Jund Depths: The Perfect Prison – By Aaron Kasprzak

mtg.logo

A deck like Jund Depths has a very specific appeal, and that is to the players who have a secret sadistic desire to watch the other player slump in their chair. There’s just something about Wasteland-ing and stripping every mana source out of their deck. Locking down the board turn after turn, watching your opponent sigh in frustration as their two or three relevant permanents get Punishing Fired and edicted away. This is the appeal of a deck like Jund Depths: a hand figuratively clasped around the opponent’s throat, choking the life out of them, and relishing every moment.

Jund Depths really strives to be the ultimate prison control deck against fair decks. In a meta game that is currently headlined by “fair” decks, a deck like Jund Depths really shines. But this list isn’t a one-dimensional Loam deck like Lands. It has multiple angles of attack that can strip an opponent out of resources and can combo kill very fast when needed. Most matches are won through opponent concessions rather than actually killing them. It absolutely excels against the always ever present Delver, Infect, Shardless, Junk, Death and Taxes, Jund and Stoneblade lists. This was the list I ran at the Frag for Cancer Legacy tournament on October 26th and was mostly very happy with its performance:

Jund Depths

Lands(30)

x4 Grove of the Burnwillows

x4 Wasteland

x3 Thespian’s Stage

x3 Verdant Catacombs

x2 Bayou

x2 Bloodstained Mire

x2 Dark Depths

x2 Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth

x1 Badlands

x1 Bojuka Bog

x1 Ghost Quarter

x1 Karakas

x1 Maze of Ith

x1 Swamp

x1 Taiga

x1 The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale

Other Spells(30)

x4 Entomb

x4 Smallpox

x3 Gamble

x3 Crop Rotation

x3 Life from the Loam

x2 Punishing Fire

x1 Raven’s Crime

x4 Liliana of the Veil

x4 Mox Diamond

x2 Exploration

Sideboard (15)

x3 Abrupt Decay

x3 Pithing Needle

x2 Choke

x2 Sphere of Resistance

x2 Toxic Deluge

x1 Chains of Mephistopheles

x1 Helm of Obedience

x1 Nether Void

THE DECK

Before I go into the deck list I will say that this deck is not easy to play and might be one of the most challenging to play in the Legacy Format. Not only does it require a lot of practice, playtesting and experience you also have to have a strong knowledge of the format. You have to know when it is correct to dredge Life from the Loam and when not to. What board states you want to assemble Marit Lage on, when to go on the Wasteland-lock route, when to go with Punishing Fire/Grove or when you want to tear apart their hand early with Raven’s Crime. Knowing when to cast Gamble and what to Gamble for is integral. Is Entombing for an appropriate utility land the correct play? Or should you be Crop Rotating for it? What about Entombing for a Punishing Fire, Raven’s Crime or Life from the Loam? Only tried and true experience with the deck and matchups will give you the answers to these questions during tight games. The other part of the equation is knowing the format. You have to have a keen eye on what your opponent is playing and have to quickly analyze what their game plan is and then once you do go to work on your appropriate route to victory. Whether it be the fast combo kill or the lockdown prison control plan.

In a fair, creature-based meta, I believe Jund Depths to be a definite Tier 1 deck. Even against combo decks or super fast aggro decks like burn this deck has proven it’s worth to me. The issue with this deck and why more people don’t play it is the cost of cards and their availability, aside from the fact that it is very difficult to play optimally. Jund Depths is definitely not a budget deck and actually one of the priciest in already pricey Legacy decks. Fortunately, some of that cost has been stifled somewhat with the reprints of Exploration and Life from the Loam but absolutely necessary gems like The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale are not going to get any cheaper. Because not many players have access to this deck, not many people have experience playing against it. As such players will often times make very bad sideboard decisions playing against you. I can’t tell enough how many times Grafdigger’s Cage has been brought in against me despite the fact that it has zero effect on Jund Depths.

If you do decide to go down the dark path in assembling Jund Depths, proxy up what you don’t have and learn the deck and the format at each and every opportunity while you slowly pick up the pieces for the build. Once you have it built in the flesh you will already feel that you have been imbued with a wealth of playtest experience through the proxy phase and you will be a confident Depths player going into a legitimate Legacy tournament.

