Goodall Jund at the 1K (aka “Why did I take the card out of my sideboard?”)

I’ve been enjoying the ChannelFireball Summer Series events, when I can make them, and this weekend my schedule was open enough to let me go to the Standard 1K on Saturday. I played Goodall Jund, and was doing reasonably well until I wasn’t. I had a great time, either way.
Click through to the extended entry for the list I ran and a round-by-round report.

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This week’s In Development – When a Vengevine replaces a Thrinax

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Looking for something to do with your Jund cards in the last month (or two, if you’re online) of Shards-Zendikar Standard? Check out this week’s In Development for my latest deck design, which fuses the card quality of Jund with the power of the Fauna Shaman / Vengevine engine (conveniently, these concepts come partially pre-fused, as outside Mythic, who uses Fauna Shaman without Bloodbraid?).
As I recently alluded to in my discussion of Terry Soh’s Extended Fauna Shaman deck from PT Amsterdam, in building this hybrid Shaman / Jund design, I found myself wishing for more creatures with nifty functional effects in the current Standard. As it happens, the deck is powerful even in the absence of such basic standards as some kind of Nekrataal.
Click here to read the article, and then find me on twitter to let me know what you think.

This week’s In Development – Jane Goodall brings the Vengevines! Also, some theory about matchups

So, after a few hiccups following the site relaunch, this week’s In Development is up.
After being struck – almost literally, to the tune for 24 damage in one turn – by my helplessness against a Valakut Ramp deck at last week’s Superstars 1K, I turned my attention toward picking apart how decks generally interact with each others’ game plans. It’s actually a nice, if unintentional, companion piece to Luis’s Pillars of Standard article. Both try to address the same essential questions:
Why is this matchup good or bad? How can I make it better?
As always, you can click here to read the column, and then find me on twitter and let me know what you think.

Turn zero!

So how was your Magic game day?
I went 3-3 and am in dire need of a new Naya game plan against ramp decks, as two of my non-mana-problem-based losses were to ramp decks.
But enough about me. The crowning moment of awesome today went to Michael Sohn (who you may have last read about in PV’s GP Columbus report).
The match paired Michael’s Naya Shaman deck against his opponent’s Pyromancer Ascension deck. Michael took down game one, and then lost game two to an unfortunate back-to-back-to-back Time Warp draw from the Ascension player. I turned away from the match for a moment, only to hear Michael yell, “Turn zero!”
Say what, now?
So, here’s the event, reconstructed.
Seeing that he appeared to just be facing down creatures, the Ascension player boarded out all his copies of Into the Roil. What he didn’t know – since it hadn’t come up in game two – was that Michael’s sideboard included this:
LeylineofSanctity.jpg
So when Michael dropped Leyline before the first turn of game three…that was that.
Turn zero kill!
So what awesomeness turned up at your game day?

This week’s In Development – X, Y, Z, Profit!

I have to admit that “X, Y…Profit!” is my favorite linguistic construct to describe a plan where the connection between the initial setup and the desired result is unclear. Of course, I’m throwing that all askew in this week’s In Development as I discuss Fauna Shaman decks, where the plan – Shaman, Vengevine, Bloodbraid, Profit! – really does work.
This week’s article describes, essentially, the process by which I arrived at my current Fauna Shaman deck. In getting there, we take a look at what other people are doing with Fauna Shaman, what the current Standard environment looks like, and how we might want to readdress our deck’s mana base and curve.
Click here to read the article, and then hit me up on twitter and let me know what you think.

This week’s In Development – understanding the texture of decks, and shedding nostalgia

This week’s In Development is a big comment grabber already. This time around, we’re looking at how we can use an understanding of the texture of a deck (thanks to Chris P for that term) to figure out whether an archetype is likely to fit into the current Standard environment.
Specifically, you’re gonna have a chance to check out graphs like this one:
Jund.png
As a brief primer, this is a graphical representation of a Jund deck, using the abstraction method I wrote about earlier. What you’re looking at is cards, as abstracted to roles, across the mana curve. Note that one card can equate to multiple roles – for example, I scored Bloodbraid Elf as “Threat” and “Card Advantage” in the Jund abstraction.
For reference, the categories are:
A – Acceleration
CA – Card Advantage
T – Threat
R – Removal
D – Disruption
Now, head on over to read the article, and then find me on twitter and let me know what you think.
Also, if you’re attending the San Diego Comic Con, come on by the Magic Panel at 6:30pm tomorrow in room 26AB. I’ll be there, and the panel includes both Mark Rosewater and Aaron Forsythe.

This week’s In Development – Three months of two Standards, and a MEP update

Today’s In Development is up, and it’s one of my rare “hodgepodge” pieces, featuring the following three items:

  • First, a link to the completed Magic Effectiveness Project questionnaire, along with a request for all of you to help out
  • Second, a discussion of Jund and how it assuredly is not dead with the release of M11
  • Third, a use for Fauna Shaman that does not live in Magical Christmasland

So head on over to the article, and then, as always, find me on twitter and let me know what you think.