Ho nelly has this been a project! My desire to make a robust Jund deck for 1v1 commander, and to keep my individual articles about it reasonably sized has resulted in this beefy deck building process, but I hope it’s been interesting and useful to follow along. Now we just need to resolve one of the fundamental problems in my 1v1 Commander deck…
Step 5: That Whole Commander Thing
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the commander is literally not core to the way this deck works. There’s no commander in Jund who enters the battlefield and reanimates anything; there’s no commander who dumps a chunk of your library in your graveyard; there’s no commander who fits our theme. Which means our commander wants to be a card that we always want to draw and have a purpose.
Here are the commanders I’ve considered for this deck:
I normally reject Karrthus out of hand because he’s just a big dumb idiot. In some games he’ll steal a few other dragons and that’s kind of cool, but it’s not an effect you can pull off without people getting real mad, real quick. When they see this doofus in your command zone the very natural reaction is to dive on you, and if you’re just using him as a big stick of beating, he comes in a tiny bit too late.
His biggest pro is that he can kill an opponent in three hits. His biggest con is that he can’t come out particularly quickly, and if all he’s there to do is hit people, he’ll have to run into potentially bigger defensive threats in the air. It’s an intriguing proposition but I don’t think it’s good enough.
Sek’Kuar’s a creature that cries out for a sacrifice deck. If you can churn through large numbers of creatures, he’ll refresh your battleground and give you a bunch of creatures that can go on defence or offence. Also, since they’re 3/1s they kind of cry out for Skullclamp, which you might notice – I’ve skipped in this build.
Still, Sek’Kuar does a job. I could do worse, especially since he sits at around 5 mana. Problem is he can’t ever do backup as a way to close out the game when it’s stalled. He’s just not built for that job.
Alright now, here we have something different. Wasitora is a really good example of the kind of Jund creature I wanted to jam in this deck! She puts on pressure, she’s sizeable for her cost, and she always puts you up a creature if she hits. One thing I really like about her is that her wording means that even if players are protecting their creatures with cards that say ‘can’t sacrifice’ you still get a buff flier.
Even if she isn’t my commander, she belongs in this deck as one of the pressure threats.
Problem: She is not available on MTGO as I write this.
Problem 2: When she becomes MTGO, it will be in lootboxes and I don’t know how attainable she’ll be.
We’ll have to cross that bridge when we get to it. Because she would be my commander if she could be.
Same problems as Sek’Kuar, in that Prossh wants a lot more sacrificing and death effects. If this was going to be a devour deck rather than a pressure deck, Prossh would be perfect. I like the look of Prossh, but
Prossh is available in lootboxes.
And Prossh costs quite a bit.
I wish I could be building up to something here, but I’m afraid I’m just not. Kresh is another example of a commander like Sek’Kuar or Prossh. Prossh gives a huge board presence of bodies if I want them after repeated wraths, Kresh is good to resist pinpoint removal, and Sek’Kuar makes a board-clearing wrath undesireable.
Kresh’s biggest mark against him is that he’d make +1/+1 counter support more desireable, and more dying creatures. Kresh is a bit of a voltron commander, the kind who you want to set up to win on the spot when he serves, which this deck isn’t trying to do.
So where do we wind up with this? My choice is pretty simple: I’m going with Sek’Kuar, because he’s pretty much the Most Okay choice. I’d really, really prefer Wasitora, but… well, maybe I’ll have more to say when this goes up.
Step 6: Pulling It All Together
So here’s how it looks:
The prices for this deck, when I was working on it – BACK IN OCTOBER OH MY GOD – put it at 28.37TIX on MTGO, and $149.95 $US in paper sales.
Some notable upgrades in the deck would be the addition of fetchlands, then dual lands, then the relevant shocklands; also the deck would absolutely rather Wheel of Fortune and Magus of the Wheel than some of its current options.
Step 7: Playing Some Games!
Now then I’m not going to record a giant pile of videos of play, because you’d learn how sloppy I am and this has already gone on for ages. Nonetheless, here are some lessons about this deck I learned after playing it.
This deck is complicated! There were times I had a win on the board and I just missed it, thanks to things like the precise math of creatures in the graveyard and Dread Return sacrificing three creatures.
Discard and hand attack would be super good! Some matchups, the Nezumi Shortfang was my prince, and I did everything I could to keep him from flipping into Stabwhisker. Cabal Interrogator might have actually been a better creature for some board states! As much as I like the deck as it is, it can probably afford to cut some slots for ways to harrass an opponent’s hand directly, interrupt or ruin a combo, and have some option for combo attack that isn’t just comboing out faster.
Sek’Kuar doesn’t do a lot! He’ll come out when I have nothing better to do but he’s not a good option at that. Definitely looking forward to playing with Wasitora.
Vengevine allows for some blistering starts with the Insolate Neonate! I mean, not just aggressive, hit-your-face-get-out wins where my opponent loses by natural causes in creature combat on turn six or so, but really blistering starts.
I did have one match that was prodigiously gross where a turn 2 miracle’d Reforge The Soul resulted in dumping 24 cards into my graveyard, untapping, dropping neonate and golgari thug and vengevine leaping out of the bin, before dread Returning them to get Kessig Cagebreakers, serve for lethal while my opponent just had tapped lands.
That’s super gross!
I like this deck a lot. I like the backup plan and I like its core plan. I think it’s a lot of fun to watch working and it doesn’t feel like any of the parts in the deck are actively bad if the combo fails to go off.
I hope this has been an interesting exercise in how I build a particularly elaborate kind of deck!
Oh hey! It’s been a while since I started playing this deck! So here’s the version I’m playing now Wasitora’s around.