Essential Magic Articles


Budget Building: Episode 9 - Quality Cards: Jund

by Kevin Weber

One of the most fundamental principles of quality deckbuilding is: "Good Decks Play Good Cards."  Obviously there's some wiggle room, but generally, you won't see a Tier 1 deck that plays more than 3-4 cards that weren't in a previous Tier 1 deck.  Combine, mix and match, do whatever, but when it comes down to it, the best decks simply play the best cards.

So how does that fit into budget building?

Well, there are two ways to use that in building a budget deck.  First, obviously, is to find a good card that people have overlooked or underrated.  Nucklavee, for instance, should have probably been appearing in control decks earlier than he did, but he was generally overlooked.  It wasn't until someone realized that, "Hey - this guy gets me back Firespout and Cryptic Command!" that he started appearing everywhere.  And while I certainly wasn't the first to include Kitchen Finks back when I built my RG Beats article, I was early enough that I built it before it started appearing in most green or white Tier 1 lists and the price skyrocketed.  This is doubly true with rares - finding these gems to include in your decks is a powerful way of constructing a deck on a budget.

And, second, you can use the best commons and uncommons.  This is harder than it sounds, though.  For instance, you can start down the road towards a Kithkin deck, using Goldmeadow Stalwart, Knight of Meadowgrain, Wizened Cenn, and Spectral Procession - all of which are uncommons.  But then you start running into the problem of having to pit Figure of Destiny against, say, Goldmeadow Harrier for a 1 drop slot, or trying to make do without cards like Elspeth, Ajani, Mirrorweave, etc.  You end up with a deck that's, by far, suboptimal to the deck you really wanted to make, but couldn't include the rares.

So, this time around, I'm going to do something a little bit different.  Instead of starting with the idea (like usual,) I'm going to simply look through every common and uncommon in Standard - and see what jumps out.  Here's a list of the commons and uncommons that you might find in Tier 1 or Tier 2 lists - I've trimmed them down a little bit and grouped others together:

Commons:
Burn Spells (Incinerate, Puncture Blast, Lash Out, etc)
Black Removal (Terror, Nameless Inversion, Eyeblight's Ending, etc)
Counterspells (Negate, Remove Soul, Broken Ambitions, etc)
Nettle Sentinel
Snakeform
Mulldrifter
Ponder
Devoted Druid
Shield of the Oversoul
Agony Warp
Akrasan Squire
Blightning
Oblivion Ring

Last edited 3/17/2009 10:35:17 AM Page 1 of 8  Prev  Next  Go to page:

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