THE LAND BASE

Grove of the Burnwillows – An important land for the mana base of the deck (producing Green and Red Mana for many of your spells) but also necessary for the Punishing Fire lock. With a Punishing Fire in your graveyard you can constantly give your opponent life, return Punishing Fire your hand and clear the board one threat at a time. With a healthy mana base and Punishing Fire/Grove online it is typically lights out for creature based decks. This combo can also be used to grind away at your opponent’s life total on clear boards.

Wasteland – Your primary means of stripping your opponent out of resources and getting rid of any of their advantageous utility lands. Your ability to recur Wastelands each and every turn with Life from the Loam will punish greedy mana bases and greatly restrict their capabilities until a hard lock is applied.

Thespian’s Stage – An absolutely fantastic land and critically important for the deck. Obviously it’s primary purpose is to combo with Dark Depths to create the 20/20 flying, indestructible Marit Lage token but has so, so many other applications. For those who are not aware, you can copy Dark Depths with the Stage. The copy will not have any Ice Counters on it. Because of the Legendary rule the original Dark Depths goes to the graveyard and since the copied Dark Depths Stage has no Ice Counters it to will go to the graveyard and Marit Lage will enter play.

Its other applications are endless. It can be used to dodge Wastelands by copying basic lands in play. It can be used to copy other utility lands in the deck like Maze of Ith, Wastelands, Groves, Duals when needed. If an opponent tries to take out your Tabernacle you can make the Stage take on the role. Never take copying your opponent’s utility lands out of the equation either! I have used it to copy enemy Rishadan Ports, Inkmoth Nexus and Mishra’s Factories to name a few. Nothing says humiliation like ripping off an Infect player’s Inkmoth Nexus, locking them out of the game and then hoisting them by their own petard.

Dark DepthsThespian Stage

Dark Depths – The other half of the Thespian’s Stage/Dark Depths combo. It is usually correct to create Marit Lage at the end of your opponent’s turn with Thespian’s Stage to prevent the majority of their recourses such as a Jace bounce or Liliana edict. The combo can be recurred over and over with Life from the Loam if they manage to stop Marit Lage with something like Swords to Plowshares. It is also not entirely out of the question to “go manual”, removing ice counters when your opponent is sufficiently locked out at the end of their turn. Against combo match ups you typically want to kill your opponent as fast as possible by assembling Mairt Lage in short order. Against fair matchups where you excel, you don’t want to rely on the combo because if they can dispose of the token you will be left in a bad spot. Your game one plan should always be disrupt, disrupt, disrupt in the fair universe.

Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth – In a deck like Jund Depths that runs so many utility lands that either don’t tap for mana or coloured mana it smooths out your Mana Base significantly for cards like Raven’s Crime or double black cards like Liliana of the Veil and Smallpox. Also synchronizes quite nicely with fetch lands enabling fetches to tap for black mana.

Bayou/Badlands/Taiga – Currently my list is only running 4 duals (2 bayous and 1 of each of Badlands/Taiga). With Groves, Urborgs and Mox Diamonds to smooth out our mana I have never really found it necessary to overload the deck by running any more.

Verdant Catacombs/Bloodstained Mire – Like the duals, I feel that 5 fetches are perfectly satisfactory for smoothing out our land-based mana. I used to roll with 6 but I often found the sixth to be overkill. They can also be tapped for mana with Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth in play, which can be incredibly useful.

Bojuka Bog – This innocuous utility land has saved me many times against graveyard-centric opponents. It is a great at hosing out Dredge, Lands and slowing down decks running cards like Treasure Cruise. With the ability to recur it by Wasteland-ing the Bog yourself and loaming it back and calling it at instant speed via Crop Rotation it is an invaluable addition to the land count.

Ghost Quarter – In many matchups, the Ghost Quarter acts as the fifth Wasteland. In some other decks like UR Delver it is exceptional at removing the few basics they have lingering around to apply the hard lock. Like other utility lands – in matchups where it is not relevant it is easily pitched to Mox Diamond or fodder for Raven’s Crime.

