Chocolate Frosted Jund Bombs

Both as a way to process the newest set, and by way of coming up with ideas for the upcoming States (and possibly local tournaments, as it looks like I now have a venue that holds regular Standard tournies), I’ve decided to build one deck for each of the Shards. I’m not trying to push too hard — or to avoid — cards from Shards of Alara. Rather, I’m going to try and build the decks and just see how many of the new cards I end up using. With that in mind, here’s the first one:
Siege-GangCommander.jpgLilianaVess.jpgJundCharm.jpg
Chocolate Frosted Jund Bombs
Click through to the extended for decklist and commentary.

13 Creatures:
Kitchen Finks
Shriekmaw
Siege-Gang Commander
Cloudthresher
23 Spells:
Thoughtseize
Fertile Ground
Rampant Growth
Jund Charm
Garruk Wildspeaker
Liliana Vess
Profane Command
Violent Ultimatum
24 Land:
Treetop Village
Swamp
Mountain
Forest
Fire-Lit Thicket
Sulfurous Springs
Reflecting Pool
Llanowar Wastes
Twilight Mire
Graven Cairns
15 Sideboard:
Firespout
Fulminator Mage
Resounding Thunder
Spitebellows
Naturalize
Siege-Gang Commander

This build is clearly influenced by (1) my affection for planeswalkers in general and Liliana Vess specifically, and (2) the fact that I’m a bit of a Shouta Yasooka fanboy (which Yasooka might find odd, as I’m older than him). He played a black-red-green bomb-oriented build at GP Krakow. Click here for the deck tech that show his build as well as some other interesting ones. I respect Shouta’s choices, not just because he often thinks along different lines from everyone else, but also because he pushes ideas that I think end up suiting how I want to play.
This deck packs thirteen creatures, and, true to my inclinations, they all have utility beyond “attacking and blocking.” The Finks serve the obvious role of keeping you from rolling over to an aggro start. The Shriekmaws serve this purpose as well, coming down at the two mana mark to kill things off, or coming in later to kill stuff and swing. I love the Maws. The Siege-Gangs are heavy-duty beaters, bringing in a bunch of tokens to kill with, or to synergize with Garruk and overrun the opponent. Finally, we have triple Cloudthresher, both as an anti-Faerie measure and as a defense against Demigods.
Down in the spells, I have a four-pack of Thoughtseize. These are tremendous across most matchups, letting you yank away Bitterblossoms, lead the way against a wall of countermagic to open a path for a planeswalker, or pull out a Demigod. That last option seems mildly crazy until you realize that the Jund Charms let you RFG their graveyard at will, which is just sweet. A deck like this craves some kind of acceleration, and although the available options aren’t as good as I’d like, we can Rampant Growth and Fertile Ground into somewhat earlier big spells.
Now, about those Jund Charms. Instant-speed Pyroclasm alone is worth it. Add in the Crypt ability, and it’s bonus great. I don’t know how often I’d be adding two +1/+1 counters, but note that dumping a +1/+1 on a post-Persist Kitchen Finks gives it a new lease on life, which is pretty neat. There may be some room for a Persist-Jund deck out there based on this interaction.
Returning to the maindeck, we have three Lilianas, three Garruks, two Profanes, and a Violent Ultimatum. The Violent is meant as a super finisher, tutored up by Liliana to ditch the opponent’s board and cripple them. The Lily’s and G men serve their normal purposes, as do the Profanes. You may have noticed the absence of Sarkhan Vol. I tend to agree with Dee – Sarkhan is probably a beating in a token deck. Here, he could be hasting up some Siege-Gang-derived goblins, but that’s not really good enough to warrant having him around. He could also finish the game with some dragons, but I’m not sure that’s good here. I might think of him as a one-of, to be tutored up by Lily.
The manabase has no Vivids, because I think we can do well without them, and that means other than the four Treetop Villages, nothing comes into play tapped. I’m somewhat allergic to CIPT lands, as I really dislike the early tempo loss as well as the disheartening feeling of needing a land, and drawing a CIPT land off the top. Note that multicolored manabases like this one definitely require actual testing to determine if they work, so take this one with a gigantic dose of salt.
In the sideboard, we’re packing some attempts to deal with what I expect to be the stock matchups of States — Faeries, Kithkin, Doran, RDW, QnT, Lark decks of various stripes, that kind of thing. The Resounding Thunder may or may not be good, but for the moment, I’m imagining they come in when I don’t need the board-sweeping qualities of the Jund Charms, or when the matchup is against a deck that’s so aggro that Thoughtseize is a terrible, terrible idea.
So there we go. My Jund option has five Shards cards in the main, and another three in the side. Not a big showing, which makes me think that there are more creative opportunities out there to lean on the new set — and that, in turn, is what I think will help win at States.