, I wanted to pick something simple to do with it. How about I choose a deck that I think is pretty well-suited to our metagame? Well, the analysis in a nutshell was that Blue Red Delver is all over the bloody place, and decks that beat it are decks that are doing well. Decks that are not so great against it, such as Goblins (which is why no one is sadly playing it; I stand firm in that it might take an unsuspecting meta by surprise), have fallen out of favor.

Well here is a rather “classic” Punishing Jund list. Let’s take a look, shall we?

Punishing Jund

Creatures (16)
Tarmogoyf
Deathrite Shaman
Bloodbraid Elf
Dark Confidant

Instants/Sorceries (15)
Abrupt Decay
Thoughtseize
Punishing Fire
Hymn to Tourach
Life from the Loam

Enchantments (2)
Sylvan Library

Planeswalkers (4)
Liliana of the Veil
Lands (23)
Verdant Catacombs
Grove of the Burnwillows
Wasteland
Badlands
Bayou
Wooded Foothills
Marsh Flats
Forest
Swamp

Sideboard (15)
Life from the Loam
Pithing Needle
Krosan Grip
Engineered Plague
Pernicious Deed
Surgical Extraction
Red Elemental Blast
Pyroblast
Duress

What makes this deck good?

Traditionally, Punishing Jund has been known for being disruptive with discard and removal coupled with efficient threats and sheer resource power. Dark Confidant is so busted; this deck’s curve tops out at a measly four, and most of the time Bob will be dealing much less than that for an extra card a turn, while Shocking the opponent every turn if they cannot block him. Another similar card is Life from the Loam. It lets the engine start rolling to Wasteland lock the opponent or just thin the deck, recur a Grove of the Burnwillows, or spin a Punishing Fire into the bin.

Besides those two card advantage sources, and the ridiculous removal count (12 main-deck if you count Liliana of the Veil!), Jund’s creatures are brutally efficient. If you have read my article about the cascade aggro deck, you know how much I love Bloodbraid Elf. The card is banned in Modern for goodness’ sake! Same with Deathrite Shaman. Those slow drains can quickly put an opponent away when coupled with another creature. And, of course, Tarmogoyf is here to add the beats.

But why is it good for the metagame?

Well, this particular list absolutely wrecks Blue Red Delver. All of the removal in the deck, main and post-board, is relevant against them, and Punishing Fire in particular kills every creature in the deck. Be wary of a Daze to give that Monastery Swiftspear a slight boost in response; even with Prowess a timely Fire can put away the annoying 1/2.

Post board, we are without Lilianas. They are just not that relevant. The edict is underwhelming with Young Pyromancer tokens cavorting about, and the discard will probably help them to Treasure Cruise more than it will help us. Instead, we have things like Engineered Plague. This guy can keep elemental tokens off the board for good, or if “human” was named prevent Young Pyromancer from ever living long enough to make them. Human mode also kills off the unflipped Delver of Secrets, and severely weakens Swiftspear.

Pernicious Deed can also be used as a reset button should they escape the plethora of spot removal present. Duress is a bit better than Thoughtseize since it nabs most of their relevant stuff that we can’t prevent with out removal. Finally, all of the Red Blasts are a great way to stop their permission and kill Delvers should that be necessary. Force of Will never looked so bad, facing down all of those lovely blasts…

So that’s Punishing Jund. The fairest of fair decks that just wants to drain your resources and kill everything you play. I believe it to be well-situated for the current meta, as it does well against Delver and many other decks that run permission and creatures. Looking at you, Merfolk.

I hope you enjoyed reading and hope to see you next week!

/Peyton

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