Karakas – Yet another utility land used to bounce any dangerous Legendary creatures that float around in the format from Thalia, Guardian of Thraben to Emrakul, the Aeon’s Torn.

Karakas

Maze of Ith – A very powerful land that often times provides an exceptional “fogging” effect against fatties that you are out of Punishing Fire range in the early game or you don’t have the ability to edict away yet. Often times I find myself duplicating this land with Thespian’s Stage to provide a further wall of resistance while you are setting up shop.

Swamp – Our only basic land in the list. It is fetched out to avoid getting hit by an opponents Wastelands in the early game so we have ample time to build our lock out engine.

The Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale – The soul crusher of creature based strategies and of wallets. Commanding one of the highest price tags for a land in Magic: The Gathering, it will force upkeep taxation on each creature your opponent controls. The Tabernacle will put a halt to their willingness to flood the board with creatures and because it ties up their mana with creatures they do control, will severely limit their ability to play proactively. Combined with your Wastelands and the Ghost Quarter constantly attacking their mana base to pay the upkeep, the Tabernacle is like a noose that is tightening around your fair ability to play Magic.

INSTANTS/SORCERIES

Entomb – Jund Depths is packed with redundancy and recursion. Entomb is our most efficient tutor. Many players are surprised with the fact that “ANY card can put in the graveyard” when they are used to Legacy Reanimator decks that use this spell purely as a cheap method of dumping a fatty in their yard.  It can be cast an instant speed and I have used it to fetch out any utility land that I need, a Punishing Fire to rip apart opposing creature presence but most commonly used to place Life from the Loam in the yard to fire up the Loam engine. You can also Entomb for Life from the Loam in your upkeep and then dredge for your draw step.

Smallpox – Smallpox is an extremely devastating card in this list in creature-based matchups. It will essentially 3-for-1 your opponent by edicting one of their creatures, one of their lands and a card in their hand. Meanwhile on your end, you aren’t playing creatures, your land can be loamed back and the card you are pitching will be a recurrable spell like Life from the Loam or Punishing Fire or another land you will loam back. It is an extremely punishing play to 2nd-turn Wasteland their non-basic then Smallpox with a Mox Diamond in play to edict their threat and force a sacrifice of their other land, which is even juicier when it’s basic leaving your opponent resource-less.

Gamble – Gamble is our second powerful tutor effect. Even though it is sorcery speed, unlike Entomb it has an additional range of utility that are outside of the power of Entomb. Usually you are gambling for a card like Punishing Fire, Life from the Loam or a utility land that you will not care about if it is discarded from the Gamble but in post-sideboard games it is not completely out of the question to Gamble for a critical sideboard card in Game 2’s/3’s like Helm of Obedience with a fairly large hand.

Crop Rotation – Tutor effect number 3! Crop Rotation is fantastic of fetching for any utility land in the deck at instant speed. Amazing at creating Marit Lage out of nowhere by rotating for Dark Depths/Stage, and putting forth a surprise Bojuka Bog/Karakas/Tabernacle etc. One trick as well is to feign weakness by enticing your opponent to wasteland you and then immediately Crop Rotation the bluff land into a deadly utility land like Grove of the Burnwillows or the Tabernacle.

Life from the Loam – As stupidly powerful as our utility lands, edict effects and Punishing Fire engine is – Life from the Loam is the “straw that stirs the drink”. Jund Depths is a Life from the Loam deck at heart and the hard lock can be applied to our opponent because of this card. With the ability to recur any and all of our lands it will reassemble Marit Lage, give you the ability to Wasteland and Ghost Quarter each and every turn, will push your Punishing Fire engine over the edge and leave your opponent perpetually hand-less in conjunction with Raven’s Crime. Life from the Loam may be a fair/interesting card in other formats, but a Legacy player sleeving up Life from the Loam is never, EVER up to anything fun and fair.

Punishing Fire – The second half of the Punishing Fire/Grove of the Burnwillows engine. With a large mana base which you will develop through loam-ing, Mox Diamond and Exploration your opponent will not be able to have any non-hexproof creatures in play – ever. (For the animals with hexproof, we utilize all of our edict effects). Also don’t be afraid to chip away at your opponent’s life total turn after turn in a hard lock scenario

GrovePunishing Fire

Raven’s Crime – Combining a large mana base and a Life from the Loam will mean your opponent will not be allowed to have a hand and forced to play from the top of the deck via Raven’s Crime. Raven’s Crime is most helpful in combo match ups when it is essential to rip away their hand thus giving them limited ability to assemble their combo.

OTHER SPELLS

Mox Diamond – Mox Diamond is absolutely fantastic and broken in this kind of deck. It will speed up Jund Depths significantly and the land you are pitching to it will always be a land you intend to Loam back in short order or a non-relevant utility land. It smooths our your mana so beautifully with it’s ability to tap for any color and the always classy first-turn Smallpox or second-turn Liliana of the Veil will leave an opponent scrambling. The added bonus is that discarding a land to Mox Diamond is part of the resolution of this artifact so if a brazen opponent tries to counter it your land in hand is safely preserved.

Liliana of the Veil – Liliana is at her absolute finest in Jund Depths. Along side Smallpox she rounds out our powerful edict-ing power and her +1 discard ability is usually one-sided as we are frequently pitching “Loamed back” lands or free discard cards like Life from the Loam and Punishing Fire. In a creature-less board a run away Liliana is more often then not lights out for the opposing player.

Exploration – Without exploration you are following the speed limit in Magic. With Exploration you are driving a Bugatti Veyron at top speed in a school zone. With this enchantment in play you and a sufficient graveyard setup can definitely do some powerfully unfun things with this deck like double Wasteland a turn and assemble Marit Lage every turn. Kept as a 2-of in this list as you don’t want to draw additional copies as opposed to edict effects.

SIDEBOARD

This is the Sideboard I rolled with at the Frag for Cancer tournament but I’m always making slight modifications to what I feel is best suited. Usually the sideboard plan is to first sideboard out your non-relevant utility lands. You don’t want a Karakas when your opponent is playing RUG Delver and you don’t want a Tabernacle at Pendrell Vale when your opponent is on Miracles. You don’t need Smallpox against Combo decks and you don’t want Liliana of the Veil against decks like UR Delver or Elves. Explorations are usually dropped against Midrange decks where you can lock them at a reasonable pace without it.

Abrupt Decay – These are the most frequent cards I will sideboard in as they are an un-counterable answer for troublesome permanents that an opponent may sideboard in such as Blood Moon and various graveyard hate cards. They also double as an additional answer for big creature threats like Tarmogoyf or Knight of the Reliquary or anything the opponent may use to eke out an advantage such as a Sylvan Library or Counterbalance.

Abrupt Decay

Pithing Needle – These have a wide-range of uses and the scope of decks I will bring these in against range from Miracles (against Sensei’s Divining Top) to Death and Taxes (agsinst AEther Vial) to Sneak and Show (against Sneak Attack or Griselbrand). Because of their large range in application I have been very satisfied with them as a 3 of.

Choke – Classic grisly hate card against primarily blue decks. I will mostly bring these against blue control decks as opposed to blue aggro decks like Delver since the mainboard has more than enough answer to deal with their threats.

Sphere of Resistance – The Spheres are brought in most combo matchups to slow down our opponent from combo-ing off until we can rip apart of their mana base or tear up their hand.

Sphere of Resistance

Toxic Deluge – Very powerful sweeper against creature-based decks like Elves, Death and Taxes and Delver decks that run creatures like Nimble Mongoose, Geist of Saint Traft or True-Name Nemesis.

Chains of Mephistopheles – In the land of Brainstorms, Ponders and Treasure Cruises nothing quite ruins the party of cheap efficient cantrip spells quite like the old Chains. Efficient to play, limits the card advantage ability of so, so many decks and in cases like High Tide, they can’t win through it. Also, because the original text and oracle text of Chains of Mephistopheles is so atrociously convoluted many players will ignore this card completely when casting Thoughtseize. Twice at the Frag for Cancer tournament I got Thoughtseized with Chains in hand and had it remain in my hand. This was despite my opponent playing a fullset of Brainstorms and Treasure Cruises and then realizing after Chains resolved that all of these cards were effectively dead.

Chains of Mephistopheles Helm of Obedience

Helm of Obedience – Just because this deck hates Rest in Peace and I hate Rest in Peace. Giving them the old Reverse Helm kill is one of the most satisfactory things you can do. For those that don’t know: With Rest in Peace in play all cards are exiled automatically and do not hit the graveyard. Helm of Obedience when activated with 1 mana will exile an opponent’s entire library since Helm of Obedience states: “X, TAP: Target opponent puts cards from the top of his or her library into his or her graveyard until a creature card or X cards are put into that graveyard this way.”

Nether Void – Oracle Text for this is “Ruin target game”. I like bringing in Nether Void against decks with a weak and low mana base with aggressive game plan like Burn, UR Delver and Infect. These decks will struggle to play one spell with the Void in effect while you are slowly assembling Thespian’s Stage and Dark Depths in absolute peace.

Other sideboard cards that I have tinkered around with and explored are: an additional Abrupt Decay, an additional Sphere of Resistance, an additional Chains of Mephistopheles, The Abyss and Zuran Orb. I especially like Zuran Orb and I will most likely shoehorning this into the list again as it is extremely powerful against Burn and UR Delver. I also am looking to add a copy of Barren Moor into the maindeck. It is great at permitting you multiple Life from the Loam dredges and protecting the Loam engine against sideboard hate cards like Surgical Extraction.

THE REPORT (FRAG FOR CANCER LEGACY EVENT)

This is a brief rundown of the matches I played for this 40-man charity Legacy event in Halifax using this Jund Depths list:

MATCH 1 – vs Burn – Matthew Bernard – LOSS (0-2) – The deck I was playing against was mostly a burn deck but with a minor splash of blue primarily for Treasure Cruise. At the beginning he flashed me his deck list where I saw “x4 Treasure Cruise” at the top of his sheet. In Game 1 I inappropriately set up my game plan in turns 1 and 2 for a Delver matchup and was swiftly burned out before I had any chance to recover to a fast Marit Lage assembling. In Game 2, I kept a strong opener for handling burn but unfortunately I could not draw into tutor effects to make it into the combo.

0-1 (0-2)

MATCH 2 – vs Manaless Dredge – Jacob Ramsay – WIN (2-0) – A very, very rough matchup for Manaless Dredge. With maindeck Bojuka Bog and Tabernacle, it was basically impossible for him to get anything going in both games 1 and 2, as I was able to Crop Rotate/Bog his graveyard preventing him from comboing off and then assembling Marit Lage in short order after he was stagnated. Tabernacle took care of the Narcomoebas and Zombie tokens he had left on the table from his early dredging.

1-1 (2-2)

MATCH 3 – vs Lands – Luke O’Hearn – WIN (2-0) – A fairly hilarious matchup. I knew what my opponent was playing as I heard his Match 2 opponent sighing in frustration during that game from where I was sitting. (That I’m playing RUG Delver and my opponent is playing lands “sigh” is unmistakable). He led with Taiga, Exploration and Rishadan Port and I led with Mox Diamond, Fetch. My opponent instantly started to laugh realizing the semi-mirror was going down.

In game 1, he had the explosive land drop plays because of Exploration, which I did not have in my opener. His troublesome lands were Wasteland and Port. He then cast Loam, which I swiftly Crop Rotated for Bojuka Bog to keep him off of. After that point I was able to recover my mana base and assemble my own Loam Engine. I naturally drew into Exploration, which I was then able to double Wasteland him each turn. He then conceded Game 1.

Game 2 was a lot faster. He sideboarded in Chalice of the Void and his first turn play was Forest and Chalice on zero, which I believe was not optimal. My first turn play was Bayou, Exploration, Wasteland. With Loam in hand I was able to set up Marit Lage in short order and win the match. My opponent was pretty friendly and I always respect a Lands player. We compared notes on our prison decks for a while and shook hands.

2-1 (4-2)

MATCH 4 – vs UR Delver – Matthew Williams – WIN (2-0) – This was my first matchup against the current decklist in vogue. Game 1 was very long and very close. My opening hand was a very disrupting hand against mana bases which included Tabernacle, Maze of Ith and Ghost Quarter This was the gameplan I stuck with throughout the game. My opponent was not super threat heavy, so I frequently edicted away one of this threats while Mazing the other.

Midway through the match he had 2 Monastery Swiftspears in play and forgot the Tabernacle tax when he drew then instantly realized it after the fact. Meanwhile I was Ghost Quartering his mana base at every opportunity. By the conclusion I was down to 2 life from taking random creature hits and Lightning Bolts to the face. At that point however I had Marit Lage ready to be unleashed. It was his turn and he had 2 sources of mana open. He Treasure Cruised and Brainstormed desperate for a Lightning Bolt to finish me off. He then played a Wooded Foothills trying to fetch a land but had none in his deck left due to my use of Ghost Quarter. That was game.

Game 2 ended in pretty short order. He kept a hand with 2 Tormod’s Crypt and only cantrips with only a Delver to protect. I swiftly dealt with the Delver using a Punishing Fire and then landed Chains of Mephistopheles to keep his hand stagnate from anything. He used a Tormod’s Crypt once on a Loam in the graveyard. I entombed for another, which he used his other Crypt on. After his hand was completely dead thanks to Chains, I Crop Rotated in the combo and won the match with no resistance.

3-1 (6-2)

MATCH 5 – vs RUG Delver – Mark MacGregor – WIN (2-1) – I have a lot of experience playing this match up. When he wrote down our Life Totals on his pad, he titled them with “Good/Evil”. I asked him “Who is Good and who is Evil?”. Quoting Spaceballs, he quipped “I’m evil of course, because in the end evil will always triumph because Good is dumb”. I then quipped back – “If you knew what kind of deck I was playing, you might want to relabel me as Evil”.

In game 1 his board was 2 Nimble Mongoose that weren’t at Threshold yet. He used up all of his permission keeping me off of my edict effects. After his permission was used up, I had Loam online with Tabernacle and Wasteland which made short order of his board. He conceded after his mongooses died to the Tabernacle sniper.

In Game 2, I mistakenly kept a fairly mana light hand. I was not able to draw into any lands or resources leaving me unable to deal with his board or interact at all, in which case he finished me off in short order.

Game 3 went much in the same as the first game, but with one last hoo-rah at the end. I was able to assemble the classic Loam, Tabernacle and Wasteland lock very early. He resolved a Sylvan Library before the lock was engaged, which I immediately took care of with an Abrupt Decay. At the end he saved up 2 fetch lands to play a Tarmogoyf as a last ditch effort. I Abrupt Decayed that at the end of his turn, which was followed by a deep frustration. (My friend who was spectating politely reminded my opponent that he should gain 1 life off of my Grove of the Burnwillows which I used to cast Abrupt Decay). Loam/Wasteland next turn ended the game. My opponent was extremely salty after the game and kind of left a bad taste in my mouth, but I was explained afterwards that he was actually a good guy, he just gets frustrated easily.

4-1 (8-3)

MATCH 6 – vs Death and Taxes – Alex Marshall – WIN (2-0) – This was one complete blowout game of the tournament. Game 1 ended with a concede in short order. By turn 5, I had assembled Punshing Fire and Grove, an active Liliana of the Veil, Wasteland/Loam for all of the nonbasics that Death and Taxes plays and my opponent was hellbent. Game 2, finished in much the same way except with a Pithing Needle on his AEther Vial as well. Both of us however were into the Top 8.

5-1 (10-3)

QUARTERFINALS – vs BUG Delver – Mikko Navarrete – WIN (2-0) – Going into quarters my opponent approached me and moaned in jest: “Oh man! You’re playing Jund Depths! I might as well take my 8th place prize and go home!”. He was a really nice guy and talked to me beforehand telling me he had little relevant sideboard cards equipped to handle my deck, but nonetheless we played it out obviously. In game 1, he amassed a pretty sizable army that included Deathrite Shaman and 2 Delvers. Unfortunately for him, he was constantly dazing and using up his entire hand countering all my early edict effects. That’s really the thing that is problematic when you’re playing against Jund Depths. Every spell that Jund Depths plays is almost a “must counter” spell. They can’t let you Entomb for Loam, can’t let you Gamble, can’t let you Crop Rotate, can’t let you resolve any edict effects. The list goes on and they burn up all their countermagic leaving them very vulnerable and usually hellbent when your engine gets online. After dazing he was down to one Wasteland with his Deathrite and 2 Delvers. I had a Grove and a Bayou with 2 Crop Rotations in hand. I Crop Rotated the Bayou for Wasteland, Wasteland-ed his Wasteland and he responded to this by Wasteland-ing my Grove, which I Crop Rotated for Tabernacle. Without mana in play, he was left with a Deathrite that could only tap for mana to pay his own tax. He couldn’t draw into additional lands and conceded after the hard lock. Game 2 ended a lot faster. He used up his entire hand, trying to Thoughtseize me twice (which he left Chains of Mephistopheles in my grip both times not really knowing its effect) and countering all my early edicts. He was then hellbent and I was able to Crop Rotate for Dark Depths to deliver the end.

6-1 (12-3)

SEMIFINALS – vs UR Delver – Roudi Bachar – LOSS (1-2) – In Game 1 I lost in short order. My opponent had an extremely aggressive opener and I kept a hand without a Mox or Exploration. I was not able to apply any relevant pressure and was simply overwhelmed by Young Pyromancer. I was also a little thrown for a surprise as his list included 3 Wastelands. Game 2 was won by me in short order. I was able to assemble Marit Lage fairly fast and he kept a fairly creature light hand.

Game 3 is where the grind fest occurred. I was able to assemble Punishing Fire/Grove in very fast order and able to completely prevent him to willingly cast creatures. He only had 2 Islands in play and passed turn after turn, which signalled to me he was keeping a Volcanic Island in hand and furiously trying to draw into either in a Sideboarded Blood Moon or Price of Progress (I didn’t know which since Game 2 ended in short order). Meanwhile, I was tunnel visioned into loaming for Stage/Depths or a Ghost Quarter to leave him landless every turn because with all of his cantrips UR Delver plays, I felt that Punishing Firing him out was out of the question. In the end, I had all but 15 cards left in my library with no Stage, no Depths and no Ghost Quarter. He was finally able to conjure up a Price of Progress to finish me off. Obviously a little disappointed as I wanted to make it to Finals to play a very good friend of mine who I playtest Legacy with frequently and very equipped to handle my shenanigans. (He won the tournament in the end). After the fact, I obviously regret not utilizing Punishing Fire to burn him out, which I most certainly had ample time to do so but it’s a lesson learned. In Magic and most things fatigue is my worst enemy and I tend to get tunnel visioned when playing for long periods of time with little break. A grindy deck like Jund Depths leaves you with little relaxation time between matches. Playing optimally with fatigue on my end is definitely something I am looking to improve significantly in the future.

6-2 (13-5)

After all is said and done however, I am extremely happy with how this deck has performed in a decently sized tournament. I’m looking to play a very similar list for the SCG Grand Prix in New Jersey at the beginning of November as I think this deck is very well positioned in the current meta. It’s also awesome that interest in Legacy is steadily increasing on Prince Edward Island. If you are ever looking to get into Legacy looking for deck advice or ideas or to playtest (proxies or not) there is almost always a few Legacy players at the Comic Hunter in Charlottetown that would be extremely happy to talk/play the format.

Article submitted by Aaron Kasprzak

2 Replies to “Jund Depths: The Perfect Prison – By Aaron Kasprzak”

  1. James

    Watching this deck be played is what made me decide to try Legacy as a format. It is impressive to see in action, and frustrating/fun to play against.

  2. Aaron

    Ha, that’s good to hear. It sucks when players look into Legacy being played and see something like Sneak and Show in action dropping a 2nd turn Emrakul and thinking to themselves “What a stupid format. There’s nothing that can beat that…”. Whether it’s Legacy Combo, Control, Aggro or in this case Prison there’s always piles of interaction taking place.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *